KG Blog

Same Us, New Look

Notice anything different? If making changes to our online presence was a haircut, we didn’t get just a little trim. We’ve got a whole new ‘do’ around here, one to better represent our capabilities and vision. Ketner Group is excited to (officially) announce the launch of our new logo, adjusted company name, and totally revamped…

Grocery Fulfillment: A Curbside Chat with Greg and Jeff

OK, we’ll admit it — the KG team likes to eat. And we have several very cool clients in grocery technology. So it’s no wonder that we spend a lot of time talking about the fast-changing world of grocery fulfillment. And in this blog, we’re taking a slightly different approach as our own Greg Earl…

The Rapid Response Formula – Insight, Data, Speed

As Talladega Night’s Ricky Bobby avidly proclaims in a pronounced southern accent, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” While this quote cracks me up, it rings quite true in a rapid response scenario. If you’re not among the first to provide a comment after news breaks, chances are, you’ll get lost in the noise. However, speed…

Flashback (Black) Friday

Working at an agency where I can obsess over retail, I’ve started appreciating the impact it has on my life. I love the industry because as NRF says, “Retail impacts everyone, every day, everywhere,” and it’s true. As I sit down to write this blog, waiting for inspiration to hit, vivid retail memories come to…

Forget HQ2: This Is the Big News About Amazon and the Retail Industry

Amazon and its strategies are always at the forefront of my mind. Working with retail clients operating across all sectors, I’ve seen firsthand the impact Amazon has on a thriving retail scene. On Tuesday, Amazon announced its decision to split the company’s second headquarters between Northern Virginia and New York City. So, let’s take a…

First Annual Groceryshop Brings Down the House in Las Vegas

In October, Catherine and Adrienne attended Groceryshop, a spinoff of the popular Shoptalk conference organized by the creators of Money20/20. We were joined by our grocery solution provider clients as we learned how the industry is quickly changing. Catherine’s Take-Aways The state of innovation and disruption in the grocery world is, in a word, amazing.…

Ketner Group Seeking a Spring 2019 Intern

Ketner Group is currently seeking a driven, hard-working intern for the Spring 2019 semester to support our team, with the possibility of an extended offer as a summer intern. The paid internship begins in January 2019, offering a flexible schedule of 15-20 hours per week. Between collaborating with our energetic and creative team and gaining…

Shop if You Dare: Spooky Halloween Data and a Premonition of the Holiday Season

Today’s the day we’ve all been waiting for, ghouls and goblins alike. Children are trick-or-treating, parents are eating their candy and the country is celebrating peak fall weather and aesthetic. However, Halloween isn’t just the spookiest day of the year, it’s also a significant retail holiday that kicks off the upcoming holiday season. For most,…

Ketner Group Takes Home the Gold…and Platinum MarCom Awards!

This blog post has been provided by our intern, Meghan Farrell. It’s been a very exciting few weeks over here at Ketner Group Communications, and it just keeps getting better! Last week the MarCom Awards named us gold and platinum winners for client campaigns. Our founder and president, Jeff Ketner, shared his excitement about the…

Investigating: Ketner Group Communications’ Growth

INVESTIGATION CONDUCTED BY: Private Investigators on the Hunt for PR Justice A lot of great news has been coming out of Ketner Group recently. Just last week, they celebrated a new website aimed at capturing the true essence and philosophy of the agency and they even announced a name change to Ketner Group Communications, leaving behind…

PRSA ICON 2018: It’s All About Relevant and Data-Driven Content

Last week, the Ketner Group team attended the PRSA 2018 International Conference, better known to the public relations community as PRSA ICON, in our own backyard here in Austin, Texas. If you are not familiar with the conference, it’s designed specifically to help the communications community enhance our personal and professional network through career development…

New Things Are All Around – Welcome to Ketner Group Communications

I always tell people it’s the little things that make me happy – a good hair day, catching all the green lights on the way home, or finding that lost $10 bill in my pocket. That’s why today, the official launch of our new and improved Ketner Group website, I am grinning ear to ear…

Austin’s Domain: Who Says Shopping Has to Be Boring?

I’ll start with a confession: I don’t really like shopping, which is a surprising admission for someone who’s worked with enough retail technology companies to populate a small mall. My idea of a great shopping trip is spending five minutes on my laptop, finding a reasonably good deal, ordering what I need online, and then…

Influencer Insights: CJ Johnson

CJ Johnson is an award-winning photographer and content creator, a GQ Insider and Google Next-Gen Policy Leader, and a well-known “brand guru.” We wanted to learn more about his process and asked for his perspective on the state of influencer marketing. KG: How do you as a social influencer create partnerships, and what is your…

7 Steps to Successful LinkedIn Marketing

In recent weeks, we’ve explored how to develop a content strategy, how to set up a social media program from scratch, and how to use thought leadership bylines to earn media coverage. All of these content approaches complement each other and help reinforce a brand’s identity. But the power of the written, or recorded, word…

Intern Series: Career Fairs

This blog post has been provided by our intern, Meghan Farrell. It’s that time of the year again, a day that can fill students with dread – the career fair. Getting dressed up in our slacks and uncomfortable shoes, printing out (hopefully enough) resumes for everyone we speak to and waiting in line nervously, wondering…

Tips for Developing a Content Strategy

Blogs! Social media! Whitepapers! Webinars and email newsletters! These are only some of the content marketing tactics that hold a tremendous amount of potential for getting your business the attention it needs to grow as fast as it deserves. It can be truly dizzying for marketing teams to crank out the amount of content needed…

Content is King When It Comes to Bylines

It’s no secret that Ketner Group Communications takes pride in our content development skills, and when it comes to bylines, we think we shine! While our name may not be on the final product, you can always tell when content is written by someone who understands an industry vs. someone who tried to throw together…

In Defense of the Supermarket

It’s expected that by 2022, 20% of all grocery sales will come from online shoppers. And with 70% of consumers purchasing some of their groceries on the web, I’m definitely in the minority, having never ordered groceries online myself. I’m not opposed to online shopping or curbside delivery. They’re great options for those with kids,…

Four Things to Learn from Your First Year on the Job

It’s hard to believe that I graduated from college and entered the working world more than a year ago. Starting your first job is a major turning point in life and can quite honestly be daunting. As a new graduate, there are a lot of things you discover that they just don’t teach in textbooks…

A New Mom’s Take on Amazon

Almost two weeks have passed since Amazon’s most successful Prime Day yet, and between then and now, you’ve likely seen a good deal (no pun intended) of recaps. The purpose of writing this blog is not to provide another analysis of the retail event, but rather to share my Amazon perspective as a new mom.…

Greater Austin Business Awards – Here We Come!

This blog post has been provided by our intern, Meghan Farrell. We are thrilled to announce that Ketner Group Communications has been selected as a finalist for the Company Culture category of the Greater Austin Business Awards! The competition is designed to honor excellence in business and recognize companies and organizations in the Austin region…

Retail Pop-Ups are Popping Off

Pop-ups are everywhere these days. What once started as an occasional, opportunistic trend has blown up to become an extremely POPular (nice one, Greg) industry worth billions of dollars that seemingly every brand and celebrity wants a piece of. Just within the past few weeks, some interesting pop-ups have been announced: Abercrombie & Fitchhas partnered…

Get To Know Our New Account Coordinator: Mikaela Cannizzo

Hi everyone! My name is Mikaela Cannizzo and I’m a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. I am excited to be starting my first full-time job as an account coordinator at Ketner Group! I was born in Los Angeles, but my childhood was split between Southern California and a suburb outside of…

Influencer Insights: Caroline Farley

Caroline Farley is the Chief Growth Officer of Shoptalk and Grocery Shop.  KG: Why did Shoptalk decide to create a separate conference solely dedicated to the grocery space? Caroline: The grocery and CPG industry is facing a major shift into e-commerce as this space is the last retail sector to take the leap into online; today…

7-Step Guide to Starting Up a Social Media Program

Social media is a key element of any marketing strategy, allowing brands to connect and engage with their audience and grow the business. Whether it’s used to generate leads, showcase new products, deliver better customer service, or manage reputation and brand image, businesses are taking advantage of the benefits of social media platforms to help…

This Year’s FIFA World Cup MVP is…. Technology

As the summer heat continues to roll in, it’s the time of year that the majority of us run for the nearest pool or beach as the temperatures rise and schools let out, and the expected “out of office” messages begin to appear in your inbox on a daily basis. However, this year, the “OOO”…

Not My Dad’s Grocery Store — But I Think He’d Approve

I have retail in my blood, so it may not be too surprising that I’ve spent much of my career focused on retail, grocery and CPG technology. Mom retired from the Sears credit department back when Sears was a healthy, viable company that was well-respected in the industry. Dad spent his career at the U.S.…

International House of Branding

IHOP is changing its name. Last week, the company tweeted (from its updated handle), “For 60 pancakin’ years, we’ve been IHOP. Now, we’re flippin’ our name to IHOb.” In the week between the initial tweet and the official announcement, social media responded. The news definitely sparked my attention, and I haven’t stepped foot in an…

#RetailRoundup

This blog post has been provided by our intern, Meghan Farrell. As we see every day, retail is constantly changing. Just when we think we’ve seen it all, a retailer, or solution provider, rolls out something new that disrupts the industry. Keeping up with new technology, trends and innovations is equally as hard as competing…

Dos and Don’ts of Applying for PR Jobs

When I started at Ketner Group almost three years ago, I was the fifth full-time team member. At the beginning of July, we’ll be adding our 10th full-time team member (get excited for another intro blog!). Pair that with our ongoing internship program, and it goes without saying that we’ve done a TON of recruiting,…

INTRODUCING OUR NEW INTERN: MEGHAN FARRELL

This blog post has been provided by our intern, Meghan Farrell. Hey everyone! My name is Meghan Farrell, and I am a senior public relations major minoring in business at the University of Texas at Austin. I was born in Calgary, Alberta but moved to Houston, Texas about 14 years ago – what a change!…

Finding a Home in Today’s Digital World – A Digital Nomad’s Diary

“In my 30s this kind of travel was nearly impossible. You are quite lucky to be able to stay connected no matter where you go. This is why I had to wait until retirement to travel,” an elderly British man said to me as we sat on the top deck of a fast boat on…

Ketner Group is Hiring an Account Coordinator

Looking to join a fun, creative and authentic PR team where you have the opportunity to create successful stories and campaigns for innovative clients? Ketner Group would love to talk to you! Ketner Group Communications is an established, growing PR agency with an excellent reputation, a positive work environment and a commitment to work/life balance.…

An Austinite’s Take on the New Amazon Books Store

I’m a big book nerd. When I was younger, I told my parents I wanted to be a librarian when I grew up. Nowadays on any given trip to Target, I’ll take a stroll through the book section and get scan-happy with the Goodreads app, adding to my growing “Want to Read” list. So, it should…

Coworking in Dublin

As a remote employee, I’ve found a lot of ways to keep myself on a regular schedule, focused on the task at hand, and well-socialized. I even wrote a blog about working remotely earlier this year that helps showcase the ins and outs of shifting from home office to coffee shop and back again. Working…

Breakfast Tacos and PR: Make Plans to Attend the 2018 PRSA International Conference in Austin!

