PR Masterclass for Award Winning Startup

We were excited to welcome Dr James Prendergast into Hot Tin Roof this week for media training. Back in June, James won the first ever Edinburgh University post-doc Enterprise Award for his start-up, Dipodo.

Part of his prize was a one-to-one training with our Director – Sarah Lee – to help him learn the practical skills that will help him launch Dipodo and get to market.

A researcher in biomedicine and specifically, the study of genome and epigenome evolution and their relevance to disease, PR and marketing was uncharted territory for James.

Anyone working in biomedical research has to keep on top of new research published every month in a myriad of articles. James knows first hand the difficulty of trawling through life-science journals, trying to find relevant articles in a sea of irrelevance.

He told us that, currently, there are a whopping one million plus articles across 25,000 journals – so finding useful information is tremendously tricky, not to mention tedious!

Spying a gap in the market, James has developed Dipodo, a free online tool that allows users to create their own personalised research journal with tailored searches to suit their unique areas of interest.

The idea is that the more you use Dipodo, the more relevant your results become, allowing you to create your own online journal full of information you can actually use with none of the stuff surplus to requirements. Clever, eh?

The software is in place and it’s all running smoothly… the only problem? No-one knows about it! That’s where we came in. We took James on a journey of PR discovery, teaching him some of the skills he needs to get the word out. With a whole host of new products and functionality in the pipeline, Dipodo certainly isn’t short of stories to tell, but like many start-ups James wasn’t sure how or where to tell them.

Over the course of a two hour workshop, we took James back to basics, showing him what makes a good story and what to do with it once it’s been written.

Despite claiming to be a bit of a twitter-phobe , it turned out he’s a natural and just needed a little bit of schooling in the art of Twittequette and some advice on time-saving tools like Hootsuite.

After a quick cuppa, we sent James off into the mean streets of Edinburgh, hopefully equipped with all the skills he’ll need to spread the word about his exciting new venture.

As for the name? It turns out Dipodo comes from the Latin name for the Pygmy Gerboa, a tiny rodent found in the desert. Nope, we hadn’t heard of them either, but having seen this video, we’re in love!

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