New York, NY – March 27, 2019 – Buttonwood Communications Group, a boutique public relations, marketing and strategic communications firm, is thrilled to announce it has been recognized in O’Dwyer’s 2019 annual ranking of PR firms specializing in financial services and investor relations. This year’s list was released online on March 27th and will be published in the May print edition of O’Dwyer’s magazine.
Reporting net fees of $1.31 million in 2018, Buttonwood has enjoyed tremendous growth in each of its four years. Last year was a particularly strong year for the firm as it expanded its client base to include new relationships with index provider Alerian, lease accounting software provider LeaseAccelerator and the Investment Adviser Association’s Active Managers Council, all while continuing to grow relationships with existing clients.
“I’m so proud of our team to have earned a Top 20 ranking in just our fourth year. It’s a powerful validation of the team’s quality of work and our efforts to continuously ensure we deliver results and add value on every assignment,” said Justin Meise, President & Founder of Buttonwood Communications Group. “And I certainly want to thank our clients who have trusted us as their vendor as well as our many industry colleagues who have helped us in countless ways, big and small.”
Now in its 50th year of conducting PR firm rankings, O’Dwyer’s determines an agency’s position based on net fees for the previous year, total number of employees, provided income tax and W-3 forms, as well as a current list of accounts.
Buttonwood welcomes a new relationship with Alerian, an independent provider of energy infrastructure and Master Limited Partnership (MLP) market intelligence. Founded in 2004 as an MLP-dedicated asset management firm, Alerian’s benchmarks are now widely used by industry executives, investment professionals, research analysts and national media to analyze relative performance. Buttonwood will be working closely with Alerian on expanding its profile across the industry primarily through media relations.
Buttonwood is delighted to announce its new relationship with the Investment Adviser Association. Founded in 1937, Investment Adviser Association (IAA) is a leading trade association representing the interests of SEC-registered investment adviser firms. The IAA’s growing membership consists of more than 600 firms that collectively manage approximately $20 trillion in assets for a wide variety of institutional and individual investors. Buttonwood will be working closely with IAA and its members on promoting a range of educational initiatives designed to further the public’s understanding of the investment management industry.
Buttonwood continues its growth with the addition of industry veteran Chip Bergstrom as Managing Director Boston. In this role, Chip will be responsible for growing the firm’s presence in New England.
“Having worked with Chip for many years in our previous lives, I’m particularly excited to be getting the band back together,” said Justin Meise, President & Founder of Buttonwood Communications Group. “With Chip’s past experience in a variety of managerial and leadership positions equipped with his deep knowledge across our industry, he immediately enhances the depth and breadth of our experience.”
Prior to joining the Buttonwood team, Chip served as VP of Marketing and Communications at Bay State College where he was responsible for overseeing the college’s marketing efforts. Chip was also Manager of Public Relations for one of Fidelity Investments’ institutional advisory groups and also served as Head of the Boston Office for another NY-based financial services PR firm. Chip graduated from Tufts University with a Bachelor of Arts in English.
Surrounding Equal Pay Day on Tuesday, April 10th, Buttonwood’s Christine Hudacko unveiled Project Worth alongside three of her former colleagues at BlackRock. Project Worth is a series of two-hour workshops in the San Francisco Bay area that are aimed at helping professional women take control of their financial life.
News of this initiative is featured in Beagan Wilcox Volz’s Ignites piece “Ex-BlackRock Execs Launch Effort to Tackle Gender Pay Gap.” The full article can be viewed here.
Buttonwood is pleased to announce that industry veteran Christine Hudacko is joining Buttonwood as Managing Director West Coast and will lead the firm’s efforts to grow and expand our business relationships particularly throughout the region.
“Christine and I have worked together for many years dating back to the earliest days of iShares, when our efforts focused on educating the marketplace about this strange new product called an ETF,” said Justin Meise, Buttonwood’s Founder and President. “I’m thrilled to have the chance to work with Christine again and her deep ETF and broad financial experience will be immensely valuable to all the support we provide clients.”
