MNPR Blog

Friday, August 31, 2007

Ad2 Returns, Like the Jedi

Still worried about the three month drought of Ad2 events? Worry not, because September is finally here and we're about to make it rain.

Drop by for a long awaited evening of networking, prize giveaways, food and cocktails. We'll also get reacquainted and hear from the Ad2 board about what's been, and what's yet to be in the world of advertising and Ad2. Plus we'll be giving away many door prizes including two iPOD Shuffles! We hope to see you there.

The Spot
Grumpy's Bar & Grill
1111 Washington Ave S
Minneapolis, MN
612-340-9738
click here for directions

The Details
Thursday, September 20
5:30-6:30 p.m. - Registration
6:30-7:00 p.m. - Ad2 Board
7:00-8:15 p.m. - Ad Games & Networking (Door prizes will be awarded after the presentation. Must be present to win.)


The Price
Ad2 Members: Free with
pre-registration, $5 at the door
Ad Fed Members: $10 with
pre-registration, $15 at the door
Students: $5 with pre-registration.
$10 at the door
Nonmembers: $15 with
pre-registration, $20 at the door

Ad2 Members Register Here
Ad Fed Members Register Here
Students Register Here
Nonmembers Register Here

Thursday, August 30, 2007

MWC Women Launching Women Networking Event

September 19, 2007

Details:
Wednesday, Sept. 19
6-7:30 p.m.
Tryg's, 3118 W. Lake Street, Minneapolis
Cost: Members: $15: Non-members: $25; Students: $15
Register now.

Mary Beth Schubert, director of corporate affairs for Comcast, will share the story of her success that led her to be named one of The Women of 40 under Forty by The Twin Cities Business Journal.

MWC's Women Launching Women networking series is dedicated to helping women connect with colleagues to exchange ideas, establish mentoring opportunities and build their professional network. Each event will feature a local woman who has made significant contributions to the industry. Don't forget your business cards!

About our speaker:
From spokeswoman at Northwest Airlines Corp. to the director of corporate affairs for the cable provider Comcast Corp, Mary Beth Schubert has been on the front lines in some of the biggest and most controversial industries in the state of Minnesota.

Big change is nothing new to Shubert, a graduate of the University of St. Thomas who was immediately drawn to public relations.

After working on the MN Attorney General's Office anti-drug DARE project, she took a media relations job with Northwest. There she handled media relations through labor clashes, industry change and major expansions along with the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. During that tumultuous time, Mary Beth was front-and-center of the airlines communications efforts.

While at Comcast Mary Beth has once again stepped up to the plate and went head-to-head with the Minnesota Twins after the team launched its own cable channel. Cable providers balked at putting the station, Victory Sports, on their standard lineup, and fans went without televised Twins games until Victory folded and games moved to FoxSports.

Mary Beth also finds time to manage Comcast's volunteer efforts, including Comcast Cares, a one-day rally bringing as many employees as possible together to work on a single project. She has also become chapter president of Women in Cable and Telecommunications.

Minnesota Women in Communications
email: info@mnwc.org
phone: 763.208.1385
web: http://www.mnwc.org

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Agency Blogs-Why and How

We noticed a trend at the Alphabet Bash. Agencies are starting blogs. Agencies are talking about starting blogs. Agencies have started blogs and need to find content and how to publicize them. A lot of people were talking about blogs and how to use them to an agency's advantage.

Before you start a blog ask yourself,"What is my goal for the blog?" I think there are two main reasons an agency should blog. 1) To position yourself and your agency as experts and resources on something or 2) To get your creative ideas and successes out to the public.

I spoke to several agency bloggers and assorted blog readers and they had several words of advice to would be bloggers:

Content, Content, Content

Have something to say. Don't bother blogging if you don't have anything to say. It seems obvious but contemplating your navel does not make you more attractive to your clients and it does not position you as an expert at anything.

Update your content. No one is going to read your blog if the last post was 3 months ago. Make a commitment to blogging on a regular basis or don't bother.

Write well. You are in a profession where writing is a basic job requirement. Don't forget that just because you are writing in a blog.

Now that you have a blog, how do you get people to read it? First see this link, which is essentially how to get your blog read in 41 easy steps.

http://www.problogger.net/archives/2007/01/11/how-to-market-your-blog-in-2007/

But again, become an expert at something. Interview other bloggers, link other well read blogs to your blog. Put out press releases. You know how to get your clients coverage, do the same for your agency.

