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The 50 Best Public Relations People In The Tech Industry In 2014

PR 50 2104Business Insider/Julie Bort

Reporters and public relations folks have a notoriously love-hate relationship.

Still, there are PR pros, especially in the tech industry, who go above and beyond to help journalists tell important stories. They always respond quickly, send accurate information (not just corporate “spin”), and pitch us great behind-the-scenes stories. Some of them are influential in their own right, not simply because of the companies they work for.

All of that deserves a shout out.

We came up with this list in a variety of ways. We put out a call for nominations and were pleasantly surprised at how many tech reporters from other publications (as well as analysts, and others) submitted names.

We also asked companies to nominate their PR pros, and recieved an outpouring of responses there. And of course, we relied on our first-hand experiences, too.

No. 50: Vered Avrahami, Wix

With all eyes watching, Israeli website-hosting company Wix went public in late 2013, and Vered Avrahami led the PR effort.

Her PR work spans the U.S., U.K., Brazil, Japan, France, Israel, and Russia. That's a lot of journalists and a lot of languages to pitch to. And it's earned her praise from her peers.

'It's one thing to drive international awareness to top-tier media from Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley, or the Silicon Roundabout, but doing so from the Silicon Wadi (Israel) presents its own unique challenges. Israel is widely known for its lackluster abilities in marketing and PR. However, Vered has managed to turn Wix into a visible, global market leader,' says fellow Israeli PR professional Ethan Chernofsky of Headline Media.

LinkedIn: Vered Avrahami

No. 49: Matthew Krieger, GKPR

Matthew Krieger is the founder of the Israeli-based firm GKPR.

His clients include Microsoft Ventures, which includes Microsoft's network of Accelerator programs and a seed fund; big Israeli company Perion Network; video chat company Rounds; diabetes management app company Dario; and password management app Passible, among others.

As a former tech journalist for the The Jerusalem Post, he always goes 'the extra mile' to help reporters with their stories, says Business Insider's Steven Tweedie.

Twitter handle: @mattkrieger1

No. 48: Deborah Roth, OpenX

Until February, Deb Roth was running PR at Fab, the once-hot e-commerce company that's been going through rounds of layoffs.

It's one thing to handle PR for good news like a new product. Quite another when the news is awful. She stayed on her toes and earned the respect of the tech press for one of the most 'gruelling and thankless jobs in tech PR of the past year (or more!). Having to field constant questions over bad news is so so hard,' says Valleywag's Sam Biddle.

She just landed at online advertising company OpenX where she'll continue her PR career.

Prior to Fab, Roth worked for Pandora. She also worked for Barry Diller as head of communications for IAC/InterActiveCorp at the time when it owned Expedia, Ticketmaster, HSN, Match, Hotels.com, LendingTree, and about 30 more companies.
Twitter handle: @DeborahRoth

No. 47: Morgan Olivieria, Hampton Creek

Morgan Olivieria leads PR for Hampton Creek, a company supported by Bill Gates and Li Ka-shing (the wealthiest man in Asia).

Its mission is to make food better with the world's first database of plants. Morgan was the second employee hired at Hampton Creek, joining CEO Josh Tetrick a month after he founded the company in December 2011.

Since joining, Olivieria has gotten media attention for Hampton Creek all over the place, from tech publications to USA Today, to Katie Couric's latest TV show.

But Olivieria herself is not a food snob. She's been known to carry mayo and cookie dough in her purse.

Twitter handle: @morganoliveira1

No. 46: Masha Drokova, independent PR consultant

Masha Drokova is 24 years old and her life story is 'bananas,' as former Business Insider tech reporter Dylan Love describes. She was the subject of a documentary about Vladimir Putin's rise to power in Russia called 'Putin's Kiss.'

She's also a master at social media, with over 30,000 Twitter followers. 'I even found my previous job (Runa Capital) in Twitter,' she tell us.

