Grey Horse

A full-service communications firm

A full-service communications firm

The power to attract attention is the power to change everything. We drive conversations about the big ideas and bold plans of those who transform our world, promote equality, and protect the environment.

Services

From defining brand principles to communicating through a crisis, we’re here with a message that meets the moment. 

Our clients are socially conscious non-profits, global media organizations, bestselling authors, and top executives. As a full-service communications firm, we fuel their innovation with impactful messages, unforgettable experiences, and sharp execution. 

We do this by placing stories in top tier media, producing major events, creating award-winning content, and executing viral campaigns. 

Our goal: to elevate the voices of those fighting for a better world.

Here’s how we get it done:

  • Public Relations
  • Digital Strategy
  • Live and Digital Events
  • Crisis Communications
  • Executive Leadership
  • Audience Engagement
  • Personal Branding
  • Web Development
  • Social Media
  • Brand Design
  • Content Creation
  • Media Training

Process

As an agency partner, we listen first, then broaden clients’ capabilities through our wide range of expertise. Every one of our projects is dynamic, and evolving continuously alongside shifts in media, technology, and culture. 

Our work often includes the following phases:

  • Full internal audit
  • Competitive analysis
  • Onboarding interviews
  • Strategic plan
  • Asset development
  • Campaign execution
  • Daily real-time communication
  • Scheduled calls + meetings
  • Regular analytics reports
  • Evaluation + adjustments

Works

Eyes on Iran

Supporting Woman, Life, Freedom with a production assist

For Freedoms’ Eyes on Iran activation had Hillary Clinton, Jon Batiste, a dozen artists, lots of media commitments – and, one week out, no producer. The artists’ collective was planning to make a big statement in support of the Woman Life Freedom movement, but needed help with coordinating all the (many) moving parts.

Grey Horse stepped in to run all logistics and onsite production, from the macro (staging, AV) to the micro-but-essential (tent design for maximum vibes, bringing in the correct Persian pastries and tea). We worked closely with everyone from the Secret Service to the NYC Parks Department to ensure a safe and secure environment for our VIP guests and speakers, then got out of the way and let them make their impact.

The event went extremely well, with a smooth run-of-show and zero hiccups. Outsourcing their production let the organizers and artists put their focus where it made the biggest difference: supporting the women of Iran.

Melissa Mills

Helping Jane Roe’s daughter advocate for reproductive rights

Melissa Mills, the first daughter of the woman known as Jane Roe, wanted to tell her story publicly for the first time. Following the publication of Joshua Prager’s The Family Roe, Melissa sought the opportunity to reaffirm her mother’s legacy in the context of a modern conservative movement that seeks to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Grey Horse worked with Melissa to develop the story of her relationship with her mother into a narrative that would allow her to advocate for her pro-choice politics. Media training and careful management of press opportunities put Melissa in the best possible position to speak about a sensitive and personal topic.

With the overturning of Roe, Melissa was featured on CBS Mornings, MSNBC, multiple CNN shows, and in TIME Magazine, USA Today, and many others.

TED Countdown

Bringing climate change to center stage

TED Countdown, the famous brand’s new climate initiative, needed to make a splash. They had to mobilize enthusiasm for their first big event (an invite-only summit in Edinburgh) since the start of the pandemic. They had to get eyeballs on the livestream to follow the summit. And they had to do this by convincing people who normally don’t care about climate change to… care about climate change.

Grey Horse tapped its extensive network of influencers to find a diverse group of people who could speak to audiences that typically don’t engage with climate issues. We created playbooks for them to create engaging content before, during, and after the summit (and tracked the analytics of what they made). We also took over daily copywriting duties for TED’s Twitter and Instagram accounts, giving them a fresh new voice. And, as the coup de grace, we designed a paid social promotion to boost their audiences across key platforms—and drive attention to the all-important livestream.

Grey Horse influencers helped spike digital engagement around the summit’s themes, leading to thousands of likes, comments, and shares. TED’s organic growth rates also showed significant improvement under Grey Horse’s watch, with 3x Twitter impressions and 8x follower growth at the height of the campaign. Then came the final paid social sprint. Thanks to Grey Horse’s strategy and implementation, TED added over 5,600 new newsletter subscribers, nearly 4,000 new Instagram followers, and drove tens of thousands of viewers to its livestream.

