MNPR Blog

Friday, July 29, 2005

PRSA - On-site BLOGGING Seminar

Blogging 101 for PR Pros

September 16, 2005

9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

PRSA Professional Development Center

New York, NY

It seems that every time you turn around these days someone is declaring PR is dead. Much of this sentiment is being driven by the explosive growth of participatory communications, in which our audiences are suddenly talking back, and loudly, to both us and to each other about our organizations. Well, don't believe everything you hear: PR is far from dead. Rather, our practices need to shift to accommodate these new tools. This is not a simple task, and given the rapid pace of change, PR professionals need to educate themselves now about these tools, their benefits and their pitfalls.

This day-long seminar will introduce you to the basics of blogs, RSS feeds, wikis and podcasting, through a combination of presentations, case studies, demonstrations and discussion. We'll talk about how to use them successfully and how to avoid common pitfalls. You will leave with access to an online toolkit of information to get started.
You will learn:

  • The anatomy of blogs, RSS, wikis and podcasts

  • Tips and ideas for using each of the tools

  • Examples of how organizations have used each tool successfully and what others have done wrong

  • A look at policies and legal issues

  • How to deploy these tools quickly and easily

  • A look into the future; what is coming down the road?

    Who You will Hear From:

    Elizabeth Albrycht, alliance partner, Blogging Planet, is a 15-year veteran of high technology public relations practice and co-founder and co-producer of the New Communications Forum. She has authored articles on blogging for PRSA's Tactics, the IABC's CW Bulletin, the New Communications Blogzine, and the Future of Work eNewsletter. She blogs daily at CorporatePR.
  • Click here for more information and to register.

    Thursday, July 28, 2005

    PRSA - New York Times Letter to the Editor

    New York Times Letter to the Editor

    July 28, 2005


    Public Relations' Purpose

    To the Editor:

    "Public Relations Campaign for Research Office at E.P.A. May Include Ghostwritten Articles," your July 18 news article about the use of writers who help government scientists develop articles about technical subjects for nontechnical audiences, does not fully explain why these writers are needed. Taxpayers have a right to know how government researchers spend their time.

    Click here to view article.

    Tuesday, July 26, 2005

    New Hires @ Weber

    The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick announced the hires of new employees in the consumer marketing, financial services, and healthcare practices.


    Angela Schumacher was hired as an assistant account executive in the consumer marketing practice upon completion of an internship. Schumacher, a December 2004 graduate of Minnesota State University, is a Wabasso, Minn., native. During her internship, she worked on a variety of consumer electronics, automotive, food and beverage, and technology accounts.





    Jessica Holmes joined the consumer marketing practice as an assistant account executive working on accounts in the food and beverage and retail and home products categories. Before joining Weber Shandwick, she was a brand specialist for Alterna Professional Haircare in Minneapolis and a public relations assistant for a Twin Cities agency. A native of Eagan, Minn., Holmes earned her bachelor's degree in English and Management Studies from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.



    After completing an internship, Jessica Newman joined the financial services practice as an assistant account executive. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Newman provided marketing and public relations support for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities. She is working on accounts supporting clients in the higher education and financial services industries. A native of Orono, Minn., Newman graduated with a bachelor's degree in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


    Michelle Haschka joined the healthcare practice as an assistant account executive after her internship, in which she worked on an award-winning campaign to promote direct deposit. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Haschka worked as a writer for Builders Club in Minneapolis, and as an assistant art director for Vox Magazine in Columbia, Mo. A native of Edina, Minn., Haschka earned her bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

    Monday, July 25, 2005

    KATIE DOLAN JOINS MACCABEE GROUP

    Katie Dolan, formerly the Publicity Administrator for Twin Cities Public TV’s “DragonflyTV” series, has joined Maccabee Group Public Relations as its newest Account Executive.

    Prior to her work with TPT-TV, Dolan had served as an Assistant Account Executive with the public affairs firm Himle Horner Inc., working on Target Corporation’s “Spotlight on Crime,” Anoka County’s Northstar Commuter Rail and McKnight Foundation’s “Open Space” programs.

