Grayling named AOR for Techonomy

The Huntsworth-owned agency will help the tech specialist media company, which publishes editorial content and hosts events, extend its reach to a broader audience of executives.

From left to right: CEO David Kirkpatrick with Sean Parker, former Facebook president
From left to right: CEO David Kirkpatrick with Sean Parker, former Facebook president

NEW YORK: Techonomy has named Grayling its PR AOR to handle media relations, increase its editorial reach and exposure of its events, and access a larger executive community.

Grayling’s New York and San Francisco teams will handle all comms surrounding the media company’s next event, which takes place November 9-11 in Half Moon Bay, California. The theme is "Man, Machines, and the Network: Toward A Sentient Ecosystem," which examines how the Internet of Things is transforming the world.

Participants include James Park, CEO of Fitbit, and William Ruh, CEO of GE Digital.

Past participants for Techonomy events include Sean Parker, of Napster and Facebook renown, and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker (D), once considered a possible VP pick for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

President Josh Kampel cited Grayling’s integrated comms approach and network of technology and business as factors for it being appointed AOR in a statement.

The day-to-day lead on the account is SAE Crystal Yang, who is based in San Francisco, said Adam Emery, EVP and head of the U.S. technology practice at Grayling via email. The core account will likely include five or six people, as well as the support of senior leadership, especially as its annual event in November draws nearer. The deal was finalized in August.

Grayling acquired tech specialist firm Atomic in 2011 and rebranded it as Grayling from January 1, 2014. Techonomy most recently used Edelman, which handled media relations at events. Prior to that, it worked with Hill+Knowlton Strategies.

An Edelman spokesman declined to comment and referred all enquiries about the relationship to Techonomy. Efforts to contact H+K were unsuccessful as of press time.

"After we worked with them [Edelman and H+K], we realized we needed a smaller agency with executives that understood what we did, a staff that understood our goals," Kampel said. "We wanted to tell people about our mission to educate leaders on how technology is transforming business and society."

CEO David Kirkpatrick and Kampel led efforts to find an AOR by having conversations with other agencies Techonomy has worked with in the past.

During that three-month process, they reached out to Emery, who they previously worked with when he was VP of corporate communications and VP of North America communications at BlackBerry, a sponsor for the media company, Kampel said. Prior to that, Techonomy interacted with Emery when he headed the NY technology practice at H+K.

"We wanted an agency that could work with us on our overall communications strategy," Kampel said. "Moving from a larger agency to a smaller agency was one of the big motivators for us."

Techonomy was founded in 2010 by Kirkpatrick, a former Fortune writer and current contributing editor for Bloomberg Television, according to his LinkedIn profile. It generates revenue primarily through corporate partnerships, including Accenture, Verizon, Cisco, and Philips. Its events also make money through registration fees.

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