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CULTURE

10Fold Communicates ‘Deep Tech’ for B2B Stars

10 Fold commissioned this story from Job Portraits, which highlights job openings at Bay Area companies. Usually spread across three offices, the whole team cozied up for the day at 10Fold’s 30th-floor San Francisco office, overlooking Market and Montgomery. The conversation began with 10Fold CEO Susan Thomas.

How does 10Fold make the world a better place?

Susan: We provide PR and content services for B2B infrastructure companies, or what we call “deep technology.” By giving a voice to the entrepreneurs and innovators in that space, we help create interest and demand for solutions that change the way we live and work.

10Fold Culture - Office
Account Associate James Cameron and CEO Susan Thomas talk through a client question

What makes 10Fold different from other PR agencies?

Susan: First is our focus around domains. We have people who just focus on storage technologies, or big data technologies, or security technologies. That’s a differentiator because, when you are working across three or four accounts, especially if the technology is complex, it can be a full-time job just getting up to speed. Without that understanding, PR people are not valued at the level that they could be or should be. Because we have that expertise, we are able to have more impact.

Another differentiator is that we are very metrics-driven. Our clients have their own KPIs, so when they see we’re on board with their KPIs and there to support them, it makes everything better.

Tell us about some of your clients. I know that’s something people get excited about.

Susan: Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good — we try to be both. We have been introduced to some amazing companies; we’ve also worked hard and had some amazing successes. Our successes include many Wall Street darlings. You can trace this success back to the late ’90s, when we helped Brocade IPO. We were fortunate to have launched big stand-outs like Nimble Storage, and we are now involved with hugely successful companies like AppDynamics, Sumo Logic, and ForgeRock.

10Fold Culture - Dialog

10Fold Culture - Teamwork
Account Associate Justine Jordan (top left) and VP Gary Good (top right) chat with account associates Kayla Bongay (bottom left) and Amber Pineda (bottom right).

How did the company start?

Susan: The company started 20 years ago in my bedroom. I’m very passionate about PR and when I find something I love, I really get behind it.

Talk a little bit about how you thought about growing the team beyond that bedroom office.

Susan: First and foremost it’s important we hire very curious people that are passionate about learning, specifically about innovative technology that can disrupt an entire industry.

As for the type of people we hire — we’ve actually branded our culture TAFI (spelled the unconventional way): T for Teamwork, A for Accountability, F for Fun, and I for Integrity. When we assess candidates, we assess them against that set of values. And when someone joins the team, they get a jar of taffy on their first day.

Teamwork

I think some agencies, especially bigger ones, create a sense of a competition between teammates. That’s just not the case here. Everybody helps each other out and when someone wins, we all benefit. We even have a profit-sharing program — so we really do share everything.

Accountability

I’ve always liked Southwest Airline’s measure of accountability: If you see a stray bag, do you pick it up? We have a “pick up the bag” mentality here. Even if it’s not your job, can you do something to help a coworker or client?

Fun

It’s important for us to find people that are fun to be around. People might write that off, but when you’re spending as much time as we do with each other, it matters. Plus, clients want to work with fun people, too.

Integrity

Integrity is a value I’ve had since I was a very little girl. I was a Girl Scout, my father was a Boy Scouts leader, and my brother was an Eagle Scout, so, doing the right thing even when nobody is looking is super important to me.

Are there things you’re looking for in a team member that might be different from other PR firms?

Susan: I think people that are interested in working here are probably tired of being on accounts that they don’t have time to learn, and thus don’t feel like they’re making a big contribution. Somebody who wants to become an expert, or is already an expert, in a specific area would find a great home here.

Another difference is that we produce a lot of content that might otherwise fall under marketing. I think people are excited to see that we are writing brochure content or delivering videos.

Finally, we are flexible. We have two offices, one in the East Bay and one in San Francisco, so you can work where you want, as long as you’re still doing a fantastic job.

10Fold Culture - Fun
Left to right: Senior Account Manager Rick Popko, Senior Account Executive Travis Anderson, Senior Account Manager Jin Woo, and Senior Account Executive Stefanie Hoffman.

How have you built such a close-knit team here?

Susan: I have a background in industrial organizational psychology, which means I’m hyper vigilant about creating a great work environment. For instance, I don’t ask anybody to do anything that I wouldn’t do myself.

“I don’t ask anybody to do anything that I wouldn’t do myself.” – 10Fold CEO – Susan Thomas

We are also big on communication. We use a fantastic system called The Daily Huddle, where we take ten minutes every morning before work starts to make sure everybody knows what’s going on. [Pictured in the cover image.] Each day has a theme, so we have Money Monday, Tip Tuesday, and Woohoo Wednesdays to acknowledge everyone’s contributions. Then we have Thoughtful Thursdays, where we look at a big topic, like the Internet of Things, and see if we can put together a story on that topic that involves several of our clients. On Friday we recognize people who have exhibited one or more characteristic of the TAFI culture.