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend last year’s PRSA International Conference in Boston, and as soon as I got back home, I knew immediately that I wanted to be involved in this year’s event taking place in Ketner Group’s very own backyard of Austin, Texas! The annual conference is a wonderful event that “spotlights…

Two Reactions, Same Person: Thoughts on the PR Effectiveness of March for Our Lives

For the record, I am the SVP and Partner here at Ketner Group Communications, with nearly 20 years of experience working as a public relations professional. I love the industry I work in, and I love helping my clients elevate their brands by telling impactful stories that make a difference. When done right, timely and…

PRSA Chair Offers Guidance to Facebook

In light of this week’s events surrounding Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, we wanted to repost the following guidance from PRSA 2018 National Chair Anthony D’Angelo, APR, Fellow PRSA. Please find the email that was distributed from PRSA earlier this week, below. The current headlines about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, including lax data policies and Facebook…

Shoptalk 2018: New Venue, New Retail Outlook

Shoptalk 2018 is slated to take place in Las Vegas in just a few days, March 18-21, bringing with it the latest and greatest in retail innovation. Now in its third year, the Shoptalk 2018 conference will be the largest one to date, with almost 8,000 attendees coming together in the conference’s new location at…

Get to Know Our New Senior Account Executive: Amanda Reed

Hi everyone! My name is Amanda Reed and I’m thrilled to join the Ketner Group team as a Senior Account Executive. I am looking forward to getting up-to-speed and contributing to the success of our clients, but first, here’s a bit about me. The saying goes, “I wasn’t born in Texas but I got here…

Retail Innovation Lounge Returns to Austin on March 10

As SXSW approaches, Austin is preparing to descend into ten days of madness brought on by the four main pillars of SXSW: Interactive, Film, Music and Traffic. Amongst the hundreds of sessions happening next week, a stand-out event in retail will take place on Saturday, March 10, as some of retail’s greatest minds and thought…

Client Spotlight: Luke Starbuck, VP of Marketing, Linc Global

Luke Starbuck, VP of Marketing, Linc Global A Ketner Q&A Luke built his first ecommerce website in 1997 and has more recently focused on bringing software that improves customer experience and drives revenue to ecommerce retailers for the past 5 years. He has led product, development and customer service teams and brings his experience in print…

Online Privacy: Opting Out is Not an Option

Sharing personal information often feels like today’s digital currency. By opting in and giving away details like an email or birthday, shoppers can receive a discount on a retailer’s website. The ability to tick a box leads shoppers to believe that they have a say if information can be gathered about them, but anyone with…

What You Need to Know about Working Remotely Abroad

Last August, I penned a blog about my recent move to Ireland and my excitement both personally and professionally, and for Ketner Group as we continue to expand our international client base. I’ve been incredibly lucky to find myself in this situation. It’s been a life-changing move that has lived up to every expectation. For…

Healthcare’s Amazon Moment

2017 marked a turning point for the retail industry with Amazon’s bold acquisition of Whole Foods, which immediately turned the grocery industry upside down. It gave the e-commerce giant a powerful brick and mortar presence that it’s now leveraging with free two-hour delivery of Whole Foods groceries for Prime shoppers. Will 2018 be similarly remembered…

2018 Winter Olympic Games: Over Two Weeks of Public Relations Gold

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been obsessed with the Olympics. It didn’t matter if it was the summer or winter games, I was there, in front of the TV watching every moment I could. I remember watching Mary Lou Retton win the gold medal in the individual all-around competition in 1984, will…

Dr. John Murphy’s Universal Principles of Effective Communication

Last November, I had the pleasure of hearing one of my former professors at the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. John Murphy, present his “Universal Principles of Effective Communication” at the Texas Exes Lunchtime Lecture series. While I’d heard a version of this lecture before, I was pumped to hear him speak again and…

Ketner Group is Hiring: Account Executive

Looking for a place to showcase your passion and talent for PR, writing and social media? Want to be a part of an amazing team dedicated to client success, but that always makes times for tacos and chocolate? Then we want to hear from you! Ketner Group Communications is looking for a motivated and dynamic…

NRF 2018 Recap: Welcome to the World of Unified Commerce

This past month the Ketner Group team journeyed to New York City to attend NRF 2018: Retail’s BIG Show, where the majority of our clients were either exhibiting or attending. This being my third year to attend the conference the phrase ‘BIG Show’ was definitely not lost on me, as every year it seems to…

REVTECH Focuses on Retail Reinvention

One of my most rewarding experiences in 2017 is Ketner Group’s involvement with REVTECH, a Dallas-based venture accelerator and seed fund that works with early-stage retail and restaurant technology companies. Ketner Group became a REVTECH sponsor in 2016, I signed on as a mentor, and it’s been full-speed ahead ever since. We just completed our…

Special Edition of “Ask the Influencers” – Who Run the World? Girls! Part 2

In part two of our special edition of “Ask the Influencers” we talked to Janet and Nikki about how they stay up to date on retail trends, the best advice they’ve been given and what they are most looking forward to in 2018: How do you most like to stay up to date on trends?…

Special Edition of “Ask the Influencers” – Who Run the World? Girls! Part 1

I’d like to take a second to brag on my fellow “Wonder Women” out there: a recent Zenger Folkman study of 51,418 leaders in the U.S. and internationally found that women are considered more effective than male leaders. What’s more, former U.S. President Barack Obama said last month at an invitation-only event in Paris that…

A Look Ahead: 2018 Retail and Ad Tech Predictions

At Ketner Group, we live and breathe retail, grocery, consumer and ad tech day in and day out. It’s what we love to do, and, more importantly, why our clients hire us! It is literally our job to stay “in the know” on what the latest trends are in those industries and use those hooks…

Not All Press Releases are Created Equal: Tips & Tricks for a Successful Press Release

  In the world of public relations, the words “press release” are part of the daily vernacular in day-to-day communications. The bottom line is, everyone has a story to tell. Whether a company is launching a new product, issuing a breaking news alert, providing details on an upcoming event or highlighting the great work they’ve…

Black Friday Forecasts

This blog was written by our intern, Jenna Jordan For many Americans, Thanksgiving signals countless things: the beginning of the holiday season, spending time with family, reflecting on what you’re grateful for, or eating too much of your favorite homemade dishes. Sometimes it’s all of the above! But for more than 70% of Americans planning…

From Monster Mash to Holiday Dash

If you’re like us at the Ketner Group, you were probably on edge throughout the entire month of October, constantly looking over your shoulder for frights, fears, ghouls, etc. The good news is that Halloween is now over, so we can relax and enjoy our trick-or-treating spoils, including candy corn, candy apples and nickels from…

Did Amazon Find the Key to Shoppers’ Happiness?

Leave it to Amazon to keep things interesting. Now, in addition to same-day delivery of just about anything, Amazon can walk your dog, clean your house, install and set up your new refrigerator, let selected neighbors in, leave your packages securely inside your home, and who knows what else. I’m talking, of course, about Amazon…

Ketner Group is Seeking an Intern for Spring 2018 Semester

Ketner Group is currently seeking a proactive and diligent intern for the Spring 2018 Semester to support our team, with the possibility of being invited to stay on for the summer term. The paid internship would begin in January 2018 with a flexible schedule of 15-20 hours per week. The intern will have the opportunity…

A Twitter-Sized Recap of the 2017 PRSA International Conference

It’s been over a week since I returned from Boston, having attended the 2017 PRSA International Conference, and my mind is still blown – in a good way of course! After spending three days with my PR peers from all over the world in more than a dozen professional development sessions, I’ve come back energized,…

Taking a Look Back at Shop.org 2017

At the end of Sept., Mariana and I ventured to the West Coast for Shop.org 2017: This is Digital in Los Angeles. We were excited to see what NRF had in store for the re-invigorated annual conference. Shop.org Gets a New Focus and a Fresh Look Until now, Shop.org’s focus had been squarely on eCommerce.…

INFLUENCER INSIGHTS: STEVE DENNIS

A Ketner Q&A with Steve Dennis, President of SageBerry Consulting What technology trend do you see most impacting the field? In the short-term, technologies that help create what I like to call a more “harmonious” experience will add the greatest value.  Brands need not only remove the friction of shopping cross-channels, but find a few things…

The State of the Retail Workforce

It seems like clockwork that every few months, weeks or even days we see people panicking about robots taking over the world. Being one of the eye-grabbing headlines out there, many publications are very willing to suggest that entire industries will be destroyed by technology (or maybe millennials). This fear of change, along with talk…

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

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…

What to Expect at Shop.org 2017

The Ketner Group team is gearing up for the busiest time of year for our retail clients, and we’re kicking things off with Shop.org, Sept. 25-27, in Los Angeles. This year, Shop.org is focused on bringing fresh content to attendees with keynotes from Tyra Banks and Kobe Bryant and a number of new opportunities to…

#TexasStrong— Hurricane Harvey and The Texas Spirit

This past week, Hurricane Harvey brought historical havoc to the Texas Coast, making landfall right in Rockport, Texas and traveling all the way to Houston, where it proceeded to sit stationary for five days and dump the equivalent of what The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration compared to as “the biggest waterfall in Niagara Falls…

Meet Our New Intern: Jenna Jordan

This blog post was written by our intern, Jenna Jordan. Hello everyone! My name is Jenna Jordan, and I am Ketner Group’s new intern. This is my final semester as a public relations major at the University of Texas at Austin and I am so excited to be spending it with Ketner Group. I was…

Ketner Group Moves to Dublin

Lebron James famously once said, “I’m taking my talents to South Beach.” But this isn’t about Miami. Or basketball. Or my next multi-million-dollar contract. In fact, this post is about moving to another iconic place – a wonderful, scenic little island famous for its coastline, culture and pints of heavy black beer. And while there…

KG’s Top 10 Favorite Newsletters

The retail industry is rapidly changing every day, and sometimes, it can be hard to keep up. That’s why our team stays up-to-date by subscribing to newsletters that will alert us on breaking Amazon news, inform us of a good responsive pitch opportunity, or give us insight on an interesting new study. Here are our…

Retail Apocalypse or Retail Reinvention?

What’s the biggest “fake news” story of 2017? Surprise, it has nothing to do with politics! Instead, it’s the narrative of the “retail apocalypse” that has dominated media coverage of the retail industry this year. The term picked up steam in early 2017 amid reports of large numbers of store closings, and yes, legacy retailers…

KG is hiring: Fall 2017 PR Internship

Ketner Group is currently seeking a proactive and diligent intern for the Fall 2017 Semester to support our team, with the possibility of being invited to stay on for the spring term. The paid internship would begin in August 2017 with a flexible schedule of 15-20 hours per week. The intern will have the opportunity…

Retailers are fighting back this year on Prime Day

This blog was written by our intern, Madeleine Hatley. Amazon launched their third annual Prime Day starting Monday, July 10. Prime Day 2017 was the biggest sales day in history for Amazon, surpassing both Black Friday and Cyber Monday according to the Amazon press release highlighting the outcome of Prime Day this year. Despite popular…

A Ketner Q&A with David Matthews, Managing Director at REVTECH

What is REVTECH and why did you start it? REVTECH is a seed fund and accelerator program for leading retail tech startups.  I believe that Dallas is a logical hub for retail tech innovation given the number of national retailers headquartered here, most of whom are struggling to adapt to the rapidly changing retail model. …

48 Hours That Changed Retail Forever

The early morning hours of June 16 started like any ordinary Friday. Then came Amazon’s shot heard round the world, its boldest move yet in the retail revolution as the online giant announced its acquisition of Whole Foods Market. Journalists, retail analysts and PR teams shifted into hyper-drive to analyze the news before they’d even…

Projected Father’s Day Spending Reaches All-Time High

This blog was written by our intern, Madeleine Hatley. Dads, and retailers, will be getting some extra love this year on Father’s Day, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insight and Analytics. Total spending for the holiday is expected to hit a record high of $15.5 billion. Consumers are spending…

IRCE 2017: The Focal Point of eCommerce Innovation

If you know the history of Chicago, you already know that the city proudly holds the title of the first skyscraper in the U.S. Similar to the innovation that took place to bring about one of the most transformative structures of our times, the annual Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition (IRCE) at the beginning of…

Get to Know Our New Account Executive: Greg Earl

Hey everyone—my name is Greg Earl and I’m the new Account Executive at Ketner Group. Prior to working with the fine people of Ketner Group, I was an Account Coordinator at Lois Paul and Partners (LPP) a technology and healthcare PR agency in Austin. There, I honed my skills in content development and social media…

Meet Our New Account Coordinator: Stacy Lan

Hi everyone! My name is Stacy Lan and I’m excited to announce that I am the new Account Coordinator for Ketner Group. I recently graduated with a public relations degree from the University of Texas at Austin, which means it is time to drop my textbooks and enter real “adulthood.” This will be my first full-time…

Meet our newest addition to the team: Madeleine Hatley

This blog post was written by our intern, Madeleine Hatley. Hi, everyone! My name is Madeleine Hatley and I am a senior public relations major at the University of Texas at Austin. Coming from the small town of Paris, Texas, I was ready to head to a larger city with more growth opportunities and also…

