Staff Spotlight: Andrea Magaña
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Assistant Account Executive Andrea Magaña enjoys the opportunities she has been given to grow professionally at Rapp Strategies – from developing social media analytic reports to pitching new ideas for client’s social media content.

“My coworkers are always open to new ideas and encourage me to work on projects that excite me,” she said. “That’s a rare trait in the agency world.”

Prior to joining Rapp Strategies, Andrea studied at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul where she gained journalism and marketing experience through her work as intern at the Office of the Minnesota State Senate and as the Director for the student-led paper, The Examiner.

Outside of the office, Andrea has started her own social media and a community project called Humans of Worthington that shares the narratives of her home town citizens of Worthington, Minn.

“I’ve had the great opportunity to go to my home town [Worthington] to do voter outreach with the communities of color – hands-on grassroots!”

How have you grown as a professional since you started working at Rapp Strategies?

I feel like I’ve grown in many ways. First, my knowledge of the digital world has expanded greatly. I give a lot of the credit to my coworkers, who have taught me the ins and outs of the internet, social media [keyboard shortcuts are a lifesaver.] and graphic design. I’ve also grown in my ability to pitch ideas. Many times, as the youngest staff member, I felt my ideas/feedback weren’t important, but I’ve grown to be more confident in the knowledge and understanding I have to offer to Rapp Strategies.

What is your favorite aspect of your job?

On Friday’s we have breakfast as a team. It’s a great way to start the weekend. I also love the fact that I can grow in the areas that I want.

What is one habit that makes you more successful?

Creating lists and setting goals. Having a clear vision, whether it’s daily tasks that need to be completed or a year-long goal, has played a huge role in my success.  I enjoy giving myself a challenge or task and being able to complete it to the best of my abilities.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I had many dreams of careers as a kid. First, I wanted to be an immigration lawyer. I saw how much help my Latino community needed when it came to the ability to afford legal help and understanding legal jargon. I then wanted to become an art or English teacher because I enjoyed tutoring younger kids when I was in Middle school. I finally decided on PR because I enjoyed writing, public speaking and narratives. There’s something about the power of communicating to each other, especially through narratives that pull at my heart strings.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?

I think my greatest accomplishment so far is graduating college two years early and saving money and getting an early start in the workforce.

What is one thing about you few people know?

I’m currently studying to become a personal trainer with a specialization in performance enhancement and am also studying to become a certified nutrition specialist. I also taught Taekwondo for ten years as a second-degree black belt.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

Your early twenties are meant for risk-taking, and it’s okay to fail.

What is one piece of wisdom you would give your younger self?

When choosing a career path, don’t choose something to please your parents or mentors and don’t choose something for the money. Choose something that you would do regardless of pay. Take time to reflect daily.

Rapp Strategies, Inc.
RAPP STRATEGIES RUNDOWN – SEPTEMBER 2018

What we’re reading, listening to and thinking about this month.

Todd R.: I recommend the book Where Did You Get This Number?: A Pollster's Guide to Making Sense of the World by Anthony Salvanto, a look at the disappearing art of accurate political survey research. Also, Better Call Saul is back! So are the Vikings. And how about Nick Lowe’s Labour of Lust?  What a pop album!

Todd S.: The Great Recession officially ended in June 2009, though recovery would be years away. As the 10th anniversary of the recession’s end approaches, I think it would be a great time to get to a book that I have always meant to read — The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis. The book is considered one of the most insightful takes on the build-up of the housing bubble during the 2000s that led to the near-collapse of the U.S. economy.

Sarah: I recently watch the documentary Three Identical Strangers and you should watch it ASAP. Right when you think you have it figured out, it takes a few more twists. Each morning after I tune into my news podcast (“Up First” by NPR) I’ve begun tuning in to “This Day in History Class” by the ladies at “Stuff You Missed in History Class.” Tracy and Holly have been delighting my inner history nerd with their well-researched episodes for years, and their daily installments live up to that standard.

Aaron: I am currently finishing The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World by neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley and psychologist Larry Rosen. Each chapter explores the human mind and explains why our brains aren't built for multitasking and suggests better ways to live in a high-tech world without giving up our modern technology.

Anna: I just finished A Man Called Ove by Swedish author Fredrik Backman, a book about a loveable curmudgeon that had me laughing out loud in my car. Next up is Americanah by Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, which so far is as richly layered as her unforgettable Half of a Yellow Sun.

Andrea: "Latino USA" has been reporting on the recent "zero tolerance" policy of the Trump Administration and its effects on families. Their podcast episode, "Torn Apart 2: The Moral Dilemma of Juan Sanchez," took an interesting look at this crisis when they interviewed Juan Sanchez, a social justice champion well-known in the Latino advocacy circle, BUT who is also the CEO of Southwest Keys Programs, the organization making money from sheltering immigrant minors in the U.S.

 

Rapp Strategies, Inc.
Staff Spotlight: Anna Paulson
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Account Executive Anna Paulson brings sharp writing and editing skills to clients at Rapp Strategies. Anna also helps manage digital development, grassroots campaigns and media relations. 

