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Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Sex, adolescents and advertising

Sex has been used in advertising since its advent, but it seems that recently some of these sexual images have become increasingly blatent and increasingly targeted at teenagers.

Abercrombie & Fitch's winter catalog received noteable attention nationwide from many parents because the clothing line was advertising clothes by showing models wearing nothing.

Abercrombie evetually pulled the catalog from their store shelves. So what's my point? I guess while these ads might sell clothes in the near term this strategy seems like bad PR in the long run. And although their stock has recovered some since pulling the catalog it had fallen almost two points.

Today's Star Tribune highlights several other items aimed at teenagers including French Connection United Kingdom for using the companies initials FCUK on apparell.

What do you think? Take this poll:

Is using sexually suggestive images to sell things to teenagers good PR?
Yes
No
Don't Know

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Monday, December 22, 2003

Gas Prices Rise for Holiday

As usual gas prices are on the rise for the holiday weekend. Minnesota is now selling gas for an average of $1.47 a gallon.

If you would like to find the cheapest pump in your area visit minnesotagasprices.com.

Friday, December 19, 2003

Attitudes on economy improve

Survey: Attitudes on economy improve
Americans as a whole are more optimistic than they were three and five years ago about growth of the U.S. economy, but nearly half remain pessimistic about the future for those born in 2004, according to results of a survey conducted by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.

Get the rest of this Business Journal story here.

Take Out Lunch

The Association of Women in Communications (AWC) presents Take Out – Trends and Tools to Take With You, a series of luncheon programs designed to provide insights into demographic trends, creative thinking and strategic planning. Read the details, or register now.

Thursday, Jan. 15, 2004 - Research To Go.
Who’s out there and what do all those numbers mean? Knowing your audience is key. The speaker is from ACNielsen, a leader in market research and marketing consulting. Come for insights on demographic trends, consumer attitudes and behaviors.

Thursday, Feb. 19, 2004 - Creative Tactics To Carry Out.
Take a walk after lunch to get your creative juices flowing. Rotate to different stations and hear professionals talk about what’s new in their area. Explore trends and innovations in different mediums: print, video and web. Just imagine the possibilities of using these creative tactics for your next PR campaign, marketing project or internal communications plan. Dessert and a Q&A period will wrap up the program.

Wednesday, Mar. 10, 2004 - Strategic Planning To Take-In.
How do you use those tools and trends? It’s time to bring the take-out to the table. Speakers are Tammy Gifft and Jennifer Kompelien from Open Dynamics, a consulting company that helps organizations maximize bottom line results through improved team communication and strategic innovation. They’ll draw from their experience in coaching, promotions, partnerships and corporate team building to share tips on how to impact plans, influence teams and keep your project moving.

For registration and location information click here.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

THE REPORTER: NOT A PUBLIC RELATIONS TOOL

Wow...here is one for the books. Are reporters at Minnesota State University in Mankato being trained to hate PR people or are there just some really over-zealous PR nuts on campus? Read this story from the the campus newspaper and see what you think.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Keeping productivity up during the holidays

The holiday season can have the same effect on productivity as the summertime blues. If you are struggling with how to keep your employees motivated you need to check this out for some simple but useful tips.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Lumin Collaborative Unveils SalesScape

Cutting-Edge Analysis Tool From Industry Collaborative
To Transform Customer-Based Research Perceptions


Richmond, Va., (December 15, 2003) – Lumin Collaborative LLC announced today the launch of SalesScape, a first-of-its-kind, proprietary service designed to help companies apply the relationship-building strengths of public relations in sales settings. Quick, in-depth and cost effective research and breakthrough consulting services designed to increase sales are the hallmarks of this unique first product created by Lumin, the public relations industry’s first “intellectual collaborative” dedicated to developing “what’s next” in communication consulting services.

SalesScape allows clients to leverage the latest combination of quantitative and qualitative research techniques to tap hundreds or thousands of their customers and truly understand their needs and perceptions in a fast and affordable manner. With this valuable information in hand, clients can take advantage of Lumin’s consulting expertise within the sales, branding, communications and strategic business and operational areas to discover new revenue opportunities.

“Companies in highly competitive markets with dedicated sales forces are realizing that pain-based selling and relationship management are critical to repeat business and recurring revenues,” said Mark Raper, chairman, Lumin Collaborative. “Relationship building is at the foundation of the public relations field, and the combination of our research and communications savvy can make a powerful impact on the sales engagement process.”

Uncovering ‘Gaps’, Leveraging Results
Phase I of SalesScape features broad-spectrum research aimed at identifying ‘gaps’ – disconnects between customer perceptions of the supplier and its competitors and their own decision-making criteria. The thorough audit provides clients with valuable insight into their organizational challenges and reveals hidden issues that directly impact performance and sales.

“You cannot fix today’s problems with yesterday’s solutions,” Raper said. “SalesScape will help clients impact sales based on a clear understanding of customer issues – not sales quotas.”

Armed with knowledge of these ‘gaps,’ Lumin enters Phase II of SalesScape – leveraging research findings to find new ways to increase sales and discover innovative revenue opportunities. Specific services provided by Lumin include Pain-based Selling workshops, positioning and branding initiatives, strategic public relations and marketing outreach and management/business consulting.

“Only when a company truly comprehends what their current and perspective customers think and feel, can they effectively change,” Raper went on to say. “A keen understanding of the business issues at the center of a communications challenge and the ability to confront that challenge with ‘next-generation’ ideas and solutions is what SalesScape – and Lumin – is all about.”

Monday, December 15, 2003

News Update

For your sake I truly hope your company wasn't working on launching a national or international PR campaign today, because there is no doubt that unless your campaign has something to do with capturing Saddam your message will get lost in the clutter.

In that spirit I thought a few tips on how to cut through the clutter might be appropriate.

  • Cut Through the Clutter: How to Make Every Piece You Write Easier to Read and Understand

  • Smart leaders cut through clutter

  • Clutter-busting 101: a 5 step primer
  • Friday, December 12, 2003

    Marketing Minnesota Sports

    Interested in PR/Marketing? Interested in sports? Then you can't miss Marketing Minnesota's Top Sports Teams hosted by Minnesota PRSA and the Minnesota Chapter of AdFed.

    The PR/marketing managers from Minnesota's four major professional sports teams -- Mike Harmon (Vikings), Ted Johnson (Timberwolves/Lynx), Pat Klinger (Twins) and Matt Majak (Wild) will discuss their marketing of each brand.

    Date: Wednesday, January 14, 2004
    Time: 11:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
    Location: Metropolitan Ballroom and Clubroom, 5418 Wayzata Blvd., Golden Valley
    Cost: $30 members; $40 nonmembers; $25 students; $5 extra for registrations received after 12:00 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 8

    Click here for registration information.

    Thursday, December 11, 2003

    Lesson in Campaign Finance Reform

    Today's lesson? Campaign Finance Reform. If you pay attention to national headlines Campaign Finance Reform has been all over the news lately.

    Why is this such a big deal? Well, here is my theory. Campaign finance reform is like so many political issues--politicians preach one thing, but practice another. A politician then defends their actions by saying "I'm just working with in the system that we have, it isn't how I would have it but I can't seem to get my collogues to change it." Sounds good right?

