As storytellers working for a PR agency and spending a lot of time telling stories, we find the theme particularly relevant and inspiring.
Each year, Ketner Group’s DEI Committee selects a few, team-voted monthly observances to recognize. This year, Women’s History Month is one of them. In celebration, our team is meeting via Zoom this week and each team member will present a short slide on a famous female figure of their choice.
To keep the celebration going, we thought it would be fun share more about the women we’re featuring and why they inspire our work. Here’s what we learned…
Agatha Christie inspires Jenny to connect with an audience
Jenny Bradford, account executive out of our NYC office, said she choose to highlight Agatha Christie, “because her writing has been an inspiration for me ever since I first read her exceptional detective mysteries.
“As someone who loves to write and tell stories for our clients, I always admire strong female wordsmiths and their ability to connect with an audience.”
Agatha Christie, or the “Queen of Crime,” is the best-selling fiction writer of all-time. Her work is only outsold by Shakespeare and the Bible. She wrote 66 detective novels and 17 short stories before her death in 1976, and her play “Mousetrap” is the longest-running play of all time.
Jenny is a big mystery lover, and “And Then There Was None” is one of her favorite books. If you’ve never read an Agatha Christie book, she recommends this New York Times guide to help you identify where to start.
Catherine admires Anna May Wong’s true grit
Our president Catherine Seeds will share more about Anna May Wong during our presentations to the Ketner Group team. Wong Liu Tsong, known professionally as Anna May Wong, was an American actress, considered the first Chinese-American movie star in Hollywood, as well as the first Chinese-American actress to gain international recognition.
Anna May Wong was the daughter of Chinese Americans who ran a laundry in downtown Los Angeles and grew up watching film crews. She worked as an extra starting at age 13, beginning with “The Red Lantern” in 1919. She faced racism because of her Chinese heritage and was underpaid compared to her white co-stars.
“While I can’t relate to the challenges and racism that Anna May Wong faced as a Chinese-American, I whole-heartedly admire her true grit, determination and desire to keep going – I try to remember that when things get hard in my work life,” said Catherine. “No matter what she was facing, Anna May never gave up and worked hard to cement her legacy.”
Kathleen Hanna reminds Jenna of the importance of expressing yourself
Jenna Jordan, account supervisor based in Austin, TX selected Kathleen Hanna, the lead singer of Bikini Kill to feature.
Bikini Kill was one of the most influential female punk bands and Kathleen Hanna was a pioneer of third-wave feminism through the Riot Grrrl movement in the 1990s. Before “Girl Power” was popular, Riot Grrls made it punk.
Case in point? Kathleen Hanna has been known for saying, “I’m not going to sit around and be peace and love with somebody’s boot on my neck.”
As for Jenna, she says about Kathleen Hanna, “Being an introvert in the communications world, Kathleen’s loud persona is a reminder of the importance of expressing yourself, and that there’s no one definition of what that means. She is all about finding ways to make your voice heard, and that translates in my day-to-day work when it comes to telling client stories.”
Sally Mann inspires me with her portraits
As for me, our VP of marketing working remote from Atlanta, GA, I selected Sally Mann to highlight. Sally Mann is one of America’s most renowned photographers.
Personally, I love the challenge of writing in a specific brand or person’s voice, capturing them uniquely. Mann’s portraits are a master class in capturing someone authentically.
While her work includes portraits as well as landscapes, my favorite (and what she is sometimes best-known for) are the pictures she began taking of her family in the 1980s. These pictures are complex visions of childhood, intimate family portraits that capture the photographed and reflect the mother behind the lens.
A mother myself, I was struck in my research by this quote of Sally Mann’s, “Having children…expanded the parameters beyond the decorative and opened up the tender as well as the political (in the broadest sense) side to my work.”
Continuing to be inspired by women storytellers
The Ketner Group team is lucky to have so many strong women storytellers as members of our communications agency and as part of our client base.
Women’s History Month is simply a month we acknowledge these women formally. The everyday work is in ensuring they (and each person we encounter) is valued each day.
We’re excited to share that our eBook, the Retail Tech PR Handbook, is out now! The handbook dives into several aspects of what makes a PR campaign successful, and a key component is measurement.
Since measuring the success of your communications plans is as important as the plan itself, we’ve included highlights from the chapter below. To read the full eBook, download it here.
How to measure your communications strategy
As a marketer, you know firsthand the challenge of demonstrating communications success to executive leadership. It’s essential to put tangible numbers behind your work.
And, if you’re effective and proving PR’s value, you are more likely to ensure that communications secures its place in your company’s overall marketing strategy. Unfortunately, only 20% of PR professionals are involved in marketing planning.
The most common method for measuring a PR strategy’s success is through media measurement tools, such as Cision or Meltwater.
Each tool has pros and cons, but overall they help you track your company’s mentions over time, while also identifying pickup reach, readership, social impact, keywords and more.
In addition to helping you understand the value of your media mentions, these platforms identify your share of voice in comparison to key competitors. We recommend tracking four to five competitors, which allows you to clearly identify how you stack up in your industry and receive inspiration from competitor campaigns.
By completing monthly media measurement, you’ll be able to evaluate campaign success and keep track of your progress towards your PR objectives.
KPIs provide a fantastic way to track towards your overall company goals. We recommend identifying your KPIs when you develop your strategy, and then tracking them on a quarterly basis.
Setting quarterly goals, instead of monthly, allows you to account for the peaks and valleys of each month. PR has its ups and downs, with some months having more news than others. A quarterly goal averages out these discrepancies.
When you kick off your measurement strategy, you’ll want to establish KPIs through an audit, which provides a baseline report to identify ideal yet realistic goals.
Some examples of quarterly KPIs include:
Overall number of mentions
Number of byline articles published
Number of press release pickups
Number of data-focused mentions
There’s no right or wrong number of KPIs to track, but for reference, a Muckrack survey found that the average PR pro tracked five metrics in 2021.
How to create a results-driven PR strategy
The old adage that communications professionals “aren’t good at math” is not a good reason to get PR measurement wrong, or skip it altogether.
When done right, measuring PR ensures you’re able to keep your unique story in the forefront of the news, while tracking against overall marketing objectives, such as lead generation. And it also helps ensure that PR gets the respect it deserves from your company’s executive team.
To learn more about crafting a top-notch communications strategy, be sure to read the Retail Tech PR Handbook. Download here!
Without a doubt, byline articles are one of the best tools for establishing thought leadership in your industry.
You get the benefit of having an external source, usually a trade publication, validate your expertise by providing you a platform in the first place. And you get roughly 500 words to establish your prowess on a timely topic.
For a technology provider hoping to increase sales and build relationships in the retail sphere, what could be better?
