MNPR Blog

Friday, April 30, 2004

Maccabee Group Gains Several New Accounts

Twin Cities-based Maccabee Group announced today that they have several new public relations accounts including: Country Inns & Suites by Carlson, Parsinen Kaplan Rosberg and Gotlieb, The Wedge Co-op, Jerome Foundation, National Cooperative Grocers Association, and Cigna Behavioral Health.

The Maccabee Group has been asked to perform a variety of media relations and corporate communications projects for these clients to include:

  • Country Inns & Suites By Carlson, a mid-tier lodging chain with over 325 hotels worldwide, has employed Maccabee Group to handle national media relations for a Summer 2004 sales promotional campaign linked to the best-selling Lemony Snicket books.

  • The Saint Paul-based Jerome Foundation has selected Maccabee Group to handle regional and national publicity for the Jerome Foundation’s Centennial Celebration in 2005, honoring the 100th anniversary of the birth of its founder, the Academy Award-winning filmmaker, painter, composer and photographer Jerome Hill.

  • The National Cooperative Grocers Association, the Iowa City, Iowa-based association representing 97 food co-ops with 115 retail locations nationwide and combined annual sales of over $626 million, has selected Maccabee Group for national media relations projects.

  • The Wedge Community Co-Op has selected Maccabee Group to coordinate local publicity as it prepares to celebrate its 30th Anniversary as one of the Twin Cities’ leading natural foods cooperatives.

  • Parsinen Kaplan Rosberg and Gotlieb, the Minneapolis-based law firm offering employment law and employee benefits, commercial litigation, estate planning and other services, has chosen Maccabee Group to assist with regional and national media relations and marketing communications.

  • Cigna Behavioral Health, the Eden Prairie, MN-based provider of Employee Assistance Program and behavioral health management services for national and multi-national corporations, has chosen Maccabee Group for communications projects.
  • Thursday, April 29, 2004

    Weber Shandwick's 2004 Pro Bono Clients

    The Minneapolis office of Weber Shandwick has selected the Project Foundation as its primary pro bono client for 2004. The Minneapolis-based Project Foundation offers shelter and provides support services to homeless youth.

    In addition to offering youth a safe place to stay, the organization provides support and life skills programs to empower young people to establish permanent residences, continue education, find employment and maintain healthy relationships. Project Foundation facilities can house 20 youth per day, and case managers provide support to meet their individual needs while working to achieve greater self-sufficiency and stability.

    "We are thrilled with the opportunity to match our communications expertise with Project Foundation's tremendous resource offerings to bring attention to the plight of Minnesota's homeless youth," said Sara Gavin, president of Weber Shandwick's Minneapolis office. "We believe this is our responsibility to the Twin Cities community, and we will use public relations to assist Project Foundation in advocating for some of Minnesota's most vulnerable and underrepresented youth."

    Weber Shandwick also will provide public relations support to two other local non-profit organizations, Weber Shandwick also will provide public relations support to two other local non-profit organizations, Twin Cities Community Voicemail (TCCVM) and Life's Missing Link. TCCVM provides free voicemail to
    low-income Minnesotans. Life's Missing Link provides school and community-based programs and services for Minnesota's at-risk youth.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2004

    PRSA's Spotlight on Career Development

    What do you think matters most to your employer, your PR skills or your personal skills? Certainly your impressive list of internships is bound to stir up someone interested in hiring you right?

    Well, Catherine B. Ahles, APR, Fellow PRSA says in an article for PRSA Tactics, if you think superior PR skills are the only requirement, to landing you a job think again.

    Ahles states in her article, that as PR pros we need more than just the ability to write well and communicate orally, in PR we are expected to be well-rounded in all of the core academic areas including a basic understanding of science and mathematics.

    For those of you that have been in the PR business for awhile longer you may think that you have these areas nailed, but wait there is another and this one becomes more important as you grow into your job. Ahles calls this additional skill employability. She says, "the need for employability skills cuts across all types of jobs at all levels in an organization. They are as crucial to the mid-career and senior practitioner as they are to the new professional. Depending on whom you ask, different skills rank at the top of the list - but the same half- dozen are always mentioned."

    For more info get the full story here.

    Thought for today

    ABC television is taking reality TV to the extreme with their new show offering a young mother the opportunity to select from five couples, one couple who will then become parents to her child. The new show airs this Friday and is creating quite a stir.