    And it has worked well, up until now. Let me give a quick history lesson. In 1971, the federal government passed the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), five years later the Supreme Court ruling in Buckley vs. Valeo undid a portion of these reforms. The most controversial aspect of the ruling was that spending limits (as opposed to contribution limits) for candidates for public office were a violation of free speech.

    Since that ruling in 1976 there have been a series of half-hearted/politically-motivated attempts by congress to write campaign finance reform laws, each time these laws were over turned by the Supreme Court.

    So that is why everyone is so upset. The status quo has been broken and their worlds are collapsing before their eyes.

    Does this mean the money faucet has been shut off? Not a chance it will just take a longer route through a different river.

    New Link

    I have added a new link to the side bar because so many of you visiting my site are looking for internships in public relations.

    If you are an employer and have a job opening that you would like posted on this site shoot me an e-mail.

    Tuesday, December 09, 2003

    Anti-Spam! Amen.

    As you have no doubt already heard, Congress approved anti-spam legislation yesterday. While I am sure this legislation will be a blow to some companies, it is also looks like it could boost profits at some trusted companies like American Express, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue who have already built up a trusted e-mail list.

    In this story from Opt-In News reporter Katherine Elek writes:

    American Express has illustrated, once consumers aren't suffering a barrage of disruptive marketers, they're more amenable to working with marketing's "good guys" and like that their data is used to provide them with special benefits.

    But will this legislative bill make a bit a difference in the amount of SPAM we all receive? According to eWeek.com the bill has holes.

    eWeek reporter Cameron Sturdevant writes:
    It will crimp the stupidest spammers, those too feebleminded to go offshore to send their phony baloney. It won't stop commercial e-mail from many mortgage, insurance and credit card companies. And it certainly won't stop big e-mail service providers such as America Online and Yahoo from sending bulk commercial messages to their subscribers.

    For continuing news coverage on this topic click here.


    Damage Control and PR

    In tough economic times it can be easy for businesses to pull back spending on communications because basic human nature often tells us to avoid conflict or danger. The SWOT team at MarketingProfs.com is singing a little different tune in today's article discussing PR in difficult times.

    The SWOT team usually solicits advice from readers, so read the article and then comment on what you think. Can PR pave the way to recovery for a company coming out of financial difficulty?

    Stay tuned for survey results.

    Monday, December 08, 2003

    Networking and the sea

    Networking is essential for the succesful PR professional, but let's face it at times networking can be physically and emotionally draining.

    If you are suffering from the networking blues, the Star Tribune offers some pointers in today's paper...it says you need to be more of Dolphin.

    Get the story here.

    Heart Warmer for a Monday

    Not much going on in the PR world that is worth talking about or maybe I just don't feel like talking about 3M and Insignia Systems Inc. layoffs. That said, it is Monday and I am tired of bad news, so here is a heart warmer. I hope it brightens your day as much as it did mine.

    Friday, December 05, 2003

    Mutual Fund Scandal May Scare Off Investors

    Depending on how you spin it there is more bad news for the mutual fund people like Putnam and Strong Financial Inc. A new Lumin Collaborative survey showed that recent news coverage citing trading improprieties at several mutual fund firms has prompted more than one-third (35 percent) of existing mutual fund investors to say they are unlikely to buy mutual funds in the near future and 77 percent to say they would pull their money from a mutual fund they believe acted improperly.

    A Lumin news release said, "survey respondents specifically named Putnam (48 percent) and Strong (23 percent) most often as the mutual fund companies involved in recent news reports."

    Lumin is an intellectual collaborative of like-minded, independent PR firms dedicated to developing and providing next-generation communications solutions for mid- to large-size companies around the world. Lumin's Minnesota branch is Padilla Spear Beardsley.

    RSS Finally!

    For those of you who have been wondering why I have been writing about RSS and hyping it up without offering it on this site...wonder no longer. The lack of an RSS feed on this site had more to do with Blogger than by my choice, but no longer. Thanks to BlogMatrix, I now have an RSS feed.

    If you still don't know what RSS is, here is a wonderful article on why you should care. If you are looking for a free aggregator to start receiving RSS feeds click here.

    Already have an aggregator? Here is my feed address - http://feeds.blogmatrix.com/feeds/0848/084840.feed.rss.

    Wednesday, December 03, 2003

    Fast Horse Hires New Assistant Account Executive

    Fast Horse Inc. has hired Katie Reynolds as an Assistant Account Executive, expanding the consumer marketing public relations firm’s professional staff to seven. Reynolds specializes in marketing, writing and editing, media relations and consumer brand promotion.

    Prior to joining Fast Horse, Reynolds was with Carlson Marketing Group, where she gained experience in media relations and assisted with internal communications strategies. A graduate of the University of St. Thomas School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Reynolds holds a B.A. in Journalism.

    Tuesday, December 02, 2003

    Cumulus Media Inc. Buys Rochester Radio Stations

    The Business Journal reported this afternoon that Cumulus Media Inc. has purchased nine radio stations three in Rochester, MN and six in Souix Falls, SD. The stations purchased by Cumulus Media are KROC-AM, KROC-FM and KYBA-FM serving Rochester, and KYBB-FM, KIKN-FM, KKLS-FM, KMXC-FM, KSOO-AM and KXRB-AM serving Sioux Falls.

    Read the Business Journal article here.

    WEBER SHANDWICK PROMOTES LEAH KONDES

    The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced the promotion of Leah Kondes from her position as the agency's Webmaster to marketing and new business development director for the Minneapolis office.

    Kondes joined the agency in 1996 as an account executive and specialized in media relations for clients including Mall of America and the Hazelden Foundation. After four years of client work, Kondes took a corporate position for the agency as Webmaster, where she maintained Weber Shandwick’s Web site and intranet.

    “We are delighted to have Leah on our new business development team," said Sara Gavin, president of Weber Shandwick’s Twin Cities office. "She has been with us for seven years and this is a great opportunity for her and Weber Shandwick."

    As the marketing and new business development director, Kondes will be responsible for building the reputation of the Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick and helping the agency secure new business.

    Prior to her tenure with Weber Shandwick, Kondes was a media consultant for Media Relations, Inc. She received a bachelor’s degree in English from The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C.

    Monday, December 01, 2003

    The Plain English Campaign Awards

    And the winner of the 2003 Plain English Campaign Awards is ... Donald Rumsfeld!

    In case you don't know the Plain English Campaign is an effort to recognize poor use of the English language. Mr Rumsfeld's award-winning quote was taken from a press briefing:
    'Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don't know we don't know.'

    This year marks the 24th anniversary of the awards, other winners include Richard Gere, Alicia Silverstone and Tracey Emin.

    Get more Rummy quotes here.

    Olson + Co.

    Last month I wrote about Olson + Co. winning the Seattle Seahawks account. This morning's Star Tribune has another nice feature on the company and what it is doing for Minnesota's small world of advertising.

    Read the Star Trib article here.

    Visit Olson + Co.'s Website here.