What I’ve Learned at Ketner Group

This blog post was written by our intern, Daniela Ramirez.  Find an Internship to Help You Develop These Four Skills Senior year has held lots of great memories for me, from interning at Ketner Group to finishing my capstone project during my last semester of college. Working at Ketner Group throughout my senior year has…

Shoptalk 2017: Disrupting & Transforming The Retail Industry

Shoptalk 2017 in Las Vegas last month owned up to the reputation it created last year of providing fresh, groundbreaking and unmatched content as well as networking opportunities for the retail industry. The show, which proclaimed itself as “The New Blueprint For Retail & eCommerce,” featured more than 325 senior-level speakers who covered the ongoing…

SXSW Gets Intelligent, Raises as Many Questions as Answers

SXSW 2017 was a terrific week spent in the presence of some of technology’s brightest minds, music’s best acts and film’s most creative souls. For Ketner Group, the event was a chance to lose sight of reality and dive into the fascinating beyond, the next era of the intersection between technology and humanity. It’s exhausting…

Ketner Group Is Hiring An Account Coordinator

Account Coordinator – Ketner Group PR + Marketing Job Description: We’re looking for a motivated and dynamic team member who is passionate about media relations and content development. The role of Account Coordinator (AC) will have limited day-to-day client relationships and will report to Account Managers. An AC on our team should be a team player,…

Shoptalk 2017, Back and Bigger than Ever

Shoptalk U.S. 2017 is just around the corner! Taking place at the Aria in Las Vegas, March 19-22, this year’s Shoptalk promises to be the “blockbuster” of all retail events for the year, with world class speakers, new session formats, increased networking opportunities and a revamped exhibit hall. If last year’s Shoptalk is any indication…

Influencer Insights: Greg Buzek

A Ketner Q&A with Greg Buzek, Founder and President of IHL Group What technology trend do you see most impacting the field? The single biggest trend for retail is how they compete with Amazon. Retailers must get to Unified Commerce with a single view of the order and single view of the customer regardless of how…

We Moved!

Ketner Group is excited to announce our new digs! Last week, we moved into our new home, where we plan to stay for the next five years. While we’re still getting settled in, the new space is already serving us well. When we moved to our previous office two years ago, it was always thought…

Navigating the Job Market

This blog was provided by our intern, Daniela Ramirez. As graduation draws closer, reality starts to set in and before you know it, it’s time to venture into the job market. The search can be long and intimidating, but I’m here to share some strategies to expand your network and make what seems a never-ending process,…

A Marketers Christmas

Moving Beyond The 30 Second Super Bowl Ad Spot This blog was provided by our intern, Daniela Ramirez. The biggest sports event of the year, the Super Bowl, is one of America’s most highly celebrated events. Millions tune in every year to watch two teams go up against one another, competing for the NFL’s biggest title.…

Until Next Year NRF

NRF’s Big Show is officially over and we are back in Austin! After several cups of coffee consumed as well as analyst and media meetings coordinated for 13 clients, I think it’s safe to say this year’s show was one for the books. Check out what the Ketner Group team was up to while in the Big Apple.

NRF 2017, Here We Come

In most industries, the holidays are a time to disengage from the hustle and bustle of work, plan for 2017 and clean out the junk folders to start the New Year feeling refreshed. But as we all know, quite the opposite is true in retail. And once a new calendar gets pinned to the wall,…

NRF 2017: Don’t Throw Away Your Shot in the Greatest City in the World!

For those of you who are theater nerds like me, perhaps you caught the mashed-up reference to two songs from the critically acclaimed, Tony award-winning Broadway musical, Hamilton. (For those of you who didn’t catch the reference, I’ll forgive you only if you can score me 5 tickets to the show next Tuesday!) But, back…

The Top 5 Technology Trends that Will Ring in 2017

It’s safe to say that 2016 has been a year full of dramatic business and technological innovations within the retail industry. While we began the year emphasizing conversations around omnichannel capabilities and empowering associates to create a great customer experience for their shoppers, we end the year discussing artificial intelligence, virtual reality and technology that…

Final Thoughts on 2016: Loving Where You Work

It’s a few days before Christmas, and the Ketner Group team is putting final touches on client projects, scheduling last minute holiday shopping-focused interviews for our clients and of course, managing our clients’ NRF activities to ensure they have a successful BIG Show in New York next month. For Ketner Group, 2016 was a successful…

Holiday Happenings: KG Clients are in the News!

The holiday season is the busiest season of all for retail, which means our retail technology clients have been equally busy. Many of Ketner Group’s clients keep a sharp eye on trends throughout the holiday, such as online shopper engagement, grocery sales across channels and department store sales. This year was no different and we’re…

Influencer Insights: Susan Reda

A Ketner Q&A with Susan Reda, Editor at STORES Media What technology trend do you see most impacting the industry? Machine learning. As I understand it, machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence; the machine learns through applying algorithms to data and the more data, the more the machine grows in knowledge. Retailers who use machine…

Giving Tuesday lasts all year at Ketner Group

Ketner Group believes that in the office isn’t the only place we can make a difference. Our team is involved in charities and organizations across Austin and Nashville. This Giving Tuesday we wanted to share how Ketner is giving back to the community that gives us so much, and encourage you to get involved with…

Reimagining the Retail Associate

Retail is changing faster than a teenager out of Nana’s Christmas sweater before meeting up with friends. We are witnessing major investments in omnichannel development, especially in tech-heavy areas like big data analytics, personalized marketing. Yet, investments into the role of the retail associate have not quite made it to the top of the priority…

Election 2016 Coverage

Tuesday, November 8, 2016, will forever go down in history as the day America unexpectedly, according to underestimated polling projections, elected its 45th President. Like most of the country, Ketner Group had been keeping an eye on the debates and discussions leading up to the election and are now looking forward to how the country…

Ketner Group Musings on Retail: Finding the Perfect Blend of Technology and People

In the past few years, it would seem that the appeal of “traditional” physical retail stores is decreasing. After all, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, eCommerce grew 14.6% in 2015 with online sales accounting for more than half of total retail sales growth. Even with this tremendous amount of growth in the online…

Not Every Trick is a Treat: Branding in a Competitive Environment

Being the talk of the town on Halloween requires going beyond the cliché and finding an outside-the-box costume that people will also be able to understand and enjoy. Whether scrambling last minute and slapping a mask or a witch hat on or becoming a Goodwill regular hunting for the perfect accessory, Halloween revelers take advantage…

Stepping up Customer Service through Tech

You know a good retail experience when you see it, when you feel it, and it usually relies on really good customer service. And we’re not talking about persistent service or complicated service. Usually, great retail experiences result from going to a store you know and love, interacting with someone who knows about you and…

Battle of the Brands: Austin City Limits Music Festival 2016

This month, Austin City Limits (ACL) music festival took over the city of Austin for two entire weeks, bringing with it a great variety of talented artists, a runway-like display of festival fashion and most of all, a vast array of brands looking to gain further consumer buy-in by being present and accounted for during…

Shop.org Retail’s Digital Summit: Seen and Heard From The Shop Floor

Last week, the Ketner Group team arrived in Dallas at Shop.org Retail’s Digital Summit to talk shop with top ecommerce innovators, retailers and influencers about what lies ahead for the remainder of 2016 and the start of 2017. As anyone in the business can tell you, the summit is viewed as the kick-start to the…

Austinite, Longhorn, and new Ketner Group Intern, Sara Shaw

This blog was provided by Ketner Group intern, Sara Shaw   My name is Sara Shaw and I am a senior Public Relations major in the Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations at The University of Texas at Austin. I am also pursuing a minor in Spanish as well as a certificate in…

A #RetailRoundUp Featuring KG Clients in the News

As public relations professionals and people who just generally love our jobs—seriously, working for Ketner Group is amazing!—we are always thrilled to help our clients secure valuable media coverage to share with their teams and their customers. The past couple of months, we’ve been excited to hear what our clients have to say about a…

New Intern on the Block: Daniela Ramirez

This blog was provided by our intern, Daniela Ramirez. Hello everyone! I’m Daniela Ramirez and I’m one of the new Ketner Group interns, it’s nice to e-meet you! I am currently in my final year at The University of Texas at Austin studying public relations. It’s hard to believe that I am a senior (cue the…

Influencer Insights: Paula Rosenblum

A Ketner Q&A with Paula Rosenblum, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at RSR Research As we enter the start of the holiday shopping season, what technology trend(s) do you see most impacting the field? Cloud, obviously. But that’s not holiday season only…it’s a trend that’s moving around the industry. Oddly, it seems more vendor-driven than retailer-driven, but…

Retail Season is Here and Shop.org is Around the Corner

Retail season has arrived. From now until spring, our calendars are filled with the hottest events and busiest days in retail. We jumped into the fray last month with back to school campaigns and returned from Labor Day to kick things into high gear with Shop.org prep. This year, Shop.org is Sept. 26-28 in Dallas, only a…

What the Shift in Store Experiences Means for PR

I was reading T Magazine the other day and fell head over heals for an article by Michael Rock, “When the Shop Looks a Lot Like Home.” I’m a woman for whom space and tangible experiences are of the utmost importance. So after reading Rock’s article, that discusses the trend of stores offering an experience that…

Don’t Forget to Vote for Your Favorite SXSW Panels!

OK kids, this is a BIG week! It’s the last week to vote for your favorite SXSW 2017 panels. In case you missed the memo or just need a friendly reminder, this Friday, September 2 is the last day for public voting and commenting for the panels you’d like to see as part of the…

It’s High Noon for Retail Loyalty

The old rules are broken. Look to the horizon as long as you want, there is no tough guy sheriff riding into town with his posse to restore law and order. Parking lots at major chain stores are turning into weed havens as they shutter their doors, from national department stores to niche retailers like…

What a Classroom Can’t Teach You, An Internship Can

This blog was written by our intern, Kamilla Rahman. As a college student I often find myself slaving for hours and hours in a textbook and trying to shove as much information as I can into my brain in order to do well on an exam. This is simply how college is structured; you’re given information,…

Beating the Summer PR Slump

It’s inevitable, it happens every summer, schools out and everyone is in vacation mode. And the regularly fast pace world of PR slows down. But don’t fret, you won’t be twiddling your thumbs for long and in the meantime, we’ve come up with a few ideas to keep you busy and ahead of the curve…

Amazon Prime Day: Breaking Rules, Making Money

Pretty much everyone I know, knew about Amazon Prime Day. While most of them didn’t buy anything on Amazon that day, they still took the time and made the effort to look at the deals they could get on a day billed as being bigger and better than Black Friday and Cyber Monday.   How…

The Inescapability of the Word ‘Millennial’

This blog was written by our intern, Kamilla Rahman. If you’ve ever surfed the web for more than 10 minutes, you’ve definitely come across the word millennial at least five times. People are constantly talking about millennials, what they’re doing, what they want, what they will be doing, how they react and how to resonate…

Getting a Seat at the Cool Kids’ Table: SXSW PanelPicker Tips and Tricks

It’s hard to believe, but the programming preparation for SXSW Interactive 2017 is already underway. As many of us in the industry already know, the PanelPicker submission process kicked off last week and closes on July 22. Which means if you are working to submit a panel, duo, trio or solo session for next year’s…

PRSA Corner: Breaking Through the Noise and Reaching Your Target Audience

We recently attended and were the official sponsor of the June PRSA Austin Chapter Luncheon. The luncheon titled, “Media Relations: Insights from the Newsroom,” featured three journalist panelists who discussed how media has evolved over the years, the integration of skills and technology in media relations and how PR professionals can (and should) break through…

Influencer Insights: Anne Marie Stephen

A Ketner Q&A with Anne Marie Stephen, CEO + Founder of KWOLIA What technology trend do you see most impacting the field?  Mobile will continue to evolve and dominate. It is the gateway to the key technologies that are continuing to grow and evolve. I believe we will see social move into a new growth phase becoming…

Can Teslas and Pizza Get People Shopping Again?

