Vetrano Communications LLC is a public relations consulting firm. Unlike a brick-and-mortar agency, we scale our staffing to meet our clients’ needs; thus, we have consulting team members rather than traditional employees. Maria Vetrano is principal of the firm. She collaborates with a core team of senior-level PR practitioners, who are conveniently located in Boston, the New York Metro area, and San Jose, CA. We also engage and manage freelance technical writers, graphic and website designers, and search engine marketing experts on our clients’ behalf.
What is the typical seniority of your PR professionals (in terms of years of experience)?
We are all senior-level consultants with between 15-30 years’ experience each. One of the benefits of our organizational structure is that our clients always work with a senior-level person—rather than a stratified agency in which junior-level people are often supporting your account.
How do you handle global markets?
We partner with PR firms in Europe and in Asia on major media campaigns and special projects.
Do any of your consultants have engineering backgrounds?
Yes. We have consulting relationships with freelance writers who have engineering degrees.
What is your experience with client retention?
Vetrano Communications has enjoyed a number of long-term client relationships, and here are some examples:
We exclusively represent technology clients, focusing on MEMS/sensors, semiconductors, flexible hybrid electronics, audio technologies and embedded systems. We also have experience in verticals such as consumer electronics, biomedical, Internet of Things and automotive.
How long have you been established as a PR firm?
Vetrano Communications has been going strong since 2000. There was one year during this period, from the spring of 2003-the spring of 2004, that Maria Vetrano held the role of director of public relations for the DSP division of Analog Devices (which had been a client since 2000). Maria resumed work with Vetrano Communications in 2004.
PUBLIC RELATIONS PROCESS
With which specific publications do you maintain strong working relationships?
There are many publications in this area but we work frequently with EETimes, eeNews Europe, EDN, Electronic Design, Electronic Products, Design News, EE Journal,Sensors Online, Embedded Computing Design, IEEE Spectrum, New Electronics, Semiconductor Engineering, Sensors Magazine, DigiTimes, Micro-electronics (Taiwan/China), Tech Briefs, Medical Design Technology, and Product Design & Development.
What is your experience with business press?
We work with The New York Times, Reuters, AP, Boston Globe, San Jose Mercury News, Washington Post, The Kiplinger Letter, TechCrunch, Xconomy, Wall Street Journal, Wired, Forbes, USA Today, The Economist and other business press.
What is your experience with industry analysts?
We work with analysts from ABI Research, BCC Research, Gartner, IHS Markit, SAR Insight & Consulting, Semico Research, Yole Développement and others.
What are your quality control mechanisms?
We have proofreading processes in place to ensure that final copy for press releases/other documents is “clean.” We also have an agreed-upon sign-off process to ensure that nothing goes out via newswire or reaches press through any means without our clients’ consent.
How do you manage press release development?
We draft the release based on content that we source from clients and/or from industry sources. We send the draft release for review, working with clients to refine content through an iterative process. We secure formal approval before finalizing any press release.
How do you measure the success of your PR activity?
Vetrano Communications measures success by setting goals at the beginning of a media campaign or a special event, such as a industry conference . We work to achieve those goals and then reflect back on our success in a monthly status report.
We can also provide return-on-investment (ROI) analysis for specific placements or media campaigns.
We track press clips and share those with clients.
How do you develop a program and plan for your clients?
We typically begin with a brainstorming planning session in which we discuss a variety of things: brand perception, product launches/roadmap, announcements, speaking opportunities, conferences, contributed articles/blogs, and more. We develop a PR action plan as well as an ongoing calendar of activities, identifying roles and responsibilities during regular meetings.
How do you quickly develop a working knowledge of your clients’ products and business?
We interview key stakeholders at the company by phone and/or in person. We conduct our own research with media. Because we focus on just a few areas of technology, we have strong domain expertise.
What are the business principles that you hold most dear?
We like to see that our work is directly helping our clients to achieve their business goals. We love the fact that PR offers the greatest ROI of any other marketing vehicle, and at the end of the day, we assess the quality of our work for clients.
We offer exceptional service to a small number of clients. We can do this because our overhead is low, and we are not compelled to work with more clients than we can comfortably handle in order to make payroll.
We are strategic in everything we do. We will look beyond the technical details of a product release, for example, as we convey a sense of why the reader should care about a particular announcement. We are always thinking about what is meaningful and about the target audience for any PR activity.
We strive for excellence in the quality of our writing and in the clarity of our communications with media and our client contacts.
We value having honest, collaborative relationships with clients, which will result in a best-in-class PR program.
We act as an ongoing resource to the media. This approach—which values “what’s in it for them” over “what’s in it for us”—engenders a sense of trust among media, giving them the impression that we are looking out for their best interests and not just our own.
We focus on specific areas of technologies, including semiconductors, MEMS/sensors, audio technologies and embedded systems.
What are your billing structures and policies?
We support two distinct billing structures:
We bill major clients a baseline monthly retainer, offering additional services during especially busy months. We quote bylined articles, white papers, graphic design, and search engine marketing services separately.
Alternatively, we provide written estimates for projects, billing clients on a time-and-materials basis. Average hourly rates reflect the consulting team that we put into place for clients. We are glad to provide quotes upon request.
We invoice expenses without mark-up. We charge clients at a half-time rate for pre-approved business travel. We require clients to sign a contractual agreement, specifying the terms and conditions of our work together.