Offleash Celebrates 20 Years


By Robin Bulanti and Julie Tangen

Twenty years ago, Joanna Kulesa made her mark on Silicon Valley, launching a unique high tech PR agency model unbound by convention.

The year was 2003. Android, MySpace, and Tesla were founded. LinkedIn, the iTunes store, the Safari browser, and Skype were launched. In Da Club by Fifty Cent was the #1 song (Go, shorty, it’s your birthday…) Finding Nemo was the #1 movie. “Just keep swimming” was (and remains) sound advice.

Here we are, 20 years on, and we’re still swimming and making our mark. 

We took the master class in running business as an art form from Joanna, who retired in 2021 and remains our trusted advisor. We’ve continued to grow the business, with a badass and loyal executive team by our side, and 30 amazing, accomplished professionals on the team bringing their all every day.

Like this industry, our business is dynamic. We’ve weathered the ups and downs, the economic pressures and headwinds inherent to the tech industry. The business shapeshifts and evolves over the years, people may come and go (and often come back!), and the very fabric of it becomes somehow more interesting and beautiful. 

Think of all the technology innovation we’ve witnessed over the past two decades. Technology trends and the very tools powering our business now weren’t more than a twinkle in a founder’s eye when the agency started. The iPhone, Slack, Google Workspace, Zoom, LinkedIn, and so much more, are all new technology platforms introduced in the years since, and many other innovations that have fundamentally changed how we perform our jobs and run our business today. 

How does Offleash keep pace in a world of never-ending innovation?

Flexibility has been key. One philosophy in our DNA from the start has been a flexible work model. From day one, we were remote friendly to support each other in pursuing our lives, dreams, and families. We’ve always been set up for hybrid work, having agency leaders and team members who were working remotely, so when the pandemic hit in 2020 our move to fully work-from-home was seamless. While we still have a core team in Silicon Valley today, our people are living in more than a half dozen states across the country.

Another differentiator is that we don’t get stuck in old school thinking. We keep swimming harder and diving deeper to get ahead of what’s next. While media results stay paramount, the agency has successfully launched new services over the years, from media training workshops to IPO strategy and VC/investor communications, to building out specialized practice areas for content and research. Last year, Offleash launched a new integrated marketing arm to reflect the expanding needs of our largest clients and to partner more closely with CMOs.

We’ve been proud to help disruptors make their mark. Our team puts companies on the map and has launched dozens of tech startups from stealth including Snowflake in 2014. We’ve worked with market leaders like Alation, ClickUp, Imperva, JFrog, Juniper Networks, Nutanix, Rubrik, and Sumo Logic, and led at least 40 client exits through IPO – including Aerohive, Apigee, Jamf, Sumo Logic, and UserTesting – and acquisitions by the likes of Dell, Google, IBM, Oracle, Red Hat, Splunk, and VMware. 

In 2021, Offleash was named one of America’s Best PR Agencies by Forbes and has been recognized as an award-winning workplace by Fortune, Inc., and the San Francisco Business Times. 

Our purpose is to make a mark on the world for our clients, colleagues, and our community. 

Part of the magic in these 20 years is working with people we respect (and love) and nurturing future leaders along their professional journey. Our north stars every day, guiding every interaction with each other, clients, partners, and the media, are three core values:

Integrity first. Be bold. All in.

They may be six simple words, but these values have stood the test of time as our guiding principles. If you know us, you know what we stand for.

Happy birthday, shorty, and just keep swimming.