Holmes Report 01 Dec 2011 // 12:00AM GMT
Stephen Dupont, who previously headed up a number of outdoor lifestyle accounts at Twin Cities powerhouse Carmichael Lynch Spong, is now heading the public relations practice at local rival firm Pocket Hercules, which seeks to provide powerful results for its clients from within a small agency package.
Led by Dupont and fellow-principals Jack Supple, Jason Smith, and Tom Camp—all of them veterans of Carmichael Lynch—the 16-person firm provides integrated advertising, interactive and public relations support to a range of clients that includes Dupont’s longtime client Rapala USA, which manufacturers fishing lures and fishing line; Mortenson Renewable Energy Group; the legal division of Thomson Reuters; and American Public Media Group, a broadcast and online media company.
But one of the things that make Pocket Hercules different is that it also develops its own products: Lakemaid Beer, now in its fourth year, and Tiny Footprint Coffee, developed in partnership with Roastery 7 and the Mindo Cloud Forest Association. It is also developing a new video game brand and a smart phone protective cover for kids, both scheduled for launch in the summer of 2011. That product development experience plays into and draws on the firm’s strengths: its brand-building acumen and ability to deliver creative, innovative solutions on limited budgets.
The firm continued its steady growth, with new business from Health BPM (healthcare consulting firm), N’compass (IT consulting firm), Plastic Surgery Consultants, Anchor Block (premium landscaping products), the Saint Paul Foundation (philanthropic organization offering donor-advised funds), and The Tile Shop (tile retailer with 50 stores in 23 states). Interesting assignments in 2010 included launching The Prairie Club, a new golf destination, generating coverage in leading titles such as Golf Digest, Golf Magazine, GolfWeek, and Links; helping the Findlaw.com division of Thomson Reuters achieve an 17 percent increase in web traffic through an editorial program that emphasized its expertise on every day law issues and topics (foreclosure, divorce, cyberbullying); and helping Pearl Izumi, which makes high-end running and cycling apparel, reach hardcore runners through a creative campaign in porta-johns at running events.
“We have worked with Stephen and Pocket Hercules for several years on a major PR initiative built around the business case for FindLaw.com,” says Scott Augustin, director of communications, Thomson Reuters, Legal. “Stephen is innovative, knowledgeable and easy to work with and the results have been out of this world. Last year, we launched WestlawNext, the biggest product launch in our business’s history, and Stephen supported that launch with strategic and tactical support, including media relations, advertorial development and general writing. We’re crazy about him.”