Emily Scherberth Barnes is the Founder and CEO of Symphony PR & Marketing, Inc., a consultancy focused on early stage startup companies. Over the course of her 20+ year career, she has helped a wide range of companies craft compelling and differentiated stories that engage the media and inspire action among their target customers.
In the early days of her career, she performed award-winning work at large global agencies like Fleishman-Hillard and MSLGroup for high-profile brands such as Yahoo!, Citysearch, Match.com, Nike, Nestlé, General Motors, Ford, Mitsubishi Motors, Automobili Lamborghini, Hilton Hotels Corporation, Boost Mobile and SBC (now AT&T). But as soon as she got the opportunity to work with an innovative online video startup in 2006, she never looked back.
When Emily first started working with YouTube, the company operated out of a room above a pizza parlor in San Mateo, CA. Within a few months, she was managing media relations for one of the biggest stories of 2006: Google’s $1.65 billion acquisition of the company. In addition to leading the day-to-day PR efforts for the online video leader, Emily provided internal communications support, strategic counsel to co-founders, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, and spearheaded a number of content marketing initiatives. She also helped craft the company narrative that inspired the “Best Inventions of 2006” and “2006 Person of the Year: You” stories in TIME Magazine. Seeing how influential a strategic PR program could be for the trajectory of a company led her to realize her passion for helping entrepreneurs realize their dreams, and ultimately led her to create Symphony PR & Marketing, Inc. in 2008 to serve the growing startup community.
Emily also serves as an adjunct professor at California State University, Fullerton where she teaches a marketing research course for public relations and advertising majors. She also taught several upper division public relations and social media courses at Loyola Marymount University, where she received her B.A. in Communication Studies. Emily also holds a M.A. in Communication Studies from California State University, Northridge and has frequently served as a moderator and PR panelist for several startup-related events across Southern California.