SAN FRANCISCO, May 21—Bay Area technology public relations specialist Phase Two Strategies may be feeling the pinch of the downturn in the tech market—just as its peers are—but that doesn’t mean founders Bill and Christine Boehlke aren’t also thinking about the future. So this week the agency will announce the opening of its new London office, led by longtime U.K. technology marketing expert Maria Ostoja-Starzewski.

Phase Two currently has an office in New York and corporate service staff in Phoenix. The U.K. office will be its first outside the U.S.

Says CEO Chris Boehlke, “We have been looking at London for more than a year, and three months ago we finally found the right person. She has been in San Francisco learning our culture and our processes for the past two months.” In addition to Ostoja-Starzewski, the firm expects to transfer one or two employees from the U.S. to the new office.

Boehlke says U.S. clients have been enthusiastic about its European expansion, and that Phase Two expects to handle a couple of European product introductions for existing clients, using a network of local affiliate agencies.

            “As technology mitigates distance barriers, our clients increasingly look to serve markets around the globe with a single marketing organization, and we are organizing ourselves to support them,” says Boehlke. “Our London office is a step toward locating staff in the time zones that cover the English language portions of the world, and we’re investing in tools for seamless collaboration between our people in each office and our clients, wherever they may be.

“That will enable us to coordinate multinational client programs more effectively than before as well as perform direct outreach to media and influencers in the U.K.”
Ostoja-Starzewski previously worked for two U.K.-based agencies as well as international PR giants Fleishman-Hillard and Miller/Shandwick Technologies. She worked on European business for high
profile accounts including Nortel Networks, Intel, Cincinnati Bell Information Systems, Alcatel Data Networks and SSA.