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Gassing the generic news feeds, y'all, in favor of things a little closer to home. To that end, may we brag about the following of our beloved clients? SlimStuff, Franchise Prep, Environix, our faithful and wonderful Missoula client Capital Family Mortgage for whom we've written for a full range of media including TV, radio, outdoor and print, in conjunction with the fantastic talent at Locus Design, and a little something-something for Copper Springs Ranch along with Thibeault Studios.

Our Motivational Director (that is to say, one of the principals for whom I am motivated to do all I do) Rebecca Dry travelled to NYC recently to spend a week with our dear friend and PR goddess, Roberta Greene. Gawker Stalker should note that Bex and Roberta were spotted at Bill Blass, restaurants and cafes near Greene's digs across from the UN, a showing of Broadway's Putnam County Spelling Bee, and of course numerous midtown retail outlets. An outing to Magnolia Bakery prompted our culinary sophisticate to mack on some cupcakes and then launch into a detailed analysis of the relative bomb-ness of the frostings, ultimately pronouncing them "OK."

Recent projects include, as always, an outrageously varied client list: the beautiful Covered Wagon Ranch, Anderson ZurMuehlen & Co. PC, Virtual IT, Kane Architecture, Mattress Mill, Ruen Drilling, Trophy Ridge Hunting Gear, Millipede Software Solutions, Capital Family Mortgage, KB Building Supply, Nature's Drugstore, Montana Foot & Ankle Clinic, Home Science Tools and more.

New Christie's site is live: Hathaway Signature Properties / the Montana exclusive affiliate of Christie's Great Estates launches a new site this week designed by Cary Silberman of Thibeault Studios and Mary Engel of Faith River Communications. Cary did his usual beautiful polish on the appearance of this site, and this time went deep with behind-the-scenes expertise to make the site shine in terms of SEO as well. Mary Engel's writing often reads like a love letter to the prettiest places in Montana, and yet incorporates search-engine-friendly words and phrases that put this site in front of the right audience for luxury real estate.

Montana Fleece & Flannel revamped their store in Livingston and entire image last year, including graphics and copywriting from the Thibeault Studios staff and copy-geek Mary Engel. Now MT Fleece & Flannel's fabulous shop-online site is about ready to go, built by you-know-who and written by you-know-who-else. Word to the wise: Mary's birthday is coming up, and she'd like nothing more than a gift certificate to this store! When you shop notice this: the sassy hang-tags were all written by Miz Engel, too!

Just launched: the new web site for Complete Project Resource, whose principals Louie Loucks and Jay Cartwright offer a better way to keep tabs on your high-end construction project. Take a look at the Cary Silberman (design) / Mary Engel (writing) work on the CPR site.

Faith River has a new identity and business package. Thanks to Oddlaa Creative and our friend Dave Simon, we've got a new mark, letterhead, biz cards and more. For a look at the latest, see Oddlaa's web site.

First Citizens Bank of Billings launches an engaging new look and ad campaign. Learn more -->

Reach Inc., the Gallatin Valley's comprehensive life services partner for developmentally disabled adults, steps up with new print and web materials and a brand-new building. Learn more -->

Faith River Communications has just completed a new services brochure and staff bios for John Heath & Company, insurance and reinsurance professionals, of Scottsdale, Arizona, and Sarasota, Florida.

New beginnings at the old location: Thibeault Studios returns to the Main Street venue that housed the agency for over 20 years. Learn more -->

Look, up in the sky: It's Thibeault Studios' amazing new remodel, and the talk of the passing traffic. Learn more -->

Proof that the dream is alive: Mary Engel writes, edits and consults for clients all over the world from her offices in Bozeman, Montana. Learn more -->


Back to Main Street: Thibeault Studios returns to the same downtown Bozeman office where their business began 25 years ago

In 1979, Mark and Diane Thibeault hung out their shingle at 20 East Main, launching a business that would evolve from graphic design house into a full service advertising agency. Thibeault Advertising and Design remained a Main Street staple for over 20 years at the second-floor space next to Owenhouse Hardware. Then in 1999, following the westward growth of the city, the Thibeaults purchased a building in the new office park located just off Huffine Lane near the intersection of Ferguson, and moved their entire crew to the new digs. But in a fortuitous bit of foresight, they kept their connection to 20 East Main, subletting the old office space.

