It’s hard to imagine that twenty years ago today marked the founding of Red Javelin. Dana and I met at a coffee shop and came up with an idea for a virtual PR agency for emerging-growth tech companies using teams of only very experienced technology marketing professionals. Neither of us enjoyed the traditional agency model – bait and switch – send in the senior execs to close the deal and then have junior staff work on the account, and it just didn’t work for us. So, we decided to start Red Javelin.
We struggled for several months trying to figure out a name. But one day, as I was reading Celtic Myths and Fables to my children, I came across the Red Javelin – a magic spear that never missed its target. It was memorable, meaningful, and a perfect fit for what we wanted to accomplish with our future clients. Red Javelin's name continues to embody our beliefs as we grow and is still relevant twenty years later. Watch the video below to learn more about the Red Javelin.
Fusing Our Expertise for Success
My background as VP of Marketing complimented Dana’s as senior VP at Schwartz Communications, one of the largest tech PR agencies in the country. We met at Xylogics, where I was the client, and Dana was my agency lead. Together, we worked tirelessly to reposition the company from a comms server company to a remote access company and change how the industry counted market share. We were successful, Xylogics gained the number one market share position over Shiva, and the Company was sold to Bay Networks for $450M pre-internet days. We both held strategic past roles as analysts and consultants and had strong, no-nonsense styles with deep expertise in a wide variety of technologies and a track record of getting results.
The Original Virtual Company
When we founded our company, we were both burned out from the corporate culture of long hours, inflexible working hours, long commutes, and lots of travel. We both had young families and wanted to be more present and participate more in our children’s lives.
We quickly learned that we could easily create online systems to run our business with a few online tools and a phone. There was no need to invest in permanent office space and rented conference rooms when needed. We were able to offer the same programs like the big agencies but for a lot less and with senior staff, providing more value for our clients.
But not all potential clients believed in the virtual model. We lost deals because we weren’t perceived as a “real company.” However, many embraced our model – in fact, we have retained one client for over 18 years! Fast forward to 2021, where revenues are up 500%, work with a fabulous, stable team of seasoned expert associates, and successfully created a boutique agency with personalized, top-notch services to 15-20 clients at any given time.
When the pandemic hit, we could share our expertise running a virtual company and help our clients and other agencies work remotely. We gave remote workers tips on how not to become isolated and embrace the freedom that comes with working remotely. We helped managers learn how to manage remote workers. With 20 years of remote work under our belt, we were accidental experts!
With deep expertise in marketing, communications, and public relations combined with extensive technology expertise, we stayed focused and passionate about helping technology innovators communicate their visions and accelerate revenue. More than 40% of our start-up clients, such as TripAdvisor, Tabblo, and many more, have exited successfully.
But not without challenges…
We have also had to overcome many challenges. We founded Red Javelin in an economic downturn during Fall 2001 within days of the September 11 attacks, where one of our first clients was on one of the planes that went down on 9/11. We watched in horror with the rest of the world on that fateful day.
During another industry downturn in 2008/2009, we focused on mastering digital, content, and inbound marketing and became a Hubspot Gold Partner. Today, we offer a full suite of PR & marketing services, including strategy, messaging, PR, influencer marketing, inbound marketing, social media, content, sales enablement, website design, thought leadership, launch marketing, customer advocacy, and insights/analytics.
Our business has evolved, and every day we are grateful as we continue on our journey. Our team is outstanding; we couldn’t be prouder.
Today, we are recognized globally for our place in helping the world integrate technology into their everyday lives, changing the way we live, learn, work, and play.
Here’s to 20 years!