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At Dynamo we’ve always cared as much about how we work, as the work that we do.

Today we’re announcing a change in the way we recruit, which we believe takes a significant step in reducing unfair discrimination or bias in the application and assessment process.

This is not the first time we’ve sought to be different and do better.

Two years ago, in response to a survey showing there was a £10k pay gap between men and women, we took the step to publish our own #genderpaygap, and continue to do so every year.

By being open and honest about our data, ways in which to improve, and sharing our experiences publicly, we’ve tried to encourage companies of all sizes to take a hard look at their operations and end pay differentials due to people’s sex, which still exist in today’s workforce.

Our research, discussions and learnings from this are informing our new approach to recruitment.

Anyone who’s been involved in recruitment at volume will know there are many bulk filters companies use to make the process ‘manageable’, usually applied at the pressure point when it comes to splitting applications.

But many of these filters can actually reinforce unfair discrimination, and we want to reduce any bias that occurs at these points, whether intentional or otherwise.

That’s why, in recruiting for our latest member of staff, we’ve launched #blindrecruitment: a name-sex- and education blind application process.

Name- and sex-blind

Having a name- and sex-blind application is not new. The UK’s CBI has been recommending this for years, most recently with a report in 2016, but we believe that we’re one of the first PR companies to put this formally in place.

We’re doing this for the simple reason that whilst senior executives may be very clear that they do not discriminate, the evidence suggests otherwise, and that unconscious discrimination occurs frequently, and often.

Removing your name and sex simply means that no discrimination will be made based on what you’re called, or your gender, as these details can often imply sex, socioeconomic, or ethnic backgrounds.

Education-blind

But we believe just doing this doesn’t go far enough.

It’s still a common practice in companies to look at degree results, many using a 2:1 class degree as a minimum entry requirement – the degree being a proxy for ability, capability, and character.

But our direct experience has also shown this proxy doesn’t hold. We’ve hired amazing staff without degrees and without high school qualifications.

More worrying still, in our discussions with other agencies and trade bodies, it’s clear that there are many societal factors influencing whether you can actually get into university. This is backed up by recent news that shows that many of the UK’s top universities have an appalling record of accepting BAME candidates.

It’s clear that not everyone has the opportunity, and increasingly the money, available to go to University – and we’re also well aware that even if you do have a degree, this is no indication of whether you have drive, or excellent written and verbal communication skills, which is what we prize in Dynamo above all.

Taking out our own bias

So we’ve decided that, in looking for a new AE / SAE, we don’t want to know in your application whether you went to University, nor if you did attend, what degree you got. We also don’t want to know what school you went to, or any educational qualifications you’ve achieved. We don’t want to know your name, nor your sex. All we want to know is whether you have the skills, knowledge or aptitude for the job.

We of course can only go so far with this – though most of the application process is ‘blind’, the final stage before an offer is made will be an in-person interview. However even at this stage the interview panel will be as diverse as we’re able to provide, in both age, sex and background.

Sharing our work

We’re well aware that there’s always more to do, always more to learn, and always more ways to improve. So like all the things we do at Dynamo, we very much want this to be a conversation and debate starter.

In launching our latest recruitment drive we have consulted widely outside our own organisation, notably with the PRCA, our trade body who in the last year has taken  extremely positive steps in ensuring good governance in PR organisations, as well as the Taylor Bennett Foundation, who tirelessly work to address the need for greater diversity in the public relations industry.

We welcome all feedback, so feel free to comment, tweet or post using #blindrecruitment or do contact us if you’d like to know more. If you’re interested in applying for a job, or know someone who is, then you can apply here.

Paul Cockerton
Paul Cockerton
Categories: Culture

When we first founded Dynamo we wanted to create an award-winning agency, not just for the work we do, but also for the company itself and how we approach PR. It has been an incredible year, where we have been recognised by multiple industry bodies for how we work.

We kickstarted the year winning PR Week’s Best Place to Work (under 30 employee’s category). We are always looks at ways to improve the workplace and were particularly happy with our approach to diversity, training and flexible working being recognised. We were the first to publish our gender pay gap as well as offer our employees unlimited holidays.

