Jessica Flynn, Founder & CEO
Referred to as a ‘child of the recession’ by Founder and CEO, Jessica Flynn, Red Sky Public Relations was formed in 2008 at the height of the economic downturn. Despite dire circumstances, Flynn considered the looming economic thunderclouds a blessing in disguise. Flynn had recently lost her job with a failed resort venture in Idaho and recognized a market opportunity in the Boise Valley.
The idea? The versatility of a small market agency with elite-level strategic communication services. Serving local and national needs with equal passion.
Thinking bigger is better. Major companies often seek metropolitan-based professional service agencies to tap into leading talent and counsel. Flynn realized a concept that has since proven out – that the Boise Valley both houses and attracts the expertise, brainpower, creativity and skill set to serve the cadre of multinational corporations in Idaho and beyond.
The company continues to realize success, employing 13 full-time and 1 part-time communication experts with a diverse range of experience and skills. For Flynn, this commitment to in-house talent matters. “Dynamic work environments, especially in the professional services realm, rely on a consultant-based business model to manage fluctuating workloads and project demands. We really wanted to create something that would have a lasting economic impact in our community –enabling members of our team to have meaningful careers and spread their roots in the community we proudly call home,” said Flynn. They committed early on to serve client needs with full-time employees as much as possible, offering robust benefits. “We lead with the flexible work environment,” continued Flynn. “People choose to live here because lifestyle matters. They don’t want to live here and work 12-hour days.”
This belief continues to resonate as much today with Flynn as it did when she first experienced the Boise Valley. Flynn came from outside of Idaho and chose to stay. “From a business perspective, you have such accessibility here to be able to create your own personal brand, your company’s brand. You can be your own boss or work for someone else. There’s an ease here,” adds Flynn. “We see people who have relocated here for family reasons, a change of pace. People come to Boise and fall in love with it. They move here simply to be here and then set out to find a job.”
Flynn credits the company’s core values: ‘dynamic, delivering ‘wow’, embracing fun, perseverance, 360 degree respect, community oriented’ as contributing to not just the company’s success, but to employee growth. The level of talent and commitment to clients gave her the confidence to leave for 6 weeks to Argentina this past summer as a participant in a Rotary Exchange Program. “We support people with what they want to do, not just at work, but in achieving their personal goals. It’s not just about Red Sky, it is about inspiring growth that will ultimately benefit our community in a variety of ways,” says Flynn.
On Competing at the National Level from the Boise Valley:
“We work with many clients based in Idaho but not only focused here – they are focused nationally or internationally. We also work with clients across the west, particularly in southern California. Most of our clients are in the consumer product, healthcare or technology space. When we work with clients across multiple geographies, periodic face-to-face interaction is needed but if you have a great strategic mind you can work from anywhere. Our clients understand this and regularly seek both our strategic counsel and ability to execute on every type of communication need, from media relations to social media community management to event planning to public affairs and everything in between. Ultimately it doesn’t matter what your zip code is when you have the experience to develop strategy and execute it well.”
“Everyone from the Boise Valley who does work outside of Idaho – we all help to improve the reputation and understanding of who is here. We don’t brag enough about ourselves. We are more of a modest and humble community.”
On the Entrepreneurial Vibe in the Boise Valley:
“I sometimes consider Boise to be a smaller Austin. There’s a similar approachability here. Universities contribute to talent and innovation, the seat of state government is blocks away. There is progressive thinking in this area. It’s all aligned.”
“There is also versatility and accessibility to the startups here. You don’t have to speak code to engage in the entrepreneurial environment. Entrepreneurs aren’t simply tech focused, there are food businesses, emerging rec tech and others unlike the tech entrepreneurs like you’d find in the Bay Area. There’s room for everyone.”
On Advice to Other Companies Looking at the Boise Valley:
“Don’t stay in a silo – in your office, with your employees. It’s really easy to cross-pollinate here with other groups and people. The expression of ideas that you will find from that cross-pollination is so beneficial. The benefit from Boise comes from that interaction and engaging with the minds and ideas that make this place special.”