Dami Ayefeso | The Innovator 25 North America 2022

Dami Oyefeso

PR & Innovation Storyteller
X, The Moonshot Factory

Oakland, CA

“I think the workplace needs more empathy and compassion for one another.” 

As PR and innovation storyteller of X, The Moonshot Factory, Dami Oyefeso supports the Alphabet-owned innovation lab (it started with Google’s self-driving car) but also its mission: creating and launching "moonshot" technologies that aim to make the world a radically better place. She also runs her own boutique agency, Agile Public Relations, which serves startups and small businesses, and co-founder of No Invite, a creative collective. All of which is in keeping with Oyefeso’s long-held belief in the value of perseverance, compassion and a strong work ethic.  
How do you define innovation? 
Evolving to a better solution for the same problem over time. 

What is the most innovative PR or marketing initiative you've seen over the past 12 months? 
Notion popups + influencer campaigns 

In your opinion, which brands and/or agencies are most innovative in their approach to PR and marketing? 
Roc Nation, Team Epiphany 

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider to be innovative. 
In 2019, I realized that expert PR and branding is a luxury that most early-stage startups, small biz owners and independent artists do not have access to. I started Agile PR, a boutique creative communications agency, to help fill the gap and cater specifically to early-stage founders & SMBs. Since then, I have helped place stories for my clients in outlets like Fast Company, FADER and TechCrunch — top tier outlets that have opened many doors for increased funding and partnerships. And I do it in my way — it’s lean, it’s scrappy but we get results, that’s what’s most important. 

Who do you admire for his/her approach to innovation? 
Jay Z, Bozoma Saint John 

How do you get out of a creativity rut? 
Taking a walk and listening to an audio book 

What advice would you give to the PR industry around embracing innovation? 
Leave room in the plan for experiments and honor that work as much as you do the traditional activity. 

What would you be doing if you weren't doing your current job? 
Professor at a small liberal arts school. 

Which book/movie/TV show/podcast/playlist/other cultural source has provided inspiration over the past year? 
Do Nothing: How to Break Away from Overworking, Overdoing, and Underliving by Celeste Headlee. 

How would you like to see work culture, and the role of the office, evolve? 
I think the workplace needs more empathy and compassion for one another. Too often, I see team leads put the work over its people and that leads to burnout and a disengaged workforce. If we trained leaders to be servants to their teams, I think we could impact team dynamics for the better. 

How can the PR and communications industry harness innovation to make more progress on diversity, equity and inclusion?
In our roles, we can push to ask the hard questions around equity because every team needs a comms strategy on this. But even beyond this, we can be activists for change and recommend programs that would lead to impact and goodwill externally — a win/win for everyone.