But the commerce tech space is saturated. Your strong competition is likely matching or beating your media cadence. A published byline article is good. A catchy, well-written article is better.
To take your content from good to great, simply follow these quick tips:
1. Craft a catchy title
Consider the homepage of any popular retail publication: they are chock full of articles for readers to peruse. Why would they choose yours? Because they liked your catchy title.
I recommend writing your title after your article is complete. Ideally, your title should describe the entire article. It should also tempt a potential reader, inviting them to click and read more.
Personally, I find lists make great, clickable content. So too do themes, alliteration or strong words. When writing the title for this article, I choose the list format. I used both alliteration and an interesting adjective: “superb.”
My colleague Catherine often incorporates songs into her articles, making them a theme that is included in both the introduction and the title. For inspiration, check out, “We Were Remote Before Remote Was Cool.”
2. Write skimmable copy
These days, our time is only becoming more limited. Your reader expresses interest in your headline by clicking on it, but you must capture their attention within the article to tempt them to read.
Many of us are guilty of skimming content to capture the basic idea of an article, without actually spending the time to dig in to the details.
Consider this analysis by Slate, which completed an in-depth investigation into behavior on their site: most readers only scroll to about the 50% mark, or the 1,000th pixel.
To keep reader attention:
Break up your content into short, readable paragraphs
Incorporate a variety of headers
Add bullet points or numbered lists
3. Match words in lists
By far one of my favorite ways to transform content from good to great is to execute a very simple trick. Each time you list an item within a series, describe it using the same figure of speech.
For example, all of your headers may start with a verb and provide a recommendation, such as the headers in this article:
Craft a catchy title
Write skimmable copy
Match words in lists
Conclude with a strong charge
Or, you may choose to write a list of items that feature an adjective and noun, such as, “our technology solution features a user-friendly UI, simple onboarding process and auto-generated dashboard.”
Either way, matching words in lists consistently results in more pleasing, easy-to-read content.
4. Conclude with a strong charge
We all know that a good conclusion should sufficiently summarize all of your previous content. But as a solution provider looking for new business opportunities, you also want to encourage your reader to keep wanting more.
Unlike a blog post, which can incorporate a promotional call-to-action, a good byline conclusion should inspire your reader to consider a brighter future.
What will their business look like if they enact their tips? What trends will appear in the future they can be better prepared for? Direct them with a clear path forward.
Transform your article from good to great
Placing a byline article with a publication is only the first step to creating enticing thought leadership content that drives your business forward. Once you’re committed to writing, you want to create an article that inspires audiences and sets you apart from your competition.
Thankfully, simple tricks can easily take your writing from good to great, establishing you as a long-term leader in the space and positioning your company for success.
Interested in getting help with your content? We love to work with clients to help them achieve their media relations goals. Get in touch.
We’ve been lucky to work with our client Birdzi on and off for more than five years. Most recently, in the fall of last year, we kicked off a monthly PR engagement to help them increase brand awareness and build on our previous media relations successes.
So far, one of our most successful campaigns was distributing a press release detailing Birdzi’s engagement with their customer Coborn’s. The release helped generate more than half a dozen leads, and solidified Birdzi as a leader in customer intelligence and strategic marketing personalization.
Birdzi, founded in 2010, offers a customer intelligence platform to grocers and is led by Shekar Raman, CEO and co-founder. Gary Hawkins is a strategic advisor.
“I first met Jeff Ketner more than five years ago and became familiar with Ketner Group Communications and their services at that time. I’ve been in grocery my whole life, so working with Ketner Group, which has such a deep history in retail technology, has been a really positive experience,” said Hawkins.
“It’s always fun to talk shop with Ketner Group and it’s a great pleasure to work together, whether as a client or collaboratively on industry projects–like when I appeared on a KG Connects webinar as a guest speaker.”
We couldn’t agree more! In fact, just this week our CEO Jeff Ketner and president Catherine Seeds loved talking with Gary and Shekar on the latest Retail Perch episode! Their discussion centered around the important role PR plays in a startup’s overall business plan.
Crafting PR that demonstrates grocery excellence
Last December, we kicked off the Coborn’s press release project with Birdzi. Coborn’s began working with Birdzi in 2016 and has since deployed a robust loyalty program based on understanding of customer data and insight-driven personalization. When developing the release, we wanted to detail the long history between the companies and highlight the successful collaboration.
Comparing new, digitally engaged shoppers on the Birdzi platform vs. shoppers that are not, Coborn’s saw a 355% increase in customer retention, 16% increase in trips per month and 23.7% increase in spend per month. What a success!
After setting the story’s stage with a big impact, we detailed Coborn’s MORE Rewards program, which provides Coborn’s shoppers with personalized savings and experiences. There aren’t many grocers, particularly regional grocers like Coborn’s, who are executing such a robust program. We knew sharing strong details and examples would appeal to the media.
Once the release was drafted and complete, we put it on the wire and completed personalized pitching to journalists.
The articles demonstrated Birdzi as a leader in customer loyalty and directly generated interest from other regional grocers. Birdzi received more than a half dozen leads through their website and LinkedIn, with prospective customers interested in implementing some of the same strategies as Coborn’s.
“When you imagine an ideal outcome for a press release, your dream is that the news drives interest from prospects, but you don’t often expect as many leads as we saw with Coborn’s!” said Raman
“Not only did the news drive leads, but the coverage sparked conversations with our broader network, including friends, partners and current customers. Coborn’s is a perfect use case for grocery innovation, and we’re thrilled to tell their story with Ketner Group.”
Continuing to tell innovative stories
While the Coborn’s press release was a great success, our work as communication professionals is never done.
Birdzi has a steady queue of customer stories to tell for the coming year, and we already followed up the Coborn’s press release with a story of how Birdzi customer Harps launched a mobile app to drive engagement. That release saw similar results, with seven unique pieces of coverage generated.
Looking to master your communications strategy as well as Birdzi does? Reach out to us today to discuss how we can help you craft a strategic PR program that creates thought leadership, brand recognition and a few leads along the way!
When we ask b2b technology companies about their approach to analyst relations, their replies are all over the map.
Some companies have a deep well of opinions alongside an advanced strategy, long history and serious investment. Others haven’t even dipped their toe in the water.
No matter the existing approach, the good news is that developing and deploying a basic analyst relations strategy is not only quite straightforward, it offers serious long-term value.
Analyst briefings scheduled twice per year with a company executive can improve a tech company’s go-to-market strategy, product roadmap and lead generation.
Let’s dive in.
Why you should invest in analyst relations
The first thing to know about analysts is that their M.O. is to be industry experts.
Whether an analyst works for a big firm that touches many industries (such as Gartner or Forrester) or a niche firm devoted to a specific sector (such as RSR or IHL Group in retail), analysts typically get their start by working in their field. Take a look at a retail analyst and you’ll likely see they held an executive position with a retail organization.
