MNPR Blog

Monday, February 28, 2005

New Gold 'n Plump Campaign Launched



According to the Business Journal's Nicole Garrison-Sprenger, Gold 'n Plump has selected Gabriel deGrood Bendt's ad agency (GdB) to launch a new advertising campaign. Get the full story from the Business Journal - click here.

Gold'n Plump to market antibiotic-free chicken

Sunday, February 27, 2005

What's Next -- Social Marketing

In a great story today on Fox News Sunday an important issue was brought to my attention -- Social Marketing. Doing some research on the internet I found that according to Social-Marketing.com, social marketing is the practice by public health professionals of learning to listen to the needs and desires of their target audience, and building a program to help them, rather than preaching to patience from the top-down this a personal campaign.

The most visible example of this is the Africa Alive! Youth AIDS Prevention Initiative. The Initiative is working with MTV to bring the message of abstinence to African youth.

In the story on Fox News Sunday the reporter asked the Africa Alive rep if it is possible to make abstinence hip? The response, "Absolutely! Any thing can be made to look hip."

Here are a few links on the topic, stay tuned as we watch the idea of social marketing take off!

UW students step up to raise AIDS awareness in Africa

NGO launches HIV/Aids project in Dodoma region

MTV - Fight for your rights: Protect Yourself

Africa Alive! Youth AIDS Prevention Initiative

Friday, February 25, 2005

Creative Advertising takes another leap forward

So by now we have all seen the extreme forms of advertising some marketers are taking to deliver their message to consumers. Ideas like body ads and other nonsensical ideas have caught hold.

It is in this spirit of extreme marketing that Boston Fleetcenter is auctioning it name to you on E-bay. That's right if you've got the cash you can purchase single day naming right to the Boston Fleetcenter.

Excerpt from C|Net News.com:
Boston may be riding an unprecedented wave of professional sports success, but the city's local stadium is temporarily seeking a new name--and it's up for auction on eBay.

Delaware North Companies, owner and operator of Boston's FleetCenter, has offered eBay bidders a chance to win the rights to name the stadium for one full day. The promotion is aimed at raising money for one of the company's local charities.

The 19,000-plus capacity arena currently serves as home to the National Basketball Association's Boston Celtics and the National Hockey League's Boston Bruins franchises, in addition to hosting traveling shows and concerts. Delaware North has set up a string of eBay auctions, with bidding starting at $25, for individual days beginning on Feb. 16 and running through Feb. 28.

While the city recently celebrated the third championship in four years for its New England Patriots squad from the National Football League, and saw the Boston Red Sox conquer 86 years of frustration with a win in Major League Baseball's World Series, its stadium's name has been thrown into a period of temporary limbo.
According to Wednesday's Star Tribune the trend has caught on with the bid for February 22 and 23 going to Dr. Harvey Jenkins of Oklahoma and the arena was called the "Aria Orthopedics.Com Center.

From the Star Tribune:
Aria Orthopedics has two offices in Oklahoma headed by Jenkins. In a chat with The SportsBiz, he said he paid a total of $9,900 for two days with one goal in mind: To help recruit a young podiatric surgeon at Harvard Medical School to come to Oklahoma.

Jenkins saw the scrolling ticker on a late night news channel earlier this month mentioning Fleet Center's availability.

Last week, the first time that naming rights were auctioned, Golden Casino, an on-line gambling site, paid $35,099. The money went to charity.

"Wow, that would be a fun thing to do," Jenkins said he thought to himself when he saw the ticker. "There'd be some exposure and it would be a great way to get my candidate's attention."

For his money, Jenkins and his office received: a parking spot in front of the arena, exposure on the arena's scoreboard, front page exposure on the Web site and Aria's name announced on Fleet Center's event phone lines. (It sounds great!)
Get the full story on Jenkins here.

AWC News


Two weeks remain to submit your Clarion entry


Less than two weeks remain to submit your 2005 Crystal Clarion entries. The deadline is Monday, March 7, and your best work implemented, produced, or completed in 2004 is eligible. Find all the information and PDF forms you need at www.awctwincities.org. Questions? Contact Beth Fratzke at beth@fratzke.com or 651-730-1544.

Then mark your calendar for Thursday, May 19, for the annual, not-to-be-missed Crystal Clarion Awards reception and banquet at the prestigious Woman’s Club in downtown Minneapolis.


AWC networking lunch for self-employed members


Thursday, March 10, Chianti Grill, Falcon Heights

If you're in business for yourself or considering it, make plans to attend a casual lunch with AWC members on Thursday, March 10 at 11:30 a.m. at Chianti Grill in Falcon Heights. Over lunch we'll discuss one of two topics depending on what interests attendees: 1) more marketing strategies or 2) the nuts and bolts of being self-employed. Other topic ideas are always welcome!

Email June Klaphake at jklaphake@comcast.net by March 8 to RSVP so the reservation can be confirmed. It's a great way to connect and share valuable ideas. Questions? Call June Klaphake at 651-695-0327.

Chianti Grill (formerly Ciatti’s) is conveniently located between Minneapolis and St. Paul on Larpenteur Ave just west of Snelling Avenue. From Highway 280, take Larpenteur east and Chianti Grille will be on the north side of the street. Or simply call them directly for directions! Phone (651) 644-2808.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

LEIGH DENBO JOINS WEBER SHANDWICK

The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced that Leigh Denbo has joined the agency as a senior human resources manager.

