Totem appoints The PHA Group as UK PR agency

by | Feb 25, 2021

The PHA Group is pleased to announce its appointment by digital workplace culture platform, Totem, to help grow its awareness by managing its UK communications strategy.

One of London’s leading PR agencies, The PHA Group, has been tasked with building awareness of Totem among HR and business leaders, as well as general consumers, celebrating its ’player-first’ ethos to staff engagement and showcasing the capabilities of an AI-driven approach to understanding staff wellbeing and workplace culture. The agency will also support Totem’s CEO, Marcus Thornley, in sharing his expertise on workplace culture and his aims to disrupt the ‘staff survey’ landscape.

Launched in 2016 by gamification and product design studio Play, Totem provides a team space to create a community and deliver positive recognition, while business leaders can learn about and gain insights on their company culture. Having seen most work and HR tools built with managers in mind, Totem shifts the focus onto employees – making it ‘player-first’. The app is a simple to use platform for employees to share excellent work across their business, recognise and celebrate one another, with its technology capturing previously intangible insights about the company culture, to help HR leaders reflect and improve.

The PHA Group was appointed after the team impressed Totem with its strong HR, business and technology credentials, as well as a shared ethos surrounding the importance of supporting and understanding the workforce.

Marcus Thornley, CEO at Totem, said: “The HR technology space is increasingly crowded, but many platforms provide a similar experience or aren’t equipping HR teams with the scope of data and insights needed to be strategic and effective. Businesses used to have the advantage of overhearing office conversations and observing people’s behaviour to understand team morale, but remote working means there are now observational blind spots in many businesses.

“Our goal is to democratise communication at work, and help demystify business culture and morale. The PHA Group showed that they understood our mission and unique selling points, and that they have strong credentials in the space. We look forward to working with the team as they help more people hear about Totem.”

Mimi Brown, head of the Entrepreneur and Business Division at The PHA Group, commented: “Workplace culture and employee engagement are more important than ever during the pandemic, and Totem’s platform is taking an entirely fresh approach to closing the gap between what businesses offer and what employees want in order to be be productive and happy. It’s a hugely ambitious businesses and team and we’re looking forward to supporting their mission to change the way companies understand and communicate with staff, creating a fit for future online staff environment.”

The PHA Group has also started exploratory discussions with Totem to see how it could support the agency’s own staff engagement in 2021 too.

Totem is currently the only business engagement app on the market that uses machine learning to drive real-time analytics and insight on a company’s culture. The app constantly analyses sentiment within posts and delivers results to HR and business leaders – giving full visibility and understanding on when engagement increases and decreases across a business.

Since launching, Totem has helped companies such as PwC, John Lewis, Mercer and Tottenham Hotspur FC, to drive better business outcomes through improved workplace cultures. The company is founded by Marcus Thornley, who has over 15 years of experience in creating mobile and gaming apps. Having led development teams at Mind Candy in London and Electronic Arts in America, he founded Play, a gamification and product design studio that creates consumer-grade digital experiences for businesses.

Bulldog Reporter
Bulldog Reporter is a leader in media intelligence supplying news, analysis and high-level training content to public relations and corporate communications professionals with the mission of helping these practitioners achieve superior competitive performance.


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