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The rise of academia – why academics are changing the influencer landscape

Back in 2016 during the UK Brexit referendum, Conservative politician Michael Gove infamously said: “I think the people in this country have had enough of experts.” 

Fast-forward to today, and the past year has proven Gove’s statement false. In fact, more people than ever are listening to the experts. 

We know this from compiling the latest Tyto Tech 500 Power List report. Each year, our report examines the UK, German and (for the first time this year) French markets to identify and rank the most influential individuals in business, media and government, based on their brand, social media presence, earned media and public speaking appearances. 

In the 2020 report, there are 48 academics across the three countries that are categorised as influencers in the Tech List. The UK and Germany have 26 and 20 respectively, while France has two. For comparison, in 2019 the UK and Germany had just 8 and 12 academics in their respective lists. That’s a huge increase in just a year, clearly demonstrating the rising status of academic experts. 

So why has the influence of academics changed so dramatically? One reason is, of course, Covid-19. When the pandemic began in March, people were desperate for more insight and understanding into what this disease is, how it spreads, and how vaccines would be produced. As a result, academics and health experts became a source of authoritative knowledge on Covid-19 and dealing with the pandemic.  

However, on closer inspection of our list, another reason emerges. Ten of the academics who made it into the Top 500 are from the artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) sector, more than any other single sector. Furthermore, five out of the top 10 academic influencers are in the AI/ML field. 

What does this tell us? It underlines that people are listening intently to academics about the impact of this next wave of robotics. On the one hand, this is because some are scared about the impact of automation on jobs and the ethical concerns around AI, so turn to academics to assuage their fears. On the other hand, many are excited about the prospects of this futuristic technology and what it promises in terms of efficiency and value creation, and so want to listen to academics talk about the latest AI breakthroughs.  

There have been several major AI stories in the past 12 months. For instance, the technology was deployed across the healthcare industry to help detect Covid-19 in patients and to track the side-effects of coronavirus vaccines. But there have also been scandals, such as reports that AI-powered facial recognition software is prone to racial bias. Academics have helped journalists and audiences make sense of these stories.  

What does this trend mean for the PR industry? The fact that people are listening more and more to experts demonstrates the value of positioning our clients’ spokespeople as experts, an initiative that PRs have been promoting for a very long time. Because of this trend, positioning programmes such as media briefings or LinkedIn content strategies make even more sense as worthwhile initiatives for clients to pursue.

As well as building up a client’s own experts, this research demonstrates the importance of collaborating with and involving other established academic experts in communication initiatives. Their support will lend the initiative more weight and credibility 

Looking ahead to the rest of 2021 and beyond, there are bound to be many more major breakthroughs in AI and other tech sectors. The media will be keen to hear more from experts about what these developments will mean for people’s personal lives and businesses. Plus, it is highly likely that academic influencers will feature prominently once again in the next Tyto 500 report. Clearly, the people of Europe have not “had enough of experts”.  

To read more about the top influencers across Europe, download the full report today. 

 Tyto Tech 500: Top 10 Academic Influencers 

  1. Alison Clark-Wilson – UCL (sector: EdTech)
  2. Richard Self – University of Derby (AI/ML) 
  3. Cecile Dejoux – CNAM & ESCP Europe (AI/ML)
  4. Claudia KemfertLeuphana University of Lüneburg (GreenTech) 
  5. Afsaneh AsaeiUnternehmerTUM (AI/ML) 
  6. Aftab Hussain – Bolton College (EdTech) 
  7. Jeffrey Pollard – University of Edinburgh (BioTech) 
  8. Professor Nick Jennings – Imperial College (AI/ML) 
  9. Lisa-Maria Neudert – Oxford Institute (AI/ML) 
  10. Mark Simpson – Teesside University (EdTech) 

 

Photo credit (c) Brett Jordan, Unsplash.com 

The gender gap – why women’s influence has diminished in 2020

The gender gap – why women’s influence has diminished in 2020

Each year, the Tyto Tech 500 Power List identifies the most influential individuals across the UK in business, media and government. Over the past few years, we have seen more and more leading women represented in the rankings, thanks to a global push for more female leaders and influencers in the technology sector.

Unfortunately, that trend has come to a halt in 2020, as the proportion of women in the UK rankings has fallen from 34% in 2019 to 28%. Last year, there were four women in the UK Top 10, but this year there are just two.

