Approach

C. Blohm & Associates uses a three-step process to achieve successful visibility results. We use both established and emerging media channels. Using discovery, engagement and evaluation, we create conversations that make an impact with influencers and thought leaders in the education industry and special needs markets.

3-steps_CB+A

Values

We’re passionate about what we do. Our number one goal is to expand the reach of our clients’ public relations initiatives.  We use our time-tested knowledge of communications in the education industry to help them deliver their message and surpass their goals. Our guiding values are the roadmap by which we meet these opportunities.

CB&A Beliefs and Guiding Principles:
• Education is valuable. All kids deserve a chance.
• Every individual has unique strengths to offer, and deserves the appropriate tools to harness these gifts.
• The power of storytelling and carefully chosen words to convey vivid ideas and meaning.
• Sharing, collaborating and communicating to address challenges and opportunities together.
• Responsibility and accountability to the taxpayers who support our education system.
• Respect for all and doing right by others.

Why Us

Thanks to our focused expertise, we know how to tailor your communications with depth and genuine resonance. With a guiding principle of “Visibility Matters,” we work tirelessly to get you noticed, build brand loyalty and create staying power among educators, therapists, parents and students.

Whether you’re an international market leader or an emerging enterprise, we’ll work with you to define your goals and help you achieve them. Our deeply rooted industry relationships, dedication to the community and results-driven ethos create successful solutions.

Impactful Relationships

We’ve established relationships with the media. Our knowledge of social channels is unmatched. Members of the CB&A client family average millions of impressions per month in target publications including online venues. We help them develop long-standing relationships with media venues that matter most.

A Dedication to Making a Difference

We’re passionate about giving back to the community, whether it’s reading to kids at the local elementary school, providing supplies to teachers or ringing bells on behalf of the Salvation Army. We measure success in the lives touched and generations enriched.

Results

We help our clients build and execute strategic communications plans that significantly boost their visibility, which in turn has a substantial impact on their bottom line. Each client’s plan is customized to focus on their business objectives and key audiences.

Expertise

Members of the CB&A team are frequently asked to contribute articles and lead presentations at industry events. Additionally, Charlene is active in leadership roles with a number of industry associations.

Presentations

• Moderator, Selling Success with Focused Sales & Marketing Boot Camp, SIIA’s Education Industry Summit, May 2015 (Charlene Blohm)
• Panelist, How Social Media Can Help You Win Educator Friends and Influence School Leaders, SIIA’s Education Industry Summit, May 2015 (Charlene Blohm)
• Co-presenter, CoSN’s CETL Summit (Certified Education Technology Leaders), March 2015 (Charlene Blohm)
• Interviewer, EdNET Insider, Selling to Schools Radio, October 2014 (Saul Hafenbredl)
• Presenter, Game-Changing Market Opportunities: Leveraging Social Media to Stay Competitive, SIIA’s Education Business Forum, December 2014 (Saul Hafenbredl)
• Co-presenter for roundtable discussion at EdNET 2014: Taking the Pulse. Uncovering Trends. A Year Four Perspective. September 2014 (Charlene Blohm with Linda Winter)
• Reviewer/Judge for Pitchfests: Reviews of Company Marketing Plans, SIIA Education Industry Summit, May 2014 (Emily Embury)
How to Use Social Media to Engage School Administrators, Selling to Schools on BlogTalkRadio, July 2013 (Charlene Blohm)
Shifts that are Changing How Products are Being Marketed, Panelist, SIIA’s Ed Tech Business Forum, November 27, 2012 (Charlene Blohm)
Educators Speak Out About Traditional and Social Media – Together We’ll Explore the Implications for Education Marketers, EdNET 2012 Roundtable, October, 2012 (Charlene Blohm & Linda Winter)
What Educators Say, Think, and Do With Your Marketing Communications, EdNET Roundtable, September, 2011 (Charlene Blohm & Linda Winter)