Denbo brings more than seven years of human resources administration experience to Weber Shandwick, including her tenure as human resources manager at advertising agency BBDO West of San Francisco, and human resources assistant with BBDO South of Atlanta. While with BBDO, Denbo handled all aspects of employee relations and performance issues, oversaw recruiting and hiring efforts, and led employee benefits programs, including new hire orientation, open enrollment and healthcare trend analysis.

"Leigh brings to Weber Shandwick a strong combination of human resources expertise and industry experience," said Sara Gavin, president of Weber Shandwick's Minneapolis office. "This is an important hire for our office, as we are committed to attracting and retaining the best and the brightest talent. Leigh's skills will enhance our ability to continue doing this."

Denbo, a native of Atlanta, earned her bachelor's degree from Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Va.

Unanticipated Consequences of Networking

The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)is inviting Ned Ludnquist, ABC, publisher of the Job of the Week (JOTW) e-mail newsletter for communication professionals to discuss networking for success.

Ned will share his insights on positioning yourself as a leader in your profession and power-networking to further your professional and personal lives. He'll also provide a case study on the virtual JOTW community he spawned and which thrives today with a life all its own. JOTW has grown from 38 subscribers in 2001 to more than 7,300 today. It has posted more than 9,100 communication-related jobs.

Everyone should bring their business cards to share. If you do not have business cards, Ned says you should go out and get them in time for the meeting. If you are looking for work, bring copies of your resume. If you have a job opening, bring copies of the announcement. And please be prepared to share with the group if you have a JOTW success story. Everyone gets a free copy of Ned's "Top 25 things you need to know to pursue the job of your dreams, especially when your dream is just to get a job."

Speaker: Ned Lundquist, ABC

Ned is past president of two IABC chapters, past district director for IABC U.S. District 3 and currently the director of marketing for the IABC International Accreditation Council. He's won a PRSA Silver Anvil Award, three IABC Gold Quill Awards, numerous local chapter and district awards, the IABC Jake Wittmer Award for excellence in communication research and was the 2000 Marquette University Communicator of the Year. He commanded the 450 men and women of the Naval Media Center, retiring as a Captain in 2000. He was vice president of corporate communication for ShipServ, an e-commerce provider in the maritime purchasing industry, and vice president of communication for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, a large trade association. He joined Anteon Corporation in 2002 where he is director of corporate communications for the Center for Security Strategies and Operations.

Cost: $20 members, $30 nonmembers, $15 students

Register By: Monday, Jan. 3, 2005, to receive the discounted rate.

Register Online

For registration questions, contact the IABC office at 612-333-4222. For questions regarding this meeting, contact Cindy Schmieg, 952-448-8193, cindy_Schmieg@entegris.com

E-mail Ned and sign-up for Job of the Week.

16th Annual Joint Dinner of Women's Professional Associations Takes the Pulse on Women's Health

600 People Expected at Minnesota's Premier Networking Event

TWIN CITIES, Minn., Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The Association For Women in Communications (AWC), Twin Cities Chapter, is co-presenting the 16th annual Joint Dinner of Women's Professional Associations in conjunction with several Minnesota women's professional associations on March 10, 2005. The Joint Dinner, benefiting the Women's Foundation of Minnesota, is an opportunity for women from a wide range of industries to network and share resources and best practices.

ADVERTISEMENT
The evening's program includes a panel discussion featuring some of Minnesota's most influential women. This year's panelists are Mary Brainerd, CEO/President Health Partners, Inc., Jan Malcolm, Senior Program Officer Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Gloria Lewis, Director of the Minnesota Department of Health's Office of Minority and Multicultural Health. The panel discussion topic is Taking the Pulse on Women's Health.

The participating professional associations have made the Women's Foundation of Minnesota (WFM) the ongoing sole beneficiary of the event with funds raised through sponsorships and ticket sales. Established in 1983, the WFM is a public, community supported foundation that promotes gender equality by listening to women and girls and responding to diverse community needs with grantmaking, vocal advocacy, informational resources, and other investments in organizations throughout Minnesota working together to create a dynamic landscape of equality and justice.

For over a decade, the Joint Dinner has offered professional women in Minnesota this unique networking event, and the chance to interact with hundreds of other professionals across a wide array of industries. The event also offers the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of women in the business community.

The Joint Dinner is March 10, 2005 at the Metropolitan Ballroom, 5418 Wayzata Blvd. in Golden Valley. The agenda for the evening includes: 5:00 p.m. -- registration and reception; 6:45 p.m. -- dinner and program. The cost is $50-$60 per person, or $500 for a table of 8. Register by calling Minnesota Women Lawyers at 612-338-3205 or visiting http://www.wfmn.org .

The Association for Women in Communications (AWC), Twin Cities Chapter, promotes excellence across all creative communications disciplines, including writing, editing, public relations, journalism, graphic design, photography, marketing, and advertising. AWC is the third largest creative communications professional organization in Minnesota; membership is open to women and men.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Spotlight on: Writing - PRSA

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) reminds us this month why The Associated Press Stylebook is so important to us all. If you don't know why you need to check this article out.

