MNPR Blog

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Padilla Speer Beardsley adds to Heath Care Practice

Padilla Speer Beardsley Inc. (PSB) announced today that Condor Healthcare Services and Protein Design Labs (PDL) have chosen the firm for a range of health care public relations services.

Condor provides a complete, on-site infectious waste treatment and disposal solution for hospitals through the Condor Medical Waste Treatment System. Condor's turnkey system eliminates the need for hospitals to manage waste materials and assume associated risks and costs. Condor's patented chemical and shredding process uses environmentally friendly compounds that render waste noninfectious and unrecognizable, and reduces waste volume by up to 80 percent. With permits in 45 states and cost-effective leasing arrangements, Condor can install equipment and begin services immediately.

PSB will be executing a complete integrated marketing communications program for Condor, including collateral materials and direct mail, Web site development, media relations, trade show support, speaking platforms and advertising.

Fremont, California-based PDL, a leader in the discovery and development of humanized monoclonal antibodies to treat various disease conditions, is developing next-generation therapies for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), asthma and cancer. The 18-year-old company's patented humanization technology platform is among the most widely validated antibody technologies in the industry with seven marketed products already licensed and approximately 40 humanized antibodies in clinical trials. PDL is leveraging its expertise in antibody humanization to become a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company that creates, develops, manufactures and, in North America, markets proprietary biopharmaceutical products.

PDL chose PSB to plan and execute the recent grand opening of its new 200,000square-foot facility in Brooklyn Park, Minn., including all logistics and promotion of the event which drew more than 400 guests from the health care/bioscience industry, government officials, academic leaders and local civic representatives.

"Both Condor and PDL chose PSB for their campaigns because they understand how our broad range of communications capabilities and fierce commitment to client results will help them increase market position and visibility," said Sandra Swanson, vice president and head of PSB's health care practice. "We are thrilled to add them to our rapidly expanding roster of health care clients," she added.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Olympians chosen for Wheaties cover

Swimmer Michael Phelps, gymnastics champion Carly Patterson and sprinter Justin Gage have been selected to grace Wheaties boxes in the cereal's next special edition of "The Breakfast of Champions."

Get the full story here.

Minnesota Lottery Winner - Colle + McVoy

Last week, Ad Week reported that Minnesota advertising/PR agency Colle + McVoy was awarded a $7 million advertising and public relations account for the Minnesota State Lottery.

Colle + McVoy already does advertising for the Minnesota Office of Tourism. Quoted in this week's Finance and Commerce, Dale McDonnell, the lottery’s general counsel, said Colle + McVoy had “more depth and more in-house strength” than other agencies pitching the business.

“It’s not anything that the other agencies didn’t do, but Colle + McVoy did them better,” said McDonnell. “They showed a real clear understanding of what it takes to run the Minnesota lottery (ad account).”


In a press release announcing the award, John Jarvis, Colle + McVoy's president and chief creative director said, "We're pleased that we beat the odds, we're looking forward to working together. The Lottery asked for out-of-the-box thinking in the pitch. We threw some pretty wild stuff at them, and they didn't even flinch."

"Colle+McVoy best showed the ability to integrate its agency resources to meet the Lottery's marketing needs," says Michael Vekich, acting director of the Minnesota State Lottery. "They exhibited a clear understanding of where we need to go to grow our business."

There were four agencies in the final review for the account, including Barkley Evergreen & Partners, Kansas City, Mo.; BBDO, Minneapolis; The Foley Group, Minneapolis and Colle+McVoy.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Coleman Gets Grilled



Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman's wife, Laurie Coleman, is in the news after she posed for photographs wearing sexy lingerie and then granted the Washington Post exclusive rights to publish them.

I am not sure why this is such big news Mrs. Coleman is a model, isn't that what models do? Regardless, this has become a big news story because Norm is Senator.

Here are a few links to the continuing coverage.

GOP Babe Of The Day - Laurie Coleman
Senator's Wife Reveals Almost All!
Laurie Coleman
Laurie Coleman spices up the Post
Sexy Pictures Of Coleman's Wife Create Stir

Crisis Communications - 10 Defenses You Absolutely Must Have in Place

From product recalls to financial scandal, from criminal lawsuits to attacks by activist groups: You know something will happen, you just don't know when. The next time a PR crisis hits your organization, you'll have to act instinctively and so will your top executives. You'll have time for fast action and no time for planning. Yet many companies don't have the plans in place to protect themselves from worst-case crises. Other companies have drawn up plans, but haven't updated them or they haven't taken post-9/11 realities into account.

If one of these scenarios sounds like your company, check out Bulldog Reporter's PR University teleconference on forming a crisis communication plan. Click here for more details and registration.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Weber Shandwick Announces Six Twin Cities Hires

The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced the hiring of employees in the consumer marketing, financial services, healthcare, investor relations and technology, and design groups.

