MNPR Blog

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Ad Fed November Luncheon - How Agencies Play Nice

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

How Agencies Play Nice

Can agencies that would normally compete join forces for the benefit of a client? On November 15th, you'll meet three people that know it is possible - and learn how they do it. Join Ad Fed as we present a panel of experts that have succeeded through agency collaboration.

Panelists include:
Rich Butwinick, MarketingLab
Jim Cousins, Kruskopf Coontz
Keith McCracken, Promotions industry expert

Date: Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Location: International Market Square, 275 Market Street, Minneapolis, MN 55405
Time: 11:15am-1:30pm
Cost: $30 members, $65 nonmembers, $25 students ($10 additional after 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 9, 2006)

Registration: Register online or call the Ad Fed office at 651.917.6251 by 5:00 p.m. Thursday, November 9, 2006.

Monday, October 30, 2006

From the Business Journal:

Greetings,

We’re looking for participants and ideas for an upcoming issue on Baby Boomers...The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal will be publishing an in depth report on Training for 60: Boomers Turn 60” in our Friday, Dec. 8 issue.

One of the features we would like to include are four or five Q&As with Twin Cities business leaders who are about to turn 60 or have recently turned 60. We are looking for people who are currently making decisions about retirement, second (third or fourth) careers, estate planning, care for aging parents, personal health, etc.

And we are looking for your help to locate these individuals, who should be willing to share their plans, concerns, and hopes with our readers.

Any ideas? Please e-mail me at kkj@bizjournals.com by end of day Wednesday, Nov. 1. Please check with the individuals you recommend first to ensure they would be willing to participate in this project. We may or may not be following up with them, but it would be helpful if the groundwork was laid.

Thanks in advance for your help and suggestions. If you have any additional questions about the project, please feel free to give me a call.

Regards,
Kim

Kim Johnson
Special Reports editor
Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal
120 S. Sixth St., Suite 900
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Ph. 612.288.2114
F. 612.288.2121
kkj@bizjournals.com
Web site: minneapolis-stpaulbusinessjournal.com

PRSA - 1st Tuesdays Network, Nov 7

Okay, it seems a little odd that Minnesota PRSA would hold an event on election day, but then again they are hosting it in the state capitol, St. Paul. Assuming you can vote over lunch, I hope you will join me and the rest of PRSA for a drink after work. Here are the details:

Location: The Liffey at 175 West Seventh St., St. Paul

Time: 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

FREE! Free drinks/drink specials and appetizers

Friday, October 27, 2006

Second Life, here it comes

The blogging world is a buzz about Second Life. If you are unfamiliar with Second Life it is a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents. Although this world is fictional, it is making companies money in the real world.

According to Second Life's web site, they have their own currency, the Linden Dollar. Residents can use Linden Dollars to pay for goods and services provided by other Second LIfe residents. The Linden Dollar can also be exchanged for real U.S. Dollars and other foreign currencies on a number of different websites.

I have been too busy with my first life to dig too deep into my second life, but looking into the future, it is easy to see how Second Life could have a real impact on business. If you want to know what's next in public relations and marketing keep an eye on Second Life, especially if you are in the consumer industry. Don't believe me? Second Life now has their own newspaper, the Second Life Herald claiming to be "always fairly unbalanced."

Get the latest news on Second Life by clicking here.

Visit the SLExchange here.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Actions Speak Louder than Words

Global business executives view public CEO apologies less effective than other strategies to repair tarnished company reputations (59 percent), according to a new 11-country survey by global public relations firm Weber Shandwick and KRC Research.

“CEO apologies are quickly losing their power to allay public concern now that they are almost expected when a crisis strikes or companies are accused of wrongdoing,” said Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist Dr. Leslie Gaines-Ross, architect of the new research. “Taking responsibility by apologizing is important, but more is expected from CEOs in crisis such as greater public outreach on what the company intends to do about the problem on an immediate and regular basis.”

According to nearly three-quarters of the 950 global business leaders participating in the “Safeguarding Reputation™” survey, the best steps to beginning the reputation recovery process are announcing specific actions the company will take to fix the problem (76 percent), creating an early warning system (76 percent), and establishing procedures and policies the company will follow to demonstrate its commitment to being a responsible citizen (73 percent). Other frequently mentioned strategies for repairing post-crisis reputation are working closely with legal counsel on public disclosures (72 percent), issuing regular public progress reports to address the problem (71 percent) and quickly and publicly disclosing what happened (71 percent). Many of these action steps help stem hyper-media coverage as stakeholders are assured that the company is being as transparent and proactive as possible under the circumstances.

Get more info about KRC's research here.

