News

Category: Consumer Tech

IFA sometimes feels like Groundhog Day. The beginning of September always brings with it a wave of new consumer technology product launches and clearing up rumours, which makes it a busy time for tech fans, allowing IFA, Europe’s largest consumer electronics exhibition and the smaller cousin to CES in Las Vegas, to dominate global tech news during this time.

As electronics companies wrestle to position their products in the forefront of consumers minds, here’s a quick roundup for those who didn’t quite convince their boss to book them a flight to Berlin.

Advancement in 4K

Moving beyond your television, 4K is now becoming the next big thing in smartphone technology.

With Sony showing off their new line of Xperia Z5 smartphones, of which there are three, the Z5 Premium boasts an eye-watering 4K (3840×2160) screen for those times that you really want to show off your ludicrously high definition screen to friends and family. Are they waterproof you ask? Why yes, yes they are.

Wearable technology still a safe bet

With exciting new smartwatches being announced from the likes of ASUS, Motorola and Huawei, the name of the game this year is having a round face and a more luxurious quality.

Samsung show a clear step forward with their seventh version of a smartwatch Samsung Gear S2. Allowing for a round display and two models, Samsung is trying to punch with the likes of Apple in the space which might prove difficult as the Apple Watch was highly prominent on the wrists of those attending.

While you were sleeping

One trend that is appearing at IFA this year is the use of technology to track your sleeping patterns by placing devices in bed with you and watching you sleep (ala the Samsung SleepSense).

SevenHugs is a good example of this new trend as they are showcasing their hugOne device that allows the entire family to monitor their nightly escapades, humidity, temperature, and air quality.  The hugOne then gives the user a clear tracking method to move users to a informative and restful nights sleep.

Who took home the prize?

While Sony dominated conversations in the Press Room with their Z5 Premium phone, it was Apple who took the prize even though they don’t have a presence at IFA, as talk of their upcoming announcement next was the topic of choice.

This might be an indicator of the what people thought of the large announcements this year, and perhaps the word “lackluster” was used in various conversations, but it seems although Apple might not attend IFA, they don’t have to in order to be news.

Winning Best Consumer Launch at the internationally esteemed PRWeek Global Awards 2015, last night we walked away with the gong for our launch of The Micro 3D Printer.

Dynamo’s strategy for the PR launch included careful refinement at all elements of the communications campaign, from pledge level strategy, page creation, video production through to identifying audiences most likely to buy, and the media to reach them.  In the run up to launch we demonstrated the capabilities of the 3D printer in a fun and unusual way by printing chocolate moulds of media titles and logos, including Popular Science, Wired and Engadget, amongst others.

Achieving global press, broadcast and social media coverage, The Micro hit its $50,000 target in just 11 minutes (making it the fastest funded Kickstarter to date) and went on to raise $1m in 25 hours, faster than the Pebble Watch (28 hours).

On a night that recognised talent and global PR campaigns from around the world, it was an honour for our work to be shortlisted alongside Toyota, Procter & Gamble and Ford, and a great achievement to win the best global consumer launch for 2014.

 

 

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By Dynamo Team

This week nearly 2,000 companies exhibited at Mobile World Congress, the annual shindig for all things Mobile which takes place in Barcelona every year. Dynamo had a team on the ground working and networking, and a team supporting from our UK HQ. Now that the doors are close, here are some of the top trends we spotted this year.

Flat pack your PR

This year’s surprise entrant was IKEA announcing a range of furniture with wireless charging, and Google announcing (in a limited form) they were now going to become (as well) a wireless carrier. Many of the news announcements had been predictable, but to get the best out of these events it’s good to allow some wiggle room and react on your feet with PR.

Super Sunday

Typically now, the day ‘before’ the show is one of the most important for PR as big brands try to take over the show by releasing before the noise of the show floor becomes too much. This year, Qualcomm made a mistake by trying to bus journos out to the F1 testing race course, and unfortunately most journos stayed closed to the Fira where most of the big events were happening.

Heavy Metal

Many Android phones look pretty similar but this year saw Samsung copying HTC’s unibody design and introducing a ‘curved’ phone. Anyone remember the Nokia banana phone? Anyway, the move away from cheap plastic into premium feeling phones is a good move for any smartphone company wanting to stay at the top table.

Wearables, Nearables and Hearables

MWC was as much about everything connected to mobiles, as the devices or networks themselves. Pebble announced a smart strap (beating Kickstarter records at the same time), and there were plenty of  3D printers, VR headsets and connected cars all making headlines. We love Huawei’s smartwatch which we think will give other manufacturers a run for their money.

Paul Cockerton
By Paul Cockerton

ChapStick: check. Cold and flu tablets: check. A comfy pair of shoes: check.

As a CES virgin, I did my research before flying out to Sin City and arrived prepared.

But Las Vegas’ Consumer Electronics Show (CES to you and I) only becomes real once you’ve queued for 20 minutes and your press pass is around your neck.

