KG Day in the Life AAE blog

A Day in the Life of an AAE: From Bagels to Broadway

When you ask a PR professional about what they do on a daily basis you almost always get the same frustrating answer, “no two days are ever the same in PR!” At least, that’s what I always heard when I was in college and trying to get a sense of my future in the industry. And if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably looking for a better answer than that.

I plan to do my best to describe an actual day, start to finish, that I’ve had as an assistant account executive (or AAE for short) at Ketner Group Communications – even though it is true… no two days are the same in PR.

A day in the life at the NYC office

So a little bit about me – I joined Ketner Group as an intern in the spring of 2020 and upon my graduation from Marist College in May of 2021 I became a full-time AAE! (Check out my previous blog entries to learn more about what I do outside of the 9:00-5:00.)

aae day in the life ketner group office

I work in Ketner Group’s NYC office which sits right across from Lincoln Center and is even closer to the set of Live with Kelly and Ryan on ABC. I work from the office about two times a week and the other days I work from my apartment or a local coffee shop.

On this cold winter Monday, I started my day as every New Yorker should, with a bagel (paid for by KG’s monthly snack budget – we all get to spend $15 a month on snacks!).

Starting the workday

One of my favorite things about working for Ketner Group is that my role changes on every client account.

For example, sometimes I am primarily in charge of media relations while other times I lead content development, and other times I support my more senior team members with miscellaneous tasks as they come up. My account managers send weekly tasks lists on Mondays and are always one email or Slack message away for any questions I may have.

aae day in the life ketner group account

After checking my email and reading up on retail tech news, which I do every day, I began my first item on my to-do list: sending out a pitch. I used Cision to help build the media list with relevant editorial contacts at both trade and top-tier publications.

Then I switched hats, so to speak, and drafted a bylined article for another client based on an e-book they created. Bylines are my favorite projects. I really love working with our client thought leaders and compiling their ideas into a compelling story.

My after lunch to-do’s

After lunch, the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) committee met to discuss our plans for a company survey. Our committee works with The Courage Collective to make sure we are creating a supportive space for everyone and are living up to our company values. The committee is open to anyone so everyone has the chance to have their voices heard.

After the DEI meeting, I attended a client PR Update call. These calls occur regularly with each client as a way to catch up on ongoing tasks and strategy. My colleagues and I met with our client on Zoom and discussed current and future PR initiatives. After the call, our internal Ketner Group team met to make sure everyone knew their roles and responsibilities for the week.

Finally, I signed off at the end of the day and went to see a Broadway show (thanks to the Broadway lottery!).

What two years at Ketner Group taught me

While no two days are the same, there are certainly a few overarching takeaways from my time at Ketner Group. These include:

  1. The title change from ‘intern’ to ‘AAE’ is a big deal – Since I joined full time, my responsibilities have grown tremendously. But, my previous intern experience (both at KG and elsewhere) set me up for success.
  2. My team is always there to support me – Whether it’s on a project or with a personal matter, I can always count on my KG team to help.
  3. Reading the news is essential – I listen to a news podcast every morning and spend about twenty minutes each day perusing the industry newsletters in my inbox. This helps me stay up to date on the happenings in retail tech!
  4. Fun is just as important as work – At Ketner Group, we know how to have fun. We go to lunches and happy hours, take part in virtual celebrations like Halloween pumpkin painting and hold some great pop culture conversations in our #watercooler channel in Slack.
aae day in the life ketner group team

I couldn’t imagine a better place to have started my full-time career in PR and I would recommend Ketner Group to anyone.

If you’re interested in an AAE role, check out our hiring page or reach out to us today. I hope to work with you one day!

Get to Know Elizabeth Wiltshire: The Spring 2022 NYC Intern

Hello everyone! My name is Elizabeth Wiltshire and I’m a senior media studies student at Fordham University in New York City.

I was born in New Jersey but spent most of my time growing up in a suburb about 30 minutes south of Boston. When I’m not on my campus in the Bronx, I split my time between New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.

