Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Q&A: Gabriella Bord, CEO of DNA on content strategy, AI and inclusion

Independent creative and content collective DNA has completed the acquisition of the award-winning Digital New Agency content and distribution platform from The Economist. 

New Digital Age spoke with Gabriella Bord, CEO of DNA to find out more about the acquisition and what it means for the agency’s future…

What does the DNA content platform add to your offering as an agency?

DNA has always been an independent agency that’s mainly specialised in content development,  such as building hubs and microsites or doing design and creative work for a wide range of businesses. Our model has been to have a core Client Service team and a network of amazing specialists that we can draw on whenever a client brief demands it. That way we can quickly curate very agile, specialist teams dedicated to specific projects. 

When running an independent agency in a service based industry, it’s good to have some kind of additional IP, in this case a proprietary software tool, that lets you deliver additional value to your clients. We’re experts in content creation and content strategy so having our own content hosting and distribution platform gives us another string to our bow. 

What sort of organisation is the DNA platform aimed at? 

Typically speaking, it really adds a lot of value to global brands with distributed teams that are working on a lot of content at any one time. DNA is a content hosting and distribution tool, but more broadly, it brings together the best of PR software for external comms with a digital asset management suite that’s great for marketing teams and internal teams. With global teams working remotely, it’s useful and efficient to have a powerhouse tool where all of your content assets can be found and tracked under one roof.

We usually work with enterprise global brands, but we have also started working with some scale-up brands who are using our newsroom tool to push on with the next phase of their growth. For example – working with a start up that might have a static ‘press page’ to develop an integrated newsroom, so they can host and distribute their content  and build their database of press and media pros.

As a female CEO, do you feel any extra pressure to build a diverse and inclusive team?

Not really. It’s less about me being a woman and more about being human and someone who genuinely wants our collective to be a really diverse pool of talent drawn from all walks of life, who love what they do and are great at what they do. That’s not a tick box exercise at DNA, it’s intrinsically who we are. Personally, I’d rather lead by doing and showing than by talking – we have so many interesting people contributing to our business.  

What are your clients talking about at the moment?

AI is probably one of the biggest talking points in PR, comms and marketing right now. What will be its impact on how we gather, create and distribute content? 

We’re trying to be really purposeful in how we integrate AI at DNA. At the moment, taking our time with it to make sure we get it right. We need to have the right security measures in place, but also that we’re not just using it because it’s the latest thing. Right now, we think a purposeful way for us to use AI is as part of the platform’s smart search capabilities.That’s making the lives of the media professionals we work with easier, without making them question how their data is being used.

Personalisation remains a big issue in the content space. How do we tailor and personalise content experiences in ways that audiences actually enjoy? That’s something we’re constantly thinking about.

What are your priorities for the business for the year ahead?

We’ve just launched the platform formally, which is the first time as an agency that we’ve really put ourselves out there. We’ve got an amazing product and we’re ready to start shouting about it. We’re in the fortunate position of having some great clients using the tool so we have lots of case studies and proof points already and are excited to get conversations going.  

Our goal is to build a cross-functional product that businesses want and need. We do that by ensuring that we have useful features and functionality that help teams get stuff done. At DNA, we’re focused on creating a hybrid PR and Digital Asset Management tool that is redefining the way teams tackle internal and external communications.