MNPR Blog

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

TransFair USA Selects Carmichael Lynch Spong as Agency of Record

TransFair USA, a nonprofit organization and the only third-party certifier of Fair Trade Certified™ products in the United States, recently selected Carmichael Lynch Spong as its agency of record. The firm will embark on a strategic communications campaign focused on raising awareness of Fair Trade Certified products and concepts, and the role Fair Trade Certified plays in alleviating third-world poverty.

Founded in 1998 and based in Oakland , Calif. , TransFair USA is one of 20 members of Fairtrade Labeling Organizations International (FLO), the nonprofit umbrella organization based in Bonn , Germany , that sets Fair Trade certification standards. TransFair USA audits and certifies transactions between U.S. companies offering Fair Trade Certified products and their international suppliers. This guarantees that the farmers and workers producing Fair Trade Certified goods are paid fair prices and wages, have better working conditions, and it also promotes environmental stewardship and assists producers in quality improvement.

"We’re excited to have Carmichael Lynch Spong on board because they’re passionate about our mission of enabling sustainable development and community empowerment through certifying and promoting Fair Trade Certified products. The firm is driven to help us empower and enrich the lives of family farmers and workers around the world," says Anthony Marek, director of public relations and external communications for TransFair USA .

As one of the 20 largest public relations firms in the nation, Carmichael Lynch Spong represents a select portfolio of clients that are the leaders of their industries. Current nonprofit clients include the American Humane Association and Dunkin’ Brands Community Foundation.

"TransFair USA is helping to create a more sustainable economy for growers and producers around the world, and our firm is delighted to be a catalyst in this effort," says Douglas K. Spong, APR, president of Carmichael Lynch Spong.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Don't Get Blacklisted! Email Pitching

Are you on the Blacklist?


some of you are!

Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine is fed up with lazy PR people. He gets 300 or more emails per day, most of which have nothing to do with his publication so he has found a solution. He is blocking every single person who sends him a blast, a non-tailored email or anything that isn't relevant to him. No warning, just blocked. Not only that but he is posting your email on his blog as well.

Are you guilty of blasting and not tailoring your pitch? Have you spent enough time honing your list? According to this list a lot of us are lazy pitchers. Email is an incredibly important PR tool but we need to remember that the reporter/PR relationship is a two way street. They need to write articles and get accurate, relevant information - we provide them with ideas and references. We need to get coverage for our clients. Therefore, we need to work together appropriately and respectfully. Form relationships.

How do we do that? Do your research before you send a pitch. Tailor the email to fit a particular reporter's beat. When you call to follow up make sure you are focusing on what their needs are and what they are working on. Everyone responds well to showing (or at least pretending) you care what is important to them.

If we take our time and focus on making the emails we do send high quality we won't need to send mass emails to every reporter in our database and the reporters that do get it will be more likely to read what we do send and respond favorably - with coverage for your client.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Weber Shandwick Promotions

The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced the promotion of employees in the consumer marketing and corporate, community and public affairs practices.

Whitney Mares has been promoted to account supervisor from senior account executive in the consumer marketing practice group. Whitney helps lead projects and accounts for clients such as The Allstate Foundation, the United States Army and a number of food and beverage companies.

Prior to joining Weber Shandwick in 2006, Whitney established a public relations department for the nation's top nonprofit student lender, and managed a consumer outreach and sampling campaign for Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream as well as trendspotting and market research for liquor giant Brown-Forman. Whitney holds a master's degree in strategic public relations from the University of Southern California and a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ithaca College.

Angela Gassett has been promoted to account executive from assistant account executive in the corporate, community and public affairs practice group. Gassett provides writing and media relations support to clients including The Opus Group, National Marrow Donor Program, a Minneapolis-Saint Paul branding campaign and the REACH Project.

Gassett is also active in the Twin Cities office’s Employee Action Group (EAG) and helps organize the agency's annual "Telling Your Story Workshop," a day-long public relations workshop offering free counsel to local non-profit organizations. A native of Milaca, Minn., Gassett holds a bachelor's degree in public relations and psychology from the University of St. Thomas. She is an active member of the St. Thomas Young Alumni Council.

MinnPost.com launches on November 8, 2007

For those of you that haven't heard, there is a new online newspaper coming to Minnesota on Nov 8. MinnPost is a publication started by Joel Kramer, former editor of the Star Tribune.

Last night I was invited to an open house where Joel talked a little about his vision for the paper, this is what I learned.

