On January 1, 2015, PR vets Chris Boehlke and Curtis Sparrer launched an all-virtual tech PR agency that disrupted the previous “tethered” models—as technological as the companies they represented, they incorporated the right mix of senior talent and up-and-coming players who were not moored by geography.
The founders named the agency Bospar, an amalgamation of the first syllables of their hard-to-spell and pronounce German surnames. Principal Tom Carpenter soon joined, along with Chief Content Officer Tricia Heinrich. The resulting agency is a boutique PR firm organized for the toughest jobs and the most spectacular results
Read on to see why Bospar was a Gold Award winner in the “Best Boutique Agency” category in the 2017 Bulldog Stars of PR Awards.
At the heart of Bospar is a unique point of view—that when it comes to technology PR, many players come to the table, but only a few truly turn on the power that takes them to the next level. At Bospar, to “turn on the power” means striving every minute of every day to do the heavy PR lifting that sets its clients apart from the crowd. That’s not always an easy job in the heady world of tech, but it’s the only job that matters to this team.
“I think the toughest challenge we overcame was growing a virtual company,” says Sparrer. “When you are growing a distributed workforce, you need to create networks to help staff grow and develop. At Bospar, we created various mentor groups for people at varying levels of their career. We also instituted best practices for how to get the most out of meetings.”
Bospar arms clients with the PR power to make the absolute most of their breakthrough ideas, technologies, products and solutions, joining with clients to help shape world-changing outcomes. The firm helps clients turn on the power of technology to enrich the lives of their customers—and the people they serve—across the globe. It requires getting the right people to sit up and take notice, including influencers, stakeholders, analysts and media from specialized industry trades through the best known global media brands.
Client growth and retention
Bospar’s revenue has grown by leaps and bounds from 2016 to 2017. The firm added twelve new accounts during the year, as well as generating ample new revenue by growing existing accounts. Eight of its 20 clients have been with the agency since 2015—a remarkable feat considering the high turnover in technology PR.
Sparrer explains, “I think the attributes that attracts our clients are the following:
- Our ability to secure big media placements with the most respected name in news
- Our responsiveness
- Low staff turnover, ensuring teams get smarter and better at telling our clients’ stories”
Bospar’s virtual status means it can grow and keep its valued staffers through their own life transitions, from new mothers to team members who must move for a spouse’s opportunity.
The agency offers its employees excellent health benefits, generous paid vacation and flexible maternity leave.
Once a year, the “Bospartans” gather for several days to strategize and socialize, with an emphasis on how to progress client goals and programs and how to improve the internal operations of the company, both logistically and in terms of staff happiness. The company goes out of its way to foster work-life balance, offering employees a monthly “health and wellness” allowance which can be used on any form of exercise—from gym memberships to horse riding—or mental health activities, like trips to the spa. As a result of this extra care, Bospar’s turnover rate is about zero percent.
Because Bospar employees stick around, they are able to develop quality relationships with the clients and a deep knowledge of their offering, industry and the media outlets and reporters most valuable to them.
Bospar has organized its workforce into three distinct task forces, aimed at moving the company forward with new initiatives in public relations, social media and business development. These task forces have successfully proposed and implemented new initiatives across each of the company’s three key areas of interest. The company has also implemented a strategic mentorship program, pairing mentors and mentees based on personality, capability, client-crossover and training needs.
When it comes to results, Bospar lets it clients do the talking:
- “This past year was our greatest ever. Bospar generated more than 3,000 articles for a total of 4 billion impressions,” said Priti Khare, director of PR for Ebates.
- “In a single quarter, our impressions grew by 150 percent and our executives briefed journalists every 30 days instead of every 90,” added Russ Stark, director of brand & communications at Viewpost.
- “Since engaging with Bospar, we’ve seen a 30 percent increase in leads, with comparable increases in both web traffic and demo requests. The Bospar team’s ability to leverage data breach-related breaking news to increase our brand awareness has been especially effective,” said Ebba Blitz, CEO of AlertSec.
- “Bospar handled media relations for our recent funding announcement, and the results were unprecedented. We set records in social mentions, website visitors, sign-ups for our free edition and media coverage, with 450 articles,” said Carl Landers, CMO of Conversica.
Your firm deserves recognition for its winning PR. Bulldog’s 2018 PR Awards are now open for submissions with more categories than ever—and more ways to win.