MNPR Blog

Friday, March 06, 2015

Job - Uptown Association - Events and Programming Paid Internship

Uptown Association - Events and Programming Paid Internship

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Risdall Expands Creative Team with New Content and Design Experts

To enhance clients’ online content and design, Risdall added two digital experts to its creative department. Jon Gordon joined Risdall as a digital content manager/writer and Jon Hanson as web designer.

“We are always looking to improve our expertise and capabilities to benefit our clients, especially in the digital space. These two talented creatives bring a wealth of experience building user-focused and mobile-friendly websites at top Minnesota companies,” said CEO Ted Risdall. 

“In partnership with our clients and other in-house marketing and PR specialists, their skills will help build smart, engaging online experiences to help fuel business growth.”

As digital content manager/writer, Gordon will use his B2B and B2C copywriting ingenuity and his passion for storytelling to provide businesses with goal-oriented digital content. He brings more than 10 years of experience honing his talent as a copywriter for Target, where he was part of the team that created Target’s Webby Award-winning mobile website and iPhone app and Target’s Android app, which placed as a Webby honoree. He expanded his writing expertise at Target by entering the content marketing world and crafting social media posts for the most popular platforms.

“Risdall is an innovative agency in the digital space – and has the awards to show for it,” Gordon said. “I’m excited for the chance to contribute to that rich history and help clients grow and succeed in a marketing environment where change is fast and ongoing.”

Gordon studied political science at the University of Minnesota and is looking forward to growing Risdall’s digital expertise in his new role.
As a web designer, Hanson will work closely with Risdall’s creative and interactive teams to complete design and front-end development for mobile, responsive and traditional websites. He brings more than four years of design experience, working as a freelance designer and most recently as an in-house web designer for Capella University. Hanson looks forward to transitioning to an agency setting where he will focus on creating intuitive and user-friendly website designs for a variety of clients.

“At my first agency job, I’m looking forward to building relationships with a variety of clients and really understanding what their idea of success is for the different projects we work on,” Hanson said. “Risdall has longstanding partnerships with many of its clients, and I’m eager to enhance those partnerships by providing excellent web design.”

Hanson received an associate’s degree in graphic design and web design from Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Last Chance to register for Minnesota PRSA - Content Marketing for Communicators on 3/3

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
5:00-5:30 p.m. Registration & Networking
5:30-7:00 p.m. Panel and Q&A
Cambria Gallery on 7th
625 South 2nd Avenue #101
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Register for the event here.

Cost:
$30/PRSA Member
$25/Student
$45/Non-PRSA Member
(2015 Event Pass Eligible)

Remember when public relations required you to persuade gatekeepers – news editors, TV and radio producers and reporters – to carry your company or client’s content to their audiences? Now, brands from Red Bull and Google to Zappos, Patagonia and Whole Foods are becoming publishers and broadcasters themselves. In the new world of public relations, brands are creating their own content – like infographics, e-books, podcasts, webinars, YouTube videos, and branded magazines – that are distributed for free on their digital channels.

As the practice of content marketing evolves, it’s not only the term itself that is difficult to define, but even more so the role of communications and public relations within this strategy. Join Minnesota PRSA for an exclusive content marketing panel to discuss the strategy and tactics behind best-in-class content marketing programs from Minnesota-based panelists.

Hear how Ameriprise Financial, General Mills, 3M and SCHERMER are successfully leveraging content marketing – plus learn tips and tricks for creating and maintaining best-in-class content marketing programs. Moderated by Maccabee Public Relations’ Social Media Director Christina Milanowski, the March 3rd Content Marketing Panel features four all-stars:

Angela Dalton, Content Strategist and Senior Marketing Planner, General Mills – Tablespoon.com
AngelaDalton
Angela Dalton (@angeladalton) leads content strategy and marketing for Tablespoon.com, a millennial-focused food and recipe website owned by General Mills. Prior to her role on Tablespoon, she was part of The General Mills Innovation Brand Lab, leading content marketing initiatives for Kix and Cheerios cereal. Angela has more than 10 years of experience working for local agencies including Periscope, Ham in the Fridge and Carmichael Lynch, producing digital content ranging from websites to gaming to mobile.


