Find the elements that deliver relevant, remarkable results.

What Element-R does is built into our name.

Since our start as a strategic, integrated marketing and PR firm in 1997, our approach is to listen, know and engage:


Being relevant gets your message heard. But first, you have to actively listen – online and offline – to understand where your customers, stakeholders and influencers are.

Active listening supplies real breakthroughs in who, what, where and how you communicate to your market. We work to listen to everyone — your management team, your sales force, and other employees. Then, we listen to your customers and your prospects – including those who decided not to buy from you — to really understand what drives their purchasing decisions.

In the age of social media, listening is more critical than ever. Because somewhere, someone is looking for your solution.


We do more than investigate. We collaborate.

Element-R Partners mines information about your company, its offerings and your internal and external audiences through our R-MAP (Relevance Mapping) planning process. We take what was learned and apply it to create programs that deliver the right strategy and messages, and mix of digital, PR and advertising tools that convert.


The effect of listening and knowing is communication that is more effective across the board. You engage with your market in a way that makes you stand out. Engage in ways that make your customer want to hear more. You’re no longer talking at your market. You’re talking with them, earning their interest and trust – in you and your products or services.

Beyond the message is delivery with visual impact, and through creative channels that make your company remarkable.

Map Your Success


Getting anywhere requires directions. We plot your course through R-MAP (Relevance Mapping), Element-R Partners’ approach to establishing relevance between you and your prospects and customers.

During the planning and creative process, your team and ours collaborate to understand your issues, develop your strategy and messaging and integrate the correct tactics to deliver on your business goals. The analysis also helps Element-R proactively work to keep your marketing and PR plans on track, on target and getting results.


  • What can R-MAP do for your firm?
  • Engage your staff (including non-marketing roles) in the planning phase
  • Design logical direction for your brand, product and service claims
  • Significantly strengthen your brand story, and your competitive edge
  • Eliminate underperforming marketing and sales tactics
  • Uncover new selling opportunities
  • Create an internal culture of true customer focus


  • Susan Duensing
    Partner, Co-founder; Certified Business Communicator
    Susan Duensing, a 25+-year veteran in communications, ensures that all Element-R client initiatives meet our exacting standards for following strategy and achieving relevancy. Her background in a range of roles – from technical writer to magazine editor to agency account management — gives her a practical perspective on making communications effective. Her messaging focus is on the customer’s interests versus the company’s, and on getting the message through to buyers already dealing with information overload. Before starting her own firm in 1997, Susan carried a bag as a manufacturer’s rep for an automotive company, and an editor of four trade magazines (in the electronics, electrical and insurance industries). She then spent eight years at Gibbs and Soell, a national, independent PR firm in Chicago, where she managed programs for large corporations in the medical device, plastics and technology arenas. Duensing frequently consults for non-profits, and is a Board member of The DePaul Institute for Business and Professional Ethics.
  • Bob Reed
    Partner, Co-founder
    Bob Reed is a versatile generalist, applying his 25+ years of corporate communications, public relations and marketing communication skills into comprehensive program development, planning, management and execution. A veteran of the big agencies (J. Walter Thompson and Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide), Bob has created and implemented programs involving pharmaceuticals, chemicals, electronics, commercial insurance, finance, utilities, automotive, executive search and the graphic arts for companies such as Covance, Atlantic Mutual Companies, Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, Snap-on, General Chemical and MBIA Corp. In addition, he worked with a leading economist and banker to open the door to a radical, alternative home financing method. Before co-founding Element-R, Bob ran his own communications consultancy. Bob is a member of the Public Relations Society of America’s Counselors Academy special interest section and serves on its Executive Committee.
  • Robert Schellenberg
    Senior Design Director
    Having honed his skills as the director of design for Fleishman & O’Connor, a 30-person business-to-business marketing firm, Bob ventured out in 1990 to form Robert Alan Design as an alternative to full-service, mid-size agencies. With 30-years experience in the visual communications field, coupled with a solid marketing background, Bob has garnered an extensive, award-winning portfolio for clients including: Ameritech, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, M&S Systems, Leica Medical, Dunlee, ASAP Software and Weyerhaeuser. His ability to implement a strategic marketing plan with a hands-on, pragmatic approach to design has resulted in what many clients consider the most effective marketing tools in their industries. Robert Alan Design joined forces with Element-R Partners in 2000.
  • Guy Tichy
    Senior Consultant, Ideation
    Guy Tichy brings more than 24 years of experience in business-to-business and consumer-oriented communications in agency, corporate and independent settings. A strong, hands-on conceptual thinker and practitioner, Guy has broad experience in developing and executing actionable, results-oriented client programs. He is well-versed in all aspects of executive-level communications in both product and service industries, requiring advanced thought processes and a deep understanding of the social and business climate in the U.S. As an experienced researcher, he applies this information to communications in many formats. Prior to working as an independent consultant, Guy was a Vice President of a major independent public relations firm for 11 years, with account responsibilities exceeding $1.4 million in annual fee billings. His specific industry expertise includes: chemicals, plastics, building products and healthcare.
  • Laura McGowan
    Senior Consultant, Consumer and Crisis Management
    Laura McGowan brings to the table 14 years of issues management and consumer product public relations experience. McGowan has worked with clients from a multitude of industries including healthcare, home and housewares, government relations, consumer products and community outreach. During her 8+ year tenure as senior vice president at JSH&A Public Relations, she served as the national spokesperson for Clarke Mosquito Control. McGowan has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and other publications, and has been primarily responsible for crafting strategy for litigation, public debate and other high-profile issues. Balancing this corporate mindset with publicity acumen, Laura has developed results-oriented consumer marketing campaigns for clients including McDonald’s, Enesco, Whirlpool, Allied Van Lines and Sears. Prior to her work at JSH&A, McGowan worked in the consumer and education practices at Ogilvy PR and in the food marketing group at Edelman Worldwide. Laura has been honored with the Holmes Report Top 100 PR Program award (2004), PRSA Silver Anvil Award (1997), the PCC Silver Trumpet (1997), the Ogilvy Professional Achievement Award (1996) and the Kraft Creativity Award (1993).
  • Donna Bliss
    Senior Consultant; Director, Special Events
    Donna Bliss has been perfecting the art of the event since 1983. Her experience includes establishing the Events Division for Jam Productions; work as an Account Executive for Motivation Media selling multi-media corporate communications programs; and for the past ten years, President of Bliss Event Concepts. Her expertise includes buying and producing events featuring headline talent; developing the logistical plan to execute major events, meetings, and corporate theater; creative and conceptual development; and managing a team to implement any type of corporate event. In addition, she has worked with several not-for-profit organizations to create and implement successful and profitable special events; and create the development plan to increase sponsorship participation. She is available to teach a two part course in “How to Create and Run Successful and Profitable Fundraising Events;” the “Art of Creative Event Planning;” and to facilitate strategic and creative event planning sessions. Clients include: International Capital Management, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Motorola, Merchandise Mart Properties, USG, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Sara Lee, Sprint PCS, and CNA Insurance.

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