Essentially, if you are going to put the effort into blogging you want to make sure that it makes your agency look good and that people are reading it. Otherwise, it is not worth your time.



Monday, August 27, 2007

PRSA - Professional Practices Conference

The annual Minnesota PRSA Professional Practices Conference features prominent local and national speakers on current topics of interest to new and seasoned communications professionals. This day-long event takes place in September every year and offers a variety of sessions focusing on skills development, best practices and discussions of issues pertinent to all practitioners.

The Professional Practices Conference, which is open to both Minnesota PRSA members and nonmembers, also provides an opportunity for professionals to network with each other, share ideas, and advance their understanding of public relations, communications and marketing.

2007 Professional Practice Conference
Extreme Makeover: PR Edition!


Thursday, September 20, 2007
Crowne Plaza - Minneapolis North

Whether your skills need an extreme makeover or just a quick tune-up, join Minnesota PRSA for the 2007 Professional Practices Conference. PRSA President William Murray will open the conference with his views on the public relations industry and how the transformation in the global economy has changed communications. Then, refresh your competencies with breakout sessions catered to today's practitioner.

Download the invitation! (PDF, 1 Mb)

Time:

8:00 - 8:30 a.m. Registration, Breakfast and Networking
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Conference

Location:

Crowne Plaza - Minneapolis North
2200 Freeway Blvd.
Brooklyn Center, MN 55430
Directions

Registration:


Register Online

For more information, contact the Minnesota PRSA office at office@mnprsa.com or 651-917-6244.

Friday, August 24, 2007

GRAND OPENING FOR MINNESOTA'S FIRST ORGANIC CREATIVE JUICE STORE

Pushing Envelope, a new advertising, marketing and consulting firm in Hastings, MN, has opened their doors to the public offering 100% organic creative juice and business services.

"One day, while chopping up vegetables in my kitchen, I slipped and sliced my thumb. Instead of seeing blood, there was creative juice everywhere. After considering my family, I made the hard decision to not use his newfound superhuman giftedness to fight crime, but instead, to fight ineffective marketing plans and hideous graphic design," said president of Pushing Envelope, Kevin Norman.

Kevin Norman has a diverse marketing and sales background including direct marketing, traditional advertising and interactive campaigns for small local Minnesota business and large national clients including United Airlines, Ford Motor Company and BMW USA.

"Even though I'm not afraid to push the creative envelope with my clients to help them stand out from their competition, I have a lot of respect for the science of advertising" said Kevin Norman. "As much as I like putting together a creative campaign with a lot of buzz, our top priority is to develop a campaign that brings my client a lot of business."

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Job - Kohnstamm Communications - Account Manager / Account Executive

Kohnstamm Communications - Account Manager

Kohnstamm Communications - Account Executive – Consumer Team

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Wikipedia as a PR tool?

Wikipedia has always had a policy regarding Conflicts of Interest. Full text of the policy is available at www.wikipedia.org but there is a section that is especially applicable to PR professionals. Basically it says if you are receiving payment for posting information or you may receive payment for the post, it may be biased and you should probably not post it.


In addition to the above policy, this week Wikipedia announced that it has launched "Wikipedia Scanner" to help police entries. This new tool can track who is editing posts to help determine if they are a neutral party. The tool can track all the way down to specific IP addresses. If you were to edit a post for a client using your office computer, this device could track that edit to your agency. If the headline "ABC Agency published Biased Info on Wikipedia" showed up in the paper would you be improving your client's reputation?

Recently, Microsoft made headlines because they paid someone to edit a post on their behalf. In my opinion any benefit that edit gave Microsoft was outweighed by the negative publicity that ensued. With that said, over 50% of the blog readers who responded to our poll said that they do use Wikipedia as a PR vehicle. I spoke to a few people who do edit Wikipedia for their clients and they said they are not posting articles for their clients but rather correcting misinformation that already exists. Regardless of the intent, your client does not benefit from the negative publicity that would likely follow, especially now with the advent of the Wikipedia Scanner.

Obviously, if you are aware of misinformation you can't just let it sit there, one has to respond, but what is the best way to do it? Wikipedia has a "Talk" page where you can post a comment about the lack of neutrality, then another user can make the edit if they feel it is appropriate. Other than that, has anyone had success getting Wikipedia edited without doing it yourself? Or, do you think that Wikipedia is worth worrying about? Do you think it can truly make a difference in your client's reputation?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Selects CLS

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., a subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation, one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers of human and veterinary medicine, selected Carmichael Lynch Spong as its agency of record.