Once they transition to a career as an analyst, their job is to understand the industry, players, challenges and solutions, and explain this via reports. To gain this insight, analysts complete briefings with tech providers and end-users alike.
When you should schedule analyst briefings
The perfect time to schedule a briefing is when you need expert advice.
Pivotal moments during a company’s history such as before a company/product launch or rebrand, during executive transition, or after completing an annual strategy are all perfect times to seek outside perspective from an analyst.
Once you’ve established a relationship during a pivotal moment, you’re ready to nurture that relationship through recurring annual or biannual briefings.
Analysts will be able to provide perspective that impacts strategies such as:
Company go-to-market plan
Content marketing plan
Investor pitch deck
Who should staff analyst briefings
The best practice is to schedule analyst briefings with one or two company executives who can offer high-level insight into overall strategy. With this in mind, a CEO is a natural fit. If a CEO is not available for analyst briefings, a marketing executive can also often speak to overall strategy such as go-to-market approach, product marketing and solution set.
If you’re scheduling an analyst briefing around a newsworthy event, you also may consider inviting executives related to the news. For example, if you’re scheduling a discussion about an upcoming product launch, invite your CEO and director of product.
How to schedule an analyst briefing
If your company is not investing in a paid, ongoing relationship or specific analyst project, the most likely way you’ll engage is via one-off briefings you schedule once or twice a year.
Analyst firms offer 30- or 60-minute briefings with non-clients; tech companies can request these briefings via an analyst firm’s website.
Once a briefing is requested, analysts can confirm or deny the briefing. The reason an analyst will schedule a briefing with a non-client is to gain a better understanding of their industry.
With this in mind, you’ll want to do your homework. Only request briefings with analysts that are a good match to your solution, and when you submit a request specifically share why the briefing will be valuable to them.
Extra credit! How to build long-term relationships with analysts
At the end of your analyst briefing be ready to discuss next steps. Analysts want to keep learning about their industry, so ask if they are open to continuing the relationship by connecting with you via email or social media.
If they’re open to sharing contact information, use it sparingly and be sure to provide value when you get in touch. Include analysts when getting out a press release on big company news, but don’t add them to your general newsletter blast unless they specifically ask to be included.
Make analyst relations a core part of your strategy
Companies are always at risk of becoming echo chambers, full of employees who have worked together effectively for so long that they struggle to develop unique points of view. Analyst briefings address this challenge directly by offering expert industry advice that deviates from the norm.
Creating a strong analyst relations strategy, even if it is minimal, ensures that your annual company plan and pivotal campaigns skillfully meet the market and prepare you for long-term success.
Next up: we’ll dive into how to make the most of analyst briefings in part two of this blog series. Stay tuned to learn how to create a great analyst briefing presentation.
I can’t imagine a single person who would say they thought 2020 turned out like they expected. I certainly can’t.
After launching our Nashville office last August, we had big plans for this year. While it hasn’t turned out like we expected, I am grateful to say that the year has provided joy nonetheless.
I’m proud of our team for what we’ve accomplished and in that spirit, I’d like to celebrate some of the notable successes from this year, which include working with Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN), OhanaHealth, Origami Day, and launching the NTC Marketing Peer Group!
Welcoming 36|86 Festival and LaunchTN to the Ketner Group fold
Little did we know that that event would spur an even more long-standing relationship and that just a few weeks afterwards we’d kick off working with LaunchTN to support 2020’s virtual 36|86! Together, we increased awareness of the event with media, generated coverage and increased buzz.
“As a speaker for KG Connects, I experienced Ketner Group’s creative thinking, enthusiasm for their work and master organizational skills,” said Tucker. “Not to mention, they’re just fun! I knew they would make a wonderful partner when it came to our media relations for 36|86 Festival and ultimately LaunchTN overall and my instinct was not wrong. We’ve been thrilled by the output of our work together and pleased that they equally consider Tennessee the perfect place for launching a new office.”
Capturing coverage for OhanaHealth
We also had great fun this year working with Daniel Oppong, founder, OhanaHealth. When we initially spoke with him about his desire to do a media relations push around the next iteration of the company, we were excited to hear him talk about how the news sat at the intersection of three incredibly powerful themes from this year: healthcare, accessibility and employment.
Daniel is dynamic, driven and talented, so it’s no surprise OhanaHealth is primed for connecting top talent with health companies poised to make a meaningful impact post-COVID-19. We were thrilled to help the company generate coverage in local and trade publications alike.
“On top of delivering fantastic and measurable results, Ketner Group was exceptional to work with,” said Daniel. “They took the time to get to know me and OhanaHealth’s PR goals, then designed and executed an intentional strategy that put the story I wanted to tell (with OhanaHealth) in front of the right journalists, which ultimately led to it being read by thousands of people.
“I didn’t really know what I was in for, given that it was my first time formally working with a PR group, but our engagement exceeded my expectations and set a really high bar for what’s possible when working with the right PR group. I’m a big fan of Ketner Group, and not only would I recommend them to other companies, but I hope I get to work with them again.”
“Quarterly long-form content was a huge victory in fixing bottlenecks in my business,” said Samantha Lane, time management coach and creator of Origami Day. “Knowing that ‘batching’ is an effective way to accomplish more with less, I was already creating content around monthly themes. However, Kirsty helped me see the value in zooming out to quarterly themes and long-form pieces of content.”
Launching an NTC Marketing Peer Group
Another exciting effort this year? We became members of the Nashville Technology Council! We were thrilled to become a more integrated part of the technology community here in town, so when we learned that they didn’t yet have a Peer Group for marketers we thought, well, what a better time to start?
Through the course of this year, we’ve had the pleasure of working with NTC and others in the community to kick off this group, which will seek to help members connect, learn, grow and give back. I’ll be joining the committee as a co-chair alongside some other wonderful members including fellow co-chair Lane Harbin, director of marketing at Campaign Monitor.
Our very first event kicks off Friday Dec. 11 at 11 am, more details are coming soon!
Nashville is still growing
COVID-19 is not slowing down the growth Nashville has been experiencing over the past few years. In fact, we continue to see announcements regularly that are signs of the city’s opportunity for big impact. Just last week, the New York Times’ announced it is opening a Nashville bureau.
And Amazon’s head of worldwide economic development, Holly Sullivan recently remarked, “We don’t want to be the last tech company to announce a corporate office in downtown Nashville. We’d like to welcome other tech companies too so we can really build that robust diversity within the Nashville area.”
These continued stories inspire us and remind us that we’re just where we should be.
Your time is limited. There’s no need to put extra hours into projects when simple tactics can help you get more done.
