Who We Are

Current family ownership of Red Wing Publishing Co. runs back nearly 50 years. During that entire time the company’s central goal has been to be the dominant collector and distributor of local community news and advertising in each of the markets it serves. It has been successful because it has followed the formula of gathering top-notch staff members and putting them in positions where they can use their talents to the maximum.

Back past the current ownership, the company traces its existence to the time when steamboats pulled up at the levee in Red Wing – nearly 160 years ago. 

Business is now concentrated in three locations: Hutchinson/Litchfield, International Falls and Shakopee and neighboring southwest suburbs. 

We are a second-generation, family-owned, Minnesota company that continues to grow and has 12 established newspapers, a successful digital agency and commercial printing operations. Our newspapers are located in high-growth markets and our audience demographics are attractive to advertisers within and beyond our markets.

Our Philosophy

The concentration on local content – some would call it an obsession – has not distracted the company from the most up-to-date and efficient methods of distribution, whether it be electronics or print. There’s a continuing strong belief in the durability of a printed local newspaper paired with the immediacy of web and digital offerings. Boiling it down: Local information is our bread and butter. It doesn’t matter how it gets to the user.

The company, which currently has some 170 staff members , expects to continue to be family-owned and to be nimble in a competitive media world in which the owners simply will not tolerate “good enough” as being good enough.

We are looking for high-caliber individuals who thrive in a team environment and ever-changing multi-media landscape and work within the following core values:

  • Collaboration
  • Community
  • Integrity
  • Passion
  • Perseverance 

Headquarters

433 West 3rd Street
Red Wing MN, 55066

Social Media

Fun

The following activities and amenities are available to employees to support their health and wellness:

  • Smoking cessation classes
  • On-site showers / locker facilities (some locations)
  • Access to natural ambient light

Big Fish Works offers employees who are parents the following amenities and programs to help make their lives a little easier:

  • Private space for nursing mothers (some locations)
  • Participation in Bring Your Child to Work Day (some locations)
  • Openness for children to be at the workplace occasionally
  • Big Fish Works is supportive and accommodating towards employee family needs and schedules

The following programs and areas are available for employees to meet and eat their meals:

  • Kitchen
  • Catered lunches (available on special occasions for all staff at least quarterly)
  • Employee potluck meals occasionally

The workspace at Big Fish Works offers the following amenities for employees

  • Standing desks or sit-to-stand workstations (Savage location)
  • Casual meeting spaces (beyond conference rooms)
  • Open-plan office space (some locations)
  • Private spaces to work
  • Couches or other non-traditional comfortable seating (some locations)
  • Windows that can be opened and closed

The location(s) of Big Fish Works offices provide a fun environment for employees:

  • Downtown location(s) 
  • Suburban location(s)
  • Rural location(s)
  • Restaurants and eating establishments in walking distance (some locations)
  • Nearby shopping
  • Nearby yoga or athletic/fitness clubs
  • Variety of establishments nearby to socialize
  • Nearby walking or biking trails
  • Historic office location (some locations)
  • Beautiful views (some locations)
  • Places to relax, eat, or work outside (some locations)
  • Dog parks (some locations)
  • Publicly offered day care facilities nearby (some locations)
  • Publicly offered pet day care facilities (some locations)
  • Farmers market weekly and other unique shopping opportunities
  • Financial institutions

At Big Fish Works manufacturing and distribution locations, employees have access to:

  • Places to sit and rest
  • Comfortable break rooms
  • Ergonomic mats to stand on during shifts
  • Stable temperature – regulated throughout the year
  • Air movement – fans and ventilation
  • Dehumidifier or humidifier systems
  • Access to natural/ambient light

Big Fish Works offers the following employee community building activities:

  • Company sponsored social gatherings 
  • Holiday parties and activities
    • BBQ’s
    • Potlucks
    • Annual Holiday Awards Dinner
    • Employees walk over lunch hour together
  • Volunteer events 
    • Paint-A-Thon Sponsorship, Dan Patch Days Participation, Relay For Life 
    • Volunteer work for Chamber and Downtown Association, local service organizations, Drive for help for local area food shelter
  • Birthday recognition
  • Work anniversary recognition
  • Goal achievement celebrations
  • Sports team sponsorship (some locations)
  • Shared special events/sports tickets to local special events are sometimes available to employees 
    • Renaissance Fair
    • Community events
    • Local theatre
    • Haunted House