A little about me

Ever since I started high school, I knew I wanted to go to college in a big city. I had always been drawn to the hecticness and opportunity of New York and made it my mission to go to a university here.

Although my college experience hasn’t been nearly what I expected due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities and adventures that I’ve had during my time in NYC.

When I’m not in class or working, one of my favorite things to do is to go to concerts! I’ve done concert photography and journalism since 2017 and it’s one of my biggest passions as it combines my love for music and photography. I’ve photographed over 100 shows, but some of my most memorable ones were Kiss, Green Day, and Billie Eilish.

Aside from photography, I love to read. My most recent book that I’ve finished is Dave Grohl’s “The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music.”

elizabeth wiltshire ketner group intern photography (1)

My previous experience

Prior to interning at Ketner Group, I mainly worked in the entertainment side of media and public relations.

I’ve interned at two music management agencies, worked with a renowned live music and portrait photographer, and spent a year at a larger PR agency working in the sports and entertainment sector before moving to the tech and finance team.

That was my first experience working in anything other than entertainment, and while it was a challenge to pivot to a completely different industry, I loved it.

Why I choose Ketner Group

Because of my experience at a previous PR agency, I was incredibly interested in working at Ketner Group. I was a bit nervous due to not having much experience in technology PR, let alone retail tech. But after interviewing for the intern position and learning more about both retail tech PR and the company, I knew that Ketner Group was the place to be for me!

elizabeth wiltshire intern

I’ve only been here for three weeks and already feel that I have learned so much about the industry and how conducting public relations for retail technology companies differs from other industries.

With all of that being said, I’m incredibly grateful to be a part of the wonderful team at Ketner Group! I know that being surrounded by such a strong, knowledgeable group of people that I’m bound to challenge myself and grow as a PR professional.

I am very excited to be here and can’t wait to see what the rest of this internship holds for me!

ketner group momentum 2021

Ketner Group Communications Highlights 20% Revenue Growth in 2021, Emphasizes Focus on Retail Technology

AUSTIN and NEW YORK CITY – Feb. 3, 2022 – Ketner Group Communications, the leading public relations agency for innovative retail technology companies, today announced significant growth in 2021, culminating in 20% year-over-year revenue growth for the agency, the creation of a net-new leadership role and multiple industry recognitions throughout 2021. Ketner Group’s momentum this past year is a result of the agency’s continued specialization in retail technology, which resulted in the onboarding of nine new clients in the retail technology ecosystem. 

Specializing in retail technology has allowed Ketner Group to play a continued role in retail’s fast-paced evolution by representing a wide range of innovative clients, from omnichannel commerce to online marketplaces, hospitality, adtech and supply chain solutions. Moving into 2022, Ketner Group is expanding its portfolio of clients, offering its depth and breadth of experience and leadership in retail technology PR and adding additional services including lead generation to its current PR and content development offerings. 

“The retail industry came roaring back in 2021, setting a YOY record in holiday spending,” said Jeff Ketner, CEO, Ketner Group Communications. “Ketner Group experienced a very strong year as well, as we supported our retail technology clients. Retail innovation has accelerated rapidly in the wake of COVID-19, creating significant opportunities for retail tech companies to tell their stories. Ketner Group is the only U.S. PR agency focused exclusively on retail tech, and we have the domain expertise and team to help our clients succeed.”

Adrienne Newcomb Is Promoted to VP of Operations

Following its notable momentum as an agency in 2021, Ketner has created a new executive position, vice president of operations, promoting  Adrienne Newcomb to fulfill this position. She has been with Ketner Group since 2015, serving as account manager and supervisor, and most recently as director of New York. In her new role, she will be responsible for overseeing and supporting all aspects of Ketner Group operations and HR, continuing to manage the agency’s New York City office, and supporting new business and market development, marketing and more. Additionally, Newcomb will continue to contribute to the overall strategic direction of the agency.

