MNPR Blog

Friday, September 28, 2007

MWC becomes MWMC

Minnesota Women in Communications (MWC) has changed their name to the Minnesota Women in Marketing and Communications. Here is the announcement:
Inspired by the success of our organization's first year, The Board of Directors felt challenged to respond to the needs of our expanding membership, which grew by 50 percent since our launch last September.

Celebrating that success, the Board modified the name of the organization to Minnesota Women in Marketing and Communications (MWMC). This name more accurately represents the diverse membership and better positions the organization in Minnesota's rapidly changing marketing and communications industry.

Our logo and Web address will remain the same, and most importantly, we continue our commitment to investing resources to the betterment of the marketing and communications industry with new and improved programming and in support of our mission, "To be Minnesota's professional association of choice for women in marketing and communications.

During the month of October, MWMC is conducting its annual membership drive. Existing members are asked to renew, and members may join at a reduced rate ($35 admin fee is waived). Additionally, MWMC's new business memberships offer discounted rates for companies with three or more members.

Please visit www.mnwc.org for information on how to join or renew your MWMC membership as well as details on our upcoming events, including our member-only tour of the Guthrie on October 10 and our Learning Lunch Series that will launch this November.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Job - Multiple Job Openings at Padilla

Multiple Job Openings at Padilla

Crisis Communication

Crisis Communication is everywhere. Recently, we have seen the need for it coming from all different angles. Here in Minnesota we had the 35W bridge collapse. Actually, also with a Minnesota aspect, a public figure needed crisis help, Senator Craig. There are the collapsed mines, contaminated products from China. The need for PR professionals with Crisis Communications expertise is everywhere.

I do not have crisis communications expertise but I want to get some emails or comments from all of you to help me put together a "dummy's guide".

Please, contact me at catherine.anne.wood@gmail.com if you have words of wisdom, articles to suggest or any other comments.

I will be researching this week and hopefully putting your comments into a 2 or 3 part series on Crisis Comm.

Thanks!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing - Part 2 of 3

What to consider when using a freelancer

If tapping freelancers were so easy, companies would do it more often. Freelancers come with their own advantages and disadvantages. Below are some examples to consider.

Advantages
No overhead. It’s possible to enjoy the benefits of a part-time, full-time or “no-time” employee, without worrying about their healthcare, 401K, billability, etc.
No strings attached. If it doesn’t work out, you don’t need to use them again or work on developing their skills to get the most of your investment. If it does work, you have someone you can count on in the future.
Availability. Most freelancers are used to working odd hours and meeting tight deadlines.
Speed. Given an assignment, freelancers can focus on the task without typical work distractions and meet the deadlines they’ve provided.
Disadvantages
Lack of business or industry knowledge. No one can understand your business like you do. Until you’ve worked with a freelancer for awhile, they may not fully understand your company, its brand essence, its industry, etc. As part of your business agreement, you may consider building in some non-billable research time so they can get up to speed.
More ramp up and clean up time. To ensure you receive high-quality work, you need to provide relevant background and have a good idea of what you want. You will most likely also need to review the material to make sure it “sounds” like your company.
Availability. Because a freelancer is not a member of your exclusive team, their availability also can be a disadvantage if they are on deadline for someone else or turn down a project due to prior commitments.
Please send me your thoughts on the advantages and disadvantages of using a freelancer.

Next week’s post will close this three part series with tips on how to best work with and use freelancers.

Amy Smith is owner of Bear Smith Communications, LLC. Previously a managing supervisor at Fleishman-Hillard, she researched freelancing and started her own business after the birth of her first child last November. She can be reached at BearSmithComm@gmail.com.


Audio posting here

Monday, September 24, 2007

New look for MNPR Blog

You will notice today that Minnesota Public Relations Blog has a new look. Some additional features have been added including a more comprehensive archive as well as the ability to e-mail individual stories.