Brian Enderlein, Digital Media, Interactive Marketing & Analytics, 3M
BrianEnderleinBrian Enderlein leads strategy and implementation of digital media, e-marketing and online advertising programs for the 3M Consumer Business Group. Brian has more than 10 years experience in using real-time data to drive branding and revenue-generating digital programs. Prior to 3M, he led e-commerce programs at Digital River, and was a senior producer for home shopping. He has spoken multiple times on the topic of content marketing, including for Brand Innovator Summit.


Maura Ryan, Digital Content Marketing Manager, Ameriprise Financial
MauraRyanMaura Ryan (@mauraryan) focuses on content strategy at Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Previously, she was the director of online content for Mpls.St.Paul Magazine for eight years. She oversaw the development and execution of various content initiatives for Mspmag.com, including its thousands of pages of content, 200-plus videos, six e-newsletters, nine blogs and social media presences on Facebook, Twitter,
Foursquare and Pinterest.


Chris Schermer, President, SCHERMER
ChrisSchermer

Chris Schermer (@Chris_Schermer) is President of SCHERMER, a Minneapolis-based agency that drives B2B brand experiences through brand, demand and digital capabilities. Through content marketing campaigns, SCHERMER connects its clients, including Honeywell, GE, 3M and Wells Fargo, to buyer journeys. Chris is a firm believer in the power of content strategies to move buyers from response to revenue. He is a sought-after speaker and author on content marketing for businesses.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Job - Lola Red - Associate Publicist

Lola Red - Associate Publicist

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Job - Strother Communications Group - PR/Content Writer

Strother Communications Group - PR/Content Writer

AD VETERANS LAUNCH NEW SPECIES OF AGENCY — AND IT’S A HUMDINGER (& SONS)

More and more, advertising agencies are scrambling to be on the cutting edge of everything — to understand new technologies, have deeper insights into smart devices, and combine the digital and physical worlds in new ways. In reality, many clients are receiving lots of lip service and little action. That’s about to change. Humdinger & Sons is coming out of stealth mode to reveal a new kind of shop: a video and design agency, birthed from the archaic land of big advertising, focused on helping emerging startups and technologies build, launch and grow their brands.
         
Nicolas Will and Andrew Berg, Humdinger’s co-founders, built their careers in San Francisco and New York City, respectively, working on some of the world’s most iconic brands, including Nike, Google, American Express, P&G and Dolby. After going through the mill, Humdinger has taken the expertise and know-how, dropped the setbacks, and applied its unique knowledge to the startup world.

“We’ve worked in both agencies and startups, and have seen a huge disconnect,” said Nicolas Will, Humdinger co-founder and creative director. “The business models of each are oil and water — big agencies demand big budgets. They’re slow, layered with fat, and don’t have their pulse on emerging technology.”
         
But, startups have the most upside,” added Will. “These clients are new brands, new ideas, in a new world. They’re not unwanted stepchildren— they’re juggernauts in the growth stage, and they’re the future. We get it. And them."
         
“Focus creates advantages all around, and our business model just makes sense — in both the short and long run — for everyone involved,” said Andrew Berg, Humdinger co-founder and account director. “Consumers are engaging products and services differently — while most agencies aren’t.”
           
 “A multi-million dollar budget to create impactful work isn't always necessary,” added Berg. “It's industry insights and understanding, paired with captivating content built on a new platform, that enables us to give fledgling brands an edge. It’s David vs. Goliath out there — and while Goliath is putzing around trying to update his firmware Humdinger is slinging digital bombs.”

Humdinger has also forged strong partnerships along the way — including RetailGroup, Capture Films and industry connector Greg Heinemann’s strategy hub, Titus Oates — to deliver a full complement of services to clients. The approach is paying dividends. In a year and a half, Humdinger already has a strong client roster, including miCoach — the Adidas line of wearable technology; Northern Grade — the first true Made in America pop-ups celebrating New American creative with cool, cutting-edge fashion and home goods; Ilumi — a whole-home LED Smartbulb featured on “Shark Tank” and backed by Mark Cuban; and Equil — a Smartpen that recently became one of the top funded campaigns on Indiegogo; as well as more than a dozen other ambitious products and services. 

For more, visit www.humdingerandsons.com.

Monday, February 23, 2015

THE SHOW 2015 - Buy Your Tickets Now!

