The Hoffman Agency

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The Hoffman Agency
Public Relations Agency
Industry Communications
Founded 1987
Headquarters global
Key people

Lou Hoffman
Founder and CEO[1]
Stephen Burkhart
General Manager of North America[2]
Cassandra Cheong[3]
Managing Director of Asia Pacific[1]

Mike Sottak[4]
Managing Director of Europe
Products Public relations
Number of employees
130 (2008)

The Hoffman Agency is a global public relations firm. It employs more than 130 people across nine offices in Europe, Asia Pacific and the United States. The company's customers range from Google to Axis Communications to the City of Fremont.[5]

The company offers specialty services including media training,[6] storytelling workshops,[7][8] corporate blogging workshops, business press, web 2.0, social media[9] and broadcast media.[10][11]


The Hoffman Agency was founded in December 1987 with Meridian Data, a company specializing in CD-ROM publishing systems. In 1988 the company successfully publicized HP's new concept of a CD-ROM and later won the business of HP services.[12] HP's name brought credibility to the small operation, which helped the agency increase its client base across the technology industry.[13]

In 1993 the firm won the Silver Anvil award for its work launching HP’s miniature disk drive, Kitty Hawk.[14] In 1994 The Hoffman Agency initiated its first global campaign in launching Hyundai’s (now known as Hynix) MPEG-2 chip in Europe and Asia Pacific.[15]

Global expansion followed the work for Hyundai with the firm opening offices throughout Asia, including Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, Singapore and Tokyo between 1996 and 2000. The opening of the company's Beijing office in 2000 marked a milestone for The Hoffman Agency as it became the first Silicon Valley technology PR firm to enter mainland China.[16][17][18] The Hoffman Agency expanded to Europe in 2001 with the opening of an office in London.[19]

The company has received more than 100 industry awards including the Crystal Award of Excellence (Communicator Awards) and the Platinum Award (Marcom Creative Awards).[14] In 2007 the agency won the Bronze Anvil award for a B-Roll project called “Delivering Explosive Results for the Latest Anti-terror Technology” for Sony and a thought leadership campaign called “From Blogs to BusinessWeek” for ThinkFree.

In July 2012, the company ranked the fifth place in Sociagility’s “Top Global PR Agencies in Social Media".[20]

In October 2012, the company partnered with Twitter to present their service in Korea.[21] In the same month, the Hoffman agency added a government client, City of Fremont.[5]

As of January 2013, 50 percent of the firm’s revenue comes from Asia, according to New York Times and CNN.[22][23] In July 2013, the company’s Singapore office was recognized with silver awards for “Excellence in HR Social Media” and “Excellence in Employee Engagement” by the HR Excellence 2013 Awards.[24]

Notable Campaigns[edit]

Fenwick & West

The Hoffman Agency won a 2008 Gold Bulldog Award[14] for its work with Silicon Valley-based law firm, Fenwick & West. The Hoffman Agency extended the firm’s reach to the business press, ultimately building equity in the brand through high-profile pieces in Associated Press,[25] BusinessWeek,[26] Forbes[27] and the Wall Street Journal.[28] The Hoffman Agency also landed a speaking opportunity for a Fenwick & West attorney at the Silicon Valley Churchill Club.[29]

HP - HPServerNews

When HP launched a new type of computer blade server in 2002, it was clear that a detailed web site would have to be an integral part of the campaign. The Hoffman Agency helped HP run an educational Web campaign via Following the campaign, “the site drew more than 28,000 unique visitors and more than 34,000 total visits during the four-week campaign and resulted in more than 33,000 content downloads and 72,000 downloads of multimedia items.”[30]

Plantronics Hands-free Campaign

The Hoffman Agency won the PRSA Bronze Anvil Award of Commendation in 2009 for its work with Plantronics on a campaign called “Driving Thought Leadership Surrounding Hands-free Laws.” The campaign educated more than 27 million drivers in California and Washington about legislation that banned drivers from talking on cell phones behind the wheel after research showed that more than 70% of drivers in these states were unaware of the stipulations of the new laws.[31]


Online movie start-up,, aimed to differentiate itself from competitors such as Netflix by streaming popular movies the day they came out on DVD for an extremely low price.[32] The Hoffman Agency’s launch of the company included counseling a redesign of its website and allowing journalists to “preview” the service ahead of the launch.[33] The media coverage that resulted from the launch caused a flood of consumer traffic to Zediva’s website, causing the site to be overwhelmed and taken offline for maintenance.[34]


