Building Each Other Up to Give Back

Three years ago, I attended an event at the Weisman Art Museum on the University of Minnesota campus hosted by the Center for Girls’ Leadership – a small-but-mighty nonprofit dedicated to inspiring girls today to lead tomorrow. I immediately wanted to get involved, but – considering my hectic college senior schedule – I put my name on the sure-I’d-love-to-help-someday list and put it on the back burner. As the year went on, I made sure to keep in touch periodically with the executive director, Alex Young, in the hopes I’d be able to fully commit to the organization one day.

Flash forward to May 2015: Graduation, a job offer from Bellmont Partners and a mountain of free time previously reserved for papers and projects. I emailed Alex yet again asking if she needed help with the CGL. She obliged, this time asking me to join the board and help her grow the organization. I’ve been on the board of directors for almost two years and, now in our sixth year, we’re striving to cultivate meaningful relationships with a diverse group of incredible women across the Twin Cities. This past weekend, we hosted a new event called Girls in Media. The goal was to create an experience geared toward helping girls create their own values-based messaging as an alternative to many of the negative stereotypes and images they’re served in TV shows, movies, music and more. The girls created Instagram stories, wrote an outline for a print newspaper article, brainstormed new CGL programs and ways to market them, and stretched their leadership and confidence skills by presenting their work at the end of the event.

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Bellmont Partners Adds Another Classics Award to the Shelf

We had a fantastic time at the Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards last night, honoring our town’s best and brightest strategic communicators and celebrating the greatest work and achievements of our local PR community. It was a treat to visit The Machine Shop and take in the beautiful sights of the historic, spacious venue.

Bellmont Partners took home the win in the Marketing Services, Agency/Organization with <25 Employees category for our work with longtime client GradStaff, an outsourced college recruiting firm. Bellmont Partners reached key influencers, established credibility for GradStaff and its leadership, and coordinated several high-profile national media hits on CNBC.com, Parade.com, MSN.com, in American City Business Journals, and more.

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Struggling with Content Overload? Five Helpful Reminders to Get Your Content Marketing Plan Back on Track

How do the words “content marketing” make you feel? Overwhelmed? Excited? Or, maybe, a bit lost? No matter where you are in your content marketing journey, one thing is for sure —it isn’t going away any time soon, and for good reason.  A strong content marketing strategy is essential for any marketer when it comes to creating value with your key audience and ultimately, driving action for your business or organization.

Today, more and more of our conversations with clients revolve around the topic of content marketing, and more specifically, how we can help them create a strategic content marketing plan that is not only effective, but also manageable. There’s no denying it—getting started on a content marketing plan can be overwhelming. From defining your key audiences to allocating resources to executing a campaign across a seemingly endless array of platforms, formats and devices, it becomes a lot to consider. But here’s the good news: By prioritizing your key audiences and focusing your efforts on telling the right stories on the right platforms at the right time, you can be successful.Read more

Check, Please: Cooking Up Business Skills With a Restaurant Takeover

Do you remember your first job? From telemarketing to packaging Halloween makeup to serving at a restaurant, we’ve all been there. A common saying at my first job was “you got time to lean, you got time to clean.” Little did we know our first job experiences would shape the business skills we use every day – especially the value of a strong work ethic.

The value of hard work is often a lesson in itself. For one group of suburban Twin Cities students, a little bit of “sweat equity” goes a long way toward teaching career ambition, perseverance and the entrepreneurial spirit. Recently, our team helped spread the word about “Graft’s Grill Goes Sporty,” a community partnership between Wayzata Public Schools, our client Peg’s Countryside Café and Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners (Interfaith Outreach). The partnership helps young people gain job skills, discover their personal passions and become career-ready through the real-life experience of running a restaurant for a day. This event has an almost two-decade history; the program was started by and named after a beloved Wayzata schoolteacher, Suzanne Graft, who passed away in 2010. Peg’s Countryside Café and Rick Graft continue to invite youth to open the café’s doors and take over the restaurant for the night in Suzanne’s honor.
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Bellmont Partners Named to 100 Best Companies to Work For list for Third Straight Year

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For the third year in a row, we’re thrilled to have been named one of Minnesota Business Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For.” It’s extremely gratifying that our employees continue to recognize Bellmont Partners as one of the best places to work in Minnesota.

We’re working to make this an even better place to be: As part of our ongoing effort to strengthen the benefits and perks we offer our team members – such as our flexible schedule policy, employee wellness initiative and collaborative office environment – we’ve implemented a number of new programs this year, including:

  • A formalized initiative – Bellmont Gives Back – designed to provide employees with the time and resources necessary to support the community organizations and causes that are important to them, both individually and as part of our agency pro bono work;
  • Regular Breakfast Club discussions, where we share ideas and delve into industry best practices and trends designed to strengthen our skills; and
  • Our new sustainability program, designed to reduce our impact on the environment.

We firmly believe that a fulfilling, supportive workplace fosters our ability to deliver service-based, strategic, creative and high-impact results for our clients, and we’re always striving to build a better corporate culture.

We’re looking forward to celebrating with our fellow honorees at the awards gala on June 1!