She specialises in PR for tech companies just entering the U.S. market from Europe, Russia, Brazil, even Turkey and, young as she is, has an impressive client list including LinguaLeo (online language learning service with over 10 million users globally), Coub (popular 'Remix Culture' startup with 50 million unique monthly viewers), GetTaxi/Gett (consumer taxi app with over 10 million users), and others.

Twitter handle: @mashadrokova

No. 45: Ashley Mayer, Box

Ashley Mayer is the senior director of communcations at Box, a cloud services company for large enterprises that's preparing to have its IPO.

Mayer has been at Box since 2009 and manages all communications for the company, which now has a valuation over $US1 billion. She's also pretty funny and chatty on Twitter.

Twitter handle: @ashleymayer

You can follow her dog Charlie too: @sfbarbaloot

No. 44: Taryn Langer, Moxie Communications Group

Taryn Langer is the founder of 3-year-old agency Moxie Communications Group.

Over the past year, she's helped launch startups like Casper, helped DeviantArt make a showing at Comic-Con, and got the word out about DogVacay and Dollar Shave Club.

Maybe her biggest recent coup is that her client Bright was bought by LinkedIn for $US120 million.

'She gets the kind of stories we're interested in,' says Business Insider's Rebecca Borison. That's the highest praise any tech reporter could give a PR pro.

Twitter handle: @tarynlanger

No. 43: Lara Sasken, Quixey

Lara Sasken handles PR for hot Alibaba-backed startup Quixey, a search site that helps people find apps.

She runs its marketing site, manages its presence at big tech shows like Mobile World Congress, and helps get the word out about new products (Android app), funding ($50 million in 2013), and acquisitions (Kite.io in April).

Outside of work, Lara runs marathons, sails competitively, and is obsessed with SoulCycle, something she does every morning before work.

Nominated by Kite.io cofounder Jason Hreha of Kite.io (now director of product at Quixey).

Twitter handle: @LaraMS

No. 42: Jordan Lampe, Dwolla

Jordan Lampe heads up PR for Dwolla, a startup out of Des Moines, Iowa, trying to turn banking on its head.

In 2013, the company raised $US22.5 million, backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, and Ashton Kutcher's A-Grade Investments.

Lamp is a 27-year-old Iowan himself, but in 2014, he moved to San Francisco to help Dwolla expand. He's helped launched new products and partnerships with Microsoft and GoDaddy.

He's also lobbying to change federal banking rules and has helped his company enter the conversation on the Federal Payments Improvement Project and net neutrality.

Twitter handle: @JsLampe

No. 41: Alisa Richter, Small Girls PR

Alisa Richter joined Small Girls PR this year handling consumer tech for companies like BRIKA, Lulu, Ann Taylor, Zara Terez, Cover, Meetup, PRIV, GE, and others.

She cut her teeth doing PR for home decorating startup Homepolish and as a program manager at TechStars NYC before that.

'It's funny, I never intended to get into PR. I actually studied Public Health and Food Policy,' she says. 'I planned to work for a health-focused startup, but wound up teaching myself how to pitch, and through a serendipitous turn of events, wound up at this wonderful place.'

It's working for her. 'She truly works to make sure everything she pitches me makes sense for my beat,' says Business Insider's Caroline Moss.

Twitter handle: @AlisaQ

No. 40: Brooke Hammerling, Brew PR

Brooke Hammerling is the founder of Brew PR, a firm that mostly does communications for startups. Hammerling manages Brew's New York City office.

Hammerling's team has represented a number of well-known startups over the years, including GroupMe, which sold to Skype. Her team currently represents companies like SmartThings (which recently sold to Samsung), refinery29, Oracle, and smart lock company August, among several others.

She has a really cute dog named Potato. You can follow him on Instagram.

Twitter handle: @brooke

No. 39: Erin Fors, Cutline Communications

Erin Fors is a partner at Cutline, an agency that represents such names as Yahoo (landed when Marissa Mayer took over as CEO), Polyvore, Pebble, and Zazzle.

