Category Archives: About Us

Nini’s Internship

Before becoming a part of the Media Link team, I had no prior experience in media or advertising. After completing my 10-week internship, I can proudly say I gained a lot of knowledge. Not only did I learn a lot of technical skills like analyzing a business’ online presence through Google Analytics, but I also learned some interpersonal skills such as fostering relationships with clients. This opportunity has given me access to learn more about the marketing field while making professional and personal connections I will never forget.

As I head into my second year at the University of Chicago, I will have to declare my major. My time at Media Link will help me make this decision. While I enjoyed my time at Media Link, I know now I will not major in marketing. Despite this realization, I have accumulated a multitude of skills that will be applicable to most occupations.

Working with Media Link exposed me to the charm of the Quad Cities. I am originally from Boston and go to school in Chicago. I have never lived in a place like the Quad Cities before. At first, adjusting to the change was uncomfortable, but Natalie helped me along the way. She also allowed me to appreciate the interconnectivity of the Quad Cities community. Everyone knew each other and relied on each other in some way, no matter how big or small of a role they played in the community. The businesses we worked with helped me learn about the QC culture and its values. Learning how the appeal of the QC despite never living here, was a challenge at first, but eventually this experience enhanced my ability to acclimate and cater to every business. 

When you are involved with big corporations, you can sometimes forget the extreme effort and will it takes for a business to thrive and prosper. It is not just the numbers, consultations and money pushing a business, but most importantly the people behind all the operations. This small business allowed me to see this passion behind the scenes. People who live to work are always trying to progress their business and share their services, because they believe it would benefit the community. I only hope to have as much dedication as the people and businesses I worked with this summer.

 Overall, this internship was a wonderful opportunity that gave me insight on my future endeavors and long-lasting relationships I would not trade for anything else. Media Link has not only become a place I grew to appreciate, but also a place where I fostered an amazing family.

Welcome Nini!

The Media Link Team is excited to announce a new Marketing Assistant! Nini Nguyen, welcome on board!

Nini Nguyen is a rising sophomore at the University of Chicago. She plans to major in Global Studies and Public Policy. She plans to go to law school after finishing her undergraduate education. While Nini has worked in other professional sectors, this is her first time in marketing and advertising. She is open to new opportunities and learning experiences. 

This is also Nini’s first time in the Quad Cities, having grown up in Boston and going to college in Chicago she has never lived outside of a major city. She is having a lot of fun learning about the Quad Cities and all it has to offer. Through Media Link she was exposed to the city’s culture and businesses, “I like how community-based the Quad Cities are. I feel like I’m learning so much about the city’s history through local companies,” Nini shares. 

One of her favorite pastimes is going to art museums. She recently visited Figge and was impressed by the Anne Lindberg: think like the river with poet Ginny Threefoot exhibit and the Alexander Calder model. 

Mammoths vs Boutiques, Which is Right for You?

We are a boutique agency. It is the business we know and love. Certainly, there are advantages to big agencies for certain clients. If you own, say, Ford Motor Company, you have a lot more marketing and advertising needs than an in-house team and boutique agency can handle. A huge client like Ford needs a big agency. However, big agencies are not right for every business.

As Forbes says of boutique agencies, “These new agencies were born because the mammoth marketing agencies acted like, well, mammoths — woolly mammoths, to be more precise: big, awkward and unable to adapt.”

Thriveverge points out that boutique agencies offer a more personalized approach. This is where boutique agencies working together with small and medium-sized businesses can really thrive. “Smaller, more experienced staff in a boutique marketing firm atmosphere ensures that top talent touches all accounts,” they report. “From conception to execution, boutique agencies are committed to quality.”

For some businesses, the mammoth might very well be the best option. For most smaller and medium-sized businesses, the mammoth can be too big, and the nimbler boutique agencies are often the best choice.

Careers in Digital Media for the Leaders of the Future

As Whitney Houston once sang, “I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way.” Whitney released that song 36 years ago, and many of the children she was singing about then now have their own children who are the future. That’s how life goes, always changing, and the media and advertising business is no different.

Media Link President Natalie Linville-Mass had the honor of speaking to children moving quickly on their way to young adulthood at Edison Junior High School last week. Natalie was there along with friends at MindFire Communications and Abernathy’s as part of a Career Fair sponsored by the Moline Foundation focused on careers in digital media. “I am happy to have the chance to participate and hope the kids had a great time and even learned a little bit about this ever changing field,” Natalie said after the event. 

“The students gained a lot from today,” said Susan Zelnio, Program Director of the Moline Foundation, “even when they didn’t look like they are paying attention!”

For Media Link, talking to young people about careers in this field is an ongoing part of giving back to the community and helping to offer guidance to the leaders of the future. “This past year, I have also volunteered to speak with AVID Junior and High School classes about what we do,” says Natalie. These were classes taught at Washington, Edison, and Rock Island High School.

