On #MentalHealthAwareness Day some serious MPA #PMA positivity.

And what can happen with such positivity and the power of #socialmedia in just 10 days.

I had a bit of a negative rant the other day about working for free. Especially for large organisations during #BlackHistoryMonth. Which a LOT of people related too.

However, there is one exception for this “not working for free”rule. As the ONLY work I will do for FREE. Is as head of the taskforce for #diversityandinclusion for the MPA — Manchester Publicity Association.

And this isn’t for FREE…As…

It is paid for by support of The Landing at MediaCityUK and YourFLOCK.co.uk. With the latter being a #HR #tech start up in Manchester. Working in company cultures and personal development. And specialising in supporting companies new to #remoteworking. That already has a diverse make up. But wants to do more.

And the former being the tech and innovation hub for MediaCityUK. And so part of the fabric of the ecosystem in Greater Manchester. Which the MPA represents i.e. creative, digital and tech. Find out more about the MPA here…


The MPA is the largest organisation of it’s type in Europe. With over 2500 members and a long proud heritage. Being an organisation celebrating it’s 100 year! The MPA has been around for a long time. And so it’s a huge opportunity to do something positive for a HUGE number of people.

(If you are wondering WHY should your business be more diverse read this…)

In reality.

We have much to do…

As do many sectors when it comes to diversity and inclusion. In each sector that the MPA represents, it’s members want more diversity. They know it’s an issue. And one now that affects the industry more than ever. As the report last year showed us. As Christian James, current Chair of the MPA and MD of The if agency commented:

‘Last year, through the first ever D&I study of Manchester’s media, digital and creative sector, we identified a number of key issues that need to be addressed.

We are delighted to have someone of Dan’s experience and vision in this vital role to help us deliver against those issues and ultimately provide a D&I Strategic Playbook for agencies to help them navigate towards a more positive future.’

I am humbled to be asked to do this. My first task was to put myself aside and get as many people as I could to join forces with me. I cannot do this alone.

“Diversity cannot be just one voice — it must be a choir for us ALL to be heard.”

To change the world with #DiversityAndInclusion. We must be inclusive. It’s in the name. And during times of social distancing and #remoteworking and #workingfromhome. We need to use technology to include as many people as possible.

Using technologies like Your FLOCK to discover our own values and those of our company — so we recruit the right people — recruiting people based on their values and not on the colour of their skin, or their gender, or how much we would like to go with a beer with them.

To do help the MPA change a 100 years of non-diversity is going to be a HUGE task. It was a task started LAST YEAR. With the Let’s talk diversity and inclusion… MPA’s Big Debate. Where I got to do a talk and be on a panel with some AMAZING people.

Including the rather wonderful Katy Leeson the MD from SocialChain — who in the year since the panel has gone on to do some amazing things for #D&I … But that’s another story.

It was from this talk, and panel, and then a corresponding (slightly controversial blog) I wrote after that really made it clear to me that if I ever got the time I really wanted to do something about #diversityandinclusion in our industry.

But to be honest, it took me the great reset. The moment of pausing during the #covid pandemic for me to make the time to do something.

But would it be possible to in just 10 days get together a dream team of people for the taskforce. When it had taken almost a year to take this first step?



It took about 2 days of #remoteworking / #workingfrom home — thanks to Your FLOCK. How does that breakdown?

  • About 6 hours on LinkedIn.
  • 4 hours on Twitter.
  • 3 hours on Admin.
  • An hour on emails.
  • An 1 or so on content creation.

Which isn’t a huge amount for what we managed to achieve…

So how did we do it?

First, I created a positive post about my appointment on LinkedIn. Linked to MPA website and mentioning all the great people already on our board.

- The LinkedIn post was:

- Seen over 6000 times.

- With almost 200 interactions

- And… Over 100 comments

Over on Twitter. Another positive post — pinned to my profile.

- The Twitter post was:

- Seen over 6000 times.

- With 332 interactions

- And 25 RT

- And 14 direct messages back

From this I followed up with — the personal work for getting people onboard.

- On LinkedIn:

- 3 more posts on LinkedIn to keep up the campaign.

- 160 personal DM thank you messages on LinkedIn.

- And followed up with over 30 people directly.

- With at least 3–6 messages each.

- From this getting 16 people interested.

- On Twitter:

- 2 more posts on Twitter.

- 20 personal DM thank you messages.

- Following up with 7 people directly.

- With at least 3 messages each.

- From this getting 2 people interested.


We created a collaboration document. A simple google doc to allow people that wanted to add their details. All this help create a space so that now….

“more than 20 people have volunteered their time and energy to the project.”

In 10 days — and 2 days of work (sponsored by Your FLOCK) we got together the starting of the dream team and the steering group for the project. All from different backgrounds — all across the broad spectrum of the human experience. All ready to be represented — as under-represented.

And we have some truly amazing people doing this. So much so I got a bit emotional and posted on LinkedIn a little early. As we have another board meeting before announcing who will be on the final steering group.

(This post was itself seen 1000 times and gained another volunteer.)

But if you can’t get excited about something that has taken a year to come about.

In a year stricken by coronavirus and pessimism.

Then what can you get excited about 😊

It’s time to make #diversityandtech and #diversityandinclusion front and centre for 2020 and 2021. Next week, we will tell you more.

But for now it’s a HUGE THANKS from me.

And from everyone at the MPA.


Then drop me an email to dan@yourFLOCK.co.uk

Or would you or your organisation like to learn how to make a difference and do more for #DiversityAndIncludsion in your business.

Then follow the MPA and what we do next…

About The Author….

Dan Sodergren is a professional technology and digital marketing trainer and occasional futurist keynote speaker. He is a digital marketing trainer based in Manchester with Great Marketing Works. He trains companies and individuals in digital, social and mobile marketing. He also sometimes gets to talk about it all on radio and is even occasionally on the BBC.

He is an early stage investor in HR tech company FLOCK and now works as head of business services and marketing at the MediaCityUK innovation tech hub — The Landing.

The Landing @ MediaCity UK is workspace, community, business support, user experience testing labs, maker lab and events. The Landing is the technology enterprise incubator for high-growth companies at the heart of MediaCityUK.

However, all the comments and thoughts in this blog are from Dan Sodergren and to not necessarily represent the views and position of The Landing. Find out more about Dan Sodergren on bit.ly/DanSodergren

References for the piece:

Let’s talk diversity and inclusion… MPA’s Big Debate 29/10/2019


What’s the best way to get more diversity into your #tech #creative #digital or #media business? The #MPABigDebate








Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Dan #Tech4Good Sodergren

Dan #Tech4Good Sodergren

Dad. Husband. Speaker. Trainer. Adviser. Media expert for #Tech #DigitalMarketing and now #Type2Diabetes. As seen on @BBC1 @Ch4 @ITV and heard on the radio too.