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Monday, December 22, 2008

Twitter Means Business: How Microblogging Can Help or Hurt Your Company

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Guest Speaker: Julio Ojeda-Zapata, Pioneer Press technology reporter and columnist

Join us to hear Julio Ojeda-Zapata speak about his new book that offers dozens of business-world case studies on how Twitter has proven vital for customer service, market research, worker collaboration and more. As the author himself wrote: “Twitter might seem like the last place on the Internet any self-respecting company would want to do business…” “…It can be a trivial and childish realm, filled with blather about bodily functions, pet excrement and what users had for breakfast, lunch or dinner. “Yet… the companies come. The reason: Twitter is on fire. Its users are a remarkably vocal, energetic crowd. More and more businesses want this energy to rub off on them, and seek to generate some fireworks of their own as they discover their inner tweeters.”

What are the communications and marketing implications of using Twitter? How can it help your company, and how could it hurt you? Don’t wait until it’s too late to find out.

Details & Registration: 
Time: 7:30 a.m. Registration & Breakfast
8:00–9:30 a.m. Program
Location: University of St. Thomas (Minneapolis campus)
1000 LaSalle Ave | Minneapolis, MN 55403
» Maps and directions
Parking is available in a number of nearby ramps as well as parking meters.
Price:
PRSA Member
Nonmember
Student
$30
$45
$15
Walk-ins will be charged an additional $5.
Registration: Register online or contact the PRSA office by noon January 19th.

Friday, December 19, 2008

ARAcontent Responds to Industry Trend Toward Shorter Newspaper Articles with Quick Read Program

The trend toward quicker-to-read articles is spilling over from online news sources to hard-copy newspapers. Web-friendly features such as shorter articles, easier-to-scan layouts and increased use of bulleted lists are finding their way into print. According to the Project for Excellence in Journalism’s “The State of the News Media 2008” report, more than half of newspapers say that their average story length decreased in the past three years. The previous year’s report found that the number-one reason people cited for not reading the newspaper was lack of time.

To respond to the trend toward shorter, easier-to-scan articles, ARAcontent offers its Quick Read program, which combines writing and distributing a full-length feature article with a second condensed version. The full-length article is designed to appeal to editors at the nation’s largest daily and weekly newspapers, while the Quick Read article of up to 250 words caters to newspapers and Web sites that don’t have space for full-length articles. ARAcontent, a division of ARAnet, writes, distributes and promotes feature article releases to more than 12,000 editors of daily and weekly newspapers and Web sites.

In addition to giving editors more options to choose from, the Quick Read program provides ARAcontent clients with increased value by reaching more editors, publications, Web sites and consumers with two articles for the price of one. “It’s no secret that the economy is forcing companies across the country to tighten their belts, and scrutinize the return that each marketing tactic generates,” says Scott Severson, president of ARAnet. “We’re always looking for ways to deliver more value for our clients by helping them deliver their messages to consumers, and we’re confident that our upgraded two-track approach will help marketers generate increased – and more cost-effective -- results.”

In addition to the two articles, the Quick Read program includes distribution of two high-resolution photos; online access to reports detailing placement, impression and advertising dollar equivalency; plus hard-copy and electronic clippings. Articles cost less than $5,000, with quantity discounts available for multiple releases. For more information on ARAcontent’s Quick Read program, contact Jeff Bialek at 866-287-9168 or jeffb@ARAcontent.com.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Give5Now - a new way of raising funds


To help deliver critically needed services, especially food, to people in the nine-county metro area this holiday season, Greater Twin Cities United Way is experimenting with a new way of raising funds: going viral and asking a lot of people to give a little -- just $5 -- instead of relying on fewer people to give more.

Using social networking to spread the word, the organization is launching a Web-based “Give5Now” campaign this holiday season. It centers around a one-minute video that lets people know how their small contribution can have a big impact on their neighbors and their community. To learn more, to donate, or to download the Give5Now video, visit www.Give5Now.org.

Because of the shaky economy, many Minnesota social service organizations are reporting flat donations at a time of year when individuals and corporations ordinarily ramp up their giving. And United Way is adjusting to a change in the way people like to give. "Giving trends show that young people, in particular, are more likely to give small donations online that respond to immediate causes," says Randi Yoder, senior vice president of donor relations for the Greater Twin Cities United Way.

"Give5Now" encourages people to give $5, then help spread the word by emailing the video to at least five friends, family members and colleagues, and posting it on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The campaign, which is currently underway, runs through Dec. 31.

According to Yoder, looking for new ways to raise awareness and funds is more important than ever. "The economy has delivered a one-two punch to nonprofits," she says. "Because of the economic downturn -- and increases in layoffs, foreclosures, hunger and homelessness -- more people than ever are turning to safety-net services, including food shelves and short-term housing, for help. Give5Now is a unique way to make it easier for more people to lend a hand, even in these challenging times."

Saturday, December 13, 2008

ARNDT NAMED CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER OF CAMPBELL MITHUN

Campbell Mithun announced today that Steve Arndt has been named chief financial officer of the Minneapolis-based agency. Arndt is a seven-year veteran of Campbell Mithun and was most recently director of finance and operations.

Arndt’s role as chief financial officer will include the leadership of Campbell Mithun’s human resources, information technology, office services and finance departments.

”We are excited about, and congratulate Steve on this well-deserved promotion,” said Steve Wehrenberg, chief executive officer of Campbell Mithun. “In his seven years at Campbell Mithun, Steve has distinguished himself by exemplifying one of our key core values of “In Deep”; mastering both how our agency operates and how our clients run their businesses in order to drive growth for both. We look forward to him providing not only his financial and operations knowledge to our business, but also his innovation and leadership skills. Steve will be a key member of our top management team, helping to give us the resources to continually improve our culture, our Pioneering Ideas and our ability to grow.”

Prior to joining Campbell Mithun, Arndt worked for ten years at KPMG Minneapolis, one of the country’s largest accounting firms.

