Why The Key?

Oct 23, 2017

First, I’ll put out that having written hundreds of thousands of words (maybe millions) for others -- ranging from Jeff Zucker’s upfront speeches in the Queer Eye For the Straight Guy days to technical whitepapers to Mayors’ talking points and try-too-hard tweets -- this may be the hardest thing to articulate: how we became The Key. So consider this the first chapter of a long and winding tale.

Today marks the birth of The Key, a new communications agency rethinking how we work --  as teammates, with media and with clients. We serve as an extension of our clients, examine the vestigial parts of agency life, remove whatever we can, and only engage when we have a real seat at the table and a firm belief we’re the right partner for the job.

We like to be in the room where it happens (and make the dorky Hamilton jokes while we're there). We're working to create the kind of agency that'll attract and retain the best hearts and minds -- to our team and as clients -- because if we're going to spend our days together, we need to love the company we keep.

Those values inform the name.

For us, The Key is:

  • Access - This means helping clients get in front of important audiences via the media and other channels. It means working with founders and companies otherwise left out of the narrative, or priced out of services from the kinds of firms we left (i.e. women, POC, social impact businesses, early stage, special projects, etc.). It also means access to work and events beyond what folks normally get from bigger agencies. Everyone at The Key has a voice and an essential role.
  • Essential - Many companies have experienced the bloat of agencies -- with billing for unnecessary work, padded invoices, busybody assignments to burn the clock. It's terrible for the client and the practitioner (or at least the kind we want to be), so we boil things down to the essence. Second, a strong communications program is essential, in my opinion, even if it's sometimes counsel to stay quiet or to wait.  
  • This one is REAL dorky, you’ve been forewarned. Read phonetically, the URL, is pronounced The Keeper.  Both to signify hope for lasting partnerships with clients and teammates, and also because I was a soccer goalkeeper for most of my life, and think there are a ton of parallels to PR, but that’s another post. ;)  

In short, after a year in what ended up being a longer-than-anticipated friends and family beta, we launch The Key as a communications agency designed from the ground up to work with the media as they exist today and evolve for the future.

The goal is to make a sustainable place for anyone on this team to fulfill professional goals while living rich lives, and to exceed client expectations without sacrificing values (of family time, or business ethics, etc.).  

We recognize the always-on nature of the world, but refuse to be all-consumed by it. We each love PR when it’s good: helping craft a story, build a brand, reach people who need a product or service. More importantly, we love doing this together as students of the media and of business, and of human and team dynamics.

We are building a place for intelligent, valuable counsel, with a group of respectful and respected colleagues and clients. Intrigued?

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A lot of complexity comes from an unwillingness to commit to the things that insight and understanding surface.