Five years later, they've answered the call of their roots and returned to downtown.

"We made the arrangements to return, but then the first time I came back, it just felt like coming home," said Diane Thibeault. "The downtown location is not only where we started, but it's a better match for who we are today."

As they moved back to Main Street, they also extensively remodeled the old space into a beautifully hip workspace befitting an agency that works with national and international clients regularly. With the help of Steph Sandston at Shack Up -- an interior design firm located in the artful orange building on North Rouse -- the agency is now housed within a cosmopolitan, design-conscious mix of raw steel, sleek glass, modern textures and colors, and natural wood.

With the return also comes an update of the company's name to Thibeault Studios, and a new slogan, Defining Creativity. As a full service agency, the services offered include a kind of blend of science and art, where strategies are formulated based on proven marketing principles and carried out through inventive creative solutions.

"We've grown up as a company in this town, and our current approach is to use the advantage of experience as something very valuable to offer our clients," said Mark Thibeault, explaining that Thibeault Studios offers advertising, marketing, design and writing expertise from seasoned pros with years in the industry. "Right now, everyone on staff has senior-level experience. We accomplish an incredible amount with a small team because each member can contribute so much."

He says that Main Street suits the company because of the way they view their place in the community -- as communicators who help shape the image of a rapidly changing Bozeman. Whether working for a local client or a national one, Thibeault knows that ultimately their work makes an impact on visitors, potential business relocations, and aspiring new residents and the way they view Bozeman.

"It's nice to show the world what a high level of talent and professionalism is in this town," said Thibeault. "Being on Main Street puts us back in the heart of it all."


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New look at Thibeault Studios is turning heads on Main Street

Though the downtown advertising agency Thibeault Studios occupied this same space for over 20 years, the office itself is now attracting more attention than ever. Now that the company has returned to 20 E. Main Street after a three-year relocation to Bozeman's west end, the visual brilliance that's always been a company hallmark is far more visible to the world at large.

That's due to a stunning remodel created by studio owner Diane Thibeault and Steph Sandston of Shack Up.

From Main Street, passersby have looked up to Thibeault Studios' second-floor windows and noticed the splashy ceiling fan and vintage lighting fixtures. Many of these silver metallic fixtures are actually the original lights from this building, though they look astonishingly retro-modern, almost like flying saucers. Some pedestrians have found this compelling enough to investigate, to find the doorway under the small black awning beside Ace Hardware, and climb the stairs just to find out whose place it is and what's going on there.

At the top of the stairs, visitors enter through black metal and glass doors. They're usually greeted by ambient jazz or techno music (and the studio mascot, a black lab named Beans), and a color palette that includes olive green, camel, burnt orange, black and straw. Walls are partly covered by vast sheets of raw steel, adorned with logos designed here in an even row that reaches clear around the studio. For client presentations, magnets hold artwork, sketches, and concepts to the steel surfaces for review. Desks and tables are glass and brushed stainless; accents go to the sleek, modern and retro-futuristic. Even the gas fireplace is streamlined to blend with the decor while keeping the place warm and welcoming.

Within this powerhouse interior design is a small but dynamic team of creative and marketing minds at work on enhancing the image and communications of such clients as HatcHfest Film Festival, lighting control company Home Automation Unlimited, upscale Montana property developments, Reach Inc., Trophy Ridge Bowhunting, Montana State University, Turner Ranch and many others. The greater client list includes Marker Ski Bindings, Teva footwear, GoLite outdoor gear and dozens of recognizable brands, many of which Thibeault Studios helped build from the ground up.

"Advertising and marketing are essentially about image," said Diane Thibeault. "It was very important to us to not only project our own style through the studio, but also to provide an environment that encourages creative thought, and makes our clients feel welcome and intrigued."

The Thibeaults chose Shack Up for its similar commitment to dramatic visuals. Shack Up is that ultra-hip gallery of interior design and art located in the orange building on North Rouse in front of the library and right across from Hawthorne School. Steph Sandston displays a dazzling collection of art and home accents in front windows that, like Thibeault's Main Street windows, attract lots of attention from passing traffic.