Friday, December 12, 2008

More from the 2008 PRSA Professional Practices Conference

For those of you, like me, that missed this years PRSA Profession Practices Conference here are some highlights of Peter Shankman's keynote address.
Peter Shankman’s lunch keynote at the Minnesota PRSA Professional Practices Conference (PPC) was full of thought-provoking statements.   Here are a few of the more interesting ones that are most relevant to our industry:
·        “Good viral [marketing] is not meant to be viral. It’s meant to be good.”
·        “Companies no longer have the time to craft messages and disseminate news the way they want to. Press releases we know today will be dead within 36 months, and the concept is already dead.”
·        “There is no such thing as privacy anymore – we were all photographed 150 times driving to work today.”
·        “There is no difference anymore between a professional and a personal profile online.”
·        “Transparency.  Relevance.  Brevity.  These are going to be the basis for the next 100 years of PR and your personal life.”
·        “Press releases are dead, so what will your voice be?  It’s better to tell your story yourself than to have others do it for you.”
·        “We’ve never had it so easy to get people to do our PR for us.”
For more on Shankman’s speech and the rest of the PPC, visit the Minnesota PRSA Web site.

Job -- ARAnet, Inc. - Marketing Writer

ARAnet, Inc. - Marketing Writer

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Social Media Takes Center Stage at 2008 Professional Practices Conference

A strong contingent of PR professionals from across the state converged on The Metropolitan in Golden Valley for the 2008 Minnesota PRSA Professional Practices Conference, but it was a few “outsiders” – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – that dominated the day’s discussion.


Keynote Sessions
Peter Shankman – founder and CEO of The Geek Factory, Inc. and founder of Help a Reporter Out (HARO) – candidly tackled social media and its role in PR, business and society.  He argued there are three primary trends that will be the basis for PR, business in general and everyone’s personal lives over the next century:
·         Transparency – We’re moving toward a completely transparent world, and audiences prefer now to get their information directly from the source.  As social media become more mainstream, this will only increase.
·         Relevance – Are you in the places where people get their information, and is your information current?
·         Brevity – The attention span of today’s kids: 140 characters.  And soon they will be adults, target consumers for just about any kind of business out there.
Paula Prahl, senior vice president of communications, public affairs and corporate responsibility at Best Buy, gave the morning keynote.  She relayed six tips for effective communications today:
1.       Know Yourself
2.       Don’t Believe Your Own Hype
3.       Know Who Cares About You
4.       The Era of the Campaign is Dead
5.       Stories Have to be Really Real
6.       Patience is a Virtue – building familiarity will take time
Breakout Session – Agency Panel
Several area agency leaders discussed how they approach social media and counsel their clients about it.  John Reinan of Fast Horse thinks of pitching social media in terms of degrees of separation, “One person can reach millions of people through four to six degrees of separation, so being targeted about your influencers can have a huge impact.” 
Matt Kucharski of Padilla Speer Beardsley thinks of social media as another way to build relationships.  “Ultimately we’re all in the relationship business, and social media is just another way to build those relationships.”
Also, the subject of unfavorable social media posts was discussed by the panel.  As Lisa Hannum of Beehive PR said, “The first step in resolving negative blogs is listening…if you hear a factual error, then you respond in the correct way with the best information.  If it’s unkind/unfavorable, then listen to it and learn from it.  We don’t get to control the message anymore, and the sooner we can help convince executives of that, the better off we are.”
Other panelists were Keith Negrin of Morsekode and Maria Reitan of Carmichael Lynch Spong. 
Breakout Session – Media Panel
Three of the Twin Cities’ top news minds assembled for a panel on how to work with the media today, and the status of the media in today’s economy.  Surprise, surprise…social media factored into this discussion as well.  Among the musings:
Mike Caputa, WCCO-TV: “Three-quarters of all TVs on in the market at 10 p.m. are watching local news, so we still have to do a good job of covering the news.”
Joel Kramer, MinnPost.com: “One of the things I’m most worried about is the future of local/state investigative journalism.”
J. Keith Moyer, formerly of the Star Tribune: “Don’t just contact a reporter when you want something.  Build a bank of goodwill.”
For more photos and attendee video interviews from the Professional Practices Conference, visit the Minnesota PRSA Web site

Job - Fleishman-Hillard Seeks Intern

Fleishman-Hillard Seeks Intern

Monday, December 08, 2008

Turn brand monitoring into a marketing strategy




The following post is courtesy of: Karen Sams online at: http://www.klsinteractive.com.

Your reputation is everything.  What you say and what is said about you is more important than ever with the growth of the social media landscape.  It’s a double edged sword.  While social media makes it easy to build brand awareness online, negative publicity can quickly spiral out of control.


Online marketing companies now offer brand monitoring services to help you keep track of both your company’s and your competitors’ online brand mentions.  However, brand monitoring should be more than a report.  Successful brand monitoring is about turning intelligence into marketing strategy. 


Here are some brand monitoring tools that can be leveraged for marketing purposes.




Use this tool to search for tweets containing your company name, competitors or keyword phrases.  Respond to tweets where appropriate to establish yourself in the Twitter community and build brand recognition.  You can also use TweetBeep to receive email alerts when certain keyword phrases are mentioned on Twitter.


Find forums in your industry by searching for keyword phrases.  Join the top forums and actively participate in conversations.  Build brand awareness by leaving your name and URL at the end of each post.


Search for blog posts and bloggers that write about your industry/expertise.  Leave well-thought-out comments on relevant blog posts and develop relationships with key bloggers in your space.  You can also use Google Blog Search and Blog Pulse.


Use this tool to aggregate all social media activity for a particular person.  You can keep an eye on what competitors are saying and find social media opportunities that you too can leverage.


Search for competitors or keyword phrases to receive a summary of social media buzz surrounding them.  Use this data to find social media opportunities for you and your company.  You can also use Serph for the same purpose.



There is a lot to be learned from what others are doing online.  Leveraging these tools will help you gain this intelligence and use it to stay one step ahead of the competition.

Friday, December 05, 2008

SHANDWICK ANNOUNCES PROMOTIONS IN CONSUMER, TECHNOLOGY AND HEALTH CARE PRACTICES

The Minneapolis-St. Paul office of Weber Shandwick today announced the promotions of seven employees in the consumer, technology and health care practices.

Jonathan Mason has been promoted to account group manager in the consumer marketing practice. During his tenure, Mason has contributed to helping a broad range of clients increase brand awareness among key consumer groups through media relations and strategic planning initiatives. For the past two years, Mason has managed the FedEx Racing program and has brought his considerable NASCAR experience to many clients, including ExxonMobil, Sharpie, Unilever and Polaroid. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick in 2003, Mason worked on the communications staff of former City of Minneapolis Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton. The University of Minnesota graduate holds a bachelor’s degree in political science.

