A few years ago, I conducted a “listening tour” with 35 top marketers and communicators in Silicon Valley, asking what they need from a next-generation marketing firm. Answers varied, but they all agreed on one thing: They wanted experts.
If someone’s a great writer, they said have them write. If someone’s savvy about social media, have them drive social campaigns. They expressed a lot of frustration with agencies that were stocked with generalists – or people who were pitched as one thing and turned out to be something different.
The vision for Big Valley Marketing was heavily influenced by that guidance, and I’m excited to announce three stellar new hires that bolster our “team of experts.” Our talent plan has been focused on five key areas of expertise that address client needs across channels and disciplines – market strategy, market analytics, content marketing and influencer marketing, as well as the Client Partner expertise to bring the elements together. We’re building our team with both full-time employees and contracted specialists, mixing and scaling as needed to deliver tangible value for clients.
Today, I’m thrilled to announce that Dave Reddy has joined Big Valley to lead our Media & Influencer practice. Dave is widely regarded as one of the best media maestros in the technology business, combining strategy and relationships and insights with energy and wit to drive a steady stream of results for clients – as well as value for reporters, bloggers and analysts. Dave and I worked together at Weber Shandwick, where he served as head of the agency’s West Coast media team, working across tech, biotech, healthcare, consumer and corporate clients. He also led the agency’s technology “media network,” which we launched together back in 2006, building on a distributed relationship model that I instilled at HP.
Dave is a former journalist who knows how reporters work and what they need for a great story. He will work with our team and clients to build the “new playbook” for media and influencer engagement, using analytics to inform targeted strategies, story mining to uncover the best ideas and angles, and mutually beneficial relationships to share those stories with the world. Dave brings 20 years of agency success from Weber Shandwick, OutCast and Bite Communications, and previously worked for seven years as a sports reporter with The Washington Post and the San Jose Mercury News. Dave grew up in the Boston area and is a vocal Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins loyalist. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism, cum laude, from American University.
Hiring Dave fills a key role in our leadership team, as we now have senior experts across strategy, analytics, content and media practices. In addition to that breadth, I’m excited to announce two new leaders who add depth to our team with valuable skills and experience: Marianna Vyridi and Charlie Cooper.
Marianna joined us earlier this year as our second Client Partner, bringing more than 18 years of technology communications and account leadership experience to Big Valley. She has managed programs for clients across a range of sizes and scenarios – emerging markets, high growth, reinvention, and fierce competition – including several startups and leadership brands like Cisco, Qualcomm, Honeywell, Motorola Solutions, Juniper Networks, Verisign and HP. She has integrated campaign experience working across paid, earned, shared and owned media, and is a certified industry analyst relations professional. Marianna received her master’s in communications from the “U” (University of Miami) – and a bachelor’s in mass media and communications from Ethnikon kai Kapodistriakon Panepistimion Athinon (that’s Greek to you and me).
Charlie, or “Coop” as most people know him, joins us as Editor in Chief. He brings his experience as a veteran technology editor for the benefit of our clients, along with a who’s-who virtual Rolodex of talented writers and journalists. Coop has partnered with us over the last two years to transform Symantec Blogs into a world-class editorial property. He will continue to serve as editor for Symantec Blogs, and will play a valuable role as an editor and brand journalist for other clients. Coop was formerly executive news editor at CNET and ZDNet, and fulfilled various editorial roles at PC Week, Computer Shopper, and Computer & Software News in a distinguished 30+ year career as a professional journalist. He started his career as a sports reporter for the Associated Press – and was news editor for his college newspaper at Queens College (CUNY).
Thanks to Dave, Marianna and Coop for bringing their talents to Big Valley. Now let’s get to work…
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