Prior to joining the Buttonwood team, Christine was the Head of PR for 55 Capital, an investment manager startup. She also was one of the earliest employees at iShares designing the PR program in 2000 and was there for 15 years working closely with the marketing and sales teams to create the world’s largest ETF provider. Christine holds a Master’s in Business Administration, Finance, from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Arts, Marketing from Siena College.
Buttonwood is excited to announce its new relationship with Parametric. Founded in 1987, Parametric is a leading global asset management firm, focused on the delivery of engineered portfolio solutions, including rules-based alpha-seeking equity, alternative and options strategies, as well as implementation services including custom core equity, futures overlay and centralized portfolio management. Buttonwood will be working closely with Parametric on a range of strategic communication, thought leadership and public relations initiatives.
Buttonwood continues to grow, creating the opportunity to expand its team with the addition of Carly Gray as Account Executive.
Carly is a recent graduate of Marist College. As Account Executive, she will provide media relations support for clients such as FTSE Russell, Westchester Capital Management and BondWave. In addition, Carly will support social media execution as well as media tracking and reporting. Carly graduated Summa Cum Laude from Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Business Administration. Here, she served on the executive board for the Marist College Chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America. Carly was also the recipient of the prestigious 2017 Outstanding Achievement Award in Public Relations.
Buttonwood is excited to announce its new relationship with Scivantage. Founded in 2000, Scivantage is leading the trend in financial technology by delivering intelligent and actionable information that is breaking barriers and helping to improve investment decisions among broker-dealers, mutual funds, custodians, and prime brokers. Buttonwood will be working closely with Scivantage on a range of strategic communication and thought leadership initiatives.
Buttonwood is excited to announce that it will be attending the Inside ETFs conference from January 22nd-25th in Hollywood, Florida. By attending some of the many sessions with strongly accredited panelists and moderators, Buttonwood hopes to improve its extensive knowledge of the ETF industry with the most cutting edge and up to date knowledge.
Buttonwood would like to thank everyone who turned out for the second annual holiday party at Eamonn’s Bar & Grill last week.
As a token of appreciation, Buttonwood shared a copy of Jason Zweig’s “The Devil’s Financial Dictionary” with clients and friends.
Buttonwood Founder and President Justin Meise reflected on the year’s success: “This year has surpassed our expectations. In 2016 alone we added to the team, moved to a larger office space, and started working with BondWave, Caliber Home Loans, launched 55 Capital for Lee Kranefuss, and continued our work with FTSE Russell, Indus Valley Partners, Vestmark, and Westchester Capital Management. I am thrilled to look around this room and see an incredible group of individuals reconnecting or meeting for the first time. I know I speak on behalf of the entire Buttonwood team when I express how truly grateful we are for everyone’s trust as we continue to grow our business. We look forward to seeing what 2017 holds!”
Buttonwood is delighted to announce it is now working with Caliber Home Loans. Based in Dallas, Caliber is among the largest mortgage originators and servicers in the country, having originated roughly $26 billion in new home loans in 2015 and servicing a portfolio of more than $85 billion across a diverse base of consumers. Buttonwood will be working with Caliber on a range of strategic communications and thought leadership initiatives.
Buttonwood is thrilled to announce it has been chosen by BondWave as its PR firm after a competitive selection process. BondWave is a leading provider of technology and insights for the fixed income marketplace. Buttonwood will assist BondWave with enhancing its visibility in the industry, especially among advisors and bond trading desks, through a range of strategic communications, PR and thought leadership initiatives.
Lee Kranefuss has been called the “Father of ETFs” after his success building the iShares business. Now as Lee, hedge fund manager and Wharton School Professor Vinay Nair and former President and COO of WisdomTree Investments Bruce Lavine develop plans to launch a new ETF focused firmed, to be called 55 Capital, they have selected Buttonwood Communications Group to develop and manage the PR launch.
“We are humbled and honored to work with the 55 team,” said Justin Meise, President and Founder of Buttonwood Communications Group. “Having worked with Lee in the early years of the iShares business, I’m very excited to have the opportunity to again work with one of the industry’s great leaders. We look forward to supporting Lee, Vinay and Bruce as they build what we are sure will be a highly successful firm.”