Brianna Gallett has been promoted to senior account executive in the consumer marketing practice. Gallett has helped with brand-building, national media relations, product launches, event planning and contest management for her clients, including Verizon, Cargill, The Allstate Foundation and the U.S. Army. She graduated magna cum laude from Winona State University with a bachelor's degree in public relations and a minor in marketing. Gallett joined Weber Shandwick as an account executive in March of 2008 after working at a St. Paul-based communications firm.

Jennifer Kramer has been promoted to senior account executive in the consumer marketing practice. Since joining the agency in 2006, Kramer has brought her experience in media and client relations, writing, new product launches and event planning to several consumer clients. Kramer currently leads the Alpine Lace program for Land O’Lakes and serves as project manager for the 2010 Census team. She joined Weber Shandwick as an intern in February of 2006 after working as a project manager at Cardozo Fine Art and interning with the American Heart Association. A 2005 graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, Kramer holds bachelor’s degrees in international management and Spanish.

Anne Torkelson has been promoted to account executive in the technology practice. Torkelson joined Weber Shandwick in October of 2007, and has supported a variety of clients, including Honeywell, Microsoft and Personnel Decisions International. Prior to joining the agency, Torkelson held internships at Wells Fargo Business Credit, Minneapolis’ Downtown Journal and Southwest Journal, Milkweed Editions, City Pages and Fairview Press. A 2007 cum laude graduate of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., Torkelson holds a bachelor’s degree in English and religion with a media studies concentration.

Sarah Stakston, APR, has been promoted to account supervisor in the health care practice. Since joining Weber Shandwick, she has developed campaign plans, conducted national and trade media outreach and developed Web content for a range of health care clients, including the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Intervention and Beckman Coulter. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Sarah worked in the health care and media relations practices of a Twin Cities-based public relations agency. Sarah graduated summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and business management. She is currently pursuing her MBA at the Carlson School of Management.

Lisa Shepherd has been promoted to account supervisor in the health care practice. Her public relations experience includes health care and financial services media relations for a broad range of clients, including the American College of Surgeons (ACS), Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, the IRS and the U.S. Mint. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick in 2005, Lisa was a senior associate at a global real estate services and money management firm in Chicago. Shepherd received a bachelor’s degree from Miami University of Ohio in Speech Communications and Spanish and is an active member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

Rachel Lonsdale has been promoted to senior account executive in the health care practice. Since joining the agency in 2006, Lonsdale has helped plan and execute media relations and strategic activities for several health care clients including Boston Scientific and the National Brain Aneurysm Center, located at St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul, Minn. She also serves on the communications task force at Portico Healthnet. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Lonsdale was an intern at WKOW-TV and a legislative intern in Madison, Wisconsin. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts and Political Science.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Follow today's 2008 PRSA Professional Practices Conference LIVE on Twitter

The 2008 Minnesota PRSA Professional Practices Conference is today. At the conference they will discuss PR’s Changing Relationships, PR Today & Tomorrow and hear from PR experts like Paula Prahl, senior vice president communications, public affairs and corporate responsibility, Best Buy and Peter Shankman, founder of Help A Reporter Out.

Follow updates live on Twitter at @MinnesotaPRSA

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

SHANDWICK ANNOUNCES NEW HIRES IN THE MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL OFFICE

The Minneapolis-St. Paul office of Weber Shandwick today announced five new hires in the consumer marketing, interactive and emerging media, financial services and technology practices.

Heather Schwartz, APR, joined the consumer marketing practice as an account supervisor. Prior to Weber Shandwick, Schwartz served as brand public relations director at a local firm where she oversaw the marketing strategy, campaign development and execution for all consumer brand and health care accounts. Originally from Oakdale, Minn., Schwartz graduated from Augsburg College with a bachelor's degree in communications with a public relations emphasis. Schwartz is also an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and is the founder and co-chair of the Alphabet Bash, Minnesota’s marketing, communications, public relations and advertising communities’ premier networking event.

After completing her internship, Rachael Lybeck joined the interactive and emerging media practice as a junior graphic designer. A native of New Richmond, Wis., Lybeck graduated from University of Minnesota, Duluth with a bachelor's degree in graphic design.

Jessica Hannon also joined the interactive and emerging media practice as a graphic designer. Prior to Weber Shandwick, Hannon designed and produced newspaper advertisements, posters, billboards and direct mail for the Native American gaming industry. Hannon earned her bachelor's degree in graphic design from The Art Institutes International of Minnesota.

Courtney Finn joined the financial services practice as a senior account executive. Prior to Weber Shandwick, Finn worked on business-to-business and consumer accounts at a Las Vegas public relations firm. A native of Edina, Minn., Finn earned her bachelor's degree in English from the University of Vermont.

JoDee George joined the technology practice as an account group manager. Prior to Weber Shandwick, George was the director of issues management for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) where she balanced industry response to three of the largest ground beef recalls in history with the launch of proactive consumer campaigns on topics such as sustainability and food safety. Previously, George worked for PR firms in Kansas City, Mo., and Portland, Ore., where her clients covered food, beverage, agribusiness, technology and energy sectors. She recently joined the local North Central chapter of National Agri-Marketing Association’s board of directors and has been an active member of the Northwestern Alumni Club and Admissions Council and Junior League. George is originally from southern Wisconsin and graduated from Northwestern University with a political science degree.

AdFed - Transition from Agency-Life to Corporate-Life: Is The Grass Always Greener?

At some point in our career we may get to a point where we are presented with an opportunity to move ahead. Or, we may feel the need to change companies, switch careers or move to a new location all together. Sometimes we may hesitate to make a decision. We may see some of our own colleagues, friends and even family make the leap from the agency side to the client (corporate) side and vice versa, but sometimes we don't understand the reasons why they made the change.

What are the "perks" of corporate versus agency life? Is the pay better? Would the corporate culture be a better fit? Would work hours be better? Or, is it that in our ever-changing work culture, we just need more of that - change?

Find out at the Advertising Federation of Minnesota's (Ad Fed) breakfast meeting on Friday, December 12, when SUPERVALU's Shawne Murphy Johnson, vice president of marketing brand management and advertising, and Shelly Nelson, director of strategic media services for brand management and advertising, talk about their leap to the client side after a combined 35 years on the agency side. They will discuss the pros and cons of the corporate and agency worlds from their point-of-view.