Beyond that, we live by the motto “work hard, play hard.” Each of our parties seems to outdo the last. Often we throw progressive parties where we go from one place to another, sometimes with a contest at each venue. Last year we had a private showing in the wax museum, took lots of crazy pictures, and ended with a great dinner — we always end with a great dinner.


 

Infrastructure Team

From the Infrastructure Team, we spoke with Angela Griffo, Vice President of Infrastructure Practice (left), Justin Gillespie, account manager for the storage practice (center), and Grace Nicolas, an account associate for the security practice (right).

10Fold Culture - Infrastructure Team

Tell us about the Infrastructure Team.

Angela: We cover two main domains: security and storage. Security is more than a third of our overall business and both domains have been part of our business from the beginning.

I think what we pride ourselves on, particularly in security, is our ability to respond very quickly. We monitor the news almost 24 hours a day. On the data storage side, we’ve launched two of the biggest exits in years: Virident, which was purchased by WD for $685 million, and Nimble Storage, who we launched and worked with for three and half years through their IPO.

How does the team work together and with clients?

Grace: Security is often about rapid response. For example, the news of the Anthem breach comes in, which creates a lot of opportunities for our security clients to talk about why this happened and what enterprise companies need to do to protect themselves. We work as a team to create recommended commentary, work with our clients to finalize the comment, and then collaborate with each other to determine the best reporters to contact.

Justin: In storage we don’t have as much opportunity for rapid response, so there’s a lot more picking up the phone and talking to reporters. We find out what they’re working on and see if we can get our clients included, or talk with an analyst to find out what they are seeing in terms of market changes.

10Fold Culture - Accountability
Bart Tillmans, VP Marketing, Operations, and Systems (left) chats with Justin Gillespie, account manager for the storage practice.

Are you looking to add people to this this team?

Angela: Absolutely. What I’m looking for is someone who really has a thirst for tech. We’re not launching PCs or mobile apps. We’re talking about deep infrastructure technology that lives in the data center. It can be very complex, so you’re often gathering information from an engineer and you need to be able to turn that into something that a layman can understand and that will be attractive to the press. That isn’t for everybody, but if you have a thirst for domain knowledge, particularly IT security and data storage, we’ll teach you what you need to be successful. You just need to have a great attitude.

Are there specific things you feel you’ve learned working here?

Justin: I’ve never worked at other agencies before, but I know more about storage than I ever imagined I would. By focusing on one domain I’ve gained the expertise needed to have those technical conversations with an engineer or explain a complicated concept to a savvy journalist. For example, I recently got a call about one of our clients from a business press reporter. Because of my domain expertise, I was able to get a second client interviewed for that same article.

“There’s no limit to how quickly you can move up at 10Fold as long as you’re willing to put in the effort.”  – Account Manager  – Justin Gillespie

Grace: I actually started at 10Fold as an intern about six months ago and worked my way up. I did not have a tech background whatsoever — I came from healthcare — so when I started, everything went over my head. Going from that to knowing as much as I do and having the confidence to work back with the clients and reporters has been a great experience.

Justin: I started as an intern, too, just over five years ago. I’d say there’s no limit to how quickly you can move up at 10Fold as long as you’re willing to put in the effort. The sky’s the limit.

10Fold Culture - Integrity
Left to right: Director Elaine Ordiz, Account Associate Michael Porter, and Senior Account Executive Sarah McDonough working in the San Francisco office’s main conference room.

What are the differences between 10Fold and the other agencies you’ve had experience with?

Angela: I’ve worked in very large agencies and I’ve also worked for very small, boutique agencies. What I love about 10Fold is the ability to create your own destiny. In larger agencies you get pigeon-holed into certain activities. You can only talk to that set of press, or you only do analyst relations. The activities or even clients you get exposed to on a daily basis are limited. At 10Fold we don’t have those limitations.

Then, in the very small agencies, your clients have small budgets that aren’t going to have a lot of activity. To me, that’s kind of boring. So, I think we’re in that nice place in the middle where we attract really hot new emerging companies that have enough budget to make a difference.

Are there things that set your team apart from other teams at 10Fold?

Angela: Security moves really, really fast. If there’s something that happens at 5 o’clock in the morning, that can easily take up the first six hours of the team’s day. There’s no other practice that has that sort of demand on it. But because of that we get more exposure to the business press and we have quick success, which keeps the team motivated.

I think someone who doesn’t like a lot of change or a lot of switching responsibilities might have a difficult time here. Whereas, someone who is excited and motivated by that, I think would have a ton of success at 10Fold.


