Client Spotlight: Austin-Based Shopgate Relies on PR To Tell Its Story the Right Way to the Right Channels

September 15, 2017  | By Catherine Seeds

Ketner Group loves telling our clients’ stories – it’s what we (said in our best Ursula the Sea Witch voice) LIVVVVE for. Not only that, we always strive to develop client relationships that are based on complete trust sprinkled with a little bit of fun – a true partnership.

Soon after the Ketner Group started working with Shopgate almost a year ago, the account team (which includes yours truly) knew right away this agency-client partnership was going to be a gem! In just over nine months, the Ketner Group account team and the amazing Shopgate marketing team have developed a finely-tuned PR engine. Together, we have increased Shopgate’s presence and thought-leadership in the otherwise crowded space of mobile shopping platforms, secured some high-value media placements and of course, have had a lot of fun along the way!

Check out our recent Q&A with Amanda Laviana, Shopgate’s marketing communications manager:

KG: What are the best things about being an employee at Shopgate?

SG: I most enjoy the autonomy and flexibility of working in a company (and field) that’s ever-evolving. Particularly, I enjoy the efficiency of working on a lean team, where accountability and versatility are the most valued characteristics of every team member.

KG: Why did Shopgate decide to engage with a PR firm? What challenges were you facing prior to deciding to hire an agency?

SG: We knew we had a great story to tell, along with a great product to promote, but were having trouble effectively relaying it to the right channels. With a small team already overwhelmed with the everyday upkeep of a full marketing calendar and strategy, PR was falling to the back burner, and we identified our lack of a strategy there as a major roadblock. We’d produced so much great content, and had so many exciting announcements, features and changes that we knew would be relevant to our industry peers and prospects, yet we hadn’t properly amplified any of it. We needed a dedicated team devoted to this endeavor, and knew using an agency would give us everything we needed.

KG: Why did you select Ketner Group?

SG: We selected Ketner Group after meeting a few members of the team at industry events, and after understanding their expertise and experience in our particular field and region. After meeting the rest of the team and understanding their proposed strategy, we knew we’d make an excellent team. They really understood our needs, goals and roadblocks.

KG: Ketner Group and Shopgate have been working together for almost a year. What have been the most successful results through your engagement with Ketner Group?

SG: During our tenure of working with Ketner, we’ve been so impressed with the results we’ve seen. We’ve secured coverage in virtually all of the publications we had on our “goals” list. This has included Inc., App Developer Magazine, Mobile Marketer, Internet Retailer, The Next Web and a slew of others, including many relevant local publications key to our employer branding efforts. Our brand, product, clients and leadership team have been featured in interviews, commentaries, podcasts and articles across so many channels. We really can’t overstate how valuable the coverage has been in building brand awareness and reaching new audiences.

KG: What peer advice would you give to a fellow tech vendor looking to develop a PR strategy? 

SG: Utilize the experts! Doing it alone can be appealing in the beginning, but the opportunities you miss by not having a team dedicated to promoting your story through earned media are invaluable. Whether you utilize an agency or not, a successful PR strategy depends heavily on your proactivity. Being involved with and on top of every opportunity – and finding your own opportunities – will make all the difference in the amount of coverage you yield, as well as the relevant relationships you’re able to forge.