We are transforming marketing & communications by credibly influencing decisions
The Informed Engagement Network deploys
- Investigative Journalists
- Digital Strategists
- Business Strategists
To help our clients solve complex business challenges.
How to Work
- Business Opportunity Research
- Consumer Research/Audience Intelligence
- Deep Insights on target consumer preferences
- Audience Segmentation & Analysis
- Competitive Analysis
- Product Development Research
- Positioning the ‘new/new’
- Go To Market Strategies
- Messaging Strategies
- Content & Distribution Strategies
- Influencer Research
- Solutions Architecture
- Workflow Analysis, Design & Management
- Content Production & Distribution Audits
- Systems/Tools Analysis
- Prototyping & Mock-up Development
- Content Strategy
- Distribution Strategy
- Thought Leadership development
- News as Content Marketing™
- Video production
- Podcast production
- Influencer Engagement
- Live Event Facilitation
- Stand-up brand SMEs in social media
- Deck production
- Social posts
- Email content
- Storytelling Workshops for Internal Production Teams
- Audits for: Content + Tools + Processes
- Change Management
- Strategic Storytelling Production
- Inspirational Employee & Executive Profiles
- Executive Communications
- Mergers, Acquisition, Divestitures & JVs
- Benefits/Health & Wellness
- Strategic Storytelling Amplification
- Earned Media
- Influencer Engagement
- Strategic Communications
What We Do
Thought Leadership and Influencer Campaigns
digital & journalistic audience intelligence informs all we do
content strategy aligns corporate messaging with audience intelligence
a journalistic approach to news & brand content production
we find the right audience and deliver the right message at the moment of greatest impact
We are a team of award-winning, nationally recognized producers, journalists and videographers. We believe high quality, deeply impactful stories can change the world.
Below is an example of the work we produced for a consortium of the largest content producers and distributors in the country – including the largest cable operators in America. IEN conducted deep digital/social audience intelligence to help the industry better-understand the cable cord cutting epidemic. We developed the strategies to communicate with these audiences in ways designed to resonate with them. And then we produced the content. Like most of our clients – the cable industry is in a complex and highly regulated environment.
You can learn more about this work by checking out our case study, and learn how IEN helped the cable industry better position its message to cord cutters.
And you can also view more of the content we created aimed at cord-cutters at smartmove.us/choice
News as Content Marketing™
We produce and distribute independent news to augment brand content. Because news informs and engages key audiences in ways that traditional ‘brand’ content cannot. Independent news brings credibility, trust and daily relevance to our clients. We call it News as Content Marketing™
If your company is investing in major conference presentations or events, we can help make them more impactful. Our team of journalists and digital strategists will help you plan, produce and promote content pre-, post- and LIVE during the event through:
- Video Content
- Public Relations
- Strategic Communications
- Blog Posts
- Social Media – pre, post and real time
- Event Production
- Influencer Marketing
- And many more ways to get the most out of your investment
Rick Kupchella is a long time Twin Cities television news anchor & investigative reporter… who began his career in public radio in Kentucky before stints with CBS News in New York & several news organizations in the Reagan White House.
He’s a winner of more than a dozen Emmys & Best of Show at the New York International Film Festival, and led the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists to recognition as top chapter in the nation for the first time in its 50-year history.
He left television in 2009 to launch and partner in a series of digital media companies, including BringMeTheNews, an online & broadcast radio network which sold to the Pohlad Group in 2015.
His current endeavor, i.e. network, produces high value, strategic communications – often through news & brand storytelling – for major corporations seeking to increase market share or educate specific audiences. Clients include UnitedHealth Group, Cargill, Target, Medtronic, Tennant and several other well-known Minnesota brands.
Kupchella is former Chairman of the humanitarian group, Smile Network International, and the author of a couple Children’s books, including “Girls Can”, written in cooperation with US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Olympic great Jackie Joyner Kersee, and America’s first woman in space, Dr. Sally Ride.
Peter brings years of leadership experience to i.e. network, having worked across a variety of business categories ranging from media and marketing, to software and technology.
He has grown startups into multimillion-dollar market leaders, and helped mature businesses establish a growth trajectory, allowing him to understand and provide valuable insights into a wide range of businesses. His expertise with both operations and strategy is a valuable combination, one that has resulted in a number of successful acquisitions and exits.
As a partner and EVP for Novus Media, Peter helped grow a business from a handful of people, into one of the largest print buying companies in the county. It was later sold to Omnicom. Peter expanded his marketing knowledge as co-founder and president of Collectible America, a catalog and online collectible business, and as a founding partner in The DOJO Group, a brand building and business growth agency. Afterward, he took over as CEO of LETG, a software company providing law enforcement agencies with a suite of solutions.
Peter is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and is a board member for a handful of private companies and nonprofits.
Vice President Content Production
Becky Nahm joined the production staff of i.e. network in October 2014 as managing producer. Previously she served as executive producer at KSTP-TV, the ABC affiliate in Minneapolis-St. Paul. She led a team of reporters, producers and photographers to tell Minnesotans’ stories earning regional and national Emmy awards.
Becky majored in journalism and minored in political science at University of Missouri-Columbia. She completed the Policy Fellows program at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs Center and is an avid rower.
Director Client Services
Sarah has more than 14 years of experience working on diverse content and engagement projects for clients ranging from Ameriprise Financial, UnitedHealthcare, Thrivent Financial and Delta Air Lines. Before joining i.e. network, she oversaw the editorial quality and direction of Sky, Delta’s inflight magazine and travel content website, helping to build readership to an all-time high of 6.2 million monthly readers. Sarah collaborated closely with Delta to ensure the content enhanced and complemented the airline’s brand, served its evolving marketing goals and competed with major newsstand publications for editorial quality.
Throughout her work with Delta and other Fortune 500 clients, Sarah has worked with her client partners to produce proactive, creative solutions to marketing and communication challenges that generate powerful results.
Sarah has been a featured speaker at numerous travel content conferences, and during her 10-year tenure with Delta, Sky won major awards from The Custom Content Council, FOLIO:, Digiday, the North American Travel Journalists Association and the Minnesota Media + Publishing Association.
Before shifting to client work, Sarah worked as a journalist for the Associated Press, The New York Sun, The New York Times and the National Geographic Society. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a master’s degree from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.
Vice President Digital Strategy
Sean joined i.e. network after leading social and digital content strategy at Fortune 500 organizations like Target and JCPenney. He drove award-winning, innovative, and disruptive campaigns resulting in millions of dollars of earned media buzz and sales lifts.
He has forged strong partnerships with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and others to maximize their marketing impact.
Sean’s ability to bring a narrative to his marketing campaigns stems from his background in TV news as a reporter. He won multiple awards for his storytelling and drove change by using the people, pictures and sounds in a way that resonated with the viewer.
Sean is a graduate of Gonzaga University, majoring in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Philosophy.
Paul Hillen is a business and go-to-market strategist at the Informed Engagement Network. He has worked with large and medium size companies to transform their businesses by helping them develop unique value propositions that achieve better results faster. By defining where to play and how to win, and aligning organizations to those choices, Paul helps clients win in the marketplace through clear choices and communication.
Paul has over 30 years of general management, innovation, marketing and commercial experience at P&G, Cargill, and Platinum Equity. He is a partner, President and COO at Revier Brand Group, LLC; and Author of How Goodness Pays.
Chosen as CMO of the Year by the CMO Club, and a top 100 Global Marketing Leader three times by the World Marketing Congress, Paul is considered an expert in building winning brands and businesses.
Paul serves on several for profit and non-profit boards, and previously served on the advisory boards for University of Chicago Booth Business School and the University of Minnesota Carlson Business School.
He is a graduate of Marquette University with a degree in Finance and Marketing.
Anne Cowan is passionate communicator, committed to helping people and businesses reach critical audiences with truthful stories, told with confidence and impact.