I am still getting the comment section up and running, in the meantime shoot me an e-mail and let me know what you think.

-Ryan

Download the audio version of this posting here .

Tunheim Partners Acquires New School Communications

Tunheim Partners, Inc. announced last week that it will acquire St. Paul-based New School Communications, and will integrate both the public affairs and public relations practices of each firm over the next few months.

Blois Olson, president/chief executive of New School will serve as executive vice president at Tunheim Partners, and will become a shareholder at the firm. Olson will provide particular leadership in the public affairs and crisis communications, and lead new service and product initiatives.

At the same time, Tim Loesch, senior vice president of Tunheim Partners, was promoted to executive vice president of public relations, providing leadership in the retail and corporate communications practices.

"Each of our agencies has strong relationships with some great clients," said Kathy Tunheim, chief executive of Tunheim Partners. "This is an opportunity to put our combined energies into innovation and new service offerings to meet future needs of those clients. We've had the opportunity to collaborate and compete with New School in the past, and really appreciate the energy and vision they bring to our firm."

"Our regional public affairs strength and growing consumer practice will complement the already industry-leading corporate practices of Tunheim Partners," Olson said. "Together, we will provide clients with the most experienced corporate communications agency, and new, exciting public affairs and consumer offerings to the market. The combined entity will be the most innovative and visionary full-service public relations agency in the market, and will introduce multiple new service offerings to existing and future clients."

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Carmichael Lynch Spong Names Kargas and Latta Principals

Carmichael Lynch Spong has recently promoted David Kargas and Maclaren Latta to principals. Kargas, an eight-year Carmichael Lynch Spong veteran, currently leads the firm’s Denver office, while Latta, a six-year veteran of the firm, continues to create award-winning work from Bozeman, Montana.

Kargas joined Carmichael Lynch Spong in 1999 and relocated to the Carmichael Lynch Spong Denver office in January 2002. He brings a strong background in journalism, strategic planning, account management and media relations. In addition to heading the Denver office, he serves as the lead contact on clients such as The Clorox Company, Dunkin’ Brands, American Humane Association, TransFair USA , and he plays an integral role in new business.

Prior to joining Carmichael Lynch Spong, Kargas worked at Bozell Kamstra, a Minneapolis advertising and public relations firm. There, he focused on trade media relations and internal communications for his clients. Prior to that he was a news reporter at the Monroe Times in Southern Wisconsin . He continues to freelance write for local business and lifestyle publications.

Kargas received a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He’s also a board member of an anti-hunger charity group.

Latta joined Carmichael Lynch Spong in 2001 and brought with her a wide range of experience in account management, media relations and event planning. After five years in the firm’s Minneapolis office, she relocated to Bozeman , Montana .

Her current client responsibilities include managing the Maytag brand account team and providing counsel to the Dunkin’ Brands Community Foundation. As chair of the home and garden industry group, she also serves as a consultant to Sherwin-Williams, Lutron Electronics and other home-related clients. Her accounts have received national and regional recognition including two PRWeek Cause-Related Campaigns of the Year and multiple PRSA Silver Anvils and Bronze Anvils.

Latta’s background includes handling public relations and events for Big Sky Resort, operating a marketing consulting business and serving four years as a U.S. Senate staff member in Washington , D.C.

Latta is a graduate of the University of Colorado , where she earned a degree in economics and a minor in French. She is also an active member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and enjoys volunteering for nonprofit organizations such as the American Red Cross and Ducks Unlimited.

"David and Maclaren are invaluable members of our firm as they have successfully led numerous clients since they’ve been here," said Douglas K. Spong, APR, president. "David’s exceptional writing, media relations, creative and strategic thinking have made him invaluable in new business and endeared him to his clients. Maclaren is a remarkably talented, dedicated and successful leader. She’s adored by her teams, and highly valued by her clients."

