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From cloud computing to drones, the firm has played a key role in launching numerous businesses, brands, and products  over the last two decades. 

ROYAL OAK, MICH., September 3, 2020 – A lot can happen in 20 years – especially in the rapidly changing technology industry. At the beginning of the new millennium, the first computers with Pentium 4 processors had just become available, Mark Zuckerberg was still in high school, and the very first iPhone was still seven years away.

At the same time, metro Detroit-based communications professional Lisa Vallee-Smith had just founded Airfoil, a public relations firm focused on providing strategic communications to technology companies. This October, the firm will celebrate 20 years in business.


 “Airfoil was never intended to be ‘just another Detroit PR agency’ – we wanted to be a leader in the growing information technology space and distinguish ourselves with strategic insights, unexpected creativity, flawless execution, and business results,” said Vallee-Smith. “Now, 20 years later, I’m so proud of everything we’ve accomplished as a firm while maintaining the entrepreneurial spirit, which is something that every single ‘Foiler who has walked through our doors has contributed to in some form or another.”

Since its founding in 2000, the firm has worked with some of the world’s largest tech companies to launch businesses, brands, products, and services, including Microsoft, eBay, Altair, NVIDIA, Parrot, and EOS. In fact, Airfoil played a critical role in helping Microsoft reach business owners across the country and communicate the benefits of the company’s cloud computing platform when cloud computing was still a relatively new concept. Now, 90% of companies utilize the cloud.

Airfoil’s portfolio has also included numerous start-ups, including Duo Security, Peloton Technology, Roam HR, Carbonite, and Quantiphi. The agency has also received numerous awards for its groundbreaking work, including being named the Technology Agency of the Year by the Holmes Report.

“What really sets Airfoil apart from other communications agencies across the country is our first-hand experience working with brands to launch new technologies like cloud computing, connected devices, AI and more, and being able to leverage the lessons learned from those experiences to counsel our clients’ efforts today,” said Keith Donovan, president of Airfoil Communications. “We’ve been around the block a few times, and with technology shifting so rapidly, we have the ability to identify how new technologies are impacting the marketplace and use those trends to tell compelling, meaningful stories on behalf of our clients.”

Over the past 20 years, Airfoil Group has had to contend with monumental changes in the communications landscape driven by technological advances and societal shifts. This evolving world of communications was reflected in the 2018 launch of Airfoil Digital, the sister agency to Airfoil Communications, which is focused on digital strategies, content marketing, and demand generation.

“Today’s consumers are drawn to authentic content,” said Jon Pielak, president of Airfoil Digital. “The changing behaviors and expectations of consumers have forced us to evolve and reinvent how we communicate with target audiences. Recognizing these shifts, we launched Airfoil Digital to create and drive digital strategies on behalf of our clients in a way that complements their existing marketing and communications plans.”

The Airfoil team will celebrate the firm’s 20th anniversary with a series of internal and external commemorative events over the next several weeks. The celebration will culminate with the release of a “Salute to Journalists” video honoring the perseverance and dedication journalists continue to show in seeking the truth amidst the media industry’s own struggles and attacks on its credibility.

“We’ve literally gone from stuffing press releases into envelopes or faxing them to newsrooms to adopting advanced digital tools to share important information and connect with people,” said Donovan. “We’ve forged strong relationships with journalists across the country, and we wanted to take a moment to recognize and celebrate the work journalists do. Without them and their commitment, we wouldn’t still be here 20 years later.”

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About Airfoil Group
Commemorating 20 years as an independent agency, Airfoil Group is known as a marketing engine for launching businesses, brands, and products, particularly in the technology sector. Woman-owned and WBENC/SBA-certified, Airfoil is comprised of two integrated marketing-services firms: Airfoil Communications, which leverages third-party advocacy to build brand awareness and shift perception; and, Airfoil Digital, which specializes in user engagement and experience, demand generation, and digital marketing programs.

Airfoil’s team of progressive account professionals and vital Worldcom partners apply a multidisciplinary lens to client communication challenges, providing content development, design, digital marketing, research, public relations, advertising and social media services to help meet their objectives. The firm elevates positioning for brands across consumer, enterprise, health care, auto and industrial segments.


Since its founding in 2000, Airfoil has built a reputation for results and earned its placement on prestigious industry lists like O’Dwyer’s “Top 50 Independent Public Relations Firms,” The Holmes Report “Top 12 Technology Firms,” and Advertising Age “Best Places to Work.” The firm has earned numerous accolades including PRNews “Small Agency of the Year,” PRSA’s “Silver Anvil Award of Excellence” and “Silver Anvil Award of Commendation,” and multiple Hermes Creative awards.



Media Contact:

Chris Austin
Sr. Media Relations Specialist