A recent Washington Post headline read, “Unemployment is down. Gas prices are low. Why isn’t America shopping?” There are a number of possible answers. Both in the article and at the inaugural ShopTalk conference, there were numerous discussions about the U.S. being “over-retailed” – too many stores and e-commerce sites for too few shoppers. Many…

The New Adventures of Old Christine

Hey y’all! My name is Christine Hanna and I am the new intern for Ketner Group. I am currently a senior corporate communications major at The University of Texas at Austin. I have lived in this amazing city my whole life and define myself as a true “Austinite.” Before joining the Ketner team I was…

What to do on the first day of your summer internship

You’re probably feeling some nerves. Finals are finally over and summer is finally here but the first day of a summer internship is likely making you feel a little anxious. Lucky for you, I’m here to share some good news. Having both experienced the first day as an intern (four times!) and a boss (twice!),…

Shoptalk 2016: It’s All An Experience

Last week the Ketner Group team attended the inaugural Shoptalk conference at the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. The much-anticipated conference lived up to its promise, bringing top industry leaders together to discuss the technology disruption currently turning the industry on its head. Shoptalk offered a three-day jam-packed agenda that in true Vegas…

The Wrong Kind of SXSW Party: Getting Noticed the Right Way at SXSW

As we have all heard a thousand times, first impressions are critical. They can make or break you, and whether good or bad, a first impression often becomes a lasting one that is hard to run or hide from. During the first Saturday of SXSW, my coworker and I found ourselves with some time to…

How to Find a PR Internship

This blog was written by our intern, Cambria Sawyer. That whole “chicken or the egg” question may be archaic, but it’s more relevant than you think. Walking into your freshman year at a university and landing that first internship is not particularly high in the priorities list – but it should be. When it’s all…

Gifs: Redefining Interpersonal Communication

A “gif” is defined as “a computer file format for the compression and storage of digital video images.” (Thanks, Merriam-Webster.) But most recently the term has come to define the looped video used in reaction to a situation or to add “color commentary” to an ongoing conversation between groups of people or to one’s social…

Scoring a Perfect 10 on Earth Day

This blog was written by our intern, Cambria Sawyer. Cause marketing is a lot like college. I first started to see this connection in my journey as a Ketner Group intern back and forth from the office to the jungle (a.k.a. campus). You see, college is a balancing act. Professors assign you more hours of…

To Press Release or Not Press Release, That is the Question

As PR professionals, our main goal is to drive and secure coverage for our clients. As Ursula the sea witch from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” says, “It’s what we do. It’s what we live for!” In our last blog, we talked about the value of the modern press release and the benefits releases generate for…

Identifying the Value of the Modern Press Release

We hear questions from our clients all the time about when, where and how to use press releases in today’s landscape and wanted to break down how to think about them today. With the rise of digital media, social media and interactive content, the role of press releases has shifted, but their intrinsic benefits are…

MEET THE NEW GUY: AIDAN GRIFFIN JOINS THE KETNER GROUP TEAM

Hello world, it’s me, Aidan. I’ve somehow been lucky enough to find myself among the experts at Ketner Group, surrounded by some extremely creative, intelligent and kooky people for the last few weeks and am glad to report I couldn’t be happier to be here. I’d like to take a moment to introduce myself. I’m…

SXSW 2016: The Customer May Always Be Right, But What The Heck Do They Want?

SXSW Interactive 2016 blazed through Austin this past week in typical disruptive fashion, bringing the tech industry’s brightest minds into town for a five-day festival that was all business during the day and all party during the night. No matter the application, the topic of how to engage customers was at the forefront of the…

#RetailRoundUp February 2016

As we know, the retail industry is definitely dynamic. From what we’ve seen so far, 2016 is gearing up to be an exciting one, so we’ve curated a list of the most notable and interesting pieces of retail news that have caught our attention for February’s #RetailRoundUp. And the nation’s favorite fashion retailer is… via…

New Year, New Site, New Baby!

This has been an exciting couple of months at Ketner Group. As we covered in our last few blogs we had a very successful NRF with 11 of our 18 clients attending, making announcements and holding over 80 meetings with analysts and media. Behind the scenes, our team has been furiously working on building this…

Retail’s BIG Show: #NRF16 Client Recap, Part Two

If there is any indication that this year’s NRF show was the most exciting yet, it’s that we need two whole blog posts to recap just how great it was. Our clients were among the best and brightest out on that show floor, demonstrating cutting-edge retail technology and hosting thought-provoking BIG !dea sessions. They were…

Retail’s BIG Show: #NRF16 Client Recap, Part 1

NRF’s 105th annual conference featured over 30,000 attendees, a plethora of thought leadership sessions from retail’s top leaders and a vast selection of innovative new technologies— too many to even count— however, in the midst of all the activity, our clients definitely shined through the crowd at Retail’s BIG Show bringing their own innovative stories…

A Lou & Grey Love Story

This blog was furnished by our Nashville-based Account Manager, Kirsty Hughan. I’m in love and I don’t care who knows it! My sweetheart? The flagship store of a soon-to-be big time brand called Lou & Grey. You may be familiar with the name. If you are an Ann Inc. fan, you’ll have seen the name…

Retail’s BIG Show: How We’re making the most of it

A lot can happen in four days. You can go from an obscurity to a viral sensation. If you take a step for every second of those four days, you would find yourself almost 164 miles away from where you started. You can meet your future spouse in line at the grocery store and then…

How to Create an Authentic Brand: a Speaking Engagement

This blog was furnished by our Nashville-based Account Manager, Kirsty Hughan. I recently gave a talk at Center 615, a Nashville office and co-working space dedicated to supporting local small to mid size businesses. As a marketer passionate about brand identity and marketing strategy, I was excited to speak to my community about a subject…

Christmastime is Here!

Tummies, hearts and shopping carts full, the holidays are officially in full-swing, and so far they’re off to an interesting start in the retail world. Insights from Black Friday and the Thanksgiving weekend are trickling in from some of the industry’s experts, almost like clues for retailers to make the most of the next five…

Videogames, Stethoscopes and Retail Robots: South by Southwest 2016 is going to Rock

When the experts from a diverse range of disciplines come together under one roof, each with their own unique perspectives and hard-earned knowledge, invaluable insights are to be expected. This March, some of the world’s most respected medical innovators, videogame designers and marketing all-stars (just to name a few) will join the panels of South…

Ice Cream’s Biggest Fan (and our new Intern): Meet Cambria!

Hello! My name is Cambria Sawyer, and I am thrilled to be joining the Ketner team as their newest intern! And yes, Cambria as in the font, wine, California town, and the heavy-progressive rock band Coheed and Cambria- but I am actually named after an old sailing ship in Rhode Island. My middle name is…

It’s an Amazon world, we’re just living in it

If you know anything about the retail industry you’ve probably heard a thing or two (or a million) about Amazon. Amazon, an ecommerce giant, provides thousands, if not millions of items to consumers from all over the world delivered to your door step within days. Retailers, physical and digital, find themselves competing with Amazon constantly.…

The Most Buzzworthy PR Successes June 2015

Public relations is such a diverse and expansive field and there is a constant stream of notable PR successes to praise. With the impactful changes that have been made across all kinds of industries this past month, there are most definitely a few PR successes to celebrate. A big win for Apple and Taylor Swift…

Meet Adrienne Newcomb

Hi there, Adrienne Newcomb here! I’m the newest addition to the Ketner Group team. I joined Ketner Group this month as an Account Manager and so far, everything is off to a great start! I’m originally from Fort Worth (not Dallas) and have lived in Austin for close to nine years now. Like many others,…

Athleisure: The New Casual Wear

When I came to college, my day-to-day fashion style definitely changed. I went from dressing ‘cute’ with cute tops, shoes and accessories to a more ‘simple’ style. In the summer (which stretches from March-October in Austin), I wear athletic shorts and an over-sized t-shirt leaving my body shape to the imagination, with some sort of…

#RetailRoundUp

It has been a very busy week for the retail industry, from being able to shop and buy items from Nordstrom with just a simple text, to the new-found ways to utilize pop-up stores. Check out the top stories this past week from the retail world: Nordstrom enables shopping via text via Retailing Today Imagine…

This Week’s Retail Round Up

With the retail industry changing on a day-to-day basis, there’s always something that’s trending in the news. From the havoc that Lilly Pulitzer created with their launch at Target, to the possibility of having robot technology take over the retail world, this week was filled with some fascinating trends. Lilly Pulitzer for Target causes shipping…

The Power of One Generation

“They” say millennials are changing retail. Being one, I can say I agree with this statement. We’ve all seen the articles and research reports that talk to the impact that the millennial generation has had on the retail industry, but for me it’s a reality that I live and breathe everyday. This past weekend I…

The New Super Excited Intern

Hi, my name is Kamilla Rahman and as you can gather from the title, I’m the new intern for Ketner Group. I’m currently a sophomore public relations major at The University of Texas at Austin  hailing from the great city of Dallas, Texas.  I’m an account executive for Texas Tower Public Relations, the only student…

Looking back on SXSW Interactive 2015

Originally posted on PRSA Austin Chapter website.  Every year, South by Southwest Interactive brings together the most innovative, entrepreneurial and accomplished individuals to showcase their products and ideas in front of eager audiences. 2015 was certainly no different. A number of PRSA Austin Chapter board members were in attendance and answered a few questions about…

We’re Hiring!

Exciting news… We’re hiring! For an experienced Account Executive to immediately join our team full-time! For nearly 25 years, we’ve specialized in B-to-B retail technology PR and marketing communications, and our PR team delivers diverse expertise in creating targeted public relations campaigns and marketing communications programs, media and analyst management, content marketing, company and product messaging…

Retail Tech & KG @ SXSW 2015

It was a whirlwind of a week for KG at South by Southwest Interactive, and now that we’ve recovered from our java jitters and breakfast taco binge, we wanted to bring you the best recaps and insights on SXSW we’ve seen so far! Several media outlets had their own opinion on the state of SX…

PR Spring Cleaning: Four Key Steps to Raising Your Company’s Media Profile

Spring is the season of new beginnings—and one of the busiest times of year for Ketner Group and our clients. We recently wrapped up our annual voyage to New York for the National Retail Federation conference, and are now getting ready to go full swing into SXSW 2015! KG clients are making exciting new product…

Ebola Relief in Liberia: Introducing #RetailFightsEbola

The Ketner Group team is fortunate to work with clients doing groundbreaking work in diverse technologies including mobile, cloud, supply chain, machine learning, advanced analytics and other innovative areas. We work with really smart people who are helping shape the future of how retailers interact with consumers, which is pretty heady stuff. Every once in…

Geeking out over SXSW Panel Announcement!

It’s only Tuesday, and the week is turning out to be very special for the Ketner Group team! A few months ago we took on the very daunting and detailed task of submitting a few of our clients to present at SXSWInteractive, in conjunction with the SXSW festival hosted right here in Austin, Texas. Yesterday…

What’s Happening in Retail | October’s Biggest Stories

This autumn has graced us with some much-needed cooler weather here at Ketner Group, but the retail industry is still turning up the heat! Retailers are faced with data security concerns, mismatching omnichannel expectations, forecasting the holiday season and revitalizing the concept of physical retail. Here are some of the hottest retail stories from this…

Digital Retail’s Brightest Take Over Seattle This Week for Shop.org 2014

The annual Shop.org summit is already underway, and it has been a fast and furious few days for the team here at Ketner Group and our wonderful and innovative clients who are exhibiting at the show this week. The months and weeks leading up to Shop.org was full of planning sessions, scheduling meetings with media…

Connecting Technology and Trust

Technology is a cool thing. I’m realizing this more and more as I become immersed in the retail tech world. Our retail technology clients are able to help retailers become more price-competitive via price intelligence software, others can connect all the enterprise dots of an international, omni-channel retail organization to keep all the moving parts…

The Rise of Consumer Control: What’s a Business To Do?

