Kyte enlists Horn for PR, digital comms

NEW YORK: Kyte, an online and mobile video platform, has selected the Horn Group as its AOR for integrated and digital communications, following a competitive bid.

NEW YORK: Kyte, an online and mobile video platform, has selected the Horn Group as its AOR for integrated and digital communications, following a competitive bid.

The startup selected Horn because of its size and digital capabilities, said Gannon Hall, Kyte's chief operating officer. Additionally, he said, Horn's video and online advertising experience are important to Kyte's marketing and business strategy.

Hall was a principal at Horn before joining Kyte in 2007. When asked if his prior relationship contributed to the decision, Hall said, “We went out of our way to make sure that all of the agencies in the selection process were given an equal and fair review.”

He added, “Choosing Horn for me did mitigate risk, in that I knew firsthand the quality of the team I was hiring."

The win signals a shift from Kyte's “quiet mode” marketing to a more aggressive media relations, digital, and branding approach. The team will also focus on gaining brand awareness within the analyst community.

“We needed help in effectively positioning ourselves within the online video space and doing it in a way that is strategic and can help us drive sales,” Hall said. “Our goal is to come out swinging with a big hurrah message with lot of customer validation.”

He noted that Kyte's primary challenge is gaining recognition for its innovation. But he wants the startup to gain this awareness across a variety of media, including digital, traditional PR, and advertising.

Hall said Kyte previously worked with a two-person agency until late 2007, but he declined to name the shop.

Ben Billingsley, Horn MD, said Kyte will be the agency's "anchor client to our video practice" in New York.

"We're really trying to build our practice and leverage Kyte as a case study for what we can do," Billingsley said.

The account will be based in Horn's New York office, but will work with its San Francisco team. Hall did not provide the budget for the account.

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