Buttonwood would like to thank everyone who turned out for our first annual holiday cocktails for making it a terrific event. Held at Maggie’s Place in midtown on December 1st.
In his toast, Buttonwood Founder and President Justin Meise commented: “We’ve had a terrific first year in business and everyone in this room has played a role in Buttonwood’s success either as a client or by providing advice, moral support or encouragement. And as many in this room know firsthand, starting a business is a challenging endeavor, and it’s difficult to express how grateful we are to all of you for trusting us with your businesses. We look forward to many years of continuing to work with and support each of you!”
Buttonwood’s Justin Meise will be joining Marist College professor, Jennie Donohue and Hofstra University professor Jeff Morosoff, on a panel at the 73rd Annual New York State Communication Association Conference on October 17th.
The session called, “Communication and Business Alignment: Exploring the Need for Business Basics as Part of a Public Relations Education,” brings together public relations faculty and professionals in order to examine the importance of teaching business basics to communication students. During the moderated discussion, the panelists will discuss how business knowledge can benefit communication students, regardless of their career choices, as well as explore strategies for incorporating it into the classroom environment. In addition, audience members will be invited to ask questions and contribute their thoughts to the discussion.
The New York State Communication Association is an organization of faculty, students, and professionals in communication who are dedicated to studying, improving, and applying the principles and practices of communication to all walks of life.
Click here to learn more about the NYSCA annual conference.
Buttonwood Communications Group is a boutique agency specializing in financial services and financial technology. Launched in February 2015, we have already enjoyed sufficient growth that we are seeking talented candidates to expand our team to meet current and anticipated needs. Our client list includes household names as well as well-respected, niche players.
We are looking for candidates who are seeking to start a career in financial PR and marketing. Candidates should have education that prepared them for careers in either financial services or marketing communications/PR. Key skills include: an ability/confidence to pitch media, ability to write in a variety of disciplines, proven experience and knowledge of social media and intellectual curiosity. In short, we want candidates who are hungry, humble and smart!
We offer competitive compensation commensurate with experience and skill levels. Plus, you will be immersed in the world of financial communications and gain valuable experience that will serve as a foundation for any career path.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Buttonwood’s Justin Meise will join Tom Lydon, president of Global Trends Investments and editor of ETF Trends, as panelists at the invitation-only 2015 iShares Connect Conference on Tuesday, April 21st. Featured on the Build Your Marketing Toolkit: Scalable and Affordable Marketing Tactics panel, Meise and Lydon will discuss using an integrated communications approach to build your brand. The speakers will offer advice to the ETF strategist attendees on how to fine-tune their message and develop a unique value proposition that resonates with both current and potential clients. Meise and Lydon will also discuss the role of content marketing, effective use of social media and digital marketing.
About the iShares Connect Program
Since 2008, the iShares Connect Program has been committed to nurturing and growing the ETF Investment Strategist industry. The iShares Connect team offers Strategists bespoke consulting services to help expand and scale their businesses. According to Cerulli Associates, in 2014, iShares was rated the most supportive ETF Provider by ETF Strategists.
Click here for more information on the iShares Connect Program.
Buttonwood’s own Justin Meise talks shop in an exclusive Q&A with Gorkana Group on what motivated him to launch his own PR firm, Buttonwood Communications Group.
Meise’s advice for others wanting to start a career in PR is to “be hungry, humble and smart.”
The breakdown of this sage advice:
Hungry – Have passion, have ambition. Have a personality. Employers and clients want to know that you have goals and the work ethic to achieve them.
Humble – Ego that propels you to work hard and take calculated risks is essential, but no one wants to work with an entitled millennial any more than a blowhard senior manager. Think Socratic wisdom (paraphrased with liberties): the more you know, the more you learn you don’t know.
Smart – Success in PR requires critical thinking not just spitting out lots of facts. Can you connect the dots across parts of an organization or a set of topics to provide thoughtful recommendations or ideas? Think higher cognitive functioning in Bloom’s taxonomy: analyze, evaluate, synthesize, create.