Bad resumes and the mistakes we make

Back in college I knew I needed to get an intership, so I started sending out resumes everywhere. I was discouraged when I didn't hear back from anyone! Then one day, I received a letter in the mail saying that they had been trying to contact me at the phone number listed on my resume, but that the lady that answered insisted that she didn't know me. Yep, that's right...I had the wrong phone number on my resume.

It was a silly mistake and it was embarassing, but I also learned something and will nevermake that mistake again. Most of us have noticed typos or errors in our resume but as we progress in our careers hopefully our resume gets better. Hopefully!

However, during a discussion with a colleague the other day he mentioned that he had seen a resume cross his desk that blew him away, and not in a good way. He described some of the language contained in the resume and some of the odd claims that were made. In disbelief I demanded that he send me a copy of it so that I could see it for myself.

Of course, I would be remiss if I were to get my hands on some juicy material like this and not share it with you, so take a look for yourself. I have included some editorial comments just for fun. Here is the worst resume I've ever seen.

Feel free to share your resume stories in the comments below.

P.S. I have elimnated anything that would allow you to identify this person, he has done enough damage to himself.

P.S.S. Before the comments start rolling in let me be clear my comments are sarcastic. I know that Herzegovina is real and that minutiae is a word, but who uses that?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Press Release turns 100

PRSA has an interesting article posted online about the press release turning 100. Given its age, the article suggests that it is time for the press release to undergo a makeover. Here are the five tips given to help make your news release more friendly in today's social media environment:
1) Democratize access. Eliminate barriers, such as requiring credentials to log in to a media room.

2) Ensure accuracy. Provide official versions of graphics and multimedia.

3) Embrace context. Use social bookmarking to link supplementary material.

4) Build community. Use RSS feeds; encourage open discussion.

5) Be findable. Give all contact information; understand online search optimization.
As a blogger, I agree with all of these. It is nice when I receive a news release where it is clear the sender is also a reader. In my opinion the three most important tips are : 2,3,5 send graphics to spice things up, offer links so that people who want more info can get it and give a phone number so I can call with questions.

One additional thought, be consise. I don't want a 10-page news release, that is too much to sift through. You laugh? But I received one just last week.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

PRSA Partners with The American Red Cross

PRSA & The American Red Cross: The Power of Two Program

The Power of Two Program is a partnership venture between PRSA and the American Red Cross. The goal is to recruit, train, and engage public relations and public affairs professionals to support the Red Cross communications and public information initiatives.

This program provides an opportunity for PRSA members to use their communication skills in times of need and develop rewarding on-the-job crisis training experience. As a volunteer with The Power of Two program, you may be engaged to play a part in Red Cross disaster communications operations, provide publicity at the local level for local chapter initiatives, serve on the chapter’s publicity committee, or write press releases or articles for the local chapter’s web site or the RedCross.org online site.

The 5 Ws Of Being A Power of Two Volunteer


What:
The Power of Two is a partnership between the American Red Cross and the Public Relations Society of America and provides volunteer opportunities for public relations experts. Power of Two volunteers can serve as disaster public affairs personnel or provide a variety of communication support at the community level to Red Cross chapters, Service Areas, and Blood Services regions.

Why: The Power of Two offers an opportunity to use your communication skills to support the Red Cross as the organization responds to people. Plus, you can earn credits towards maintaining your APR credentials by participating in the Po2 program.

When: You can volunteer when you are available. There are opportunities for the communication professionals to volunteer for two weeks, two days, two hours, or on an ongoing basis. You make the decision.

Where: Wherever you are. With more than 800 Red Cross offices across the U.S., there’s probably one near you. There are also opportunities to volunteer virtually – all you need is a computer and access to the Internet.

Wow! How do I sign up? To become involved, contact David Rudduck, who is in charge of Red Cross communications in Minnesota, at RudduckD@usa.redcross.org. Or, e-mail Sharon Alfred, American Red Cross Power of Two project coordinator, at AlfredS@usa.redcross.org.

You can learn more about Power of Two volunteers by visiting the PRSA website. And, by reading the most recent Power of Two newsletter on RedCross.org – look in the Volunteer Services’ Spotlight box.

Monday, October 23, 2006

RAA Names Risdall President of Search Marketing Division

Risdall Advertising Agency (RAA) announces the promotion of Jennifer Risdall to president of Risdall Search Marketing.

Jennifer started the Search Engine Optimization department at RAA in 1997 and has helped it become another strong offering for clients. As interest continues to grow for both sponsored and natural search rankings, search marketing has become a driving force for clients.

“It’s another tool we have in our toolbox,” say Jennifer Risdall. “Search marketing fits with everything we do at Risdall from online advertising to public relations to the creation of Web sites. It ties the agency together.”

Because search marketing creates Web site visibility and traffic, it plays an important role on the interactive forefront, as RAA is the largest interactive agency in the state and ranks in the top 50 largest interactive agencies in the country.

