CEO, Praetorian Group
Takeaway: The Praetorian Group is merging traditional b-to-b publishing strategies with new technological foundations under Alex Ford.
Alex Fordâ€™s Praetorian Group is based in San Franciscoâ€”apart from the publishing worldâ€™s traditional hubs, but at the center of the technological community thatâ€™s revolutionizing media.
With end-to-end initiatives like their grant assistance program for the safety and security markets they service, Ford has been bridging the gap between publishing and technology. The program combines traditional outreachâ€”like hands-on help navigating the often-complex grant application processâ€”with a technical infrastructure for suppliers that mirrors major CRM platforms.
â€śWeâ€™ve been able to connect fire and police departments that really need products to protect their communities, but donâ€™t have the budget, with the vendors who want to sell the products,â€ť Ford says. â€śWe then help those departments through the funding process so they can buy product from the companies we work with.â€ť
â€śIn a market where, over the past couple of years, ad budgets have been shrinking,â€ť he says, â€śitâ€™s been a nice way for us to connect the dots and get money to the people who our advertisers are trying to reach."
It started with a single sponsor in 2009, but Ford says the Praetorian Group now works with 60 companies and receives up to 1,000 requests for assistance each month. So far, the program has helped get more than $28 million in grant funding for departments around the country. Overall, Praetorian is approaching $10 million in annual revenue, has 60 employees and counts more than 500 advertisers and 250 public safety agencies as clients.