Cloud computing start-up, Joyent, wanted to win mindshare in a cloud market dominated by Amazon EC2. The Hoffman Agency highlighted Joyent’s strength of innovation and penchant for controversy by directly challenging Amazon. The resulting coverage in GigaOm,[35] PCWorld[36] and The Register[37] underpinned Joyent as a credible contender in the cloud arena. The Hoffman Agency also supported Joyent in Asia Pacific with one example being the announcement of international expansion in Malaysia.[38]

Recent Campaigns[edit]


Bell Labs is the research and development subsidiary of Alcatel-Lucent founded by Alexander Graham Bell in 1925.[39] The Hoffman Agency created a campaign around the Big Bang Bash,[40] an event honoring the 50th anniversary of the research[41] providing the first tangible evidence of “cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation” — proving the Big Bang.[42] The event was hosted by Bell Labs, whose researchers played an important role in confirming the scientific theory.[43] The campaign resulted in over 220 million online impressions and was covered in publications such as the Huffington Post,[44] NPR[45] and Scientific American.[46] As a result, The Hoffman Agency won the 2014 Holmes Report In2 SABRE Award in the Most Innovative Print and Digital Media category for this campaign.[47]

City of Fremont

Since 2012, The Hoffman Agency has helped The City of Fremont, CA advance its economic development efforts and brand image.[48] The Hoffman Agency won a 2014 In2 SABRE Award[49] for its work with the City after launching the Think Silicon Valley website[50] as the anchor to its overall communications campaign.[51] The website has helped the City build relationships with local businesses and media, and established itself as a hub for advanced manufacturing, clean tech and life sciences.[51] In addition, The Hoffman Agency has helped extend the City's reach beyond local press through media coverage in The Associated Press,[52] The Washington Post,[53] Bloomberg[54] and CNET.[55] As a result, The Hoffman Agency was shortlisted as a finalist in the 2015 SABRE Awards North America for its continued work with Fremont.[56]


Since 2013, The Hoffman Agency has worked to increase brand awareness for Endicia, a shipping software provider in the Silicon Valley, by securing Endicia features in top-tier publications such as Reuters,[57] Forbes,[58] The San Jose Mercury News,[59] and PCWorld.[60] Hoffman also instituted a thought leadership program for Endicia’s executives, establishing them as regular contributors to Entrepreneur[61] and the ecommerce publication Multichannel Merchant.[62] In addition, The Hoffman Agency re-launched Endicia’s blog[63] in 2014, providing a new design and fresh content maximized for SEO. These efforts were recognized with a 2015 In2 SABRE award for SEO/Content Distribution,[64] and the Endicia program (PR and blog) was named a 2015 SABRE finalist by The Holmes Report.[65]


Global fitness products company Nautilus, Inc. aimed to drive sales and bolster the company's brand as a home fitness innovator for the debut of the Bowflex Max Trainer® cardio machine.[66] The Hoffman Agency created a launch campaign, which resulted in media coverage from publications including TechCrunch,[67] LA Times,[68] Men's Fitness[69] and USA Today.[70] As a result, the agency submitted the product for recognition and gained two international design awards. [71][72] To add to the Bowflex brand momentum, Hoffman created and launched the Bowflex Insider blog, which was named the best fitness blog by USAHomeGym[73] and won an award from the Holmes Report as an innovative home media property.[74]

Storytelling in Communications[edit]