“We were doing Search Engine Optimization before it had a name,” says John Risdall, chairman of RAA. “We did it because our clients needed it.”

Search Engine Optimization generates organic searches and RAA compliments that with one of the top online media groups through the expertise of staff like Josh Dahmes, vice president, director of online marketing, and Jim Sandstrom, director of media services.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

What to do on the weekend...go to a new movie?

Since MNPR Blog readers are obviously not spending their weekends reading this blog, I thought you may want to catch a movie instead. How about something that hasn't been release yet? Check this out:

Twin Cities film lovers may not realize that the film festival experience is happening right under their noses: Talk Cinema, the sneak preview film and discussion series, features independent and foreign film screenings before their official release, discussions led by movie critics, filmmakers or other experts immediately following the movie and the added element of surprise.

Talk Cinema participants are given the unique opportunity to see a film as an industry insider does —before official theatrical release. Last year, in the Twin Cities, Talk Cinema movies screened included “Mrs. Henderson Presents,” “The Squid and the Whale,” “TransAmerica” and “The World’s Fastest Indian,” all before they opened locally. In years past, titles have included “Kinsey,” “Sideways,” “Bend it Like Beckham,” “The Piano,” “Life is Beautiful” and “Pulp Fiction,” all screened before their big break-outs.

In the Twin Cities, hosted by local writer and Mystery Science Theater 3000 alum, Kevin Murphy, Talk Cinema films are screened on select Saturdays this fall, winter and spring at 10:00 a.m. at Landmark Theater’s Edina Cinema, at 50th and France. Discussion follows immediately after each movie.

This year’s 10 dates in Edina are Oct. 28, Nov. 11, Dec. 2, Dec. 16, 2006; and Jan. 13, Jan. 27, Feb. 10, Feb. 24, Mar. 10 and April 21, 2007. Moviegoers can subscribe to a five-part season ticket package for $70 or the full season for $135. Or, attendees may purchase single tickets for $15 ($10 for students) at the theater the morning of the screening. Tickets are also available for Talk Cinema events in other cities, including New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. For more information, call (800) 551-9221 or visit www.talkcinema.com.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Job - Misukanis & Odden wants a PR Superstar!

Misukanis & Odden wants a PR Superstar

EXPONENTIAL GROWTH FOR EXPONENT

Exponent Public Relations has hired two and promoted two. Emily Kaiden and Katie Mileusnic joined the shop as associates. Alison Dunning and Tony Saucier were promoted to senior associates.

Emily Kaiden was hired at Exponent after completing an internship with the agency. She holds a BA in journalism and mass communication from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn. She was previously with Esprit & Decorum, Ltd., a London-based staffing agency serving top event catering and management companies. Kaiden handles work for clients including Cenex, IDEXX and the Industrial Fabrics Association International.

Katie Mileusnic joins the agency from Lerner Publishing Group, where she handled publicity, sales and marketing. She is a graduate of Carleton College, Northfield, Minn., with a degree in psychology. She handles client work including HomeAgain Inc., (a division of Schering-Plough), General Mills and the North American Olive Oil Association.

Alison Dunning, a graduate of the University of Minnesota School of Journalism, was promoted to senior associate at Exponent. She handles clients including Aveda, Buffets, Inc., HomeAgain, IDEXX and Pillsbury.

Dunning joined the agency in 2004 from Target Corporation, where she handled media relations.

Tony Saucier was also promoted to senior associate. He holds a degree in sociology from the University of Maine, Orono, Maine, and has worked at Exponent for two years, after working as a general assignment reporter at the Bangor Daily News in Maine. His client roster includes Minnesota State Lottery, Nestlé Purina and Novartis Animal Health.

"Getting and keeping best-in-class talent is everything in our business," says Riff Yeager, Exponent's Managing Director. "Our latest new hires and promotions reflect that and more -- these four are stellar examples of savvy young practitioners who fit well into our culture of passionate ideas, collaboration and accomplishment."

CLS Hires Six

Carmichael Lynch Spong has announced that it added six new employees. The firm has hired Lisa Kovner as partner and chair of experiential marketing, Brad Ferris as media relations manager, Matt Wagner as senior counselor, Amanda Pierre as media relations specialist, Jillian Beauman as associate and Brittini Nelemans as associate and communications specialist.

Lisa Kovner will be based in the firm’s Minneapolis office and joins from John Paul Mitchell Systems in Beverly Hills, Calif., where she directed brand communications strategy, while also playing an integral role in business development.

Prior to working at John Paul Mitchell Systems, Kovner was director of worldwide public relations for Lexar Media, and before that she served as strategic marketing account director with Ogilvy PR Worldwide. Kovner began her public relations career with Ogilvy Adams and Rinehart in 1987.