    First-Time Award Program Recognizes Minnesota Employers

    First-Time Award Program Recognizes Minnesota Employers that Champion a Healthy Work-Life Balance

    In September 2003, the U.S. Senate declared October National Work and Family Month, affirming the idea that "supporting a balance between work and personal life is in the best interest of national worker productivity" and that "reducing the conflict between work and family life should be a national priority."

    A new business award shows that Minnesota is a forerunner in that effort. The Minnesota Work-Life Champions Awards recognize and reward employers who create a work environment that encourages employees to meet business goals as well as their personal goals and family needs.

    The awards are sponsored by The Minnesota Work-Life Champions Partnership, a group of local chambers of commerce, business and professional associations, foundations, and non-profit work-life advocacy organizations committed to making Minnesota's employers the strongest in the nation. Employers who implement effective work-life practices have a competitive edge. This award applauds employers who recognize the value of supporting the well-being of employees (and their families) as a means to achieve business goals,� explained David Rodbourne, vice president of the Center for Ethical Business Cultures, which manages the awards program.

    Award applications will be available at www.worklifechampions.org beginning July 20, 2005 with applications due no later than Oct. 21, 2005. Applicants in four size categories, based on number of employees, will be evaluated on their organizational culture and leadership; work practices and flexibility; health, wellness and benefits; leave options; help with personal and family issues; and community involvement. In each category, Gold, Silver and Bronze Champions will be honored. Companies that meet baseline standards for work-life programs within their organizations will receive Minnesota Work Life Advocate awards. Winners of Advocate and Champion awards will be announced on Jan. 26, 2005.

    Each organization that completes the employer application will receive as a gift a PDF package containing a 14-page booklet of instructions for conducting work-life focus groups (including questions to ask), a 30-question childcare needs assessment and a 20-question climate survey for employees. By applying for the Minnesota Work-Life Champions Awards, employers signal that they are committed to serving employee interests as they also strive to achieve business goals.

    "People naturally want to work for flexible, supportive and understanding leaders," explains Susan Seitel, president of Work & Family Connection Inc.

    The Work-Life Champions Awards highlight those Minnesota organizations that exhibit this exemplary behavior. The 2006 Minnesota Work-Life Champions Awards have a framework similar to that outlined by the National Alliance for Work-Life Progress (AWLP). The award was initiated by a grant from The McKnight Foundation and is managed by the Center for Ethical Business Cultures.

    Work & Family Connection Inc, a nationally recognized publisher and consultant on work-life practices, provides content expertise to the project. For more information about the 2006 Minnesota Work-Life Champions Awards, contact Ron James, President and CEO at the Center for Ethical Business Cultures: (651) 962-4123 or David Rodbourne at 651-962-4122.

    Weber is hiring SAE for Healthcare Group

    Weber Shandwick has a Senior Account Executive position available in our Heathcare Group. 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.

    Senior Account Executives should have a minimum of 4 years of experience, with well-developed communication skills and experience acting as the daily contact with clients. Ideal candidates will have experience with client budgeting, media relations strategy, pitching to the media, creating written client material.

    Agency or corporate communications experience a must. Strong time management & organization skills are required, as well as the ability to handle a fast-paced 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

    I'm back, did you miss me?

    Well, I am back and happy to report to you that I caught some fish. Nothin' to brag about but enough to enjoy anyway. Thanks to the Weber Shandwick crew for posting a few messages while I was out of town! Its time to get back to work and sifting through hundreds of e-mails.

    Wednesday, July 20, 2005

    Judge Roberts faces a new animal

    Without question, much has changed since 1994 - the last time a President had to send a nominee through the Senate confirmation process to fill a vacany on the U.S. Supreme Court. While the Senate confirmation process, for the most part, will be the exact same as it has been for the 108 previous appointments, the environment in which the confirmation must happen is a whole new animal.

    During the Reagan and Clinton administrations, network TV, the major dailies and CNN were the primary outlets for affecting public opinion. But today, the Bush administration faces a new reality of blogs and electronic political activism that can impact an appointment's credibility in a mere heartbeat.

    We're already seeing the political activist groups leveraging web-based activism. Immediately after President Bush's announcement, one group sent out 400,000 e-mails to its supporters.

    It will be fun to monitor what kind of impact this new climate of web-based, grassroots activism and political commentary (blogs) has on the confirmation process.

