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Tyto Tech 500 UK 2019 Women in Tech

Women of Influence – Top 10 UK women influencers, #Tech500

Each year, the Tyto Tech 500 Power List identifies the most influential individuals across the UK in business, media and government, and each year sees a number of leading women represented in its ranks. We are pleased to report, however, that 2019 reveals a banner year for female influencers, with women making up 40% of the Top 10 influencers in the UK.  

Most notably, Emily Gosden, energy editor at The Sunday Times, leads the Power List with her well-earned spot at #1. This is the first time that to date that a female influencer has achieved the leading rank on the annual Power List.  

In fact, within the entire Tyto Tech 500 Power List, women made up more than a third (34%) of total influencers. That is an increase of 3% as compared to 2018, when women made up only 31% of the Tyto Tech 500 Power List.  

The women of influence making up this year’s Tyto Tech 500 Power List come from diverse sectors, including journalism, business, government, and academia.  

While this increase portends a positive trend on the rise, it nevertheless draws our attention to the fact that the influencer landscape still has a way to go in terms of achieving true gender balanceCertainly, this trend of women steadily on the rise is one we hope to see continue in future years as women continue to make their voices heard and break through the glass ceiling into the highest levels of business and influence.   

Tyto Tech 500: Top 10 UK Women Influencers  

  1. Emily Gosden – Energy editor, The Sunday Times; leads all influencers as #1 on the Power List
  2. Chi Onwurah – MP, Newcastle upon Tyne Central
  3. Fiona Briggs – Journalist, Retail Times
  4. Anne Boden, MBE – CEO, Starling Bank
  5. Mary Portas – Retail consultant and broadcaster
  6. Sarah Knapton – Journalist, The Daily Telegraph
  7. Ashley Armstrong – Journalist, The Times
  8. Dr Sue Black, OBE FCBS FRSA – AcademicDurham University
  9. Nicola Mendelsohn CBE – VP EMEA, Facebook
  10. Lilach Bullock – Digital marketing expert

Download the full UK Power List today.

Tyto Tech 500 UK 2019 Green Tech Blog

GreenTech Brings New Energy to Tech 500 Power List

As we enter a new decade, it’s undeniable that a sea change around sustainability is afoot. Trends show us that consumers increasingly engage with sustainable brands, while activists such as Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion make headlines. It’s clear that there’s a charge towards a new era, one in which business can no longer afford to ignore its footprint on the environment.

Even within our own industry of communications, the legendary Sue Garrard, former global communications lead at Unilever, implored communications professionals to cease work with climate deniers, while alluding to the notion that businesses who fail to invest in sustainability will struggle to survive. Sustainability is a discussion that is certainly not going away. 

This shift is reflected in this year’s Tyto Tech 500 Power List, which sees a demonstrated rise in UK GreenTech influencers. Technology’s most influential individuals follow the societal shift towards sustainability.  

Last year, the Tech 500 Power List included both activists and several government officials in the GreenTech space: Doug Parr of Greenpeace, Caroline Lucas of the Green Party, and Parliament’s Molly Scott Cato, thus demonstrating that it is within the halls of Westminster where change can be made. This year, however, prominent journalist Emily Gosden, Energy Editor at The Times, features as top influencer on the overall Power List. In the past twelve months, Emily has written about topics ranging from wind farms, electric cars, solar technologies, carbon emissions, and climate change.  

 The fact that a journalist is tops both lists this year demonstrates the intersection between sustainability and the public consciousness. Increasingly, media both reports on and forms the dialogue. It provides a voice to those looking to create a greener world and reports on the technologies and innovations making changes in this direction. 

This does not, however, diminish the importance of government’s influence in the space. While Caroline Lucas’ influence has dropped eight places from last year, overall, government players in GreenTech continue to be well-represented within the Power List, demonstrating that government’s continuing importance to the cause. To wit, this year the Green Party’s Natalie Bennet rose by 11 places to 124 on the Tech 500 Power List.  

Michael Liebreich of BloombergNEF is another noteworthy influencer in this year’s Power List, rising by 20 places from his place on the list last year. BloombergNEF is a research group focusing on clean energy, advanced transport and innovative materials. We expect to hear more from this organisation in the coming year, along with the environmental think-tank E3G, whose Chairman, Tom Burke, stormed this year’s the Tech 500 Power List by rising 624 positions to 119 on the Power List overall.  