Maccabee Group wins three national Hermes Awards

The Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals has honored Minnesota public relations agency Maccabee Group with three national Hermes Awards celebrating the Minneapolis-based PR firm’s campaigns for client OfficeMax.

Maccabee Group’s "World’s Largest Rubberband Ball" campaign for OfficeMax won both a 1st Place Gold Award for "Best Special Event," as well as the 2nd place "Best Publicity Campaign" Platinum Award. In addition, Maccabee Group’s viral "Elf Yourself" holiday campaign won a 2nd place Platinum Award for "Best Publicity Campaign." The Hermes Creative Awards, presented by the Texas-based Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals, is an international competition recognizing outstanding achievement in communications and marketing.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Not Just Social Networking

Hi, my name is Catherine and I use Facebook, OK, I check it religiously, but I am not an addict. I could stop at anytime. I just really like knowing what is going on with people from college-and high school. It doesn't matter that we never talk. I know. But, in my defense, I started in school. OK, I have another confession. I also use MySpace occasionally and I have joined LinkedIn.

I am not alone. Over 80% of the respondents to our poll said they use a social networking site. Others, yours truly included, use more than one.

It was a year ago that Facebook shed its student only rules and opened up its doors to everyone. Now my boss can see the pictures someone posted of me from a party in college (hypothetically of course...they read this). Is Facebook a viable networking tool? Should it be? Jon Fine recently wrote an article in BusinessWeek that describes this issue to a T. http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_38/b4050030.htm?chan=search

Recently, Facebook picked OutCast, an agency based in San Fransisco and New York to run its PR efforts and there is no doubt those efforts will involve positioning Facebook as an alternative to specifically career oriented sites like LinkedIn.

Is Facebook a good professional networking venue? In my opinion, No. When the options to describe why you are here includes "Random Play" it is not a professional atmosphere. I think Facebook is shooting its self in the foot by trying to expand outside of the young people trying to keep in touch and share pictures niche. When college students realize their parents and supervisors are on Facebook, they will leave in droves to find a place of their own.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Outsourcing is “In” and Increasing - Part 1 of 3

When to use a freelancer

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that over the past three years companies increased their outsourcing by 22 percent. Businesses are reaping the benefits freelancers provide without additional overhead.

In an industry where teams are staffed for the slow times, when is the right time to use a freelancer for public relations? The following scenario provides some examples, but in the world of PR, it is essentially whenever and wherever necessary.

New business. You and your team are swamped, but there is a new business deadline approaching. A freelancer can conduct initial research to help you prepare. Then, once you win the business, they can support the initial ramp up by creating initial background documents, conducting additional research, developing materials, etc.

Major projects. Part of the new win involves a national product launch, but you need additional arms and legs to get through the bulk of the project. A freelancer can provide additional support for projects that require assistance, such as material development or media relations, but may not warrant making a new hire.

Specialized projects
. A component of the launch is a satellite media tour and you’d like to make sure your spokespeople are television ready. A freelancer specializing in media training can provide tips and tools to make sure the spokespeople are prepared.

Ongoing projects. New business wins are typically announced in your quarterly newsletter, but you don’t have time to keep up with this ongoing project. A freelancer can manage the development and production of this open and closed, but regular process.

Freelancers can make work easier if you find the right fit for your company’s needs and you know how to work with them. Next week’s post will provide some of the advantages and disadvantages of using freelancers. The three-part series will close with tips on how to best work with and use freelancers.

Amy Smith is owner of Bear Smith Communications, LLC. Previously a managing supervisor at Fleishman-Hillard, she researched freelancing and started her own business after the birth of her first child last November. She can be reached at BearSmithComm@gmail.com.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Fall Prep Classes for Accredited in Public Relations (APR)

Tentatively scheduled for Wednesday evenings from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Sept. 26 - Nov. 14, 2007

Location: University of St. Thomas St. Paul campus
Contact: Leah Otto, APR at leah.otto@bestbuy.com if interested.
Final details regarding dates, times and locations will be released mid-September.
Free to MN PRSA Members. (See test fee info below.)

