Exclusive Interview with Dan Chmielewski, agency principal, Madison Alexander PR, Inc., an InfoSec Focused High Tech Communications Agency, by Gary S. Miliefsky, Publisher, Cyber Defense Magazine

When it comes to communicating the credibility of your brand to the world, PR (Public Relations) is very simply, hands down, the best channel. Contrary to what most people think, PR is one of the most cost-effective methods of raising brand awareness for your business and, in essence, increasing sales. Productplacementsinpopularmagazines, newspapers, trade journals, and social media outlets or radio/TV stations help cement brands as trusted authorities within their categories. Madison Alexander PR, Inc. (MA PR) is a boutique technology communications a consultancy that specializes in public relations, analyst relations, marketing communications and social media services for technology companies. The agency caters to start-ups to mid-size technology firms in security, networking, cloud computing, enterprise software, SaaS, managed services, search technologies, and technology platforms that solve business problems.

MA PR was established in 2004 and is based in Southern California. The firm has additional offices in Boston, Silicon Valley, South Florida and has international partners all over the world.

Dan Chmielewski, agency principal, did a Q&A with the publisher of Cyber Defense Magazine, Gary S. Miliefsky:

Why was the company set up? And how did you expand your company and its offerings over the years? The company fills a void for start-up and smaller technology companies, mostly in cybersecurity, to provide senior PR representation to help them grow to the next level.  PR  is a relationship business and we have developed great relationships with the media by delivering on what we promise when we pitch. MA PR does not have minimum monthly retainers and has a team approach to accounts allowing senior, experienced PR representation that generates coverage, awards, and speaking ops.

There is nothing more important for a successful small business than a well- defined mission and vision statements. Can you explain your M&V statements in brief? The professionals at MA PR who pitch your business will also service your account. There’s no bait and switch. Additionally, we won’t take on new clients that compete with existing clients; the notion of ‘firewalls’ between account teams for handling clients who compete against each other in the same market is, quite frankly, not realistic, and we don’t do that. We service a small group of clients that benefit from our complete focus and attention. We build account teams of public relations, marketing communications, web/graphics, and social media professionals based on the needs of the client.

Strategically and tactically, we understand the business of B2B and B2C security technology better than most agencies. We provide detailed context for developing a campaign including industry initiatives for technology frameworks and issues advocacy; launching a product, company, or new business unit; managing a product review; crisis communications situations; and helping an executive deliver a great interview—all based on what we know about how messaging and media work in the technology space. A solid understanding of the editorial process is critical to our success, and helping clients understand this process ensures that our combined efforts are extremely effective and generate results. Our team has significant newsroom experience so we can put on our “editor’s hat” to help a client clarify their message.

Additionally, as the first US-based representative of the CodeRed  Network of global PR firms with an IT security focus (by invitation only – http://www.coderedsecuritypr.com/),     MA PR collaborates with accomplished international agencies for targeted international communications when the need arises.

PR is a relationship business; it makes sense to build an experienced team. Our relationships with influencers are positive so when we pitch a new company, they do pay attention and offer feedback the client needs to hear. We are a results-oriented PR firm; we track earned coverage, we never rest on our laurels, we always have irons in the fire for our clients. We are an idea machine.

Is your company a leader or a follower? My company is a leader when it comes to gauging how a newsroom reacts to a pitch and the anticipated coverage. We have no problem telling a client their announcement isn’t going to garner widespread coverage, but we lead them to where they need to go outside of the realm of traditional PR. We are a leader in turning clients into technology thought leaders.

Trust takes a long time to build and can be destroyed in an instant. We work hard towards developing long-term trust with the public we work with so they can count on the information we pitch. As a question on sustainability, where do you see your company a couple of years from now?

Our clients are loyal, and we’re loyal to them in return; hopefully, we continue to do great work for them. We are not trying to be the biggest agency but focus on be- ing one of the best. PR is a relationship business; it makes sense to build an experienced team. Our relationships with influencers are positive so when we pitch a new company, they do pay attention and offer feedback the client needs to hear. We are a results-oriented PR firm; we track earned coverage, we never rest on our laurels, we always have irons in the fire for our clients. We are an idea machine. Is your company a leader or a follower? My company is a leader when it comes to gauging how a newsroom reacts to a pitch and the anticipated coverage. We have no problem telling a client their announcement isn’t going to garner widespread coverage, but we lead them to where they need to go outside of the realm of traditional PR. We are a leader in turning clients into technology thought leaders.

Trust takes a long time to build and can be destroyed in an instant. We work hard towards developing long-term trust with the public we work with so they can count on the information we pitch. As a question on sustainability, where do you see your company a couple of years from now?

Our clients are loyal, and we’re loyal to them in return; hopefully, we continue to do great work for them. We are not trying to be the biggest agency but focus on be- ing one of the best.