If this trend continues, we can expect GreenTech to feature heavily in future Tech 500 Power Lists. Download the full report, today.

Tyto Tech 500: Top 10 Influencers in GreenTech 

1  Emily Gosden  The Times 
2  Caroline Lucas  Green Party 
3  Michael Liebreich  BloombergNEF 
4  Tom Burke  E3G 
5  Natalie Bennett  Green Party 
6  Doug Parr  Greenpeace 
7  Molly Scott Cato  Green Party 
8  Tom Daley  The Carbon Trust 
9  Nina Skorupska  Renewable Energy Provider 
10  Tanya Steele  WWF 
Tyto Tech 500 UK 2019 Launch Blog

Tyto launches Tech 500 Power List 2019: Women and Media grow influence on UK tech

Today, European PR agency Tyto publishes its third annual Tyto Tech 500 Power List, revealing the most influential individuals in the UK tech sector. The Tyto Tech 500 Power List, the only objective data-driven influence study into the UK tech sector, shows the increasing influence women and the media have on the sector.

Emily Gosden, Energy Editor at The Times took the top spot this year, marking the first time a woman has taken this place. The ranking also puts the influence of GreenTech on the sector in the limelight for the first time. 12 GreenTech influencers made it on to the list this year, reflecting the current climate of consumer interest in environmental issues.

Overall, women are growing their influence year-on-year, representing 34 per cent of the Tyto Tech 500 Power List, up from 31 per cent in 2018, and 24 per cent in 2017. Women’s influence on the tech sector is growing much faster than their actual representation in the sector; only 17 per cent of roles are held by women. Anne Boden MBE, Founder & CEO of Starling Bank, is represented in the top 10 for the third year in a row.

In total, 20 different sectors are represented in the list. For the third consecutive year, FinTech has taken the majority sector stake with over one-fifth of influencers coming from this subsector (22 per cent of the list). FinTech’s incremental influence is indicative of the strength of this sector in the UK and its role as an important FinTech hub.

This year’s Tyto Tech 500 Power List also revealed that, having lost ground in 2018, the media has regained its influence over the sector, with journalists representing 6 out of the top 10 and 14 per cent of the full 500, (a three per cent increase on 2018). The BBC ranks particularly highly; 13 per cent of all journalists on the list are from the BBC and it is the leading organisation in terms of the number of employees making it on to the list.

The top 10 influencers for 2019 are:

  1. Emily Gosden – The Times, up 194 positions
  2. Simon Calder – Independent, up 88 positions
  3. Dr. Michael Mosley – BBC News, up 27 positions
  4. Chi Onwurah – Government, up 83 positions
  5. Richard Branson – Virgin, up 77 positions
  6. Fiona Briggs – Retail Times, up 261 positions
  7. Gideon Spanier – Campaign, up 298 positions
  8. Stephen Fryup 41 positions
  9. Anne Boden – Starling Bank, down 8 positions
  10. Rory Cellan-Jones – BBC, up 22 positions

Brendon Craigie, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Tyto, commented:

“It’s been great to chart the rising influence of women on the UK tech sector, despite women barely making up a fifth of the UK tech workforce. These leaders are playing a vital role in helping to shift the perception of the industry as an old boys’ club and encouraging more women to enter the sector. I’ve got no doubt this growing gender equality in influence will ultimately feed through to a more gender-balanced UK tech workforce.”

The Tyto Tech 500 Power List was created using a five-stage data-driven analysis process, assessing an individual’s traditional and social media influence as well as prominence at public events.

Download the Tyto Tech 500 Power List report today.

World Mental Health Day

Mental health: from awareness to action

On World Mental Health Day, we look at Felicity Haslehurst‘s guest blog for PR Academy. Awareness of mental illness is one thing, but what can the PR industry do to take action? Felicity assesses the current wellness landscape and uses personal real-world examples to highlight the challenges ahead. A must-read, below is an excerpt and you can go ahead and read the full article, here.

Awareness around mental illness is at an all-time high. The recent Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK and the equivalent awareness month in the US, which is still ongoing, have both done a sterling job once again of putting this important issue firmly on our radars.