So why has gender inequality widened in this year’s report? A major factor is, of course, the coronavirus. Study after study by the likes of the UN and the World Economic Forum show that women have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

With schools and daycare centres forced to close, it was found that women were more likely to be burdened with childcare: research by the Fawcett Society showed that a third of working mothers reported having lost work or hours due to a lack of childcare during the crisis. Earlier this month, a report by the International Labour Organization showed that without subsidies such as coronavirus furlough schemes, women would have lost 8.1% of their wages in the second quarter of 2020, compared with 5.4% for men, according to a sample of 28 European countries. The UN has warned that improvements to gender equality risk being rolled back because of Covid-19.

It is highly unlikely that the influencer landscape has been unaffected by these economic trends. Clearly, there is much work to do in 2021 to achieve greater gender diversity in the technology industry.

It’s worth mentioning that while women are in the minority of influencers in all three countries covered in the Tyto Tech 500 Power List, women’s influence on the tech sector remains higher than their actual representation in it: only 17% of jobs within the tech sector are held by women. In France, women made up 27% of the rankings. In Germany, female representation in the influencer landscape actually improved, rising from 18% in last year’s Tech 500 Power List to 19% this year, with three women making it into the Top 10, compared to just one last year.

Who are some of the women to feature in this year’s Tech 500 Power List? The top-ranking female influencer in the UK is Liz Ashall-Payne, CEO of the health app evaluation and distribution organisation ORCHA. Her placement at #3 reflects the growing importance of digital health solutions and the broader focus on healthcare in the context of Covid-19.

The next highest placement is Emily Gosden, energy editor of The Sunday Times. Gosden has fallen from 1st place in last year’s report to 10th this year, as the coronavirus increased the influence of politicians: 40% of the UK Top 10 are government representatives. However, her high placement still reflects the prominence of GreenTech in the influencer landscape, as well as the continued importance of environmental issues.

Overall, while it is disappointing that gender inequality has increased in this year’s report, hopefully, this is a temporary blip and women’s voices will cut through once again in next year’s Power List. To find out more about the top female influencers in Europe, download the full report today.

Tyto Tech 500: Top 10 UK Women Influencers

  1. Liz Ashall-Payne – ORCHA
  2. Emily Gosden – The Times
  3. Amanda Solloway – Government
  4. Sarah Knapton – The Telegraph
  5. Ashley Armstrong – The Times
  6. Mary Portas – Portas
  7. Alison Clark-Wilson – UCL
  8. Elena Cinquegrana – BP
  9. Anne-Marie Imafidon – Stemettes
  10. Ecaterina Harling – EBRD
Tyto Tech 500 Power List 2020

« Les influenceurs en 2020: qui sont-ils vraiment? »

On utilise souvent le terme « influenceur » dans le domaine du marketing et des relations publiques. Ces personnes sont en général importantes aux yeux du public. Ces « influenceurs » nous font part de leurs opinions sur des sujets et des événements d’actualité et peuvent même impacter nos choix au quotidien, dans une certaine mesure. Par exemple, ils peuvent influencer notre comportement d’achat, le parti politique que nous soutenons ou encore les communautés que nous aimerions rejoindre.

À l’heure  le monde fourmille d’influenceurs de toutes sortes, on peut se poser la question : comment peut-on encore déterminer qui est vraiment un influenceur en 2020 ? Le terme lui-même a complètement changé de sens au fil des ans et continue d’évoluer – jusqu’à la rédaction de ce billet de blog.

Dans le passé, les influenceurs étaient soit des célébrités du cinéma et de la télévision, soit des journalistes et des chroniqueurs fortement présents dans les médias. Les réseaux sociaux ont tout changé. Un nouveau genre de porte-parole est apparuqui peut directement communiquer avec les masses. Soudain, les gens « normaux » ont commencé a disposer d’une plate-forme conséquente à partir de laquelle ils ont pu atteindre un grand nombre de personnes, construire leur propre marque et gagner en influence. Les hommes politiques (que ce soit au niveau national ou local), les scientifiques, mais aussi beaucoup d’autres ont soudain eu une voix qui s’est fait entendre.

En développant la Tyto Tech 500 Power List, nous voulions savoir qui sont ces personnes influentes dans le paysage actuel de la tech. Nous nous sommes donc penchés sur les hommes politiques, les journalistes, les scientifiques, mais aussi les chefs d’entreprise et les leaders d’opinion dans ce secteur.