She recently opened a New York office, but she still manages the San Francisco team. 'And, no, I don't sleep,' she laughs.

Once upon a time, she was one of the PR folks who worked with Google, where she launched Android and Chrome.

Twitter handle: @forsie

No. 38: Catherine Afarian, 23andMe

One-time tech press darling 23andMe has had kind of a rough year, between an FDA crack-down, and a salacious scandal involving its cofounder Anne Wojcicki and her husband, Google cofounder Sergey Brin.

Dealing with media inquires like that has fallen on the shoulders of Cat Afarian, a 15-year tech PR pro who worked for companies like Netflix, eBay, and now 23andMe.

She's spread the word about the company's pivot from health genetic testing to ancestry information, at least until FDA approval for the health data is achieved.

When not working, she's been training to run the Team in Training Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco this October to help raise funds for blood cancer research.

Twitter handle: @CatAfarian

No. 37: Elliot Tomaeno, Astrsk PR

Elliot Tomaeno started his own New York PR company in 2012, and has been a whirlwind with startups ever since.

His firm 'helped launch over 100 startups/tech products, with four exits under our belt over the last year (Qwiki to AOL, Cameo to Vimeo, Tonx to Blue Bottle Coffee, and Grand St. to Etsy),' he tells us.

And he gives back, doing at least 10% of his business pro bono.

And 'the launch parties that Astrsk helps their companies plan are always epic,' says Business Insider's Jillian D'Onfro.

Twitter handle: @elliotPR

No. 36: Rachel Petersen, Nectar PR

Rachel Petersen is a cofounder of Nectar Communications and she, too, has her fans among the tech press. The agency's clients include Salesforce.com, LinkedIn, Quip, Brocade, Foundation Capital, Infer, Remind, Zephyr Health, and VMware.

'She's established a nice niche of clients and knowledge about enterprise tech,' one tech reporter said, and knowledge about business tech is really rare among PR pros.

Before founding Nectar Communications in 2008, Petersen spent more than a decade at The Outcast Agency where she was the first employee and worked with companies like Facebook, TiVo, and EMC.

Twitter handle: @nectar_rachel

No. 35: Tracy Sjogreen, Nectar Communications

Tracy Sjogreen is a cofounder of Nectar Communications, which represents tech companies like Salesforce.com, LinkedIn, Quip, Brocade and VMware.

Nectar also known for its work with Workday through its successful IPO.

Nectar, based in San Francisco, has been growing its team like mad, she says. Internally the company calls its employees 'Nectarines.'

'Tracy Sjogreen has introduced me to some very interesting people and companies, is exceptionally candid about the PR business, and knows when to back off from a pitch that's not a fit,' says CITEworld editor in chief, Matt Rosoff.

Twitter handle: @tracysjogreen

No. 34: Kevin Cheng, Tidemark

After years of working for PR agency Sparkpr, Kevin Cheng just took a role as head of PR for startup Tidemark.

At Sparkpr his clients included Acquia, Bizo (acquired by LinkedIn), General Catalyst Partners, Good Technology, Greylock Partners, Index Ventures, MerchantCircle (Reply!), Payvment (Intuit), RelateIQ (Salesforce.com), SugarCRM, and more.

'Kevin really has a knack for pitching interesting stories about the companies he represents,' says Business Insider's Julie Bort.

Twitter handle: @MrkevC

No. 33: Nicki Dugan Pogue, Outcast PR

Nicki Dugan Pogue joined the OutCast PR agency in 2009 after nearly a decade at Yahoo.

At Outcast, she has worked for companies like Airbnb, Airware, Andreessen Horowitz, DARPA, Instagram, Khosla Ventures, Lytro, the Nike Foundation, Pinterest, Samsung, and Udacity.

