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Category Archives: General

How to get into PR: #PathToPR

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

Dynamo Ascend To Mid-Size Agency Win

 

For us, this was a particularly special award win. Not only are the CIPR’s one of the most reputable awards in the industry but this year we were presented with the Outstanding Mid-Sized Agency Award, a noble step-up to recent years’ nominations of small agency awards. It’s a terrific achievement and we’re proud to reach this position in the industry for the first time. Being recognised for our work, opening up new and exciting areas and carving our niche within crowdfunding, technology and diversity.

The awards night itself also stood out from the rest – dodgems and a ferris wheel were part of the evening’s entertainment in addition to the usual photobooths and prosecco flowing dinners. Whilst this award was of particular importance to us, we still knew the importance of frantically bumping into colleagues on the dodgems arcade – no HR violations of course.

For us, this award highlights staff’s creative flair for each campaign worked on over the last year as well as their continued efforts and valued relationships with clients. We pride ourselves on disruption and progression and this win represents just that.

A big thank you to everyone at Dynamo for their dedication and hard work, and to the CIPR judges for choosing us as Outstanding Mid-Sized Agency of The Year.

We literally sprinted to the stage just in time to collect our award. Alan from the National Lottery even gave us credit for being good runners too. Here’s the video:

Rachael Sanders
Rachael Sanders
Categories: Awards, General, US

Path to PR – Aimee Lee

Hello everyone, I’m Aimee and the newest Junior Account Executive for the Dynamo US office. I wanted to take the time to share my journey to PR and Dynamo!

During my senior year of high school, I spent my time applying as a Pre-Law major. I chose to attend Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana; however, I changed my major from Pre-Law to Elementary Education as I had externship during my last semester of senior year teaching at an elementary school.

After two years of attending Purdue, I spent nine months in South Korea teaching English and SAT Writing. I decided teaching was not for me and wanted to pursue a career in law again. I knew that law school was very expensive and decided to join the U.S. Army, so they can pay for law school once my contract was complete. I joined as a Paralegal Specialist so that I would be able to work in the field of law.

After four years of active duty and speaking with my mentors, I realized that my values and personality did not necessarily fit being a lawyer. Family time is extremely important to me and working in an 80+ hours job was not something that seemed fulfilling nor appealing to me. My mentor asked me if I had thought about another job other than being a lawyer. As I replied with working in PR, she got excited and responded with, “That would be a perfect job for you”.

In June of 2014, my contract finished and I moved to San Francisco where I attended City College of San Francisco before I could transfer to a four-year university to major in Public Relations or Communications. After one year of attending CCSF, I applied to The Art Institute of California-San Francisco, since they had an Advertising major. I really liked their academic program as they were more hands-on and could give me more of a real-world experience.

In 2016, I started looking for PR internships to start my career track and development. In February of 2016, I was hired as a PR intern by Big Picture PR, a consumer and fashion boutique agency. I was promoted to their Social Media Specialist and Business Development Associate in May of 2016. I was also hired as a PR Coordinator by Smitten Communications, a consumer tech agency in May of 2016.

In December of 2016, I applied to Dynamo PR after hearing about the agency from Big Picture PR. I was super eager and anxious about getting the job as everything I heard during the interview intrigued me.

Since working at Dynamo, I feel that I am in the right path towards my PR career and development. I am absolutely enjoying the experiences I am having and learning along the way. I wrote my first press release here and got Hermione Granger’s wand because of it!! I am eager to see what the future and Dynamo has in store for me!

Aimee Lee
Aimee Lee
Categories: General, US

The year in pictures #Dynamo2016

2016 was another busy year for us here at Dynamo PR. Not only did we celebrate our fifth birthday, but we also launched our US office, located in Redwood City, California.

It was also an eventful year for our clients. There’s no way we could fit all of the launches, campaigns and events into one blog post, but here is a snapshot of the past 12 months at Dynamo HQ.

We have been racking up those air miles. Not only did we attend CES, MWC and IFA, but we also hopped on the plane to Austin to support Makeblock at SXSW.

