Anna Ruth Williams, Founder + CEO,
After a long story that’s best told over a beer, Anna Ruth woke up one morning in 2012 and decided to start her own tech PR agency. With just an old laptop, a small family loan and a vision to chart the future of PR, it was game on. Her first employee was her dog, but that quickly turned into more than a dozen humans, and ARPR rose to become the 2016 Technology Agency of the Year, a PR News’ TOP Place to Work and one of the top 30 largest tech PR firms in the country (O’Dwyers). In 2017, Anna Ruth earned a spot on PR News’ 50 Game-Changers in PR list, and in 2015 she was named Early Stage Entrepreneur of the Year by the Metro Atlanta Chamber.
A self-professed traditional PR purist, she’s worked with some of the nation’s biggest outlets, such as CNN, Fast Company, Forbes, TechCrunch and Wall Street Journal. In addition to pitching journalists and writing long-form, she loves leading messaging sessions, content brainstorms and media trainings for clients. And nothing gets her going more than hustling in a pair of flats alongside clients at industry tradeshows, such as CES, RSA and HIMSS. When she’s not in Delta 14A, Anna Ruth is in endless pursuit of fixing up her urban loft, watching every documentary on Netflix, covering things in glitter, and doing a better downward dog than her four-legged child, Roscoe.
Blair Broussard, Senior Vice President, Social Media and Lead Gen Sage
After her career as a Disney Princess failed, Blair knew she still wanted to do something with the publics that could occasionally be paired with a really good glass of red. After grad school and a few other PR gigs that involved lots of coffee talk, literally, as well as stints with other B2B and B2C industries, she found herself as the first full-time hire of ARPR – helping to build ARPR’s brand into one of the fastest growing technology PR firms in the country, named 2016 Tech Agency of the Year and a top 30 Tech PR Agency by O’Dwyer’s in 2017.
A Social Shake-Up Mover & Shaker Award winner and self-proclaimed social media nerd, Blair can’t stop, won’t stop talking about all things on the digital side of PR; using these tools and her storytelling skills to help clients truly #DriveLeads and #MakeNews from some of the biggest outlets, including Mashable, TODAY Show and Wall Street Journal. Her obsession with the perfect Instagram filter and Twitter hashtags have gotten her featured in Inc.com and Hootsuite Inc., PR News and PR Daily articles and webinars; and she was even included in The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Social Media Marketing book series. When she’s not receiving recognition in PRWeek for her work on successful client campaigns at the technology industry’s Super Bowl – CES – you can find her getting her passport stamped across the world…and making frequent trips back to Disney World to visit Elsa, Cinderella and the gang.
Read her thoughts about this 120+-year-old industry and about life as a country Cajun girl living in the Big Easy via Twitter.
Evan Goldberg, Vice President of Client Service, Media & Messaging Connoisseur
Evan was first exposed to the public relations industry after a grumpy middle-aged AP reporter, who doubled as one of his college lacrosse coaches, urged him not to pursue a journalism career. Following grad school, Evan quickly developed a passion for technology PR & marketing, but was extremely dissuaded by the PR culture after his tenure at several agencies left him wanting much, much more for his career. Fortunately, Evan found ARPR in 2014, and has since helped grow the firm in size, revenue and prestige. Today ARPR is regularly recognized as Technology Agency of the Year, a PR News’ TOP Place to Work and one of the top 30 largest tech PR firms in the country (O’Dwyers).
As ARPR’s vice president of client service and cybersecurity practice group director, Evan splits his time and energy on agency growth and employee retention, and client satisfaction, measuring client ROI and ensuring extraordinary deliverables. Classified by his peers as a PR purist, Evan is most enthused by ghostwriting thought leadership articles, creating impactful messaging and of course – landing killer media relations placements, which he has done for current and former clients in ad tech, cybersecurity, MarTech, mobility, FinTech, streaming media and more.
When his reconstructed shoulders allow, Evan enjoys a good workout or athletic completion. He is also an avid hot sauce collector, a retainer of information some deem as useless, an aspiring stock market player and world traveler. Most importantly, Evan is a loving husband and dad to two girls – one human and one dog.
Renee Spurlin, Vice President, Analytics & Digital, Marketing Automation Guru
Renee is a rare (read: nerdy) combination of right and left brain. She’s had a passion for writing ever since she was young, likely a result of her hours voraciously reading Sweet Valley High, The Babysitters Club, Michael Creighton, Stephen King and James Patterson growing up as an only child (and if you think that’s a random mix of books, you should see what she reads as an adult). At the same time, Renee aced the science section of her ACTs and has always had a knack for math. So in her career, she’s found a way to marry these talents by bringing an analytical, scientific approach to PR, typically known more for its relationships and storytelling than insights and analysis.