“As a part of our senior leadership team, Adrienne has done an amazing job strengthening our operating and HR procedures as well as providing invaluable support for our new business and marketing teams,” said Catherine Seeds, president, Ketner Group. “She is a strong and results-oriented leader, and as VP of operations, will help drive further process improvement and increased revenue for the agency. This is an exciting time for Ketner Group with the expansion of our executive team, our focus on retail tech, and a rebrand we plan to launch in Q4.”

Ketner Group Receives Industry Recognition 

In 2021, Ketner Group was ranked as one of Ragan’s Top Places to Work: Class of 2021, which recognizes organizations with great company cultures that are true to their mission and vision and provide a top working environment for each of its employees. As well, the agency was named to the 2021 Inc. 5000 Regionals Texas list, which recognizes the fastest-growing companies in the state of Texas and is an extension of the Inc. 5000 nationals list. These accolades followed the agency’s celebration of its 30th anniversary at the beginning of 2021. 

Most recently, Ketner Group’s director of media relations, Mariana Fischbach, was recognized in Qwoted 100’s Best of the Best in Public Relations, a live quarterly ranking of PR professionals with the best stories to tell and the most compelling way of telling them.

To learn more about Ketner Group’s services and career opportunities, visit ketnergroup.com.

About Ketner Group Communications

For more than 20 years, Ketner Group has helped retail technology companies build brand, drive demand and grow shareholder value through strategic PR programs. We’re widely recognized as one of the leading PR agencies in retail technology. With a range of clients, from omni-channel commerce to AdTech, CPG and supply chain solution providers, our team knows and understands retail technology like no other PR agency. Core services include media and analyst relations, content development, PR messaging and communications strategy, demand generation, social media management and more. Ketner Group has offices in Austin, Nashville and New York City, working with clients located in North America, UK and Europe. For more information, please visit www.ketnergroup.com 

Media Contact:

Mariana Fischbach, Director of Media Relations
Ketner Group Communications
[email protected] 

amazon go evaluation

“It Feels Like Stealing!”: A First-Hand Experience at Amazon Go

As someone who never considered herself a “tech nerd” before joining Ketner Group, I would not have predicted that I’d be be jumping at the chance to try out new store technology. But after nearly two years of talking about all things e-commerce, personalization, omnichannel retail, etc. and hearing our clients describe their impressive innovations – I have developed quite an interest in the technology that powers our daily lives.

And what e-commerce platform is arguably the most pervasive to our day-to-day? None other than Amazon. With its user-friendly interface and convenient delivery options, we all rely on Amazon at least once in a while. But ever since the digital-first retailer entered the brick-and-mortar space and started changing the way we shop I’ve been interested in checking it out.

I’m fortunate enough to work in Ketner Group’s NYC office, so I was just a short subway ride away from the Amazon Go store on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. But for those of you that were curious about how the Just-Walk-Out technology works, yet don’t have such easy access to the new-fangled store, I’ll walk you through my experience.

Setting the shopper expectations

After initially looking up the store to plan my excursion, I was surprised by the hours. Amazon Go stores in New York City all close by early evening and remain closed all weekend. As a nine-to-fiver, this confused me – the times seemed to limit the number of people who could try out this cool, new buying experience. However, after reading more, it all made sense.

The Amazon Go store was never intended to replace a trip to the grocery store or your favorite department store (although, Amazon is looking to create a department store in the near future). Instead, this store was designed for the nine-to-fiver who forgot their lunch or needed a quick snack during the day. The shop only sells grab-and-go meals, packaged snacks, and drinks.  

First impressions of Amazon Go

When the subway came to a stop on E 53rd and Lexington Ave., I emerged from the exit and immediately saw the Amazon Go sign. A perfect location for a store appealing to white collar workers, the store is right in the center of tall office buildings and less than 40 feet from the popular subway stop.

From the outside the store looks sleek. There is a simple black awning with the recognizable Amazon logo and a sign that promotes the products on one side and explains the unique technology on the other.

amazon go exterior

Next, I saw the Amazon lockers just inside the first door. This is another example of Amazon’s easy delivery options because this central location is convenient for workers looking to pick up their order from a secure drop box on the way home. After taking in the façade and the lockers, it was time to go inside.