What has also been pleasing to see increasingly in recent years during these awareness periods, and particularly this year, is a torrent of proactive and lively conversation around mental health. Be it debate, discussion, news or support – we are talking more about mental health. And it’s a welcome development.

Perhaps the reason for this is the fact that, as a topic, mental health has become more mainstream. Take Burger King’s Mental Health Awareness Month ‘Unhappy Meals’ campaign. It was criticised and praised in fairly equal measure – but let’s be clear that it was a campaign about achieving more than just awareness. Is releasing a range of burgers for when people are feeling ‘pissed’ or ‘salty’ resolving anyone’s mental health problems? No. Was the campaign executed ideally. Probably not. But, by opening themselves up to ridicule and criticism, as well as praise, for its campaign, the clever people at Burger King leveraged its massive reach and brand power not only to raise awareness, but to start a conversation. And, in my opinion, that’s the ticket.

This I can say first hand. As a sufferer of depression and anxiety for the majority of my adult life, I can honestly say that all of the awareness in the world is worth nothing if you are met by a wall of awkward silence when you actually articulate the challenges you are facing as a result of your illness. And this is especially true in the workplace.

Visit PR Academy for the full article.

PR multilingual

Are you langui-dexterous?

Hello, Bonjour, Buenos Dias, Hallo!

When I joined Tyto the great appeal of the agency was its Pan-European culture and a strong emphasis on language skills.

The team is made up of black belt communication professionals who bring their PR expertise across different markets. English, French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Italian or even Japanese are some of the languages spoken at Tyto.

Being a French native and working in PR in the UK and France, I have learnt to switch between French and English and occasionally to Spanish.

To describe this way of working, I like to use the term “langui-dexterous” which implies the ability of thinking and working in different languages. Here is why being “langui-dexterous” makes all the difference.

Speaking English is compulsory, but it is not enough

English is the language of global business, internet, tech and science, and has become universal. Its predominance can give the impression that no other languages are required, however, this is a misconception.

By reaching out to an audience in their native language, a world of opportunities opens up. Content written in the targeted audience’s language has a greater chance to reach its aim as most prefer to read in the comfort of their mother tongue.

This is especially true online where English has become the language of the internet. A recent report from the University of New South Wales showed that English speakers dominate the internet, but only by a small margin. They make up 28% of internet users, followed by 23% of Chinese speakers and 8% of Spanish speakers. Yet the content available online is 56% in English.

This means that the majority of internet users are being targeted in a language other than their own. By speaking directly in their language, you can be sure that your message does not get lost in translation.

Being langui-dexterous sets you apart

There is a great self-satisfaction of working with multiple languages. It is challenging but incredibly rewarding to be able to convey an idea in a different language.

Being multi-lingual makes it easier to be open-minded and consider what the others think or believe in. It is possible to put yourself into other people’s shoes and frame the right message to connect and influence them.

In addition, speaking a foreign language with an accent when communicating an idea helps your audience to remember you. It is not only what you say that matters, but how you say it, and an accent is definitely a bonus.

For now, only humans can be truly “langui-dexterous”

AI is set to transform the way we communicate across different languages, but we are only at the start of this next communication revolution.

However, the strength of a multilingual team goes further than the ability to communicate a message across markets. Speaking another language means being more understanding, having more empathy, and better considering different audiences.

This ability is likely to set us apart from the machine for a long time. Sentiments, nuances or tones of voice are not easily transcribed by a line of code… yet.

Silke Rossmann

Hello from Frankfurt. Silke Rossmann, Tyto’s new partner and head of practice, on why she joined the team.

Today I start a new chapter in my professional career at Tyto and its one that I’m incredibly excited about. Today, I’m joining an award-winning pan-European team that is making waves because it has thrown out the template and created a new type of agency which mirrors what I believe today’s modern international clients require.

What specifically was it about Tyto’s new model that attracted me?

First, I was attracted to Tyto’s PR Without Borders operating model. PR Without Borders means throwing out traditional agency silos that impede our ability to deliver great work to clients and operate in a way that modern global businesses require.

