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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Meet Young Professional of the Year Award Winner Maggie LaMaack - @MaggieLaMaack

At the 37th annual Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards banquet on April 9, Maggie LaMaack of Bellmont Partners was named Young Professional of the Year.

1. Tell us a bit about your public relations experience so far.

I did several internships in college, mostly in communications roles at places like the Minneapolis Grain Exchange and the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation. After I graduated, I was hired as an intern at a small PR agency called McFarland Cahill. There I worked on a lot of events and local clients, including some that I actually work on now at Bellmont Partners. I worked under a bunch of super smart, talented women, who taught me a lot about what I needed to know to be successful in this industry.

I started at Bellmont Partners more than two years ago, and currently work on some local clients like Red Cow, the Uptown Art Fair and the Mpls.St. Paul Magazine ASID Showcase Home, as well on bigger accounts like the Midwest Dairy Council and their Fuel Up to Play 60 program. I also get to work on the butter sculptures at the State Fair, which is always fun! I can tell you so many facts about those butter sculptures, it’s my party trick.

Outside of public relations I like to write, and have contributed locally at a few publications. It’s nice to have a creative outlet, and I’m lucky to work for people who encourage such things.

Maggie LaMaack
2. What role has PRSA had in your career success?

I think just going to PRSA events and meeting different people in the industry has been really valuable. I do a lot of my “networking” online and meet a lot of public relations people through Twitter, but it is great to be able to put a face with a name.

3. Who are some of your favorite Tweeters and why?

This is basically an impossible question to answer. There is no one thing that has helped my career more than Twitter. When I started writing my #MSPtweeps column on the LOL/OMG blog, I met so many internet people that I now consider very close friends, not to mention people who have opened the door to opportunities I never would have had otherwise.

I use Twitter for everything, from meeting people to deciding where to go out to dinner when I’m traveling for work. Right now I’m in St. Louis and just asked where I should eat and real life people told me within minutes!

It’s hard to choose favorites because I kind of see Twitter as a big invisible room filled with all of my friends. Locally, I think @jaymboller makes me consistently laugh more than anyone. He also runs the @vita_mn Twitter account, which I’m pretty sure features more puns than any news outlet in existence. @Piefingers is also hilarious if you are interested in food, and @RossRaihala can live-tweet a concert like no other. Non-locally, I think @lukeoneil47 and @drewmagary are smart and hilarious. @rachsyme is also great. Also, if you don’t already read @TodayinTabs, fix that. RIP @Horse_ebooks.

Disclaimer: This list does not include anyone who I hang out with more than once a month and is subject to change.

4. What is your desired career path?

I’d love to keep working with local clients. I love the Twin Cities, and having the opportunity to help local businesses and events always feels good.

To be honest, I’ve never really had a plan. I try to take any opportunities that come my way and run with them. One thing I have recently learned is that a lot of times, if you just ask someone if you can do something, people usually say, “sure.” Crazy, right?

I know that sounds stupid, but as a young(ish) person in any industry, imposter syndrome can be so real, and just believing you can do something, and then asking for it, can make all the difference.

5. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

I’d like to thank my bosses at Bellmont Partners, and Maureen Cahill for nominating me for this award. I’m lucky to work (or have worked) for all of them.

You can follow me on Twitter at @MaggieLaMaack. My dad says I tweet too much, so you’ve been warned. I also tweet occasionally from @BellmontPR.

-- Brant Skogrand, APR, MBC / Skogrand PR Solutions, LLC