No BS Blog

Lions and Tigers and Barokas PR, Oh My! Hello Detroit.

May 23, 2017

 


As we approach Barokas PR’s 19th anniversary, our family has some exciting news to share with you.

Over the past year, we’ve met a ton of incredible people and explored several burgeoning tech markets across the country. The most exciting takeaway is that tech is thriving everywhere. You can be a tech entrepreneur, on your own terms, and not have to move to Silicon Valley or seek out VC funding to build a business. The options are more plentiful than ever.

What this means for Barokas PR is that we’ve found our third home – Detroit. A lot of our friends and family have asked the simple, yet loaded question, why Detroit?  To which we consistently respond, “Why not Detroit?”

Detroit is a place of unparalleled opportunity. The air is teeming with the excitement of a community experiencing a true renaissance. Having survived several decades in abandon and emerged from a city bankruptcy, Detroit is a place that echoes the values of hustle and grit; which has defined your Barokas PR team for nearly two decades.

Beyond the existential growth, Detroit is quickly finding its economic footing in the tech sector. The Michigan Venture Capital Association launched its annual VC growth report earlier this year, which highlighted a 48% increase in VC-backed startups in the state over the past five years. Furthermore, for every $1 invested in a Michigan startup by a Michigan VC firm, $4.61 out of state VC investments are attracted. Barokas PR clients are finding a home in Detroit, too. Techstars opened up their Mobility accelerator doors last year and Airbiquity has opened up an office in the city to keep a pulse on all things connected cars.

In addition to a growing tech scene, I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the amazing music that’s come out of this incredible city. We’re in company of music Gods including the likes of Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Rick James, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, Big Sean and of course the almighty Eminem. The music doesn’t end with Motown and Hip-Hop; Detroit is also the birthplace of Techno.

Nothing goes better than great music played loud in bangin’ cars. I won’t get started because I’ll never stop if you get me talking about all my true loves on 4-wheels that were born in Detroit. I’ll only mention two; a 1964  Impala 2 door (what I bought when I was 16 and I still have) and what I’m going to buy someday – a 1959 Cadillac Coupe Deville. Oh, Detroit how I love you, let me count the ways.

And Detroit is only the beginning. Our presence in Michigan will more readily open up our PR services to the Midwest. If you’re in Chicago, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Minneapolis or any of the other growing tech corridors in the Midwest; Barokas PR wants to hear from you, work with you and help showcase the great tech stories flourishing between the coasts.

To start, you can find Barokas PR at WeWork Campus Martius on the 7th floor. Our team member, Rachel Fukaya, is heading up our Detroit office. You can always reach her at Rachel.Fukaya@Barokas.com. We’ll be looking to hire a few great employees and interns. Reach out to Rachel and the team, if you’re an awesome candidate.

If you’re in the neighborhood this week, come find us at our first event and happy hour with Detroit Startup Week. We’ll be at the Masonic Temple this Wednesday (May 24) at 3pm to talk “PR Minus the BS: How to get your startup press coverage,” with Adrienne Roberts (Wall Street Journal), Matt Burns (TechCrunch) and Chad Livengood (Crain’s Detroit Business).

For all of the above reasons, and at least a hundred more, we can’t wait to show you everything Detroit, and the Midwest, have to offer the tech community.

 

Barokas PR: Emerald City, Mile High City, Motor City.

-Howie

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Interviewing in the Age of Tinder

May 22, 2017

Preface: This post was written by someone who has never himself used Tinder. Additional points for background research?

Technology has changed the way we view and experience the world, and perhaps equally as important, the way we interact with and learn about each other.

Since the day Al Gore invented the internet (fact check), we’ve progressed from “You’ve Got Mail” to ubiquitous digital footprints in the form of Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and yes, even Tinder.

While the benefits of our social personas being so public can be debated, their importance can’t be understated. It used to be viewed as a positive characteristic if you had no digital presence, now it’s suspicious.

To anyone who has grown up in the digital age, none of the above are groundbreaking revelations, nor are they meant to be. However, until a recent conversation with a colleague, I never thought about the amount of information that can be gleaned from these personas, specifically as it relates to a first interview, or in the case of Tinder, the first date.

According to my colleague Julia, the team had done a fair amount of stalking, errr, research, in advance of my first interview with BPR. While this isn’t surprising given the line of work we’re in, no detail went unnoticed, including the fact that I had a dog named Riley and a weird infatuation with weather.