“One day I may be writing content or creating a social media plan and the next I might be out in the field doing interviews, but all of it centers around core strategy,” Anna says. “There’s always purpose behind the work we do.”

Before joining Rapp Strategies, Anna worked as research and writing assistant to bestselling author Julie Klassen. She earned her bachelor's degree in English from Concordia University, St. Paul. 

“Having a background that encouraged creativity as well as analytical thinking gave me a really solid foundation to stand on,” Anna says. “People told me I couldn’t do anything with an English major. I'm proving them wrong.”

How have you grown as a professional since you started working at Rapp Strategies?

Collaborating with colleagues and clients on complex projects has challenged me to dig deeper into strategy and look at issues from different perspectives.  

What is your favorite aspect of your job?

The best part of my job is bringing powerful ideas to life. Writing well is hard work, but I love it. 

What is one habit that makes you more successful?

I read. A lot! 

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

First a veterinarian, then a pediatrician and then an author. I still plan to be an author someday.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?

Earning the respect and trust of wonderful mentors in my life, both personally and professionally.

What is one thing about you few people know?

I once met Julie Andrews when she was in town for a book signing. She was as elegant as I imagined while rocking blue eye shadow.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

Something my dad told me every day when I was younger: “Work hard and get smart.”

What is one piece of wisdom you would give your younger self?

Don’t worry so much. God’s got this.

RSI Staff
RAPP STRATEGIES, INC. ANNOUNCES PROMOTIONS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                  

Contact: Todd Rapp, CEO
Phone: 612-843-4543

MINNEAPOLIS (September 5, 2018) – Rapp Strategies, Inc. has announced the promotions of Sarah J. Oliver to senior account executive and Anna Paulson to account executive.

  Sarah J. Oliver

Sarah J. Oliver

  Anna Paulson

Anna Paulson

Sarah Oliver joined the firm in 2015. Oliver’s background includes working as a press assistant on a 2014 U.S. Senate campaign, where she managed digital content and assisted with media relations. During the 2015 session, she worked as a legislative assistant at the Minnesota Senate, where she wrote and developed content and managed constituent communications. Oliver received her bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Northwestern – St. Paul. 

Before joining the firm in 2016, Anna Paulson worked as assistant to bestselling author Julie Klassen of Bethany House Publishers. She helped Klassen edit and develop manuscripts, conduct research, write articles and manage communication with readers. Paulson graduated summa cum laude from Concordia University, St. Paul in May 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in English.

“Rapp Strategies is proud to recognize the services and leadership that Sarah and Anna provide to clients and we look forward to their continued success,” said Todd Rapp, CEO of Rapp Strategies. “Both Sarah and Anna have been instrumental in shaping communications strategies, successful grassroots campaigns and digital media plans for our clients.”

Founded in 1982, the firm has provided top-tier strategic counsel and communications support to companies, trade groups, non-profits and government agencies in the Upper Midwest for more than 35 years. Last year, Todd Rapp acquired full ownership of the firm after the departure of John Himle. Rebranded as Rapp Strategies, Inc., the firm continues to help clients navigate complicated issues, raise public awareness, strengthen partnerships and manage reputation risks to reach their goals.

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Rapp Strategies Rundown – August 2018

What we’re reading, listening to and thinking about this month.

Todd R.: I look forward to reading Bob Woodward’s new book, Fear: Trump in the White House, when it comes out in September. I am gearing up for the Wild season and enjoying listening to Michael Russo and Jim Souhan on “Talk North.” I have also been anxiously awaiting “Better Call Saul” – Season 4.

Todd S.: If time allows, I hope to get to the book Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy, who is a journalist and best-selling author. In her latest work, Macy is exploring the epicenter of America's struggle with opioid addiction – from distressed small communities to Central Appalachia to wealthy suburbs. The opioid crisis isn’t going away. It’s time to learn more about it.

Sarah: I’ve recently discovered the delightful podcast “Cabinet of Curiosities” by Aaron Mahnke. Based on German Kunstkammer – or rooms of intriguing items – each quick episode highlights stories of coincidence, unexplainable moments or just downright strange tales. My binge quickly sent me down a click-hole of Aaron’s other podcast, “Lore.” I highly recommend Episode 89: “Fanning the Flames” which spotlights some of Chicago’s strangest stories and tragedies. On a much less supernatural front, I love when good journalism incorporates elements that makes my visual-learner brain excited. “Here’s How American Uses Its Land” from Dave Merrill and Lauren Leatherby at Bloomberg did exactly that.

Aaron: It’s never too early to get in the mood for Halloween. I’ll be reading Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow in preparation for my favorite holiday. 

Anna: I have been binge watching the series “Jamestown,” a PBS drama focusing on the first women who arrived at the Virginia settlement in 1619. I’m also listening to The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See, a novel that parallels the lives of a Chinese woman named Li-yan in the mountains of Yunnan and her daughter Haley, who has been adopted by a Californian couple.

Andrea: The most recent movie that I've seen in theaters is "Sorry to Bother You," a brutally honest and dramatized piece that unashamedly brings forward the topics of race and class, specifically the stereotypes viewed by white America.

RSI Staff