In the past year, she's helped with Airbnb's redesign and new products, helped Instagram launch its ad program, and helped Dan Kaufman (affectionately known as 'DARPA Dan') make his debuts at the Code conference, SXSW, and Fortune Brainstorm Tech.

On top of that, Pogue is bi-coastal, splitting her time between San Francisco and New York.

Twitter handle: @thenickster

No. 32: Ryan Bartholomew, Waggener Edstrom Communications

Ryan Bartholomew works for PR agency Waggener Edstrom, otherwise known as Microsoft's PR.

She's worked on big Microsoft products like Windows and Services, and most recently, Surface and PC Accessories.

She helped launch the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 in the fall of 2013, and the Surface Pro 3 this past spring, including hosting 200 reporters for the launch event.

When not juggling tech reporters, she can be found 'rifling through vintage shops for home decor and carting my 11-year-old black lab around in a bike trailer,' she tells us.

Twitter handle: @rbartholomew

No. 31: Amber Rowland, Rowland Agency

Amber Rowland founded The Rowland Agency in 2009, after leaving VMware where she was employee No. 180 working for then-CEO Diane Greene.

She was the sole PR person there for years, and was well-known to all the enterprise tech reporters.

Since then, she's built a solid practice representing ever more enterprise tech companies. In the past year, she's worked with Platform9, Elastica, Big Switch Networks, and others.

'I have known and worked with dozens of PR people in my 30+ year high-tech marketing career, mostly (as a) client but more recently as an industry analyst, and Amber is definitely one of the best,' says Jeff Byrne, Senior Analyst & Consultant, Taneja Group.

She also serves on the Ulumau Hawaiʻi Island Leadership Series Executive Board, a training program for Hawaiian leaders.

Twitter handle: @amber_rowland

No. 30: Dan Snyder, Intel

Dan Snyder has been with Intel since 1991. In his current role he handles PR for Intel's PC chips and he talks a lot about the future of the PC, and how it can be used for home music recording, video editing, digital photography, and so on.

He knows his stuff, holding an engineering degree from Columbia University and an MBA from Stanford.

'Dan Snyder is passionate about his position and has played a key roll on more things that I can count,' says Nathan Kirsch, EIC of LegitReviews.com

Twitter handle: @IntelDanS

No. 29: Ellen Healy, Intel

Ellen Healy is Intel's wearable tech PR guru and her star is rising among the tech press.

She's known for finding just the right story for just the right publication, tech journalists tell us. And they love her for it.

Twitter handle: @ellenchealy

No. 28: Jessica Aptman, ZocDoc

Jessica Aptman took over PR for ZocDoc in 2012 leaving her agency job at Outcast. In that time, ZocDoc grew from a tiny startup to a company with about 600 employees.

Journalists really like her.

'I have worked with Jessica on many stories over seven years, as she's transitioned from a savvy agency PR assistant to heading things up at ZocDoc -- and she's one of the few I consider to be a friend as well as a colleague! As long as I've known her, she has understood the business beat,' says Katie Kramer, CNBC senior talent producer. 'That puts her on the short list of people whose calls I always take and emails I quickly respond to.'

Twitter handle: @JessAptman

No. 27: Curtis Sparrer, Grayling

Before life as a PR professional, Curtis was a local Emmy-award winning executive producer of the Bay Area's KRON-TV.

In July 2014, Curtis launched Bubblews, a new social media website that pays members to post. He got stories about Bubblews published all over the place: AP, Agence France Presse, Bloomberg, Business Insider, CNET, and Fox.

He also did PR for Tetris' 25th anniversary that was so widely covered, Google created a Doodle to honour the game.

But maybe his biggest success was the truly over-the-top PR PayPal and the SETI Institute got for a campaign called PayPal Galactic. It generated 2,000 stories and culminated with an event involving PayPal President David Marcus and astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

'Ever watched a reality TV show where a sassy guy gives someone a needed makeover? That's what Curtis does for tech companies,' says PayPal Senior PR Manager Anuj Nayar.

