From setting the talking points in interviews to addressing negative publicity before it leaks, an effective communications agent can help build a troubled brand and save a CEO. After doing her job in Silicon Valley for over two decades, Margit Wennmachers has helped companies like Skype, Etsy, Facebook, and Amazon shape their public identity.

For Wired, Jessi Hempel makes Wennmachers the focus of an article, instead of letting Wennmachers be the one behind the article, to describe how communications agencies shape our perception of startups and their founders, and how communications works. As tech’s old reputation changes from a group of nerdy outcasts to a greedy power center run by sexist, gentrifying capitalists, she’s now helping shape the narrative of tech itself. She’s angling for something driven by the old maxim that “with great power comes great responsibility.”

Controlling the message of tech has become both easier and…

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