    Monday, July 18, 2005

    The Plame Game

    Filling in for Master Ryan... here goes:

    For all those Sunday morning news-show-junkies like myself out there, no doubt you saw all the hoo-ha about Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, Valerie Plame, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, Time reporter Matt Cooper, columnist Robert Novak, now-jailed New York Times reporter Judith Miller and Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.

    Well, if you are looking for this post to make sense of it all... prepare for disappointment.

    Here is what everyone seems to agree on: in 2003 Karl Rove, White House political advisor, spoke with Matt Cooper on the phone regarding Joe Wilson's trip to Niger to investigate whether or not Iraq had been trying to aquire uranium in an attempt to jump-start a nuclear weapons program.

    Now everyone's stories run off in all different directions.

    In that conversation either Rove disclosed Plame (oh, BTW she is Joe Wilson's wife) as a covert CIA operative or he didn't. Now, Miller is in jail for disobeying a judge's order to reveal her source for the same story, Wilson wrote a book, Democrats are calling for Rove's dismissal, and Republicans are staunchly defending him. What a shock in D.C., huh?

    Hopefully the Grand Jury investigating the case will actually get some answers - the right answers.

    It is instructive in that the conversation was "on deep background," but now, of course, it has been fully disclosed - a reminder for those of us who work with reporters to be vigilant about everything we discuss with someone who's job it is to put news in print.

    Friday, July 15, 2005

    The Show Must Go On!

    In my absense this week I have recruited a couple of my favorite PR professionals from Weber Shandwick to volunteer to post to this site. Hope you enjoy this experiment and if your interested in participating in the future please let me know, don't be shy. Have a good week.

    -Ryan

    Gone Fishin'




    About this time every year, spring fever has transformed itself into the summer time blues and the need to get out of the office is overwhelming. Fortunately, I am able to do just that, the week of July 18 - 22 I will be out of the office. Look forward to more jobs, events, and news to be posted here when I return. Hope you all are taking time to enjoy the steamy weather.

    -Ryan

    Thursday, July 14, 2005

    Bulldog Reporter's PR University Audio Conference

    Announcing a New Audio Conference: July 21

    Master Class: How the Best Score Extraordinary Media Coverage for Food and Beverages

    Feed your need, quench your thirst for breakthrough media coverage: Learn best practices for promoting food and drink as PR University convenes a Master Class with a panel of acknowledged food and beverage industry PR masters. Learn which hot trends they are leveraging and how you too make them work for your PR program.

    YOUR PRESENTERS:

    • Kim Olson, Director, Brand Public Relations, General Mills
    • Anne Christenson, Public Relations Manager, Cold Stone Creamery
    • Judy Rowcliffe, Senior Counselor, Landis Communications, Inc.
    • Jeffrey A. Moran, Director of Public Relations, Events and Sponsorship, The Absolut Spirits Company, Inc.

    MODERATOR:

    Why you — and everyone on your team — should attend this PR University training session:

    Good news: Americans love to eat and drink, read about food and beverages and discover new ways to prepare and consume it. And the nation’s media is certainly responding with plenty of news and features on these topics — in regional newspapers, glossy national magazines, and on 24-hour cable networks.

    But there are still tons more PR messages trying to squeeze into the media than there is space. Which strategies work best for grabbing the attention of editorial gatekeepers looking for the latest trends in food and beverages? Journalists’ tastes can be fickle, their deadlines brutal and — worst of all — the competition for their time can be nerve-wracking.

    To learn how to generate a generous serving of food and beverage media coverage, PR University convenes this panel of industry luminaries for a “best practices” session on how to break through and score an “unfair” share of publicity and journalist attention. If you promote food and beverage products, you won’t want to miss this session — the ideas and strategies outlined here will surely serve as a springboard for extraordinary media results.

    Who should attend:

    If you practice PR for food products, beverages, wholesalers, retailers (both traditional and online) or food distributors, you’ll want to make sure this PR University training session is on your calendar. This “virtual” conference is guaranteed to be packed with new ideas, fresh insights and shrewd strategies on the best ways to snare media coverage for food and drink. Whether you’ve been at it for decades or are new to the game, you’re sure to come away with a plateful of actionable information that will make this Master Class well worth your time.