Twitter handle: @thatcurtis

No. 26: Brendan Lewis, Foursquare

Brendan Lewis leads PR for Foursquare, where he's juggled a ton of news from the company this year alone.

Some of the news was good like two funding announcements, new apps (like Swarm), and the New Foursquare relaunch, and a new COO. And some news was not so good like executive departures and 'acquisition rumours, partnership rumours, (incorrect) predictions of our imminent demise,' he tells us.

And the press has been biting.

'Is there a single outlet that hasn't written about Foursquare's relaunch today? Even Self Magazine did a story on it!' says Business Insider's Alyson Shontell.

Prior to Foursquare he worked at LivingSocial.

Twitter handle: @BPLewis

No. 25: Jim Redner, theRednerGroup

Jim Redner is founder of theRednerGroup that specialises in video game or consumer tech. His clients include TCL, Wikipad, and Gaijin Entertainment.

But he's far and away best-known for Oculus VR, one of the most successful crowdfunded companies in history that Facebook bought for $US2 billion earlier this year.

That's led Redner to become known for helping crowdfunding startups, working on 'seven successful Kickstarter campaigns totaling almost $US12 million in funding,' he tells us. This includes inXile Entertainment's 'Torment: Tides of Numenera' and Obsidian's 'Project Eternity.'

Tech reporters like him because 'he's incredibly responsive and he goes out of his way to help,' says Business Insider's Steven Tweedie.

Twitter handle: @theRednerGroup

No. 24: Michael Kirkland, Facebook

Michael Kirkland leads PR for Facebook's engineering, infrastructure, security, and sustainability groups.

He also leads communications for one of Facebook's most far-reaching projects, the Open Compute Project. That's where computer hardware designers share their work with the world for free, taking on contendors like Cisco along the way.

And he manages PR for Facebook's other open-source efforts, and the new @Scale series of technical conferences.

'Although Michael is focused on Facebook's technology, he's a great resource for any question I have. Fast and easy to work with,' says Business Insider editor Julie Bort.

Before joining Facebook, he worked at PR agency Cutline Communications, working with companies like Google, LinkedIn, SlideShare, Meebo, and Break Media.

Twitter handle: @dnalkrikleahcim

Facebook page: facebook.com/dnalkrikleahcim

No. 23: John Earnhardt, Cisco

John Earnhardt runs Cisco's PR and has been with the company for 15 years, from its pre-internet-bubble glory days, though its rise as a huge $US48 billion IT company today.

During that time, Earnhardt has fielded good news and bad news (like Cisco's four-year-in-a-row layoffs). He helps Cisco CEO John Chambers stay visible everywhere in the press.

'He's one hard-working PR guy. Fierce to defend his company, but not too full of spin,' says Business Insider's Julie Bort.

He's also quietly spread the news about his wife's company. Lisa Earnhardt is CEO of newly public biotech firm, called Intersect ENT.

Twitter handle: @urnhart

No. 22: Paul Kranhold, Sard Verbinnen

Paul Kranhold leads the Silicon Valley and Los Angeles offices for Sard Verbinnen & Co., a PR firm that specialises in financial news and crisis communication.

We understand that he has been a close confidant to Alibaba Group senior management for six years and is assisting them with PR surrounding its IPO. He's also been SoftBank's U.S. PR pro helping with its acquisition of Sprint last year.

He's worked on everything from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp on the phone-hacking allegations in the U.K. to 21st Century Fox's recent bid for Time Warner.

And the list of his contacts goes on ... he's worked with executives at companies like 23andMe, Pixar, Apple, Google, and companies like Netflix, Juniper, and Yahoo. He even helped when Bono's firm Elevation Partners made investments in Yelp, Facebook, Palm, Forbes, and Sonos.

Outside of work, his passion is fishing for steelhead trout anywhere in the world he can catch them.

