Staff Spotlight: Anna Paulson
Anna Paulson.jpg

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
Staff Spotlight: Aaron Roundtree
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Assistant Account Executive Aaron Roundtree enjoys delving into research and data analysis for a variety of clients at Rapp Strategies.

“Good research is important,” says Aaron. “It provides a critical foundation for how we can better understand and engage community members to achieve client goals.”

Prior to joining Rapp Strategies, Aaron sharpened his data skills through his work for the City of Minneapolis and internships at the Governor’s Office and Minnesota Senate.

"My collective experience has served me well as part of the Rapp Strategies team," says Aaron. "It's motivating to know the work I do here makes a significant impact on how clients shape their communications strategies.”

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

Working for clients at Rapp Strategies has exposed me to issues that affect greater Minnesota populations. Interacting with voices different from your own is always thought-provoking and helps put Minnesota’s socioeconomic diversity into perspective.

What is your favorite aspect of your job?

Research, data and survey analysis. The meticulous work is similar to a treasure hunt in the sense that there's always something valuable to find.

What is one habit that makes you more successful?

I take time to listen.   

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

Many things, but inspired by the film The Fugitive, I most wanted to be a U.S. Marshall.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?

Playing Big Ten football.

What is one thing about you few people know?

I was ambidextrous throughout my childhood and into my teenage years.  

What is the best advice you have ever received?

A quote by Shirley Chisholm that my family and close friends abide by: “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair."

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

Don’t stress yourself out. There’s more important things in life than 10th grade geometry.   

RSI Staff
Rapp Strategies Rundown – July 2018

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

Todd R.: I am a sucker for Wimbledon (unbelievable number of upsets in the Ladies’ Draw this year). One of my sons gave me Finding God in the Waves by Mike McHargue. If he thinks I should read it, I’m in! Cabin listening over the July 4th week was “70’s on 7” on SiriusXM.  We all need a little Poco tossed into our barbecues. 

Todd S.: I'm going to make a point to see the movie, "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" about the life and career of Fred Rogers, the host and creator of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Beyond his legacy for teaching children love, tolerance and understanding, Rogers was a remarkable communicator. He sharply focused on his key themes and messages, then creatively and poignantly delivered them in ways that engaged generations of young people. His messaging approach – personal engagement, simplified points, anecdotes, imagery – is textbook communications work, and a good lesson for serious communications specialists.

Sarah: After being pestered by friends for over a year to watch “Man in the High Castle,” I finally did. I have zero regrets about binging this fantastic show set in a dystopian alternative version of the 1960’s where Germany and Japan won WWII. Knox and Jamie of “The Popcast” often accompany me on my daily walk to and from work. A podcast that’s “dedicated to delightful idiocy and committed to educating on things that entertain, but do not matter,” they offer hilarious takes on everything from slang via Urban Dictionary to seasonal movie previews.

Aaron: Ian Fleming’s original James Bond series will keep me preoccupied throughout July. The three titles on the docket are Dr. No, Thunderball, and Diamonds are Forever.  

Anna: I recently finished A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner, an evocative novel that moves between the perspective of a nurse on Ellis Island in 1911 and a single mom in New York City ten years after 9/11. I have also started to receive afternoon updates from The Star Tribune, which has been a helpful way to catch up on news before the end of the work day.

Andrea: Sometimes, I find myself binge watching fitness videos on YouTube. A favorite channel is “Athlean-X,” where physical therapist and strength coach Jeff Cavaliere takes you beyond ordinary fitness and into the science behind nutrition, the muscular system and overall athleticism.

RSI Staff