The Faction Agency - 2013 Capabilities


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Our mission at The Faction Agency is to amplify every client's business objectives—from market share gains to increased sales revenue—with powerful brand equity.

Our commitment to achieving a new standard of excellence with every client sets our business apart. It's what keeps us tapped into what’s going on in today’s technology-driven markets so we can help our clients influence what comes next to achieve real and lasting success.

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The Faction Agency - 2013 Capabilities

  1. 1. Strategic Public Relations & CommunicationsThomas Morelli Heather GoreManaging Partner Managing Partner+1 (206) 499-0385 +1 (650)
  2. 2. CONTENTSThe Faction Agency is a public relations and communications firm that drives results forcompanies that differentiate themselves through technology.With consultants in San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, New York and Vancouver, our mission is toamplify every clients business objectives—from market share gains to increased salesrevenue—with powerful brand equity.Are you ready to use smart, strategic communications as a catalyst for taking your brand to thenext level? The Faction Agency as the right team, the right experience, and the right thinking tohit the ground running.Table of Contents Overview 3 Approach 3 Services 4 Portfolio 6 Case Studies 7 Leadership 11 2
  3. 3. OVERVIEWUnparalleled success starts now.Our goal is to achieve a new standard of excellence with every client. We stake our reputation onour knowledge of what’s going on in today’s technology-driven markets, and our ability to helpour clients influence what comes next to achieve lasting and sustainable success.The Faction Agency was founded by Heather Gore and Thomas Morelli, veteran public relationsand marketing executives with deep roots in the Silicon Valley and beyond. Over the course ofnearly two decades, they have earned the respect and trust of their clients with work that haspropelled a wide range of innovators to the forefront of their respective industries.With a reputation for being smart, hard-working and future-focused, The Faction Agency hasgrown to include consultants in five North American cities with considerable domain expertisespanning nearly every facet of the digital world. APPROACHGlobal perspective, precise reference points.The Faction Agency helps innovators move their vision out of the development lab and into thehearts, hands, and minds of customers. We stand out for our ability to inject new thinking thathelps companies compete more effectively.By taking a long-term approach to client service, were able to keep unnecessary costs lowespecially in terms of infrastructure and overhead, so we can pass the savings on to our clients.We expand our team and provide recommendations on program development only in support ofclient needs and objectives—not to generate more billable hours.We believe staffing models matter.Each member of The Faction Agency team is well qualified to counsel clients and orient dailywork toward achieving results against measurable objectives. Our senior-level consultants playan active day-to-day role to ensure that clients receive valuable insights and high-caliber output.We relentlessly pursue quality.Our unyielding standards at The Faction Agency assure that the quality of everything fromwritten materials to daily interactions will not only make the public relations process moreeffective, but ultimately generate a perceptual advantage in the marketplace.We think unconventionally.Few can match the insider knowledge and diversity of domain expertise resident at The FactionAgency. From the distillation of complex technologies to the promotion of world-renownedbrands—we’ve been there. And we’re always pushing the envelope with ideas that challengeconventional thinking.We facilitate meaningful results.The Faction Agency sets clear priorities based on a rigorous, honest assessment of a clientsneeds. We evaluate the benefit and achievability of each recommendation, and whether thecontribution to business objectives justifies the necessary investment. 3
  4. 4. SERVICESWe think smarter, work harder.Our mission at The Faction Agency is to amplify every clients business objectives—from marketshare gains to increased sales revenue—with powerful brand equity.We stake our reputation on our knowledge of what’s going on in today’s technology-drivenmarkets, and our ability to help our clients influence what comes next to achieve lasting andsustainable success.All program recommendations are developed and implemented in close contact with seniorexecutives and key advisors. And amid today’s complex, 24-hour global media landscape, weaim always to improve understanding between client and customer, and ensure the consistentand timely flow of information to current and potential stakeholders—both inside and outside yourcorporate boundaries.The Faction Agency offers a set of services that can be tailored to meet your specific needs.Strategic Counsel & Positioning Message & Story Amplification Communications planning, media  Message and brand development to training and market positioning build a dynamic, unified voice that strategies for product launch planning amplifies technologies, products, and and execution, storytelling, media business models to captivate existing engagement, and ongoing influence and and potential customers, and impart a awareness. memorable impression. Prioritizing and proactively addressing  Master narrative development for market-pervasive trends and reputation employee engagement, internal issues that can affect organizational communications, financial and success, and keep companies focused stakeholder mapping, and corporate on high-priority challenges and social responsibility and cause-related opportunities. campaigns. Public policy media relations, Internet advocacy and campaign management Writing & Editing for conveying compelling stories on  Writing and editing sales and marketing behalf of corporate clients in collateral, press materials, white papers, collaboration with trade associations bylined articles, advertorials, and and advocacy groups. customer case studies.  