MNPR Blog

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Classsics Deadline Rapidly Approaching



If you haven't begun filling out your Minnesota PRSA Classics Award forms yet you may want to get started, because the deadline for receipt of entries is 5:00 p.m., Thursday, December 2, 2004. There are no deadline extensions. Each entry must be submitted according to the "How to Prepare Your PRSA Classics Entry" instructions below or it will be disqualified with no refund.

Get more details on the Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards here.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Maccabee Group Adds Five New Clients

American Medical Systems, Landmark Creations, ipHouse, Viva Italia restaurant, and Young Entrepreneurs’ Organization-Minneapolis/St. Paul have chosen Maccabee Group for public relations services. The new clients include:

  • Landmark Creations International, the Burnsville, Minnesota-based manufacturer of high-quality custom inflatables for clients ranging from General Mills to Ford Motors, will use Maccabee Group for nationwide publicity and communications.

  • American Medical Systems, the Minnetonka-based medical device company whose products were used to treat pelvic disorders affecting 120,000 male and female patients spanning 54 countries last year, chose Maccabee Group to handle a variety of media relations and corporate communications projects.

  • ipHouse, the Minneapolis-based Internet Service Provider which offers high-speed connectivity and Web hosting to Twin Cities residential and business customers, has selected Maccabee Group for media relations, sales promotion and event marketing.

  • Young Entrepreneurs Organization-Minneapolis/St. Paul, a Twin Cities-based association of leaders of “fast growth” companies that offers peer-to-peer networks, interactive Forums, and a community of business owners, has chosen Maccabee Group Inc. perform regional media relations on a pro bono basis.

  • Viva Italia, a new mid-priced Italian restaurant created by Two Guys From Italy entrepreneur Danny Sarno, chose Maccabee Group to handle publicity for its January 2005 Grand Opening in Eagan, Minnesota.
  • Monday, November 22, 2004

    Fast Horse Inc. is seeking a Client Relationship Manager

    Fast Horse Inc. is looking for a Client Relationship Manager (CRM) with approximately 2-5 years agency experience, preferably in consumer brands.

    The CRM will be responsible for driving programs and assisting with day-to-day account execution.

    The CRM also manages appropriate client engagements; contributes to and leads appropriate strategic discussions and applies critical judgment on all daily work; conducts consumer and industry research, and is responsible for timely invoicing and other basic account and agency management tasks.

    Fast Horse Inc. was ranked among the fastest-growing consumer marketing public relations firms by PRWEEK, and has been named one of the Best Places to Work by The Holmes Report.

    For immediate consideration please send a resume and writing sample to careers@fasthorseinc.com or fax to 612-746-4620.

    Local Minnesota PR Firm Fights 'The Man'

    Since the late 90s, when Microsoft crushed Netscape, the IT world has been waiting for someone to step up to the plate and take on Microsoft--Mozilla Firefox 1.0 browser has answered the call. And while Firefox holds but a fraction of the browser market it underdog status appeals to many.

    According to LinuxInsider.com, Minnesota's own Haberman & Associates "recently joined a grassroots effort aimed at making the upstart Firefox browser a plausible alternative to Microsoft's market-dominant but problem-plagued Internet Explorer."

    From LinuxInsider.com:
    Rob Davis of Haberman & Associates, cooked up one of the Firefox campaign's most prominent publicity stunts to date: a full-page New York Times advertisement, due to appear soon, which incorporates the names of 10,000 Firefox users who helped pay for the ad with US$10 or $30 contributions totaling about $250,000.

    The ad has become a cause celebre sight unseen. It's part pat-on-the-back souvenir for Firefox fans, part anti-Microsoft clarion call and part reality check for average PC users who think Internet Explorer is the only Windows browser worth considering.

    Davis originally intended to run only 2,500 names but had to hurriedly redesign the ad when contributions poured in from all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and more than 80 other countries. Wisconsin and Minnesota are ranked 9th and 10th in number of donors.

    Get the rest of the story here.

    Download Firefox here.

    Join the campaign to spread FireFox here.

    4 1/2 month search for the perfect candidate

    In an article that ran in yesterday's St. Paul Pioneer Press, Paul Maccabee president of the Maccabee Group, tells the story of his search for the perfect employee.

    Maccabee is seeking a public relations account executive "who is a linear thinker as well as a creative one."

    "We need someone whose judgment on the linear side is as good as their wild theatrical creativity," said Maccabee.

    Maccabee Group is a six-employee firm specializing in public relations, marketing and sales promotion.

    Anyone interested should e-mail office manager Deanna Boss at Deanna@maccabee.com or fax a resume and writing sample to 612-337-0054.

    Get the full Pioneer Press article here.