Scanning in: two options

Upon entry you have two options: scan your palm or scan a QR-code. The latter is simple, you just open the Amazon app, tap “in-store code” and scan the QR-code that comes up. The former option connects your palm to your Amazon account after you first set up the technology, only once, at a kiosk by the front door. In under two minutes, you can unlock this option, making it so you don’t even have to take out your phone and navigate to the app to enter.

scanning in to amazon go

Intrigued to see how it worked, I chose the former and set up my account at the kiosk so I could simply hover my palm over the sensor to open the turnstile gate and begin my shopping journey.

The in-store experience was unusual

My first thought once I made it past the front gate was the lack of inventory. To be fair, I went to a store clearly designed for the nine-to-five worker at 5:20 p.m. on a Friday, but I was surprised by just how many shelves were empty. Regardless of time, grocery stores rarely look like this, unless it’s the toilet paper aisle during a global pandemic.

amazon go inventory

Almost all of the grab-and-go meals were sold out, and many of the snacks were missing from their aisles. And there were no employees restocking because there were no employees at all. The only people in the store at the time were me and one other shopper who came in, grabbed a soft drink, and ran to presumably catch his train home.

Despite the store being understocked, it was extremely clean. I never saw anyone cleaning, but I’d assume that an employee comes in (or checks one of the hundreds of cameras) every so often to make sure the place is neat.

Skipping the line

The main pull to Amazon Go is, of course, the Just Walk Out technology. According to Amazon, gone are the days of having to wait in line and speak to a cashier, or even scan a barcode at self-checkout. Now, if you identified yourself on the way in and your Amazon account is linked to a credit card, all you have to do is pick up a product, in my case a granola bar for the walk home, and head out the door. It feels like stealing!

My gut instinct after leaving the store was to look around and see if anyone was waving their hands at me trying to catch me before I rounded the corner with the stolen snack. But I had paid, and I had followed the rules of the revolutionary store – that’s really all I had to do. The cameras and sensors in the store and the technology that links your phone’s Amazon account to the in-store experience do all the work.

About five minutes after exiting, I received an email thanking me for shopping with Amazon. The email contained my receipt and a summary of my visit including the length of my trip. My credit card was automatically charged for the right amount and my shopping journey was complete.

Amazon Go has pros and cons

The Amazon Go store was undoubtedly cool. The convenience of just grabbing what you want and leaving, without any lines or conversations to slow you down, is unmatched and the excitement of scanning into a store with your palm was unique.

But at the same time, I’m not so sure I’m ready for the traditional in-store experience to fall by the wayside either. The experience felt impersonal and the comfort of knowing there is an in-store associate ready to help you in a normal store was missed.

For the grab-and-go lunch rush or mid-day snack crowd that Amazon Go is trying to appeal to, the frictionless experience is ideal, but for the everyday shopper, the Just Walk Out technology may not be the latest and greatest.

Keep the conversation going

Interested in talking more about Amazon Go and other retail technology trends? We’d love to keep the conversation going. Reach out to us to learn how we help retail tech companies create captivating communications campaigns.

rob fallen ketner group

From College to Ketner: Rob Fallen, NYC Intern

Hi Everyone! My name is Rob Fallen, and I am the new NYC Intern… coming at you remote from my childhood bedroom.

I’m a Senior at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY, but I grew up just outside of NYC! I’m an honors communication major with a double concentration in advertising and public relations with double minors in psychology and music.

Why PR?

Fresh out of high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do.

At Marist, I was placed into a program that helped me figure it all out. Thankfully, it brought me to an introductory PR course. Going into this course, saying I was terrified would be an understatement. My professor held weekly mock press events and challenged our writing skills, all in an introductory course?! Most people hated it, but it challenged me in a way I had never been challenged. From there, I was hooked.

Since then, I have had the opportunity to experience everything from PR writing to reputation management to communications research. PR has allowed me to not only be creative but be analytical in how I approach my work!

My past intern experiences have been in non-profit, academia and social media analytics. I have enjoyed getting to know the quirks about these different industries, and now I am super excited to learn about the retail technology industry with the Ketner Group team!