Digital collateral development, targetExecutive Visibility & Thought identification and cultivation, digitalLeadership news hubs, online newsrooms and Full spectrum executive microsites, owned media platforms, and communications programs including blogs. speech writing, coaching, and topic development to find and express an Media & Analyst Relations executive’s authentic, powerful branded  Communication programs that leverage voice. our extensive media, analyst, and Thought leadership programs for influencer relationships to drive deployment of executives as recognition, relevance and syndication spokespeople at industry events, through online and offline media seminars, and tradeshows. coverage. 4
  5. 5. Media & Analyst Relations (cont.) Digital Influence & Social Media (cont.) Identification and execution for product  Search engine optimization (SEO), link reviews and awards submissions, analysis, search engine marketing including customer participation and (SEM) strategies, online advertising reviewer guides for competitive and strategies and implementation, and standalone product evaluations, ‘Sneak dimensional marketing programs. Peeks’, roundups, and industry honors.  Content creation and online editorial programs that reach influencers,Customer & Vertical Market Cultivation tastemakers, bloggers, online Diversification of vertical market community leaders, and moderators. communications through outreach to specific industries with targeted Reputation Management & Rapid messages. Response Creation of convincing and engaged  Offline and digital issues management customer references to build on-the- for efficient containment and diffusion. record credibility and trust.  Sponsored conversations and word-of- mouth marketing for building sustainableDigital Influence & Social Media relationships and loyalty among online Multichannel social media program and offline communities. construction and management for PR  Crisis planning, rapid response, and and marketing campaign amplification, perceptual audits and analysis of including integrated strategy and corporate and executive visibility among execution across paid, earned, and key influencers. owned channels. PORTFOLIOFrom emerging startups to established brands.From exciting startups to established brands and companies of all sizes in between, ourfocus at The Faction Agency is on the vibrant ecosystem of technology. Our consultantshave successfully applied the art and science of strategic communications to a diverselist of clients spanning nearly every technology domain and sector.Wireless & Telecom Digital Media & Advertising (cont.)MobiTV ExciteVerizon CorbisCenoplex Answerbag (now Demand Media)DangerBeatnik Enterprise Computing & ITTribal Brands IBMNortel Networks MicrosoftVoiceStream (now T-Mobile) IntelRicochet VerticalNet (now BravoSolution) Sun MicrosystemsDigital Media & Advertising CrossWorlds SoftwareAffinity Media Indus InternationalRocket Fuel InstantService (now Oracle)BBC MIPS TechnologiesYahoo! Amdahl CorporationInktomi ecVisionShockwave ConneXt 5
  6. 6. Enterprise Computing & IT (cont.) Gaming (cont.)Ecometry bEQUALEscalate NEC TechnologiesDataChannel (now Computer Associates) TiVoXerox Iomega SamsungSoftwareMainsoft Internet & Social WebLotus Software SimpleeZero G Software (now Macrovision) Mixx (now Uber Media)Visio (now Microsoft) FandorMacromedia XBowlingMicrosoft Office Sports Challenge NetworkInternet Explorer Starwave (Walt Disney Internet Group)Wave Systems The Motley FoolFrontOffice (now iManage) Earthlink NetflixSecurity & Privacy PlaceWareeSafe (now Aladdin)Entrust Technologies EcommerceUTM Systems Corp. CVS/PharmacyWatchguard Petopia BigWordsVenture & Professional Services Walmart.comIngk Labs SomaInternet Capital Group Hotels.comBondAgent.comDiligenz (now CSC Financial) Non-profitDeloitte & Touche mPowering Webby AwardsGaming A Home Away from HomelessnessYahoo! Games Child AidGamerang California Association of Naturopathic PhysiciansIGE University of Washington Medical CenterSony Online Entertainment Craft and Folk Art MuseumSony PlayStation Social and Public Art Resource Center CASE STUDIESTested implementation and strategies.We have helped clients face the most difficult challenges and exploit the most promisingopportunities amid today’s complex, 24-hour global communications landscape.Simplee—The of HealthcareWith a simple integration that supports healthcare insurance and Medicare beneficiaries,Simplee is a comprehensive portal for managing healthcare spending.Founded by a former eBay executive and based on his real-life experience with the 6
