Name: Keara (Kiki) Brosnan
Title: Marketing Communications Coordinator
Years of Experience: 4
College Name & Degree: University of Denver, Strategic Communications: MFJS
Firm Name: Sensiba San Filippo LLP
Firm City & State: Pleasanton, CA
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Professional Memberships: AAM
Twitter Handle: @kikib_123
LinkedIn Profile: Keara Brosnan
What is your role in external communications?
I run SSF’s social media accounts, sharing content relevant to clients, employees and members of our community. Additionally, I post content to our blog aimed at adding value and providing education to our clients. I also compile and send out the bi-weekly newsletter for anyone who wants to stay updated on key accounting topics, webinar events, and podcast episodes. I also work with our PR firm to amplify SSF’s thought leadership and secure appearances in relevant industry publications.
What is your role in internal communications?
Internally, I update communications such as biographies for our partners and create internal case studies and occasional news briefs. I have also recently begun leading social media trainings for new hires. Additionally, I encourage colleagues to be active on social media and even assist in updating their LinkedIn profiles.
Do you have any tips for marketers on good communication?
It is so important to be truthful and authentic in communications. Honesty is the best way to establish trust and leadership with an audience.
What is the structure of your marketing department?
We have a small but mighty marketing team. Jennifer Cantero is our Director of Marketing with over 20 years of experience. We also have a role specific to our consulting side of business, and straddling both sides of our marketing team is a new role focused on lead generation. Our Marketing Specialist has incredible design abilities. And finally, I am our Marketing Communications Coordinator who tackles what I outlined above.
What have you learned the hard way?
I have definitely learned that specific accounting terms have very specific meanings and cannot be edited or changed, but it is still important to break these ideas down in a digestible way for non-accountants. Packing sentences and paragraphs with dense accounting (or legislation-related) terms can make certain content seem unapproachable, but there is always a way to easily break topics down further by contextualizing what this means for the target audience. Cutting the content down to the most important parts, confirming accuracy, and crafting into bullet points has been helpful. Usually our content does not need to be a formal essay to remain professional and understandable.
What is a “must know” for new accounting marketers?
A must know for new accounting marketers is to understand the flow of the accounting year and how to maintain a consistent marketing strategy. There will be seasons where certain tax (or audit) partners are slammed, but it is an opportunity for other accountants at the firm to participate in thought leadership or marketing opportunities. When creating a content calendar, preparing content in advance is a great way to provide clients with relevant information during specific seasons when they will need it. Furthermore, this helps solidify a consistent communication cadence and maintain engagement levels across channels throughout the year. The accounting calendar goes through ebbs and flows, but your communication calendar should remain as consistent as possible. Thankfully, Jennifer has made this super easy for me by having this very well built out long before I joined the team.
What is something people may not know about you?
I love trying new social media platforms when they come out. I have been on TikTok for an embarrassing amount of time, and it is always so cool to watch these platforms evolve. And it has helped me to quickly understand how a company can leverage the platform once it becomes popular enough.
What is the biggest benefit you receive from your AAM membership?
My AAM membership has been incredibly valuable to me as someone who is new in the accounting world, especially in this time of remote-only interactions. It has been a great way to professionally network and learn from other industry experts from the safety of home. I also find that content shared by AAM is always timely and relevant to what I am learning in my newer role. The AAM Conference helped me add value to my team, my company, and my career.
What do you feel is the biggest issue facing accounting marketers today?
In marketing, it is critical to continuously evolve and stay on top of trends. This can often directly conflict with the accounting industry, which is a much more consistent space and is slower to adopt change. This “issue” has existed since the beginning of accounting marketing, and I think it will continue to be something accounting marketers need to constantly balance as the digital marketing shift continues to accelerate.
What would you be doing if you had not become a marketer?
If I were not a marketer, I would likely be in public relations. I used to work for public relations firms and loved created strategic messaging campaigns. But I like having the control over those messaging campaigns that I have in a marketing role. I also like working for one company, and am so lucky to have found a firm like Sensiba San Filippo that has a family feel.
What is the biggest project you are working on right now?
The biggest project I am working on right now is drafting various social media campaigns supporting our B Corp values and for recruiting purposes. During this election year, our firm finds it important to educate our community on how to safely vote, especially since many will vote by mail for the first time. While this may not seem related to our job as accounting marketers, we want to support our community as much as possible and add value in all ways we can. Additionally, recruiting has changed to virtual-only events. It is important to showcase on social media that we are professionals, but not robots!
If you had an unlimited budget, what is one thing you would implement immediately?
If I had an unlimited budget, I would send all sorts of goodies to our employees and loop it into a social media campaign. For instance, we are updating our headshots, and I wrote up some tips on how colleagues can do so from home. But I would love to send an SSF backdrop. Then I would have colleagues create short videos for a social campaign that shares things we do at our firm that make us unique as well as educates clients on valuable accounting topics.
What books have you read recently that you feel would be beneficial to other AAM members?
I just ordered “The Ultimate Accountant’s Marketing Checklist: 2020-21 COVID Pandemic Edition” by Ross Fishman, edited by Jennifer Cantero. Obviously I was exposed to this because Jennifer is our Director of Marketing, but there are so many nuggets of wisdom for accounting marketing that all AAM professionals can learn from, especially as things have shifted during the pandemic. You can purchase a copy here.
Kiki Brosnan was interviewed by Emily Taibl.
About Emily Taibl
Emily manages Sweeney Conrad’s marketing department and is the lead on all brand strategy both internally and externally. She handles all marketing activities for the firm including planning, client outreach, content management, website, recruiting, and social media. Prior to Sweeney Conrad, Emily ran her own boutique PR/Marketing firm specializing in the restaurants and non-profits. She serves as the Chair of the Association of Accounting Marketing’s monthly newsletter, the AAM Minute, and is on the Marketing/Business Development Team for Allinial Global.