Notre Tyto Tech 500 Power List est le classement annuel du secteur tech français, britannique et allemand. Pour figurer dans la liste, une personne doit avoir une influence sociale significative, en ligne et hors ligne. Il s’agit du premier classement français fondé sur des données qui ne dépend pas de mesures individuelles ou d’opinions subjectives, mais qui examine, entre autres, le degré d’activité de ces personnes sur les réseaux sociaux, la fréquence de leurs interventions dans les conférences et la couverture médiatique de ces derniers.

La Tyto Tech 500 Power List 2020 et de plus amples informations sur la méthodologie sont disponibles au lien suivant.   

Tyto Tech 500 Power List 2020

Tyto launches new Tech 500 influencer report

How Covid-19 has reshaped the influencer landscape

One year ago, I doubt anyone could have predicted how 2020 would have developed. Covid-19 has impacted every facet of our lives, both professional and personal.

The economy took a serious hit as a result of the restrictions imposed to deal with the pandemic, though thankfully we are starting to see green shoots of recovery as we enter the new year, not least due to the positive news that several successful vaccines have been produced.

And from compiling this year’s Tech 500 report, it’s clear that the virus has reshaped the influencer landscape as well. This year’s report is more comprehensive than ever, as for the first time we have tracked the top influencers in the French market and produced a combined Top 100 list of influencers across the key European markets of Germany, France and the UK.

The most notable change to this year’s rankings is that the influence of government figures and academics has demonstrably risen. 34 government officials or representatives made it into the list this year, the vast majority of them from the UK, and Britain’s health minister Matt Hancock came top of the overall Power List. Hancock previously ranked at 11th in 2019, and 20th in 2018.

Perhaps it is unsurprising that politicians and professors should feature so prominently in the listings. Covid-19 has generated huge amounts of political and economic uncertainty this year, especially during the start of the pandemic when we knew so little about this new disease. In an era of fake news and conspiracy theories, it is a positive sign that most people turned and listened to reputable sources of information to reassure us, help us understand what was happening and what precautions we should be taking.

Other developments have been less positive. For instance, gender diversity in the Tech 500 has diminished this year.

For the last three years, female representation in the Tech 500 has steadily increased, peaking at 34% in 2019’s list. This year, their share of representation among the top influencers has fallen to 28% in the UK, while in France 27% of influencers are women. In Germany, on the other hand, there was a slight increase from 18% to 19%, and three women made it into the German Top 10, compared to just one in 2019.

While female representation has improved in some sectors, such as FoodTech and AgriTech in the UK and SecureTech in Germany, the overall decline is troubling. Again, much of the blame likely falls with Covid-19: with schools forced to shut, it has been suggested that the burden of childcare disproportionately impacted working mothers. Clearly more needs to be done to champion women’s voices, and hopefully we will see this decline be reversed in next year’s report.

Looking at the mix of sectors present in the Top 500, some have fallen much more than others. For example, the number of FinTech influencers in the listings dropped by 33% in Germany and 34% in the UK. This change likely reflects the impact of Covid-19, which pushed the UK, German and French economies into recession. In times of economic turmoil, people are more likely to seek safety with the big traditional banks, rather than take a risk on a FinTech start-up. But with the economy set to recover next year, there is scope for the sector to regain some ground in the influencer landscape.

In contrast to FinTech’s decline, GreenTech grew its share of the Top 500 by 36% in the UK and 21% in Germany. This confirms a prediction we made last year that GreenTech would feature more prominently in the 2020 rankings.

Why has the influence of GreenTech grown? Partly because Covid-19 has gotten us to think more about our environment. Carbon emissions are down due to remote working and reduced air travel, and the pandemic proved that our supply chains and economies aren’t as resilient or as sustainable as perhaps we’d like them to be. “Build Back Better” became the rallying cry of politicians and activists everywhere in 2020. And now, with the end of the pandemic in sight, people are thinking about how we can harness the same collective energy used to tackle the virus and apply it to tackling climate change.

Clearly, the ripple effect of Covid-19 has been felt across the influencer landscape. Most likely, it will continue to be felt throughout 2021, and these trends may still be evident in future Tech 500 Power Listings. Download the full report, today.

