Intuit acquires for $170 million : latest in string of high profile acquisitions of Atomic PR clients yesterday became the latest Atomic PR client acquired by a major brand in recent months. Almost exactly 2 years ago, an Atomic team met with Donna Wells, CMO (and former Intuit CMO) and founder and CEO, Aaron Patzer to see if there might be a good fit.

Atomic's analytics engine ComContext and range of inhouse capabilities across consulting, traditional + social media, video and search, plus shared Web cultures boded well for a match up. Happily, Atomic was selected from a field of the best agencies in the country.

The partnership has turned out to be a close and mutually supportive collaboration, with the Mint and Atomic teams fusing into one cohesive unit and making the most of each others' capabilities.

With launch venue TechCrunch rapidly approaching, the first couple of weeks were spent in fast paced research and planning. Obsessive attention was paid to Aaron's first public demo of, and the very careful creation of the specific words to be used to describe, position and differentiate from its weight-class competitors. And to align Mint directly for competition with the biggest brands in both desktop and online personal finance applications.'s launch at TechCrunch was highly successful, with Mint pulling Best of Show. repeated several weeks later with Best of Show at Finovate in New York.

From there, building on Mint's history of offering useful finance tips on its blog, the program turned to putting Aaron forward as a voice for modern personal finance, Web 2.0 style, "the Suze Orman for the social media set." The formal push launched with a YouTube video series that quickly drew an invitation for Aaron to screen test for a regular TV segment. (The board preferred he focus on his day job - wise choice :) ).

Other key initiatives have involved careful promotion of product enhancements, the creation of a program to provide media with data and infographics reflecting personal finance trends in key markets across the country, consistent communication of important company milestones, and close collaboration between agency and Mint social media and search teams to foster active online dialog and create a large inventory of useful and search-discoverable content.

Mint has won literally truckloads of awards and has been covered positively numerous times by every print, broadcast and online outlet related to Mint-friendly topics. Aaron has gone on to be named one of the most influential people in personal finance by Money magazine, has spoken at numerous conferences including Davos, and has consulted with various committees on the Hill.

There are a few reasons for the success Mint has enjoyed in the media and social media community. First and foremost, it's a great product on the face of it - delivering strongly on the promise of Web technology. It has a great front man in Aaron Patzer, and a strong executive and engineering team who understand what is needed to rock the media, and know how to deliver useful PR assets on a regular basis. has a great CMO in Donna Wells, who knows how to get the most from collaboration between company and agency teams, knows when to provide direction and knows when to accept direction from the agency. It also has a savvy set of investors who personify the definition of "smart money". Congratulations to the entire team.

And oh... Mint's PR firm is OK, too.

Other recent acquisitions of Atomic clients include Vurv to Taleo, Xign to JPMorgan, Rapt to Microsoft, Bebo to AOL, and GoldenGate Software to Oracle.

Related links:

Wall Street Journal:


PR Week:

Atomic/ campaign snapshot: