MNPR Blog

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Job - Bellmont Partners is Looking for an Intern

Bellmont Partners is Looking for an Intern

Job - aimClear seeks Account Executive

aimClear seeks Account Executive

Founder of Renters Warehouse Crashes Company Site so They Build a New One

When Entrepreneur broke the news that the founder of Renters Warehouse was retiring just after his 27th birthday, a tidal wave of traffic caused the company’s website to crash. So the folks at Renters Warehouse decided now was a perfect time to redesign their site and create a new TV campaign. Built in-house, www.renterswarehouse.com, features a clean and responsive design that is easy to navigate and focused on self-help for its customers. The first batch of spots introduces Renters Warehouse’s newest spokesperson, RW. The residential property management company knew they found the right guy for the job because RW is witty, handsome, originally from the company’s hometown of Minnesota and his real name, Roger Wayne, just happens to be the initials of Renters Warehouse. Transparency is paramount to the success of Renters Warehouse. In this two-minute spot, RW introduces Renters Warehouse’s four teams of Professional Landlords who help make renting properties easy, fast and worry-free: Number Crunchers, Match Makers, Problem Solvers and the Protectors. RW is the new face of Renters Warehouse, adeptly touring people through the endless benefits of renting their homes. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Pineapple RM promotes Roman

Pineapple RM is pleased to announce it has promoted Cassie Roman to assistant account executive. 
 
Cassie faces projects from a smart, original perspective,” says Rose McKinney, APR, founder and CEO of Pineapple RM, Inc. “Her ability to provide a unique point of view supports Pineapple’s fresh, strategic approach to delivering results that matter for our clients.” 

Roman joined Pineapple in June 2014 as an account coordinator before being promoted earlier this month. Throughout the past six months, she has assisted with the communications needs for the rebranding of a community bank and secured an important keynote speaking opportunity for a client’s CEO. Roman also regularly blogs about industry trends and news on behalf of our clients and is the editor of Pineapple’s monthly book recap, Bookmark This!

Prior to joining Pineapple, Roman facilitated fundraising and media relations for OneVillage Partners, a nonprofit focused on rural development in Sierra Leone. She also developed branding and social media strategies, outreach materials and key messaging for the organization. In 2014, she helped the organization join the international conversation on the Ebola crisis by responding to requests from Newsweek, CTV, BBC Radio and Reuters. 
Roman has also supported campaigns and communications work on behalf of the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Scholarship America, the Minnesota Zoo, the Home and Garden Show, the Twin Cities Auto Show and Universal Studios. 

Indulging her love of the arts and adding to the Pineapple staff’s already extensive arts marketing / communications experience, Roman also assisted with media relations for the Guthrie Theater, helping to secure local media coverage for its 50th Anniversary season and shows such as An Iliad, Twelfth Night and Nice Fish. 

She is a member of the Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in strategic communications from the University of Minnesota.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Fellows Share Wisdom at Minnesota PRSA Event



Chalk it up to Minnesota humility. Despite the immense public relations wisdom and experience present during a recent Minnesota Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) "Breakfast with the Fellows" event, there was an air in the room of helping one another and advancing the public relations profession.

"I'm old, retired and insignificant," joked Lowell F. Ludford, APR, Fellow PRSA, during the introduction.

The event featured six Minnesota PRSA members who are members of the PRSA College of Fellows, considered the pinnacle of a professional's career.

Besides Ludford, other members of the panel included:

Panelists took both a look back at their experiences and offered glimpses into the public relations field's future.

Minnesota members of the PRSA College of Fellows share their insights. (Photos by Karen Lyons, APR)
When asked what advice they would give to a younger version of themselves, Hennen said to stay true to yourself and your values. Ludford emphasized the importance of educating your client's colleagues about the value of public relations.

"The ability to reinvent yourself every so often is important," Spong said when discussing trends in the public relations field. "Be relevant as the world around you changes."

Therkelsen, one of a small number of public relations practitioners who have gone on to CEO positions, said, "Some of the fundamentals will stay the same. You still need to think about stakeholders."

The panelists also provided recommendations to attendees on how to develop leadership skills, including:

  • Study and read about leadership; Spong recommended any books by Stephen E. Ambrose.
  • Ask for help within your organization.
  • Get involved in PRSA.
  • Strive to be a PRSA Fellow.
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Accreditation in Public Relations (APR), attendees who have earned their accreditation were recognized.
Minnesota PRSA President Joel Swanson, APR, shares his vision for 2015 surrounded by chapter past presidents.