Some of the topics Natalie discussed with students were the importance of brand recognition in advertising, how advertising helps small businesses, and careers that are tied to digital advertising, including careers as copywriters, graphic designers, and what it’s like to work for different kinds of firms. This next generation is a digital generation, and the field is constantly changing, yet as the leaders of the future, we know they’ll be ready.

Sharing our wisdom and knowledge is all part of the mission of Media Link, and it’s also a treat that doing so reminds us of a fabulous Whitney Houston song.

Curiosity is Key

One of the most wonderful things about working in marketing and advertising is the opportunity to continually learn new things as you get to know your clients and their businesses. At Media Link, we find it helps to be genuinely curious, whether it’s a business that’s completely new to you or a type of business you’ve been marketing for years. 

Even the same types of businesses will benefit from curiosity in marketing. Two cupcake shops may have completely different marketing needs, depending on what kinds of cupcakes they make, their core customers, and where they are located. Curiosity will lead to finding the best individual solutions for each client. As Walt Disney said, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

Obviously from a client perspective, it helps to have a curious team behind your marketing strategy. Yet for those of us who work in marketing, it also makes our lives richer and more interesting. We can learn about the needs of a cupcake shop one day, and then learn all about a unique metal-smithing business the next day. 

As Media Link President, Natalie Linville-Mass said about the future of marketing in a 2021 interview, “This evolution is far from over. Our crew continues to learn as each new technology and communications company emerges. Who knows what the next 20 years will bring?” Curiosity and a love of learning is key to staying on top of trends, seeing the future, and connecting with your client’s needs.

Curiosity is also a virtue that keeps marketers learning new trends and coming up with new marketing ideas. Online marketing was virtually non-existent 20 years ago. As Natalie said, we don’t know what the future will bring, but we’re sure curious to find out.

Welcome Josh!

The Media Link Team is thrilled to announce we have a new Content Specialist! Josh Boelter, welcome to our team!

Josh Boelter is a writer, researcher, and producer with experience in a variety of industries.  Josh’s career has taken him from marketing communications at a Silicon Valley startup, to writing a weekly newspaper column, to writing and producing PBS documentaries. Josh moved to the Quad Cities when his partner accepted a position at Augustana College in Rock Island. 

“When Natalie told me about the projects we’d be working on at Media Link, I got really excited,” he says. “These projects are a combination of many of the things I love, from writing to researching, to learning about history and presenting it in a meaningful way to the public. It takes advantage of my skills and experience in a similar way to producing documentaries.” Josh is thrilled to be learning about the history of the Quad Cities from local historian Linda Anderson and Media Link President Natalie Linville-Mass, as well as the many wonderful people he’s met since starting this job. 

Josh lives in Rock Island with his partner and their two cats. When he isn’t researching and writing for Media Link, he follows the ups and downs of his favorite football (soccer) teams, FC Barcelona in Spain and Borussia Dortmund in Germany.

Happy 20th Anniversary, Media Link

Time flies! It is hard to believe it’s been 20 years since Natalie Linville-Mass founded Media Link. She began the agency because she believed there was a need for a different way of serving clients. Linville-Mass wanted to rethink the relationship between agency and client, to give the client more information about how their needs were being met. She wanted a more personal approach. She saw a path to better serve her clients, and felt a responsibility to follow that path by forming her own agency.

This approach is also how the Media Link office works. Everyone who works at Media Link becomes part of the team, not just an employee. Linville-Mass wants her employees to feel empowered in the work they do, and in the relationships, they forge within the office, and with clients.

Media Link is not just a business in the community, it is truly part of the community. “Nothing works in a vacuum,” says Linville-Mass. “What you give to the community, the community gives back to you.” The Quad Cities has been a community that has given back in droves. The Chambers of Commerce in Illinois, Bettendorf, and Davenport were instrumental in getting the business off the ground, and have added layers of support throughout the years.

“If you see a need for something, it’s up to you to do it,” says Linville-Mass. It is a philosophy she lives by, so when she saw a need for a different way for agencies to collaborate with clients, she started her own agency. That is how Media Link began 20 years ago, and it is the philosophy that keeps Media Link thriving today.

Here’s to another 20 years!

Part-Time Content Specialist – Apply Today

Media Link Inc. is a full-service strategic communications and advertising agency located in Rock Island, Illinois. Our 20-year-old company collaborates with our clients in developing and executing their marketing.  We help companies with everything from social media posts, to blogs, to websites, to menus/brochures to focus groups to digital and traditional ad campaigns and all marketing duties in between.