    Hosted by 20/20 star Barbara Walters the show has received a flood of calls into radio stations, Web sites and even the FCC - many of them noting that host Barbara Walters is an adoptive mother.

    According to FOX News, the program, titled "Be My Baby," set to air Friday during May sweeps, follows five couples through open adoption, which means the adoptive parents and birth mother are in contact, identities are disclosed and there is the potential for contact in the future.

    Perhaps more shocking are reports that Barbara Walters is now considered a respected journalist.

    Tuesday, April 27, 2004

    Flex Time

    According to the Star Tribune today, flex time is growing more common in today's workforce, allowing workers to put in their time at the office, but also be able to raise a family.

    The Strib's article was based on a new study conducted by the Families and Work Institute which concluded that flexible schedules is an important driver in employee workplace satisfaction.

    Sound interesting? Get some tips on how to introduce flex time to your employer here or if your an employer learn how you can get a flex time program started here.

    Read the full Families and Work Institute study here.

    Friday, April 23, 2004

    PR Fundamentals

    I came across an article on information technology (IT) and public relations today, that I thought I would share with you, but before you say "I don't do IT," let me just say this article is more about the fundamentals of PR then technology.

    The article, written by Robin Miller, is quick to point out that PR is not rocket science and that pretty much anyone can do it (just ask the monkey in the cube next to me). But, while anyone can claim to practice PR we all know people (companies) who do it wrong and give us all a bad image.

    The reason I like this article is because the crux of it is so simple, don't procrastinate, build relationships, tell the truth and remember always take time to evaluate your success.

    Okay, so here is the article--remember don't get bogged down in the IT details just focus on public relations.

    Thursday, April 22, 2004

    Ad Free Kentucky Derby

    The Business Journal is reporting this morning that in preparation for the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs is sending letters to jockeys warning them that if they wear ads on the silks that they may be band from racing. Here is an excerpt from the Business Journal:

    The letters, which were delivered Wednesday to jockeys, say the jockeys may be removed from their mounts or ejected from the racetrack if advertisements are worn...

    "It's upsetting, it really is," Shane Sellers, who will ride The Cliff's Edge in the Derby, told the Sports Business Daily. "We risk our health and our lives out there, and this is the thanks we get..."

    The jockeys, who are seeking to wear a patch promoting the Jockeys' Guild, said the racing authority's rule is a violation of the First and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.


    Looks like we have a little battle on our hands (sorry jockeys no pun intended).

    Get the full story here.

    Wednesday, April 21, 2004

    Ad Fed Alive After Five

    Ad Fed's Alive After Five annual Pub Crawl is May 6 from 5:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. The event is a chance for people in the Minnesota advertising/pr community to network and enjoy some food and drinks.

    What: The Annual Pub Crawl!!!
    When: Thursday, May 6, 2004
    Time: 5:30 - 9:00 pm

    Where:
    5:30 - 7:00 Lone Tree Bar & Grille, 528 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis;
    7:00 - 8:00 The Hard Rock Cafe,
    8:00 - ?? The Lodge

    Cost: $10 members; $20 nonmembers/guests; $10 students (with valid ID); $15 members at the door

    For more details visit AdFed's Web site.

    Tuesday, April 20, 2004

    Microsoft Lawsuit Settled

    Microsoft has settled a class-action lawsuit filed by the state of Minnesota alleging that the software giant misused its pricing power to overcharge customers for its operating systems, word-processing software and spreadsheet programs.

    In a statement from Microsoft the company said, "The parties have reached an agreement to resolve all claims in this litigation. The settlement will be presented to the court for preliminary approval in early summer of 2004. The terms of the settlement are in the process of being finalized and will be made public at that time."

    For more information on the settlement get the Star Tribune story here or get the Business Journal story here.

    Click here for information on other Microsoft class-action settlements.

    New Coke

    Coca-Cola will introduce Coca-Cola C2 this summer. C2 is a lower sugar cola drink, created to specifically address the desire for a lower-calorie cola with that great Coca-Cola taste, said Doug Daft, chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola in a company press release.