PR Without Borders also means breaking through geographic silos. Tyto’s pan-European team works as one across multiple European countries. You will never hear Tyto colleagues say ‘the German team’ or ‘the UK team’ because although we execute locally and have local expertise we think and operate internationally, and we bring that bigger picture thinking to our clients.

PR Without Borders means breaking through silos of communication disciplines and approaches. Tyto is proud of its PR roots but when it is approached about a business challenge the team looks at them with open-minded. We devise the right communications approach for each situation without defaulting to one static playbook of communications methods. Tyto is able to do this because since day one it has focused on building an experienced multidisciplinary team that combines all the major communications skillsets.

Another aspect of PR Without Borders that excites me is that Tyto has been built on a location-agnostic working model which means that employees can work remotely from their preferred location. This has allowed the agency to recruit the best talent available from across Europe and build a unique international culture, without the constraints of a traditional office-based model.

The final reason for joining Tyto is quite a selfish one: it’s about room to grow, develop, learn and being able to help build and shape a new agency. Even though the team has already won three ‘New consultancy of the year’ awards, it is still early days (Tyto turns two in October) and I see so much opportunity to contribute and help deliver on the team’s mission to disrupt the agency landscape and bring something better and different to clients.

I am beyond excited to join and very, very curious about what we can achieve together. If you are interested in how Tyto might be able to help your company in Europe, please get in touch. If you’d simply like to hear more about our approach and concept we are also delighted to find time for coffee. Let’s see where this journey takes us!

News Without Borders

60 million stories: the power of diverse voices, and getting out of the London bubble.
Tyto speaks to Jimmy Leach, new Editor in Chief of HuffPost.

Last month, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham blamed “London-centric decision-making” for the Brexit vote, claiming that England can often give the “sense of two countries” creating an us and them feeling which divides the nation.

It’s not just him who thinks this way. It was something we were highly aware of when we created Tyto’s location-agnostic model. The UK PR industry suffers from an acute case of London-itis, with the vast majority of agencies located in Shoreditch or Soho. A London-base, while convenient, can reduce your field of vision and produce narrow-minded thinking that risks overlooking the wider population.

Someone else who shares this view is Jimmy Leach, new editor in chief of the HuffPost UK, an outlet that has undergone dramatic changes over recent years since parting ways with founder Arianna Huffington, and has been busy carving a niche for itself as a national publication, with an increasing focus on news outside, as well as in, the London bubble. We spoke to Jimmy as he completed his first month in the job to find out why he believes looking beyond London is vital for the future of news and the future of the UK.

Tyto: Congratulations on your first month in the role! What’s been keeping you busy?

 Jimmy: “It’s been interesting – there’s a lot that’s right, and the team here are very good – as evidenced by winning the Drum Award for ‘Best site for news-led journalism’ last night. The site is already delivering, so I’ve been spending time working out what the organisation needs – what the strategic needs are, how we can improve traffic, commerce, profile – and working out the best way to achieve those through great content.”

Tyto: What do you foresee as some of the biggest challenges you’ll face over the next six months?

 Jimmy: “The same issues you face in any media business – the financial challenges. One option increasingly used by the online news industry is subscription. That’s problematic for me, because if news is only delivered to people who can pay the subscription, if we’re constantly delivering news to the same people, then you end up with a whole cohort of people who are outside that media bubble. Therefore, we’ll have electoral and political surprises sprung on us because there’s this whole group of people thinking outside what you might call the metropolitan bubble.

“HuffPost has long been less about the bubble and more about the people.”

Tyto: What do you mean by that?

Jimmy: “What that means for us is not just reporting on the news out of Westminster, but really shining a light on the stories that matter straight from the source – for example, recently there was a stabbing in a youth club in South London. One of our reporters used to go to that youth club, so she went and met the guy who owns it, spoke to people in the community, reported directly from there.

“We also recently asked one of our reporters in the north of England to report on the real impact of NHS issues – she sat by a hospital bed in Blackburn for two days and reported what people in that bed said about the NHS, about health, obesity, poverty, deprivation. All these stories were symptomatic of other things – the strain on the NHS, the strain on public services, but instead of just reporting what the Health Secretary tells us, we look at it from the point of view of the people it affects.