Silicon Valley Meets Golden Valley at MHTA’s Tech.2017

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Last week’s early-morning eye-opener, the Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) Tech.2017 Breakfast at the Metropolitan Ballroom, was a celebration of Minnesota’s entry into the top ten ranking (#7) of best technology states in the Milken Institute’s State Science and Technology Index. But it was also a reminder that there is still work to be done to crack the top five.Read more

Bellmont Partners Helps Foster the Next Generation of STEM Innovators

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Saturday marked the culmination of two exciting Minnesota STEM-focused projects that Bellmont Partners has been working on for the past few months. From the changing media landscape to the rise of STEM-focused careers, Bellmont Partners recognizes the importance of inspiring students to pursue their interests through STEM-related activities. We saw first-hand this weekend the importance of fostering these curiosities in young people.

First, The Center for Girls’ Leadership held its third annual Steps to Success: Girls in STEM event at WSB & Associates, geared toward middle and high school girls looking to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and math fields. Women make up only 38 percent of recent college graduates with STEM degrees, and this event was a great opportunity for girls and their parents and teachers to connect with successful women in the local STEM community. Panelists this year represented diverse STEM careers from social science research to frontend web development to transportation systems engineering. Girls at the event experienced STEM first-hand through activities including drawing and tracing maps with MNDOT, exploring virtual reality and transportation communication with WSB & Associates, and building marshmallow and spaghetti structures!

Attending parents also chatted about personal security with our friends at Software for Good, and learned lessons in phone safety, social media best practices, password managers and other helpful privacy tools and resources. Our Emma Strub is on the board of this important organization, and played a big role in making the event a success.

Across town, the University of St. Thomas hosted ThreeSixty Journalism’s Digital Media Summit, designed to empower teens to use digital media wisely, responsibly and effectively to accelerate their future success. Digital pros from Bellmont Partners — along with volunteers from Weber Shandwick, Sprinklr, 3M Corporation, Best Buy and #ustSTELAR – worked side-by-side with ThreeSixty students to plan and implement the event, where social media content, virtual reality, drones, viral videos, coding basics and more took center stage. Briana Gruenewald and Emma Strub worked hard to help put this year’s event together, meeting with ThreeSixty students every weekend in January leading up to the Summit. Brian Bellmont is also on the ThreeSixty board of advisors.

We were impressed by the attendees and participating organizations at both events; the future is looking bright for up-and-comers in STEM!

The Food Revolution: Three Takeaways to Chew On

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When the opportunity to spend a morning discussing food and marketing arose, I was quick to sign up. Not only do I enjoy consuming food, communicating about food is one of my passions. (A statement shared by more than a few Bellmont Partners team members!)

Last week, Breanna Welke, Erin Lilliencrantz and I attended Minnesota PRSA’s event The Food Revolution: Transparency and its Effects on Marketing & Communication, and we gained some valuable insights from a panel of experts, including:

  • Kieran Folliard, Founder of 2 Gingers Whiskey and Food Building
  • Pete Stoddart, Media Director, Corporate Affairs, Cargill
  • Lauren Pradhan, Director and General Manager of Grow North
  • Bertrand Weber, Director for Minneapolis Public School Culinary and Wellness Services

While these four panelists have diverse backgrounds and experiences in the food industry – three common points rose to the top of the conversation, and can be translated across a wide variety of fields.Read more

5 Marketing Insights from the Tourism Industry to Put Any Organization on the Map

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For the second consecutive year, Bellmont Partners was thrilled to attend and present at the Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference, hosted by our client Explore Minnesota. The conference was appropriately named “The Next Big Event,” as Minnesota is poised for an exciting couple of years – specifically with U.S. Bank Stadium hosting the X Games in the summer of 2017 and 2018, as well as the 2018 Super Bowl.

Reflecting on the conference, our team identified five key learnings from the tourism industry that could apply to any PR and marketing program – regardless of the industry:

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It’s You, Girl, and You Should Know It

Alyssa Hayes and Caitlin Rick, Explore Minnesota Visitors can commemorate Mary Tyler Moore at the Meet Minneapolis Visitor Information Center.

Alyssa Hayes and Caitlin Rick, Explore Minnesota (client)
Visitors can commemorate Mary Tyler Moore at the Meet Minneapolis Visitor Information Center.

For millions of Americans in the turbulent 1970s, Mary Tyler Moore embodied an entire generation’s youthful vigor and upward mobility.

Though television audiences first fell in love with her as teenaged elf “Happy Hotpoint,” then as Dick Van Dyke’s impish showgirl-turned-housewife, her eponymous sitcom transformed Moore into a cultural phenomenon at a time when the country craved a bold departure from milquetoast “nuclear family” comedies.

Once the mold was cast, there was no going back: “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” captivated audiences by capturing a career woman on the rise in a television newsroom, a setting that would soon attract many more single, independent women like Mary Richards.

Mary Tyler Moore’s inspiration echoed throughout the TV news community this week, with heartfelt tributes from dozens of real-life television news icons, including Oprah Winfrey, who called the show “an important seed (for) the future of my career,” CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell and local KARE11 News anchor Jana Shortal, who praised Moore for taking “the lead in lady pantswearers on TV.”Read more