SAN FRANCISCO: MSR Communications has been named the AOR for BA Venture Partners, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital partnership.
MSR's initial focus is to get BAVP in front of the media to explain their investment strategy and expertise, MSR CEO Mary Shank Rockman said. "They look at themselves as true industry experts that provide information that can be leveraged by the media and analysts."
Venture capital firms have historically handled PR in-house, but BAVP managing director Kate Mitchell said that the current marketplace is changing that.
"Both from a company and VC side, it's a crowded market, and there's a lot of noise out there," she said.
However, Mitchell cautioned that the end-goal of the media exposure is not for personal glory.
"It's about deal flow; we want entrepreneurs to understand who were are, where our deal flow comes from, and what our expertise is," she said.
BAVP previously had a part-time, in-house publicity rep, but decided to go with an external agency. After extensive interviews, the firm narrowed it down to MSR and two undisclosed finalists. BAVP declined disclose the amount for the MSR account.
The VC firm met MSR Communications through FaceTime Communications, a provider of enterprise instant messenger solutions and security. MSR is the company's AOR, and BAVP is an investor.
"When we looked around for a firm, it was refreshing for a portfolio company that spoke so highly of its PR team," Mitchell said.
MSR is currently devoting a three-person team to the account, which it assumed in June. Rockman and account supervisor Chris Blake are co-leading the account, with assistance from senior associate John Lavietes.
Mitchell cited MSR's understanding of both the VC landscape and of the nature of portfolio companies as a reason for choosing the agency.