MNPR Blog

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Fleishman Hillard - Account Executive

Fleishman Hillard - Account Executive

Friday, April 28, 2006

Minnesota PRSA - 1st Tuesdays Network

When: Tuesday, May 2, 2006

What:
First Tuesdays’ are a netwroking opportunity that allows you the down time you deserve after a stressful day of meetings and deadlines.
  • Food and beverages are complements of Minnesota PRSA?
  • Minnesota PRSA committee members will be on-hand to discuss how you can become more involved in our chapter?
  • Remember what Rachel said Wednesday, about how much career experience and knowledge you could gain from your fellow professionals?
  • Location:
    Billy’s on Grand
    857 Grand Ave, St. Paul, MN

    5 – 8 p.m.

    FREE! Free drinks/drink specials and appetizers

    Job - Fat Frog Marketing - Advertising and Public Relations Account Executives

    Fat Frog Marketing - Advertising and Public Relations Account Executives

    Thursday, April 27, 2006

    FAST HORSE INC. ADDS TWO NEW NATIONAL CLIENTS

    Fast Horse Inc., a Minneapolis-based consumer marketing public relations firm, has been retained to provide public relations assistance for two new national clients, including Pure Fishing and Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America.

    Headquartered in Spirit Lake, Iowa, Pure Fishing is the nation’s largest fishing tackle company. Fast Horse has been selected as agency of record and will help plan and implement public relations programs on behalf of the company’s full roster of leading brands, including Abu Garcia®, Berkley®, Fenwick®, Johnson®, Mitchell®, SevenStrand® and SpiderWire® products.

    Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America
    , a leading provider of fixed and variable annuities, life insurance policies, long term care insurance products, and health excess of loss insurance products in the U.S., has hired Fast Horse to help Allianz build brand awareness through sponsorship communications campaigns.

    “We have been entrusted with some very powerful national and even international brands, and are gratified that our proposition is resonating among very sophisticated and progressive marketers,” said Jörg Pierach, president of Fast Horse Inc. “Our growth as a firm is directly related to our ability to attract and retain the very best talent in our business, and these new clients are testimony to our success in that area.”

    Shandwick announces new hire and promotion

    The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced both a hire and promotion in its corporate, community & public affairs practice group.

    Former Weber Shandwick employee Michael Koenigs will re-join the Twin Cities office as an account supervisor. Koenigs will support the office’s public affairs clients and will be based in Chicago. For the past three years, Koenigs worked for CKPR in Chicago managing the agency’s AirTran Airways account. Koenigs has extensive experience in media relations, crisis communications and event coordination.

    A native of Marshalltown, Iowa, Koenigs is a Marquette University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in public relations.

    Carolyn Parsons has been promoted from senior account executive to account supervisor. Parsons joined Weber Shandwick in 2000 as an intern. She currently manages a national media relations program for The Opus Group, a national real estate developer and also leads a community relations initiative to promote Achieve! Minneapolis’ STEP-UP program that pairs Minneapolis youth with meaningful summer jobs. Parsons also provides strategic counsel, media relations and event planning support to clients including the Greater Minneapolis Convention and Visitors Association, Mall of America and the Indianapolis Zoo.

    Parsons serves on the Weber Shandwick Employee Action Group, volunteers her time through the “Weber Shandwick on Loan” program and pro bono accounts, and has helped launch the agency’s In Balance health and wellness initiative.

    Parsons is a graduate of the College of Saint Benedict and holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and a minor in Spanish.

    Wednesday, April 26, 2006

    Guest Blogger - A young professional’s perspective on networking, internships and jobs

    Networking. To me, networking is the ability to build meaningful relationships – to see and be seen. Networking is the basis for finding any internship or job; 90 percent of an individuals opportunities will come from WHO you know, not WHAT you know. Two options for networking that helped me tremendously – informational interviews and joining professional organizations.

    I conducted 25 informational interviews around the Twin Cities at both big and small companies, which allowed me to meet with over 75 well established professionals. Not only did I network, but I also learned about a variety of opportunities which helped narrow down the field when it came time to fin an internship or job. All I did to set them up was pick up the phone and ask. Not only did I show initiative, but I also displayed a key media relations skill – forging relationships!

    Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and the Association for Women in Communication (AWC) are the big PR-focused organizations that come to mind when looking to network in PR. I joined one, and through it have found many wonderful mentors. Although they cost money, most of the non-profit organizations offer killer discounts for young people like me, AND they set up opportunities to meet other professionals, so all you have to do is show up!

    Internships.
    In today’s competitive PR market, I can’t even describe how important it is to have at least one internship, but more then likely you’ll need two or three before you expect to land a full-time job. I had an internship the summer before I graduated and another after graduation. The pay may not be great and you don’t receive benefits, but you have to do the time before you can reap the benefits. Bottom line - it is unrealistic to think you will get a job in PR without one. For information on where to find internships check out some of the links on this site.

    After you master networking and have internships under your belt, finding your first “real job” is a breeze. Tap your contacts (you know, the rolodex that will now be full of them from your great networking efforts) and show them how much your internship has really taught you (besides how important IKEA is when furnishing your apartment on a budget). Your target agencies/corporations may not be hiring at the time, but will definitely appreciate the update.

    I learned about my current position at New School Communications from a contact at the agency who I conducted an informational interview with six months prior. I kept in contact, sending updates on my progress, and they let me know when a position was available. I couldn’t be happier.

    Author: Rachel Studinger
    Company: New School Communications
    E-Mail:
    R.Studinger@new-school.com

    IABC Announces 2006 Weber Shandwick Gold Quill Award Winner

    The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick, on behalf of its client, BAE Systems, won a prestigious 2006 Gold Quill Award, presented by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). Weber Shandwick won an Award of Merit in the Electronic and Digital Communication – Skills category for its project with BAE Systems, Leaving the "Write" Impression.

    The project included the development of Web-based media outreach tools to leave a lasting impression on reporters who attended the Association of the U.S. Army’s Annual Meeting trade show. The project garnered significant media coverage for BAE Systems products which are critical to the success of U.S. soldiers in combat.

    IABC’s Gold Quill Awards program has been the hallmark of excellence in business communication for more than 35 years. The winners represent the best in organizational communication and their work plans serve as best practices for professional communicators across communication disciplines. This year’s Gold Quill, sponsored by Towers Perrin, received 1,175 entries from 27 countries. Of these, only 129 entries will receive Gold Quill awards; 56 top awards for Excellence and 73 awards of Merit.

    “We’re extremely pleased to have won this award on behalf of BAE Systems,” said Sara Gavin, president of the Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick. “It’s gratifying to be recognized for our work with BAE that truly makes a difference in the lives of U.S. soldiers.”

    Winners went through several rigorous rounds of judging by a team of top senior communicators from around the world. The final selection was made by the Blue Ribbon Gold Quill judging panel at the IABC world headquarters in San Francisco, 17–18 March. The winners will be honored at the Gold Quill Awards Gala on 5 June at IABC’s annual International Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. Winning entries will be on display at the conference.

    Job - Target - Senior Specialist Internal Communications

    Target - Senior Specialist Internal Communications

    Tuesday, April 25, 2006

    Risdall Advertising Recognizes Vendor Partnerships

    At their 2006 vendor-appreciation event on Thurs., April 22, Risdall Advertising Agency recognized 15 partnerships, including:
  • Jim Kadechka, Apache Print – Printer of the Year
  • Upsize Magazine – Media Partner of the Year
  • Matt Noah, NetSuds & MedSuds – Strategic Partner of the Year
  • Isaksen Promotional Specialties – Promotions Partner of the Year
  • Gary Lundeen Company – Accountant of the Year
  • Winthrop & Weinstine – Legal Partner of the Year
  • Moores Insurance Management, Inc. – Insurance Partner of the Year
  • Stark Raving Goodies – Cookie Maker of the Year
  • Impact Mailing & Fulfillment – Mailing & Fulfillment Company of the Year
  • GLS – Printer of the Year
  • Dennis Kaping, The John Roberts Company – Printer of the Year
  • WeMentor, Inc. – Mentor of the Year
  • Business Wire – News Wire of the Year
  • U.S. Bank – Financial Partner of the Year
  • Million Dollar Idea TV Show – Strategic Partner of the Year
  • “Our vendors share Risdall’s passion and commitment to serving clients,” says John Risdall, company chairman. “We believe vendor partners are extremely important to the success of an agency; we couldn’t do all of our genius work alone.”