With the evolution and widespread use of the Internet, mobile devices and social media, we’ve arrived in a fast-paced, noisy and fickle consumer environment.  It takes a matter of hours for consumer opinions to go viral across the web, and in a world where word-of-mouth travels like wildfire, businesses need to keep their ears to…

Oops, We Did it Again (and Again, and Again)

We’ve all heard (or have perhaps said) in one way or another the expression, “I would love to have been a fly on the wall when….” On more than one occasion, I’ve often found myself wishing I could have been privy to certain conversations that led to decisions being made about this or that.  One…

Seven Snarky Ways to Avoid PR Success

Guest post by: Andris Media Group Alright, let’s just jump right in! 1. When your PR people call or write, don’t return those pesky phone calls or emails promptly. Journalists aren’t, after all, working on deadline or anything, so there’s no reason to be respectful of their time. 2. Don’t get your PR team involved…

Girls Can Run the World

When my husband and I found out that we were pregnant with our first child, we were of course thrilled! Starting our own family was very important to us and we couldn’t wait to find out whether it was a boy or a girl. A few months later we got the word – we would…

Meet Kathleen See

Hey y’all! I’m Kathleen See, the newest member of Ketner Group! The past few days have been such a whirlwind, but I’m so excited to hit the ground running with Ketner Group as an account executive. By the way, my coworkers are awesome, like “Let’s watch the World Cup together before your first day” awesome.…

IRCE 2014 Recap: Top Stories from last week’s Retail Event in the Windy City

As many of you in the retail realm know, the 2014 Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition was held last week in Chicago. Ketner Group made the trip out to see what’s up in ecommerce, 3D imaging, mobile, web analytics, social shopping and personalization – and that’s only the beginning! With nearly 10,000 attendees showing up…

Retailers Give Back Through RetailROI

RetailROI, the Retail Orphan Initiative, is a shining example of technology vendors, retailers and analysts working together to raise awareness of the plight of orphans worldwide. More than that, though, RetailROI, provides not only funds but volunteers who are willing to put in “sweat equity” to build schools, computer labs, children’s homes, clean water projects…

What’s Happening in Retail: May’s Biggest Stories

At Ketner Group, we are not ashamed to admit that we get a bit geeky when it comes to new retail stories and technology implementations. It seems like every week there are retailers that have made the move to make mobile or omni-channel technologies part of their business operations, feature stories on retail movers and…

Meet our newest intern, Justin Joe!

Hello everyone! I was born and raised near the Texas Gulf Coast in Lake Jackson. The town may be small, but being near both Dow Chemical and BASF oil plants, I got to meet many families who would transfer in on business. My family worked in-depth with the school district. My mother was and still…

We’re hiring an Account Executive!

We’re hiring! If you or someone you know has two-to-three years of PR experience and is looking for a job, we want to hear from you! Of course, we think we’re pretty cool, but in case you need some convincing, here’s a little about us. Ketner Group PR + Marketing is an Austin, Texas-based public…

How a Retailer’s Mobile App Could be it’s Best Friend

This blog post originally appeared on Digby’s The Mobile Retail Blog, contributed by Caitlin New Last weekend I went to a big box home goods store, lets call them Cot, Tub & Forever, armed with its mobile app and a few gift cards from the holidays that were burning a hole in my pocket. As…

PR as Storytelling: What Flash Boys Teaches Us About the Art of Technology Storytelling

I’m a huge Michael Lewis fan. And like countless other readers, I’m eagerly devouring his latest book, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, which rocketed to the top of the New York Times best-seller list immediately after its publication. Lewis is a gifted storyteller who excels in bringing previously obscure topics to life, as he…

Buggin’ Out Over Heartbleed: How to Fight Back

We’ve all been reading about the recent security breaches caused by a large hole in OpenSSL security called Heartbleed. Now what? There are tons of articles out there on things everyone should be doing to protect themselves from potential hazards of the bug, and we’ve compiled the top tips and facts that you need to…

Four Ways to Refresh Existing Website Content

Guest post by: Gini Dietrich, CEO of Arment Dietrich and lead blogger at Spin Sucks. In late 2011 and early 2012, the Public Relations Society of America undertook the big task of redefining public relations. Before this happened, the industry was working with a definition that was 40 years old. It hadn’t been reviewed since 1982. In 1982, E.T.…

The Client and PR Agency Relationship: It Takes Two, Baby!

As with any relationship, there are good ones and bad ones. Good relationships usually include natural chemistry, excellent communication and mutual efforts from both parties. The bad relationships, well, don’t have any of those factors and usually end in tears, broken hearts and bitter feelings. In the PR agency and client world, a good relationship…

Wearable Tech: Are You Ready?

SXSW 2014 has come and gone, and those who call Austin home are either still recovering from the constant state of exhaustion that goes hand in hand with doing SXSW right, or are beginning to venture out of their homes again into the world they had been so desperately avoiding for the last 10 days.…

KG @ SXSWi 2014 – What’s Hot!

Spring is here in Austin, Texas, which means it’s that special time of year where we can all expect the lovely Texas sunshine to accompany us while we traipse around the Austin Convention Center during the annual South by Southwest Interactive Festival. Well, the sunshine hasn’t been quite as present as we would have liked,…

Why Matthew McConaughey’s Oscar Acceptance Speech Was a Golden Example of Effective Communication

Some people like to make fun of Matthew McConaughey. There are those that think his “simple” speech patterns (read: his charming and cuter than heck southern accent) make him seem, well, simple. Other people recall his days living in a now trendy trailer park on Barton Springs Road in Austin, smoking (leaves) through a bong…

NRF 2014: The REALLY Big Show

If you could sum up the NRF 2014 show in one word, it would have to be “big.” And this time, as attendees know, it was “REALLY big!” Our Ketner Group team descended upon New York recently along with 30,000+ other NRF attendees, and the show was big in every way: More attendees than ever.…

Meet Jennifer Luskey

My name is Jennifer Luskey and I am a second semester senior at the University of Texas at Austin, graduating with a degree in public relations and a Business Foundations Certificate. Growing up in small town Midland, Texas my life was full of football and the oil business. My love for football has grown even…

Our New Intern Cameron Ventures Into A Life Of PR

Let me introduce myself. My name is Cameron Whitaker and I’d first like to say how excited I am to be a part of the Ketner Group team this semester! As far as school goes, I’m in my last semester at the University of Texas at Austin, graduating with a degree in Broadcast Journalism this…

Privacy Fears Hit Retailers’ Big Data Analytics Plans

Brick-and-mortar retailers plan to link in-store analytics with shoppers’ mobile devices. Shoppers say not so fast. Privacy will “almost certainly” be the leading big data issue this year as consumer advocates focus on controversial spying activities of the US National Security Agency (NSA), according to a new 2014 predictions report from global consulting firm Stratecast | Frost…

Best of NRF 2014: Top 10 Takeaways

The Big Show Keeps Getting Bigger This year’s NRF Big Show expanded its footprint taking over 200,000 square feet of the Javits Center – including the North Building for keynote presentations – with more than 30,000 attendees and 500 exhibiting companies. The vibe was very positive with a renewed confidence for retailers and vendors alike.…

The RTP Team Wraps Up The #NRF14 Show (Day 2 Recap)

The final day of the NRF Big Show 2014 was a long, but rewarding one for the Retail TouchPoints editorial staff. Editor-in-Chief Debbie Hauss shared her top terms of the day, which included “multiplex channel,” and “heads up engagement.” Publisher Ed Cleary discussed the value of location by sharing insights from his meetings with top…

Forrester’s Mulpuru: 2013 great year for e-commerce; 2014 even better

With average web growth of 29 percent, 2013 was a great year for e-commerce, and “2014 promises to be even better,” according to Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru. Mulpuru previewed findings from Forrester’s upcoming “State of Retailing Online 2014: Key Metrics and Initiatives” study during her “First Look: 2014 Outlook for Digital Retail” presentation at Retail’s BIG Show, pointing…

Shopper Rewards Go Local & Mobile

Mobile shopping application Punchcard, which allows end-users to earn rewards where they shop, has implemented Digby’s Localpoint platform in order to deliver real-time localized offers. When customers shop at one of Punchcard’s fifteen million supported retail partner locations, they will simply need to take a photo of their receipt with the Punchcard app, start a virtual…

It’s a wrap: Holiday retail winners and losers

The gifts are all unwrapped. Returns and exchanges have been made. Now it’s time to cut through all the marketing hype to see what really happened this holiday shopping season. Which retailers did the best job of making us happy? Who really had the lowest prices? We spoke to three marketing research firms, 360pi, ForeSee…

It’s a wrap: Holiday retail winners and losers

The gifts are all unwrapped. Returns and exchanges have been made. Now it’s time to cut through all the marketing hype to see what really happened during the holiday shopping season. Which retailers did the best job of making us happy? Who really had the lowest prices? We spoke to three marketing research firms, 360pi,…

Retail’s Big Show Will Showcase Hot Technologies For 2014

It’s NRF time again and the Ketner Group Team is getting ready to head out to New York next week to attend the Big Show! Leading up to what should be a convention full of new and trending retail technologies, renowned retail industry analyst, Forbes contributor and Ketner Group friend, Paula Rosenblum, shares in her most recent article, “Retail’s Big…

Digital Darwinism: Winning with the best of digital and physical

Initial November sales results were better than many feared, and digital commerce led the way, outpacing sales growth in stores by almost 8x in recent weeks. The digital tide is forcing retailers to make difficult strategic choices. Some are opting for business as usual, while others are betting big on digital innovations. Bain believes that…

5 Tips for Getting Your Audience to “Spread the Word”

Originally appeared on PR Soup I have to start this post off by coming clean: I sit on the Board of Directors for Lights.  Camera. Help. So, naturally I am a little biased towards the great work this organization does! That being said, Christine and I were so impressed by the advice that Nancy Schwartz…

Thanksgiving 2013 Deep Discounting Is Myth Among Retailers, As Black Friday & Cyber Monday Show Little Broad Promotional Pricing: Report

Deep storewide discounts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be a popular myth propagated by big U.S. retailers, according to detailed pricing data from specialist price tracker 360pi. The Ottawa company, which makes software to monitor retail pricing, watched more than 8,000 Amazon products in eight popular categories, like video games, televisions and tablets, tracking…

The SEO Apocalypse – How to Survive Google’s Massive Encryption

In the marketing world, SEO has been a key investment for brands and companies hoping to boost visibility online. In the early days, marketers only had to use one or two of their main keywords 32 times in any piece of content online, Google worked its magic, and boom: first page of a search for…

Black Friday Discounts May Be an Illusion

More than ever, Black Friday shopping could be a cat and mouse game between retailers and consumers. “Retail theater,” The Wall Street Journal calls it. The Journal notes that retailers often put higher regular prices on goods with the intention of marking them down to show a savings. Those who use their smartphones to find the deepest discounts may…

PR Crisis Management: Always Be Prepared

Over the past several months, my Netflix account and I have been BFF’s. After listening to my colleagues go on and on about all of the great television series I’ve missed out on over the past, oh, eight years, I decided it was my mission to become more cultured in my television viewing, and ditch…

Google+ and B2B: Drink the Kool-Aid

Let’s say you’re training to be the next Sanya Richards-Ross and you’ve got a track meet next spring that you’re planning to dominate. You bought the high-tech water bottle, the chicest of running outfits and have really committed to your weekly training schedule. You’re doing everything right! Except for one thing… you’re training in some…

Don’t Fall Behind in PR: Four Steps to Raising Your Company’s Media Profile

Fall is finally here. After 40 days of 100°-plus weather in Austin this summer, the temperature is dipping into the 60s in the mornings. Sure, we’re already back to the mid-90s this week, but the mornings are crisp, folks are breaking out the fall clothes, and there’s football galore. The Longhorns even won again this…

“Scandal” Inspiration, Judy Smith Speaks on Navigating the Business of Success

Last week I had the pleasure of listening to Judy Smith speak. You might be familiar with Smith if you watch the ABC hit show Scandal where she is portrayed by Kerry Washington as “Olivia Pope.” After binging on the show this past summer, I was extremely excited to put a real person behind a…

PR Ethics – The Difference Between Right and Wrong

Let’s face it, gang, PR ethics is – at the very root – knowing what is right and what is wrong. It is a motto that we all must live by, whether you are in public relations or not. Every day when I drop my daughter off at school, without fail, I tell her these…

What Makes Things Popular Online?

