ASTRSK PR, the New York City-based public relations agency that helps its consumer tech and lifestyle clients embrace their rebellious side in establishing a media presence, announced the launch of its third annual Pro Bono Contest. Applications are now open to early-stage startup founders for the opportunity to receive one full year of free public relations services from ASTRSK’s experienced team of creative communications professionals.
Since launching, ASTRSK has been dedicated to making a difference in the communities its employees are a part of and support. The annual Pro Bono Contest was created in an effort to shine media spotlight on more diverse entrepreneurs and founders – namely women, people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community. To qualify for consideration, applicants must be:
- A woman, person of color, or LGBTQ+ founder or cofounder
- An “early stage” company with less than $1.5 million in funding
- A consumer-facing startup
Over the past year, ASTRSK has provided public relations services to 2018’s Pro Bono Contest winner, Juicebox. The female-founded sex tech startup has built an app that creates a safe place for direct access to personalized, affordable sex and relationship advice and coaching. Founded by Brianna Rader, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Juicebox was chosen out of a pool of 300 applicants after a competitive judging process.
ASTRSK’s pro bono efforts throughout the year-long engagement have resulted in 67 press hits reaching more than 750 million readers in publications including Cosmopolitan, The New York Times, Forbes and VentureBeat. Following the announcement and launch of Juicebox’s AI chatbot, Slutbot, the company saw its initial user base grow from 320 private Beta users to 12,500 users in just one week. In the past year, Juicebox has seen a 1300% increase in website traffic, which they attribute in part to these impressive media results.
“We have grown so much and so fast over the past year with ASTRSK’s help,” saysBrianna Rader, Juicebox CEO and founder. “Almost every press hit we’ve seen from the team’s efforts has brought with it an influx of new users. Their help has been invaluable to our mission, and has helped us gain credibility in the industry that will help us as we scale. Plus, it’s just really cool to see your name and the product you’ve worked so hard on in The New York Times.”
“When we look at incoming clients and the startups that are getting funded, there is a noticeable absence of those with female, LGBTQ+ and minority founders,” says Elliot Tomaeno, Founder and CEO of ASTRSK. “It’s our hope that in conducting a pro bono search aimed directly at these underrepresented groups, that we’ll do our part to help level the playing field. Our entire team looks forward to collaborating on our pro bono client and bringing well-deserved media attention to a company that might not have a budget for PR yet.”
ASTRSK PR, founded in 2012 by tech PR veteran Elliot Tomaeno, is uniquely qualified to serve the diverse tech startups that will apply to the Pro Bono Contest as its team reflects the same diversity. The agency is noted in the New York City PR scene for its authentic approach and network of relationships within tech and business journalism. ASTRSK has been recognized for its fast growth and fresh approach to PR with awards such as Bulldog’s B2C Agency of the Year 2018 and 2018 Inc. 5000.
Qualifying founders interested in entering ASTRSK’s 2019 Pro Bono contest can enter here. Applications close October 23, 2019.