    Job - Maccabee Group - Senior Account Executive/Consumer Publicity

    Maccabee Group - Senior Account Executive/Consumer Publicity

    Job - Kohnstamm Communications - Consumer Media Relations Account Manager/Public Relations

    Kohnstamm Communications - Consumer Media Relations Account Manager/Public Relations

    Monday, April 24, 2006

    Job - Ameriprise Financial - Marketing Specialist

    Ameriprise Financial - Marketing Specialist

    Job - U.S. BANK - Marketing Generalist

    U.S. BANK - Marketing Generalist

    Duh!! - Public relations vs. advertising: PR wins

    From the world of the remarkably obvious comes this piece from the HeraldToday.com. While seemingly obvious it does reference some good case studies that may be worth re-examining.

    Here is an excerpt:
    A claim made in a paid ad or commercial is likely to be met with skepticism. An identical claim made by the news media will be perceived as nonbiased and objective. That credibility gap is what makes public relations so powerful and worthwhile.

    Think of how bombarded you feel by advertising. Newspapers, magazines, radio, TV and the Internet generate a roar of advertising noise that many people just turn off or tune out.

    Nike's "Just do it" ad campaign created fanfare and hoopla. The company's market share, however, has been falling from a high of 47 percent in 1998 to a current level of less than 35 percent.

    The Energizer Bunny is a great concept but has not necessarily been effective at generating brand identification or loyalty. One quiz show offered a contestant $100,000 to name the company that sponsored the bunny. The contestant answered Duracell. It was a blow for both the contestant and Energizer.

    What is clear from these examples and so many others is that advertising is not necessarily the best way or the only way to increase sales, market share or profitability.

    Get the rest of the article here.

    Weber promotes Worden and Hirigoyen

    The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced two employee promotions in the financial services and technology practices.

    Brooke Worden, APR, has been promoted from group manager to account director in the financial services practice. Worden joined the agency in 2000 as a senior account executive and specializes in public relations for clients in the electronic payments and retirement services segments of the financial services industry.

    Worden currently leads a national government initiative to drive electronic payment of federal taxes, and also manages public relations programs for a local financial products and services provider and a Washington, D.C.-based business advocacy group. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, she was a staff writer at Twin Cities Business magazine and a management consultant for financial services clients of the Minneapolis office of Accenture.

    Worden graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Hamline University in 1993 with a B.A. in English and political science. She earned her APR accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) in May 2005 and co-chairs the chapter's professional development and networking committee.

    Tracy Hirigoyen has been promoted from account executive to senior account executive in the technology practice. She joined the agency in 2002 as an account coordinator.

    Hirigoyen provides media relations, writing and strategic planning support for the agency’s technology clients. She has served on the agency’s local public relations/publicity committee for two years.

    Hirigoyen graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was a reporter for several student and faculty publications. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

    Friday, April 21, 2006

    Get MNPR Blog Via E-mail

    I just added a new feature to this site today. You can now receive an e-mail with all of the content posted daily to MNPR Blog, thanks to a service provided by FeedBlitz.com. Sign up by clicking here or type your e-mail into the box on the right.

    **NOTE**
    According to their web site, FeedBiltz will never share email address information unless required to do so by a court. Get details here.

    Blogs the "new" tool for PR

    My former boss, then mentor and now friend sent me this article titled, Blogs 'essential' to a good career. The article covers eight reasons you may want to consider starting a blog. Its says blogging...

    1. Creates a network.
    2. Can get you a job.
    3. Is great training.
    4. Helps you move up quickly.
    5. Makes self-employment easier.
    6. Provides more opportunities.
    7. Could be your big break.
    8. Makes the world a better place.

    The most interesting quote from the article is an idea I have been pushing since I started MNPR Blog:
    It's the new public relations and it's the new home page. Instead of a static home page, you have your blog," he said. It's a way to let people know what you are thinking about the field that interests you.

    Employers regularly Google prospective employees to learn more about them. Blogging gives you a way to control what employers see, because Google's system works in such a way that blogs that are heavily networked with others come up high in Google searches.
    Get more info on corporate blogging.
    Read why, if you run a small company, you better blog.

