When we began planning our 30-year anniversary campaign we knew early on that we wanted to do something really special to celebrate digitally since we would not able to host a big, in-person soirée.
Of course, we wanted to incorporate all the elements of a good PR and marketing campaign, but it was equally important that we include our industry friends and family, who have been such a great support to the agency over the past 30 years.
Voila! I present to you the KG 30th Anniversary Video, which we think meets all these goals!
Sharing the video with Jeff was a treat
We surprised Jeff with the video a couple of weeks ago via Zoom, and it was so special to watch his reaction to all the fun memories shared and the wonderful accolades spoken from friends, peers, former co-workers and his family.
I wish we could have included all of those who have been a part of the KG team over the years, but you know who you are, and I am so thankful for each one of you. You are equally a part of our story!
A special thank you to those who shared a video
I’d like to thank the following for taking their time to send in their kind words for Jeff and, in the words of our good friend Dave Murphy, the entire Ketner Group dynasty.
Keep the anniversary celebrations going
If you have any pictures of your time at Ketner Group, we’d love you to share! Feel free to post and tag us on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter!
We hope you enjoy the anniversary video, especially our motivational speech towards the end! In true Ketner Group fashion, we manage to inspire through laughter. Just the way we like it!
Ketner Group celebrates an honest-to-goodness milestone this month: our 30th anniversary.
Has it really been that long? As one of my favorite clients said, “how is that possible when Jeff is only 29 years old?” (Hint: if you tell me something like this, you, too, can be one of my favorite clients.)
Weathering it all: from the dot-com bust to the pandemic
Three decades means that we’ve weathered the ups and downs of the dot-com bust, the Great Recession, the Retail Apocalypse and the biggest one of all, the global pandemic. Through our history, we’ve managed to thrive and become a stronger, better agency.
As we celebrate our anniversary, I’ve been asked several times, “how did you do it?” One of the keys to our success is specialization. Ketner Group has never wavered from B2B communications, and in particular we focused on retail technology early on.
We’ve expanded into other business segments, too, but we’ll always maintain a strong practice in retail tech.
Retail is a fast changing, fascinating business, and our team has been fortunate to make lifelong friends among the many clients, editors and analysts we’ve worked with.
But really, how did we do it? A great team.
But I must say, the biggest reason we’re successful is the “group” in Ketner Group. My name may be on the proverbial door, but it’s the team that makes it work, day in and day out.
Teamwork is the key to San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich’s success as the longest-tenured coach in the NBA. And it’s the secret to our longevity and success, too.
From our senior leadership team to our account management staff, they’re whip-smart and a joy to work with.
If Tim Duncan was the X factor behind the Spurs’ five NBA titles, then Catherine Seeds — our president, my partner and a friend and co-worker for over 18 years — is our Tim Duncan.
Simply put, there would be no 30th anniversary without Catherine. We couldn’t have done it without her. She’s a leader who has earned the respect of our clients, co-workers and many friends throughout the industry. I’m thankful every day for Catherine’s professionalism, integrity and “can-do” spirit as her role at Ketner Group continues to grow.
The unsung hero in all of this, though, is Molly, the love of my life. We celebrated our own big anniversary last year – 40 years – and she’s always been my best adviser, most patient listener and biggest supporter through everything. She’s also put up with me working from home during the pandemic, Zoom calls and all. It’s fun to both be under the same roof during working hours.
The future is bright at 30 years young
It’s only natural to look back to your history as you reflect on a milestone, but it excites me even more to look to the future.
Ketner Group has a lot to be proud of, and the best is still ahead of us. Our team continues to expand our capabilities, work with great clients and build a strong foundation for the future. At 30 years young, we’re just hitting our stride.
In case you’re wondering, I’ll continue to be part of Ketner Group for quite a few more years. As one of my guitar heroes, Mark Knopfler (formerly of Dire Straits) said at a 2019 Austin concert I had the pleasure to attend: “what could be more fun than this?”
Here’s to the next 30 years, with a heartfelt “thank you” to everyone who has helped us get here.
It’s been 30 years since Jeff Ketner founded Ketner Group Communications, and it’s been an absolutely incredible – and sometimes wild – journey. To help us celebrate, Jeff and I kicked back for a stroll down memory lane. Check out the full video below or read our summary to learn more about some of the highlights of the last 30 years!