    C2 will be launched first in Japan and then brought to the U.S. later this summer. The packaging graphics feature the familiar Coca-Cola trademark in black on a "Coca-Cola red" background, to provide a distinctive visual difference between Coca-Cola C2 and the flagship brand. (View an image of the C2 bottle here.)

    An integrated marketing campaign will support the summer roll-outs, including television, radio, out-of-home and Internet advertising. Coca-Cola C2 will be available in retail and foodservice outlets in bottles and cans, fountain, and as a frozen carbonated beverage.

    Monday, April 19, 2004

    Weber Shandwick Hires Saukko and Ardolf

    The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick has hired two employees in the agency's financial services group. Ben Saukko has joined the group as a senior account executive and former intern Angela Ardolf was hired as an assistant account executive.

    Saukko, a native of Eveleth, Minn., will work on the H&R Block, Inc., Deluxe Corporation and Case Western Reserve University accounts. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Saukko was the communications director at Fingerhut Companies, where he managed internal and external communications. Prior to Fingerhut, Saukko was the public relations manager for ACA International (formerly the American Collectors Association). He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota's School of Journalism and Mass Communication and his master's degree of business administration from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis.

    Ardolf, a native of Albert Lea, Minn., works on the Case Western Reserve University and Star Systems accounts. Prior to her internship at the agency, she was a public relations intern for Region Nine Development Commission. She graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato, with a bachelor's degree in mass communications with an emphasis in public relations.

    Friday, April 16, 2004

    Musicland Splits with Campbell Mithun

    The Business Journal reported this afternoon that Minneapolis-based Campbell Mithun and client Musicland, Minnetonka, have parted ways after only four months.

    The article cited a shift in Musicland's approach to advertising and marketing as the reason for the split.

    Get more details here.

    Evolution In The World of Beer

    Beer commercials have always been known for showing scantly-clad women having a good time. From the days of the Swedish Bikini Team prancing around in the wilderness with beer-gutted men to today's Bud-Lite bikini wax commercials.

    This week all that changed when Anheuser-Busch announced it will drop its risque commercials as a result of Janet Jackson's exposure during the Super Bowl. Is this evolution in advertising or a company just trying to appease its audience?

    Get the full story from AdAge.

    Related Story:
    Coors Sued For Sex and Glamour Advertising to Underage Drinkers

    Alcohol ads reaching more teens, study finds

    Wednesday, April 14, 2004

    Al Franken on the Ropes

    This is breaking news from The Drudge Report:

    After just two weeks on the air, Air America Radio, the fledgling liberal talk-radio network featuring Al Franken and Janeane Garofalo, appears to have encountered serious cash-flow problems.

    The CHICAGO TRIBUNE is developing a story, insiders tell DRUDGE, on how the network was pulled off the air this morning in Chicago and Los Angeles, the network's second- and third-largest markets, because, the owner of both stations said, the network bounced a check and owes him more than $1 million! A charge the network strongly denies... Developing...

    Tuesday, April 13, 2004

    University of Minnesota -- Blog

    The University of Minnesota has launched an interesting site called UThink. The site is extraordinary in that it is encouraging students, staff and faculty to start blogging. Although the site has been operating in some capacity since September 2003 it is really in it infancy.

    As of this post there are 64 web logs running through the UThink service, although most of them are really just getting started. Click here for a catalog of the University's blogs.

    Monday, April 12, 2004

    Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

    Whether you have a job, are looking for a job or are thinking of retiring the U.S. Labor Department's report showing a huge increase in jobs (308,000 additions in March) is good news.

    If you are looking for a job, it might be little conciliation to hear that others are finding jobs if you aren't. Today's Star Tribune offers some tips for those of you looking for a job that might help to give your resume that added punch. Here is just a sample of what author Isaac Cheifetz says about your resume:

  • Assume your resume will be given 90 seconds of attention. Announce the theme of your resume; don't make the reader guess. A short summary paragraph outlining the "elevator pitch" of your experience and objective sets the stage for the details to follow.

  • Tell a strategic story concisely. A resume is NOT a synopsis of your work history. It is marketing collateral, written with the goal of getting an interview. Tell a thematic story with nuggets of content embedded in it. It must be accurate, but it does not need to describe every responsibility or accomplishment; that's what the interview is for.

    Get the rest of this article here.

    Just a reminder if you want to post your resume to this site, send it to me in a Word document.

