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Lindsey Carnett: The Original “Marketing Maven”

Published on Nov. 15 at 1:55 p.m.
by Abby Walsh.

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Lindsey Carnett, CEO and president of Marketing Maven, brings more than public relations industry knowledge to the table. This woman entrepreneur started her journey from her guest bedroom in 2009, which has now become a nationally ranked PR agency. With offices in Los Angeles and New York City, the firm offers public relations and integrated marketing services, delivering solutions that produce tangible, valuable results to clients across a variety of industries.

“I opened up a business checking account with $100 in it, and Marketing Maven was born,” said Carnett.

In the last decade, Carnett and her team have worked on projects and campaigns for clients in the health and nutrition, food and beverage, and beauty and lifestyle sectors, among a number of other industries. The success of all of these projects, according to Carnett, lies in the development and application of “The Marketing Maven Method.”

“The Marketing Maven Method” places emphasis on “looking at data and focusing on the measurement of results,” which, Carnett stated, involves factors such as how many mentions a brand receives on social media, the brand’s stance with competitors, the overall public sentiment of the brand and the tracking of web analytics.

“Working in green technology, for example, is very different than working in health and nutrition,” said Carnett.

“Based on the industry, we assess what media we should be consuming, what newsletters we should be subscribing to, the different verticals, and what regulatory bodies we need to be in contact with.”

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From start to finish of every project, Marketing Maven’s clients are provided with “deep dive research, definition of strategies and implementation of those strategies,” Carnett said.

Strategies and tactics are the backbone of every successful PR campaign. By creating strategies and tactics specific to different industry standards, while also maintaining a competitive edge, Carnett and the team at Marketing Maven not only enhance their clients’ public perception, but also increase capital and prosperity.

“With our more sophisticated clients, we can tie back media coverage to product sales,” said Carnett.

An entrepreneur at heart, Carnett’s primary creative passion lies in innovation and the branding and marketing of new products.

“If it’s new, it can change the world, and we have the opportunity to launch it — that’s what really excites me,” Carnett said.

When asked about her favorite project that she’s worked on since starting Marketing Maven, Carnett pointed to a campaign for the Hot Tool Holster, a product created by a former ER nurse designed to prevent people from burning themselves with their flat iron.

“The woman [who created the product] had three small children, and she was afraid to leave her iron on the counter because she had seen so many burn victims in the ER,” said Carnett.

Carnett and her team succeeded in supporting the brand with distribution into major national retailers through social media strategies, email marketing and trade show appearances. Holster Brands has since expanded its collection and launched several other products, such as the Hobby Holster for hot glue guns and the BBQ Holster for grilling tools.

Director of Media Relations Frank Tortorici, who has worked at Marketing Maven for the last seven years, echoed the sentiment about working with new products and industries.

“It’s been very rewarding to work in new fields, specifically cryptocurrency and cybersecurity. I have enjoyed getting to know reporters [of both] and generating media awareness for our clients in those industries,” said Tortorici.

Photo by Pedro Marroquin via Unsplash

Not only is Carnett a leader in the public relations and communications industries, but she has also established herself as an experienced businesswoman. A graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, Carnett has acquired knowledge and skills integral to running a business.

“The background that I had in marketing was not just PR. I understand a lot of different components that actually make a business money,” Carnett said.

Carnett attributes her own personal career success to organizations such as the National Women’s Business Council, National Association of Women Business Owners, Vistage, Women’s Economic Ventures and Women Presidents Organization, where she has been a member and held leadership positions.

Lindsay Shields, chapter chair of the Los Angeles I Chapter of the Women Presidents Organization, described Carnett as a “sure-fire entrepreneur” with “a rare combination of both left and right brain power.”

“My first impression [of Carnett] was that she was a very sharp, intelligent, extremely personable, positive and energetic woman business owner who was going to go places,” said Shields.

“She has grown her business, has expanded from Los Angeles to a presence in New York, has recovered from the pandemic downturn to become even more successful, has dealt with staff relationship challenges, and is continually reporting on new strategies and new business models that she and her staff have put in place,” Shields said.

Above all, company culture and healthy internal relationships are the heartbeat of Marketing

Photo by Meghan Lamle via Unsplash

Maven’s brand identity. In August 2021, the Pacific Coast Business Times named Marketing Maven as one of the best places to work on the West Coast.

Carnett strives daily to foster a positive and productive work environment through the company’s four key values: having a growth mindset, being futuristic, being client-centric and embracing mindshare.

In Carnett’s words, being “futuristic” means “always searching for the next technology or prosperous industry.” The value of “mindshare” refers to “sharing information with our clients and our clients sharing information with us.” These values strengthen the bonds of both external and internal relationships at Marketing Maven.

“[Carnett] truly cares about employee and company culture. She believes the agency will succeed if employees are happy,” said Tortorici.

“We do not have the company culture of ‘throwing someone under the bus,’” Carnett explained. “If you make a mistake, you won’t get fired. We ask what you learned from it, and often, we can relay that information to our clients.”

Carnett believes so strongly in the core values of Marketing Maven that the company issues a quarterly bonus — called the Maven of the Quarter award — to someone who embodies one of the company values. The Maven of the Year award is given to the individual who demonstrates all four values and is voted on by every employee in the company.

In terms of her strengths as a leader, Tortorici stated that Carnett’s strong suits lie in having a sense of trust and the ability to communicate clearly.

“She respects everyone’s boundaries, while making it clear what needs to be done and why. She knows how to convey importance and relevance,” said Tortorici.

The pressures of female entrepreneurship are undeniable. In addition to her daily responsibilities at Marketing Maven, Carnett balances family life and raising two young daughters. Her days are so busy that she frequently has a running schedule “down to the half-hour.”

“Women business owners have to prove themselves in so many areas, such as fighting to get an equitable place at the table, access to capital and proper recognition that males get by just walking into a room,” said Shields.

Shields also praised Carnett’s ability in raising her children while running a successful business.

Carnett said that if she could share any advice to her past self, or to future female PR professionals and business owners, it would be that it is OK to ask for help.

“I thought getting a business loan was a sign of failure. I put company expenses on my personal credit card,” said Carnett.

Carnett’s additional advice for young, aspiring female professionals looking to pursue a career in public relations is to work at an agency before starting and always underpromise and overdeliver.

“Doing what you say you’re going to do is everything in this industry,” said Carnett.

From opening a small public relations agency to leading a bicoastal communications powerhouse, Carnett has expanded the Marketing Maven empire and serves as a pivotal example of leadership. Through conducting extensive research, developing marketing communication strategies and tactics, and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships with her clients and employees, Carnett has worked to ensure the growth and success of other businesses, as well as her own. She has led her company to the forefront of new and emerging industries, and Marketing Maven will continue to be a key player in the public relations field.

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