Outside the Office

At Marist, I try to keep myself as busy as I can! My two favorite extracurriculars include Marist Orchestra and Marist PRSSA!

I’ve been playing the violin for nearly 15 years, gratefully having the opportunity to continue at college. For PRSSA, I recently became our chapter’s president, which is quite an exciting opportunity as we transition back to “normal operations” this upcoming fall!

In my free time, though, you will probably find me perusing a record shop (or multiple) with a cold brew in hand. Over the past year, I’ve become a huge audiophile, expanding my vinyl record collection to cover my wacky taste in music. When I say wacky, I mean ranging from Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 ‘Pathétique’ in B minor to trans-artist SOPHIE’s Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides. Yes… feel free to judge me.

What About Now?

Taking on your first professional internship is not an easy task, especially with the backdrop of a raging pandemic and political unrest. I’m thankful for the morale the Ketner Group team has had, reminding me to have resilience. Overall, I’m thrilled to learn all I can from the knowledgeable and humble team at Ketner!

jenny bradford aae ketner group

Get To Know Jenny Bradford, Our New Assistant Account Executive

Hello! My name is Jenny Bradford, and I am the newest full-time team member at Ketner Group!

So much has changed in our world since I wrote my intern intro blog at the beginning of 2020, but I am thrilled to still be with KG and taking on my new role as an assistant account executive.

In January of 2020, I became the first intern in the New York City office. I was part of a semester-long internship program hosted by my school, Marist College, that allowed us to experience life in the city before we graduated.

I had a few internships under my belt at the time, but I was ready to find a team I could see myself with long-term. I was hesitant to apply to KG at first because retail technology sounded daunting, but I’m so grateful that I gave it a try and joined the Ketner Group dream team. Now I can confidently say I’m becoming quite the ‘tech nerd.’

Navigating 2020 as a senior in college

While my Marist in Manhattan experience ended abruptly in March of 2020, my journey with Ketner Group did not.

I stayed on remotely throughout the year and into my last two semesters of college. While being a senior during a pandemic was not exactly ideal, having Ketner Group as a constant despite the chaos was a relief.

jenny-bradford-ketner-group-aae

I was still able to maintain a high-grade point average and navigate leading my school’s PRSSA Chapter through redefined opportunities for pre-professional growth.

My free time transitioned from dance team rehearsals and Poughkeepsie outings to lots of socially distant picnics and outdoor games. All of this taught me that it’s really not about what you’re doing, but rather who you’re with (even virtually!), and that’s a lesson I’ll cherish forever.

While I’ll miss doing my work from my dorm window that faces the Hudson River, I’m excited to move back to New York City with my older sister.

Crafting and exploring when I’m outside of the virtual office

As someone who’s not too keen on relaxation, “the city that never sleeps” is the perfect place for me in my twenties.

I’m determined to find the hidden gems and become a true New Yorker, but I’m also secretly excited to revisit all the tourist destinations each time someone comes to visit me. I already have a list of must-try restaurants and must-see views that’s growing rapidly. (Any favorites? Please, email them to me!)

When not out-and-about, I love to try new crafts. This year has been all about paint-by-numbers and embroidery. I’ve made way more than I can reasonably display, but it hasn’t stopped me from buying more kits…oops.

“Graduating” from intern to AAE

I am so excited to finally be a full-time member of Ketner Group Communications. It’s been an honor watching the company grow and acquire new clients in the past year and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Ketner Group NYC

Ketner Group NYC Is Alive and Well

As I write this, the U.S. is on edge. But we’ve come to know this feeling well in 2020. Fortunately, Americans are resilient and New Yorkers have always set an example for the rest of the nation when it comes to endurance.

Given I’ve lived in NYC for less than two years, I wouldn’t say I’m a “New Yorker”. I haven’t earned the title. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in 2020. And while things are far from perfect, NYC is not a “lawless ghost-town”. Like Jerry Seinfeld, I’m confident that NYC will “bounce back” as it has time and time again.

