I said we’d be starting back up with interviews, and here’s the first of many more to come. Have you ever wondered about the workings of a tech PR agency? Well we’ve sat down with the owner of one of the largest consumer tech PR firms out there, Max Borges of the Max Borges Agency. I’ve personally never met or been in contact with Max until now, but I’ve worked with his wonderful staff for many years now and I for one was curious about him and wanted to learn a bit more about his firm. I figured let’s get an interview with one of the PR greats out there and here it is for your reading enjoyment…
He sent us over a picture as well, here he is:
Let’s get on with the interview, it’s informal and sort of on the personal side, I hope you enjoy it.
TestFreaks: Tell us about you? What’s an average day like for you? (Introduce yourself to our readers.)
Max Borges: Well, our agency is the country’s number one Consumer Tech focused agency. We have 35 employees and about 60 clients. My job is to make sure we stay focused on the key things that have made us so successful, hiring the very best people, identifying the best companies to represent and finally putting together procedures and incentives to insure that we all work like a finely tuned machine.
Q: Can you tell us a bit, in your own words, about Max Borges? When did your company get started? Why did you start Max Borges? What’s it all about?
10 years ago I was unemployed and looking for a job. I couldn’t get anyone to hire me but I did get one company to bring me on as a marketing consultant working from my little apartment. It paid pretty good and I still had extra time, so instead of sitting around, I looked for another client. I kept adding clients, and then started hiring people to help me. We were doing everything from PR to events to advertising and design. It took me 4 years to figure out we needed to focus on one thing. At the time I was reading Good to Great and Jack Welch’s autobiography. They both said the same thing: Figure out one thing you can be the best at. That thing was Consumer Tech PR. We grew 74% that year and we have made the INC5000 list the past three years in a row.
Q: What do you feel makes your agency unique when compared to others?
Our agency is a once stop shop for the media. It is our goal to provide reviewers with everything they need to get their job done. Even our website www.maxborgesagency.com is designed as a one-stop shop. Reviewers can find information on any of the hundreds of products we represent. No other agency has anything like this. Also, our focus on Consumer Tech allows us to really be the experts when it comes to Consumer Tech PR. We know all the tradeshows inside and out, we know how to launch products and the many intricate details that can make or break a launch. We eat and breath Consumer Tech!
Q: How do you select products? Do companies come to you or do you seek them out or a combination of both?
We look for the companies we think have great products and go after them. If it’s a product we want to buy, then it’s a good client for us. We do get a lot of referrals, but if we don’t believe in the products, we won’t work with them. We have even fired clients because we did not think they lived up to our standards.
Q: What’s your most popular product or line of products?
Wow, tough question. There are so many. I will say that all of the products we represent get great coverage, otherwise, we’d be out of business.
Q: Do you personally get to test or ‘play’ with all the products? Have you or your staff actually had the chance to use the products from the companies you’re representing?
Oh yeah, we do all the time, I was just handed a pair of Bluetooth headphones from Jaybird to try out when I go running tonight. My kids have WAY too many gadgets. They think all consumer tech products are free.
Q: What’s been one of the favorite products of you and your staff?
That’s like asking me which of my kids I like the most. I love them all!
Q: The holiday season is coming and we know it’s a big time for shoppers, can you give us any insights into what you think is going to be big this year?
App-cessories will likely be the hottest trend and Consumer Tech in general will do great.
Q: Your company focuses on Consumer Technology, where do you see that tech going in the next 5 years? What’s going to be the next big thing? What’s not going to be around 5 years from now?
I think in the not too distant future, all data will reside on the Cloud and everything will be wireless. So products will work together much more. You will be able to access your data with all of your gadgets.
Q: Can you share any quirky or odd experiences you’ve had with clients over the years? Without naming names of course.
We found this really cool company from Japan that made a laser turntable, we usually sign clients over the phone and email but this guy wanted to meet us in person, so he jumped on a plane and came to our offices. It was our first client from outside the country and we had a great time. Later I was able to visit him and his factory just outside of Tokyo. We went out for sushi and sang at an authentic Japanese karaoke bar. It was an amazing experience!
Q: How have reviews affected your customers or clients products sales?
Reviews can make or break a product. A good review can make all the difference, but a bad review can be a great learning experience. Not every product is perfect and not everybody loves every product. That said, it’s our job to know who likes what kind of product. Why send a journalist a product if you know they are not going to like it?
Q: What makes a good reviewer?
I think a good reviewer understands what the product is supposed to do. He knows what products are in the same category/price range and reviews it for what it is and not what he wishes it could be. I hate it when a reviewer gives a product bad marks for not doing something it was never designed to do in the first place.
Q: What tips can you offer readers when it comes to purchasing a product?
On-line research! Nowadays it so easy to get plenty of information about a product before buying. It really takes out the guess work.
Q: Finally what do you think of sites like TestFreaks that aggregates and analyzes a large number of reviews?
TestFreaks is a dream come true. You guys really cut down on the work it takes to evaluate a product. I go to Testfreaks every time I want to buy something.
I would like to thank Max for taking the time out of his busy schedule to do this little interview and for the support his company has provided us through products for review. Many of things we review on TestFreaks come from the Max Borges Agency. When you get the chance stop on over to their site and see all the latest and greatest products and companies they represent. Their site is a great way to see what’s new in the consumer tech world.