Bluevine Names Kevin McLaughlin as Senior Director of PR & Communications

June 13, 2023

Experienced in-house and agency professional joins Bluevine’s communications team to lead storytelling and brand-building efforts across internal and external conversations

We sat down with Kevin to get to know him and here’s what we learned.

  1. What are some highlights from your experiences prior to joining Bluevine?

As the former founder and principal of a boutique agency that also supported the marketing needs of startups and family businesses, I relate first-hand to the operational needs of a small business — especially when it comes to banking and access to capital to help ensure the financial health and stability of a company.  My roles supporting financial technology companies over 25 years — from startups, to scalers, to publicly traded companies — also provided me a wide aperture to see  the power of purpose-built financial services and the opportunity for massive market impact, which Bluevine is committed to doing for small businesses.

This combination of perspectives gives me valuable insight to channel into telling the Bluevine story: how both its innovative approach and differentiated business model, together, can empower small businesses to achieve more than the generic offerings big banks market to them, because they aren’t actually designed with small businesses in mind.  

  1. Why does communications matter in banking today, and how are these needs evolving? 

Over the last decade, we have seen considerable changes in the financial services landscape — from banking and investing, to payments, to crypto and beyond. The rapid pace of these innovations has required a good deal of market education, especially in an industry like banking. 

More recently, we’ve seen the fallout of the missteps of a few regional banks, which put pressure on the entire sector (not to mention the global economy) while sending a separate shockwave of uncertainty and concern through the business community at large. As a result, there is an even more heightened need for clear communication within the banking sector, which also cascades down to the various businesses that rely on it. 

Banking, in particular, is an essential service for every business. But banks have long overlooked SMBs, and Bluevine is filling this gap. It is because of this thoughtful product development and its legacy of SMB focus that has enabled Bluevine to carve out its space in the market to be a trusted partner to the small businesses as they grow, thrive, and serve as a critical player in economic recovery. One of the best ways to promote Bluevine is to promote these real-world success stories of the companies they support, which are as relatable as they are inspiring. 

  1. What drew you to choose Bluevine for the next step in your career?

Over my career, I’ve become immersed in the cross-section of small business, technology, and financial services, so Bluevine truly has the perfect profile that maps incredibly close to my collective experiences.

Bluevine has a unique combination of a trusted, differentiated business model, incredibly strong executive leadership, and an enviable market share, and, importantly, is serving a growing and deserving segment of the market. 

Of course, we can’t overlook the “lightning strike” moment right now in banking overall. The range of my work with businesses across sizes and stages provided me with the background to build and manage a highly versatile communications program — one that helps signal to stakeholders that small business is big business. 

Simply put, I am a storyteller — and I believe Bluevine has an incredible arsenal of storylines to package and bring to the market. For a lifelong communications guy, that’s PR gold. 

  1. What excites you about small business banking?

Small businesses have long been the backbone of the American economy. The health of this SMB sector truly is the best reflection of the health of our domestic economy — when there are thriving Main Streets across the country, we’re all better for it. In order to do this, small businesses and entrepreneurs need better financial tools to face the challenges of an increasingly competitive, challenging marketplace. So, banking that is purpose-built to empower SMBs is not only exciting, but it also fills an essential need.

This is the essence of Bluevine. It’s reflected in our mission and was the genesis of the formation of the business itself. Our CEO and founder’s purpose in starting the company was the direct result of a genuine need he witnessed in his father’s and grandfather’s banking needs for their own SMBs. Bluevine is making a lasting impact on small businesses, which creates a ripple effect on the cities and communities around them. Not every company has this type of impact beyond the business itself, which makes Bluevine easy to get excited about.

  1. What do you see as your biggest opportunities as you begin your new role at Bluevine?

We read so many amazing startup success stories that I think many people have become desensitized to how hard it can be to form, run, and grow a small business. Many small business entrepreneurs stake their financial lives on the bet that their business will pay off. Naturally, there is a lot of passion, commitment, and sacrifice that comes with taking a risk like that — no matter how calculated it may be, or how much self-belief is driving them.

With that in mind, I think the biggest opportunity for Bluevine is to share those stories about the many businesses and communities that we have positively impacted in our 10 years as an organization. But we won’t stop at 10 years. We will continue to positively impact the communities that our  small business customers serve. Bluevine is deeply rooted in the service of those who serve others, a priority of the past 10 years of the company’s history and a priority going forward. Bluevine’s mission has held true throughout the years — and I am excited about the opportunity to help write the next chapter of that success story.

About Kevin McLaughlin

Kevin has over 25 years experience across public relations and integrated marketing, as a strategist, senior leader, media relations director, and agency founder. He comes to Bluevine from ICR, an integrated communications agency offering public relations, investor relations, crisis and special situations, and IPO advisory services which ranks among the Top 10 US independent agencies, overall, as well as a Top 5 ranking for its Technology PR practice. At ICR, Kevin worked across various technology sectors and led the firm’s fintech PR practice, working with late stage companies into and through IPOs – then helping them transition their communications programs to support their expanded needs as publicly traded companies. Clients included Marqeta, Paysafe, REPAY, Nuvei, Paya, Stone, BlueSnap, Dynatrace, ironSource, Workhuman, OSRAM, and more.

Prior to ICR, Kevin co-founded and managed Resound Marketing for 15 years, leading the boutique PR and marketing firm’s expansion to include offices in Princeton, New York, and San Francisco. In addition to executive and operational responsibilities for the agency, Kevin managed its consumer technology, enterprise technology, and professional services practices. Sample customers included Oracle, Adobe, LendingTree, Polaroid, Altec Lansing, MassMutual, 2U, TopTal, TerraCycle, Treasure Data, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), UNC Chapel Hill, UC Berkeley, and more.