How Ketner Group began: striking out on his own
Catherine: Tell me about the day you decided to strike out on your own. Did you have any memorable conversations with your family? Or friends or peers?
Jeff: It wasn’t planned that far in advance; it was pretty spontaneous. I was vice president at a technology PR firm here in Austin when one day the owner walked and said that she was retiring and shutting the whole place down.
At that time, I was very fortunate to have Texas Instruments as a client and a strong 5-plus-year relationship with them. So, after the owner of the firm said she was shutting it down, I told her I was going to talk with TI. “That’s fine,” she said. Literally the same day, I talked to TI and they told me not to worry. In just a few days, I was set up as a vendor.
I would like to say that it was planned out. I had wanted to set out for a while, but I was sort of thrust into it.
Catherine: There have been a lot of crazy, silly things that have happened to us over the years. What are some of your favorite moments from the past 30 years?
Jeff: I remember the time at NRF when we had a snowball fight with the team from Digby, now known as Phunware, at one or two in the morning. We were in New York City, it was cold, and we were all stranded because the airports were shut down. So, we had a snowball fight on the streets of New York!
Or another time at NRF’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Retail. Just being able to play guitar onstage with some fun people like Brian Kilcourse, Steve Rowen and Cathy Hotka. Just to be able to be onstage — and I used to be pretty good, but I hadn’t played in a long time — it gave me a chance to get the rust out and to have some fun and play with people that became my friends. Plus, I get to tell my grandkids that I was onstage at B.B. King Blues Club in New York.
The fun and silly things that happen around the office are amazing, too. People spontaneously breaking into song or just laughing and being together as a team. The things that make anyone feel special. Like the times when I come back from a day off for my birthday and my office is decorated to the max. Of course, there is Bosses Day – which I didn’t even know was a thing – during which people dressed up like me: flannels and blue jeans.
It just things like that that are fun and make you feel special. We do a lot of that as a team, just to really maintain a sense of caring for one another and trying to each other’s back and have fun together.
The lessons learned in 30 years
Catherine: What lessons have you learned as a founder and CEO of your own business?
Jeff: Well, there are a lot of them. The most important is to build a great team, give them a lot of freedom and just trust them. I think the people really make it work. We have a very collaborative team, and we work together well. That’s what I’m most comfortable with. It’s not really a top-down organization that’s driven by one, singular personality. We’ve worked to establish a culture of openness and trust and collaboration.
As much as anything, it’s about getting the right people in place and doing everything you can to hang on to them and make it an exciting place to work, but also give space for a work-life balance. At the end of the day, it’s the things everyone does outside of work that are going to stick with you for the rest of your life. What you do at work counts, but there is life beyond work, and we give our team the space to realize that.
Finding a niche in retail technology
Catherine: We’re known around town for specializing in retail technology, but what is it about retail tech that is so exciting to you?
Jeff: It’s fun! We’ve worked in semiconductors, we’ve worked in servers, we’ve worked in both the fun and the boring parts of technology. But everyone shops. Everyone eats. Retail touches every part of life and it changes so fast. Ten years ago, all the shopping was done in store, and that’s just totally flipped. Over the last three years, no one used to order groceries online and have them delivered or arrange curbside pickup.
It’s changed, and it’s changed really fast. I can’t think of any technology sector that is changing and that touches every facet of our lives like retail. To me, it’s the most fascinating, fast-paced industry to be in.
Overcoming current and future challenges
Catherine: I’d like you to share some advice on how you’ve overcome challenges.
Jeff: When you have a challenge that comes up you have to do a couple of things. First, face it honestly and straightforwardly. You can’t sweep it under the rug. If there is a tough conversation to be had with a client, it’s much, much better to pick up the phone than send an email. You also have to double down and work through it. Rely on your team. Be honest. Be transparent.
I know you didn’t want to bring up the “pandemic” word but working through this has been something I’m most proud of. The team came together even when clients were having issues and cutting budgets. There was a mass freak out throughout every sector of business. We’ve worked through it, we’ve focused on bringing on new clients, and we did everything we can to take care of our existing clients.
We worked our way through it and I’m grateful for that. The impact of COVID-19 has been devastating for so many people and businesses. It’s really because of the team that we’ve overcome it.
Bad times will happen, there will always be unexpected things that come your way. Look to your team and rely on your instincts. Over time, you will develop a resilience that will allow you to get through things that are difficult.
