The year 2020 was difficult and different in a lot of ways, so we found it even more important than ever to look back on our highlights. From client work to team celebrations, here are Tunheim’s 20 wins in 2020.

1. Helping prevent home foreclosures with the Minnesota Homeownership Center

We partnered with the Minnesota Homeownership Center to drive Minnesotans facing financial hardship to their foreclosure prevention services. Our campaign included social, Google, streaming and radio ads, as well as public affairs tactics. The center point of the campaign was a video translated into four total languages (English, Spanish, Somali and Hmong.) In total we reached about 10% of the Minnesota population with our message.

2. Bringing home a Tekne Award for our work with the Minnesota Hospital Association

Last winter, we partnered with the Minnesota Hospital Association on the critical issue of rural mental health. We visited mental health centers in southwest Minnesota to film a video and partnered with an influencer in the community – Minnesota Millennial Farmer – to spread the message of the importance of reducing the mental health stigma and increasing resources. We were thrilled to find out this fall that our work had been awarded Minnesota Technology Association’s Tekne award for Digital Marketing.

3. Staying home with the Governor’s Office and the State of Minnesota

Right as the pandemic hit Minnesota, we partnered with the office of Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan on the launch of the #StayHomeMN campaign, highlighting the importance of social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19. This campaign and our outreach to local influencers resulted in nearly 200 million impressions of the #StayHomeMN hashtag on Twitter, 12,000+ organic mentions on Instagram and a placement in the Star Tribune.

4. Refreshing Accra’s brand when their services are needed the most

Homecare client, Accra, has been an important solution for many families in 2020. Older individuals and those with disabilities have been disproportionately disadvantaged by COVID-19, and many don’t feel safe living in assisted living facilities. As people are looking for homecare options, Tunheim helped Accra refresh their brand and launch a new website that makes it easy to find the appropriate help.

5. Coast-to-coast coverage with Boston Harbor Cruises and Hornblower Cruises and Events

Long-term client Boston Harbor Cruises was recently acquired by Hornblower Cruises and Events. With several locations on both coasts, this acquisition provided the opportunity to introduce our clients to new media markets. Now our pitching and influencer outreach results in coast-to-coast coverage from Boston to San Diego!

6. Opening Opportunity’s Front Door with Dominium

Affordable housing developer Dominium focuses on providing value in the communities they serve. This year, this came to life by creating a scholarship program, Opportunities Front Door, for their residents and employees, to break down financial barriers to education. We supported the launch of this program by producing a video and providing PR and public affairs strategies.

7. Introducing Honey Plum with Mott50

Sun-protective swimwear brand Mott50 is a new client to Tunheim this year, and we supported their first collection launch this fall with their new resort line, Honey Plum. We introduced new digital strategies and supported the launch with PR tactics, ultimately leading to a successful launch during a challenging time to sell swimwear!

8. Giving Back

It was more important than ever this year to give back to our communities, so it was important to Tunheim to get involved. We were proud to celebrate Juneteenth with a donation to Northside Achievement Zone, Pride Month with a donation to ARISE, and Latinx Heritage Month with a donation to COPAL. These are all organizations we found to align closely with our values, and we plan to continue our tradition of giving in the next years to come.

9. Celebrating 30 Years

The year 2020 was far from what Tunheim had in store. We planned for a year-long birthday party, not a pandemic. Although the festivities were cancelled, we took time to focus on how Tunheim has grown over 30 years, what has been achieved, and how we can apply what we’ve learned toward our future. Onto the next 30!

10. Celebrating the achievements of Kathy Tunheim and Liz Tunheim Sheets

In 2020, we were proud to celebrate CEO/Principal Kathy Tunheim’s induction into the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame, highlighted by Twin Cities Magazine, and Chief Marketing Officer Liz Tunheim Sheet’s inclusion in Minneapolis/ St. Paul Business Journal’s 40 Under 40.

11. Going Virtual

Tunheim was lucky to have a smooth transition to remote work. Thanks to the hard work of Tunheim’s Macie Paynter, we were all set up on Zoom before the transition. Even typically in-person offerings like media trainings have been adapted for the virtual world. Client service and teamwork are at the heart of what we do, and that hasn’t changed. Zoom meetings are frequent, as are check-ins on wellness, just-for-fun happy hours, and game nights. Going virtual has kept us safe but a culture of community has powered us through a tough year.

