Q&A With DC Media Expert Kate Michael Of K Street Kate!

Kate Michael is the President and Founder of K Street Kate, an online media company comprised of an online magazine (www.KStreetKate.net) and online talk show (www.TheDistrictDish.com) devoted to lifestyle news about the District of Columbia.  Hip, happening and hyper-local, the company was formed while Kate served as Miss District of Columbia 2006 and competed in Miss America in 2007.  Wearing a cocktail dress and wielding a FLipCam, Kate provides constant local lifestyle content.  Her media portfolio includes live reporting on TBD’s Let’s Talk Live, a nightlife column on NBC’s Niteside and articles in various local magazine publications.

Follower her along with thousands of others: @kstreetkate and Facebook /kskfans

WashingtonExec: Please tell us a little bit about your background.
Kate Michael: Over seven years ago, I came to DC to work on the Hill, and shortly thereafter started attending graduate school for government and business.  In 2006, the same year I served as Miss District of Columbia, I also started writing for an online lifestyle publication and started my personal blog – which has now become an online media company including an online magazine K Street Kate and an online talk show The District Dish.

WashingtonExec: How would you describe your on-line and off line brand?
Kate Michael: I believe in brand authenticity, which necessitates that my on and off-line brands are the same.   This includes a reputation for being “in the know” about happenings in and around DC and promoting the capital city region as a place that is smart, sexy and sophisticated.

WashingtonExec: What are some basic/simple ways individuals can build their personal online brand if they are not extremely tech savvy?
Kate Michael: I think everyone knows how simple it is to create a Facebook page!  But it’s just as easy to have a presence on any online networking/sharing site: LinkedIn, Twitter, Foursquare.  Not all of these avenues may be best for your personal brand, but I suggest them because they are useful and free.  But remember, the best way to use social media is not just to push information about you out to followers, but to create – and join in to – conversations that are educational and entertaining!

WashingtonExec: How is the setup and execution of personal branding vs. business branding online different or the same?
Kate Michael: It is interesting that we have come to an age where businesses want to act like individuals and individuals need to comport like businesses… but it’s true!  I don’t see much of a difference between personal and business branding.  Every”one” wants to put their best face forward, have a great reputation and be seen as an expert in the field.

WashingtonExec: What advice would you give someone looking to enhance their personal brand?
Kate Michael: Be uniquely YOU.   I recently posted this (unattributed) quote to Facebook and I really believe in it: “On strong brands: “They lead, they innovate… they create niches rather than try to compete for what others have already carved out.”

WashingtonExec: How has connecting with the right people helped your business endeavors?
Kate Michael: Obviously a lifestyle news business is helped by having connections – but one of our favorite parts is actually doing the connecting! K Street Kate’s content introduces local businesses and charitable organizations to those that seek to support them.

WashingtonExec: What is something most people don’t know about you?
Kate Michael: I’m not yet 30 years old and have already changed careers three times (professional dancer, government policy aide, media entrepreneur).  Brands constantly evolve and so do people!

*photo credit to Tim Coburn Photography

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