Aggressive PR programs for tech startups

About

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What we're about

Big Swing Communications drives aggressive marketing and PR programs for technology companies. Offering a unique blend of strategic counsel with hands-on execution, Big Swing is known for helping clients develop compelling messaging and getting the word out through highly creative, integrated marketing and PR. Agency principal Michelle Goodall Faulkner has 20+ years’ experience, on both the client and agency sides, helping technology companies swing for the fences.

To see coverage we’ve secured for clients, see Twitter and Facebook.

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How we're different

  • All staff is very experienced (20+ years in tech PR) – we don’t pass you off to the interns after we win the account.
  • We actually like to roll up our sleeves and do work (writing and pitching stories), rather than talking about strategy all day.
  • Aggressive follow up – we don’t just email a huge group of reporters and hope someone responds.
  • Proactive – we come to clients with ideas, instead of waiting around for the client to tell us what to do.
  • We are not completely news dependent – we’ll leverage newsjacks, data, surveys, trend pitches and case studies.
  • Focused on what matters – high-impact programs; top-tier, on-message press coverage.

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How we do it

  • Start with crisp, concise messaging that differentiates.
  • Pick a few things and do them really well.
  • Focus on the media that matters.
  • Keep search in mind in everything we write.
  • One great staff-written article in a top-tier media outlet is better than 50 automated news release pickups.
  • Our job is to make our clients look good.

Our team

Michelle Faulkner

tech PR, startup PR

A 20+ year veteran of high-tech media relations, marketing and investor relations, Michelle Goodall Faulkner is principal of Big Swing Communications, where she performs PR and marcom work ranging from top-level strategy to roll-up-your-sleeves execution. 


The name Big Swing Communications derives from advice Michelle frequently gives to clients when brainstorming marketing ideas: “Don’t be afraid to take the Big Swing!”


Michelle’s experience spans both the agency and client sides. She’s held senior-level PR and marketing communications roles at several Boston-area software and hardware firms (including Exchange Applications, PRI Automation and Empirix), and is also a former vice president at Schwartz Communications (now part of MSL Group) – at the time, one of the nation’s largest high-tech PR firms. 


Michelle is well-versed in many areas of B-to-B technology, has significant experience with M&A and financial communications, and is skilled at crafting integrated communications for investor, customer, media, analyst, partner and employee audiences. She earned a B.S.B.A. from Boston University and an M.B.A. from Boston College. Michelle is based in the Boston area.
Connect with Michelle on LinkedIn.


Kerry Metzdorf

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Kerry has 20+ years of public relations and marketing communications experience both in-house and at agencies with a strong knowledge of software, marketing and e-commerce industries. She has worked extensively with technical and business press, and some of her key high-profile placements include The New York Times, WSJ, MSNBC, CBS Marketwatch, USA Today, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, BusinessWeek, Mashable, The Boston Globe, The Associated Press, Good Housekeeping, Inc., Entrepreneur, NBC News, and Washington Post as well as leading IT trade and vertical publications. 


Kerry previously worked as an independent consultant and associate of Red Javelin Communications, managing public relations for technology companies such as TripAdvisor and Infowave.


Kerry also held senior positions at Greenough Communications and Schwartz Communications where she successfully launched start-ups and managed public relations activities for clients.


She was also the Director of Public Relations for Adsmart, a CMGI company that was acquired by Engage. Kerry ran marketing communications for Engage’s Business-to-Business Division and for Strong Numbers (acquired by Intuit). Kerry is based in the Boston area.

Connect with Kerry on LinkedIn.

Gina Rezendes

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In her current role at Big Swing Communications, Gina manages day-to-day public relations activities for a variety of emerging technology clients. 


Prior to joining Big Swing, Gina was Director of Communications for start-up REON Broadband. Working together with company founders, Gina successfully helped launch REON into the telecommunications industry. 


Gina started her career at Boston-based Brodeur Worldwide. As Group Manager, she designed and executed hundreds of effective programs, product launches, announcements and events for clients and product divisions. 


With over 10 years of marketing and public relations experience in the technology industry, Gina’s areas of expertise include: program development, branding/messaging, press materials, media/analyst relations, speaking programs and customer reference programs/case studies.


Gina holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of San Diego, and is based in Southern California.

Connect with Gina on LinkedIn.

Our work

Case study: Taking Instacart National

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“We started working with Big Swing when we were a small startup, only serving San Francisco. We really appreciate their hard work and dedication to help put us on the map.” – Apoorva Mehta, Founder and CEO, Instacart


In June 2013, Y Combinator referred Instacart to Big Swing. Instacart had recently launched its on-demand grocery delivery service in San Francisco, and wanted to ramp up PR in advance of fundraising and geographical expansion. Instacart’s user base was growing quickly, and company founder Apoorva Mehta was looking for high-profile media coverage to stave off the expected entry of well-funded competitors including Amazon Fresh.