MinnPost is a 501c3, so much like Minnesota Public Radio or Television they will be primarily supported by readers, although they will have advertisements on the site as well. To-date MinnPost has received $120,000 in reader contributions.

The paper's new cycle will be to publish Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. The look of the site will change on weekends, but because of limited resources there will not be any new information. They will have a PDF version for download and printing on their homepage and a small number of printed copies (2,000) will be distributed for free in high traffic areas around the metro area.

The paper's focus will be on delivering high-quality journalism to people that like news. While the focus will be readers in Minnesota, the paper will not be provincial, they WILL cover world news. There will not be sports coverage and they will take a more New York Times approach to crime coverage focusing on trends rather than daily events.

The site will link to additional resources for more information and the site will feel, in some ways, more like an online magazine like slate.com or salon.com.

The paper has a wide array of freelance journalists already signed up to write for the paper. Many of these writers are familiar faces to the Minnesota journalism world, so it will make it easier for those of us in PR industry.

Joel said it is time for journalists to adjust to the new way of journalism and that takes a new attitude. MinnPost will encompass the best of the news business.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

How Can I Help?

I love SoCal...I lived out there for 5 years. Now, California is burning and I am sitting here in Minnesota. I feel like all I can do is watch. How can we help without flying off to San Diego?

Los Angeles Times Family Fund and KTLA Charities Fire Relief Campaign: 100% of all donation plus match funds will be granted to organizations supporting disaster response and recovery in Southern California. Official site.

American Red Cross: Cash donations can be made through www.redcross.org or through a local Red Cross chapter.

New Leash on Life: The animal rescue group needs help caring for evacuated pets at its Newhall facility. The group can be contacted at (661) 255-0097.

Salvation Army: Cash contributions can be made through its website www.salvationarmy-socal.org or by calling (800) SALARMY.

You can also shop for the cause at http://www.smartraise.com/california

Get some good Karma and help out those in need.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Work Downtown? Get a Complimentary Chair Massage!

To help introduce Twin Cities residents and downtown office workers to the new Ivy Spa Club, located at 201 Eleventh Street South in Minneapolis, owner Pamela Margolis is taking her show on the road by offering complimentary chair massages to downtown
Minneapolis employees.

From Nov. 27 through Dec. 21, 2007, Ivy Spa Club is sending out 20 of its top massage therapists and estheticians to the companies and skyways of downtown Minneapolis. Their mission is to ease the tense muscles in the backs, shoulders, necks, faces and hands of stressed-out downtown Minneapolis workers during the holiday season. To schedule a complimentary massage time block for your employees, contact Breanna Wagner at Ivy Spa Club at 612-343-3131 or breannaw@ivyspaclub.com.

The complimentary chair massages are just a taste of the services that will be offered by Ivy Spa Club. Other unique treatments available on-site at Ivy Spa Club will include:
  • Caviar Facial: Scientifically advanced, age-defying treatment containing
    the latest phyto-extracts, a vegetal botoxine proven to visibly smooth
    wrinkles and firm skin.
  • Four Hand Massage: Two therapists performing a choreographed massage in
    unison that dissolves tension and transports recipient to a blissful place.
  • Ivy Ritual: Treatment begins with jojoba full body exfoliation, wrap and
    scalp massage. A hydrotherapy anti-stress milk bath follows, during which
    the recipient¹s face is cleansed, toned and moisturized. Then a water lily
    body wrap is enjoyed with a de-stress and anti-puffiness eye mask and a hand
    and foot massage. Finally, the session ends with a full body moisturizing
    massage.
  • Rejuvenating Still Water Mud Mask: A cleansing and healing treatment
    practiced throughout history by many cultures. A body scrub uncovers new
    skin under a Vichy shower from multiple showerheads while the spa guest lies
    on a cushioned wet table. Then the guest luxuriates in a cocoon of warm
    aromatic pine and rich mineral mud. Treatment helps alleviate muscle aches,
    reduce tension and relieve stress.
  • Ivy Spa Club also offers manicures, pedicures and a wide array of specially tailored packages for couples, newlyweds, parents-to-be and bridal parties. For the busy downtown worker there are several lunch express services.

    In early December, spa owner Pamela Margolis launches her unique luxury destination spa located at 201 Eleventh Street South in downtown Minneapolis, at the historic Ivy Tower, on the second floor of the new Hotel Ivy, a Starwood Luxury Collection® Hotel. The 17,000 square-foot Ivy Spa Club will offer world-class spa services to soothe and relax, and fitness options tailored to invigorate and energize members and day guests alike.