The firm uses storytelling techniques in many types of communications,[75] and conducts storytelling workshops for internal communicators, executives and employees.[7][8] An agency blog focused on storytelling in business communications was recognized by PR Daily[76] and was listed as one of the top 30 most influential blogs by CyberAlert.[77]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bloomberg BusinessWeek. "The Hoffman Agency."
  2. ^ Arun Sudhaman, Holmes Report. "Hoffman Hires Steve Burkhart As North America GM." May 7, 2012. Retrieved Jan 10, 2013.
  3. ^ Arun Sudhaman, The Holmes Report. "Hoffman Names New Asia-Pacific MD After Natalie Lowe Resigns." September 24, 2014. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  4. ^ Arun Sudhaman, The Holmes Report. "Hoffman Eyes European Growth After Mike Sottak Hire." December 2, 2014. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Wes Bowers, Mercury News. "Fremont hires PR firm to lift image for $195,000." Oct 4, 2012. Retrieved Jan 15, 2013.
  6. ^ Steve Tobak, CBS News. "Press Interviews: 7 Tips For Great Results." June 10, 2011. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
  7. ^ a b Steve Tobak, CBS News. "How to Be a Great Storyteller and Win Over Any Audience." January 12, 2011 Retrieved December 19, 2011.
  8. ^ a b Peter Lewis, Words & Ideas. "“The Infographic Is the New Black”." September 22, 2011. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
  9. ^ Liau Yun Qing, ZDNet. "Asian biz Twitter use still nascent." May 14, 2010. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
  10. ^ Brackman 2008: 188-191
  11. ^ Steve Tobak, CBS News. "How to Shine Like a Star in a TV Interview." June 17, 2011. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
  12. ^ Six Ways to Open an Office Overseas.” April 1, 2007.
  13. ^ Andrews 1988: 43
  14. ^ a b c Hoffman Awards Page
  15. ^ The Hoffman Agency Milestones.”
  16. ^ Aimee Grove, ANALYSIS: Profile - Hoffman: breaking the boundaries for PR. Don't let his near-empty appointment book fool you - Lou Hoffman is busy breaking PR boundaries." October 16, 2000.
  17. ^ By Inc. Staff This Is How It's Done: 30 Smart Business Moves." April 1, 2009.
  18. ^ Innocents Abroad.” June 1, 2006.
  19. ^ Advancing PR: It Takes Two to Dance.” June 16, 2009.
  20. ^ NIALL COOK, Sociagility. "Which of the big PR agencies are most social?." Jul 26, 2012. Retrieved Jan 10, 2013.
  21. ^ Arun Sudhaman, Holmes Report. "Twitter Calls In PR Firm To Boost Korea Appeal." Oct 5, 2012. Retrieved Jan 15, 2013.
  22. ^ JOHN GROSSMANN, The New York Times. "New Path for Trade: Selling in China." January 23, 2013. Retrieved December 05, 2013.
  23. ^ Sophia Yan, CNN. "China offers big risk, bigger reward." August 12, 2013. Retrieved December 05, 2013.
  24. ^ Human Resources magazine. "Human Resources Excellence Awards." Retrieved December 10, 2013.
  25. ^ Recovering White House E-Mail Not Easy.” April 13, 2007.
  26. ^ Supreme Court to Review ‘Business Method’ Patents.” June 1, 2009.
  27. ^ Zaniest Patents.” June 5, 2009.
  28. ^ Skeptical Justices Mull Business Method Patent.” November 10, 2009.
  29. ^ Churchill Breakfast Club: Event Detail.”
  30. ^ Web Campaign Gets Server Out In Front.” October 14, 2002.
  31. ^ PRSA 2009 Bronze Anvil Winners
  32. ^ CNBC. "Zediva Video Streaming Service." Mar 15, 2011. Retrieved Feb 15, 2013.
  33. ^ David Pogue, New York Times. "A Clever End Run Around the Movie-Streaming Gremlins." Mar 16, 2011. Retrieved Feb 15, 2013.
  34. ^ Barb Gonzalez, "Zediva Launches Online DVD Rental -- Streaming Video Service." Retrieved Feb 15, 2013.
  35. ^ GigaOm. "Joyent Cloud takes on kingpin Amazon." Sep 15, 2011. Retrieved Mar 7, 2013.
  36. ^ PCWorld. "Joyent Takes Aim at Amazon With Public Cloud Upgrade." Sep 15, 2011. Retrieved Mar 7, 2013.
  37. ^ The Register. "Joyent arms cloud for death match with Amazon." Sep 15, 2011. Retrieved Mar 7, 2013
  38. ^ ZDNet. "M'sian cloud provider targets regional markets." Jul 13, 2011. Retrieved Mar 7, 2013.
  39. ^ Mike Vago, A.V. Club. “Drop some science with groundbreaking research institute Bell Labs.” May 19, 2014. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
  40. ^ Tanya Lewis, PR Week. “Bell Labs celebrates Big Bang anniversary with innovation campaign.” July 24, 2014. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
  41. ^ Mike Wall, NBC News. “Bell Labs Celebrates Big Bang Discovery at 50th-Anniversary Bash.” May 20, 2014. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
  42. ^ Mike Wall, “Cosmic Anniversary: 'Big Bang Echo' Discovered 50 Years Ago Today.” May 20, 2014. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
  43. ^ “Penzias and Wilson discover cosmic microwave radiation 1965.” Retrieved May 11, 2015.
