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PR Pros at Archetype Launch New Strategic Communications Division

Archetype Ascend_ Erica Billups_Ulysses King

Global marketing agency Archetype has launched Ascend, a comms division dedicated to working with BIPOC founders, leaders and investors mostly in the tech sector.

With nearly 50 years of combined tech comms experience between them, founders of Archetype Ascend, Ulysses King and Erica Billups have been in the “room where it happens,” yet have only worked with a handful of Black founders.

Archetype Ascend was launched to address an urgent need for change. The pair are committed to providing strategic communications and support to BIPOC founders, executives and VCs; to elevate those who have been historically overlooked, and expose clients to opportunities that can accelerate business growth.

Ascend will offer full public relations services, including social media support, earned media efforts for diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and campaigns that reach a multicultural audience.

Only 3% of VCs are Black. Only 10% of PR pros are non-white. Black founders raised just 1% of all VC funds allocated in 2022. Latino founders fared only slightly better with 1.5% of venture funding in Q3 2022. Financing for Black businesses saw its most significant year-over-year decrease in a decade.

“We’ve worked with companies that said specifically, ‘I want to work with you because you’re the only one that I’ve spoken to who understands the story that we’re trying to tell,’” said Erica Billups Johnson, SVP at Archetype. “Part of that is just because we come from a similar background and have had similar experiences.”

From personal brand development to employee communications and social strategy and execution, Archetype Ascend sets out to ensure the visible success of Black and Brown people in business and tech.

Working with existing clients to identify and elevate the visibility of their BIPOC executives and DEI efforts, the pair are looking to tap their extensive network of BIPOC founders, VCs, and executives to garner new business. Looking to seek out Black and Brown founders who have very viable and profitable businesses internationally, they’re going broader than those who aren’t on the radar because they haven’t come through the Silicon Valley echo chamber.

Erica Billups, Senior Vice President at Archetype, has more than 15 years of experience in executive platform building and creative storytelling. Before joining Archetype she worked at OutCast, with clients including HBO, Pinterest, Amazon and SoFI. Ulysses King is a communications executive with over 25 years in-house and agency experience, working with brands such as Nike, Facebook and Amazon.

“We really want others in the industry to be inspired by this,” Ulysses King said. “We won’t be successful if we’re the only agency that takes an approach that’s an intentional desire to change how things are being done in this industry.”



    Zara Shepherd-Brierley
    Zara Shepherd-Brierley
    Zara Shepherd-Brierley is a General News Reporter for UrbanGeekz