LOS ANGELES: Strategic consultancy Bevel has hired a health technology and sustainability practice lead who worked on a prominent competition aimed at spurring innovation for carbon removal.
Before joining Bevel in September, Caden Kinard spent almost three years as a strategist at XPrize, a nonprofit that creates large-incentive prize competitions to address critical challenges facing humanity. Kinard, who is based in Los Angeles, worked on the $100 million XPrize carbon removal contest funded by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
At Bevel, Kinard is helping the group launch its health technology and climate tech and sustainability practices, according to the agency.
Kinard said he moved to Bevel because he was interested in helping corporations “become really meaningful organizations to help society.”
“There’s a fair amount of opportunity as corporates in their [environmental, social and governance] space really start to increase their efforts,” he said.
Kinard also worked in the sports realm as a basketball communications coordinator for the Los Angeles Clippers and as a production assistant at Fox Sports.
He worked for the Clippers after Donald Sterling sold the team because of recordings of him making racist comments. Kinard worked with the team’s foundation on efforts such as star Blake Griffin’s donation of eye exams and glasses to students in Los Angeles Unified School District.
Improving the team’s reputation “was a sub-theme throughout all of the efforts, but really, the end goal was to “build more of a relationship with the community amidst the crowded sports market, he said.
The team’s approach was, “How could we engage in unique and different ways from the Lakers and Dodgers?” recalled Kinard, who also spent more than a year at JTA Pacific, a communications and international relations consultancy focused on the sports industry.
Kinard said he was interested in working in the sustainability public relations space because there’s “a massive chance to improve society, and working with these startups, these companies, these founders and building their brands can help maximize their impact.”
“It’s the greatest problem of our time. There's a lot of doom and gloom in terms of how climate change is communicated, and I think there's also a lot of reasons to be radically optimistic, and a lot of people are working on these solutions,” he said.
For the competition sponsored by Musk, Kinard led the communications and marketing strategy, he said. That included crafting a message that showed why carbon-removal technology is needed and promoting the competition in technological sectors around the world.
“There was a lot of working with the science leaders in the community to bring them on as influencers,” Kinard said.
Bevel declined to disclose campaigns or client work Kinard will manage. In the health technology sector, the agency has worked with Osmosis, a visual learning platform for medical topics.
For companies in the sustainability space, one of the biggest challenges is accountability, Kinard said.
“How to measure your sustainability pledges is kind of the most difficult challenge and then articulating that is the next step,” Kinard said.
To do so, Kinard said the key is transparency. He looks to third-party groups that measure a company’s carbon emissions.
It’s also important to help companies determine what information it can share and what intellectual property or other details it cannot disclose, he said.
“Just making sure that it's beneficial for all parties, but really helping create change and going in the right direction is the most important part,” he said.
Public relations agencies must also assist companies as the threat posed by COVID-19 wanes and society begins to return to normal.
“The biggest challenge is follow-through and commitment during an uncertain market when people's businesses, especially for small startups, are dealing with a lot of external factors that could influence the success of their company,” Kinard said. “So renewables, sustainability [are] on the path of being profitable, but right now, it may not be necessarily so, and so how do you balance that short-term versus long-term goal?”