    Friday, November 19, 2004

    Blogging as a PR Tool

    Last month, the Public Relations Society of America published several quality articles on blogging, in their two publications Tactics and The Strategist.

    This article gives some ideas on how to start a blog.

    Thursday, November 18, 2004

    Will Sears/Kmart Merger Hurt Target?

    When most Minnesotans heard about the merger of Kmart and Sears they probably didn't give it a second thought, because most good Minnesotans shop at Target. But as today's Star Tribune points out, Kmart and Sears are "two of the most familiar names in retailing...and are drawing a bull's-eye directly on the back of their Minneapolis-based rival Target."

    For Kmart and Sears it is make or break according to the Detroit Free Press. From the Detroit Press:

    Kmart sales have fallen every quarter since it emerged from bankruptcy in May 2003. On Wednesday the Troy-based retailer reported it made money but also had a 12.8-percent drop in same-store sales for the three months ended Oct. 27, indicating that its discount stores are still losing customers.

    Sears Roebuck and Co. has had an equally tough time with rapidly growing competitors such as Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Target and Lowe's. The majority of its 870 stores are in America's malls, where foot traffic has been falling for the past 10 years. In October, Sears reported a 15-percent drop in sales and a $61-million loss for July through September.

    The Press quotes Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates, a national retail consulting and investment banking firm in New York as saying. "Competitors don't believe, from a retail point of view, that this is going to work. I think it is more of the same ... more cost cuts, more sales of real estate, more sales of divisions."

    Looks like Target needs to keep the heat turned up, but no need to worry just yet.

    Get the Star Tribune's take here.

    Walmart.com's going upscale

    Sears got its start in Minnesota.

    Wednesday, November 17, 2004

    Minnesota Unemployement Down

    Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Matt Kramer announced today that Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October was 4.3 percent, down from last month’s rate of 4.6 percent and well under the national rate of 5.5 percent.

    Seasonally adjusted monthly employment increased by a healthy 7,700 jobs. The major gainers over the month included manufacturing (up 2,700); Education and Health Services (up 3,600); and Government (up 2,000).

    “These job gains are good news for Minnesota as they provide more evidence of improvements in the unemployment situation and continued healthy employment growth,” said Commissioner Kramer.

    Get the Star Tribune story here.

    Find a job in PR here.

    Tuesday, November 16, 2004

    Crispin Porter resigns from IKEA

    Crispin Porter & Bogusky said it has resigned the advertising account for Swedish furniture-maker Ikea account, ending a nearly three-year relationship. Get the details from AdAge.com.

    Monday, November 15, 2004

    National Sales Tax vs. IRS

    Minnesota Republican Rep. Gil Gutknecht is a leader among those pushing for tax reform in Washington. With the support of a few colleagues, Gutknecht is pushing for a national sales tax vs. the traditional income tax.

    On his web site Gutknecht says, "our tax code is too big, too onerous and too complicated. The time has come for us to scrap the IRS and replace it with a simpler, fairer tax code which will stimulate the economy, create jobs and give families ownership over their own pocketbook."

    The Washington Post cited an internal Treasury Department study that "warned that any fundamental simplification of the nation's tax system would 'produce windfall winners and losers,' would likely lower taxes for the rich, and could have devastating political consequences for its champions."

    Get the full story on Gutknecht's proposal here.

    What do you think?


    Friday, November 12, 2004

    PRSA November Monthly Meeting

    Thursday, November 18, 2004

    Financial Media Panel: Opportunities and Expectations in 2005

    Presented by Minnesota PRSA, the Twin Cities chapter of the National Investor Relations Institute, and Business Wire

    Panel Presentation
    Doug Glass, Associated Press
    Robert Simison, Bloomberg
    Jennifer Waters, CBS Marketwatch
    Nancy Barnes, Star Tribune


    The way financial and business news is handled continues to change, from what information is required to be released by businesses to whom corporations choose to be spokespeople. How is this affecting the reporting of business news? What can we expect in 2005?

    Join us for a unique opportunity to hear the insights of seasoned business journalists on their priorities for news coverage in the next year.

    Topics to be addressed include:

  • The trends they are seeing in business reporting.
  • How the election, the economy and other factors are affecting the media's ability to do its job, and how communications practitioners interact with the media.
  • The stories they will be working on in the coming year.
  • How PR and IR professionals can best work with the media.

    Doug Glass, News Editor
    Associated Press

    Glass is news editor for the Associated Press in Minnesota, a position he has held for six years. Before that, he was a business writer and supervisor in the Kansas City bureau of AP for five years. He began his career at a small newspaper in southern Illinois before joining AP in Chicago in 1992.

