We cultivate authentic brand stories

that broaden awareness and drive revenue

Who we are

Every business has a story. At Markstein, our story is simple: strategy matters. We are a strategic communications agency performing across Public Relations, Marketing, Digital Influence, Creative and Crisis with Strategy driving all aspects of our work.

A laser focus on our clients’ business goals informs our targeted strategies that deliver compelling messages through verbal and visual platforms and digital and traditional media channels. We bring brand stories to life while broadening brand awareness, driving revenue and creating sustainable competitive advantages for our clients.

We take our work seriously, and so do our clients. More than just a partner, our talented communications team serves as proud brand advocates committed to unmatched levels of service founded on professionalism, responsiveness, proactive thinking and dedication to achieving results.

What we do

We seamlessly integrate public relations, marketing, digital influence and design to broaden brand awareness and influence behavior among increasingly-competitive markets and hyper-connected, diverse audiences.

Our approach is driven by proactive, measurable strategy and is centered on compelling messages that engage specifically-defined audiences. Creating noise and flash around a brand, especially without purpose towards a clearly-defined strategic goal, is ineffective and often counterproductive. In times of crisis, it can be fatal.

Our strategies are mobilized through proactive outreach that controls the message, influences perceptions, engages audiences and effectively drives behavior towards desired strategic outcomes. This is how we use strategic communications to secure competitive advantages.

Public Relations


Digital Influence




We engage and influence

targeted audiences with compelling messages

Project Details

We were charged with modernizing AutoTec’s website while staying true to the company’s history and culture. We art directed and combined new photography with vintage photography into refreshed web design elements and functionalities to achieve the company’s vision for its new web presence.


Project Details

After developing messaging for Clayton Homes’ Gen-Now Concept House and its Smart Points we conducted media outreach to increase awareness and generate excitement about the House in advance of, onsite and following the 2014 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting. We secured media placements with the Associated Press, Bloomberg Businessweek, CNN, Fox News, as a feature story on Yahoo!, among others.


Project Details

We successfully introduced Eat Here Brands’ Babalu Tacos & Tapas restaurant to the Birmingham, Alabama market, generating awareness both locally and regionally through message development, event management, media relations and digital influence. We organized a 3-day soft opening for the restaurant and increased its Birmingham digital following on Twitter by 5,100 percent, Facebook by 1,026 percent and Instagram by 211 percent.


Project Details

We developed a trending hashtag, #WaffleWager to promote a football game wager (Alabama vs. Texas A&M in 2013, and Auburn vs. Georgia in 2014) between Royal Cup Inc., Waffle House and C.H. Guenther & Sons for free waffles and coffee. Our digital campaign resulted in 280,090 organic engagements in the first 48 hours and generated 262 stories in its initial year.


Project Details

We worked alongside Shipt as they successfully launched their on demand grocery delivery app in Birmingham. Leading up to the launch, we developed and implemented a grassroots digital influence campaign focused on nurturing brand champions throughout the city. As a result, 1,000 customers signed up for the service during a 30-day pre launch campaign.


Project Details

We conceptualized and designed a visual identity system for Spoon & Ladle Soup Co. Visual brand components were created based on the messaging platform we developed and included a logo, business cards, digital imagery and other print collateral items. We designed an interactive website for which we art directed all photography and wrote all copy.


Client Snapshot

Our Team

  • Alan Alexander, Senior Associate
  • Chandler Dunn, Markstein Associate
  • Cameron Gonzalez Headshot
  • Time Inc. veteran Chris Hoke joins Markstein as executive creative director
  • Julie Wall, Markstein

Alan Alexander


Alan Alexander combines his journalism training and reporting background with his business intelligence in Markstein’s digital influence practice to produce effective and engaging content. Alan is tuned in to the ever-changing digital landscape, keeping our clients on the cutting edge of best practices. Alan hones his unique skillset to research and inform clients of opportunities for growth and investment through all social media channels. He is a graduate of The University of Alabama (B.S., journalism and political science).

