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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Agency Profile – Maccabee Group Public Relations

During its 15 years as one of Minneapolis’ most strategic and thoughtful PR agencies, Maccabee Group has been chosen by such respected brands as Gold’n Plump Poultry, Deluxe Corp., OfficeMax, Carlson Companies, AmericInn hotels, M & M/Mars, Caribou Coffee, Cirque de Soleil, Shock Doctor, General Mills, Malt-O-Meal, American Medical Systems and Octane Fitness.

Maccabee Group’s drive for real-world results goes beyond the media impressions the firm has generated for clients, from ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” and National Public Radio to the pages of the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times, Inc. and Newsweek. Typical of the agency’s successes was its helping OfficeMax secure a 20% bump in traffic and 444,000,000 page views on the Web, assisting General Mills in achieving a sell-out of 10 million boxes of Cheerios withn a 90-day window, and supporting “Go Organic for Earth Day” in driving awareness of organic food from 65% to 75% nationwide.

In an industry prone to turf battles, Maccabee Group embraces a collaborative philosophy that puts clients first, agency hubris last. Rather than force clients to use “in-network” agencies to drive profits to holding companies, independently-owned Maccabee Group balances its own capabilities with graphic design, event marketing, sales promotion, interactive and SEO services from other best-of-breed firms. That collegial attitude inspired Medvec Eppers Advertising to enthuse, “Maccabee Group is hands down the Best Damn PR Firm Period.” Experiential agency Innova Marketing adds: “Innova has worked side-by side with a lot of agencies, but Maccabee Group’s the best of them – truly collaborative, creative and competent, with lots of trust, no egos and great results for clients.”

Nationally recognized for its creativity, Maccabee Group broke a Guinness Record with OfficeMax’s World’s Largest Rubberband Ball, hired Pet Psychics to read the minds of cats and dogs for PETCO stores, employed a Gypsy fortuneteller to dramatize palm reading technology for Internet Service Provider, VISI; carved Jesse Ventura out of 5,000 pounds of Kemps Ice Cream and used Dueling Elvis Presley impersonators to drive sales of M & M/Mars candy.

Maccabee Group’s strength is in concepting game-changing programs that move client companies to their next level of growth. Consider the “Stand Up For Your Right to Write Checks” consumer advocacy campaign for Deluxe Corp; the pathbreaking “Four Generations Overcoming Addiction” and “Making Recovery America’s Business” public education programs for Hazelden; the “Keeping Sexual Intimacy Alive” healthcare marketing campaign with Dr. Ruth Westheimer for American Medical Systems; and the “Bring Home the Bac-O’s” cause marketing initiative, which earned Maccabee and General Mills a “Best PR Campaign of the Year” award.

Maccabee Group’s NODE online practice guides clients to the most effective use of Web assets, interactive technologies and social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Maccabee Group – winner of “Best Interactive Viral Promotion” from Promo magazine for its ElfYourself campaign for OfficeMax – offers clients proprietary Web planning and online reputation measurement tools that drive powerful engagement with clients’ most important audiences.

Walk into Maccabee Group’s headquarters in Minneapolis, and you’ll sense the agency’s high-energy culture -- a jukebox stuffed with 1950s R & B, a rotating disco ball and an animated Elvis Presley robot head, and a “College of Marketing Knowledge” library that back up NODE Presents events and other professional development workshops for employees.

“The lifeblood of any PR agency is trust,” says president Paul Maccabee. “Building trust with consumers, keeping trust with clients, reinforcing trust with media, bloggers and other influencers who affect a company’s success.” Maccabee Group’s integrity has attracted socially responsible groups like Go Organic for Earth Day and Sunrise Community Banks. It’s led the agency to champion domestic partnership legislation for gays with a coalition of 30 other creative agencies; pursue pro bono work for Sierra Club Minnesota; and turn down the opportunity to promote casinos, liquor and nuclear weapons. Go figure, a PR agency with a conscience?