Social Media

Another colleague summed up the necessity to stalk rather poetically, “Interviewing is like a date, you want to know if the person you’re meeting likes Nickelback before you make a commitment – the internet allows you to do that.”

The other side of the coin? Digital personas aren’t specific to individuals. Organizations, just like their employees must be cognizant of their online presence. You can tell a lot about a company by taking a cursory glance at their website, social media properties, Glassdoor reviews, etc. Just like dating, interviewing is a two-way street and it is incumbent upon organizations to put their best face forward as they attempt to attract the highest caliber of talent.

The point of this post? The interview is no longer your first impression and you should prepare your digital persona accordingly.

While there is no substitute for in-person interaction, the first impression you make on a potential employer (or suitor), is made well before meeting them. A public Instagram filled with questionable pictures may be enough for a future employer to swipe left before you even have a chance to meet them – be sure to post accordingly.

-Bryan

 

 

 

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PR 101 – Prepare For Your Plans to Fail!

May 19, 2017

Ever think you’ve got a foolproof plan in place, with everything mapped out perfectly? You’ve dotted every ‘i’, crossed every ‘t’, and just when you think things are coming up roses, someone or something comes along and takes your pretty little plan and smashes it to smithereens. No? Well then you haven’t worked in PR long enough.

In this crazy, fast moving profession we’ve chosen to make our own, planning is mission critical to setting our clients up for success and helping them achieve optimum business results. We plan out quarterly strategies, media outreach campaigns, social media calendars, speaker bureaus…you get the point. But here’s the thing about work, and life – sometimes things just don’t go according to plan.

Case in point: An article based on an extensive email Q&A with a top-tier reporter went live promptly at 7:01 am ET last Thursday morning, aka 5am in Denver. Woof. The article posted, the article was flagged, the story turned out great. But given the title of this blog post, you have likely already inferred that wasn’t the case. The client emailed us at 5:55am to let us know his peccadillos with the piece due to an accurate, but not preferred, description of the client’s product. To quote him directly, “[the CEO] is going to have a cow!” All hail our team that sprung into action to track down the reporter. See, she had just flown home from a few days in Vegas, so naturally she was catching up on some much-needed sleep. And even though it took a few nail-biting hours to hear back, we finally did and the reporter happily made our requested edits. All was well with the world once again. But so much for thinking we had it in the bag! Phew!

Second case in point, because why not regale you with a first-hand account of my latest brush with upended plans: Last week after a quick would-be day trip to Seattle, my travel buddy and I (hi, Holly!) missed our 7:45pm flight back to Denver. Missed the door closing by mere minutes. But here’s the kicker. We arrived to the airport with ample time to spare. Since we had a couple hours, though, we sat down to enjoy a meal before hopping on our flight home. Then next thing we know, we’re full-on sprinting to our gate, which we didn’t realize required a tram ride to reach…oy. With my bag full of Barokas PR tchotchkes literally ripping apart Kevin McCallister-style, I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry at our ridiculous blunder. Admittedly, I did a little of both.

Anyway, moral of the stories here is that sometimes, even when we put together the most detailed plans for our clients (or ourselves), things can still fall to pieces in the blink of an eye. But it’s at precisely these moments where we can prove our value for clients. They put their trust in us and when we’re confronted with obstacles, the onus is on us to be flexible and pivot when and where we need to at any time. Sometimes there’s something we’ve missed, like where our airport gate is actually located…blerg. Sometimes, there’s a force out of our control, like a rocket that doesn’t launch on time or an article that doesn’t please your client like you’d hoped. Whatever the circumstances, in business and in life, we have to be agile. The world is a complicated place, and we humans can be really dumb sometimes, so it’s good to be flexible and open minded about things. Instead of having one plan, have a few, and revise as necessary. And remember, unexpected turns are always the best learning experiences. Think I’ll ever miss a flight again?! Not this girl.

– Jen

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Are You an Inclusive Leader?

May 17, 2017

This past year, Barokas PR implemented a professional development program to allow employees to allocate time towards personal growth. As part of my own path, I decided to take an online course about communicating effectively with empowerment. As a PR practitioner, I wanted to build upon my existing skillset to more effectively communicate as a leader to both my internal team and to the client. Throughout the course, I learned a lot of helpful communication skills. The one that I found most interesting is that inclusive leaders are effective communicators. This is something that any employee, in any role, can implement today.

What is an inclusive leader you ask? Well thanks to my class, I can tell you. Being an inclusive leader means that you’re effectively using your communication skills to help others feel valued and heard. Research shows that inclusive leadership can drive productivity, loyalty and motivation within a company.

