Former Schwartz Communications vice presidents Emily Call Borders (who began her career as a writer for arts and lifestyle magazine New West and also served as PR consultant to RingCentral) and Kathleen Gratehouse (who also spent time as a producer at CNN and a consultant at Text 100) launched Broders + Gratehouse as a home-based business early in 2008, using the latest technology to project the image of a much larger firm and compete with better-established agencies in a tough competitive environment. That creative use of technology, coupled with a model that emphasizes senior counsel, has helped the firm position itself as an ideal partner for innovative clients in the consumer and lifestyle and mobility and enterprise technology sectors.
The firm’s first year in business saw some impressive successes, ending the year with fees of around $750,000 and a client list that includes RingCentral, Elance, Egnyte, Polaris Wireless, StartupNation, and TiE. The firm launched a new green tech practice (with Agilewaves as its first client), strengthened its small business group, and expanded into new categories such as cloud computing. The firm also expanded its digital and social media capabilities, and added depth to its leadership team with the appointment of vice president Carolyn Adams, formerly of Schwartz and Chicago-based Tech Image, and senior communications strategist Erin Bocherer in providing strategic advice to clients.
Interesting assignments included working with leading online workplace Elance to help define the new world of work, introducing the company to a wide audience by securing its participation in a multi-city job fair with Good Morning America and receiving feature coverage in Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press and more, positioning Elance as a go-to source on the future of work. The firm’s StartupNation Home Based 100 campaign for Microsoft Office Live, meanwhile, helped shine light on one of the fastest-growing business segments, the home based business, using social media to promote the contest and securing mainstream media coverage that included The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, ABC News Now, MSBNC, and more.