Do you feel that chill in the air? Have you felt uneasy, constantly looking over your shoulder feeling a presence that just might be outright supernatural? You’re not the only one – at Ketner Group, we too feel the increased paranormal retail activity that comes along with the spookiest day of the year. As such, allow me to relay some SCARY statistics with you around what to expect from Halloween retail this year.
Halloween is really a story of community. Running around the
neighborhood trick or treating, attending parties and dressing up as our heroes
brings us all closer together. It offers the world the opportunity to come
together, rise up and declare in one strong voice: BOO!
According to the NRF’s annual Halloween
survey, 172 million people plan to celebrate Halloween. “Among those
celebrating, 69% plan to hand out candy, 49 percent plan to decorate their home
or yard, 47% will dress in costume, 44% will carve a pumpkin, 32% will throw or
attend a party, 29% will take their children trick-or-treating, 22% will visit
a haunted house and 17% will dress their pets in costume.” (If you are reading
this and have any pictures of pets in costumes please share to
Shoppers will spend around $86.27 for $8.8 billion in total
spending, down slightly from last year’s $9 billion. This $8.8 billion
projection will total the third-highest in the survey’s 15-year history (the
record being $9.1 billion in 2017).
Finding Costume Inspiration
Now we get to the hardest part of any Halloween: figuring
out what to be. Online search is the top source for ideas (35% of consumers),
followed by searching in-store (28%) and brainstorming with friends and family
at 20%. Social media has grown to be an essential resource for many. This is especially
unsurprising when you consider how celebrities
have taken social media by storm with their intricate designs and high
production value. Pinterest was cited by 18% of NRF respondents, a 13% increase
since 2015; 14% mentioned both YouTube (up from 8%) and Instagram (increase
Looking Ahead to Christmas
By November 1st we will have crossed over into a new month,
a new holiday season. And as November gobble gobbles away your great fears, a
new breed of terror awaits. While the weak-hearted lay in bed, counting their
candy with a glimmering eye towards the dry, poorly cooked birds of tomorrow,
our cauldron boils with something far sweeter: THE HOLIDAY SEASON.
According to a
report from The International Council of Shopping Centers, holiday spending
will increase 4.9% over last year, totaling $832.3 billion. The report also
projects that 90% of holiday shoppers expect to make purchases in-store and 97%
of them will buy goods online from retailers with physical stores.
Meanwhile, the upcoming holiday shopping season is expected
to break records in online spending, according to a study by Adobe Analytics with holiday shoppers
projected to spend $143.7B online. Amazon will, of course, continue to be a
huge part of consumers’ shopping plans. A recent Episerver report states that 32% of online shoppers begin
their holiday shopping on Amazon and 68% of online shoppers compare products on
other retailers’ websites to products on Amazon.
You might have thought last year was scary… but with Halloween 2019 upon us, retail frights (the friendly ghost kind) are in the air and we’re one step closer to the holiday retail season. Although the sweet sounds of the holidays are soon to be upon us… the terrors of All Hollow’s Eve still sends shivers down my spine. It’s Much Too Spooky for Me….
On any given day of the week, whether commuting to work, folding laundry or walking the dog, chances are I’m also listening to a podcast. And I’m not alone – eMarketer estimates that in 2019, 76.4 million people in the U.S. will listen to podcasts. According to that same research, close to one-third of weekly podcast listeners listen to six or more podcasts each week. Hey, that’s me!
I can’t remember exactly what my first podcast series was – maybe Serial? But I’ve been hooked ever since. It may have begun with true crime, but the shows I subscribe to have become more diverse over the years. Topics now range from news and business to faith, parenting, and reality television commentary (which may or may not be related to “The Bachelor” franchise).
There’s so much great content out there, and only a limited amount of time in my day to listen, but I thought I’d highlight a few of my favorites. If you don’t have a regular rotation of shows in your podcast feed, give any one of these a listen.
“The podcast about Texas and all the people and things that make it so darn…Texan.”
Hosted by Texas Humor‘s (and my real-life friend) Jay B Sauceda, Y’all Need This Podcast dives into really important topics, such as Whataburger vs. In-N-Out, who has the worst traffic in Texas, Texan stereotypes, and commonly mispronounced “Texan” words. Though we’ve expanded outside of the Lonestar State this year, Texas is in our blood here at Ketner Group – our standing “(Breakfast) Taco Tuesday” is proof.
