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Matt Merritt, owner

I am a public relations professional with a decade of PR work under my belt and a background in the news media. Every person, every business has an angle or area of expertise that is interesting to the public and of value to the media. I know how to find those angles.

My career path started in my early 20s as a journalist. I was a reporter and later Managing Editor of a daily afternoon paper, the Austin Daily Herald, in Austin, MN. Later I worked as an editor at the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, collaborating with reporters on issues such as schools, agriculture, business and more. That’s how I learned to look for the news hook in any topic.

In 2008 joined POET, the world’s largest biofuel producer with 28 plant locations across seven Midwest states. As the Director of Public Relations, I was blessed with the opportunity to work with every size and form of media, from small-town radio stations to larger regional papers to national outlets such as the New York Times, Fortune and the Washington Post.

I learned how to manage company-specific initiatives and larger industry issues. I coordinated grassroots activity by Midwestern farmers and helped make biofuels and agriculture top-of-mind topics for state and federal lawmakers, even presidential candidates.

In 2019 I started 1Block, a company designed to offer that experience to businesses, individuals, associations, really anyone with a story to tell or an issue to bring to light.

Why ‘1Block’?

Ten years ago I wanted a new name for my online creative identities.

I thought about it while on a run, training for a half marathon. That training run was the first time I attempted to run 10 miles. It was difficult, and at about 8 miles, I started to fail.

“OK,” I told myself. “One more block, then you can walk.”

I told myself that block after block after block, never actually stopping to walk, until I finished the run.

1Block is about perseverance and tenacity. It is also about building something great one piece at a time. That’s what I offer my customers: hard work, tenacity and strategies for growing their reputation block by block by staying visible and consistently being part of the community conversation wherever they operate.