Announcing Pilot Communications Group, LLC


Pilot Communications Group
It’s ironic that after helping to launch and promote dozens of companies over the years, writing this announcement post about the official introduction of Pilot Communications Group, LLC didn’t come very easy. I guess in part it’s the “cobbler’s children have no shoes” syndrome. Historically, communications agencies are notorious for neglecting their own marketing and find it much more natural, and profitable, to promote their clients instead. Maybe it’s also because that’s what we get paid to do.  The more time we spend cobbling our kids’ shoes, the less time we spend making sure our clients’ footwear look like new.

With that thought in mind, I’m keeping this post short and sweet.  After all, client work awaits.

BREAKING NEWS:  Today, I am happy to announce Pilot Communications Group, LLC, a new integrated communications agency providing content-centered, business-aligned public relations, public affairs, marketing and creative services to information technology, healthcare product, healthcare services and non-profit organizations.

Phew…the cat is finally out of the bag.

The idea to start Pilot came to life last fall.  The notion was that a small team of hands-on, accomplished communications professionals — working with a network of specialists for creative, marketing and other related services — situated close enough to Boston but far enough to enjoy a lower cost of doing business, could fill a gap for companies who don’t require (or can’t afford) a large PR agency but have needs greater than what a sole consultant could provide.

And what if the team was composed primarily of successful senior-level professionals — so they are not learning on the client’s dime — who have founded, grew and/or worked for other communications firms and who still enjoy getting their hands dirty?  And what if these professionals were as passionate than ever about helping organizations achieve business and communications success?

Pilot Communications Group, ready for prime time

Five months later, Pilot is ready for prime time.  I hope you spend some time on the Pilot website to learn more about our offerings, focus, experience and more about the Pilot team. For now, I want to quickly introduce two key team members:

  • Long-time colleague and friend Tony Sapienza, who not only founded and successfully ran his own PR agency for 10 years but also led technology clients at a couple of the largest PR firms on the planet, and
  • Tom Maher, a public affairs/healthcare communications pro who has been operating TPM Communications for 10 years. Tom was previously co-founder/partner of The Edison Group, a public affairs agency.

Truth be told, Pilot has been operating in stealth mode since the beginning of 2014 and we have been fortunate enough to have earned the business of several outstanding organizations, including:

  • Cortex MCP — an emerging company that has developed a new foundational platform for mobile commerce. The electronic payments and digital wallet markets are exploding, but they are not without risks.  Minimizing these risks for consumers and merchants, and all of the players in the mobile wallet ecosystem, is what Cortex is focused on.  The company’s IP-protected mobile payment and wallet technology, new secure payment methodology and ID/credential storage and verification solutions means digital wallet providers can reach more security-conscious consumers without disrupting a merchant’s existing POS infrastructure. Having come out of early mobile commerce leaders like ROAM Data, Inc., the Cortex team is on its way to making leather wallets part of history. 
  • Two Ten Footwear Foundation — the footwear industry’s national charitable foundation and the only foundation of its kind in the U.S.  Celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, Two Ten provides emergency financial assistance to footwear industry workers and their families in times of crisis, college scholarships and community building opportunities and other services.  As part of its 75th anniversary, the Foundation (along with title sponsor Amazon Fashion) has announced Footwear Cares, an industry-wide, month-long community service program involving about 100 footwear companies and 5000 volunteers who will be assisting local charities serving families and communities coast-to-coast. 
  • Lean-Agile Partners — an independent provider of Lean-Agile consulting services that enables organizations in regulated safety- critical industries, as well as in financial services and consumer products manufacturing, to build higher quality products that meet time-to-market goals.  The Lean-Agile Partners team has decades of experience running engineering, business and operations groups and introducing Lean-Agile methods in emerging and well-established companies. The firm delivers its Lean-Agile consulting services through its three practice areas: engineering, operations and business.

Pilot is located in the great city of Newburyport, Mass., 35 miles northeast of Boston.  If you’re located in greater Boston, chances are you have been to this wonderful seaport city to dine or to enjoy a refreshment from one of its many outdoor restaurant decks.  The good weather is just around the corner, so plan a visit soon and let us know when you’re coming. Our office is at 30 Green Street, downtown Newburyport.

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19 Responses to “Announcing Pilot Communications Group, LLC”

  1. Diana Headrick March 5, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

    Hi Jim and Tony! Congratulations! Let me know if you need any help!



    • Jim Barbagallo March 6, 2014 at 1:46 pm #

      Thank you, Diana. We will absolutely keep you in mind! Hope you are well.

  2. Mike Spataro March 5, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

    Congratulations Jim. Knowing you guys as I do, you’re going to kill it. There could not be a better combination of top notch PR professionals in New England. All the best.

    Mike Spataro
    SVP, Bank of America

    • Jim Barbagallo March 6, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

      Mike…thank you for the congrats and words of support. It is appreciated!

  3. Bill Brikiatis March 5, 2014 at 10:46 pm #

    Congratulations on the launch and good luck with the new venture.

    Bill Brikiatis
    MESH Interactive Agency

    • Jim Barbagallo March 6, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

      Bill, and thank you for supporting the development of the website as if you were building it for yourself!

  4. Donna von Halle March 6, 2014 at 3:04 am #

    Now that’s a dynamic duo! I’m thrilled to hear you guys are working together again.
    Best of luck & congratulations!

    • Jim Barbagallo March 6, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

      Hey Donna, thank you for the congrats! What are you up to these days? Maybe we can get the old band back together!

  5. Jim Reid March 6, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

    Congratulations all. Very exciting news. If ever you need some help cracking some annoying Administrative “nut”, shout out. I would be proud to help any way I can.

    As a brave character once shouted out, “To Infinity…and beyond!”

    • Jim Barbagallo March 6, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

      James, thank you for the offer to help and for your inspirational quote! Much appreciated.

  6. Mary Allard March 6, 2014 at 1:58 pm #


    So proud of you!

    • Jim Barbagallo March 6, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

      Mary…you were encouraging from the start. Thank you.

  7. Linda Pendergast-Savage March 6, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

    Congratulations Jim and Tony. Jim: While we have never worked together, I have heard so many great things about you from Tony that I feel like we know each other well! You have a great team and many companies will be very fortunate to have this talent at their disposal!

    • Jim Barbagallo March 6, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

      Thank you so much, Linda. I hope we get the chance to meet soon.

  8. Hans Riemer March 7, 2014 at 11:21 am #

    Very excited for, and proud of both of you. Two of the smartest minds I know in the communications space. May your paths forward be straight. I expect to hear a lot of great things about your new agency venture!

    • Jim Barbagallo March 7, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

      We’re gushing, Hans. Thank you for the encouragement and I’m sure our paths will cross.

  9. Chris Woodward March 11, 2014 at 6:20 pm #

    Congratulations Jim! Terrific news. Clients are in very good hands with your expertise!

  10. Steve Milmore March 13, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

    Congrats Jim! Looks like a great opportunity and team.

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