Here at Barokas PR, effective communication is a critical part of each team member’s role. No matter what your title, everyone is given the opportunity to lead, provide direction, and deliver feedback to others on the account team. While it would be nice if inclusive leadership was a natural trait, learning these skills often requires time and practice.

Here are the four key attributes behind inclusive leadership:

  1. Empowerment: You enable those reporting to you to develop and excel
  2. Accountability: Demonstrate confidence in those reporting to you by holding them responsible for performance they can control
  3. Courage: Put personal interests aside to achieve what needs to be done; act on convictions even when it requires personal risk taking.
  4. Humility: Admit mistakes. Accept and learn from criticism and differing points of view; see contributions of others to overcome limitations.

From AAE to CEO, everyone can use these inclusive leadership skills to become an effective communicator. Communication should be about empowering others and giving them the opportunity to feel valued. So next time there is a tough situation, it’s important to not think about what you will say, but to think about the timing or how you communicate a message in a situation to get the desired result.

-Marney

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We Give a Shit. Introducing Our Corporate Social Responsibility Program

May 8, 2017

There’s something you should know about Barokas PR. We give a shit. We care about our clients, we care about each other, and we care about our communities. Today, we are proud to launch our official Barokas PR Corporate Social Responsibility program outlining our commitment and offerings as a company.

CorporateSocialResponsibility

When we met in Denver for our Annual All Hands earlier this year, we discussed the values behind who we are and what we do. This theme of community bubbled up to the top of the list – beyond our relationships with the technology community, we are passionate about being a conscientious steward of the places we call home.

While we have already made steps in this direction, with providing media relations to pro bono accounts and volunteering in our local communities, we wanted to make this value a permanent part of Barokas PR’s identity. Today, we are proud to unveil our official CSR program.

Pro Bono Accounts

Good non-profit organizations focus their energy on making a difference through their work, leaving little time and resources to focus on public relations. That’s where we step in. Each year, we will select a handful of 501 (c)(3) organizations to support via impactful PR initiatves. We partner with these non-profits to make a positive impact in the world while growing their business. Whether it’s media relations or developing social strategies, we help them drive powerful connections between themselves and the greater good. Most recently, a team from Denver worked with the Global Entrepreneur-In-Residence (EIR) program, which led to this great article in the Boulder Daily Camera.

Volunteering

In addition to offering each employee eight hours of PTO to volunteer, we plan quarterly all-office volunteer events to bring our teams closer to our communities. From serving meals at the Union Gospel Mission to picking squash for a food bank or hosting a Thanksgiving Hunger Games food drive, we thrive in banding together to help those who need it most. We also work hand-in-hand with our clients to support them at their volunteer activities, adding another layer to the meaning of true partnership.

Supporting Activism

Sometimes “we give a shit” means we care about what our coworkers care about. This past year has brought a lot of important causes to light, and Barokas PR is committed to supporting employees who are passionate about activism. From giving a day off to protest in Washington DC to matching donations to the ACLU, Barokas PR aims to go above and beyond to support employees.

While there are many business reasons to create a CSR program – increased employee engagement, good optics, etc., it’s refreshing to work for an agency that is doing it because it’s part of who we are.

-Constance & Julia

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How PR can help restore public trust in the media

May 5, 2017

According to a late 2016 Gallup poll, only 32% of respondents had a “great deal or fair amount of trust in the media.” This statistic is unsurprising at best, given the rise of “fake news” permeating today’s headlines and social media feeds.

CNN’s Brian Stelter gave a heartfelt plea after the election on the importance of standing up for truth. His plea was aimed at journalists, but can easily apply to PR professionals as well. He said “…Don’t tell half-truths, don’t shade the truth. Don’t fear the truth. And then we can focus on the other ‘t’ word – trust.”

For PR professionals, the fact that consumers are becoming more splintered, skeptical and confused about which sources to trust is concerning. After all, the media is the main lifeline of our work. Newspapers, nightly newscasts, radio shows and numerous other mediums are our partners in storytelling. This begs the question, how can we, as communications specialists, thrive in the changing landscape?