    Tuesday, November 25, 2003

    Minnesota Sports Takes a Turn for the Competitive

    The Star Tribune is running a three part series on the increasing competition among high school athletes and the effect it is taking on schools, parents and most importantly students. According to the articles Minnesota sports is becoming a business.

    I think Richard Weinberg, University of Minnesota professor in developmental psychology, sums it up best at the end of the article:

    Weinberg says the ardent critics of youth sports must not forget studies that show obesity and lack of exercise to be two of the biggest problems facing American youth. He calls the data "scary" that shows elementary children spend more time in front of TV's and computers than playing games.

    "It's all interrelated and complex," Weinberg said. "I think we want to keep the wonderful joy of a Friday evening game that brings a community together. But are we turning that into a business that fills the coffers of people who run the camps and clinics? Are we selling false premises to kids? That scares me."


    Get the full article here.

    Monday, November 24, 2003

    Soymilk is huge cash cow!

    Soymilk is the latest money maker for General Mills, according to the Twin Cities Business Journal. In just two years, Yoplait: 8th Continent soymilk has become the fastest-growing business for the $10.5 billion food giant.

    Get the full Business Journal story here.

    PADILLA SPEER BEARDSLEY ADDS CURRY AND MILLER TO MANUFACTURING AND TECHNOLOGY PRACTICE

    MINNEAPOLIS, November 24, 2003 - Padilla Speer Beardsley Inc. (PSB) announced today that Joe Curry and Aaron Miller have joined the firm as assistant account executives in the manufacturing and technology practice. Both will work on existing accounts such as Rockwell Automation and BASF, supporting trade media relations and a variety of writing projects.

    Previously, Curry had been serving PSB as an intern. From May 2003, he worked with a variety of account teams on case studies, news releases, trade show activities, publicity and promotions. Curry graduated from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, in May 2003 with a bachelor's degree in marketing and a minor in Spanish.

    Miller came to PSB after completing an internship at Dome Communications in Chicago as a member of their creative and account teams. He also held positions at The Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau and The Lansing State Journal. Miller graduated in May 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in social relations from Michigan State University.

    The PSB's web site is www.psbpr.com.

    Friday, November 21, 2003

    "Take Out" - Trends and Tools to Take With You.

    The Minnesota chapter of Association for Women in Communications presents a series of luncheon programs to provide insights into demographic trends, creative
    thinking and strategic planning.

    Thursday, January 15, 2004.
    Research ToGo.

    Who's out there and what do all those numbers mean?

    Knowing your audience is key to a communications professional. Our speaker is Bill Goergen from ACNielsen, a leader in market research and marketing consulting. Come for insights on demographic trends, consumer attitudes and behaviors.

    Thursday, February 19, 2004.
    Creative Tactics To Carry Out.

    Take a walk after lunch to get your creative juices flowing.

    Rotate to different stations and hear from professionals about what's new in their area. Explore trends and innovations in the areas of print, video and web. Dick Bolger, from Bolger Concept to Print, will speak on what's new in print and design. Ideas on how to use video, including video streaming, will be presented by Catherine Miller from Target's Corporate Media Center and Jon Barthalomew from Visual Storytellers, Inc. Suzanne McGann, Co-Owner and President of Voyageur Information Technology Inc., will share her knowledge and insights on resourceful ways to use the web. Just imagine the possibilities of using these creative tactics for your next PR campaign, marketing project or internal communications plan.

    Dessert and a question and answer period will wrap up this program.

    Wednesday, March 10, 2004.
    Strategic Planning To Take-In.

    How do you use those tools and trends?

    It's time to bring the take-out to the table. Speakers are Tammy Gifft and Jennifer Kompelien from Open Dynamics, a consulting company that helps organizations maximize bottom line results through improved team communication and strategic
    innovation. They'll draw from their experience in coaching, promotions, partnerships and corporate team building as they share thoughts on how to impact plans, influence teams and keep your project moving.

    To get more information or to register visit www.awctwincites.org.

    Thursday, November 20, 2003

    KARE names Vascellaro to replace Magers

    Usually I try to avoid making editorial comments on this site, however, today I have some built up angst that needs a target. Lucky for me I have one. KARE 11 and their selection of Frank Vascellaro as a replacement for Paul Magers.

    Vascellaro is possibly one of the top ten most boring anchors in the history of television! Why not Randy Shaver or Rick Kupchella? I have had enough!

    Well my suggestion Minnesota is simple...just change the channel. Here I come 4, 5, 9, or 29.

    The Star Tribune currently has a poll on this subject check it out.

    An award for everything

    Proving once again that we (as PR people) will do anything in the name of self-promotion, PR NEWS announced earlier this month the roll out of the 2003 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Awards.

    CSR, in its second year, is PR News' response to the new business climate of increased corporate scrutiny and accountability. In other words, we are now congratulating companies that don't rip us off??

    At any rate, here are the award catagories: Business Ethics Communications, Community Affairs, CSR Report, Diversity Communications, Employee Relations, Environmental Communications, Financial Communications, Labor Relations Communications, Most Outstanding Association Partner and Most Outstanding Nonprofit Partner.

    If you are interested in finding out more visit http://www.prandmarketing.com/.

    Wednesday, November 19, 2003

    Why Journalism needs PR

    That is the question the Media Guardian answered in its article today. The article says that despite what some journalist say about the public relations profession the simple fact is that 75% of entertainment stories and 50 - 80% of news and business stories emanate from public relations, so journalist have come to depend on us and hate us for it.

    If you do any media relations, you have got to read this story.

    Another PR Blog

    Greg Brooks has started a relatively new blog that covers public relations. Greg is a former journalist and offers some outstanding tips on why your last press release didn't receive the attention you were hoping for...check it out.

    Tuesday, November 18, 2003

    Insurance merger creates giant

    The biggest news in Minnesota business today is the merger of The St. Paul Companies Inc. with Travelers Property Casualty Corp.

    The merger agreement will create the second largest commercial insurer in the country, to be known as The St. Paul Travelers Cos.

    Will this mean more jobs or job losses? According to this article from Minnesota Public Radio job losses are possible, particularly in general commercial insurance, but over all the outlook is good.


    To read The St. Paul Companies press release click here.
    For the Business Journal's take on this merger click here.
    To get the Star Tribune's article click here.

    Monday, November 17, 2003

    Minnesota's #1

    Well...at least when it comes to health...both Netscape and MSN reported on the state of your State's health today after the American Public Health Association's announced its annual annual American's Health: State Health Rankings.

    The good news for me (and other Vikings fans) is that Minnesota and New Hampshire rank number one overall, while Mississippi and Lousiana round out the bottom of the list. Get the whole list here.

    Seahawks look to Minnesota for Adevertising

    To most Minnesota sports fans the Seattle Seahawks are far from the top when it comes to favorite teams, but for at least one Minnesotan the Seahawks have recently become a high interest item.

    John Olson of Olson + Co. just landed his fourth professional sports team account -- the Seattle Seahawks. Olson also does marketing for the Minnesota Wild, Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers.

    For a more detailed look into Olson + Co. and their growing firm check out this article from the Business Journal.

    Friday, November 14, 2003

    Spam Clogging Blogs

    The Star Tribune published an article from the Associated Press today about the amount of Spam clogging Blogs.