    A high-value learning experience:

    This PR University audio conference is affordable, hassle-free and offers high return on investment (ROI). For one low price of $279, you and your entire team can take part in this unique conference offered exclusively by Bulldog Reporter's PR University. Simply gather your team around a speakerphone — no travel required! And if there’s something you need to know that the speakers haven’t covered, you can email your questions directly to the panel or join in the discussion yourself when we open the phone lines for live Q&A.

    AUDIO CONFERENCE AT A GLANCE
    DATE: Thursday, July 21, 2005
    TIME: 1PM EDT; Noon CDT; 11AM MDT; 10AM PDT
    PLACE: Your telephone or speakerphone
    COST: $279 per dial-in site (unlimited attendance per dial-in site)
    TO REGISTER: Click here or call 1-800-959-1059

    What you'll learn:

    • Which trends food and beverage industry experts are hooking into — and what’s now considered passé?
    • How to structure your press materials for optimal impact and readability
    • How major national brands leverage their standing in the marketplace — and what you can learn from their successful tactics
    • How purveyors of gourmet foods and premium beverages are broadening their market appeal to reach more consumers
    • How to jump on the blogging bandwagon and build online buzz about food, beverages or restaurants
    • How to work with other industry players up and down the food chain — like distributors and grocers — to create heightened media awareness of exciting new food products
    • What are the hottest news and feature hooks these days for getting the media’s attention?
    • How these leading PR pros have built lasting relationships with key food media — and how you too can get started building those relationships the minute the conference is over.

    HOW TO REGISTER

    1. Please have your Visa, MasterCard or American Express card ready.

    HELP WITH ONLINE REGISTRATION: Click here to send us a message if you need help.

    2. Phone: Call toll free: 1-800-959-1059.
    Our Client Satisfaction representatives can answer any questions and register you in minutes.

    REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Registrations accepted until July 21, 2005, 8AM PDT.

    REFUNDS: Cancellations before 5PM PDT on July 18, 2005, may receive a full refund less a $25 service charge.

    You will receive an e-mail confirmation shortly after you complete the registration. You will receive a separate e-mail confirmation of your credit card charges.

    Your audio conference registration includes:
    • A site license to attend the 90-minute conference (invite as many people as you can fit around your speakerphone, at no extra charge)
    • PR University's conference manual, which includes up-to-the-minute contact information and background on the panel, plus additional value-add articles from the archives of Bulldog Reporter
    • A full transcript, emailed to you soon after the conference
    • The opportunity to connect with any or all of the speakers during the audience Q&A session
    What is an audio conference?

    It's much like a large conference call or a radio show in which you can participate — by calling in questions and by participating in conference polls on PR best practices. To enter the call, simply dial the conference 800-number from your phone, put in your PIN, and you're connected! Now you can train your entire staff for just $279 per dial-in site! (Additional dial-in sites require additional registrations.)

    Who will be participating?

    Kim Olson is the Director of Brand Public Relations for General Mills where she sets vision and brand strategy, heading a 16-person, $20 million public relations department. For four years running, the department developed and implemented more than 350 projects resulting in more than nine billion media impressions (without multiplier). An award-winning client service strategist, Kim previously headed global client service as senior vice president for Weber Shandwick Worldwide.

    Anne Christenson is Public Relations Manager for Cold Stone Creamery. She has been working in food and beverage public relations for nearly 10 years. Anne currently leads all national publicity efforts for Scottsdale, Arizona-based Cold Stone Creamery. Before joining Cold Stone, Anne worked at DeVries Public Relations in New York on the E&J Gallo wine account.

    Judy Rowcliffe is Senior Counselor at Landis Communications, Inc. and Mortar, as well as principal of Rowcliffe Communications Group. She is privileged to work with some of the world's most prestigious brands, including Lindsay Olives, Starbucks Coffee Company, Starbucks Ice Cream, Wild Oats Markets, Cold Stone Creamery, The California Pistachio Commission, Whole Foods Markets and Night Owl wines among others.

    Jeffrey A. Moran is Director of Public Relations, Events and Sponsorship for The Absolut Spirits Company, Inc.