12. Supporting Local Business with #ElevateBusinessHC

Hennepin County and the Minneapolis Regional Chamber created Elevate Business HC to uplift businesses impacted by the pandemic. This program offers pro-bono services including peer-to-peer roundtables, topic driven webinars and technical assistance, all to help the local business economy recover. We’re proud to be a partner in this initiative by amplifying their message to our audiences.

13. Bringing Minnesota together virtually to support the local community

With COVID-19 community needs mounting, FOX 9 (KMSP-TV) set out to produce a broadcast to unite Minnesotans for the community. In just one month’s time, FOX 9, in partnership with MPR, teamed up with Tunheim to build the two-hour broadcast event featuring Minnesota talent spanning genres and interests. The broadcast aired May 10 featuring local talent like Soul Asylum, Yam Haus, Dessa and more, and raised more than $140,000 for Second Harvest Heartland, Springboard for the Arts and MN Central Kitchen.

14. Launching a new distillery and pivoting to offer curbside in the midst of Minnesota restrictions with Brother Justus Whiskey Co.

Tunheim teamed up with Brother Justus Whiskey Co. as they prepared to announce their new distillery and cocktail room and the release of the world’s first-ever Cold-Peated American Single Malt. When new COVID-19 restrictions were announced, we switched our strategy and garnered stories about curbside offerings across local media including FOX 9, Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal, Star Tribune and more, and social media by inviting local influencers to taste the whiskey and see the space. Let Justus Flow!

15. Elevating an existing program and delivering grill kits to the nation’s “Bold Heroes”

In 2019, Tunheim developed the idea to align TGI Fridays frozen beef patties line with a cause marketing support to honor “Bold Heroes” – firefighters – and build key community relationships. In 2020, Tunheim and the TGI Fridays beef patties team developed a broader Bold Heroes program during summer grilling months to deliver grill kits to fire stations. Since its inception, the Bold Heroes program has delivered grill packs to more than 934 fire stations across 17 states, supported 13 fire organizations with more than $50,000 in community donations, engaged about eight million consumers on social media channels and built storytelling in five articles across trade media outlets.

16. Launching new products with Nature's Way

Tunheim partnered with Nature’s Way to assist in the launch of exciting new health and wellness supplements into the marketplace. We helped Nature’s Way introduce their Alive! Gummy Multivitamins for Teens, a product that included ingredients to lessen the effects of blue light on eyes. A few months later, we strategized and executed a strategic media campaign for their new Nature’s Way KiDS line and Nature’s Way Sambucus products – results included placements in WholeFoods Magazine, Vitamin Retailer, Star Tribune and more!

17. Safely Inviting Media into the Dayton’s Project

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, The Dayton’s Project team has continued to move the building renovation project forward and deliver on the promises of top-notch amenities and tenant suites. To showcase the building progress and premium amenities, Tunheim partnered with The Dayton’s Project to invite local media in for sneak peeks and interviews to show the progress and COVID-19 safety precautions built into the space for future tenants. In September, at a social distance, local media including WCCO-TV, WCCO-AM, KARE 11, Twin Cities Business Magazine and more were able to preview the space and show Minnesotans the amazing progress and community investment that has been made throughout the pandemic.

18. Growing our client base

We were proud to continue long-term client relationships through this year as well as adding new clients to our roster. Over the course of 2020 we added 28 new accounts to our roster including Minnesota Sports and Events, Revel Health, Special Olympics Minnesota, Minnetonka School District and The Energy Foundation.

19. Rebuilding with Lake Street Council

We were proud to have the opportunity to support Lake Street Council after an estimated 250 businesses were damaged and 33 destroyed in civil unrest following the murder of George Floyd. Many of the businesses belonged to low-income entrepreneurs, individuals who are Black, Indigenous or People of Color, by immigrant business owners and by others who have overcome tremendous difficulties to support their families and communities. We offered pro-bono communications support to the Lake Street Council as they navigated an outpouring of donations to help the businesses in their community.

20. Reaching new audiences with webinars and virtual panels

As soon as we went virtual, we knew we needed to change our tactics to effectively reach our audiences and our clients’. We created a service offering for virtual panels and webinars which has helped our clients tell their stories in a virtual world. We hosted some panels of our own featuring journalists and marketing pros sharing their insights on how to navigate their industries in 2020.

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8009 34th Ave South Suite 1100
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