Content + PR + California = A New Chapter in the Bay Area with Bhava

By Janelle KozyraJuly 31, 2014

Earlier this year I parted ways with my beloved hometown of Philadelphia and bought a one-way ticket to San Francisco. It was a move 10 years in the making, because as much as I wanted to live in California, that’s how long it took to be ready to leave everything I had ever known.

Over that time, I thought of just about every question involved with relocating across the country: What am I going to do for a job? Where am I going to live? How am I going to make friends? How am I going to find my way around? Will I be able to stay in touch with everyone back home? Will anyone come visit me? What if it’s not at all what I think it will be?

Despite the risks and unknowns, I took the leap because I felt like my jar of memories in Philly was filled. I had carved my path. I found my discoveries. That chapter was written and it was time to start a new one.

Bhava is a big part of that new chapter. Joining Bhava goes beyond just erasing a question mark from my relocation equation. It’s a fundamental reason why I feel at home in California and why this experience is the challenge and adventure I was looking for.

Plunging Into the Bay

The San Francisco Bay Area wasn’t even high on my list when I started seriously considering where to live in California. Like many East Coasters who had just experienced the coldest winter of their life, the warm sunshine of Southern California was pretty tempting and I figured I would base my decision on the weather. Then I learned just how intoxicating the Bay Area is with its mix of culture, innovation and entrepreneurialism. It began stealing my heart when I became acquainted with Bhava, whose office sits just east of the Bay Bridge.

The first time I traveled over the bridge I was in an Uber on my way to interview with the agency. That Friday morning was wrapped in the arms of Karl the Fog (yes, San Franciscans have a name for their fog) and when I arrived, the energy—and bright yellow walls—inside Bhava was instantly sunny. After spending the morning with several Bhavans, I could see that the agency is a microcosm of the Bay Area spirit and drive I was hoping to be a part of.

I joined Bhava on a mission that’s defined my career and life passion: writing stories that matter to audiences. When founder and CEO Liz Zaborowska launched Bhava Communications in 2009, part of her vision was to develop a new way of integrating marketing with public relations using great content as a driver of results and lift across campaigns. We share that worldview and I quickly knew I’d found my flock.

Some agencies are attempting to raise the bar of their content offerings by hiring career journalists. Others are trying to embrace the “integrated marketing and PR” mantra even though they don’t have experts in one or the other function on their team. Bhava was built from the start to successfully connect the world of content with the world of PR, and that’s one of the many things that attracted me to join as Director of Content.

Oh the Places You’ll Go With Content

Since its inception, Bhava has developed high-quality, newsworthy content that plays a symbiotic role with PR. We fill what we call the “imagination gap”—that disconnect between the magic of what tech companies are inventing and the non-inventive ways in which they describe them. Organizations in Silicon Valley and beyond are rewriting business playbooks and disrupting marketplaces, yet many companies struggle to express why it matters to their core audiences.

The best way to bridge this gap is with great content.

What does great content look like? It engages and educates customers, media and other influencers. It provokes discussion and creates perspectives. It drives decision making. The thing is, you can’t fully achieve those outcomes unless you have a team of A+ content pros who at once understand the technology at hand, can get inside the head of a tech executive, know the target audience and can accurately match a value proposition with a business need.

At Bhava, I’m surrounded by a team of inspiring people who’ve mastered this work. We believe PR and marketing success for our clients should not be defined merely by some number of media hits and sign-ups. It should be defined by how well and how fast a company meets its business objectives to achieve and sustain leadership in its category. That’s why our tagline is “We build category leaders.” It’s the status we help our clients reach, and it’s a standard to which we hold Bhava, as well.

Eyes Wide Open

Whenever I talk to people about relocating to California, nearly everyone says it takes a lot of courage to pick up and move so far away from family and friends. But even that hasn’t been the biggest challenge in this whole journey. Nor has it been the time spent packing up boxes, finding an apartment in the competitive San Francisco housing market, updating my address in dozens of places, getting to know the city streets or even making friends. All that stuff sorts itself out.

The biggest challenge is filling this chapter with so many new experiences that I’ll run out room on the pages. But I have no worries that Bhava will help get me there. For anyone else who’s anxious to start their own new chapter, when you’ve approached the edge and you’re good and ready to dive in, make sure you go head first and keep your eyes wide open. I hope you’ll find as much reward where you land as I have.