This blog post has been provided by our intern, Meghan Farrell.
Hey everyone! My name is Meghan Farrell, and I am a senior public relations major minoring in business at the University of Texas at Austin. I was born in Calgary, Alberta but moved to Houston, Texas about 14 years ago – what a change! I quickly grew to love the U.S., and appreciate that you can’t shovel humidity.
Moving to Austin for school has been an incredible journey, with the city feeling almost separate from the rest of the state. I have experienced so many new things, like kayaking below South Congress Bridge while the world’s largest urban bat colony flies above, and don’t even get me started on the food here – trust me, I won’t stop talking.
My love for public relations began my sophomore year of college when I realized it was all about stories. I love telling a good story to my friends, family, or whoever will lend their ear. It’s progressed to the point where friends will ask me to tell stories for them, even when I wasn’t there. Finding out there was a major where I could do what I already loved was the most relieving feeling, and once I began taking PR classes I felt at home.
Before beginning my internship at Ketner Group, I worked as a student assistant to the Public Affairs Director at UT’s Harry Ransom Center. Some of my daily tasks included drafting media advisories, creating media contact lists, and analyzing their social media statistics. I also learned a great deal about pitching to the media. I truly cherished my time spent there, and I encourage everyone to go check out their vast collections.
When I’m not writing papers, I like to spend my free time hanging by the water, watching Chopped, snuggling my cat Billy, or finding the next great restaurant in Austin. I also love returning to Houston to visit my family especially because of our newest addition to the Farrell clan, my 2-year-old niece Mila.
I am incredibly excited to be spending my summer with Ketner Group and look forward to the stories that lie ahead!
Exciting news… We’re hiring! For an experienced Account Executive to immediately join our team full-time! For nearly 25 years, we’ve specialized in B-to-B retail technology PR and marketing communications, and our PR team delivers diverse expertise in creating targeted public relations campaigns and marketing communications programs, media and analyst management, content marketing, company and product messaging and collateral, social media marketing and more. Are you up for the challenge?
At KG, we are a highly collaborative and energetic team, and we are looking for the next great addition to our work culture! For this position, we’re looking for a motivated and dynamic team member who is passionate about public relations, writing and media relations. This Account Executive role will be responsible for assisting Account Managers with staying on task and meeting deadlines for key accounts; helping to brainstorm fresh campaign ideas; creating and managing plans for media relations, including proactive pitching, press release distribution and pitching, editorial calendar research and management; and writing content pieces, including press releases, articles, case studies and e-books. Our diverse client base allows our team to work on a wide variety of projects and explore individual interests within a client’s overall public relations goals, so this candidate will likely be working on projects that speak to varied and dynamic themes.
Strong writing and verbal communication skills
Confidence in handling media relations, including pitching trade and national media contacts
Effective communications skills, including the ability to clearly articulate PR program/campaign activity statuses to clients in person, over the phone or via email
Excellent research skills in finding appropriate media contacts, collecting supporting data/information for copywriting, identifying client award and event opportunities and conducting client competitor research
Ability to be self-accountable, self-motivated and proactive in staying on task with daily activities
Bachelor’s degree in communications, public relations, journalism or marketing
2-3 years of experience in an agency, brand or corporation
Highly developed content/writing skills (writing samples required)
Experience in executing social media strategies
Experience creating and distributing/pitching articles/press releases
B2B public relations experience required
Retail technology experience a plus, but not required
Experience with Vocus and Hootsuite a plus
A dynamic, innovative and collaborative working environment that will challenge your performance and encourage employee growth and expertise in the retail technology space
Fun, team-oriented colleagues that always have your back
Access to office community perks, including on-site food trucks, fitness center and hosted workouts
A Macbook Pro to use as a work-use only device
A company paid data plan
Flexibility to work from home on a limited basis after three full months of in-office work after onboarding
Fully-stocked snack cabinet and continuous coffee/tea production each day
At Ketner Group, we take food and drink seriously. The ideal candidate must love food, free billing day lunches, free Starbucks when the occasion calls for it, and of course – Taco Tuesday.
Are you our next team member? We’d love to meet you! Please send a resume, three writing samples, salary requirements and interview availability to [email protected].