As ARPR’s vice president of analytics and digital marketing, Renee is head coach of the inbound marketing team. She brings our Army of Awesome’s media relations, content marketing and social media successes together with lead generation and nurturing to close the gap between traditional PR and sales for winning results. She’s no stranger to traditional PR though, landing clients headlines in outlets like Yahoo!, Time and CNN, as well.
Past president of AMA Atlanta, the American Marketing Association’s third largest chapter, Renee now serves on the board of her local Bark Park in honor of her fur pups, Abby and Lucy. In her spare time, you can find her photographing national parks or scouring Pinterest for inspiration for her latest craft project.
Follow Renee @imapepper (an homage to both Dr. Pepper and her love for hot sauce) for more.
Erika Scholz Van, Senior Account Manager , Media Relations & Messaging Maven
Erika left life under the big top as a Cirque du Soleil PR rep to nerd out as a Senior Account Manager with B2B tech clients in the Big Easy. For as long as she can remember, Erika’s passion for PR stemmed from making B2B tech clients shine while they were in center ring.
Leveraging her circus of an account background, from working with Fortune 500 companies and innovative tech startups to lifestyle brands and entertainment accounts, she’s become a ringleader and calls the shots, generating creative integrated communications campaigns to help clients safely land top-tier headlines as well as drive qualified sales leads through the magic of PR. She’s a magician when it comes to relationship building and storytelling and her magic acts have resulted in multiple top-tier national media placements ranging from The Wall Street Journal and USA Today to long-form bylines in industry trade publications such as IndustryWeek and ThinkAdvisor. Her high-flying client results have been recognized several times by the American Marketing Association, PRSA and CES.
When she isn’t practicing her flying trapeze act or hanging out with the Army of Awesome troupe, Erika enjoys Mardi Gras-ing it up with lots of king cake, beads and beer, but jumps at the opportunity to visit her and ARPR’s beloved hometown, affectionately known as “the A” every chance she gets.
To follow along with Erika as she juggles account management with award-winning work, find her on Twitter @erikajscholz.
Cortney Johnston, Senior Account Manager, Media Relations Aficionado & B2B Writing Ace
As a die-hard Alabama fan, it’s only natural Cortney exudes a ‘winning’ attitude. Following college graduation, while most of her colleagues were taking time off to relax and enjoy their summer, Cortney was determined to begin her career and immediately landed a PR/marketing internship with a boutique agency in Atlanta, which is where she discovered her true passion for storytelling. Now with experience servicing B2B and B2C clients of all sizes and in almost every industry, she joins ARPR as the firm’s media relations aficionado, helping clients in the HealthIT and SaaS practice groups craft powerful stories that resonate with the public. Throughout her years in PR she has secured hundreds of media placements in top-tier national outlets such as The New York Times, U.S. News and World Report and HuffPost, to industry trade publications such as Managed Healthcare Executive and CPA Practice Advisor.
In addition to her media relations skills, Cortney is a strong B2B writer with experience helping clients create and strengthen corporate messaging, website and collateral content, while utilizing an integrated approach to ensure optimization and engagement. She is an innovative thinker and robust researcher continuously ‘upping her game’ and identifying new ways to help clients #MakeNews. From leading thought leadership campaigns resulting in more than 150 million media impressions to assisting clients in achieving triple-digit web traffic growth, she knows what it takes to exceed client expectations.
Faria Holland, Office and Business Operations Manager,
Always the golden child and a perfectionist, Faria had quite the time being the best sibling. Thankfully, these qualities paid off throughout school, professional and now personal life. Her very first job was at a Chick-fil-A where she worked long, hard hours. This scored her a role as the General Manager (of a $2.1 million restaurant) at the ripe age of nineteen. She has worked in retail, real estate, and technology before joining the #agencylife. Faria is a proud alumnus of Kennesaw State University and cannot wait until she can join team banter for college football (one day!)- Go Owls!
Faria prefers the quiet life in the OTP and all the luscious green she’s surrounded by. Since her time in retail or shortly after birth, Faria became obsessed with makeup. She is willing to try every beauty product under the sun after conducting hours of research. She recently got married and is a mom to three furry babies (2 cats and a black lab). Among friends, she is the crazy cat lady and proud of the accomplishment. On the weekends, Faria is cleaning and refreshing the decor in her home to match the season. She loves traveling and often wonders how many vacations are too many. Faria loves documenting her life and hopes to become the next social media celebrity, one day.
