Announcing SHIFT Coffee Shops!


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Boston, MA (April 1, 2013) – SHIFT Communications announced today that the public relations firm is diversifying its lines of business outside of traditional and social PR with a new line of branded coffee shops aimed at promoting face-to-face communications. SHIFT CEO and Chief Barista Todd Defren said, “Our model of earned media being the hub of your communications strategy has been a reliable one, but we’ve always overlooked one key area: face-to-face communications. Nothing is more powerful than sharing client news over a cup of coffee. For years, we’ve had to rely on third party coffee chains that have been loud, unwelcoming environments in order to have in-person meetings with journalists, publishers, and clients. With our new SHIFT Coffee Shops, we’ll be able to more carefully control the atmosphere of those meetings to ensure maximum positive outcomes.

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SHIFT Partner and Co-Founder Jim Joyal remarked, “The other compelling reason for this new line of business was also to serve SHIFT staff better. We’ve had persistent coffee shortages in the kitchens at our various regional offices. Now, when staff face an internal coffee shortage, they can simply walk to the nearest SHIFT Coffee Shop to refuel.” HR Director Leah Ciappenelli noted that employees will receive a per diem allowance for coffee commensurate with their years of service with the firm, and the Employee Stock Ownership Program has been adjusted so that employees can also take home a pound of beans each month.

The new SHIFT Coffee Shops will serve custom blends created by former Vice President of Marketing Technology Christopher Penn, who has taken a new position on staff as Roastmaster. During the press conference today, publishers were able to sample the first seven blends to be served at the SHIFT Coffee Shops, including:

  • Creative Cup: a mid-afternoon jolt of Kenya and Ethiopian beans designed to wake you the heck up and get your brain jogging.
  • Connected Coffee: a lunchtime mild cup of Costa Rica and Mexican beans that you’ll want to share.
  • Dedicated Joe: a powerful blast of Sumatra and Java that only the dedicated can stomach.
  • Honorable Blend: a mixed blend of organic, fair trade beans that serve the communities that farm them.
  • Positively Coffee: a mix of micro lots from Colombia, ethically sourced from post-conflict farms. A cup you can feel good about buying.
  • Smart Start: A mix of flavored, sweetened coffee and oatmeal that delivers nutrition and caffeine in one large mug.
  • Ballsy Brew: A Swiss Water Process Guatemalan decaf. Why ballsy? Because you’re unafraid to admit that you like decaf, and this cup’s flavor lives up to your courage.

The first three SHIFT Coffee Shops will open adjacent to existing SHIFT offices in Boston, New York City, and San Francisco in May 2013. Additional locations are expected to be announced by the end of the third quarter.


With a dedication to innovation in coffee and communications, SHIFT is an award-winning, privately held national PR Firm and coffee shop chain that represents some of the best-known enterprise and consumer technology brands. SHIFT Communications’ 100+ employees and baristas are located in the Boston, San Francisco and New York metros. For more information on SHIFT’s high-tech public relations, consumer public relations, content marketing programs, and coffee blends, visit

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In case it wasn’t clear, this is an April Fool’s joke. Happy April Fool’s Day!

Christopher S. Penn
Vice President, Marketing Technology and Amateur Coffee Roaster

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Posted on April 1, 2013 in Brand, Press Release, Public Relations

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About the Author

Christopher S. Penn is an authority on digital marketing and marketing technology. A recognized thought leader, author, and speaker, he has shaped three key fields in the marketing industry: Google Analytics adoption, data-driven marketing and PR, and email marketing. Known for his high-octane, here’s how to get it done approach, his expertise benefits companies such as Citrix Systems, McDonald’s, GoDaddy, McKesson, and many others. His latest work, Leading Innovation, teaches organizations how to implement and scale innovative practices to direct change. Christopher is a highly-sought keynote speaker thanks to his energetic, informative talks. In 2015, he delivered insightful, innovative talks on all aspects of marketing and analytics at over 30 events to critical acclaim. He is a founding member of IBM’s Watson Analytics Predictioneers, co-founder of the groundbreaking PodCamp Conference, and co-host of the Marketing Over Coffee marketing podcast. Christopher is a Google Analytics Certified Professional and a Google AdWords Certified Professional. He is the author of over two dozen marketing books including bestsellers such as Marketing White Belt: Basics for the Digital Marketer, Marketing Red Belt: Connecting With Your Creative Mind, and Marketing Blue Belt: From Data Zero to Marketing Hero.
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