We helped Adam & Eve with a winning campaign based on the timely research into athlete abstinence, which was released during the Olympics.

Detailed view of a sprinter in the starting blocks

Our very own Lewis Durkin had the most unusual afternoon of 2016 when he and Duncan James of the Blue fame took Duncan’s adorable pooch for a walk and a photo shoot – all for Gala Bingo’s “UK’s favourite dog walk” campaign.

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Let’s not forget about crowdfunding. We helped launch a myriad of exciting campaigns, including ZapBox, a $30 mixed reality headset from Zappar.

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We introduced #DynamoDoes. What does Dynamo do, you might be wondering? Well, every third Friday of the month we get together to tuck into a feast of tapas, Chinese food, curries – you name it. It’s not all just food though, because #DynamoDoes get quite adventurous as well. For example, we spent an evening learning free-running with the one and only Sebastien Foucan.

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And last but certainly not least is the launch of Dynamo Silicon Valley.

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Don’t hesitate to drop us a line if you’d like to discuss how we could work together next year!

Happy holidays from the Dynamo team!

Daria Gerasimova
Daria Gerasimova
Categories: General

Brighton SEO: how to get the best out of the event

Over the past two years, I’ve been day tripping down to the coast for Brighton SEO conferences, and this September rounded up to my fifth visit. In that time, I’ve seen the event adapt and evolve throughout its biannual affair (although, if you’re a veteran Brighton SEO-er you’ve seen it change a whole lot more since it began as a gathering in the upstairs room of a pub). September 2016 saw another revamp – a venue upgrade to the Brighton Centre on the beach front.

It’s a packed out event (free tickets sell out in less than 13 minutes) with lots of talks, training sessions, roundtables, networking drinks and socials all fit into one day. So here’s a quick guide to making sure you get the best out of the conference.

Before the Conference

Be on the Eventbrite website the minute the tickets are released…

Otherwise you won’t get a ticket. Make sure you sign up to the newsletter emails so you know when each ticket release date is, which is normally around three months beforehand. It’s just like getting tickets to Glastonbury, although tickets to Brighton SEO sold out quicker than the festival itself in April.

If you don’t get a ticket…. you have a backup option

In the case that you miss out on a ticket, fear not, you can still go to Brighton SEO. If you book a place on one of the training courses on offer, you’ll automatically get a ticket to the main conference the next day.

Book somewhere for lunch

Although Brighton is a big seaside city, everyone goes for lunch at the same time, and in the same places. Expect to queue for a table for a long time if you haven’t reserved anywhere in advance. It’s easy to be caught up in a queue and miss the first sessions back in the conference centre after lunch at 2:30pm.

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On the Day

Turn up to a talk around 20 minutes beforehand

That’s if you want to get a seat and not stand at the back, or sit on the floor. This year, around 3,000 people attended September’s event, and with each session being a “first come first served” seating structure, capacity fills up quickly, and you might not be able to go to that all important talk at all. Unless you have a previously subscribed wristband access, it’s important to hang around each conference room early, it also gives you more opportunities to network.

Go to the networking drinks afterwards

You get a free drink token upon entering the conference on the day, so it’s worth going to the main foyer at the event to take advantage of it. There’s a huge variety of people from different industries (not just SEO!), and many often attend the conference for new business and even career opportunities.  

Go to at least one talk you don’t specialise in 

Brighton SEO is good for helping you work out what you know, as well as what you don’t know within an industry that’s ever changing. Talks are based on various skill set levels and are grouped into a range of different categories, which means it’s worth going to a few talks that aren’t relevant to your every day job role. This will come in handy further down the line if your agency adapts or acquires a new client in a new industry area, or with a different content and media focus. 

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Rachael Sanders
Rachael Sanders
Categories: Digital, General

#FuturePRoof, a crowdsourced best practice for PR

Around a year ago I attended the launch of the first edition of #FuturePRoof, and was impressed both by how many senior level practitioners were involved, as well as the wisdom of their advice and strategy on running, managing, and developing public relations and marketing. The book contained essential advice for anyone working in PR, and was widely read and shared.