Media Link has also developed a division of our company named, QC PastPort with regional partnerships throughout the region.  We are now actively developing destinations through the Quad Cities with this Division by creating and placing signage around the Quad Cities area to highlight forgotten and fascinating historic sites. People visiting these locations will be able to use a location-driven app to learn more about the history of each destination from both an article in the app and an audio history told in a first-person point of view.

Qualifications:

We are looking for someone with a degree in communications with an ability to demonstrate their writing skills.  Sharing past writing samples and demonstrating your writing skills will be a part of the application process.

Responsibilities:

We are seeking someone to assist in researching and writing content in the form of historic narratives, blogs, posts, RFPs, news releases and other copy related needs within Media Link.

This person will also need to assist with taking pictures/video for our content and have the ability to reach out to vendors, potential clients and news outlets with related public relations efforts.

Compensation:

For right now, this is a week-day position for 15-25 hours a week with the possibility to earn commission.  We are open to working from home and have the flexibility to work within other commitments.  The ability to be in the Quad Cities would be valuable, because this employee will benefit from visiting sites and eventually meeting our partners in person.

Apply:

If you are interested in pursuing this position, please send a resume and cover letter to Grace Bradley-Leon at grace@medialinkinc.com.

Marketing Coordinator/ Marketing Consultant Position – Apply Today

The selected candidate will work in the capacity of Marketing Coordinator for Media Link, Inc. 70% of the time, and in the capacity of Marketing Consultant for Media Link Software® 30% of the time.

The Marketing Coordinator position coordinates established Media Link clients’ advertising efforts, maintains proper office workflows, and contributes to digital campaign management. The Marketing Consultant position generates and manages Media Link Software® (MLS) client accounts. Training and mentoring will be provided.

 

Duties – Marketing Coordinator for Media Link, Inc.

  • Manage paid digital, organic social media, and SEO campaigns.
  • Research and develop content for blogs, eblasts, ads, scripts, websites, QC PastPort historical sites, etc.
  • Report on campaign performance metrics and propose optimization efforts.
  • Prepare advertising schedules for broadcast, digital, print, outdoor and specialty buys in Media Link Software®.
  • Develop proposals and presentations for clients.
  • Stay informed about marketing trends and best practices.
  • Reconcile affidavits/invoices in Media Link Software® and address issues.
  • Contributing to established office procedures.
  • Be the welcoming and professional first impression of the Media Link team.
  • Generate and manage your own Media Link client accounts as Media Link Marketing Consultant, eventually.

 

Duties – Marketing Consultant for Media Link Software®

  • Research, contact, and follow-up on leads.
  • Manage new MLS accounts.
  • Conduct webinars for prospective and active MLS clients.
  • Test, and proactively contribute to new MLS features as they are developed.

 

Requirements

  • Aptitude in market research.
  • Demonstrated written and verbal communication skills.
  • Desire to sell and working knowledge of the sales process.
  • Organizational skills and attention to details.
  • Pro-active, data-driven learner and curious about the emerging world of advertising and marketing.
  • Working knowledge of paid digital and organic social media.
  • Google Certified a plus, but not required.
  • College degree in the field of communications.

 

Benefits

  • Base hourly rate.
  • Commission and gas stipend.
  • Seminar stipend for continued education.
  • 12 paid holidays throughout the year. Vacation and PTO available after six months.
  • Health Insurance with an HSA or a TASC Plan after 6 months of employment.
  • A Simple IRA Plan available after 1 year of full-time employment, with company match.

 

Please email resume and cover letter to natalie@medialinkinc.com.

Grab your PastPort — It’s Time to Travel Back in Time

The Quad Cities area is rife with history, from the booming businesses that got our area up and running to the neighborhoods where folks first settled. Learn more about it later this spring with QC PastPort, a new and innovative way to take a walk through the past and discover fascinating and forgotten historic sites in our area.

With the help of some regional partnerships, Media Link, Inc. is developing a location-driven app, website, and signage to highlight historic spots across the Quad Cities. When you visit a QC PastPort destination, signs will offer background information about what you’re seeing, and the app and website will offer a more detailed overview, with first-person accounts, audio narratives, and more to tell you about the places and areas you see.

Our interactive physical and digital tour will offer a peek at this area’s cultural history through the experiences of the people who once lived here. Our area has a long and rich history; it’s part of what attracts people to our area and makes us unique. This area has helped shape many entrepreneurs and amazing people from all walks of life. Celebrating and learning more about our area will help visitors and residents alike understand the significance of who we are and where we come from, which will help propel our area to grow responsibly and with a better sense of pride.

This project also will help amplify the voices of all of the cultures and people who do and once called this place their home, from Black Union Soldiers to the Hispanic communities who settled here.

Get ready to explore our area! Visit qcpastport.com and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more information, upcoming contests, and more.