    Just the other day I received over 50 junk e-mails in just an hour and yesterday I was talking to someone who told me he received a junk fax through his cell phone. So here is the question...Is this legitimate marketing or a sleazy attempt to trick people into buying something they don't really need? For a deeper look into this debate get the full AP story here.

    Minnesota PRSA and NIRI luncheon meeting

    Don't miss your chance to hear the views of business reporters with the three major wire news services on the role of corporate communications to their respective roles. A panel of business and financial news wire reporters including Richard Gibson, Dow Jones Newswires, Doug Glass, The Associated Press, and David Liedtka, Bloomberg, will share their experiences on life on the wire side of media during the joint monthly meeting luncheon of the Minnesota chapters of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI). In addition to discussing life on the wire side, the panelists will provide tips on working with the financial news wires and how to effectively leverage these outlets for corporate communications.

    WHEN: Thursday, November 20, 2003
    11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
    Registration begins at 11:30 a.m.
    Lunch and Presentation 11:45 - 1:00 p.m.

    WHERE: Le Meridien, 601 First Ave. N., Minneapolis, Minnesota

    To Register:
    E-mail niritwincities@yahoo.com or online at www.niri-twincities.org.

    Chopsticks

    Japan is still on my brain and probably will be until I can kick my jet lag, but in any case I stumbled across an interesting article on chopsticks that will make heads spin in Asia. It turns out using chopsticks can cause arthritis. At least that is the story coming from the Boston University School of Medicine. The Los Angeles Times reported in this story that longterm use of chopsticks can contribute to arthritis in the fingers, especially in women.

    I think it is not so interesting that chopsticks cause arthritis, but more astounding that a major university spent time figuring this out! What will they research next?

    Wednesday, November 12, 2003

    Japan, Photo Cameras, Privacy Issues and Public Relations

    As I mentioned in my last post on Nov. 4, I have been in Japan on travel. It was quite a trip, which included a stop at my old college.

    Part of the fun of being in Japan as an 6’3” American is that you stand out as a novelity, This never really bothered me in the past, in fact it like being a minor celebrity, but on this trip something had changed. Bear with me as I try to explain.

    Today everyone in Japan has camera phones, so they are constantly taking pictures, making movies and e-mailing them to there friends. In concept this is a great idea, but I found numerous times where people would take pictures of me on the train. At first I was flattered, but after awhile I started to feel my privacy was being invaded.

    I know I am not alone. In fact the day before I left for Japan the Badger Herald published an article talking about Camera phones raise privacy issues worldwide .

    What does all of this mean to a public relations professional. Well it raises a number of concerns. First it brings new meaing to "everyone's a journalist" expecially in crisis situations where anyone with a camera phone can take pictures.

    Secondly, companies are facing numerous security issues in protecting trade secrets of confidential information. Consider this article from the Business Journal.

    I am not one for conspiracy theories or dooms day predictions, but you have to admit the increasing pressence of camera phones does present a vivid resemblence to George Orwell's 1984.

    Tuesday, November 04, 2003

    Blogging from Japan

    Well it has been a little while since my last post. I am in Japan and have had very little access to a computer. I will be back next week and plan to continue with regular updates. In the mean time, here is an article to ponder on RSS and why you should care.

    Thursday, October 30, 2003

    Building a Web site to market your company? You need to read this!

    MarketingProfs.com brings you another enlightening article with a clever title no less: Fresh Eye for the Marketing Guy.

    Local Board of Directors Opening

    Twin Cities Community Voice Mail is seeking a PR expert to join the Board of Directors to assist the organization in creating and executing PR strategies, branding and anniversary proimotions. Should have knowledge of local media including TV, radio and print.

    For information, contact Shari McGuire, (shariandjim@comcast.net or 612-667-9397) or Marcy Shapiro (marcytccvm@aol.com or 651-603-0390).




    Wednesday, October 29, 2003

    Nominate a colleague for this year's Donald G. Padilla Community Classic Award!

    Do you know a Minnesota PRSA member who has demonstrated a long-term commitment to strengthening the community by sharing his or her expertise and knowledge of public relations with nonprofit organizations? If so, consider nominating them for the Donald G. Padilla Community Classic Award. More information on the award, nomination process and deadline is available at Minnesota PRSA's Website.



    Volunteer and Help College PR Students

    The Minnesota PRSA Student Relations committee is seeking professional mentors for this year's Pro-Am Day on November 14, 2003. We are looking for public relations professionals from corporate, agency and non-profit sectors to host a PRSSA student during the day. Pro-Am Day professionals are asked to share their knowledge and expertise with the student shadows. If you are interested, please contact Michelle Scheuermann at mscheuermann@gopherstateonecall.org or Tracy Carlson at tcarlson@psbpr.com.



    Tuesday, October 28, 2003

    Fast Horse Inc. Hires Senior Account Executive

    Fast Horse Inc., a public relations firm specializing in consumer marketing, has hired Allison Resner as Senior Account Executive. Resner specializes in developing and executing consumer marketing campaigns, product launches, sponsorship awareness campaigns, special events and media relations programs on behalf of local and national consumer clients.



    Monday, October 27, 2003

    Minneapolis has two new publications

    The Saint Paul Pioneer Press announced today that it is launching two new publications. The first publication, which launched today, is CareerBuilder Extra an employment paper that will target entry-level and high-turnover jobs. The other is HomeSeller West which is an expansion of the paper's HomeSeller section currently distributed in the east metro area and western Wisconsin, will launch Oct. 31.

    See the Business Journal article.



    Orange Glow

    Barely six months after Campbell Mithun announced it had won the Orange Glo account, the advertising firm lost the account. I reported in February the following:

    Campbell Mithun to create campaign for Orange Glo

    The Business Journal reported today that Minneapolis-based advertising agency Campbell Mithun has been hired by Orange Glo International in Denver, Colo. Billings were not released, but Orange Glo spent $47.5 million on advertising in the period January through October 2002.


    Get the full Business Journal story on why they lost the account here.



    Friday, October 17, 2003

    Bloggin on Business

    I need to figure out a better way to make sure I can blog while I am on business, but until I get around to doing that I will just hope and pray that you will not get too upset if I don't update this site much over the next four weeks. I have two trips set up over the next month, so in the mean time here is another site you may want to check out.

    Agency / Client Relationships

    With budgets still tight the potential for friction between agency and clients increases exponentially, if you are facing some tension check out this article from the PR & Marketing Network. It includes some comments from Matt Kucharski an employee at PSB in the Twin Cities.

    Thursday, October 16, 2003

    Obese PR

    This week the Minneapolis Star Tribune has been running a series on eating healthy and how obese Americans are becoming. With the aging American population and our population rapidly gaining weight this is going to be a growing audience.

    As I sit here I am snacking on a Pop Tart as a mid-afternoon snack, and besides getting my lunch and another cup of coffee I have been sitting at my desk for over seven hours. So in an effort to get me off my butt, my company has joined Health Partners 10,000 steps program.

    The idea of the program is to encourage employees to take more steps through out the day. We are each given a DIGI Walker pedometer that counts our steps through out the day and at the end of the day we enter our total steps into a computer program on the Internet and it tells us how we are doing.

