• July Anniversaries: Our Team Gives Us a Special Spark

    on Jul 6
    in General, News
    with No Comments

    From picnics to fireworks to pool parties, a lot of fun is had and memories are made in July. So it’s no surprise that our July anniversary team members give us an added spark! This month we’re celebrating:

    • Jeff Carey – Blue Traffic – two years
    • Karly Stenberg – Blue Traffic – three years
    • Mackenzie Ostrem – Shift Interactive – two years
    • Tom West – Performance Marketing – 13 years
    • Zach Allen – Performance Marketing – one year

    To mark the occasion, we asked them about their favorite memory at Performance Marketing Group. Most had trouble picking just one.

    “It’s not just one memory, it’s a thousand micro memories that make up my favorite aspect of PM — the welcoming atmosphere! There’s an endless amount of support, acceptance and respect within these walls that’s hard to beat,” said Karly.

    Zach Allen is the newest member of the group and this past year he was very impressed by how quickly we can all make something happen. “Watching a spooky, scary, haunted house be constructed in only an hour leading up to the Halloween party is my favorite memory,” he said.

    The holidays make quite the impression here. “One of my favorite memories is working alongside co-workers to deliver Christmas cheer,” said Jeff Carey.

    Tom West has been with our team for 13 years and thought back to when he was part of a team of 20 moving offices to 1501 42nd St. “All of us thought we were pretty special moving into our high-rise new digs,” he said. “Little did we know 20 would become 65-plus and we’d end up taking over a whole floor and then some!”

    Thanks for sharing your time, memories, wonderful work and fantastic personalities with us. We’re so glad you’re on our team. We appreciate your spark!



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  • Work Hard, Play Harder

    on Jun 18
    in General, News
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    Close your eyes and imagine “fun.” Does a planning committee come to mind? It doesn’t come to ours either, but we literally have a fun committee to plan fun.

    We work hard for our clients and love the work we do. But to add balance, we make sure to have some designated fun! It’s not always easy for us to step away from our strategic planning, writing and design, so to ensure we do, we formed a fun committee!

    What’s the benefit of a fun committee? “Culture is so important to PMG and it allows team members who don’t always work together to get to know each other better,” says Cody Hill, head of the fun committee.

    What does the fun committee do? They plan:

    • The Kickball Tournament: It starts with our designers creating some rad t-shirts for each team followed by a round-robin tournament for PMG bragging rights.
    • Winetime Friday: Teams bring in wines that are entered into a bracket.
      We then have a blind wine tasting to determine the winner; voting using an app our SHIFT team built!
    • Company Game Watches: Sporting events on our office TVs and food and drinks in our bellies.
    • Pool Tournaments: The competition is fierce at the SHIFT pool table.

    What are we looking forward to? More fun:

    • Winetime Friday
    • The Kickball Tournament
    • Game Nights
    • Tailgate Party
    • Cabana Party at the SHIFT Bar

    Of course we love to share the fun, so if you’d like to see what we’re up to, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

    Thanks to the fun committee — Cody, Jaclyn, Kaylee, Katelin and Clayton — for making sure we take the time to hang out, kick back and have a blast!



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  • Favorite Memories from the June Bugs

    on Jun 11
    in General, News
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    We’d like to take a moment to give a shout out to all the wonderful Performance Marketing and Shift people celebrating their work anniversaries this month! We are so glad that they spend their days working and having fun with us! We asked them to share some of their favorite memories thus far, this is what they said:

    Dan Swenson

    Team: Creative
    Years: 2
    My favorite part of working at PMG is non-profit work like Freedom Blend Coffee and Make-A-Wish Iowa.


    Ellie Walter

    Team: Creative
    Years: 4
    I enjoy all the little things that make working for PM so great like our creative coffees, PM in the PMs, holiday parties and most importantly the ice cream truck visits!


    Sarah Miller

    Team: Account Service
    Years: 2
    My favorite memory? I’d probably have to go with nearly breaking my neck in a PM in the PM kickball game.


    Cody Hill

    Team: Interactive
    Years: 5
    I remember having curry lunch in the old Shift space on the day of Chris Wagner’s interview. Clayton and I were sitting out in the lobby eating our lunch and having a beer watching a show on Netflix and Matt Glynn had to assure Wags that we were not staged, and that this was a normal occurrence at Shift. We work hard, we play hard.


    Eric Rowley

    Team: Account Service
    Years: 3
    My favorite memory is kickball…mainly diving into home plate for what I think was the winning run.


    Chris Wagner

    Team: Interactive
    Years: 4
    I once came to work in Cody’s kickball clothes after a long night at the Prometheus Awards.


    Emily Hughes

    Team: Creative
    Years: 15
    In 15+ years I have too many memories to pick just one so instead of memories I will say, What my favorite thing in my years at PM are the friendships that I have made. I have gone through so many stages of my life (graduation, marriage, motherhood) with some of my co-workers that they have become so much greater than that.

