JPR Communications, Inc


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September 8, 2014 Issue

The Most Powerful Name In Corporate News and Information


Launching and Growing Data Storage and Related Technology Companies



About JPR Communications, Inc

JPR Communications specializes in launching startups and growing companies in data storage and related technologies. In addition to media and industry relations, JPR offers strategic counsel and in-house writers for all technical and marketing communications needs. JPR represents companies from hardware to software to services, from consumer to the enterprise market, from emerging to established technologies, from the data center to the tiny memory chip.

Judy Smith

Agency President


With more than 30 years of experience with technology companies, Judy Smith manages all activities at JPR. She cultivates and maintains relationships for clients with industry gurus/analysts and top-tier editors and works with clients on premeditated and strategic public relations programs. Taking a multitude of companies from stealth mode through acquisition and/or IPO is a specialty, as well as growing well-established and sizable companies beyond their anticipated rate. Well known and well respected, Judy also gets involved in creating strategic and synergistic relationships between JPR clients and other companies she knows when appropriate.


Interview conducted by: Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – September 8, 2014 


CEOCFO: Ms. Smith, what is the philosophy at JPR Communications?

Ms. Smith: To make the companies we represent very profitable and extremely visible, leading to acquisitions or very strong IPOs.


CEOCFO: What types of companies are you working with?

Ms. Smith: That is where we are very different. Many agencies cover the whole realm of technologies but we are very focused on one that we think is the most exciting, which is data storage. That includes storage infrastructure, hardware and software. It really works well for our clients because we have close working relationships with the storage analysts and editors, and stay on top of the market segment, which is very dynamic and competitive.


CEOCFO: What do you understand fundamentally about that industry that allows you to be effective at communicating the company’s message?

Ms. Smith: JPR has been entrenched in the storage market for 22 years, and I go back more than thirty. We think it is exciting because it is constantly evolving. There are always new players coming in with better devices, better software, with really bright and visionary CEOs. These companies significantly change the playing field of how companies, small, medium and large, will be managing exploding data and storing it. Even our home computers are being overloaded with pictures and documents and companies/people are running  out of room to store all of it, which is why new storage devices and methods are a “must have.”


CEOCFO: Walk us through a common engagement and maybe something a little more outside the box?

Ms. Smith: In most cases, a client is recommended to us by a client, an editor or analyst who covers storage because we have a track record with them. As soon as the new client comes on board, we are ready to go. We know the people that they should be talking to - we know the press people, the analysts covering the market, the competition. We have everything in place and “we hit the ground running.” Very quickly we find out that we really like each other and that it is going to be a fun experience because we are a little bit off the wall and can suggest things that they never thought of. We have nine people on staff, including my very aggressive and strategic partner, Mark Smith, that jump in on the new company’s activities and instantly become part of their marketing team. For some people that is a new experience, for us it’s the way it usually goes.


CEOCFO: How do you translate what is a good product into people understanding?

Ms. Smith: When we get calls from new companies we go up on their website and many times I have to ask on our first conversation “What is it you do?” They are so into using buzzwords and phrases that they actually don’t tell anybody what it is they are trying to sell. At the outset, we have our new clients present to us. We will set up a Go to Meeting or a WebEx and make believe we are customers and/or journalists. As they go through their PowerPoint presentation, we will ask questions, make comments and suggestions. I think many companies especially in the technology sector have CEOs who are actually engineers, and they enjoy sharing every technical detail. But, when you are selling a product, the person buying it wants to know how it is going to change their life. That would include what benefits that person is going to get by spending money on the software or hardware, how it will make life easier and how it will make that individual look better to the people who are writing the check at their company. So we flip these presentations to make them more benefits oriented and digestible. Journalists who interview our clients have readers who may not be all that technical, so if the editor does not understand what the company is selling, they just won’t write them up. We work very closely with our clients before we do interviews. We do dress rehearsals prior and after every interview that our clients do at the very outset, we talk. We critique the conversation/presentation they shared and tell them what they could have done better and how they could have made it easier to understand. We always brief storage analysts first who also ask questions and offer advice. By the time we get to the editors, our clients are very polished and the story is presented well and is very digestible and understandable.


CEOCFO: How do you differentiate? How do you personalize but yet use all the strategies that you know work?

Ms. Smith: There are some tried and true methods that work every single time. If something is not broken, you do not fix it. That said, we recognize that each company is unique in what they are bringing to market, what their vision is, where they see the future going. We are fortunate in that of our companies have very experienced executives that have headed up several other companies and they bring that background and credibility with them. We have ten clients and all ten of them have somewhat different, yet disruptive visions. They all agree that there is a major challenge of keeping up with the amount of data being created, but everyone is addressing it in a different way, and might even disagree on what the future requirements will be.


CEOCFO: Do you tend to get many referrals? Do people know in the industry?

Ms. Smith: Yes. We get referrals from editors, analysts and our past and current clients. I would modestly say that we are very well known in the storage marketplace. We’ve been told that some PR agencies go out drinking in the evening looking for new clients in the Bay Area because that is where their potential new clients are after work. Since we are not in the Bay Area, we rely on our referrals vs. after-hours drinking.


CEOCFO: How do you tailor a campaign for a company when tomorrow, someone might come out with a new technology that may make a major difference for your client? Or is change not quite as fast as I am making it out to be?

Ms. Smith: It is not quite as fast, but you are right, it is very fast. All of our clients have disruptive (the next best thing) technologies: Memory Channel Storage, object storage, software-defined storage, data efficiency software, flash caching software, all flash and hybrid storage arrays. Cost, efficiencies and making things simple, is a significant distinction between our clients and their competitors. We never get boring companies, the ones that everyone says, “Oh I could have thought of that.” We tend to get really disruptive, innovative clients. Editors know that about JPR so they follow us and our clients, resulting in lots of attention/press coverage.


CEOCFO: How is business?

Ms. Smith: It is great. We think it’s because we are different, focusing on the storage market and limiting our client roster to twelve. That is our absolute maximum because we really want to make sure that every client gets the attention they need. Right now we are at ten and with the possibility of another two coming in shortly. The other thing that makes us different is that we make our clients so visible they gain both mindshare and market share. Competing with some big companies like EMC, NetApp and IBM, they are acquired, which of course makes the client and their investors extremely happy. We have had four billion+ dollars in client acquisitions to date.


CEOCFO: What might be different a year or two down the road for JPR Communications?

Ms. Smith: Many companies like change. I think what we do is different because of our focus. Our employees have been with us for a minimum of thirteen years, so obviously we retain our hired help. They are all brilliant, aggressive and energetic. I would hate to see us overbook business where you have to hire a bunch of inexperienced people, have a culture change and change the way you service your clients because you are just too busy to get everything done. I am happy where we are now. I think our clients really enjoy working with us. Of course, if I won the lottery I would have another attitude, but I am pretty pleased with the way things are going now.


“All of our clients have disruptive (the next best thing) in data storage technologies. Our mission is to make them very profitable and so visible that they are acquired or position them for very profitable IPOs.” - Judy Smith


JPR Communications, Inc

5950 Canoga Ave., Ste 430

Woodland Hills, CA 91367








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