Fanclub teams-up with former BT head of communications to launch new corporate consultancy

by Dan Thomas
16 June 2021

Fanclub PR and former BT group head of external communications, Dan Thomas, have launched a new corporate communications consultancy to help grow, transform and protect the reputations of digital and technology businesses.

Launching against the backdrop of the current techlash, the new consultancy, called Humankind, wants to rebuild trust in ecommerce, digital-first and technology  businesses. It will help them address reputational challenges and better engage with the societies in which they operate, in a more empathetic, compassionate, human way.

Humankind will offer corporate communications and reputation management consultancy to digital scale-ups and established technology firms. Services will include integrated corporate communications campaigns, ESG and purpose communications, storytelling and narrative development; through to thought-leadership and coaching for technology entrepreneurs. 

With digital and tech businesses facing ever more scrutiny, Humankind will also help protect them through reputational risk audits, crisis preparedness, issues and crisis communications.

Humankind combines a deep knowledge of the digital and technology sectors, with decades of agency, in-house and journalism experience. The consultancy’s founding team of Dan Thomas, Adrian Ma, Paul Lucas and Davnet Doran have nearly a century’s collective experience working with technology, telecoms and digital-first brands, going back to the dotcom boom in the late-1990s. 

The new joint venture will also complement Fanclub’s consumer and business-to-business (B2B) PR offerings, with the two companies sharing offices in Shoreditch, in the heart of East London’s Tech City. By working hand-in-hand, Humankind and Fanclub will provide clients with a fully integrated external, internal and digital communications offering spanning corporate, consumer and business-to-business.

Humankind founding partner Dan Thomas said: “Ecommerce and tech brands have seen a resurgence in popularity and support during the pandemic, but a ‘techlash’ still remains. Customers, employees and investors are rightfully demanding much more from companies in terms of environmental, social and corporate governance practices. Whether it’s the introduction of a new global tax on “Big-Tech”, protests around employment rights or energy consumption concerns, it’s abundantly clear people expect much more from technology companies now they play a defining role in society. We want to help firms tackle these reputational challenges and see them grow with purpose and sustainable practices at their heart,” he said.

The Humankind Team

Humankind’s founding partners include former technology journalist and BT Group Plc head of external communications, Dan Thomas, and Fanclub’s Adrian Ma and Paul Lucas. Davnet Doran also joins as consulting partner, providing strategic oversight to the business.

Dan is a corporate, financial and crisis communications adviser with more than 20-years of experience providing consultancy to technology, telecoms and media clients. As an NCTJ trained former journalist, who has written for The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires and the Financial Times’ Digital Business and FT-IT supplements, Dan is skilled at bringing to life company narratives and communicating stories to city and business audiences.

Adrian is a specialist in digitally-integrated PR. He has worked with digital brands ranging from giants such as Yahoo! to Tesco.com, to fast-growth disruptors like Wowcher and HealthHero. He has helped set up three digital PR practices for London-based agencies and co-founded the digitally-integrated agency Komodo PR (now part of Chameleon PR / MikeWorldWide Group). Adrian went on to found Fanclub PR in 2011, where he also serves as its managing director. Adrian is also part of the advisory board for BME PR Pros.

Paul has worked with consumer tech, e-commerce and digital businesses for over 20-years. From the outset of digital banking with First Direct and BT’s first step as an internet service provider, through to the birth of Sony mobile, as well as leading on musicMagpie’s e-waste Mount Recyclemore campaign at the G7 summit. Paul has advised a wealth of companies from launch to ongoing brand building campaigns.     

As consulting partner, Davnet brings over 20-years of experience. Both in-house as Head of Brand PR at Britvic leading consumer and sustainability campaigns, as well as agency-side, where she was formerly managing director of Unity PR and M&C Saatchi PR.

Humankind will also work with associate consultant Emma Young and a collective of other specialist independent corporate communications experts. 

Emma is a communications advisor with over 20-years of experience in sustainability, organisational change and employee engagement. Before moving into consulting eight years ago, Emma was the strategic communications lead for BT Group Plc’s Better Future, the group-wide strategy designed to drive the company's reputation as a global leader in responsible and sustainable business. Emma is a Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability. She is also a fiction author and brings her storytelling skills and experience to bear when advising clients.

The team has a long history of working together. As well as Dan and Emma working closely at BT, Paul and Dan first met during the dotcom boom in 1999 at Band & Brown Communications where they worked with clients including Sony Ericsson and BT. Adrian and Davnet also started working on exciting campaigns together at the same time at Consolidated PR.