The PR industry is rapidly changing. To stay competitive, PR agencies are learning how to develop digital skills or are maximizing marketing partner resources in order to satisfy the new media landscape. In a media world where anyone can be a journalist, news breaks on Twitter and memes are popping up and disappearing every week,…

Back From Abroad: New Thoughts on the PR World I Thought I Knew

Time flies when you’re having fun. It also flies when you’re travelling nine countries and 17 cities in 56 days.  After two exquisitely eye-opening months abroad, I can honestly say I welcomed my return to Austin with open arms. A chaotic and life-changing few months turned out to be some of the most incredible and…

#KeepPRWeird: Top 3 Take-Aways from PRSA 2013 Southwest District Conference

I’m on the PRSA Austin Chapter board and gladly volunteered to serve on the planning committee for the PRSA 2013 Southwest District Conference, which was June 5-7. I had an exciting job as the Special Events Committee Chair, which means that I got to plan the social events. What conference goes without networking and happy…

Great Reads from Around the Marketing Blogosphere

This week we’d like to give a shout-out to other like-minded marketing or media agencies, whose blogs summed up everything we wanted to say before we could have said it. Up first, is Thom Singer’s blog, “Tweet, Post, Update and Share Beyond Yourself,” which talks about the importance of promoting others even when there is…

SXSW: A blur in the rear-view mirror

                    Both Austin and myself are fully recovered from the sleepless madness that is the South By South West (SXSW) onslaught of all things branded and hipster and geeky-cool that is now a much-loved and/or much-hated March tradition, depending on whom you ask (and whether or…

Retail’s Reinvention: Back to the Future?

I’ve been reading and thinking about retail innovation a lot lately, which is no surprise. After all, many of our clients here at Ketner Group are retail tech companies, and retailers have been reinventing themselves at a furious pace in recent years as they seek new ways to compete with Amazon. One of the things…

Introducing KG’s Newest Blog Series: PR 101

The KG Team is excited to introduce a content series for our PB&J Blog. “PR 101: Back to Basics”. Think back to your days in school: sitting in class, working on a campaign, writing all those press releases. Now think about the first year of your full-time job in PR… We’d be willing to bet…

Indoor Location Analytics Boosts Retailers’ Merchandising and Marketing Information Arsenal

Indoor Location Analytics is enjoying explosive adoption in retail, logistics, airports, healthcare and other industries. Growth is driven by new technology, smartphone ubiquity and increased market awareness. Editor in Chief Joe Francica interviewed Jonathon Rosen, business development director for WirelessWERX, who described the technology needed to capture mobile consumer data and some of the surprising…

Ketner Group Gets a Blog Make-Over & National PB&J Day!

Does something look a little different to you? Our blog didn’t lose weight or change its hair, but it did get a whole new look! What was formerly Ketner Group’s KbloG is now PB&J! We aim to give readers “a slice of PR, Branding and Journalism”–a place to hang out and read about good ideas…

Apparel software trends: What else is on the agenda?

What else is likely to be topping the apparel industry’s software agenda this year? Using technology to help mitigate risk in the supply chain, automating data capture, and greater collaboration and information exchange between apparel retailers and brands and their suppliers are all highlighted. Tapping into social media and mobile technologies will also contribute to…

An Engaging Experience

SecureNet’s mobile API libraries support both mobile phones and tablets running the iOS operating system. Streamlining the payments experience within mobile applications, the next generation mobile API libraries enable in-app acceptance of all credit card types, ACH and EBT transactions, and tracking for cash transactions, a feature most mobile payment solutions lack. The libraries also…

Cloud broker platform lets agencies mix, match their services

General Dynamics will use cloud brokerage technology from Gravitant Inc. to put together hybrid cloud computing service offerings for government agencies, the companies announced.

Acorn Provides Microsoft Dynamics AX Customers with New Solution

Cost management and profitability solutions provider Acorn Systems Inc., a Microsoft Managed Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Partner, now provides Microsoft Dynamics AX customers with a new integrated solution. Designed to drive even greater profitability and cost efficiency from their ERP investment, Acorn’s Total Profitability for Microsoft Dynamics AX is available immediately to Microsoft Dynamics AX…

Why Our New Intern, Mia, Decided on a PR Career

I don’t know exactly when I decided that the public relations industry was a fit for me. I did watch a lot of Sex and the City my freshman year of college, so there may be a correlation there. I wanted to live Samantha Jones’s glamorous (fake) life. Little did I know that Samantha Jones’s…

Government integrator introduces cloud brokerage services

Goverment integrator General Dynamics Information Technology plans to use the Gravitant cloudMatrix platform as the foundation for a new series of services that support government agencies that plan to leverage cloud services as part of their computing infrastructure.

Biology and the Off-Balance Sheet Showroom

Biology and the “Off-Balance Sheet Showroom:” these two topics may seem entirely unrelated, but actually there is a close parallel in the mobile marketing market segment. In biology, there are millions of bacteria, toxins, parasites and the like that are constantly threatening our bodies. These threats multiply and form derivatives, demanding real-time responses from anti-bodies…

Women in Communications: Can We Have it All?

International Women’s Day (IWD) was March 8, 2013, and it provided a good opportunity for both men and women to take a look at the current state of women’s progress around the world. While IWD calls for an examination and appreciation of all aspects of womanhood, women’s roles in the career force took a front…

SXSW Interactive 2013: Mobile First

This blog is reposted from Digby’s The Mobile Retail Blog. By Kirsty Hughan, Digby Austin, Texas has just finished playing host to one of the most innovative and forward-thinking technology conferences in the world. South by Southwest Interactive Festival (SXSWi)  is a five day conference and trade show dedicated to the advancement of digital creativity and hosts…

Cloud-based Portals Streamline Retailer-Supplier Collaboration

There are no mass-produced consumers: Product variety, delivery options, vendor sources and other supply chain competencies must satisfy individual customer preferences ― and both retailers and suppliers are responsible for the teamwork that delivers that satisfaction. To excel in this environment of shared accountability, progressive retail organizations are establishing real-time, web-enabled data sharing portals that…

SXSW 2013 by the Numbers [INFOGRAPHIC]

It’s finally upon us… SXSW Interactive starts this Friday! In the spirit of all things SX, we’ve created a little infographic to boost anticipation for the start of this year’s tech, music and film extravaganza! We’re pumped for the festival – keep a look out for KG’s Brittany and Caitlin at your interactive sessions this…

Attention Tech Companies: DO NOT – I repeat – DO NOT Launch at SXSW

This blog post is reposted from Laura Beck’s shirtshorts blog. See Laura’s awesome fan-wear business at stripedshirt.com. Also, check out what Ketner Group has to say about SXSWi on our Be Spectacled page. After 18+ years working for PR agencies, Laura Beck is focused on independent marketing and PR consulting as well as running her own…

Viral Videos, Marathoning & Some Small Biz Love for Austin

Wherein I ramble about current events, keeping Austin weird, the latest memes and TV marathons Sometimes news is absolutely shocking—like the time the president of the United States admitted to the public that he kept his Multiple Sclerosis a secret for seven years. Whoops—that’s all the West Wing I’ve been watching.* Um, for a real…

Mobile POS: Breaking down barriers

Fixed till points and long queues are soon to become a thing of the past, according to BT, as mobiles and tablets become a ‘normal’ part of the shopping experience. Mobile technologies are increasingly being used in retail to simplify and enhance the in-store experience, and to bridge the gap between online and offline. Mobile POS…

Social Media Scores as an Effective Marketing Tool

Super Bowl XLVII Shines in the Dark: Social Media Scores as an Effective Marketing Tool Here is a statistic that will blow you away: According to a study from the Mobile Marketing Association and Session M, during the Super Bowl, a whopping 91% of viewers used their mobile devices during the commercial breaks! After hearing…

Big Time

Stocking the latest styles can be a challenge for any clothing retailer — but it’s even more so when your clientele is defined by big and tall sizes. Casual Male Retail Group has been providing clothes for big and tall American men for more than 35 years. While big and tall has been a part…

Gravitant Enhances Cloud Governance Capabilities

Gravitant has announced enhancements coming this month to its award winning cloudMatrix cloud brokerage and management platform: Continuous cloud asset discovery and sync (starting with Amazon Web Services today with additional providers added over time), which enhances internal governance capabilities to discover and control shadow I.T. and provide alternate sourcing options.

Vine: The New Social Sensation?

Well we’ve just begun 2013 and a starlet app has already hit the social scene. Vine is the new kid on the block everyone is talking about – could it be the next big thing in social sharing? It’s still too early to tell, but the mobile technology industry seems to think this Twitter spinoff…

KG Clients Make Big News at NRF: Retail’s Biggest Week in Review

The biggest week in retail has come and gone, but let’s not leave NRF behind so quickly! KG had a great time at the trade show and we were thrilled to see our clients making some big news. Take a look at a few of the top clips from NRF this year!   CrossView Forbes…

Best of NRF 2013: Top 10 Takeaways

RIS News summarizes the top 10 takeaways from the National Retail Federation’s 2013 BIG Show. #1: Walmart to Boost U.S.-Made Product Purchases by $50B, Commits to Hiring Veterans #2: Chico’s Reveals Innovative Item-Level RFID Use Cases #3: SuperSaturday Analyst Day Builds Momentum #4: Four Magic Words: Rock & Roll Retail #5: Macy’s Mobile App Improvements Grow User…

How Mobile Technology Is Revolutionizing In-Store Shopping

There’s mobile technology-driven change brewing in the way you shop in brick-and-mortar stores. Disappearing are the days when you walked in and headed blindly for the sales section; or located a much needed item then headed straight for the checkout counter. Retailers from Bed, Bath & Beyond to RadioShack are investing in new e-commerce technology that encourages consumers —…

No Jamba Juice Line For You: iPhone That Order In With PayPal

Ebay’s payment subsidiary, PayPal, has been on a tear to make your in-store purchasing as easy as ordering online. In a recent announcement at the National Retail Federation convention, Jamba Juice is reportedly working to integrate into the PayPal iPhone app to let you order and pay in advance. Even with mobile payments still in…

The Big Show: Clouds of Sensors and Sensing

This week, I am attending the annual NRF event in New York. For those that have never been, it lives up to its claim of being a BIG show. Few attendees leave without blisters and the lines of people try your patience. Retailers packed the halls. I spoke yesterday on Big Data and signed some…

Caitlin New is Austin’s PRSA Member of the Month

We just wanted to give a shout-out to our Director of Company Branding, Caitlin New, as she’s featured as the Public Relations Society of America’s Austin Chapter member of the month for January. Caitlin is currently serving on the PRSA Austin board as Programs Chair, and is also on the planning committee for the PRSA…

Goodbye 2012!

We’d like to take this time to say goodbye to 2012. It was a good year, and–just like any year–we had a few downs, but mostly ups. 2012 saw Ketner Group go to NRF’s BIG Show for the 13th year. We explored our industry at SXSW Interactive, where we learned about visual storytelling, local SEO,…

Social Media Contests: It’s Always a Good Time of the Year

Photo courtesy of Blast Radius Well, folks, it’s here. ‘Tis the season of giving and we’re knee deep in gift wrap and holiday cards, cookie dough and frosting, tree lights and ornaments – hopefully not all at once! In a season that is already globally known for its high-stress characteristics, why not add in a…

Austin’s Co-op Scores Mobile Award

The University Co-op has scored an award as one of the top 10 best mobile retailers, according to Austin-based mobile website developer Digby.