She comes to i.e. network after 20 years as SVP of Communications and Marketing and Chief Communications Officer for the marketing consortium of the cable entertainment and broadband industry (CTAM), representing nearly all U.S. content production and distribution companies.
Anne played a critical role in CTAM success by aligning the communications and marketing disciplines to address industry-wide challenges, such as reputation management, customer satisfaction, and new product introductions. The collaboration among companies and across disciplines led to a strong, cohesive voice and greater impact.
Prior to CTAM, Anne was VP of a D.C.-based communications agency, Susan Peterson Productions, Inc., where she coached business and TV news clients on messaging, crisis comms, and on-camera techniques.
Anne serves on the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation and her honors include the PR News Hall of Fame and CableFax Daily Lifetime Achievement Award.
She credits her communications success to her many superior colleagues and deep roots in the theatre as professor, actress, director and voice coach.
Facts: Born in Rochester NY, holds Indiana U BA/MA, married to actor Jim Slaughter, has two children, three grand-daughters and fourth due in 2020.
Maria Reitan deploys more than 20 years of integrated communications experience across public relations, advertising, digital, branding and social engagement for her clients. Her strategic work has driven business-building results for such household names as Trane, American Standard, Tempur-Pedic, Jenn-Air, Calphalon, Mr. Bubble, Gerber, and Hasbro to name a few.
With extensive crisis and issues experience and media coaching counsel, Maria has assisted clients in preparing and dealing with the worst-case scenarios.
For more than 10 years, Maria has hosted a marketing-to-women podcast on webmasterradio.fm. PurseStrings reaches tens of thousands of business professionals and is the longest running podcast of its kind in the country.
Her podcast and client campaigns have been awarded the public relations industry’s highest recognition including the Silver Anvil, Bronze Anvil, PR Platinum, PR Week, Golden SABRE and Minneapolis PRSA.
Prior to her career in integrated strategic communications, Maria spent fifteen years in television news as an Emmy Award-winning news director and producer in Minneapolis, Chicago, Miami, Louisville and both Carolinas.
Maria has a B.A. in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
SVP Research & Strategy
Tim Sherno brings more than 30 years of journalism, marketing and corporate communications experience to IEN. He’s an award winning writer in worlds of broadcast news and advertising. He’s worked with dozens of companies coast to coast, analyzing research and sharpening advertising strategies and messages.
Tim has worked in broadcast television in New York, Miami, Denver, and Minneapolis. He enjoyed a successful career on-air, but most recently worked as the Director of Entertainment Content at FOX5 in Las Vegas.
Tim has a B.A. from New York University.
Long before Paula Engelking learned she had WOO (the “winning others over” strength), she knew she had a knack for engaging with people. It came in handy during her years at WCCO-TV, whether she was convincing people to talk with her on a breaking news story or persuading someone to participate in a high-profile special projects piece. \
After Paula left ‘CCO, her strong writing skills and gift for connecting with people helped her succeed in the world of TV production at TPT and Committee Films.
During her journalism days, Paula teamed up with colleagues to bring home plenty of
hardware—including Dupont, Emmy, Edward R. Murrow, National Press Club, Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalists awards. More important to Paula, she got to meet people and tell their stories. Among her favorites: Marshmallow Test parenting story with Amelia Santaniello, WWII Memorial Trip which followed Carver County vets on a one-day trip to Washington, D.C. and Separating Sisters, a series of stories following the parents of conjoined twins—before, during and after their daughters’ separation surgery at the Mayo Clinic.
Paula’s favorite TV productions include the PBS Kids STEM show SciGirls, ABC’s 20/20: In an Instant and the MSNBC documentary, HEADLINERS: Pope Francis.
Paula shares her life and home with her husband Jeff, their two teenagers and Wrigley the
Golden Retriever. She also leads a Girl Scout troop, camps with Boy Scouts and volunteers at the Hennepin County Fix-It Clinic. (If you ever need Girl Scout cookies, she can hook you up.)
When she’s not working or volunteering, Paula enjoys movies, live music and road trips.
