In keeping with the ‘Pride’ theme that’s beautifully colored the streets of San Francisco for the past month, I’m proud to share a similar sense of pride as this week marks 15 years of MSR Communications: an incredible team of professionals, innovative clients, and numerous milestones achieved.
From MSR’s humble beginnings in my living room, to the renovated house-like commercial space on Union Street that was our second “home” for seven years, to our current creative space in historic Jackson Square and satellite office in Los Angeles, MSR has cultivated a long-standing culture of equality and continuous opportunity for professional growth and business expansion.
I delight in the fact that, right from the start in 1999, MSR has always been at the global forefront of technological evolution—and in several cases revolution—representing firsts in interactive entertainment with MetaTV; and online, reverse auction bidding for events and hospitality with EventSource.com. We gracefully weathered the rise and fall of the dot-com era thanks to our then predominant focus on pioneering clients in enterprise B2B such as: FaceTime Communications whose technology enabled enterprises to use the “new” phenom of communications—instant messages—for SEC compliance; spend management giant; Ariba, and UK-based virtualization provider Propero whose founders would quickly realize their exit plans when acquired by VMWare once our storytelling began to take effect. And, as the prospect of using mobile phones to conduct daily tasks went from concept to reality, MSR was right there to introduce it with the first widely adopted mobile payments solution from Obopay; and mobile voice-to-text Londoner, Spinvox.
In 2008, none of us could’ve predicted that MSR’s creative stories about a hometown startup called Airbnb, whose concept to offer quirky alternatives to attendee accommodations for the Democratic National Convention, would help pave the foundation for the ubiquitous ‘sharing economy’ that officially revolutionized the way people share their personal extras: homes, rooms, cars, clothing, and household items—even scarce parking spots in metropolitan cities—or that the company would in five years become the largest hospitality brand in the world.
The MSR team was also among the first professionals to evolve PR as we once knew it by incorporating social media and blogger relations into our daily practices. In particular, our award-winning, ongoing social campaign for AVG Technologies and the creation of its quarterly Digital Diaries research surveys enabled us to visually showcase the impact of technology on children and families throughout life-specific stages with first-of-a-kind statistics that made global headlines such as “80% of US babies have digital footprints before they’re physically born” and “2-5 year olds can proficiently use digital devices before tying shoes or learning to swim.” Our use of colorful infographics, videos, Twitter party tweet-ups, and in-person round table discussions with influential mommy and parenting bloggers set a new standard for the industry, and we’re pleased to see these activities still continue five years later.
Research and data have always been consistent themes throughout the years at MSR. One such client, CPP, continues to provide us with many proud moments as we’re able to highlight the stories about its 60-year history and continual impact on the countless major corporations and professionals who leverage its sophisticated research, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and other leadership development assessment tools to better understand their strengths and opportunities for growth and greater teamwork. Meanwhile, MSR’s growing roster of data industry clients such as GridGain, Peaxy and MongoHQ continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in the world of data processing, management and analysis, setting the stage for the next era in computing.
From the cloud to big data with Bluewolf, Infochimps and new in memory computing technology from client, GridGain; to wearable technologies that help solve lifestyle challenges such as from SleepRate, to new cutting-edge ambient sensor and context aware technology with Alohar Mobile’s PlaceUs app, MSR will continue to pave the way with relevant stories of business value, meaningful consumer experiences and technological innovation.
In this industry where change is constant, one thing remains: my incredible team. I am eternally grateful for the loyalty of the entire MSR Communications team. 15 years would not be possible without such a tremendously talented and diverse group that embodies the highest professional standards, commitment and quality of work. Thank you for your years of passion and dedication to MSR and our clients. A special thanks to my long-term team managers: Account Director, Chris Blake, who will celebrate 15 years with the firm in October!, and Account Director, Michael Burke and Account Manager, Crisel Ortiz who both recently celebrated 7 ½ years with MSR! Additional big thanks to colleagues Jon Lavietes, Whit Moses, James Kim, Chey Bell, Neil Shurtz, Kayla Combs, Kayla Gomes (yes, we have two!), and Lori Sheppard as well as our terrific interns. Cheers to each of you and a bright future ahead!