From PRSA.org:

In style:
A veteran AP editor talks shop about the journalist's bible

By John Elsasser

Through the years in these pages, we've extolled the virtues of "The Associated Press Stylebook." (We can't help ourselves — this is what our journalism professors did to us.)

Why is knowledge of the Stylebook so important to PR practitioners? In an article on the Stylebook in the February 2003 Tactics, Randy Hines, Ph.D., APR, and Joe Basso, APR, wrote: "A harried business reporter or city editor does not have the time to sift through the clutter of releases to correct sundry style errors. So, if you want your releases to be among the few that actually see newsprint, make a concerted effort to become AP savvy. Called the journalist's bible, the book could easily be tabbed the PR writer's bible."

The Associated Press released its revised edition late last summer. It now contains more than 3,000 A-to-Z entries and lays out AP's rules on grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, abbreviation and word and numeral usage. Norm Goldstein, a veteran AP editor, oversees the production of the Stylebook.

Here, Goldstein talks to Tactics about the latest edition as well as common writing mistakes people make and how often he actually consults the Stylebook.

Among other entries, the latest edition of the Stylebook includes SARS, 9-11 and Ground Zero. How do you decide what gets included in each edition?

Goldstein: It's not a very definitive process. We get suggestions from everywhere all the time - our staff, newspaper editors and [AP] member newspapers. We get suggestions from teachers and journalism students. I just go through them and run [the suggestions] by editors here. Then we come up with a lengthy list once a year… and we'll decide what we think is worth putting into the book. It has changed a little since we've gone online with a version of the Stylebook. …We can handle a lot more on a temporary basis, if necessary. I'm fortunate enough to have, in effect, a staff of more than 1,000 people to help. [Laughs.]

A 1,000-member editorial board.

Goldstein: Right.

Why has the Stylebook become indispensable to so many people?

Get the answer to this question and the rest of this story by clicking here.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

World’s largest summit on corporate, product and crisis communications

Sponsored by BullDog Reporter:
Design your learning around 44 advanced sessions
.
Learn more >>

Hear keynoters Carl Bernstein on “American Journalism: Free Press or Frankenstein?” plus Pam Edstrom on "The Future of Public Relations: Prospects for the Industry and Your Career" plus Craig Newmark on "New Media and the Public Trust: Lessons from craigslist" plus Brooke Gladstone "The Future of Media: Where Will We Get Our News in 2015 — and How Will It Smell?"
Learn more >>

Choose from four optional half-day add-on workshops.
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Meet and question 35 top journalists from The New York Times, National Public Radio, Time, Associated Press, PC World, CNET, Forbes, CBS MarketWatch, Fortune, Dow Jones News, Computerworld, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Barron’s, Information Week and more.

Learn from 59 high-level media relations experts plus hundreds of top PR, communications and media professionals in attendance
Learn more >>

Monday, February 21, 2005

Minnesota Public Relations Blog Celebrates 2-Year Anniversary

This week marks the two-year anniversary of this blog! It hardly seems like it has been that long. I know that PR is still trying to define itself in the blogging world but as it unravels you can be sure that Minnesota Public Relation Blog will be here with the latest news.

As I said in my first post, "This site will hopefully be a place for Minnesota PR professionals to get a feel for how blogging works. I hope you enjoy." As always if you have news about Minnesota Public Relations or articles you would like to see published here please send them my way.

Thanks for your readership and I look forward to continuing to cover PR news in Minnesota.

Minnesota PRSA Monthly Meeting -- Preparing for a Crisis

Preparing for a Crisis

Presenters:
Kendra Calhoun, partner, and Jill Schmidt, partner
Carmichael Lynch Spong Public Relations

The phone rings. It's not good news. You realize that you suddenly have a crisis on your hands. What do you do now?

If you don't have a crisis plan already in place, are refining one you do, or just want to check to make sure your plan covers all the details, this presentation is for you. You'll learn from two veteran professionals about how to prepare for and deal with a crisis, including:

* What you should be doing to prepare for crisis situations
* How to communicate with key audiences both during and directly after a crisis
* Ways to refine your approach to current or future crises
* What you can be doing now to prevent a crisis from happening, including how best to work with the organization's leadership
* How to rebuild an organization's reputation after a crisis occurs

About Kendra Calhoun
Kendra Calhoun is partner and chair of the health care industry group and public affairs practice area at Carmichael Lynch Spong Public Relations, representing Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Allina Hospitals and Clinics and Fairview Health System. Prior to joining the firm, Calhoun was corporate vice president, communications, public relations and marketing, at Allina Hospitals and Clinics. In that capacity she developed and implemented brand, Internet, marketing and corporate communications strategies. Before joining Allina, Calhoun was executive director of the Minnesota Chiropractic Association. Throughout her career Calhoun also has been an active volunteer, board member and speaker for organizations such as the Minnesota Hospital Association, the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Marketing, and the National Patient Safety Council. In 1996 she was named one of the state's most influential leaders in health care by Minnesota Physician Magazine.

