Home»Recommendations»What Clients Say: Neda Azarfar

“As one of the senior reps on the Myspace account, Jim worked closely with me on all things business, trade and tech. He was the best! Jim’s vast experience gave him a treasure trove of examples and resources from which he frequently pulled in order to offer strategic counsel, meaningful situation analysis, positioning insights and more. His skills, coupled with his relentless commitment and dependability made him an integral member of the communications team and key partner during the 2013 Myspace relaunch. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Jim, highly recommend him to anyone considering a strategic and effective communications executive, and look forward to partnering with Jim again.”

– Neda Azafar, Vice President Marketing Communications, The Recording Academy (client, Rogers & Cowan)

Jim-Hughes-800x600-1

Jim Hughes: Quick. Resourceful. Strategic.

Available for in-house or agency positions as well as consulting or freelance engagements.  Over two decades of experience creating and executing award winning campaigns.  Versatile, hands-on work for clients including research-driven positioning and message development, materials creation/refinement, media/analyst relations, launches, media tours, proactive pitching, event support, thought leadership, crisis support, speaking programs and award submissions. Business development skills with strong in-the-room presentational abilities. Quickly integrates with existing teams and rolls into action.

TAKEAWAYS:

  • Creative, results-driven approach that leverages public relations, analysts/influencers and social to achieve business and client objectives. Implements successful, best-of-breed communication strategies and tactics from 20+ years in the industry from global communications agency, in-house and consulting roles.
  • Hands-on, “in the trenches” style allows flexibility to serve in multiple positions, from solo PR/marcom department to leadership of internal team and/or oversight of external agency.
  • Exceptionally adaptable, with PR success for clients in a wide range of industries: tech (enterprise, storage networking, hardware and software to consumer-focused apps, eReading devices and games); content (creators, production houses, VFX, streaming services and first-mover delivery); consumer/lifestyle (luxury, private aviation, wellness and CPG); mobile/native advertising technology; and real estate (REITs, EB-5 and residential brokerages).
  • Outreach has resulted national and global business, trade, consumer, tech, entertainment and lifestyle coverage.
  • Comfortable working with all levels of executive and managerial staff, partners and third parties to counsel, gain consensus and green-light/execute programs. Easy-going under pressure, great sense of humor.
  • Strong in-the-room presence to sell in ideas, brainstorm new approaches and create forward-moving success paths.

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EXPERIENCE:

Rogers & Cowan
Vice President, Convergence
April 2011 – April 2014

Senior member of the firm’s technology-focused practice concentrating on disruptive and first-mover hardware, apps and online platforms.  Entering as a contractor and hiring on as a VP in December 2011, developed and executed strategic B2B, B2C and trade-focused communications programs for a diverse set of accounts.

  • Served as an in-demand communications strategist with highly successful, hands-on media relations abilities
  • Strong writer – drafted press releases, messaging, bylined articles, fact sheets, event presentation, social content, blog posts and more. Edits to AP style.
  • Successfully launched 59 products/initiatives for 25 clients over the three-year period.
    • Includes hands-on overlapping launches of four companies in a five-week span.
  • Memorable wins:
    • Haunting Melissa – Launch work generated 200+ placements in strongly syndicating worldwide outlets and five million app downloads; secured Mediapost’s Appy award, finalist in the Appster awards, speaking slots at Apps-World North America (keynote), Digital Entertainment World and the Second Screen Summit. Company is currently in production for the sequel. In2 SABRE Award finalist.
    • Myspace – Media relations guru for business, tech and advertising trade outreach, deeply involved in the highly visible 2013 site relaunch and mobile release (2.17 billion overwhelmingly positive media impressions, 31 million unique site visitors/995,000 app downloads in the first two weeks) as well as underlying partner wins (Bud Light, Jimmy Kimmel Live). Crisis point person for FTC, EFF and layoff issues, responsible for positive coverage to support underlying adtech business in MediaPost, Adweek, AdAge, Digiday and many others. PRISM Award winner.
    • Kobo – Core member of the team from initial debut at BEA, through product releases, worldwide expansion, crisis and acquisition by Rakuten, the Amazon of Japan, for $315 million in cash. Worked closely with executives, was the go-to for hands-on media wins in tight execution windows.  Hermes Award winner.