State of the Millennial Union

Reposted from Digby’s Mobile Retail Blog At the risk of being considered a traitor by my fellow Generation X’ers, I am not ashamed to admit that I have a fascination with the Millennial Generation.  In a recent blog, I bragged about how this group of young men and women born roughly between 1980 and 2000 have…

How Reverse Logistics Makes Online Returns Easy And Keeps Customers Happy

More and more major online retailers are offering free and convenient returns, and the experience is creating return customers. It’s no simple feat, since returns are an integral part of doing business. A recent white paper from Newgistics noted that the average manufacturer will spend up to 15 percent of its total revenue on returns alone. But…

4 Easy Ways to Refresh Your Company’s Branding Without Spending Too Much Money

Have you ever gone into your closet at the change of a season looking for something to wear to mark the change (it’s finally chilly!)—and left disappointed? After ignoring your fall/winter clothes for the better part of half the year (in Texas), your clothes seem boring, blah and so last season. Well, instead of throwing…

How Setting Relevant Geofences Can Increase Loyalty

Mobile is a game changer. Retailers have been watching as customers walk into their stores, mobile phone in hand, in order to use their locations as showrooms, scanning barcodes for better deals on Amazon. Retailers must turn the tables and harness mobile phones to their benefit, instituting branded, rich apps that bring customers into their…

NRF 2013: What Editors and Analysts are Predicting

They don’t call NRF “Retail’s Big Show” for nothing! Ketner Group has attended NRF for the past 13 years, and year after year, it’s the ONE show that matters more than any other – and a great place to connect with retail’s leading editors and analysts. We asked a number of our friends in the…

Sprouts to Deploy Enterprise Business Intelligence Platform

Natural and organic foods retailer Sprouts Farmers Markets, which operates 148 retail stores across eight states, has selected Manthan’s ARC platform for enterprise-wide reporting and analytics. The grocer plans to use Manthan Systems’ dynamic analytical views and dashboards for greater insights into product sales, store operations, labor, task management, inventory optimization and merchandising as well…

HPC Networking with OpenFabrics and InfiniBand – An Update from SC12

In this video, Bill Lee from IBTA and Rupert Dance from the Open Fabrics Alliance discuss the latest developments in high performance networking at the SC12 conference in Salt Lake City.  

Favorite memories of NRF – A Look Back at 12 Years of the Big Show

This year, Ketner Group will have officially been going to the NRF Show for 13 years. A lot has changed since Jeff’s first trip to the Big Show in 2000 – an attack on our country, two wars, two presidents, a few recessions, numerous technology advances, just to name a few.  We have been very…

NRF in NYC: KG’s Highlights for 2013 Attendees

It’s that time of year again…NRF is just around the corner! While some of you are seasoned NRF vets like ourselves, we know that a few tips on coffee shops, lunch hot spots and popular sights might be useful for the newbies! New York City in January can be brutal, but this city truly never…

The Mobile (Presidential) Election of 2012

As originally posted on The Mobile Retail Blog http://www.themobileretailblog.com/social-media/the-mobile-presidential-election-of-2012/ It’s hard to imagine that in a little over two weeks, our country will have elected (or re-elected) a new president. What a difference four years makes. For example, just here at the Ketner Group, the team has definitely gone through its share of changes and…

Abundance of devices, technologies make mobile a challenge: Mobile Shopping Summit Fall exhibitors

With manufacturers continuing to roll out new devices with unique screen sizes and a proliferation of technologies to use, it can be tough for marketers to know where to place their bets, according to exhibitors at the Mobile Shopping Fall Summit.

Valley Apparel installs NGC’s ERP, Shop Floor Control tool

New Generation Computing Inc (NGC Software) announced that Valley Apparel, a U.S. manufacturer of high-end outerwear for the U.S. military, has gone live with the latest versions of NGC’s ERP and Shop Floor Control software. Valley Apparel, headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, is a U.S. government contractor that provides rugged, high-end outerwear and tactical gear for…

The Scariest Thing You’ll See This Halloween… AP Style Mistakes!

Sure. Zombies and ghosts can give you chills, but nothing makes you squirm like a misplaced comma or the double space between sentences. We know deadlines and full schedules dictate most of our days, but making time to review the latest AP Stylebook might be just what you need to polish up your nearly-flawless writing…

Halloween: In Need of Good PR?

Is it just me, or is the Halloween industry in need of a branding facelift?  When I was a kid, it never occurred to me that this “holiday of sorts” was the cause for so much controversy between differing religious groups, let alone the fact that Halloween’s roots come from ancient pagans who believed that…

W-R-I-T-E: An Acrostic Method to Writing About Something You Don’t Understand

Every PR or media professional has been there. We’ve all been assigned that writing piece that’s guaranteed to scramble your brain. Like a kid who hates dodge ball hiding from the ‘choose your team’ line-up, you shrank in your seat or went silent on your phone line hoping that the arduous task wouldn’t fall to…

Analyst Relations: The “R” is for Relationship

Clients frequently ask our opinion on analyst relations. Which firms do we recommend? Who are the top analysts in a particular space? How often should they brief with analysts? Should they become paying clients? We can’t answer all these questions in a short blog post. But we’ve been fortunate to work with a number of…

Reshoring Can Save Companies Millions, Houston Firm Says

If you have been following manufacturing news lately, you probably have become familiar with the word “reshoring” indicating that U.S. manufacturing companies are moving overseas production back onto national soil. Different reports have cited the increased cost of international labor, unfavorable currency exchange rates and decreased product quality as reasons for reshoring, but rarely is…

Goodbye Summer 2012-See you in Rio in 2016!

Summer is fleeting—even with the seemingly relentless heat of a Texas September, it’s undeniable that the days grow shorter and the mornings cooler, and the school zone lights blink their warnings during morning commutes. The trouble with the end of summer is how fast the busyness of the fall and holiday season sneak up on…

INSTAGRAM AND PINTEREST: 6 WAYS TO TACKLE SOCIAL THROUGH MOBILE

Originally posted on Digby’s The Mobile Retail Blog The last couple of years have been pivotal for brands’ social media capabilities. Social media has grown beyond the 140-character, text-only limit and has blossomed into media-rich social communities. There is a burgeoning opportunity for brands to take advantage of social media in new ways to garner more…

SecureNet Plans Austin Tech Center, Creating 200 Jobs

SecureNet Payment Systems, a Maryland-based company that develops payment-processing technology, says it is establishing a technology and innovation center in Austin that could employ 200 people in the next year. CEO Brent Warrington, who lives in Austin, said the company will relocate some workers from its headquarters in Rockville, Md., but primarily will hire locally…

8 Ways Journalists Take the “Annoying” Torch Back from PR Pros

Over the last several years, PR professionals have been graced with the superfluous presence of ‘Top X Ways PR Pros Irritate Journalists’ articles; it’s a well-favored topic in our industry. Honestly, if we had a dollar for every ‘Best Way to Ruin a Media Relationship’ blog post that mentions how PR pros are messing it…

Mars Rover Landing: Social Media and Space Travel

By Sara Lasseter On August 5, 2012, NASA successfully landed its robotic rover Curiosity on our dusty red neighbor in space. It only took 40 attempts, years of research and billions of dollars in government funding, but we finally made it! In today’s plugged-in society where we are constantly connected, it was easier than ever…

Social Media Dominates London 2012, Launches New Olympic Era

Blog originally published on Digby’sThe Mobile Retail Blog. The 2012 Summer Games, hosted by the good people of London, has already been dubbed the “First Social Media Games”. As we start the second week of the XXX Olympiad, the world has already seen what a huge impact social media has had on the games –…

Best Ways to Combat Showrooming Trend (CrossView)

The most powerful way to stop showrooming is to allow customers to order online and pickup in-store. 70 percent of the top 10 retailers provide in-store pick up for e-commerce orders; however, only, 26% of the remaining retailers provided in-store pick as an option. After writing about Amazon and how Main Street USA businesses can…

A Gold Medal Summer

A Gold Medal Summer Everyone at KG knows that I’m a huge sports fan, and of course, every two years I cannot wait for the arrival of the Olympics. I love everything about the Olympics, even Bob Costas. Nothing beats watching an underdog team beat the incumbent gold medal winner or an individual athlete overcoming…

Millennials and the Workforce

By Sara Lasseter Photo: PhotoAlto/Sigrid Olsson/Getty Images For the last decade, Americans everywhere have been concerned about the high unemployment rates sweeping the nation. But who is it that’s out of a job? Unemployment has hit every age group, social class and industry, but Generation Y (those born roughly between 1980 and 2000) has seen the…

I volunteer!

“I volunteer!” she screams as she pushes her way to the front. “I volunteer as tribute!” The shocked crowd gasps as all eyes turn to Katniss Everdeen. If you haven’t read the Hunger Games series or have yet to see the movie, just watch the trailer and you’ll no longer be living under a rock.…

Public Interest vs. Private Access: Monetizing Content to Keep Newspapers Afloat

By: Sara Lasseter After the New York Times released its exposé on the Wal-Mart bribery investigation in April 2012, a sum of $12 billion was erased from the grocery store’s market value. While the story had a significant impact on the market for Wal-Mart and Walmex, the New York Times deliberately released the story over…

Are consumers buying from window displays vs. going in-store?

With retailers, brands and marketers using mobile in their marketing mix, the medium has undoubtedly changed the ways that consumers shop, specifically with merchandising and store displays. Mobile bar codes, SMS calls-to-action and augmented reality in window displays have shifted how consumers buy things online.

OFA Distribution Updates to OpenFabrics Software (OFS)

With these changes by the OFA, the OpenFabrics RDMA Software, also known as OFED, is moving into the mainstream Linux kernel and into the distribution’s user space environments,” said Doug Ledford, lead engineer for RDMA technologies, Red Hat, Inc. “This will eliminate the need for users to download a separate OFS stack to put on…

April 2012: Retail Technology’s Landmark Month

For those of us who spend our working hours focused on retail technology, April 2012 was a landmark month, for two reasons. First, IBM announced that it was selling its POS business to Toshiba on April 16 – exiting the business that it started nearly 40 years ago and dominated for decades. To someone who…

Pricing Transparency

Nordstrom recently announced adjustments to its loyalty program; frequent shoppers are eligible for perks like custom shopping parties, in-store fashion shows and as much as $100 in complimentary alterations.Barnes & Noble unveiled temporary price cuts to its Nook tablets and e-readers for shoppers who buy either People magazine or New York Times Nook subscriptions. And…

Startup goes for restaurants

Ten years after starting development, Adam Christopher is launching what could be a Swiss Army knife of restaurant management software. Austin-based RestaurantConnect Inc. is launching software that plans to go beyond conventional online restaurant reservation systems. The idea is to give restaurant owners a suite of Web-based applications that are a fraction of the cost…

I Need a Doctor (to Bring Me Back to Life)

“I Need a Doctor” I Need A Doctor (single), Dr. Dre & Eminem © 2011 I’m a very musical person. If I’m not talking, I’m singing and if I’m doing neither of those, then I guarantee I have a song stuck in my head to which I’m bouncing noiselessly along. Lately, I’ve been on a…

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho – It’s Off to Work We Go!

Let’s face it, there are some days where we just don’t want to get up and go to work – you are lying if you say otherwise. Other than those few days a year, I will say that I genuinely enjoy coming to work at our funky little offices. Why? I love the people that…

Spambots? I don’t think so.

I can’t think of a single person that likes to receive spam of any sort. It’s particularly obnoxious when it stacks up on your dining table, or backs up your inbox on an already hectic day. I hate it, you hate–we all hate spam. One of my least favorite parts of being in PR is…

What I Really Do, PR Edition: Fact or Fiction?

The people of the Internet have once again moved on from one meme, most recently the Sh*t Girls Say phenomenon, to the next, currently the “What I Really Do” meme. So far on my Facebook feed I’ve seen what media buyers, law students, lawyers, journalists, film editors, stay at home moms, and military wives “really…

Is the Press Release Dead?

Has the press release run its course as a valuable communications tool, or, to paraphrase Mark Twain, have rumors of its death been greatly exaggerated? A few of us share our opinions on why—or why the press release isn’t—dead. Jeff Ketner: At least among the Ketner Group client base, the press release is alive and…

Geofencing: Can Texting Save Stores?