  • Know which outlets are reputable and which are not. There’s a long list of “fake news” sites, but understanding what makes an outlet trustworthy in the first place is an important step in combating fake news. Does the outlet employ fact checkers? Are the stories without a clear and obvious bias? Are they written by a real person? Is the headline simply click bait? While some clients may see value in having a story placed in a buzzy online site that gets millions of monthly views, being associated with a notoriously dishonest outlet will ultimately hurt reputations. Quality and respect is always more important than quantity or views.
  • Supply journalists with only accurate, real information. It’s also imperative to ensure the pitches and releases we send can be verified against scrupulous fact checkers and that our claims and promises hold tight under scrutiny. The reputations of both the media and the PR industry depend on our trustworthiness.
  • Expand PR capabilities. With the splintering of audiences and trust, media relations should not be the be all, end all for communications professionals. If traditional media relations is your bread and butter, it may be time to consider expanding your capabilities and skills to adapt to the changing landscape. PR campaigns can and should (in most cases) span digital and social media, event marketing, and other emerging trends.

As the media industry is facing an uncertain future, PR professionals must do all we can to ensure media’s longevity and reputation as a trustworthy source of (real) facts. Let’s do our part.

-Holly

 

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The importance of (social) media monitoring

May 3, 2017

PR crisis, with the most viral ones coming from Pepsi and everyone’s least favorite airline, United. While the situations differ greatly, the resulting PR misfires have one thing in common: both companies underestimated the power of social media in creating an echo chamber of outrage, and offered up tone-deaf, highly out-of-touch responses that were inappropriate for the level of public backlash they were facing. But had Pepsi and United simply listened (via social media) both companies could have better responded to their respective audiences.

While Pepsi’s ad was intended to reach millennials, reactions on Twitter (largely from their target audience) were swift and fierce, as a slew of Tweets accused Pepsi of appropriating the Black Lives Matter movement for profit. Bernice King, the youngest daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., also Tweeted an image of her father mid-peaceful protest with the caption, “if only Daddy would have known about the power of #Pepsi.” Pepsi quickly pulled the ad, and issued an apology saying it “missed the mark” but many consumers pledged across social media to boycott the brand.

Just as Pepsi’s colossal misstep was fading from memory, United Airlines said “my turn” and experienced what was maybe the worst PR week in recent memory after forcibly removing a passenger from an overbooked flight. After dozens of passengers livestreamed the altercation on social media, the footage went viral and United Airlines released a rushed – then revised – apology at least twice. This didn’t do United any favors, as many thought the CEO underestimated the situation. This inspired a new wave of outrage.

In both situations, the communications team failed to understand why people were upset, and issue a response commensurate to public opinion. This is where social listening would have been incredibly valuable.

Social listening is the process of monitoring what users online are saying about a company or brand to better inform communications strategies. In-depth social listening goes beyond @mentions or direct comments on a company’s social media profile or website, and instead, casts a wider net, tracking hashtags, keywords and phrases, and monitoring public non-social sources like blogs, forums, reviews and news outlets. Social listening can also incorporate sentiment, assigning a positive, negative or neutral score to each mention found. This makes results especially easy to filter and can raise an alarm if negative sentiment begins to spike.

Pepsi and United likely already use social media monitoring tools, but clearly didn’t align those with their PR department and crisis management team well enough. Both companies would have seen their negative scores soar as online users reacted to the news – even more ambiguous spikes in #united or #pepsi could have raised some alarm bells.

Have you used listening tools to inform a company decision in a time of uncertainty? If not, you still have the chance to try it… we hear United is hiring.

-Holly

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Hiring Tips from the NFL Draft

May 1, 2017

The NFL Draft – which concluded this weekend – is the ultimate hiring clinic, straight down to the sharp suits that we trick our future bosses into thinking we’ll wear to the office instead of that “Suns Out Guns Out” shirt we’ll actually wear very Friday.

Every team combs through years of a player’s game film, interviews dozens of candidates, and measures their strengths with their existing team’s needs. But the wrong hire can cause unrest, team grumbling and lost revenue.

Making the right staffing choices – in the NFL and in your company – can elevate the company to new heights while the wrong hire can drive you to pitch liquor clients to justify your drinking away the pain.

So, in order to justify my watching three straight days of the NFL Draft last weekend and billing it back to “Professional Development,” here are five lessons in hiring that we can glean from the NFL.

nfl draft

 

Are you filling a hole or drafting the best player available?

It’s an HR cliché: “we’re always hiring if it’s the right candidate.” Unlike the New England Patriots, this is a luxury most companies can’t afford. Most companies – like the Cleveland Browns and the quarterback position since the 1990s – are hiring to fill a gaping void. But that doesn’t mean you jump at a candidate just because you have a hole. That’s how Ryan Leaf happens. Instead, keep vetting and waiting for the right player that brings a specific capability and cultural fit to the team. Don’t be the Browns.

