Why Midsize Matters

Having the biggest digital Rolodex is nice but it doesn’t mean what it used to.

who-dogWe’re fiercely competitive. We are tenacious, smart, storytellers in an intellectually demanding profession. We zig when others zag. We have a voracious appetite for emerging technology and the way it impacts all facets of life.

While we spend most of our day talking about the future, we embrace an old-school approach to relationships. Our business is not transactional; we’re in it through the good times and the challenging times with our clients. It’s for this reason we cringe if we’re referred to as a vendor – save that noun for the folks who deliver water to your office. We genuinely form lasting partnerships with the people whose technologies we represent.

We love our hometown of Seattle, and the regions that have become our second homes – the Rocky Mountains and the Bay Area. Great people, great cultures and amazing technology. From our offices in Seattle and Denver, we serve clients across the country, and around the globe. Our clients find value in leveraging our strong networks in each region, and like that we bring a fresh perspective and different thinking to the equation.

Our Team

One of the many reasons our clients tell us they stay with Barokas PR for so long is because of the folks who coach the team and remain deeply involved in all aspects of our business and yours. The Barokas PR leadership team is comprised of great minds that come from diverse backgrounds, including media, brand management, and in-house and agency PR.

Howie Barokas - Founder & CEO

Bios are always written in the 3rd person, but it feels unnatural so I'm not going to. Actually I'd much prefer to talk about you, but since you're here and I'm not, I'll give you the highlights. I caught the PR bug while working on the morning show at KISW-FM, Seattle's Best Rock. For nine years I was contacted by PR people wanting to bring free shit to the station in exchange for a shout-out; which we did. This was before strong laws that punished plugola. From radio I jumped into the PR game, and here I am 20 years later (I'm writing this in 2013 if you're doing the math. And for the curious I was born in 1965). I worked at a big agency; loved the work, hated the politics and bureaucracy. I thought "Wouldn't it be awesome if there was a PR agency where the work was challenging but there was no BS?" I couldn't find one, so I started BPR in 1998. I've never won an award. Never applied for one. I love my team, our clients, my Harley, Led Zeppelin, The Notorious B.I.G. and the Dave Matthews Band. Oh and a little known fact, my mom calls me Howhow.

Barokas PR

Frances Bigley - Senior Vice President

Frances has a 20-year background in high-tech communications both on the agency side and in-house. Prior to Barokas PR Frances served as the Director of PR for WatchGuard where she ushered the company through a highly successful launch and IPO. She has a passion for emerging technology, and developing winning PR strategies for clients that bring products to market in a powerful and meaningful way while raising the visibility with industry analysts, media and customers. Areas of expertise include cloud computing, mobile and wireless, security and new media.Barokas PR

Johanna Erickson - Senior Vice President

Johanna has been working in public relations for over 15 years. She has a passion for both consumer products and technology innovators. She is a media junkie who thrives on introducing products, companies, people and ideas to the market. Johanna has delivered top tier media results for her clients in outlets including AllThingsD, Good Housekeeping, Real Simple, The Economist, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Client highlights include: Bona, Celestial Seasonings, Daily Makeover, Evolv, Jabber, MapQuest and Xerox.johanna-2003470

Karli Overmier - Senior Vice President

Karli has 15 years of experience in public relations spanning enterprise and consumer technology. She has managed comprehensive PR / AR programs for emerging and high growth companies including Apptio, Eucalyptus, Opsware (acquired by HP) and Skytap, among numerous others. She is often described as the "glue" of the agency for her ability to bond her teams and clients together to produce successful outcomes. Karli is a coffee, music, travel, CrossFit, and English bulldog enthusiast.Barokas PR

Jen Roane - Director

Jen Roane has worked as a communications professional for more than 20 years on the East Coast, Mid-Coast and West Coast. She has worked with public and private companies, including early-stage innovation and worldwide leaders developed from both agency and client-side settings. She has led communications for brands like Citrix, General Motors, Mapquest, and Polaroid to smaller brands in cyber security, healthcare, technology, and retail. Jen has a solid track record of growing businesses, driving teams and thinking strategically while achieving desired results. She has a passion for learning about new businesses and then telling their stories in the most appropriate channels. Jen’s guiding principal is “embrace the uncomfortable.” Progress happens when we are challenged, when we are uncomfortable.


Jason Michael - Account Director

Jason exchanged the glamorous life of sports journalism for the even sexier life of public relations, and has since spent the last decade working with his teams to harness the power of communication. A firm believer that a creative writer can succeed in any walk of life, Jason’s experience runs the gamut of FORTUNE 100 companies at global PR firms to mom-and-pop startups at even smaller boutique agencies. Jason is passionate about building relationships with clients, media and the PR teams that connect the two. He is a diehard St. Louis and Mizzou sports fan, an unapologetic movie nerd, and thinks the most endearing trait a person can possess is knowing they aren’t the most important person in the world, but they have it in them to make someone else feel that way. 


Ron Elgin - Chairman

Ron is a self-described life-long ad guy but that’s not totally accurate. He wasn’t born into advertising and didn’t get into it until after graduating from the UofW with a degree in journalism and he’s not strictly an ad guy. He did start that way as an advertising copywriter but then co-found an advertising/PR company, Elgin Syferd, that became the largest in the region with billings in excess of $250 million serving clients ranging from Holland America Line, JanSport, McDonald’s, Microsoft, Nordstrom and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. He also co-found CF2GS (which became the region’s largest Direct agency), Hornall Anderson Design Works (a global branding agency), ES Drake (the largest ad/PR firm in Idaho), and AdWorks (retail ad/PR firm). Upon the sale of his agencies to the global Omnicom, he became CEO of DDB Seattle and served on their national board until his retirement at the end of 2011. Ron currently provides marketing and business consulting services and serves on several corporate boards. He is the celebrated author of two non-fiction books: Huckster and The Man Behind the Curtain.ron

Our History

Barokas Public Relations opened in September 1998. The agency was launched with the belief that great PR work happens in an environment free from the BS that exists in nearly every public relations firm.

Having come from a rock 'n' roll radio background, Howie Barokas has seen how a creative business can thrive when egos are put aside (for the most part) and the day-to-day operations are direct, transparent, and BS-free. It’s with that spirit the agency started and continues to operate today, and it’s because of that mindset Barokas PR has grown 100% organically to become the Northwest’s leading mid-size PR agency. Over the years, hundreds of people from newly funded start-ups to global corporations including Cisco Systems, Opsware, Concur, Ericsson, HP, have relied on Barokas PR to get-it-done.

From the Blog

The New York Times Looks West

Barokas is lucky enough to have offices in two of the most burgeoning and growing cities for entrepreneurship in the country – Seattle and Denver. And we’re not alone in thinking that, as the New York Times is in the midst of its Look West series of forums across Western cities like Portland, throughout California and Denver.  [Read More]

No BS Blog

Find out why

Barokas PR has a long history of working with technology companies in Silicon Valley; from industry titans to venture backed start-ups…

The Bay Area