Retailers are trying to make smartphones work for them instead of against them. Take Maurices. The women’s clothing chain last month started sending promotions to the phones of people who come within a few hundred yards of its stores. Consumers who opt in to the service are sent messages about in-store sales. There is little…

5 SXSWi Sessions PR Pros Shouldn’t Miss

Image provided by SXSW.com, photo by: Brittany Ryan. It’s T-minus one month and six days until Austin’s most anticipated conference of the year. South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) begins Friday, March 9 and the whole city is preparing. Hotels have tripled their rates and are mostly booked, the city is organizing the transportation routes and…

Stressed Spelled Backwards Spells Desserts

Every business has its busiest time of the year, and the beginning of January is Ketner Group’s. The National Retail Federation (NRF) holds its big show, literally called “The Big Show,” the second or third week of every January, and the KG team is up to our ears in NRF projects as we prepare nine…

Three Ways to Save an Unproductive Day

Daily agency life often feels like an elaborate juggling act—account managers constantly juggle accounts and each account’s unique priorities and deadlines. This requires switching gears throughout the day, usually several times an hour. The necessity of this workflow is obvious—we need to be available to our clients throughout the day as projects and issues pop…

Top 5 Questions Companies Should Consider in Planning PR for 2012

It’s our favorite time of the year—and I’m not talking about the Holidays. December is the month where our clients start thinking about goals for their 2012 public relations programs. In addition to new technology and industry standards, every year brings growth and change to a business, so re-evaluating one’s PR program is a must.…

It’s the Most Wonderful (and Stressful) Time of the Year!

Hands down, Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year.  And it is just around the corner – the holiday lights, the Christmas carols, the yummy smells of apple cider, Christmas pine, and peppermint! My 6-year old daughter is already giddy with excitement wondering what Santa will leave for her under the tree (she’s hoping…

What Will Retailers Do with 2.7 Million Tablets?

If anyone needed more proof that mobile is the hottest trend in retail, RIS News reported this week that the percentage of consumers who made purchases with mobile phones doubled from 2010 to 2011, from 9% to 18%. STORES devoted almost its entire November issue to mobility, too. These are just a couple of additional…

KG Productivity Tips Series #3: Other Things We Like

If you’re a regular reader of the KBlog, you’ll recall KG’s favorite productivity tips for staying focused and organized. In the third and final segment in our productivity series, we share our favorite miscellaneous productivity tools and tricks that help make the KG team shine! Brittany

Surprise! You’re in Public Relations.

“Surprise!” is what should be written on your diploma upon college graduation. As is the case for many careers, public relations is one thing taught and another in practice. Earlier this month, I accepted an invitation to speak to the University of Texas’ student-run Tower PR group and was brought back to my college days—days…

Ketner Group Journey- The Beginning

My name is Catherine Mitchell and I’m a senior public relations student at UT Austin. Knowing that graduation is slowly sneaking up on me in December, I decided that I needed more experience in the public relations Industry before I could truly know which path to choose when I graduate. This leads me to the…

Leading a Double Life: What PR Can Learn from Social Work

Photo: A body outline drawing of Valerie in which each piece of the drawing represents Valerie’s journey through the Social Work program. For those of you KbloG readers who don’t already know, I started working on my Master’s in Social Work last fall. It’s hard for me to believe that I only have NINE weeks…

When I Grow Up I Want To Be…

I’m not going to lie.  Sometimes my job is hard. In fact, it can be downright frustrating and still causes me to shed a few tears now and then. Twelve years working in public relations has taught me to have thick skin and to keep pushing forward when things get tough, but I still have…

KG Productivity Tips Series #2: Staying Organized

A few weeks ago, we started a new series on productivity and we shared some our favorite ways to minimize distractions. Today we tackle another beast–organization. Caitlin Google Docs: Because Ketner Group is not on an intranet, we usually have to verbally or electronically call dibs on editing a document, then pass it along to…

How Retail Tech Vendors Can Make the Most Out of Analyst Relations

We wear numerous hats when working with our retail technology clients on their PR and marketing programs. (However, as discussed in our recent post, we have to be mindful that we’re not trying to do everything all at once.) One of the most important hats we wear is that of the Analyst Relations manager. Just…

New KG Intern Sara on Her PR Degree and Internships

“What’s your major?” “Public relations.” Classic response: “Great! …What’s public relations?” Needless to say, a typical explanatory conversation with fellow students, family members and friendly coffee house employees gets old. But to be honest, I wasn’t even sure what public relations was until I came into my freshman year as a PR major at the…

KG Productivity Tips Series, #1: Minimizing Distractions

The topic of productivity needs no fancy introduction — everyone who runs or has stake in a business worries about it, and everyone wants to be better at it. At Ketner Group, we take pride in our balance between productivity and play, because, well, you know what they say about all work and no play.…

I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes

It’s coming. I can hear the buzz, the distant rumble of excitement from anticipation and preparations. It may be early, but people are already planning for it. It comes every year and the eyes of passersby twinkle at all the sights and sounds that flood the senses… …at the annual South-by-Southwest (SXSW) Interactive, Film and…

Location, Location, Location

William T. Dillard (1914-2002), founder of the Dillard’s department stores, is the person most often credited with the quotation, “Location, location, location.” Supposedly, one of the things that helped make him so successful was that he took notice of consumer’s shifting preference to indoor shopping malls. Of course, all you have to do is look…

North Carolina Bound

Howdy friends – please excuse the short post, but it has been a bit hectic around here lately. The past few months have been very busy for all of us here at Ketner Group—in a good way! The summer months have traditionally been slower for us in years past—mostly because there are very few large…

Get to know Erica, one of the new Ketner Group interns!

Ketner Group has had some pretty awesome interns, and this summer is no different. Meet Erica, one of KG’s two new summer 2011 interns. We asked our AIs (Awesome Interns) to contribute to the blog, and here is the first post in the new series, “The KG Intern Experience.” It all started at the ripe…

Beat the Blogging Blues in 5 Steps

It seems like these days that everybody, their dog and their dog’s favorite brand has a blog. Even for those who don’t, it could be argued that they should. For anyone selling products or services, blogs are a great vehicle for customer engagement, thought leadership, and SEO optimization – and they can also be a…

Austin Got a Tattoo, and it spells Social Media

Have you heard? Mashable has challenged us to celebrate this year’s Social Media Day by proving why our city is the most social media savvy city in the world. Is it even a contest? When you think of social media’s birth of innovation and its spirit of togetherness while celebrating oppositeness, and find you still…

NRF 2012: What You Can Do Now to Get Ready

June is a busy trade show month for retail, with Oracle’s CrossTalk, the Retail Mobile Executive Summit, and the RIS Retail Executive Summit, among others. And even though it seems an eternity from now, we’re inching ever closer to the most important annual event in retail technology: NRF 2012, the 101st edition of the National Retail Federation’s Big Show. I…

Austin Movie Theater Creates a Viral Sensation With “Don’t Text” PSA

Iconic Austin theater Alamo Drafthouse is making a big splash online and in national media this week with a recently debuted PSA about texting during movies. In the video, we hear an unlettered, swear-filled voicemail the Alamo received from an angry customer who was ejected from the theater (without a refund) after ignoring repeated warnings…

5 Rookie Mistakes to Avoid in Social Media

We recently came across a blog post on 5 Rookie Mistakes in Press Releases, and turns out, the author was not exaggerating about the “rookie” part. Use a headline that makes sense. Include an “about” section and contact info. Still, it’s always helpful even for seasoned PR pros to get a reminder that sometimes the…

My Take on Technology Innovation – Then vs. Now

I’ve been in the PR business, specifically working for high tech PR agencies, since the beginning of my career. If you’ll allow me to reminisce, the year was 1999 and, oh, how different things were! PR agencies were recruiting new college graduates left and right to support their booming businesses. At that time, high tech…

A Day in the Life at KG (In Pictures)

If a picture is worth a thousand words, consider this my 12,000 word blog post!

Recipe for the perfect PR campaign proposal

Turning the elements of the best dessert recipe into a guide for making the perfect PR campaign proposal I’m a brand new wife with a brand new husband. After 5 years of “testing the waters,” we dove into the marriage pool just last month. Everyone knows the best thing about getting married is getting presents,…

Born to be in PR? 9-year-old me takes us back to the basics

This past weekend, I trekked back to my old stomping grounds in College Station, Texas to co-host an old friend’s baby shower. (I am at that point in life where the appropriate response to a friend’s baby news is now “Congratulations!” rather than “Wow, how do you feel about it?” – it’s all still new…

Cowgirls Don’t Cry

Cowgirls (and PR Professionals) Don’t Cry: A True Story about a Weekend in Bandera, Texas That I Will Never Forget As we speak, my rear end and thighs are still smarting from my weekend trip to a local Cowboy Ranch located right in the heart of the beautiful and vast Texas Hill Country. My husband, Darrell,…

Ketner Group Reflections on NRF 2011

Rather than one of us posting an exhaustive blog post about our experience at NRF 2011, we decided that each one of us Ketner Groupers who traveled to NYC for NRF could tell a little bit about our personal experiences and observations at the show. Please comment and let us know what you thought about…

My Experience Being a Part (and Learning the Ropes) of a Small Business: A Journey Full of Surprises, Nerf Guns, and Plenty of Chocolate

When I first joined Ketner Group in 2007, I knew very little about running a business, and just enough about PR to convince them I was the best candidate for the entry-level position. I was given a gigantic desk in a room all to myself (one of the “perks” of small business I am glad…

NRF 2011: Let the Countdown Begin

  For all our non-retail clients and friends who may not be familiar, NRF – the National Retail Federation – hosts its annual conference and expo the second week of every January. The Javits Center bustles with two jam-packed days of exhibit halls that seem to go on for miles, keynotes from some of the…

The Family Business

By Andrew Ketner, Intern When I was growing up, I had no idea what my Dad did for a living. I knew that he went to work every morning with a briefcase and came home every evening in time for dinner. I distinctly remember an episode from my sixth grade Spanish class in which our…

Nightmare and Dream PR Clients

Ever since I started my career in public relations, friends and family members will often ask me, “Wouldn’t it be neat to do PR for XYZ company or person?”  Heck, I even choose the path of PR when I was a sophomore in college because of a dream job – PR for Sea World. As…

Ketner Group is hiring an Account Executive in Austin!

The time has come for us to expand our team — we’re so excited, and we can’t wait to find just the right person. If you know anyone in Austin looking for a PR job that fits the below requirements, please pass this along!  To apply for the position, please email resume and portfolio or…

Where did all the men go?

Some questions have no easy answer. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll pop? Add another question to that list: What happened to all of the men in PR? It wasn’t all that long ago that a bunch of…

Psychology of the User Experience

Right after SXSW Interactive, I promised a comprehensive recap, and I have a confession to make – this  Word document has been sitting here in blog post purgatory for over a week (literally!) now, because I’ve realized that: A) I’m not an authority on this event, since it was my first time going, B) there…

Ketner Group is a proud sponsor of Austin Twestival! (3/25)

In case you haven’t heard, TOMORROW (3/25) is the big day for the Global Twestival! Caitlin and I (Valerie) will be there to show our support of the great cause  this Twestival benefits (details on that below) — and also to represent Ketner Group, since we signed on as a sponsor of the event. We…

Ketner Group at SXSW Interactive

Hey everyone! I had a great time at SXSW Interactive and all the corresponding awesome events like Lani & Benn’s kick-off #BATHH (badass Twitter Happy Hour, for all of you non-Austinites) and Pinqued‘s #TechKaraoke. Though they were certainly hit or miss, I learned a lot at some of the panel sessions (look for a full…

Public Relations, the wild child: Commonly misunderstood and wrongfully stereotyped

Public relations may be one of the most widely misunderstood professions. SXSW® Interactive is taking place here in Austin this week and I’ve been hearing chatter about “those PR types” that are annoying to who exactly, I’m not sure. During inevitable polite small talk babble, when I get asked the “What do you do” question,…

A word from our newest!

I’m Ketner Group’s resident rookie. I graduated with my bachelor’s of public relations way, way back in May 2009, and promptly joined the Ketner Group family. I’ve known from the beginning that I liked my job. We have awesome clients. I have a super cute desk (let’s be honest, what PR girl does not like…

The Heart of the Proactive Volunteer: We need YOU!

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands . You need to be able to throw something back. ~ Maya Angelou While thinking about the topic for this blog entry, I was inspired, in a strange way, by the recent tragic events in Haiti. More than 150,000 people…

The Power of the Press (Release)

For better or worse, press releases are a staple of every public relations toolkit. Used incorrectly, they can be the bane of an editor’s inbox: when the “news” isn’t really newsworthy, when companies take a shotgun approach to the media list, and when media outlets are bombarded with irrelevant information (does the New York Times…

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…

Paper cuts sting, but will they heal over time?

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…

Beauty is only skin deep. Right?

beauty
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.

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…

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