  44. ^ David Freeman, Huffington Post. “This Famous Astronomer Was Looking For 'Zero' But Wound Up Proving The Big Bang Theory.” June 16, 2014. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
  45. ^ Geoff Brumfiel, NPR. “Big Bang's Ripples: Two Scientists Recall Their Big Discovery.” May 20, 2014. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
  46. ^ Clara Moskowitz, Scientific American. “Smart Luck: How the Big Bang Was Found by Accident [Slide Show.” May 30, 2014. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
  47. ^ The Holmes Report. “2015 In2 SABRE Awards — The Shortlist.” January 11, 2015. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
  48. ^ Wes Bowers, San Jose Mercury News. “Fremont hires PR firm to lift image for $195,000.” October 4, 2012. May 19, 2015.
  49. ^ Tom Foremski, Silicon Valley Watcher. “Holmes Report's Innovation Summit Recognizes Innovators In PR And Media.” January 30, 2014. May 19, 2015.
  50. ^ Think Silicon Valley. “Advancing Business in Silicon Valley.” May 19, 2015.
  51. ^ a b PR Daily. "Hitching website wagon to tech capital puts Fremont on the map." May 19, 2015.
  52. ^ Martha Mendoza, AP. “Silicon Valley-area hub becomes factory town.” May 18, 2013. May 19, 2015.
  53. ^ Howard Schneider, The Washington Post. “When a factory leaves town: in the shadow of Silicon Valley, a city reels from job losses.” August 22, 2014. May 19, 2015.
  54. ^ Dan Levy, Bloomberg Business. “Lennar Said to Reach California Land Deal for 3,000 Homes.” May 31, 2014. May 19, 2015.
  55. ^ Richard Nieva, CNET. “Small-city mayors: Build your tech hardware in the US.” October 2, 2014. May 19, 2015.
  56. ^ The Holmes Report. “2015 SABRE Awards North America finalists.” May 19, 2015.
  57. ^ By Nick Carey, Reuters. “Small U.S. firms may struggle with new UPS, FedEx dimensional prices.” December 29, 2014. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  58. ^ By Robert Bowman, Forbes. “Why the U.S. Postal Service Can Win the Battle for the Same-Day Delivery Market.” January 14, 2014. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  59. ^ By Mike Cassidy, San Jose Mercury News. “Cassidy: Silicon Valley's Endicia lives a secret life delivering e-commerce packages worldwide.” February 14, 2013. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  60. ^ By Grant Gross, PC World. “Survey: US residents oppose Internet sales tax.” May 13, 2013. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  61. ^ By Harry Whitehouse, Entrepreneur. “Harry Whitehouse.” Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  62. ^ By Amine Khechfe, Multichannel Merchant. “Post By Amine Khechfe.” Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  63. ^ By Endicia, The Savvy Shipper. “The Savvy Shipper.” Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  64. ^ By The Holmes Report. “Audi’s 'Barely Legal Pawn' Wins Best In Show At 2015 In2 SABRE Awards.” February 19, 2015. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  65. ^ By The Holmes Report. “2015 SABRE Awards North America finalists.” Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  66. ^ John Gradits, Seeking Alpha. “Nautilus: New Products, Efficiency And Poised For Growth.” February 14, 2015. June 3, 2015.
  67. ^ Darrell Etherington, TechCrunch. “Bowflex Max Trainer M5 Review: Connected, Intense Exercise In A Relatively Compact Package.” October 4, 2014. June 3, 2015.
  68. ^ Roy Wallack, Los Angeles Times. “New machines aim to be a runner's hurt blocker.” July 11, 2014. June 3, 2015.
  69. ^ Mark Barroso, Men's Fitness. “Nautilus Launches New Fitness Products.” June 3, 2015.
  70. ^ Jennifer Jolly, USA Today. “TECH NOW: Turn exercise into a game; sip smart with Vessyl.” June 28, 2014. June 3, 2015.
  71. ^ idesignawards. “[1].” June 3, 2015.
  72. ^ Physical Therapy Products. “Nautilus Receives Red Dot Design Award for Bowflex Max Trainer.” March 31, 2015. June 3, 2015.
  73. ^ USA Home Gym. “Top 10 Fitness Company Blogs 2015.” June 3, 2015.
  74. ^ The Holmes Report. “2014 In2 SABRE Awards - The Shortlist.” December 19, 2013. June 3, 2015.
  75. ^ Ryan Chittum, Columbia Journalism Review. "Audit Notes: Boston Globe bids, WSJ flops at BuzzFeed, News Corp.." June 28, 2013. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
  76. ^ Ragan's PR Daily. "The art of storytelling lives on in this award-winning blog." Retrieved December 05, 2013.
  77. ^ CyberAlert. "The 30 Most Influential Bloggers in Public Relations." Retrieved December 05, 2013.
  • Andrews, Chris (1988). The Education of a CD-ROM Publisher. Information Today, Inc. p. 43. ISBN 0-9664586-1-3. 
  • Brackman, Levi (2008). Jewish Wisdom for Business Success. AMACOM. pp. 188–191. ISBN 0-8144-1274-2.