Brad Ferris will be based out of the firm’s office and joins from Ketchum Public Relations in New York. With a wealth of media relations and broadcast background, Ferris will assist account teams with media strategies and implementation and provide media counsel for clients including, Buell, Clorox, Martek, Maytag, Rosetta Stone, Select Comfort, and TRANE.

Matt Wagner will be based in the firm’s Denver office and joins from LeGrand Hart, a boutique public relations and integrated communications strategy agency in Denver. He will bring strategic and creative counsel to client American Humane and others.

Amanda Pierre will be based in the firm’s Minneapolis office. Pierre previously worked at the Des Moines Register for seven years. Most recently, she was the Des Moines Register’s arts and entertainment reporter, contributing articles, columns and photos for print and online editions. Before that, she was the suburban general assignment reporter, writing news stories for the metro section. She began at the Des Moines Register as a general assignment news reporting intern.

Jillian Beauman joined the firm’s Minneapolis office during the summer as an intern, and prior to that spent one year living in southern France, where she served as a public relations consultant for the international publishing house, Decision News Media.

Brittini Nelemans joins the firm as an associate and communications specialist after interning in the firm’s Minneapolis office during the summer. Nelemans will represent client Martek, while also leading all internal and external communications for the firm.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Vacation's got me thinking

So for those of you who have been wondering why I haven't been posting this week, I am on vacation in California with my wife. It has been relaxing and to be honest, I haven't felt like turning my computer on.

Yesterday I spent some time thinking about my blog and I have determined that I need to make some adjustments to make it more user friendly. The problem is, I don't have the time nor the energy to completely redesign my site. Any ideas?

The HTML code to this site could use a real cleaning and I am kinda looking for a new, refreshed look. If you are a Web designer with some thoughts or interest designing a new template let me know. Oh, one thing, this would not be a paid position, but you could have some advertising space on the site. Cheers.

-Ryan

Monday, October 16, 2006

Pitching to Bloggers

Blogs seem to have held their own over the last few years and it looks like they will be around for the long run, despite some people's predictions (you know who you are :-).

Still uncertain about how to reach out to blogs? Fellow PR blogger, Karen Sams has a few great points to consider.
  • Read your target bloggers on a regular basis
  • Open up a dialogue by posting comments
  • Be honest/Don't pretend to be someone you're not
  • Hmm...seems a lot like pitching to a traditional journalist?

    Minnesota PRSA, Core Training Power Luncheon

    This looks like it could be an interesting session, but I am in California all this week. Hope someone can go for me and take good notes!

    At The Crossroads: Integrating Technology to Elevate Strategic Communications

    Years ago, the question was if companies should have a Web presence or should they host a blog. In today's environment where consumers, businesses, and media professionals obtain information from a multitude of sources, how can communicators reach their target? How are companies and communications professionals using emerging technology in creative, strategic manners to deliver messages to essential audiences?

    You'll hear examples of what is being done with RSS feeds, pod casting, online community development and other technology that can help your organization enhance your other communication efforts. Hear how technology can be used in business-to-business applications, consumer focused communication and issue based grassroots outreach.

    The session will include a panel discussion on incorporating new media into your communication plans followed by an open question and answer session.

    Our speakers include:
    Kevin Smith, Executive Director of Public Affairs and Executive Director, Minnesota Twins Community Fund
    Bob Brin, APR, Director, Interactive & Creative Services, Padilla Speer Beardsley
    Bob Hanvik, Senior VP and Partner, General Manager, Fleishman-Hillard Minneapolis


    Meeting Specifics:

    Thursday, October 19, 2006

    Registration: 11:00 a.m.
    Lunch & Program: 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m

    Location:

    Metropolitan Ballroom
    5418 Wayzata Blvd.
    Golden Valley, MN 55416
    Directions...

    Cost:

    PRSA Member $30
    Nonmember $45
    Student $15

    Registration
    :

    Register online or Call the Minnesota PRSA office at 651-917-6244 by 5:00 p.m. October 12 to receive the early bird registration rate.

    Friday, October 13, 2006

    Shandwick hires Huneke

    The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced the hire of Amanda Huneke as Assistant Account Executive.

    Upon completion of an internship, Amanda Huneke has joined the corporate, community and public affairs practice group. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Huneke held internships with The Multiple Sclerosis Society where she worked on special events; the city of Eau Claire, Wis., where she worked in economic development; and also with the Chippewa Valley Symphony, where she wrote the organization's newsletter. Huneke also held a part-time position with the Mayo Clinic, where she worked on special projects for the department of finance.

    A native of Zumbrota, Minn., Huneke graduated from the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire with a bachelor's degree in mass communications and an emphasis in public relations.