    Ivy Spa Club¹s exclusive list of more than 75 services has personally been developed by Ivy Spa Club Director Gary Duprat, who brings over 30 years of luxury spa experience, with more than 20 years as spa services director of the famed La Costa Spa in southern California. Facility features that members and day guests will enjoy at Ivy Spa Club include heavenly relaxation areas, dedicated couples¹ suites and hydrotherapy treatment rooms, steam rooms, saunas, a co-ed whirlpool, Vichy shower, a cold plunge shower, Water TileTM shower by Kohler in the women¹s locker room, and much more. Ivy Spa Club¹s 14 treatment rooms will allow for ease of appointment
    scheduling.

    Because the historic Ivy Tower is a valued treasure to the Minneapolis area, spa owner, Pamela Margolis has taken care to use recycled and renewable materials wherever possible ­ from natural hemp uniforms for the staff to bamboo flooring, cork upholstery and teak custom furniture; and from organic menu selections in the café to botanicals and natural essential oils used in Ivy Spa Club¹s Signature Formula line of body care products.

    Ivy Spa Club members and day guests may also benefit from state-of-the-art Matrix cardio and strength equipment with individual television monitors, vitalizing fitness classes, personal training and wellness options that fit personal requirements and schedules. For more information, visit www.ivyspaclub.com.

    Monday, October 22, 2007

    14 new accounts at RMG

    During a robust third quarter, Risdall Marketing Group (RMG) added 14 new accounts to its client roster. The new accounts will add $6.5 million in capitalized billings to RMG’s 2007 annual capitalized billings.

    "We’re experiencing growth in all facets of the agency," said Tom Wilson, president of RMG. "From branding to search marketing, Risdall excels at providing integrated marketing services for our clients."

    Showcasing its integrated capabilities, RMG announces its new business for quarter three of 2007:
  • Blanchard & Calhoun Commercial – Search Marketing
  • Perfect Reach, Inc., – Search Marketing
  • P S Finance – Search Marketing
  • Park Industries – Search Marketing
  • Grey Fox Pottery – Search Marketing
  • Minnesota Department of Agriculture – Site search redeployment
  • Red Lambda, Inc., – New product introduction
  • Innovative Office Solutions – Branding, key message and a story-development project
  • Pinnacle Communications International, Inc., – Branding, messaging and Web site redesign
  • Sundance Exteriors – Rebranding
  • Anderberg Lund Printing – Rebranding
  • Holbrook and Associates – Interactive support
  • UpOnGreen – Media planning and a future Web site
  • Chanhassen Kitchen & Bath – Web site design and development
  • Minnesota Women in Marketing and Communications - Learning Lunch Series - Method and Mayhem: Creating Balanced Communications

    The Minnesota Women in Marketing and Communications series of three Learning Lunches will explore the various sides of communications, from creativity to crisis, leadership and management.

    The first event in the series is:
    Creativity and Organization presented by 5 by 5 Design, November 15, 2007


    In today's crowded marketplace, creative communications are key to standing out and making an impact. Join 5 by 5 Design founders Diana Lillicrap and Wendy Ruyle, creative communications experts, as they cover ideas to combine clever design and a creative process to energize your brand.

    Sign up now for the entire series and save, or sign up for each individual lunch:

    Safeguarding Your Brand
    Weber Shandwick, January 17, 2008

    Grown Up Leadership
    Bailey Consulting Group, March 20, 2008

    All lunch events in the series will take place from 11:30-1 p.m. at The Woman's Club of Minneapolis, 410 Oak Grove Street, Minneapolis, 55403.

    Registration fee for the whole series:

    $80 Members
    $140 Non-members
    $50 Students

    Registration fees for the individual lunch sessions:

    $30 Members
    $50 Non-members
    $20 Students

    For more information and to register, visit their Web site.

    Sunday, October 21, 2007

    Crisis Communication 3 of 3

    I went to the PRSA Core Training on Crisis Communications this week. Ted Canova, Chief Communications and Development Officer for the Twin Cities Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, Kathryn Janicek, PIO, Hennepin County Sheriff's office and James Shiffer, Star Tribune discussed what worked and what didn't when communicating the 35-W bridge collapse.

    To round out my discussion of Crisis Communications I want to quickly give my take aways from this conversation and ask you all for your input. I would love to make this a discussion.

