Be Inspired!

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” – Peter Drucker


Marketing & Communication Strategies, Inc. (MCS) is a growth strategy firm specializing in the convergent disciplines of marketing, advertising, branding, strategic development, public relations, web development and graphic design. Founded in 1988 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the firm has steadily developed a national and international clientele, providing services to both B2B and B2C focused organizations. The power-packed staff is experienced, versatile and innovative, with emphasis centered on creativity and responsiveness.

MCS employs a comprehensively consultative approach to help clients advance in rapidly changing marketplaces and increasingly short planning time frames.

Meet the Team

Nancy Garberson, Founder, has more than 30 years’ experience; she holds a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications, and a Master’s in Organizational Leadership.

Christa Nelson, Marketing Strategist, Web/Graphic Designer, SEO and Social Media Guru, holds a BLA, and graduated magna cum laude with a Master’s of Business Administration.

Chris Weaver, Webmaster/Senior Art Director, holds a BFA in Graphic Design, and has 18 years’ experience with MCS.

Marc Valenta, Director of Operations/Graphic Designer, holds a BA in Graphic Design, and has 18 years’ experience with MCS.

Tami Garvin, Director of Public Relations, holds a BA in English, and has 11 years’ experience with MCS.

Anna Patty, Communication Strategist and our resident non-profit expert. She has extensive experience in fund development and is a self-proclaimed data geek. Anna holds a BA in Journalism and Spanish.


E-Marketing: From Fad to Necessity

By:  Christa A. Nelson, MBA Website, Social Media, and E-Marketing – OH MY! As technology evolves – fads come and go; marketers have the challenge of finding ways to communicate their message while trying to stay with what is hot. Just like fashion trends, there are some fads we want to see revived and popular again and others like fax machines and robo-calls we would love to never see again.

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Caution: The Internet Is Not Your Personal Photo Collection

By:  Chris Weaver To put it bluntly, if you use an image that you saved from the internet without permission, you are stealing it. At the heart of this issue is how easy the internet makes it for EVERYBODY to grab content from just about anyone anywhere. For the purpose of this little missive, we’ll use Google as an example. The Big G has made it easy to search for

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Freedom of Speech and Public Relations

By: Tami Garvin First Amendment – Religion and Expression. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Freedom of speech may objectively be the one right exalted above all others in democratic society.

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The Scoop on SSLs

By:  Christa A. Nelson, MBA SSL Certificates use to be recommended only for websites that collected sensitive personal information, passwords and credit cards, but we are recommending that all sites get an SSL certificate for the following reasons: It meas your site is more secure, not only for your site users, but for you. It means you will make Google happy.  Google has said recently they will give sites with

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What I Learned From My Father?

By: Nancy Garberson, MOL With Father’s Day quickly approaching, it seems only right that I should write about my Dad. Although he wouldn’t let me buy his business, when I wanted it, because it was a “man’s company,” I won’t fault him for living in the past; after all, I was born late in my father’s life and I was the youngest – he was just from a different generation. But

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Public Relations in Focus: Content Correction

By:  Tami Garvin I’ve often said that public relations must begin with a foundation of ethics, common sense and manners. In an ideal world every communication would have with all of those things, as content creation and content pushing are prevalent tools for brands, marketers and public relations professionals. But as is obvious and becoming more so daily, sometimes personalities, communicators and brands get communications, content, or social media posts

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Social Media 102 – A Simple List of Dos & Don’ts

By:  Christa A. Nelson, MBA In my last post, we covered the social media sites – Facebook – Twitter – LinkedIn –Instagram – Snapchat, Google+, Tumblr and Pinterest.   Now you have heard of them and I have challenged you to check them out.  Have you figured out how to use them? Are they right for you and your organization? These questions are a bit more complicated to answer in just

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How do you feel about the leaders in your life?

by:  Nancy Garberson, MOL In July we talk a lot about freedom, which we are proud of in the United States! We have many more freedoms here than in many countries of the world! It sounds like a conversation I just had with my daughter, who is engaged to be married and planning her wedding. I’ve told her she has the freedom to make the ceremony anything she wants. There used

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