Public and Media Relations

We craft smart, workable strategies to help our clients make their points clearly and persuasively.  After we’ve done that, we connect them with the right people in target audiences and the media.

Whether it’s in their hometown or half a world away, we help our clients get together with the journalists, broadcasters, government officials and target audiences that they need to reach.  Then, we maintain those relationships so our clients continue to achieve the goals that strengthen their financial positions.

At The Concept Works, we connect people every day.

Crisis Communication

Crisis communication is serious business. The future of your business, nonprofit, university or career depends on getting it right the first time because you don’t get a second chance. You need someone who has experience to guide you through the storm.

With more than 25 years of print and electronic newsroom experience on our team, we’ve been on both sides of numerous crises. We know how journalists think, what they expect and how to provide them with timely, accurate information in a context to help you begin to recover your reputation, focus and future.

As a former communication director in the Iowa Governor’s Office, Eric Woolson has been through crisis drills and real-life situations on everything from nuclear power plant emergencies and chemical spills to floods, tornadoes and prison breaks. In private practice, he’s provided difference-making leadership for clients who have been faced with embezzlement, employee misconduct that drew international media attention, plagiarism charges and more.

Our content creation manager, Trevonte Diggs, came directly from the television news business and understands how the media thinks in a fast-paced, digital environment. He provides effective, efficient communication strategies that will keep reporters on your side during a crisis.

We believe strongly in proper preparation. For some clients, that means we’re ready to step up when disaster strikes and represent you before the media. For others, we can provide crisis communication training and behind-the-scenes guidance so that they can be an effective public face. Either way, it means we’ll sit down with you to develop a crisis communication plan and make all necessary preparations to react swiftly and effectively.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Prepare today.

Polling and Message Testing

Traditional message testing not only has limitations, it’s also cost prohibitive.

Our approach to polling is based on a simple premise: Give our clients what they need, when they need it and at an affordable rate.

The key ingredient in the formula for success is online research that reduces turnaround time, delivers 360-degree qualitative and quantitative data and makes better decision-making not only possible but, often, easier.

Whether measuring a candidate’s attributes, the strengths and weaknesses of his or her message, a video destined for online distribution or a television ad intended to sway thousands of voters or consumers, our research partners combine Focus Group in the Cloud testing with moment-to-moment video scoring to mine for the golden nuggets of data you can take to the bank.

Better information, unique insights, smarter decisions and affordable pricing. That’s a winning combination no matter what industry or profession you’re in.

Advanced manufacturing

Here in America’s heartland, we’ve always known that manufacturing and agriculture go hand in hand. In Iowa, both are in our DNA.

The latest count, back in 2015, showed our state was home to 6,110 manufacturing firms. A year earlier, Iowa manufacturers produced $31.9 billion in goods and exported $12.7 billion.
Surrounding states rely on manufacturing as much as agriculture to power their economies, too. And, we’re not standing still. Advanced manufacturing is creating new jobs and bringing new energy to big and small communities across the Midwest and the entire United States.

We’re proud of our long-standing connections to advanced manufacturing but we don’t want to rest on our laurels. We’re not shy about saying we want to work with more advanced manufacturers, especially start-ups and smaller firms that have big marketing and public relations needs and small budgets.

Get in touch with us today and let’s grow together.


Whether your company makes one crucial part or sells the entire vehicle, reaching motivated customers is the key to success.

Finding those audiences, ensuring that you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck by analyzing your advertising buys, creating public relations concepts that deliver earned media coverage, branding your company and products, and using social media marketing to stay in touch with current customers and connect with new ones are among the mission-critical services we deliver ourselves or in tandem with our strategic partners.

Men’s clothing

When it comes to America’s independent men’s clothing stores, The Concept Works is on a mission: Create strength in numbers and harness that power to deliver top-flight marketing at discount prices.

During our work with Main Street clothiers for almost a decade, we’ve seen the adverse affects of big-box stores, online competition and changing consumer trends. We want to reverse the trend that saw Casual Friday because Casual Everyday and educate a whole new generation of consumers about quality products, exceptional customer care and the true meaning of value.
We can help your business become more relevant in today’s super-competitive market place by connecting with new clients and maintaining lasting relationships that keep them coming through your door.

We know the buying-decision process for Millennials and the affluent often begins — and ends — online and through independent sources. (If they like what they see, they’ll buy from you. If you fail to capture their attention, they’ll likely never give you a second look.)

And, you know you can always do more to make your website, online ads, social media and other marketing more powerful but it’s awfully hard to find the time to do it. That’s where our team comes in.

We’ll only work with one client in each media market and execute an effective communications strategy at a far lower cost that you might even expect while providing you with the same exemplary personal customer care that your clients have come to know and expect from you.

Check us out and you’ll see. We’ll deliver the best of both worlds while bringing customers and dollars through your doors.


Our team members have been on both sides of the nonprofit world, delivering needed counsel to clients, serving on boards and even directing a hospital foundation and a Catholic charity.
In short, we get nonprofits. We know how important you are to your communities and, especially, to the causes you serve. And, we know how crucial it is for you to reach key audiences and stay connected – within a tight budget – to accomplish your mission.