    Kathryn Janicek was in charge of all of the media for the sheriff's office including all international and national media of the water recovery. They had just practiced their crisis communication plan the week before.

    Goal:
    Reunite all missing loved ones

    Key Messages:
    Immediately Following Collapse
    • Don't use your cell phone because the lines were needed for emergency use
    • Don't come down here - emergency workers need room
    • Give blood - this helped people feel like they were doing something to help
    During this time she wanted to make sure that the media was getting information but she also wanted to protect the victim's families. For example, in messages to the media she would say "human remains" rather than body parts because that was not necessary to get the story across. Also, she tried to avoid having the number of casualties reported early on because they were not accurate.

    Ted Canova was the spokesperson for the Red Cross. As the collapse happened 100 yards from their site they played a key role in the rescue and got significantly more coverage than they typically would. A lot of the media took up camp in their parking lot and he had to deal with treating and keeping victims save while working with the media to keep the public up to date.

    Goals: Re-unite missing loved ones and portray a unified message and to protect the victims who were receiving treatment while ensuring there was adequate media coverage
    Message:
    • Portray calm and confident
    • Express heartache and condolence
    He allowed media into the parking lot of the Red Cross but set up a perimeter for the victims protection. he was also on a lot of different news programs describing what he was seeing because it was difficult in the early hours to get camera crews that close.

    James Shiffer is an editor at the Star Tribune but immediately following the collapse he got to cover it. He wanted to ensure that the public got all of the information available. He is very concerned with public access to information including that about the infrastructure. He didn't think it was the Kathryn and Ted's job to "protect" people from the truth about what was happening.

    Take-aways:
    What Worked
    • Having a plan allowed them to immediately know who the designated spokespeople were
    • They did not stray from messaging
    • Kept a lid on pettiness and political agendas
    • Keeping in constant contact with the other organizations ( red cross, sheriff, politicians, etc)
    • Having good relationships
    • Setting up good visuals for media coverage
    What Didn't
    • Not enough communication support
    • Not prepared for a web communication piece
    • Needed a liaison for print/releases

    Thursday, October 18, 2007

    New Web Address for MNPR Blog

    Minnesota Public Relations Blog has a new URL - http://www.mnprblog.com/. Now instead of getting confused with the www.mnpr.blogspot.com you can type it all in one word - www.mnprblog.com!

    In case your worried the old URL will still work. No worries.

    Minneapolis Picks is Here!

    Life and Style to You…First Friday of the Month
    ***First issue launched Friday, August 3, 2007 ***

    What are the newest and hottest places to shop, dine and do in Minneapolis ? The girls from Westover Media have launched www.MinneapolisPicks.com – a girlfriend’s guide to the city – to fill you in on everything fashionable and fun. Be the first on your block to shop the newest stores, find the best restaurants, and sip the hottest cocktails. Minneapolis Picks gives you the skinny—the First Friday of Every Month!

    Following the phenomenal success of Portland Picks and Seattle Picks, we are shopping our way east to uncover (and rediscover) the plethora of local boutiques, spas, and restaurants popping up all over Minneapolis .

    Minneapolis Picks is a free monthly email update about all that’s hip and cool—it reads like it’s from your sassy, albeit a bit crazypants, BFF. We hold nothing back, so it’s not only a great resource, but the most fun you’ll find in your inbox…at least, fun you can actually use.

    Minneapolis Picks will focus on local and independent small boutiques, businesses, and events. It’s not only a fabulous editorial resource for subscribers, but a targeted market for advertisers. Our readers are savvy, hip, educated and view the Picks as personal suggestions from a friend. If you have a retail store, restaurant, bar, spa, salon, product or service to promote, this is an incredibly effective avenue for your ad dollars.

    To get a feel for what Minneapolis Picks will become, visit www.PortlandPicks.com or www.SeattlePicks.com. And tell your friends that Minneapolis Picks is here! Friday mornings will never be the same again.

    1st Annual Community Cornerstone Award Recognizes PSB

    Join the March of Dimes in recognizing Padilla Speer Beardsley for their leadership and contributions to the Twin Cities community. The employee-owners of Padilla Speer Beardsley have a cherished tradition of giving their time and talent to nonprofit organizations. The March of Dimes will recognize this commitment to the community by presenting them with the March of Dimes Community Cornerstone Award. The event will take place at the Marriot Minneapolis West on Prematurity Awareness Day, November 13th from 12:00 to 1:30pm. Proceeds benefit the March of Dimes and the fight to stop premature birth. Open seating is available for $125. Reserved tables for 10 are available for $1,000.