 

Enterprise Team

From the Enterprise Team, we spoke with Caitlin Haskins, the team’s account manager (left), Ross Perich, Vice President of Enterprise Practice (center), and Account Associate Kayla Bongay (right).

10Fold Culture - Enterprise & Mobile

Tell us about the Enterprise Team.

Caitlin: The enterprise team supports a ton of SaaS products, plus data. We’re in this incredible space right now where data is driving everything. So we focus on what insights companies can provide to their customers that deliver some kind of light bulb moment.

We primarily work for engineers, who need help getting to the heart of the value they provide. There’s so much investment being poured into this space right now — we’ve seen clients go from a team of 50 to over 200 — and we all get a charge out of helping them get the attention they deserve.

How do you work together on this team and with your clients?

Ross: Call me old or “classic,” but there is still no substitute for face-to-face conversations. That’s the beauty of our office. We’re obviously on email and instant message, but at the end of the day, we’re a communications company, and there is no more efficient way to advance a piece of work than to have a conversation.

“There is still no substitute for face-to-face conversations.” –VP Ross Perich

In that way we’re a little like a dev-ops culture where we have daily scrums or huddles and very efficient bottom-line meetings. One of our mottos is, “Fail fast.” We’re always open to trying something different, because anything goes in PR communications today.

10Fold Culture - Lunch Time
Left to right: Account Coordinator Daniel Tena, VP Bart Tillmans, Account Associate Michael Porter, and CEO Susan Thomas head out for lunch.

Are there things that make 10Fold different from other places you’ve worked?

Caitlin: One big difference is that we actually share information. I find I’m routinely sending a question over the fence to another practice group and saying, “Hey! Have you spoken to this guy? How do you win with him?” We have these quick brainstorms where we’re throwing out tips and recommendations. That’s incredibly valuable.

Every company I’ve ever worked at says, “We want to hear your ideas.” But after your first day, they’re like, “Oh, we don’t care anymore. Now you need to switch to all of our processes.” Not here. Just yesterday I was meeting with all the account managers to work through a list of common challenges. A lot of the solutions we came up with focused on more collaboration and communication. Part of our DNA is sharing ideas, sharing wisdom, and working together to help people grow. We’re all about high-performing teams, not high-performing individuals.

“We’re all about high-performing teams, not high-performing individuals.” – Account Manager  – Caitlin Haskins

Ross: That’s company-wide at 10Fold, not just in our practice group. “Teamwork” is one of our cultural touchstones, and that’s more than lip service. It’s not like in huge companies where you purposefully withhold information from colleagues so you can get ahead. That is so not us. Those people won’t be successful here.

Are there other things that would help someone succeed here, or that might not make them the right fit for this team?

Ross: People will succeed if they lean in. Like one of my coaches in Vistage says, “This isn’t a spectator sport.” We want people who are going to get in the game. It’s a natural inclination when you first join a company to get the lay of the land before you speak up. Here, we’d rather you say something that you believe passionately than sit back. When new hires come in and embrace that, they ramp up much faster, grow, and get promoted.

Especially when you started, was there something that was particularly challenging about this job?

Kayla: I came from in-house, so it’s really exciting to be on other side where I can see how everything happens. They definitely throw you in. My first week, Ross and Gary called me in to help on a pitch. But I really appreciated that; I think that has helped me grow and develop.

10Fold Culture - Work Lunch Time
Gary (right) takes Kayla (left) and Justine (center) to his favorite pizza spot at the dining court near the 10Fold office.

How does leadership interact with the rest of the team here?

Kayla: One of the most appealing things here is that it’s not hierarchical. You’re never treated differently because of your job title. I’m just as comfortable talking to another account associate as I am talking to Susan or Ross.

Caitlin: What you see in a lot of companies is VPs being absent. You’re not quite sure what they do; you don’t actually see them in the office. The thing that I figured out very quickly from my conversations with Ross and others is that they work more than I do. In fact I can prove it — I can pull their hours. I’m like, “Damn it, they beat me again!” It’s not a competition of who works the most, but it’s incredibly motivating to know that your leaders are bought in.

You also don’t have Susan or Angela introducing themselves to you five times when you come on board — because our interview process starts with the leadership. Usually it’s the other way around, where the screening is done by people lower down the totem pole. That’s something different about 10Fold: From the very beginning of the interview process, we want it to be reflective of how you’ll be treated the rest of the time you work here.


Big Data Team

Left to right: Account Manager Natasha Woods; Account Associate James Cameron; VP of Big Data Practice Fran Lowe, Senior Account Executive Kristina Richmann, Enterprise and Mobile Associate Aradhana Panicker, and Account Coordinator Daniel Tena. We spoke with Fran, Natasha, and Kristina.

