• Mike Taylor

    Vice President

  • What’s your favorite aspect of the PR tech space?

    In tech PR, we have an opportunity to tell positive stories about the most impactful companies and leaders in the world. As communications professionals, we work alongside teams that are solving high stakes challenges in the tech enterprise and consumer spaces. As tech companies grow and need to establish a long-term positive reputation, or decide to engage in impactful public policy in Washington, D.C., I’ve built my career around helping them raise their profile through media relations and digital and social media initiatives.

    What’s your area of interest and expertise?

    I proactively help build and safeguard companies’ brands so they have a strong, positive identity in the event of an issue or crisis. Leading Highwire’s Corporate Reputation and Crisis Communications, and Public Sector and Public Affairs practices, I have deep tech experience providing counsel and guidance to executives and their teams in business critical situations.

    I help executives grow their companies by helping them plan for and navigate challenging business situations and key inflection points. I’ve helped guide teams through cybersecurity incidents and data breaches, major product launches and announcements, civil and criminal lawsuits, Department of Justice investigations and settlements, jury trials, shareholder and other activist campaigns, and product recalls. The success markers I achieve for my clients include improved business results, more positive media coverage and significantly lessened negative social media conversation.

    What did you do prior to Highwire?

    I was a Vice President at Ketchum, a global, full-service PR firm where I had the opportunity to utilize innovative tools to solve client challenges, particularly in the digital, social and content space. I also served as Ketchum’s San Francisco office new business growth lead, bringing new partnerships to the agency across each of Ketchum’s practice groups.

    I helped run Ketchum’s corporate reputation practice, driving long term reputation management initiatives and crisis communications efforts for a variety of B2B and enterprise, and consumer tech and non-tech clients, facing high profile negative attention on their brands. I helped create a wide variety of issues and crisis communications protocol and scenario preparedness plans, with a heavy focus on digital and social media engagement during a crisis.

    I also helped expand Ketchum’s global enterprise health tech practice, focusing on companies in the enterprise cloud software space.

    Prior to Ketchum, I worked at Singer Associates, an issues and crisis and public affairs PR firm in San Francisco. There I had the privilege of leading a piece of business in the enterprise health tech space that was a finalist for PRWeek Internal Communications Campaign of the Year.

    What led you to PR as a career?

    I’m passionate about digging deeper into how a great story comes to fruition. I started following the news very early on as a kid, and I was always particularly interested in politics because newsmakers (elected officials and candidates) have such a big impact on major issues of the day. Early in my career, I served in speechwriting and communications roles on campaigns and in government, working for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger among others. As I continued to learn more, I realized that I had an exciting opportunity to work with corporate executives to tell the stories of their businesses. As I worked with more tech executives, I found my passion at the intersection of of tech, corporate reputation, public policy and digital and social media.

    What I’m doing when I’m not working?

    I love to experience new places. On vacation I’m constantly on the move to see as much as I can in the time I have. I immerse myself in the local culture and try to learn as much as I can.  

    On Saturdays every fall, you’ll find me at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley with friends and family cheering on Cal’s football team, the Golden Bears. I’m also frequently on the Berkeley campus mentoring students who have a passion for communications. Those interactions are incredibly energizing and uplifting, and I’ve had the opportunity to work later on with many of those same individuals as they progress in their careers.

    Where are you from?

    I grew up in Silicon Valley living around software engineers and their families. The best toys I ever had were old computers my dad would bring home from work for me to tinker with. I have vivid memories of upgrading hard drives, memory chips and processors to get a better SimCity experience.

    What do you miss about where you’re from?

    Aside from growing up in Silicon Valley, and going to college and living in Berkeley, I spent time living in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento. I’m really fortunate now to live in San Francisco, where I moved a decade ago, because it’s become so important for tech and continues to be a cultural hub with anything I could want. In the time I’ve lived in San Francisco, so many amazing tech companies we have the privilege of working for either didn’t exist or opened offices here.

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