Before joining SUPERVALU in 2007, Murphy Johnson spent 21 years at advertising agency Campbell Mithun. She was named one of the 50 "Top Women in Grocery" by Progressive Grocer in 2008. Prior to joining SUPERVALU in 2008, Nelson spent 12 years at Campbell Mithun. In 2005, she was named "Working Mother of the Year in Advertising" by Working Mother magazine and the Advertising Women of New York.

Speakers:
Shawne Murphy Johnson
Vice President of Marketing Brand Management and Advertising
SUPERVALU

Shelly Nelson
Director of Strategic Media Services for Brand Management and Advertising
SUPERVALU
Date:
Friday, December 12, 2008
Time:
8:00-8:30 am - Registration/Networking
8:30-9:30am - Breakfast and Speaker (including Q & A)
Cost:
Members - $20
Nonmembers - $25
Students - $20
Location: The Grand Hotel
5th floor Ballroom I
615 Second Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN

Monday, December 01, 2008

Mix and Mingle with Minnesota’s BtoB Marketing Community on 12/3

Join your fellow Business-to-Business marketers on December 3, as we celebrate the launch of the Minnesota chapter of the Business Marketing Association (BMA).

From 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm, meet new and prospective BMA members for a night of free sushi and fresh conversation at the Twin Cities' coolest lounge, Seven, above the historic Pantages Theatre on Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis.

Brought together to address the unmet needs of BtoB marketers in the region, BMA-Minnesota was formally established in September 2008. BMA-Minnesota is the only professional association in Minnesota dedicated exclusively to address the unique needs of Minnesota’s robust BtoB marketing community.

Event Details
Date: December 3, 2008
Time: 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Location: Seven Sushi Ultralounge
700 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Price: Free
RSVP to chris.schermer@skmarketing.com
Walk-ins welcome.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

GOLD’N PLUMP POULTRY CHOOSES MACCABEE GROUP FOR PUBLIC RELATIONS

Gold’n Plump Poultry, the St. Cloud, Minnesota-based, family-owned provider of premium chicken products, has chosen Maccabee Group Public Relations as its new public relations agency, to augment the work that incumbent marketing and advertising agency Gabriel DeGrood Bendt currently performs for Gold’n Plump. Maccabee Group will provide Gold’n Plump with local and national media relations and corporate communications services.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

MILE 9 PROMOTES JOHNNY SURPRISE TO VICE PRESIDENT

Mile 9 announced today the promotion of Johnny Surprise from director to vice president.

The six-time Ironman triathlete brings more than a decade of branding and extensive marketing strategy expertise to the agency. Surprise joined the agency this past May and specializes in providing strategic events marketing services for clients including ABC, ESPN and Fox networks. He has managed multiple branding and positioning campaigns along with experiential marketing events for the agency's deep roster of clients.

"Since the day Johnny joined us, he consistently demonstrates his skills as a strategist and leader," said Jeff Smaul, Mile 9 president and CEO. "Johnny will continue to be a significant contributor to the success of Mile 9's events marketing practice by growing our brand presence in the Midwest regional market where he has strong professional ties."

Johnny is based here in Minneapolis and will be working on strengthening the Mile 9 brand and presence here in the Midwest region (starting in the Twin Cities where he has strong ties and then spreading to Chicago, St. Louis, etc.).

Prior to joining Mile 9, Surprise has held positions at Minneapolis-based ASI Communications, director, sports & entertainment marketing; D&H Consulting, director, sales & marketing; Professional Event Solutions, account lead, sports marketing; and the University of Minnesota. His client experience includes working with top brands such as Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch, Boeing, SEGA, Red Bull, and Ameriprise Financial as well as assisting numerous Fortune 500 companies restructure their operations to maximize revenue. Surprise has extensive background coordinating logistics and sponsorship fulfillment for several Super Bowl Games, The NCAA Final Four, Ironman Triathlon World Championships, and the Jim Rome World Tour.

A native of San Mateo, Calif. Surprise is a graduate of Western State College.

MN PRSA Professional Practices Conference – Last Chance for Early Registration!

New media. New world. Discover how PR is evolving.

Just a reminder that early registration for the Minnesota PRSA Professional Practices Conference, which will be held on December 4 at the Metropolitan, closes this Wednesday, November 26. On-site registration will also be available at the door.

Cost of the conference, which includes breakfast and lunch, is $110 for PRSA members, $130 for non-members and $60 for students. On-site registrations will be charged an additional $30.

There are some additional details about the conference below, and you can check it out on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Unable to make it but still interested? Follow the conference on Twitter.

The Schwan Food Company Retains Campbell Mithun as Media and Promotion Agency

Campbell Mithun announced today that The Schwan Food Company has retained the Minneapolis-based agency to handle its media planning and buying as well as its consumer promotion and account-specific marketing activity.

The media planning and buying portion of the assignment will be handled by Campbell Mithun’s CompassPoint Media subsidiary and the promotion portion by the in-house promotion department of Campbell Mtihun.

Campbell Mithun Promotion and Compass Point Media will start work with The Schwan Food Company immediately, working with its iconic national brands: Tony’s, Red Baron, Freschetta, and Wolfgang Puck frozen pizzas; frozen desserts, Edwards and Mrs. Smith; and the Asian Sensations line of Asian Style Snacks.

Campbell Mithun will continue its current partnership with Schwans in the area of brand identity through its BrandOptix subsidiary.

“We’re proud of our long-standing strength in innovative media planning and buying as well as our strategic approach to providing creative promotion solutions for our clients,” said Steve Wehrenberg, chief executive officer of Campbell Mithun. “We take great pride in expanding our relationship with a world class, entrepreneurial company like Schwan’s and look forward to creating business building pioneering ideas for them.”

This will be the seventh new business win for Campbell Mithun in the past year.

Compass Point Media is a media planning and buying unit within Campbell Mithun, serving both full-service and media-only clients. Compass Point Media provides a complete spectrum of highly effective and efficient media services to a wide variety of companies and categories.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Campbell Mithun Joins the Battle Against Breast Cancer

They can’t fight for themselves, they can’t think for themselves, they can’t speak for themselves - so who can? Minneapolis-based advertising agency, Campbell Mithun is giving women’s bodies and breast cancer awareness a voice with the launch of its new pro-bono campaign, “Join the Battle.”  Co-sponsored by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Minnesota affiliate, the campaign uses powerful imagery to engage younger women to increase their awareness, modify behavior and encourage action.
  
Developed as part of Campbell Mithun’s 75th anniversary, the campaign consists of a series of posters, mirror clings, radio, television ads and social media components illustrating the simple steps and smart choices every woman can take to help prevent breast cancer.  In addition, the campaign is intended to promote a general understanding around the early signs, symptoms and facts of this life threatening disease.

“We are honored to be given the opportunity to partner with Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Minnesota affiliate and produce such an influential campaign that educates and raises awareness of a disease that effects so many in our community,” said Annabelle Sherry, account supervisor at Campbell Mithun.   “Through a series of impactful advertisements and compelling images, Join the Battle enables and reminds young women that becoming educated on the facts can potentially save their lives.”

To coincide with the campaign materials, a micro-site (jointhebattle.net) and Facebook presence (Join the Battle) were built to provide an online resource containing additional breast cancer information as well as the opportunity to purchase campaign t-shirts with all proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Minnesota Affiliate.

The campaign will launch at a Campbell Mithun hosted fundraiser event on December 2nd at Nick and Eddie, downtown Minneapolis. Join the battle with Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Minnesota at jointhebattle.net.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Top 5 Social Media Measurement Tools

The following post was provided courtesy of Tim Otis:

Percolating oneself on every social network seems to be the common strategy for practitioners wanting to stay ahead of new media competitors. Though, if you spend your time fragmenting, you're going to miss out on the thing that matters most to landing online business: social media measurement tools.

An ambiguous area to say the least, social media measurement is something not even the experts have been able to completely understand, but companies are trying. Here are the top 5 social media measurement tools to add to your proposal:
  • Trackur Similar to Google Alerts in terms of pop-up value, the site also allows you the ability to filter out keywords that don't belong in your search. You can add as many filters as you like. Comparable to Google Reader with its results userface, Trackur features share and RSS feed subscription. Trackur's biggest advantage: highly specific, though search results can take 2-3 minutes.
  • Compete.com A must-have for monitoring the popularity of one Web site over another, Compete generates web traffic and indicates visitor frequency daily and annually. For example, searching perezhilton vs. techcrunch reveals, while Websites are entirely dissimilar, they maintain similar web traffic.
  • Vitrue SMI Vitrue asks the question, "How social is your advertising?" A quick comparison search will reveal not only the popularity of the subject or phrase, but where it's most likely discussed, such as forums, microblogs, blogs, and video-sharing. This tool was highly impressive when it came to projection monitoring of the 2008 Presidential Election.
  • Forrester Research- Social Technographics Tool This free and fast tool will provide you insight into where your client should focus their audience. After filtering gender, age, and country—the result is an analysis on whether or not you should advise set up on blogs, discussion boards, or microsites.
  • Search.twitter.com Don't underestimate the power of search on a microblog. Extremely fast turnaround, search.twitter.com allows you to directly reach out to your consumers after they tweet about bad or exemplary services and products.
For more social media news and commentary, visit us at www.dailyaxioms.com

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bob Huff Joins LaBreche as Principal

Minneapolis-based communications company LaBreche announces that Bob Huff has joined the company as a principal. Huff will lead the company’s branding communications services, which include leading client engagements in strategy, design, interactive and print media. In addition, Huff will also be responsible for internal staff development and training.

“I am happy to announce Bob as a new member of LaBreche’s leadership team,” said Laura Boyd, president of LaBreche. “His unique blend of leadership and brand expertise will be critical as we continue to grow and expand our marketing communications, interactive and design services. His deep understanding of business communications strategy will add nothing but value for our existing and future clients.”

Huff brings close to 15 years of professional branding experience to his new position at LaBreche. Prior to joining the company, Huff was the associate director for leadership development at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. While there, he built the Leadership Experience, an experiential leadership program aimed at helping full-time graduate students enhance their self-awareness and interpersonal skills.

His career started as an intern and then account executive at branding agency Fallon. Huff later joined Olson as vice president of brand strategy where he was responsible for helping launch, reposition and manage brands including the Minnesota Wild NHL team. Throughout his career Huff has worked with some of the world’s most powerful brands such as Coca-Cola, Subaru, GTE, Purina and Pillsbury. He has also managed the launch and growth of an interactive design department and an agency training program.

Huff earned his BA from Northwestern University and his MA from Columbia University, and is working toward completing his doctorate in leadership development.

"I am looking forward to this new and exciting opportunity,” said Huff. “LaBreche is chock-full of incredibly intellectually and emotionally bright people who really know how to build brand value across many different communication vehicles. I look forward to helping LaBreche and its clients achieve unprecedented results.”

Mix and Mingle with Minnesota’s BtoB Marketing Community on 12/3

Join your fellow Business-to-Business marketers on December 3, as we celebrate the launch of the Minnesota chapter of the Business Marketing Association (BMA).

From 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm, meet new and prospective BMA members for a night of free sushi and fresh conversation at the Twin Cities' coolest lounge, Seven, above the historic Pantages Theatre on Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis.

Brought together to address the unmet needs of BtoB marketers in the region, BMA-Minnesota was formally established in September 2008. BMA-Minnesota is the only professional association in Minnesota dedicated exclusively to address the unique needs of Minnesota’s robust BtoB marketing community.

Date: December 3, 2008
Time: 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Location: Seven Sushi Ultralounge
700 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Price: Free
RSVP to chris.schermer@skmarketing.com
Walk-ins welcome.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Newspapers, magazines, radio and TV - Traditional media: Battered, but not giving up.

Interesting article in today's Minnpost. John Reinan discusses some of the challenges traditional media is facing as they compete with today's social media. Here is an excerpt:
For nearly 100 years, they've been at the core of communication in this country: newspapers, magazines, radio and TV. They told us what was happening in our communities, they delivered our commercial messages, they entertained and informed us.

But the old media went over the cliff a few years ago. Now they're like Wile E. Coyote, frantically running in place just before the bottom drops out from under them.
Read the rest of John's article here.

Minnesota PRSA 31st Annual Classics Awards—CALL FOR ENTRIES

Entries are now being accepted for the 31st Annual Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards. All Minnesota communications professionals are eligible to enter; you do not need to be a PRSA member.