Steve Wallace is a digital strategist focused on transformation efforts that provide a measurable return for the business. His work with Fortune 500 companies and smaller companies ranges from large-scale e-commerce initiatives to developing complex content eco-systems integration paid, owned and earned media.
Client experience includes 3M, UnitedHealth Group, AT&T, and Best Buy.
Steve is a founding member and past-President of the Minnesota Interactive Association (MiMA) and past-President of the Advertising Federation of Minnesota (AdFed).
He is a graduate of the University of Arizona and like many at i.e. network, was at one time a journalist working with newspaper in Arizona and Forbes magazine.
Video Producing Partner
Nina Bouphasavanh brings two decades of experience in television and online news, video production, and digital marketing to her contracted work with i.e. network. She received her first Emmy award before graduating college, and has since lived in California, New York, and Wyoming, all in pursuit of storytelling with heart.
She is a former television news reporter and anchor who fully transitioned to television and video production when she returned to her hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2008.
Nina has a highly diverse background of leading teams and creating compelling and entertaining content for different networks such as the Travel Channel, History, H2, and ABC and for various social media channels.
Her compassionate storytelling style and fastidious nature has garnered her a positive reputation as an effective and creative producer in the field and in edit, and an overall solid marketing partner when an important story needs to be told. She deeply connects with clients, subjects, and her audiences, and produces an experience that extends far beyond the camera lens.
Aside from telling stories, Nina is passionate about the outdoors, travel, fashion, live music, writing poetry, and spending time with her family and friends.
Video Producing Partner
Mark Anderson is a two-time recipient of the National Edward R. Murrow Award. He has won over 20 Emmys for his work as a visual storyteller. He is a former National Press Photographer of the Year from the National Press Photographers Association for his work produced at KARE TV. He has produced for several national news outlets including Dateline NBC and The Today Show.
He has extensive newsroom leadership experience when he was the Director of Photography at KSTP where his staff went from worst to first and won twice in 5 years the distinguished honor as National Station of the Year from the National Press Photographers Association.
Mark brings the storytelling with heart approach that has distinguished him as a premiere multimedia producer, photojournalist, cinematographer, director, editor and marketing communications professional to his contract work with i.e. network. As a storytelling partner, he places a premium on the people he is honored to serve.
Media Relations Strategist
Meredith has a passion for storytelling. Her expertise lies in creating strategic media relations programs that connect different facets of marketing, so messages are amplified to reach maximum stakeholders in different mediums.
With more than 15 years of PR experience in health/wellness, retail, CPG, and technology industries, Meredith plays a leading role in developing and executing campaigns for global companies and challenger brands. From executive and spokesperson visibility to launching products that garner maximum attention or creating events that drive awareness and consideration, Meredith has landed clients in Forbes, New York Times,Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, CNN, CNBC.com, Business Insider, Cheddar, and the Today Show to name a few. Her clients have included AVEDA, DSM Nutritional Products, Deloitte, Evian, Sherwin-Williams, Panasonic, Prevent Biometrics, and Yahoo, among others.
Prior to Meredith’s current role, she was the Associate Director and Chair for Media Relations, at Carmichael Lynch Relate, leading the media relations department for eight years, and managing its New York City office. Meredith holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Purdue University.
Cavan Reagan Reichmann
Social Media Strategist
Cavan Reagan Reichmann has been building brands for 18 years using a blend of analytical and creative skills. With roots in brand journalism, storytelling, social and public relations. His career has included time in editorial, client and agency roles.
He founded the social department at advertising and public relations agency Carmichael Lynch, starting as the first member and forming a team of strategists, content creators and community managers by creating analytics, production and planning capabilities.
He’s led digital marketing initiatives at Children’s Minnesota, establishing the brand in the early days of social. His other client experience includes Truvia, Garden of Life, Subaru of America, Helzberg Diamonds, Genuine Thermos Brand, U.S. Bank, Phillips 66, Jack Link’s Protein Snacks and Post Consumer Brands.