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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Relationship Between PR & Lawyers (3 Experts Weigh in)

More than ever, it is essential for public relations (PR) professionals and lawyers representing any company to work together to protect the company’s reputation during a crisis. Proper reputation management is more critical than ever due to social media, which allows the public to get information faster and pass it on quickly – whether that information is correct or not.

“Traditionally, there has been conflict between a PR department and a legal department that both represent the same organization. This is primarily due to the fact that the language each uses is different. PR ‘language’ works well for stakeholders, employees and consumers. However, this language will not always aid the legal side of the case. Words have different shades of meaning. The language used by lawyers is indispensable in a courtroom, but the general public may have a hard time actually understanding it. When an in-house lawyer reads what a PR officer considers to be an ideal statement, he or she will often disapprove of it because it lacks specific legal terminology.

This has led to conflict between the two departments. Sometimes it gets to the point where a PR team is not brought into the situation until it is too late for them to make a difference. This can be viewed as a failure on their part, which makes the legal department even less willing to call them during the next crisis. If even a seemingly minor negative story about the company emerges, the company will be pounced on by the media and the public, making the situation a lot worse than it should be. Early utilization of the PR department can prevent this.”

Brockton Hunter, Criminal Defense Attorney.

“Rather than shunning their colleagues, the legal department needs to work with PR to put out the sparks – so to speak – before they become a raging inferno. This should begin before there is even a problem. Collaboration is essential during the crisis, but if certain protocols are put into place beforehand, there will at least be a guide available so that everyone understands who should do what and when it should be done. Such protocols can even determine whether there is a risk of damage to the company’s reputation, how big the risk is and if a small risk is likely to elevate into a larger one.

These protocols can be used to regulate the actions of the PR and legal department so that they can work together to form and encourage the best overall reaction to the situation; one that will not damage the reputation of the company. They need to form a plan that will limit the damage so that it does not become uncontrollable. After all, both departments have the same goal and are working for the same company. They both want to see that the reputation of the company remains intact.”

Thomas Beedem, Beedem Law Disability Attorneys.

“When the PR department meets with the legal department during a company publicity crisis, the situation is intense, to the point of being out of control. Time is of the essence if they wish to contain the damage. However, often an agreement on wording is not reached and this causes delays when there is no time for it. It would be much more efficient for the two departments to work together before the situation gets out of hand, or even before it arises at all. They must get on the same page quickly. Ideally, the legal team will alert the PR team and provide them with the kind of words and phrases that could lead the organization to legal hot water.

One way to improve the relationship between the two departments would be to create a hypothetical situation, giving them a chance to work on their language before a real crisis demands their attention. Once the legal department and the PR department work together properly, trust can be established. Then, when a crisis does strike, the PR team will have will not make any mistakes with the legal wording in their media statements, and the reports that are sent to stakeholders and others will be greatly improved.”

John Gustad, Gustad Law Personal Injury Lawyers.

Since a tattered reputation can cost a company even more than any litigation can, it is essential for the two departments to work together. Both sides must establish trust and transparency, two things that are necessary for any group to work together successfully. In doing so, they will ensure that the company they represent will prevail during a crisis.

Job - University of Minnesota - Social Media Intern

University of Minnesota - Social Media Intern

PR Caffeine Promotes Bonnie Rae Backer and Announces New Clients

PR Caffeine has promoted team member Bonnie Rae Backer to director of administration. Before her promotion Backer was the executive assistant to PR Caffeine’s CEO Ryan Berkness.

Backer’s new position involves directing and organizing company operations. “Bonnie has enriched company culture and strengthened the vision and direction of PR Caffeine since joining our team earlier this year,” said Ryan Berkness, founder and CEO of PR Caffeine. “I have full faith and trust in Bonnie as she has proven her commitment and passion for PR Caffeine.”

Backer has more than 25 years of administrative assistant experience through her work at Hosanna! and Rosemount Office Systems. Backer studied executive office administration as well as business administration and management at North Hennepin Community College and Contra Costa College.

In addition to promoting Backer, PR Caffeine welcomes four new clients: Berkness Swiss, KSI Swiss, PetTronix and Titus Contracting.

Berkness Swiss, LLC is a Minnesota provider of Computer Numerical Control (CNC) precision machining. KSI Swiss is an extension of Berkness Swiss offering CNC precision machine training and support. Located in Burnsville, Minn., Berkness Swiss and KSI Swiss strive to offer the tools, services, training and support necessary for organizations to keep up with industry advances.