10Fold Culture - BigData

Tell us about the Big Data Team.

Fran: It’s a fantastic time to be in Big Data because business has finally grasped the concept and is starting to use it for exciting things like business intelligence, predictive analytics, and cognitive computing. We cover the spectrum from infrastructure, right through to interface with the business users and scientists. We are one of the emerging practices at 10Fold and growing very, very fast.

10Fold Culture - BigData CheckIn
Susan checks in with Fran, Kristina, and Natasha during a Big Data meeting.

How do you guys work together and with clients?

Fran: A lot of our challenge is helping very technical founders tell their story in a way that’s comprehensible. But it also has to have a strong technical piece, because there is always a technology decision maker, as well a business decision maker.

Natasha: Analyst relations are also huge. A lot of companies that are thinking about purchasing Big Data solutions are looking to the analysts to tell them what is out there, if a technology is viable, and if it’s going to survive. So we have a chance to make important relationships there for our clients.

Then there’s media. A lot of the media don’t really understand the details of how the technology works, so we help with education. We help make those big ideas a reality for them.

Natasha: One thing I think makes 10Fold, and particularly the Big Data group, a little different, is we bounce things off each other like a regular basketball team. We are constantly passing things back and forth — it doesn’t matter if you are the forward or what position you play. That is a lot of fun and allows us to keep up momentum.

10Fold Culture - Coffee Hit
Fran gets her mid-afternoon caffeine hit at a cafe near the 10Fold office.

Aside from the details of Big Data stuff, what are some of the biggest things you’ve learned working here?

Natasha: Gosh, I’d probably say the biggest thing is, putting on different hats, and having to play different roles. I’d worked for really large companies before where you have a very specific role. Here, since we’re working with a lot of start-ups, I might be advising on a websites one day and the next I’m giving feedback to an engineer.

Kristina: I’ve also learned that balance of explaining to the client what we’ve accomplished, while not seeming like I’m beating a dead horse. There is often some educating to be done, to draw the line between a result and a release we wrote, for instance.

Can you tell us about what it’s like to work here?

Fran: I think it really is a learning culture. And that’s not just training, which we do have. Starting with Susan right down through the organization, we’re always pushing the limits in terms of how we change and do things better. It’s about concentrating on the things that move the needle.

“You feel like you are part of running this business, instead of just employed here.” – Senior Account Executive – Kristina Richmann

Natasha: I have to say that’s not just from the top down — it’s from the bottom up, as well. We really empower people at all levels to participate in how we’re going to form and grow the company. Everyone is kind of an entrepreneur. On Mondays we go through the revenue of the company, what numbers we need to hit, what new businesses are in the pipeline, what that means for the company and for you personally. There is a level of transparency that really makes you feel like you are a part of running this business, instead of just employed here.


 

Internal Support Team

From left to right: Gary Good, Vice President and “chief writer”; Bart Tillmans, Vice President of Marketing, Operations, and Systems; and Renae Cazet, Senior Account Executive and Culture Lead.

10Fold Culture - Support Team

Please tell us about what you do at 10Fold.

Gary: I have been here for 8-plus years and I do our internal training in the crafts: writing, pitching the media, surveying. And now I’m starting to lead technology training. I also help with writing on some of the most “techy” accounts. I’m what they call the “chief writer.”

Bart: I invented my title — V.P., M.O.S. — which stands for “marketing, operation, and systems.” I’m here to support those three areas, which become very important as you grow a company. I actually came in through a client and just thought, “This is the place where I want to work.” Since I’ve been there, I’ve done things like rebuild the website from scratch. On the operations side, I’m here to help us build better processes to do things even more efficiently.

“We are constantly evolving, not only in the technology we use, but also in the way we communicate.” – Culture Lead – Renae Cazet

Renae: I’m currently a senior account executive and I also lead the culture team. We like to make sure we are always improving when it comes to employee culture. Our industry is constantly evolving, so we want to keep up with that, not only in the technology we use, but also in the way we communicate internally. That’s part of what we do on the culture team.

For example, we’re using a new process called “Level 10.” It helps you get to the root of what you really want to talk about during your client meetings. One thing we can fall into is focusing too much on the nitty-gritty when what the client really wants to know is the overall objective. This helps us stay focused on what’s most important to them.

Bart: It’s based on the book Traction, which Susan brought to all of us. Nothing in the book is earth-shattering new, it is just a very structured, simple, way of running things. I’m 55 and I’m skeptical about whatever is “new” — but I find it very effective.

10Fold Culture - Training
Gary leads a small training session for Daniel and Kayla.

It strikes me that the thing you three have in common is that, while everyone is supporting clients, you are also supporting the 10Fold team.