    Thursday, April 20, 2006

    Padilla Speer Beardsley Welcomes Four New Hires

    Padilla Speer Beardsley Inc. announced today that Tim Briggs has joined the firm as chief financial officer, and three new client services staff have been added to enhance key practice areas. In addition to Briggs, new staff includes interactive designer Brian Larson, and assistant account executives Mick Forgey and Moria Fredrickson.

    Briggs has spent more than 25 years in financial management positions at high-growth potential companies. Most recently, he was the chief financial officer at Spanlink Communications and previously the chief financial officer at Empi, Inc. Briggs is a member of The Collaborative, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Financial Executives Institute.

    Larson will expand Padilla Speer Beardsley's interactive and creative services practice area, by providing art direction, Flash design and production and Web design for the firm's clients.

    Forgey and Fredrickson join the firm's manufacturing and technology practices. Forgey also will support the firm's investor relations practice.

    Risdall Advertising Agency Announces Staff Additions and Promotions

    Risdall Advertising Agency (RAA) announces the addition of Jay Walsh as senior copywriter/associate creative director and Gabe Shackle as web developer. RAA also announces the promotions of Laura Martenson, Julie Knipp, Natalie Schmit, Carolyn Ahlstrom and Nicole Duerr.

    "We are thrilled to add more genius talent to the Agency," says John Risdall, chairman of Risdall Advertising Agency. "Both Jay and Gabe bring exceptional experience to our integrated marketing approach."

    Walsh, an instructor at Brainco: The Minneapolis School of Advertising, Design & Interactive Studies, most recently worked at Colle+McVoy in Bloomington, Minn., from 1998 to 2006.

    Shackle comes to RAA with a wide variety of interactive skills most recently as a web developer for the Seattle office of Fitch, a WPP company.

    Martenson, Knipp and Schmit each joined RAA as account executives and have all been promoted to senior account executives. In addition, Ahlstrom was promoted from assistant account executive to account executive and Duerr was promoted from account executive to concierge.

    ADC - Senior Public Relations Specialist

    ADC - Senior Public Relations Specialist

    Wednesday, April 19, 2006

    Manager, Media Relations for Quest Network

    Manager, Media Relations for Quest Network

    WEBER SHANDWICK ANNOUNCES RIDGE TRAINING NEW BUSINESS WIN

    The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick has been tapped by Cazenovia, N.Y.-based Ridge Training for public relations support. Ridge, a business communications training firm, hired Weber Shandwick to develop a comprehensive public relations plan. Ridge has a Twin Cities presence through its St. Paul, Minn. office.

    "Ridge Training has been an established leader in the business communications training industry for more than 30 years, and we’re honored they have chosen us to help them expand their brand awareness through targeted media relations and other public relations initiatives," said Sara Gavin, president of Weber Shandwick’s Twin Cities office.

    Ridge Training provides customized business communications skills training to address performance and communication needs of Fortune 1,000 organizations and their employees. Ridge has offices in Cazenovia, N.Y., Chicago, San Francisco and the Twin Cities.

    Tuesday, April 18, 2006

    Key message creation

    Do you do media relations? Do you write your company newsletter? Do you interact with customers? Do you coordinate events for your company or client? Are you a PR professional? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions above, then you have probably created or at least been given key messages about your company or client.

    Key messages are the life-blood of a professional communicator. Understanding how to communicate your company's message in a coherent and concise way is essential. An elevator speech is one technique often used at trade shows to ensure all employees communicate the right messages to potential customers.

    How are key messages conceived? The answer to that is another question--who is your key audience! Once you know who you want to talk to, then you can begin to determine what you want to say. As an example lets see if we can develop some key messages for MNPR Blog:
    • Minnesota Public Relations Blog (MNPR Blog) delivers the latest news and events in Minnesota Public Relations
    • MNPR Blog offers insight into trends and analysis of the public relations industry
    • MNPR Blog is designed to facilitate discussion on the latest techniques and tools available to communications professionals
    Obviously, I haven't put a lot of thought into my own key messages. Maybe you can help? Comment below.

    Women in Business Women to Watch Award

    The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal is accepting nominations for the ninth annual Women In Business project. This year, we will name 25 Industry Leaders and 25 Women to Watch. Also, we will present one Ally Award and one Career Achievement Award.

    Editors will select 25 Women to Watch who are on the rise in the Twin Cities' corporate or entrepreneurial scenes. Nominees should have impressive professional track records, leadership qualities, potential and a lot of drive.