Articles

Do’s and Dont’s of CTO Communications with Local Media, CoSN CETL blog, May 2015 (Charlene Blohm)
• How CTOs Can Share Success with a Wider Audience, CoSN CETL blog, May 2015 (Charlene Blohm)
• How CTOs Can Communicate with Internal Stakeholders More Effectively, CoSN CETL blog, April 2015 (Charlene Blohm)
• What Are CTOs’ Biggest Communications Challenges? CoSN CETL blog, April 2015 (Charlene Blohm)
How to Drive K-12 Sales in a WebCentric World, Selling To Schools, Dec 2012 (Charlene Blohm)
• Integrating Social Media and Traditional PR for Better Brand-Building, Chapter 4, “Marketing”, in SIIA’s The Experts’ Guide to the Postsecondary Education Market, June 2011 (Charlene Blohm)
Desktop and Web Widgets, Education Channel Partner, January 2009 (Charlene Blohm)

  • Charlene Blohm


    Charlene earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of the Incarnate Word and a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She has more than 20 years experience in the communications and marketing fields. Since founding CB&A in 1991, Charlene has worked with publishers and manufacturers whose products span the educational landscape, from traditionally printed books to broadband-delivered online curriculum. Her expertise in developing and implementing strategic marketing plans has been fine-tuned over the years, and she’s now one of the “go-to” people in the educational publishing industry. Charlene began her career as a reporter, columnist and managing editor for newspapers in Montana and Texas.  

    a CHARLENE BLOHM, Founder & President

    Emily Embury


    A graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Emily earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and women’s studies. Devoted to working with organizations whose overall mission benefits the community, she completed internships with two nonprofit organizations while in college. Emily joined CB&A in 2004, and previously held titles of Account Executive and Account Supervisor. She works in partnership with clients to develop and execute strategic public relations and social media plans to achieve their visibility goals. In her expanded leadership role, Emily also oversees campaigns, manages team members and supports the overall growth of the agency. She is an active member of PRSA and regularly attends Social Media Breakfast events. A certified master gardener, Emily enjoys digging in the dirt and spoiling her dog Barley.  

    a EMILY EMBURY, Account Director

    Saul Hafenbredl


    Saul attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism with an emphasis in strategic communication. While in school, he held positions with several Madison-based organizations such as the Associated Students of Madison, StudyBlue, Inc. and the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce. Saul joined CB&A as a PR & social media account coordinator in 2011, was promoted to Account Executive in 2012, and Account Manager in 2014. In his expanded role, Saul completes more strategic client work while playing a larger part in leading account services. He prides himself on adding innovative nuances to traditional methods and helping clients surpass their goals. A Wisconsin native, Saul has adapted to the state’s decidedly temperamental climate. He enjoys outdoor activities and breathing as much fresh air as possible.  

    a SAUL HAFENBREDL, Account Manager

    Donna Kraenzle


    Donna is a graduate of Avila University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Special Education (ED/LD/MR). After teaching for several years, she completed graduate course work at Kansas University and Lindenwood University before moving to management positions with commercial real estate and investment banking companies in Kansas City, Mo. In 1995, Donna began a 10-year stint as Business Manager with HealthTech Solutions in St. Louis, Mo., followed by a move to CPI Corp. as Director of the Business & Institutional Services Division. Under her leadership, the division grew to a multi-million dollar business focused on providing professional business portraits. Donna recently moved to Madison to be closer to family, especially three “totally adorable” grandchildren. She is a certified Zumba instructor and hospice volunteer.

    a DONNA KRAENZLE, Office Manager

    Chris Swietlik


    Chris earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and communication from St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis. During that time, Chris hosted a show on the college radio station, was co-editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, and interned in the college’s office of communication. Prior to joining CB&A in 2012 as an Account Coordinator, Chris spent two summers interning at an advertising and marketing firm in his hometown of Cedarburg, Wis. As an Account Executive, Chris works with a diverse group of clients, while continuing to engage with industry media and pursue his passion for writing. In his spare time, Chris can be found Frisbee golfing, reading a good book or enjoying the latest movie blockbuster.