Renae: A lot of agencies forget to support themselves internally because the clients have so many things they need from you. That shouldn’t stop us from looking around and making sure we are staying efficient and supportive of one another. And that in turn leads to better services for our clients.

Gary: We are also like every other agency in that we can’t ramp up new people fast enough so they are productive from day one. That’s what our clients expect from us. So training has become more and more important to make sure people quickly gain the skills they need.

We also have people at all levels on staff. We bring in interns, people who have no experience with technology or no experience with PR, and we need to be able to put them in front of our clients. I personally work with some clients who are the best in their business in the entire world. I want our junior staff to be able to stand in front of them and project that we live and breathe telecommunications. If you want to be able to say you’ve held your own in the presence of some of the best of the best, this is the place to be.

10Fold Culture - Hallway Sync
Grace Nicolas, Stefanie Hoffman and Travis Anderson going for that “Big Security Mind Melt” before “wine:30”

The team gathers for “Wine:30,” which Susan describes as “an opportunity take a breather.” “You don’t even have to drink the wine, it’s just a chance to be friendly and not talk shop.”

How do you see 10Fold changing in the future?

Bart: In the last two years we’ve developed an extremely strong middle management layer. That means we have a really good base to grow from. And as new technology evolves, we will be expanding into other practices, as well. That means we’ll be adding to the team, even at the VP level.

Gary: We’ve also recognized that we need to be bringing on people who have been on the media side, because we are pitching those people every day. So we recently hired someone from one of the industry’s top publications. She’s giving us a perspective that we really need. Not all agencies do that. But we think we can learn as much from the media as we can from PR.

Bart: I also want to chime in to the future and the future of PR. There is an insane value in the craft of PR — that will not change. But coming from a marketing background, in the last five years I’ve seen a big move toward marketing automation. It has changed the function of the CMO and the marketing organization as a whole.

I often say, “Where PR ends, marketing begins.” So I see a wave coming in PR that is very similar to what’s happening with marketing. I do believe there is going to be something like PR automation. We see that in the tools we work with. We’re investing heavily in these modern tools. So we’re going to need a lot of people with understanding in that area too. This is just the beginning of the digital era of PR — it’s an interesting place to be.

10Fold Culture - Wine30
Wine:30 kicks off with uncorking, pouring, and a big team toast.

MEET OUR LEADERSHIP

Our company is made of leaders. Our main mission is to build teams that deliver flawless execution.

Susan Thomas

President & CEO

Trainer Communications - Susan Thomas - President & CEO

What is the bravest thing you have ever done?
When I speak in front of hundreds of people or on video.  Although I do this a few times a year, it scares me every time!

What is your longest lasting marketing campaign?
My campaign to subtly promote my family’s Texas roots – I named my four children after cities in Texas:  Austin (although I spell it with an “e”), Tyler, Katy and Addison.

What is your proudest moment?
Every time I get a letter or call from someone that worked for 10Fold saying that their experience changed their life and set them on their career path.  This has happened several times and it always makes my month!

What is your hidden talent?
I can saber a champagne bottle – which is an awesome party trick.

Have you ever had a cool moment with a celebrity?
I met Billie Jean King, who I idolized as a young child and aspiring tennis player.  I also sat next to Julia Child during a small dinner party in Santa Barbara – she was AMAZING!

What is your favorite book?
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.


Ross Perich

Vice President of Client Operations

Trainer Communications - Ross Perich - President of Client Operations

What musical tastes do you have that people might not expect?
“Empire State of Mind” is one of my all-time favorite songs.

What is the bravest thing you have ever done?  
A bobsled ride in Innsbruck, Austria – home of the 1976 Winter Olympics (but I did it during the summer in a bobsled on rollers – not that crazy but still super fast!).

Do you have a favorite hobby?
Endurance cycling with Team in Training to find a cure for blood cancers.

What is your proudest moment?
Watching my kids grow into outstanding members of society.

What’s one thing people don’t know about you?
I had “surfer” hair in high school and college and didn’t own a brush for 6 years.

What is your life’s slogan?
Get Busy Living!

Do you have a most prized possession?
I am not into gadgets or personal things; my most treasured possessions are old t-shirts and gym shorts.

What is your hidden talent?
I used to drive my mom crazy as a kid making all kinds of obscure noises.

Have you ever had a cool moment with a celebrity?
I interviewed Hall of Fame baseball manager Tommy Lasorda on live TV and served him a plate of linguini while on the air (and yes, Tommy talked with his mouth full – like any good Italian does, me included!).

What is your favorite book, and why? 
“Drive” by Daniel Pink, who argues that people are motivated by intrinsic reward as much as by external motives, like financial success – a fascinating read and great advice for building winning teams.

What was the best advice you have ever received, and from whom?
To “get busy living” every day as we are not promised tomorrow – delivered by my friend Tom who lost a courageous battle with leukemia – leaving behind a beautiful wife and four young children.