    Thursday, October 12, 2006

    COLLE+MCVOY WINS ADWEEK MAGAZINE’S COVETED BUZZ AWARD

    Adweek Magazine handed Colle+McVoy the award for "Best Guerrilla Marketing Campaign" at its second annual Buzz Awards in New York City on Sept. 14. The event was co-hosted by Adweek, Brandweek, Mediaweek, Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter.

    Colle+McVoy was chosen for its use of grassroots marketing to generate brand attention and awareness, for a crushed vehicle campaign the agency created for the Minnesota State Lottery. “Don’t Belittle Powerball” brought the Powerball to life and reminded Minnesotans that a $60 million prize is nothing to ignore.

    The agency made the Powerball a Minnesota celebrity. A bigger-than-life persona for Powerball demanded attention and increased anticipation, driving people to purchase tickets, regardless of the size of the jackpot. The big, red Powerball became the focal point of the campaign, seeking revenge on those who belittled it for not being big enough.

    The integrated campaign included radio, in-theater spot television, public relations, online and out-of-home, but it was the crushed vehicles that attracted the most attention.

    "What could possibly generate more buzz than a giant red Powerball falling from the sky?" says John Jarvis, Colle+McVoy CEO. "This initiative was a fully integrated effort at Colle+McVoy, and we’re all proud of the recognition for our client and agency."

    Recognizing that branded entertainment is a hot trend in targeting consumers, and to honor excellence in brand and media integration, Adweek created the Buzz Awards in 2005. More than 320 entries were judged by industry experts from companies including American Express, Heineken USA, Staples, Mark Burnett Productions and Sony Corporation of America.

    Cramer-Krasselt took home the grand prize for “Best Overall Program” for Careerbuilder.com’s Monk-e-Mail campaign. Other winners were:
  • Best Event: Civic Entertainment Group for A&E Network
  • Best Film/Movie: PRO.P.AG.AND.A. Entertainment Marketing Ltd. for Audi of America, Inc.
  • Best Gaming: OMD for Visa
  • Best Integrated Campaign: McKinney-Silver/Campfire Media for Audi of America, Inc.
  • Best Music: Creative Presence Partners, Inc. for The Coca-Cola Company
  • Best Other: Starcom USA for LEGO
  • Best Outdoor/Out of Home: McKinney-Silver for Travelocity
  • Best Print: Peterson Milla Hooks for Target
  • Best Radio: CBS Radio for AOL LLC
  • Best Reality Television: Universal McCann for Sony Pictures Entertainment
  • Best Scripted Television: MediaVest USA for Masterfoods - M&Ms
  • Best Sports: Initiative for AOL LLC
  • Best Wireless Promotion: Zipatoni for AOL LLC
  • Vision-Ease Lens joins Risdall McKinney client roster

    Seeing the potential of public relations to build its reputation as an industry leader in ophthalmic lens technology and to drive sales, Vision-Ease Lens has retained the services of Risdall McKinney Public Relations.

    Through an integrated public relations approach that combines corporate communications, trade media relations, product launch support and tradeshow visibility, Risdall McKinney will help Vision-Ease evolve its reputation.

    "As a pioneer in the development of polycarbonate and polarized lenses, maintaining Vision-Ease's reputation as one of the top lens manufacturers is critical to the growth of our company," says Alyssa Fee, marketing communication manager, Vision-Ease Lens. "Through the strategic efforts of Risdall McKinney, we hope to amplify our communication within the industry and drive greater recognition and sales of our brands."

    As a manufacturer for a variety of top lens product lines including LifeRx(TM) photochromic lenses, SunRx(R) polarized lenses, and Illumina(R)progressive line-free lenses, Vision-Ease Lens products are sold through independent opticians, optometrists and ophthalmologists, as well as many retail chains across the country.

    "Key influencers' perceptions are vital to an organization's brand reputation," says Rose McKinney, president of Risdall McKinney Public Relations. "The program includes smart combinations of new and tried-and-true strategies. We'll demonstrate the power of public relations to achieve the results that matter to Vision-Ease."

    In addition to Vision-Ease, Risdall McKinney has added several new clients during the third quarter including American Spaceframe Fabricators, LLC (ASFI), a design, build and engineering firm; Calhoun Square; and Reshare, a distribution relationship management (DRM) software and strategy company.

    Is podcasting right for your business?

    Minnesota Women in Communications (MWC) sponosors, Nora Paul – Director of the University of Minnesota’s Institute for New Media Studies and former Poynter Institute for Media Studies faculty member – who will talk about new media trends and provide tips and tools for success. You’ll also learn about how participatory culture has influenced marketing and communications. She'll also address how important it is to track the stories that are being told about your products and services in cyberspace.

    Details
    Date: Thursday, Nov. 9
    Time: 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
    Location: Woman's Club of Minneapolis
    Cost: Member = $30; Non-member = $50; Full-time Students = $20 (must show student ID) Non-member guests of MWC members receive 20% off the non-member rate. Both the member and guest(s) must be pre-paid and pre-registered, and there are no refunds.

