Launching a New York-based technology public relations firm just six months after the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center might sound slightly counter-intuitive, but Sandra Fathi—who had almost a decade of experience in high-tech marketing and communications, working for companies such as
Today, the firm has fees of around $1.1 million (revenues last year were up by about 10 percent, with anticipated growth subdued somewhat by the recession) and a client list that includes Absolute Software, BabyRide.com, IntraOp Medical, Proclivity Systems, Radware, Valera Global and new additions in 2008 ASME (The American Society of Mechanical Engineers), Balihoo, Luxoft, Singing Revolution, Surfray, and Touchpaper. They are served by a team of about a dozen that includes Fathi, who headed corporate communications for Radvision and worked with Edelman prior to striking out on her own; vice presicent Leslie Campisi (promoted to partner in November), who had worked as a freelance interactive producer, creating online games for Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon brands; and VP Yasmin Ben-Dror, former marketing programs director for Radvision.
For a small firm, Affect Strategies offers a broad range of public relations and marketing capabilities—messaging and positioning, media training and media relations, blogger and influencer relations, social media engagement, analyst relations, crisis planning and communications, employee communications, collateral development, media planning and buying, content development, search engine optimization, trade show support, lead generation—that allows the firm to operate as an extension of its clients’ marketing and public relations departments. Social media activities enjoyed particular growth in 2008, from the development of podcasts and blogs to helping clients leverage Twitter and Facebook to engage with customers and influencers.
Highlights of the past 12 months included working with Proclivity Systems on a media relations campaign that culminated in a dedicated column in the technology section of the New York Times, through which one of Proclivity’s future investors, WPP Group, read about the company for the first time. Another investor spotted Proclivity for the first time via a Fast Company article and the company ultimately secured $6.5 million dollars in Series B funding that can be attributed to the firm’s PR efforts. “We were impressed with the Affect Strategies team from our initial introduction,” says Sheldon Gilbert, Founder and CEO, Proclivity Systems. “They understood our space, recognized our value and had the same kind of unabashed enthusiasm and drive that propels our firm. Working with like-minded individuals who are smart marketers, business savvy and technologically adept, is a pleasure.”
Other interesting work included support for Absolute Software, which offers an enterprise product, Computrace, and a consumer offering, LoJack for Laptops, for locating and retrieving lost or stolen computers. Affect worked on a number of high-profile opportunities including a feature on Dateline NBC and multiple news stories from the capture of the ‘Khaki Bandit,’ a laptop thief who stole laptops from dozens of corporations by blending in with their IT people. “Our growth and success in recent years has positioned us for increased media penetration and sales lead generation opportunities,” says John Livingston, president and CEO of Absolute Software. “Our project relationship with Affect Strategies demonstrated their ability to leverage industry insight and expertise, and bring our products and messages to the mainstream. We now look forward to even more success as we expand our relationship.”
Affect Strategies focuses its efforts on marketing and public relations in