At Ketner Group, we anticipated a year of growth in 2020 for Ketner Group, at large, and in NYC. However, like everyone else, we had to pivot and adjust our outlook for the year.

ketner group new york growth

A solid start to 2020

When I relocated to NYC, I wasn’t trying to set a Ketner Group trend. But soon, other Austin team members began planning for adventures in the big city.

In December 2019, Ketner Group resident comedian, Greg Earl, returned to the Tri-State area to be closer to his beloved White Castle (and maybe, also his family in New Jersey). Greg’s arrival was followed by the arrival of the ever-steady and reliable Jenna Jordan, who became the third transplant to NYC.

In mid-January, other members of the Ketner Group team joined us for our annual NRF adventure. As newly-minted locals, Greg, Jenna and I had the opportunity to show the rest of the team around our new “hometown.” In Ketner Group tradition, we celebrated a successful NRF, with a Broadway show. This year’s choice was “TINA, The Tina Turner Musical,” and we enjoyed an evening of dancing and singing in our seats.

Once NRF concluded, we settled into our new-ish, larger NYC office space and welcomed our first NYC intern, Jenny Bradford.

Temporary setbacks

On March 12, we gathered at the NYC office one last time before heading home for what we hoped would be a few weeks. As the days at home stretched on, an eerie mix of silence and sirens set in across the city.

nyc retail tech communications firm

The pandemic unfolded and Ketner Group, like everyone, faced uncertainties. Clients conserved budgets and new business inquires slowed. Meanwhile, Ketner Group continued to find ways to lift our spirits and maintain some sense of normalcy. As the summer approached, we took a page out of NYC’s playbook and implemented “Summer Fridays” for the first time. Additionally, we launched our new webinar series, KG Connects.

But through it all, New Yorkers couldn’t be kept down. Every night at 7 p.m., we gathered at our windows, on our stoops and sidewalks, to cheer on essential workers.

Rounding the corner

As COVID-19 surged across the rest of the country, New York began phased reopening in late May and early June. As NYC reopened, Ketner Group experienced a swift uptick in new business inquiries. Suddenly, we found ourselves flooded with interest, especially from retail tech companies.

In NYC, residents who had spent the last few months inside or in walking distance from their homes, longed for a changed of scenery. For many, that meant returning, in some capacity, to the workplace. Jenna and I returned to the office, masks on, and moved into a smaller space. We now share a one-person office to get out of our apartments every couple weeks. Greg and Jenny continue to work remote.

Furthermore, the NYC office took on two new retail tech clients at the forefront of the shifting focus of retail to digital channels. We’re looking forward to fostering these client relationships and helping both vendors build awareness of their solutions in the industry.

Going for a strong finish

As 2020 rapidly approaches its end and we head into 2021, we’re looking up. Jeff and I participated in Shoptalk Meetups in October and were overwhelmed with the response we received from tech vendors. In October, we also welcomed Jackie Trebilcock of The New York Fashion Tech Lab to KG Connects.

To further illustrate the New York’s resiliency, the Ketner Group New York team has made it to the other side intact! While 2020 was not everything we hoped, we’re closing out the year strong and are excited about possibilities 2021 holds. Rest assured, Ketner Group NYC is alive and well.

Remote work

We Were Remote, Before Remote Was Cool

When it came to the topic of remote work and how Ketner Group has addressed it over the years – I immediately thought of the 1981 hit country song, “I Was Country, When Country Wasn’t Cool,” sung by Barbara Mandrell.

In it, Mrs. Mandrell talks about how she listened to music from the Grand Ole Opry growing up while her friends were “digging on rock ‘n’ roll” and how everyone is now trying to be what she was back then.

When it comes to remote work at Ketner Group, this song seems spot on. We’ve been at this for quite some time – way before it was cool, and (now) necessary.

The way we were, and are: Ketner Group and our history of remote work

While I know that Ketner Group is not the only company to have instituted flexible work-from-home policies prior to the pandemic, our agency was founded with an emphasis on offering a good work-life balance for all employees.