    Registration deadline is Nov. 3. If you have questions, please contact Wendy Huckaby, MWC Chief Events Officer, at 651.769.5141.

    Wednesday, October 11, 2006

    Job - Director, Health House Business Partner Development

    Director, Health House Business Partner Development

    Lochner Joins RAA as Account Supervisor

    Risdall Advertising Agency (RAA) announces the addition of Melissa Lochner, account supervisor.

    “Risdall continues to boost its capabilities as a full-service agency, offering clients a variety of integrated resources,” says John Risdall, chairman of RAA. “Melissa’s experience in media planning adds even more depth to our roster.”

    Lochner joins RAA after spending time at other Twin Cities agencies including Carmichael Lynch where she was a media planner for Blue Cross Blue Shield of MN, Harley Davidson and Korbel Champagne. Lochner was also part of the team that launched the “Discover Boating” campaign for the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA).

    At Campbell Mithun, Lochner was a broadcast negotiator for a variety of clients including H&R Block, Great Clips, Dish Network and Toro.

    In addition to her agency experience, Lochner also completed the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4 As) Institute this past year with fellow RAA senior account executive Natalie Schmit. The competition consisted of classes and preparation for a new business pitch for Air Tran Airways’ X-Fares program to a panel of judges.

    MOA "breaks ground" on gingerbread house

    Last Friday I told you that the Mall of America was going to build the world's largest gingerbread house and yesterday they "broke ground." Roger Pelcher, the current gingerbread house world-record holder, city of Bloomington Mayor Gene Winstead and other dignitaries planted a giant whisk and flour sifter into a symbolic bowl of gingerbread for this record-breaking house, which will qualify for the Guinness Book of World Records.

    Pelcher is partnering with MOA for his final, and most expansive project ever. It will take seven weeks and more than 1,700 man-hours to complete. With more than 14,250 pounds of gingerbread and 4,750 pounds of icing, this edible masterpiece will tower 70 feet in the air, just inches from the skylights in The Park at MOA. Funds raised will benefit the Saint Therese Foundation, an organization that serves seniors.

    MOA is also taking their PR plan seriously. In connection to the groundbreaking, they launched an electronic press kit (www.mallofamericamedia.com/holiday) and are expecting global media coverage.

    Here are some fast facts on this gigantic gingerbread house:
  • The official unveiling will be held Black Friday, Nov. 24
  • When completed the house will stand nearly 70 feet tall and encompass 1,496 square feet
  • Donated candy includes 1,800 Hershey's® chocolate bars and 1,200 feet of Twizzlers®, 100 pounds each of Star Brites® Mix, Holiday Mix, Crimp Ribbon, Christmas Spicettes and Christmas Nougats from Brach's Confections, Inc., and 100 pounds of large-sized Tootsie Rolls® and 300 pounds of large-sized DOTS®
  • When complete visitors will be able to walk through the house and experience a magical gingerbread factory complete with animated elves
  • This house will celebrate Pelcher's fourth Guinness World Record - previous records include 13 feet in Mobile, Ala., 52 feet in Des Moines, Iowa, and 57 feet in Memphis, Tenn
  • Monday, October 09, 2006

    Pro-Am Day is almost here!!

    Professional-Amateur (Pro-Am) Day is almost here! The annual mentoring event, sponsored by the Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), provides an opportunity for professionals from corporate, agency and nonprofit sectors to share a typical workday with students from affiliated Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapters. We hope you will consider hosting a student.

    And new this is year is the Professional/Student “Speed” Networking event. Professionals will have an opportunity to meet students and provide their professional insight in the “Speed” Networking event where each attending student will have a few minutes to talk to each professional attending. This is a great opportunity to meet promising students for possible recruitment to your organization.

    WHO: Professionals of all experience levels are encouraged to participate. As a host, you would share a typical workday with a PRSSA junior or senior from nearby colleges and universities.

    WHAT: Pro-Am Day provides a chance for students to take a closer look at the public relations industry and job expectations. Students come to your workplace for a day of job shadowing. As a host, you are encouraged to offer students a chance to experience different PR activities with you and your colleagues. To learn more about work environments and job skills, students may attend meetings, meet with your peers, contribute to writing projects or even help stuff press kits. The goal is to provide a day-in-the-life of a PR professional.

    WHY: It’s Important. PRSSA students are eager to see what the real world holds for them. Pro-Am Day is one of the highlights of PRSSA student member involvement. This is a valuable chance to mentor a young professional hoping to break into public relations.

            It Applies Toward APR Maintenance. Participation in Pro-Am Day is a great way to earn points toward maintenance of your accreditation.

    WHEN: Friday, Nov. 17, 2006 A.M. to 2/2:30 p.m.

