PR Newser Party Crash: Kelton Research

November 1, 2007

Ok, so we didn’t crash the party, we were invited.  Kelton Research threw a party Tuesday night to celebrate being named the nation’s “fastest growing market research consultancy,” as a result of their No. 861 placement on the influential Inc. 5000 list.

The company provides research and a lot more for PR agencies and clients including Whole Foods, IBM and Ticketmaster.  We caught up with founder Gareth Schweitzer and NY office principal Nathan Richter (who is also a mediabistro instructor). Pics and more after the jump.

 The Crowd

 partygoers-minglingweb.jpg

Linda Lee of Cornerstone Promotion, David Struzzi or Kulesa PR and Jeff Boodie of O-The Oprah Magazine

linda-lee-of-cornerstone-promotion-david-struzzi-or-kulesa-pr-and-jeff-boodie-of-o-the-oprah-magazineweb.jpg

The Kelton Team (from l-r, Danielle, Gareth, Nathan and Paulina)

the-kelton-research-teamweb.jpg

Gareth answered a few of PRNewser’s questions:

PRNewser: What is the #1 thing clients have asked for in the last six months?

Gareth Schweitzer:There’s a growing awareness in the media of what’s credible, valid research and what isn’t.  It’s a political cycle, so there’s a lot of scrutiny – the AP even released bullet-pointed standards for what qualifies for surveys they’ll report on.  So credibility and validation is important now, and clients are coming to us for that.  I think the other thing is fresh ideas – media gets inundated with research, but most of it doesn’t tell a story that’s relevant to the average American’s life; less and less of that stuff is getting covered.  So we’ve got a lot of clients coming to us now because we do take that extra step of crafting the larger story for clients, which means media don’t feel like they have to shill for your client just to use your data.

PRNewser: Can you talk about the company’s recent growth?

Gareth Schweitzer: We’ve been really lucky to have met a number of folks who have been kind enough to spread the word about the work we do. And PR folks are by nature great networkers; they share ideas, successes, and luckily for us, good vendors. So that’s been a big part of it – we don’t market much; most of our growth has been through word-of-mouth referrals. But we’ve also got a very flexible team in place – one which is capable of working with video game clients one day, financial services firms the next, and non-profits the day after. So having bright, nimble staff means you rarely feel out of place, regardless of the client.

PRNewser:What is in store for the future?

Gareth Schweitzer: More parties like last night. Seriously. One of our goals for 2008 is to get more of our PR clients on board with doing strategic research, as well as tactical. A large part of our company’s work is helping firms like Nintendo, Panda Express, Charles Schwab, and Helio better understand their consumers, and the messages that compel them. That’s important knowledge for PR firms, where fundamentally understanding the audience is crucial in developing good message strategy. So we’re looking to grow, and to do more of that type of work down the road.

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