    Michael Smart is National News Director at Brigham Young University and an independent communications consultant for clients across the country. He is an experienced speaker on media relations topics, regularly sought after by the industry's top conferences. He has been the top-rated speaker at Bulldog Reporter's annual Media Relations conference the past two years.

    Infocom Group, 5900 Hollis Street, Suite L, Emeryville, Ca 94608

    Wednesday, July 13, 2005

    Fallon to close New York office



    Advertising agency Fallon Worldwide announced Wednesday that it will close its New York office, according to AdAge.

    Skyway news to become Downtown Journal

    Skyway News to evolve into Downtown Journal: Minneapolis’ downtown newspaper

    Minnesota Premier Publications, Inc., announced today that its publication, Skyway News, the 35-year-old downtown weekly newspaper, will be reflagged as Downtown Journal in September.

    The new name reflects the changing mix of workers and residents downtown in Minneapolis, and better positions it as Minneapolis’ downtown newspaper.

    Downtown Journal symbolizes the evolution that’s been going on since we bought Skyway News in 2001 — covering not just the skyways, but booming areas like the Mill District, Loring Park, North Loop, Elliot Park and the Mississippi riverfront,” editor David Brauer said. “We’re proud that we’ve become a highly credible news source, and the new name underscores another goal: helping everyone who lives and works here enjoy downtown to the fullest.”

    Skyway News has tracked the downtown’s growth, from fewer than 10,000 residents a few years ago to 30,000 now and perhaps 50,000 in the next decade.

    Said co-publisher Janis Hall, “We’re building on the history of Skyway News, which has served downtown workers and businesses for more than 30 years. And, we’re expanding to serve a broader mix of people and activity to cover, as our tagline states, Your life Downtown.”

    Skyway News will share front-page flag space with Downtown Journal until September, when Downtown Journal takes the front page position and Skyway News becomes a label for business and work content.

    Get the Business Journal's story here.
    Read the Star Tribune's take here.

    Tuesday, July 12, 2005

    Driving Consumer Behavior Change

    July 14, 2005
    3:00 p.m. ET
    Duration: 1 hour

    Changing consumer behavior means there's a tough road ahead of you - unless you employ proven public relations strategies. Learn how to leverage opinionchange models, media "mavens" and consumer research in order to educate consumers.

    You Will Hear From:
    Judy Wicks, APR, is vice president of corporate communications for CheckFree Corporation, the leader in electronic billing and payment (EBP). In this role, Wicks serves as a corporate spokesperson, and is responsible for the company's media and industry analyst relations, investor communications, speaker's bureau, and internal communications. Prior to joining CheckFree, Wicks was vice president of Ketchum Crescent, Atlanta. In the 1980's, Wicks held account management positions with Young & Rubicam and Bitner, and is past president of the Gulfstream Chapter of PRSA. Wicks holds a Master of Journalism and Communications degree from the University of Florida, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Stetson University.

    Register Today!
    PRSA Member: $150
    Nonmember: $250


    Only one registration per site is required. Registration deadline is 24 hours prior to the call. Your registration entitles you to one telephone connection. Invite as many people as you wish to listen to the teleseminar on your speakerphone.

    Click here for registration details: http://www.prsa.org/_Advance/seminars/071405.pdf

    Registrations must be in writing. Fax your completed form to 212-460-5460.

    Monday, July 11, 2005

    WEBER SHANDWICK TO LAUNCH NATIONAL DIRECT DEPOSIT CAMPAIGN FOR U.S. TREASURY

    Weber Shandwick has been selected to lead the U. S. Department of the Treasury's national campaign promoting direct deposit for recipients of Social Security and other federal benefits. The account will be led by the agency's Minneapolis office, which recently completed a successful six-month campaign pilot.

    The "Go Direct" campaign will use an integrated approach that combines grassroots outreach with media relations, Web relations, advertising and direct mail to increase the number of Americans using direct deposit to receive their federal benefit payments. In addition to the Minneapolis office, the campaign will involve Weber Shandwick offices in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., and three sister agencies within the Interpublic Group of Companies - Sawyer Miller Advertising, KRC Research and multicultural public relations firm, Axis Agency.