What was the worst haircut you have ever had?
The problem was I didn’t cut my hair nearly enough during college and my natural afro would get rather out of control at times!


Angela Griffo

Vice President

Trainer Communications - Angela Griffo - Vice President

What musical tastes do you have that people might not expect?
My ring tone is Eminem’s ‘Last Chance’.

What is the bravest thing you have ever done?
Bungee jumped in New Zealand over a bridge hanging from my feet.

What is your proudest moment?
The birth of my three kids.

What’s one thing people don’t know about you?
I was born and raised in Las Vegas.

What was the best advice you have ever received, and from whom?
My stepdad who raised me since age 9; his career advice was knowing what you don’t want to do is as important as knowing what you want to do.

What was the worst haircut you have ever had?
When I was 5 year’s old I had a short pixie cut with bangs that looked terrible. I cried and remember telling my parents I looked like a boy!  From that day forward I always had long hair until recently.  I was haunted for life!


Gary Good

Chief Media Strategist & Lead Writer

Trainer Communications - Gary Good - Media Strategist & Lead Writer

What musical tastes do you have that people might not expect?
I love Brazilian music, whether Samba, Bossa Nova, or Brazilian jazz.

Do you have a favorite hobby?
Running, and my favorite race is the 10K.

What’s one thing people don’t know about you?
I’m ambidextrous, but not in the conventional way.  For nearly all sports, I’m left-handed.  For most other things, I’m right-handed.

What is your life’s slogan?
Learn from others:  both what to do and what not to do.

Do you have a most prized possession?
My house.

Have you ever had a cool moment with a celebrity?
When I was editor of my high school newspaper, I joined selected piers from around the nation at a luncheon with a panel of sports figures, including my all-time hero, Mickey Mantle.

What is your favorite book, and why?
Centennial, by James Michener. It’s the most wonderful saga of life on earth.

What was the worst haircut you have ever had?
A haircut I gave myself when I had no time to visit the barber.


Fran Lowe

Vice President

What musical tastes do you have that people might not expect?
French Accordion music and the Scottish bagpipes.

Do you have a favorite hobby?
Furniture making, landscape design, and remodeling.

What’s one thing people don’t know about you?
Once upon a time champion water skier.

What is your life’s slogan?
Love and compassion.

Do you have a most prized possession?
A toss-up between my great grandmother’s porcelain teacups and two Maori carvings my mother commissioned for me.

What was the best advice you have ever received, and from whom?
Don’t worry about what you can’t change, and if you can change it, then do it – my father.

What was the worst haircut you have ever had?
Involved my mother and a bowl – well it looked like it anyway! To which she would say the only difference between a good haircut and a bad one was two weeks!


 

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If you were to sum up 10Fold Communications’ value proposition in two words, they would be “sales support.” Whether representing a white-hot technology company on the verge of an IPO or an emerging tech start-up, 10Fold Communications, a top PR firm in San Francisco, East Bay and Southern California applies a sales-driven angle to every campaign and program it executes, with a strategic approach to move the needle. What’s more, we practice what we preach, with a first-of-its-kind forecasting model and MetricsMatter™ methodology that guarantees qualitative and quantitative results. Follow our blog for news and client success results.

PAST EVENTS

February 2018: 7th Security Never Sleeps Luncheon Event

Biggest reason for a security breach is still what they fondly referred to as an “oops.”
SNS10Fold hosted our eighth annual Security Never Sleeps event during the 2018 North American RSA trade show yesterday. The event is conveniently located within walking distance of the Moscone Center at the Red Dog Café in San Francisco. Building on the success of the events previous years, the luncheon had more than 90 attendees made of up CISOs, security architects, venture capitalists, and security vendors participating in the cybersecurity discussion. The conversation facilitated a dialogue between Security vendors and buyers, enabling a marketplace of ideas that helped all attendees perfect their communication strategies. Read a full summary in our blog post <here>


October 2017: 7th Media SharkTank

Top 3 Biggest Tips for Business Press Pitching
MSTThe Annual Media SharkTank Charitable Event, now having run for its seventh year, allows tech marketing executives to test their business pitch with a group of well-respected business and broadcast media. The purpose of the event is to allow them to test their pitch in a safe and controlled environment, so when they do get a real chance to pitch a story, they are confident they can be successful. This year we held the event on October 12 at San Francisco’s Hotel Vitale, and 12 executives delivered their three-minute pitches in private rooms. The ‘sharks’ provided valuable 1:1 feedback that the executives were then able to use in their next pitch (as they actually pitched two rooms of journalists at the event). Read a full summary in our blog post <here>


March 2017: Wikibon Big Data Horizons Event

BDH A select group of data scientists and big data industry executives discuss trends such as AI and machine learning. This small group of forward thinkers discuss how these new technologies will fundamentally change how we interact with data and change entire industries. Held during Strata + Hadoop World SV in San Jose, this event provides an opportunity to look ahead beyond the hype. Wikibon’s Lead Big Data & Machine Learning Analyst George Gilbert led the discussions at the roundtable.


