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.
Erin Bocherer, Health IT Practice Group Director,
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.
Marchell Gillis, SaaS Practice Group Director,
One of Marchell’s very first gigs after undergrad was working registration at an Atlanta tech show as a temp. While working that event, she was lucky enough to get a glimpse of the PR team in action – at that moment she heard the little geek voice in her head saying, Tech PR is the career you need to pursue. After a few years of honing her skills, a.k.a. working for little to no money and living off of “Two Buck Chuck” and ramen, she landed her first tech PR job and never looked back. Since then, she’s led PR programs for accounting and financial technology and healthcare information technology companies including Peachtree Software, Sage N.A., RelayHealth and McKesson.
Marchell’s love language? Results. She has worked with national and trade media outlets across North America, including Wall Street Journal, USA Today, PC Mag, CNET Practical Accountant, CPA Software, Modern Healthcare and Healthcare IT News. She believes in the power of PR as the center of an effective integrated marketing communications program to achieve desired results. She loves working with clients to create PR magic via the best communications programs leveraging ARPR’s Panorama approach.
Marchell graduated from Georgia Southern University where she was also her graduating class’ student commencement speaker. She has served on the board of Passion for Life, Inc., whose mission is to help students identify their passions and create a plan to turn their passion into rewarding careers. When not hanging with clients, she spends QT with her two awesome kids cooking, and serving as her son’s personal chauffeur to his extracurricular activities. And somehow, we really don’t know how, but Marchell still finds time get in her workouts – after all, that’s where she gets her best ideas!
Connect with Marchell on LinkedIn.
Jennifer Blackburn, Senior Account Manager, Research & Analytics Whiz
A self-proclaimed class pet and bookworm throughout her life, Jennifer was one of those kids that always completed her homework without being asked. She pursued an MBA early in her career and joined ARPR at the very beginning, which led her to be forever dubbed “OG Jenn.” With a passion for digital marketing and hunger for delivering results, Jennifer has managed award-winning integrated communications campaigns for ARPR’s B2B software clients and was even named the “One in a Millennial” professional services leader of the year by the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG).
As a data and analytics whiz, Jennifer has a knack for helping clients #DriveLeads through capitalizing on thought leadership and industry trade media opportunities that boost website conversions and shorten sales cycles. Her clients have been seen in national publications such as Bloomberg, Forbes and The Washington Post as well as key vertical trades like Supply & Demand Chain Executive, Retail TouchPoints and Tax Notes International. “OG Jenn” has helped her clients achieve prestigious awards like the Global Red Herring Top 100 and SIIA CODiEs. With Google Analytics, AdWords and HubSpot Inbound certifications under her belt, she also has managed social media and PPC campaigns that have consistently performed above industry standards.
Outside of the office, you might find Jennifer kickboxing, strolling the Atlanta belt line with her chihuahua (Paco) or volunteering in her hometown. To see what FinTech news or data trend she’s currently nerding-out over, follow her on Twitter @SocialSaaSy.
Erika Scholz, 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.
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.
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.
Digital Marketing Specialist
Digital Marketing & Influencer Relations Phenom
Alessandra Madrid, Digital Marketing Specialist, Digital Marketing & Influencer Relations Phenom
Originally from Guatemala City, Alessandra has lived and worked all over the world. For as long as she can remember, she’s been passionate about the world of communications. Our resident Digital Marketing & Influencer Relations Phenom has not only grown and monetized social media accounts by over 100%, but she’s also an active member of the New Orleans tech and entrepreneurship scene. In the four short years she’s been living here: Alessandra has already spoken at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week’s main stage, was nominated for the Ada Love Lace Awards in 2017 and was accepted into the New Orleans Young Leadership Council’s Leadership Development Series.
From social media and lead gen activations to SEO and SEM initiatives, Alessandra uses her digital marketing expertise to support digital initiatives and strategies at ARPR. She is also a part of the agency’s inbound marketing team and is a Hubspot certified Inbound Marketing pro!
After a year of livin’ la vida NOLA, Alessandra co-founded BabesAndBeignets.com, a lifestyle blog for the twenty-something woman. After receiving local attention, she and her blog quickly gained national media coverage and has been featured in Paste Magazine, Buzzfeed and will soon be featured in FOX’s latest culinary TV show.
Outside of the office, you can find her discovering hotspots around The Big Easy, planning her next travel adventure, zen-ing out at power yoga and providing social media help to local nonprofit, One Book One New Orleans, where she sits on the board of directors.
To learn more about Alessandra, find her on LinkedIn here.
Rachel Blanks, Account 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 an account 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.
Cortney Johnston, 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.
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.
Josh Winkles, Business Operations Manager,
Amy Watkins, Awesome Intern,
From children’s hospitals to cocktails to CRMs, Amy has dipped her toes and marketing talents in a variety of industries. As a senior marketing major at Loyola University New Orleans, she was ready for a new adventure and found serendipity in the Awesome Intern position at ARPR.
Before joining the Army of Awesome, Amy was learning every new gin & topic as a Marketing Intern for Tales of the Cocktail, the world’s premier cocktail festival in New Orleans. She assisted the event manager in the planning, promotion, and execution of the international five-day festival. Her interest in technology began as an operations intern for Contactually, a CRM software and service based company in Washington D.C., where she oversaw the cost-effective operations and improved marketing strategies by segmenting the customer database.
In her free time, Amy enjoys watching Ted Talks, training for a half marathon, rewatching every season of Law & Order: SVU, and exploring all the festivals New Orleans has to offer. After graduation, Amy hopes to return to her hometown of Washington D.C. and pursue a purposeful career in marketing.