Boutique PR firm McFarland Cahill Communications, which has been around for a decade, said Monday that it will close its doors in August as its owners pursue their individual passions.
Maureen Cahill will become executive director of Smile Network International, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit, humanitarian organization that provides reconstructive surgeries to children around the world. She’s been on the organization’s board for many years, and her new role will involve overseeing its day-to-day operations, missions, fundraising, and marketing and public relations.
Meanwhile, Teresa McFarland will launch a new public relations firm—McFarland Communications. While it will offer many of the same traditional PR services as McFarland Cahill, it will add a new specialty to its mix: content creation for digital platforms.
“PR has changed so much,” McFarland told Twin Cities Business, adding that she and others in her industry have had to “expand writing beyond press releases and the normal tools we’ve used over the years and be able to write to all digital platforms.”
Media relations will be another major focus of the new firm, and McFarland says that getting good coverage for clients is “always something we’ve done extremely well with McFarland Cahill.”
Unlike McFarland Cahill Communications, which is based in Prior Lake, McFarland Communications will be located in downtown Minneapolis. McFarland said one of the things she’s most excited about is that her new firm will share a building with Ciceron, a digital marketing firm that is “so amazing in what they do with their digital marketing campaigns.”
Although no formal arrangements between the two companies have been made, the seeds for collaboration have been planted. “We have been meeting and talking and brainstorming on clients already,” McFarland said, adding that she sees her firm’s communications expertise and Ciceron’s digital savvy as strong complements.
McFarland Cahill’s clients include Verizon Wireless; Anytime Fitness; Sophia; Bring Me The News; and Kaskaid Hospitality, which owns Crave, Figlio, and the new Urban Eatery, located in the Calhoun Beach Club. It has also worked with some major local events—including the Home and Garden Show, the Uptown Art Fair, and the Basilica Block Party. Although McFarland will take some clients with her (including Sophia, Bring Me The News, and Kaskaid Hospitality), the new firm will drop events from its focus area, McFarland said.
McFarland Cahill—one of the 25 largest PR firms in Minnesota based on net fee income—employs seven people, and McFarland Communications will start out with about five.
McFarland and Cahill first worked together in the 1990s, running the public relations department at the Mall of America. Before that, McFarland worked for several Minnesota politicians—including Governor Rudy Perpich and Congressman Tim Penny; she also ran Governor Jesse Ventura’s transition into office following his gubernatorial election.