Traditions Media Comes Up Golden, Basks Briefly in the Glow

MANDAN, N.D. –  The Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers (AGLOW) presented three recipients with the organization’s highest honors at its 63rd annual conference in Bismarck-Mandan, North Dakota last week.

Nominated and selected by AGLOW’s Council of Past Presidents, Golden Glow honorees are named annually, as merited, in up to five categories. The storied organization’s prestigious list of past Golden Glow recipients includes such names as Aldo Leopold, Homer Circle, Bruce Babbitt, Gov. Mike Huckabee, Forrest Wood, National Wild Turkey Federation, and Boy Scouts of America.

Traditions Media, the progressive public relations, media-buying and media communications agency for the outdoors industry has now been added to this list, receiving the 2018 Golden Glow “Corporation” award in recognition of its diverse and wide-reaching accomplishment in the field of outdoor communications.

Traditions Media founders, Noel Vick and Leslie Sundahl, entered the fishing and hunting industry in their 20’s, purchasing a Fish & Game Finder franchise from a newspaper ad. It was a home-based business run while raising three kids in the shadows of Minnesota’s Twin Cities. They wrote everything themselves, took the photographs, sold the ads and delivered the magazines from the back of an old Suburban.

Traditions Media’s Dena Vick

One of their early mentors was Bill Love, who published a similar publication in Illinois. Other early mentors were Mark Strand and Tim Lesmeister, recognized by those in the know as outdoors industry pioneers of what is now commonly known as “native content”.

After selling Fish & Game Finder, Vick embarked on a freelance career before becoming Vice President of Marketing for Clam Corporation. From there, he moved to a creative agency where he quickly tired of the long Italian shoes, fat retainers, and a lack of appreciation for the ground game required to succeed in PR in the passion-laden outdoors industry.

Thus, Traditions Media, the “anti-agency, agency,” was born.

Traditions Media broke ground as a fishing-specific group with an ice-fishing emphasis, and quickly gained expertise in all forms of fishing. They would soon progress into the hunting, shooting sports and tactical arenas, recruiting expert talent with deep roots in each category.

AGLOW legend Tim Lesmeister, as seen through FLIR thermal imaging.

“Legitimacy has been a cornerstone of our organization since day one,” says Vick. “You can’t run the plays in our play book without the best talent in the industry.” In addition to being exceptional writers, you see, each TraditionsMedia team member has a lifetime of experience in fishing, hunting, shooting, or all of the above. “You can’t fake experience,” Vick continues. “So we build our communications teams so we never need to try.”

Vick and Sundahl apply the same principle to their would-be clients. TraditionsMedia prides itself in working with best-in-category brands that make the products their team members actually use. “The worst thing someone can do in the PR business is put themselves in a position where they need to try and make a ‘C’ or ‘D’ product look like an ‘A’ product,” says Sundahl. “That’s a pitfall we’ve always done our best to avoid.”

While Traditions Media’s actual clients may be outdoor companies, a lion’s share of the agency’s day-to-day service is provided directly to outdoor communicators—writers, editors, publishers and bloggers whose readers are hungry for the best information on the latest products which fuel their outdoor passions. That’s why the Traditions Media team actively participates in as many outdoor communicators’ groups and events as possible, and insists that its clients do, too.

Whether it comes in the form of a new product press release, a ready-to-publish syndicated story, supporting photography, or hands-on experiences at hunting, fishing and shooting media events, the unyielding support delivered by Traditions Media makes it easy for outdoor communicators to add tremendous value to their work, while exciting new generations of traditional outdoor sports enthusiasts.

“It’s more than a casual appreciation,” Vick says of his team’s individual relationships with so many of the nation’s best outdoor communicators. “These are our peers, and we couldn’t do what we do without their partnership. “To be recognized with an award the caliber of a Golden Glow… by an organization with the history, prestige and impact of AGLOW is something our team can be incredibly proud of. It’s a treasured reminder that the work we do is helping to move our industry forward for everyone.”