"Two of my biggest mistakes I have ever made is launch Facebook's Newsfeed and Facebook Beacon. And how did I handle those mistakes? By never doing them again. When launching a product, I think it's really important to over-communicate, be in touch with the press as often as possible, and keep everyone posted with the progress you are making and the changes you are doing." -- Brandee Barker
How do you handle mistakes?
Brandee Barker advises Internet startups on strategic communications and social media programs. Having spent nearly 20 years in the tech industry, her passion is guiding young founders, executives and their teams through the crucial stages of message development and delivery, market positioning, launch planning and multimedia dissemination. Her current and past clients include notable Internet start-ups AirBnB, Groupon, Spotify, Square and Quora.
Prior to starting her own business in 2011, Brandee held the distinguished role of being the first communications executive at Facebook. In 2006, Brandee joined Facebook when it had 100 employees and 5 million college users and saw it through to more than 2,000 employees and 500 million users worldwide. During her tenure, she grew the communications team to 10 employees, hired and managed the first U.S. and international PR agencies, and oversaw a multi-million dollar budget. She led the PR strategy for many major business milestones including, Microsoft ($240MM) and DST ($300MM) investments, Parakey and Friend Feed acquisitions, and many strategic partnerships. She launched
hundreds of products and features, most notably News Feed, Pages, “Share” and “Like,” Facebook Ads, Facebook Platform and the initial translation of the site. In her role as a public spokesperson for Facebook, Brandee navigated through many challenges including rumors of buyouts, IPO and revenue speculation, government investigations, site outages and massive user protests around privacy issues. In contrast, Brandee also served as a consumer TV spokesperson and co-hosted the live web stream of the 2009 Golden Globes and American Music Awards.
Through all of this, Brandee developed a deep and trusted network among media – print reporters, tech bloggers and broadcast producers. She built Facebook into a global phenomenon, in part, by placing countless stories in influential blogs, such as AllThingsD, GigaOm, Mashable, TechCrunch, and VentureBeat, and targeting cover stories in Fast Company, Financial Times, Fortune, New York Times, Newsweek, Wall St. Journal and Wired. In addition, she secured and managed executive appearances on 60 Minutes, Bloomberg, CNBC, GMA, Martha Stewart, Oprah and Today Show. Her final project at Facebook was directing the TIME story naming CEO Mark Zuckerberg the 2010 Person of the Year.
Brandee has a long career that has shaped her approach to communications today. She was Vice President at Zeno Group and led PR programs for Oracle’s applications business and the Gap’s corporate division. While a Vice President
at Ruder Finn, she managed the Sony Electronics account and developed the firm’s West Coast consumer technology practice. Brandee was Director of Corporate Communications at Stamps.com and served as Director of Marketing at Oracle. She began her career as part of the team that established the Boston office of GCI Group.
In 2007, Brandee was named to PRWeek’s “Top 40 Under 40”, which honored people who “demonstrate innovative thinking, strong determination, and results.” She speaks regularly at conferences, including DLD in Munich and SXSW
in Austin. Brandee is a VIP Donor Member of TED and proudly sits on the Board of the Somaly Mam Foundation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she graduated with honors.