What a Year

Last year was full of blessings for the Karbo Com team and our clients. As we begin the new year, it’s the perfect time to reflect on 2017’s challenges and accomplishments.  We are grateful for it all.

In 2017, PR continued to become more digital and analytical. We mastered mixing tried and true communications practices with the most advanced digital tools. Karbo Com implemented a number of sophisticated platforms to help our teams and clients realize even greater success. Staying one step ahead of the PR and market curve is critical, but there’s nothing more important than some of the things that have been around for a while—the significance of great people, our relationships with our clients, the passion to continually do better and the heart to care about each other and our communities. These things are the foundation of our success.

Make no mistake, Karbo Com’s ongoing achievements are built on the bedrock of the incomparable Karbo Com team. They’ve raised the bar when it comes to intelligence, skill, creativity and results.  They are the greatest gift I could have ever asked for. Thank you, team, for our record year. And I speak for everyone at Karbo Com when I express our heartfelt gratitude to our clients. Thank you for putting your faith in us. Every day we strive to contribute to your success.

Happy New Year! Wishing you a gratifying journey and a successful 2018.

-Julie Karbo, founder & CEO

An Oasis in the Desert


When you think of Palm Springs, you reflect on warm, welcoming weather and lush oases nestled in unforgiving terrain. It’s relaxing enough to encourage freedom of thought, yet the harshness of the surrounding desert reminds you not to get too comfortable.

Every year, the Karbo Com team heads south to Palm Springs for four days to crystalize our vision of the agency’s future and set a path to accomplish our goals for the coming year. Our task is to master the tough landscape of the market and build an oasis for our clients, our teams and the company.

Our yearly meeting is an all-hands-on-deck affair. We set our objectives and map out assignments four months prior. Everyone in the company plays a role and attends—from interns to the management team. The result is an enthusiastic tapestry of innovative thinking, enthusiasm, creativity, introspection and critical discourse. Not to mention delicious cocktails, award-winning restaurants (The Workshop Kitchen + Bar is our new favorite), Jacuzzis and s’mores. This year’s major excursion involved several hours climbing boulders at the mesmerizing Joshua Tree National Park.

We arrive on a Monday, get settled in the house, cook dinner together, listen to music, talk and play games – the perfect warmup for the creative deep-dive that begins the next day. This year, we spent our daily meetings on large leather couches in our house’s media room.  We discussed what we’ve accomplished during the current year—what’s worked and what hasn’t.  We mapped out our plan to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to services, platforms and the competition. We talked about how important our culture was to us and how we can protect it as we grow. We profiled the kind of superstars we want to attract as teammates and we set our sights on groundbreaking prospective clients. We interspersed planning with a few creative workshops. This year we focused on positioning, project management and the perfect launch.

We do this work, and the year works out for the better in the end. Our growth and success haven’t been an accident. Next year we’ll either venture back to the desert, have fun in L.A. or realize our ultimate goal of Hawai’i. We’re excited to see where the journey takes us and what it will take to get there. Join us as we plot our course on the open road!

Client Success Highlight: TDK U.S.A Corporation (TUC)

At Karbo Communications, we have seen how strategic positioning yields stellar results –  regardless of whether a company is a startup or an established one. We know this firsthand because we’ve made it happen for the dozens of tech companies we have worked with throughout the years.

Developing messaging with brand differentiation as its backbone is of utmost importance to the execution of our media relations efforts on behalf of our clients. It was our IoT industry expertise that caught the eye of TDK U.S.A. Corporation (TUC) and eventually led the company to name Karbo Communications as its agency of record in the fall of 2016.

The case study highlights the media exposure we initially garnered for the global brand in the United States within months of working together. Check out the video commentary by Karbo Communications’ Senior Vice President Margaret Pereira as she expands upon how our agency successfully promoted TUC at 2017’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Persistence Pays

One of the most common questions we get from companies eager to work with Karbo Com is, “What reporters do you have relationships with?” While we have formed strong relationships based on the value we place on working with the press, the question doesn’t get to the heart of what these companies want. The real question should be, “Do you have what it takes to get me the results I need?” We love to answer that question, even though the response is different for every company.