Twitter handle: @kranhold_pk

No. 21: Barbara Bates, Eastwick

Barbara Bates is a 25-year PR veteran, founder and CEO of Eastwick, a PR firm that seems to worked for just about every major Valley tech company over the years: Cisco, Oracle, Autodesk, and many others.

With offices in Silicon Valley and San Francisco, this year, she also opened an office in New York, telling us, 'We're aiming to create a two-way exchange of ideas between the Silicon Valley tech scene and that of New York. Both have things to offer the other and we hope to be the ones to foster that collaboration.'

Twitter handle: @barbbq

No. 20: Amanda Cowie, Bloomberg

Amanda Cowie works in PR at Bloomberg Media where she's done a great job informing tech journalists of upcoming breaking news from Bloomberg.

She's been executing on the strategy laid out by new CEO Justin Smith, which includes helping the company poach tech reporters like Josh Topolsky (from The Verge) and Keith Grossman (from Wired) not to mention hire away some prominent political journalists, too.

On the strictly tech side, she's been doing PR for Bloomberg Beta, the venture fund backed by Bloomberg LP.

'She's fantastic to work with, very proactive, funny, and honest,' says Business Insider's Executive Editor Joseph Weisenthal.

Twitter handle: @AmandaBCowie

No. 19: Tony Imperati, Waggener Edstrom Communications

Tony Imperati works at Waggener Edstrom representing Microsoft and he's a fast-rising star among tech journalists.

He covers major corporate news around executives, earnings, acquisitions, and new products.

But what he really is is 'the go-to guy for all things Microsoft, no matter what you need or when you need it. Morning, night, weekends,' says Business Insider's Julie Bort.

Twitter handle: @TonyImperati

No. 18: Nick Papas, Airbnb

Nick Papas joined joined Airbnb in April 2013, after spending about a decade in politics where he worked for a series of elected officials (Democrats).

That turned out to be a good experience for Airbnb PR. Its skyrocketing popularity with thrifty travellers has made it a political target in cities like San Francisco and New York.

'There's always a reason to be writing about Airbnb these days, whether it's some sort of horror story or some fantastical rental. Nick is simply great to work with,' says Business Insider's Julie Bort.

Although he lives in Washington, D.C., his Twitter avatar is Crazy Crab, 'which old-school San Francisco Giants fans should appreciate,' he tells us.

Twitter handle: @nwpapas

No. 17: Natalie Kerris, Apple

Natalie Kerris, is in charge of communications for products like the iPhone and iPad at Apple. Kerris and her team are known for meticulously choosing members of the press to write product reviews.

Since Apple's former PR boss Katie Cotton left the company a few months ago, Kerris' name has been floated around as a possible replacement.

No. 16: Sophia Kim, Samsung

South Korean native Sophia Kim is a senior global marketing manager for Samsung Electronic and has been with the company since 1997.

She's well-known to product review tech journalists, travelling across the globe to launch Samsung's latest smartphones, tablets, smart wearables, and cameras.

Her most recent project was the launch of the Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge, Gear S smart wearable, and the Gear VR.

She expertly fields a never-ending stream of review requests from reporters all over the globe and gets them in front of all sorts of audiences, from Fashion Week to the Galaxy 11 football campaign.

No. 15: Christopher Katsaros, Google

Google's Christopher Katsaros is another rising star among tech journalists.

He cut his teeth doing PR for Google Glass, which has generated massive coverage. He has since added Android to his plate, another huge area of interest for both the tech media and the mainstream press.

By Android, we mean the operating system, the Nexus devices, Android Wear, Android Auto, Google Developer, Google Now ... you get the picture.

Twitter handle: @ChrisKat
Google+: Christopher Katsaros

No. 14: Dena Cook, Brew PR

Dena Cook is the CEO of Brew Media Relations and runs the Los Angeles office.

That puts her at the intersection of tech and entertainment. For instance, she recently led communications for Maker Studios right up to its acquisition by The Walt Disney Company for $US500 million in March. A nice exit for Maker!

