Hailing from San Francisco, Robert (Rob) F. Kay has been a communicator since 1975. He began his journalism career with the San Francisco Chronicle Foreign Service and later worked as a radio journalist in Sonora, California for radio station KVML-KROG covering topics ranging from California’s lingering drought to the local County Board of Supervisors. Seeking more adventure, he traveled to French Polynesia and Fiji, covering the islands for Pacific News Service, NBC Radio, New Pacific and the San Francisco Chronicle.
His two-year sojourn in the South Pacific led to penning travel guides on Fiji and Tahiti for the Lonely Planet series. In 1986 he was the recipient of the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award for his Fiji Travel Survival Kit.
Wishing to expand his scope beyond travel journalism and using skills learned as a freelance writer, Rob segued easily into to public relations. As an early adopter of the personal computer (which he used to write his guidebooks) he began working with small software companies in Silicon Valley, Arizona and Utah. Feeling the call of the Islands once again, in 1994 he set up a branch office in Honolulu in and quickly ensconced himself in Hawaii.
Some of his accomplishments include the following:
Took a small company from Lincoln, Nebraska (Covalent Technologies) and helped them set up shop in San Francisco. He orchestrated a PR campaign that netted them articles in Forbes, ABC News, Red Herring, CNET and other publications. The resulting publicity helped Covalent secure $5 million in VC funding and launched the company.
Set up PR program for Silicon Valley-based open source software pioneer Cygnus Solutions and got them national attention in Forbes and other publications. This helped position the company for an acquisition by Red Hat, a major open source software firm.
Developed a national public relations program for Hawaii-based software developer and real estate economist Mike Sklarz. Resulting press campaign garnered stories in the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Business Week, Washington Post, USA Today, Barron’s, Newsday, Los Angeles Times and a number of other major dailies.
Orchestrated Wall Street Journal coverage of Hawaii’s nascent alternative energy industry. Resulted in full page piece that covered Hawaii companies involved in solar, algae, wind, geothermal and other areas. Arguably the largest technology coverage of Hawaii firms ever to appear in the Journal or any other major Mainland publication.
Rob is a contributor to the Op-Ed pages of the Honolulu Advertiser, Pacific Business News, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and Mainland publications such as the San Francisco Chronicle and the Wall Street Journal’s real estate website, RealEstateJournal.com.