Today we see the launch and release of the follow up, #FutureProof: Edition Two. It’s available on kindle or you can buy a hard copy.

I do have a personal interest in promoting it, as this time round I’ve contributed a chapter on best practice (aka top tips) in crowdfunding, but I think for anyone interested in public relations it’s a great read, informative and useful.

Thanks very much to the founder and editor, Sarah Hall, who crowdsourced 39 essays from luminaries all over the world for this outstanding edition.

In her words: “The success of #FuturePRoof shows that public relations practitioners are aware of the direction of travel and are no longer prepared for other disciplines to eat their lunch. Demand shows professionals want to close their competency gaps in order to provide strategic advice at management level.”

You can follow further conversations about the book with #FuturePRoof


Dynamo’s DIY Escape 2016

Well, we all survived. Which may seem like an odd way to begin a blog post about our recent #DynamoEscape, but the introduction to the trip begged the question whether all of us would return back to work the following Monday. How comforting.

This year it was a DIY survival adventure, but the majority of the weekend’s details were thin on the ground. All we were told was to pack our bags for camping, much to the incredulity of some staff (not all of us are happy campers, as it turns out), and that we would be split into four teams. Each team was asked to “bring something for the weekend”, where the pressure was on to deliver a physical skill activity, a mental agility task, cook Saturday’s lunch and throw a club night. Of course, there were some added surprise activities from the CEOs thrown into the mix.

Friday morning, we set off early to catch a train to Etchingham, Sussex. Arriving at the tiny station, we bundled into taxis onto our surprise activity, the treetop adventure assault course, Go Ape. Climbing, swinging and zipping from platform-to-platform definitely worked up a sweat. With some friendly cajoling, most of us (no names mentioned) faced our fears and completed the course. Special shout out to the stirrups section, which seriously caused me to have an existential crisis, with the genuine consideration of plunging to the forest floor as a markedly better option than the nightmare I was enduring in the canopy.

After monkeying around, it was time to discover our accommodation for the next two nights. We were lodging at Soul Camp in Burwash, in a couple of teepees in the grounds of a delightfully dilapidated country manor called Glebe House. It was quite the scenic location; surrounded by acres of fields, resident horses, a cat for company and an entertaining dog called Vinnie. Home sweet home!

Saturday was the day of the team’s challenges. The lunch was superb. Each staff got a personalized foodie starter and a special commendation for the true British spirit of firing up a BBQ in the pouring rain to create a build-your-own-burger station that went down a treat. Good job too, as getting physical was next on the agenda.

We all love a good tech trend here at Dynamo, and the physical activity embraced the latest mania perfectly. In the wake of PokemonGo, we played our very own version – DynaGo! Armed with a compass and map of the area, we grabbed our imaginary Pokéballs and set off through the fields on the hunt of Dynamons.

Here’s a few of creatures we found hidden in the hedgerows:

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The mental agility task was a real standout of the weekend. The team set up various stages with challenges to test our cognitive prowess, all legitimately scientific of course. We had Rachael Riley grilling us on our arithmetic, focus and determination were tested on the buzz-wire game, classic problem solving through assembling IKEA furniture and how astute our senses are through blind folded taste-tests – vomit flavored jelly beans anyone? All topped off with a quiz that just may have got a little intense and rowdy, just like all good quizzes should.

Closing out the weekend was Club Dynamo. To celebrate the recent launch of our US office, it seemed apt to throw an American party. Complete with those classy party classics beer pong and flip cup. The latter of which went down so well, we’re thinking of making it the official company sport. There may or may not of been a beer funnel involved at some point in the night, but I cannot confirm.

All in all, a very successful DIY #DynamoEscape. The creativity, ingenuity and fun that went into every team’s challenges were only matched by the participants’ willingness to get stuck in and enjoy. Now just to wait and see what next year will entail.

Simon Franklin
Simon Franklin
Categories: Culture, General

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