The PR Net 100, 2023: Derris

Derris’ mission is to build great brands, and today that looks like successfully launching and scaling over 25 brands from zero to over $1B in enterprise value. Much of that played out before leadership closed a majority investment in Derris from BerlinRosen last year, a partnership that allows the team to offer clients an even more extensive list of complementary capabilities (and also supports business operations). Since then, Derris has pitched more than 20 new business opportunities in collaboration with the BerlinRosen team, securing relationships with brands including Julius Randle, Limelight Hotels, Mejuri, The Naked Bee, Telo Trucks and many more. Also new and notable: the agency revamped their Learning & Development Training Program; launched Project Mercury with Mythology to provide brand agency services to emerging businesses led by Black founders; grew their our Content & Creative division (building brand creative from the ground up); and reignited In Person, the agency’s experiential business, following the pandemic. Derris also launched a new Influencer Marketing division to further solidify their reputation as a one-stop shop for brands telling stories. 

Leadership team:

Jesse Derris, CEO and Founder

Lisa Frank, President and Partner

Notable long-term clients:

Warby Parker, Reformation, Everlane, SKIMS, Good American, Harry's, Bombas, AWAY, Shinola, Supergoop!, ABC Home, Shopbop, Starface, Hodinkee

New client wins:

Rhode, Shinola, KEEN, KiwiCo, Summersalt, Blank Street Coffee, Ruggable, Drew House, Julie, Telo, Kiwico, Vivrelle

Explain how your agency is pushing the boundaries of PR and communications by integrating innovative strategies, tools, or technologies to enhance your offerings and benefit your clients.

“When we started Derris in 2013 we had a thesis that our first client, Warby Parker, was the vanguard of a new generation of companies and storytelling, and that this next generation would be defined by brands that spoke with consumers, as opposed to at them. We set out to be the first communications firm that considered end users and the business community at the same time. First, we combined consumer and enterprise communications into one offering, becoming a strategic partner and not just a tactical one. Instead of marketing driving a brand’s PR efforts as it had done historically, we knew that communications firms taking the lead on brand positioning and building a storytelling engine for all channels was the future. In turn, this concept proved to be valuable to larger organizations in addition to start-ups, as brands like Lululemon, Theory, J.Crew, Google and more came to us for our approach. As we grew, we kept adding services on top of brand positioning; content and creative, experiential and events, influencer marketing, internal and crisis communications, and more. Today, our thesis has proven out in long-standing clients in addition to Warby Parker; like Everlane, Reformation, Harry’s, Starface, Supergoop!, Good American, and SKIMS to name a few.”

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