PetTronix is a global company offering advanced location tracking systems for pets. The Pet Locator tracking system comes in the form of a dog collar with the ability to transmit GPS signals to pet owner’s cell phones and/or radio devices.

Titus Contracting, LLC is a full-service remodeling company with offices in Savage and Lakeville, Minn. With a focus on commercial and residential construction, Titus Contracting serves the Twin Cities and its surrounding area.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

5 PR Tips For Your Medical Practice

Obtaining medical training is one thing. Putting that training and expertise in practice is another because the medical field is often packed with competition, each with his/her niche of operations. In order to ward off competition and ensure a steady flow of clients, there is a strong need to adopt certain marketing techniques, chief among them being public relations (PR). Below I identify and discuss the various ways to improve your medical practice business using PR:

Create and nurture hospital relationships. This entails getting affiliated to a specific health care facility – preferably in your area – through which all of your public outreach initiatives will be launched. It also entails getting into an agreement with this healthcare facility so that they can use you as their spokesperson or to quote you in their newsletter, alongside other publicity initiatives.

Stay up-to-date and relevant. For this to happen, you the medical practitioner will have no choice but to create a website, create a blog, or create an account on various social media networks and use them as the basis of reaching your clientele. You must consistently generating content and provoke discussions online.

Be aggressive. "You should always watch for any opportunities that you can use to reach out to a potential market," said Dr. Holly Westbrock of Premier Sports & Spine Chiropractic. "Through the media (including your social media channels and your blog), strongly state your professional opinion on disease treatment, medical malpractice cases and general medical news. This will help you position yourself as an authority figure on the subject of medicine and healthcare."

Identify and target a specific community. Because the medical industry is often flooded with competition, it is strongly recommended that only a specified area be targeted for your marketing initiatives. This means that you tailor your marketing initiatives for the local community where your medical practice is based. You should take advantage of any workshops and-or local gatherings to speak out to the community.

Take advantage of the local media. 

“Identify and make use of the local media such as local radio stations, local televisions, local publications, and other media outlets,” said Kristie Friedrichs, spokesperson for a Minneapolis Botox service. “This should be carried out by means of writing and disseminating information regarding any new milestones achieved, any new services on offer, any new health tips, or trends in the field of medicine from time to time.”

There are innumerable other PR strategies not mentioned above such as television adverts, classified TV and radio adverts, among others that medical practitioners can employ to obtain their desires results. PR remains, for all practical purposes, the most effective of them.

Job - Blue Cross Blue Shield - Digital Media Producer

Blue Cross Blue Shield - Digital Media Producer

Harvest PR Named Agency of Record for the Mushroom Council

The Mushroom Council has selected Harvest PR & Marketing, Inc., with offices in Portland, Ore., and Minneapolis, to manage its national consumer public relations program, following a competitive selection process.

The Mushroom Council sought a marketing partner to support its ongoing efforts to grow domestic demand for fresh mushrooms, as well as create awareness, consideration and trial of a burgeoning meat-and-mushroom blending concept (The Blend) among consumers. 

“With strong adoption of The Blend in foodservice channels established, our next step is to amplify our story in consumer channels and drive trial with early adopters,” said Bart Minor, president and CEO of the Mushroom Council. “The Council chose Harvest as our partner because of its proven track record in elevating conversations nationally about agricultural industries and food brands, and its hands-on approach and enthusiasm for our mission to help people eat better.”

Harvest will manage national media relations, provide local market event and media relations support, and cultivate social media and digital engagement with a growing community of consumers who desire to eat healthier and make responsible food choices.

“The Blend is a brilliant concept that is going to change how consumers think about and enjoy meat, starting with the burger,” said Heidi Nelson, Harvest principal and founder. “We’re excited to join the incredibly committed team at the Mushroom Council to further advance consumer awareness of The Blend. It’s a powerful opportunity to position mushrooms as part of the solution for a healthier diet, and a healthier planet.”

Haberman named one of the “50 Best Places to Work in Advertising and Media”

Creative connection and engagement agency Haberman was today named one of the “50 Best Places to Work in Advertising and Media” by Advertising Age magazine. Haberman was among 50 companies nationwide selected based on criteria including hiring practices, benefits packages, salaries, office perks, workplace environment and design. Nearly 20,000 people were surveyed as part of the selection process.

