Launching Our Nashville Office Was Nothing Short of Magic

On August 27, after seven months of preparation, we officially launched Ketner Group Nashville. I don’t mean this as hyperbole: our launch week was one of the best weeks of my life. It started with a bang and ended with magic. To really soak up all the goodness, I think it’s only fair to offer you up the day-to-day highlights and takeaways.

Storytelling Truths: Monday, August 26

In celebration of our launch, we hosted an all-female panel about storytelling, which featured some of my favorite women in Nashville (and one from Austin): Nicole Delger, Kelley Griggs, Brittney Oliver and Catherine Seeds. The panel was a fantastic mix of real, actionable insights for generating press, such as signing up for HARO and Qwoted, which send subscribers regular emails requesting sources for stories journalists are working.

But additionally, the discussion dug into more inspirational topics such as the ability storytelling has to generate unique opportunities. Brittney shared an example of a tech startup she covered who procured the funding they needed after earning a great article in an important magazine.

On a personal level, it was emotional to see so many people from Nashville – who have and who will make such an impact on our success – show up to celebrate our launch with us!

A Spectacular Splash: Tuesday August 27

On our official launch day, we were thrilled to see some fantastic local and national pick up regarding our news! Local to Nashville, our launch was featured in The Nashville Business Journal, The Post and by The Nashville Technology Council. Austin media got in on the action as The Austin Business Journal featured our launch news. Nationally, we were excited to earn coverage in O’Dwyer’s and Bulldog Reporter.

With Catherine Seeds in town for the week, we headed off to the 36|86 VIP Launch Party in a fun speakeasy in Printer’s Alley, Dirty Little Secret, to celebrate over a glass of champagne.  

Winning Press and Earning Influence: Wednesday, August 28

Wednesday morning, we kicked off 36|86 with a panel featuring Ben Kurland, Lisa Roberts and me. Seeing a packed room excited to learn how to win press and influence customers thrilled me. The engaged audience asked some great questions, including, what exactly is “the wire?” 

Lisa and Ben dazzled with their insights about the best ways for entrepreneurs to highlight their stories to the media. Lisa recommended data as a great approach, a soundbite highlighted in a Nashville Entrepreneur Center blog: “Looking to win press? ‘There’s nothing that will get reporters’ attention faster than compelling data that tells a story.’ This will build trust and credibility.”

Then we wrapped up the day getting a chance to speak with Clark Buckner for the 36|86 podcast. So, stay tuned for that great content!

Learning and Magic: Thursday, August 29

Finally, on the last day of 36|86, Catherine and I attended separate sessions to learn as much as we possibly could from the experts in attendance. The vulnerability and openness of the speakers blew me away.

A number of female venture capitalists (VCs) spoke about the challenges for women founders and women funders. Kerry Rupp of True Wealth Ventures and Jessica Peltz Zatulove of MDC Ventures, among others, highlighted this theme in their sessions. In fact, did you know that only 15% of venture capital funding is allocated to female founders, despite female founders outperforming their male counterparts (more stats in Forbes)?

But my favorite session was “How I f*cked up and you can too!” The panelists spoke candidly about the challenges and joys of entrepreneurship. Marcus Cobb of Jammber brought me to tears as he emphasized that we are all made of creative magic.

And with that, Catherine and I headed off to experience Nashville’s House of Cards and to celebrate the week with a little bit of magic ourselves.

We’ll Let Photos Give the Last Word

ketner-group-nashville-launch-opening
Storytelling panel as part of Ketner Group Nashville launch week

Ketner Group Takes the Stage in Music City, U.S.A

Anyone that knows me, knows that I am a HUGE Walt Disney fan. I try to sneak in a Disney-themed Easter egg from time to time in my blogs – mostly for my own enjoyment! Without a doubt, he is one of my all-time heroes. Big shoes to aspire after, I know, but the global entertainment empire Disney created is a marvel. Above all, he was a storyteller at heart. He never stopped dreaming, never stopped creating and always pushed the limits of what was possible in order to make us (his audience) feel that Disney magic.

One of Disney’s most famous quotes, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths,” has been one of my mantras here at Ketner Group. It was my guiding light when we opened our New York office this past January. And it currently plays over and over in my mind as we officially mark the opening of our new digs in Nashville today!

A City On The Move

We’ve known for some time that Nashville is a force to be reckoned with, and when the perfect opportunity came along to create a presence there (read Kirsty’s Q&A), we knew that it was the right move for Ketner Group. Consider this:

  • Nashville is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country and has added 200,000 jobs since 2014.
  • It was recently ranked as a top city for young professionals
  • It is also ranked as the top city in the U.S. for business conventions, and one of the best cities to buy a house.
  • In addition, multiple national and start-up companies have launched their regional headquarters in the city including Amazon, Mitsubishi, Clover Health, Pilot.com and many, many more.