The firm began work immediately by recently leading the launch of Vetmedin® (pimobendan) Chewable Tablets, the world’s first canine drug approved by the FDA in more than 10 years. The new drug was launched at the American Veterinary Medical Association’s annual convention in Washington , D.C. While continuing to lead public relations efforts for VETMEDIN, the firm will also conduct a multi-faceted strategic communications program including trade media relations, sales training, trade show support, collateral development, direct mail and trade advertising and employee communications.

Founded in 1885 and based in St. Joseph , Mo. , Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica is a member of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation, with global headquarters in Ingelheim , Germany . The family-owned company is committed to developing and marketing an extensive line of high quality biological and pharmaceutical products and technologies worldwide for companion animals, as well as horses, cattle and swine.

"We're excited to partner with Carmichael Lynch Spong on the VETMEDIN launch," says Heather Bolton, senior brand manager for Vetmedin at Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica. "Their passion for the brand is only exceeded by their understanding of what's required for an integrated introduction of a new product into the sales channel. They’ve helped bring the company’s concept of product launches to a new level."

Friday, August 17, 2007

Do you use Wikipedia as a PR vehicle?

Risdall McKinney promoted Melissa Neill

Risdall McKinney Public Relations (RMPR) promoted Melissa Neill to account supervisor. Hired in February 2007, Neill began as a senior account executive at RMPR.

Since joining RMPR, she has been supervising a number of accounts including Vision-Ease Lens, Zia and the “Awnings Today” consumer campaign, among others. Neill is also an essential asset on new business efforts.

"Melissa builds strong relationships with clients and provides exceptional leadership on her account teams," said Rose McKinney, president at Risdall McKinney Public Relations. "Her efforts have generated results that matter."

Risdall McKinney Hires Joel Swanson, APR, as Vice President and Amanda Hooper as Assistant Account Executive

With continued growth in both the organization and new business areas, Risdall McKinney Public Relations (RMPR) recently hired Joel Swanson, APR, as vice president and Amanda Hooper as assistant account executive. Year-to-date, RMPR has hired six employees in the last seven months.

"Our approach to public relations is spurring considerable growth," said Rose McKinney, APR, president. "It's attracting senior counselors and skilled practitioners not to mention new clients."

Swanson brings a proven ability to lead public relations planning, share exceptional tactical skills and provide strategic counsel to executives and senior management teams. Prior to joining RMPR, Swanson managed several areas of public relations at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota including sales and marketing, product development, health management, consumer engagement and several public policy initiatives, among others. He previously led internal communications and media relations for Bethel University and coordinated outreach for Education Minnesota in the communications department.

Active in the profession, Swanson is an instructor with the FOCUS program at Northwestern College in St. Paul, a guest lecturer throughout the Twin Cities, and an active member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). A former board member, he has been the chair of numerous committees and currently serves as the chair of the PRSA Accreditation Committee, which helps PRSA members earn their professional APR designation.

"Risdall McKinney is quickly earning a reputation for generating results that matter – something that’s very important to me," said Swanson. "Rose and I have worked together within PRSA, and her guidance and passion for public relations is contagious."

Swanson earned a Bachelors of Science in mass communications, public relations sequences and business management at St. Cloud State University in 1994, and a Masters of Arts in Christian thought from Bethel Seminary in 2002.

Prior to joining RMPR, Hooper completed an internship at New School Communications in St. Paul and was the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) president at the University of St. Thomas.

Hooper received a Bachelors of Arts in public relations from the University of St. Thomas in May 2007.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

100,000th visitor

Minnesota Public Relations reached 100,000 unique visitors today. Thanks to all the loyal readers and for your support.

99,997 11:42 a.m.

99,998 11:44 a.m.

99,999 11:45 a.m.

100,000 11:49 a.m.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

More promotions at Weber Shandwick

The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced the promotions of seven employees in the health care, financial services, consumer marketing and web relations practices.

Marta Fraboni, who joined the agency more than eight years ago as account executive, has been promoted from account supervisor to account group manager. She currently leads several public education and advocacy accounts in the health care practice. In addition, Fraboni helped develop and co-lead the agency's internal learning program.

Gerardo Obieta has been promoted from web designer to senior web designer as part of the web relations practice. Obieta has designed a multitude of internet press kits and developed several web sites for a variety of clients in several practices.