  7. 7. unanticipated cost of healthcare, Simplee enlisted The Faction Agency to launch itsgroundbreaking new service and help showcase how it makes life easier.Strategic ThinkingWe devised a launch strategy that was meant to drive new users to Simplee, and landcoverage of the service in mainstream consumer publications to highlight its ability tosolve the nightmare of managing medical bills and tracking healthcare expenses.But that was just the tip of the iceberg. As we began the countdown to Simplee’s launch,a direct competitor unexpectedly arrived on the scene only a few days before ourintended debut with an in-depth feature story in exactly the same online news site wehad targeted for the Simplee launch.Measure of InfluenceWe knew about the competitive story within minutes and quickly went to work re-craftingour strategy based on the rapidly evolving media landscape. Leveraging the changedcircumstances to Simplee’s advantage, we turned the tables on Simplee’s competitorwith a revised set of high-impact messages meant to de-position the competition andensure that Simplee was clearly understood as a superior offering.Our program resulted in coverage that significantly outpaced the competition, produceda massive jump in traffic for Simplee, and was ultimately credited by executives fornearly 100 percent of new sign-ups in the first six months.The final count included landmark coverage by The CBS Early Show, The Kim KomandoShow, TechCrunch, C|NET, The Wall Street Journal, Lifehacker, AOL Daily Finance,Business Insider, Bankrate, The Huffington Post, GigaOM, Money, and Forbes. Pointingto the success of PR in driving consumer adoption of the service, Simplee then secureda multi-million dollar funding round to continue product development and customeracquisition efforts.Rocket Fuel—Beating the Drum of Digital AdvertisingAn already successful digital-advertising startup, Rocket Fuel sought an agency partnerthat not only understood their business on a deeper level, but also their unique place inthe market. The company’s previous agency had been largely unsuccessful in helpingthe company clearly define what made it different, and subsequent media coverage andinterest was anemic.Strategic ThinkingThe Faction Agency ‘s strategy was to reignite interest in Rocket Fuel with a particularemphasis on the technical acumen of its founders. The core campaign was built aroundregular executive-level media engagement, customer stories and financial resultsfocused on how Rocket Fuel could improve ROI and prove its position as the rising starof the digital-advertising market. 7
  8. 8. Measure of InfluenceOur new customer leverage program surfaced outstanding customers for case studytreatment, and jumpstarted advertising industry trade coverage through bylined articles,opinion editorials, and industry commentary.Product updates and customer stories all reinforced the messaging of the overallcampaign, and these stories helped the sales team to demonstrate the benefits ofRocket Fuel’s solutions, while delivering a cohesive message to the market.Finally, we successfully publicized the company’s latest funding round, garnering morecoverage than any previous financial news issued by the company including stories inThe Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones, Reuters, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and Xconomy.IGE—Yield of DreamsFounded by Brock Pierce, a former child movie star and serial entrepreneur, IGE(Internet Gaming Entertainment) trades in virtual currency and provides gamer servicesfor MMORPGs. Considered the premier dealer in the virtual economy, the companypresented an unparalleled communications challenge to our team.Members of the gaming community were often critical of IGE, and we were charged withlegitimizing the real-money trade of virtual currency in the eyes of the public amid activehostility—verging on belligerence—from a well-organized and influential group ofdetractors. The problem was amplified by a highly controversial management team witha well-publicized history of imperfections.Strategic ThinkingOur strategy was to build a new legacy for the company’s controversial executives whileengendering positive awareness and goodwill among the gamer community, influencersand policy makers with a reputation-turnaround campaign that emphasized gameradvocacy, industry innovation, and market stewardship.Measure of InfluenceThe results were incredible. We achieved a right-angle turn in the overall corporateperception and leadership profile of IGE, repositioning the company as the undisputedleader of a newly defined secondary market for gamer services, and an advocate andfriend of gamers worldwide.Our work garnered international business press coverage including in-depth featurestories by Fortune, Reuters, and BusinessWeek. We eliminated the cascade of negativestories, resulting in complete neutralization of the detractors who had run unchecked formore than a year, and drove the adoption of IGE’s market metrics as the gold standardby the industry’s most respected analysts and watchers including DFC Intelligence andthe vast universe of gamer-focused media. 8
