Name: Dan Gamble
Job title: Head of Public Relations
Company you work for: BroadbandTV
Career background: Following studies in Public Relations in Leeds, UK and a year-long internship at a London based technology PR agency, I joined international tech agency Text 100 on its graduate program. There I worked on a broad range of UK and international campaigns spanning Europe and the US, for powerhouses including: American Express, SanDisk, NXP, PriceRunner and a range of innovative technology start-up companies.
Following that I moved to Hotwire, managing the product arm of the BlackBerry PR campaign and specialized in executing campaigns for consumer technology brands, including: Duracell, Ciao and AutoTrader UK.
In 2011 I had the opportunity to move to Vancouver and have continued to remain specialized in tech, but focused predominantly in North America. I left Hotwire in July this year and joined BroadbandTV as Head of Public Relations, it was a great move for my career.
I’m currently driving forward agencies in both the US and Canada to effectively tell our story and I’m surrounded by smart, driven people, every day is a new adventure.
Career aspirations: The ability to take fresh, innovative businesses from the background and put them in the spotlight has always excited me; I don’t see that changing. I also crave environments that are results-focused; PR often gets a bad rap for not delivering measurable success or for not helping a brand clearly meet its business objectives. That needs to change. I want to help make that more of a reality as ROI is only going to become increasingly important.
Greatest career challenge: This came early on in my career. I had to accept that working in a huge agency with a number of large brands meant that you had to constantly juggle and reprioritize your focus. Ultimately, it made me become more respectful of time and taught me how to get through large volumes of work quickly. Looking back, I wouldn’t change my career path in the slightest; my advice to graduates joining PR agencies today is to stick at it. As long as you’re learning new skills, it’s going to benefit you in the long run; if you’re not learning then you need to question why.
Greatest career success: I have plenty for very different reasons.
There have been a number of opportunities passed my way where a situation needed ‘fixing’. They’ve come in many forms, from picking up campaigns that haven’t gone as originally planned, to dealing with unrealistic expectations and getting back on track and generally creating something from nothing.
I still get excited about ‘big interviews’ and have been lucky enough to staff a lot of sensitive CEO briefings in newsrooms such as The BBC Television Centre in London, Bloomberg in San Francisco and CNN New York.
Biggest career mistake or regret: Early on I realized that there is a time and a place to pick your battles. Get the timing wrong and you can end up with a totally different outcome.
Favourite PR/communications campaign:A campaign that that often grabs my attention is Fuck Cancer, a Canadian cancer charity.
PR role model: Easy. I have an ex-colleague and close friend that taught me that tech PR doesn’t need to be boring. She can talk supercomputers, microchips, processors and more with global tech brands and demand the highest level of respect, wearing killer heels, wild hair and a designer wardrobe.
She brightens up the room when she walks into it, then hits you with concrete counsel at the deepest techie level, an absolute legend at what she does. Thank you Alison O’leary.
Best career advice: Take a step back and take a deep breath.
Best place to ‘do coffee’ in Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery, sunshine permitting.
Favourite journalist to pitch to: Olga Kharif, Bloomberg Business Week.
Favourite website: BuzzFeed.
Favourite social media site: Facebook for personal use, I can see what my friends are family are up to back home and Twitter for work, I have a handy list of North American tech journos that keeps me up to date with their news.
Fun fact about you: In my spare time you’ll find me riding a horse, most likely in the Southlands area over a few jumps. I’m also fighting to keep hold of my accent, seems to be working so far, although car trunk (instead of boot), sidewalk (instead of pavement), cellphone (instead of mobile) and chips (instead of crisps) are well and truly part of my vocabulary nowadays.