Keep PR Weird: SHIFT Starts 2015 With New Austin Office

Twitter Cover 4 Cities signs[12]

Let’s start 2015 with a bang! I’m excited to announce the debut of SHIFT Communications’ fourth office, open for business now, in Austin, TX!

My original plan for this blog post was to be a bit cheeky. Texas is so big; there are so many rich metaphorical themes I could have plumbed, from Cowboys (link to ancient Cowboy Todd posts) to Austin City Limits, to draft something cute. Cute, but full of tortured analogies. And the simple fact is, our move into the Austin market is a smart business decision.

Austin is an up-and-coming metro. This is old news to those who already bemoan the “lost innocence” of SXSW, but for most of the rest of the nation’s business leaders, ATX still represents a rising tide, with room for more boats in the water.

There are more startups in Austin than ever before. To be successful, we need the kind of market dynamism that this trend suggests…

More established businesses are also increasingly calling Texas home. Existing SHIFT clients like Whole Foods and Commvault are already mainstays, but Toyota’s decision to transfer their N. American HQ to Plano is also a great sign (Toyota is also a client).


Last but not least, this is how SHIFT operates. We are a pay-it-forward type of Agency: after I’d proven myself for years at SHIFT’s predecessor agency in Boston, my old boss provided me with the singular honor of allowing me to open the SF office. Taking this method — to reward talent and loyalty with opportunities presented by employees’ own passions — as our cue, our NYC office was originally seeded 5 years ago with folks who had similarly proven themselves at HQ.

And so today I feel so privileged to offer the same opportunity to my old friend Matt Trocchio, who rose from Account Coordinator to Vice President at SHIFT Boston over the past 10 years, and who has always been a stalwart, stand-up, let’s-do-this kind of guy. He is also a talented, experienced and effective PR pro whose clients and teammates routinely sing his praises.

SHIFT Austin already has 2 full-time employees on site, and, we’ve designated a SHIFTer in the more media-heavy SHIFT metros of Boston and SF to serve as fully dedicated members of our Austin team. It’s a toehold for now, but we’re ready to start our climb.

To mark our first ascent, SHIFT will kick-off our 2015 Masters of the New Marcom seminar series with an event on Tuesday, February 3 at The Driskill Hotel in Austin. Featuring SHIFT VP of Marketing Technology Christopher Penn and EVP of Strategy, Scott Monty, along with yours truly, attendees will learn how to derive actionable insights from data and integrate these insights into strategic storytelling that drives brand awareness. We’re most excited to put these strategies to the test in the room with attendees who bring business challenges to the seminar for real-time brainstorming with our panelists.

Are you ready? Time to cowboy up!

Todd Defren


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