#FreeBritney

Translating the Princess of Pop’s struggle into a movement

With Britney Spears’ final conservatorship court date on the horizon, #FreeBritney activists were at a crossroads – what would their movement look like, and would it even continue to exist, once Britney was free?

Grey Horse consulted with Free Britney and other figures in the anti-conservatorship movement to design the Free Britney Symposium, a private event targeted to lawmakers, the legal community, and select media attendees. The event aimed to make a statement that the #FreeBritney activists would continue working against conservatorships for all victims, not just Britney. We produced the event, managed security, coordinated well-known speakers, and ran the run of show and technology. We also handled media pitching and press on behalf of the organizers.

The event was a success, both from event management and press coverage perspectives. It inspired ongoing coverage in outlets including Sky News, and made a big enough splash to get Britney herself involved. This engagement led to ongoing consulting with the movement for creative services, production, and much more.

Clean Creatives

Cleaning up the marketing industry, one collaborator at a time

Fossil Free Media and its Clean Creatives program needed a production partner to help organize the first F-List Awards, a virtual awards program honoring the “best” (read: the worst) in greenwashing for major brands and agencies.

Grey Horse worked closely with the campaign and their partners to coordinate talent, tech, digital assets, messaging, and public relations for the show. We also conceived and created their “For Your Consideration” social ad campaign, mocking the usual awards-season ad submissions, and created the social packaging for all of the talent to promote the show.

All of the pre-tapings were completed within our timeline, and the event met client goals for viewership and engagement, with re-broadcasts and future social campaigns planned. The event also got ample attention in the trades, including AdWeek’s “Ad of the Day,” and, most exciting, Clean Creatives’ first attack op-ed in Ad Age. The campaign won two Shorty Impact Awards as well as an Audience Honor!

Rage Becomes Her

Helping women put their anger to good use

In her first book, award-winning writer and activist Soraya Chemaly encouraged women across the world to harness their anger into positive personal and societal change. Grey Horse supported her messaging by coordinating a successful book launch party at Corkbuzz and creating a detailed social media strategy, as well as a full suite of Rage Becomes Her-branded graphics and audiograms.

The outreach campaign, led by Grey Horse, earned Chemaly fifteen notable publication mentions and/or features in Refinery29, ELLE, and The Washington Post, among others. The book quickly rose to the top of the Amazon charts and helped propel Chemaly’s career. In 2019, Grey Horse prepared Chemaly for her first TEDWomen talk which reached over 2.1 million views online.

Vanguard

Honoring the legacy of Black women’s political work

Legal historian and Johns Hopkins Professor Martha S. Jones sought the help of Grey Horse in promoting Vanguard, a groundbreaking history of Black women’s pursuit of political power in the United States, from the earliest days of the republic to modern times. In conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and ahead of one of the most critical elections in U.S. history, Martha wanted to ensure that Black women voters, suffragists, and activists would be heard and celebrated.

Grey Horse developed a comprehensive media strategy including a featured appearance on WNYC’s’ The Brian Lehrer Show during Lehrer’s coverage of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, promotion of Vanguard in NPR’s 2020 Special Report on Voting in America, an interview with Preet Bharara on the Stay Tuned with Preet podcast, and more.

Our events team booked and managed several launch events for Martha, including a special Vanguard cocktail party with VIP guests such as Carol Anderson and Eric Foner and public events at Books are Magic, City Lit, and an “Ask Me Anything” session via Reddit’s AskHistorians forum. Vanguard received glowing praise in The New York Times, was featured on C-SPAN’s Book TV, and was lauded by Hillary Clinton, The 1619 Project’s Nikole Hannah-Jones, and Rosario Dawson among many others.