 

Make sure they are coachable.

No matter how good a player’s resume looks and their accolades before they arrived, they can always get better. All they need is the drive to be better, and that takes coaching. That’s why it’s critical to find players who are willing to study, listen, and learn. The best players in the NFL are coached on a daily basis, and it takes a certain personality to accept this direction. Instead of someone thinking they’re the best, look for someone who strives to be the best. Ask the question, “Will this person be one that will taps into other team members, does their homework and puts time in to improve themselves and the people around them?” If the answer is yes, draft them now.

 

Find someone who truly loves the game.

Playing the game is one thing. Loving the game is entirely different. Finding someone. We all want to get paid, but if that’s the only motivator, there’s no drive to perform above and beyond. Look for a player who bleeds for the work, not just a paycheck, and can help cultivate a culture within your company that fuels success and drives your brand forward.

 

Don’t be afraid to trust your gut.

You can read hundreds of kitschy hiring articles – present company excluded – that tell you the signs to look for or hacks on finding the perfect candidate. But all the so-called experts in the world together cannot beat your gut reaction in a hiring decision. Nobody knows more what your team needs than you. Resumes and interviews only go so far. You know when you click with a person and when you see that certain something in their eyes. They may look good on paper but is this person the kind of guy puts his dirty hands on all the office bagels before finally selecting one? Only your gut knows for sure.

nfl draft

Look for players who can play multiple positions.

We all have our niche but a perfect hire is someone who can wear more than one hat. Don’t bring on a player who refuses to take a turn emptying the office dish washer or who won’t jump in to help during fire drills. A great team takes people who can be adaptable and responsive to what the company (or team) needs at that time to drive success. Look for people who can jump into the game when needed, no questions asked. These employees will be your company’s Pro Bowlers.

So the next time you’re interviewing a candidate, look past their proficiencies in Excel and PowerPoint (unless they know how to make those bullets the same size), and examine someone who fits your culture, your team and your overall company needs. Only then will you find someone willing to sit through 72 hours of NFL Draft coverage to write a blog.

– Jason

 

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Tech and Real Estate Boom: 3 Tips for Moving to Seattle

April 26, 2017

The real estate market is currently booming in Seattle, having closed out 2016 as the hottest housing region in the nation. If our state government has anything to do with it, we’re not going to slow down anytime soon either: Seattle aims to accommodate 47,000 additional households within the city by 2024.

Driven largely by the entrance and expansion of notable tech giants including Google, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon’s ever growing presence, more and more people are moving here everyday. While this city certainly has a lot of great things to offer potential residents, and each neighborhood boasts its own unique personality and allure, it’s not as easy as picking and choosing might sound. Aside from the cost, you’d be hard pressed to miss the rising inflation that rose by 11 percent last year alone, competition is also fierce. Seattle is home to 10 of the country’s 30 most competitive neighborhoods.

For the many of you looking to move out to the Emerald City, there are a few key tips to keep in mind that will make the process smoother (PS we’re hiring if you want to relocate and join our Seattle team!).

seattle cityscape

Divert From Downtown

While the hustle and bustle of downtown Seattle is exciting, it may not offer the lifestyle you’re looking for. The reality is many homeowners in the area look outside the city center to put down roots. Take Bellevue for example. The suburb outpaced Seattle’s growth rate for the first time in 2015, growing by an impressive 2.4 percent.

For a property size that you can grow into, and for a bit of green outside your door versus the concrete jungle, don’t write off the suburbs. Not only are they traditionally more family oriented, they also offer great starter homes for young entrepreneurs coming to the area and looking to build their lives. They also have the added benefit of being easy to get around: you can easily walk to the corner store, or hop in the car and actually find free parking.

