Communications expertise
to deliver publicity, gain customers & attract investment capital
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fring on CNBC

In June 2010 I was hired to generate (American) national broadcast coverage for Israeli mobile communication startup fring. The timing of the project was just before Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) 2010, where they would unveil the iPhone 4. One of the biggest rumors about the new iPhone in advance of its launch was that it would contain a second, front-facing camera  enabling two-way video calling (which turned out to be FaceTime).

fring had just become the first company to bring two-way video calling to Android devices. I was able to tie a pitch around fring’s leadership in the mobile video calling space to anticipation of Apple’s new device. The result was that CNBC’s Street Signs lead story the day of Apple’s WWDC announcement centered on Apple’s competition in the video chat space, and coverage of fring anchored the piece. CNBC conducted an advance video interview with fring CEO Avi Shechter via the fring mobile app, which was included in the piece.

My first client

In January 2010 I picked up my first client as a freelancer. ROASTe is an e-commerce site selling specialty, micro-roasted coffee and coffee-related products. Since launching in late 2009 they have become the largest marketplace for gourmet coffee  online or off.

Initially I was hired for social media implementation  to research and publish relevant, coffee-related content to their Facebook page and Twitter feed. Through fan & follower engagement, including holding interactive contests on both platforms, creating a gifting application and monthly poll on Facebook and retweets and #FollowFridays on Twitter, I was able to grow their fan-base almost 600% (as of October 2010) and more than double their number of followers on Twitter.

My initial project included authoring original blog posts, which I did under the heading biscotti (get it?). I chronicled my journey from coffee lover to coffee geek via weekly posts where I cupped a different single-origin coffee. Later, I reached out to the fifty micro-roasters who sell through the site and began posting interviews with a number of them.

In March 2010 my role expanded to include PR services. I created ROASTe’s online press room and began both media and blogger outreach. Coverage includes: Boston Herald, Thrillist, The Seattle Times, WBZ-AM (Boston), WGN-TV (Chicago), Specialty Coffee Retailer, The Gourmet Retailer, Fresh Cup Magazine and Internet Retailer.

Launching a nonprofit

One month before moving to Tel Aviv, Israel in March 2009, I began my position as Communications Director for ORAM – Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration. Founded in 2008, ORAM is the first migration organization focusing exclusively on refugees fleeing sexual and gender-based violence worldwide. ORAM’s vital work includes providing clients with free legal representation and conducting advocacy and education on their behalf.

During my year and a half with the humanitarian NGO, coverage I generated included PerezHilton, The Advocate, Miami Herald, Philadelphia Gay News, EDGE Publications, The Forward, and DNA.

ORAM also afforded me a tremendous opportunity to expand my skill set. I wrote and maintained the entire website, built relationships with other institutions including NGOs, academic programs and law schools, and trade and professional groups, and I managed a staff of interns spanning three continents.

I departed in May 2010 when ORAM moved into their new offices in San Francisco and remain very proud of my role in successfully launching this vitally needed organization. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) refugees are among the most persecuted people in the world today. ORAM remains the first and only NGO to focus exclusively on their plight.