Kate Gardiner smiling in a swimming pool while her horse Copenhagen stands behind her.

Meet Kate.

“The power to change the conversation is the power to change everything.”

When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, Robert MacNeil’s reporting on PBS Newshour left an indelible impression on three-year-old Kate Gardiner. This tiny witness to how great journalism helps us understand world-changing moments grew up to become a media professional who helps amplify the critical voices shaping historical events and movements, first as a journalist, then as the CEO and Founder of Grey Horse, a full-service, mission-driven communications agency.

Under her leadership, Grey Horse’s bespoke offerings are tailored to the unique needs of corporations and nonprofits, and can include public relations, crisis communications, audience engagement, brand identity development, content creation, thought leadership, digital advertising strategy, and event production.

At the same time as Kate began her career as a journalist, armed with a Master of Science in Journalism and a certificate in Media Management from the famously fastidious Medill School of Journalism, audiences on social media were taking liberties with language and convention as they reacted to news publicly in real time – for the first time. Kate’s prescient assessment of this cultural collision led to pioneering work with social media as an audience engagement tool for publishers.  

“ Today’s storytellers and public relations specialists cannot rely solely on legacy media, which continues to shrink. Instead, we need to be smart and nimble, quickly adapting to the latest digital media pivots to ensure our stories continue to be heard by key audiences.”

In a fitting turn of events for someone inspired by Robert MacNeil, Kate became PBS NewsHour’s very first social media producer. While she was part of the team, online coverage of the BP Oil Crisis broke all existing traffic records and was nominated for an Emmy. She brought that knowledge to Al Jazeera in Doha and in D.C., training staff on how to use social media in their beats, an essential part of the coverage of Arab Spring.

As a result of Kate’s work with Al Jazeera, New York Public Radio, and Newsweek to adapt their editorial and distribution strategies to the digital age, she was awarded a spot on Forbes 30 under 30 in 2016.

Kate has helped shift the needle on major issues like saving the ocean, forced arbitration, and #MeToo.

Either as a consultant or through Grey Horse, Kate has advised on network strategies and communications for hundreds of clients. Grey Horse clients have made New York Times Best Sellers’ lists and the shortlist for Academy Awards nominations. They’ve won Emmys and Peabodys and Online News Association awards. Most importantly, they’ve made the greatest impact possible on the individuals, organizations, and movements key to their mission.

A vibrant public speaker, Kate has earned awards from a wide range of journalism and news organizations, including: the Radio Television and News Directors’ Association, the National Committee on US China Relations, and the Emmys Committee. She is an advisor in the Built By Girls Wave program, which offers 1:1 career guidance to young women and non-binary students, and 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 a board member of the Geneva Lake Conservancy in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.