Spring is here in Austin, Texas, which means it’s that special time of year where we can all expect the lovely Texas sunshine to accompany us while we traipse around the Austin Convention Center during the annual South by Southwest Interactive Festival. Well, the sunshine hasn’t been quite as present as we would have liked, but even some rainy weather can’t put a damper (see what I did there?) on KG’s time at SXSW!
For the last six years, Ketner Group has had a presence at one of the top technology and innovation conferences in the world that takes place right in our own backyard. We saw it begin as a little seedling of an event, and then grow into the geek-meetup monster that it is today. Before I dive into the hottest topics covered at SXSW Interactive this year, check out these cool stats on the festival:
SXSW began as a music-only conference in 1987, but added in a vertical for techies in 1994, marking the beginning of the festival’s 20-year history in tech, innovation and communications as a vital role to the conference.
Past keynote speakers include Blake Mycoskie of TOMS Shoes, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Elon Musk of SpaceX, and Mark Cuban, tech investor and current owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA team. This year adds “Cosmos” host Neil deGrasse Tyson and Chelsea Clinton, daughter of President Bill Clinton and Senator Hilary Clinton.
Along with the growing attendance of SXSW, new and exciting brands, startups, and entrepreneurs are venturing to Austin to showcase the latest and greatest ideas in the tech community worldwide. And speaking of worldwide, several nations have brought their top techies to the festival, with companies representing Germany, Ireland, Chile, Argentina, and the UK (to name just a few) hosting trade show booths and after-hour events, as well as sessions on innovation in their respective countries. Fun fact: Ireland was named the best startup ecosystem in Europe by Forbes magazine. So who knows, the next new neighbor in your office complex may have an endearing accent with a strange affinity for Guinness…
But I digress, let’s talk about the top three trends at SXSW this year:
Wearable Tech: Where is it Now, and Where is it Going?
Whether you’ve noticed it or not, wearable technology is beginning to grow more and more popular among the innovators and first adopters among us. It’s a term we’ve been reading about a lot lately it seems, but what actually constitutes a technology as “wearable”? A list of the most recognizable wearable tech accessories include smart watches, fitness tracking devices for the wrist or ankle, and of course the always controversial Google Glass. But many products that haven’t yet become mainstream, such as wearable tech accessories that range from audio sensors that connect everyday objects to Bluetooth enabled rings that act like wands at the end of our arms – yes, really! We’ll be digging in a little deeper on a follow up blog post, so don’t miss out on what’s coming in wearable tech!
Personalization: What’s Appreciated vs. What’s Creepy
Brands are arriving at a crossroad between giving the customer the ultimate, personalized experience and being just plain creepy. There’s a wealth of data out there, and businesses are beginning to utilize it to learn more about their individual customers in order to bring them exactly what they need and where there need at the right time. So how can brands approach personalization without going too far? One tip: Don’t be overt about why you’re offering the discount you are (“You normally eat lunch at noon, but we noticed you haven’t gone to your favorite sandwich shop yet – here’s a coupon for a $1 off if you stop by at 2 p.m.!”). Check out KG’s PB&J blog in a couple weeks for a more in depth look at how to keep the “creepy” out of personalization.
Bitcoin: Why it’s the Next Mainstream Currency
Bitcoin is becoming more and more popular, but it’s still not very widely used and is commonly misunderstood. I’m one of the curious-but-cautious types regarding a virtual currency, as it’s a concept that seems too abstract to hold real value. But that’s just it – what does give any of our familiar currencies, paper, coin or virtual, any value in the economy? Value is all perceived and relevant in the marketplace that fluctuates from nation to nation – and a virtual currency works in the same way. Some say that because it’s more secure than credit cards, (again, yes, really) Bitcoin is worth a second look from the non-believers. We’re posting a comprehensive look at Bitcoin on the blog in the next few weeks, so stick around because Bitcoin seems to be doing just that!
Stay tuned for follow up blogs on these three topics, as each deserves their own dedicated, in-depth look so we’re all as well versed as our SXSW Interactive session leaders.
What other trends have you noticed at SXSW this year? Comment below – we’d love to hear from you!