PR Mavens We Love: Taylor Toledo, Kerrie Kelly Companies

Taylor Toledo began working with interior design house Kerrie Kelly Design Lab, now Kerrie Kelly Companies, in 2015. In her position as Director of Marketing, Kelly puts her dual undergraduate degrees in Marketing and Business Management to use daily, viewing the design world through a business-driven lens. With three in-house brands to manage, including an in-house marketing firm, Taylor executes editorial projects with local and national publications and social media campaigns with industry partners. She also oversees the public relations, handling strategy development, multimedia projects, and brand partnerships.

Taylor’s knowledge of media and marketing in the modern business climate has contributed to the success of Kerrie Kelly Companies as a national authority in interior design and related industries.

NAME: Taylor Toledo

TITLE: Director of Marketing

LOCATION: Sacramento, CA

EDUCATION: B.S. in Business Management, A.A. Marketing, Fashion Institute of Design + Merchandising

COMPANY: Kerrie Kelly Design Lab

INSTAGRAM: @tayloretoledo, @loftmediagrp, @kerrielkelly, @42ndstreetdesign

TWITTER: @tayloretoledo, @kerriekelly, @42streetdesign, @loftmedaigrp

How did you get the job you have now?

Immediately after college I moved to Sacramento. I looked up who the best creative minds were in the region and emailed them all directly. As soon as I met with Kerrie Kelly, I knew that this is where I was supposed to be. Two years later I've helped build three brands within the company, working on PR, marketing, social media, and content generation to help propel them to success.

What are your primary responsibilities?

PR, media, marketing, social media, ghost writing, content creation/strategy, website development.

How is your department structured?

My department has grown ten fold in the last two years. I started as the sole marketing role in the office. Currently I hold the Director position where I work closely with our Marketing Coordinator. We are hoping to bring another associate to our team in the summer. We always have 2-3 interns at a time assisting in content creation and social media strategy.

What is the mood like in the office? What are you working on right now?

The mood in the office is always, "What's next?" Everyone at the Kerrie Kelly Companies knows that if you aren't moving forward, you're moving backward. Currently, our marketing team is working on planning three events for a trade show in April as well as managing clients within our in-house consulting firm and continuing to manage social media and editorial opportunities as they roll-in. Our CEO sits on advisory boards for prominent publications within the interior design industry and so we are always looking for opportunities to use those positions to further our message.

Sacramento Interior Design Firm

What is a recent job success story that makes you especially proud?

Last year our team launched a furniture brand called 42nd Street. This year we launched an in-house marketing firm called Loft Media Group. We were feeling a little spread out so we put our branding brains together and came up with our umbrella company, The Kerrie Kelly Companies. The cohesiveness we created helps tell our story in a creative yet understandable way. I always love being able to throw structure around something and wrangle in messaging and storytelling.

Most memorable/meaningful moment in your career thus far?

When I landed our first client for Loft Media Group. I got an email one Saturday morning that said, "I'm happy to say that we're partners." After I stopped jumping up and down, I immediately hopped on a plane for a 24-hour trip to New York to meet our client.

The mood in the office is always, "What's next?"

Most glamorous moment in your career thus far?

Shopping for my first 'let's blow their mind' pitch outfit. A crisp Calvin Klein jacket is the cherry on top of a perfected marketing pitch!

Least glamorous moment in your career thus far?

Staying up until 4 a.m. working on coding a website that just wouldn't cooperate. A not-so-cute hair day ensued.

PR can be stressful and full of rejection - how do you deal?

I allow myself one 'pity' day every once in awhile. Sometimes you have to let yourself feel your emotions to move past them, and stuffing your frustration in a box doesn't help.

What are three current favorite tools, apps, or products that you love and why?

Coschedule is my favorite software for keeping all marketing in one place-- social media, campaigns, editorial content. I also love my iPad for reading up on the latest happenings in the industry. Additionally, Feedly has become my new best friend. I can keep track of all of my clients and their media exposure in one streamlined feed. 

I allow myself one 'pity' day every once in awhile. Sometimes you have to let yourself feel your emotions to move past them, and stuffing your frustration in a box doesn't help.

What are you excited about right now in terms of industry trends?

I'm excited that boutique firms are getting a slice of the pie. A lot of the time clients look at big names and huge brands, and I'm seeing a lot of trust put into smaller agencies that are willing to put in the time and work to make a few choice clients really shine.

What's the biggest challenge facing communicators right now?

The authenticity factor and noise. With the continuing rise of social media, the playing field isn't just leveled-- it's crowded. With so many social channels and updates being made daily, it can be a whirlwind keeping up and adding points of differentiation to you or your client's social profiles to stand out.

What do you wish more people understood about your job (or PR/Marketing in general?)

That it isn't all about socializing and tweeting and liking Instagram posts. It's 75% behind the scenes with tight turnaround times and little to no details given. A lot of what I do is on-the-fly and leaves very little room for error-- talk about stress!

What advice do you have for your younger self?

Don't second guess yourself. Being on the young-side now, I know that I'm often 'sized up' by potential clients, colleagues, or industry people. But confidence is key, even if you're faking it.

Anything else we should know?

In addition to work, I'm on the board for a young professionals group in Sacramento called Metro EDGE where I serve as the Co-Chair of Communications, spreading the word of young professional success in Northern California.

Thanks Taylor!

About This Author

Riley Joachims is a spunky and creative communication specialist. Whether it is putting together a strong social media campaign, securing press for your next event, or marketing your company to your intended audience, she's got you covered! She is currently living in sunny San Diego and just graduated from San Diego State University with a major in journalism with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in marketing. Riley is a fitness fanatic who enjoys dancing, cooking her favorite Trader Joes items, trying out new coffee shops and traveling and photographing new places. She is always looking for her next big adventure and has just started her career in fashion & lifestyle PR!