Member Spotlight


NAME: Caitlin New

CURRENT LIVELIHOOD: I'm serving as Director of Company Branding at Ketner Group PR + Marketing. Ketner Group is an Austin-based PR agency with deep roots in retail technology, and also focuses on general tech, hospitality technology, mobile, supply chain and payments. At Ketner Group, I'm responsible for leading all company branding and messaging initiatives. This includes managing our recent website overhaul, crafting new web copy, refreshing Ketner Group messaging, organizing branding activities, and managing Ketner Group's social media program (KbloG, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn).

In addition to this, I also maintain a Senior Account Manager role at Ketner Group, where I create and execute targeted public relations campaigns and marketing communications programs that can include email and direct marketing, relationship-based media and analyst outreach, company/product messaging and collateral, web copy, social media marketing and more.

CHILDHOOD AMBITION: I was going to be an Academy Award-winning actress, of course. I woke up from this dream when I did an entertainment industry report my senior year of high school and learned that the year I was to graduate college was projected to see the highest number of unemployed actors in history. That, and I learned that the average struggling actress earned less than $30K/year and lived in New York or Los Angeles. Done! 

DRAW TO THE COMMUNICATIONS FIELDBased on the reality check I received in my senior year of high school, I knew that I had to choose a more promising career path. My decision to enter the communications industry was as simple as this: I was reading a Texas Monthly issue about the University of Texas and read an excerpt from a young woman who was majoring in Corporate Communications. She looked cool. So I chose that degree path. Luckily for me, it was a fit!

ALMA MATER: I'm a proud University of Texas Longhorn alumnus! I was in the Longhorn Band—on the color guard—and was fortunate enough to march in George W. Bush's inaugural parade in 2006 and go to two Rose Bowls, and one was when we won the National Championship!

HOMETOWN: I'm from Dayton, Texas, a small town northeast of Houston, closer to the LA border. I've lived in Austin for 7 years, and even spent a little less than 2 years living in San Jose, CA until 2011.

MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE AS A COMMUNICATIONS PROFESSIONAL: There was a month about a year and half into my career when I wrote a very difficult, technical press release for a client… and he had NO changes! A week later, I landed a Wall Street Journal interview with another client. I rode on that high for weeks! It was the first time I had experienced such success at an every day thing, and it helped me feel like I could really do this job. This is what will always be memorable to me.

RECOMMENDED READS: The Art of Client Service by Robert Solomon is a book that every agency professional should read. This was given to me at the start of my career, and even though it was written by an advertising executive, Solomon's straightforward and insightful advice is something PR, communications and marketing professionals will find very useful in keeping clients (especially the difficult ones) happy. 

FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT AUSTIN AND FAVORITE AUSTIN RESTAURANTS: What don't I love about Austin? I ran—no, sprinted—back to Austin after living in California for a year and a half. I love going to Lake Travis in the summer and driving up and down HWY 360 in the winter when all of the fir trees along the road are decorated for Christmas. I love the Alamo Drafthouse… just about any one will do, but I like South Congress the best. I love hanging out at the Domain, where I lived for 2 years at its beginning—and have become very fond of the iPic Cinema there, which is like a fancier Alamo Drafthouse.

In terms of restaurants, here are my favorites:

  • Mexican: El Chile (Manor & IH35) for Tex Mex and La Condesa (2nd & Guadalupe) for interior Mexican
  • Italian: North (Domain: Mopac & Braker)
  • Steakhouse: Toss up between Jasper's (also Domain) and Perry's (7th & Colorado)
  • Burgers: P. Terry's (anywhere!)
  • Café: La Madeleine (183 & Great Hills Trail)