About Jill Schmidt
Jill Schmidt is partner and chair of the corporate practice and food and beverage industry group at Carmichael Lynch Spong Public Relations where she works with clients A.G. Edwards, Cargill, Formica, General Mills and Pentair. Prior to joining the firm, Schmidt was vice president of investor and corporate relations at International Multifoods Corp., and a member of the senior leadership team that directed Multifoods' transformation from a diversified holding company to one focused on branded packaged foods. While at Multifoods, Schmidt had responsibility for developing and managing the company's communications strategies and programs with all stakeholders. In addition, she created and executed media relations and publicity initiatives. Before joining Multifoods, Schmidt was vice president at Tunheim Santrizos Company. Earlier in her career, Schmidt directed marketing and communications programs for Briggs and Morgan and worked for the U.S. Senate in Washington, D.C.

Meeting Specifics:

Thursday, February 24, 2005
Registration and Networking: 11:30 a.m. - noon
Lunch: noon - 12:30 p.m.
Program: 12:30 - 1:30 a.m. Panel discussion

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

Cost: Pre-Registered: $30 members, $45 guests, $15 students; Walk-ins (after 5:00 p.m. February 21): $40 members; $55 guests; $25 students
Register By: 5:00 p.m. Monday, February 21, to receive the discounted rate.

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

Deli Express selects Maccabee Group

The Minneapolis-based public relations agency Maccabee Group will handle national publicity for Deli Express, the Eden Prairie-based manufacturer of hot and cold sandwiches sold through 26,000 convenience stores in 48 states. Deli Express has chosen Maccabee Group to coordinate media relations for its 50th Anniversary cause marketing campaign to benefit the National Military Family Association.

KSTP moves Schmit to Anchor

From KSTP-TV Channel 5:

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS announced today that effective immediately, Joe Schmit has been promoted to full time news anchor. Joe will co-anchor the 5 p.m. newscast with Cyndy Brucato. He will also report for the 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts.

"For almost twenty years, Joe has been an integral part of this news operation. He brings a wealth of Minnesota knowledge and community commitment to the news desk," said News Director Chris Berg. "He will continue to be an instrumental piece to delivering the news that is important to our viewers."

Schmit earned his degree in Mass Communications from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse. He has won thirteen Emmy Awards from the National Television Academy. He was also honored with a National Headliner Award for leading 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS’ coverage of the 2001 death of Minnesota Viking Kory Stringer.

While committed to supporting a number of youth based community organizations, Big Brothers and Sisters is at the top of his list. He is a former board member and past president of the Big Brothers and Sisters of Greater Minneapolis. Since 1991, he has helped raise over $2 million for the organization through his annual Joe Schmit Celebrity Golf Tournament. In 2000, he was the winner of the Jim Kelly Distinguished Service Award from Big Brothers and Sisters and in 2001, a winner of the Odyssey Award for commitment to youth mentorship.

Schmit is past president and board member of the Fairway Foundation and has contributed time to other charitable organizations including the Minneapolis Crisis Nursery, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Children’s Miracle Network, Alzheimer’s Association, the Minnesota Special Olympics, Tolerance Minnesota and the American Red Cross.

Schmit, his wife Laura and their three children live in Bloomington.

"I’m thrilled to take on this new opportunity at a television station I’ve been a part of for so many years," Schmit said.

Vikings PR Nightmare

To my loyal readership, I apologize sincerely for not being able to report on this story earlier, but I was out of town on business as this story unfolded. Anyway, lets get into it.

Last Monday Reggie Fowler, an Arizona businessman looking to be the next owner of the Minnesota Vikings, met with reporters to announce that he reached a deal to buy the Vikings from current owner Red McCombs. At the media event Tunheim Partners, Fowler's PR Firm, handed out a biography outlining his background.

Not long after the press conference, the St. Paul Pioneer Press discovered that Fowler's bio contained some inaccuracies.

From the Pioneer Press:
Among the misinformation in the biography distributed after Monday's news conference to announce Fowler's $625 million purchase agreement with Vikings owner Red McCombs:

  • It said the Arizona businessman played in the Little League World Series;

  • It implied he earned a degree in business administration and finance from the University of Wyoming;

  • It said his company, Spiral Inc., was ranked as the country's 11th-largest African American-owned firm in 2004 by Black Enterprise Magazine;

  • It said he played for the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals and the Canadian Football League's Calgary Stampeders.

    Research revealed Fowler never played in the Little League World Series; that he earned a social work degree from Wyoming; that Black Enterprise ranked his company 11th only in the Industrial/Service industry category; and that he was cut by the Bengals and Stampeders in training camp.
  • Since then Folwer has admitted the mistakes to his bio and issued a new one.

    According to Syl Jones in today's Star Tribune, Tunheim is responsible for the mistakes Folwer made because they "did a poor job of briefing [Folwer] about this state and preparing [Fowler] for the worst."

    Jones' article is obtuse in my opinion and misses the mark entirely. Could Tunheim have check and recheck the facts of this bio? Yes, but a successful PR firm generally runs under the assumption that biographical info provided by the client is generally accurate.

    The question in my mind is, "is a PR Firm expected to fact check info provided by a client or is it assumed that the client is smart enough to provide accurate information?"

    What do you think?

    Wednesday, February 16, 2005

    AOL wraps up the 2005 SuperBowl Ads.

    And the winner of the 2005 Super Bowl Commercial is:

    Well according to AOL any way it is Anheuser Busch's Tribute to US Troops with 18 % of the vote. Get the full results by clicking here.