Selected clients include: Kobo (eReading devices, apps and bookstore / tech, business, publishing trades, consumer, lifestyle, crisis, acquisition); Myspace (social music site relaunch / business, tech, consumer, advertising trades, crisis, entertainment); Hooked Digital Media (hybrid digital production studio, Haunting Melissa / business, tech, consumer, entertainment, entertainment trades); CrowdFlik (crowd-powered video / tech, business); ooVoo (multi-party video chat app / tech, consumer); Motorola (augmented reality app / entertainment trades); Wanderful Interactive Storybooks (Living Books children’s apps / consumer, trade, tech); Elite Aviation (private jet services / business, trade, luxury); ZOIC Studios (visual effects for features, TV and commercials / entertainment and advertising trades); PostRelease (mobile advertising / analysts and advertising trades); and Hint Water (consumer beverages / business).

 

PUBLIC RELATIONS CONSULTANT
August 2008 – April 2011

Provided a full range of public relations and marketing communications services for companies and PR firms.  Supported enterprise technology hardware/software/cloud solutions (storage and servers) as well as medical technology.  Clients included: NES Financial/Nationwide Exchange Services (cloud-based financial, legal, leasing, REIT and EB-5 industry solutions / business, trades); Technicolor (MediAffinity content management solution / tech, trades) with R. Antonette Communications; NEC (servers and storage / turnkey case study development); OtisMed (knee replacement technology / regional consumer outreach) for Laura Nobles Communications; Vital Data Technology (electronic medical records system / consumer) for Laura Nobles Communications.

 

FLEISHMAN-HILLARD
Vice President
November 2005 – August 2008

Member of the Los Angeles corporate practice as well as the firm’s technology and sustainability groups of the world’s largest public relations company.  Developed and implemented strategic communications programs for a diverse set of accounts, managed teams and served as a mentor for junior staff.  Clients and activities included: The LTO Program (tape backup and archiving / 360-degree marketing support, trades, tech and business); Marvell Electronics (semiconductors / tech, trades, business); Cigna Healthcare (wellness / regional consumer) Digital Domain (visual effects / business, entertainment trades, consumer); and Ridge Property Trust (REIT / business and real estate trades).

 

PUBLIC RELATIONS CONSULTANT
April 2002 – November 2005

Served as public relations and marketing communications contractor for technology companies and PR firms.  Clients included: QAD (ERP solutions and services / initially analyst relations, moving to oversight of global public relations, agency management); DataDirect Networks (storage networking / tech, high performance computing trades, business); ETeam (emergency response / marcom material development); iQstor (SMB storage products / tech, trades, marcom support); and JPR Communications (storage technology PR firm / technical strategist, drafted releases, ghosted thought leadership pieces for Asigra, EMC Rainfinity, Kaysha, Maxell, NeoPath Networks, NetEx, Nexsan and OnStor).

 

DATADIRECT NETWORKS, INC.
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications
August 2001 – April 2002 / June 1999 – August 2000

Developed strategy and executed public relations plan to establish DataDirect as a leader in storage area network appliances with media, analysts, the channel and end-users during two stints at the company.  Work included strategy and message development associated with repositioning, category definition and strong framing with analysts to validate the appliance concept with all audiences, writing (press releases, case histories, contributed features), launches, event support, media tours, proactive outreach, presentation development and executive prep.

 

PORTER NOVELLI
Account Manager, Convergence Group
September 2000 – August 2001

Clients included IBM and Streamwaves; also handled projects for Neopost Online, Iris Wireless and BBBOnLine.  Results included coverage of IBM, Streamwaves and BBBOnLine in top tier business, print, trade and online publications.

 

THE BOHLE COMPANY
Managing Supervisor, Account Supervisor, Senior Account Executive
August 1996 – June 1999

Represented enterprise networking, consumer technology and new media clients including Microsoft (Southern California), SGI and a wide range of B2B and B2C software and dot-com companies.

 

MUSTANG SOFTWARE, INC.
Director of Public Relations
September 1995 – August 1996

Created the in-house public relations department to handle trade, consumer and corporate media activities.  Launched Wildcat! series of bulletin board system software, the company’s interactive web server product and QmodemPro communications software.

 

PRIOR PUBLIC RELATIONS EXPERIENCE:

Entertainment, corporate and event experience in agency and in-house roles from 1985-1990.  Music industry agency experience included representing Aretha Franklin, Narada Michael Walden, Michael Masser, The Temptations and The Commodores on teams with Barbara Shelly and JoAnn Geffen organizations; label experience with TLO and TLO/Airwaves Records.  Corporate experience included program development and day-to-day execution with Southern California real estate companies (The Herbert Hawkins Companies) and real estate for individual developments with The Good Guise ad agency.  Provided PR support and team oversight for the annual Invention Convention event.  Launched an early online service from three-line BBS to nationally available service from 1990 to 1994 (pre-Internet) as the Director of Public Relations and Advertising for Computer Productions.

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Get in Touch With Jim:

Jim Hughes Los Angeles, CA, 90041 - USA

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Telephone+1 (323) 397-7077