Hot off our win in January, we won PRMoment’s Best Technology PR company. This was the second year of us winning the award and a testament to the hard work and passion our team has for the tech industry. We’ve built world class expertise in a variety of sectors including 3D printing, AI, Machine Learning and edu-tech.

It was also a special year for us as we moved beyond the small agency category, and were awarded with CIPR’s Outstanding Mid-Sized Agency. We are proud to reach this position in the industry for the first time, after being recognised as best small agency. This award highlighted our staff’s creative flair and continued efforts to deliver outstanding work for every client.

We pride ourselves on disruption and improving not only our workplace, but setting a good example to the industry. These wins represent just that.

Peter Bowles
Peter Bowles
Categories: News

It’s no secret that crowdfunding is going through a turbulent time. We’ve seen very high profile campaigns not deliver to backers despite raising millions. It’s understandable that people have become more sceptical of crowdfunding campaigns and whether campaign creators can deliver on their promises.

Despite this, 2017 has been our most successful year of crowdfunding since we launched the world’s first crowdfunding division four years ago. This year we’ve worked on several multi million dollar campaigns including TicWatch ($3.2m), Bluesmart 2.0 ($2m) and Pimax ($4.2m).

So how did we do this? It’s all about understanding how perceptions have changed and working with your community. It’s important to build trust, showcase your product in an engaging way and share the process to get to this point. Clear communications with your community is necessary. You need to talk to them before you launch, show them the product at events and listen to what they have to say.

You can read more about our work with Pimax, the 8k VR headset, and what we did to help them raise over $4million to beat Oculus here.

Ellen Powell-Chandler
Ellen Powell-Chandler

CES 2018 is approaching and it’s not long until over 100,000 industry attendees, 67,00 exhibitors and 7,000 press descend on Las Vegas. Throughout the conference centres, hotels and even bars and casinos, companies are poised to show off their latest products and gadgets.

Despite the number of press at CES, it can be extremely hard to get their attention. Here are a few of our tips to help get you in front of the press:

Eureka Park

Many of the big tech companies will have pre-briefed journalists before the show on their announcements. This means that journalists don’t need to head to their stands in the Convention Centres to get their news. Instead, they head to Eureka Park to find out out what the start up companies are doing and to find all the innovative products.

Press events

There are several press events at CES including CES Unveiled which is on Sunday 7th, Pepcom on Monday 8th and Showstoppers on Tuesday 9th. These events are designed for startups to showcase their products to media. Top tier media outlets attend including CNET, Engadget and TechCrunch.

A stand out booth

There are rows upon rows of booths, and all are the exact same design. Avoid having a boring white booth, use color to catch the eye and make sure you’re showing off your product in the best way.

Media list

You can access the list of attending journalists before the show in your online portal. Make sure you download it and look at who is attending. You can create your own target list and reach out to them before the show to let them know where you’ll be.

Practice your pitch

You only have seconds to hook a journalist’s or potential partner’s attention. Practice how you describe it and its key features. If you can succinctly say what’s interesting and how it’s different then a journalist will stick around longer to hear, and see more.

If you are going to be at CES in January, do get in touch if you’d like to meet up!

Dynamo Team
Dynamo Team
Categories: Opinion

Artificial Intelligence isn’t new, it’s been around since the 1950s, but it has become one of the most popular buzzwords over the past year. We believe this is because AI has moved beyond the technology industry and the general consumer is now seeing how they can use it within their daily lives.

Gone are the days of AI being seen as a creepy, unnerving robot, now we’re all asking Alexa what the weather’s like outside.

We have already seen how artificial intelligence has the potential to transform and improve our lives. We’ve been working with companies that are leading their fields in AI including Stratagem who are completely disrupting the sports industry, and Speechmatics who are improving speech recognition ahead of the big players like Apple and Google.

AI is only going to expand further, and we’ve launched the first AI division to work with these disruptive companies who are using technology to make a real difference to how we interact with products and services.