Taylor Babington

Senior Associate

Taylor Babington enthusiastically works with clients to execute internal and external communications strategies through media relations, integrated marketing, executive positioning, content creation and community engagement. Taylor is known for her ability to increase brand awareness and drive action among target audiences. Taylor’s background includes several years of experience in marketing and business development for large corporations in Birmingham and Knoxville, Tennessee. Taylor is a graduate of The University of Tennessee (M.S., communication and B.S., communication studies).

Civic Engagement:

Oasis Counseling for Women & Children, Junior Board (2016 – present)

Lakeshore Foundation, Junior Board (2015 – present)

Junior League of Birmingham (2015 – present)

Kelsey Barfell

Manager, Web Analytics and

By tracking and analyzing website key performance indicators, Kelsey Barfell provides actionable insight and recommendations to help clients achieve their goals within the online space. Infusing her technical prowess with her propensity for data, Kelsey is responsible for the development and ongoing management of internal and external web properties, including HTML, CSS and JavaScript coding. She has extensive experience in online data analyses, email marketing campaigns, website performance dashboards, KPI reporting, and works to identify, analyze and interpret trends and patterns in complex data sets. Kelsey is a graduate of Auburn University (B.S., apparel merchandising).

Chelsie Coker

Media Planner and

As a media planner and buyer, Chelsie Coker utilizes her skills in traditional and digital mediums to create and implement dynamic media plans that achieve clear business objectives for clients. She works with clients to plan and purchase advertising campaigns across several mediums, ranging from social media and digital display to national broadcast television and streaming audio. Chelsie’s adept ability to analyze and leverage measurable data into meaningful insight influences brand behaviors in clients’ target markets. Chelsie brings to Markstein vast experience working with national brands in the consumer-packaged goods vertical. She is a graduate of The University of Alabama (B.A., advertising).


Civic Engagement:
Better Basics, Ready to Read Volunteer (2017 – present)
Childcare Resources, Junior Board Member (2017 – present)
Atlanta Community Food Bank, Product Rescue Center Volunteer (2015 – 2016)
Virginia-Highland Tour of Homes, Collateral Committee Chair (2014)
Virginia-Highland Tour of Homes, Tour Volunteer (2014 – 2015)
Shepherd Center, Junior Committee (2013 – 2014)

Patrick Daugherty


Patrick Daugherty is a conceptual designer with a talent for simplifying complex information into compelling visual experiences across a myriad of mediums, including motion design, digital and print. His unflappable, patient and positive style sets the stage for effective communication, resulting in impactful collaboration among contributors from all facets of a campaign. His process-focused approach ensures thoughtful, results-driven creative that is built on solid foundations. Patrick is a graduate of Auburn University (B.F.A, graphic design).

Chandler Dunn


Chandler Dunn’s innovative ideas constantly take her clients’ communications initiatives to the next level. She is known for her unwavering tenacity and consistently landing clients in national, trade and local media outlets that are aligned with their target audiences. Chandler amplifies her clients’ brands and key messages through flawlessly implementing out-of-the-box, strategic internal and external communications strategies. Chandler received her degree from The University of Alabama (B.A., communication and information sciences).


Civic Engagement:

Cornerstone Schools of Alabama, Junior Board (2016 – present)

Kyle Erickson

Kyle Erickson serves as a trusted consultant to his clients, and has expertise in strategic communications planning and crisis management. Kyle utilizes a blend of intuition and calculated research to design and execute integrated communication plans that align with business goals and improve brand awareness, reputation and favorability in target markets. Before moving to Birmingham, he worked in Los Angeles with high-profile entertainment, corporate, healthcare and public-sector clients. Kyle is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A., psychology).


Civic Engagement:
Children’s of Alabama, Committee for the Future Class of 2017

Christy Evans

Christy Evans utilizes her background in business strategy and leadership development to direct activities at Markstein. Leveraging her insatiable desire to master new skills, she works to discern how all activities work cohesively in a communications strategy and how, in turn, she can use them to provide an exemplary level of service. Not one to settle for the status quo, Christy propels others to invest in thoughtful, innovative and profitable next-steps to best serve business goals. Christy is a graduate of The University of Alabama (M.B.A. and B.S., marketing).