It’s time to buy your tickets for The Show 2015!
You don’t want to miss all the thrills, spills and retro frills of this year’s competition. Watch our lovely contestants go head to head on March 6th. One lucky winner will take home the fabulous grand prize – the coveted pin for Best In Show.

Don’t worry. We wouldn’t let the contestants have all the fun. Press your luck and try your hand at various games, enjoy some tasty treats and hobnob with the best in the local ad biz.

March 6th @ 6:30 PM
The Depot, 300 Washington Ave. S., MPLS 55415


The Price is Right!
Early Bird tickets purchased by March 2nd:
  • Member $55
  • Non-Member $80
  • Student $30
Tickets purchased after march 2nd, or at the door:
  • Member $70
  • Non-Member $95
  • Student $45
Visit www.TheShowMN.org to buy tickets.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Job - Strother Communications Group - Senior Account Executive

Strother Communications Group - Senior Account Executive

Job - Inprela - Administrative Assistant

Inprela - Administrative Assistant

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Onsite Tips to Increase the Visibility of Your Website

Whether you are a business owner hoping to increase the search engine visibility of your website or a personal blogger hoping to increase your reader base, the importance of onsite optimization cannot be ignored.

If you have taken classes in SEO or online marketing, you have no doubt heard about the importance of inbound links to your website. It is proven that quality inbound links increase your website’s visibility. However, obtaining inbound links can be a very time-consuming process.

Patrick Puhalla – who oversees the marketing efforts for his furnace repair company – was not producing any sales from his website for months.

“I was initially excited by the idea of creating a quality website so that we could better connect with our customers online. I had a ‘build it and they will come’ mentality. I thought that a nice-looking website would do the trick in regards to SEO,” said Puhalla.

Little did Puhalla know that just a few minor changes to his onsite content would make all the difference in terms of search engine visibility. Once he learned more about onsite optimization, he was able to land his website on the first page of Google and greatly increase visitors and conversion. Listed below are the five important changes that Pahulla followed in order to improve his onsite SEO.

Optimize your title tag. What keyword are you trying to rank for? Make sure that you feature that focus keyword in the page’s title tag along with the location in which you are targeting and your company name.

For example: Keyword – Minnesota | Company Name
  
Add an outbound link on every page. This is simply a good SEO practice. One potential benefit of this strategy is that by linking to another website, they may link back in return.

Make sure every page has at least 300 words of text. Search engines like Google favor sites that put more “effort” into their site by using text. I’d recommend writing a minimum of 300 words per page.

Add a unique Meta Description. A Meta Description is the first thing users see when they find your site using a search engine (before they actually visit your site). It is your site’s first impression. Make sure the copy you place in your Meta Description is inviting.

Add a photo to every page. This makes the page more appealing to the eye and will “impress” search engines.

Add ALT tags to your onsite images.
ALT tags will help search engines understand what the image represents. The best practice is to use your focus keyword as the ALT tag.

Everyone seeking a larger audience for their website should follow the six tips listed above. Along with obtaining quality inbound links and implementing a social media marketing plan, these strategies will ensure that you increase traffic and conversion to your website.

Job - Skogrand PR Solutions Seeks PR Intern

Skogrand PR Solutions Seeks PR Intern

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Iwanicki Joins PadillaCRT as Vice President of Creative Operations

Jennifer Iwanicki, an agency operations and creative services veteran, has joined PadillaCRT as vice president of creative operations. Jennifer works from the agency’s Minneapolis headquarters and oversees operations, project management and production for the agency’s creative design and digital team, across PadillaCRT’s six U.S. offices.

“Great ideas are nothing unless they’re turned into something tangible,” said Heath Rudduck, PadillaCRT chief creative officer. “There’s artistry in the science of making things happen, and Jennifer makes things happen. Her years of experience in agency production and operations, from film to digital development, will help our agency continue to bring more great ideas to life.”

Iwanicki brings more than 15 years of experience in agency operations to her new role. She most recently served as vice president of operations at Minneapolis-based agency Olson, where she managed resourcing, budgets and process for clients including Aurora Health Care, Bauer, BISSELL, Carlson Companies, McDonald’s, Sharp, Wet ‘n Wild and Target. Prior to her tenure at Olson, she founded and served as president of Curation Station, a software as a service (SaaS) company, and co-founded online media production company Bannerpalooza and advertising agency Hello Viking. She also freelanced as an executive producer, project manager and developer. In addition to her work in agency operations, she has produced award-winning interactive and films for notable clients including Apple, Burger King and Volkswagen.