    Tuesday, February 15, 2005

    Gandhi Elected 2005 President of Minnesota PRSA

    Shireen Gandhi, APR, vice president of the Minnesota Hospital Association, a trade association representing Minnesota's hospitals and health systems, has been named 2005 president of the Minnesota chapter, Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Over the past four years on the Minnesota PRSA board, Gandhi has helped shape the role of the organization in driving dialogue in the business community about public relations as a business management function. More recently, Gandhi has led the development of a task force on diversity, which includes a partnership between Minnesota PRSA and the Minnesota Media Collaborative, a program that introduces journalism and communications careers to students in low-income areas of the state. Her work has helped advance Minnesota PRSA as the leading advocate for the public relations profession.

    "If our industry is not reflective of the communities we serve, we lose value [as a profession]," Gandhi said. "I will work to ensure that what we do through Minnesota PRSA aligns with our goal to broaden our reach into a diverse business community."

    Gandhi has held her position at the Minnesota Hospital Association since 1997. Gandhi has more than 13 years of public relations experience, including regional communications manager for Adventists Health/Southern California and marketing/public relations specialist for Holy Cross Medical Center in California. She is the past president of the Minnesota Health Strategy & Communications Network.

    Also elected to the 2005 Minnesota PRSA board of directors are: Lisa Heinrich, Ph.D., APR, St. Cloud State University; Anna White Lovely, APR, Select Comfort; and Candee Wolf, APR, North Memorial Medical Center

    Monday, February 14, 2005

    Senior Account Executive -- Kohnstamm Communications

    Kohnstamm Communications is an aggressive, award-winning public relations firm that has been recognized within the industry for developing and implementing strategic public relations programs that positively affect our clients’ bottom-line. Our programs focus heavily on local and national media relations and other communications strategies that drive brand awareness for both business and consumer clients.

    If you are a highly motivated team player with success in driving strategy and publicity outreach efforts that generate strong results for clients across a variety of industries, we’re interested in talking with you about joining our firm. If you are a seasoned individual who can develop and drive regional and national media relations programs for innovative but demanding clients, we want to talk with you. We will only consider candidates that have a minimum of 4-6 years of PR experience dominated by media relations work in an agency or corporate environment. Those individuals with concentrated PR experience working with business and trade reporters or online PR tools and tactics are of particular interest. Strong writing and staff coaching skills with an ability to multi-task and meet tight deadlines a must. We offer a competitive salary, parking, and excellent benefits in a casual downtown work environment that is a lot of fun and offers tremendous growth potential.

    Kohnstamm Communications is ranked 14th in the current Business Journal listing of Twin Cities-based PR firms, won Best of Show at the 2003 MN PRSA Classic Awards, and received a rare “Client Seal of Approval” rating from the Holmes Report PR Report Card, which solicits client feedback on agency performance. Go to www.kohnstamm.com for more information.

    Please send resume to ricka@kohnstamm.com .

    Create a strong reaction with your Clarion entry

    Join the laboratory analysis of Good Chemistry in communications by entering your best work in this year’s Crystal Clarion competition. March 7 is the deadline for entries. Just visit www.awctwincities.org for the call for entries, category descriptions, entry forms and instructions. Everything is available in convenient PDF format.

    Then mark your calendar for the Clarion awards ceremony on Thursday, May 19, so we can create more good chemistry with the winners and bond with our AWC friends.

    Questions? Contact Beth Fratzke at beth@fratzke.com or 651-730-1544.

    Sunday, February 13, 2005

    The Ultimate PR Edge: Getting Reporters To Open Your E-Mails

    You know that getting publicity is vital to the health of your business. You probably also know that e-mail is the way most publicity seekers get in touch with reporters to score that precious coverage. Here’s what you don’t know: The vast majority of e-mails sent to journalists never get read.

    Bottom line: if your e-mails don’t get read, you have no shot at getting the publicity you so desperately need.

    Here's how to beat the odds:

    Avoiding the Spam Trap

    To a spam filter, your humble e-mail pitch may appear to contain an array of trigger words and suspicious phrases. A server that relayed your message may be on a blacklist - a "do not open" list of known spammers. Or perhaps the filter’s having a tough day and has decided to start blocking things arbitrarily. You can’t prevent every instance of spam blocking, but you can take some steps to help lessen the chances of your e-mail ending up in a black hole.

    The most important step is learning how spam filters think, and creating e-mails that avoid the usual pitfalls. Fortunately, you’ll find that -- once you can do this -- many spam triggers are easily avoided.

    Rather than taking up space here with all the how-to’s, allow me to simply direct you a terrific site on the subject:
    http://www.wordbiz.com/avoidspamfilters.html

    Getting Your E-Mail Opened & Read

    After beating the spam filter, next up is getting your e-mail opened and read. The key: the subject line. No matter how on-the-money your pitch, a subpar subject line will kill any chance of getting the reporter’s attention. You’ve got one shot at getting your e-mail opened, make the most of it with a killer subject line.

    Here’s how to do it: 1) Place the word "News" or "Press Info" or "Story Idea" at the beginning of your e-mail subject line, in brackets e.g.: [Story Idea]:

    2) Try to incorporate the reporter's first name also at the beginning of the subject line.

    3) If you know the name of the reporter's column, for instance "Cooking with Linda", also try to incorporate that. One more thing -- if the reporter doesn’t write a regular column, try to at least include their beat (e.g. Joe, re: your future pieces on the wi-fi industry).

