Hustle and Heart Set a Great Agency Apart

Posted on March 24, 2022

By Robin Bulanti

Jeans. Haircuts. Cheese. Wine. 401ks. 80s music. Offleash.

Some things just get better with time. 

Next year will be 20 years in business for Offleash (founded as the eponymous Kulesa Public Relations in 2003). And pinch me — it keeps getting better. 

One year ago, Julie and I bought the agency. It was an anxiety-inducing but exciting leap that we took together, and we have never once looked back. Besides, we had clocked almost 20 years in front row seats, building this powerhouse team and learning to run the agency from the very best. 

What separates a great agency from a good one? Hire smart, curious people, don’t get too comfortable, and always exceed expectations. Our clients will tell you: What really makes a great agency is what they can do between news cycles. It takes creativity, drive, and most of all – hustle – to make that media magic happen. And we have hustle in spades.

What a long, strange trip the past two years have been — not only from a world view, but also closer to home. I’m talking about our personal mental health, and the losses that have been painful for too many of us. At the start of the pandemic, we had an open conversation with our team – none of us knew what to expect, but we would weather it together – like we always do. 

One strange side effect has been watching how business took a pause and then bounced (boomed) back last year. The most successful clients never took their foot off the gas, and neither did we.

Last year alone, three Offleash clients reached unicorn status, we had two fresh IPOs, and two of our clients achieved a successful exit through acquisition. We also got back on the road for industry events, and expanded our team as well as our portfolio, welcoming exciting new clients including Apiiro, ClickUp, Incorta, Kandji, and MinIO, among others.

Perhaps the one constant in PR is change. We’re navigating an ever-shifting media landscape, paid media, as well as new content mediums and social platforms. We not only brought on renowned journalist Chris Preimesberger as Offleash Media Advisor, but last month was the second highest monthly total of bylines placed, landing our clients in places like Fast Company, Fortune, Forbes, and Inc. Also, this year we are launching a new integrated marketing practice at Offleash to introduce services including marketing analytics, demand generation, influencer relations, and paid social. 

What keeps PR relevant, and at a premium for value, involves delivering services where our clients are. While media coverage and relationships are always the first stop, the asks and expectations have shifted to new areas, and we continue to meet clients there. “There” can mean a new service, deliverable, or training, or even a new area in the world, and we keep building on close partnerships with like-minded global partners across Asia, Australia, Brazil, Europe, Israel, or anywhere our clients need to go next. 

As for where we’ll go next…obviously we’re going Offleash! It’s in our DNA. As the name says, we are unbound by convention. We work hard and play hard. We hustle, and we have heart. All these qualities separate the great from the good — and they are what make Offleash unlike any other agency. We have a big, bright, and even better future ahead of us. Stay tuned.