    WHERE: Your workplace

            Reception/“Speed” Networking Event 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

            Weber Shandwick
            8000 Norman Center Drive
            Suite 400
            Bloomington, MN 55431

    HOW: To register for the event, please contact Tracy Carlson at tcarlson@psbpr.com for a Pro-Am Day registration form by Oct. 27, 2006. Submit completed form to Minnesota PRSA at ahaltenhoff@nonprofitsolutions.com or by fax at 651-917-1835.

    Student-professional match information will be mailed by Nov. 3, 2006. For further information, please contact Tracy Carlson at 612-455-1717 or tcarlson@psbpr.com.

    Friday, October 06, 2006

    World's Largest Gingerbread House at MOA

    Groundbreaking of World's Largest Gingerbread House at Mall of America®
    World record holder Roger Pelcher constructs his final record-breaking house

    WHAT:
    Mall of America kicks off the holiday season with an official groundbreaking ceremony for the world's largest gingerbread house. Accomplished gingerbread artist Roger Pelcher will begin construction on his final record-breaking house that will qualify for Guinness World Records. Expected to rise more than 60 feet and encompass 1,496 square feet, visitors will be able to tour this edible masterpiece--a magical gingerbread factory run by elves. The completed house will consist of 14,250 pounds of gingerbread, 4,750 pounds of icing and more than one ton of candy.

    Watch as Pelcher, city officials and Mall of America representatives scoop the first heap of icing in what promises to be a delightfully delicious sight. The gigantic gingerbread house will be unveiled on Black Friday, Nov. 24, welcoming guests to walk through and experience a magical gingerbread factory complete with animated elves.

    The gingerbread house will benefit Saint Therese Foundation, a local non-profit that provides housing and health care to seniors.

    VISUALS:
  • The towering frame of the gingerbread house, prepped and ready to be covered in edible embellishments
  • Apron-clad dignitaries digging into a giant bowl of flour
  • A special hand-bell ringing performance by residents of Saint Therese
  • WHO:
  • Mayor Gene Winstead, city of Bloomington, Minn.
  • Maureen Bausch, vice president of business development, Mall of America
  • Roger Pelcher, AKA the Gingerbread Man
  • WHEN:
    Tuesday, Oct. 10
    10:30 a.m.

    WHERE:

    Mall of America west entrance to The Park at MOA
    60 E. Broadway
    Bloomington, MN 55424
    www.mallofamerica.com

    Mackenzie and Yamamoto join forces

    Nicle Garrison-Sprenger reports in the Business Journal that Yamamoto Moss is being aquired by Mackenzie Marketing today, to form Yamamoto Moss Mackenzie.

    Mackenzie and sister company Colle+McVoy are owned by gaint MDC Partners.

    Thursday, October 05, 2006

    Adding a personal voice

    One of the things I like to see when I visit a favorite blog or a web site is a personal voice, so I try to add my voice to this site as often as I can. Truth be told, lately I have been too busy.

    Too busy? Seems everyone is too busy. It seems it has become cliche to say "I would have done that better, but I was too busy." I think I am going to stop saying "I am too busy" and start saying "I didn't make [fill in the blank] a priority." What do you think or are you too busy to comment?

    Wednesday, October 04, 2006

    Maccabee Promotes Schwartz to SAE

    Heather Schwartz, an account executive with Maccabee Group Public Relations, has now been promoted to Senior Account Executive with the PR agency.

    Schwartz served in communications and promotions positions at Riley Hayes Young Public Relations, Mystic Lake Casino Hotel and HealthEast Care System prior to joining Maccabee Group in 2003.

    Tuesday, October 03, 2006

    Fresh Thinking Fridays: Building and Sustaining Your Company's Reputation

    Reputation management is a key factor in building a successful company. So, how do you develop a positive reputation, and bounce back from bumps you may experience along the way?

    Dan Jasper, director of public relations for Mall of America, will lead a lively discussion that focuses on the importance of reputation management. In addition, he’ll share his stories about the struggles and successes of the Mall of America.

    Jasper has extensive experience in public relations, communications and fundraising. In his current position at Mall of America, Dan and his staff are responsible for generating more than $150 million in ad value each year through coverage in local, regional and national media. Prior to Mall of America, Dan worked for 25 years in the Twin Cities non-profit sector.

    Date
    Friday, Oct. 6, 2006

    Time
    7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. – Registration and breakfast
    8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. – Program and discussion

    Location
    Metropolitan Ballroom
    5418 Wayzata Blvd
    Golden Valley, MN 55416

    Cost
    Members $20
    Non-members $25

    To register, visit www.mnprsa.com or call the Minnesota PRSA office at 651.917.6244.