“As always, the competition was tough. Out of the hundreds of companies who applied, we’re calling out more honorees than ever before. Fifty big shops, independents, agencies, ad tech, and media companies earned recognition for being leaders in recruiting, retaining, and cultivating talent,” said Ken Wheaton, editor of Advertising Age. “At the end of the day all these organizations are in the talent business and they’re doing it right. They’re finding interesting, relevant, and often unexpected ways to create cultures and work environments that keep employees engaged.”

Haberman’s exceptional office culture also drew the attention of Outside magazine, which announced this week that it had named the agency one of its 100 “Best Places to Work 2015.” Workplaces that made Outside’s list were recognized because they encourage their employees to lead an active lifestyle, are eco-conscious, and prioritize giving back to the community. 

“We’re thrilled to be getting so much attention for our agency culture, because we made a conscious decision to experiment with new ideas and took it on faith that being true to our values would make us a stronger agency,” said Fred Haberman, co-founder and CEO, Haberman. “Working on our organic farm, the Dude Ranch, and getting involved with our aquaponics venture, Urban Organics, has deepened our passion for and commitment to innovation and wellness. That translates to an even clearer understanding of how to tell the stories of mission-driven clients that are blazing trails and uniting entrepreneurial success with the making the world a better place.”

Haberman is a creative connection and engagement agency with a clearly defined mission — to tell the stories of pioneers who are making a difference in the world. Storytelling unites our work — from strategic planning to creative execution — across all channels including branding, advertising, public relations, digital and interactive, social media and grassroots engagement. We specialize in helping pioneers in a variety of industries, including food, health and technology. As modern storytellers, Haberman helps organizations generate revenue, inspire engagement and drive positive social change. For more, visit

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Job - WindLogics Inc - Marketing and Communications Specialist

WindLogics Inc - Marketing and Communications Specialist

The Laws of Public Relations

Public relations (PR) is critical for small business because it is an effective way to make their companies known by utilizing advertising, media sessions, blogs and press releases, to name a few. While the work of a PR officer can be both challenging and exciting, it is very important to ensure that you are familiar with all the applicable laws in order to avoid law suits. Such charges could ruin the status of the company as well as the career of the PR professional. It is the work of any competent PR specialist to know these laws because many small businesses depend on their expertise. 

Privacy. It may be ignorant to assume that it is a non-issue to attach the photo of any employee in a company bulletin or to share news concerning a certain employee with the media. Any business must ensure that they get express consent if they intend to use a worker’s photo in any kind of press statement. The best way to do this would be to make sure that the employee has signed a release form before any publication is made. Alternatively, they can ensure that the particular employee personally communicates with the media. 

Defamation. This refers to any destructive words said about a person that can damage or ruin his/her reputation, instigate financial damage or emotional suffering. A company can be sued for slander or defamation if they speak adversely of a competitor. It is also an act of defamation to speak negatively about someone else while trying to shift blame, depending on how it is done. A business can avoid these issues by ensuring their statements are accurate. 

Intellectual property. PR professionals tend to understand copyrights and trademarks. While trademarks are signs or words that classify a product that might be a company emblem, a copyright is the protection of any artistic work that is fixed, written or printed in a physical medium. “It would be a violation to use another company’s logo with the intention of making profit out of the particular company’s image or publicity,” said Mark Herman, a criminal defense attorney. “Any small company should ensure that they register for a trademark for any new emblem they create in order to get extra protection.” 

Deceptive Advertising. Deceptive advertising can mean the release of any false or dishonest information that a company uses to advertise their company or products through press releases, publication or broadcasts. An example is listing a product as being free when it isn’t or making up testimonials with negative and misleading information about a competitor. Small businesses should ensure that the information they give while making known their products or company is truthful and not larger-than-life.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Promoting Your Innovation With PR

In the rapidly changing world that we live in, ideas can come and go quickly. Without a strong public presence, the most innovative ideas could easily be swept under the rug due to lack of exposure, or the wrong kind of exposure.

Implementing a well thought out public relations (PR) campaign on a technological advancement can help get the vision out to the public in the most effective way. Remaining relevant and at the forefront of the fast-paced world of technology is one of the most important aspects for a successful idea to take flight. Many of the best ideas could fail before ever getting off the ground because their innovators are blind to the value that a planned PR campaign can have.

