One of my favorite things about working at an agency is the variety – from the amount and type of clients I get to work with on a weekly basis, to the range of skills I get to flex. One day I can be coordinating stories about a university’s innovative program with local media and the next I’m designing concepts for a nonprofit fundraising campaign – sometimes all in the same day. It’s a true pleasure (and source of dopamine!) flipping from strategy to media relations to design regularly.
One reason I joined the Bellmont Partners team was to strengthen our design capabilities, since visual communication is so important – especially in an increasingly digital world. Bringing Sydney Schoeberle to the team last year has made my job way more fun and allowed our agency to accomplish a larger scale and quantity of design projects. On a weekly basis, we’re creating elements like infographics, brochures and social graphics – and the best part, it’s all rooted in the client’s overall strategy. Since we’re usually head-down working on client projects, it’s nice to slow down and reflect on our work and remember why we like doing what we do.
Hi, Sydney! How did you first get interested in design?
I’ve always been a creative person and growing up, I enjoyed taking art classes and creating things. When I started pursuing a career in communications, I found myself drawn to the visual side of it. My first real introduction to the design world was a visual communication design class at UW-Eau Claire where I got to play around with Adobe Creative Cloud for the first time. From there I kept honing my skills in various jobs and internships – always raising my hand to design the next poster, social post or you name it.
Ah, yes, one of my favorite things about you is that we’re fellow Blugolds! I’m curious how working at Bellmont Partners fits into your passions, expertise and long-term career goals?
The collaborative culture at Bellmont Partners has done wonders for my professional growth. I’ve learned so much in my first two years here – from the ins and outs of media relations and thought leadership, to navigating the Minnesota State Fairgrounds before the crack of dawn for clients Midwest Dairy and Minnesota Wine Country.
It’s always been a dream of mine to work for an arts nonprofit, so it was hard for me to decide to leave Heart of Dance and commit to Bellmont Partners full-time. But I get to work with so many creative, cause-related organizations here, which makes the content creation, event coordination and graphic design work I love doing all the more meaningful. I’ve also always been fascinated with graphic design’s ability to make complex ideas more accessible, and I enjoy getting to do that for our clients now.
So true! That leads me right into my next question: why do you think design is so important for marketing/communications/PR?
Design is so important for marketing because it can help you stand out and tell your story. A lot of times, the design of a website or a business card is the first thing your audience will see, so what does that design say about you? I always think about this when I’m picking a typeface – the size and style help convey the feeling and weight of the message. That’s why, for instance, you don’t see a lot of Comic Sans being used in advertisements for new medical devices. Design can help create confidence in your business, convey the creativity of your team or make your message more memorable. That’s the power of graphic design, and why it’s become such an important part of the work we do here at Bellmont Partners for our clients.
Exactly why we’re thrilled to have you on our team. What’s a favorite piece you’ve designed in the past year?
I enjoy creating the designed reports for our clients that capture the impact and results of our work in a fun, visual way. But my favorite piece that I designed this past year would have to be the poster I created for Illinois Firefighter Peer Support (ILFFPS).
ILFFPS is a nonprofit organization that provides first responders in need with a network of fellow firefighters trained to offer peer support. ILFFPS turned to us to help build awareness for its free Peer Support Hotline and mental health resources available to all Illinois firefighters. We launched a two-month media relations campaign and developed this poster emphasizing the confidential, compassionate peer support ILFFPS provides to first responders. The poster was distributed to 1,000 fire stations across the state of Illinois – building awareness for ILFFPS and increasing call volume. It’s extremely meaningful to have worked on a design project that is literally helping to save lives.
Incredible work! What type of design project have you not had a chance to work on yet, but would like to tackle in the coming year?
I’ve always thought it would be fun to dip more into brand identity design. I’ve had a little experience with creating logos for organizations in the past but would love to dive into creating an entire visual brand – developing a portfolio of matching visual elements like logos, stationary and more.
Thank you, Sydney – we’re so glad you are a part of the Bellmont Partners team!
If you’re a current client who would like to explore how design could strengthen your PR strategy, or you’ve never worked with us before but would love to dip your toes into the design waters, please don’t hesitate to reach out! We’d love to collaborate with you.