Let’s Chat: Caroline Macdonald, CEO and Founder of OggaDoon

Our Let’s Chat series shines a spotlight on the all-important stakeholders who form a vital part of Engine Shed. We sat down with Caroline Macdonald, CEO and Founder of OggaDoon, one of our longest-standing coworking residents, to talk about how OggaDoon has been supporting tech companies in Bristol and beyond.

For those that don’t know much about you, what is your current role and what is your background?

I’m the CEO and Founder of OggaDoon, a guerrilla PR and digital marketing business. We work with people and businesses that have a passion and a purpose across a number of sectors including low carbon, tech, cyber security, consumer goods, property and health.

My background is multifarious: I’m an environmental scientist by academia, who loves curiosity and creativity as well as humankind, when it is kind. I cut my business teeth running a wine bar in London and somehow becoming an expert in wine and spirits. It’s been an interesting journey to OggaDoon, which is now 12 years old.

How has OggaDoon supported tech businesses in the region and contributed to Bristol’s reputation for innovation?

We are fantastically passionate about being based in Bristol and supporting the burgeoning businesses that are in the region. Whether that is a startup, scaleup or established business, we find the joy that tech brings and the impact it intends to have. We help businesses ‘own’ their broadcast space with evidence-backed marketing and communications, particularly if they are on a revenue hunt or out to attract investors. So, our contribution is more about getting others’ voices heard in the right places… and attracting out-of-town businesses to work with a Bristol-based agency. Our roll call is lush! Take a look at Great Western Credit Union, Zenotech, Zeetta Networks, Forth with Life and looking further afield Bird Buddy, Logiq Consulting, SCOUT Travel and UKC3.

What are OggaDoon’s highlights from the last 12 months?

Our highlights have been three-fold:
1. Enjoyment of a steadier ship with a great team (fingers crossed truly post-COVID)
2. The expansion of our work in sectors like cyber security, femtech and greentech, which has been interesting and life-changing for those who use their services or products at times
3. Our fun levels have scaled

How have you worked with Engine Shed over the years?

We had a delightful 2.5 years collaboration with Engine Shed from 2016-2018, helping to spread the word about Engine Shed in the UK and globally. Particularly on the projects that had social impacts, such as Diverse Workforce for the Future, as well as the alchemy it generated. What a buzz!

How would you describe coworking at Engine Shed?

Engine Shed is more than just a place to work; it is, in fact, hard to describe as the projects are plentiful as well as the alchemy that can happen. The co-working opportunity is another layer to Engine Shed’s depth. It is absorbing to find out what your neighbours do and develop friendships as a result.

In your experience, what is the most common assumption tech companies make when it comes to PR and marketing?

That anyone can do it. Everyone has an opinion but not all are skilled to deliver. Another is that you get immediate returns; this is a medium- to long-term continuous play. It should be built into your plans, particularly if you are going after investment.

What are your top tips for organisations looking to raise their profile?

1. Don’t hype and don’t over-promise. You need to be consistent, targeted and relevant to your audiences, and be able to answer the question: why should they care?
2. Consider putting budget aside for pay-to-play opportunities once you have got your ‘business as usual’ marketing communications fundamentals operating.
3. Your people are the biggest part of your brand (even if you are dealing with high-volume consumer goods or high-revenue business licences).
4. Just get started.


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