The list of Nashville’s accolades goes on and on, with more to come!

Just Keep Growing, Just Keep Changing

In any business, growing, changing and evolving is the key to long-term success. Walt Disney knew that, and so does the team here at Ketner Group Communications. Expanding into both New York and now Nashville is an exciting and strategic next step in the life of our agency.

Nashville and New York allow us to continue opening more doors and creating new ways to tell our clients’ stories. We are thrilled to join the ranks of growing companies in the greater Nashville area.

As we said in our press release, “Ketner Group is committed to being a part of the growth, and we’re excited to play a role in telling the compelling stories coming out of these innovative businesses.”

The first exciting moment in our launch week took place on Monday night, when we hosted our official launch party in our WeWork office in East Nashville with a great group of female communicators offering super tips on how to tell stories that build your brand. Read our recap to learn more!

We are also thrilled to have launched Ketner Group Nashville during the 36/86 Entrepreneurship Festival. Kirsty Goodlett, our director of Nashville, was joined by Lisa Roberts, seasoned executive marketer and Ben Kurland, co-founder, BillFixers, to speak on a panel to provide PR, marketing and storytelling best practices to startups and entrepreneurs. Our recap of that event will fill you in on all the goodness that took place!

As we “take the stage” in Nashville, I’m reminded Walt Disney once said that Disneyland would never be completed, that it would grow as long as there is imagination left in the world. I feel the same way. Ketner Group’s mission is to tell great stories. I’m excited to plan where we will go next! After all, there are still plenty of stories left to tell.

Ketner Group Communications opens office in Nashville

Ketner Group Communications Expands With New Office in Nashville

Third location of Austin-based PR agency marks the second office launched in 2019, and will be made official with presence at the 36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Aug. 27, 2019 – Ketner Group Communications, a public relations, marketing and communications firm serving clients in the U.S., Canada and the U.K., today announced its continued geographic expansion with the opening of its office in Nashville, Tennessee. As the second satellite office to launch in 2019 – following the announcement in early 2019 of its New York City office opening – Ketner Group’s Nashville presence positions the company to work more closely with the area’s emerging business-to-business (B2B) technology players.   

“There’s a reason why Nashville is listed in Forbes Top 20 for both job growth and business, and it’s because of the emerging technology scene and supportive atmosphere that’s ideal for building game-changing companies,” said Jeff Ketner, president, Ketner Group Communications. “Nashville is a great place for startups and small business owners, with a good deal of support in place for entrepreneurs to accelerate their visions. The city is also attractive to national companies looking to launch new regional headquarters and Nashvillians who are returning to their roots after career stints in Silicon Valley or other tech hubs. In launching our next office location in Nashville, Ketner Group is committed to being a part of the growth, and we’re excited to play a role in telling the compelling stories coming out of these innovative businesses.”

“The growth Nashville has seen in the technology space has been significant in the past five to 10 years, but we are seeing an explosion now that CKE, Nissan and Schneider Electric have opened their U.S. headquarters here, and Amazon has announced a new office with 5,000 high-paying jobs,” said Greg Buzek, founder and president, IHL Group, a Nashville-based retail technology analyst firm. “As a long-time resident, I believe we are uniquely poised for continued growth as a result of our friendly atmosphere, creative pool of talent and sheer geographical space available for business.”

Ketner Group’s Nashville office is led by Kirsty Goodlett, who made her return to the agency earlier this year to begin laying the groundwork for the new location. Goodlett first worked with Ketner Group seven years ago as a client, and later came on board to serve as an Account Manager with Ketner Group for two years. Now as Director of Nashville, Goodlett will continue to lead several key accounts while developing new business relationships in Nashville’s flourishing tech scene.

Tomorrow at the 36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival, hosted by Launch Tennessee, Goodlett will be joined by Lisa Roberts, founder, Great Catch Consulting, and Ben Kurland, co-founder, BillFixers, to speak on a panel titled “How to win press and influence customers.” During this session, Goodlett, Roberts and Kurland will speak from their experience working with startups, entrepreneurs and seasoned tech companies to provide attendees with best practices for generating media pickup, incorporating PR into the overall business strategy, and crafting stories that resonate.

Adrienne Newcomb, Account Supervisor, Ketner Group

Employee Spotlight: A Q&A with Adrienne Newcomb

Ketner Group has officially opened an office in New York City, and we sent Account Supervisor Adrienne Newcomb up to the Big Apple to take the lead on the new location. As one of our most talented and hard-working team members, we know the New York office is going to be in good hands. That being said, moving to a new state and opening a new office can be a huge undertaking. We sat down with Adrienne to ask her about her thoughts on the big move.

KG: What sparked your decision to move to NYC and open up a new KG office?