    Sara Gavin, president of Weber Shandwick's Minneapolis office, said, "We are thrilled that Weber Shandwick was chosen to take Go Direct forward to a national audience. Our expertise with integrated campaigns will ensure that we will build a unique and persuasive communications program that resonates with the target market - a segment of the population that is often unresponsive to traditional media techniques."

    Weber Shandwick's team will be co-led by Barb Iverson and Nancy Longley, who head the Minneapolis office's financial services and healthcare practices, respectively.

    The "Go Direct" pilot won PRWeek's 2005 award for best use of research and measurement.

    Read what the Business Journal has to say about Weber's new account here.

    Be a Media Planner @ Carmichael Lynch

    From Monster:

    Work at Carmichael Lynch as a Media Planner.

    Responsibilities include
    :

    Research, analyze, and form media plan recommendations for our enthusiast brand clients. Supervise and administer buying personnel, develop reporting, tracking, and budget summary timelines for supervisors and clients. Aid in syndicated target audience development, contact planning strategic and tactical development based on experience, research insights, and familiarity with media planning tools. Act as mentor and assist in the development of other media personnel.

    Requirements:
    Must have a minimum of three years agency media experience. Bachelor's degree preferred, with an emphasis in advertising or marketing. Detail-oriented with strong communication (written and verbal) skills as well as a team player and visionary thinker. Computer literacy will include Microsoft Access, Word, Excel, and Outlook, and knowledge of planning tools like Simmons, MRI, IMS, @Plan, etc.

    If this position is of interest to you, please send resume and cover letter to Human Resources at humanresources@clynch.com .

    Address:
    800 Hennepin Ave
    Minneapolis,MN 55403

    Fax: (612) 334-6171

    The Geek Squad Story

    Join the Minnesota American Marketing Association for their July meeting:

    The Geek Squad Story
    Entrepreneurial Start-up to Corporate Up-Start

    In 2002, Best Buy, Inc., purchased The Geek Squad, a 60 person local firm that helped the technically impaired fix their computers and in-home networks. Then they launched it out nationally, and it's now a 6,000+ person firm offering 24-hour service.

    Big companies frequently buy small businesses and launch them as a product or service. But what happens behind the scenes as entrepreneuiral start-up goes head to head with large corporate infrastructures?

    Please join us on Wednesday, July 20th, at Best Buy Headquarters for an evening of networking, good food, and a compelling story packed with lessons we can all learn from.

    WHAT TO EXPECT:

    • How did both companies manage through this transition?

    • How did Best Buy roll this business out as a new offering, integrate it into their culture, and not destroy the freshness and uniqueness they purchased?

    • And what happened to The Geek Squad in all of this? What was the transition like for them as they were assimilated and catapulted onto the national scene?

    WHERE:
    Best Buy Corporate Campus
    7601 Penn Avenue South
    Richfield, MN 55423

    COST:

    $15.00 PDMA members, $20.00 non-members (MN-AMA members receive the $15.00 PDMA rate). Registration fee includes dinner. PDMN MN accepts cash, check, or credit card (VISA, MasterCard, or American Express).

    RSVP no later than noon on Thursday, July 14th. Please email your response, including your name, company, phone number, email address, and which tour you will be taking to BeThere@PDMAMN.org.

    Get more info on this event at www.mnama.org. Find other events in Minnesota PR here.

    Friday, July 08, 2005

    Communications Specialist for City of Eden Prairie

    From Monster:

    City of Eden Prairie MN
    Communications Specialist

    The Communications Specialist supports all City departments in their communication and marketing efforts. The Communications Specialist works in a team environment to effectively “tell stories” about the City, its leaders, and the benefits the City provides its residents and businesses. The Communications Specialist is primarily responsible for the following areas of impact:
  • Creating and implementing communication strategies that enhance the City’s image and increase citizen participation and awareness.
  • Managing and creating content for the City’s current communication vehicles, especially Cable Channel EPTV 16, the newsletter “Life in the Prairie”, the Intranet and Internet.
  • Producing, anchoring and reporting for the City’s T.V. news magazine “Life in the Prairie”. Creating and producing other programs for use on EPTV 16 that inform residents of news in the City and help to create a positive image of the City and its employees.
  • Facilitating relationships with all departments and areas of the City by proactively identifying internal and external communication opportunities. These opportunities could include developing marketing plans and materials, developing public presentations, writing news releases or coordinating special events.
  • The Communications Specialist will be expected to provide work direction to the Communications Associate and other contract staff. In addition to building strong internal relationships, the Communications Specialist will be expected to cultivate relationships with members of the media and with key members of outside agencies and organizations that impact the City.