    The program is based on the Surgeon General's recommendation that we need 30 minutes of moderate exercise everyday -- supposedly 10,000 steps is about equivalent to that. So, even though I sit most of the day the program has encouraged me to hit the gym after work and I am averaging of 10,000 steps a day. We'll see if I can keep it up...

    So what's my point? Essentially, I don't really have one other than if you work in consumer based public relations you would be wise to jump on the band wagon of nip and tuck T.V. shows and start selling the health benefits of your product and give your clients an extreme makeover.

    Wednesday, October 15, 2003

    Our Pledge and its History...

    As a member of Toastmasters I look forward to starting every meeting by saying the Pledge of Allegiance:

    I pledge allegiance to the Flag
    of the United States of America,
    and to the Republic for which it stands:
    one Nation under God, indivisible,
    With Liberty and Justice for all.


    As I write this there is a debate surrounding whether or not the Pledge should be recited in schools and the Supreme Court has agreed to take the case. I feel strongly that the majority of people who would like to take the Pledge out of schools don't fully understand the issue. Here are some links that will help debunk some urban myths surrounding the Pledge of Allegiance:

    Myth: The Pledge of Allegiance contains the words "under God," proving we are a Christian Nation.

    Reality: http://atheism.about.com/library/FAQs/cs/blcsm_gov_pledge.htm

    Myth: The Constitution calls for the separation of Church and State.

    Reality: http://www.noapathy.org/tracts/mythofseparation.html

    After you have read the above articles place you vote below.


    Should the Pledge of Allegiance be allowed in school?
    Yes
    No
    What is the Pledge?

    View the results
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    Tuesday, October 14, 2003

    Blog for Business

    MarketingProfs.com's reporter Barbara Payne helps answer an important question today that you need to know the answer to...Is a Blog Right for Your Company?

    Here is an excerpt:

    It Works

    A recent Harvard Business Review article recounted how the CEO of a midsize corporation stood up at a big company meeting to introduce a new product theyÂ’d developed, only to find that most of the audience already knew about it.

    Why?

    Because they’d been reading the blog of one of the company’s junior associates—who chronicled the progress of the development. Not surprisingly, HBR heralded this as a wakeup call to corporate marketing folks.


    Get the full story here...

    Monday, October 13, 2003

    MAGGIE KAETER JOINS PADILLA SPEER BEARDSLEY

    Padilla Speer Beardsley announced today that Maggie Kaeter has joined the firm's industry and technology practice as a senior account executive for agricultural media relations.

    According to the press release Kaeter previously wrote for clients in agriculture, technology, health care and general business. In addition to writing several books for The Everything Series (Adams Media), she was editor-in-chief of the magazines Potentials in Marketing and Farm Store. She also served as account manager at Vernacular Engineering and employee communications editor for SUPERVALU.

    Friday, October 10, 2003

    Too Much to Write and No Time!!!

    To those of you who read this blog regularily I apologize for the dry content recently and the lack of updates. October is historically an extremely busy month for me and this one is no different.

    If you are less busy than I am here are some interesting articles to read:

    MTV considers offering music downloads

    Cargill launches international campaign

    Minnesota unemployment claims hold steady, drop nationally

    Food supply security getting tighter

    Friday, October 03, 2003

    Get a job now...

    Account Executive
    Join an employee-owned public relations firm and help us grow. You must have three to five years of public relations experience with business-to-business marketing working with agriculture, manufacturing or technology companies. Skills: excellent writer; ability to understand and explain complex subjects and experience with trade media relations. Experience working at a public relations agency is a plus. Padilla Speer Beardsley offers great benefits and is an equal opportunity employer. Send resume to Stephanie Grogg at resumes@psbpr.com or 1101 West River Parkway #400, Minneapolis, MN 55415. For more information www.psbpr.com.

    Get more information from Monster.com.

    Thursday, October 02, 2003

    PSB wins new account...

    MINNEAPOLIS (October 1, 2003) - Padilla Speer Beardsley Inc., has been named agency of record for BASF Turf and Ornamental Group

    Tuesday, September 30, 2003

    Total Recall -- TV's obsession

    With the California recall election on the horizon, TV nationwide has been giving this election a tremendous amount of coverage.

    The Miami Herald reported yesterday that "the California recall - a combination of star vehicle, peep show and political game of chicken - has gotten unprecedented national TV coverage for a statewide election, receiving more airtime on the Big Three networks than the White House race."

    Is it the celebrity power Gov. Arnold brings to the election process that is drawing the attention? Minnesotans are certainly familiar with that. Or is it the dogged fight between the democrats, republicans and the independents that is spurring emotions in all of us?

    Whatever it is one thing is certain...advertisers are loving it. The New York Times reported this morning that the big candidates are raising bundles of money. The airwaves are congested with campaign commercials; some analysts predict that television advertising in the campaign's final stretch will easily top $15 million. And the Democratic and Republican party apparatuses are closing ranks around their front-runners.


    Who do you think will win?

    Who will win the California recall election?
    Tom McClintock
    Arnold Schwarzenegger
    Arianna Huffington
    Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante
    Gov. Gray Davis
    Mary Carey

    View the results
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    Monday, September 29, 2003

    Anatomy of a News Release, Pitch and E-Mailed Release

    What goes into a successful release, pitch or e-mailed pitch? Test your own copy against our checklists to make sure it includes everything it needs to include - in the right order, using the most effective approach - without including too much. You’ll walk away with formats, do’s and don’ts and rules of thumb for effective public relations writing based on the latest research. They didn't teach you this in Public Relations 101!

    You'll learn:
    * How to use the six-word limit to make your e-mail pitch leads less irritating to editors and reporters.
    * The most common lead approach - and why you should avoid it.
    * The one-foot rule for making your pitches more effective.
    * How long your e-mailed release’s message line should be.
    * Why two heads are better than one - and how to tap the power of communication layers in your next release.
    * How to avoid editors’ pet peeves about e-mailed releases.

    You Will Hear From:
    Ann Wylie, president, Wylie Communications Inc. Ann has served on all sides of the PR "desk:" a PR pro in an agency, a corporate communicator for Hallmark Cards Inc., an editor of a nationally acclaimed executive magazine and a consultant in her own firm. Her popular workshops take her from Hollywood to Helsinki and from Portland to Paris, helping communicators in companies like Sprint, Reader’s Digest and The Mayo Clinic. She helps organizations like FedEx and Sprint PCS launch or improve their communication vehicles and is the author of more than a dozen learning tools that help people improve their communication skills.

    Register Today!
    PRSA Member: $125 Non-Member: $225

    Click her for registration details: http://www.prsa.org/_Advance/seminars/100203flyer.pdf
    Registrations must be in writing. Fax your completed form to (212) 460-5460, or mail to PRSA Registration, 411 Lafayette Street, Suite 201, New York, NY 10003


    Friday, September 26, 2003

    AWC presents a Fresh Perspective on Employment and Career Trends

    The Association for Women in Communications (AWC) presents a fresh perspective on employment and career trends:

    Casey Selix of the St. Paul Pioneer Press will be speaking about trends she has observed as a reporter covering workplace issues for the paper’s business section as well as her own experience “reinventing” herself to win a new position at the Pioneer Press. Realistic about today’s economy, Casey will share some of the unique ways people are approaching their careers to remain employed or find work

    If you’re looking for work, planning your next career move or just want to stay up on how people are approaching their professional life in light of the current economy, plan to attend this event. You’ll walk away with a fresh perspective on your future options.