Where your career in public relations takes you is based on individual drive, determination and diligence. One next step all seasoned practitioners should consider is earning the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) designation. Earning the APR certification proves you have successfully demonstrated competency in the knowledge, skills and abilities required to practice public relations effectively in today’s business arena.

Find out more about accreditation here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Green Marketing

We all know that "sex sells". These days the saying should be "green sells". Everywhere I look there are companies jumping on the green bandwagon, everyone from E-surance, a car insurance company, to dishwashing soaps.

Are your clients riding the green wave? Should they be?

Recently the New York Times ran an article "Big Consumer Products Maker Proclaims the ‘Green’ Virtues of Using Dishwashers"
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/03/business/media/03green.html?ex=1346472000&en=3a13ba82ab60c1ec&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

This article talks about green marketing and the logic behind touting either a particular product as being earth friendly versus the company as a whole marketing what they do for the environment. I found this article very interesting, especially as PR Week has scheduled:

Target Green: Collaborating for Change

Listen to speakers from GM, the Gap, Discovery Communications, Canon, the EPA, and others discuss how various stakeholders are driving an interactive approach to a green future. The event will feature panels on carbon offsets, sustainability reports, and opting into voluntary government programs.

Event details
Where:
Mandarin Oriental
1330 Maryland Ave, SW
Washington, DC 20024

When:
Wednesday, October 3
Panels:Panel descriptions and Schedule
Register:Click here

PR Week also recently had a "Greening Your Pitch" webcast, archives of which are available at prweek.com.

Greening your pitch: Using media relations and Web 2.0 technologies in the era of sustainability

Date: Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Time: 12 pm EST/9 am PST

Business and consumer media are focusing on sustainability, from stories about lifestyle choices all the way to a corporation's strategy. This webcast will look into how coverage from traditional journalists and Web 2.0 advocates is helping to create a growing eco-consciousness.

Featured speakers include:
Wendy Bounds, small-business editor, The Wall Street Journal
Seth Bauer, editorial director, National Geographic's The Green Guide
Michael Ekstract, founder and vice president, Verdant Magazine
Todd Woody, Green Wombat blogger and assistant managing editor, Business 2.0

Moderator:Keith O'Brien, executive editor, PRWeek

Sponsored by:
CRT/tanaka
To hear the archived webcast, click here

AdFed - Welcome to the Beautifully Imperfect Company

Monthly Meeting

Wednesday,
September 19, 2007


Joe Alexander, Senior Vice President and Creative Director, The Martin Agency

Everybody understands the importance of delivering only the best work to clients, but is it the most important thing? Joe Alexander, Senior Vice President and Creative Director of the Martin Agency, will make the case that priority number one should be to have a culture of great people. Cut-throat agency life? Try Melrose Place because you won’t find it at The Martin Agency.

Time:
Registration - 11:15 am
Lunch - 11:45 am
Program - Noon - 1:00 pm
Networking - 1:00 – 1:30 pm

Location:
The Metropolitan Ballroom
5418 Wayzata Blvd.
Golden Valley, MN

Registration:
Please register by
5:00 p.m.Thursday,
September 13.

Register Online


Members: $30
Non-Members: $65
Students: $25

A $10 late fee will be applied to registrations received after 9/13/07.

Click here to see other
Ad Fed Events

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Today we remember the fallen.


I hope you will all join me today in pausing to remember the victims of September 11.

If you are looking for some ways to remember the fallen and their families you may want to visit About.com and read some ways of Creatively Remembering Those Lost on September 11, 2001.

As the voices of September 11 echo in our hearts and minds, let us all pledge to work for peace in our world.