The following eco-conscious options are available to employees at Big Fish Works:

  • Bike parking (some locations)

Employees have the option to participate in the following:

  • Personal music choices (headphones, radio, CDs) 
  • Access to personal social media 
  • Discounts on company products
  • Company coordinated discount program with vendor/organizations (some locations)
    • Verizon Wireless employee discount
  • Company products available for consumption at work
  • Performance contests with prizes (some locations)
  • Free parking
  • Dress code is position appropriate (usually business casual)
  • Friday Jeans Days
  • Flexible work schedule for some departments, recognizing that covering the news is a 24/7 business
  • Festive, Celebratory, relaxed, and friendly environment.

New offices in Savage location are modern and have a colorful open concept. Design was intended to provide a great work atmosphere for our employees.

Extreme Perks

At Big Fish Works, employees are eligible for health insurance benefits on the first of the month after 45 days of employment.

Big Fish Works pays 50% of premiums for individual health insurance plans for eligible employees.

Big Fish Works pays 50% of premiums for family health insurance plans for eligible employees.

Big Fish Works offers part-time or flex-time employees full time health care benefits to employees that work less that 30 hours per week.

Big Fish Works offers a partial match on a 401(k) plan prior to 1 year of employment.

  • 401K employees are eligible to participate 4 times per year and after 45 days of employment.
  • Up to 50% of the first 6% of employee contributions up to a max of 3% of employee salary.
  • In addition Big Fish Works offers a discretionary profit sharing contribution.

Big Fish Works has multiple health insurance options available to employees who are eligible to receive benefits. 

The following benefits are available to full-time employees at Big Fish Works:

  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Life insurance
  • Life insurance for employee's family
  • Voluntary critical illness and accident plans

Big Fish Works offers 23 days of paid time-off (including vacation days, sick days, personal days, holidays) annually for employees with at least 1 year of longevity.

The following creative time-off opportunities are available:

  • Flexible work hours
  • Paid time-off to volunteer
  • Unpaid time-off to volunteer
  • Work from home options (case-by-case basis)
  • Non-exempt employees are eligible for unpaid time off on a case-by-case/discretionary basis.

The following incentives and programs are available to employees:

  • Company product discounts for employees
  • Discounts for other services and products for employees
  • Profit sharing
  • Relocation reimbursement
  • Personal finance assistance coaching
  • Press Room employees are provided uniforms and cost to clean the uniforms is paid.
  • Employees are encouraged to wear safety shoes and the cost is partially subsidized.
  • Verizon Wireless cell phone plan discount
  • Laptops for Sales Representatives and Editorial Staff
  • Subsidized cell phone usage for Sales and Editorial Staff

Corporate Responsibility

Big Fish Works’ Mission Statement:

Great people. Growing communities through communication.

Big Fish Works is committed to the following:

  • Improvement of community social needs and practices
  • Care and development of employees
  • Fiscal responsibility
  • Values, ethics, and integrity
  • Green practices

Big Fish Works’ commitment applies to all business operations and locations.

Big Fish Works measures their commitment to mission, vision and values in the following ways:

  • Quantifiable goals are documented
  • Goals are clearly described to employees
  • Activities that achieve goals are documented
  • Employees are trained on goals, activities and results measurement
  • Year-over-year results are measured
  • Year-over-year results are shared with staff members
  • Board of Directors or other governing body reviews goals and results
  • Employee Performance Management program measures employee attention and performance related to goals and results

Big Fish Works’ services have a direct positive contribution to your company's commitment to socially responsible efforts in the following ways:

  • Our products and services contribute to improving health
  • Our products and services contribute to improving the quality of life for those who live in the communities we serve (literacy, arts, charitable organizations)
  • Our products and services have a positive influence on making our communities better
  • Our products and services contribute to improving social and economic well-being of local residents

Big Fish Works has a Leadership Team dedicated to monitoring our mission, values, or ethics statement and the execution of its commitment. 

