Corporate Ink
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Holmes Report
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Corporate Ink

Holmes Report

Amy Bermar spent almost a decade as a reporter, traveling the world to report from Alaska, Italy and Nepal and contributing to PCWeek and a plethora of analysts’ reports, before launching Corporate Ink almost 20 years ago. Since then she has devoted a good deal more effort to generating media coverage for her clients than she has to building a profile for her firm, with the result that Corporate Ink has carved out a very successful niche as one the leading technology boutiques on the east coast while staying mostly below the radar of all but a few cognoscenti, relying mostly on referrals from satisfied clients and positive word-of-mouth (three new clients came via analyst recommendations in 2006) to grow its business.
 Corporate Ink operates in four primary sectors—security, supply chain, health care and mobile computing—and does much of its best work launching breakthrough companies, creating new markets (it launched Internet search engines in 1997 and a cyber-crime security company in 2001) and often helping them grow until acquisition: in recent years clients have been bought by established companies such as VeriSign and Dun & Bradstreet. The firm is highly selective about the business it pursues, declining three opportunities for every one it pursues. It wins because of its smart strategies, its attention to detail, and its commitment to measurable results
 Another key to the firm’s success is its commitment to its people. Corporate Ink has weathered three technology recessions in its two decades without ever laying off any employees—in the most recent downturn employees agreed to take a modest across-the-board pay cut to avoid having to let people go. There’s a thorough training program, including management training and executive coaching, a mentoring program, and paid sabbaticals, all of which helped the firm make its debut on our list of the 10 Best Boutique Agencies to Work For and doubtless contributed to an above-average 90 percent retention rate.
 The firm saw revenues grow by 44 percent in 2006, fueled in part by the launch of three new service offerings in the areas of competitive benchmarking, sales communications and customer outreach. Major clients include Open Ratings, which helped create the market for managing supplier risk and was acquired by Dun & Bradstreet less than 12 months after Corporate Ink launched the company’s new positioning: Guardium, a leader in database security; Exostar, a collaborative supply chain company for the global aerospace and defense market; and newcomers PanGo Networks, Portico Systems, and Trusted Network Technologies. “Corporate Ink consistently leverages its understanding of our market—and what motivates the news media—to generate visibility for us in key publications, providing us with the market validation, branding and leads we’re looking for,” says Phil Neray, vice president of marketing at Guardium. “They’re smart and results-oriented, they listen, and they’re fun to work with.”
 Corporate Ink is the Boston technology partner of the Worldcom Public Relations Group, a network of independently owned PR firms with more than 100 partners in 38 countries, and Bermar leads the network’s technology practice group.
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