Firesign CEO Named Among 2019 NextGen Leaders

Katherine Hollar Barnard has been selected to the Kansas City Business Journal’s 2019 NextGen Leaders program, which recognizes the rising stars of Kansas City business.

Honorees are selected by a panel of independent judges. The program seeks to recognize the budding talent and to connect these emerging leaders while helping build their knowledge and skill sets. A full list of the NextGen Leaders can be viewed here.


Firesign Wins Three Reader Ranking Awards from Missouri Lawyers Media

Missouri Lawyers Media announced today its 2019 Reader Ranking Awards, honoring Firesign with top honors in three categories. The agency was voted the top winner for: Law Firm Business Development and Coaching Services, Public Relations Agency, and Website Design.

Voted on by Missouri Lawyer Media readers, the Reader Ranking Awards celebrate the businesses and organizations that support and enhance the work of attorneys.

Get to Know Firesign: Katie McNeil, Graphic Designer

At Firesign we believe the practice of law is as much about people as precedent, and the best legal marketing is built on trust, empathy and respect. Meet the proud purveyors of Enlightened Legal Marketing you are working with in our Get to Know Firesign series.

This month we visited with Firesign’s resident graphic designer, Katie McNeil. Fusing her graphic design experience and acumen with her legal training, Katie develops and creates brand identities for our legal industry clients. She masterfully creates attractive pieces that work with business realities.

What did you do before Firesign? How do you apply that experience to your work today?

Before working at Firesign, I worked for a distributor in the outdoor power equipment industry and then for a credit union. I wasn’t always a designer, though. For a whole month I was a paralegal, which makes my work at Firesign feel a little bit like fate.

My previous experience has taught me to:

  • Prioritize function first and beauty second.
  • Ask a million questions upfront, such as: who is the audience, where will they be seeing this, how is it going to be used, and what is the goal of the project or what’s its job?

What is your favorite recent project?

Creating visual identities for attorneys who are going out on their own is always rewarding. Seeing them get excited when we put the final touches on their shiny new logo makes my designer heart happy.

What do you do when you’re not on the clock?

I love going out to eat, especially if it means tacos and spicy margaritas are on the menu. I also love going on adventures with my two-year old. Every time we leave the house she calls it an adventure. And honestly she is right… have you ever tried to take a two-year old ANYWHERE? It is comical chaos.

What do you enjoy about legal marketing?

I most enjoy the tidiness of the legal marketing industry. I consider myself a very clean designer—everything has its place and it’s my job to thoughtfully put it there. I also feel like there is so much visual good we can do in legal marketing and marketing overall because for so long it has been a TIMES NEW ROMAN industry.

Who is your favorite fictional lawyer?

Vinny Gambini (My Cousin Vinny)

Get to Know Firesign: Erin Curtis-Dierks, Marketing Project Manager

At Firesign we believe the practice of law is as much about people as precedent, and the best legal marketing is built on trust, empathy and respect. Meet the proud purveyors of Enlightened Legal Marketing you are working with in our Get to Know Firesign series.

This month we visited with Firesign Marketing Project Manager Erin Curtis-Dierks. With an eye for detail, devotion to lists and schedules, and infectious effervescence Erin “keeps the trains running” for Firesign’s law firm and legal tech marketing projects.

What did you do before Firesign? How do you apply that experience to your work today?

For over 20 years I have coordinated promotions and marketing campaigns in media, consumer goods and higher education. I honed my project management and strategy skills at Quaker Oats, where I worked in promotions and packaging development. I also worked for years in marketing and public relations at the University of Kansas and Baker University, leading teams in developing and executing a variety of marketing and public relations initiatives. This collective experience has provided me with the background to oversee our Firesign marketing projects, coordinating business needs while ensuring we stay on schedule and budget. It helps that I love logistical management, big-picture thinking and detail. I also enjoy writing, so working at Firesign allows me to wear many hats and contribute in a variety of ways, which is very fulfilling.

What is your favorite recent project?