Eligibility

The majority of an entry’s work must be completed between Oct. 1, 2007, and Nov. 30, 2008. Programs tend to have a better chance of winning when they’re near completion and can be better evaluated against their initial objectives. You may enter your work in more than one category.
Deadline
Deadline for receipt of entries is Noon on Friday, Dec. 12, 2008. Each entry must be submitted according to the “How to Submit Your PRSA Classics Entry” instructions located at www.mnprsa.com/classics09. There are no deadline extensions.
NEW this year
Category changes: Be sure to check out the revised elements and programs categories including new Social Media, Crisis/Issues Management and Industry Campaign categories, as well as changes to some of our traditional categories.

Judging partner: This year we have partnered with Utah PRSA to exchange judging responsibilities. Thanks to everyone who volunteered to judge the Utah Golden Spike Awards in September! Judges will be recognized at the Classics banquet in March 2009.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Job - Account Supervisor in the relationship marketing/direct marketing

Account Supervisor in the relationship marketing/direct marketing

Women Launching Women Networking Event - Tuesday, December 16

Tuesday, December 16
6 p.m.
Open Book,1011 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis
Cost: Free for members; $20 for non-members

Members: register here
Non-members: register here

Take a break from the holiday bustle to nurture your career with a fabulous networking event. Women Launching Women, the networking component of MWMC is open to members and non-members for networking. Plus, hear from a guest speaker who will share the highlights of her career path and the lessons learned along the way.

Appetizers will be served. Directions are available at www.openbookmn.org. The event is free to MWMC members and $20 for non-members.

Speaker Bio:

Beth Ewen, editor and co-founder of Upsize Minnesota, will discuss her career path as a business reporter and editor.

Before launching Upsize, Ewen held top posts in area business publications include serving as editor-in-chief of The Business Journal, Ventures magazine and Corporate Report magazine and The Fact Book. Ewen began her reporting career in the 10th grade at the Traill County Tribune in Mayville, N.D.

Upsize Minnesota is the magazine and online resource center dedicated to helping business owners build bigger and more profitable companies and includes Upsize e-tools, Upsize How-to Audio, Upsize Online and the Upsize Growth Challenge, a unique contest that matches winning business owners with experts who will help them reach their business goals.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Obama's Digital Victory

The following post is courtesy of: Karen Sams

Politics aside, there was one good reason why Barack Obama won Tuesday's election: his $8 Million online marketing strategy.
John McCain admitted himself that he didn't know how to use a computer or send an email.  How could he compete with Obama's slick social media campaign?  Indeed, Obama's election as President is historic in more ways than one.  Advertising Age magazine just named him "Marketer of the Year 2008", with his term in the White House now being dubbed as the "Digital Presidency."  The way in which Obama has embraced the Internet has people hoping that this President will keep open the lines of communication between the White House and the nation.
Here are just a few reasons why Obama ran a successful online political campaign:
  • He hired Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook, to create a social networking site out of www.barackobama.com.  Obama's website is a place where supporters can interact with one another, not just read information about Obama's policies and campaign
  • Since August, there have been 500 million blog posts referencing Obama 
  • Obama has a network of 844,927 MySpace friends and 118,107 Twitter followers
  • There are nearly 2 million links to www.barackobama.com
  • Obama raised $33 Million from his online fundraising operations alone
Barack Obama's traction in the social media space is not just about marketing spend and strategy though.  According to Rubicon Consulting, "Democrats are more active online than Republicans. Democrats are more likely to participate in online communities, and say they're more heavily influenced in their voting decisions by information they find online."   Part of Obama's victory was correctly identifying his audience and where he could reach them.
Once upon a time, Barack Obama was a long shot for President; everyone thought that Hillary Clinton would be in the White House.  It was Obama's online marketing campaign that really brought him out from the sidelines into a front runner and, ultimately, a winner. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

CLS Hires Heather Nelson as Designer

Heather Nelson has been named designer at public relations firm Carmichael Lynch Spong and will be based out of the Minneapolis office. In this new role she is responsible for conceptual thinking, designing and producing a broad range of creative products on behalf of the agency and its clients.

Nelson comes to Carmichael Lynch Spong from Carrot, a direct marketing services agency specializing in the health and well-being arena, in Golden Valley, Minn. While there, she served as the graphic designer, conceptualizing and designing for clients such as OptumHealth and UnitedHealthcare.

“We are happy to welcome Heather to Carmichael Lynch Spong,” says Douglas K. Spong, APR, president of the firm. “Her strong skill set, coupled with her knowledge of design makes her a valuable addition to our team and ensures continued creative excellence on behalf of our clients.”

Prior to her role at Carrot, Nelson was the graphic designer for Mind Spark Creative in Minneapolis, Minn. She also served as the layout and electronic production artist for Metropolitan Media Group in Bloomington, Minn.

In her spare time, Nelson is involved with the Advertising Federation of Minnesota and she regularly attends industry events. She also enjoys traveling and participated in a summer art study program in London, England and Edinburgh, Scotland.

Nelson received her bachelor of fine arts degree in graphic design from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie, Wis.

Minnesota PRSA 2008 Professional Practice Conference - Thursday, December 4, 2008

Attend this action-packed conference that will shed new light on the changing landscapes of public relations. Hear the insight from panelists and keynote speakers alike, who've been deeply entrenched in aspects of new media, blogs, and fast-paced news, which continues to drive the modern world of PR.


The Minnesota Chapter, Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) brings you the 2008 Professional Practice Conference, a half-day immersion into the ever changing landscapes affecting modern-day media.

Agenda
7:30 AM – 8:00 a.m. Registration and breakfast
8:00 AM – 9:00 a.m. Welcome, morning keynote (Paula Prahl, Best Buy)
9:00 AM – 9:15 a.m. Break
9:15 AM – 10:15 a.m. Breakout sessions (Media panel, agency panel)
10:15 AM – 10: 30 a.m. Break
10:30 AM – 11:30 a.m. Breakout sessions (Media panel, agency panel)
11:30 AM – 11:45 a.m. Break
11:45 AM – 12:15 p.m. PRSA Annual Meeting
12:15 AM – 1:30 p.m. Lunch, afternoon keynote (Peter Shankman, HARO), Close
Media Panel: PR’s Changing Relationships

The media panel will focus on the ever-evolving media landscape and the changing relationship between PR practitioners and journalists of every kind.
Featuring:

• Mike Caputa, assistant news director, WCCO-TV
• Joel Kramer, CEO and editor, MinnPost.com
• J. Keith Moyer, former president and publisher, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Agency Panel: PR Today & Tomorrow

The agency panel will focus on how PR agencies are evolving to stay relevant in today’s changing world — from the work they do for clients to the way they operate internally.