Whether its foundation development, organizing a capital campaign, developing and managing a comprehensive communications plan, executing a government relations strategy or managing a public relations crisis, we’d welcome the opportunity to put our experience to work for you.

Public affairs and politics

Do we have experience in the political and public policy arenas?

Let us count the ways. Six presidential campaigns. Two U.S. Senate races. Two gubernatorial campaigns. A couple congressional races and a whole bunch of legislative, county and local elections and issues-based campaigns.

And, that doesn’t even count the expertise of our closest strategy partner, who did stints at the Republican Governors Association and the Republican National Committee.

We specialize in GOP campaigns and conservative issues. But that doesn’t mean we don’t know how to work well together with folks from the other side of the aisle. We have strategic partners with the same depth and breadth of experience on the Democratic side and we’re always happy to work with them to achieve our clients’ objectives.

If you’re planning a run for office, organizing a referendum, considering a public affairs campaign or know someone who is, give us a call first.

Real Estate and Property Development

The Concept Works has practical, hands-on experience in the real estate and property development sector, including work with Iowa’s largest property developer on an as-needed basis for several years.

Our services include event planning and management for commercial and residential project groundbreakings and ribbon cuttings as well as project announcements and progress updates for the media.
We’ve been involved with 40,000-square-foot manufacturing expansions, retail properties, senior living apartments, restricted-income apartments, urban brownstones, condominiums, downtown lofts and townhouses.

We have the knowledge, personnel and capacity to meet your real estate development or property management firm’s communications planning and execution needs.


No one needs to tell restaurateurs they’re in one of the most competitive industries around. If they’re not gaining market share, they’re losing it. And, we don’t let our clients lose.

We have a passion for outstanding food. Who doesn’t? What sets us apart is our passion for helping independent restaurants effectively connect with the right audiences so they can share their best dishes with more people.

Restaurateurs are often told all they need are a few simple tactics to bring more people through the doors, drive sales and push more revenues to the bottom line. Even if that was true, simple doesn’t always mean easy. More importantly, running a restaurant is a 24/7 proposition as it is. It only makes sense to leave the storytelling to people who know how to do it best.

From our own staff to strategic partners that include one of the Midwest’s top food photographers and one of the best web designers around, The Concept Works can deliver results-producing promotions, public relations, marketing, brand development, social media, graphic design and more.


You’re all about delivering a unique customer experience, quality products and exceptional value. That’s what sets your business apart from the big-box stores.

We want to help you get that done.

Let us help you stay connected to your current customers and bring new ones through your doors with marketing, social media, public relations ideas and branding that’s as special as your business.

Small business

Whether you’re in the service industry, manufacturing, hospitality, food, transportation or some other industry sector, when you own your business you carry a lot of responsibilities on your shoulders.

And, whether you want to grow bigger or stay where you are, you need your business to be financially viable with a broad customer base to be in it for the long run.

Whether you’re a sole proprietor working on your own or leading a company with several hundred employees, your business is big to you. It’s big to us, too.

By the way, did you know the Small Business Administration defines a small business as having fewer than 500 employees (manufacturing sector) or annual revenues below $7.5 million for non-manufacturing businesses?

Small businesses — whether they have one, two, three, 50 or 500 employees — need quality communications services even more than big boys in order to be seen, become better known and sell their products.

Whether you want to get bigger or just make sure that your business stays healthy for the long run, that’s why we’re here.

Small hospitals

Small hospitals face big challenges these days. Very big challenges.

Declining populations. Fewer federal dollars. Shrinking local support. Competition from bigger hospitals. And, things aren’t going to get any easier.

Now more than ever, you need someone who has experience telling your story so potential patients know what services are available to them, key influencers understand the importance of your facility and your staff is appreciated and valued.

It’s not enough to rely on your state’s hospital association to see you through. You need to take matters into your own hands with a cost-effective communications strategy that emphasizes the crucial role you play in your region.

The Concept Works and its strategic partners have experience you need to get that job done.


There are plenty of agencies that produce websites for veterinarian, including a couple that specialize in producing cookie-cutter products. Can we create a website for you? You bet.

In fact, our team can build a darned good, website for your animal hospital that reflects your individual style. And, we can keep it fresh, too, with regularly updated content that’s helpful to your current clients and capable of attracting new ones, too.

We can do that. We’d love to do that for you.

But we’re also very good at doing something that you’re not likely to find anyplace else.

We specialize at generating quality public relations for veterinarians, especially landing them on their local television newscasts. Whether it’s Pet Dental Health Month, heartworm or obesity prevention, a leptospirosis outbreak in the news, caring for an injured animal or something else, we’re very adept at identifying timely topics and earning media coverage. We can do the same for you. (And, we won’t work with any other veterinarians in the same media market, so you’d better hurry up and call us!)

That’s not all. We can help you with brand development, new business development, marketing, social media and marketing.

And, if you decide you do want a new or updated website, we’ll do that, too.