February 2017: 7th Security Never Sleeps Luncheon Event

Biggest reason for a security breach is still what they fondly referred to as an “oops.”
SNSThis year 10Fold hosted its seventh annual Security Never Sleeps event during the 2017 RSA Conference trade show. This year’s event, held at the Red Dog restaurant just a few steps from the Moscone convention center included more than 80 CISOs, security architects, venture capitalists and security vendors participating in spirited discussions about the latest trends shaping the network security landscape. The luncheon event featured a panel of experts including Mike Kearn – Principal Security Architect & ISO – Consumer Banking Division of US Bank, Suzanne Hartin – Chief Risk Officer at Early Warning, Daniel Ennis – retired Director of the Threat Operations Center for the NSA and current CISSM Senior Fellow & Executive Director Cyber Initiative at University of Maryland. The panel was moderated by Joseph Blankenship – Senior Security Analyst at Forrester. The diverse panel discussed a wide variety of topics, including the impact of IoT on security, governmental regulations, and the fact that the biggest reason for a breach is still what they fondly referred to as an “oops.”


October 2016: 6th Media SharkTank

Top 3 Biggest Tips for Business Press Pitching
MST10Fold’s annual charitable event Media SharkTank garnered critical insights from top tier media and raised $15,000 in donations for the non-profit San Francisco Baykeeper. 10Fold’s annual Media SharkTank event took place October 13, 2016 at Hotel Vitale in San Francisco. Now in its sixth year, Media SharkTank is an opportunity for high-tech companies to test their business pitch with high-profile print and online business journalists. Critical insights were garnered from written feedback provided by two panels of six top-tier Bay Area reporters (12 total) serving as judges for the event. While feedback was tailored specifically to each participant, consistent themes emerged that could be universally applied to vendors seeking to hone their presentation skills and capture the attention of business media. A full description of the event and the Top 3 Biggest Tips for Business Press Pitching as identified by the judges can be found <here>


October 2015: 5th Media SharkTank Event

MSTPitch your story to the top broadcast and business press at the Annual Media SharkTank Charitable Event. SharkTank, now in its fifth year, allows Bay Area executives to “test” their business pitch with top members of the print, online and broadcast media. Deliver that three-minute pitch to a panel of the nation’s sharpest broadcast and business press journalists, who will provide valuable, private, 1:1 feedback based on their expert opinion. Need more more “bite” ? See the video for a quick impression and testimonials from last years participants…. A full description of the 2015 event can be found <here>


April 2015: 5th Security Never Sleeps Luncheon

SNS10Fold Communications’ fifth annual Security Never Sleeps event. The 2015 version of the luncheon featured a panel discussion and audience Q&A with some of the cyber security industry’s leading executives, media and analysts. Held during the RSA Conference, this year’s event delivered on great food, wine and discussion around the top trends in security, marketing, news and how organizations become top influencers in the market. A full description of the 2015 event can be found <here>


 

AWARDS

Awards provide recognition for integrity, accountability and so much more. Corporate visibility within the financial, business and analyst community is an essential building block of organizations’ annual business plans. It enhances reputation and builds positive bridges to customers and the public at large—and in so doing affects the bottom line. We could certainly brag about our extensive network of connections, stellar reputation, senior experienced staff, and business impact, but we prefer to let others do the talking for us.

Business Intelligence Awards –  The Business Intelligence Group was founded with the mission of recognizing true talent and superior performance in the business world. Unlike other industry and business award programs, business executives—those with experience and knowledge—judge the programs. The organization’s proprietary and unique scoring system selectively measures performance across multiple business domains and then rewards those companies whose achievements stand above those of their peers. 10Fold was named as a Best Place to Work by the organization in 2018. <Read More>

   The Stevie Awards – The Stevies (American Business Awards) is the U.S.A.’s premier business awards program.  More than 3,700 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of categories. More than 200 professionals worldwide participated in the judging process in 2018 where 10Fold was named as an Agency of the Year as well as the winner of the Grand Stevie award. <Read More>

 PR Daily – The Ragan Awards programs celebrate the greatest campaigns, initiatives and one-offs in the communication, PR, marketing and media industries. As leading experts in organizational communications, Ragan Communications recognizes those who pave the way in PR and communications, and who create and innovate best practices and who are best practitioners. <Read More>

 

PRnews – Agencies, corporations and nonprofits of all sizes and across the world participate in PR News awards programs. The PR News awards programs provide an opportunity to showcase communications initiatives of the year and salute outstanding performance by individuals. Eleven elite award programs bring to light top talent and creativity across the spectrum of the public relations and communications arena.