Erin Bocherer, Health IT Strategist ,
As health IT practice group director, Erin brings 20 years of experience to ARPR where she lends strategic insights and creative campaign planning to clients, guiding ARPR’s health IT team to deliver tangible results. Erin’s full-time role was created in 2017 to support the growth of the agency’s healthcare client base.
Throughout her career, Erin has worked with a variety of HIT companies — from startups to publicly-traded companies — spanning nearly every aspect of the healthcare industry, including medical device companies such as ReelDX; to pharma innovators like Radius Health, Roxane Laboratories and Iterum Therapeutics; to software solutions including Array Health, Bright.md and Conversa Health; and health insurance exchanges like eHealth, GetInsured and Stride Health. She is well versed on healthcare policy and regulation including The Affordable Care Act and newly proposed legislation that impacts the entire healthcare ecosystem.
Erin’s work has been seen in nearly every healthcare trade publication and national outlets including CNBC, Fast Company, Forbes, Fox Business, Kaiser Health News, Modern Healthcare, NPR and TIME. Her clients have also been featured on stage at key industry events including Health 2.0, HIMSS and Digital Health Summit.
Immersed in the venture capital community, she has also helped establish thought leadership and fund visibility for numerous VC firms investing in the digital health space, playing an integral role in putting several portfolio companies on the map. With a deep understanding of all facets of marcomm – from demand gen to content syndication to executive visibility, she’s helped launch, build and exit HIT leaders from coast to coast.
A self-proclaimed news junky, when she’s not knee deep in client strategy or pitching the media, Erin is reading up on the latest healthcare news and trends, strategizing about ways in which to make her clients part of the narrative.
Erin graduated with a degree in marketing from Plymouth State University. A New Hampshire native, she is a devoted New England Patriots and Red Sox fan. In her spare time, you will likely find her on a ball field somewhere cheering on one of her three kids or breaking a sweat at the gym.
Casey Zintel, Creative & Digital Mastermind,
As marketing strategist for ARPR, Casey specializes in digital marketing, with a proven record in strategic online marketing campaigns. Utilizing an integrated marketing approach, Casey helps clients shape brand identity through graphic design, and brand awareness through social media.
Having spent the last decade in Washington, D.C., Casey has a strong background in legislative, fundraising and advocacy strategy for both corporations and trade associations. Most recently at a leading marketing and PR SaaS company, she collaborated with clients spanning the service, retail, manufacturing, defense, higher education and financial sectors, on how to best utilize the software solution.
Casey graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in political science, with a minor in telecommunications.
Casey resides in the technology and cybersecurity hub of Huntsville, Alabama. Her proudest accomplishment to date is her baby daughter. When she’s not dreaming up her next travel, she loves trying new recipes and is a college football enthusiast.
Rachel Blanks, Social Media Manager, Design & Digital Hack
From the time Rachel was seven years old, writing mock tabloids on the latest happenings in her 2nd grade class, she’s had a love for communications and a knack for creating. She continued to pursue this in college, interning at a magazine where she penned her first real byline – sans rainbow WordArt.
Now, Rachel is a social media manager at ARPR, lending her passion for the creative side of marketing and special talent for graphic design to the agency’s five tech industry practice groups. She is also part of ARPR’s inbound marketing team and holds HubSpot certifications in inbound marketing and growth-driven design.
As the agency’s digital and design hack, Rachel is an expert in social media content creation, design and engagement, and has effectively grown clients’ social networks by triple digits. In addition to client work, Rachel plays a fundamental role in ARPR’s business development by leading the design of demand gen campaigns, white papers and marketing assets.
As a big believer that you should not only love what you do, but enjoy who you work with, Rachel takes extreme pride in fulfilling the agency’s one-of-a-kind culture. Whether it’s helping out her coworkers by giving her “creative eye” to a presentation, planning monthly happy hours, or even helping develop an entire social media marketing strategy.
If you’re looking to chat about social media trends or Pantone’s color of the year, hit her up on Twitter at @Rachel_Blanks.
Chris Shattuck, Account Manager, Media Maestro & Content Champion
A true Atlanta native, Chris first dipped his feet into the journalism pool at the ripe age of 17 while writing columns for a small community paper in Woodstock, Ga. during the middle of the Great Recession. With a front-row view to how shrinking ad revenue was drowning media outlets across the country, Chris continued his journalism career while attending Georgia State University and freelancing for business site Global Atlanta before leading a team of 70+ as editor-in-chief of the school’s award-winning student newspaper, The Signal.