“This is how the news should sound. Twenty minutes a day, five days a week, hosted by Michael Barbaro and powered by New York Times journalism.”
Produced (you guessed it) daily, this podcast is one that I cherry-pick episodes to listen to, given the topic. I enjoy the style of reporting and how the interviews and sound bites bring the headlines to life, adding more context and background than what a news article could convey.
“A political podcast hosted by women from both sides of the aisle who refuse to see each other as the enemy.”
Another one of Pantsuit Politics’ taglines is “the home of grace-filled political conversations.” Listening twice a week has helped me to process the news with more nuance and compassion – these girls are my go-to voices for understanding a variety of perspectives, especially in a political climate that feels divisive. I look forward to having these “friends” in my ears for the upcoming 2020 election, too.
Podcasting might be a worthwhile marketing channel for your business, but your level of involvement is really a judgment call. Should you start a new podcast? If not, will you seek opportunities to be a guest on other relevant shows? Or, does it make more sense for you to advertise on a podcast that caters to an audience of your potential customers?
Start A Podcast From Scratch
Producing a podcast on a regular cadence is a lot of work. You have to invest in the right recording equipment and editing software to ensure sound quality. The time you spend securing guests, prepping for interviews, and then recording, editing and promoting your podcast episodes adds up to time not spent on other marketing priorities. It might spread you too thin, or require you to hire someone to manage it.
Before you jump head-first into starting a podcast, I’d also recommend scanning the horizon for what’s already out there. Are a number of shows already covering the topics and perspectives you would? What is unique about your podcast that would make it stand out? Consider your niche and then move forward (or not).
Advertise On An Existing Podcast
I can’t speak personally to the ROI of businesses advertising on podcasts. But as a listener to many podcasts, I can tell you that they work for me as a consumer. My birthday is right around the corner, and because I can’t seem to get away from the podcast advertisements for them, Rothy’s shoes are at the top of my wishlist. I know that may seem like a trivial example when what your B2B business is offering costs quite a bit more.
However, my perspective is this: podcast listeners trust podcast hosts to be particular about who gets to advertise with them, and customers are likely to respond to relevant, high-value products and services. In fact, 54% of podcast listeners are more likely to consider buying an advertised product. For more reading on the topic, take a look at Marketing Dive‘s “Is podcast advertising effective?”
Pursue Opportunities To Be A Podcast Guest
When it comes to participating in podcasts as a guest, I say go for it – but only if it feels right to you. Before approaching a seemingly relevant show, listen to a number of episodes and picture yourself or a company executive as the guest being interviewed. If it feels like a stretch, it probably is. Also, podcasts want to tell interesting and insightful human stories, so they’re not going to give you a platform just to talk about how great your product or service is. Reel in the host with a client success story, as we did with our client Elo when Total Retail Talks interviewed their customer California Closets. Or position your spokesperson to talk to a larger industry trend.
There’s real momentum behind the podcasting movement, and audio content as a marketing tool is a trend we’ll continue to explore on behalf of our clients. Yesterday, Modern Retail also wrote a story about retail brands turning to podcasting, if you want to check it out.
If you’re a podcast listener, we’d love to hear about your favorites! And if you’re not, consider this your invitation to start listening.
It’s been a month since our very own Stacy became a Mrs. As all good coworkers do, we threw her a surprise shower before the big day. Scanning her wedding registry to pick out the best gift got me thinking. Four women from the Ketner crew in Austin have now tied the knot. So, as the retail industry has evolved, how have our registry experiences differed?
From Catherine’s nuptials in 2003 to the Tung wedding over Memorial Day weekend, a number of things have changed.
Wedding years represented – 2003, 2012, 2015, 2019
Retailers represented for wedding registries – Target, Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Crate and Barrel, Pier 1
What were the biggest differences? A shift away from formal wedding china to post-wedding travel funds.
And where did we find common ground? Come on, who doesn’t like getting gifts?
Going to the Chapel…and the Store…and Online
The argument in the industry is that despite the rise of e-commerce, brick-and-mortar retail isn’t dead. That trend can be seen in our wedding registry experiences too. Almost 17 years ago, Catherine and her husband did their registering in-store. This meant they didn’t have online access to make changes or sneak peeks to see what was purchased. Fast forward to my wedding in 2012, and Stacy’s this year. You’ll see that the store still has an important role. We enjoyed going in-person to kick off the act of registering, but found the digital experience helpful for reading product reviews and managing our lists.