In addition, the event served as an opportunity for 2014 Minnesota PRSA Chapter President Anna Lewicki Long, APR, to hand over the reins to 2015 Chapter President Joel Swanson, APR.

-- Brant Skogrand, APR, MBC / Skogrand PR Solutions, LLC

Friday, January 23, 2015

Job - PadillaCRT - Account Executive

PadillaCRT - Account Executive

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America announces leadership for 2015

The Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) announces its new leadership for 2015. Minnesota PRSA is the ninth largest chapter of PRSA, the world’s leading organization for public relations professionals.

Led by President, Joel Swanson, APR, President of Risdall PR, Minnesota PRSA is comprised of more than 400 corporate, agency, independent, non-profit and government public relations professionals from Minnesota, the Dakotas and Western Wisconsin. Through its programs and services, Minnesota PRSA delivers on its mission of engaging members at every stage of their careers with the knowledge, resources and connections to achieve professional excellence, drive ethical and strategic outcomes, and advocate for the profession.

“Minnesota PRSA brings the power of a global society to the individual,” said Swanson. “In addition to resources available through our national chapter, Minnesota PRSA delivers exceptional, relevant opportunities to connect and to learn at the local level. It’s an exciting time to be in the growing public relations field, as organizations increasingly understand the critical role of public relations to organizational strategy. The diverse background of our 2015 leadership team will help us continue to promote our profession within this market and equip our members with tools to strive for professional excellence.”

The chapter’s 2015 leadership consists of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors as follows:

Executive Committee
  • President – Joel Swanson, APR, President, Risdall Public Relations
  • Vice President – Jason Sprenger, APR, President, Game Changer Communications
  • Treasurer – Heather Cmiel, APR, Director, Bellmont Partners
  • Secretary – Eva Keiser, APR, Principal, the plural i 
  • Ethics Officer – Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA, Hennen Communication, LLC
  • Immediate Past President – Anna Lewicki Long, APR, Communications Director, Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs

Board of Directors
  • Angela Babb, APR, Director of Communications, American Academy of Neurology
  • Lisa Hiebert, APR, Director of Strategic Marketing, Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota
  • Jill Lewis, Account Director, APR, Weber Shandwick
  • Karen Lyons, APR, Senior Public Relations Manager, Prime Therapeutics
  • Theresa Skillrud, APR, Marketing Consultant, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
  • Sarah Stakston, APR, Group Manager, Weber Shandwick
  • Gregory J. Zimprich, APR, Independent Consultant

Job - Brew - Social & Digital Media – Associate Position

Brew - Social & Digital Media – Associate Position

Monday, January 19, 2015

Job - PR Intern Opening with Schuler Publicity

PR Intern Opening with Schuler Publicity

Friday, January 16, 2015

Using Instagram to Enhance Your Digital Marketing Strategy

The reason why you should consider utilizing Instagram to improve you marketing efforts is simple. The popularity of this social network has increased significantly over the past four years. In addition, the network is very user friendly and interacting with prospective clients is a simple process.

“You will see your user engagement increase on Instagram, especially if you utilize hashtags properly,” said Andrew Rice, the owner of a local web design business. “You can use dozens of hashtags in every one of your posts. When users search for that hashtag, they will have an easier time finding your post. This can significantly increase your follower base.”

For many small business owners, Instagram has proven to be just as beneficial to their social media marketing efforts as Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

“We didn’t think Instagram would be useful for us at first,” said Dean Bjorkstrand, owner of a Minneapolis landscaping business. “We were open to using Facebook and Twitter but Instagram was really off of our radar. However, once we tried it out, we were very impressed by the results.”

Dean posted ‘behind the scenes’ images of his landscaping process on Instagram. His use of hashtags helped him focus his images on users that were interested in landscaping and lived in the Midwest. He began to see more traffic to his website and many users began linking to site. This improved his SEO efforts and he landed on the first page of Google for several important search queries. His new placement on Google led to a sharp increase in sales.

If you already have a strong social media following, Instagram will help you better connect with them. As Dean did, you can provide them with a look behind the scenes of your company so they can better understand you, trust you and connect with you on a personal level.

