Bellmont Partners Welcomes Brienna Schuette as a Strategic Partner

Brienna Schuette (center) spent the bulk of her career promoting the Minnesota State Fair. How awesome!

Bellmont Partners is pleased to welcome Brienne Schuette to our team as a strategic partner. She has spent the majority of her career creating and executing strategic, multi-platform marketing plans for the Minnesota State Fair’s annual campaigns and special initiatives. As the youngest spokesperson in Minnesota State Fair history, Brienna conducted nearly 100 local radio, television and print interviews annually; was interviewed by all four Minneapolis/St. Paul national television network affiliates, plus the New York Times, Tonight Show, USA Today, Food Network and Travel Channel; and wrote hundreds of headlines and promotional pieces seen by millions.

Bellmont Partners has worked with Brienna in various ways throughout the past 10 years through our work with clients at the Minnesota State Fair, including the Midwest Dairy Association and Minnesota Wine Country, among others.

Looking to continue her career in the events world, support the businesses she had a passion for and chase her dream of owning a marketing-communications business, Brienna founded Moxie & Drive Marketing in early 2017. The full-service consultancy specializes in solutions for the industries of food, fairs, festivals and family fun.

We’re excited to partner with Brienna on a variety of clients. She’ll lend her strategic communications expertise to our work on major events and festivals, media relations and writing projects, and we look forward to working with her on several initiatives.

Breanna Welke named Director of Brand Strategy, Erin Lilliencrantz and Emma Strub promoted to Assistant Account Executives

We’re excited to announce Breanna Welke has been named director of brand strategy at Bellmont Partners, and Erin Lilliencrantz and Emma Strub have been promoted to assistant account executives.

Breanna joined Bellmont Partners in early 2016 as a group account director. Since then, she has taken a lead role in expanding the agency’s branding and strategy offerings, with a focus on messaging, audience, positioning, engagement, content marketing and customer acquisition and retention. As the lead on numerous consumer and B2B clients, including the Midwest Dairy Association, and consultant on several others, Breanna brings a big-picture marketing, PR and branding perspective to all of her work.

Erin and Emma both joined the agency in 2015 as interns before being hired as full-time account coordinators. As assistant account executives, they each bring a unique skillset to their clients and agency initiatives. Erin has led work with clients including Minnesota Wine Country at the Minnesota State Fair, Countryside Café and Lily Pad Yoga, in addition to helping agency operations run smoothly. Emma has taken a lead role with clients such as People Incorporated and Trillium Woods, as well as in internal initiatives including student workshops and Bellmont Gives Back.

Congratulations on your new roles, Breanna, Erin and Emma!

Four clients take home Eureka! Innovation Awards

Bellmont Partners has always worked with innovative, growth-oriented companies, and nowhere was that focus more on display than at last night’s Eureka! Innovation Awards: The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal recognized four of our Minnesota-based clients for their creativity, innovation and progress, including:Read more

Talking Points: How Marketers Can Make the Most of a Major Sporting Event

As Minnesota gears up to host a certain high-profile football game next February (for the first time in 25 years), local marketers are already working to prepare for and get the most out of the big event. To help these professionals make smart marketing decisions, Bellmont Partners teamed up with Arik Hanson of ACH Communications to host the first in our new Talking Points discussion series, focusing on how to leverage the spotlight that will soon be shining on the North Star State.

Thirty marketers joined us for a riveting panel consisting of Tom McCulloch of client metroConnections, Jenn Schaal of Meet Minneapolis, and Steve LeBeau of Minnesota Business Magazine. These savvy industry insiders gave us the scoop on the buzz around town, and ways local businesses and organizations can catch the attention of the nearly 1.1 million visitors expected over 10 days leading up to the event. Here are three big takeaways from the discussion:Read more

Bridging the Gap Between Urban and Greater Minnesota

Here at Bellmont Partners, we’re strong believers in not focusing solely on our local, urban communities, but also connecting with the many businesses, people and communities in Greater Minnesota. We work with organizations all across the state, as well as across the country. With that in mind, I was fortunate to attend TEDxBemidji’s first-ever event, traveling over 200 miles from the Twin Cities to see seven speakers talk about and demonstrate the amazing work they’re doing in Northern Minnesota, in the traditional TED Talks format. The theme of this year’s event was “Thrive” – and I can safely say that based on what I saw on stage, our fellow Minnesotans in the Great North are truly thriving, pursuing their passions and sharing in a community.