    The Communications Specialist will need to be comfortable facilitating project teams and working with individuals at all levels of the organization including working closely with the Communications Manager, other members of the Communications Division and employees at the City, to build a cohesive, service-oriented approach to the communication function.

    Candidate Background and Experience:

    Candidates for the Communications Specialist must possess the ability to produce, direct, anchor, report, and shoot video and have a minimum of three years of broad communications experience in television news, public relations, photography, video, multi-media presentations and writing. Candidates must also have a bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism or a related field. A valid Minnesota Drivers License is required for this position and the finalist will be subject to a driving record and criminal background check.

    The following skills and attributes are also important for this position:
  • Solid writing and editing skills. Knowledge of AP style preferred.
  • Strong facilitation and project management skills.
  • Strong understanding of the role of local government.
  • Experience working with local media.
  • Strong planning and organizational skills.
  • Ability to create partnerships with key leaders and team members at all levels.
  • Ability to work effectively and efficiently across all levels of the organization.
  • Computer skills in Word, PowerPoint, and graphic design applications, including QuarkXpress, Photoshop and Illustrator preferred.
  • Position Details:

    The position of Communications Specialist is based in Eden Prairie’s City Center. Hours are generally standard business hours, but will vary with Council and Commission meetings and television production work. The staring salary range for this position is $48,625 to 58,351 annually. Some of the City benefits include health and dental insurance, public retirement, long term disability, life insurance, tuition reimbursement, and paid personal and sick leave. A complete City of Eden Prairie Benefits Summary will be provided upon request.

    Salary/Wage: $48,625.00 - $58,351.00 USD /year

    The Application Process:

    Interested applicants should send a resume, cover letter, and video by Friday July 22nd, 2005 (VHS, SVHS, DVD, DVCAM, Mini DV) [tapes will NOT be returned] that demonstrate skills in television reporting and anchoring to:

    City of Eden Prairie
    Attn: Human Resources
    8080 Mitchell Road
    Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55344

    or via email to HR@edenprairie.org

    The Candidate Selection Agenda
    :

    7/22/05 Deadline for Applications
    7/29/05 Present Candidates/Select Finalists
    Week of 8/1/05 & 8/8/05 Interviews/Selection
    End of August/Beginning of Sept 2005 Start Date

    Thursday, July 07, 2005

    WEBER SHANDWICK WINS PRSA BRONZE ANVIL AWARDS

    The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick won two Bronze Anvil awards and two awards of commendation from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

    "It's rewarding to be recognized for the talent, creativity and results we provide to our clients," said Sara Gavin, president of Weber Shandwick's Twin Cities office. "It's a testament to the quality of work produced by our office, as well as the caliber of clients with whom we have the privilege of working every day."

    Weber Shandwick's award-winning campaigns:

  • Multimedia Communications (Newsletters) - Weber Shandwick won on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service for the client's ERO Spotlight Web site, www.erospotlight.com, an electronic resource designed to encourage tax professionals to embrace electronic filing and other online IRS e-services. Each bimonthly issue, emailed to more than 100,000 tax professionals, features testimonials from fellow tax practitioners who have adopted, and benefited from, these programs.

  • Media Relations (Consumer Services/Financial Services) - On behalf of H&R Block, Weber Shandwick developed a media relations campaign based on the fame and (mis)fortune of Ken Jennings, the 74-game JEOPARDY! champion whose reign came to an end after missing a Final JEOPARDY! answer, which should have been "What is H&R Block?" The campaign showed consumers the importance of seeking solid tax and financial planning assistance when going through a life change.

    PRSA also recognized the following programs with an award of commendation:

  • External Video Programs - Weber Shandwick and Little Voice produced a video on behalf of Lawson Software, "RWANDA: Remembrance, Reconciling, Rebuilding." The video was created to raise awareness of and mobilize U.S. assistance for rebuilding the African nation's social, economic and medical infrastructure in the wake of a devastating genocide and HIV/AIDS pandemic.