Featuring:

• Lisa Hannum, CEO, Beehive PR
• Matt Kucharski, senior vice president, technology, crisis/critical issues, Padilla Speer Beardsley
• John Reinan, senior director, Fast Horse
• Maria Reitan, senior principal, Carmichael Lynch Spong
• Keith Negrin, director of public relations, MorseKode

Keynote Speakers:
Paula Prahl, VP of communications, public affairs and corporate responsibility, Best Buy
Peter Shankman, founder of Help A Reporter Out (HARO)

Location:
 Metropolitan Ballroom
5418 Wayzata Blvd | Golden Valley, MN 55416
   
Price:
PRSA Member
Nonmember
Student
$110
$130
$60
The conference fee includes breakfast and lunch.
Walk-ins will be charged an additional $30.

*Online registration will close on Sunday, November 26 at 5:00 p.m. The cost will increase by $30 for all attendees who register at the event.

For more information, call the Minnesota Chapter PRSA office at 651-917-6244, or revisit the Minnesota PRSA Web site.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Job - Publicist (or Publicity Manager) - World Wrestling Entertainment

Publicist (or Publicity Manager) - World Wrestling Entertainment

MCFARLIN JOINS WEBER SHANDWICK AS VICE PRESIDENT

The Minneapolis-St. Paul office of Weber Shandwick today announced that Robert McFarlin has joined the firm as vice president in its corporate, community and public affairs practice.

McFarlin brings 27 years of experience in government affairs and public relations to the agency. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, he served as the assistant commissioner for policy and public affairs at the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT). McFarlin was appointed acting commissioner of Mn/DOT by Governor Tim Pawlenty in February 2008. During the I-35W bridge collapse crisis, McFarlin was Mn/DOT’s principal spokesperson and strategic policy and communications lead.

“Bob adds to our already strong and growing public affairs practice,” said Sara Gavin, president of Weber Shandwick’s Minneapolis-St. Paul office. “This move demonstrates our commitment to continue being a public affairs service leader on a local, state and national level. Public affairs is a key part of our Minneapolis-St. Paul practice, and Bob’s experience, expertise and leadership provides additional capability and strength. We are thrilled and eager to welcome Bob to our firm.”

Weber Shandwick’s public affairs practice is deeply rooted in the market and spans the office’s 25-plus year history. The local, regional, national and international client base includes: the Prairie Island Indian Community; BAE Systems; Mall of America; Alliance Pipeline; the Minnesota Departments of Veteran Affairs and Education; Mayo Clinic/Rochester Coalition; U.S. Army; U.S. Census; U.S. Treasury; and, Manitoba Hydro, among others.

“Our public affairs strength is broad and deep,” said Gavin. “We have expertise and experience across multiple industries including health care, defense, energy and the environment and specialize in building advocacy, especially at the community level.”

McFarlin joins the Corporate, Community and Public Affairs practice group led by 16-year agency veteran, Eric Pehle, an executive vice president, and Denny Shields, a vice president hired in 2006 after his retirement from the Minnesota National Guard.

“Weber Shandwick’s reputation as a leader in public affairs is felt throughout the region,” said McFarlin. “I will bring an extensive background in communications and public policy with a firm understanding of the political environment. I look forward to this opportunity to work with some of the brightest minds in public affairs and create business results for our clients.”

Earlier in his career, McFarlin served as president of MCF Consulting Group, a public relations and public affairs consulting firm. He spent time as the executive director to the Board of Trustees at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and Director of Public Affairs and Chief of Staff at Mn/DOT. McFarlin holds a masters degree in speech communication and bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Strother Selected to Provide New Interactive Marketing Services for Two Clients

Strother Communications Group (SCG) has been selected to provide interactive marketing for two St. Paul-based companies - Reell Precision Manufacturing and Bay West.  SCG will provide web design, content development and search engine optimization (SEO) services as needed.
 
SCG’s team of experts will help grow Reell’s online brand through SEO services. Established in 1970, Reell has grown into a world leader in the design and manufacture of small package torque solutions for consumer electronics, transportation, medical and office automotion.
Bay West has engaged SCG to develop its website and provide SEO expertise. For 34 years, Bay West has provided environmental investigation, waste management, emergency spill response and industrial cleaning to industry and government.

New addition to Team May!

At the PRSA breakfast this morning I was scolded for not making the announcement of the adoption of my son, Samuel Lee May, more public on this blog. I blame it on sleep depravation.

The full story is nothing short of a miracle and is really quite amazing. You can read it on my son's blog. Of course he has a blog, he is my son.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

WEBER SHANDWICK PROMOTES POLLY O’GRADY TO VICE PRESIDENT

The Minneapolis-St. Paul office of Weber Shandwick today announced the promotion of Polly Ligon O’Grady to vice president in its technology practice.

Since joining Weber Shandwick in 2000, O’Grady has been a well-respected leader for clients in a range of industries including agriculture, food processing, and industrial manufacturing. O’Grady has also been one of the primary architects of the award-winning and distinctive crisis preparedness program for the dairy industry.

“Since the first day Polly joined us, she consistently demonstrated her skills as a writer, editor and strategist,” said Sara Gavin, president of Weber Shandwick’s Minneapolis-St. Paul office. “She’s shown an unceasing commitment to our clients and an unrelenting commitment to quality daily.”

Before joining Weber Shandwick, O’Grady was director of public relations for Friendship Ventures (a nonprofit organization that serves people with developmental disabilities), and a writer and project manager for a Minneapolis-based public relations firm. She holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in agricultural economics from Virginia Tech.

Skogrand and Goodall join Risdall McKinney

Risdall McKinney Public Relations (RMPR) is pleased to announce the addition of Brant Skogrand, APR, MBC, as vice president, and Andrea Goodall as senior account executive. These hires reaffirm RMPR’s commitment to providing public relations expertise and exceptional service to clients across all industries.
 