Friday, September 07, 2007

St. Kate's Women in Leadership welcomes Bloom and Woodruff

The Twin Cities will have the opportunity to hear stories of resiliency and hope from Melanie Bloom and Lee Woodruff at the St. Catherine Forum on Women in Leadership Luncheon, Tuesday, September 25, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Minneapolis Marriot Hotel, 30 S. 7th Street, downtown Minneapolis.

The event is sponsored by Fredrikson & Byron, P.A. Individual tickets are $45 and $25 for students (with student ID). Register online at: www.stkate.edu/forum or by phone 651-690-6819.

On April 6, 2003, NBC news correspondent David Bloom died in Iraq of a pulmonary embolism caused by deep-vein thrombosis probably brought on by his hours in cramped vehicles and planes covering the war.

On Jan. 29, 2006, ABC News co-anchor Bob Woodruff suffered a severe brain injury when the US Army convey in which he was riding was hit by a giant roadside bomb in Iraq.
As the lives of their families changed forever, Melanie Bloom and Lee Woodruff found strength and support in their friendship. They will share their stories of resiliency and hope and the power of friendship in their lives not only through the good times, but the painful times.

Melanie Bloom never envisioned herself taking center stage on an important public health issue. But following her husband’s death, Melanie became more aware of Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism, a potentially fatal complication of the condition and agreed to become national spokesperson for the Coalition to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis. She currently lives in New York with their three children – a seven-year-old daughter and 13-year-old twin daughters.

In the wake of Bob Woodruff’s traumatic brain injury and recovery, Lee and Bob Woodruff have written In an Instant, a book about their family’s difficult journey. She is also a public relations and marketing executive with her own company and a columnist for Family Fun magazine. They have four children and live in Westchester County, New York.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

PR in an online world: Digital content lives forever

A recent Poynter Online article brings up an interesting point. In today's world of electronic archives and Google, content never goes away.

"New York Times Public Editor Clark Hoyt called Poynter to discuss the issue last week before addressing it in his Sunday column: "A business strategy of The New York Times to get its articles to pop up first in Internet searches is creating a perplexing problem: long-buried information about people that is wrong, outdated or incomplete is getting unwelcome new life.

Hoyt reported that Times editors have been receiving an increasing number of requests from people who are complaining "they are being embarrassed, are worried about losing or not getting jobs, or may be losing customers because of the sudden prominence of old news articles that contain errors or were never followed up." Hoyt estimated that such complaints are coming into the Times at a rate of about one a day.

There have always been folks with beefs about how they have been treated in news stories. But generally the journalistic record of a problematic story was stored in what we quaintly called the "morgue." And not many folks -- other than reporters checking facts for an anniversary story, an obit or other routine coverage -- ever delved into these old stories. Certainly the public didn't have much access to them."

Please see the full article and comments here: http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=101&aid=129083

What should be done if content about you or your clients is wrong, outdated or even libelous? The New York Times is asked at least once a day to change something that is in its archives, even editors of school newspapers are asked remove old content. http://www.ojr.org/ojr/stories/070822Zwerling/

Is this right for a journalist to change or delete a previous article. If it is, should we be doing this on behalf of clients? I have seen a lot of blog postings and articles on this topic with no clear answer. Should we ask to have the article amended? Deleted? Please let me know your opinions or if you have any experience in this area.

CLS Promotes Curtis Smith and Leslie Jones

Carmichael Lynch Spong has recently promoted two integral team members from its Minneapolis and San Francisco offices. Curtis Smith has been promoted to director of business development, and Leslie Jones has been promoted to counselor.

“We’re pleased to announce the promotions of two achievement addicts at Carmichael Lynch Spong,” says Douglas K. Spong, APR, president of Carmichael Lynch Spong. “With Curtis leading all new business development initiatives that come through our door and Leslie directing our San Francisco office and many client accounts, both are key to our growth.”

Smith joined the firm in 2006 as business development manager, and brought with him over a decade of marketing and business development experience, and over seven years experience with two of the largest public relations agencies in the world.

