2022 20 under 40: Misty Larkins

  • Photo by Charles Bruce III

President, Relevance

Age: 37

Misty Larkins gets excited about strategically driven communication design, impeccably executed events, and finding the perfect T-shirt.

As a marketing specialist and company president, Misty is responsible for the vision, strategy, and direction of Relevance, a multi-million-dollar growth marketing agency. She specializes in organic growth strategy through digital PR, thought leadership, conversion optimization, and search engine optimization. 

Since joining the team in 2019, Misty has increased agency revenue by more than 50% and improved average client tenure by more than 60%. She has also expanded the agency’s full-time team, more than doubling the size of her staff in less than 18 months.

Misty says a common misconception about marketing and public relations is that it’s a super sexy field. She blames shows like Mad Men and Sex and the City for this perception. “Don’t get me wrong, there are kernels of truth in both of those shows,” Misty says, “but a significant amount of my time is also spent analyzing data and looking at spreadsheets.”

Misty worked her way up from senior account manager to VP to president at Relevance in two short years. “During this period, the company has grown significantly,” says founder John Hall. “And I’ve personally seen her earn the respect of all her co-workers while helping build an industry-leading company.”

For the two years prior to Relevance, Misty worked in the public sector to raise awareness of the realities of poverty.

“As the public relations manager for Central Missouri Community Action, Misty transformed the organization’s brand, media messaging, and public relations to tell the story of members of our community who are struggling with poverty,” says Angela Hirsch, executive director of the Rape and Abuse Crisis Service. “Through this transformation, Misty was able to tie together the for-profit and nonprofit worlds with the tools of marketing and storytelling.”

While at CMCA, Misty secured a $60,000 grant for infrastructure improvements at the local Head Start facility and won a national competition to secure over $100,000 in brand consulting from a specialized agency.

Misty describes herself as a Disney fanatic, Enneagram 8, and a lover of a good underdog story. She is passionate about helping challenger brands become relevant and she believes the best relationships are based on honesty, clear expectations, and shared definitions of success.

Fun Fact: In her free time, Misty designs and makes custom sneakers.

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