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Tribute to a Great Mentor

Everyone should be so fortunate to have one amazing, influential mentor during the course of his or her career. For Redhead Marketing & PR founder Hilary Reiter, it was her last boss prior to launching this business in 2010. Here is the story…

Redhead Marketing & PR founder Hilary Reiter with mentor Conrad ElliottConrad Elliott, who passed away tragically and suddenly from Creutzfeld Jakob Disease (a rare prion brain disease) on March 25th was my former boss at Dering Elliott & Associates, mentor, and friend. What made this true creative genius the ultimate mentor was he didn’t even know he was being one. Just a couple of months ago, C (as I always called him) gave me sound business advice regarding a client that I am grateful to have followed. We were supposed to be working together now for some of Redhead’s clients. His absence as the creative engine for these projects has been profound.

In 2007, Conrad hired me to manage public relations for DEA’s luxury real estate development clients in various destinations. This was new territory for him as the advertising agency never before had a PR department. He let me do my thing and always seemed pleased with the resulting media coverage. C was the absolute most brilliant and perfectionist writer I have ever had the privilege to know and work with. His mastery of the English language was remarkable. He had an uncanny ability to come up with the catchiest tagline or advertising headline in a fraction of a minute…and with great finesse. Whenever I handed him a draft press release to review, he would redline it to death – even if I had been convinced it was the most fabulous release ever written in the history of public relations. This was always a humbling, yet educational experience.

When DEA was adversely impacted by the recession beginning in 2008, I was one of the few employees he kept on as long as possible. Even when I had little work to do for several months, C let me hang out and collect a paycheck while he more than generously sacrificed his own income. He also turned a disapproving blind eye when I would “sneak” my dogs (Redhead’s future canine interns) into my upstairs office. Conrad actually turned down an offer to do marketing for a mayoral candidate because I was volunteering to manage the opponent’s campaign. How many bosses would do this?

Eventually, he had to let me go in 2010. A blessing in disguise, this departure propelled me into starting my own business. I picked up a few freelance projects which led to the founding of Redhead Marketing & PR.  As someone who had been limited to the realm of public relations, I absorbed a great deal about branding and developing marketing campaigns from Conrad that I could offer my own clients.

An integral force that helped drive Redhead’s success, C sent us his clients who needed PR services. We collaborated on businesses like Carlton Landing, Oklahoma and Conestoga Ranch. I was elated when he agreed to lend his branding magic and writing prowess to some of Redhead’s clients. Then he became ill. He called on a Sunday afternoon in February to notify me of his CJD diagnosis and profusely apologized for not being able to meet his commitments. That was the absolute least of my concerns. It was devastating to think that this man – as healthy and fit as he was intelligent – would likely soon be gone.

Conrad Elliott marketing genius and mentor

Conrad Elliott, photo courtesy of Christy Grant

When I met Conrad, my admiration for him was instantaneous. And he was a bit intimidating. A handsome, cerebral silver fox, he was articulate, witty, and seemed to know an enormous amount about absolutely everything. Each conversation left me feeling enlightened. We brainstormed proposals and campaigns for clients, and discussed politics, current events, film, and skiing at Deer Valley. Every time I write, I ask myself how Conrad would wordsmith it to an infinite degree with 15 revisions. I know he is on the other side rewriting this tribute as I type (according to WordPress, I am at just 14 revisions for this post). Ironically, what could be his most annoying trait is probably what I will miss and crave the most.

Conrad will continue to be an inspiration; much of my success can be attributed to his guidance, support and belief in my abilities. I hope this longtime, affable Park City local is enjoying eternal skate skiing, alpine skiing, and running amidst breathtaking, otherworldly scenery. And I’m sure he’s penning a few brilliant marketing headlines as well. Thank you, C, for everything. You will be forever missed by those you touched during your amazing life.

Recent Branding Projects

Redhead Marketing & PR assembles some of the best talent we know to work on a variety of branding projects. We are passionate about extracting our clients’ visions and creatively presenting them in a compelling and unique manner. Recently, we have completed two very different branding projects. One was for Spruce, a new interior design firm opening a showroom in Midway, Utah. The other was a rebrand for a technology company, Noorda Technologies, based in Salt Lake City that specializes in scanning and 3D modeling using Reality Capture.