Civic Engagement:
Girls on the Run, Board (2014 – present)
Exceptional Foundation, Junior Board (2013 – 2016)

Bailey Fuqua

Senior Manager

A wordsmith at heart, Bailey Fuqua has an intuitive ability to expertly shift voices when curating digital content for clients spanning a variety of industry verticals. Fluent in data analytics, she performs deep dives to inform digital influence strategies, resulting in measurable insights and success for her clients. Bailey’s can-do attitude and glowing positivity is both inspiring and infectious among our team. Bailey is a graduate of Samford University (B.A., journalism and mass communication).

Civic Engagement:

Public Relations Society of America, Alabama Chapter, Communications Committee (2015 – 2016)

Interfaith Hospitality House, Volunteer (2016 – present)

Cameron Gonzalez


Cameron brings a firm foundation in business development and marketing to his role at Markstein. Rich cross-functional agency experience and a macro outlook differentiate Cameron’s keen understanding of successful communications planning, while an entrepreneurial mindset and fresh industry perspective inform the creative strategies that he develops and mobilizes for the agency. Cameron is a graduate of Samford University (B.S., Business Administration in marketing and entrepreneurship), where he was named student entrepreneur of the year by the Brock School of Business.

Beth Hamer

Director, Media Planning and

As the leader of Markstein’s media planning & buying practice, Beth Hamer oversees advertising investments and results analysis in both traditional and digital channels for a wide variety of clients across a spectrum of industries and complexities. Beth leverages her detail-oriented finesse with her clever ingenuity to develop effective, comprehensive and measurable media campaigns. Her experience working on a top ten, nationally audited account translates to precise tracking and accountability for each of the campaigns under her stewardship. Beth is a graduate of The University of Alabama (B.A., advertising).


Civic Engagement:
Better Basics, Ready2Read, Volunteer (2016 – present)
Jimmy Hale Mission, Volunteer (2013 – 2016)
Better Basics, Birmingham Reads, Volunteer (2011 – 2017)

Chris Hoke

Executive Creative

Chris Hoke oversees Markstein’s creative practice area, transforming client messages into compelling visual communications. His passion for excellence in design, married with his devotion to client satisfaction, is filtered through his belief that goal-oriented client communications create measurable and repeatable successes. Chris’ national brand experience ranges from retail and healthcare to professional services and travel, with work translated through print, film, digital and experiential communications channels. Chris is a graduate of Birmingham Southern College (B.A., marketing) and the Portfolio Center.


Civic Engagement:
Cub Scouts/Boy Scouts of Birmingham, Leader and Volunteer (2013-present)
Camp Bethany at Camp McDowell, Health and Wellness, Board of Advisors (2017)

Brandon Hooks

As a social media enthusiast and communications aficionado, Brandon brings a fresh and creative perspective as an associate in the Digital Influence practice. From his international studies to his work on the Hill, Brandon’s vast experiences lend him the ability to translate messages into conversations that drive engagement and awareness in the digital space. Team members and clients alike are enthralled by Brandon’s positive attitude, in awe of his pop-culture repertoire and inspired by his tenacious drive. Brandon is a Fulbright Scholar recipient and a graduate of the University of Alabama (B.A., international studies and economics).

Allison Lavender


Allison Lavender, a grammar aficionado, leverages her varied background in public relations and marketing to serve clients across all aspects of their communications. Her experience in these areas results in a multi-tiered approach to integrated marketing, developing high-impact communications driven by creativity and strategy. She is looked to for her solutions-oriented mindset and out-of-the-box thinking. Her exceptional client service and unquenchable thirst for excellence make her well-positioned to lead campaigns and marketing initiatives, resulting in continued success against measured goals. Allison is a graduate of Samford University (B.A., journalism and mass communication).

Lyndsey Lewis

A passionate communications professional, Lyndsey Lewis’s holistic approach to directing activities to achieve strategic goals for her clients is thoughtful and executed efficiently. With national brand experience ranging from start-ups to publicly traded corporations, she effectively manages multiple facets of communications for clients spanning a variety of industries. Always up for a laugh, Lyndsey utilizes her quick wit and eye for design to develop creative concepts and smart content. Lyndsey is a graduate of Auburn University (B.A., public relations).

