In The Silicon Tropic

By South Florida entrepreneurs, for South Florida entrepreneurs. All things tech in the sunny Silicon Tropic.

Meet: David Barkoe of Carve Communications

David Headshot

David Barkoe is a Co-Founder at Carve Communications, a PR and marketing agency that caters specifically to startups in South Florida. With his and his Co-Founder’s extensive experience in PR, you can get TOP marketing talent and work through them for a great price. Read his interview below to learn more.

Tell us about Carve Communications:Carve Communications is a full-service communications agency based in Miami, Florida.  We help our clients develop a narrative that can be leveraged to drive awareness, engagement and activation through PR and social media activities.”

Who is on your team:The company was founded by myself and my business partner, Moon Vitiello.  We also have an account executive on the team, Brian Poole.”

What was everyone on your team doing before launching Carve?Moon and I were both working at another PR firm here in Miami. But in summer 2014 we were not happy with the direction of the agency and our careers there, so we decided to launch Carve Communications.”

Why should a startup engage a PR firm?A startup should engage a PR firm because they need awareness for their company, product or service within a media outlet. They need potential buyers or users of their product to know it exists, learn about it, try it, buy it, engage with it, etc.  Press coverage is still the most effective third-party endorsement.”

At what point should a startup engage a PR firm?When they have news. When they are ready to go market with a product. When they have a successful case study. When they want to engage an audience at a tradeshow or conference. When they want to be considered a thought leader in their industry.”

How is Carve Communications different from other PR agencies?Within Miami, we are the only agency focused on working with South Florida-based startups and we feel we have the most experience.I’ve been in the PR game for 17+ years and Moon’s been doing it for 15 years. Our goal is to be the agency of record for the Miami startup ecosystem. We understand startups and what goes into working with them.”

What are all the services your company provides?The core of what we do is Media Relations…we get media coverage for clients. We also develop and manage social media communities, create corporate and brand messaging, advise on marketing strategies, event planning, and crisis communications. We can also recommend some partner vendors for other services like video production, graphic design, media buying, etc.  We refer to it as our on-demand team.”

How much should a startup budget to engage your firm, at a minimum?We are very flexible when it comes to budget and contract length.  Our monthly retainer fees are considerably less than what other agencies, not only in Miami, but in NYC, SF or Boston charge to work with startups.”

What is a current project or idea your team is working on?One thing we’re trying to do is get the local Miami broadcast media to take notice of the startup ecosystem. Most producers and reporters at channels 4, 6, 7, and 10 have no idea there is a growing startup scene or what’s happening in Wynwood.  We’re trying to change that and work with producers to set aside some broadcast time to feature interesting startups.”

Where is your office located?We are at Buro MIMO on 73rd and Biscayne.  It’s a great space.  Very clean and professional.  It’s a nice mix between your startup shared office space and a traditional rental office.”

What productivity apps does your team use?Slack and Google Drive. We tried Asana for a while but we lost interest.  We’re a small team so we know who’s assigned what and when it’s due.”

Who made your website?Our site was created by the awesome team at M8 here in Miami.

What is the best reason to start or grow a startup in Miami? In other words, what about Miami is great for a startup?Opportunity.  There is so much opportunity to create something here. When you look at it, this ecosystem is still in its infancy so if you have an idea or you have a company that can support and help entrepreneurs, this is a great place to do it.  And most importantly, as John Santiago, the CEO of M8 told me when I started this agency, if you show up on time and you get there before the other guy, you’re gonna win here.”

What do you think Miami needs to become the next startup hub?The ecosystem needs to adopt a little more NYC or San Francisco mentality.  A little more dogged focus. And even more importantly, we need a few more Series A rounds to establish some more legitimacy for the ecosystem.”

Name 3 of your startup clients:Videoo, Wyncode and LiveNinja.”

Best Happy Hour in Miami?No idea.  My happy hours are spent watching Curious George or riding Razor scooters with my 4 ½ year old son.”

Best place for a business lunch? “Too many.  We really like Mignonette and now we’re fans of Organic Bites.”

Finish this sentence: I wish a Miami startup would create an app that “convinced people you don’t need kickstarter to launch a product or gain community awareness.”

 

 

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