Frequently Asked Questions
Blinder is a content-generating machine for the PR managers of high-performance teams. It lets their talent receive scheduled calls, on their mobile phones, without sharing any personal contact details with the caller. And PR managers can record, or join, any call with the click of a button.
The system works globally from any phone line, nobody has to download anything to use it, and scheduling a call takes just seconds.
Blinder helps PR teams:
- provide unprecedented access for media and fans
- get more and better media coverage
- easily generate content for podcasts and social media
- respect privacy and performance of their ‘talent’
- conduct ‘phoners’ more efficiently than has ever been possible
- keep a record of everything (including call audio), and
- save time and money
But don’t just take our word for it – read what our customers say here.
In simple terms, just like a regular phone call – though one where someone arranges a call (a PR manager), someone makes a call (media or fans), and someone receives a call (your ‘talent’).
With Blinder, PR managers schedule calls using our mobile app or online dashboard. Call details are then automatically sent to call participants by text and email. At the agreed time, the caller can dial straight through to the mobile phone of the talent, without any personal contact details having been exchanged. If a call is made outside the agreed time, the caller is politely reminded of this and the call won’t connect.
The system sends automatic call reminders, records audio, and has a host of other features – including that PR managers can join any call with the click of a button. And, because nobody has to download anything to use the system, adoption is a breeze.
Blinder calls can be made from mobiles or landlines anywhere in the world. And they can be sent to mobiles or landlines, also. You can learn more in this 90 second video.
After hundreds of conversations around the globe about phone-based PR, we found that there were frustrations all over the place. Some PR managers were sharing the personal numbers of their ‘talent’ (which meant having no control over who might be ringing and when), while others were investing a lot of time, energy, and money to provide more secure means of phone contact.
We felt that if we could give ‘talent’ an armchair ride (by allowing them to receive calls on their personal mobiles) and protect their privacy (by keeping numbers confidential and making calls connect at agreed times only), then everyone could have the best of both worlds.
When we added an audio recording feature, and gave PR managers the option to join any call, it added a whole new level of transparency and content-generation.
Yes. Using Blinder, PR managers still field media requests, liaise between journalists and ‘talent’ to confirm arrangements, and maintain all those key relationships. But, with Blinder, they then use our mobile app or online dashboard to schedule calls in a more efficient way than has ever been possible.
No. Blinder marries cutting-edge technology with existing solutions in a way which means nobody has to download anything to use the system. As a result, your callers and ‘talent’ are all set to use Blinder right now. Blinder calls are made and received over regular phone lines (using a mobile or landline).
PR managers can schedule calls through Blinder’s web application and they also have the option of using the Blinder mobile app. But this app is just for helping PR managers do more, more easily.
You sure can. When setting up a call on your Blinder dashboard, you just click a button and you’ve created a three-party call. Your phone will ring at the agreed time, just like it does for your talent. You can stay on the line throughout the call, or just do introductions and then leave the other parties to it.
One of our founders (Caley Wilson) was a PR manager in pro sport, working with some of the highest-profile athletes in the Southern Hemisphere. He thought that giving out personal numbers was a poor way to provide access to the athletes he worked with, but, after first-hand experience with the rigmarole involved in putting people in touch without exchanging personal numbers, he thought there must be a better way.
So, the seeds of Blinder just came from Caley wanting his athletes to be able to receive calls on their own mobile phones, without sharing their number with the caller. The technology has been shaped since by hundreds of conversations with PR managers around the world from pro sport, entertainment, politics and big business. Journalists, athletes, musicians and more have given input, too.
A couple of places. It references that you can now ring someone without having their number (what we refer to as a ‘blind call’). But it also connects to our pro sporting roots where (in our part of the world) having a blinder is slang for a great sporting performance. And, from the start, we’ve had our sights set on creating something special that could rewrite the “rules of engagement” in sports and entertainment media.
Our clients include PR teams behind Olympic champions to Grammy winners. Blinder started in pro sport, where our customers include:
- pro sports teams (from the Premier League of English football to sailing’s America’s Cup)
- US college athletics departments (like the Colorado Buffaloes and UCF Knights)
- national governing bodies (like New Zealand Rugby and the Australian Football League)
- national sporting teams (like the Italian Rugby and Australian Netball sides)
- and major sports events (like the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games)
Word has spread into other fields, though, including entertainment, where we support independent music publicists (such as Varrasso PR – headed by a former director of Sony Music Australia ), band management companies, performing rights societies and film publicists.
Blinder was incubated in Australasia, where teams from the biggest male and female pro sports leagues have been testing the system since mid-2016. You can see a few of our testimonials here.
PR managers in pro sport need to generate coverage to engage fans, fill stadiums and look after sponsors, while also respecting the privacy and performance goals of their athletes. That can be a tough tightrope to walk.
Pro sports organisations also recognise that they have a major duty of care around athletes. This is even more so when dealing with young athletes (which the overdue rise of female pro sport has only put more attention on).
If you were very fancy and organised, you could make every one of your team members simultaneously available, on their own mobile phones, to fans after training. You could record all these calls in one 15min window, package them up, and have a stack of content to share through podcasts and social media.
If you’re regularly handing out personal numbers, it’s impossible to know where they’re ending up and who can be ringing your team members and when. That’s not a great way to respect privacy or performance – especially if you’re working with high-profile people. You also then have no idea if calls have happened. Or what’s been discussed. Or how to address any concerns that may arise. And by capturing no content, you’re not making the most of opportunities.
