April 23, 2008
I think I have been preparing for what I am doing my entire life. While I love being American and I am proud of my country (regardless of the politics, real estate down turn, devaluation of the dollar), I’ve also always enjoyed different cultures, countries, ethnicities and people from around the world in general. Since I was a little girl my eye always saw beyond boarders and past major bodies of sea. Maybe it starts with the fact that I am partly a first generation American—mother is an Italian Argentine and my Dad is an American Irishman that still thinks he really is an Irishman—maybe it is the fact that I grew up bilingual while all my other friends spoke only English or maybe it is the fact that I just really enjoy meeting people from around this amazing world…who knows…but my experience brought me to where I am today and what I do today.
For almost 15 years now I’ve been providing marketing and PR consulting services. I’ve been all over the board…I’ve represented Silicon Valley start-ups, major telecom carriers, enterprise software companies (more in the 90s though), wi-fi software providers, gadget companies and so on and so on. I will say that my personal passion is in the next generation enabling technologies that are transforming the way people communicate. Be it a wi-fi software, software for the telecos space, a consumer device and etc…my heart officially left enterprise software and moved to the human.
I know most people wouldn’t consider telecom software of interest…but it is how we’ve traditionally communicated. Now…throw in the video and voice applications (the companies that make those applications) as well as the devices that run those applications…now we are talking…some cool stuff. I think this started at Wind River…a very interesting company that is so deep dark in the tech…no normal lay person will know the brand. But this is the company that provides the embedded software that sits in a consumer electronics device, a set top box, a robot, an anti-break system….the stuff that touches humans every day. This is the company where I started to incubate my future dream and future marketing communications agency.
While at Wind River, I not only figured out how to humanize the technology (Alissa…you are amazing and I could have never done it without you), but I also oversaw all corporate communications at a global level. I worked with strong PR agencies in the U.S…but I also worked with amazing agencies across Europe…I loved the international aspect to the job. I loved learning how the agencies would strategize a launch…learning what works in the US versus Japan, Italy, France, the UK, Germany…sometimes the same…but also very different. It was hear I thought…while I always want to work with cool Silicon Valley start-ups and tech companies across the US…I also thought…how great would it be to create a US based agency that caters to a non-US technology community. Yes, the US is amazing…we have venture capital, controversial bloggers and solid next generation technology….but the US is not alone in this. There is a market outside the US…cool start-ups…next generation technology, forums trying to create telecom and femoto cell standardization…and all these companies also need a way to express their ideas, thoughts, products, compatibilities in general with the US marketplace.
In steps BOCA Communications.
Thank you to Devicescape (awesome wi-fi software that is an enabler of next generation services to devices) to Narus (very interesting software company that sells security, intercept and traffic management solutions to service providers – hence the love of telecom – and governments) for helping me establish a real company with interesting clients in spaces I personally love.
Now…I thought…what are BOCA’s strategic next steps? BOCA needed to learn, understand and bridge relationships with software and PR communities outside the US. So…I went on a personal fact finding, primary information gathering mission across the UK, Ireland and Amsterdam (coming soon will be Germany and Sweden…eventually Bangalore). I needed to learn…what are agencies doing here…is all their growth from US based companies that need PR abroad…or is there a small niche of sexy, cool and traditional tech companies (European based) that might need strategic help and solid execution in the US. Furthermore….BOCA clients need UK and Pan-EMEA support. As a strategic partner to my clients I need to guide these companies in the right direction. Sure…I can go word of mouth…or I can come and learn on my own. That is nothing like continuous learning and personal growth.
I just finished the first stint of my UK experience…I met with seven of the top technology agencies in the US. Some of the firms have offices only in the London area (but provide a network of other firms across Europe, therefore the best-of-breed approach) and others with real, living, breathing organically grown offices in Spain, Italy, Germany, France and Belgium. What an amazingly fantastic experience! I officially can say I am an expert (or an emerging expert) on UK PR capabilities.