If you are a marketing student or you work for an organization that utilizes online promotion, you most likely have heard of the importance of content marketing. Instagram is one of the most effective channels to enhance your content marketing strategy. It would be wise make a place for it in your overall business plan.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Real Impact of Webinars on Your Online Publicity Efforts

A webinar is an Internet marketing instrument that is very effective for boosting your online reputation. One of the most important factors in regards to improving your publicity efforts online is proving that you are an expert in your industry. Doing so will help you gain the trust of your followers and quickly build your audience. A webinar allows you to quickly connect with niche users on an individual basis.

Although webinars are relatively simple and very effective, they are often underutilized by professional organizations. This could be due to their personalization and the fact that you essentially must perform when you host one. However, the benefits of webinars far outweigh the drawbacks.

If you are considering hosting a webinar, be sure to follow these three tips:


Most webinars follow the format of a slideshow or PowerPoint presentation. Images or bulleted information will appear on the screen while the host discusses aspects of the webinar topic to an audience that joined the presentation online.

Let’s say you have already created an informative and interesting webinar slideshow. How can you ensure that your webinar goes off without a hitch?

Promote your webinar using different marketing strategies. 

 

 One of the most effective ways to obtain webinar registrants is to utilize email marketing.

“The first thing you should do to promote a webinar is to reach out to your existing contacts via email,” said Andrew Rice, owner of a Twin Cities website design company. “You would be surprised how many of them want to hear what you have to say. Make sure to email them at least twice before the webinar. The first email should be a general invitation and the second should be a reminder. Email your contacts at least one week before the webinar is held.”

In addition to utilizing email marketing, make sure to promote your webinar through social media. If you have the funds, I’d recommend boosting your Facebook posts to increase your visibility.

Create a backup plan.  


If something goes wrong during the webinar (such as a technical issue), you will surely test the patience of your registrants and lose your audience.

“We were hosting a webinar on remodeling and our computer crashed during the first five minutes,” said Leslie Copsey, owner of a Minneapolis kitchen remodel company and a frequent host of home improvement informational webinars. “We were able to reboot it, but by the time we did, we had lost 80 percent of our registrants. All of our hard work was flushed down the drain.”

Copsey now keeps a backup computer that has the slideshow loaded next to her when she hosts her webinars. In addition, she provides a backup dial-out phone number for her audience at the beginning of the webinar to ensure there is continued communication in the event of a disconnection.

Make sure your webinar is to-the-point. 


Your webinar should take up as little time from your audience as possible to effectively get your message across. You do not need to go into details on the topic you are addressing. The webinar is meant to provide an outline of the topic to generate interest, not to be an end-all source for information. The primary goal of a webinar is to get your audience interested in your brand, after all.

Following the tips above will result in increased awareness for your brand, increased traffic to your site, increased conversion and an improved reputation. Webinars are one of the easiest and most effective ways to directly connect with your target audience.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Job - Hospitality Minnesota - Events and Communications Specialist

Hospitality Minnesota - Events and Communications Specialist

Clarity Coverdale Fury Releases 2015 THINK Report

Clarity Coverdale Fury, a Minneapolis-based advertising agency that has been studying Conscious Consumer trends for three years, has released their 2015 THINK Report. It is their second report on the Conscious Consumption movement, providing findings and implications from a national study conducted with Mintel to understand consumer attitudes, behaviors and purchase intent. It also provides practical applications for how marketers can reach America’s millions of Conscious Consumers.

The report introduces segmentation models that marketers can follow to understand and reach their target audiences, and even introduces a new purchase continuum—The Conscious Consumer Engagement Scale—which uses principles of behavior change to identify a new phase that marketers can leverage to increase Conscious Consumer loyalty.

A new purchase continuum
Consumers are making buying decisions based on factors beyond just product attributes, and marketers who only promote product benefits may not address these deeper emotionally-driven needs. The purchase continuum introduced in the 2015 THINK report takes into account that the path to purchase isn’t a linear line, but rather a complex process. In the Conscious Consumer space, this new understanding of consumer behavior requires that marketers and brands adjust their approach.

“The Conscious Consumer Engagement Scale includes a new phase—relapse—which would not have a place in the traditional buying scale. But now that we are not just talking about products, but behaviors, it’s a missing link that marketers need to consider,” said Clarity Coverdale Fury’s President, Rob Rankin.  

Rankin also emphasizes the role of coaching when advertising to this group,
“Marketers are more successful when they’re not only selling a product, but supporting a lifestyle. Conscious Consumers are looking for marketers to help them make their behavior changes.”