Adrienne: Growing up, I always thought I’d live in NYC one day – I think this began with The Baby-Sitters Club (a quick refresher: Stacey was from NYC and lived there until she moved to Stoneybrook; in book #18, the BSC members visit the city); however, I never actually visited until I joined Ketner Group and came to NRF in 2016. Since that first trip, I’ve been dropping comments around the office such as, “Whenever you’re ready to open an NYC office, just let me know.”

Last year after NRF, Jeff and Catherine called my bluff! They asked if I’d seriously want to move to NYC and open an office. I was in shock, but game for a new adventure. I’d been in Austin since I started at UT in 2006 and was ready for a change. NYC seemed like the perfect next step for both Ketner Group and me.

KG: What new opportunities are available to you and KG now that you’re in New York?

Adrienne: It might sound cliché, but the opportunities are truly endless in NYC. From networking to new business to talent and building stronger media relationships, NYC is the perfect place for KG’s own HQ2. In a few short weeks, I’ve already found myself at several networking events and new business prospects are quickly flowing in. I’m particularly excited about building a team here in NYC; the talent pool is huge, especially for PR.

KG: What has the transition to New York been like? What’s been the biggest difference working in NYC versus Austin?

Adrienne: On a personal level, it’s still a bit surreal. I’m currently subletting, and my dog is still in Texas with my parents, so it feels like an extended vacation without all of my normal day-to-day responsibilities.

Transportation. That’s the biggest difference. I LOVE not needing to drive (I don’t love losing my MetroCard…can’t wait until they get everything switched over to digital). Austin really needs to get on board with the whole rail system thing. The one caveat is that you have to be more thoughtful and intentional about your tasks and errands; I can’t just hop in the car and drive to the store every time I need something. Laundry is probably a close second; I used to do laundry daily. Now, I find myself trying to see how long I can go between washes.

KG: How’s your new office? 

Adrienne: Jeff and Catherine gave me the freedom to choose our office. Knowing that I wanted to live uptown and definitely didn’t want to work in midtown, my options were a bit more limited. But I found a great place at The Yard: Lincoln Square. More than any of the other co-working spaces I visited, I felt like it best matched Ketner Group’s vibe. I’m currently in a shared office with a dedicated desk, but will be moving into a private office once we begin expanding our team. And there’s dogs! And espresso! What more could you need?

Adrienne’s view from the office window

KG: What is your favorite part about living in New York so far?  

Adrienne: Right now, everything is new and exciting so it’s hard to choose one favorite part. I love checking out new restaurants and stores, exploring new neighborhoods, making new friends and reconnecting with old ones. In case you were wondering, my least favorite part is grocery shopping, which is disappointing because I actually love going to the grocery store! And it’s not the prices, as you might expect. The problem is the crowds. It seems no matter when you go, it’s a madhouse and the shelves are half empty (maybe a few of our clients can help with that?). I might become a grocery delivery convert, after all.

KG: What are you looking forward to most about living (and/or working) in New York?

Adrienne: Personally, I’m looking forward to finding an apartment! Currently, there are very few listings for March, so I haven’t been able to see many places. As far as work goes, I’m really looking forward to building our team here in NYC and having the ability to regularly connect with our long-time media contacts in person.

Ketner Group Takes On The Big Apple

Amazon’s HQ2 expansion to New York was the biggest news in corporate expansions for 2018. But let me set the record straight. Ketner Group thought of it first.

This time last year we started laying the groundwork for expanding to the Big Apple. And we’re thrilled to say, it’s now a reality. Ketner Group Communications has just opened an office in New York City, led by our fearless team member Adrienne Newcomb. It’s a dream come true for all of us at Ketner Group, and it underscores our commitment to growth, innovation and client service. Check out our recent Q&A with Adrienne to find out how this native Texan is adapting to New York. (If you know Adrienne, you won’t be surprised to learn that she’s embracing it 100%.)

Besides the world’s best pizza and bagels, New York is a strategic move for Ketner Group. We’re excited about it, and it makes sense for a number of reasons, including the following:

The Center of the Media Universe

First and foremost, New York is the undisputed center of the media universe. Where else can you hold high-value, in-person press meetings with The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Bloomberg and WWD in a single day? We’ve managed dozens of press tours and press meetings for our clients in New York, from top-tier to relevant trade media. Our interactions with New York media will pick up dramatically, now that Ketner Group has on-the-ground representation.

A Focal Point for Technology Innovation

New York is also the #1 area for retail, fashion, advertising and CPG innovation, and this will only accelerate with HQ2. The Retail Innovation Conference, hosted by our friends at Retail TouchPoints, is a prime example. Our client RevTech Ventures will participate in the May conference, focusing on the impact of disruptive, venture-backed companies in retail. New York is also home to XRC Labs, widely recognized as one of the top accelerators for disruptive retail and CPG companies. Moreover, in our first few weeks on the ground, we’re already talking to early-stage companies that will have a big impact in their markets. You may not have heard of them yet, but you will; we’ll make darn sure of that.