In the movies, you’ll see couples buzzing excitedly through the store, using a barcode scanner to add to their wishlist. Stacy and her now-husband Alvin found that aspect of registering fun! My husband Thomas and I enjoyed the private event Crate and Barrel hosted (and still offers today). Engaged couples are allowed into the store early Sunday mornings for undistracted registering. Plus, there’s wedding vendor promos and free samples. Cake before lunch? Yes, please!
Love and Marriage, But Don’t Forget the Honeymoon!
Mariana and her husband Richie shared a home before their big day, which influenced their decision for how and where to register. Their two-bedroom apartment was pretty cozy, so they signed up for a Honeyfund account instead of a traditional wedding registry. What they wanted more than bedding or kitchen gadgets was to share experiences together. Through Honeyfund, family and friends could gift the travel-loving Fischbachs a surf lesson or a snorkeling excursion for their Hawaiian honeymoon. Although Mariana did say they received several Home Depot gift cards, which were spent pretty quick!
While Stacy and I share some similarities in our registry experience, Mariana and Catherine also have some parallels. Where they overlap is specific to their housing’s influence on wedding gift requests. While the Fishbachs opted for experiences over “things” because they were saving for a down payment, the Seeds were building a home. For this reason, Catherine needed practical things like end tables and a coffee table for their living room. She was also excited to pick out China settings. While she doesn’t use it often now, Catherine loves having something she will pass down to her kids.
I Do…Love Wedding Gifts
Wedding season is underway, and we’re not the only ones contemplating the evolution of registries. Just last week, Retail Dive reflected on the history of the traditional registry, and Honeyfund’s founder gives her perspective there also. Here’s a stat we found interesting. Despite emerging trends around experiential requests and cash gifts, The Knot found that 97% of couples this year say they registered for retail products.
Since we obsess over retail data for clients during the week, it’s fun when we get to discuss the overlap into our lives as consumers. Our conclusion is that retailers who will find relevance with the brides and grooms of tomorrow will be the ones that mirror broader retail trends. These retailers will provide options for both the thrill of in-store memory making, plus convenience and practicality too. Retailers should see wedding registries as a way to build brand loyalty, as couples associate a retailer with a joyful time in their lives.
This Mother’s Day, as usual, we at Ketner Group are feeling
thankful for the inspiration our mothers have had on our careers. Whether by
being our biggest champion, encouraging us to do the right thing or shaping the
way we craft stories, they have influenced who we are as people, and as communications
She Taught Me to Always Do the Right Thing
For Catherine Seeds, our SVP and Partner, her mother’s biggest influence was teaching her to always do the right thing. “This is such a simple guide, but it has really stuck with me my whole adult life, particularly as a working mom,” Catherine remarked.
Catherine has had to make some tough decisions in her life, when it comes to her role as a mother and an agency VP. But through it all, that mantra has guided her to make the best decisions.
My Mother Was Always My Biggest Champion
“My mom was always my biggest supporter in anything I pursued growing up,” shared Account Coordinator Mikaela Cannizzo. “If I was excited about something, she was too. If I was passionate about achieving a certain goal, she encouraged me until I accomplished it. And when I wanted to pursue a career in writing and journalism, she was all for it. I think she still has all my clips saved from my early days at The Daily Texan.”
For Mikaela, her mother has always been someone she could confide in and rely on. “She is exactly the type of woman and mother I strive to be one day,” Mikaela expressed.
I Learned How to Craft a Story to Stay out of Trouble
As for our very own Greg Earl, his mother taught him how to perfect his stories. “I always had to fine tune my stories so I wouldn’t get into as much trouble. I learned to frame stories in a better light but also not to lie too much—in the event she got intel from around town.”
Without her, would Greg be so capable at crafting a great story? Maybe not. “But fortunately, she was there.”
My Mother Taught Me Empathy
“My mom taught me a lot about empathy and kindness.” Our intern, Katie Stone learned a lot about compassion from her mother, who is a stay-at-home mom.
“She taught me those soft skills that you aren’t going to learn in a classroom,” Katie said.
