AUSTIN, TX: MWWPR is opening an Austin location and has hired former Edelman SVP Kristie Taylor to build out the office.
Taylor started in the new role of EVP of technology last month. She becomes second in command of MWW’s technology practice, reporting to Karen Clyne, an EVP and GM of MWW’s Western Region and the leader of the firm’s tech practice. Taylor, in turn, has two direct reports.
Taylor said she left Edelman on November 27 last year. Edelman representatives did not immediately comment on Taylor’s departure.
"What was so exciting was the opportunity to establish a presence in Austin," Taylor said. "Also, I get to help build a national technology practice, while still enjoying that integrated offering and integrated opportunity that MWW brings."
Currently, Taylor is the only MWW employee in Austin and the firm controls no real estate in the city.
"At first it’s more of a WeWork situation," she said. "We haven’t set an exact open date."
Taylor added that the office will grow by mid-year.
"We have an active recruiting strategy already in place and are looking at real estate next week," she said.
The plan, Taylor said, is to position MWW’s Austin office as an alternative for tech PR talent hoping to work on national accounts but wanting to move from pricier tech centers like the Bay Area, a trend she experienced firsthand at Edelman.
"The tech practice I ran there had people who had been in market for some time, but also 50% of the recruiting came from places like New York, San Francisco, and Seattle," she said.
Taylor had been at Edelman as SVP and tech lead since 2014. Prior to that, according to her LinkedIn profile, she was Dell’s global lead of commercial client communications for just under three years.