Discussion topics ranged from ice diving, to race relations, to a moving musical performance. Bemidji’s thriving arts and culture scene, outdoors interest, and yes, technological innovation, were on display. One of the innovation drivers in the region is its Gigabit fiber optic internet network through Paul Bunyan Communications (a co-operative internet provider, an innovative concept in itself), which allows residents to work at the fastest internet speeds, even in rural Minnesota where in the past, internet connectivity has been spotty at best. The city even has a co-working space called LaunchPad that supports startups and entrepreneurs.

Located in the northwest region of the state and the first city on the Mississippi River, Bemidji is a place I’ve been to many times over the past few years, visiting family and friends, and have seen an increase in new stores, restaurants and activities popping up. Situated right on the edge of Lake Bemidji, the downtown area is a fabulous area to walk, shop and eat. And I’m not the only one who has noticed an uptick in activity – Twin Cities Business Magazine profiled the city in its February issue, citing the city’s rise and the entrepreneurial spirit of the innovators living there.

At Bellmont Partners, we believe that bridging the gap between our urban and rural communities and connecting with organizations and individuals operating in Greater Minnesota benefits everyone. Some of the challenges we’ve heard about from businesses in outstate Minnesota include a lack of access to networking with other like-minded organizations, launching a new product or service that may be well-known in the city, but is brand new to a small town, and the difficulty of attracting qualified prospective employees and new customers alike to a rural area. To that end, we partner with several awesome clients doing great work outside of the Twin Cities area, including:

  • Midwest Dairy Association: Helping educate consumers about where their food comes from and telling the stories of farmers and agriculture innovations happening in rural America
  • Explore Minnesota: Promoting tourism throughout the entire state, including those beautiful north shore drives and southern bluffs
  • Lily Pad Yoga: Spreading the word about a new hot yoga studio in Bemidji that encourages a commitment to physical and mental wellness

The world is connected now more than ever with high-speed internet, social media and digital communications; it’s also more important than ever to define a communications strategy to align all those tools and opportunities, whether you’re a small business owner or a leader at a thriving corporation – no matter where you’re located.

Congrats to 32 Under 32 winner Hyedi Nelson!

Congratulations to 2017 32 Under 32 winner Hyedi Nelson, who was selected from more than 100 nominees in Ad Fed Minnesota’s annual recognition of the best young talent in the marketing, advertising and public relations industry.

As an account supervisor at Bellmont Partners, Hyedi has taken a leadership role in establishing the firm’s med-tech and health focus area. In the past year alone, Hyedi’s work has spanned a med tech global product launch; Second Harvest Heartland; NxThera, a medical device startup; and People Incorporated, Minnesota’s largest provider of mental health services.

One of Hyedi’s many strengths is that she’s adept at combining and shifting between different areas of communications – branding, messaging, media relations, social media, digital marketing, influencer outreach, events and more – to deliver the best results for her clients. She brings a forward-thinking approach to her clients, even in highly regulated industries such as health care. For example, she’s an expert resource to her health clients on how to adhere to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines in social media, and has mentored several colleagues on the topic as well.Read more

Makin’ It: Minnesota Manufacturers Bullish on Growth, Worried About Recruitment

Business is booming for Minnesota’s makers, from the Metro to the Iron Range and everywhere in-between. This year’s ninth-annual State of Manufacturing Survey from Enterprise Minnesota, shared at an event on May 9, revealed a strong sense of optimism among Minnesota manufacturers. We attended the event with our manufacturing and non-manufacturing clients alike in mind, as the current trends and undercurrents that influence Minnesota’s manufacturing landscape of course also affect the broader economy.

Because manufacturing has such an enormous impact on business in Minnesota, it was encouraging to hear that more than 90 percent of the 400+ manufacturers surveyed felt confident about the futures of their companies, the highest number recorded in the survey’s nine years of polling. Even more impressive is the 57 percent of respondents who said they felt “very confident” about the future, up 14 percent from last year’s survey.Read more

Bellmont Partners Recognized as One of the Country’s Top Small PR Agencies by Ragan & PR Daily’s Ace Awards

We’re proud to have been named one of the top small agencies in America after earning a finalist nod in this year’s Ragan & PR Daily’s 2016 Ace Awards.

According to Ragan & PR Daily, the awards highlight “the communications professionals, in-house teams and agencies behind the most impressive work of the year. These practitioners are the most talented in media relations, internal communications, health care communications and so much more.”

Congratulations to the other finalists, and a big thank-you to all of our clients, colleagues and collaborators. Your partnership is what drives our work and makes recognition like this extremely meaningful, especially as we celebrate our agency’s 20th anniversary!

Bellmont Partners has been recognized by Ragan & PR Daily in previous years, as well: We were named an Ace Agency for B2B and business services in 2015, public relations agency of the year in 2014, and an Ace Agency for our event work in 2013.

Building Each Other Up to Give Back Through Volunteering

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.Read more

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.Read more