So, this is what I learned from this year’s show: 

  1. Drones are taking over the world

For the very first year, CES had a dedicated area for ‘Unmanned Systems’, featuring drones in every shape and size; remote-controlled, autonomous, selfie-taking – you name it, there was a drone for it. I was fortunate enough to visit the Nevada desert with our client Hexo+, the world’s first self-flying camera, which was competing with AirDog, both autonomous drones, controlled via a smartphone and Bluetooth GPS, making drone filming and flying accessible for everyone.

  1. Kickstarter projects are on the rise

From crowdfunded drones, to smart inner-soles, to electric skateboards, there was a noticeable number of Kickstarter and Indiegogo stickers on company booths this year, promoting how they had launched their products, or if in prototype stage were planning to launch them. Indiegogo even manned its own stand this year, showcasing successful projects.

  1. Car tech is accelerating

Traditionally the biggest stands at CES are the largest tech companies but you certainly couldn’t miss seeing something automotive technology-related at this year’s show. BMW’s i3 electric cars displayed how they can find a parking space by themselves, while Audi’s autonomous A7 roamed the streets, and Ford announced a number of smartcar initiatives.

  1. Sony is in action mode

Is Apple planning a wearable camera? Who knows, but Sony could be one step ahead with its 4K handheld action cam offering. Sony had a big celebrity win through legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk unveiling its slick-looking water/shock/freeze-proof GoPro rival, which got the media seriously talking.

  1. Wearable tech is becoming more fashionable

Designs of many smartwatches have remained the same, however the Withings Activité Pop caught my eye, and was descried by TechCrunch as “one of the best-designed activity trackers to ever come to market”. Jaybird’s Reign is also very slick, but if you are more concerned about your pet’s health then perhaps you should invest in a FitBark, which tracks your dog’s fitness. Woof woof.

Despite some disappointment over no major announcements from the likes of Samsung, the forward-thinking innovation revealed by new start-ups on the scene and the large car manufacturers made CES 2015 a worthwhile visit, and the ultimate tech-filled start to 2015.

Fresh from the blur of the holidays, journalists, PRs and tech companies will be making their way to Vegas for the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show – held across several hotels between January 6-9.

We all know there’ll be a myriad of exciting projects and inventions to see on the show floor, however, particularly if it’s your first time, there is much more beyond this that is worth being prepared for.

First off, here’s our pick of the top five parties/events/showcases that should be on your list. Plus, there’s every chance one of us will be there too, which is always nice. 🙂

1. CES Unveiled
Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Nevada | Sunday, January 4, 4-7 pm

It’s official, it’s BIG, and it’s the best way to kick off your CES experience. Over 1,200 press will be in attendance, and it describes itself as ‘the ideal occasion to build buzz and stand out in the days leading up to the show.’ Featuring a mix of start-ups and big names, this is not to be missed.

2. Startup Night Downtown Vegas presented by International CES
Gold Spike Casino | Monday, January 5, 6-9 pm

Not only an excuse to veer off the strip and see ‘classic’ Vegas, but also a chance to make acquaintances early on in a lively setting, and mingle with the minds behind some of the most exciting new startups on show this year. Free to attend, but be sure to RSVP!

3. Showstoppers @ CES
Wynn Hotel, Lafite Ballroom | Tuesday, January 6, 6-10 pm

A chance for hands-on demos with the top attractions, Showstoppers gives you the best of CES in one evening. Throwing in an open bar and some great food, expect to see the blogger, journalist and analyst elite engaging with the most innovative companies in the tech space.

4. Extreme Tech Challenge
Venetian, Level 1, Marco Polo 701 | Thursday, January 8, 2 – 3:30 pm

Less of a party, and more of a fun one for you Dragon’s Den/Apprentice fans. Watch 10 top innovators compete live on stage in front of a top-tier panel of tech industry experts. The winner receives a once in a lifetime prize: getting flown out to Richard Branson’s private island to pitch for investment from the man himself. Surely entertaining to watch, despite the lack of quizzical Nick Hewer looks.

5. CES Closing Party
Venetian, TAO | Tuesday, January 19, 10pm- 2am

Held at the 10,000 square ft nightclub, admission is free to all CES attendees, and worth getting to early for the open bar (which closes at 11:30), the official closing party is the most fitting way to send off an eventful week. Remember to bring your badges to get in, and spend your last night kicking back with friends old and new and congratulating yourself on a job well done.

So these are the main ones to enjoy!

Of course, if you hear of any private parties, or manage to beg, borrow or steal your way into some of the more exclusive events, be sure to take that opportunity up! (Or feel free to put one of our names down in your place, we honestly don’t mind).

If you want to see us on the strip, drop us a line at [email protected]!

Dynamo

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By Dynamo Team

Today we are very excited to announce that Dynamo has helped raise over $9 million in crowdfunding for our clients, having launched our dedicated Kickstarter division in February last year!

The division was the first of its kind to be launched by a PR company globally and concentrates on projects launching on crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Pozible to reach their funding targets through media coverage and careful messaging. A huge part of what we do is offer advice to companies looking to understand the process required when crowdfunding a product or idea.