    The honorees will be featured in the July 28 issue of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal and will be recognized at a high-profile luncheon the day before.

    Nominations will only be accepted on the Business Journal's Web site via the online form. Nominations are due Friday, April 28.

    Contact project editor Jenny Woods with questions: jwoods@bizjournals.com, (612) 288-2104.

    Supporting nomination materials (which are optional) may be sent c/o Jenny Woods at:

    Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

    120 South 6th Street, Suite 900

    Minneapolis, MN 55402

    Monday, April 17, 2006

    Ad Fed April Luncheon

    Wednesday, April 19, 2006

    Taking Care of Business (Affairs)


    David Woolson, President of 45th Parallel Pictures in Portland, Oregon will give an overview of the essential business affairs and talent issues in executing advertising and marketing campaigns. Think of it as preventative medicine to protect yourself, your agency and your client.

    David will cover a number of topics including:
    1. Rights Licensing and Script Clearance – the basics of copyright, trademark, rights of publicity and music.

    2. Talent – an overview of the Screen Actors Guild, non-union talent and celebrities.

    3. Truth in Advertising – an overview of Federal Trade Commission issues including claim substantiation, demonstrations, endorsements and disclosures.
    “Taking Care of Business (Affairs)” will give you a basic working knowledge of this critical and complex area of the marketing and advertising industry. David will show a number of clips to illustrate the areas and gives an entertaining presentation of the material.

    David Woolson has over 25 years of entertainment and media experience in a varied and interesting career. Currently, David is President of 45th Parallel Pictures, which is a talent and business affairs company based in Portland, Oregon. Previously, David was Executive Director of the Oregon Film Commission recruiting feature films and television shows to shoot in Oregon. For a number of years he worked as an entertainment lawyer in Hollywood at Paramount, Orion Pictures and Dick Clark Productions. David started his career in music running recording studios and as a DJ in rock radio.

    Date: Wednesday, April 19, 2006
    Location: Metropolitan Clubroom, 5418 Wayzata Blvd, Golden Valley, MN 55416
    Time: 11:15am-1:30pm
    Cost: $30 members, $65 nonmembers, $25 students ($10 additional after 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 13, 2006)

    Registration:
    Register online or call the Ad Fed office at 651-917-6251 by 5:00 p.m. Thursday, April 13, 2006.

    Friday, April 14, 2006

    Martin|Williams wins Revlon campaign contract

    From Yesterday's Business Journal:
    Martin|Williams Advertising, part of Martin|Williams Inc., will produce broadcast and print ad campaigns for Revlon Inc.'s upcoming hair care products line.

    Minneapolis-based Martin|Williams, which has created ads for Payless ShoeSource, Cargill Inc. and Marvin Windows and Doors, expects the campaign to come out late this year or early 2007.
    Get the rest of the story here.

    Best Jobs in America

    Money Magazine and Salary.com have posted the "Best Jobs In America." Public relations specialist came in at number twenty, slightly behind advertising manager which was number eleven on the list.

    The average pay for an advertising manager is $107,049 and a PR specialist's average pay is $84,567.

    Wednesday, April 12, 2006

    Weber Shandwick Hires Torres and Deos

    The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced that Toccara Torres and Tony Deos will join the agency full time in the healthcare and financial services practices.

    Prior to her new role, Torres supported public relations activities as an intern, playing an integral role in a campaign that encourages social security benefits recipients to direct deposit their checks.



    Before joining Weber Shandwick, Deos was a public relations consultant at The Centre in Brussels, Belgium, where he developed skills in issues analysis, media monitoring, corporate positioning, research, marketing and materials development (Web, print and events).

    New Hires at Risdall McKinney

    Risdall McKinney Public Relations (RMPR) announces the promotion of Crystal Sanders to account executive and the addition of Anne Cloeter as assistant account executive.

    "It's exciting to recognize Crystal's good work with a well-deserved promotion," says Rose McKinney, APR, president of Risdall McKinney Public Relations. "It's equally exciting to add staff to meet growing client needs."

    Sanders joined Risdall Advertising Agency in 2005 as a public relations specialist. In addition to marketing internships at both Alternative Mortgage Options in Hudson, Wis., and the Red Wing Republican Eagle in Red Wing, Minn., Sanders gained detailed PR skills in her two-year tenure at Group Leaf LLC in Hudson, Wis.