    Padilla Speer Beardsley employees donate hundreds of hours each year to nonprofit organizations of their choice. Additionally, the firm contributes public relations expertise and financial support to a host of organizations improving the quality of life where its employees live and work. Padilla Speer Beardsley also is a consistent recipient of the Minnesota Keystone Award for contributing an amount equal to five percent of annual pre-tax profits to charitable organizations.

    "The Community Cornerstone Award is about honoring a company or individual that is a true leader in community giving. Padilla Speer Beardsley exemplifies this leadership through their outstanding involvement in the Twin Cities community. They are truly making a difference," said Keith Halleland, Founder and Shareholder of Halleland Lewis Nilan & Johnson and Chair of the 2007 March of Dimes Community Cornerstone Award Committee.

    Local sponsors for this event include Halleland Lewis Nilan & Johnson, HealthPartners and the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

    Wednesday, October 17, 2007

    Himle Horner, Inc. Will Manage Public Affairs for I-35W Bridge Reconstruction

    Public affairs and community engagement for the reconstruction of the collapsed I-35W bridge will be managed by Minneapolis-based public relations firm Himle Horner, Inc. Himle Horner is part of the design-build team that won the construction award from the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The project will be headed by the design and construction team of Flatiron Constructors, Manson Construction and FIGG Bridge Engineers.

    "We’re honored to be working with the Flatiron, Manson and FIGG team, which has been committed since day one to engaging citizens in the design and construction activities of the 35W bridge," said Todd Rapp, managing director of Himle Horner and the lead account person on the project. "In the coming months, we’ll be focused on getting Minnesotans involved in the final design and bridging any gaps between community expectations and the realities of building a safe, high quality bridge that reflects community values.

    "The country will be watching closely as a new bridge rises from tragedy. We hope to do our part to help Minnesotans and visitors to the Minneapolis area embrace the new bridge," Rapp said.

    The State of Minnesota signed a contract with the Flatiron, Manson and FIGG team Oct. 8 to immediately finish design and build a new 35W bridge. The previous bridge collapsed Aug. 1.

    As part of its contract with the team, Himle Horner will develop the project’s public information plan, develop and implement core communications tools with various audiences (including policymakers, elected officials, neighborhood and other community organizations), manage media relations and conduct other public outreach and engagement efforts.

    Rapp brings 25 years of Minnesota public affairs experience to this project, most recently as the project director and day-to-day campaign manager for Minnesota ’s Transportation Amendment—which won approval by Minnesota voters in 2006.

    Himle Horner specializes in public relations, crisis management and public affairs. In recent years, the firm has played a pivotal role in developing and implementing multi-faceted communications strategies in support of a comprehensive statewide clean indoor air law, a private/public genomics research partnership, enhanced urban open spaces and the development of Minnesota ’s first commuter rail line.

    Tuesday, October 16, 2007

    Global Vehicles Selects Fast Horse For Consumer Marketing









    Fast Horse
    , a Minneapolis-based consumer marketing services agency, has been retained by Global Vehicles U.S.A., Inc. to support the national launch of Mahindra SUVs and trucks, the first line of Indian-made automobiles to hit the U.S. market.

    Global Vehicles, headquartered in Alpharetta, Ga., is the exclusive importer and distributor of Mahindra vehicles, which are manufactured by The Mahindra Group, recently ranked by Forbes as one of the World’s 200 Most Reputable Companies. Set to go on sale in the second quarter of 2009 through a vast national network of premier dealers, Mahindra vehicles will offer a blend of ruggedness, performance and affordability – highlighted by a clean-burning diesel engine built with top-of-the-industry green technology designed to reduce emissions and maximize fuel efficiency.

    Fast Horse will develop and execute integrated marketing campaigns to build brand awareness and consumer acceptance of Mahindra vehicles, in addition to assisting Mahindra dealers with marketing activities on a local and regional level. Initiatives will include media relations, blog relations, dealer communications, special event coordination, grassroots marketing and consumer promotions.

    "We’re excited to help introduce U.S. consumers to one of India’s most respected brands," said Jörg Pierach, founder and president of Fast Horse. "Mahindra represents the new India , demonstrating a unique convergence of superior style, technology and culture. We’re already seeing a buzz associated with Mahindra’s entry into the market and we believe consumers will quickly recognize the quality, durability, green technology and overall value packed into this line of vehicles."