“This is an exciting time to join PadillaCRT, as the lines continue to blur between public relations, advertising, marketing and digital,” Iwanicki said. “I’m thrilled for the opportunity to help the agency continue to evolve its creative product and deliver the best possible strategies and tactical solutions, regardless of the communications channel.”

Iwanicki has received numerous honors and creative awards from Ad Age, Art Directors Club and the FlashForward Film Festival, as well as Cannes awards, Clio awards, International Automotive Advertising awards, Webby awards, London International Advertising awards, Communication Arts Interactive Annual awards and Telly awards.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Job - Press Friendly - PR Manager

Press Friendly - PR Manager

Call now or tomorrow. Be the first caller or number 100.

Most infomercials urge you to “Call now!” to receive a special offer or bonus gift, but a new effort from ad agency Clarity Coverdale Fury (CCF) for client QUITPLAN Services turns the traditional direct response formula on its head. The completely free tobacco cessation help from QUITPLAN Services is available whether you call today or in a year, whether you are the first caller or the 2,000th.

In what may be the first infomercial for a product that is completely free, QUITPLAN Services delivers barrier-busting messages that are too long for traditional media. There are a lot of questions about how the service can truly be free (it’s funded by a portion of the settlement Minnesota received from the tobacco companies) and what the user experience will be like. To address these questions, the infomercial includes multiple layers of content: in-studio with a live audience (made up entirely of current and former tobacco users), advice from one of the nation’s top nicotine dependence experts, interviews with actual QUITPLAN phone coaches, conversations with current smokers out on their smoke breaks, and testimonials from both smokers and smokeless tobacco users who quit with help from QUITPLAN Services.

The medium was recommended by CCF based on research showing that smokers are more likely than the average consumer to both watch infomercials, and to watch overnight TV when many infomercials air.

Ian Simpson, CCF Senior Copywriter said, “In the beginning, I was freaking out about how we’d ever be able to fill 30 minutes. By the end, I was freaking out about how we’d ever be able to cull it down to 30 minutes. It’s a fact that 70% of smokers want to quit, and both smokers and former smokers alike were just so willing to open up and give their true feelings about that. It was pretty inspiring at times.”

“In addition to traversing barriers, we’re providing a peek behind the curtain of what a user receives from QUITPLAN Services. We were excited to leverage the empathetic, ‘no judgments’ tone that was established with the last QUITPLAN Services mass media campaign,” said Molly Hull, CCF Associate Director of Brand Development.

The infomercial is another tactic in a long history of agency CCF breaking the mold for QUITPLAN Services. From a 3D billboard with a cigarette butt replacing the post to the QuitCash Challenge, an annual stop-smoking contest, to helping develop a new suite of cessation tools that were promoted in a TV campaign using stop-motion animation, CCF has continued to bring new ideas to the table to engage tobacco users in quitting.

The QUITPLAN Services infomercial will be running in the Twin Cities and Duluth markets for four weeks starting February 9.

Risdall Kicks Off 2015 with New Education Relationships

The University of California, Davis – one of the top 10 public research universities in the nation – has selected Risdall as one of its pre-approved vendors available to help campus units advance branding and integrated marketing initiatives.

To be included on the list, Risdall and more than 50 other successful vendors submitted requests for proposals and had a team of experts review their work and check references. Risdall took a required course in UC Davis branding and integrated marketing, earning its listing for marketing strategy and web development and design support.

“We are honored to be named a pre-approved vendor and look forward to potentially working with UC Davis campus units,” said Ted Risdall, CEO of Risdall. “The agency’s relationship with UC Davis reaffirms Risdall’s strengths in the education vertical.”

Risdall’s new projects for education clients in 2015 include creative services for Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton School District and brochure content development and design for Minnesota Minority Education Partnership.

“Risdall now has a footprint in three of the nation's 10 largest state university systems,” said Risdall. “With creative, public relations, advertising, web and digital experts, we provide our partners with a comprehensive solution for all of their marketing challenges.”

Risdall’s new clients include:
  •  Health Enhancement Research Organization – Web development
  •  I Can! KidsPublic relations and digital marketing
  • Nanolux – Branding, content development and web design
  • Twin Cities Ice Dam RemovalDigital marketing