    "Rose's industry experience, innovative leadership skills and passion for PR has already created a strong base for our expanding team," says Sanders.
    "The future of Risdall McKinney has a fresh outlook in the industry."

    Cloeter, a recent graduate of UW-River Falls, joins Risdall McKinney with a background in print journalism. Throughout her college career, Cloeter strengthened writing and leadership skills by serving as a copy editor, reporter and page editor for the student newspaper, the Student Voice.

    Stern, King of All Media, Falls on Deaf Ears

    According to yesterday's LA Times, Howard Stern is floundering after making the leap from FM radio to satalitte broadcasting with Sirius. Stern made the switch in January 2006 and has failed to bring his audience with him.

    So who cares Ryan, Stern wasn't in Minnesota anyway?

    Glad you asked, as the self-proclaimed King of Minnesota Public Relations, I thought it my duty to point out that as Stern changed the face of radio, his absense has changed it just as much. Check out this portion of the article:
    Other winners in the Stern sweepstakes may be local talk radio — and oddly enough National Public Radio. More time spent with NPR's "Morning Edition" may not be as incongruous as it might seem initially for an audience that once tuned into Stern's carnival of scatological and porn jokes, analysts say.

    Morning talk radio tends to be dominated by conservatives, but Stern's audience tends to be centrist to liberal in political orientation, for which NPR is a better fit, analysts say. And both shows emphasize lifestyle, quirky or offbeat takes on the news and appeal to baby boomers, they say.

    "If you love bluegrass, you're not supposed to love Metallica, but you do," said Alex DeMers, head of a media consulting firm near Philadelphia. "There's more than a surface connection between Howard and NPR. As much as Howard is put down as being all about dirt and sex, it's also intelligent talk, and he's funny."
    Get the complete artilce from the LA Times here.

    Corporate Blogging Database

    Recently I have received several e-mails requesting information about corporate blogging. For those of you that don't know, there is a link on the right hand side of this site called "On Corporate Blogging" that contains many of my favorite articles on the subject. Including articles on:
  • How to Create a Successful Business Blog

  • The Inside View - Employee Blogs

  • Corporate Blog Policy

  • Should Your Boss Be Blogging?

  • Sign up for the RSS feed and get these articles delivered to you as I post them.

    Tuesday, April 11, 2006

    Primal Branding: Create Zealots for Your Brand, Your Company and Your Future

    What is this mysterious thing marketing people call a "brand?" And how can it help your company prosper?

    Even if you haven't defined your brand, you've got one. Are you using it effectively?

    The Employers Association, Inc. and Risdall Advertising Agency invite you to find out the answers to these questions and more at their Primal Branding meeting, featuring Patrick Hanlon, on Thursday, April 27, 2006 8:00 a.m. to Noon.

    Pat Hanlon, author of Primal Branding: Create Zealots for Your Brand, Your Company and Your Future, has identified a pattern that exists in all successful communities, companies and other subcultures. Take this opportunity to hear Hanlon, who has been recently featured in Entrepreneur magazine, give his provocative spin on how brands are created, sustained and propelled. Attendees will receive a copy of the book, Primal Branding.

    Click here for registration information.

    Tours of Risdall Agency are available for interested participants.

    Message from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

    Greetings,

    The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal is seeking your comments for an upcoming Shop Talk feature.

    Each week, the Business Journal poses a question, pertaining to an approaching topic in the Special Reports section, to local experts within that industry.

    As someone in marketing, we would appreciate your thoughts and comments on the following questions:

    Will a new owner for the Pioneer Press impact the local advertising/marketing communications industry? If so, how?

    Please limit your responses to 100 words and send them, along with your title and company, to Special Reports Editor Kim Johnson, kkj@bizjournals.com, by 5 p.m. Monday, April 17.

    Of the responses we select for publication, we also will be running head shots of those individuals. In addition to your response, please send a color photo that is at least 250 dpis at 3 inches by 5 inches. We will also need this photo by 5 p.m. Monday, April 17.

    The responses we select will be published in the Business Journal’s April 28 Special Reports section on Marketing & Merchandising: Food.

    Thank you in advance for your participation in this new feature.