    Date: Wednesday, Oct. 8.
    Time: 8 to 10:00 a.m. Continental breakfast served.
    Location: The Woman’s Club of Minneapolis, 410 Oak Grove St., Minneapolis. Call 612-870-8001 for directions.
    Cost: If preregistered by Oct. 3, $25 for AWC members, $30 for non-members. After Oct. 3 add $10 to registration fee.

    Register today for this event by visiting www.awctwincities.org/events.

    Thursday, September 25, 2003

    Do-not-call list stopped...or maybe not?!?

    Although the national do-not-call list got put on hold yesterday, because it was ruled illegal, the U.S. House of Representatives acted today to allow a new national registry to shield consumers from annoying telemarketing calls.

    Minnesotans however don't need to lose sleep over this issue, because we are covered by the Minnesota Do-Not-Call list. Get that story here

    If you want to follow breaking news on the National Do-Not-Call list click here.

    What does this mean for public relations professionals? Who knows for sure, but the Direct Marketing Association is working hard to curb this public relations problem.

    Tuesday, September 23, 2003

    Everything is a rip off

    Proving once again that originality is dead, Subway has unveiled their new ad campaign and have completely ripped off Mentos old ad campaign as The Fresh Maker.

    The idea of the new ads, created by Fallon Worldwide, is that those who eat Subway can get away with anything. Sound familiar? Hmm ... well rip off or not the ads are funny and are a lot better than seeing Jared shed pounds every 30 seconds.

    ADWEEK has the whole run down and description of the new Subway campaign...check it out here.


    Do you like Subway's Jared commercials?
    Yes
    No
    Who cares?

    View the results
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    MINNESOTA PRSA TO HOST DISCUSSION OF MINNESOTA POLITICS

    MEDIA ADVISORY

    September 23, 2003


    MINNESOTA PRSA TO HOST DISCUSSION OF MINNESOTA POLITICS: WHAT PUBLIC RELATIONS PROFESSIONALS NEED TO KNOW

    WHAT: After a hectic and often contentious political process in Minnesota last year, the 2003-2004 legislative session reconvenes soon. With an agenda focused on key issues such as budget and deficit projections, education and graduation standards and handgun laws, the 2004 legislative session will be closely watched by businesses across Minnesota.

    To address Minnesota’s political issues and discuss what public relations professionals need to know about these issues, Minnesota PRSA has assembled a panel of the state’s foremost political commentators. Panelists include Kerri Miller, chief government reporter at KARE 11; Wy Spano, accomplished editor and publisher and principal of Spano & Janecek; and Sarah Janecek, political analyst and principal of Spano & Janecek.

    Cost is $30 for PRSA members, $35 for nonmembers or $25 for students. To register, call (651) 917-6251 or online www.mnprsa.com.

    WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 23, 2003
    Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. – noon
    Lunch: noon – 12:30 p.m.
    Program: 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

    WHERE: Science Museum of Minnesota
    120 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul


    Minnesota PRSA is among the top 10 largest chapters of the Public Relations Society of America. The chapter is comprised of 530 corporate, agency, non-profit and government public relations professionals who are among 20,000 PRSA members nationwide.

    Check www.mnprsa.com for more details.

    Business Wire Conference Series – Media Lunch

    Come meet the people behind the voices of Twin Cities business radio media at the Business Wire Conference Series – Media Lunch and learn:

    • How radio newsrooms differ from television and print.
    • Why radio coverage is important for your company.
    • Tips to improve your chances for radio coverage.
    • Who covers specific industries at each station?
    • How to build strong relationships with radio reporters.
    • What information is—and is not—considered “newsworthy.”
    • How radio newsrooms prioritize business news.
    • Do’s and don’ts of working with radio reporters.
    • The most effective approaches for pitching your story.

    Meet Rita Maloney of KCCO-AM and WCCO-AM, Bill Catlin of KNOW-FM and Marilyn Butler of WMNN-AM.

    Here are the details:

    Thursday, October 9, 2003
    Registration 11:30 a.m. • Lunch and Discussion Noon – 1:30 p.m.
    Minneapolis Hilton & Towers, 1001 Marquette Avenue, Minneapolis

    To register contact BusinessWire directly at (612) 376-7979.

    Monday, September 22, 2003

    PADILLA SPEER BEARDSLEY PROMOTES VINCE BOSSANY AND KRISTIN HEINMETS

    Padilla Speer Beardsley Inc. (PSB), announced today that it has promoted Vince Bossany and Kristin Heinmets. Bossany is now a senior account executive with the manufacturing and technology practice and Heinmets is now an account executive with the media relations practice.

    Friday, September 19, 2003

    PR Technology Poll

    In the most recent issue of The Public Relations Strategist there is a round table discussion on whether or not PR in the tech sector is making a come back. What do you think? Vote below...


    Is public relations technology practice making a come back
    Yes
    No
    Don't Care

    View the results
    Hosted by WebEnalysis


    From Google Weblog 8/04/2003

    From Google Spokesperson, Nate Tyler:

    Today, Google introduced a new advanced search feature that enables users to search not only for a particular keyword, but also for its synonyms. This is accomplished by placing a ~ character directly in front of the keyword in the search box.

    For example, to search for browser help as well as browser guides and tutorials users can search for browser ~help. The ~ character was chosen because it's shorthand for approximate and a good way for users to express their wish to expand searches to include synonyms.

    Ryan's comments:

    This is just another tool to for us PR pros to use when we are searching online. It is important for us to have the best tools as we strive to do our jobs better. Hope this tip helps.




    Thursday, September 18, 2003

    Piont to pnoder

    Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe.

    This gives me great hope that you will overlook the many spelling errors on this site.

    Happy "Talk Like A Pirate Day"!

    Just in time for Talk Like A Pirate Day BoingBoing.Net is reporting David Weinberger and Dan Gillmor have launched a site, Word Pirates, where we can reposses the vocabulary that's been hijacked by politicans and marketers.

    From BoingBoing:

    They're our words, dammit!
    Marketers, politicians and other short-sighted, self-interested, sticky-fingered people have been stealing our words. Not only do they take them for commercial purposes, but they misuse them entirely. They're Word Pirates and we're going to take back what's rightfully ours. For instance...

    For instance, the word "pirate" itself has been taken over by the Big Content companies. They mean "anyone who shares files." Real pirates murdered, raped and stole. They didn't share music, rightly or wrongly.

    Wednesday, September 17, 2003

    RSS and Information You NEED!

    As I promised before my trip to Yuma, AZ I have put together some information on RSS that I think you need to know. Fundamentally, RSS (Rich Site Summary) is not that difficult to understand or use, but when you mix in techno-speak like XML, OXF and OCS the whole thing gets too complicated for the average user to understand! So lets break it down.