    With these three tips in mind, a successful e-mail subject line might read:

    [Story Idea]: Linda, Here's a Tip for Your "Cooking with Linda" Column

    That’s a heading that will stand head and shoulders above the rest.

    Here are a few more e-mail do’s and don'ts:
    Do:

  • Make the information you place in the subject line short and to the point. Often, reporter's e-mail software cuts off the subject at only a few words.

  • Don’t get cute or be too vague in your subject line. For
    example "Here’s a Great Story!" is vague and sounds like spam; "This Will Win You A Pulitzer!" will make you look silly (unless you’re delivering the scoop of the century, of course!).

  • Try to make your most newsworthy points at the top of your e-mail message - don't expect a reporter to scroll down to find the news.

  • Include your contact information, including cell phone, e-mail address, regular address, fax number & website URL at the beginning and end of the e-mail.

  • Include a link to your website if you have additional
    information such as: photos, press releases, bios, surveys, etc.

    Don’t:

  • Include more than a short pitch letter or press release in the body of your e-mail.

  • Allow typos or grammatical errors.

  • Include an attachment with your e-mail. In this day and age of sinister viruses, reporters automatically delete e-mail with attachments.

  • Place the following words (by themselves) in the subject line:
    "Hi", "Hello" - the media's spam filters will pounce and
    destroy.

  • Send an e-mail with a blank subject line.

    A cool tip: Use Google News (www.news.google.com) to search for recent stories that have appeared relating to your industry or field of interest. Then, e-mail the reporter directly (use a subject line such as Re: Your July 5th piece on electric cars). Give positive feedback on the story and let him know that, next time he’s working an electric car story, he should get in touch, as you’re an expert with provocative things to say. Give a couple of supporting facts to back up the assertion, include your phone number and web link, and ask if he’d like to see a full press kit. This technique really works!

    ......................

    About The Author:

    Bill Stoller, the "Publicity Insider", has spent two decades as one of America's top publicists. Now, through his website, eZine and subscription newsletter, Free Publicity: The Newsletter for PR-Hungry Businesses http://www.PublicityInsider.com/freepub.asp
    , he's sharing -- for the very first time -- his secrets of scoring big publicity. For free articles, killer publicity tips and much, much more, visit Bill's exclusive new site: http://www.publicityInsider.com
  • New Hires at Weber Shandwick

    BLOOMINGTON, Minn., Feb. 11, 2005 - The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced new appointments in the consumer marketing and corporate, community and public affairs group.

    Delia Spears joins the consumer marketing practice as an account executive working on the Coca-Cola and H&R Block accounts. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Spears worked as a program director for Pets are Worth Saving (PAWS), a nonprofit organization in Chicago for which she managed all events and fundraisers and helped to direct a capital campaign to build a new state-of-the-art facility. Previously Spears was a promotions manager for Burt's Bees, Inc. in North Carolina. An Oklahoma City, Okla. native, Spears received her bachelor's degree in journalism with a public relations and advertising emphasis and a minor in art history from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas.

    Katharine Kaboord joins the corporate, community and public affairs practice as an assistant account executive, and is working on the United Defense, Prairie Island Indian Community and Manitoba Hydro teams. Before joining Weber Shandwick, Kaboord worked on the campaign staff of U.S. Representative Betty McCollum and interned in Representative McCollum's legislative office. A native of Wauwatosa, Wis., Kaboord earned her bachelor's degree in political science and communications minor from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

    World’s largest summit meeting on corporate, product and crisis communications:

    Design your learning around 44 advanced sessions.Learn more >>

    KEYNOTES: Hear keynoters Carl Bernstein on “American Journalism: Free Press or Frankenstein?” plus Pam Edstrom on "The Future of Public Relations: Prospects for the Industry and Your Career" plus Craig Newmark on "New Media and the Public Trust: Lessons from craigslist" plus Brooke Gladstone "The Future of Media: Where Will We Get Our News in 2015 — and How Will It Smell?"Learn more >>

    Choose from four optional half-day add-on workshops.Learn more >>

    TOP JOURNALISTS: Meet and question 35 top journalists from The New York Times, National Public Radio, Time, Associated Press, PC World, CNET, Forbes, Marketwatch, Fortune, Dow Jones News, Computerworld, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Barron’s, Information Week and more.

    LEADING PRACTITIONERS: Learn from 68 high-level media relations experts plus hundreds of top PR, communications and media professionals in attendanceLearn more >>
    Top of page >>

    Wednesday, February 09, 2005

    KARE 11 -- The Power of Blogs

    Blogs - Modern Day Soapboxes

    Watch KARE 11 tonight at 10 p.m., Reporter Jana Shortal is doing a segment on the "Power of Blogging." Click here for a preview.

    Get the full story here. Watch the video here.

    CooperKatz Launches New Service to Help Corporations Address Issues Bubbling Up from Blogs and Other Online Channels

    Fellow PR Blogger, Micro Persuasion is teaming with his employeer, CooperKatz, to launch a new service to help corporations address Blogs and other online channels.

    In a release issued Wednesday, Andy Cooper, an agency principal said, “Thanks to weblogs and other inexpensive online publishing tools, individual voices are more influential than ever in the marketplace. Corporations need to pay attention to this online commentary as well as engage in a one-to-one dialogue with its ‘authors.’ We see an opportunity to create a new kind of service that helps companies listen, prepare and manage issues – as well as their overall reputation – in this emerging era of citizen’s media.