  • Television PSAs - The agency developed a public service announcement "I'm Still Here," for the National Marrow Donor Program, marking the organization's notable milestone of facilitating its 20,000th life-giving transplant. The PSA told the stories of affected patients, family members, doctors and donors to help support the search to match patients to donors for life-saving transplants. As of June 2005, the PSA had aired 8,626 times with a total audience impression of more than 218 million -- an advertising value of nearly $4.5 million.

    The Bronze Anvil awards were created by PRSA more than 35 years ago to recognize outstanding public relations tactics, the individual teams or components or campaigns. They are awarded in 50 categories and subcategories.
  • Minnesota Public Relations Blog Magnets!



    Have you heard people talking about the Minnesota Public Relations Blog magnets? If it hasn't happened to you at the water cooler yet, it will. So, be the first to get your very own Minnesota Public Relations Blog magnet. Send me your mailing address and I'll send you a magnet. Better hurry though give-aways like this don't last long!

    Wednesday, July 06, 2005

    Snow Promotes Trauring

    Snow Communications, Inc. has announced the promotion of Jeff Trauring to account executive. Trauring will be responsible for implementing targeted media relations campaigns for the agency’s law, finance and food industry clients.

    Snow Communications also announced that Megan Heller has joined its team as an intern. Heller, a senior at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, is working toward a double major in Journalism and English. Heller will maintain editorial calendar databases, media lists, and offer general client support.

    Snow wins Adscore Award

    Snow Communications, Inc. announced it has received an advertising excellence award from Adscore Publication Research on behalf of its dairy advertisement for Hormel Specialty Products, a division of Hormel Foods Corporation.

    Adscore conducted an advertising readership study for the February 2005 issue of Prepared Foods magazine and found the ad strongly resonated with respondents.

    Tuesday, July 05, 2005

    Get that Jargon Out of HERE NOW!

    Many PR pros think of themselves as good writers. And, on the face of it, many appear to be very eloquent in their discussions, but catch them writing about work for a few minutes and soon the jargon is flowing like water through a cracked dam.

    Do a simple search on Google for "jargon" and you'll find a plethora of web sites to help you fight jargon. Do you think reporters understand what you mean when you say you have a cutting-edge, solution-based, funding-alliance to operationalize company networks? Think again. Why not just say you've teamed with another company to develop new networking software.

    The Business Journal's Nicole Garrison-Sprenger has a wonderful article on jargon. She writes:
    Just for fun let's pretend I've hooked you up to some sort of electronic device that gives you a little electric shock every time you break my little [jargon] rule. Go!

    "We provide financial solutions ..."

    ZAP!

    "... that can be sold as an integrated solution ..."

    ZAP! ZAP!

    "And to market our product, we've formed a strategic alliance ..."

    ZAP! ZAP! ZAP!

    As simple as this task may seem, I assure you that many of your contemporaries are hard-pressed to answer without getting zapped.
    Can't find the jargon in these phrases? Wow! You need to read Nicole's article, get it here.

    Learn to fight the bull in your news release by visiting FightTheBull.com and using their bullfighter.

    Friday, July 01, 2005

    Happy 4th of July 2005



    Have a great and safe 4th of July weekend Minnesota Public Relations Blog readers! I will be back in the office Wednesday, July 6th. Here is a list of things to do this weekend:
    TASTE OF MINNESOTA: Free concerts, family activities, food and fireworks, 11 a.m.-10:50 p.m. today-Mon., Harriet Island, St. Paul. www.tasteofmn.org.

    HAMEL RODEO: Rodeo and dance, 7:30 p.m. Thu., Corcoran Lions Park, State Hwy. 55 and N. County Rd. 101, Corcoran. $6-$10. Closes July 10. www.hamelrodeo.org.

    MUSIC IN PLYMOUTH: Concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra, Whitesidewalls and Plymouth Community Band, cannon display, color guard, laser show, fireworks set to music, 5 p.m. Wed., Hilde Performance Center, 35th Av. N. and Plymouth Blvd., Plymouth. www.musicinplymouth.org.
    Get a more complete list from the Star Tribune.