Using examples like Chipotle®, Whole Foods® and TOMS® as brands that have gained loyalty from consumers by actively supporting and contributing to their lifestyle, this THINK report provides coaching on how marketers can engage with Conscious Consumers in each stage of this new continuum.

“As our world changes, and people start looking at products differently, it is imperative that we as marketers change our perspective on how people do business and what they are looking for from brands. By rethinking a tried and true model, we are growing alongside these consumers,” said Associate Director of Brand Development, Molly Hull.

The 2015 THINK Report is available to download for free via Clarity Coverdale Fury’s website and can be accessed here.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Why New Marketers Should Use Personal Branding for Business

Personal branding is the process of promoting your professional image across multiple outlets. Professionals have used personal branding for years in order to obtain career opportunities or to drive traffic to their personal website.

One technique that has been discussed among marketers more often than before is the use of personal branding as a marketing tool for a separate business. This means that more employees are using their personal social media accounts to support the company they work for or own.

“Using one’s personal social media pages to promote their company benefits both the company and the individual,“ said Andrew Rice, owner of a Minneapolis website design business. “Not only are they building awareness for their company, they are improving and promoting their personal reputation as an industry expert. This will only help them in the future if they are jump hunting, etc.”

If you utilize personal branding to promote a larger organization, employers will be impressed by your initiative and willingness to use every resource you can find to enhance the marketing strategy of a company.

One local business owner has begun to take advantage of personal branding to support her family business.  Alethia Erotas, who works at her family’s home building company in Minneapolis, uses her personal social media accounts to drive traffic and promote her company. The result is that the company now has two brands promoting one.

“First I spent a lot of time sharing home improvement and home building articles on my personal Twitter and Facebook. This helped me gain a following of users interested in that niche,” said Erotas. “I proved that I was a trusted source for industry information and I began promoting my company’s blog articles to my followers. This drove a significant amount of traffic and conversion to the company site. It is a win-win situation because my followers are still being supplied with useful and interesting information.”

While Erotas promoted her company using her personal social accounts, her family’s company continued to promote its brand through the company social accounts. This practice doubled the traffic to her company website.

If you have not thought about using your personal social accounts to promote the organization in which you are employed, it might be time to consider it. Your employer will be moved by your inventiveness and your organization can benefit greatly from your work. The marketing potential of personal branding is limitless.

Friday, January 02, 2015

The Importance of Social Sharing Buttons in Your Email Marketing Efforts

If your brand uses email marketing to keep in touch with your clients, you should be providing those subscribers with a way to share your content on social media. This practice can help you quickly and easily increase your social media followers, your website traffic and your number of email subscribers.

“The best practice is to combine your email marketing and social media marketing campaigns,” said Andrew Rice, local marketer and owner of a Minneapolis web design company. “Send emails to your subscribers that are relevant, unique, entertaining, and just plain interesting. The next step is to ensure that your subscribers have a way to share your content on their social media accounts.”

The most popular option for marketers hoping to spread their email marketing message is to utilize social sharing buttons. Social sharing buttons have become increasingly popular recently. In fact, they are truly a necessary feature for those wishing to increase their brand awareness, social media following and website traffic through email marketing.

“I have been utilizing email marketing for several years now by sending my customers monthly newsletters. I saw an opportunity to enhance that form of marketing by implementing a social media campaign at the same time,” said Chris Ochs, a local landscape design professional. “I placed social sharing buttons within the content of my emails and, instead of placing all of my copy in the email, I placed summary paragraphs with a ‘learn more’ link leading to our Facebook page (where I placed the entire article).”

Ochs began to see a major increase in his search engine traffic and he experienced a 60 percent increase in subscribers. In fact, the vast majority of his new subscribers were not customers at all. Because of the social sharing buttons, his customers were able to share his articles on social media and greatly increase his brand awareness for him.

It must be noted that Ochs did not build awareness for his social media brand simply by adding social sharing buttons to his blog articles. He did it by wring articles that were relevant and interesting. Because his email subscribers liked his articles, they decided to share it with their social media followers.

If you want social media users to perform marketing work for your brand for free, consider placing social sharing buttons in your email marketing campaigns. They are incredible easy to use and, as long as you provide your readers with great content, they are very effective.

Job - VEE Corporation - Graphic Designer

VEE Corporation - Graphic Designer