    When you couple our experience with online privacy, product recalls, litigation, strikes, mergers and acquisitions and controversial marketing categories with our knowledge of blogs and consumer-generated media, we feel we have a unique expertise that will be quite compelling.”
    Issue
    Identification
    Conducting an audit of the marketplace issues and corporate vulnerabilities faced by an organization.
    Planning Developing a preparedness plan to address serious incidents. Elements might include the creation of special blogs, wikis or other tools as well as nurturing a network of blogging allies.
    MonitoringSetting up alerts and keeping watch of weblogs and consumer-generated channels such as photo-sharing and link-sharing sites for mentions of issues, companies, brands and even competitors.
    AnalyzingIdentifying potential issues that need to be addressed and strategizing ways to handle them, for example by openly engaging online audiences in a dialogue about their concerns
    Rapid ResponseEstablishing “chains of command” and rapidly routing and addressing critical issues or concerns in an
    appropriate tone and voice.

    Tuesday, February 08, 2005

    MBA's and Crisis Communication

    On this site we spend a fair amount of time talking about crisis communications and in today's Wall Street Journal there is an interesting on the lack of focus on crisis communications in MBA programs across the country.

    Here is part of the article:

    "Crisis communication is critical for business students," says Mr. Sands, "as is understanding how corporate communications gets integrated into the marketing plan. Too often in business school, the discussion focuses on paid advertising even though I would argue that public relations and word-of-mouth messages are more important than ever."

    It is indeed the rare business school that provides master's-in-business-administration graduates with a thorough grounding in corporate communications. While some business schools offer classes in "management communication," the emphasis typically is on public speaking and written reports, not on managing a company's reputation.

    Get the full article here.

    Take the MNPR Crisis Communications poll here.



    Monday, February 07, 2005

    Super Bowl Wrap-Up

    So did you watch the game? More importantly did you watch the commercials? What did you think? Overall, I was disappointed in the quality, content and humor, but it is always fun to watch and for advertisers who paid a record average $2.4 million per 30-second spot they were hoping you were.

    The USA Today has put together a list of how the ads ranked, the top ten include:












    10 most popular
    CompanyDescriptionScore
    Anheuser-Busch Pilot
    jumps out of plane for six-pack of Bud Light after skydiver refuses.
    8.65
    Ameriquest MortgageStore
    customer's cell phone chat misunderstood to be robbery.
    8.06
    Anheuser-Busch American
    troops get standing ovation thank you at airport.
    7.94
    CareerBuilder.comGuy
    in boardroom won't kiss-up to monkey boss — but one monkey does.
    7.86
    CareerBuilder.comGuy
    sits on whoopee cushion as prankster monkey colleagues laugh.
    7.81
    CareerBuilder.comGuy
    can't get work done because he works with a bunch of monkeys.
    7.77
    Anheuser-Busch Guy
    at game sees cell phone photo of his girl at home with another guy.
    7.71
    Ameriquest MortgageRomantic
    dinner goes awry after cat knocks over spaghetti sauce.
    7.67
    Emerald NutsNut-loving
    dad takes grief from unicorn, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.
    7.61
    PepsiCindy
    Crawford, other women eye handsome Diet Pepsi drinker.
    7.54


    Get the full story from the USA Today here.

    See all the Super Bowl Ads here.

    Sunday, February 06, 2005

    Account Supervisor and Senior Account Executive Position Openings

    From Monster:

    If you have a background in consumer PR and are looking for an opportunity to work on world-class brands, we’d like to talk to you. Weber Shandwick, the leading Twin Cities public relations firm, has opportunities available in our Consumer Group at the Account Supervisor, Senior Account Executive and Account Executive levels. This is a great opportunity to be part of an exciting and growing organization. We provide amazing client service, work hard on great accounts, and have fun.

    Successful Account Supervisor and Senior Account Executive candidates have 4-7 years of related agency or corporate experience and excellent writing and project management skills. Other qualifications include: solid track record of creativity, demonstrated health/food/nutrition media relations skills, experience in brand building, strong client counselor.

    Account Executive candidates have 2-5 years of experience. We are looking for team players with a consumer PR background and a sense of humor.

    Agency or corporate communications experience a must; background in nutrition/health/food a plus. Strong time management & organization skills are required, as well as the ability to handle a fast-faced and often demanding environment. Excellent interpersonal, analytical and communication skills (both verbal and written) are imperative.

    We have a wonderful work environment and offer a competitive salary and benefits program.
    If you would like to join us, send a resume and salary requirements to:

    Human Resources
    Weber Shandwick
    8000 Norman Center Drive
    Suite 400
    Bloomington, MN 55437

    Fax 952-346-6039
    Email: humanresources@webershandwick.com

    Friday, February 04, 2005

    Public Relations Specialist

    From Monster:

    Linnihan Foy Advertising is seeking an experienced PR specialist to help provide our clients with exceptional public relations.