For more information or an impromtu tour of Thibeault Studios, call 587-2121.

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PR in the Rockies: Small town company serves big city clients

A couple of computers in a remote canyon in Montana hum with assignments from around the world. From here, hundreds of thousands of words have emanated over the last ten years, selling products and ideas via national publications, international brands and internet sites. One writer is responsible for this flurry of electronic activity, an unassuming woman who is happy to call herself "Copy Geek."

Mary Engel is now at the helm of Faith River Communications, a business she built herself out of nothing but sheer determination and an unflagging belief in the power of the Internet. Her clients include powerhouse advertising agencies, internationally recognized product brands and cutting edge industries such as DigitalThink, a San Francisco-based e-learning company that serves a number of Fortune 500 clients.

"Sometimes, when I'm quietly doing my thing in my office in Bozeman, I pause to just sort of marvel at this possibility," says Engel. "I mean, here's me, but no one necessarily knows this is going on from here. I reach people all over the world, but few know that it comes from here."

Engel often jokes that she is hidden away in her Montana "mole hole," but the truth is that she is generating top-notch writing and editing for A-list clientele. Her work for some web sites has been so profitable that it has been plagiarized by copycats who have been served with cease-and-desist orders. Ultimately, Engel and her clients are happy to be the leaders online, the ones who set the bar for effective marketing communications.

Currently, about half of Engel's client list is from out-of-state contacts, businesses for whom she performs more than satisfactorily without ever meeting them face to face. The other half are a mixture of local or regional clients made up of advertising agencies, public relations agencies, businesses and nonprofits.

"I'm thrilled to promote Montana business, and to demonstrate that top talent exists here," says Engel. "There are countless talented people around Bozeman, artists and writers and musicians and filmmakers who are creating amazing, high-impact work that rivals anything in LA or New York. This is an incredibly talent-rich community, but people tend to keep a low profile so you'd barely know the depth of what exists here. "

In that environment, Engel says, it's hard to feel very self-important about one's own business. Yet she has grown a business based entirely upon her own talent in a competitive market -- not on just the Bozeman scene, but nationwide as well.

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New location, new logo, new print collateral for Reach Inc.

For 30+ years in the Gallatin Valley, Reach has had a dramatic impact on the lives of its developmentally disabled clients and their families. Dozens of companies have contracted with Reach clients to provide assembly, packaging and by-hand manufacture of products and parts. Numerous local businesses have hired Reach clients to work in the community. With all this, as well as direct assistance with housing, transportation and basic life skills, Reach has helped countless developmentally disabled adults -- and provides a valuable option within the local economy for small businesses. Yet even with this record of enormous success, Reach is somewhat misunderstood or unknown by the general public, even in this small mountain community. Many who live here have only a vague idea that Reach does something with the disabled, and often confuse Reach with other programs, which negatively impacts fundraising and donor recruitment. This year, though, Reach is poised to change its low profile with the construction of a new building and the development of a new marketing plan, identity and print collateral.

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First Citizens Bank rolls out new look and ad campaign

Though it's been a Billings institution for more than 36 years, First Citizens Bank has been drawing attention lately for bringing a fresh, new spin to banking in Billings. This summer they're launching a new advertising campaign that incorporates their familiar compass-shaped logo into dynamic sports-themed scenes, and puts an updated new look on the logo itself. The new messaging is meant to reflect both the longevity of the bank and the engaging new style that's evolving at First Citizens Bank.

With innovations like the impressive downtown Internet Cafe, 42-inch plasma TV screens at the main branch, and a youthful, energetic leadership team already in place, the time seemed right to convey a more welcoming message both inside and outside the bank locations. The ads feature individuals who represent typical First Citizens Bank customers participating in various sports, and in these scenes, the ball itself becomes a burgundy-and-gray First Citizens logo.

"The new look really represents the way we do business. This is a great place to work and a great place to bank," said bank president Jason Hinch. "We're proud to be such an important part of people's lives, for both serious financial matters and also the fun things in life."

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