Sharing numbers for media contact is not the norm throughout the music industry or at the elite end of pro sport in the US and Europe.
By automatically sending out call details and reminders to all parties, keeping a record of everything, providing call audio (for social content, media training and addressing misquotes), freeing-up every handset in a squad without privacy concerns, and ensuring calls happen when they should. Don’t just take our word for it, though (click here).
Yes. For those making and receiving calls, Blinder works just like a regular phone call. So, PR managers schedule calls using an online dashboard, then callers can make these calls from a mobile or landline, and your ‘talent’ can receive these calls on a mobile or landline. All calls are done on a recognised team number, assigned to your Blinder account.
Blinder allows you to receive scheduled calls on your personal mobile, without your number having been shared with the caller. So, you be easily accessible, without privacy concerns. Time isn’t an issue, either, as these calls can only connect when you’ve said you’re available.
Any media requests to speak with you will still be arranged by your PR team. They’ll liaise with you, just like normal. But, once everything is set, you’ll be automatically sent call details by Blinder, and then your phone will ring at the agreed time. And all calls will come to you on a team number that you can save in your phone. Easy.
So, what do you need to do? Not much. Just answer your phone when you’ve said you’ll be available. There’s nothing to download – and we’ll even send you a 10min text reminder before any call.
Blinder lets you have great phone access to ‘talent’ – straight through to their personal mobile phone – at agreed times.
Just like normal, you still make interview requests through PR managers. But, once everything is set, you’ll be sent calling details by text and/or email. Dialling these at the agreed time will connect you directly to the person you’re set to speak with. If the phone isn’t answered first time, you can dial back.
Using the system is easy. There’s nothing to download, you can call from any phone line, and we’ll even send you a 10min text reminder before any call.
Minutes. With no party needing to download anything to use Blinder, PR managers can sign up for a free trial and be scheduling calls almost straight away.
For starters, PR managers set a window for when calls can happen. These can be very tight – or a little more generous. We encourage the latter. Then, if a call isn’t answered first time, your caller is able to ring back during the window. With the click of a button, you can also reschedule calls – or change any call detail and update it. We then send automatic notifications only to those who need to know about the amends.
No, it’s not a random number. Each of our clients has a local number assigned to them. This is the number that all their callers ring and that all their ‘talent’ receive calls on. It brings a real clarity to arrangements.
Yes. To call on a landline, they just enter the information they’ve been sent by text and/or email. And calls can be sent to landlines of ‘talent’, also, though text reminders won’t be received in this instance.
From Blinder, no. Our clients just pay a fixed rate to access the system (see here), regardless of where in the world their ‘talent’ is. There may be additional roaming charges from network providers, though.
For starters, PR managers set a window for when calls can happen. Then those who will be on the call are sent call details by text and/or email. They also get a 10min text reminder before the call starts. Calls can only connect during the window the PR manager has set. And, when time is super-tight, Blinder calls can even automatically disconnect at an agreed time (after a 60sec audio alert).
As soon as a call is completed, the audio is available on that PR manager’s Blinder dashboard. It can be instantly played back, or downloaded as an MP3, which can then be shared with the media, fans or others.
We take security very seriously at Blinder. Your accounts are password protected so that only you can access your team's confidential information, and we encrypt important information using best-of-breed security standards to ensure your data is safe with us. Please contact us if you want to know more about our security measures.
Yes. Blinder numbers are super smart and can process up to 60 calls a minute. So, you could make every member of your team available, at the same time, on their personal mobiles, without sharing any personal numbers.
We have a ‘call series’ feature. And, using this, a PR manager can schedule a series of connected calls for their ‘talent’, knowing that the time window for each call is clearly defined. For example, a PR manager could schedule six calls, of 10mins each, within an hour. They’d know that these calls couldn’t run over time and that an audio tone would signal when each call had 60secs to go. This calling situation is common in the entertainment world.
When booking a ‘call series’, your ‘talent’ is just sent a single list of their calls for that series. And they get a single 10min text reminder before the first call in the series starts.
As long as you’ve been generous with the window in which calls need to occur, your caller will just be able to try calling them again. And if you know in advance that there has been a delay, you can easily reschedule the call through your dashboard and we’ll automatically update the relevant parties.
In most instances, no. But it depends.
Most calls booked through Blinder are open-ended, so, as they name suggests, they don’t automatically disconnect. Some of our clients use hard-finished calls, though, especially when dealing with entertainers with tightly-packed schedules. For example, an entertainer might need to do four 15mins calls in an hour. And those could be booked to have a hard finish, to ensure the next call starts on time. If a Blinder call has a hard-finish, everyone is made aware both in advance communications and again through audio when the call starts. And an audio tone signals when there is 60sec to go.
Blinder accounts can be managed by multiple PR managers, who all have visibility over their PR team’s call arrangements. It’s a great way to provide co-ordination and transparency for larger PR organisations.
Blinder headquarters is located at:
Clearpoint House, 7 Fanshawe St,
Auckland, 1010, New Zealand
P: +64 9 888 9222
Blinder USA is located at:
1839 Belt Way Drive,
St. Louis, MO 63114, USA
P: +1 314 899 2496
© 2019 Blinder Ltd. All rights reserved.