Despite the (mild) jeers of some of his classmates and colleagues at graduation, Chris changed strokes to pursue a career in PR after internships with the Carter Center and two Atlanta agencies helped change his opinion for good about the “Dark Side.” In the time since making the switch to agency life, Chris has secured awards like the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s CFO of the Year and Pacesetter Awards for clients, as well as press coverage with CNN, the Associated Press and Entertainment Weekly. He has experience working with a diverse group of clients across the manufacturing, hospitality and live entertainment industries.
A founder of the Signal Alumni Network and an active member of the Atlanta Press Club, Chris is a firm believer that doing PR the right way involves good, old-fashioned trust and relationship building – above all else. However, he also understands that modern PR requires a comprehensive approach that integrates traditional media relations with strong social and digital components to deliver measurable results.
When he’s not dreaming up an integrated messaging strategy or writing whitepapers for clients, it’s a safe bet you can find this amateur music critic at a local concert or on the back of his motorcycle, a red ’99 Honda VFR, if he’s not too busy photographing his family’s pack of oversized German Shepherd Dogs (take a peak via @TheIndoorWolf).
To stay current with his clients’ successes and Chris’ experiences across the South and beyond., follow @ChrisShattuck on Twitter.
Thomas Bell, Account Manager, Media Maverick & B2B Branding Bellwether
Blending corporate aptitude with keen observation, this Southern Bell uses his skills to build relationships and get results. Thomas Bell joins ARPR with a broad knowledge of B2B messaging and storytelling. Using creative writing to craft unique narratives and define POVs, he focuses on earning not just eyes, but engagement with content.
Growing up on the Jersey Shore, he developed an affinity for warmer climates and decided to take his GTL (gym, tan, laundry) talents to the ATL. Thomas brings energy and outside the box thinking to his clients to PRopel what is possible for them. Working as an Account Manager, he has strong experience in research, content development, media relations and messaging strategy. He works to define and position messages for his clients through a wide-variety of content and tactics, like leveraging real-time news events to create messaging opportunities for his clients – keeping narratives timely and fresh. This has helped him land them in some of the most highly regarded publications in the country including CNN, CNET and USA Today.
Thomas received his B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications, with a concentration in public relations and minor in business administration from the University of South Carolina.
Outside of his professional career, Thomas enjoys the finer things – Netflix binges, Old Navy sales and good Discover Weekly playlists on Spotify. You can often find him exploring Atlanta and hitting refresh on way too many news feeds.
Account Coordinator + Marketing Master
Digital Marketing & Research All-Star
Nick Holland, Account Coordinator + Marketing Master, Digital Marketing & Research All-Star
Imported from Detroit. After dealing with harsh winters his whole life, Nick quickly realized that southern sunshine was calling his name and relocated to Atlanta to study marketing at Morehouse College. Nick started his career selling enterprise software in Boston and after a few years of experience, decided to return to Atlanta to pursue his passion for digital marketing and communications…and warm weather of course.
Experiencing first-hand how marketing, PR and sales fit together in a large enterprise, Nick understood that he knew what it’s like to be in a client’s shoes and decided to bring his unique perspective to the agency side of the business. Nick started as an ARPR intern in December of 2016 and quickly transitioned to a full-time role within a few months. His passion for digital marketing led him to become a HootSuite certified social media consultant in college, and he currently holds certifications for Google AdWords and Hubspot as well. With this, he desires to assist the team in increasing engagement and awareness for clients, as well as helping them drive leads.
During his time at ARPR Nick has been responsible for everything from website updates, to monthly client reporting dashboards and client research. Recently, Nick was named ARPR’s marketing master where he is responsible inbound and outbound marketing, sponsorships, social presence, awards planning and much more.
He spends his spare time with family, traveling, playing any sport he can, and debating Michigan sports with local Falcons fans. Follow him on Twitter @itsShow_Time.
Gail Norris, Senior Content Creator,
Gail brings more than 25 years of journalism, marketing communications, public relations and public policy advocacy experience to ARPR. A quick study on virtually any topic, thanks to more than a decade of enterprise reporting, Gail can adeptly tackle any writing assignment – from press releases, contributed articles and white papers to blogs, advertising campaigns, web content and marketing collateral.
Throughout her career, Gail has worked in a variety of industries, including wireless and landline telecommunications, cloud, network security, clean-tech, healthcare IT, medical devices, location-based services, government contracting, trade associations and venture capitalists. Her published work on behalf of clients has appeared in numerous prestigious publications, including Fortune, Forbes, GigaOm, Network World, VentureBeat and Wired. As a reporter, Gail won a Jesse H. Neal Editorial Achievement Award for coverage of rural telecom and Internet issues in tele.com magazine.