She Inspired Me to Ensure Everyone Has a Voice
Jenna Jordan’s mother is a teacher who emphasized the importance of recognizing and ensuring that everyone has a voice.
“We as a collective population are always learning and on the course of gathering knowledge,” shared Jenna. “My mother works with kiddos, so understanding empathy and different perspectives has always been a constant in my life!”
Mom Taught Me I Could Make My Own Career Choices
As for me, growing up, my sister and I referred to our mother simply as “the boss.” We didn’t know exactly what she did, we just knew that she was powerful and that she made her own path.
My mother taught me that when it comes to your career, you always have a choice. Whether you wish to work in a highly corporate career wearing power suits, like she did in Atlanta in the ‘90s, or you want to start your own landscape design career, like she did in Connecticut in the ‘00s, the choice is yours to make.
This has inspired me deeply. Now, I know that whether I want to work for someone else, myself or something in between, that choice is mine.
When hearing the phrase “a day in the life,” it’s impossible for me not to think about the Beatles song. Strangely, that track fits when it comes to describing my role as an assistant account executive here at Ketner Group. The grandiose song that changes tempos, has multiple bridges and juggles several themes mirrors the fast-paced world public relations and agency life is often associated with. While anyone would say it’s difficult to walk through their day-to-day, the public relations world is especially difficult. And as my colleague Mikaela pointed out, our roles and responsibilities can sometimes blend together, however, there are a few underlying patterns behind my daily tasks as an assistant account executive.
Starting the Day
When I get into work, the first thing I do is open is my inbox. Then begins an email triage of sorts – I read through everything, organizing by what’s the most pressing, what needs my attention that day and what I can add to my longer to-do list. Next comes a quick news scan – even Lennon and McCartney start off their song the same way: “I read the news today…” The number of emails I’ve received and what’s making headlines are pretty good indicators of how my day will turn out. For example, a major news story that’s great for a client to comment on, or a press release that needs to be drafted by the end of the day, can temporarily push research and other content projects to the back-burner.
What I’ve Learned
In this fast-moving industry, being proactive and taking an
extra step is everything. This could be in the form of asking a question or offering
a new perspective. Another example may be taking the time to build a one-on-one
relationship with a journalist or editor. Then, when the time comes when you
need to pitch them news or a byline, they see you more as a person than a pesky
As an assistant account executive, it’s also important to sharpen your internal communications skills, liaising between senior and junior staff. Whether it’s providing instructions on a task or supporting the senior team with major projects, it’s important to keep your team updated on the status of each project. If an account coordinator or intern is drafting an agenda, writing a blog or distributing a press release, it’s important that I stay aware of those tasks and am available to answer any questions that may arise.
My Favorite Part
For a company that has “communications” in its name, it’s a bit redundant for me to point out that writing is a big part of my day-to-day. What changes is the type of content – bylines, blogs, press releases, social media posts. You name it, we write it. And while I would argue that it’s my favorite part of the job, I also have found a love for social media analytics. As our company has expanded our skillset and offerings, it’s provided new opportunities for us to dip our toes in and learn something new.
Regardless, storytelling is at the core of everything we do. Some days that’s fulfilled through writing long-form content, and others I only get around to writing emails. That’s what makes it fun; even though I have a to-do list, it could change within the hour. If you would like to know more about our roles here at Ketner Group, feel free to send us an email at [email protected].
Nine months ago, I acquired a new title: Account Coordinator. No longer a student or an intern, I wasn’t sure what the shift in designation meant for my day-to-day life. Turns out, it carried a lot of weight!
Every company is different, but for us here at Ketner Group, each team member wears multiple hats. With everyone pitching in, our roles and responsibilities can sometimes blend together. That being said, I’ve found my groove as an account coordinator. Follow along to get a glimpse into my everyday life!
The Daily Grind
A Typical Day
First of all, I don’t think a “typical day” exists when you work in public relations. Last-minute requests from clients can easily lead to an unforeseen project or task. More often than not, my days are a balancing act. With client work and my KG-specific responsibilities (like managing our blog content, for example), I’m seldom without a full plate.
Roles and Responsibilities
As an account coordinator, I am responsible for a myriad of tasks. However, my roles and responsibilities differ on each account as different clients need different kinds of support. For example, I take the lead on drafting social posts each week and assigning or writing weekly blog posts for one of my clients. For a different client, I create agendas outlining our most pressing priorities in preparation for weekly calls. I also take over KG’s social media accounts once a week, posting relevant company, client and industry news.
