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Kimberly has nearly 15 years of public relations experience in technology, parenting & family brands, business-to-business, consumer services, consumer packaged goods, food & beverage, health & fitness, travel and sports industries. She got her start in Chicago, IL working in-house at both companies like East Bank Club and cars.com and agencies Weber Shandwick and Ogilvy PR. She ventured on her own in 2006 and has since grown her company, Motion PR, to be one of the leading boutique firms in the city of Chicago.
Through the years, Kimberly has taken calculated risks to carefully grow her company in a downward economy. From slowly adding employees and carefully expanding office spaces, to carefully aligning with marketing partners and vendors, she’s learned a lot through the years of breaking through in the cut-throat PR world. In recent years, her agency has gone toe-to-toe with much bigger agencies and won new business, all the while adapting to the new forms of communication in social media, blogs, etc.
MO: Where did you find the confidence to start your own agency after being fired?
Kimberly: I actually got fired! I never had dreams of being my own boss, simply to stay in the PR field. I never dreamed I’d still be independent six years later. I am a self-proclaimed work-a-holic, though, and constantly think about bettering my agency and myself. I think my inner confidence comes from being very competitive with myself in business. I simply cannot fail at my career.
MO: What kinds of strategies do you use to keep a brands momentum going?
Kimberly: Strategies constantly differ depending on the clients’ goals. I tend to develop strategies that ultimately matter to their bottom line, and it’s not always the obvious, traditional PR methods but things that take creative thinking. I also think of what worked for them and hasn’t worked in the past to help guide overall thinking.
MO: What are some tips on developing a great rapport and chemistry with clients?
Kimberly: I always try to put myself in my clients’ shoes and think about what is important to them. Similarly, I try to think about how my job and services matter to them and think of other ways to be a resourceful business colleague. I also try to develop a friendship and connection with them – it makes the job of both the PR person and the client more enjoyable and meaningful.
MO: What was the biggest lesson you learned while interning at Harley Davidson?
Kimberly: I was at Harley-Davidson when I was a Senior at Marquette University and I remember being upset about something at work. My supervisor gave me great advice, “Remove emotion and add logic.” I still think about that advice when I get charged about a client or a workplace issue; to take a step back and think of the logical, not emotional solution. Harley-Davidson is an absolutely wonderful company though and I always have admired how they stay relevant and fresh after 100+ years.
MO: What’s the most innovative campaign you’ve worked on this year?
Kimberly: This year I’ve worked on a lot of great campaigns this year and they are all my favorite. iGive.com always has unique concepts, ideas and promotions that keeps people interested. They’re also great at social media, especially Facebook and Pinterest. iGive.com has also been around since 1997 which I can certainly admire in the age of internet booms and busts.
MO: Have you had any mentors during the course of your career?
Kimberly : Absolutely, I look up to my Uncle Tony Gertz who has upheld a successful independent law practices for decades and still maintains an excellent reputation. He actually gave me my first job when I was a Freshman in college. I have many PR mentors, though, especially Dan Pooley who offers advice and has been kind to me through the years. On a similar vein, he gave me my first freelance gig, which I am forever grateful for.