    Thursday, October 11, 2007

    New Hires at Weber Shandwick

    The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced the hires of new employees in the health care, technology, financial services and interactive and emerging media practices.

    Cameron Potts joined the health care practice group as an account manager, focusing on hospital and health care systems and device manufacturing accounts. Potts has more than eight years of expertise in strategic public relations activities related to hospitals and health care systems. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, he worked as the director of communications and marketing for Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina, Minn. and also as the communications director for the Minnesota Hospital Association in St. Paul, Minn. A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Potts earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, N.D. and also holds an M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis.

    Ranae Sandholm joined the technology practice group as an account supervisor, specializing in public relations strategy development, vertical and trade media engagement and industry analyst relations for technology and business-to-business clients. Before joining Weber Shandwick, Sandholm worked for Waggener Edstrom Worldwide in Seattle. In addition, she also spent part of her career at Text 100 in Seattle. An Iowa native, she received bachelor degrees in journalism and mass communication and communication studies from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa.

    Nora Hayes joined the financial services practice group as a senior account executive working with clients in the retirement industry. She specializes in product packaging, collateral development, media relations and special event planning. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Hayes worked as a senior marketing specialist at Phillips Electronics in Plymouth, Minn. and as the director of marketing and communications at Minnesota Independent School Forum in St. Paul, Minn. A native of Jackson, Mich., Hayes received a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich. and holds a certificate in business communications form the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. She also is currently the treasurer of Minnesota Women in Marketing and Communications.

    Angie Koehn joined the interactive and emerging media practice group as a graphic designer, specializing in print designs for clients in the consumer, financial services, health care, technology and corporate, community and public affairs practice groups. Before joining Weber Shandwick, she was a graphic designer for BoldMarketing in St. Paul, Minn. A native of Eau Claire, Wis., Koehn holds a bachelor’s degree in business and advertising from the University of Saint Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. and a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

    Judy Abel joined the interactive and emerging media practice group as a print and interactive project manager, overseeing print designs, Websites and newsletters for clients in all practice groups. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Abel worked at Fleishman-Hillard Digital in Washington, D.C. as a designer and production artist. A native of Jackson, Miss., she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English literature and European Cultural Studies form Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass. and also holds an M.A. in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University in Washington, D.C.

    Wednesday, October 10, 2007

    Crisis Communication 2 of 3

    For Part two of this article I will address first steps after the crisis hits.

    You have created your crisis communication plan and designated your spokesperson. You know where to reach key corporate messaging and who to contact. You feel fairly prepared but once a crisis hits, time is of the essence. The first statements that you make will determine how your organization is viewed and whether you come through the event a winner or a loser.

    BOOM! Crisis Hits:

    1) Do not hide from the media. If the event is important enough for them to cover it will only make you look worse not to acknowledge it.

    a. Have your spokesperson acknowledge that there is a problem. If some one or something was effected by it, admit it and say that you will remedy the situation
    b. If you don’t have enough information to address the problem, let the media know that you are aware of the problem, you are looking into it and you will keep everyone abreast of developments.


    2) Explain what happened and how: Once you have the details of what happened, give the media a brief explanation. Explain why it happened and that are committed to putting safeguards in place to prevent a recurrence.


    3) Apologize and offer to fix the problem: I think this is one of the most difficult and most important steps. This will determine how the public remembers you.
    a. Take full responsibility
    b. Give specific actions you will take prevent a recurrence
    c. Aside from just putting internal safeguards in place, also offer to help the victims if there are any. Donate to a charity, set up a fund but be sincere.

    Next week I will write about managing the after effect of a crisis and report on the PRSA Core Training on Crisis Communications. I hope to see you there!

    Carmichael Lynch Spong’s Maria Reitan to Host Marketing-to-Women Program on WebmasterRadio.FM

    Want to become best friends with the most powerful person in the country? A new global radio show will give you the inside track on today's woman — how to capture her attention, grow her loyalty and create such enthusiasm about your company or product that she spreads the word with her friends and family.

    Carmichael Lynch Spong announced today that Maria Reitan, principal and chair of the firm’s Marketing to Women and Lifestyle Marketing groups and Emmy Award-winning news director and producer will host “PurseStrings” —- a weekly 30-minute marketing-to-women radio program on WebmasterRadio.FM, a 24-hour Internet business radio station.

