To be "PR agency for the new economy," Burch Partners innovates with flexible business model

Brian Burch says the decision to launch his public relations firm Burch Partners a year ago had one caveat: keep overhead costs as close to zero as possible. Burch has managed to stay true to this goal by establishing workspaces at client locations, effectively embedding himself and his staff within the organizations.

Burch, a public relations professional for 14 years, began Burch Partners as a one-person operation. After eight months, he needed to bring on a full-time account assistant, followed by a part-time communications professional a month later. That part-time position will be full-time in a few weeks.

"Right now, we have no central office. We're all working out of our clients' spaces or our homes," Burch says. "I really like working out of Start Garden because there's a lot of opportunity coming through, and those serendipitous happenings come through there more often. I think we're going to end up having an office, but we still want to be out in the community having those serendipitous meetings, so we'll look at co-working places like The Factory. We want to be that PR agency for the new economy, so we run lean right now and want to be sure our clients get the best value."

Burch says the biggest challenge used to be keeping everyone at Burch Partners connected and communicating no matter whether staff members were at home, at a coffee shop, or working from a client office, such as Start Garden, the Downtown Market, or ArtPrize. He says that even just six years ago, that was nearly impossible. But technology like Dropbox and GLIP collaboration software allows them to monitor document and calendar updates in real time and enables easy sharing of information through in-software messaging.

"I feel very strongly that being at the front end of technology and sharing knowledge is very important," Burch says. "I'm obsessive about finding ways to connect and collaborate with each other, even if we're not in the same building."

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of Burch Partners
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