Influence Tech 500

What makes an influencer? Behind the scenes at the #Tech500

Those of us in the integrated marketing and public relations sector often speak of ‘influencers’ as central to our industry, and to the business landscape as a whole. Undoubtedly, influencers are crucially important. After all, they shape the public’s thoughts around current events. They define how information narratives are presented and even influence the products we buy. Public relations wouldn’t exist without influencers.

But, in 2019, how do we truly determine who is an influencer? The very moniker itself has changed meaning throughout the years and continues to evolve well into the writing of this blog post.

In the past, influencers consisted of mainstream television and film celebrities, along with journalists and columnists who were well represented within mass media. The advent of social media changed all of this, when influence became more nuanced and, in a sense, democratised. It brought with it a channel whereby non-media professionals were able to share their voice in front of wider business and consumer audiences. All of a sudden, seemingly ‘regular’ people had a large platform from which they could reach many, build their own brand, and garner influence. Thanks to social media, local politicians, academics and journalists have been able to take on a greater role of influence, and this has only continued to increase as social has evolved throughout the years.

Each year, when we analyse influencers within the tech and business landscape for the Tyto Tech 500 Power List, we take into account new sources of influence. No longer limited to professionals such as celebrities and journalists, we’re now seeing the rise of business leaders as influencers.

The Tyto Tech 500 Power List is our annual proprietary research and ranking into the UK and German technology sectors. To make the list, an individual must have social, online and offline influence. It is the first data-driven ranking that isn’t reliant on single metrics or subjective opinion.

We employ a five-stage research approach to define an impartial and repeatable study of key tech influencers, both within the UK and Germany. This five-step approach allows us to truly drill down on levels of influence through the use of research and expert interviews to determine key influencer groups and identify sub-sectors through online search data and media analysis. Data drives each step, allowing us to present a final list of the top 500 annually. Because the same method is used each time, it allows us to present year-on-year comparisons of varying influence. In this way, we can see how the influencer landscape shifts based on changing trends and communications channels.

This year, we’ve used this methodology not only to pinpoint influencers across the UK but also to identify the top tech influencers in Germany. We hope you find our list useful and compelling, and most of all – we hope it inspires thoughts around influence and what it means for all of us, both as professionals and consumers in our daily lives.

View the full 2019 Tyto Tech 500 Power List of influencers within the UK.

View the full 2019 Tyto Tech 500 Power List of influencers within Germany.

Government Tech 500

The influence of government – Top 10 influencers in UK Government #Tech500

Government is an area that, prior to now, had not been widely represented within the UK influencer landscape. Although government and the officials who make its policies obviously influence the daily workings of national business and individual lives, government officials themselves haven’t typically been seen as influential within the tech community.

That is, the social follows, online mentions and public speaking platforms taken up by key players in government haven’t, to date, been strong enough to land many government officials in previous iterations of the Tyto Tech 500 Power List.

2019, however, signals a changing trend, wherein UK government officials are increasingly voicing their thoughts and opinions through channels that influence both business people and consumers alike.

As a consequence, government officials have cut through into the top 500 in this year’s Tyto Tech 500 Power List. Whereas a total of ten government officials featured in the 2018 Tech 500, a total of 11 feature this year. Three government officials feature in the Top 20 alone, whilst zero were present in 2018. While the numbers themselves may not seem drastically different, that’s a 300% year-on-year increase, which is not insignificant when we consider a sector that traditionally hasn’t been known for its influential impact within the mainstream.

In today’s tumultuous global political landscape, government officials are gaining increased clout and influence due to greater public appetite for (and scrutiny of) politics and its impact on all facets of daily life.

Tyto Tech 500: Top 10 Influencers in Government

  1. Chi Onwurah – MP, Newcastle upon Tyne Central, Labour Party
  2. Matt Hancock – MP, West Suffolk; Secretary of State for Health & Social Care, Conservative Party
  3. Philip Hammond – MP, Runnymeade and Weybridge, former Conservative Party
  4. George Freeman – MP, Mid Norfolk, Conservative Party
  5. Caroline Lucas – British Green Party
  6. Sajid Javid – Chancellor of the Exchequer, Conservative Party
  7. Baroness Natalie Bennett – Green Party of England and Wales
  8. Rajesh Agrawal – Deputy Mayor of London for Business
  9. Molly Scott Cato – MEP, South West England
  10. Matt Warman – MP, Boston and Skegness

Roles are accurate at the time of compiling the Tech 500, pre-2019 general election.

Download the full UK Power List today.

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.

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