When Brooke Hammerling founded Brew Media Relations in New York in fall 2005, she was convinced of two things: that local tech and digital journalists were underserved and that there was room on the East Coast for an upstart PR firm that focused more on relationship-building than email-blast pitching.
Six-plus years later, she can honestly say: "We do zero RFPs." That fact can be partly attributed to Ms. Hammerling's stance that her company will only work with businesses whose product her 22 employees are passionate about, and whose execs they love. This sets in motion a virtuous cycle of Ms. Hammerling and her staff coming across like they truly know and care about the startups they are pitching to the press (because they do) and taking the time to connect with the right journalists in a non-formulaic manner. Along the way, Ms. Hammerling has developed close ties with an influential collection of entrepreneurs and investors whose support of a Brew client can help supplement, or spur, media coverage.
Brew, which is run by Ms. Hammerling and her business partner Dena Cook, currently has 17 clients, including GroupMe (acquired last year by Skype), Bluefin Labs, Adaptly and Wordpress.com.
Knowing what you know now, what career advice would you have given yourself when you were starting out?
To slow down and breathe. Taking a step back from what seems like an impossible situation can help give it clarity.
If I wasn't doing this job, I'd be ...
There are a few things I think about. First and foremost, probably living in the South of France trying to be a novelist. Or living in Africa helping women start businesses. Or else running a dive bar on a tropical island that has a bar for drinking and a scuba-diving school.
What's your favorite kind of music?
Any U2 album or Quentin Tarantino soundtrack played via Spotify on my Sonos or Jambox.