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An Interview with Kristi Marquardt: Her Thoughts on 22 Years at Brandpoint

In 2002, Kristi Marquardt started her journey with Brandpoint. Almost 22 years later, Kristi stands as a Senior Business Development Executive and an integral part of the company’s success in the public relations industry. As one of the longest-tenured employees at Brandpoint, Kristi has not only navigated the industry’s shifts but also thrived within them.

Our team members pride themselves on forming real partnerships with their connections at different agencies around the country. These relationships have helped us stay relevant and helpful over the past few decades, and Kristi is one of the reasons why these partnerships have flourished. With that in mind, we wanted to sit down with Kristi to get her thoughts on her time at Brandpoint, the industry and the future of work in communications.

What motivated you to join Brandpoint almost 22 years ago, and how has your role evolved since then?

I joined Brandpoint almost 22 years ago, driven by my background in marketing services. Prior to this, I had a brief stint in IT professional staffing in the Twin Cities, where I handled placements for top companies such as Carlson, U.S. Bank and UnitedHealth Group. However, it was my love for marketing that led me to explore opportunities at Brandpoint.
 
I stand among the three longest-tenured employees here, alongside David Olson and Pam Morrisey-Herzog. Over the years, it has been fascinating to witness the evolving demand for the MAT Release. I’ve nurtured enduring client relationships for two decades, with some clients even taking me along as they moved. While my role in business development has remained consistent, the dynamic environment and the evolving landscape of our industry have kept each day interesting.

Can you share a pivotal moment or project during your time at Brandpoint that tested your skills and pushed your boundaries?

I still laugh when I think about this. My very first project here was with none other than Walmart. I still vividly recall picking up the phone and asking if they had any immediate content release needs. To my surprise, they said yes, and I nearly dropped the phone.


[Read More: PRSA International Conference: An Interview with Kristi Marquardt and Annette Albrecht]

 
Working with such a renowned brand so early in my Brandpoint journey was exhilarating and, simultaneously, a monumental test of my skills. I’ve never shied away from making direct calls to companies, and I wholeheartedly love the challenges that come with new business development. Over the years, building and nurturing relationships with both longstanding clients and talented PR professionals and agencies have remained deeply rewarding aspects of my role.

In an ever-changing industry, how have you managed to stay adaptable and innovative in your strategies?

I talk with a diverse range of individuals on a daily basis, enjoying conversations about their ongoing projects, business pitches, quick-turn initiatives and any challenges they might face with media placement. My approach is simple: I always ask how we can assist them effectively, striving to provide tailored solutions. Listening is a fundamental aspect of my approach.
 
I find that I gain invaluable insights from our business partners, helping me stay attuned to industry developments. Staying updated is crucial, and I do so by following industry experts within our top agency partners and staying informed through trade publications. Networking is equally vital, attending local events, meeting clients in person or using video conferencing to build strong relationships. My involvement with PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) has been particularly enlightening, providing access to conferences and meetups that keep me well-informed and ready to adapt to our ever-changing industry.
 

Brandpoint’s culture has been praised. Can you share a story that showcases the collaborative spirit and teamwork that define the company?

Brandpoint’s culture is something special. Our Content Promotion team has a knack for infusing fun into our work. It’s not uncommon to find our team members sharing stories about their lives, whether it’s tales about their pets, kids, recent travels, local events, cooking adventures or even the occasional mishap.
 
 
What truly distinguishes our team is our unwavering support for one another. We readily offer a helping hand, engage in creative brainstorming sessions and consistently lift each other up. It’s this camaraderie that makes our team exceptional.
 
Last year, we rented a party bus and went to an apple orchard, where we enjoyed a wine tasting

Over two decades, you’ve likely seen employees grow and develop. Can you share a story of mentorship or professional growth that’s left a lasting impact?

During my time at Brandpoint, I had the privilege of working alongside Fran Yoch, one of the company’s founders. Fran was a VP in business development, and we collaborated closely. Fran was not only a wealth of knowledge with numerous client stories and innovative approaches to working with clients, but she also had a remarkable ability to infuse a sense of fun into our work. She showed me the importance of finding joy in what we do while knowing where to draw the line. Her leadership approach in the industry was truly inspiring, and I am grateful for all that she taught me during my early years at Brandpoint.
 
Fast forward to now, I thoroughly enjoy working with newer colleagues on our team, guiding them in the best approaches to their work. My hope is that I can pass on a little nugget of wisdom that will stay with each of them throughout their careers and lives, just as Fran did for me.

Brandpoint’s reputation is built on delivering results. Could you discuss a project where your team’s strategic thinking led to a particularly impressive outcome?

Our approach at Brandpoint is truly collaborative, involving the collective efforts of creative minds, strategic partnerships and project management. I work internally with our content writers, designers and project managers to orchestrate successful projects. I love the collaborative teamwork.
 
We recently had the opportunity to host a client from the health association sector in our office for a live video shoot. Meeting them in person added a personal touch to the collaboration and allowed us to work closely and effectively on a fast-paced project. This project’s success not only showcased our strategic thinking and ability to deliver results but also highlighted the strength of our teamwork and the value of face-to-face interactions in building strong client relationships.
 
[Read More: An Interview with Brant Skogrand]

Brandpoint’s journey is intertwined with yours. Could you share an anecdote that symbolizes your personal growth alongside the company’s development over the years?

Certainly, my personal journey has been closely intertwined with Brandpoint’s development over the years, and one anecdote that symbolizes this connection relates to the art of balance in making it work.
 
First and foremost, I’m a mom and wife. I raised our three kids while working at Brandpoint. When I first started here, my oldest child was just beginning to walk. Now, with two still in high school, our family is constantly busy with activities. Balancing the demands of motherhood with a career at Brandpoint was a challenge I embraced.
 
One significant milestone in my journey with Brandpoint was becoming the company’s first remote employee, working from home. It was a pioneering step for both me and the company, and I’m proud to have paved the way for flexible work arrangements.

Looking ahead, how do you envision Brandpoint’s continued growth and success over the next decade?

Looking ahead, we will continue to drive Brandpoint’s growth and success by committing to meet our clients’ evolving needs. We will proactively engage in conferences and industry events to stay ahead of emerging trends, all while valuing our partners’ input in shaping our offerings. Our adaptability and innovation in the content promotion space will ensure that we can cater to a wide range of client needs, allowing us to become experts in every industry we serve. We will maintain a strong focus on building and nurturing deeper client relationships and exploring new avenues for business development. In essence, Brandpoint’s future will be marked by our commitment to innovation, client collaboration and enduring partnerships, delivering exceptional value and success to both clients and our dedicated team members.
 
Thank you, Kristi! We are genuinely honored to have you as an integral part of Brandpoint’s legacy.

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