    "PurseStrings" will launch on October 16, 2007 at 3:00 p.m. EST and will air every Tuesday. The show will feature expert insight about how to successfully capture the attention of the country’s most coveted demographic — the 51 percent of the country who controls more than 80 percent of the household spending: the woman. Each show will feature female-savvy guests ranging from marketing executives to third-party experts and more. The show will be streamed LIVE over WebmasterRadio.FM and available in archive, distributed in podcast format through all major podcast portals (including iTunes and Mobilecast) and through RSS feeds.

    "Carmichael Lynch Spong is the expert when it comes to capturing women’s attention. We’ve helped companies realize their marketing goals and gain market share by aligning themselves with the number one consumer today – the woman," says Maria Reitan, principal and chair of the Marketing to Women and Lifestyle Marketing practice groups. "Now, I'm excited to share that experience with WebmasterRadio.FM listeners."

    Thursday, October 04, 2007

    Weber announces Four Promotions

    The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced the promotion of employees in the financial services and health care practices.

    Tonya Tennessen was promoted to account supervisor in the financial services practice. Having joined Weber Shandwick last year, Tennessen plays a key role on the award-winning Go Direct campaign of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. She manages the campaign's national media and partner outreach efforts. Tennessen has also served on Weber Shandwick's pro bono client selection committee and currently directs Weber Shandwick's pro bono work with a local non-profit legal services organization servicing Minnesota's immigrant population. A native of Minneapolis, Minn., Tennessen holds a bachelor's degree in English, Economics and secondary English Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    The health care practice has promoted Toccara Torres, Stacy Buehner and Rachel Lonsdale from assistant account executives to account executives.

    Torres works on the American College of Surgeons and the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis accounts providing account management, media relations, newsletter editing and production and event coordination. In addition to her work on client accounts, Torres is a member of the Weber Shandwick Minneapolis office United Way committee as well as the Employee Action Group (EAG) Green Committee, which supports office-wide, environmentally friendly initiatives. A native of St. Peter, Minn., Torres graduated from Macalester College with a bachelor's degree in communications and media studies.

    Buehner plays a key role on several health care accounts including the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, Hazelden Foundation, American College of Surgeons, Prime Therapeutics, Boston Scientific and Army Healthcare (AMEDD). She provides media relations and writing expertise to all of her clients and recently helped manage a national campaign for the Hazelden Foundation. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Buehner held an internship at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview in the communications department. Originally from Canistota, S.D., Buehner graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor's degree in journalism focusing on public relations.

    Lonsdale plays a key role on the Boston Scientific and Carlson Wagonlit Travel account teams where she provides media relations, research and analysis and strategic planning support. She also manages media tour booking for both of these clients. A native of Eau Claire, Wis., Lonsdale graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor's degree in Communication Arts and Political Science.

    Job - Kroll Ontrack - PR Specialist, Legal Technologies

    Kroll Ontrack - PR Specialist, Legal Technologies

    Wednesday, October 03, 2007

    Crisis Communication 1 of 3

    A crisis can strike your client with no advanced notice. Some companies will react well, like the well documented case of Tylenol, some will react by the book but in a non-personal, uninspiring way, such as Skype during their recent coverage outage and some will fail miserably,Jack in the Box, anyone?

    Tylenol recovered from their crisis in better shape than before. They were able to communicate to the public what their values were and having that crisis gave them a wider audience to communicate with. You want to set your clients up to respond in this manner.

    How do you make sure that your clients are prepared for a crisis and how do you make sure that in the event of a crisis it is handled in the best possible way?
    I have spoken to several local PR practitioners and I have done quite a bit of research to put together this “Dummy’s Guide” to crisis communication. I will link a lot of resources at the conclusion of this series.

    1) In a crisis time is of the essence, plan ahead

    I could write the whole article on the importance of preparation. Have contact information for these people and this information in your easily accessible crisis tool kit

    a. Crisis Management Team
    b. Spokesperson-not the CEO
    c. Legal Council
    d. Mission and Values of the organization or person
    e. Key media contacts

    I will post the next installment next week. For even more information on Crisis Communication check out PRSA's Training.