It’s the dream right?
When it comes to content, this dream is easy to turn into reality. By creating one long-form piece of content–whether an eBook, whitepaper or research report–, you give yourself a base to work with. Simply adapt that content by editing it down into a wealth of resources that extend your reach and allow you to achieve a wide variety of goals.
The long-form content adaptation equation
To adapt a piece of long-form content into a variety of resources, follow these steps:
Write one long-form piece of content.
Incorporate three custom graphics.
Publish it as gated content on a landing page.
Create three abstracts for three byline articles based on the content, pitch each abstract to a unique trade publication; write if picked up. If your bylines aren’t placed, publish these articles to your blog and/or as LinkedIn articles.
Create and pitch two-five proactive pitches inspired by the content to targeted media.
Once you’re done, you’ll have created the following pieces of content:
One long-form piece of content
Three custom graphics
One landing page
5 simple steps for adaptation
Origami Day: why this content plan works
Earlier this year, we worked with Origami Day to help them create a communications plan. During our sessions, we discussed what Samantha Lane, time management coach and creator of Origami Day, refers to as a “content extraction plan.”
As an organization expert, she encouraged us to share our strategies for repurposing long-form content with the world. Thank you for inspiring this blog, Samantha!
“Quarterly long-form content was a huge victory in fixing bottlenecks in my business. Knowing that ‘batching’ is an effective way to accomplish more with less, I was already creating content around monthly themes. However, Kirsty helped me see the value in zooming out to quarterly themes and long-form pieces of content,” said Samantha.
“This was such a good way to stretch ideas even farther and increase efficiency even more. I love being able to set four themes for an entire year, write four long-form pieces, and use those for 12 months’ worth of value for my customers. Not to mention, it’s a great foundation for anyone considering starting a blog or writing a book.”
Let’s talk content
Ready to give the content adaptation plan a try? If you’re having trouble getting started with long-form content on your own, we offer a free, thirty-minute consultation that may help your wheels start turning! Just contact us.
Stay-at-home measures mean events of all kinds are canceled, a massive blow to one of many companies’ primary sales and lead gen channels. While webinars are filling in some of the gaps, they aren’t enough on their own.
Content converts, particularly now
Content has always played a key role in supporting all parts of the sales funnel: increasing overall awareness, generating leads and nurturing leads through close.
But in the present coronavirus environment, content offers the unique advantage of rewarding time rather than financial investments, and it can promote a variety of expected outcomes.
Content can help you sell to your company’s future products and services.For example, let’s say you’re creating a new product to address coronavirus disruption in your industry. You can publish thought leadership content today that promotes the benefits of an ideal solution, drumming up demand in anticipation of its official launch.
Content can also help you highlight evergreen features that are always advantageous. If your product has a short deployment timeline, create content that highlights this value.
Content marketing supports the entire funnel
When we talk about content, we’re not limiting our conversation to long-form content, which is extremely influential but not the end-all-be-all. We’re referring to:
Blog posts: Great for lead generation through SEO and can be shared across every channel.
Infographics: Increase your reach; other companies love to share these.
Email marketing: As sales cycles shift (and possibly lengthen) email helps you stay top of mind.
Long-form content (eBooks, whitepapers, etc.): When hosted behind a gated form on your website or an ad, it directly generates leads. Repurpose this comprehensive content by turning it into more digestible thought leadership byline articles and blogs.
How to outsource content projects
Given the new urgency to create highly relevant and engaging branded content, we are now offering project-based services that help you grow your business without the commitment of a retainer.
We’ve always believed one of our biggest differentiators is that everyone on our team is a great writer.
Our new focus on end-to-end content marketing services means that we can help you write, design and promote content for any audience.
We’d love to talk with you about content ideas you’re mulling over, content types you’re considering or campaigns you hope to launch.
In addition to offering more project-based services, we’re also now offering a free, 30-minute consultation to our contacts. Take us up on our offer by emailing us at [email protected].
The world is changing more quickly and more dramatically than most of us have experienced in our lifetime. The coronavirus will fundamentally alter our lives. It is a lot to wrap your head around.
At the same time, most of us are antsy to identify ways we can move forward. We want to keep doing what we love: creating unique campaigns, communicating with customers, driving a business forward.
To help you move forward, we’ve identified three simple steps:
Feel: Begin at the Beginning
Before you can take action, you must understand your situation. That’s why I believe the very first thing we must do is feel. We must commit the time to wrapping our heads around the present, learning how our environments are shifting, feeling the impact COVID-19 is having on our business, our community and ourselves.
What is frustrating about this step is that, for many of us, the feeling phase may last much longer than we’d like. But because a global pandemic is a new experience for all of us, there is a lot of new information to take in, which takes time. Think of this period like you would a marketing campaign, your very first step is often to collect a lot of data. Feeling is that collection period.
Reflect: Identify the Marketing Work
Once you have taken the time required to understand your situation through feeling, you’re able to move into a period of reflection. The reflection period is all about evaluating the situation to develop a strategy for action.
As B2B marketers, our essential question is what action can I take to help sell? Unfortunately, in times like these the old-standby-style answers are not always correct anymore. Reflecting must entail identifying what actions you can take to help sell in this new environment. Consider what you need today to support a sale in the short term and the long term. You can begin by asking yourself the following questions:
How is my sales cycle changing? Is my company’s sales cycle increasing or decreasing? Does it require different types of engagement? The virus could be shifting your cycle in ways you don’t imagine. Understanding how it’s changing will help you identify what you need to support it.
To support the shifting sales cycle, what resources do I need? Identify what prospects need at this moment. Do they need help grasping the new retail environment? Maybe you can support them with a byline article. Do they need advice on creating better digital experiences? Maybe you could offer a free consultation via email.
What do people need when it comes to communication? The methods you use to communicate may need to change. If you use marketing automation, evaluate campaigns to ensure they empathetically address the situation. If you can, it may be even more effective to create tailored communication for each contact, calling some or waiting to contact others.
No matter what, you can’t go wrong by being compassionate. Asking empathetic questions and offering ways you can help will help us all identify a path forward.
Create: Develop Campaigns and Prepare for the Future
Once you have reflected on how things are changing, you’ll have the information you need to create new marketing efforts. Your sales process is likely changing. The volume and readiness of the pipeline may be altered, but your actual cycle may be decreasing or increasing as well.
If your sales cycle is decreasing, you’ll want to focus on crafting action-oriented campaigns that can help convert prospects quickly. Dive into your data to identify which campaigns were the most effective at converting and dial those up. If an email campaign promoting an ebook has worked particularly well in the past, invest in that campaign. Just make sure the messaging has been updated to more compassionately address the current situation. If an ad on LinkedIn has shown success, maybe it’s time to re-active it, again updating the content and creative in light of the coronavirus.
