Trevelino Keller Communications Group
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Holmes Report
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Trevelino Keller Communications Group

Holmes Report

Trevelino Keller is one of a new generation of technology-focused public relations agencies—most of them formed in the wake of the dot-com bust—located outside of the traditional technology centers of Silicon Valley and Boston. Founders Dean Trevelino and Genna Keller had worked together twice—at Shandwick and Ogilvy—prior to founding their own firm in 2003, and they have created an agency that is values-driven and relentlessly focused on the future, differentiated among local competitors by its technology capabilities but with additional capabilities in vertical business-to-business and consumer lifestyle marketing, and a GreenWorks practice that includes clean tech expertise and more. It’s all underpinned by a proprietary methodology the firm calls AMPS (Audience, Media, Presence, Service), creating a dashboard view of the PR plan with built in measurement, and an approach summed up by the mantra: Think forward. Work forward. Staff forward. 


One illustration of that philosophy is the launch of GreenWorks (a name that implies that what’s good for the environment is also good for business), which was accompanied by an internal initiative, [email protected] Employees form into teams of two every other month and must research, select and present a community-based initiative that meets the firm’s criteria. They are then given $500 with the goal of making an impact in some manner, such as approaching a local elementary school and giving its third, fourth and fifth graders compact fluorescent light bulbs to take home and educating them about the benefits. Initiatives like that, along with the firm’s emphasis on values (ego-less, tireless, team-centic, open, transparent and inspired) have helped Trevelino Keller earn a place on our list of the Best Boutique Agencies to Work For.


With two offices (the other is in Mt. Pleasant, SC), TKCG now has the size—it always had the experience—to compete with larger firms for major clients, and aims to be the first choice for any company in the South East looking for national representation. After four years in business, TKCG is closing in on the $2 million revenue milestone, after close to 20 percent growth in 2007. The firm’s client list includes some impressive names including Verizon Wireless, Raving Brands, Sita, TRX and The Weather Channel, which expanded in 2007 after the firm consolidated its business with Trevelino Keller. Other new business successes including Beazer Homes, one of the largest home builders in the country, and Sparkip, an intellectual property start-up. The South Carolina office, meanwhile, benefited from the expansion of the firm’s Start Up Council concept—pioneered in Atlanta to offer pro bono PR advice to start-ups—and in 2007 worked on two major statewide technology initiatives: New Ideas for Carolina and SC Launch.


For The Weather Channel, TKCG executed a number of high-profile assignments over the past 12 months, including promotional efforts to support media surrounding the launch of new on-air programming such as 100 Biggest Weather Moments and When Weather Changed History, and positioning the company as a thought leader in the environmental space. For SparkIP, meanwhile, the firm executed all aspects of the company launch work plan, including company messages, press materials and collateral, coordination of conference logistics and activities as well as sponsorship details. After the rapid startup and successful launch, Trevelino/Keller is now working with SparkIP to increase brand awareness as the “eBay for intellectual property.”


“Raving Brands is a complex company with eight concepts and a corporate brand,” says Chris Morocco, chief development officer, Raving Brands. “Trevelino/Keller has been with us almost since the beginning, certainly before we ever had a corporate brand.  In fact, they pushed us to develop a corporate brand from which to drive equity and familiarity across existing and new concepts. They knew it was a strategic priority and held their ground until we came to the same conclusion. Despite their tremendous efforts on behalf of our corporate brand and individual concepts, with the hire of a new head of marketing within the company’s largest concept in 2005, a decision was made to bring in a multi-national firm to manage several concepts and the corporate brand.  I maintained the relationship with Trevelino/Keller on three concepts.  Within a year, the management team realized it wasn’t getting strategic and creative thinking from the multi-national. So Trevelino/Keller was re-engaged across the portfolio.  And we have been reminded of their abilities to get inside our concepts, delivering brand strategy, keeping our creative folks in check, executing our core media relations programming and providing big ideas.”


To provide even greater reach, in 2005 Trevelino Keller formed the Atlas Alliance, which includes the Lanza Group, based in Atlanta and serving Hispanic and Latino audiences throughout the U.S. and Latin America;  The Wordshop, based in London and servicing Europe; and ActivePR, based in Dubai and servicing the Middle East. A new partner in 2007 was Platform Media, an L.A.-based firm focused primarily on the entertainment space.
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