What most companies outside the agency inner circle don’t realize is that while relationships can get a reporter to open your email, the relationship alone won’t garner a great article. A compelling topic or news about something the reporter—and his/her editor and readers—care about is what does it. Yes, we write emails that tend to get the attention of the right editorial staff, but once that door is open and you get someone’s interest, the need for persistence takes over. Benjamin Franklin wrote “Energy and persistence conquer all things.” This month, his wisdom, and our dedication to results, played out yet again for three of our clients. We acquired phenomenal feature stories: A contributed article for eBay Advertising’s data guru in AdWeek and a Q&A with RTI’s CEO, which took up three quarters of the front page of the Mercury News business section. HARO opportunities are notoriously hard to secure, but our TDK team worked over a period of several months to have the client included in an IEEE Insight article about attracting engineering talent—an evergreen goal for the company. This month, we also executed a major launch on behalf of Vineti, a pioneering cell and gene therapy software and analytics company, announcing their Series A funding round and the first software platform to accelerate cancer cure process and delivery. We aggressively pursued the top business and tech press to secure coverage in TechCrunch, The Wall Street Journal and Fortune.

All four teams had to be tenacious to see their efforts come to fruition.

More often it’s not who you know, but how you get it done.

Karbo Communications – October 2015 Newsletter

Another great month here at Karbo Communications! This month we launched our new PowerStart program for early-stage startups, celebrated three birthdays, saw “Steve Jobs” in theaters and managed to find time amidst client work for a company outing to high tea in the city. Be sure to check out our full newsletter for more Karbo Com highlights, client highlights and “Tech Tidbits” for October: http://ow.ly/U38xX 

START YOUR ENGINES: Karbo Com Presents the PowerStart PR Launch Program for Early Stage Startups

As a founder marching toward a launch, you’re obsessed with a litany of tasks–product development, beta testing, sales, hiring and partnerships. There’s one element that doesn’t fall into any of these areas that is surprisingly undervalued and therefore overlooked; yet, it can make or break your company. It’s PR. If you don’t execute on brand positioning and storytelling, press and analyst coverage, and social media volume and engagement, you’ll undoubtedly make it out of the gate, but elation can soon turn to panic as the downloads, sales and capital you need to survive, don’t materialize. There are more than 20,000 startups in Silicon Valley alone. Unfortunately, most of them won’t make it. How can you minimize the risk of this happening to your company?

Let me first tell you what not to do. Over my 30-year career in technology marketing, I’ve seen many startups wait until a month or less before their launch to begin the process of outreach to PR agencies. These well-meaning entrepreneurs think they’ll talk to a few firms, make a decision, and then take a hands-off approach by turning things over entirely to the agency team to execute a successful launch. They’re often caught by surprise when they discover how long it takes to find a good match, and often at a higher cost than they anticipated. On the flip side are those who think they can simply do it themselves. After all, they know their product better than anyone else. They quickly discover that the process and the ability to get significant results are almost impossible without having first developed the specific expertise and connections to get the job done. It’s like me saying that I can develop an app or enterprise software simply because I’ve been in the tech business for a long time.

So here’s the good news: We at Karbo Com decided that no great product or service should weakly enter the market because a company doesn’t have the funds normally spent by Series A (or later) funded startups. Why are we doing this? We’re passionate about tech, and we love nothing more than working with tomorrow’s superstar companies. Like the time we took the founder we met with over a Costco table, to the Time 100. We’re putting our money where our mouth is with the Karbo Com PowerStart PR Launch Program. The Program offers customized PR campaigns for seed-financed startups at an affordable price. Read today’s full announcement for additional details.

Contact us, info@karbocom.com, to partner closely with our teams of veterans and rising PR stars. We craft and execute tailored programs that get results, and we’d love to do this for your startup.

