JCK’s 150th: Katie Kinsella Murphy on How the Industry Has Changed in 25 Years

JCK magazine is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year! To commemorate that milestone, we’re talking to 150 veteran jewelry professionals in 2019 for a feature series meant to distill the voices of some of the industry’s most enduring and successful professionals.

We can’t print every interview in its entirety in the magazine—so we’ve been posting full interviews here on JCKonline.com every Thursday.

This week we hear from Katie Kinsella Murphy, owner and chief marketing officer of New York City–based integrated branding and creative services agency Kinney + Kinsella.

JCK: How long have you been in the jewelry industry, and how has it changed since you joined? 

Katie Kinsella Murphy: I began in the jewelry industry in 1996. I began my career in watches at Franck Muller and then moved to jewelry three years later when I worked at David Yurman. And so much has changed since then. Personally, the biggest change has been from working in-house for large brands to going out on my own and working with a variety of clients in different industries. It is a very different dynamic.

I think the biggest change in the industry would have to come from social media and the digital age. The way we all communicated and interacted was completely different when I first started. I spent many days faxing press releases and insertion orders! Now things move much faster because of technology.

Obviously, most of this is for the better, but there is something to be said for actually picking up the phone and having a conversation instead of just exchanging emails.

Another apparent change is the way we market to end consumers. Consumers want so much more and want to be educated on the brand—but you have about 15 seconds to initially engage them. So the message has to be much more impactful and needs to capture his or her interest in order for the consumer to learn more about the product.

What’s your experience with JCK magazine?

It’s hard to think of JCK for me (and I think for many people), without thinking of the veteran journalist Bill Shuster. He was my first introduction to JCK. As a young woman, learning about luxury watches and complications like minute repeaters and tourbillons, Bill was a gentle soul and extremely patient with me as I painstakingly described every attribute of a Master Banker.

JCK has always had extremely professional journalists and excellent writing. I have worked with so many of the editors and writers over the years, such as Peggy Jo Donahue, Hedda Schupak, Jennifer Heebner, Victoria Gomelsky, Brittany Siminitz, Rob Bates, Emili Vesilind, Amy Elliott, and the list goes on.

They have had all heard my pitches, attended my events, and sat through my Basel and Vegas show presentations. JCK writers are all people of integrity, and I am honored to say I can call many of them friends.

What has JCK magazine meant to you? 

JCK magazine was (and continues to be) an influential voice in the watch and jewelry industry. For the last 17 years, all of my clients always ask me within minutes of sending out the press release or moments after that interview: “When will it be in JCK?” Everyone knows an article in JCK will be seen by the entire industry.

After spending several years in fashion companies, when I made the transition to jewelry I needed to learn a lot very quickly. And back then there wasn’t Google… JCK was an absolute resource for me. Not only did I learn about trends, but I also learned about diamonds, the watch industry, retailers, leading executives—everything you needed to know about the industry.

What is incredible about JCK is that as many other publications (in all industries) struggle to find their footing, JCK continues to adapt. They are able to still produce a print version and maintain a website with compelling content for both. The balance they strike between breaking news, beautiful still life, and lifestyle, editorial, red carpet coverage, industry news, blog posts, etc. is not an easy feat, but they manage to do it effortlessly!

Top: Katie Kinsella Murphy (photo courtesy of Katie Kinsella Murphy)

Catch up on all of JCK’s 150th interviews:

Frank Dallahan, publisher, The Retailer Jeweler
Jen Cullen Williams, managing director of Luxury Brand Group
Sally Morrison, chief marketing officer of Lightbox
Susan M. Jacques, president and CEO of GIA
Marie Helene Morrow, president of Reinhold Jewelers
Jenny Luker, U.S. president of Platinum Guild International
Beth Gerstein, co-CEO of Brilliant Earth
Russell Shor, GIA senior industry analyst
Walter McTeigue, cofounder of McTeigue & McClelland
Caryl Capeci, president of Hearts On Fire
Eddie LeVian, CEO of Le Vian
Peggy Jo Donahue, freelance writer and former JCK editor-in-chief
Rebecca Moskal, jewelry marketing veteran


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