A serial volunteer, Gail has served since 2010 as PR co-chair for the Gaithersburg Book Festival, an annual event bringing more than 100 best-selling and award-winning authors to her hometown to promote literacy and encourage a love of reading. She also is active in PTA and the Montgomery County Parents of Multiples (MCPOM). In her spare time, Gail can be found behind the wheel, shuttling her twins to whichever volleyball, basketball or baseball practice they have on any given night.
Amelia Turney, Senior Media Maven,
Amelia has more than a decade of communications experience, with a focus in media relations and events. She has secured client placements in top tier outlets, such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, WIRED and TODAY. In her event production experience, she has worked with clients like The Coca-Cola Company, Buick, DuPont USA and PNC.
Amelia has helped clients build brand awareness through the creation and management of their social media presence. She has also advised C-level clients with personal brand management and media training.
Amelia graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Communications from Lynchburg College. She earned her MS in Corporate Public Relations from Boston University.
Originally a (very proud) resident of Virginia, Amelia has lived in Atlanta since 2006. She is mom to two girls – one of them has paws. She loves spending time outside with her daughter and cooking with her husband. When she’s not working or spending time with her family, Amelia enjoys farmers markets, photography, craft cocktails and experimenting in the kitchen.
Craig Guillot, Senior Content Creator,
Craig has more than 15 years of professional writing experience and specializes in tech. As a reporter, he has written for such outlets as Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, and CNNMoney.com, along with dozens of trade publications. And as a content creator, he has produced thought leadership, blogs, white papers and ebooks for such companies as Samsung, Microsoft, ADP and JPMorgan Chase.
In addition to tech and cybersecurity, Craig has written about multiple sectors over the years, ranging from retail to transportation and economic development. He has also interviewed and worked with a few Fortune 500 executives, and last year he spent a day shadowing a billionaire real estate developer for a feature in Chief Executive Magazine.
When he’s not at his desk or playing with his two young daughters, Craig enjoys adventure and the outdoors. Over the years, he has climbed volcanoes in Nicaragua, paddled through the Amazon, stayed with headhunters in Malaysia, and scuba dived shipwrecks in Cuba. While his marathon days are behind him, Craig usually breaks up his workday with a 3-mile run.
Craig lives in New Orleans with his wife, daughters, and a retired racing greyhound.
Mark Westguard, SEO and AdWords Guru,
Alexis Pastrana, Awesome Intern,
Alexis was born and raised on the Westbank of New Orleans (locally known as the “Bestbank!”). She didn’t stray too far from her beloved city as she earned her tiger stripes and bachelor’s degree in mass communications at Louisiana State University, where she discovered her passion for marketing and advertising.
Before joining ARPR, Alexis flexed her PR and marketing muscles as an intern at a local New Orleans public relations firm, HEROfarm. She further explored her love of marketing, social media and website design (and wedding photos) as a marketing specialist for a Baton Rouge-area wedding photographer.
When Alexis returned to her hometown of New Orleans, she began her quest for an awesome internship with some awesome people, and as fate would have it, she found herself as a part of our Army of Awesome.
In her free time, Alexis enjoys working out and listening to music (and appreciates those who can go from listening to country, to Disney, to rap, and back to country with each change of song). She has a knack for finding cringingly bad movies to watch on Netflix, and comparing everything in life to her fur baby, Chico the chiweenie. Alexis looks forward to her journey with ARPR and cannot wait to see where it takes her.
Stephanie Motter, Awesome Intern,
Stephanie, a recent graduate of the University of Georgia (otherwise known as the best university in the world), found her proclivity for PR and advertising while in college. She has always loved writing and knew from a young age she wanted to make a career out of her passion.
Prior to joining the Army of Awesome, Stephanie held a year-long internship at the Georgia Museum of Art where she perfected the art of pitching and writing. In fact, she was featured in the museum’s quarterly publication, Facet, multiple times. To continue to expand her skills in PR and marketing while also learning more about the technology industry as a whole, she made the obvious choice to join ARPR as an Awesome Intern.
When she’s not at the office, you can find Stephanie scrolling through Instagram looking for new dog (pug) accounts to follow, taking every Buzzfeed quiz known to mankind (apparently she’ll be famous from creating a hit iPhone game FYI), attempting to cook the perfect chili and watching Mamma Mia for the hundredth time.