Ten years ago, when Matt Kamer first joined local advertising agency Bandy Carroll Hellige, companies were just getting into the idea of using social media to further their efforts. Many thought the press release — and perhaps public relations as a whole — was on the decline, but Kamer and his co-workers knew that wasn’t the case.
What they did know was it was time to evolve their traditional PR approach and diversify their means of getting information out — whether it be in the form of social media, blogs, websites, events or community partnerships.
Today, BCH boasts more than 60 employees, offices in Louisville and Indianapolis, and a client base of over two dozen top businesses in Kentucky, including the Kentucky Lottery, Republic Bank and Four Roses Bourbon.
Kamer is now one of five partners at the agency, and he tells Insider the secret to his 10 successful years in the advertising business is team culture and environment.
“We can only be as good as the ideas we generate for our clients, and our best thinking comes through collaboration across our teams,” he says. “We work hard to create a culture that people enjoy what they do and who they do it with.”
(Insider documented the fun environment at BCH a few years back.)
Kamer is a Louisville native, but he spent his formative years in northern Kentucky. He returned to attend Bellarmine University and stayed put ever since. He says he enjoys the fast-paced environment his job provides him, and he likes helping a company create its message.
“I’ve always enjoyed helping to shape how the public comes to understand a piece of information, a product, a service,” he says. “Plus, no two days are the same in our industry. We are continually posed with new challenges to help solve for our clients. And for us, that means thinking about a range of industries — from bourbon to banks.”
We thought we’d pose a new challenge for Kamer with seven very important questions …
What’s the most surprising thing on your Bucket List?
I’ve always wanted to be a hotel concierge in Louisville. I’d love to give visitors ideas on what to do for fun, where to go eat, where to go for a drink before dinner and after dinner, and other little tidbits they may not know.
What poster was on your wall in junior high?
Kirby Puckett, outfielder for the Minnesota Twins. I was a big into baseball-card collecting and actually made it my mission to obtain every single iteration of a Kirby Puckett card I could find. I probably have more than 300 versions of his cards in a binder in my basement right now. Wonder if that’s some sort of record?
If you were mayor, to whom would you give the key to the city?
Well, I worked with Mayor Jerry Abramson for several years in his communications office, so I know how this key to the city deal works. My choice would be Dan Jones of 21st Century Parks for his work to bring the Parklands of Floyds Fork to fruition.
I don’t think the community fully grasps how important and rare it is to have the green infrastructure in place to ensure that as our city grows and expands, there is access to quality public parks. It’s a 100-year legacy.
What are your preferred pizza toppings?
Pretty flexible here, but banana peppers are a must. And anything more than three toppings is really overkill.
If you could be any age for a week, what would it be?
22 or 23 — some of my most fun times were the year or two after graduating college, when all of our group of friends started getting jobs and apartments, and there was this new sense of freedom and invulnerability. But with The Back Door bar literally at my apartment’s doorstep back then, about a week of that lifestyle today would be about all I could muster.
What famous person do people say you resemble the most?
Actor Seth Green. But not the son of Dr. Evil from “Austin Powers” version.
Who would you most like to be stuck with in an elevator?
People who know me will know this one. It’s Bono. Always Bono.