Old-School Values Provide Strong Foundation for Public Relations Firm
Written by Tiffany Killoren / Photo by Jami Marshall
Farm life can be tough. A crop’s schedule dictates pretty much everything. For Jenny Kincaid Julian, owner of Socialworx Public Relations, growing up in a farming family is the reason why she values hard work and the collapse-into-your-pillow exhaustion that comes from a day well-lived.
Raised on a farm near Weston, Kincaid is proud of the five generations in her family that contributed to what used to be one of the biggest tobacco markets west of the Mississippi. “We worked after school, on weekends, and through the summer. We also had part-time jobs if we weren’t playing sports,” she says. “I learned that you don’t get anywhere without putting effort into things and working hard. I’m grateful to my parents for instilling those traits at a young age.”
Both Kincaid’s work ethic and the value she places on building relationships have helped Socialworx expand since its 2010. Growing up, she didn’t dream about going into public relations. “I majored in agricultural business and marketing and sales because I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I understood the value of farmers and how their daily efforts keep people alive,” she says. “I also loved the idea of design, being creative, clothing, and fashion, and, most of all, being around a lot of people.”
Kincaid’s interests, combined with an outgoing personality and a little serendipity, led to a job at a small PR firm in Kansas City. “I gained a lot of experience there, met great people, and was involved in some big things happening in the city,” she says. “But after five years or so, I couldn’t go any further with that company.” After quitting, Kincaid started her own business. She waited tables to make ends meet during the early days. Within a year, she had already built a strong client base.
Socialworx team, which Kincaid describes as “small, fierce, and creative,” delivers for clients in big ways. “We are comparable to larger agencies in skill set, idea and content generation, and results — but on a smaller level,” she explains. “Besides Kansas City, I have a team member in every time zone so we can give the best results for our clients.”
With clients ranging from small, local businesses to multimillion-dollar companies, Kincaid notes that public relations is continuously evolving. “We no longer just write press releases,” she says. “We create content and partnerships, manage social media, execute communications plans, plan events, work with the media, and become strategic partners who brainstorm and play an active role in overall brand awareness. Public relations has changed. You need to be able to write, speak, and create relationships — and be able to mold into whatever the new outlook is for communications.”
Kincaid sets aside time each week to continue her education by reading, watching videos, and tracking industry leaders. Such initiative has earned her invitations to write for leading public relations blogs and recognition as one of the top 10 PR professionals to follow in 2017 by Gini Dietrich, the writer of the No. 1 PR blog, “Spin Sucks.”
Despite her busy schedule, Kincaid still makes time to volunteer and serve on the boards of area nonprofits, including SAVE Inc., an organization that helps find housing for those suffering from mental illness, substance abuse, and HIV/AIDS. She also volunteers on the AIDS Service Foundation board and the VisitKC board.
As mom to 4-year-old Ellis and 1.5-year-old Gus, Kincaid acknowledges life can sometimes get a little crazy. She is thankful for her husband, Tim, and his help navigating unpredictable home and work schedules.
“It’s an exciting time to be a business owner — especially a female business owner,” she says. Kincaid looks forward to KC’s continued growth. “I have been able to work with some great people and, as the city flourishes, there’s just more to go around.”
And, as her children grow, Kincaid is sure to instill in them the life lessons she has learned along the way. Recalling a childhood filled with sports, farm chores, faith, and family, Kincaid sums up her outlook in just a few words: “Love the adventure of life.”
Socialworx Public Relations (socialworxpr.com) is located at 111 W. 10th St. in Kansas City, Missouri. Get in touch at 816.550.4382.