If an innovator wanted to go about successfully releasing their new discovery to the public, it might be more effective to reach the public domain with the use of a front group rather than releasing the information to a smaller, less connected network on their own. By using a front group, the discovery can be placed in a forum for public debates and government hearings. The idea can be advocated for by organizations that support a specific viewpoint or an endeavor. Utilizing front groups and proper media advocacy results in more exposure to the public as well as prominent figures.

“Successfully promoting an innovation to the public requires a large and well-connected network,” said Adam Claude, creator of OAC Technology, a Minneapolis IT services organization. “Many innovators lack these networks on their own. Those who work with a PR team to get their discoveries out there are able to see significant success because of it. When relationships do not exist between an innovator and prominent figures, the PR team can create them. The messenger of the discovery is as important as the discovery itself. If the delivery of the information is wrong, the entire public perception and support could be lost, no matter how good the discovery itself is.”

When planning an effective campaign for media advocacy and PR, it is important to be aware of the media coverage and educate yourself as to what is already out there. Remain current with media outlets and their contacts. These are your most valuable tools. 

It is crucial that you define the issues related to your innovation properly and in a way that the public can easily understand and relate to. Translate complex scientific data, charts, facts and findings into easily understood pictures, sounds, symbols or labels. Be clear about the issue and what the vision is behind it. 

Utilize "creative epidemiology" to get the point of the issue out there to the public. Creative epidemiology involves:

  • Localization. This refers to the presentation of overwhelming statistics in a way that the public or a specific community can easily understand. 
  • Relativity is comparing the effects of one issue on another issue that is of more drastic proportions. 
  • Public Policy Effects means illustrating the potential effects of public policies in debate. 

Successful planning of a media or PR campaign will help an innovator or organization gain the awareness and support of the public by effectively reaching the media. Aligning for success involves strategic planning and use of mass media to meet goals and to get the innovations to an audience that will support them and take them to the next level.

Job - Target - Social Media Manager

Target - Social Media Manager

PadillaCRT Acquires Joe Smith Brand Consultancy

PadillaCRTone of the top 15 independent public relations and communications agencies in the country, announced today it has acquired Joe Smith, a boutique brand strategy firm in Richmond, Va.
Joe Smith brings a seasoned team of brand professionals to expand and enhance PadillaCRT's existing expertise in brand strategy and execution. Joe Smith co-founders Barry Saunders and Christian Markow will join PadillaCRT's executive leadership team. The seven-member firm will be the brand consultancy of PadillaCRT, operating under the Joe Smith name and taking advantage of PadillaCRT's full suite of creative and digital capabilities. 
"We're thrilled to bring the talents of Barry, Christian and the Joe Smith team to PadillaCRT," said Lynn Casey, PadillaCRT CEO. "This acquisition aligns with our growth strategy and with our commitment to helping clients achieve their purpose and make strong connections with the people who are important to their success." 
PadillaCRT's Kelly O'Keefe, who also chairs the creative brand management track of the nationally acclaimed Virginia Commonwealth University's Brandcenter graduate program, will continue to work closely with Joe Smith.
Prior to forming Joe Smith, Saunders and Markow led the Richmond office of Prophet, a global brand and marketing consultancy. They founded Joe Smith in 2013 to build purpose-led brands that deliver meaningful experiences and noteworthy business results. Over the course of two years, Joe Smith has delivered brand development, experience and engagement programs for GE, Chick-fil-A, BH Media Group's Richmond Times-Dispatch, The College of William & Mary, and Keystone Insurers Group, among many others.

Saunders said that Joe Smith considered PadillaCRT a kindred spirit in both culture and aspirations. "As part of our growth plan, Christian and I imagined partnering with a very human and highly acclaimed organization like PadillaCRT," he said. "This acquisition expands opportunities for both of us to do work that matters."
"Joining forces with PadillaCRT was timely as growth was accelerating rapidly at Joe Smith," Markow said. "Both firms are dedicated to helping clients develop meaningful brands, so it felt like a natural next step. We share an unwavering focus on defining a brand's purpose and on crafting the story and experiences that bring it to life for our clients and their customers." 

Friday, November 06, 2015

Job - Room & Board - Social Media Coordinator

Room & Board - Social Media Coordinator

Gage Hires LaSell

Gage, a Minneapolis-based marketing agency, announced it has hired Bryan LaSell as a senior software developer where he will be working on client Microsoft’s Educator Community.
Prior to joining Gage, LaSell was a senior software developer with Enertia Software. Previously he was a senior software developer with Data Recognition Corp. He earned his Bachelor of Science degrees in computer science and electrical engineering technology from Mankato State University.
“Bryan brings many years of valuable experience in software development,” said Tom Belle, Gage president and CEO. “He will add significant bench strength to our development team at Gage.”