Leah Janz, who joined the agency as an intern in 2005, has been promoted from junior designer to designer. Janz leads designs for clients in all practices including financial services, consumer, health care, technology and corporate, community and public affairs. Janz graduated with a bachelor's degree in graphic design from the University of Minnesota.

Joni Written, who joined the agency in 2004, has been promoted from account executive to senior account executive in the financial services practice. Written currently works on an award-winning national campaign to promote direct deposit. She is also a contributor to the agency's external communications committee. Written graduated with a bachelor's degree in mass communications with an emphasis in public relations from Minnesota State University Mankato.

Steffen Ryan, who joined the agency in 2005 as an assistant account executive, has been promoted to account executive. He currently works on several key financial services clients. Ryan graduated with a bachelor's degree in both political science and international studies from the University of North Dakota.

Alison Baker, who joined the agency in 2006 as an intern, has been promoted from assistant account executive to account executive. In her current position, she works on several youth marketing accounts in the consumer marketing practice. Baker graduated with a bachelor's degree in both journalism and political science from the University of Iowa.

Jenny Kramer, who joined the agency in 2006 as an intern, has been promoted from assistant account executive to account executive. Kramer currently works on several food and beverage accounts in the consumer marketing practice. Kramer graduated with a bachelor’s degree in international management from Gustavus Adolphus College.

Video News Releases

Last week a reader asked Ryan a question. She wanted to distribute a Video News Release (VNR) and needed to know what format TV stations preferred. Her question made me decide to do research on what editors and reporters want from a news release and how to increase the likelihood of getting them aired. I have learned that because VNRs are controversial it is important to make sure they are relevant and newsworthy. Most importantly, they cannot feel biased. I also wanted to look at alternative ways of distributing VNRs, through Internet news sites, podcasts and video sharing sites.

First, what is the market for VNRs? How many stations are using them and are they a worthwhile use of your client's budget dollars? It is hard to judge exactly how many VNRs are being broadcast because many stations are hesitant to admit that they use them. With a reputation of being "fake news" VNRs are often edited and used as part of a news cast. With that said, newsroom budgets are being squeezed and video news releases provide them with interesting, relevant news at no cost. According to a recent study by University of Oregon professors Jim Upshaw, David Koranda and doctoral candidate Gennadiy Chernov, 90% of the 294 newscasts they monitored for four months in 2004 incorporated at least one instance of "stealth advertising", typically either VNRs or product placement. It seems to me they can be a very effective use of your clients budget as they can reach thousands of viewers on multiple different occasions if they are broadcast by news stations.

The big IF is if they are being broadcast. So I called several local news stations to find out what their preferred video format is and what they are looking for from VNRs. Both WCCO and KARE 11 use BETA. Using the correct format is the first step in getting your news release broadcast. Second, WCCO has a Video News Release policy right on their website. This policy deals with one of the biggest issues concerning VNRs, where the content came from. WCCO will have an on-air graphic and a verbal credit given to the source of the video. This is intended to make viewer aware that the content may be biased. Aside from that the release must be newsworthy and not feel like a commercial. It should be informative but not salesy.

I also found that the US Consumer Product Safety Commission has 10 Points to Keep in mind when producing VNR. Go to the CPSC website to see their suggestions. They are referring specifically to product recalls but the suggestions seem to hold regardless of your topic.

Second, I looked into what type of content is most likely to get broadcast. The most common type of VNR is health care related. Other commonly used topics include: community service, consumer affairs, upcoming events, and government issues. Technical topics are also commonly used VNRs as it is difficult for a reporter to break down the product or issue into understandable pieces.

With all of that said, what is working for all of you? Are you using VNRs? How are you distributing them? What type of subjects are you using? I can do this research but I am more interested in what is actually going on with regards to VNRs in our marketplace. Please feel free to comment.

Next week I will write more about VNRs and viral marketing on the Internet.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

WEBER SHANDWICK ANNOUNCES PROMOTIONS

The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced four employee promotions in the technology practice.

Jennifer Myers has been promoted to account group director. Myers has more than 10 years of public relations experience and specializes in writing, media relations and executive visibility. In the last year she started serving as day-to-day lead for Boston Scientific’s Intervention Cardiology and has earned great reviews for her direction of a regional medial relations program, among other things. Myers holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and English from St. Cloud State University.