    Rael Dornfest a developer at the O'Reilly Network wrote a simple, yet descriptive piece on the history of RSS and it usefulness as a web syndication tool.

    Once you understand what RSS is, you can begin to see how it can be used as a public relations tool. First, it can be a great way to follow what is happening in your particular sector.

    For example, if your PR client is a personal computer maker and you were to check your RSS feed now you would see that Toshiba has suffered a loss in its first half of it fiscal year. This may not be ground breaking news to you, but if it comes to you fast enough it could give you an edge.

    RSS can also be a great way to get more coverage. If you were to start your own RSS feed and the topic is of interest the possibilities for syndication are almost limitless.

    Stay tuned for more information.


    Monday, September 15, 2003

    I Think I'm Turning Japanese

    I really think so ... That's right the Vapors song sums up the feelings of people at Fallon Worldwide this morning. Because Fallon has opened a Tokyo office and is expanding into Japan. The Minneapolis-based advertising agency announced the formation of Fallon Tokyo on Friday. Get the full Business Journal story here.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2003

    Blair Saga Continues

    Jayson Blair formerly of the New York Times has signed a deal with Los Angeles-based New Millennium Press to write a book about his "journalism" career.

    As if that weren't pathetic enough the name of the book is Burning Down My Master's House: My Life and the New York Times. Get the full story from the other New York newspaper.

    Tuesday, September 09, 2003

    Shameless Self Promotion

    A while back I wrote an article for the Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America on the value of blogs. That article was reprinted almost in its entirety on the PRSA national web site. You can read it here.

    Monday, September 08, 2003

    I'm Back

    I'm back from a week in the hot Yuma, AZ sun I am exhausted and I have fallen behind on all my work. Speaking of work, if your looking for a job in public relations, journalism or advertising. The University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communications Alumni Association is sponsoring "Minnesota JNet" (or "MNJnet" to those technically inclined): one Saturday morning every month when people in journalism and related fields can get together to renew acquaintances, establish new contacts and find out what's going on in town.

    You don't have to be a graduate of the School of Journalism to attend. In fact, you don't even have to be out of work; this isn't a support group. It's a chance for people to get together, free of charge, and ... network.

    Please mark your calendar for Saturday, September 13th, at 9:00 AM, and plan to attend. We'll even furnish the morning treats ... this first time around. And remember: The person you help today may be in a position to return the favor ... someday.

    MINNESOTA J-NET

    What You Know, Plus Who We Know


    Saturday, September 13, 2003 at 9:00 AM
    Kenwood Recreational Center
    2101 West Franklin Avenue
    Minneapolis, MN 55405


    For more information, please contact George Burr (tel.: 612-669-0455/e-mail: gburr@localmarketmedia.com) or Len Mitsch (tel.: 651-286-6706/e-mail: len@risdall.com).

    Hope to see you there!

    Friday, August 29, 2003

    PR Blogs and Traveling

    I will be on travel from now until Sept 4th. United Defense has a test firing for one of our weapons at Yuma Proving Ground. Since I will be in the middle of the Yuma, AZ desert baking in the sun, without access to many of the ammenities we are so use to using on a minute by minute basis, I will be unable to update my blog.

    In the meantime, I suggest that you visit www.natterjackpr.com and learn about RSS because when I get back I am planning to have a lengthy piece discussing it. Hope you all enjoy your Labor Day.

    Thursday, August 28, 2003

    Schmitt Music Selects Fast Horse Inc.

    Schmitt Music, a family-owned music retailer that operates 22 stores in nine states, has tapped Fast Horse Inc., a Minneapolis-based consumer public relations agency, as its public relations agency of record.

    What's the secret to Web writing?

    Writing for the Web isn't difficult although by the content on the Internet, you would think it was. In an effort to change the world we live in (our at least the Web world) MarketingProfs.com has put together a list of seven deadly sins committed by those who write on the web.

    Here is an executive summary:

    1) I think I’m God
    2) I go on and on and on…
    3) I can’t spell and have awful grammar
    4) I’m locked in a print view of the world
    5) I’m not very good at writing headings
    6) Actually, I don’t think content is very important
    7) Don’t have seven points if there’s only six!

    Number three on the list is the one I struggle with the most. How about you? Check out an explanation of each of the deadly sins here.

    Wednesday, August 27, 2003

    Celebrity Public Relations

    These days I can't imaging wanting to do public relations for a celebrity, most celebrities are too high maintenance and those that aren't are usually in prison. But with TV shows hyping PR like HBO's Sex in the City have brought a whole new look to PR. If this is something you are interested check out the PRSA Teleseminar on Working With Celebrities: Trade Secrets From a Pro, September 9, 2003.

    Related to the topic of celebrity pr, I found some interesting articles that discuss some of the challenges i.e. Koby. Read about some of the Celebrity Endorsement Deals Gone Astray from About.com or if you are famous and you are looking for advise on How to Handle Being a Star in Trouble check this article out.

    Get the latest on Koby Bryant from MSNBC.com.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2003

    Weber Shandwick Promotions

    Weber Shandwick - Twin Cities announced it has promoted five employees:

    Dawn Lindgren and Carolyn Parsons from account executives to senior account executives and Rebecca Huff has been promoted from assistant account executive to account executive of the of their corporate relations group.

    Talia Beck from senior account executive to account supervisor in their financial services group.

    Angela Seutter from senior account executive to account supervisor of their investor relations and technology group.

    Are you pitching to blogs?

    The Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America is currently taking an online poll to see how many PR pros are pitching blogs at the same time they pitch traditional media. To cast your vote and let your voice be heard click here.

    How to Build Lasting Value

    Most public relations professionals (at least the good ones) strive to build lasting value for their company or clients. In his new book, Authentic Leadership, Medtronic CEO Bill George uncovers how to build lasting equity in a company by valuing employees and building long-term relationships.

    To get more details on Bill and his new book click here.

    Monday, August 25, 2003

    Growing Minneapolis Agency Makes Time for Fun

    According to the Business Journal, Olson + Co. has become one of the hottest advertising agencies in the Twin Cities over the past few years. Known for its work with the Minnesota Wild, Detroit Pistons, Cleveland Cavaliers, Cub Foods and Phillips Distilling Co., the firm has been caught up lately in a constant whirlwind of new business and new projects.

    Get the full Business Journal story here.

    Fantastic Proofreading Tips

    Do you struggle with proofreading your own work? I know I do! Take a minute to get some tips on proofreading your work here.

    Wednesday, August 20, 2003

    FCC DELAYS AMENDED FAX ADVERTISEMENT REGULATIONS

    New Rules to Take Effect January 1, 2005

    NEW YORK (August 19, 2003) - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today issued an Order of Reconsideration (FCC 03-208) that delays the effective date of its new regulations on fax advertisements until January 1, 2005.

    The amended regulations, originally scheduled to go into effect on August 25, 2003, requires individuals and businesses to obtain the signed written consent of any parties to which they wish to fax unsolicited advertisements.

    The reconsideration will allow additional time to comply with the new rules, while also allowing the Commission more time to consider any "petitions for reconsideration and other filings that may be made on this issue." The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) was one of several business organizations that filed a Petition for Emergency Stay and Clarification of the amended regulations.