On the day of the Big Swing-Instacart kickoff call, Amazon Fresh announced its expansion into LA. Within an hour, the Big Swing team wrote and sent its first pitch for Instacart – a newsjack on the Amazon Fresh news. It resulted in immediate interviews for Mehta with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Fortune, Seattle Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, and more.


Over the course of that summer, Big Swing helped refine Instacart’s messaging and continued to introduce Mehta to both local and national media outlets. In the fall of 2013, Big Swing handled Instacart’s first city expansion – the first of 18 cities the team would launch for Instacart over two years. The company received coverage in top-tier publications in each city, and often national publications, for every launch.


Big Swing also worked with closely with retail and grocery trade publications such as Supermarket News, pitching stories that would appeal to Instacart’s retail partners – a growing source of revenue for the company.


Other highlights of the Instacart PR program:

  • Securing Instacart’s recognition as “America’s Most Promising Company” (Forbes)
  • Getting Instacart named as one of “America’s Most Innovative Companies” (Fast Company)
  • Standalone profiles on Instacart in the New York Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, the Wall Street Journal and many more.

Case study: Ensuring Wefunder Owned the Regulation Crowdfunding Launch

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“We wanted to be in every major article on Regulation Crowdfunding – and that’s what Big Swing did for us.” – Mike Norman, President and Co-Founder, Wefunder


In April 2016, Wefunder approached Big Swing looking for help. The company’s founders had played a big role in securing the passage of Title III of the JOBS Act, which would legalize regulation crowdfunding (also called equity crowdfunding) by non-accredited investors. Wefunder wanted to ensure that it was front and center in any media coverage on the new legislation – which was scheduled to go live in just three weeks.


The company was especially interested in business press, to get in front of potential portfolio companies as well as investors.


Two days after the Big Swing/Wefunder kickoff, Big Swing sent out its first media pitch, offering Wefunder executives to comment on the upcoming go-live date for regulation crowdfunding. The pitch resulted in numerous interviews with top-tier press including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, CNBC, Entrepreneur, Fast Company and the San Francisco Chronicle.


Simultaneously, the Big Swing team planned a news release for the go-live date and helped Wefunder craft contributed content for key media outlets. Those efforts resulted in even more media coverage, not only from the outlets above but also Reuters, NPR, Fortune, Newsweek, ABC News, Fox News, Forbes, Money, Wired, MIT Technology Review, Boston Globe, Seattle Times, Philadelphia Inquirer and many more. Several outlets covered Wefunder multiple times.


Big Swing also:

  • Secured an invitation for Wefunder founders to become regular contributors to the Fortune Venture blog.
  • Worked closely with Wefunder portfolio companies to secure coverage not only in business press, but also in the local and trade press that matter to them.
  • Continued to work closely with Wefunder on news, case studies and legislative updates, as Congress considered the Fix Crowdfunding Act.

Case study: Establishing Thought Leadership in Transportation

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"I brought Big Swing in after experiencing their great work at a previous company. They helped put MiX Telematics on the map in the U.S. market." – Pete Allen, Former Chief Client Officer, MiX Telematics


In 2015, global telematics player MiX Telematics, headquartered in South Africa, wanted to raise its profile in the U.S. market. It hired a new head of sales, Pete Allen, and asked him what it would take to establish MiX as a thought leader in telematics in the region. Pete immediately reached out to Big Swing, which had successfully helped his last company do the same thing. 


The Big Swing team was able to hit the ground running due to its existing knowledge of the field and familiarity with key media. It worked closely with Pete and MiX’s South African marketing team to formulate key messages for the U.S., write and place contributed content, and execute on press pitches and news announcements in support of those messages.


Within six months, key trade media were proactively reaching out to MiX (via Big Swing) for stories on telematics. Big Swing creates much of the content MiX relies on for both PR and lead generation in the U.S. That content and the PR themes Big Swing crafts for MiX are now used for the company’s PR programs in other countries around the world. 


Highlights of the MiX Telematics PR program:

  • Regular coverage in all of the transportation and telematics trades – on average, 4-6 articles a month.
  • Creates 6-8 new pieces of contributed content a year, and each one is published by a trade outlet before MiX recycles content as a white paper for lead-gen campaigns.
  • Securing key speaking opportunities for MiX executives and customers, including highly effective webinars with the key trade association NAFA.

Contact Us

Drop us a line

We specialize in tech startups

If you're a tech startup that needs to raise its profile, reach out. We have a thing for B2B, but work with some B2C startups as well.

Big Swing

Boston and LA

(617) 510-6998