    Here’s to all of you June bugs, and to many more years of working hard and playing hard together!



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  • Staying Active in the Community

    on Jun 1
    in News, PM + DSM
    with No Comments

    Performance Marketing Group (PMG) is committed to helping out the local community through different initiatives put together by our very own Community Involvement Committee. Emily Schrad, Jaclyn Overton, Staci McDonald, Troy Johnson and Renae Meines make up the wonderful committee that organizes events and invites all PMG team members to participate.

    “The Community Involvement Committee works to offer involvement opportunities to PMG staff benefitting local organizations and helping to make our community a stronger and better place to live and work,” said Emily Schrad, head of the committee.

    Recently, PMG has participated in a few awesome initiatives: cleaning up a section of the Jordan Creek Trail, hosting a fundraiser for the Furry Friends Refuge and bringing in gifts for a Toyland donation during Christmas time.

    Our time and effort doing even small things has a big impact on those we are helping who depend on volunteers to succeed. In return the appreciation shown by each organization we have partnered with has gone way above and beyond a simple thank you,” said Schrad, explaining why helping out around the community is a win-win situation.

    Coming up next, PMG is helping with Meals on Wheels two to three Tuesdays a month, participating in a Blood Drive with LifeServe on July 23 and cleaning up our trail again on August 3! 

    Keep up-to-date with PMG’s philanthropic efforts by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!



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  • Putting Trash In Its Place

    on May 18
    in PM + DSM
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    The sky cleared up just in time, last Friday, for the Performance Marketing Group to clean our newly-adopted section of the Jordan Creek Trail between 68th street and Jordan Creek Parkway.

    Making sure Iowa’s trails stay nice for the community members is something that PMG holds dear to our heart. Not only do PMG employees spend time enjoying the trail system by walking, running, and biking, but it’s also a way to stay connected to this wonderful community we call home. “It was a great opportunity to take a little pride in our community and do our part to maintain our shared spaces,” said Dana Kelley.

    Sixteen PMG members spent three hours on Friday cleaning up the trail, collecting and removing a total of eleven bags of trash so that the West Des Moines community members could enjoy a clean and safe trail. It was a fun afternoon, but we are most excited that our efforts will benefit natural wildlife in the area and the community members that use the trail.

    “The trail cleanup work was fun and rewarding. For someone that rides on the trails all the time, it was nice to give back. Plus, seeing Matt Glynn lose his collective mind over a small snake was priceless,” said Eric Rowley.



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  • The Word on Wellness

    on May 4
    in General
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    Last year marked the first full year of wellness activities for PMG and boy did we keep employees busy! We had fun encouraging people to take the stairs and walk more steps by setting up monthly challenges in a web-based, wellness platform that Shift Interactive built. We supported local businesses by participating in several activities such as a boxing night at Title Boxing, yoga sessions with an instructor from Power Life Yoga and set up lunch and learns with two local chiropractic facilities. Almost half of the agency got their flu shots through PMG, and we also certified 29 employees in CPR with the West Des Moines EMS.

    The Wellness Committee learned a lot in the past year and is very excited about where 2018 is going with regards to our employees’ health and well-being. Instead of solely leaning on monthly challenges, through the wellness platform we are opening up a year’s worth of activities employees will have the option to participate in. Such things include getting a physical exam, donating blood, volunteering or going to lunch with co-workers. But the first thing we started with was biometric screenings. Mercy Medical nurses graciously provided on-site screenings at PMG in early April. Letting employees see their results now is meant to kick start their health and fitness journey over the course of the year. Come Q2 of 2019, the goal will be to conduct another round of biometric screenings and review YOY results where we hope to be a more healthy and productive company.



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  • Raising Awareness for a Cuddly Cause

    on Apr 20
    in PM + DSM
    with No Comments

    Here at Performance Marketing Group, volunteering and giving back to the community is something that we hold very near and dear to our hearts. That’s why on March 21st, we participated in a fundraiser at Pizza Ranch for the Furry Friends Refuge in West Des Moines.

    The event lasted three hours and raised money that went directly to benefit the animals at Furry Friends Refuge. Every penny raised went toward food, medicine and blankets for the cute little animals as they wait to get adopted.

    Furry Friends Refuge is a no-kill shelter, which means that the animals will live there until they are adopted into their forever homes. This also means that Furry Friends Refuge will not kill “healthy or treatable” animals. They are also committed to taking all animals that have not been reclaimed from animal control in Clive, West Des Moines and Urbandale.

    We love to give back by raising money for organizations that we believe in, but what was more important about this fundraiser is that we were able to increase awareness for the animal shelter. Many people in the community don’t know how they can help shelters or even where one is located. This community impact event, held at Pizza Ranch, created tremendous awareness with pizza lovers throughout the metro area. PMG team members were the servers that night, making it a great opportunity to start a conversation about what they were fundraising for and how the local community members could help out.