That became very apparent to me in 2005 when my daughter was born. My two bosses at the time, Jeff Ketner and Terry Barnes, made it clear that my family was very important and that they were just fine with a work schedule that was best for me and my family.

"we were remote before it was cool (or frankly necessary)" pull quote

This philosophy started even before my tenure at Ketner Group, when Jeff launched the agency in 1990. He was to be at home every night for dinner, and if he needed to work from home, he would lug home a big laptop to finish any client work after his kids had gone to bed.

Thus, the roots of Ketner Group’s flexible work standards started to grow, and we’ve never looked back.

Our attitude toward working from home has always been simple: plan accordingly, meet your deadlines, and communicate with your team and managers of your schedule. In normal times, we always encouraged the team to be in the office as much as possible, but life happens.

Whether it be a doctor appointment across town, picking up kids from school, or being at home for the cable guy – working from home to take care of things is sometimes just easier. There are also times when one needs to work from home to concentrate on a big writing or research project – we’ve always encouraged that, too.

We’ve been everywhere

In recent years, Ketner Group has continued to walk the walk and talk the talk when it came to working remote – a sentiment I talked about last November in the Austin Business Journal. One of the most important things we value at the agency is trust, and we have a very high level of trust with all of our employees.

For example, we have had employees take extended vacations to Europe and Asia (learn more about Mariana’s time in Bali here), where they worked remote for a period of time while they were overseas and then take an additional two weeks off for vacation. A few years ago, one of our employees spent a year working from Ireland, and it worked out beautifully.

It is important to support these remote work options because we want our team to live their best lives, see the world and have amazing experiences.

W.O.R.K in the USA

Since March, our remote work game has been in overdrive – along with the rest of the world.

In fact, a global survey conducted by Gartner, Inc. found that 88% of business organizations all over the world mandated or encouraged all their employees to work from home when the COVID-19 virus started to spread at exponential rates.

team culture ketner group

The move to full-time remote work for the Ketner Group team was seamless, and again demonstrated how much we value and trust each of our employees. Not only is everyone currently working from their respective homes, but we have a few employees that have hit the open road in RVs to fully experience remote work life!

It’s been an adventure for all of us so far.

Our team is spread out across five states, but our productivity and company culture remain strong. The pandemic has been hard on all of us – professionally and personally – but we remain a strong and dedicated team because of the processes and work policies we put in place 30 years ago.

I look forward to when we can all be in an office together again. Until then, we’ll be seeing you on a Zoom somewhere.

Jenny Bradford

Jenny Bradford: The First NYC Intern

Hello! My name is Jenny Bradford and I am the new FIRST intern in the NYC office. I am currently a junior at Marist College, a mid-size college in Poughkeepsie, NY. I am majoring in communications with concentrations in public relations and advertising and minoring in business administration.

This semester, I am participating in a program where a few students are selected to live in the city as we intern locally and take a few online classes. So, that’s where Ketner Group comes in!

Why I Chose Public Relations

Choosing a major for college was a daunting task. As someone who loves to learn and try new things, picking something and sticking with it seemed impossible. Luckily, I found public relations. I was drawn to PR because I love to write and solve problems and the flexibility of options within the industry excited me.

My past intern experiences have been in non-profit, healthcare, real estate and financial PR. I have greatly enjoyed diving in to all these areas, so I am looking forward to learning about the retail technology field next.

My Background

I grew up in St. Louis, Mo. before moving to Yorktown, NY, where my family lives now. I am no stranger to moving, but getting the chance to live in the city on my own has already been incredible.

In My Free Time

At Marist, I am the Director of Chapter Programming for the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). Additionally, I am a member of the Dance Ensemble, the Student Government Association, and The Circle, Marist’s primary newspaper.

This semester, however, I am excited to go to Broadway shows and concerts. I consider discount ticket shopping to be one of my most valuable skills. As a result of this, my friends and I deemed 2019 the “Year of Concerts” and we hope to see even more shows in 2020, while somehow spending less than we did in 2019 (wish us luck).