Big Fish Works provides at least a living wage for all of their employees by setting the lowest paid wage at $10.00 per hour

The following documents are available to all employees:

  • Inclusion or discrimination policy
  • Harassment policy
  • An employee portal for easy access will be available by the end of Q1 2016

Big Fish Works has a published process for employees to ask questions, give feedback or complain without negative consequences.

Big Fish Works has an open door management structure.

At Big Fish Works, new and innovative ideas are usually brought to light within the department in a collaborative way. Innovation is always appreciated and rewarded.

Big Fish Works encourages employees to volunteer outside of scheduled work hours.

Big Fish Works employees can take unpaid time off to volunteer.

During special circumstances employees can take paid time off (flood in International Falls, Ambassador Programs, help with Community Festivals, Schools and other service organizations).

Big Fish Works is aligned with the following community groups:

  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Feed My Starving Children
  • American Cancer Society
  • Local Chambers of Commerce
  • United Way
  • Special Olympics MN (Polar Plunge)
  • Rotary International
  • Relay for Life
  • Bronco Kids
  • McLeod County Emergency Food Shelter
  • Lakefront Music Fest
  • Chaska Historical Society
  • Eden Prairie Foundation
  • Brain Power in Backpack

Big Fish Works has a published process when addressing customer's questions, feedback or complaints. 

Flextime

Big Fish Works offers the following non-traditional work arrangements for their employees (at some locations): 

  • Temporary work assignments
  • Seasonal work (summer, holiday)
  • High school student employment opportunities
  • Paid internships
  • Post retirement work
  • Work From Home Fridays (occasionally) 

The following scheduling options are available to non-exempt employees:

  • Choose the beginning and end hours (9am-5pm or 8am-4pm) on a case-by-case basis
  • Change from full time to part time while remaining in the same position or level on a case-by-case basis
  • Choose when they take breaks
  • Choose when they take meal breaks
  • Take time off during the workday to attend to important family or personal needs without losing pay
  • For regular non-exempt employees, weekly hours are usually consistent within a minimum of 30 hours per week.

On average, non-exempt employees know their regular work schedule 4+ weeks in advance.

Non-exempt employees usually know they will need to work overtime 2-6 days in advance.

The following scheduling options are available to exempt employees:

  • Choose the beginning and end hours (9am-5pm or 8am-4pm) on a case-by-case basis
  • Work from home occasionally on a case-by-case basis
  • Work from an alternative location to accommodate a family need on a case-by-case basis

The following technologies are offered to employees to facilitate flexibility in the workplace (as needed by position):

  • Company subsidized cello phone usage (for Editorial and Sales Staff)
  • Video conferencing 
  • Remote access to organizational computer system
  • Company provided laptops/tablet computers (for Editorial and Sales Staff)

Big Fish Works encourages employees to volunteer outside of scheduled work hours.

  • Big Fish Works employees can take unpaid time off to volunteer.
  • During special circumstances employees can take paid time off (Ambassador Programs, help with Community Festivals, Schools and other service organizations).

Big Fish Works offers the following paid time-off (PTO) options for employees:

  • Use of sick time for personal time or ill dependents
  • Carry over unused sick/personal/vacation time to future year(s)
  • Take an extended career break for care giving or other family responsibilities
  • Bereavement time off for the passing of their family or partner
  • Time off during the workday to attend to important family or personal needs
  • Return to work gradually after childbirth or adoption on a case-by-case basis

Big Fish Works is a family owned and oriented company and significant effort is devoted to accommodating family needs.

 

Inclusion

Big Fish Works’ mission statement includes a commitment to the following:

  • Being a positive influence on the communities we serve
  • Care and development of employees
  • Values, ethics, and integrity

Big Fish Works‘ mission applies to all business operations and locations.