If your sales cycle is lengthening because of COVID-19, it may be the right time to hunker down and invest time into big projects that will set you up for future success. Events and awards may have been rescheduled but there are things you can control.
We’ve seen that long-form content is the backbone of B2B tech communications. Now is an opportune time to sit down and write. As a general rule, it’s good to have two to four long-form pieces of content (whether a whitepaper, eBook or research report) released per year. These can inspire blog posts, social media posts, ads, print collateral, webinars, articles, proactive pitching and even press releases. Overall, we see them help generate leads, illustrate your expertise and inspire new or ongoing campaigns.
Similarly, this could be a good time to invest in a time-intensive project such as a rebrand, website update, newsletter launch or persona refresh.
Don’t Stop Engaging With the World
Now is our time to rediscover the world. As we feel the impact of the coronavirus on our environments, it can be very challenging to identify a path forward. But by remembering to feel first and then reflect, we’ll be able to identify steps we can take to create our new environment.
You do not have to go through this transition alone. If you are ever looking for perspective, advice or a compassionate ear, we are here to help. We’re in this together. We have your back.
Interested in learning more about our thoughts on storytelling? We always love to chat about the topic over a cup of coffee. So don’t be shy, just reach out.
Read the Transcript
Goodlett: I want to start with Brittney. I am curious to hear from you. Why is
Storytelling is so important, especially to me because I feel like it gives
everyone an opportunity to share their truth, right? We all have our own, all
our story that deserves to be shared. And I see the impact impacted needs,
especially for under represented communities, right? So if you’re a minority
business owner, having your stories old can do understory. For example, I have
a colleague whose book came out this week. When she received her book deal her
publishing house was kind of nervous because she didn’t have a large social
media following. They really want to make sure that she could sell this book
and the book, it’s called, The Memo, and it’s about women of color and
workplace. It’s a great topic but it’s always hard to pitch opportunities or
stories around people of color, right? It really is. So her publisher’s
feedback really meant some of these are hurting. So I wrote about her for Fast
Company. Once that article went live, her publisher gave her a date for her
book to be released. That’s how much a story being published can make an impact
to someone’s life.
Goodlett: So I want to jump off of that point and pass it over to Nicole.
Nicole, I’m curious to hear from you how you see storytelling being important
to businesses. Because Brittney’s example is such a great example of like
someone who’s clearly making money from writing, but we also have sometimes a
harder time telling stories about companies. So why is story telling important
Delger: Storytelling gives people to talk about your company and you know,
share pride in the things they find. There are so many different things that we
can invest in or bring into our lives and it’s harder to be discerning some
times as a consumer. So when I think about storytelling, I always put my
consumer hat on. What are the brands that I like, what are the stories that I
rally around? How are they interesting? And I think it’s important for
companies down on what their story is so that people will talk about them. I
love your example, Brittney. I just saw another one in the news yesterday in
the Shelbyville Times about Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey. Have you seen this
one? I thought that was so beautiful and it is inspired by a slave that taught
Jack Daniels how to distill whiskey. And they are saying, this is the Godfather
ofTennessee whiskey. And I think that is really exciting for people who are
entrepreneurial, who are wanting to make something meaningful, wanting to
create a brand that’s meaningful to go out and find these stories and be
inspired by these stories to create something new. So I think it’s made from an
entrepreneurial perspective. And so typing into your own story or the story
that you want to tell it from a creative business.
Goodlett: So, what do you do then if you don’t have that? So, like how does
storytelling money vary then between business to business or business to
consumer? And what do you do from a toolkit perspective to think differently
about those different types of companies or services?
Delger: Yeah, I mean not to immediately pitch hiring someone. I think it’s not
necessarily about hiring communications. company to tell your story. It’s about
having conversations with people and starting to look outside yourself, get
outside your business, get perspective on what might be interesting. For a
story, you might not recognize these really interesting people. I remember
Catherine talking about that person that you work with…
Goodlett: Yeah, that’s great. That’s a great leeway. Right. Catherine, can you
speak to this example or maybe some others that you’ve seen when it comes to
finding ways to tell stories about businesses?
Seeds: Sure. I think with our clients, we work with B2B technology companies,
so we’re always looking into why we’d be interested in stories about the
products and the services that our clients are providing. And that’s what their
marketing is for, of course, but we want to dig deeper. All of us here are
storytellers in some way. So you want to take deeper. And what I love to do,
what we love doing for our clients is figuring out what has inspired the
executive and founder of the company to start that company. In my experience, a
lot of CEOs and founders don’t give themselves enough credit for the
inspiration for their own companies. One of our clients, we sat down with the
CEO and founder to get the backstory. He is from Germany. He went through his
story about how when he was 16, he worked in the salt mines and how he
remembered the sweat coming down his face, working in the mines, the salt
mines. He remembered how his superiors would check on him to make sure that he
was okay. And he remembered that and he carried that with him. When he started
his own company he decided he was always going to treat everyone the same, no
matter what level and that was because of his background in the salt mines. So
we put together a pitch to the media and we’ve got some interest in that, which
is great because CEO stories are always interesting to tell. You want to tell
those stories about the products and services and how they’re affecting end
users but we want to go further, we want to dig deeper into telling more
interesting, more human inspired stories for our clients.
Yeah. So that leads me to a good question for Kelley. When we were preparing
for this panel we were talking about, how do you identify interesting stories?
Kelley you had some interesting things to say about that. You remarked that
when you consider stories, you say, is this interesting to me? So can you speak
to that a little bit?
Griggs: So that’s sort of the question I would ask. I would ask, hey, we are
seeking stories about startups. We happen to be seeking stories about startups
in the south. That’s like a pretty specific topic. And one of the reasons why
we were doing that was because we were looking for the types of things that
other people might relate to, both in business and in life. So, I think that
one really, really important part of telling your story is just asking
yourself, is this an interesting and would it be interesting to somebody else
if they were to read it? And what is really the, the hook of the story? If you
think about the hook of your story or you know, the reason why you love it so
much and emphasize that hook, I think that others are more likely to grab on to
whatever you’re talking about. They have to work on, you have to work on that
hook. So that’s really, you know, that’s really subjective. Everybody would
think a little bit differently and your story is not for everyone. So, I do
think though, as a journalist that something I would always think about if someone
was pitching me a story is, you know, is this interesting to my audience? And
that went back to my topic about startups in the south.