The Process

For each client, the process is a new adventure as an opportunity to grow and better define themselves. And it is just as exciting and challenging for us! We begin with a kick off and brainstorming meeting. This allows us to develop an understanding of their industry, their audience and customers, their mission, and what they wish for their brand to convey. We also explore the type of collateral they think they need, so we know the various applications for their logo in terms of printed materials, digital use, trade show displays, clothing, and more. After this initial discussion, we create a customized branding worksheet. This encourages businesses to have their key players be super thoughtful when it comes expressing what they like and dislike about competitors’ branding, what they seek for their own brand, and identifying key messaging. Next, we are able to take this information and begin the exciting brand exploration process and develop a variety of distinct concepts for consideration. Once a direction is determined, we work to refine the design based on feedback from the client. When the logo design is finalized, we create a style guide to define how logo should be used, signature fonts, and various logo iterations.

Collateral Development

The branding process does not end there. More fun ensues as we come up with designs for various collateral like brochures, business cards, letterhead, and envelopes. It’s truly rewarding to see the branding take shape and how we can apply it to practical items.

Below are the recent projects for Spruce and Noorda Technologies (showing before and after).

Clean, simple and modern:

 

BEFORE: Noorda’s previous logo

AFTER: Redhead Marketing & PR’s Logo Design inspired by the company’s 3D modeling work and blueprints that are used by architects.

Feel free to contact us with any questions about your brand. We are happy to discuss how we can create it or improve it!

 

 

Not Your Standard Advertising Agency

When we say we become a part of our clients’ teams, we truly mean it. And we demonstrate this Redhead Difference in a multitude of ways that a traditional advertising agency cannot due to the nature of its structure. Many of the businesses we work with don’t have their own marketing departments. In essence, Redhead Marketing & PR takes on that role for them. This saves companies the expense and time in hiring and managing additional, high-salaried employees who cost more than our services and may not come with the same level of expertise.

We are also vastly different from the traditional advertising agency’s multi-layered structure, which often means their clients are not getting their top talent managing their accounts. Redhead Marketing & PR consists of a small team of only highly experienced independent contractors who specialize in website development, branding, and graphic design. They are not gaining experience on our clients’ dimes – they already have it! And our clients don’t experience the frustration of a revolving door of account managers and the time it takes for each new one to get up to speed.

Because we are passionate about our clients, who we prefer to consider partners, we seize opportunities to go beyond our scope of work. This means booking a gig for a band we are doing media relations for, making an introduction to a realtor for a prospective developer client, and even filling in at the retail shop of a distillery when the owner takes a vacation.

It is our goal to become a valued, indispensable resource for our clients. This makes for a productive, enjoyable, and long term relationship. Try going above and beyond for your clients and customers, and see the difference it can make!

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Knitting and Campaigning

What do a high-end yarn boutique and a political campaign have in common? Very little, except that they are two of Redhead Marketing & PR’s newest clients. We are pleased to be handling the marketing for Wasatch & Wool, opening late summer at Redstone in Park City and David Brickey, the Republican candidate running for reelection as Summit County Attorney in November.

Brickey, as he is amicably known amongst his peers and colleagues, has served as Summit County Utah Attorney for 10 years. A moderate Republican, he was first appointed to this office by a mostly Democratic County Council. Redhead will be working to conceive a campaign brand in addition to developing the website and other campaign collateral. We will also manage grassroots marketing efforts throughout the county to elevate awareness, raise funds and get out the vote. David Brickey is the fifth political candidate to engage Redhead Marketing & PR since the company was founded in 2010. Our other political highlights include managing the successful campaigns and marketing efforts for Park City Mayor Dana Williams in 2009 and his successor, Jack Thomas in 2013. We love the energy and intensity of working on political campaigns!

Wasatch & Wool will occupy the space that once housed the CJ Sport boutique at the Redstone shopping center at Park City’s Kimball Junction. The yarn boutique will offer an intimate, welcoming retail experience with high-quality, natural yarns at a variety of price points. With the recent resurgence of knitting as a hobby for all ages, the owner seeks to foster a local knitting community with workshops and social gatherings for knitters. Park City’s only yarn store, Wasatch & Wool is sure to appeal to both locals and visitors with a passion for knitting and creating special knitted products with yarns of superior quality. Redhead Marketing & PR is beginning work on branding, logo development and website design. We will manage additional public relations and marketing collateral needs as well.