Working at Stray Media Group doesn’t necessarily take the right resume – it takes the right mindset.

“We are more about the fit than sometimes the actual qualifications,” Dave Gilbert, president and co-founder of Stray Media, said. “It’s got to be a good fit for us because we’re a tight group, and we’re all kind of entrepreneurial in spirit.”

Gilbert co-founded Stray Media Group in Grand Forks with his wife Heather in December 2009. It started from there with one employee and has grown to 12 employees who work in-house and from afar. It provides comprehensive marketing services to its clients – mostly small businesses – such as graphic design, digital marketing, logo design, web development, brand development, video and drone services, apparel and signs.

Gilbert said the company is trying to hire three more employees. Its staff members are trained to be serviceable in multiple areas, all in an effort to keep the machine running smoothly.

“We’re still growing, and ‘22 is going to be another growth year for us,” Gilbert said. “We kind of cross-train everybody in a lot of different areas. Certainly some of them are more specialized than others, but we have a good, solid team here.”

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Stray Media Group recently won awards from the Muse Creative Award organization, including "Gold" in the category of Website-Consumer Product/Services for its work on website redesign with United Communications, as well as the category of Publications-Magazine for its work on Railroader Magazine with Northern Plains Rail Services. It was also named Most Innovative Strategic Marketing Partners in the Midwest USA in this year’s International Strategic Media Innovator Awards.

Gilbert said the company has grown significantly from its humble beginnings.

“It’s been really good growth,” Gilbert said. “Without getting into particulars, people would be screaming to have that kind of growth.”

Gilbert said the all-encompassing nature of Stray Media Group’s services is important.

“We have a huge trust factor with our customers, which allows us to do what we do for them. It's just great because we work on their behalf,” Gilbert said. “We work kind of differently, not in a traditional agency way. When we manage their brand, we look at all their stuff, and it’s kind of all-inclusive of their budget. We look at everything they need to do, and it allows us to be creative on our side to produce the things that we do for our customers, because they aren’t strapped down by an hourly billing like a normal agency would do. We don’t do that.”

Stray Media Group has changed how it does business due to the pandemic, but also as a result of the business' natural progression and expansion. With more employees and more services, the company has branched out into a more open work setting by putting a premium on open office space and collaboration between employees in “brainstorming” sessions. It has also made digital marketing a higher priority than it once was.

Gilbert said the company will continue to alter its approach going forward.

“Our business has changed a lot, and we have to stay abreast of everything that’s out there so we can inform our customers what they can do to reach their goals,” Gilbert said. “Yeah, the landscape has changed a lot.”