 

Qudos – changes the way you find firms by giving you a platform to find objective, qualified information on firms. All of the information provided on firms is publicly available and verified, so you can trust it to make a hiring decision. Qudos organizes this information in a way that allows you to easily compare firms so that you can compare firms on an even playing field. And, because you can shortlist and contact firms directly from Qudos, it keeps everything in one place making the process simpler.

 

Trainer Communications - PR Program Awards - TellyTelly Awards – honors the finest film and video productions, groundbreaking web commercials, and outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs. Telly’s mission has been to strengthen the visual arts community by inspiring, promoting, and supporting creativity. The 34th Telly Awards received over 12,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents. www.tellyawards.com

Trainer Communications - Videographer Distinction Award 2014Videographer Awards – recognizes outstanding achievement by talented individuals and companies in the video production field. Entrants include video production companies, advertising and public relations firms, corporate communication departments, cable and broadcast television operations and independent producers. Past winners have come from all states and numerous countries. www.videographer.com

Trainer Communications - Marcomm Gold Winner Award 2013MarCom Awards – a creative competition for any individual or company involved in the concept, writing and design of print, visual, audio and web materials and programs. Entries come from corporate marketing and communication departments, advertising agencies, PR firms, design shops, production companies and freelancers. The MarCom competition has grown to perhaps the largest of its kind in the world with about 6,000 entries per year. A look at the winners shows a range in size from individuals to media conglomerates and Fortune 50 companies. www.marcomawards.com

Trainer Communication - Stevies Awards 2013The Stevie® Awards – the world’s premier business awards were created in 2002 to honor and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of organizations and working professionals worldwide. In short order the Stevie has become one of the world’s most coveted prizes. The Stevie Awards for Women in Business are open to all organizations worldwide, and recognize the achievements of women executives, entrepreneurs, and the organizations they run. <Read More>

Trainer Communications - GBA Gold Award 2013The Golden Bridge Awards – recognizes and honors the world’s best in organizational performance, products and services, innovations, executives and management teams, women in business and the professions, case studies and successful deployments, public relations and marketing campaigns, product management, websites, blogs, white-papers, videos, advertisements, creativity, partner programs, and customer satisfaction programs from every major industry. www.goldenbridgeawards.com

Trainer Communications - PR News - PR Agency Elite AwardsPR NewsWire – PR Agency Elite – focuses on honing and growing PR practitioners’ skills in social media, crisis management, digital PR, measurement, employee relations, media training, CSR and writing through its flagship newsletter, webinars, conferences, awards programs, workshops and guidebooks. The awards set benchmarks of excellence in client PR efforts in 23 practice areas. www.prnewsonline.com/awards

Trainer Communications - Hermes Creative Gold Awards 2013Hermes Creative Awards – an international competition for creative professionals involved in the concept, writing and design of traditional materials and programs, and emerging technologies. Entries come from corporate marketing and communication departments, advertising agencies, PR firms, graphic design shops, production companies, web and digital creators and freelancers. www.hermesawards.com

Trainer Communications - Bulldog Media Awards 2013Bulldog Awards – recognize the most outstanding achievements in traditional, digital and social media campaigns. Celebrating public relations strategic and tactical prowess at the highest level. Awards and honorable mentions were given for media relations campaigns in 27 categories. www.bulldogreporter.com

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    News Coverage

    2017
    One-Third of U.S. Marketing Executives Publish Content Daily or More: 10Fold Survey
    Many Tech Marketing Execs Now Deliver Content Daily- or Hourly
    Report: Marketers Lack Sophistication in Measuring Content Effectiveness
    10Fold Communications Expands to Denver, Launches Fifth U.S. Office
     
     
     
     Successful Pitches to Journalists–Stories from the Trenches
    2016
     
     Technology PR: Our Report on Trends & Tech PR Firms
     
     PRWeek US Awards 2016 shortlist revealed
    2015
     
    10Fold – PR Firm Laser Focused To Support Clients’ Business Objectives
     
    All-Time High of 1,093 Data Breaches Reported in U.S. in 2016
       
     The seven largest data breaches of 2015
    Susan Thomas to Present Fifth Annual Hayes Lecture
    Emporia State University’s The Bulletin from October 29, 2015
    Symposia Sunday At The Well: Susan Thomas, CEO – 10Fold Communications
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     Susan Thomas: Founder & CEO, Trainer Communications
     
    How to be a Geek Goddess: Practical advice for using computers with smarts and style
     
    Recommended by women: Susan-Thomas, CEO Trainer Communications