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

8 Ways to Get a Job in Financial PR

If you are considering a career in financial public relations (PR), there are several things you should keep in mind. While most people understand what PR person does, not many have heard of financial PR. It is exactly what it says: public relations related or specializing in finances. It is a financial communications consultant or specialist.

A position in financial PR ordinarily involves working closely with C-Suite executives and other senior management in an advisory capacity on corporate issues related to financials. They must build close, trusting relationships with their clients and will often be a part of high-level, strategic discussions. 

A financial PR consultant must have certain qualities in order to succeed:

  1. Be ready show the highest level of professionalism, business knowledge, and discretion.
  2. "Given the importance of a public company's financial health and stock price, the financial PR person will play an important role in financial communications for the company and/or its executives," said Vincent Oldre of Assured Retirement Group, a financial planning firm in Minneapolis.
  3. You should have intuitive business acume. You will have access to strategic discussions and you need to be intelligent and prepared to move quickly with evolving business demands.
  4. Be savvy. Be persuasive. You will advise senior management and often will be their firewall or links to media. You will play a critical role for a public company, and you will have to be ready to adeptly and persuasively handle business and general media, analysts, and possibly investors. 

  5. Network: Be a good networker in and out of the office. Make it your job to meet people in and out of the PR industry. Make it your job to let them know you and your work. Build contacts and relationships with media individuals.

  6. Be a good learner. You will need to learn your client's industry and their business model. Try to understand the company culture. What you don't know already, you should learn – and quickly. Read trade journals and business sections and newspapers to keep current on news, especially business news.

  7. Be a good listener. Listen, then listen more, take copious notes, and ask relevant questions. 
- It will be important to always be organized and be efficient with your time. The client needs to see this in the financial PR consultant.
  8. Be prepared to move quickly and professionally in a rapidly evolving situation or crisis. 

A position as a financial PR consultant can be extremely rewarding and can bring certain opportunities as a professional. It will never be boring; it will certainly be demanding of everything you have - especially your commitment.

Job - Strother Communications Group - Content/PR Writer

Strother Communications Group - Content/PR Writer

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

The Value of Information Technology (IT) in Marketing

Information technology plays a major role in essentially every aspect the 21st century life. Marketing is certainly no exception. With the increasingly important role that social media and Internet platforms have in influencing consumption patterns, smart utilization of IT tools is now, more than ever, crucial for marketing professionals. IT can help marketing professionals during every stage of a business strategy, from organizing itineraries to effectively employing online marketing channels and E-campaigning.

Needless to say, someone trying to succeed in the marketing industry has to refine his or her IT skills considerably.

What are some ways in which IT is vital to marketing?

Presentations. An impressive pitch is the desired weapon for anyone involved in marketing. A pitch that is supported by a well-designed PowerPoint presentation is extremely effective at driving their point.

Web design. An appealing website is a great way to get potential clients hooked. Every company worth its salt tries to showcase its strengths through web design so that all of its online visitors are easily lured. The meteoric rise of e-commerce has made the presence of an effective site even more important. Web design skills are very desirable in the field of marketing today.

“There is a plethora of online promotional materials, ranging from online brochures and mailers to website banners,” said Todd Vojta of Paragon Business IT Services. “Many software tools like the Adobe Creative Suite are used for graphic design. That is why a strong knowledge of this software is a coveted asset for any marketing professional.”

Customer relationship management (CRM). "Most major companies today employ complex customer relationship management (CRM) platforms to track and analyze data related to client relations," said a representative for healthcare IT consultants. "This data helps companies understand customer behavior, forecast trends and plan marketing strategies accordingly. Without professionals trained in IT, effective deployment of CRM software is difficult."

Blogging and social media. There is no alternative to social media marketing today. From TouTube to Linkedin and Facebook, everything can be exploited to generate leads today. Any good marketing professional should have knowledge on how to use these channels effectively.

Listed above are just a few of the many ways in which IT has revolutionized the traditional marketing. The scope of IT has increased exponentially during the past 15 years. To improve your chances of success in marketing, sharpen your computer skills and educate yourself on IT fundamentals.

Job - Jack Links Beef Jerky - Public Relations and Corporate Communications Manager

Jack Links Beef Jerky - Public Relations and Corporate Communications Manager