Welcome to Kick Start Marketing Chicago

Stephanie Kulke launched Kick Start Marketing Chicago in 2010 after a 12 year track record of successfully securing stories in Chicago and national media.  Setting Kick Start apart from other Chicago PR agencies for the arts, is Stephanie’s 8 year tenure as the marketing director for a non-profit Chicago theater company. She understands the need to align PR efforts with organizational objectives and a thorough understanding of the patron base and positioning to achieve the best results over time.  She also understands first hand how hard it can be for the staff of non-profits and small businesses to step outside of daily deadlines to focus on marketing strategy and message. Kick Start provides a fresh perspective and expertise that complements the work of the in-house staff.  With a background in writing, directing and acting, Stephanie’s approach is creative, collaborative, and deadline-oriented. See the full menu of Kick Start Marketing Chicago Services below.  




Our specialty is soup to nuts publicity campaigns—from developing a media plan, and crafting the message, to pitching stories, and prepping you for interviews. Let us help you tell your story in print, online and on air.


This is another area where we shine! Our team is wildly versatile whether we are creating headlines, taglines or full-fledged content for blogs, websites, trade journals, email, ads, direct mail or video scripts.


Start a world-wide conversation and amplify your message with a well-defined social media policy and plan. We’ll help you figure out where your customers are, and help you power boost your reach with advertising and insights.


We can partner with you to create a customized marketing plan with clear objectives, target audience, strategies, tactics and timeline. We’ll also help you prioritize your marketing activities for the year.


A marketing plan by itself won’t grow your business. So we offer project management and services to help you implement your plan, measure results, make adjustments, and get your marketing momentum going!


We’ll discover who your audience is, and what your organization’s key point of difference is. We can help you craft a positioning statement and a unique visual identity that communicates your company’s promise to your customers.



Stephanie Kulke

Kick Start Owner Stephanie Kulke has over 14 years experience in marketing and media relations and a track record for innovative and effective PR campaigns and marketing plans.  Her areas of expertise include PR, project management and audience development. Prior to launching Kick Start Marketing Chicago in 2010, Stephanie Kulke served as the Director of Marketing & Communications for Remy Bumppo Theatre Company.  She spearheaded the company’s branding project in partnership with the Arts & Business Council’s Business Volunteers for the Arts program. The results were praised by the Chicago Tribune as “Brain and buzz, Bumppo’s new forte.”  She also led the development of Remy Bumppo’s website redesign, which the Wall Street Journal named “A best theater website.”  Under her leadership, Remy Bumppo realized its highest grossing production to date, Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing, and dramatically increased its subscription base from 200 charter subscribers to nearly 1,500 in just 5 years. Previously, she was a project manager and media relations specialist at Carol Fox & Associates, where she led the PR and grassroots marketing plan for the hip-hop Shakespeare show The Bomb-itty of Errors at the Royal George Theater, a campaign that won a Golden Trumpet Award from the Publicity Club of Chicago.  She managed publicity efforts for the Museum of Contemporary Art Performances, Printer’s Row Book Fair, Chicago Park District’s Theater on the Lake, Art Chicago, The Chicago International Film Festival, Dance Chicago, and the  long-running The Vagina Monologues at the Apollo Theater. Follow Stephanie on Twitter @KickStartSteph Like our Facebook page to find out what the Kick Start crew is up to.    


Depending on the scope of the project, Kick Start partners with the marketing and media colleagues below to support the work of our client’s in-house staff.


Featured Case Studies

Let's Keep Talking - Lincoln544

Kick Start launches U.S. premiere of Statue Stories Chicago


swaminathan arka band544

Kick Start puts the spotlight on 5th annual Eye on India Festival



Innovative Behavioral Health Care Center Enlarges its Footprint Locally and Nationally with Integrated Marketing Plan


Pegasus Theater Spring Muse Festival - Blacula Double Feature

Chicago Theater Company Soars with Rebrand


First Bank and Trust Gold Celebration

Bank in the Black Goes Green



A City Celebrates its 150th Anniversary with 10 Big Ideas for the Future


Evanston Community Foundation Gala

Annual Gala Support Grows with 2-Prong Communications Approach




  • I truly enjoyed working with Kick Start. Stephanie was easily accessible, accommodating and full of fresh ideas…she always made time to talk and to review our plans and performance.

    Alden Loury, Publisher The Chicago Reporter
  • As a broadcast journalist, for over thirty years with WLS-TV in Chicago, I’ve worked with many outstanding PR and marketing professionals. Stephanie is up there at the top. Her genuine positive demeanor, outstanding professional skills, insight and sincerity set the bar high.

    Bill Campbell
  • Kick Start Marketing assisted us in the opening of our new bank branch. We received more good publicity on this one event than all of the publicity combined in our 16 year history. Stephanie Kulke is bright, creative, well connected and very organized. She works well with our people at all levels.

    Jay Lytle, Managing Director First Bank & Trust
  • In the year that we have worked with Stephanie, we have vastly increased our network of relationships with media, community leaders, and potential supporters. Her optimism is a fundamental aspect of her approach to her work and this quality, along with her expertise and enthusiasm, is an unbeatable combination.

    Ann Fisher Raney, LCSW Chief Executive Officer Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Services
  • We've worked with a number of other quite capable PR reps, but Stephanie set the standard. In addition to the professionalism and skill she brought to the job, she had what is above all else essential: an absolute commitment to, and enthusiasm for, the show. For getting word about your work out to a larger audience, you couldn't do better than to have Ms. Kulke on your team.

    Mickle Maher, Playwright and Co-Founder Theater Oobleck
  • Stephanie Kulke did a wonderful job of handling publicity for the Printers Row Book Fair and the Authors in the Schools fundraising dinner. She was expert at pitching stories and facilitating media coverage for events, authors and VIPs. She was professional and responsive as well as deadline-and-budget-oriented. Stephanie was a pleasure to work with and I recommend her services wholeheartedly.

    Mary Davis Fournier, Public Programs Office Deputy Director American Library Association
  • Stephanie is able to generate many innovative ideas, approaches or solutions), her writing skills (always clear and concise whether it’s a straight-forward press release or an emotional call to action) and her ability to build strong, productive relationships with the press, team members and vendors.

    Karen Randolph, SVP, Consumer Resources FCB Chicago



To learn how Kick Start can give your messages more mileage, schedule a free consultation and quote. Call 773.501.4360.