    In case you were wondering, here are some stats about the Furry Friends Refuge. In the last year, they took in 512 owner-surrendered animals, 169 returned pets, 794 strays and 200 transferred in from other shelters. Also in 2017, 1,235 pets were adopted from Furry Friends Refuge, proving that the work our pals at Furry Friends are doing really does make a huge impact.

    If you, like the PMG team, have the same love of animals click here to learn more about Furry Friends Refuge or to make a donation.



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  • The Day the Governor and Lt. Governor Visited PM/Shift!

    on Nov 16
    in PM + DSM
    with No Comments

    On November 8th, we were honored to host Governor Kim Reynolds and Lt. Governor Adam Gregg at Performance Marketing (PM) and Shift Interactive.

    We brought the Gov. and Lt. Gov. around for a tour of our facility, showcased recent projects and Gov. Reynolds even enjoyed our virtual reality simulator.

    The day wasn’t all fun and games though; Gov. Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Gregg came to talk with us about important topics, such as:

    • The need for workers with a technical skill set here in Iowa
    • The lack of women within tech
    • Alternative post-high school education opportunities — with a large amount of debt impacting students, what other options can exist for training?

    STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is an important initiative for Gov. Reynolds. According to the Governor’s website, Lt. Gov. Gregg says they are working hard on a new law to encourage every elementary, middle and high school to offer high-quality computer science instruction by July of 2019.

    “This is vital since kids in Iowa’s STEM programs are eight percentage points ahead of their non-participating peers in agreeing they would like to live and work in Iowa after they finish their education,” says Lt. Gov. Gregg.

    One of our major initiatives here at PM and Shift is working with Waukee APEX, which we discussed with Gov. Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Gregg. APEX helps area high school students find their passion. The program brings together education, business and the community to develop skilled, adaptable leaders. Young adults choose what they are interested in and work with area businesses in that field to explore related career possibilities.

    Two of our PM and Shift partners, Jim Swanson and Brett Burkhart, work with APEX students on a regular basis giving the students an up-close view of the creative and technological side of our companies, and we were lucky to have Waukee APEX instructor Russ Goerend and two Waukee APEX associates with us for the Governor and Lt. Governor’s visit as well.

    We had a great morning with both Gov. Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Gregg and are honored to have hosted them. It’s not every day that two of the most influential leaders in our great state come to visit.

    We look forward to continuing the dialogue of growing the technical skill set of workers here in Iowa with the Gov. and Lt. Gov. in the future and thank them for their time.



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  • 10 Years of Michelle + PMG

    on Oct 3
    in Events
    with No Comments

    Michelle has been with Performance Marketing Group since we had just 12 employees. She’s been here through thick and thin, forming great relationships from the very beginning. Our small accounting and operations department simply wouldn’t be the same without her.

    We celebrated her anniversary with cake and champagne and a few lovely toasts. PMG President, Kevin Lentz, spoke the words we were all thinking — highlighting Michelle’s kindness and reputation as an all-around wonderful human being, and reiterating how much she does for this company (which is A LOT).

    “I’m not one for speeches, but I want you all to know that this is more than a job to me. You’re part of my family and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I honestly cannot imagine working anywhere else,” said Michelle.

    When asked which company tradition she loves most, Michelle quickly stated, “I would have to say the Annual Kids Halloween party. Not only do I have a blast making themed treats like Nutter Butter ghosts and witch hats, but also, my kids love to attend. Sam helped me decorate and serve treats last year and Maddy, who is at Columbia College Chicago, is disappointed every year when October rolls around and she isn’t here. She still talks about how much fun it was in years past. It’s also a fun time to see everyone’s children and their adorable costumes. It’s so great to see an office full of happy kids, mine included.”

    Happy 10-Year Anniversary, Michelle!



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  • Creativity For a Cause

    on Aug 25
    in Creative
    with No Comments

    We’re always pumped about video animation, but this project really stands out. We set off to create an informational video for Prevent Child Abuse Iowa, an extremely compassionate and active local organization. PCAI does exactly what their name suggests, works to prevent child abuse here in the heart of the Midwest. Since they do such amazing work, we were so excited to create a lively, colorful, animated video for them!

    The final result includes loads of creativity and all the information you need to know about PCAI — what they do, why they do it, and how you can get involved. All in one short, 71-second video. Check it out:

    Prevent Child Abuse Iowa has used this video on social media, on their website, and at multiple events. It’s a great awareness and recruiting tool, helping spread the word and urging people to act at the same time. If you’re so inclined, become one of those citizens who act — you can be confident you’re supporting a great cause.

    While you’re here, enjoy the highlight reel below that includes additional examples of our work.




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