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“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.

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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.

Listen to the podcast on OnBrand.