The STR8 4WRD Promise:

STR8 4WRD Communications is committed to only providing services that we are experienced in delivering. While some agencies internally tout mottos like, “Fake it ’til you make it,” at STR8 4WRD — strangely — we think that people who put their trust in us deserve better.

If a client needs a service that is outside of our experience, we’ll make sure we find the right business partner to provide it… AND be transparent about that partner’s role. That doesn’t mean we can’t provide innovation solutions, learn new things or play a critical project management role, but we never falsely represent our experience along the way.

Our promise is to be transparent, ethical and honest — STR8 4WRD — with clients, vendors, team members and everyone else with whom we work.

Meet Mike

Owner/Founder Mike Barone has 30 years of experience, during which he has helped scores of clients in dozens of industries to improve and advance.

Mike served as Director of Marketing & Communications for the State University of New York at Fredonia for eight years, where he led or supported all of the university’s marketing efforts, including its advertising, public relations, branding, marketing, crisis communications, digital media, publications, event management, fundraising and government relations activities. He also led Fredonia’s mission revision and rebranding initiative, which was completed on time and under budget.

Mike also has 22 years of agency experience, including six with STR8 4WRD and 13 with Buffalo’s Travers Collins & Company, where he rose from Account Coordinator to Vice President. There, he worked with dozens of private, not-for-profit and publicly held companies, assisting them with annual report development, fundraising communications, crisis communications, grand openings, special events, merger & acquisitions, C-Suite speech writing, IPO support, succession planning, and more.

Mike has received numerous awards in his career, including four “Best of Show” honors from the Buffalo Niagara Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). He is also a former president of the chapter, which honored him as its Practitioner of the Year in 2011 and with its Distinguished Service Award in 2022. He was also named by Buffalo Business First as one of its “40 Under 40” in 2010. He holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Cornell University and a master’s in business administration from the University at Buffalo.


STR8 4WRD maintains a team of experienced graphic designers, web developers, social media experts, photographers, videographers, media buyers, writers and more. Each of them are assigned to clients and projects based on a variety of factors, such as industry expertise, budget, culture, and more. All of them have substantial experience in their fieldsand each is personally invested in the success of each client/project.