    Robert Simison, Health team leader
    Bloomberg

    Simison is the editor in charge of Bloomberg's U.S. health industry coverage and is based in Washington, D.C. He joined Bloomberg two years ago after a 27-year career as reporter, editor and bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal with assignments in Dallas, Detroit and Brussels.

    Jennifer Waters, Bureau Chief
    CBS Marketwatch

    A 15-year business news veteran, Waters focuses mainly on the airline industry. She has previously reported on a number of industries, including retail, technology, food, consumer products and entertainment. She is the co-host of a syndicated business talk-radio show.

    Nancy Barnes, Business Editor
    Minneapolis Star Tribune

    Barnes came to the Star Tribune from The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., where she helped lead staff to numerous first-, second- and third-place statewide journalism awards. She's also held editor and reporter positions at newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Massachusetts.

    When:
    Thursday, Nov. 18, 2004
    Registration and Networking: 11:30 a.m. - noon
    Lunch: noon - 12:30 p.m.
    Program: 12:30 - 1:30 a.m.

    Location:
    Metropolitan Ballroom
    5418 Wayzata Blvd.
    Minneapolis, MN 55416
    (763) 797-1900

    Cost: Pre-Registered: $30 members, $45 guests, $15 students; Walk-ins (after November 15): $40 members; $55 guests; $25 students
    Register By: Monday, November 15, to receive the discounted rate.

    Registration:
    Register online or call the Minnesota PRSA office at 651-917-6244.

    Sponsors: Precision IR and SNL Financial
  • Thursday, November 11, 2004

    IDS Center Sold

    The 51-story IDS Center is under new ownership according to today's Star Tribune.

    The Minneapolis landmark was purchased by a Chicago-based real estate agency The John Buck Co. for $220 million.

    Get the full story here.

    Find historic photos of Minneapolis here and here.

    Tuesday, November 09, 2004

    FALLON NAMES PAUL SILBURN EXEC CREATIVE DIRECTOR

    Publicis Groupe's Fallon Worldwide has named Paul Silburn, the deputy creative director of Omnicom Group's TBWA, London, as the Minneapolis agency's new creative leader for North America. See AdAge.com for the full story.

    Weber Shandwick announces: Two promotions / Two new hires

    The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced the promotion of two employees in the agency's financial services practice group. Richard Goldsmith was promoted from account executive to senior account executive and Anne Kerber from assistant account executive to account executive.

    Goldsmith, who joined the agency in 2002, works on the Case Western Reserve University and Federal Reserve Bank account teams. Kerber has been with the agency since 2003 and works on the Internal Revenue Service, Case Western Reserve University and Deluxe Corp. accounts.





    The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick announced the hire of two new employees in the agency's financial services group. Rebecca Czaplewski joined the group as an account executive, and former intern Cate Dobyns was hired as an assistant account executive.

    Czaplewski, a native of Eau Claire, Wis., will work on the Federal Reserve Bank and MasterCard account teams. Before joining Weber Shandwick, Czaplewski was a broadcast journalist for WEAU-TV, the NBC affiliate in Eau Claire, Wisc. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota's School of Journalism and Mass Communication, with an emphasis in broadcast journalism.

    Dobyns, a native of Arden Hills, Minn., currently works on the Internal Revenue Service, Case Western Reserve University and Deluxe Corp. accounts. Prior to her internship at the agency, she was a marketing communications intern at American Girl, Inc., and Madison Magazine. Dobyns graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison's School of Journalism and Mass Communication with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

    Monday, November 08, 2004

    Minnesota is #1 in Health Ranking

    United Health Foundation released their 15th annual America's Health: State Health Rankings and Minnesota topped the chart.

    Minnesota has ranked number one in the ranking nine of the last fifteen years and has never been out of the top two.

    America’s Health: State Health Rankings utilizes 18 measures that include prevalence of smoking, high school graduation rates, infant mortality rates, premature death, and per capita public health spending to produce a composite assessment of each state’s health. Ultimately, these measures reflect three essential contributors to healthiness: the decisions made by individuals that promote health and prevent disease; the community environment that affects the health of individuals and families; and the health policies made by public and elected officials that determine the availability of public health and medical-care resources.

    The 2004 edition of the report shows Minnesota, New Hampshire and Vermont as the healthiest states in the country, followed by Hawaii, Utah and Massachusetts. The least healthy states are Tennessee (48), Mississippi (49) and Louisiana (50).

    Get the news release here.

    Marketing Communications Specialist Job

    From Monster:

    Boston Scientific


    Job Description:
    Partner with marketing product managers to develop integrated strategic communications plans and messaging that will help achieve the business objectives for targeted products and product lines while reinforcing our brand image. Such plans will include advertising, public relations, promotions, etc. Work with other Communications and Programs team members and cross-divisional teams to ensure initiatives are consistent and leveraged effectively. Manage budgets, timing and relationships with outside agencies/consultants.

