Blog

Category: General

We’re beyond happy that our work late last year to help our VR client Pimax fund over $4million has picked up multiple awards at last night’s #In2Sabre awards ceremony, put on by The Holmes Report.

At the event held in New York, PR companies vied for trophies in categories ranging from innovation in PR, through to employee engagement.

Dynamo was shortlisted for four categories, and by the end of the night we had won three! We picked up awards for best Technology, best Lean Marketing, and best Crowdsourcing / crowdsourcing campaigns.

If you’ve a consumer tech product you’re thinking of crowdfunding, do get in touch

 

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 .

 

Paul Cockerton
Paul Cockerton
Categories: General, New Hires

Over the last year we’ve seen an increase in Dynamo’s services by companies who have blockchain-based services or technology, so it a good fit to combine our consumer and tech knowhow, with our crowdfunding experience to offer ICO PR support. Our first publicly announced client is WIZZLE, the globally trusted blockchain service provider with the singular goal of making cryptocurrency accessible to anyone.

Partnering with Goadi, with whom we’ve worked on projects reaching as far back as 2011, we will be running earned and owned outreach; targeting press, influencers and paid media to amplify WIZZLE’s reach and support their initial AirDrop as well as pre-sale and main sale of the ICO. The team will also be supporting on social, managing ad spend and strategy across WIZZLE’s Telegram, Reddit and YouTube channels.

Mark Noorlander, CEO WIZZLE Global N.V., commented: “Dynamo and Goadi provide a perfect comms fit for us, combining an understanding of the crowdfunding and ICO sectors with experience in all of the marketing channels we need to use effectively to achieve our goals, ranging from paid media, community management, through to media and influencer relations. Fundamentally they get and understand our mission and goals, and are best placed to help us succeed and take cryptocurrency to the global stage.”

Paul Cockerton, co-CEO of Dynamo PR, added: “We are at the start of the blockchain era, and there’s no doubt that cryptocurrencies have sparked a gold rush, and yet even with all of the buzz, the concept is still very alien to many. WIZZLE’s mission to make this technology accessible and simple is a game changer. We are thrilled to be part of this revolution and support WIZZLE with their upcoming ICO.”

“Our experience supporting ICOs and Dynamo’s expertise in crowdfunding allows us to create an integrated strategy, ideal for supporting WIZZLE,” said Fiona Chow, Founder of Goadi Consulting. “Cryptocurrencies have a huge amount of potential, which, despite the hype of crypto, has been largely untapped. Together with WIZZLE we will breed understanding of the technology among consumers and enterprises, ultimately driving engagement in crypto and growth of WIZZLE.”

Paul Cockerton
Paul Cockerton
Categories: Crowdfunding, General, Global, US

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: Awards, General, US

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!

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: AI, General, US

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.

stefanie.ailioaie
Categories: Culture, General, New Hires