Ice Cream’s Biggest Fan (and our new Intern): Meet Cambria!

Hello! My name is Cambria Sawyer, and I am thrilled to be joining the Ketner team as their newest intern! And yes, Cambria as in the font, wine, California town, and the heavy-progressive rock band Coheed and Cambria- but I am actually named after an old sailing ship in Rhode Island. My middle name is one of the most commonly chosen for children in China, but I’ll let you guess about that one!

CambriaWords are some of my favorite things on this earth. You can use them for good or evil, express your deepest thoughts and feelings, ask for ice cream (very important use of words), harness them to become closer to someone or push them farther away, motivate people toward life-changing action and a million other things. Words are powerful but also mischievous- it is not always known what effect they will have, and I think that is so dang cool. It’s truly a science to figure out how to best approach communication, and I think that is why I am so drawn to the fields of PR and marketing- they are mysterious and very, very fun.

My first major try at figuring out words came last year when I ran the promotion, marketing and creative aspects of a local non-profit’s 5K. We decided to call it the Record Run (themed around breaking a new world record every year), and broke the world record for the number of pennies collected for charity with over 500,000 pennies. Although it was my greatest challenge yet, I had an absolute blast branding the race, contacting media and strategizing for how to get more runners at the starting line. If you’ve ever wondered what half a million pennies look like, you can check it out here.

During my internship freshman year at the Frank Erwin Events Center, I had the Cambriaopportunity to approach marketing from an entirely different angle. Between holding interviews, analyzing social media response, and blog-writing, the learning curve was steep and also totally awesome. Plus, getting to high-five practically every professional fighter in the UFC was an added bonus.

Of course, there are a few completely non PR-related things that play a considerably large role in my personality, so here you have it:

  • I am six feet tall, but I am an absolute sucker for a pair of high heels.
  • My younger brother has a severe form of Tourette Syndrome. He and I have become ambassadors for the Tourette Association of America to help raise awareness and funding for the disorder. I am also currently writing a book about my family’s journey with Tourette’s (there are just way too many good stories for them to go untold).
  • If you give me ice cream, we are friends.
  • I absolutely love to travel and try new things. If you want to go on an adventure, the answer is almost always yes.
  • I am a drummer- I spent seven years in percussion, and four years playing tenors (55 lbs) on drumline. My next step is to learn steel drums!

Going into my sophomore year at The University of Texas at Austin as a PR major, I could not be more excited about the adventures that await me both on and off-campus. I am so thrilled to have been welcomed here at Ketner Group, and am excited to see what I can learn from such a talented team!

Viral Videos, Marathoning & Some Small Biz Love for Austin

Wherein I ramble about current events, keeping Austin weird, the latest memes and TV marathons

Sometimes news is absolutely shocking—like the time the president of the United States admitted to the public that he kept his Multiple Sclerosis a secret for seven years. Whoops—that’s all the West Wing I’ve been watching.* Um, for a real example… I nominate the news that broke on Valentine’s Day that a beloved South African Paralympic champion allegedly murdered his model girlfriend. The New York Times headline announced “a nation reels…,” and I don’t doubt it.

Photo courtesy of Outhouse Designs

But sometimes news is anything but shocking—say, last week when The Business Journals named Austin the best city in the U.S. for small business growth.

It’s hardly surprising that a city with such an obviously entrepreneurial spirit, evident down every street lined with local and independent restaurants and boutiques, should earn such an accolade. I maintain that you never have to eat somewhere twice in Austin, nor step foot in a chain, unless you want to. Austin has more pro-local loyalty cards than you can shake a stick at (Go Local, GoodyBag, LOCALoyalty and Belly, to name a few), and its thriving local business community is represented by the well-respected Austin Independence Business Alliance, who’s been Keeping Austin Weird for years. The confirmation that Austin’s independent spirit is alive and well even post-recession is just one more reason to love and be proud of our great city of Austin. Ketner Group is a small business itself, and we could not be happier to be part of the flourishing small business community in Austin, Texas.

But KG and the Business Journals are not the only ones loving on Austin lately. BuzzFeed’s “50 Sure Signs that Texas is Actually Utopia” list went viral last week (at least among Texans), and more than a few folks thought BuzzFeed missed the mark just a little, rewriting the list on behalf of Austin specifically (I side with the proponents of Austin).

Lastly, and just because KG is über cool and to prove my point that Austin really is the most awesome city for small businesses and humans alike, I present the latest viral video done right: the Harlem Shake on the Main Mall at the University of Texas at Austin.

BIGGEST Harlem Shake (University of Texas at Austin) Original

(Confession: I’m not so cool as to really “get” the whole Harlem Shake thing, I’m just cool enough to know it exists, and I’m ok with that.)

*The New York Times just wrote an interesting (and quick!) read on Americans’ new proclivity, thanks to the availability of DVD box sets and streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu, to watch entire seasons or series of TV shows in marathon bursts, and how this trend is changing the way TV shows are developed and distributed. I can’t believe I personally was not interviewed for that story. My “TV bingeing” resume includes Sopranos, Greek, The Wire, Big Love, The X Files and West Wing.