To date, I’ve been to more than 20 Broadway shows and this semester Hadestown and West Side Story are topping my dream to-do list. Besides that, I am eager to explore new areas of the city and hopefully eat some great food.

That’s All for Now

I’m thrilled to be the first intern with Ketner Group in NYC. I know I will take away invaluable professional and personal lessons from this great opportunity.

Advertising Week New York

Advertising Week New York: A Ketner Group Preview

With clients like Adlucent and PMG on our roster, Ketner Group understands advertising’s role in today’s retail market. For that reason, I was excited to see the retail-heavy agenda unfold for Advertising Week New York. As an added bonus, Advertising Week is located just steps away from the Ketner Group NYC headquarters in Lincoln Square.

On Monday, Sept. 23, there will be eight retail-focused sessions with smattering of related content throughout the four-day event. Curious what’s on my agenda for the week? If so, here’s a preview for you!

Retail at Advertising Week

Monday’s retail lineup will be held on the Culture Builders Stage.

A.M. Lineup

“Passion & Performance Marketing: Driving Growth & Demand While Honoring The Spirit Of Your Brand” kicks off the retail sessions at 9:45 a.m. Google, Cardlytics and Tinulti will discuss marrying passion and performance in online and local to generate happy customers.

Next, the focus shifts to data. Experian, PlaceIQ, IRI Worldwide and TrueData explore how brands can extract more from their data. Check out “So Much Data…So Little Time” at 10:45 a.m. to learn how to manage mass amounts of data and make smarter advertising decisions.

If retail is the topic of conversation, Amazon is sure to come up. At 11:45 a.m. Catalyst, Xaxis, Georgia-Pacific and Pacvue look at how Amazon is reshaping shopper marketing. “Seismic Shifts: How Amazon is Reshaping Shopper Marketing” will help retailers and and brands better understand this changing dynamic.

P.M. Lineup

One of the hottest topics in retail is direct-to-consumer brands. During “Reinventing Retail – How to Think Like DTC Startups” at 12:45 p.m., Rhone, Koio, Bombas and Dagne Dover join Digiday‘s Shareen Pathak to explore how “DTC brands are reinventing the consumer journey, [and] experimenting with customer service and retail concepts.”

Afterward, stay in your seats for the 1:45 session, “Hello to Good-Buy: Marketing Approaches to Drive the Evolving Consumer Journey.” Valassis, GSK and Universal McCann chat reimagining marketing approaches to effectively engage evolving shopper preferences.

Then, for some holiday talk. At 2:45 p.m., Open X and Essence Global take the stage for “Reaching Holiday Shoppers in the Age of Digital.” Attendees will leave with a better understanding of today’s holiday shopper and an overview of 2019 holiday consumer spending habits.

At 3:45 p.m. Constellation Brands, AT&T and CAA discuss “Beyond Digital Retail: The Future of Retail, Moving Well Past Omnichannel.” Panelists will discuss the consumer demand for customization, on-demand services, and the impact of mobile and technology.

The retail track wraps at 4:45 p.m. with “Flipping the Script: The Rise of Shape-Shifting Experience Platforms.” VMLY&R and SHOWFIELDS, the new store concept from Shopify, explore today’s top marketing strategies.

Monday wraps with a networking happy hour. Stick around for cocktails and conversation with fellow attendees.

What to Check Out After Monday

While the official retail track takes place on Monday, there are plenty of related topics to check out throughout the four-day event. So, let’s see what other sessions are worth checking out.

Tuesday largely focuses on AdTech and brand innovation. Throughout the day, hear from Burger King, brands like The Knot, LG and OceanSpray, and Verizon and Anheuser Busch.

On Wednesday, DTC, retail and the customer experience continue to be key themes. Sessions include:

On Thursday, Advertising Week will focus on female leaders in advertising and marketing at retailers and brands in a series of “Future is Female” sessions.

Meet Ketner Group at Advertising Week

Attending Advertising Week? Want to chat about the state of advertising and retail? In that case, I’d love to connect and grab a cup of coffee during the events. Send me an email and we’ll find a time to meet up.