The rest of her client list is impressive, too: General Assembly, DAQRI, One Kings Lane, Zynga, and many more.

Prior to Brew, Dena spent years at several other leading tech PR agencies (including Zeno Group, Edelman, and Fleishman-Hillard.)

Twitter handle: @DenaCook

No. 13: Jackie Vettorino, AT&T

Jackie Vettorino works for PR agency FleishmanHillard but she's the face of AT&T for many a reporter.

She particularly earns raves from product reviewers, helping them test everything from new phones to internet cars and homes.

She also handles other corporate communications for AT&T going out of her way to get back to reporters on deadline, nights or weekends.

In her spare time, she does pro-bono work for tech startups and runs an independent music blog, The Round Table Online.

Twitter handle: @jvettorino

No. 12: Pete Wootton, Waggener Edstrom Communications

Pete Wootton is senior vice president at Waggner Edstrom specializing in Microsoft's corporate news.

To translate, that means he handled everything from the announcement of Steve Ballmer's reorganization to his retirement to the acquisition of Nokia's devices and services group, to the crowning of new CEO Satya Nadella.

And in between he dealt with things like the launch of Office for iPad, earnings, acquisitions, board of director news, partnerships, financial news ...

While known for his work with Microsoft, WaggEd actually represents a bunch of other huge clients and Wootton represents many of them, too.

Twitter handle: @petewootton

No. 10: Krista Canfield, LinkedIn

Krista Canfield joined LinkedIn PR's team in 2008 when the company only had about 200 employees. (It now has nearly 6,000.)

She's known for the LinkedIn for Journalists program, which teaches reporters how to use LinkedIn to find stories and sources. It has forever earned her street cred with the tech reporter crowd.

She is now leading communications for LinkedIn's mobile family of apps. LinkedIn surpassed 300 million members earlier this year and people are using those mobile apps a good 45% of the time.

In her spare time, she's a Member of the Board of Advisors at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University, the Career Advisory Board at DeVry University, a freelance travel writer, and has an insane shoe collection.

Twitter handle: @KristaCanfield; LinkedIn profile: Krista Canfield

No. 9: Jim Prosser, Twitter

Jim Prosser is head of Twitter's corporate and revenue PR, basically everything that matters financially, legally, policy-wise, and sales-wise.

He led the PR surrounding Twitters uber-successful IPO.

One of his proudest achievements this year, he tells us, is 'shining a light on how Twitter is more than doubling its revenue year over year to hit a billion-dollar-plus run rate.'

He joined Twitter in September 2012, from Google where he dealt with intellectual property issues there, notably litigation surrounding Android, including Oracle's $US6 billion lawsuit against Google.

Twitter handle: @jimprosser

No. 8: Jodi Olson, Google Ventures

Google Ventures is a powerhouse VC in the tech industry, and Jodi Olson is its public face for tech journalists.

She's provided PR support for portfolio companies like Uber, Nest, Flatiron Health, Cloudera, and Docusign, to name a few. She also fields PR request for some of its well-known partners like Bill Maris, Rich Miner, Kevin Rose, and David Krane.

Twitter handle: @jodiolson

No. 7: Ed Zitron, EZ PR

Ed Zitron was one of the people nominated over and over again this year, from reporters at Business Insider and beyond.

'Badass, down-to-earth dude who allures you with swear words in press releases,' The Next Web's Owen Williams told us.

'He actually treats journalists like people,' TechCrunch's Kyle Russel said.

'Active commentator/critic on the state of the PR industry in a way that's simultaneously special, accessible, and inane,' said International Business Times' Dylan Love.

Zitron, who runs his own agency, EZ PR, in San Francisco, even wrote a book about that: 'This Is How You Pitch: How To Kick Arse In Your First Years Of PR' (and he's working on a follow-up called 'Fire Your Publicist,' he tells us). He's also a a columnist for Inc.com.