View Meise’s full Q&A HERE
Marist Alumnus Justin Meise Discusses Professional Growth and Financial PR at Marist PRSSA Regional Conference
Recently, Meise returned to his alma mater to speak on the “Finding Your Niche in the Public Relations Industry” panel at the Marist College PRSSA Regional Conference. Besides introducing his “public relations firm of the future,” he addressed students’ questions and gave advice for becoming a well-rounded professional. Meise made a point of advising students to challenge themselves. He spoke from experience – being that he created Buttonwood out of a need to challenge himself – and described complacency as a disadvantage and a precursor to disinterest.
Read the full article by Melissa Andrews HERE
One of the great aspects of doing PR from the agency side is that we are given a window into many different organizations. What’s interesting is that despite the many differences among the clients we serve in financial services, so often the needs and solutions are uncannily similar.
Take for example the counsel and programs we provided to three clients who couldn’t be more different: a global index provider, a mid-size asset management firm and a boutique economic research firm. Each was seeking to raise their visibility – that’s generally a given in our space. But while each had past history of success with media, there were new challenges to address. Each needed to:
- Connect with the “next generation” of journalists and reconnect with past relationships
- Establish a presence in new channels, especially social media
- Find ways for PR to add value across the enterprise to have a tangible impact on business development
Traditional PR programs are limited in their ability to address these and other related challenges that are prevalent today. To be successful, firms like these need partners who see the broad strategic opportunities, who understand what resonates with the target audiences and who ultimately have the comprehensive, modern skill set to reach them.
In the case of these three clients, while the content and audiences differed, the philosophy behind their successful programs was the same. Each required a program that:
- Began with strong, thoughtful and engaging content
- Established a disciplined, consistent process to ensure a continuous flow of this content
- Incorporated a broader set of tactics that included a social media strategy to reach reporters, collaboration with the marketing team and freshened language to better articulate these firms value propositions
Essentially, programs have to be built around target audiences with greater precision and focus than ever before. Also, organizations need to continuously adapt their content to suit the communication preferences of the audiences they are trying to reach. Said another way, given how easily audiences can filter your message out, it’s vital that we develop compelling content and continuously adapt that content for different forms of distribution and engagement – to ensure we find ways to touch the target audiences.
That’s easier said than done. We believe the best content is conceived by people who not only have consummate command of the subject matter, but who also understand all the different forms of distribution (or engagement).
Of course, building integrated plans can become terribly unwieldy, and even the most committed, well-meaning professionals can see their planning efforts derailed by the sheer enormity of the task: difficulties setting goals and remaining aligned with business strategies, information overloads, collaboration challenges or time constraints.
That’s why we have created and honed a disciplined process for producing effective programs. It begins with a thorough review of the business strategy and research and then builds on this foundation in successive steps. This allows us to break the process into clear, manageable tasks and move methodically towards the desired outcome: a comprehensive, integrated plan.
An agency with experience across both disciplines can add significant value to other parts of a business. Even if the assignment is focused on one area, say PR and not marketing, a disciplined process that considers all audiences and communication channels can drive the creation of more effective programs.
Justin Meise, founder & president of Buttonwood will speak at the Developing a Well-Rounded Professional Marist College PRSSA Regional Conference on February 28th.
Justin, along with Michael O’Brien, partner and director of New York Client Development for the North American region of Ketchum, Inc.; and Kelsey Donohue, press aide in the Office of the First Lady at the White House, will be speaking on the 1:45 p.m. panel, “Finding Your Niche in the Public Relations Industry.”
More information can be found HERE
- Buttonwood Named a Top 20 Financial PR Firm in the U.S. April 5, 2019
- Buttonwood Welcomes Alerian September 14, 2018
- Buttonwood Welcomes IAA May 8, 2018
- Buttonwood Takes Beantown! Industry Veteran Chip Bergstrom Joins Buttonwood as MD Boston May 1, 2018
- Buttonwood’s Christine Hudacko Featured in Ignites April 12, 2018