Here’s what Benedikt Thuengen, CEO of Speechmatics had to say “Dynamo understand that AI will shape every aspect of how we work with technology in the future. Our technology is helping make speech communication more accessible and widely adopted and will play a huge role in the voice activated future. Dynamo are the perfect partners to communicate our new technology in this space.”

If you’re interested in hearing more about our AI division please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Paul Cockerton
Paul Cockerton
Categories: US

Starting from 5 April earlier this year, companies with more than 250 employees have 12 months in which to publish their pay gap data. Expect a flurry of news around 5 April 2018, when no doubt most companies will wait to reveal their results. At Dynamo, we have voluntarily revealed our statistics since 2015.

We continue to be very supportive of the PRCA, our PR trade body, as they continue to promote gender equality, making it a requirement of its CMS standard for agencies to report their pay gap. You can read their full report here or blog post.

At Dynamo, we firmly believe that equal work deserves equal pay. We continue to make great efforts to maintain our high standards, but also have worked, and will continue to work, with other companies to help them not only measure their gender pay gap, but also understand the obvious and non-obvious reasons as to why it exists, and what can be done to reduce it.

So in our third year of measuring, where is our pay gap?

“Comparing like for like, in any particular job title role, on average men’s hourly pay is exactly the same as women’s hourly pay at Dynamo PR”

This means that at Dynamo on average men earn the same as women within roles. This is unlike the PR industry, where men overall earn £10,000 more than women in the same roles.

This is a great result for Dynamo where the pay gap last year was 0.35% (and 0.50% the previous year). But we’re mindful that this can change – not because we think that we have any conscious or unconscious bias – but because within any salary band for a role staff may progress at different rates and develop different levels of skills and experience which will be reflected in pay.

Secondly, we found:

“Overall, women’s salaries are 3.7% higher than men’s salaries”

This would normally indicate a bias towards pay for women, however we do currently have more women in senior roles than men, and given the parity of salaries within job titles this is acceptable.

We’re very pleased with this result, and will continue to report annually. As per the previous years, we don’t think we should be just one of a few agencies to report on pay gaps, so we want to say how proud we are to be members of the PRCA who is also leading the charge to improve equality and fairness in the workspace.

Paul Cockerton
Paul Cockerton
Categories: Culture

Taking place each year in Berlin, IFA dominates tech news as Europe’s biggest consumer electronics exhibition.

Major companies from around the world including Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, and Dell show off their latest phones, laptops, speakers and washing machines (the home appliances, largely ignored by consumer tech media, are popular on the consumer days). From 1-6 September the show is open to the public at Messe Berlin, however press and trade attendees attend beforehand when information about new products is released.

Grab some bratwurst and a German beer while I take you through my key takeaways from IFA 2017.

Wearables are still big

There were smartwatches… and lots of them.

Fitbit, my personal favorite, had already revealed its main product—the Fitbit Ionic—prior to IFA, which features animations of workouts played back on its colour screen, as well as a slick design to compete with the Apple Watch.

The Ionic in all its glory

Mini person doing a workout

Garmin revealed a fitness tracker and two smartwatches: the Vivosport, Vivomove HR and Vivoactive 3. Samsung also launched the Gear Sport, which is smaller than the Gear S3 and acts as a remote control to other Samsung devices using Samsung Connect.

Withings brought along the Steel HR, which launched earlier this year, complete with heart-rate tracking that now sits under the Nokia brand.

And it’s not over yet… Apple, who notoriously shun IFA, is rumoured to be announcing a new smartwatch on September 12, along with the hotly anticipated iPhone 8.

Google Assistant

With all the big tech giants—Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and Google Assistant—racing to dominate the personal assistant market, this year IFA belonged to Google Assistant.
Google Assistant launched on a number of third-party speakers, including the Panasonic GA10, the Sony LF-S50G, and the Tichome Mini made by our our client Movboi, which is an untethered portable speaker with Google Assistant support.

Mobvoi setting up before Showstoppers, an event during IFA

Mixed reality

Microsoft doesn’t usually have a big presence at IFA, but this year the company unveiled its Windows Mixed Reality headsets at IFA, including the Lenovo Explorer.