I have a handful of favorites, but recently I’ve been working with a small boutique firm on their first ever comprehensive marketing plan. In a short time, we’ve developed a social media strategy, enhanced website biographies, created a client communication protocol, developed a rankings/recognition calendar for the firm partners, generated monthly content, and landed coverage in a prominent regional legal publication (that was picked up nationally). It’s thrilling to see how much we can help move the dial for our clients.

What do you do when you’re not on the clock?

I hang with my three kids and husband, run, tend to my work-in-progress garden, inhale celebrity gossip, and enjoy a tasty Horsefeather cocktail or two. I also adore a good living room dance party.

What do you enjoy about legal marketing?

Attorneys and law firms are generally very measured and organized and ready to learn about any/all marketing opportunities – fantastic clients to work with. Whether it’s a website overhaul, a public relations campaign, generating content, or snagging a coveted recognition/award for an attorney, it’s wonderful to see our team of amazing women make magic for our hardworking clients.

Who is your favorite fictional lawyer?

I have two: Barry Zuckerkorn (Arrested Development) and Saul Goodman (Better Call Saul).

In the News: Firesign Founder on Freeman Means Business Podcast

Katherine Hollar Barnard was recently a guest on the Freeman Means Business podcast Wonder Women in Business discussing all things Firesign, being an entrepreneur, walking the walk creating opportunities for women in business and more.

Freeman Means Business “Wonder Women in Business” podcasts serve to raise awareness about the great things incredible women in business are doing to serve others. The podcasts are carried by Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Spotify, Anchor, Google Podcasts, Breaker, RadioPublic and other podcast channels on the web.

Here the full interview here.

In the News: Firesign Shares Agency Update in the Shawnee Mission Post

Last month marked two years since legal marketing veteran Katherine Hollar Barnard launched Firesign to help attorneys attract, win and retain business. To mark the occasion the agency shared an update on its new headquarters, the new faces on the team and its latest service, Ellesquire, with the go-to source for local happenings, the Shawnee Mission Post.

Read the full article here.

Meet Ellesquire: Business Development For Women, By Women

As Women’s History Month draws to a close, Firesign is proud to share Ellesquire: a business development bootcamp for women, by women. The workshop combines practical, concise lessons with weekly coaching. Participants graduate with a comprehensive battle plan — and they see real results.

Learn more at, and check the video to see what our participants say.

Amy Nouri Joins Firesign

Amy Nouri has joined Firesign as the Vice President of Public Relations and Programming. Using the the four main elements of modern public relations – paid, earned, shared and owned media – Amy will work with Firesign clients to help them attract, win and retain business. She will also coordinate the marketing, delivery and social media engagement of Firesign and its educational programs.

Amy has nearly a decade of experience developing and executing strategic communication plans for professional service and consumer goods companies, including starting her career at AmLaw 200 firm Lathrop & Gage (now known as Lathrop Gage). At Lathrop & Gage Amy managed public relations and advertising tactics in local markets and nationwide; maintained firm social media accounts and website content; and coordinated production of numerous firm marketing materials. Her competitive nature drew her to especially revel in handling the nomination and submission for legal awards and rankings; she successfully placed clients in Benchmark Litigation, Chambers USA, ALM honors and multiple local recognitions.

At Garmin, Amy led global public relations campaigns for fitness, B2B and corporate wellness products. She then deepened her social media experience at Hallmark, working on content, calendaring and paid strategy for the branded social media platforms.

Firesign Moves into New Location

In an entrepreneurial milestone, Firesign has graduated from co-working space and settled into a permanent office in the heart of Prairie Village, Kansas. Our new space will allow us to continue adding new services and personnel – and to play the best of 1990s hip-hop guilt-free.

Find us now at:
4121 W. 83rd St., Suite 119
Prairie Village, KS 66208

Phone and email contacts remain the same.

Firesign Wins Public Relations Awards

For the second year in a row Firesign received top honors for outstanding achievement in communications by the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

Firesign won two Gold PRISM awards the highest recognition in the categories of newsletters and video. The 2018 awards were announced at a gala September 20 at Studio Dan Meiners. A full list of PRISM winners and photos from the event are available here.