Some areas to keep in mind include:

  • Issaquah – Contains a great balance of housing options, from condos and townhomes to contemporary houses and historic homes. The balance of locally owned businesses and well-known chain stores make for a variety of great shopping and dining options.
  •  Bainbridge Island – An accessible 30-minute, stress-free commute to downtown via ferry, Bainbridge is a strong community-centered island where a lot of Seattle’s doctors and lawyers call home.
  •  Bellevue – Quickly growing Bellevue is a great option for the downtown commuter clocking just over 20 minutes away. With the convenience of the Bellevue Collection for your more affluent shopping needs, Bellevue was named the 2nd best place to live by USA Today.
  •  Sammamish – Surrounded by Lake Sammamish on one side and Snoqualmie Valley on the other, this quaint suburb offers historic housing and one of the lowest crime rates in the greater Seattle-area. Fun fact: Forbes ranked Sammamish number one in a round up of “Friendliest Towns in the United States.”
  •  Kirkland – Another ‘burb located east of Seattle, this waterfront city is known for its many beaches, thanks to being situated on the shores of Lake Washington. Kirkland is also known for its support of the arts, and the Kirkland Arts Center plays a big role in the community.
  • Mercer Island – A quick 10-15 minute commute to downtown Seattle, its waterfront properties and accessibility to cyclers make it a prime candidate for the incoming adventurer. Note: Mercer Island is best for renters—its housing prices are known to be astronomical, with the median list price per square foot in Mercer Island coming in at $550, which is more than double the Seattle Metro average of $205.

 

Pay Attention to Pricing

Hand-in-hand with familiarizing yourself with the various neighborhoods and determining which best suites your preferred lifestyle, before making a move you must also look into average home prices per neighborhood. It’s not enough to simply Google “median home price” or “average rent cost” in Seattle, with a city that extends this far out, costs can vary greatly. What might come up for the average two-bedroom condo in downtown Seattle, for example, will not be consistent with the price tag in Kirkland. You also can’t forget to consider the ancillary commuting costs: gas, bridge tolls and montly parking need to be factored in.

Think about where you want to live, but be realistic in terms of where you can comfortably afford. On top of the house’s going price, you must also budget in closing costs, additional fees, and taxes.

Plan a Trip

This tip is twofold. First and foremost, plan a trip out to Seattle before making the final leap. While this may seem obvious, with virtual tours and Zillow at our fingertips, it’s easy to sometimes think you’re able to see all you need to see online. You need to physically experience a city, explore your surroundings, and preferably set foot inside the door of the place you plan to buy or rent before signing on the dotted line—even if it only asks for an e-signature.

Secondly, before deciding on your neighborhood of choice, be sure to plan a couple trips from your potential home, to the most common places you plan to frequent—work, the closest grocery store, your kids’ new school, the gym—whatever they may be. Learn the nearest freeways, back roads and ferry options (in Seattle, that’s a thing). Test your commute time and determine if it’s sensible to do on a daily basis. If sitting in the car for more than an hour in rush hour traffic doesn’t sound ideal, you might want to reconsider the sprawling home in the suburbs and opt for a smaller place closer to the city.

Seattle is a beautiful, unique city full of art, culture, and business opportunities. It can absolutely be the home of your dreams, if you plan correctly. Hope to see you around the neighborhood.

-Morgan

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Cannabis Corner: Barokas PR Connects with New Class of Entrepreneurs at Canopy Boulder

April 25, 2017

Good morning, and apologies for the lack of Cannabis Corner content over the past few weeks. We’re hoping to ramp back up this quarter – in case you missed some of the earlier posts this year, here’s a refresher.

Last week, Barokas PR had the honor of meeting the newest class of entrepreneurs in Canopy Boulder, a seed-stage business accelerator program for the cannabis industry. This ambitious group has high hopes for new technology and business offerings that could prove to disrupt these nascent marketplaces across the country. These concepts included unique ways to connect consumers and patients via online networks, location-based apps to point shoppers towards the best deals in real time, and even robotics offerings to automate and improve harvesting and trimming practices for producers and processors.

Image credit: Canopy Boulder

Fellow BPR’er Jen Roane and myself ventured over to the Canopy offices in Boulder to talk PR – how to do it, when you need it, and options available for when the time is right. We walked through some examples of successful campaigns in addition to fielding sharp questions from these founders on what they should be looking for when they are shopping of PR support.

All of these brands are locked into product and business development, and rightfully so. While these companies are far too young to reap the full benefits of a PR campaign on any scale, there are critical steps these founders can be taking to prepare for that time. Consistent messaging, established spokespeople, and well thought storylines can make a huge difference in the effectiveness of a launch campaign and help catalyze critical thinking into other parts of the business. These assets can even help identify challenges that can be ironed out before the company emerges from this stealthier period of development.

While still in their infancy, these companies have lofty goals for their graduation from Canopy Boulder and are watching other established ancillary brands like hawks for business advice to replicate and pitfalls to avoid as they grow. Check out all of these companies, including this most recent class, right here – you’ll be hearing a lot from them soon.

 

-Grady

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