Matt Hansen, a former intern in the consumer marketing group, was hired as an assistant account executive. The Edina, Minn., native, will work on the Gander Mountain, Polaris, Microsoft PMC and Odwalla accounts. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Hansen worked for the Minnesota Wild in their Communications and Broadcasting Department, as well as working in the Events and Entertainment Department of the National Hockey League (NHL) for the 2004 All-Star Game in St. Paul, Minn. He has a bachelor's degree in communication studies and political science from the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Joni Beth Haefner, a former intern in the financial services group, was hired as an assistant account executive. A Mankato, Minn., native, Haefner works on accounts including the Federal Reserve Bank, Case Western Reserve University and Deluxe Corp. Before joining Weber Shandwick, Haefner was a public relations intern and sales representative for Midwest Wireless in Red Wing, Minn. She earned her bachelor's degree in mass communications with emphasis in public relations from Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Patrick Connolly joins the healthcare group as a senior account executive and is working on the Federal Reserve Bank account. Before joining Weber Shandwick, Connolly was the regional affairs and policy liaison for U.S. Senator Norm Coleman. He was responsible for representing key constituent relationships in Southern Minnesota, specific policy issues and staffing for the Senator. Prior to that, he was a field representative for Coleman' 2002 Senate campaign. A St. Paul, Minn., native, Connolly received his bachelor's degree in business administration from St. Mary's University of Minnesota and his graduate degree in organizational management from Concordia University of St. Paul.

Zina Poletz, joined the healthcare group as an account supervisor. She brings experience in nonprofit, communications and financial administration to the Federal Reserve Bank account. Previously, she was a communications consultant in Washington, D.C., for Our Nation's Capital, responsible for communications, fundraising, grants, marketing and grassroots outreach. Her career has also included positions as research associate for The Urban Institute's Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, and director of programs at the Charities Review Council of Minnesota. Poletz, a Minneapolis native, holds an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA and a bachelor's degree in business from the University of Minnesota.

Laura Malm, a former intern in the investor relations and technology group, was hired as an assistant account executive. Malm contributes to accounts such as Lawson Software, Honeywell, Solectron and Siemens Mobile. A St. Paul, Minn., native, Malm previously held internships with Fleishman Hillard in Washington, D.C., and Abbas PR in Minneapolis. She also was a writer and editor for college and metro-area publications. Malm earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and a strategic communications track focus in public relations from the University of Minnesota.

Sarah Hellstrom, a native of Worthington, Minn., joins Weber Shandwick as a
production designer. Hellstrom will support agency and client graphic design
needs. Previously, she was an in-house graphic designer for Minneapolis-based Ridgeway International where she worked on projects for the National Football League-Super Bowl XXXVIII, Ford Motor Company, Famous Dave's of America and Augsburg College. Hellstrom earned her bachelor's degree in art and business administration from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Reputation Management...Does it Matter?

Have you considered your company's reputation? Chances are if you are in PR it is something that you deal with everyday. And if your company is publicly owned, your company's reputation may seem to change by the day, if not by the minute, as you watch your stock prices go up and down.

Minnesota PRSA president Kelly Groehler, APR, had an interesting article, that ran in yesterday's paper, in which she discussed this very topic. In the article she reflects on Kenneth Lay's scandal at Enron and the impact it has had on the business environment. Groehler writes:

It's been nearly three years since Sherron Watkins marched into Lay's office, memo in hand, and blew the whistle. As tired as we are of stories like this, the business improprieties of the past three years still are resonating today with shareholders, customers and employees. Enron has staying power, not only as a worst-practice case study for generally accepted accounting practices and governance debates but for the argument that a reputation is a business asset -- one that when irrevocably damaged can permanently hinder sales, revenue, profits, earnings per share and growth.

Later in the article, Groehler calls on business leaders to expect that their PR leaders stick to the following best practices. Again from the article:

  • Issues management. Anticipating and managing issues that are pertinent to the viability of the business are crucial -- akin to sitting in the crow's nest every day, ensuring the ship doesn't hit the rocks...
  • A stronger link between public relations and the corporate agenda. This clear line-of-sight ensures that short-term issues can be prioritized and managed with ease and confidence...
  • A greater tendency to ask tough questions. The public-relations leader must be a fearless advocate for the employee, the shareholder and the public -- and usually this requires the creation of some discomfort...
  • A greater sharing of results. The public-relations leader must think ahead, seize opportunities, offer help and demonstrate outcomes...

  • This article raises some powerful issues that are too often ignored until it is too late. Take this opportunity to make sure your business leaders see this article--print it off, bring it into their office and make sure they understand why reputation matters.

    Get the full article here.