Karbo Communications – September 2015 Newsletter

September has been a sensational month here at Karbo Communications! This month we welcomed back Karbo Com’s Vice President Margaret Pereira, participated in a number of conferences including VMworld at the Moscone Center and ventured around the corner to AT&T Park to root for the SF Giants. Be sure to check out our full newsletter for more Karbo Com highlights, client highlights and “Tech Tidbits” for September: http://ow.ly/SRXLb

What Success Looks Like

While the New Year remains new, the team at Karbo Com is already kicking it into high gear for our clients. We’ve started working with Software Defined Storage leader, Nexenta, ECAL, an exciting platform that pro sports teams around the world are using to build relationships with their fan bases, and VigLink, a company that’s helping to monetize influencer content for bloggers and brands. We continue to plan for a couple of stealth consumer company launches which come on the heels of the successful introduction of the WeMail app (hello feature articles in TechCrunch, Wall Street Journal, Re/Code, Cnet, Dow Jones, Mashable, and The Verge, just to name a few). Our legacy clients are also going strong — ACD Systems launched a rebrand for their enterprise product, Canvas, announced a new product line in 2014 and released their first mobile app — ACDSee for iPhone. RTI, the Industrial Internet of Things company, was named The Most Influential Internet of Things Company by Forbes beating out Google Cisco, GE, and other major brands.

You’ll notice a common theme here. We measure our success by the quality of our clients and the results we are able to help them achieve. We align ourselves with companies that are changing markets and lives. As we come off a record year and experience great demand for our services in 2015, we also judge success by the quality of our team. Smart, creative, results-driven, hard-working, and one thing you wouldn’t expect when talking about a digital PR agency – entrepreneurial. Our dream team are essential contributors to our success. (Our office dog, Dennis doles out affection and sports a Darth Vader doggie sweater).

This will be an exhilarating year for Karbo Com and our clients. As we create, achieve and grow, we’ll be doing something else – having a lot of fun making a difference.

Julie Karbo

Are you all in?

It matters.

When I wrote that first sentence of copy for Karbo Communications’ website, it was based on working with entrepreneurs and technology executives for more than 25 years.  It came from knowing that when an entrepreneur or a company executive comes to an agency, they have almost everything on the line.  They’re not looking for a typical agency or a typical relationship.  They want a team that’s all in.  That’s what we’re looking for too.

At Karbo Communications we’re committed to working with idea warriors.  We love people with the dedication and stamina to take something in their heads and transform it into market changers.  If you’re one of them, you’ve come to the right place.

We’re not a large agency where you’ll be a small fish in a big pond.  We live and breathe our clients’ businesses. We take the newest ideas, creativity and tools and combine them with unparalleled experience and expertise.  We know what works and what doesn’t, and what will make you stand out from the crowd.

If you’re looking for an agency that’s basing your partnership on passion and not a retainer.  If you’re interested in working with the senior most team and not being relegated to junior staff.   If you believe that you can change the world and know that a good agency can separate you from success or failure.  Let’s talk.  Because we’re in.  All in.

The Hunger Behind the Veneer of Our Thriving Community

K/F is proud to be a member of the San Francisco community.  When we come to work each day, we marvel at the growing, vibrant tech conclave in the South of Market (SOMA) area where our office is located.  AT&T Park is nearby, and trendy office space and restaurants are sprouting up everywhere. Coolly casual people abound.  In addition to the natural and man-made beauty of the City — the freedom, passion and intellectual spirit ofSan Francisco play significant roles in shaping the character of the area and of us as residents.  It’s an exciting place to be.  But while our tech economy is thriving, as longtime residents of this area we’re always cognizant of the people in our community that are struggling to find jobs, shelter and even food.  We believe that helping these people is not optional; it has to be done.  To that end, the K/F office closed recently so that the company could volunteer at the San Francisco Food Bank.  This worthy organization distributes over 100,000 meals each day to people who otherwise would not eat.

We arrived, checked in and were quickly given a tour, gloves and hairnets.  The K/F team spent the day taking large crates of cereal and dividing the contents into individual portions, bagging, labeling and boxing.  The smell of frosted flakes filled the air.  We were divided into about 25 small assembly lines.  People settled into their tasks.  We talked and laughed.  Other companies were there with us that day.  We worked hard, and all of us felt that in some small way we were making a dent in solving an enormous problem.  By the end of our shift, we’d prepared hundreds of pounds of food that went out the next day to locations throughout San Francisco and Marin counties.   It seemed like a lot, but at the same time it didn’t seem like it was enough.  We’ll be back.

We want to thank the San Francisco Food Bank for giving us the opportunity to help them feed the people that rely on them.  We want to thank our team for working hard and with a lot of heart.  More information about the growing problem of hunger around us can be found at sffoodbank.org.  Please do what you can to help. The investment in time and effort pays significant dividends.  Most importantly to those that are suffering, but also to those that stop to help.