Goodlett: That’s a good point. So as a journalist who chooses which stories to
write about, can you speak to tips about someone may pitch you to get written
Griggs: Sure and I think, I think Brittney and I will have different
perspectives because when you’re, when you’re pitching to me, I have my topic,
I have startups in the south and that’s what I’m really looking for. And those
stories are very, very interesting to me because I’m telling you a human story,
I’m telling the story that a lot of people around here might relate to. I’m
telling a very different story than stories in Silicon Valley. So my stories
might have more grittiness to them. They might have more culture in the way
that we might understand it in our area of the country. They might not be so
much about scale and getting investment from, you know, getting millions and
millions of dollars. They’re not going to be the story of Silicon Valley.
They’re gonna be the story of what I’m used to. But, but my blog is about a
beginner, you know, a founder who’s just started a company, who is in the area
of maybe Nashville or Atlanta or Raleigh or global or Memphis. And I might be
your first person that you’ve reached out to. I think I’m way more likely to be
the first or second or third person you reach out to and say, Hey, I think I’m
writing to pitch somebody a story. So, people are out there starting
businesses. I’d love to hear from you.
Goodlett: And what do they say to you?
Griggs: They usually say something like, Hey, uh, I just started a company.
This is what it’s called. Here’s the website. I think my story’s really
interesting. I wouldlove to talk to you about it. And that’s how we start a
conversation. You know, there are little things, like details like time and
getting our schedules right. Then usually I am willing to speak with most
people as long as it’s in my topic area; most people who reach out to me as
long as they’re legitimate.
Goodlett: Brittney, would you say that that’s true for you? Like what does it
take for you to get pitched and to write about it?
Oliver: So I just want to let you know some of the outlets that I contribute
to. So I work where I contribute to the career money, entrepreneurial segments
for Fast Company, Essence, Nashville lifestyles, and other one line
publications. So I have a national reach, so I’m not limited to a region. But
to what you’re speaking, you need to pitch it within someone’s vertical, right?
So if your topic is on business or entrepreneurial endeavors or innovation at
your company, you want to target that specific staff writer or contributor for
that particular vertical in your immunity. You want to target the beauty
writer, right? So those are some of the tips that you would need when you’re
pitching yourself. Also, people don’t realize that you’re so much more than
your bio. You’re so much more than your bio. Really dig deep to different
angles to pitch yourself. You’ll never know when your experience, your life
experience will intrigue somebody. So for example, if you run a company, a
cheese company, right? But you have this really interesting background and how
you grew up and somehow it impacted the way you run your business. That’s
something that made it yourself. Is your company 50% minority? That’s something
that’s interesting because right now DNI topics are important and trending. So
also think about trending topics in your industry as well. What’s trending?
What is some leading data around your industry that you could leave with when
you’re pitching publicists? I mean, when you’re pitching publications, those
are things that are interesting. Lead with numbers, the data doesn’t lie. It
really backs up your story.
Goodlett: Yeah. So that leads to a great comment I think from Catherine. So,
Catherine, we have done a number of stories where we use data as a way to pitch
B2B, which sometimes has difficulty finding a human element. So as Brittney
said, that could be another way in. So I’d love for you to share some more
insight about how data can be used to help provide pickup.
Seeds: Right. The clients that we’re working with, we’re always looking for data,
whether that’s data with your own customer base or if you’ve gone out and done
some consumer surveys or research studies. You know, folks like Brittney and
other trade or business media are gonna be interested in that as well as a good
customer story. We have an interesting use case about how we were able to use
data very successfully in Kirsty you can keep me honest on this one since you
were on the team. We have a company in Austin, they’re an ad tech company. We
worked in collaboration with them to put together a consumer study around
Amazon Prime Day. We were looking at things like, you know, from a consumer
standpoint, you know, what are they shopping for during Amazon Prime Day? Have
they shopped before? What are they going to be shopping for this year? So we
kind of looked at that. It was focused all on Amazon Prime Day. We got really
lucky because we have really great data. We also had really great luck from a
timing standpoint because the day that we released our was the day that Amazon
had announced the date of their official Prime Day. So we have all this amazing
data out there. And what we found in that data was that Amazon Prime Day is
like the next big holiday shopping event, like back-to-school or any other sort
of micro-holiday. So, we have some really great data, but we also had really
great timing and our team had been pitching top tier and trade media, up until
that day. So the stars aligned in PR world that doesn’t happen very often. And
so we’re really glad that it did and we were able to get some awesome media
coverage: Bloomberg, Market Watch, Ad Week, and all the trade and ad tech
trades. Am I missing anything, Kirsty?
Goodlett: No, that’s good.
Seeds: Okay good. So from a success standpoint, it was a good day for us at
Ketner Group when that happened and the client, obviously was very happy. And I
know that the team is still being able to use some of that data moving forward.
Goodlett: Yeah. The other thing that I’ll add to that, which is interesting
from a story perspective is the one thing that was like the hook for the media
was Amazon Prime Day is the new back to school holiday, right? Like that’s an
interesting hook. But additionally Adlucent is an ad tech company, so we were
able to say, okay, it’s the new holiday and what are you doing about it? Right?
Like, are you making sure that your advertising is prepared in order to meet
this holiday? So that’s another example of how the data is great for getting
and securing that trade or that top tier pickup. But then from a business
perspective, you want to consider, okay, the data’s going to get me in and then
what do I do once I’m in, right? What’s my story after that? So in terms of
that logistics stuff, Nicole, I’m curious to hear from you regarding what
things you need to consider about stories that you might not expect. One thing
with you in particular, and knowing your background, how do you take a story
and integrate a brand identity. How do you take that and translate it into
Delger: Yeah, so I do marketing and communications, but my main client right
now is a pencil factory, a hundred year old pencil factory. And I’m now all
about pencils. I have a bunch in my bag if you want one from Musgrave Pencil
factory there in Shelbyville. So I mentioned that because if you don’t know
about the pencil industry, they’re notoriously secretive. So when they came on
and wanted to rebrand, they were a hundred year old company and nobody knew
anything about them. So it was of like, oh my gosh, I have this like chest of
things to just uncover. And I think the thing that’s surprising is they have
such a great story. They have so many vintage things. I didn’t have to tell it
all at once. It didn’t have to just go out there with this really long piece of
coverage. I can find a vintage advertising pencil and take an awesome photo of
it and find a business that it was advertising 50 years ago and tag them and
tell a little story. So especially if you have a company where you feel like
there’s so much to tell and share, it’s okay in your storytelling to tell
little nuggets, and little Easter eggs along the way and know that over time
you’re building that brand identity, you’re building that larger narrative. It
doesn’t all have to happen at once. And starting to know when you’re talking to
people, what details you can leave out just as much as what details should you
put in for whatever that exchange might be. And so I think you can find one
story on Instagram through a visual platform. Or another story if you’re doing
the longer piece of media, what you might talk about regarding your CEO, and
you don’t have to get into that, all that other stuff. And so really thinking,
matching the media, matching the story with it.
