Agency

Unconventional, Unfiltered PR

We believe authenticity
is the cornerstone of communication.

For more than two decades, we have led PR and communications programs that reject the same old prescribed playbook. We know everything starts with a distinctive and captivating message that speaks to the heart of audience needs, beliefs and emotions. We design customized strategies, from the ground up, helping clients meet their big and audacious goals. Our team delivers integrated communications strategies that defy the odds of success – every time.

We are a direct, transparent, no-nonsense team that does our homework, dreams big and works hard to get our client-partners results. We are guided by an ‘always on’ approach to PR which is rooted in responsiveness and a client-first mindset.

Leadership Team

To put it simply, we’re a bunch of good humans you’ll truly enjoy working with. We go beyond the status quo to get you results.

Karli Barokas - CEO
Karli Barokas
CEO

As CEO of Barokas Communications, Karli is passionate about helping clients tell their stories and grow their brands via a holistic approach to communications. With more than 20 years of experience working with enterprise, B2B and consumer technology companies, Karli has helped shape Barokas Communications into a growing, trusted mid-size PR and communications agency known for its fearless, results-driven approach.

Karli specializes in working with high-growth companies in enterprise and cloud technology. She has been directly involved in leading PR strategy and execution for a number of notable startups from launch through exit. Some of her former clients include Opsware (acquired by HP for $1.65B), Redback Networks (acquired by Ericsson for $1.9B), Apptio (IPO, acquired by Vista Equity Partners for $1.94B) and Skytap (growing, with more than $109M in funding). She is an active speaker in the Seattle and Denver technology communities, participating in women’s leadership and technology marketing and communications events. Her recent speaking platforms and engagements include Female Empowerment for Women Leading Technology, Path to the C-Suite for the Women in Cloud Summit, and Marketing and PR Strategy for the Washington Technology Industry Association Startup Club.

In her spare time, you can find Karli swimming, running, traveling or relaxing with the fam, which includes Mack, a very spoiled English bulldog.

Johanna Erickson - President
Johanna Erickson
President

Johanna “Jo” Erickson is President of Barokas Communications. She has worked in communications for brands of all sizes for over 20 years and opened the agency’s doors in Colorado six years ago. In Jo’s role, you will see her driving strategy with clients, speaking at events, brainstorming with the team and making her way to Seattle to spend time with the team and clients. When she’s not working you will find Jo in her other role as an unpaid Uber driver carting her three very active kids all over the city! Jo is an east coaster at heart, growing up in Boston, masquerading as a Colorado native.

Jason Michael - Vice President
Jason Michael
Vice President

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.

Jen Roane - Vice President
Jen Roane
Vice President

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.

Sarah Nickell - Vice President
Sarah Nickell
Vice President

Sarah Nickell has worked in PR for nearly a decade, with experience working on both the agency side and in house. Sarah has worked with companies ranging from stealth and start up to large public companies across a wide range of industries including enterprise tech, aerospace, fintech, healthcare and consumer lifestyle. Sarah leads communications efforts for her portfolio of clients specializing in strategy development and client counsel, corporate message development, media training and crisis communications. In her spare time, Sarah works as a professional baby shark singer, princess book reader and baby doll hairdresser for her daughter Avery.

Ashley Allman - Director of Content
Ashley Allman
Director of Content

Ashley has been working in print and digital media and PR for the last 15 years, with a heavy focus on ghostwriting, technical writing and content support. She loves helping clients share their expertise, values, opinions and perspectives with the world, and making sure their voices are heard in conversations that matter most to their business. Ashley has worked with clients across a range of industries and practices, including video games, legal technology, cybersecurity, data privacy, digital forensics and information governance, and is always eager to dive headfirst into new areas. Her writing has appeared in outlets across the U.S., UK and APAC, including Bloomberg, Network Computing, eWeek, Inc., National Law Journal, Corporate Counsel, Computer Business Review, Ethical Boardroom, SC Magazine and various technical journals. Ashley is happiest when she’s reading a great novel, practicing yoga, watching her kids play baseball, boating and hitting the slopes with her family.

Howie Barokas - Founder
Howie Barokas
Founder

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 2019 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 Barokas Communications 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.

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