We’re glad you asked!
For those of you that know KatHouse Media founder and co-owner Dave Engelman, you know that this guy is an industry go-to when it comes to automotive knowledge, Porsche history, and Motorsports. In addition to being an all-around “car guy”, Dave’s background in communications, PR, and brand heritage, is second to none.
If you know him really well or have spent any time with him at a racetrack or in a media center, you also know that self-promotion is definitely not one of his strong character traits. After 11 years, I finally convinced Dave that this is what he needs a wife for!
His understanding of just how powerful a brand can be and how protecting a brand is the most important part of public relations helps set him apart in his approach to effective messaging.
So, whether it’s restoring a muscle car or teaching young drivers how important it is to represent themselves outside of the race car as well as they do behind the wheel, Dave learned early it can be all for naught if no one knows about it. In the end, if you don’t tell your story, who will?
After studying for and earning Airframe and Powerplant licenses – FAA certifications – Dave embarked on a career in the automotive world.
Born and raised in New Jersey, where he spent time as a mechanic, diagnostic technician, service writer, shop foreman, and service manager for various luxury automotive dealerships, and a stint as a co-owner of a small automotive restoration shop, a friend in public relations called needing a bit of photography help with an upcoming media event. That one photo for Jaguar Cars, published in Robb Report Magazine in 1998, shelved a degree in journalism and led to a multifaceted 20+ year career in PR.
Joining the small team at Kermish-Geylin Public Relations, Dave was mentored by some of the best in the business, learning the value of strong interpersonal relationships while collaborating with clients that ranged from Jaguar Cars, Volvo Cars North America, Ketel One Vodka, Porsche Cars North America, and Exide Technologies, among others. Early travel to NHRA Drag Racing events in support of Exide’s sponsorship of soon-to-be Top Fuel Champion Tony Schumacher set the stage for working with Porsche on their motorsport efforts across the US and Canada. New North American product launches for DaimlerChrysler and Porsche soon followed.
A recruiter’s call in 2006 sent Dave to Houston, Texas, as a regional PR manager for Toyota and Lexus. Splitting time between Toyota Motor Sales and their independent distributor, Gulf States Toyota, the initial focus was two-fold: the opening of the then new Toyota Motor Manufacturing facility in San Antonio and the successful launch of the new Tundra full-size pickup truck to be built there. The Gulf States region soon led the nation in sales of the new Tundra and Porsche Cars North America reached out, and after just 50 weeks in Houston, Dave was living in Atlanta, Georgia.
During the Porsche Cars North America years, Dave oversaw media launches of new 911, Boxster and Cayman models, technologies such as the adaptation of the Porsche PDK (dual clutch transmission) and the Hybrid 911 GT3 R race car. The PR efforts for Porsche Rennsport Reunion (the world’s largest gathering of Porsche race cars, renowned drivers, legendary engineers, collectors, owners, and enthusiasts), Monterey Car Week, and the Amelia Island Concours Brand Heritage events fell under Dave’s purview, as did the launching of new generation 911 and Cayman race cars in North America and maintaining relationships with Factory and Customer teams and drivers.
Special exhibits like “The Porsche Effect” at the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles came to be in part, because of Dave’s extensive network of vintage Porsche owners and relationships at the Porsche Museum and Archives in Germany. And the creation of the Porsche Young Driver Academy with Factory Driver Patrick Long and Porsche Motorsport North America saw 33 young men and women between 2012 and 2019 go on to wins and championships in series as diverse as IMSA, NASCAR, and IndyCar.
Always looking for the natural connection between historic models and the latest offerings as well as how motorsport shadowed the street cars, and vice versa, Dave was able to show the lineage in the early mid-engine sports cars with the latest examples and illustrate Porsche’s long history with electrification and hybridization into the latest street-going versions.
Along the way, Dave wrote speeches for Porsche executives, had photographs published in books and in support of magazine articles, successfully managed multiple budgets, took part in the media launch of the Taycan, the first all-electric Porsche, and was personally thanked in the credits and acknowledgments in various books and movies.
In the end, numbers are the universal language. Dave’s 2019 media programs in North America and Europe generated 1,633 articles and $27.1 million in PR Ad Value equivalency (as measured by PRIME Research) and continued to keep Porsche in the top-two position of all manufactures and brands in the Joyce Julius TV report for IMSA.
So, whether it’s the love of the automobile, or the love of a story well told, Dave and KatHouse Media can help you amplify your unique message to the world.
For as long as I’ve known him, Dave has taken the result over process approach to accomplishing his, and our goals. He’ll readily acknowledging that the procedure is important, of course, but it’s what an anonymous soldier once said to Dwight Eisenhower: planning is everything, the plan is nothing. In other words, always be prepared, but also be flexible.
Doing for others is where Dave gets his motivation and joy. Find out how partnering with KatHouse Media can help you achieve your brand’s goals.