Big Fish Works implements their inclusion and diversity commitment in the following ways:

  • Equal opportunity employment policy
  • New hire training programs for non-discrimination
  • Philanthropic support of groups/charities relating to diverse groups (Women)
  • Senior management has diverse representation (Women, those over 40, and Military)
  • Board of Directors or Advisory Board has diverse representation (Women and those over 40 only)
  • Company owners and investors have diverse representation (Women and those over 40 only)

The commitments above apply to the following employee groups:

  • Women
  • Minorities
  • Those over 40
  • LGBTQ community
  • Military
  • Those with disabilities
  • All gender identities
  • Parents

Big Fish Works offers the following benefits to single employees, different sex spouses, family and dependents, and same sex spouses:

  • Health Insurance
  • COBRA
  • Employee Paid Supplemental Life Insurance

Big Fish Works offers parity between employees with different-sex spouses and same-sex spouses.

Big Fish Works welcomes non-traditional appearances (tattoos, piercings, etc.)

Career Development

Big Fish Works’ budget and financial statements include a line item for employee training and development.

We frequently send our employees to seminars and other training classes (safety training, writing, financial, professional development).

Training focus varies greatly according to department. Our industry is rapidly changing and we must keep pace with new technology in order to serve our readers and clients.

Big Fish Works’ training and development program is aligned with company goals and applies to all employees.

We are a communications company that focuses on the communities we serve, and most training initiatives support employees' professional growth, which in turn supports our commitment to our communities.

We have enhanced our onboarding process to include an extensive training program, which is followed by certification. In our printing plants, employees receive safety and on-the-job training.

Big Fish Works measures the effectiveness of their training investment by individual, and the training program contribution to the company (ROI).

We thoroughly track sales performance in relation to training received. For our editorial staff, ROI is measured by reader feedback, subscriber numbers, and social media interaction.

At Big Fish Works, managers’ performance is appraised based on their ability to develop their employees.

All managers are encouraged to follow the Lead, Manage and Hold Accountable standards, which builds a foundation in developing future leaders.

Each year, Big Fish Works plans for 11-15 training hours for each employee.

Training hours vary by department, but training initiatives are in place for all.

The following training and development programs and amenities are offered to various employee groups:

  • Life or career coach (internal or external resource) which is paid in full by the company (supervisory/management only)
  • Participation in professional or trade organizations that is paid in full by the company
  • Participation in professional or trade organizations that is subsidized by the company
  • Employees able to use work hours to participate in professional organization or trade association meetings, committees and events
  • Employee/Peer Mentor Program (employees are mentored by their peers)
  • Company Executive Mentor Program (employees are mentored by Executives) (supervisory/management only)
  • The opportunity to work with external mentors (supervisory/management only)
  • Developmental opportunities for project assignments
  • Succession planning program or strategy (supervisory/management only)
  • One-to-one coaching, performance evaluations and/or 360 evaluations.
  • Paid internships (hourly employees)
  • Unpaid internships (hourly employees)
  • The opportunity to crosstrain in skills other than those in their current job responsibilities
  • Training to enhance promotability
  • Training to enhance current job skills

Big Fish Works employees have the chance to participate in the following training and development programs:

  • Communication skills
  • Customer service
  • Harassment (supervisory/management only)
  • Safety
  • Waste reduction
  • Entry-level employee job skills
  • Supervisory training for first time managers
  • Supervisor/management skills
  • Employee orientation and onboarding (supervisory/management only)
  • Mentor skills training (supervisory/management only)
  • Sales/business development 
  • Accounting/finance for non-financial professionals (supervisory/management only)
  • Performance management plan (supervisory/management only)
  • Employee performance coaching (supervisory/management only)
  • Technical skills training
  • Office skills (Microsoft Office, Excel)
  • Culture/employment brand

Our industry has undergone rapid change in the past 5 years. We must be diligent in training and retraining our staff members to make certain they have the tools needed to do their jobs effectively. Cross-training of staff members is a top priority. We participate in many of the programs offered by the Minnesota Newspaper Association and Printing Industry Midwest to ensure that we are keeping pace with new technology, safety considerations, understanding our markets and staying abreast of trends.

Big Fish Works

Number of Employees
101-350
 Locations: 8
Location Types
Suburban (office park/campus)
Retail (mall/street level)
Business Founded
1965
Industry
Advertising/Marketing
Products

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