I was lucky enough to attend Asus’ press event, and putting aside for a moment their ZenBook Flip and VivoBook Flip laptops and the array of PC gaming hardware under the Republic of Gamers (ROG) range, it was Asus’ Windows Mixed Reality Headset that impressed the most.

My legs trying not to fall down a virtual hole

The headset weighs less than a pound, 3K resolution, and inside-out tracking, which uses two cameras on the front of the device to track the controllers. Unlike the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift, it doesn’t need external sensors, resulting in a cheaper price and simple setup. The quick drying antibacterial materials also limits germs from sweaty hungover faces, notoriously prevalent around the showfloor at IFA.

Asus’ Windows mixed reality headset

Spotted at IFA: VR manufacturers have started using notorious “eye condoms”

So who won?

The product I was asked first about on return to the Dynamo office was Lenovo’s Yoga 920, which comes in Star Wars Rebel and Imperial designs, as well as the Star Wars: Jedi Challenges, an augmented reality game for its Mixed Reality headset.
Star Wars: Jedi Challenges needs three components to make the magic happen: Lenovo’s Mirage AR headset, a lightsaber controller, and a tracking beacon. For a game that runs off a smartphone app (iOS or Android) it’s impressive, allowing you to take on a digital recreation of Kylo Ren in a lightsaber battle.

For those that have longed to swing a lightsaber and fight Darth Vader or Kylo Ren, Star Wars: Jedi Challenges is a FORCE to be reckoned with.

Dynamo Team
Dynamo Team
Categories: Opinion

Oh, hello! I’m Stef, one of the Account Executives at Dynamo and I’m here to tell you a bit about how I ended up in PR.

Growing up in Romania, most of my school years were spent focusing on maths and science. However, as much as I enjoyed the structure and logic behind those subjects, I never really felt like they would turn into career options for me. From an early age, my biggest side passions were reading and learning English, so I tried to find ways to incorporate that into my future job. Step one was deciding as early as year nine that I would go to university in the UK and then spending the next couple of years slowly wearing my parents down with arguments and other people’s success stories until they allowed – even encouraged – me to do so.

Step two was deciding on what course I would pursue, a decision I wish I could say was a result of thoughtful research and introspection. It was not. I spent year nine as part of a team organising a local theatre festival, in their media and communication division, which was tasked with promoting the event in the local press. I loved every minute of the experience, but the deciding moment that made me see this as a career option was an enthusiastically organised press conference, where no journalists showed up. Amidst the obvious disappointment, I found myself wanting to understand where we went wrong in our communication with the press and curious about the inner workings of the media. And the rest is history!

Step three was starting my Communications and Media degree at the University of Leeds, where I got my first contact with the immensely varied field of communications. I spent the following three years trying to sample as much of it as possible, both academically and professionally, through various part-time jobs in the University Press Office or market research agencies (yes, for a while, I was one of those people calling you for feedback on your most recent purchase). With a degree and some experience under my belt, I found a job in corporate communications and public affairs, where I was lucky enough to feel like I was receiving a second education in communications due to the sheer volume and variety of skills and responsibilities involved.

Remember when I mentioned my big passions as a kid were reading and learning English? This may come as a shock, but I loved learning and school in general, which has continued into adulthood. After a year and a half in my corporate communications job, I decided I wanted to understand more about the three main areas of communications that interested me the most, which lead on to step four: a Master’s Degree in Public Relations, Advertising and Marketing at Goldsmiths, University of London. It was an intense but brilliantly challenging year, followed by an equally brilliant internship where I got to work on one of the best tech conferences around, TechCrunch Disrupt.

After that, joining Dynamo and coming into tech PR felt like a natural (fifth) step for me. Six months later, I am amazed by the amount I’ve learned already and how much there is still left to do in the future. In fact, these are the key reasons why I enjoy working in PR – the variety and fast pace of the job which guarantees that no two days will look the same, whilst safe in the knowledge that there will always be something new to learn.

Dynamo Team
Dynamo Team
Categories: Culture