Prior to joining Carmichael Lynch Spong, Smith was senior coordinator at the Minneapolis office of Fleishman-Hillard. For nearly five years, Smith directed marketing and new business opportunities and managed the production of that office’s client marketing material. Before joining Fleishman-Hillard, Smith was a member of the marketing and new business team at the Bloomington , Minn. , office of Weber Shandwick. There he was responsible for distributing promotional material, managing the prospect database and preparing capabilities and collateral for new business presentations.

Since arriving at Carmichael Lynch Spong, Smith has led each new business opportunity from beginning to end. He’s also played an integral role in developing business development strategies for all of the agency’s practice group marketing plans, as well as helping increase the firm’s national presence to leverage Carmichael Lynch Spong’s reputation as the national champion of best practices.

Smith is a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and serves on that organization’s PRSA Classics Awards committee. He is also a paid, on-call firefighter for the City of Golden Valley, Minn., where he also resides.

Two years ago, Jones joined the Minneapolis office of Carmichael Lynch Spong as senior associate and brought with her more than 10 years of experience in PR, television and business/technology consulting.

In her new role as counselor, Jones will continue to manage client accounts such as Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Dixie-Pacific, Hasbro, PETCO, Therma-Tru and TRANE. Jones relocated to San Francisco in October 2006 to open the firm’s first West Coast office.

Prior to joining Carmichael Lynch Spong, Jones was a general news reporter and fill-in anchor at KMSP-TV (FOX) in Minneapolis , KRNV-TV (NBC) in Reno , Nev. , and KNVN-TV (NBC) in Chico , Calif.

Before entering into broadcast TV, Jones was a business process consultant and analyst at ACCENTURE in Minneapolis . There she specialized in customer relationship management and worked with clients such as Marriott International, Ford Motor Company and Best Buy. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota ’s Carlson School of Management and is currently pursuing her MBA in San Francisco .

Jones is a member of PRSA as well as the local PRSA chapter in San Francisco , where she chairs two committees. For the past four years she’s been a motivational speaker for high school students across the country with Monster’s “Making it Count” program and is a National Press Foundation Fellow.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

CLS Hires Steve Solmonson as Senior Counselor

Steve Solmonson has been named senior counselor at public relations firm Carmichael Lynch Spong and will be based out of the Minneapolis office. Solmonson will help lead clients TRANE and JUNO.

Solmonson comes to Carmichael Lynch Spong with a breadth of public relations experience in strategy building and management. He was most recently the director of communications at Carlson Marketing Worldwide. In his seven years at Carlson Marketing, he was responsible for directing Carlson Marketing’s global media relations programs, including its agency relationships in the UK and Asia .

“Steve is a tremendous asset for Carmichael Lynch Spong,” says Douglas K. Spong, APR, president. “He’s a true achievement addict and has a broad experience within the industry and brings a great perspective to the table. We feel fortunate to have him under our roof.”

Before his internal transfer to Carlson Marketing, Solmonson was in the role of manager and director of media relations for Carlson Wagonlit Travel, the world’s second largest corporate travel and expense management company. In this role he was responsible for managing the company’s media relations efforts in North America .

Prior to joining Carlson, Solmonson spent the majority of his career in the United States Air Force as a public affairs officer.

Before retiring from the Air Force in 1997, Solmonson worked on various assignments such as directing public affairs efforts after the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster; working with Harrison Ford on the movie “Air Force One”; coordinating the international press pool during the visit of the U.S. Secretary of Defense to Saudi Arabia , and managing feature stories on NBC’s Today Show.

Solmonson received his bachelor of arts degree in communications from California State University , Sacramento , and his master’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Carolina . He is a graduate of the Executive Leadership Program at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota , and is also a graduate of the Department of Defense Information School and the U.S. Air Force’s Squadron Officer School .

Solmonson is active in the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and has been part of three Silver Anvil award-winning teams. He’s also on the board of directors of the Miracle League of Minnesota.