    PRSA’s October Core Training Breakfast Session

    Communicating During a Crisis: The 35W Bridge Collapse

    Thursday, October 18 at the Metropolitan Ballroom
    Registration and continental breakfast: 7:30 am
    Program: 8:00 – 9:30 am

    Guest Panelists:
    · Ted Canova, Chief Communications and Development Officer, Twin Cities Area Chapter of the American Red Cross

    · Kathryn Janicek, PIO, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office
    · Member(s) of the media TBD

    Join our panel in a discussion regarding the ultimate in crisis communications—what works, what does notand how to effectively work with the media to keep the public informed when it really counts. Our panelists were all instrumental in the communication and media coverage during the 35W bridge collapse and will share their experiences with attendees. Take away best practices for your own crisis communications plan—including planning and preparing for a crisis, media needs and policies, establishing protocols and channels for information release, and more.

    Please also note a time change for this October meeting. Member survey results indicated that many PRSA members were interested in breakfast training sessions. So, to meet that request, we are trying our first breakfast training, with registration and breakfast starting at 7:30 and the program running from 8:00-9:30 am.
    The October training is sponsored by Metro Dentalcare.

    Tuesday, October 02, 2007

    Job - Minnesota Department of Revenue - Media Relations Coordinator

    Minnesota Department of Revenue - Media Relations Coordinator

    ASI Communications Names Lindgren Director of PR

    ASI Communications announced today that it has hired Dawn Lindgren as director of public relations. Lindgren joins ASI after 10 years with Weber Shandwick, where she honed her skills in strategic communications, public relations, media relations, crisis communications and public affairs.

    "I knew the first time I met Dawn that she was the right person for the job," said Vice President Patrick Rosenstiel. "She knows that public relations is more than a press release and a prayer, and she understands our agency-wide perspective that PR efforts need to be flexible — able to stand on their own in some cases, while integrating seamlessly into broader marketing campaigns in others."

    ASI Communications is growing to over eighty employees, and Lindgren will coordinate the efforts of its 15-person public relations team. This team includes media relations experts, researchers, senior writers and media monitors offering vertical expertise in retail, health care, issue management, B2B, government, defense and regulated industries.

    Lindgren will report directly to Patrick Rosenstiel, who oversees ASI’s public relations, public affairs, government procurement, crisis management and writing and research practice areas.

    "The challenges and opportunities excite me," said Lindgren. "This team is experienced, driven and motivated to build a best-in-breed public relations offering for current and future clients."

    Five Tips for Identifying and Collaborating with a Freelancer - Part 3 of 3

    If and when you make the decision to hire a freelancer, the following tips can be helpful when identifying the appropriate freelancer(s) and collaborating with them to meet your needs.
    1. Know your team’s strengths and weaknesses. Use a freelancer to fill in the gaps when necessary. For example, if your team is very good with the big picture, but needs help with the details, find someone that can develop a plan and timeline to deliver your vision and keep the team on track.

    2. Develop a roster. Strategic versus nitty gritty. Specialized versus generalized. There is a time and place for different freelancers. Perhaps you need someone with 20 years of experience to help with your crisis plan, but they may not be the best use of your budget when you need a press release or media support.

    3. Know what you want. A freelancer is not a mind reader. Be able to provide them with a good idea of what you’re looking for so there aren’t any surprises in the deliverable and you get the most out of your investment.

    4. Provide details. A freelancer is most helpful when they have all of the details, good and bad, up front. If you’re not straightforward with them, the end result will not be ideal. Also, to save time and money in the future, once you’ve “company-ized” a document, let them know the changes you’ve made so they can keep this in mind next time.

    5. Gain outside perspective. Take advantage of an impartial, educated perspective and ask for the freelancer’s opinion. A freelancer can sometimes provide an easy solution or unique way of doing things based on their experience or simply because they haven’t been as entrenched in the company or project.
    Have any other tips to add? Please post them here as well.

    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, October 01, 2007

    New Clients for Maccabee Group

    AmericInn, a 200+ location mid-scale hotel chain with headquarters in Chanhassen, Minnesota; The Ivy Spa Club, a luxury spa and fitness facility opening in downtown Minneapolis; Angie’s Kettle Corn, the North Mankato, MN-based manufacturer of freshly-popped classic popcorn snacks; Certes Financial Pros, the St. Louis Park, MN-based provider of high-level financial staffing for Twin Cities companies; and Icon Services Corp., a Saint Paul-based security agency providing executive/VIP protection, public safety and investigative work, have all chosen Maccabee Group Inc. as their public relations agency.

    Job - Junior/Mid-Level PR Practitioners Fleishman-Hillard

    Junior/Mid-Level PR Practitioners Fleishman-Hillard