104 West
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104 West

Holmes Report


Back in the 1990s, Minneapolis was the American city with the largest per capita number of first-rate local PR agencies; today, Denver is a serious contender for that title. The city may not be home to as many big corporate headquarters, but it can boast a host of impressive local public relations consultancies, from established firms (JohnstonWells, Linhart, MGA Communications) to exciting newcomers such as GroundFloor Media and 104 West, which celebrated four years in business in 2007 having grown to become the largest technology-focused PR firm in the Rocky Mountain region.


The firm specializes in communicating technology innovation, whether clients are introducing new products, entering new categories or redefining their companies within existing markets, with a focus on helping start-ups and growth companies communicate with their customers, investors, partners and other critical stakeholders, using traditional and new media. The firm has worked on launches in now well-established technology categories, including color inkjet printing, consumer digital photography, personal storage, e-commerce software, corporate portal software, web services management and service-oriented architecture software, lifestyle software for mobile phones and anti-spyware software. The firm uses a proprietary methodology, Communications Lifecycle, designed to tie communications programs and their results to clients' business goals and objectives by providing an extensive assessment of market differentiation and the messages that best communicate that difference.


The firm is led by Patrick Ward, chief strategic officer, and Kathryn Marshall, chief operating officer, who have 25 years of experience in the business. Ward has worked with major agencies in New York and Silicon Valley, and has counseled CEOs including Trip Hawkins, founder of Electronic Arts; John Sculley, former president of Pepsico and CEO of Apple Computer; and Eckhart Pfeiffer, former CEO of Compaq Computer. Marshall previously served as director of public relations for Metzger Associates, a Colorado technology PR firm. Jennifer Roane became the first vice president in the firm’s five-year history last year.


104 West reported annualized billings over $1.7 million in 2007, after another year of impressive high double digit growth. The firm continues to work for Pelago, an early-stage company developing a new generation of consumer experiences, including Whrrl, a new mobile and web-based service at the intersection of social networking and local discovery; BitGravity, a pioneer in content delivery networks for interactive broadcasting; and Webroot Software, a leading provider of security software. It added 10 new clients in 2007, expanding the agency’s presence into several new industries such as social networking, technology infrastructure, online database, online gaming, e-messaging and online advertising.


It also picked up its first industry recognition, receiving two Silver Pick awards in October 2007 from the Colorado chapter of PRSA. Interesting assignments included securing an invitation for two clients, Goldmail and BitGravity, to the prestigious DEMO event to launch their products, along with 77 other selected start ups, in front of a highly-respected group of technology influencers. The firm secured meetings and media placements with top-tier press ranging from The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, The Associated Press, PCWorld, and The San Jose Mercury Journal.


“I have nothing but praise for the quality of personalized service and professionalism we have received from 104 West Partners since we retained them for our launch during October 2007,” says Jon Landers, senior vice president of marketing and community at Pelago. “104 West has been more than our agency of record; they have been our partner and co-workers. They are trusted strategists who I rely on to make the right decisions and they have been amazing not only in the coverage and appropriate media audiences that they have obtained for us but also allowed us to avoid many mistakes in managing our introduction to both the tech community and the consumer world.”

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