Some of his clients include iCracked, Storm Ventures, AnchorFree, and TeleSign.

Twitter handle: @edzitron

No. 6: Jessie Baker, Facebook

Jessie Baker leads communications for a bunch of Facebook's areas including News Feed, Groups, Search, Timeline, etc.

She also does PR for Facebook's experimental group Creative Labs (makers of Paper and Slingshot) and for Facebook's New York engineering office.

Before taking on this role, Baker cut her teeth working PR for Instagram, helping with the launch of Instagram video and Instagram Direct.

Public Facebook page: Jessie Baker

No. 5: Shannon Brayton, LinkedIn

Shannon Brayton is LinkedIn PR's head honcho, managing a team of 40. She is well-known and well-liked among tech journalists and has been for years.

Lately she's been working on launching LinkedIn's site in China. She's also been reaching out to other 'corporate communications teams to teach them how to use LinkedIn in their communications mix,' she tells us.

She started her 20-year career in the Valley at Intuit, worked at Yahoo, eBay, and OpenTable and has now been at LinkedIn for four years, including through LinkedIn's 2011 IPO.

Twitter handle: @sstubo

LinkedIn profile: Shannon (Stubo) Brayton

No. 4: Carolyn Penner, Twitter and Vine

Carolyn Penner joined Twitter's communications team in April 2010, and in four years has become a go-to Twitter spokesperson for just about every tech and business writer on the planet.

She just announced that she's moving to New York to run the Vine team full time, taking on a marketing role in addition to PR. Vine was bought by Twitter in 2012, and Penner made her mark by running the PR campaign that launched it as Twitter's video service. Vine has been her baby ever since in addition to Twitter's Product and Technology Communications team.

She tells us she's excited about the move, not just because of the promotion but because, 'I've lived in the Bay Area my whole life.'

Twitter handle: @cpen and she's @cpen at Vine, too. ('Gotta throw that one in there!' she says.)

No. 3: Steve Dowling, Apple

Steve Dowling, the former CNBC reporter who has been running Apple's PR unit for a decade, is said to be the leading contender to replace Katie Cotton.

Cotton was Steve Jobs' longtime PR spin doctor. She announced her retirement in May.

Apple is a tight-lipped company not known for having the best relationship with the press. CEO Tim Cook is said to be trying to change that, and Dowling is well liked by the press.

No. 2: Victoria Grand, Google/YouTube

Victoria Grand is director of Global Corporate Communications & Policy at Google and YouTube. That's a mouthful for a title because the job is huge.

She's involved in PR for all of Google's products and services.

A graduate of Berkeley Law School, Victoria litigated intellectual property and contract disputes at Farella, Braun & Martel before jumping to Google. Since then, she's helped Google figure out policies including privacy, child safety, controversial content, and copyright.

'The thing I love about my role at Google is that I'm on both the PR and policy side,' she tells us. Her day might include working on YouTube's content decisions, responding to a PR crisis, working with the consumer PR team in New York. 'There's a bit of everything, which makes it fun and keeps me on my toes.'

Twitter handle: @victoriag

No. 1: April Conyers, Brew PR

April Conyers, vice president at agency Brew PR, moved to San Francisco from New York last year and wowed the tech press on both coasts.

She was nominated by more tech reporters than any other PR person on this list (even getting the nod from a reporter at a super prestigious financial publication that we promised not to name).

'She leads a well-known (and very well covered in the press) boutique tech PR. Mostly low B.S., and they seem very plugged into the tech scene,' one tech reporter told us.

Brew helped launch Pro.com and Doctor on Demand this year. Some of the agency's other clients included Automattic, NetSuite, Oracle, Quantifind and about.me.

Twitter handle: @april_conyers

Nominated by Business Insider's Jillian D'Onfro and Steve Kovach (New York), ReadWrite Editor-in-chief a Owen Thomas and another S.F.-based tech reporter.

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