  9. 9. MobiTV—Defining “Mobified” EntertainmentA provider of end-to-end mobile media solutions, MobiTV-powered services areavailable from T-Mobile USA, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, AT&T and US Cellular withprogramming from more than 40 television channels offering live news and sports and avariety of full-episode on-demand shows for streaming or download on mobile devices,personal computers and other Internet-enabled consumer electronics.With the goal of cementing its reputation in the mobile and broadband video segment,MobiTV hired The Faction Agency to develop a clear brand narrative, execute a mediarelations strategy to secure placements in top-tier and industry trades, and preparesenior executives as spokespeople.Strategic ThinkingWe carefully orchestrated an approach for demonstrating innovation, and declaring aleadership position in the mobile entertainment space. Our activities hinged upon puttingthe MobiTV service into the hands of influential media and analysts to generate high-profile visibility about the “mobified” handset experience, engender ongoing interest inMobiTV, and drive tangible new business opportunities for the company.Measure of InfluenceOur program generated a deluge of coverage and awards including the televisionindustry’s highest honor, The Emmy® Award. In addition the company was listed amongthe OnHollywood Top 100, the Fierce Wireless Fierce 15, Fast Company’s Fast 50, andRed Herring’s 100 Hottest Private Companies.Our work also garnered accolades for MobiTV such as Cable & Satellite Product of theYear, Mobile Entertainment’s Best Video & TV Services Provider Award, and Frost &Sullivan’s Product Innovation of the Year Award.Mixx—Building a Social News MovementFounded by a former Yahoo! executive and strategy director for USA Today, Mixx was auser-driven social-media website that served to help users submit or find content bypeers based on interest and location.A pioneer in combining social networking and bookmarking with Web syndication,blogging and personalization tools, Mixx approached us to help launch the new serviceand project its influence over its primary perceived competitor Digg which was led bymedia darlings Jay Adelson and Kevin Rose.Strategic ThinkingOur strategy was to create a groundswell of interest among beta users and onlinetastemakers to drive users to the new social-media hub, validating the business concept 9
  10. 10. and exploiting a general dissatisfaction with Digg to build a social-news movementaround Mixx as a non-geek alternative and an exciting new player in the space.Measure of InfluenceMixx’s launch campaign started with a two-part story that was strategically leaked toMike Arrington of TechCrunch, driving a cascade of interest among media luminariesthat yielded hundreds of thousands of unique visitors and tens of thousands ofregistered users in a few short weeks.As a result of the campaign, more than 1,000 user-created groups were formed in thefirst two months, 3 million votes were cast on the new site, and 78 percent of new userspersonalized their Mixx pages with an average of more than 10 category tags each.The finally tally included more than 150 independent news stories, user-generatedblogger reviews and online influencer discussions about Mixx, highlighting a growing andeclectic group of big media partners including USA Today, Reuters, Los Angeles Times,Slate, and The Weather Channel. Mixx was acquired by UberMedia.Ingk Labs—Inspire, Educate and Influence Private EquityTypically, investors are faced with limited choices when liquidating distressed technologyassets, particularly patents and intellectual property. From patent trolls to the chop-shopmentality of creative destruction, methods vary but the objective is always the same—liquidate resources and then pay investors, effectively killing the technology and endingthe company as a going concern.Ingk Labs salvages undervalued intellectual property from dying startups, and thenbrings it back to life as new companies. They challenged The Faction Agency to growthe visibility of the company through the debut of its inaugural technology initiatives, andto design a communications strategy that would highlight the importance of its distinctiveIP strategy.Strategic ThinkingWe positioned the company’s new approach as “IP rescue,” reinforced by a set ofmessages that tell the story of how Ingk Labs saves distressed technology assets fromthe IP graveyard with a re-entry strategy that recaptures and recapitalizes the long tail ofthe private-equity cycle. We then set about showcasing how Ingk Labs, through theconvergence of its technology portfolio and its unique approach to the industry, helpssolve one of private equity’s most vexing challenges.Measure of InfluenceBy establishing relationships with highly influential journalists, and educating them on thefull scope of the Ingk Labs proposition, our story of innovation and the economic gainsfrom protecting and extending the life of distressed IP generated widespread interestamong the private equity, venture capital, and angel investor communities. 10
  11. 11. Stories appeared in The Wall Street Journal, GigaOM, and VentureBeat that reflectedthe company’s arresting point-of-view on IP strategy, and perhaps most importantly thecompany’s story was toasted among the private-equity class which opened the door tokey partnerships with venture firms, technology partners, high net-worth investors, andSilicon Valley influentials. LEADERSHIPProven tools, fresh applications.Our senior-level consultants are the cornerstone of our communications initiatives. Wedeliver the right mix of experience and innovative strategies for achieving great results.J. Thomas MorelliManaging PartnerWith nearly two decades as a public relations consultant, Thomas Morelli is deeply committed todelivering value to his clients by aligning opinion leaders, customers and partners to gain theirsupport and validation of corporate reputation, products, and services.He builds leadership, issues management, storytelling, PR, AR, and perception-shiftingcampaigns that drive business for companies that differentiate themselves through technology.Thomas has represented companies at all stages of business development. He is known for hisstrong credentials as a