Nick Westergaard

By Nick Westergaard on May 21, 2018

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Why Brands Have to Take a Stand to Stand Out Today with Katie Kern

katie kern

“Why is our industry slow to adapt? Because the way we’ve done things had always worked …” Until it didn’t. While technology has changed the marketing and PR industry significantly, we’re also at a cultural inflection point. People are demanding that the brands that they support take stands on social issues. Katie Kern of Media Frenzy Global discussed all of this and more on this week’s episode of the On Brand podcast.

Enjoy This Episode Now

About Katie Kern

Katie Kern, partner and COO of Media Frenzy Global, is a passionate, award-winning marketing and communications professional who has led creative innovation and strategy for a variety of global brands and agencies for more than 15 years.

Named a finalist for the Technology Association of Georgia’s Digital Marketer of the Year and awarded the City of Atlanta Phoenix Award, Katie seeks to reimagine the agency model that cultivates innovation and new ideas, in an industry that is slow to transform. At Media Frenzy Global, Katie focuses on branding, communications and marketing strategies that shape the agency’s services.

In addition to actively shifting the perception of the PR and marketing profession, Katie seeks to change diversity and inclusion, constantly advocating for equal opportunities in the workplace. A respected and coveted communicator, Katie is widely mentioned in publications from CIO, PR News and MarTechExec to Spin Sucks and CEO Blog Nation. Katie’s thought-provoking insights most recently landed her a speaking role internationally at InfoPresse in Canada. She was also selected as an industry speaker at the Revolve Conference in Charleston, South Carolina.

Katie studied PR and Media Studies at Augusta University and graduated with a Bachelors of Arts.

Episode Highlights

Do brands have a choice? Do they have to take a stand on social issues? “Audiences demand it! Millennials are dictating this,” said Katie.

How can brands authentically take a stand? You have to understand your people. “You have to think beyond the focus group. We spend a lot more time meeting people where they are.”

What are the big challenges that brands face going global? “Global reach,” offers Kern. “Brand struggle to get into other countries.” What should organizations consider? Little things like payments. “A lot of companies forget that many countries aren’t relying on Visa payments. Currency issues are huge.”

What brand has made Katie smile recently? Katie recounted Starbucks’ recent handling of the incident where an employee arrested two black men. It’s easy to forget that their bold response bucked many best practices in crisis communications. Instead of going quiet, they engaged. Instead of shirking responsibility, they stepped up.

Definitely a great smile — especially since we don’t have to boycott Starbucks in protest! A relief to caffeinated marketers everywhere!

To learn more, follow Katie and Media Frenzy Global on Twitter.

As We Wrap …

Before we go, I want to flip the microphone around to our community …
Recently I joined past On Brand guest Drew McLellan on his podcast Build a Better Agency. Thanks Drew!

Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.

On Brand is sponsored by my new book Brand NowDiscover the seven dynamics to help your brand stand out in our crowded, distracted world. Order now and get special digital extras. Learn more.

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!



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Nick Westergaard
Email Brand Driven Digital

is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World and Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, an educator at the University of Iowa, and host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.


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