“They sound like small stories, but then they’re symptomatic of a bigger picture. So for example, if justice is taken out of your community, and it’s centralized, you have to go to Manchester Crown Court, after the Magistrates’ Court to get justice, it affects people on a personal and community level.”

Tyto: Do those stories resonate well with your audiences?

Jimmy: “They do, yeah. What we’re trying to do is reach people who are otherwise being turned off the news. Which is happening a lot. There’s a certain group of people who will find us anyway, because they’re highly-news literate and consume the news every day, but it’s our job to make sure that as broad a range of people can be informed. Otherwise you get entire communities cut off from the news. That creates all kinds of issues where decision-making is being held by a smaller and smaller cabal of people.”

Tyto: What do you think your obligations are to your readers?

Jimmy: “To be accessible. To get the right tone, not patronise them. To make sure that what we’re doing is making things clearer for our users, rather than boasting to our peers. We’re not anti-London, but London is not the UK.“

With technology increasingly giving people access to news wherever they are, it’s vital that the UK news industry remembers their audience isn’t all be in London. In fact, a 2017 MediaCom report, found that demand for localised content and advertising is increasing all over the UK. After years of crippling decline in local reporting, this should be a rallying cry to the UK media industry. The HuffPost is definitely one media outlet that’s listening.

What’s the cost of a London PR commute?

Today we’re launching Tyto’s inaugural ‘Cost of a London PR Commute’ study.

We love London, but we don’t love commuting or the financial and time costs that come with it. And wow, are those costs staggering! PR professionals that have opted for a commuter’s life – be it for affordable housing, a better lifestyle or improved schooling – are paying a very high cost.

To be specific, London commuters are on average paying £5,622 or 16% of the average net post tax London PR industry salary.

They’re also paying in time with the average time cost of a London PR nearly two and a half hours per day. That’s 24 full 24-hour days of a person’s life per year. Equate this to average London PR salaries and you’re looking at £12,760 in unpaid overtime.

Then consider the parents that are paying for additional wrap around childcare. To cover those extra commuting hours, they must pay £18.86 per day or £4,450.57 per year. This equates to an average of 12.57% of an employee’s net post tax PR industry salary.

Combine the cost of travel with the cost of wrap around child care and the average London commuter is paying out £10,115 of their net post tax salary per year. That’s 28% of the average London net post tax PR salary. And that doesn’t even factor in the cost of the unpaid time for all the travel they do to get to that all so important London office!

We launched Tyto with a location agnostic employment model so that we could allow our employers to join a fast-paced dynamic agency environment without having to make these financial and lifestyle sacrifices. I think of it as enabling our team to have their cake and eat it. Or to have their cake and not commute 20 days of their life away each year, or spend 28% of their hard earned salary just for the privilege of having a great job.

When we travel, we travel with a purpose. To meet with clients, colleagues and contacts. For us travel is a business enabler, it is about traveling to the action, not travelling to the same postcode just because it has the most affordable office space. We’re looking to invest the savings we make in office space into hiring the best talent for our clients, having the most compelling incentives to reward our team, and to invest in outstanding training and development.

All around us, in client organisations and in like-minded agencies, we are seeing a shifting and more enlightened attitude towards remote working. I’m sure most PR commuters would agree that change cannot happen fast enough.

Read the full study, including the research breakdown and methodology, here.

What should I say?

This is a question we’ve all grappled with on countless occasions. Whether it is an internal announcement at a staff meeting, an interview with a journalist, or conveying a difficult conversation with a colleague. We have all asked ourselves, what should I say?

If it is a particularly difficult or important communication, you might have spent a few hours or even days considering what you want to say. You might have written out and subsequently crossed out several different versions of your speech. Honing and perfecting what you want to say.

If like me you work in communications then helping advise your clients on what to say is something you do day in, day out. The challenge I find is that as you get more practised at this, there’s a risk you become very mechanical. You work out your key messages, and then you pull them together into a neat little package. But this approach focuses on what you want to say without adequately considering your audience.

Knowing what to say might seem obvious. All you have to do is think what do I want to communicate. Right? Not in my experience. Instead, what you should be asking yourself is ‘what do I want my audience to think and feel?’.