Civic Engagement:
Magic Moments, Junior Board (2013 – present)

Emily Littleton

Senior Graphic

Emily Littleton’s ability to guide a project from concept through to creation awes team members and clients. With work spanning from art direction to visual identity creation for a diverse array of clients, Emily visually communicates clients’ brands and messages through her unique designs. She continually evolves her design skillset and aesthetic by attending premier conferences and workshops around the globe. Emily received her degree from Auburn University (B.F.A, graphic design).


Civic Engagement:

Easter Seals Junior Board, (2017 – present)

Urban Ministry Junior Board, Event Chair (2016 – present)

American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), Birmingham Chapter, Contributing Member (2012 – present)

Lynn Lowe

Senior Manager

Lynn Lowe excels at building and fostering relationships with national media, curating impactful earned media placements for her clients. Lynn continuously raises the bar with fresh and exciting ideas that are thoughtfully and creatively designed to move the needle for her clients’ business strategies. Clients and team members alike admire Lynn’s keen spirit, drive and knack for creating the ultimate pun. She launched her career in the legal and political arena working on Capitol Hill, and previously served as a pre-law clerk for a prestigious law firm in Huntsville, Alabama. Lynn is a graduate of The University of Alabama (B.A., communication studies).


Civic Engagement:
Oasis Counseling for Women & Children, Co-Vice President of Marketing (2016 – present)
Oasis Counseling for Women & Children, Junior Board (2015 – 2016)

Danny Markstein


Danny Markstein co-founded Markstein in 2003. Today, Markstein is among the fastest-growing and most sought-after communications agencies in the Southeast, focused on developing and implementing results-driven strategies for clients nationwide. Danny serves as strategic counsel and confidante to executives operating across myriad industry verticals. His clients benefit from his expertise in the areas of crisis communications, corporate strategy, internal and external corporate communications, executive positioning and organizational dynamics. Danny is valued as a partner who promotes, protects and advocates for the agency’s clients and team members proactively and with conviction. Danny is a graduate of The George Washington University (M.B.A., entrepreneurship) and Trinity College (B.A., American Studies).


Civic Engagement:
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Board of Directors (2016 – present)
McWane Science Center, Board of Directors, Executive Committee (2016 – present)
Prostate Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama, Board of Directors (2016 –present)
Southern Research, Advisory Board (2015 – present)
UAB Callahan Eye Hospital, Board of Trustees (2015 – present)
Rotary Club of Birmingham, Member, Board Member, VP Communications (2010 – 2012)
Rotary Club of Birmingham, Member, Board Member (2008 – present)
UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, Board of Directors and past President (2008 – present)
Magic Moments, Board of Directors, past Chairman, Advisory Board Member (2007 – 2014)

Eileen Markstein


Eileen Markstein co-founded Markstein in 2003. Today, it is ranked one of the largest marketing and communications agencies in Alabama, and is touted for its strategic approach to public relations, marketing, digital influence, creative and crisis management. Eileen’s leadership in developing and executing integrated communications strategies with an enthusiasm for client service, quality assurance and measurable results shapes the culture of Markstein. Eileen believes and advocates the key tenets of the agency, including the power of collaboration, teamwork and respect, and the pursuit of excellence. She is valued as an idea-generator who provides inventive counsel in the areas of marketing and public relations strategy, perception and issues management, message development, and brand building. Eileen is a graduate of The George Washington University (M.B.A., international marketing) and James Madison University (B.A., international relations).


Civic Engagement:
Rotary Club of Birmingham, Director-At-Large (2016 – present)
Alabama Ballet, Board of Trustees, Executive Committee (2013 – present)
Oasis Counseling for Women and Children, Advisory Council (2013 – present)
Highlands School, Board of Trustees, Executive Committee (2009 – present)

Chris McCauley

Chris McCauley utilizes his strategic thinking and proclivity for data-driven methodology to craft timely and thoughtful campaigns that inspire action. He partners with his clients to uncover sustainable communications solutions to resolve dissonance and positively impact the company’s bottom-line. With previous experience working in the non-profit sector, he has a depth of knowledge surrounding community initiatives and a passion for collective impact. Chris is a graduate of Auburn University (M.P.A. and B.A., political science).