The first Kickstarter we worked with was 3Doodler, the world’s first 3D printing pen, which gained over $2.3 million (£1.4 million) of funding within a month to become one of the top 25 projects. Since then we’ve gone on to help M3D hit $3.4 million and become the most widely ordered 3D printer of all time, as well as work with more recent projects Carvey ($666,408 and counting) and Bluesmart ($766,999 and counting) who still have active campaigns on Kickstarter and Indiegogo, respectively.

Digitsole, a smart shoe sole with an accompanying app, is another recent successful project we’ve launched on Kickstarter. Karim Oumnia, Founder of Digitsole, said:

“We chose to work with Dynamo PR for the launch of Digitsole and we couldn’t be happier with the results and press coverage including Engadget, TechCrunch, Daily Mail and Metro. It was very important for us to feature in technology, national and lifestyle publications to attract an international audience, which Dynamo more than delivered.”

Indiegogo launched its international crowdfunding platform back in 2008 and was one of the first sites to offer crowdfunding. The site runs on a rewards-based system, meaning donors, investors, or customers who are willing to order a project or a product can donate and receive a gift rather than an equity stake in the company.

The crowdfunding website Kickstarter has steadily grown since its launch in 2009. It gained widespread attention for funding the Pebble watch, which earned $10.2 million (£6.5 million) of start-up cash, as well as funding the production of a movie based on the popular TV series ‘Veronica Mars’ with distribution support from Warner Bros.

Do you have an idea you want to crowdfund? Interested in working with us? Get in touch at [email protected]!

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By Dynamo Team

On November 6th, Dynamo PR’s Head of Consumer Technology and Kickstarter, Heather Delaney, will give a crowdfunding PR masterclass for mobile brands in Bern, Switzerland.

Attendees will benefit from Heather’s experience gained from leading some of the world’s most successful crowdfunding campaigns, which have helped Dynamo’s clients raise $8,988,078 in funding during the last 18 months.

Heather will go through common errors that often result in the failure of funding campaigns on platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, and share tips on what you should focus efforts on to maximise media interest, and drive backers to commit funds. You can buy tickets here.

Heather’s masterclass takes place at the annual Mobicamp event in Bern, Switzerland, a one day of plenaries and workshops where speakers share their knowledge and experience on everything from telecoms and software, the ever changing mobile ecosystems and app economy, to the entry of wearable technology from some of the world’s leading brands.

Mobicamp has been running since 2011 and sells out each year, although Early Bird tickets for this year’s event have sold out you can still buy one of the last remaining tickets here.

Dynamo PR is a sponsor of the event, other sponsors include SwissCom and CTI Invest.

After lots of planning and preparation, Dynamo held its inaugural Graduate Boot Camp last week for the training of the company’s newest employees – myself being one of them. During the course of the week, sessions were held on everything from effective pitching to being in the mind of a client. Sadly the only thing missing from our boot camp was an actual crawl tunnel!

Things kicked off on Monday with a surprise “school trip” to the British Library (handily close to our office) for a training session on creative writing, courtesy of Peter. In very Apprentice-like fashion, we were given a number of tasks to complete around the Library. Our final task consisted of writing a press release in 30 minutes for the release of Furbies! Even though my rather brief press release is unlikely to go out to anyone, it was a very helpful exercise for what to focus on in future.

One of the most revealing sessions came on Thursday and was based on what journalists think of PRs. For this, we were lucky enough to have Stuart Miles, founder of Pocket-lint, head up the discussion. Stuart was able to provide us with a very balanced point of view – largely thanks to his background in both journalism and PR. Before Stuart started Pocket-lint he actually spent a year as an Account Manager working on Olympus cameras. Following his talk, I thought it would be good to share some of the insights and tips that he gave to us:

  1. “I’m a story-teller” is how Stuart explained his job to his 8-year-old daughter. How about PR’s? Well their job is to tell the best bits of the story.
  2. Adapt your pitch to each publication. You not only have to think about which journalist is best to take your story to but also about who that publication’s audience is. A pitch that does this will look markedly different to one that does not.
  3. If you really want your email to be read over the 4,000 other emails in a journo’s inbox, you’ll need to add a personal spin to a press release. Give it something extra, something you know the journalist will love. Tailor your pitch like you would tailor your CV to each prospective company.
  4. From time to time something amazing that you send might slip through the net, but 9 out of 10 times a journalist hasn’t responded because they’re simply not interested. If you want to gauge someone’s interest Stuart suggested trying: “it might be a bit left-field, but could I grab you for two minutes to see if this is something of interest to you?”
  5. Make full and frequent use of freelancers. They are integral to the success of both PRs and publications and often aren’t used enough.
  6. If you are going to pitch on the phone, it is crucial that you fully understand your product before you pick up the phone. You need to know your subject, your competition, the weaknesses of the competition, the USP of your product that the competitor doesn’t have. Succinctly, you need to know more than what is on the press release.
  7. As a successful career in PR is largely dependent on the relationships you forge with journalists, don’t just email them when you want something. The best relationships are the ones where you talk about different things on a semi-regular basis. Think about how you can best help each other out.

For a perfect, fully packaged tweet, Stuart finished up by saying: “pitching a journo is like trying to chat up a girl… both come with mixed results.”