By asking yourself ‘what do I want my audience to think and feel?’, you put yourself into an audience-focused state of mind. This forces you to be empathic with your audience, to consider where their head might be at today, and what you need to say to get the reaction you are looking for.

Sure, you might get lucky if you focus on what you want to say, but your chances of successfully influencing your audience are much higher if you frame your message based on what you want your audience to think and feel. I also find this approach is much more efficient because the discipline of asking what you want your audience to think and feel is such that it grounds you and puts you in your audiences’ shoes.

So next time you are wondering ‘what to say’, instead ask yourself ‘what do I want my audience to think and feel?’.

Tyto PR Agency winning PR Moment Awards 2019

Being born right: how Tyto became New Agency of the Year

Last week Tyto was named PR Moment’s New Agency of the Year. Eighteen months since we launched, this is an important waypoint. Public relations and communications are crowded spaces to build a new business. It’s essential you stand out, but extremely difficult to achieve.

I’m proud of everything we’ve done since we launched. The talent we’ve attracted, the clients we have won, and the fantastic work we’ve done. Yet, when our name was called out, and we won our award last week, it was a sense of accomplishment for everything we did in the run-up to our launch that I felt most strongly.

You see, everything we’ve achieved that captured the imagination of the judges was conceived in the run-up to our launch. It was the product of months of homework and preparation. We were obsessed about being born right. We wanted our new agency to be built on strong foundations. Foundations that were well researched, had a strong strategy, had an amazing launch team, and was elegantly executed.

Although we sit in the marketing and communications space, I think this emphasis on being born right has a universal quality relevant to any new business.

So, how did we make sure our business was “born right”?

First of all, we questioned and listened. We spoke to over 200 business and communications executives to understand what they valued in a public relations and communications partner, and what they felt was missing. This process is like building a giant jigsaw puzzle. No one is going to give you a blueprint for your new business, but by spotting consistent themes, you can create an overall picture of the market and where the gaps lie. We’d all worked for some fantastic agencies, and we didn’t want to build a replica, we wanted to make something new and better.

Second, having absorbed all this information we developed a straw man of what our new business would be. Think of it as a prospectus for what our new business would offer and why it would be different. We then presented this to some of our most trusted and experienced contacts with an emphasis on prospective clients and employees. This helped to ground us and sharpen up our vision and plan. This stage is crucial because it’s very easy to get stuck in the clouds when you are dreaming up a new company, but it’s imperative to remember that you must be completely focused on your audience. A side benefit of confiding in potential employees and clients is that it strengthens your relationship with them because they feel a little bit invested in what you are trying to achieve. They become part of your story. I’ll be forever grateful to the individuals that helped us out in this phase.

Third, having sharpened up our business vision and developed a more concrete plan we established a long list of the best people we had ever worked with. We had a clear idea of the mix of talent we wanted at launch, but we had no preconceived notion of who would want to join our team. We ran a rigorous process, similar to what you would do if you were looking to hire for any critical role.

Fourth, having assembled our dream team, we then set about translating our vision into a brand and the words we would use to describe ourselves — a few things concerned us at this stage. First, despite not having much money to play with, we wanted to look like a premier league outfit from day one. Why? Because we wanted premier league clients from day one. Second, we felt like we had a compelling story at the heart of what we were looking to do and we wanted this story to be woven through our brand free of distractions. We agonised over every word and every visual component.

Fifth, despite not having started working with clients yet, we invested heavily in time together with our launch team so that as far as possible we knew all the operational details of how we were going to work. We also invested in the operational infrastructure we were going to need. The reason for all of this preparation is that we wanted to have a smooth take off when we started onboarding clients. We wanted to have some fundamentals nailed down rather than make them up as we go along. Making them up as you go is an ok strategy for a startup, but we knew it would slow us down.

Finally, we planned out in meticulous detail how we were going to drive sales and marketing, and how every person in the business was going to contribute to this. We wanted to punch above our weight and make the noise of a company several times our size and the only way we were going to do that was for us all to be entrepreneurs.

Eighteen months on, we’ve built a sizeable operation, we work with amazing clients, and we have a dream team that has rightly been crowned award winners. There’s now time for a short pause for breath as we plan the next 18 months of our growth and development, which promises to even more exciting than the first.

Photography by:, Don’t Panic and Chiko Photography