Laura Reed, Principal, Cork Tree Creative, Edwardsville
By KATE GENO
Laura Reed, co-founder and principal of Cork Tree Creative, Inc., is dedicated to helping companies thrive with comprehensive public relations and marketing programs. The firm is currently celebrating its fifth anniversary serving companies in Southwestern Illinois.
After working as a public relations executive for a well-known firm in St. Louis, Reed decided to freelance and joined forces with graphic designer Jan Carpenter. In 2009, they opened their own full-service firm, Cork Tree Creative, in Edwardsville. The company now employs four people and specializes in public relations, marketing, graphic design, web design, social media and search engine optimization. They recently introduced videography and photography to their repertoire.
“Many clients consider Cork Tree an extension of their own staff,” says Reed. “We are the ones to call when they need a flyer, an event planned, an e-marketing campaign executed or help with writing a speech for a presentation.”
Cork Tree Creative offers the whole range of services under one roof, which is a benefit to clients who are looking for a company to manage their projects from beginning to end. This all-inclusive process also enables Cork Tree to deliver results on time and within budget.
“Many companies come to us looking for a long-term relationship,” says Reed. “We help them from the development stage onward and are able to watch the companies grow and become successful over time. We take a lot of pride in their success.”
Cork Tree provides services to a wide range of industries including banking & finance, health & education, real estate, construction, municipalities, agriculture and non-profit.
“The highlight of my job is working with a variety of clients and projects,” says Reed. “Given the diversity of our services, we work with every industry imaginable. The demand for our services is unlimited and so is our creativity.”
Reed’s current focus for the company is developing new business in both Illinois and Missouri. She maintains her own core of clients, while overseeing Cork Tree’s social media department.
Reed and Carpenter have designed a family-oriented philosophy for their company. In order for them to have a balanced family and work life, they installed a high-tech phone system and computer software to allow the staff to work from home. The technology enables the team to communicate seamlessly. According to Reed, this decision has also helped the company grow in a manageable way and retain valuable employees.
Reed currently serves on the Madison Bond Workforce Investment Board and is in charge of its marketing committee. She is a member of the Riverbend Growth Association, the Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce and the Troy/St. Jacob/Maryville/Marine Chamber of Commerce. She resides in Edwardsville with her husband Scott and their daughter, Ella.