    We would enjoy meeting those with the following qualifications:

    • 3+ years public relations agency experience preferred
    • Able to write compelling press releases and feature stories and pitch stories to editors
    • Excellent media relations and crisis communications skills
    • Capable of supporting a variety of b2b and consumer accounts
    • Outstanding organizational skills
    • Friendly, brave, courteous, kind…don’t need reverent
    • Great sense of humor (a must)

    Linnihan Foy Advertising is a full-service advertising agency located in NE Minneapolis' historic Saint Anthony neighborhood. We offer a competitive salary based on experience, great offices, a friendly atmosphere, a well-stocked kitchen, free parking and potential for growth.

    Email: hr@linnihanfoy.com

    Super Bowl Ads - Who's Buying What?


    Get full coverage of 2005 Super Bowl advertising from AdAge.com. Including, a complete list of advertisers.


    Get play-by-play action of the Super Bowl ads here.

    Find out what CBS MarketWatch says about Super Bowl Advertising, can a Super Bowl ad turn into a PR campaign? Get it here.

    Wednesday, February 02, 2005

    SCG Promotes Udean and Giefer to Senior Account Executives

    Strother Communications Group (SCG) has promoted Jeron Udean and Andrew Giefer to Senior Account Executive. Both previously held the position of Account Executive.

    Jeron Udean joined the agency in 2003. He leads strategic media relations for a variety of clients and provides integrated strategic communications support for U.S. and international clients. Prior to joining SCG Udean worked with Fleishman Hillard. Udean is a graduate of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota and is active in the Public Relations Society of America.

    Andrew Giefer joined SCG in 2002. He implements integrated strategic communications for a range of accounts in the U.S. and the United Kingdom, including advertising planning, copywriting and media relations. Giefer is a graduate of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota and is active in the Public Relations Society of America.

    Both Udean and Giefer have played integral roles in award-winning campaigns for consumer and B-to-B clients. In their new positions, they will have greater strategic planning and account oversight responsibilities.

    Minnesota Chapter of American Marketing Association Announces Burke Institute Seminar on ''Business-to-Business Marketing Research''

    WHAT: "Business-to-Business Marketing Research" seminar presented by the Burke Institute

    WHEN: Wednesday, March 30, 2005
    8:30 AM - 5:00 PM - Seminar (includes lunch)

    WHERE: Otto Bock HealthCare, 14800 28th Avenue North, Suite 110
    Plymouth, Minn.

    HOW: The seminar is limited to 30 attendees. To register, visit www.mnama.org or call the AMA Minnesota Office 651-917-6241 for further information about mailing or faxing a registration form. Registration closes March 16.

    COST: AMA/MRA Member: $495 (after March 1, $595)
    Guest: $595 (after March 1, $695)

    WHY: For the past 27 years, the Burke Institute has trained more than 60,000 marketing research practitioners from around the world, through both public and in-house customized marketing research seminars. Burke presents an unbiased look at various research practices, not just the proprietary viewpoints of a specific supplier.

    The seminar, sponsored by Otto Bock HealthCare, will focus on four areas: how to use marketing research for business-to-business (B2B) marketing decisions; basic methods used in B2B marketing research; customer satisfaction research; and product research and B2B product decision making.

    The seminar will be presented by Dr. Tony Zahorik, who was a 12-year member of the marketing faculty at Vanderbilt University prior to joining the Burke Institute. At Vanderbilt, Zahorik presented executive seminars on marketing management, marketing planning, measuring advertising effectiveness, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    Visit www.burkeinstitute.com or www.mnama.org for more info.

    Tuesday, February 01, 2005

    Weber Announces 2005 Pro Bono Client

    February 1, 2005 - The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick has selected Achieve!Minneapolis, an organization that engages individuals, businesses, foundations, parent and community groups with Minneapolis public schools to support student success, as its pro bono client for 2005. Weber Shandwick will provide public relations services to Achieve!Minneapolis to help raise awareness for the organization's "STEP UP" program - a summer job placement program for Minneapolis youth.

    "STEP UP," a key component to Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak's "Close the Gap" program, places Minneapolis youth, ages 16 to 21 years, in summer jobs and provides the students with job coaching to help ensure their success. Retail stores, financial institutions, health care facilities, corporations and small businesses participate in the program by offering employment opportunities.

    "We are thrilled to help 'STEP UP' educate the Twin Cities about the benefits of building a diverse workplace by connecting businesses with their future workforce," said Sara Gavin, president of Weber Shandwick's Twin Cities office.

    In addition to working with pro bono clients, Weber Shandwick's community outreach efforts include an annual communications workshop for non-profit agencies across the state and several daylong work projects. During the past 10 years, the agency has provided more than $1 million in services to more than 30 organizations. The Minnesota Keystone Program recently recognized Weber Shandwick's efforts with a Star Award.

    Not so Splendid Marketing

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson is facing a raft of lawsuits over a marketing campaign related to its artificial sweetener Splenda, which accuse the company of misleading buyers to believe Splenda is a natural product.

    Splenda, which has enjoyed rapid sales growth on the back of a boom in low-carbohydrate eating in the last couple of years, is marketed by J&J's McNeil Nutritionals Worldwide division with the line: "Splenda No Calorie Sweetener is made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar."

    But the Sugar Association says the marketing pitch does not accurately reflect the end product and is misleading because it gives the impression that Splenda contains natural sugar.

    McNeil faces three class-action suits from individuals, one from the Sugar Association and one from Merisant Worldwide Inc, the maker of rival low-calorie sweetener products including Equal and Canderel.

    Get the rest of the article here.