    "PRSA is pleased that the FCC has decided to reconsider this new regulation on fax advertisement," said John Colletti, PRSA's chief financial officer. "This regulation would have had a major impact on the way all associations do business. Should any action be necessary, PRSA is prepared to comply and will ensure that all of our members are informed of any developments."

    According to a press release issued by the FCC today, "the extension keeps in effect, until January 1, 2005, the exemption that allows entities to send unsolicited fax advertisements to individuals and businesses with which they have established business relationships. Until January 1, 2005, those transmitting faxes do not have to obtain the express written consent, including signatures, from recipients with whom they have established business relationships. Regardless of the extension, however, fax transmitters still must obtain prior express permission from fax recipients with whom they do not have established business relationships."

    For more information on the FCC, the Order of Reconsideration or the new fax regulations, please visit the Federal Communications Commission Web site at http://www.fcc.gov/.

    The Public Relations Society of America, based in New York City, is the world's largest professional organization for public relations professionals helping to advance the profession and the professional, with nearly 20,000 members with 17 Professional Interest Sections and 116 Chapters nationwide who represent business and industry, counseling firms, government, associations, hospitals, schools, professional services firms and nonprofit organizations.

    ###

    Magers is Leaving Do We KARE?

    With Paul Magers leaving KARE 11 the top-rated news cast in the Twin Cities, will the statrion loose ratings. The answer is in the stations branding according to experts interviewed for today's Star Tribune article.

    Although Magers has been KARE's unquestioned on-air leader, the station also has a strong cast of other news personalities who can step into larger roles, said Bruce Tait, managing partner of Fallon Brand Consulting in Minneapolis.

    Tuesday, August 19, 2003

    Blackout Hurts Advertisers?

    The New York Times and About.com have both covered the impact the east-coast blackout had on advertisers. Surprisingly the impact does not appear to be as bad as it could have been according to NY Times reporter Stuart Elliott here is an excerp from his story:

    At another large media buying agency, Initiative Media, part of the Interpublic Group of Companies, discussions with the networks are under way, said Carolyn Bivens, president and chief operating officer in Los Angeles. The talks are centered on what are called make-goods, which are compensatory commercials provided to advertisers if ratings fail to reach promised levels.

    At least the timing was not so terrible, Ms. Bivens said. "We have to be glad this happened now and not a month from now," she said, "when we've got the new season on all the networks and the advertisers are full-swing into their third-quarter campaigns."

    The timing also worked to the advantage of many agencies, which were on their summer-hours schedules, closing on Fridays or giving employees half-days off. "If you're going to have the plug pulled, a summer Friday is when it ought to happen," said Jan Sneed, senior vice president at the Grey Global Group in New York.


    To get About.com's version of the story click here.

    Monday, August 18, 2003

    Magers Leaves KARE 11

    Veteran KARE 11 anchor Paul Magers announced Monday that he will be leaving the station to accept the lead anchor position at KCBS-TV in Los Angeles. According to the Star Tribune, he made the announcement at the Minikahda Club Saturday evening, but his departure wasn't confirmed until KARE announced it today.

    Magers will leave the NBC affiliate for the CBS station -- KCBS -- in Los Angeles. He has been at KARE since 1983. For a photo of Magers click here.

    Events for Women in Communications

    The Association for Women in Communications is kickin' off their fall season with a "Fun-raising" Party featuring Chris Heeter. The author of Daily Degradations for Women Who Should Know Better and founder of The WILD Institute, Heeter will present “Fun in the Workplace: The Power, the Potential, and the Peat Bogs.”

    The kickoff event will be Sept. 16, 2003, from 6 to 8:30 pm at St. Anthony Main Event Center. Click here for registration information.

    Friday, August 15, 2003

    Ventura's show is no-show

    Since stepping down as governor, Jesse Ventura has been trying to put together a talk show on MSNBC, well don't hold your breath. What once was supposed to be a nightly talk show has now turned into a Saturday night event...no date has been set for the first show.

    Get the full story from the Star Tribune.

    Wednesday, August 13, 2003

    Brandmouthing...

    Brandmouthing is word of mouth marketing and could be the growing trend for business marketing. Consider what marketingprofs.com says about Brandmouthing:

    Think about it. Brands such as Apple, Harley-Davidson, Starbucks, Krispy Kreme, and Prêt A Manger were built on the power of word-of-mouth referrals. No large advertising budgets there! The brands relied on the consumers who experienced the brand to go forth and preach and convert the masses. And based on the track record of those companies, I would say they did so quite successfully.

    Get the full story here...

    Employment in Minnesota Suffers

    Despite reporting a month ago that PR employment is on the rise, the Minnesota employment rate over all continues to lag.

    Unemployment in Minnesota rose to 4.6 percent in July, the highest level in 15 months. The Star Tribune reports today that Minnesota has lost 67,600 job since the recession began back in March 2001. Get the full story here.

    Tuesday, August 12, 2003

    Martha's PR Problem

    Remember Martha Stewart? The Boston Herald has an enlightened article in today's paper that reveals some of the PR mistakes her team of lawyers made in the days leading up to and following Martha's indictment. Here is a quote from the article:

    "If you respond two or three days later, the story is already framed in the public's mind,'' said James Haggerty, an attorney and head of the New York City-based PR Consulting Group.

    Greatest Moment in Sports

    Herb Brooks tragically died in a car accident yesterday, leaving behind a legacy much greater than just a sporting event. The 1980 Miracle on Ice was exactly that--a miracle. And it changed not only the game of hockey, but transformed the country at a time when the Russians seemed invincible.

    As four-year-old boy in 1980 I don't remember much, but this article sums a lot of what I do remember. Mr. Brooks with out question you will be remembered as we reflect on the greatest moments in sports history.

    If you would like to see pictures of Herb or leave a memorial click on the respective links: Photos / Memorial

    Herb's death can be used as a reminder of the importance of wearing your seat belt, because a seat belt may have saved his life.

    Monday, August 11, 2003

    Writing Well Cont...

    Here is a wonderful piece on writing well.

    Number One Fear

    If your like most people you fear spiders, death and public speaking? In fact most people list public speaking as their number one fear!

    While shows like Fear Factor cater to our fear of heights and eating gross food, public speaking doesn't get as much attention. As public relations professionals we are faced with conquering this fear on a daily basis. Do you struggle with public speaking? Have you consider joining Toastmasters? Here is a quick list of public speaking tricks to help reduce your anxiety.

    Friday, August 08, 2003

    About a Blog

    About.com has an interesting FAQ on Business Blogs today. Is a blog right for your business? Find out how blogs can offer publicity for your business.

    Plus, courtesy of MarketingProf.com, here are five key questions you need to know the answers to when starting a business blog.
    Writing Good

    Yeah, I know the title of today's column should be "writing well," but I figure the people that really need help will type "writing good" into their favorite search engine and it will lead them here.

    First writing tip...get to the point.

    The Star Tribune has a wonderful weekly column written by Stephen Wilbers on writing, this week's topic is writing with style and substance.

    To be sure, most PR/Journalism people are hyper-sensitive when it comes to writing style, but its Friday and I say it is time to relax.