    3-5 years as a communications professional. Media Relations/Public Relations (PR) experience preferred. Advertising/PR agency experience preferred. Strong communications and interpersonal skills required. Proven track record in executing successful strategic communications initiatives required. Proficient in managing a budget and accounting for timelines. Experience in managing relationships

    Years of Experience Required: 3-5 Years

    Email 1672767.6@jobfrenzy.com or click here for more information.

    Reference Code: 14450.24034.8203

    Friday, November 05, 2004

    'Unofficial' Spokesman Gets the Official Boot



    "Mr. Wendy" the unofficial spokesman for Wendy's has gotten the official boot according to Adage.com.

    Facing declining sales, robust competition and widespread criticism over the campaign featuring the hapless burger evangelist, Wendy's today said the chain would end its Mr. Wendy campaign at the end of the month.


    Get the full Adage story here.

    Watch the Mr. Wendy commercial here.

    Thursday, November 04, 2004

    Strib Circulation Up

    The Minneapolis Star Tribune's circulation is up slightly in the six-month period between March and September 2004.

    Circulation for top twenty newspapers:
    1. USA Today, 2,309,853, up 2.8 percent

    2. The Wall Street Journal, 2,106,774, up 0.8 percent

    3. The New York Times, 1,121,057, up 0.2 percent

    4. Los Angeles Times, 902,164, down 5.6 percent

    5. New York Daily News, 715,052, down 1.6 percent

    6. The Washington Post, 707,690, down 3 percent

    7. New York Post, 686,207, up 5.2 percent

    8. Chicago Tribune, 600,988, down 2 percent

    9. Houston Chronicle, 554,783, up 0.3 percent

    10. San Francisco Chronicle, 468,370, down 8.5 percent

    11. The Boston Globe, 451,471, up 0.2 percent

    12. The Arizona Republic, 413,268, down 4.4 percent

    13. The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., 400,042, down 2.1 percent

    14. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 397,097, up 3.8 percent

    15. Star Tribune of Minneapolis-St. Paul, 381,094, up 0.2 percent

    16. The Philadelphia Inquirer, 368,883, up 0.1 percent

    17. The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, 354,309, down 3 percent

    18. Detroit Free Press, 348,838, down 1.1 percent

    19. The San Diego Union-Tribune, 339,032, down 3.7 percent

    20. The Oregonian, Portland, 337,707, up 0.9 percent

    *Note:
    Four newspapers were not allowed to include their circulation figures in the report released Monday as a penalty for misstating circulation figures in the past: Newsday of New York's Long Island; the Dallas Morning News; the Chicago Sun-Times and Hoy, a Spanish-language newspaper in New York. The first three papers were among the top 20 papers last year.

    Minnesota PR Job

    Manager of Communications
    American Red Cross of St. Paul

    Description:
    Plans, organizes, and evaluates the public relations function to achieve and maintain public awareness and support of the Red Cross. Counsels management and departments on the public relations aspects of programs and policies. Facilitates community input into Red Cross planning, decision-making and delivery of services. Details at www.stpaulredcross.org

    Salary Range: Commensurate with experience

    To apply, send a resume to:
    Carolyn Milbrath
    Human Resources Director
    American Red Cross of St. Paul
    176 So Robert Street
    St. Paul, MN 55107
    Phone: 651-291-6713
    Fax: 651-290-8993
    Email: jobs@arcstp.org

    Do you have a job opening? Post it at Minnesota PRSA.

    Wednesday, November 03, 2004

    Fast Horse Promotes Resner

    Allison Resner has been promoted to Client Relationship Director at Fast Horse Inc., a Minneapolis-based consumer marketing public relations agency. Resner had been a Senior Account Executive with the firm.

    Resner, who joined Fast Horse Inc. in 2003, 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.

    “Allison’s promotion to Client Relationship Director reflects the depth of consumer marketing skills she continues to contribute to our clients and the firm,” said Jörg Pierach, President of Fast Horse Inc.

    At Fast Horse Inc., Resner has been instrumental in the execution of several high-profile media relations and guerilla marketing campaigns for clients such as The Coca-Cola Company and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. Resner began her career at Weber Shandwick, where she worked with clients such as Polaris Industries and MarineMax Inc.

    Exit Polling Wrong, MNPR Poll Right

    Well, another election has come and gone. What else more can I say? Well, I suppose I could complain about the horrible exit polls, but who needs to do that when you have resources like our very own MNPR poll that predicted the out come of the election.

    Anyway, to all the democrats out there I say take heart you have four years to brush up on your key messages and pick a stronger candidate. To all you republicans out there I say, congrats now its time to show them what you got and it better be good.