Civic Engagement:

David Mathews Center for Civic Life, Board of Directors (2016 – present)

Alabama Network of Family Resource Centers, Board of Directors (2015 – present)

Alabama Association of Nonprofits, Board of Directors (2012 – present)

Will Moore


Will Moore is the go-to professional for all things operational at Markstein. From financial matters to technology challenges and internal systems, Will provides our team with the tools and support needed to effectively and efficiently run the agency, so our team can focus on serving our clients. Will’s dry humor and sharp wit encourage a smart and engaging company culture. Will is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (M.B.A., business administration) and the University of Texas at Austin (B.S., mathematics).

Civic Engagement:

Texas Exes Project Worldwide, Volunteer (2012 – present)

Stop Hunger Now, Volunteer (2014 – 2015)

Habitat for Humanity, Volunteer (2012 – 2013)

Keelie Segars


Keelie Segars utilizes her experience with strategic marketing, national branding, account management and operational planning and implementation to perform a variety of roles within Markstein. From leading client accounts to supporting account managers with her unique and robust skillset, Keelie’s data-driven mentality and results-oriented approach proves vital to the growth and success of the agency and its clients. Keelie is a graduate of Birmingham-Southern College (B.A., history and economics), Oxford University (Keble College, Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies) and Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations (certificate, human resources).


Civic Engagement:
Red Mountain Theatre Company, Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Vice President of Strategic Planning (2015 – present)
Red Mountain Theatre Company, Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Vice President of Marketing (2012 – 2015)
Red Mountain Theatre Company, Board of Directors (2011)
Magic City Art Connection, Board of Directors (2005 – 2012)

Anna Unkenholz


Anna Unkenholz takes pride in helping clients tell their story through a strategic, multi-pronged approach. Anna collaborates closely with a skilled team to generate brand awareness for clients, managing communication initiatives ranging from earned media campaigns to large-scale events. With an always sunny disposition, she is recognized for consistently exceeding expectations with a smile on her face. Anna is a graduate of The University of Alabama (B.A., communication and information sciences).

Civic Engagement:

Levite Jewish Community Center Birmingham, Maccabi Games, Marketing Committee (2016 – present)

Magic Moments, Junior Board (2013 – present)

Magic Moments, Junior Board, Membership Chair (2015)

Rotaract Club of Birmingham, Member (2014 – 2016)

Autism Society of Alabama, Junior Board, Public Relations Chair (2013 – 2014)

Autism Society of Alabama, Junior Board (2012 – 2013)

Julie Wall


Julie Wall is responsible for assisting with the strategic direction and management of Markstein. She works closely with a team of account managers, designers and coordinators to ensure successful client engagement. She also serves as the director of marketing for Balch & Bingham LLP, a Markstein client. Julie is a veteran communicator with nearly 20 years of communications and marketing experience in government, non-profit and private corporations. She is a graduate of Auburn University and Birmingham School of Law.

Civic Engagement:

One Place Family Justice Center, Board of Directors (2016 – present)

Kiwanis Club of Birmingham, Member (2016 – present)

Children’s of Alabama Committee For the Future, Member (2014)

Nicole Wyatt


As a former on-air personality, Nicole Wyatt leverages her background in broadcast news and media relations to comprehensively inform her clients’ communication strategies. With her contagious energy and solutions-oriented mindset, Nicole collaborates with team members to effectively manage her clients’ communications tactics with a 360-degree approach. Nicole formerly served as a media relations specialist at a renowned research university and academic medical center. Nicole is a graduate of The University of Alabama (M.A., Health Studies and B.A., Telecommunications & Film).


Civic Engagement:

Better Basics , Volunteer, Ready to Read (2016 – present)

Alabama Obesity Task Force , Chair and Committee Member, Communications Committee (2013 – present)

American Cancer Society of Birmingham, Committee Member, CPS-3 Study Birmingham (2013)

American Cancer Society of Tuscaloosa County, Committee Member and Chair, CPS-3 Study Tuscaloosa (2009 – 2011)