The year of Twitter: Is there such a thing as too much talk about social media?


The Global Language Monitor, which examines language usage across the world, recently ranked “Twitter” as the top word in the English language for 2009 — meaning it out-ranked “Obama,” “H1N1,” “stimulus,” and “vampire” to take #1.

While this seems a bit surprising with everything that’s gone on this year, it’s not shocking. Social media came to the forefront of interest and attention, and every traditional media outlet jumped in the ring to break that minute’s social media trend story and to get a piece of the pie themselves by connecting with their readers via social networks.

Not that we’re complaining — we’ve gotten to see the social media craze first-hand with our client CheapTweet.  Launched just before Black Friday in 2008, CheapTweet couldn’t have been better positioned for what 2009 had in store: an aggregator that pulls deals from Twitter and creates a community around finding the best possible deals for every shopping need.  Social media darling Twitter? Check. Saving money in a recession? Check. We worked with CheapTweet to formulate the message and get the word out, and the site was featured as a holiday shopping must-see on MSNBC less than two weeks later. That followed in 2009 with hits including InStyle, Parents, New York Times, CNN, TechCrunch, Internet Retailer and tons more — and thankfully, CheapTweet’s message and product were strong enough to roll over the competitors that popped up along the way. Cyber Monday (yesterday) brought the company’s heaviest traffic to date. Continue reading

Paper cuts sting, but will they heal over time?

Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller
Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller

A few of us Ketner Groupies recently attended a PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) luncheon and got to meet three of Austin’s most notable media professionals. Patti Smith, general manager and president of KVUE TV, Debbie Hiott, the managing editor of the Austin American Statesman, and Susanna Hamner, a freelance journalist that frequently writes for the New York Times, discussed the evolution of media in a changing world (specifically in a world where social media has become a viral phenomenon for spreading breaking news, celebrity gossip and saucy rumors). As we debated the different ways social media displaces traditional media, the conversation quickly turned to the hardships that have been plaguing print media for the last couple of years.

According to Paper Cuts, a website tracking the status of the newspaper industry, 175 newspapers have shut down or stopped printing since 2007, including the Rocky Mountain News, who closed its doors after 150 years, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, who now exists only online after 146 years of printing. Another 30,146+ newspaper jobs have been cut since 2007 and industry experts predict that many more will disappear by the end of 2009. Continue reading

Beauty is only skin deep. Right?


I’m a big believer in inner beauty — a huge fan of Dove’s famous Campaign for Real Beauty, a follower of feminist ideals, you name it. But I can’t deny the huge rule that image plays in peoples’ perceptions and beliefs regarding just about everything, from the latest runway fashions to celebrities to homes to the logo design on a box of trash bags. People often judge a book by its cover (I’m certainly not immune)  — and I’ll bet the image at the top of this blog caught your attention enough to start reading this post (don’t stop now!) As any marketer knows, image can make or break success, regardless of what’s underneath. With people, we can all strive to judge others by the beauty of our characters — and when it comes to a product or service, by the quality of what you’re paying for. But with the tough competition in today’s market, quality does not always equate to success, and we marketers owe our jobs to that fact.

So why all the talk about image? Well, as a 19-year old company that’s gone through more exciting changes in the last year than ever before, we were in desperate need of a facelift. There was a disconnect in what our website was saying about us and who we felt we were. And after a few hiccups along the way, we’re finally here! We are proud to unveil the brand new, and we hope you’ll come back often to check out our blog posts and latest client news. Any comments or suggestions on our new look? Feel free to leave them here!

Stay beautiful, folks.

Welcome to “kblog”

Welcome to “kblog” and the new Ketner Group website!  We’re excited to be launching our new site, and the timing couldn’t be better.  With all the unprecedented changes that are reshaping the media and the ways that we practice PR and marketing, it’s the perfect time for us to put a “fresh face” on Ketner Group and open up this new channel of communication with you.

I’ve been in this business for over 30 years now, spending five years as a working journalist before crossing over to the “other side” as a PR and marketing professional.  And I can honestly say I’m having more fun than ever.  It’s an exciting, dynamic time to be in this business, as the media landscape continues to change at an accelerating pace and all the old assumptions are turned topsy-turvy. Continue reading