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Meet Heather and Renée, two of this year’s MC’s

When Renée and Heather first met, it was undeniably the ultimate founder moment. While neither knew it at the time, this chance meeting would lead to the creation of what is now known as Onboardly. Renée was a content marketer who worked to grow her clients traffic and conversions beyond expectations — Heather was a tech publicist whose clients had appeared in Wired and NY Times. It wasn’t long before the two of them realized that as a package deal, they could be unstoppable. Three years later, the Onboardly team has been successfully helping startups gain traction and establish themselves as thought leaders in their industries.

Both shared a mutual love of startups and considered themselves the ultimate startup cheerleaders. It was this passion that empowered them to help founders around the world take their ideas to the next level, by giving them the exposure and credibility they needed to take their industry by storm.

So, what’s the secret to creating great content and getting your startup in the media? They both agree it’s all about adding tangible value to their business objectives, while letting the founder shine as an industry expert and a thought leader in their field. They believe that the best content shares unique insights, experience, and actionable lessons that can replicated by founders at all stages of growth.

Once you have great content, it’s time to get it in front of the right influencers. This is the crossroads where content marketing and PR meet, and it’s a busy intersection. The key to navigating? Knowing the right way to present your story. Hint: focus on the hook. What will compel others to care and to remember your story, long after it has been told?

Renée and Heather see the future of PR, content marketing and social media in the telling of stories. As search engines become increasingly more sophisticated (thank you Hummingbird) they know that emotions – one’s created through sharing stories – will trump quantity and scalable publishing solutions. They also see a growing importance in metrics-based PR and content, understanding data will continue to play an increasingly significant role in quality control and publishing. Ultimately, the quality of what a Facebook like or a retweet means will be broken down even further to the point where good writing will be determined by an aggregation of detailed votes from different perspectives.

Now, more than ever, writers are accountable to their jury in the form of conversions. Good writing can, and should elicit action.

The world is evolving into one where content is displayed on mobile, and on-demand. Even while moving outside the traditional confines of the house, we demand more and more stories—and we can get them served to us on our iPhones, or Android devices. Information and stories are no longer hard to come by.

New media will make it easier for people to self-publish, allowing for more diverse perspectives to gain traction. Storytelling will be one of the most important talents of the 21st century.

If that is the case, both Heather and Renée will shine. They are experts at framing stories, and telling them in a way that is compelling, from start to finish.

As MC’s at this year’s Startupfest, they will help craft the story of the event, no doubt giving us a compelling narrative of the content we’re all looking forward to.

Roger Huang
Roger is an entrepreneur who is writing a book on the future of various fields, based on the perspectives of technologists pushing the forward forward. Catch his writings at, and his musings on Twitter.