I have five years of advertising and public relations agency experience that includes serving as the creative and strategic lead on numerous regional, national and international accounts.
My business model includes regularly partnering with agencies of all sizes on a wide range of communications, content development, editorial and influencer relations programs.
My agency background spans all aspects of account management including building and maintaining strong client relationships; hiring, developing and supervising exceptional administrative and support teams; establishing, managing and reconciling account budgets; identifying new business opportunities; and participating in a wide range of new business programs.
I started my agency career shortly after finishing my graduate degree at Parsons School of Design and a research and writing project at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
My first agency job was with TSI (Technology Solutions Inc.) in New York City, which at the time, was IBM’s U.S. agency of record. I joined TSI as a senior account executive on the IBM team where I worked with an incredible group of creative writers and public relations professionals on branding a wide range of e-commerce initiatives.
I served as the TSI lead for the launch of IBM’s global telecom business where I was responsible for managing spokesperson, media activities and messaging on a global basis and where my team generated thousands of high-quality media placements in business and trade outlets worldwide.
I hired and managed the TSI IBM telecom team and supervised agency staff working on a wide range of IBM media, service provider, mobile and enterprise software initiatives.
I left TSI to join Burson-Marsteller where I was a director in Burson’s New York Technology Practice. This is where I had the opportunity to work with another group of extremely creative communications professionals and a wide range of media and industry analyst relations experts.
I was hired by Burson to work on the Alcatel account, which included supporting corporate communications and media training initiatives in London and Paris. I worked with some incredibly talented developer, technology and public relations teams in Canada, France, the U.K and the U.S. to position business units, executives and products in markets around the world.
It was my job to hire and supervise the Alcatel Burson account team in New York City and to develop the messages and stories to help position Alcatel as a global leader in next generation networks. My team delivered some incredible communications results to Alcatel teams worldwide, right up until the time the company merged with U.S. based telecom giant, Lucent Technologies, Inc.
My next role with Burson was serving as the agency lead for HP’s U.S. telecom division. I worked with a smart and creative team in Silicon Valley and was responsible for providing counsel on messaging and a wide range of market and competitive positioning initiatives.
I had the opportunity to participate on the Burson team that pitched the SAP account, and then, after Burson won the business, worked with another talented client team to position SAP software solutions in a wide range of vertical market segments. I was also part of the Burson SAP industry analyst team where I focused mostly on competitive analysis and message development.
My SAP experience includes strategic outreach and in-person support for SAPPHIRE, SAP’s annual user and business conference.
I left Burson to join a small and growing agency my former IBM client, Jim Elder had launched. I was honored to be asked by Jim to join Elder Communications as executive vice president. This is where I had the opportunity to work on a wide range of positioning programs for established companies in the CRM and supply chain markets, and where I had a lot of fun managing communications for several innovative startups positioning in the mobile and next generation software sectors.
I’ve spent the last several years as an independent contractor and freelancer developing and managing competitive positioning, strategic communications and editorial programs for some of the most important initiatives in the cloud and Industry 4.0 markets.
The pictures above are of the Madison Avenue building where TSI was located when I started at the agency. TSI had offices on the third floor. My former office cube was located on the third floor at the second window in from the left in the upper right image. My good friend and talented IBM colleague, Jacki DeCoster had an office right next to mine, at the first window on the left on the third floor. A conference room was located at the last windows on the right on third floor, in the front of the building, seen in the lower right image. A massive Calvin Klein underwear ad was typically mounted on the wall right outside the windows – where the much smaller red iPhone banner can be seen in the image above – which often made for interesting first impressions and comments when clients and visitors came into the room.
The picture below was taken in Paris when I was managing a wide range of media training, message development and communication strategies for Alcatel.
Yours truly is standing on the far left. Next to me is Ed Goffin. Nancy Moloney is next to Ed and Maura Murry is on the far right. Ed and Nancy managed Alcatel communications from Ottawa. Maura lived outside of Paris and supported several of Alcatel’s corporate and technology positioning initiatives.
This was a talented and results-driven team that delivered a lot of communications successes to Alcatel divisions worldwide.
Burson provided some incredible opportunities for staff development and did a great job coordinating client and employee networking and education opportunities in markets around the world.
I attended several of these events during my time working at the global agency including one in Monte-Carlo where I had a lot of fun gambling with colleagues and clients, and another in Cabo San Lucas where I had an equally great time walking the beaches and exploring the area with Burson staff and management.
I’ve digitized many of my business cards from my agency days.
I remain a fan of the simple Burson card design pictured above. The use of white space and one color of gray still looks elegant today. I like the TSI card too. It’s an interesting and fun logo for a company devoted to telling technology stories in global markets. – Russ DeVeau