    Sincerely,
    Kim Johnson
    Special Reports Editor
    Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal
    Phone: (612) 288-2114
    E-mail: kkj@bizjournals.com

    Monday, April 10, 2006

    Fresh Thinking Friday - This Friday

    Please join Minnesota PRSA this Friday for Fresh Thinking Friday. Glenn Karwoski will teach members, "How to keep the fire burning."

    Motivating employees, as well as keeping yourself motivated, is a challenge we all face. Friday morning's discussion will focus on key factors in motivation and how they're linked to our abilities to be creative and do great work.

    The University Club Summit Avenue, Terrace Room
    420 Summit Ave
    Saint Paul, MN 55102

    8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

    Register online

    Friday, April 07, 2006

    Could "actual" be the 21st Century's "Umm"

    As a Toastmaster and professional communicator I listen to the words people use when they speak. Unfortunately, I also hear the words that they may not intend to utter when they get lazy or nervous. It occured to me this week that I actually think "actual" is becoming the actual "crutch" word of choice for the 21st century.

    It used to be that when a person spoke and didn't know what they were going to say, they would pause while inserting some sound like "umm" or "ah." If you think about where you may insert an "umm" or "ah" it is actually easy to insert the word "actual" in its place.

    So is it better to use "actual" than "umm" or "ah"? Actually, no. In fact, it is actually quite annoying to here an actual person use "actually" perpetually in a sentence. In fact, you're actually better off not using actual crutch words at all.

    Here is a list of some actual crutch words to be aware of and actually, "actually" is number 84 on the list, although I expect in real, actual conversation it actually shows up more frequently.

    Minnesota PRSA Classics "Best Practices"

    This year's Minnesota PRSA Classics "Best in Show" winner received a perfect score from the judges. This upcoming core training session will provide attendees a behind-the-scenes look at this exemplary, award-winning work.

    Attendees will learn more about this integrated campaign, which involved the launch of Phillips’ new whiskey, Phillips Union, and included endorsements from celebrities such as Justin Timberlake, Teri Hatcher and Nelly.

    You'll hear tips about how to generate buzz in the marketplace, as well as secure media placements in major publications such as USA Today, The New York Times, Time, Maxim and US Weekly. You'll see how this campaign incorporated the right mix of research, planning, execution and evaluation and packaged it up into a perfect Minnesota PRSA Classics entry.

    Come get inspired to generate a PR program that delivers on the "wow" factor and get a jump on Classics 2007!

    Participants will hear speakers from Olson + Co., including account team members Rebecca Herbst, Matt Lindstrom and Amber Falkowski, and have the opportunity to participate in a Q & A session.

    Meeting Specifics

    Thursday, April 20, 2006

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

    Location:

    The Commodore
    79 Western Avenue North
    St. Paul, MN 55104
    Directions...

    Cost:

    PRSA Member $30
    Nonmember $45
    Student $15
    (add $10 after the early registration deadline of April 17)

    Registration:

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


    Wednesday, April 05, 2006

    Six Things CEOs don't understand about PR people

    Earlier this week I wrote about how a friend of mine didn't see the need for some of the things we do as PR professionals. MNPR Blog readers had some interesting responses to my post. Besides being shocked that I have a friend, one reader pointed me to this article from Chief Executive magazine.

    The article lists six things CEOs don't understand about PR people. Here is an excerpt from Bill Holstein's article:
    The vast majority of CEOs don'?t understand what PR people actually do. As a business journalist, I'm now going to spill the beans.

    No. 1: PR people don'?t like to talk to the media. When we call them, we usually get the runaround. The worst one is the voice mail message that goes like this: "Hi, it'?s John Q. Flack. I'?m not here right now, but your call is very important to me. For immediate assistance, dial 456 to reach Michele."? Only when you dial Michele, she's not there, either. The reporter leaves a message. No one calls back. That can go on for days.

    No. 2: Top PR people hire children, the little Jasons and Jennifers, as we call them, to do most of the talking with reporters. They don't know anything, which usually irritates the reporter. But if something goes wrong in how a reporter covers your organization and you get angry, the children can be sacrificed. The SVPs and EVPs for Corporate Communications evade all responsibility. It'?s called job security.

