Ker Communications is a full service internet marketing agency based in Pittsburgh, PA; operated by online marketing and SEO expert, Nick Ker, who has over twenty years of experience in visual communications and creative marketing.
Ker Communications was founded with the idea that a website should be so much more than be a placeholder and one-way spam outlet that echoes outdated old-media messages. Online marketing should be more than spam and shady search engine trickery.
Innovation, Ingenuity and Insight.
We don’t do “one size fits all” cookie-cutter stuff here. Every client is unique and every marketing strategy, website design, social media persona and any other public representation should be an exact fit for your needs, goals and budget. Our goal is to build your online presence in a way that does more than just advertise your products and services – we want to help you build your image, your reputation, your “following” by combining quality content, professional visual and functional website design, social media networking, expert search engine optimization and most importantly, real human insight, innovation and instincts.
Complete Web Presence Management
Nick: “I have worked with dozens of businesses in developing their brand, company image, logos and marketing – online and in print. Small start ups and large corporate clients have included everything from local hair & nail salons to international industrial metals manufacturers. I have designed logos and brochures for non-profit organizations, built eCommerce websites and even worked for political campaigns – one of my first duties as an ad agency intern was to accompany then senator Joe Biden on a trip to a chicken farm and processing plant to shoot PR photos, so there aren’t too many things that I won’t do in the line of duty. If you have ever spent a day in a poultry plant or with a politician, you know what I mean.
After a long career working mostly ‘behind the scenes’ with the best printing and design companies in the area as a graphic designer and technical specialist, I am ready to offer my knowledge, creativity, and business development experience directly to businesses and organizations. I understand the needs, goals and budget limitations of small businesses – and I am very good at finding useful innovative solutions without the big business price tag”.
Nick is an “early adopter” and innovator by nature.
“I made my first website in 1995. There was not much happening in regard to advertising and PR on the web at the time, but I had already found it useful for promoting a band I was in. I think there were probably about a half dozen musicians and bands who had websites back then. I learned HTML and built a site and an email list to promote my band. The technology was very limited back then – we were thrilled when I figured out a way to get a 30 second long audio clip of one of our songs online. That seems funny now that the whole music industry is digital, but for 1995 with no budget whatsoever that was pretty slick. That was also my first experience with what is now called social media – AOL was just a baby then and I was chatting with fans, booking shows, and networking in the music industry with AOL chat and messaging. The word of mouth DIY marketing I had always known in the punk and alternative music scene hit the information super highway. It turned out that my marketing skills were stronger than my musical endeavors. I was always able to get our press releases in the right hands and printed in the papers, get a tremendous amount of hype and buzz going about our upcoming shows, and our posters were often kept on display by the venues that hosted our shows because they looked good”.
“It may seem odd to claim a background in punk rock or any kind of music as marketing experience, but the do it yourself, shoestring budget promotion, home-spun merchandising and booking, way outside the box thinking and the extensive word of mouth networking in that scene are extremely useful for any business – especially now that word of mouth travels so much farther than ever with social media. I also try to maintain the grassroots integrity from that scene as well as the ingenuity, originality and spirit of innovation. I still come up with cutting edge solutions that don’t require a massive corporate budget”.
On the Web: Form and Function
“My approach to web design has always been to have a purpose greater than simply being on the web. Websites and social media are an excellent way for businesses, organizations and artists to present themselves to the public, and even with limited funding the possibilities are unlimited. In 1999, I worked for 4X Printing. We were beginning to see more customers doing their own graphic design, but we were running into all kinds of compatibility issues with their files. They almost never worked as the designers expected once they files were sent to any printing company. I got our prepress department set up to handle just about anything, but there was always something that did not work right. Adobe developed PDFs, mainly for the purpose of creating documents that would maintain their look on any platform and this was supposed to be our salvation. Asking our clients to make PDFs was a little more than they wanted to learn. Customers who design their own materials are trying to save money, and expect it to be easy. I developed a way for customers to open their file on their own computer and “print” the file to us. All we had to do was install a print driver on their computer and they could just click ‘print’ to send a high quality print-ready PDF directly to us. A form on the site would open where the client could then enter their order info. This reduced our total job turnaround time from 7-10 days to as little as two days. That kind of thing is now an industry standard, but ten years ago when many print shops were closing their doors, flawless online ordering was a huge innovation. I made it work for our customers and our business by keeping it easy and cheap”
That is the way I continue to do web presence development - build with a purpose, make it useful and do it as efficiently as possible. I find the ideal solutions and opportunities or make them when there are none to be found.
Ker Communications also has a tight knit crew of partners, part-timers and occasionally interns.
“I know a lot of stuff and I am always learning, but sometimes it is best to talk to the experts. I know a lot of those too. We are building a great team of the best independent creative and technical minds in the business, and we never outsource to anyone I don’t know personally and trust thoroughly enough to attach my own name to their work. And that is also why it is ‘Ker Communications’. That’s MY name on the line, not some made up name that I could hide from tomorrow”.