Karen Wickre

Connector, Communicator, Reality Checker


Karen Wickre is a veteran connector, editor, and communicator, and has worked in and around Silicon Valley long enough to have appeared in WIRED 1.4. (Even before that, she wrote one of the very first guides to what we used to call “the World Wide Web,” and now it’s an amusing relic of a more innocent time.) As a corporate writer, she has developed stories, styles and cadence for Google, Twitter, and many startups. As an early Googler (she joined when there were 500 employees; she left nine years later, when there were 50,000), she's been in her share of war rooms and fire drills, and has crafted scores of posts covering products and pivots, shakeups, corporate apologies and company culture. More recently she's advised a range of companies that want a strategy (or a reality check) on their messages and they content they produce.

Sometimes friends introduce her as someone who “knows everybody.” And in many instances, she does.  That may be her secret power, along with common sense: she can see around corners, ask questions that matter, all in order to help get to next steps and real solutions for teams, companies, and individuals. Her first book chronicles her approach in building long-term connections - Taking the Work Out of Networking: An Introvert’s Guide to Making Connections That Count

Her areas of interest include all types of business communications (how best to reach visitors, customers, and critics, on which channels); corporate social media (being in the conversation in ways that are welcome), change management and company culture.

She's a strong supporter of journalists and journalism, and currently serve on the boards of The John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford; the International Center for Journalists; and the News Literacy Project. One of her great joys is having co-founded, with Jenny Lee and help from Google and the Knight Foundation, a yearly unconference called Newsgeist, where a small group of news producers mix it up with news gatherers and developers. In a nod to her long-time status as a San Franciscan, she's also on the board of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Beyond all this, she love dogs, Spotify playlists, dark UK crime series, pie, and collecting art.