Though these weekly tasks tend to stay consistent, I keep a close eye on email to assist with client asks as they arise. One practice we have here at KG is to create rapid responses for our clients based on relevant trends and breaking news. To help with this, I subscribe to newsletters for various publications. Browsing through these articles, and flagging relevant news to be considered for a rapid response, is usually how I start my work day.
As the day progresses, I check things off my weekly to-do list as I work my way through each item. Meanwhile, I add new projects and tasks to my list as they come up. Before I sign off for the day, I clear out my inbox by moving each email into categorized folders.
What I’ve Learned
Task Management is Essential
With a whirlwind schedule where it’s hard to pinpoint what each day will look like, learning to manage tasks is pivotal. In my role as account coordinator, I’m often assigned tasks such as sending emails, drafting pitches and creating coverage reports. I’ve learned to take tasks as they come and ask my account leads and supervisors questions when I have them. Most importantly, I’ve learned the value of diligence. Keeping up with priorities and alerting account teams of changes to a timeline for a certain project diminishes stress and keeps everyone on track.
It’s Important to Have Fun Too
Serving our clients is why our agency exists, but having a good time while we do so benefits everyone in the long run! I’m lucky enough to work for a company that thinks having fun is important too. Whether we’re going out for lunch or a happy hour or chatting and cracking jokes after one of our Friday brainstorms, we don’t forget to incorporate fun into our workdays.
So there’s a bit about my life as an account coordinator at KG! Hopefully that provided some insight into what I do and what my days are like. If you would like to know more about account coordinator roles at Ketner Group, feel free to send us your resume at [email protected].
You may not have heard of “Blue Monday,” but you’ve definitely felt it. Declared the most depressing day of the year, the third Monday in January is right around the corner.
Introduced in 2005 by Sky Travel, the travel channel calculated a formula based on factors like weather, debt and motivational levels.
It makes sense. I hate to be the office Debbie Downer, but there are no more holiday parties to attend, the gym is crowded with people acting on their new year’s resolutions, and you’re on a healthy kick yourself when the thing you want most in the world is a slice of chocolate cake. Not to mention you haven’t seen the sun in a few weeks.
The only good thing to come out of the phrase “Blue Monday” is the song by New Order. But even their lyrics can be applied to this depressing day: “how does it feel, when your heart grows cold?”
While the formula has been ruled to have no scientific basis, a lot of us still feel the impact. Whether you call it “Blue Monday,” Seasonal Affective Disorder, or just the winter blues, we hit a seasonal slump in the dead middle of winter. Below are some practical tips on how to make the most out of your Monday.
More than just a sales tactic, there’s some sound reasoning to the fact why “Blue Monday” was coined by a travel channel. Planning a vacation or a to-list for the weekend can distract from any mundane Monday. What’s more, planning and daydreaming can give you something to look forward to, and a goal to work toward. Books and music are also good channels for escapism, especially on a budget. Music streaming services have playlists dedicated to whatever mood you’re in, so why not switch over to a mood lifter?
Bears were onto this whole act of hibernation. Even though going outside and getting to the gym sounds like the least ideal activity right now, getting your blood pumping can not only make you feel better physically, but it can improve your mental mood. Elle Woods was right when she said, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” If you’re too stubborn to leave the house, use the internet to your advantage and pop on a quick exercise video.
If possible, get some sun. It’s hard during this time of year, but the health benefits are immense, and can lead to improved sleep and lower blood pressure. If you’re lucky like us here in Austin, Texas, the sunshine does peek through every now and again during this long winter. Take a fifteen-minute break, bundle up, and soak up that vitamin D. And if you’re lucky enough to have MLK Day off, maybe make a quick escape to sunnier, warmer climate for the long weekend.
Sometimes, it’s hard to take advice and put it into motion. At the very least, when you’re lying in bed hitting the snooze button, practice gratitude. Start with three small things you’re grateful for and remember your source of motivation, like family, learning or new experiences. It won’t make the floor any less cold, but should make getting out of bed a little bit easier.
Remember that while “Blue Monday” hits every year, it’s just one day and is temporary. The seasons will soon change again and your mood will shift. If you’re feeling down, reach out to those around you – chances are, they feel the same.
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