Raptor Communications is a San Francisco-based communications consultancy founded by marketing veteran Dave Karraker with the goal of assisting in-house and agency teams, as well as start-ups, in developing and telling their stories. From corporate to brand, external to internal, crisis to partnership, Dave serves as a trusted, experienced partner providing strategic vision to help you establish and reach your communication goals.
In this instance, a raptor is not a fierce dinosaur. It's a bird. My father, in addition to being a National Park ranger, was an ornithologist. His favorite birds? Raptors - eagles, hawks, falcons, owls and the like – also known as "birds of prey." I remember many a time when the family’s bright orange Volvo would go careening off the paved road as my dad pointed to the sky asking the kids to identify the raptor soaring high overhead. Raptor Communications reflects the traits commonly associated with birds of prey - keen observation, followed by swift and strategic action when the time is right... and it reminds me of my dad.
Dave Karraker has nearly 30 years of marketing and communications experience focused on consumer packaged goods, consumer technology, e-commerce, and retail.
He started his career as a television reporter for CBS and NBC, before moving into the public relations field. He ran communications for Campari Group in North America for 12 years, as well as for Allied Domecq, then the world's second largest wine and spirits company. Dave led corporate and brand communications for Sony PlayStation and SEGA in the US, in addition to BlueLight.com, Kmart's e-commerce company. On the agency side, he was a vice president at Access Public Relations in San Francisco, now a Ketchum agency, as well as media strategist at Rogers and Cowan in Los Angeles.
For more than a decade, Dave served as the communications leader in North America for Campari Group, the world's sixth-largest spirits company. During his tenure, he oversaw reputation management for the company, including public relations, executive communications, crisis management, internal communications, digital strategy, community affairs and government relations. He held similar roles at Allied Domecq, Sony Computer Entertainment and BlueLight.com. Notable crisis communications experience includes #SpritzGate following the New York Times' attack on the Aperol Spritz; Martha Stewart’s indictment; Kmart’s bankruptcy and appearance in Bowling for Columbine; the shuttering of BlueLight.com during the dot com bust; Sony’s challenges while launching the PlayStation 3; and the dismantling of Allied Domecq by Pernod Ricard and Beam.
BRAND COMMUNICATIONS / PUBLIC RELATIONS
Dave’s most recognizable and awarded brand work during his tenure at Campari Group includes serving as the architect of Campari’s Negroni Week – the largest charitable giving program in the global spirits industry – as well as the communications lead behind the on-trend Aperol Spritz, Wild Turkey’s partnership with Matthew McConaughey, the rebirth of Espolòn Tequila, the introduction of SKYY Vodka's "Proudly American" campaign, and numerous brand launches. In addition to working on such brands as Maker’s Mark, Stoli, Martha Stewart, and Microsoft, he directed public relations strategies for the launch of PlayStation 3, SEGA Dreamcast, Kmart’s ecommerce division, the Tomb Raider video game franchise, and Virgin’s video game division.
In addition to leading the corporate digital strategy at Campari America, Dave managed the digital strategy team for Campari’s diverse portfolio of more than 20 brands. His group worked cooperatively with brand managers to develop comprehensive digital strategies for marketing programs, as well as managing day-to-day digital presence across social media, internet presence, paid support and CRM. Dave also oversaw corporate digital strategy in the US for Allied Domecq, BlueLight.com, and Sony Computer Entertainment, initiating the first public-facing executive blog in Sony history.
Through deep entertainment industry contacts started at Rogers & Cowan, Dave has initiated, negotiated, and developed multiple global brand partnerships, including SKYY Vodka’s promotion of Sex and the City 1 and 2, Espolòn Tequila’s partnership with Deadpool 2, and Campari’s cooperation with Imbibe magazine on Negroni Week. His experience in this area also includes product placement, event sponsorship, and licensing.
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