    Networking Opportunities

    This Thursday there are two opportunities to network with your peers in the PR/advertising world.

    You can join PRSA After 5! at the Starlite Lounge/Bobino from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Cost $5.

    Or you can check out AdFed's Alive After Five: Schmooze Cruise from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Queen of Excelsior, at The Water Street Docks, 10 Water St., Excelsior. Cost $45.

    RSVP for the AdFed event by Aug. 25 by calling (651) 917-6251.

    Get more info on the PRSA event by visiting www.mnprsa.com.

    Monday, August 23, 2004

    Guest Lecturers in PR Wanted, University of St.Thomas

    Professor in graduate communications program at St.Thomas seeks dynamic, knowledgeable guest lecturers for short, once-a-semester presentations weekday evenings in fall or spring, 2004-05, Minneapolis campus. Experience the challenge of teaching public relations principles to young men and women pursuing communications careers. Stretch yourself, add another valuable experience to your resume, learn something more about PR in motivating others. Personally and professionally rewarding.

    Contact: Terry Thompson, tthomp1182@aol.com, 612-339-3971

    Wednesday, August 18, 2004

    Minnesota Job Growth Freeze

    According to the Department of Employment and Economic Development, job growth in the State was essentially unchanged from last month. Minnesota 's rate remains more than a full point below the national average, which dropped by one tenth of one percent in July, to 5.5 percent.

    Get the details of the DEED report here.

    Read the Star Tribune article on Minnesota's economic/job outlook here.

    Tuesday, August 17, 2004

    University of MN to Launch New Master's Degree Program in PR

    It has been all over the news wire, but in case you haven't seen it yet, the University of Minnesota is launching a new master's degree program in strategic communications.

    The two-year professional degree will be geared to students with two to five years' experience in advertising, public relations, direct marketing, corporate communications or other fields involving communication to the public.

    “This innovative program will provide a powerful opportunity for the University of Minnesota to train professionals in strategic communication,” said Dr. Steven Rosenstone, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “This program fills an important need in the field.”

    “This approval recognizes the outstanding reputation of our faculty and programs,” said Dr. Albert Tims, director of the SJMC. “We have a long and prestigious tradition offering one of the best communication programs in the country. Our graduates can be found among the foremost leaders in professional communications nationally and internationally. The approval of this new master’s program, designed for working professionals, comes at a time when communications leaders are facing unprecedented change in processes and technology. This program will train future communications leaders to strategically advance their organizations’ interests.”

    The university will begin taking applications this fall for 20 slots in the new program, with classes beginning in the fall of 2005.

    Get the Star Tribune story here.

    Monday, August 16, 2004

    Pioneer Press Launches Free Car Ad Magazine

    The Business Journal reported last Friday that the St. Paul Pioneer Press has launched a new weekly publication: Cars.com Magazine. According to The Journal, the Pioneer Press' new glossy, full-color magazine will feature ads for used cars, trucks, motorcycles and RVs from car dealerships and private individuals.

    Get the full story here.

    50 Fastest Growing Minnesota Tech Companies

    Deloitte & Touche LLP, one of the nation's leading professional services firms, announced today the alphabetical listing of its 2004 Minnesota Technology Fast 50 winners. Winners will be announced by rank at an awards celebration to be held September 30, 2004 at The Metropolitan Ballroom. The Minnesota Technology Fast 50 annually ranks the fastest-growing Minnesota-based technology companies measured by revenue growth over a five year period.

    Winners were selected based on revenue growth from 1999 to 2003. To be considered, Fast 50 entrants must have met the following criteria: Have operating revenues of at least $50,000 in 1999 and at least $1,000,000 in 2003. Be public or private companies, headquartered in Minnesota; subsidiaries and divisions are not eligible, unless they have some public ownership and are separately traded. Be a "technology company" defined as owning proprietary technology that contributes to a significant portion of the company's operating revenues (using other companies' technology in a unique way does not qualify); and/or devoting a significant portion of revenues to research and development of technology.

    Get the complete list of the Fast 50 here.

    Two Minneapolis Agencies Provide Pro Bono Publicity to University

    Fast Horse and Maccabee Group, two Minneapolis-based public relations agencies, have joined forces to provide publicity on a pro bono basis for “Archiving Memory: The Art of Preservation,” a 35-foot-high interactive art project that will transform the University of Minnesota’s Elmer L. Andersen Library into a public memorial that utilizes life-size photographs of Jewish and Christian survivors of Nazi persecution to comment upon historical experience and memory.

    The “Archiving Memory” installation, created by photographer/visual anthropologist Nancy Ann Coyne in collaboration with Conway + Schulte Architects and Capsule Design, opens on September 30, 2004 and runs through June 2005.

    Tuesday, August 10, 2004

    Media or Celebrity Who's Running the Show?

