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Idea Grove Elevates Katie Long To President, Promotes Liz Cies, Cecil Cross, And Jarrett Rush To Senior Leadership Roles

by | Feb 23, 2023

Idea Grove announced it has promoted Katie Long to the role of president and Liz Cies to executive vice president. The agency also elevated Cecil Cross, vice president of creative and digital, and Jarrett Rush, vice president of strategy and content, to its senior leadership team.

John Lacy, who has served as president and COO of Idea Grove since October 2019, will remain with the agency in a senior advisory role. Long will report to Idea Grove CEO Scott Baradell.

“Katie brings 20 years of PR experience, the last eight with Idea Grove, to her new role leading the agency’s day-to-day operations,” Baradell said. “As our agency looks to a future of long-term sustainable growth, Katie brings the perfect combination of professionalism, composure, and compassion to the job of running a fast-paced PR agency.”

“Scott has laid out a vision that I believe in: that our job as an agency is to help our clients secure trust at scale,” Long said. “We leverage our four core competencies—PR, branding, content, and design—to achieve this goal. In doing so, we advance our larger purpose as an agency: to create a more trusting and trustworthy world, one conversation at a time.”

Long will guide the agency’s senior leadership team, which includes Baradell, Cies, and new members Cross and Rush. Cies is a 10-year Idea Grove veteran with 16 years of PR experience. Cross, with more than 20 years of design experience, has served as Idea Grove’s creative director for the past three years. Rush has served nine years as a writer and content leader for Idea Grove after 13 years at The Dallas Morning News and D Magazine.

In addition to the promotions, Idea Grove announced the introduction of a new service offering: structured programs geared to the needs of midsize B2B tech companies with smaller budgets.

Said Long: “Most PR firms offer unstructured programs based on billable hours. Theoretically, this gives the client maximum flexibility in directing the agency. But the reality is, unstructured relationships typically turn the agency into a time-and-materials shop driven by one-off requests, rather than pursuing a disciplined program geared to achieve specific results. Structured programs are a better value, deliver better results, and lead to longer-term agency-client relationships.”

Baradell added, “Whereas many PR boutiques and full-service agencies have minimum engagements of $15,000 or $20,000 per month, structured programs enable Idea Grove to serve midsize B2B tech companies with well-rounded PR and content programs that deliver predictable results at a more affordable cost. This is a compelling option in an uncertain economy where smart marketers, particularly in the tech sector, are especially mindful of their budgets.”

Idea Grove achieved $3.9 million in revenues in 2022, an all-time high for the agency, representing 22% growth over the past two years. Idea Grove has been ranked an Inc. 5000 company three times and was named an Inc. Best Workplace in 2021 and 2022.

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