Delger: So something else that we were discussing earlier that was something
that came up that we wouldn’t expect so much was that Brittney talked about
thinking about SEO and what stories people want to hear. So can you speak to
your experience, Brittney, regarding from the publication side. What are
publications thinking about that would be surprising to companies?
Oliver: So everything is about clicks, right? A lot of people blame Buzzfeed
for the way the media is, but it’s true. It’s about clicks. Let’s, it’s
click-baity, right? How are we going to drive traffic? Everyone wants that
traffic. And so when you’re thinking about telling your story, think about
things that are trending, right? For example, I feel like this is the month of
Serena Williams. And the reason why I say that is, one, it’s tennis month,
right? Today’s the US Open. So anything tennis relating related is going to
pick up some traffic, right? Then she’s someone who advocates equal pay. And
that’s been a big topic this month, women’s equality day is today actually. So
she is someone who’s trending, circulating. If you have a story idea in those
little pockets you’re going to drive SEO. So tell that story, if it is sports,
or you know, Serena Williams related, you can tie her in somehow. Any of those
things. Think about those holidays that are coming up, the holidays that you
were talking about. Those things attract SEO. So when you’re pitching, really
think about that because that’s what media companies are looking for.
Goodlett: The other thing that I found surprising when we were meeting earlier
was that companies aren’t always ready to tell their stories. So, Nicole and
Brittney, you were both talking about what to do as you keep telling stories.
Kelly, I’m curious to hear from you, when do you know that you have a story to
tell in the first place?
Griggs: So some of you might be wondering like, Hey, I am just getting started.
I don’t have any customers yet or I don’t have, you know, my business is less
than a year old or the things that I want to share with the world just
happened. And obviously it depends on your personal preferences and
circumstances, but, I will say you wouldn’t believe how many pitches I get that
are pre-revenue, like barely have a put together a pitch deck, they just want
to reach out to me and like get on my radar. I don’t want to give advice
because I don’t know if bloggers find that annoying or if they if they like it.
I don’t really know. I only know how I feel and I’m just naturally curious and
I like stories. So if you were to send me the pitch deck, even if I were to to
turn you away. Or even if I said like, hey, this isn’t ready yet or I would
really like to see, you know, some other things. Come back to me again. You
should still send them to me because odds are I’m interested because I’m
interested in startups because I truly like starting businesses and I like
talking about it and I thoroughly enjoy that world.
Goodlett: What do you put in the pitch deck?
Griggs: So if you have a deck…something that should be included in the deck
is your information, what your business is, where your website is, what it
does, you know, the 32nd elevator pitch of who your competitors are. What is
your revenue plan, if you haven’t made money yet, ..if you do have customers, I
would like to know that you have customers. But remember, you have to be
careful with what you share with me because I am a writer and I will want to
write about things. So if there’s something that you just don’t want to share,
you don’t have to share it even if I ask for it. So just always remember,
Goodlett: Is it a PowerPoint typically or a pdf?
Griggs: It’s usually a pdf. Sometimes it’s like on a different website, but
sometimes it’s just an attached pdf like in keynote or it could be PowerPoint.
I get a wide range. Some of them are very well polished, they look like they’ve
been in front of investors, others are like done with them in PowerPoint. And I
think all this is to say that some of my favorite startup stories in Nashville
are people that you may have heard of now like ** for example, like they have
raised millions of dollars. Now they’re an instrument that, uh, you can put
your phone into and you can play any instrument using their device. Some fans
in Nashville have used the ** on stage and they’ve now gotten to the point
where they’re probably written in big publications more often than I would
write about them. But you know, when they just started out in Nashville, like
somebody had to find them. So I wrote about them a long, long, long time ago.
Another Nashville startup, there’s one that does lawn care. It’s almost like an
Uber for lawn care. Um, they started very young. When they started out, they
pitched me with like, I think just like maybe a one sheeter or a pitch deck or
something very light. And I had to sort of go out and keep following them and
dig for those stories. So I don’t know all this to say that I really like to
encourage people to just get started. I’m probably a little bit more
approachable. Like I don’t think that other media should or will give you
feedback like I do. And I try to keep it non-biased and according to my own
rules of my blog. But I will say that I would love to hear your stories in
Goodlett: So now we’ve heard about about what’s happening now. Catherine, I’m
curious about your perspective regarding how storytelling is evolving. Like
what do you see in terms of new ways that people are telling stories like
podcasts or social media? And also what are you seeing staying the same?
Seeds: So we are spending a lot more time looking at podcasts. I don’t know if
there’s any podcasters in the audience but we are starting to put you guys on
our media list because our clients are asking for that. It’s another new
interesting medium to, for our clients to tell their stories and also to share
on social media platforms inside. So we are really taking a close look at
podcasting. They’re more and more popping up every day especially in Austin. There’s,
there’s a ton of podcasts, a startup focused podcasts in Austin. Social media:
social media has always been there for us, but we’re really, um, trying to
build better relationships with the media that we work with on social media.
And not in an annoying way, but you know, if they are tweeting about something,
you know, or if they wrote an article about something interesting that had
nothing to do with any of our clients we might want to say, oh, that’s really
interesting or share that. It always goes back to developing really great
relationships with the media that you’re working with. Social media is a really
great, great way of doing that. And so we’ve been able to really kind of deepen
our relationships with the key media and also we get, you know, first insights
into people that are moving around. So someone that may be at Fast Company and
has moved on to Bloomberg and this and that, so we’re able to keep tabs of
what’s going on in there to help us tell better stories and tell the stories of
the right people.
Oliver: I just want to say that’s, that’s the most organic way to build a
relationship with someone who is a journalist, what you’re doing. And for me
personally, I don’t like pitch decks or pdf. If you can’t send like a quick one
paragraph blurb, then it’s probably a no go for me. But the most organic
relationships that I’ve built are the people who usually get features from me.
Like if you come to support me at an event and you need to spend a moment of
time with me afterward. And you tell me something interesting. I keep that in
mind. I’m also always listening to podcasts. If I hear someone on there and I
think, oh, that was really unique. I’m going to reach out to them for an
opportunity. So journalists are looking everywhere for the next story. So if
you don’t have, you know, an Essence or a Fast Company, that is fine. That
blog, that news letter, that podcast is another way that someone can be seen.
