Hello! My name is Keturah Harris. I’m an Account Executive by day, amateur music critic by night. I am the second full-time Nashville employee, and I am more than thrilled!
Whether it is a binge-worthy Netflix series or
a decade-defining album (ex: Beyoncé’s self-titled album), I have always
enjoyed captivating writing and storytelling. This passion moved me to leave my
hometown of Memphis, Tennessee to complete a public relations degree at the
University of Tennessee at Knoxville (go Vols!).
Following graduation, I was given the
opportunity to strengthen my writing skills as a full-time intern at Jarrard
Phillips Cate & Hancock, a healthcare public relations firm in
Brentwood, Tennessee. There, I drafted press releases, managed editorial
calendars and pitched letters for large healthcare systems.
Most recently, I served as an Account Coordinator for DENOR Brands & Public Relations, a full-service communication agency that serves non-profit and public policy clients. This experience allowed me to wear a variety of hats, such as media relations, social media, project management and graphic design. I quickly realized that I was equipped for the #agencylife, and I am so excited to continue growing as a communications professional at Ketner!
When I’m not in the office, you can find me front row at a concert across the country, checking out the new hot chicken joint or trying out the latest makeup. I am a huge music nerd; please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any cool music facts that you would like to share!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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