Laura Reed

Co-Owner & Public Relations Director

About Me:

One of my greatest accomplishments in life is being a mommy to Ella and step mom to Autumn and Ashton. A collector of Hydrangeas and a Fixer Upper junkie, I LOVE to be home and dedicate most of my free time to restoring our 100 year-old bungalow, watching Food Network and HGTV and spending time with family and pets. I am completely fueled by laughter, have what some say is a strange sense of humor and find that I laugh the most at work and with my husband, Scott.

I’m pretty easy going, except when I’m not. Haha. I like to keep life simple and make people feel loved and appreciated. Extremely social, I find I’m happiest when surrounded by friends sharing some cocktail time and solving the world’s problems, as long as it’s nothing too serious ;)

My Job

I was recently reminded by my best friend from childhood, Jodee (hey girl!), that as a youngster I often talked about wanting to grow up in a big city and have a job in advertising. Specifically, I wanted to be Angela Bower, the big-haired, large-eye-glass and power-suit wearing, advertising exec on the TV sitcom “Who’s the Boss.” As a teenager, that show had an impact on me and Angela gave me hope that a small town girl could do bigger things and still manage to have a family and be a good mom. And, more importantly, that it was ok to want all of those things.

While I don’t live in a suburb of NYC or have a manny named Tony, I’m proud to be a mom, wife and co-owner of my own advertising, marketing & PR company, proving it is possible to have it all. After a decade working at a PR firm in St. Louis, I was struck by luck when my business partner, Jan, and I decided to start our own firm. Different in many ways but similar in one, we both care so much about our business and have the same desire to build a positive, flexible work environment for our employees. We simply want to love what we do and want to surround ourselves with clients and team members with the same desire.

Hundreds of projects, hours of self doubt and many, many glasses of wine later, I feel we have finally achieved the end goal – Cork Tree Creative, Inc. We have accomplished so much in a short amount of time but there is still so much more to do. For now, I’ll continue on in my role of writing proposals, building marketing programs and being the PR maven to many. Who knows what the future will bring. In the meantime, I will stay the course and count my many blessings that life is good and there is nothing but good things on the horizon.

Examples of my work:

Media Training of Madison County Officials (Madison County, Illinois)

In 2003, Reed assisted two newly-elected officials of Madison County Government in completing media training. The training consisted of message mapping, on-camera practice interviews and critiques and devising a set of “hypotheticals” for them to use to continue to practice outside of training. Reed also assisted them in developing a media relations protocol for staff members to follow when media calls were received at each respective office.

Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois (Edwardsville, Illinois – Madison County)

Reed has extensive experience in economic development and community outreach PR campaigns. Most of this experience was gained while working 8 years with the Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois. Formerly of The Hauser Group in St. Louis, Reed served as the lead account executive for public relations and assisted in many of the organization’s most prominent campaigns such as: East County, Stand Up for Steel, Gubernatorial Tours, Salute to Southwestern Illinois and Preserve and Enhance Scott Air Force Base.

Scott Air Force Base Retention- Leadership Council (St. Louis Region)

Reed played an instrumental role in the planning and implementation of the regional campaign to Preserve and Enhance Scott Air Force Base leading up to the 2005 round of Base Realignment and Closure. Reed served as the primary communications manager of the campaign, organizing lobbying events in Springfield, and working with the design team to produce communications tools to garner public support of the base (website, banners, story boards, etc.). Reed also managed the communication of the results of an economic impact study about the base to local media, secured, scripted and organized a 60-minute documentary with KETC-TV Channel 9 about the base and a two-page advertorial in the St. Louis Business Journal highlighting the need to preserve the base.

Green Investment Group (Alton, Illinois – Madison County)

Reed serves as media relations/marketing manager for Green Investment Group (GIGI).  The company purchases brownfield sites throughout North America, mostly former Smurfit-Stone paper mills, and redevelops them into renewable, green technology sites. Green came to Cork Tree Creative in 2009 after purchasing their first several properties and was in need of media relations assistance to field calls from reporters in the U.S. and Canada. Since, our role with Green Investment Group has evolved into much more. We have assisted in scripting and providing graphic design support for the development of multiple public presentations the company often makes to keep the public informed of their plans and progress at each of their sites. We have worked with community leaders in the city’s in which they own property in both the U.S. and Canada, developing unified messages, site plans, environmental assessments and reports, and ultimately public outreach materials. We have assisted in crafting messages and sales materials, using our background in economic development to deliver materials most appealing and relevant to site selectors. And, we have designed four independent brands (corporate brand and three brands for properties) and two websites for the company (www.greeninvgroup.com, www.frenchtowntech.com). In addition, we work with national economic development trade publications to get headlines about their progress at each of their sites and their ability to remediate environmental concerns at their properties.

MLP Investment’s Kirkwood Station  (Frontenac, Missouri – St. Louis County)

In the early 2000’s, Reed served as a public relations consultant to MLP Investments, LLC in Frontenac, Missouri in support of their development of Kirkwood Station in downtown Kirkwood. Given the location of the property, across from Kirkwood City Hall, and the nature of the project, Kirkwood Station was developed during a time of public uncertainty. The first of it’s kind in the community, Kirkwood Station was designed as an urban infill, mixed-use, walking community that would combine light retail with luxury living in a pedestrian-friendly design. Many public meetings were held to calm the nerves of the community and its residents, who were hesitant about MLP Investments building “high rises” in the center of their quaint community. We worked to develop messaging, branding, advertisements, public meeting communications materials and presentations and more to reinforce the design concept and the company’s intentions to maintain the integrity of the community and its charm. Today, Kirkwood Station is among one of the region’s destinations for outdoor dining and entertainment and a home for those who reside in the luxury condominiums above.

Comprehensive Marketing Support for St. Louis Regional Law Firm (Edwardsville, Illinois - Madison County)

Reed and the Cork Tree Creative team have assisted a large, nation law firm in their public relations, advertising and ongoing marketing efforts since 2009. We have also helped the firm in narrowing its philanthropic focus, sponsor high-profile community events in an effort to enhance the community’s awareness of the firm and help them develop a cohesive set of marketing tools. We also assist in the purchase, organization and design of their print ads and development of a new firm website. Media relations remains an ongoing service, targeting legal trades and media throughout the country.

Public Relations and Social Media Support for Dunkin' Donuts (St. Louis Region)

With plans to open 12 new stores in the St. Louis area, Dunkin’ Donuts partnered with our firm in April 2016 to provide local PR and Social media support and to establish brand partnerships and ambassadors throughout the region. Our work continues with the coffee/donut brand as we leverage programs with KPNT-FM, St. Louis Blues Hockey, St. Louis Cardinals Baseball and local bloggers. Brand placement in St. Louis communities/events and quality photography have been key tools used for building loyal Dunkin’ fans in the St. Louis area.

Laura's Bucket List

  • Meet Doris Day and Anthony Bourdain
  • Visit Costa Rica, Hawaii and Paris.
  • Karaoke. And then Karaoke again.
  • Watch my daughter become a tennis star.
  • Have a campfire on the beach.
  • Retire to Zihuatanejo.
  • Meet my future grandbabies.