Seeds: I was just going to say one more thing. As far as things staying the
same and we kind of touched on it a little bit, but building the relationships
with the media is so important, no matter how you’re communicating. You know,
with you guys building those relationships and not, you know, just coming to
them when, when you need something. We found that we have better luck and I’m
sure you guys, you all are communicators, you find better luck in getting
things that you would want for your client or for yourself if you have that
relationship. It’s a two way street. So I really encourage you all to do what
you can to develop those relationships, whether it’s again, you know, talking
with them on social media, going to the events that they’re going to. We go to
a lot of trade shows for our clients and it’s a really great way to get face to
face. But again, all of this ties back to like, how can I help our clients or
my company tell a better story? And it really is ties back to developing really
Goodlett: Awesome. Thank you. I’m going to switch gears here. and pick up on
the Austin Nashville theme for the event. So, Kelly, I’m curious to hear from
you how you see storytelling supporting the growth of Nashville.
Griggs: That’s a great question. Look, we’ve been growing as a city far before
I came to Nashville. So I feel as a writer, like I am an observer and I’m only
telling the part of the story that I know how to tell. The part that I see in
the world. Back when I moved to Nashville in 2012, that happened to coincide
with the tech scene starting to grow really rapidly. Some of that was due to
local and regional investments. Some of that was due to accelerators starting
up. So that was due to coming off the flood and the last recession. People were
getting really comfortable and some of it was due to the success and the
stories that people heard from other places in the U.S. So, you know, when I
think about growth and where, where we go from here, I think there’s so much
opportunity. Part of the thing I get excited about when I’m telling a story is
that we are all part of it. If you’re here in Nashville right now. And I will
add that location really shouldn’t matter if you’re on the Internet, that
you’re in the conversation, so that kind of goes against like my, my regional
focus. But, in reality, you know, we all exist no matter where we are. And
since, you know, people are more interested in things like remote work and
longer maternity and paternity leaves and different people are interested in
different benefits that might apply. And that is really exciting for people who
live in places like Nashville. I think that is a very important emerging story.
So for us here, you know, starting a business, I don’t know, to me it’s never
been more exciting. But I would say that every year, since I’ve lived here, you
know, since I moved here in 2012. And I think the most important thing that I
see is that we are in charge of our own story. And that doesn’t have to be the
same as other places. It can be really our own brand and it can come from our
own place and it can come from our own history and our own experiences. And it
should be that way because we have our own identity.
Goodlett: Yeah. So that leads to a nice pass off to Catherine from Austin. So,
Catherine, I’m curious to hear from you how you’ve seen storytelling support
the growth of Austin.
Seeds: Well, I mean, I’m sure you all know it’s a huge tech hub, much like
Nashville is and is becoming. And it’s been that way since the 80s. I mean, um,
Dell computers started there, Twitter, got its start at South by Southwest. I
mean there’s a ton of really cool startup stories in Austin. And I think from a
storytelling standpoint, if like when we’re talking to companies and pitching
our clients, especially those that are based in Austin, that comes with a
certain cache. Oh, I’m from Austin! Or that comes from Austin! Oh, that’s cool.
Oh, I love Austin. Yeah, it’s the same thing with Nashville and we’re so glad
to be here because I feel like there is a lot of similarities between the two
cities. Because, again, you say, Oh, I’m from Nashville, I’m starting a company
in Nashville.. Oh, that’s cool. I’ve heard great things about Nashville. You
know, it doesn’t really change so much of like how we tell the story, but I
feel like it does kind of give us a differentiation when we’re pitching for
business because a lot of our clients that we’re working with are either global
or across the U.S. and so for them having someone in a tech hub like Austin or
Nashville is important to them.
Goodlett: Great. So the other thing that is true about this panel is that we’re
all women. So, Nicole, I would love to hear from you regarding why it’s
important for us to discuss diversity and inclusion as it pertains to the
future of storytelling.
Delger: Absolutely. You know, stories are how we make sense of the world. It’s
how we cooperate. It’s how we work together. I don’t know if has anybody read
the book Sapiens, it is a fantastic book. And you know, his whole thesis is
essentially, you know, we’re an animal and the reason that we were able to be
the dominant animal is our ability to work together, to cooperate and to tell
stories. So when we talk about the importance of inclusivity and whether it’s
women or people of color or people who have been disenfranchised, when they
don’t have the ability to tell the story and to shape the narrative then they
don’t have the opportunity to create the world that we all want to live in that
is different than the narrative that we’ve been told for hundreds of years,
thousands of years, by whoever was in charge at that given time. I think that’s
really interesting. We have to make sure that a lot of voices get to shape and
get to tell their stories so that we can create a better world for everybody.
Goodlett: So then Brittney, I’m curious to hear your response to that same
question. Where do you see diversity inclusion being important to the future of
Oliver: It’s important because it’s impactful. Like I said earlier, it really
makes a difference for a minority owned businesses when your story is told. And
so I want to give a, a quick story about just my experience moving back to
Nashville. So I lived in New York for seven years and diversity and inclusion
is such a big topic in New York. It’s something that everyone’s talking about.
All the companies are really trying to make changes. But when I came back home
a year ago, I noticed that conversation wasn’t happening here. It wasn’t loud,
people weren’t really making noise. And when I looked at the publications here,
I didn’t see a lot of black owned businesses featured in the publications. I
kind of made it a priority to be that vessel for those black owned businesses
and for minority businesses. So for example, Ashley is here today,. She has a
website called Urbanite and she really highlights a lot of the businesses that
are left out in those major publications here in Nashville. And because I’m a
subscriber to her newsletter, I came across Nicole, who is the owner of
Clarity, which is a candle shop. And I loved her story. I pitched her to
Nashville Lifestyles and she’s in the current business, women in business
issue. That’s something that was important to me to see more diversity in that
magazine and to see more diversity just throughout Nashville, but it’s so it
will change her business being featured in that and it will change other
people’s businesses. And so diversity inclusion, really being able to tell
those stories is impactful. There’s a Nashville mother and daughter team, Mixtroz,
well, they just moved but I featured them in Essence. I featured them in
Dssence and they were really close to hitting the million dollar mark raising
money. After essence, they hit that mark the next week. You know, so you can
leverage those things. That’s how much your story being featured being featured
in major publications as a minority can help. And so when people say no, it
doesn’t matter if you have press or not, it does. It really makes an impact.
Delger: I love what you’re doing. The voice you’re bringing because we talk
about how Nashville is booming and we want to make sure that it’s booming for
everybody, that everybody is, you know, because there’s so much industry coming
in here, like tech, and I love that you’re telling those stories and you have
that forum because it’s so critical at this key time for Nashville, for
everybody to get that lift.
Oliver: Yeah. Nationwide, nationwide, the numbers don’t lie. You know, we’re an
all women panel, but in business and major companies, you don’t see women on
the C-suite like that, right? So telling those stories are important. It really
can change the game. It starts to challenge what’s happening in corporate
America, right? And it starts to make people see different things about what they’re
doing. And so the numbers don’t lie. You want to be impactful. We want to make
change in our culture, in our communities. So definitely diversity and
inclusion is a big deal.