    No. 3: PR people go on so many offsite training sessions because they want to hide from both senior management and the media at the same time. It's their only escape from the crossfire. They feel safe when they'?re together.
    Is this really reality or is it just perception? Is there a difference? Do we really hate talking with reporters? Do we really point our finger at the intern when things go badly? Do we really use networking as a scapegoat to get out of the office?

    Get the rest of this article here. Feel free to comment below or better yet e-mail Bill Holstein, the author, and let him know that this isn't how we do PR.

    Tuesday, April 04, 2006

    PR measurement or in market research

    Anyone know of companies in the Twin Cities that focus specifically on PR measurement or in market research? I probably should but I am drawing a blank. If you have some ideas, shoot me an e-mail.

    Thanks.

    -Ryan

    Weber Shandwick Launches Blog - PEEPS Diorama Contest 2006



    In a spinoff of the now classic St. Paul Pioneer Press peeps diorama contest, Weber Shandwick Minneapolis' Consumer Group has launched a blog for their internal PEEPS Diorama Contest.

    I think the folks at Weber have caught a severe case of spring fever or they have eaten too many of last-year's PEEPS. Whatever the case, it is mildly entertaining. Here are the rules of the contest:
    • It should be a diorama.
    • It should include Peeps.
    • Entry should include your name and a brief paragraph explaining your concept
    • Due date is the morning of April 3
    • Note: You don't actually have to be a member of the consumer group
    The entries will be reviewed by a team of celebrity judges on April 3 and the winners should expect to receive fantastic prizes beyond their wildest dreams.

    For those interested in the Pioneer Press PEEPS competition, better luck next year, because the deadline was yesterday.

    Visit Weber's blog here and comment on your favorite diorama!

    Stay tuned here for the winner of the 2006 Weber PEEPS diorama competition!

    **UPDATE** And the winner is...PEEP MY RIDE!

    Touchy Feely Crap...Perception Is Reality

    I was talking with a friend of mine the other day. He's an accountant, I know what you are thinking, but to be fair he is not your stereotypical accountant. I was telling him how communicating to employees is important and can impact a company's bottom line. His response was, "my company doesn't do that touchy feely crap!"

    At first I was stunned and left speechless at his seemingly short-sighted view, but the more I thought about it, the more I think I understand where he is coming from. You see, perception is reality. If someone has only seen poorly organized, un-substantive internal communications, then to him/her it IS just touchy feely rubbish.

    So what can we as PR professionals do? I think it our responsibility to make sure employee communications is done right. Personally, I know I spend too much of my time thinking about what I want to say about the company to the outside world and not nearly enough time thinking about the employees keeping the company afloat.

    Here are seven helpful employee communications tips to get you thinking.

    Monday, April 03, 2006

    ERSPAMER RETURNS TO SHANDWICK AS VP



    The Twin Cities' office of Weber Shandwick today announced Jackie Erspamer, APR, has rejoined the agency as a vice president and will work on accounts in the agency’s fast-growing financial services practice.

    Prior to returning to Weber Shandwick, Erspamer spent six years as an independent communications consultant, providing strategic planning counsel, media relations and writing support for a number of local and national companies, primarily in the financial services, healthcare and technology fields.

    A former account group director at Weber Shandwick, Erspamer led the agency’s Microsoft TransPoint account as well as other financial services accounts from 1994-1999. Before that, she spent four years working in consumer public relations for fitness company NordicTrack. Early in her career she worked at Kolesar & Hartwell Advertising.

    Erspamer is a graduate of the University of Minnesota. She also is accredited through the Public Relations Society of America.

    “Jackie will be a significant contributor to the success of the financial services practice with regard to client leadership, account management, and new business,” said Barb Iverson, executive vice president and leader of the North American financial services practice.

    Saturday, April 01, 2006

    MNPR Blog says goodbye

    With just over three years under by belt as a blogger, I have decided to stop blogging on this blog. There are several reasons for this. The first is the time commitment. Everyday I am forced to think about and ponder the most recent events and news in Minnesota public relations. It can be taxing to consistently push the envelope with new ideas and new stories, while trying to hold down a regular job.

    The second reason is school is taking up more time then I would have imagined. I a doing homework constantly and am putting in too many hours to really focus on high quality posts to my blog.

    The final reason I have decided to stop posting is because it is the first of April and I couldn't think of a better way to pull your chain. In other words, April fools.

    Talk to you Monday :-) Hope you have a great weekend.