    a CHRIS SWIETLIK, Account Executive

  • Dusten Carlson


    Dusten earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in Creative Writing from Anderson University in Anderson, Ind., as well as a Masters in Education from Rockford University in Rockford, Ill. After graduation, he started a career in new media and has worked as a blogger, journalist, editor and editorial contributor for many online and print publications and magazines. Dusten also co-owned an online publication focused on social media enterprise and culture for two years, which he and his partners sold in 2013. He joined CB&A as an Account Executive with a simple impetus; to create compelling content that reflects his dedication and passion for the education and special needs industries. Dusten also enjoys reading, spending time outdoors, volunteering, and music (so if you’re looking to start a band, you might want to shoot him an email).

    a DUSTEN CARLSON, Account Executive

    Audra Johnson


    Audra has nearly 20 years of experience as an executive in promotions, advertising, marketing and public relations, spending much of that time as promotions manager at a Fox television station in Madison, Wis. To pursue new challenges and grow professionally, Audra decided to enter the agency world, gaining valuable experience at a full-service digital marketing firm. Now at CB&A, she offers her expertise to clients in the education and special needs markets. Audra grew up in Rockford, Ill., earned a degree in communications from Purdue University, and loves living in Madison.

    a AUDRA JOHNSON, Account Executive

    Olivia Hoff


    Olivia earned a dual degree in Life Sciences Communication and Agriculture Applied Economics from UW-Madison. To gain real world career experience in public relations, she worked as an intern for both StudyBlue, Inc. and the UW System Office of Economic Development. She brings passion and the willingness to grow to her position at CB&A. A sports enthusiast, Olivia competed as a goalkeeper for four years on the UW-Madison women’s soccer team. Hailing from Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, Olivia enjoys hitting the slopes to ski, going for runs, and traveling.

    a OLIVIA HOFF, Account Coordinator

    Lauren West


    Lauren earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She developed a love for PR and social media while completing several internships, including stints with a UW student food publication The Dish, and a Chicago-based dating service. While in the Windy City, Lauren enjoyed expanding her PR knowledge in the Publicity Club of Chicago, and as an CB&A Account Coordinator, she puts her affinity for writing and meaningful communication to good use. Decidedly Midwestern, she’s lived in Minnesota, Illinois and Wisconsin. When not working, Lauren is probably at a Badger game, dining at the newest restaurant with friends or catching up on favorite TV shows.

    a LAUREN WEST, Assistant Account Executive

    Aaron Krish


    Aaron attended the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication with a public relations emphasis. During that time, he served on student government, held a committee chair position for Stevens Point’s PRSSA chapter and wrote for the campus newspaper – The Pointer. Prior to joining CB&A, Aaron completed an internship with an entertainment and arts agency in London, England, and worked within the consumer-marketing practice at Edelman PR in Chicago. Outside the office, Aaron can be found at the nearest coffee shop, reading, or catching up with the latest TV shows on Netflix.

    a AARON KRISH, Account Coordinator

  • Kelsea Kierstead


    Kelsea earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in psychology and journalism, with an emphasis in strategic communication. While at UW-Madison, she honed content marketing and social media skills during internships with Pop-Dot Marketing and Legato Healthcare Marketing. Kelsea discovered her passion for education, especially regarding students with special needs, through work as a fitness instructor at UW Rec Sports, and as a direct service provider for children with autism at Integrated Development Services. At CB&A, she applies her love for storytelling and education to help her clients reach their visibility goals. A true Wisconsinite, Kelsea enjoys racing sailboats on Midwest waters, waterskiing, running and spending time with family and friends.

    a KELSEA KIERSTEAD, Account Coordinator

    Paul Mamelka


    Paul administers our Macintosh network, scripts the servers, and helps the team keep the CB&A website up-to-date. He’s also the author of our in-house database system and copy editor of last resort. Although loathe to admit it, he’s spent some 40 years working with computers as a systems analyst, programmer and web designer, including stints with Control Data Corp., State of Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin–Madison, and Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio. He completed a math and computer science degree (before it was fashionable) at U.Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. As for sports: all hail the San Antonio Spurs!

    a PAUL MAMELKA, IT Administrator

To monitor trends within the industry, advance our clients’ interests and support client communications planning, CB&A is an active member of the following associations and organizations.