An interview with Eleanor and Karen, directors of Dynam

This month we briefly turned our gaze inwards as we put together an article about Dynam for Executive Magazine's 'women in business' special edition. It's always challenging to put aside time for work that's not for our clients, and even more challenging to come up with a single concept that meets with approval from all members of our team! But we got there in the end, placing business partners and joint directors Eleanor Neilson and Karen Green in the firing line as we quizzed them about the meaning of life at Dynam.

Louise K, designer: How did you become joint owners/directors?

Karen: I was already a partner, and the senior partner was retiring. Within three months of Eleanor’s arrival, we had formulated a business plan for growth.

Eleanor: I had moved up from Edinburgh, knocked on Dynam’s door and did some project work. Things just progressed from there.

Jayne, marketing manager: Can you define your management styles?

Eleanor: We have similar styles, but as individuals, we are complete opposites. It works because we are so different and respect each other’s strengths.

Karen: We both have an informal, open-door policy and a flat structure. Everyone’s allowed to express themselves and everyone has equal merit, including us.

John, web developer: What’s the secret of Dynam’s staying power?

Eleanor: We work hard, we’re flexible and we don’t stand still. We don’t hang onto things that aren’t working, we respond to changes in the marketing dynamic and we’ve never been scared to try new things.

Karen: A good team – there are no prima donnas and we always work together. The effectiveness of our approach is very much reflected in the successful on-going relationships with a number of our long standing clients including Tulloch Homes, Orion Group, Highlife Highland and the Highland Hospice.

Di, copywriter: What’s the most fun you’ve ever had wearing your business hat?

Karen: Working with Danni Minogue and Beverley Knight for a Tulloch Homes event.

Eleanor: Dressing up as chickens for a call centre DVD!

Charlene, office manager: What do you like best about your jobs?

Eleanor: Getting to the heart of what makes our clients tick. The fun is in translating this into really strong design, whether it's for a brand, a website, an advert or a brochure – and helping them work through their marketing plan to create powerful connections with the target market. A couple of great branding examples in action include recent work that we’ve done for Wooha Brewing Company and Let’s Eat Glasgow – a new Glasgow-based food festival.

Karen: I get a real buzz from exhibitions – planning out the space and how people will interact with it; creating well-designed, eye-catching stands, and managing the set-up and breakdown.

Louise D, designer: What projects or clients have stood out for you recently?

Karen: It would have to be All-Energy. Highland and Islands Enterprise (HIE) have had a significant presence at All-Energy, the UK’s flagship renewable energy conference. We’ve been working with the 60-plus companies who come under the HIE banner exercising our exhibition planning, design and logistic skills and it’s been great to see the event developing and evolving over this time.

David, designer: Can you summarise Dynam in three words?

Eleanor: Challenging, satisfying and off the wall.

Martin, web developer: What do you look for in new staff?

Eleanor: Creative, independent, open-minded team players – with no ego – and a sense of humour!

Gin & Tonic, the office cats: What’s the plan for the next five years?

Karen: To keep moving ahead, maintain our standards, have fun, and keep you in tuna!