A Letter From a Burgeoning CEO

By February 12, 2016Uncategorized
(The Jerry Maguire Version)
In the spirit of appreciation, fun, happiness and the month of love, we invite you to leap into 2020 with BOCA. Please join us for our third Leap Year party coming up on Monday, February 29.
It is our official eighth year in business – oh, how much we’ve changed, how much the world has changed, and what an adventurous journey.
Did I say, it is a “re-launch party?” Please celebrate the evolved BOCA: A Digital Agency delivering Communication | Content | Insight for 100% B2B High Tech and Healthcare brands – especially if you want to avoid the RSA Conference.
Coming soon is our new website with our expanded capabilities outlined. Stay tuned.
The fun stuff and party facts are above this sentence. The Jerry Maguire stuff is below.
A Step Back Into History: BOCA 1.0
It was 2007. I had just finished reading Tim Ferriss’ “The 4-Hour Workweek.” I thought to myself, that sounds nice, who doesn’t want a four-hour work week, especially after years of 80-hour work weeks.
My original intent was to start small, as a highly coveted marketing communications consultant with free range and no boss. I knew deep down inside a business would come as I bought the URL for BOCA moons ago, but the original incarnation was to consult. Then, I thought, what would Tim Ferriss do? I bought a boat – the BOCAtina; I lived on the boat; I took off aroundthe world; and I started BOCA 1.0.
I knew The Great Recession was coming, I could smell it. Plus, my sister who owned a construction company was watching the housing market and literally called me saying, “get ready Kathleen – the s#!^ is going to it the fan.” My parents said, “this feels like the “Savings & Loan” crisis of the ’80s.” All the signs were there.
So the Recession came, and my more affordable services (not competing on price, just a contractor rather than an agency) came into demand. Next thing I know, comms professionals were in abundance so I could easily hire, and I started to win business – in steps BOCA 2.0 – awesome clients, full time employees, medical, dental and the like.
Let’s Be a Real Company: BOCA 2.0/BOCA 3.0
Inwardly Focused
One day, sitting at a cafe with two tables pushed together, I realized “wow, I did it.” I’ve got clients, employees and something is truly happening here. People want to work with and for BOCA. So began the journey of building a real company.
I thought long and hard about what do I want BOCA to stand for?
I wanted to build a company based on creativity, love, passion and, most importantly, honesty. I also wanted to stand out and show how much BOCA cares about each person we come into contact with. Isn’t that why a lot of people start companies?
I thought a lot about values and the importance of a company that can truly embody those values. This is what I came up with:
  1. Authenticity: What you see is what you get. We are a genuine group of people fully invested in your success and driven by the process to get you the result.
  2. Creativity: We need to engage and entertain, as well as drive interest and value around content and news.
  3. Family: We treat each and every person we touch with respect; we have the honesty you would with your family.
  4. Passion: We love what we do; we put our hearts and souls into each and every project.
  5. Savvy: We are more than strategic. We figure it out, avoid navel gazing and climb out of that boring, brown paper bag and turn it into something that sparkles.
I believe that has been done, and so have the wonderful people who work at BOCA. You have likely already interacted with these people through client engagement, new business, media briefings, events and more. This party is to say thank you and celebrate.
Outwardly Focused
Pre-2007, PR agencies already saw the writing on the wall. The world we lived in was changing. Online media was decimating the traditional print world, and we continue to see this today. It is chronicled in Dylan Tweney’s recent Medium post, “7 thoughts on the tech media in 2016; The media is in a state of upheaval. 2015 was a stormy year, and signs indicate that 2016 will be even more turbulent.” Beyond media, we all feel, know and see the disruption. A technology renaissance came and continues: Big Data, cloud, IoT (or, as we said at Wind River back in 2003, Connected World…Dave Fraser, you were so ahead of your time), mobile, social and the list goes on.
Evolve or Die + Bracing for a Hiccup: BOCA 4.0
Inwardly Focused
I always had a clear vision of the company I wanted BOCA to be, and, happily, it is finally “self-fulfilling.” Yay!
Since our first launch party on February 29, 2008, BOCA is and always has been a Communication and a Content agency, although I didn’t evangelize our Content side of the business (cobbler’s shoe syndrome). That said, I barely evangelized my brand (shame on me because we rock!).
I was (and am) also a solo partner building a business while simultaneously starting a family. I think I’ve pulled off a lot if you throw two babies under the age of five in the mix, too.
Today, we share that BOCA is expanding its capabilities across the board.
BOCA: A Digital Agency – Communication | Content | Insight
Why? Evolve or Die.
Another exciting piece of news is that we are also expanding into Healthcare.
While I love B2B High Tech, and it is in my blood (plus, I am just good at it), I’ve had a personal passion to work within the healthcare sector.
We are an aging population that will only continue to live longer and stronger. The advancements being made in healthcare – partially due to technology advancements – are remarkable. I want to personally be part of that, and I want BOCA to be at the forefront.
We’ve hired several healthcare veterans from PR agencies known for that expertise – MSL Schwartz and Webber Shandwick – as well as a senior content strategist that spent years at Carestream Health.
I am so excited about our move into Digital and Healthcare. I love you, Silicon Valley, yet you are “shaky territory” with a lot of ebbs and flows that I’ve personally felt and witnessed during my 20 years here in San Francisco.
Diversification is a good thing.
Outwardly Focused
Marketing heads are increasing telling me they need demand generation and lead generation. Of course, every company wants brand awareness. But why? Ultimately, it’s to sell product. Without sales there is no company. We understand that.
We hear you, CMO. And we want to support you with our new services.
Did you know that earned media and communication are the biggest drivers of search and “qualified” leads? So, I beg you, don’t dump your money in a content house that doesn’t really know what to do with the content.
We are a group of savvy Communicationprofessionals, Content creators and data driven “scientists” recommendingInsight to create campaigns that link back to clicks and leads.
We will SEO the bejesus out of everything. We will drive backlinks. If you need Web copy, let us do it. Then, we will turn it into a byline, then a blog post and publish it on a site that drives search ranking in the right direction.
You need an infographic, a video or a website? Let us do it.
Since starting BOCA in 2007, this has been my vision, and I am so proud it is finally realized.
Come party and rejoice with BOCA 4.0! We are ready for 2020 and walk into it together.
Happy Leap Year,
Kathleen Shanahan, a burgeoning CEO

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