    If you have a job already, here is an article you should read about how to manage your work force and how to delegate tasks to others. Take a look at this excerpt:

    One way to improve how well you delegate is to surround yourself with good people, clearly articulate the strategy and direction, make sure people understand that message, check to make sure they have the proper tools and information to execute, then let them do their jobs.
  • Friday, April 09, 2004

    Star Tribune West

    The Star Tribune announced yesterday that they will launch a new publication that will cover city government, school sports, civic life and local issues not routinely covered by the metro daily.

    The publication will be called Star Tribune West and will go to print May 26. According to the Star Tribune online, the weekly section will be distributed with the daily Star Tribune on Wednesdays to 50,300 current subscribers in portions of Minnetonka, Eden Prairie, Hopkins, St. Louis Park, south Plymouth, Chanhassen, Wayzata and rural western Hennepin County. The company plans to hire an editor, reporters, photographer, copy editor and designer to produce the section.

    Get more details here.

    Thursday, April 08, 2004

    Martin|Williams Gets Prinsen Back

    According to yesterday's Business Journal, Stan Prinsen has left Minnesota advertising giant Fallon Worldwide after less than a year and returned to Martin|Williams.

    Prinsen will be in charge of producing the agency's TV spots, as vice president, director of broadcast production.

    Get the full Business Journal story here.

    More news on Martin|Williams: Martin|Williams resigns $15 million Polaris ad account

    Wednesday, April 07, 2004

    Liberal Radio

    Last week I told you that Al Franken was launching a radio talk show that would be aired locally on WMNN. Today WMNN announced they would add former conservative, turned liberal Ed Shultz to their regular programming.

    Get the details on this new program from the Star Tribune.

    Tuesday, April 06, 2004

    Minnesota and The Future of Small Business

    On April 14, Minnesota AdFed will host Senator Norm Coleman and State Auditor Patricia Anderson for Minnesota Speaks - The Future of Small Business

    Date: Wednesday, April 14, 2004
    Time: 11:15 - 11:45 a.m. Registration and networking; 11:45 a.m. Lunch; 12:00 - 12:30 p.m. Norm Coleman; 12:35 - 1:15 p.m. Patricia Anderson
    Location: Metropolitan Clubroom, 5418 Wayzata Blvd., Golden Valley
    Cost: $30 members; $45 nonmembers; $25 students (with valid ID); $300 for a table of 10; additional $10 per person after noon on Friday, April 9

    Get more details on this event here.

    Monday, April 05, 2004

    Minneapolis law firm wins advertising award

    Minneapolis law firm Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi has been awarded top honors for their TV commercial in national competition by the Legal Marketing Association.

    The ad depicts top executives sleeping soundly thanks advice given by Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi.

  • Read the Legal Marketing Association press release here.

  • Read the Star Tribune story here
  • Friday, April 02, 2004

    Don Shelby hospitalized after 2 strokes

    WCCO news anchor Don Shelby was hospitalized on Friday, after suffering two minor strokes, according to WCCO.com. Shelby is listed in stable condition.

    Get the Star Tribune story here.

    Minnesota PRSA's Monthly Meeting

    Minnesota PRSA's April Monthly Meeting will be Thursday, April 15, 2004. The meeting will discuss Critical Issues and the Law: What Communicators and Attorneys Should Know

    Panelists include: Wendy Burt, APR, communications director, Minnesota Judicial Branch; Jim O'Neal, partner, Faegre & Benson; and Mike Zipko, media specialist, Goff & Howard with moderator Brian Freeman, director of public relations, Faegre & Benson.

    Time:
    Registration: 11:30 a.m. - noon Registration and Networking
    Lunch: noon - 12:30 p.m.
    Program: 12:30 - 1:30 a.m. Panel Discussion


    Location: Metropolitan Ballroom and Clubroom, 5418 Wayzata Blvd., Golden Valley

    Cost: $30 PRSA members; $35 nonmembers; $25 students; $5 extra for registrations received after 5:00 p.m. Monday, April 12th.

    For more details or to register visit Minnesota PRSA.

    Thursday, April 01, 2004

    Colle+McVoy CEO is Leaving

    According to the Business Journal Colle+McVoy CEO Chuck Kushell is planning to leave Colle+McVoy and join their parent company, MDC Partners, as a consultant.

    Get the Business Journal story here.