Polly O’Grady has been promoted to account group director. O’Grady oversees Honeywell Process Solutions’ global public relations programs, which has ongoing programs in North America, Europe, Asia and a foothold in Latin America. O’Grady also serves as one of Weber Shandwick’s lead experts on crisis readiness and has won a Silver Anvil Award from the Public Relations Society of America for excellence in crisis communications. She has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism and a master’s in agricultural economics.

Becky Musolf has been promoted to account executive. Musolf joined Weber Shandwick as an intern in May 2006. She has developed her media relations skills while serving as the point person for many Honeywell media relations work and is on a first-name basis with many key trade editors. She attended the University of Minnesota for a bachelor’s in strategic communication with an emphasis in public relations. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Musolf interned at GolinHarris in Chicago and WCCO-TV.

David Ratz has been promoted to account executive after joining Weber Shandwick as an intern in February 2006. For the past year, Ratz served as a day-to-day trade media relations contact for Xiotech, and has excelled in analyst and media outreach. He is also a key member of the Twin Cities team handling Microsoft business and coordinated all media outreach for two key industry conferences. He’s distinguished himself by working very hard to understand complex technologies and products, minding details and deadlines, and staying focused on results. Ratz holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and minors in political science and aviation management.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Alphabet Bash - Last chance to register

THURSDAY, AUGUST 16, 2007

The Alphabet Bash is a "can't miss" networking event celebrating Minnesota marketing and communications professionals! Make business connections, develop long-lasting relationships, explore other business development opportunities - or just come for a good time.

Please join...
IABC: International Association of Business Communicators

PRSA: Public Relations Society of America

AMA: American Marketing Association


AdFed: Advertising Federation of Minnesota
...for the 2nd Annual Alphabet Bash.

NEW THIS YEAR "Pre-Networking Workshop"
Beat the rush and check in early for the 2007 Alphabet Bash. Join us from 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. to learn the art of network from Joan Moser of Spoken Impact. Refresh your elevator pitch and get tips that you can put to work immediately - plus get an extra drink ticket to use at the event. Registration is an additional $10 and space is limited.

Trocaderos Night Club
107 Third Ave. N
Minneapolis Warehouse District
Directions


Time:
4:30 p.m. - "Pre-Networking Workshop"
5:30 p.m. - Registration
6:00 - 9:00 p.m. - Alphabet Bash

Cost: Registered before August 2, 2007
$40.00 - Members of AMA, Ad Fed, IABC & PRSA
$50.00 - Nonmember
$30.00 - Student

**Price includes drinks, heavy appetizers and a chance to win fabulous door prizes, including two pairs of Sun Country Airline tickets to anywhere in the continental U.S. that Sun Country flies.

Come For the Bash, Stay for the Band
Join fellow Alphabet Bashers for Thursday night's entertainment as singer and guitarist Bernard Allison wows audiences with his electrifying blues guitar performing such hits as, Going Down, Bad Love and The Walk.

About The Alphabet Bash
The Alphabet Bash is a joint venture with PRSA, IABC, AMA and Ad Fed in an effort to connect marketing professionals in Minnesota. Why Alphabet Bash? Well, when you throw that many acronyms around, it starts to look and sound a lot like alphabet soup! This annual event serves as an outlet for our combined membership of over 4,000 to make business connections, develop long-lasting relationships and explore other business development opportunities.

Job - Roepke Public Relations - Public Relations Account Assistant

Roepke Public Relations - Public Relations Account Assistant

Thursday, August 09, 2007

VNRs

I got an e-mail from a loyal reader today saying that she was looking into distributing a video news release and wanted to know if anyone knew the preferred format for TV stations. I had to admit my ignorance on this topic. I have not had a lot of experience with VNR, so I told her to contact the TV station she was trying to pitch to see what format they prefer.

I am hoping one of you might have a suggestion, MPEG, AVI, Beta, DVD, Blu-ray? Any thoughts?

Job - Weber Shandwick - Public Relations Intern, Financial Services Practice

Weber Shandwick - Public Relations Intern, Financial Services Practice

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Crisis Communication-Toy Recalls

Mattel and Hasbro have recalled nearly two million toys in the last six months. The Easy-Bake Ovens and Fisher-Price dolls were all manufactured in China. This makes a couple of unique crisis communication opportunities. First, the companies themselves need to control the coverage of the recalls and protect their reputations. In the toy industry safety and consumer confidence are key. Second, China needs to make sure that they are responding to the negative media to ensure continued sales in the United States.