Skogrand joins RMPR after serving as a senior media relations specialist for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, a fraternal-based financial institution. At Thrivent, Skogrand worked to obtain media exposure for management and financial office teams. He developed and implemented a communications plan that promoted Thrivent’s retirement solutions.
 
Earlier in his career, Skogrand worked as a corporate communications specialist for Thomson West/Thomson Legal & Regulatory where he developed, implemented and evaluated communication plans for internal and external campaigns. Prior to Thomson, Skogrand worked as a account executive and senior account executive at GCI Tunheim (now Tunheim Partners) where he worked on clients such as the Minnesota Twins, American Express Retirement Services, Metris Companies, Target Stores and Medtronic.
 
Skogrand has been an active member of professional organizations and committees from the beginning of his career. Most notably, Skogrand currently serves as the director of communications for the Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Skogrand has also been recognized for his work with a variety of awards. Most recently, he received a PRSA Silver Anvil and two PRSA Classics Awards for his work with Thrivent.
 
“Brant has an incredible amount of expertise and know-how in public relations,” said Rose McKinney, APR, president of RMPR. “His experience in social media, internal communications and media relations is what makes him so valuable. We’re thrilled to have him join our team.”
 
Goodall brings big agency experience to RMPR having worked at LeBrech and Padilla Speer Beardsley, Inc. She developed her research and branding expertise and managed public relations for business-to-business and consumer-facing clients in manufacturing, professional services, education, real estate, architecture, engineering and construction industries.
 
“Andrea has served a diverse roster of clients in a variety of industries,” said McKinney . “Because of her great experience at other outstanding agencies, she brings her own best practices and industry expertise that our clients will truly value.”

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Summary of Today's BMA meeting

If you are following me on twitter.com you already have received these updates, but for the sake of the majority of MNPR blog readers here is a brief summary:


  • Jennifer Howard from Google spoke on top 10 Marketing trends for the future of B-to-B marketing.

  • 1st trend - B2B = B2P. B2P where the P is people. Fact: 13 hours of video uploaded a minute on YouTube.

  • 1st trend - we are talking to people so treat them that way.

  • 2nd trend - no media is an island. Trends.google.com

  • 2nd trend - whatever happens offline is being captured online.

  • 3rd trend - always be on

  • 4th trend - atomize your content and distribute it around the Web. Use gadgets / widgets to live on other people's Web page.

  • 4th trend - Smart Web ads that can be contextually modified to searches.

  • 5th trend - implement finer ad targeting. Demographis, psychographis, behavioral, contextual.

  • 6th trend - give your customer the opportunity to choose YOU. Use RSS feeds to feed your customers news. Be a content producer.

  • 7th trend - make video the centerpiece of your online strategy.

  • 7th trend - not just home videos on YouTube also lots of B2B marketing happening on YouTube.

  • 7th trend - use video to target trade media Web sites. Be transparent and authentic but provide useful information.

  • 7th trend - videos don't need to be 30 second commercials they can be creative.

  • 8th trend - Build online community. Word of Mouth marketing online is growing quickly. LinkedIn is used as a tool for WoM marketing.

  • 8th trend - LinkedIn is growing tool for developing community in the business world.

  • 8th trend - IdeaStorm from Dell. A good way to develop online community with existing fan base.

  • 9th trend - measure, plan & optimize.

  • 9th trend - information is power. Helps to avoid the Hppo effect. Highest paid person's opinion effect. Give measurable data and trends online.

  • 9th trend - improve campaigns based on data collected. Two minute video that loses traffic after 30 seconds, rework your video campaign.

  • 10th trend - YOU. You have the power to change the way B2B Marketing is done.

  • Friday, October 17, 2008

    GEEK SQUAD FOUNDER ROBERT STEPHENS TO KEYNOTE FIRST-EVER VISION 2008 TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE, NOV. 13 IN ST. PAUL

    Twin Cities IT and business professionals who are intrigued by Best Buy’s Geek Squad® Founder and Chief Inspector Robert Stephens’ unusual business story and his technology insights, curious about green computing and virtualization or simply want to learn about new technology resources that are available to improve their workplaces are invited to attend the VISION 2008: Technology Innovations that Drive Business Conference.

    The conference is taking place on Nov. 13 from 8:15 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the 180 East Fifth Street Building, which is located on Jackson Street between 4th and 5th Streets in downtown St. Paul. The full-day event, sponsored by VISI, Minnesota’s top supplier of data center services and high-speed Internet, costs $100 per person, or $70 per person to only attend the morning or afternoon sessions. Registration for the VISION Conference is available at www.visi.com/vision2008/register.aspx.

    Noteworthy sessions at the VISION Conference will include:

  • 8:30 a.m.

    * Keynote Speech by Geek Squad Founder Robert Stephens

  • 9:30 a.m.

    * Disaster Recovery Replication Technologies – Jamie Anderson, Emergent Networks
    * Selling Virtualization When ROI Isn’t Enough – Paul Jacobsen, VMware
    * Closed Loop CRM: Redefining Interactive Experience – Matthew Meents, Reside

  • 10:45 a.m.

    * Innovation and Proven Online Tools to Drive New Business – Mark Kurtz, Gage
    * Improving Team Collaboration and Productivity with Sharepoint – Theresa Putzier,
    * Olsen Thielen Technologies

  • 1 p.m.

    * Beyond the Firewall: Secrets of Securing Your Network – Misha Govshteyn, Alert Logic
    * Innovations in Communications: Putting Web Content and 2.0 Tools to Work –
    * Steve Helland, Fredrikson & Byron and Kristina Halvorson, Brain Traffic

  • 1:45 p.m.

    * Technologies for Today: Green IT, Virtualization, Client Management – Sarah Wieskus, Intel
    * Centralizing Desktop Management – Bill Oyler, St. Croix Solutions

  • 3 p.m.

    * CIO Technology Panel Discussion with Tom Kelly of 2nd Wind, Cris Ross of MinuteClinic and Jason Baker of VISI
  • “VISI is thrilled to sponsor the upcoming VISION Conference that will offer local technology professionals the chance to expand their knowledge and resource base through topical seminars and networking,” said Gary Elfert, director of products and marketing for VISI. “The event poses an opportunity to have conversations about how technology is driving business innovations today, despite the economic uncertainty that is impacting all of us.”