    Imagine being able to ask a reporter before interviewing to allow you to restrict her/him from publishing anything you view as being a blooper or other type of error or misstatement. Do you think most media outlets would agree to the interview? Probably not. Not unless your Tom Cruise that is.

    According to the Boston Globe, that is exactly what Tom asked of reporters interviewing him last weekend in Los Angeles for his new movie, Collateral. This is a pretty interesting, if not unrealistic, idea for most of us but is something that PR professionals need to be aware of non-the-less. Check out the article in its entirety here.



    Twins Looking for a new Ad Agency

    You may have noticed, if you read my post on Sunday, that Finance and Commerce reported the Minnesota Twins have begun seeking a new ad agency for their 2005 season. Today, the Business Journal reported that the Twins current ad agency, Hunt Adkins, has resigned its account with the Twins after working with the team for nearly five years.

    Get the rest of the story here.




    Monday, August 09, 2004

    Minneapolis Marketing & Publicity EXPO

    MediaMax Events is holding a Sales, Marketing & Publicity EXPO, September 29, 2004. The event is being promoted as the one-stop show for all you need to know about marketing and promoting business.

    The event will be held at the Metropolitan Event Center, Golden Valley, MN (I-394 and the Xenia/Parkplace exit) from 3:00pm-7:00pm.

    The expo offers free admission with a business card or pre-registeration on-line at: www.PublicityEXPO.com.

    Sunday, August 08, 2004

    Martin|Williams Named Arby's Semi-Finalist

    Last month I reported that Martin-Williams had lost their E-Trade account and that Martin-Williams had to lay-off more than 30 of its 275 employees. Well on Saturday Finance and Commerce reported that Martin-Williams was named a semi-finalist for the Arby's fast-food account.

    Get the full story here.

    Thursday, August 05, 2004

    Star Tribune adds new newspaper

    The Minneapolis Star Tribune announced Wednesday that they will launch a a weekly community news section for readers in the northern suburbs this fall.

    The paper will be distributed to 50,500 current subscribers in southern Anoka County and northern Ramsey County with their Wednesday newpaper. In today's Star Tribune, J. Keith Moyer, the Star Tribune's publisher and president, was quoted as saying, that reaction to last October's launch of weekly edition to the Southern suburbs was positive favorable.

    "This strategy of ours to begin deepening our coverage of the suburban areas is indeed paying off for us, but also for readers and advertisers" who like the spotlight on local news and targeted ad markets, he said.
    Get the full story here.


    Wednesday, August 04, 2004

    What a Difference a Day Makes

    It has been a rocky week for the folks at Select Comfort as stocks plummeted Monday after a Sunday-night broadcast on KSTP-TV sighted problems with mold growing in their best selling mattresses. But Monday, Select Comfort responded quickly reassuring stock analysts and consumers by saying that the problems with the mattresses are isolated and are not limited to just Select Comfort beds.

    In a Star Tribune article, Select Comfort CEO Bill McLaughlin said, "that the KSTP broadcast unfairly stigmatized the Sleep Number beds as being more susceptible to mold when they're no more likely than inner-spring mattresses or any other kind of bed to have mold problems. Sleep Number beds have a removable foam cover over the air chambers, which allows consumers to see any mold that might develop in the foam and to clean up the problem or get replacement components under warranty."

    Select Comfort's crisis communication plan seems to have worked, because their stock rebounded on Tuesday after McLaughlin and chief financial officer Jim Raabe addressed stock holders.

    Follow the unfolding story here.

    Tuesday, August 03, 2004

    MMM...Beefy

    Long live the Atkins diet may be the tune Carmichael Lynch is singing after announcing they added Jack Link's beef jerky to their portfolio of clients. Jack Link’s Beef Jerky is a product of Link Snacks Inc., the leading U.S. meat snack brand and the fastest-growing global meat snack company.

    According to today's Business Journal, the Minneapolis-based agency will lead Jack Link's first full scale national brand-building effort, going up against such established names as Slim Jim and Pemmican -- both owned by ConAgra Foods Inc. in Omaha, Neb. -- and Oberto, distributed by Plano, Texas-based Frito-Lay.

    Get the full story here.

    The House Policy on PR?

    Could Ventura have been right? I know it is hard to believe, but despite his many misguided ideas it appears Ventura was on to something when he said Minnesota legislators should not enjoy state-funded partisan public relations and research staff.

    An article in this week's IN-FORUM raises some interesting questions based on Ventura's ideas. Here is a excerpt:

    Where does the legislative job end and a campaign begin? Take, for instance, a lawmaker who knows he will be in a tough re-election fight. He may have his caucus staff draw up a bill that would help his district and then publicize it so he looks like a hero back home, even if the bill has no chance of advancing.
    Is this state-funded PR? Stay tuned.