Risdall McKinney
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Holmes Report
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Risdall McKinney

Holmes Report

Minneapolis ad agency Risdall Advertising had been handling public relations assignments for clients for some years before the formal creation of Risdall McKinney Public Relations in 2006 under the leadership of Karwoski & Courage veteran Rose McKinney. Nevertheless, the new brand has established itself in the crowded Twin Cities PR marketplace remarkably quickly, differentiating itself through its Results that Matter philosophy, an approach that blends traditional and non-traditional public relations techniques (supported by a parent company that ranks among the top 50 interactive, search engine and Internet agencies in the U.S.) to deliver business results relevant to an individual client’s challenge: enrollment, sales, attendance, reputation, participation, dialogue. The firm takes a view of public relations—not universal among ad agency-owned PR shops—that extends beyond media relations or publicity to focus on building brands and reputations by engaging critical stakeholder relationships. 


Billings are up from around $2.4 million in 2005 to around $4.4 million last year, after another year of solid double digit growth, building a client roster that includes consumer, business-to-business and non-profit organizations and earning the firm its place among the top 10 in Minnesota. Risdall McKinney continues to work with major clients including the Professional Awnings Manufacturers Association, Vision-Ease Lens, Hearing Components, ATEK Companies, Archway, Premier Mounts, supplemented in 2008 with new additions including Vatican Splendors, Calypso Control Systems, Healthways, and Buyers Health Care Action.


Another source of growth was the expansion of the firm’s social media capabilities with the addition of a dedicated team. RMPR also expanded its senior leadership team, which includes McKinney, vice president (and Padilla Speer Beardsley veteran Eva Keiser, and vice president Joel Swanson (who previously served as head of communications for Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Minnesota) with the addition of a third VP, Brant Skogrand, who formerly worked in media relations for Thrivent Financial


Among highlights of the firm’s work, RMPR partnered with Vision-Ease Lens, which manufactures quality ophthalmic lenses, to raise awareness of the company’s response to efforts by retail partners including Wal-Mart to improve their sustainable business practices, committing the company to reducing its carbon footprint, formalizing its operating principle to be a good corporate citizen and setting sustainability standards within the eye care industry. Risdall McKinney also worked with Vatican Splendors to bring 2000 years of Vatican art and history to Minnesota.


 “As a client of RMPR’s, I have experienced the agency’s dedication to driving results that matter,” says Megan Effertz, director of marketing for Archway. “RMPR works very hard to develop PR strategy and lead our team to implement tactics that have resulted in numerous stories about Archway in both the local and national media. Additionally, the RMPR team has taken the time to understand how PR can benefit our online strategy to drive leads and has engaged with the online team to create an integrated public relations strategy. RMPR is not just a vendor of doing a job, but instead a partner who is committed to helping me succeed and helping my company become known around the country.” Adds Candee Wolf, director of marketing and communications for Metro Dentalcare and American Dental Partners: “The RMPR team helped promote Metro Dentalcare’s Halloween candy buy-back program. In the program’s first year with just three of 36 dental practices participating, RMPR obtained phenomenal press coverage, which directly led to new patients. The program has become a best practice for more than 25 other American Dental Partners affiliates across the country.”

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