New Opportunities for Growth

Finally, our New York expansion is a sign of Ketner Group’s remarkable growth. We experienced a nearly 40% YOY growth rate in 2018, adding six new clients and increasing our team by over 50%. We’ve already added two major clients in 2019, and we’re not slowing down. We’re proud to say that our former KG’er Kirsty Goodlett has returned to Ketner Group as a senior team member; check out her intro blog to learn more about Kirsty’s recent re-entry to our team as an Account Supervisor.

None of this would be possible without our amazing team here at Ketner Group, as well as the best, most supportive clients in the business. We’re privileged to work with so many innovative companies that are shaping the future of how we work, shop, play and live. They trust us to tell their stories, and we work like crazy to exceed their expectations every day. Our New York office will only make it that much easier.

For more information, check out our press release announcing our NYC office.

kirsty-goodlett-account-supervisor

Get to Know Our New Account Supervisor: Kirsty Goodlett

Please allow me to re-introduce myself. My name is Kirsty. That’s like thirsty, but with a K.

I’m thrilled to be back at Ketner Group. KG has always been full of the kindest, cleverest, most fun people I know. How could I not want to be part of a team like that?

Over the years, I’ve worked with Ketner in a variety of ways. I began as a client, finding KG to be an extension of our team at Digby. When I moved to Nashville, I joined Ketner Group as an Account Manager, while simultaneously providing marketing services to small businesses through my company Seamless Marketing. Now, after a detour working with Rustici Software to help rebrand their company and re-launch their websites, I’m back at Ketner Group!

But okay, okay, enough about business.

Making Things, Writing Things and Cooking Things!

If there’s one thing to know about me, it’s this: I love to make things.

I studied film and electronic arts at Bard College, the culmination of many years practicing visual arts, theatre and music throughout my childhood years. At Bard, I learned how to create installation art pieces and began the process of learning how to write and think, two things I plan to learn more about as I age.

I love to cook. I’ve had the fortune to learn how to cook from two fabulous self-taught cooks: my mother and my dear friend and cookbook author, Pam Anderson. These women have taught me that food is a way to show your love, express your creativity and create the fuel of a very good party.

Outside of that, I’m an avid reader and will consume pretty much anything you put in my hand. I can’t not finish a book. And I love yoga. I’ve been practicing for more than fifteen years. I use yoga as a tool to learn more about myself and give myself an excuse to dance.

In Nashville, I’ve found that there are two types of people: those who are born here and those who arrive here by accident, but then never leave. My husband is the former, I am the latter. I don’t plan on leaving anytime soon, particularly since we’ve set ourselves up in a pretty cozy fashion. We bought our first house two years ago and are about to celebrate the third birthday of our very nice dog Charlie (or Chuck, Cha-Cha, Chewie or Chicken for short).

All of this is to say that I’m very happy. And I am very excited for this next big adventure.

Katie Stone, Intern at Ketner Group

Meet Our New Intern: Katie Stone

This blog post was provided by our intern Katie Stone

Getting To Know Me

Hello everyone! My name is Katie Stone and I am the new intern at Ketner Group Communications. I recently graduated summa cum laude from Texas State University where I received my bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Public Relations. 

I am originally from Katy, Texas (yeah, I know, Katie from Katy). Even though there isn’t a whole lot to do in Katy, I love visiting home so I can spend time with my family. I also like to visit our crazy boxer mix Daisy. Though I have lived in Texas my whole life, I have been lucky enough to travel to many places. I have hiked through national parks in the United States and zip-lined through the Costa Rican canopy. I’ve eaten fish and chips in London and walked the streets of Rome. I hope to go even more places in the future. When I’m not traveling or visiting family, I love reading, cooking and binge watching the newest shows on Netflix.

How Did I Get Here?

Before joining Ketner Group, I did six different internships with companies and organizations such as the Freedom of Information Foundation, Leadhub and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area. At these internships, I learned a lot about running the perfect social media campaign, developing digital content people will actually click on, and the ins-and-outs of event planning.

While working internships and going to class, I was also heavily involved with the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). While in PRSSA, I served as secretary on our executive board. I was also the Communications Director for the PRSSA 2018 National Conference – the largest annual gathering of public relations students and professionals in the world. Though I had a crazy schedule, the skills I learned made every minute worth it.

Despite my current dedication to the field, I knew nothing about public relations before I went to college. When I started at Texas State, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I needed to select a major. I selected Mass Communication and Public Relations at random. Thankfully, I fell in love with it.

I couldn’t be more excited to get started in my new position at Ketner Group Communications. I’m eager to work with the KG team and to learn about communications in the retail technology industry!