MIT Technology Review

Making science tech feel like magic

Recognizing the need to progress in the digital era, this 120-year-old magazine needed new practices in order to expand their readership and attract a younger audience. Grey Horse led a series of workshops and trained staff in engagement techniques and social media tools. We provided strategic guidance on the development of a series of podcasts, videos, and digital communities that allowed MIT Technology Review to reach their intended audiences. As a result of these efforts, the magazine achieved a 3x increase in Twitter engagement rates. MIT Technology Review was also named one of the best scientific content creators by Synthego.

When the magazine hosted their first CES event, they worked with Grey Horse to create a unique, memorable experience for c-suite guests unfamiliar with the brand. Providing an escape from the standard technology-packed CES events, Grey Horse helped MIT Technology Review host a memorable, intimate dinner at a secret location in the desert: Calico Basin, Red Rock Canyon. Fifty hand-curated guests joined the impactful, memorable event and welcomed the only CES event without WiFi.

Highlights

3x increase in Twitter engagement rates

Named one of the best scientific content creators by Synthego

Services

Content Creation

Audience Engagement

Social Media

Event Production

United Nations

Training digital world ambassadors

In 2018, the United Nations lacked consistent messaging on its social media channels. In order to create a streamlined way to standardize its social media posting practices across one hundred channels in eight different languages, Grey Horse led a series of in-house workshops for over twenty United Nations social media specialists. With Grey Horse’s direction, the United Nations developed formalized guidelines and detailed best practices for their respective platforms. Workshop participants reported dramatic boosts in confidence dealing with daily routines, high-pressure situations, and social media messaging. The United Nations now has profiles on all major social media platforms and more than 50 accounts.

Highlights

Managing nearly 100 channels (in 8 languages)

Optimized response times for breaking events

Services

Social Media

Audience Engagement

Smith Mullin

Protecting those who tell the truth

One of America’s leading legal firms had a delicate situation: a prominent client was filing a lawsuit against her employer, placing her in the center of a highly contentious public conversation. Grey Horse provided digital security to safeguard the client’s data, and trained her in crisis messaging on social media. We developed an engagement strategy that minimized her legal exposure while allowing her to speak out with confidence against injustice.

Highlights

1.8 billion media impressions

50+ pieces of earned media coverage

Services

Crisis Communications

Social Media

Profile

Founder

Kate Gardiner
Founder & CEO

Grey Horse is led by Kate Gardiner, a media strategist known for sparking grand initiatives between people, media, and technology.

After being named to Forbes’ 30under30 for pioneering the use of social media as an audience-building tool for publishers, Kate has made a specialty of leveraging new tools to focus the world’s attention. She has collaborated on the development of the world’s best tools for social media management, for example, and helped major publications strategize around monetized content distribution at scale. She has been an important strategic mind in a variety of globally-oriented communications situations, ranging from an early start covering the BP Oil Spill to the global tragedies that shaped the Arab Spring, Hurricane Sandy and the #MeToo movement. Her work has garnered Emmy nominations, spots on Oscar shortlists, and countless national media features.

Kate is proud of building an unstoppable, all-female team at Grey Horse, to whom she serves as friend and mentor.

Elevating women is at the heart of Kate’s personal and professional work. In addition to lifting up women in her network, Kate serves as an Advisor in the Built By Girls Wave program, offering 1:1 career guidance to young women and non-binary students, and mentors journalists through the Online News Association. She’s also on the advisory board of the Armah Institute of Emotional Justice, an organization that uses creative tools to engage with legacies of untreated trauma. She is also a strong supporter of GallopNYC, a therapeutic horse riding program for children and youth in New York City.

Kate frequently joins and moderates panels at conferences including SXSW and the Summit Series, and has earned awards from a wide range of journalism and news organizations. She is a fellow on the National Committee on US China Relations, a NextJ fellow with the Radio Television and News Directors’ Association, an Advisor to Innovation Social, and an active member of the Interactive Emmys Committee.

Kate splits her time between New York City, Miami, and Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

Team

When you work with Grey Horse, our team becomes your team. 

Our talent comes from an eclectic array of industries including journalism, copywriting, event management, content production, and the performing arts. Collectively, we draw on our years of experience in editorial, design, social media, and project management to find creative ways for our clients to reach their ideal audience and develop a strategic plan to get there.