reputation-turnaround specialist, and for his expertise in formulatingfuture-focused strategies for corporate image management and positioning—always with an eyeon engaging key media and stakeholders to condition the marketplace and spawn demand.Prior to co-founding The Faction Agency, Thomas spent ten years in the Bay Area where he wasthe global communications director for Affinity Media, and a vice president at the San Franciscooffice of the worldwide communications firm Fleishman-Hillard.The early part of his career was based in Seattle where he was head of the technology practicegroup at Publicis Consultants, this after progressive account management and support roles attwo highly respected agencies, Waggener Edstrom and Text 100 Public Relations.An accomplished writer, Thomas Morelli has received accolades from the Washington JournalismEducation Association. He is a cum laude graduate of the University of Washington with a B.A. inPolitical Science and an LSJ minor.Heather GoreManaging PartnerBringing more than 18 years of experience with some of the world’s most recognized technologycompanies, Heather Gore has vast knowledge in creating integrated communications initiativesfor startups as well as established brands. Her expertise lies in the development and execution ofscalable campaigns that build, heighten and sustain corporate reputation and brand recognition.She has gained the reputation of a strategic, dedicated practitioner with a deep understanding ofthe digital ecosystem, adept at distilling complex technologies to effectively communicate their 11
  12. 12. benefits and tap into the pulse of the marketplace. She concepts and delivers unified PR anddigital marketing campaigns that are known for meeting and exceeding client business goals.Heather spent almost ten years in the Silicon Valley serving in various executive and managerialroles at both technology companies and communications agencies including Yahoo!, Excite,Fleishman-Hillard, and Burson-Marsteller, prior to co-founding The Faction Agency.Early in her career, she worked with technology startups, digital-media companies and non-profitsin Los Angeles including BoxTop Interactive/iXL West, Earthlink, and the Craft and Folk ArtMuseum.An award-winning public relations executive, Heather has been a PRSA Silver Anvil finalist inaddition to receiving the League of American Communications Professionals Magellan Award,and the SABRE Award of Excellence. Heather Gore graduated cum laude from PepperdineUniversity with a B.A. in Public Relations and a minor in Fine Arts.Cathy BrowneDirectorWith a career that spans three decades, Cathy Browne has built a reputation as a creative,committed and connected technology PR professional. Cathy’s broad experience allows her totailor integrated programs for both emerging businesses and established companies. Over thecourse of her career she has directed hundreds of company and product launches and lednotable communications campaigns for a diverse list of large and small companies worldwide.Her work spans corporate and agency positions including serving as a senior member ofcommunications teams at global public-relations firms including Fleishman-Hillard, Hill andKnowlton, and High Road Communications.Her agency experience is complemented by in-house work with several Silicon Valley innovatorswhere she served as the chief architect and strategist behind all corporate communications fromproduct launches to investor relations to the management of multinational PR teams across NorthAmerica, Taiwan, China, and Japan.Cathy is known as an accomplished speaker, content creator and media trainer. Her successfulapproach focuses on building online and offline relationships that engage all parties fromcorporate partners, media, industry analysts, stakeholders and customers – and of course, havinga good story to tell.Her particular expertise lies also in executing impactful social-media campaigns as a changeagent for corporate clients who wish to reach highly targeted, passionate audiences, facilitateongoing conversations in an always-on world, and convert sales leads at a higher rate.Cathy Browne is based in Vancouver and holds a B.A. in Hon. Classics from McGill University.Rebecca GarciaDirectorAn energetic and creative marketing communications veteran with more than 17 yearsexperience, Rebecca Garcia has deep expertise in communications, social media and digitalprograms for consumer technology companies and non-profit organizations.Her experience includes brand and corporate identity, product launches, media relations,entertainment marketing, product placement, social media strategy, and interactive marketing.Rebecca has worked with Fortune 500 companies and launched technology startups across awide variety of vertical industries. 12
  13. 13. She successfully manages programs that build brand, engage customers, drive sales, andsupport corporate social responsibility particularly in the areas of the environment and education.Rebecca is well known for her smart research and market segmentation expertise, which sheutilizes to execute finely tuned communications and marketing campaigns for her clients.Prior to working with The Faction Agency, Rebecca served in a leadership role at the Bay Areaoffice of Burson-Marsteller, and was the director of brand marketing and creative services at TiVofor more than six years.Rebecca Garcia is an active member of the board of directors for a non-profit organization thatsupports literacy efforts in Central America. She is a graduate of the University of California,Santa Cruz. 13