    Kohnstamm Announces new hires, promotions and new clients

    Kohnstamm Communications announced the addition of three new staff members, two promotions and the competitive win of Montreal-based Glutino Foods, the leading maker of gluten-free products, as its agency of record and Connecticut-based Health Care Intelligence for project work.

    Topping the list of new hires is Rachel Gutierrez, previously senior account executive for MediaReach Public Relations, and before that was publicist for PAX television and the Florida Panthers, all in West Palm Beach, Fla.

    The two other additions to the Kohnstamm Communications staff are Natalie Auger, former account manager with San Francisco PR firm Glodow Nead Communications and her own consultancy, VimLab Promotions; and Brian Flynn, previously an intern with Fleishman-Hillard/Minneapolis.

    NEW CLIENTS
    Kohnstamm, which has specialized in serving organic and natural food companies a niche national PR specialty since the late 90s, beat two other finalist agencies to win the Glutino Foods account and was hired to drive national consumer PR in the face of the meteoric growth in "allergen-free foods." The gluten-free foods sector, which was a mere $210 million industry in 2001, is on-track to reach $1.7 billion by 2010, an eight-fold increase, a trend driven by the estimated 11 million Americans who suffer from food allergies. Glutino is the industry leader in wheat-free products.

    Health Care Intelligence of Stamford, Conn., is a healthcare information technology company whose research and business intelligence streamlines the operations of healthcare providers and hospital chains. Kohnstamm is creating business-to-business communications strategies and tools to fuel growth in all of HCI's business channels.
    AGENCY PROMOTIONS

    The PR firm announced the promotion of Kristen Lunsford from assistant account executive to account executive. Lunsford will take a leadership role helping to manage and support consumer product accounts, including Hyland's, Inc., Naked Juice, Glutino and Icelandic Glacial spring water. Lunsford entered Kohnstamm as an intern and has accrued extensive media relations, partnership development and strategic communications experience working in the consumer products industry. Lunsford has a B.A. in journalism and mass communication with a public relations focus from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.


    The firm also announced it promoted Brianna Gallett from account administrator to assistant account executive, allowing her to play a more active role in developing the agency's growing consumer products business. Her duties include providing media relations and strategic counsel for a variety of consumer product clients, including Fantastic World Foods, Nordic Ware and Reed's Inc. Gallett has a BA in public relations and marketing from Winona State University.

    MORE ABOUT KOHNSTAMM'S NEW EMPLOYEES

    Account executive Rachel Gutierrez has amassed a strong media relations and event planning pedigree in a variety of business sectors, from the media industry and professional sports to fashion and higher education.

    A Minnesota native who had spent her entire professional career in Florida, Gutierrez will become a key player in Kohnstamm's growing consumer and b-to-b accounts including work for LA-based homeopathic medicine industry leader Hyland's, Inc. in addition to Reed's Inc., creators of Reed's all-natural Ginger Brew, the University of Saint Thomas College of Business, executive coaching firm LeaderSource and Halleland, Lewis, Nilan & Johnson law firm. Gutierrez was previously a senior account executive at Florida-based MediaReach PR, and has worked as publicist for PAX Television and The Florida Panthers. Gutierrez, who grew up in White Bear Lake, received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton where she studied communications.

    Natalie Auger, was hired as an account exectuive. Auger grew up in Orange County, Calif., was account manager with two leading San Francisco PR firms - Glodow Nead Communications and Cynthia Bowman PR - before moving to Minnesota to create her own promotions consultancy. She began her career as a journalist for a Bay Area arts and entertainment online magazine. Her deep experience in food and consumer PR matched with national business media successes has prepared her to work with Kohnstamm executive coaching client LeaderSource in addition to the agency's growing cadre of natural food accounts. Auger received a BA in journalism from San Francisco State University.


    Brian Flynn joins the agency as an assistant account executive and will provide media relations and account support primarily for consumer marketing accounts including Naked Juice, Icelandic Glacial Spring Water, and Reed's Ginger Brew. Previously, Flynn spent nine months as an intern at the Minneapolis office of Fleishman-Hillard, where he worked to support a variety of accounts in the agency's technology and consumer marketing practice areas. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, where he majored in communication studies.

    Monday, October 02, 2006

    Risdall recognized by Web Marketing Association

    The Web Marketing Association (WMA) recognized Risdall Advertising Agency's (RAA) remarkable Web abilities by recently naming five of RAA’s client sites 2006 WebAward recipients.

    Designing award-winning Web sites for BioScrip, Conwed Plastics, Smith System, Speech and Language Forum, and StormwaterAuthority, RAA met the WMA's standard of excellence for Web site development.

    "The WebAwards provide a benchmark for every aspect of Web development," says John Risdall, chairman of RAA. "Not only has Risdall helped define and exceed that benchmark, but, more importantly, helped achieve our clients' business goals."