Juhani Polkko founded San Francisco Agency, the global PR agency, in 2009 with the idea to contact journalists personally instead of just sending press releases. Building personal relationships with journalists has been the cornerstone of San Francisco Agency’s model for years. Juhani and his team wanted to scale their work and ended up building Valosan – a Media Relationship Management (MRM) tool – that guides any PR team to do their work in a tried and tested way, utilizing the best practices from over a decade of learning and experience.
The year 2020 was tough for many. But for San Francisco Agency and for Juhani, it was a year of new beginnings: 1) Juhani got to know that he’ll become a dad, and 2) Valosan saw daylight. The Finnish growth ecosystem supported companies during the pandemic, and San Francisco Agency was granted €100,000 to develop something new to survive those uncertain times. Juhani started to look for a developer to bring Valosan to life. It felt almost like it was written in the stars that Juhani and Ruslan Gainutdinov, Valosan co-founder, had just randomly met through a mutual acquaintance.
Ruslan had made his career in the banking and finance world, where he had moved to Futurice – one of the best consulting companies in the world – and further to a Finnish startup called MaaS Global. Based on his experience from a consulting company and a startup, he had an idea that one day he’d be part of building a product of his own where he could contribute not only from the technical side but also by creating a product that customers really want. “I am impressed by Finnish startup culture, and I want to help it grow and be even more internationally recognizable. I set my ambitions high – I want to help create the next 100 Finnish unicorns,” Ruslan states excitedly.
Valosan is grown in creative soil and watered with excellence and a growth mindset. Juhani describes, “I’ve been passionate about change and doing things in a novel and better way since the start of my career in 1995. I would love to see the most innovative and impactful companies grow, but the global competition is hard, so you need to constantly improve on everything and leverage the latest technology to make yourself out there. “
Today, Valosan is a product that solves clear problems for organizations that want to build awareness and credibility through earned media. There are also tons of new ideas that will grow Valosan’s offering over the years. The guiding principle is to combine the creativity of communications people and a structured way of working provided by machine learning-assisted software.
Here at San Francisco Agency and Valosan, we believe that the world can be changed for the better through innovation and technology. But good technology alone is not enough – the company story and impact need to be communicated effectively.
Media relationship management tool Valosan helps growth companies get published in the international media and succeed in shaping a better tomorrow.