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From Entrepreneur to Agency

I was an entrepreneur for five years, successfully building up a business I thought was going to be the career I held for the rest of my life. Now, I happily work in an agency — but why? Entrepreneurship was my first real job and I never really worked in “Corporate America” before starting my own business, but my fellow entrepreneurs assured me I was not missing out on much. From the sound of it, working for someone else...

Let’s Talk About Sex

Now that I got your attention, it’s time to turn to a very serious subject. Sex trafficking. As I blog about this important and timely topic, I do think it makes for a very interesting case study on the how one organization, whom you may not assume, leveraged the power of PR and social impact at the national level. Let’s talk about the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ). On the outside, it’s the oldest and...

Ingredients for Success

A publicist’s guide to rep’ing a chef. Ever since the rise of the celebrity chef, there has been an essential need for a public relations professional to manage the press, keep expectations at bay and in general, develop and maintain an image. It seems like there has been an increased appetite (pun intended) for chefs-as-personalities, whether it be in a restaurant, on a star-studded food show or published in a book or magazine. A good publicist has become as...

Brands are more than the sum of their parts. So why not build them that way?

Creating a brand from the ground up is a daunting task, so people often want to break it up into smaller design tasks; logo creation, color selection, voice and tone, and brand design “look and feel.” But breaking down a new brand that way can be short-sighted. When you craft a brand with individual bits you are making a scary assumption that they will all fit together nicely in the end. This denies clients – and the entire agency team...

Brand and Marketing Research: Getting Started

I am a firm believer in research first for almost everything in life — from planning a trip to starting a home project. Of course, nowhere is this more true than in my professional life. At KPS3 we start every project with some type of research. Research is especially important before undertaking a large marketing project, such as a rebrand, advertising campaign, or a new website. Clients often come to us knowing they should do some research but are...

Brand and Marketing Research: Choosing the Right Research Methods

One of the biggest parts of planning a research project is deciding what type of research to conduct given your goals and available resources (time, human, and financial). To help those of you gearing up for your own research, I’ve written up some short pros and cons lists for some of the most common brand and market research methods. These lists are by no means exhaustive but should give you an idea of which methods to explore for your project....

Lessons in Design: Font Pairing

I wish I could say there’s an exact science on how to pair fonts well in design – there isn’t. But I’ll break down my method and practices I use everyday. Font choosing can be tricky: use too few and the design can fall flat, use too many and you’ve overwhelmed your reader. It’s about finding the right balance for the piece you’re working on. This isn’t one of those posts where I give you endless examples of which...

8 Tips for Conducting Focus Groups with Patients

For healthcare organizations, there are many reasons to use patient focus groups as a market research tool. Focus groups are a very suitable means of gaining in-depth information about your patients’ experiences and feelings, and they also provide the moderator (and client) an opportunity to observe facial expressions and body language. As with any research tool, there are also downsides to any focus group: they don’t provide quantitative data (which is important for organizations to be aware of in using the results for...

Higher Education and Distinctive Branding: To the Victors Go the Spoils

Higher education branding has never been more important, as demographic shifts, economic and competitive pressures, and public/ private investment and philanthropy decisions bear down on the success or even viability of America’s colleges and universities – institutions that remain the envy of the world despite their challenges. Yet branding is rarely the strong suit of college or university presidents. Lucky are the presidents whose chief public relations or marketing officers “get it,” and even luckier for the institutions if...

Let’s Get Personal (Through Empathetic Marketing)

When I first started my marketing career in the early ‘90s, account planning by and large consisted of studying primary and secondary research in order to arrive at a solid strategy. Fast forward to today. In working with so many different, sophisticated clients and having been through the sea change of tech, the “discovery” phase is now comprised of so much more than studying traditional market research. It seems that my empathetic nature has helped immensely in developing solid...