Toy Makers

Mattel has responded to the media frenzy by being open and honest about the problem. They are combining that transparency with continual monitoring of the media. They are making sure that the facts are being communicated accurately. Mattel has done this using traditional PR techniques, issuing statements and press releases. These traditional techniques have been effective in minimizing the negative media thus far but it is still to early to tell what the final outcome will be.1

Hasbro has recalled nearly 1 million Easy-Bake Ovens since last May.2 Toy companies, more than most other industries, are subject to media scrutiny over quality problems. Children play with toys and dangerous toys make good news. This creates a large PR nightmare for these two companies. Hasbro needs to respond with a combination of facts and Easy-Bake Oven's long history. Most people, at least women, have fond memories of their Easy-Bake Ovens. If I were Hasbro I would play up the positive facts with that nostalgia factor.

China

China is having a rough time from a PR perspective. First, tainted pet food, now defective toys. China has formed a partnership with Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide1 to help manage their reputation. Historically, China has not responded to negative media but with the Olympics coming to Beijing next year the country's reputation is under very close scrutiny. That scrutiny is driving China's officials to both monitor safety issues and to manage their communication more effectively.3

I look forward to watching these efforts to see if Mattel and Hasbro can come through with their reputations intact and if China can recover a reputation for quality after all of their recent negative publicity.


2 AP (Febuary 6, 2007). Hasbro recals 1 million Easy-Bake Ovens. Retrieved from msnbc.com August 8, 2007
website http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17005457/
1Chang, I(Aug. 8, 2007). Mattel faces crisis withoug playing games. Retrieved from PRWeek.com August 8, 2007
website http://www.prweek.com/us/news/article/730401/Mattel-Faces-Crisis-Without-playing-games/
3 McKenna, T (July 23, 2007). Ogilvy partnership helps counsel Chinese officials. Retrieved from PRWeek.com August 8, 2007
website http://www.prweek.com/us/sectors/crisiscommunications/article/672787/Ogilvy-partnership-helps-counsel-chinese-officials/

Monday, August 06, 2007

Thanks!

Hi Everyone! Ryan-thank you for the introduction.

I look forward to writing every Wednesday. Please let me know if you have questions or comments. I would also love to know if there are any trends that you would like me to look into and write about. I am excited to examine and comment on what is happening in the industry.

Please see my resume at mnprjobseeker.blogspot.com and let me know if you think I am good fit for your company or if I should talk to someone you know. Thanks.

-Catherine

Changes to Minnesota Public Relations Blog

In the coming weeks you will notice some changes to Minnesota Public Relations Blog. With my busy schedule, I have not had time to comment on things happening in the region as much as I would like to, so I am bringing on a new team member, Catherine Wood.

Catherine is a new face to the Minnesota PR scene. Catherine has worked as a sales consultant for an employee benefits company selling insurance, since she graduated from USC in 2005. As a consultant, she learned to manage her time, to be self motivated and to be able to start a conversation with anyone, anywhere. Unfortunately this position did not provide her with the opportunity to write, to be creative or to use her communications skills in unique and valuable ways.

Now Catherine is looking for a position in public relations. While she waits for that perfect job, Catherine is hoping to learn about the PR world here in the Twin Cities. Showing her motivation, she has started her own blog aptly named mnprjobseeker.blogspot.com and she has asked to be a regular guest blogger on this site. Catherine will be posting every Wednesday, please help me welcome her to the PR community.

-Ryan

Friday, August 03, 2007

YAMAMOTO MOSS MACKENZIE WINS AT SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION

Yamamoto Moss Mackenzie took home a bronze medal for wine label design for Alexis Bailly Vineyard’s 2005 Voyageur, a red table wine, at the 2007 San Francisco International Wine Competition. This is the second win for YMM. The agency, which has been designing labels for the Minnesota vineyard for 35 years, has previously won a bronze for wine label design for Alexis Bailly’s Ratafia ice wine.

The San Francisco International Wine Competition is the largest and most prestigious wine competition in America . Judging was held at The Hotel Nikko in San Francisco in June 2007. For more, visit www.sfwinecomp.com.

The elegant dry table wines from the Alexis Bailly Vineyard in the Hiawatha Valley of the Upper Mississippi have earned Alexis Bailly Vineyard national acclaim and Minnesota unlikely fame in the wine-drinking world. For more, visit www.abvwines.com.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Speechless

It appears people are still missing as a result of the collapsed bridge on 35W yesterday. I am left speechless as a result of this senseless tragedy. My thoughts and prayers go out to those of you that may have lost loved ones.