MNPR Blog

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Six promotions at Weber

The Minneapolis-St. Paul office of Weber Shandwick today announced six promotions within its corporate, community & public affairs; interactive & emerging media; technology; and consumer marketing practice groups.

Deanna Petersen was promoted to group manager in the corporate, community & public affairs practice. Since joining the agency in 2006, she has provided strategic counsel and led activities for organizations including the McKnight Foundation and the U.S. Army. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Petersen served as a marketing consultant for the national office of Big Brothers Big Sisters and director of marketing and communications at its Twin Cities chapter. She holds a master’s degree in media and cultural studies from the University of Natal, Durban, South Africa, and a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of St. Thomas. Petersen also serves on the board of AfricaJam, an international youth organization.

Greg Swan has been promoted to group manager in the interactive & emerging media practice. Swan's expertise in internet marketing has helped him exceed at providing strategic digital and social media strategy to colleagues and global organization. Swan's responsibilities include leading digital media activities for the U.S. Army and helping to educate colleagues and clients on social and digital media trends and practices. A graduate of Drake University, Swan regularly guest lectures at local colleges and industry events. Swan holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism, major in public relations and area of concentration in entertainment promotions.

Annika Hanson was promoted to senior interactive account manager in the interactive & emerging media practice. During her tenure, Hanson has provided Web site development counseling to national organizations and helped successfully launch numerous client Web sites including those for the teen-focused Allstate Foundation program, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, BAE Systems and Meet Minneapolis. The St. Paul, Minn.-native holds a bachelor’s degree in communications studies from Gustavus Adolphus College.

Jen Jorgensen was promoted to account supervisor in the technology practice. Jorgensen has developed and led strategic activities for companies including Personnel Decisions International, Opus Group and Honeywell HomMed. Before joining Weber Shandwick in 2006, she acted as the spokesperson and handled media relations and communications for the Society for Human Resource Management and worked in the press office of U.S. Senator Tim Johnson. Jorgensen received a bachelor of science degree from Northern Arizona University and a master’s degree from George Washington University's Media and Public Affairs school.

Angela Rolle has been promoted to senior account executive in the consumer marketing practice. Rolle has helped with brand building, media relations, event planning, event management and product launches for clients including Coca-Cola, Polaris Industries, The Allstate Foundation, Target and the U.S. Army. Before joining Weber Shandwick, she worked for the city of Duluth, Minn., as a public relations intern, and held an internship at Primarius Promotion where she worked with clients such as Minnesota-based Lifetouch, Inc. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, Rolle holds a bachelor's degree in communication studies and English. She also provides marketing and communication counseling on a volunteer basis to Minneapolis-based nonprofit The Link – an organization dedicated to assisting at-risk youth and families.

Jake Ricker has been promoted to account executive in the consumer marketing practice. During his tenure at Weber Shandwick, Ricker helped organize and execute activities for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, PGA Tour's CA Championship at Doral, U.S. Army Racing team and Coca-Cola NCAA Human Bracket, among others. The Plymouth, Minn.-native graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in English. While in college, he helped re-launch and served as editor-in-chief for the school's literary magazine Ivory Tower, which had not been published under that name in more than 25 years.

Monday, July 28, 2008

EDWINS JOINS NEUGER COMMUNICATIONS GROUP

Neuger Communications Group is pleased to announce that Daniel Edwins has joined the firm as a technology specialist. Edwins will manage data and information systems, design and build websites, and assist with a broad array of other technological issues. A 2008 honors graduate of St. Olaf College with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, Edwins is a Northfield native and a 2004 graduate of Northfield High School.

While at St. Olaf, in addition to his work in mathematics, Edwins completed extensive computer science coursework and pursued computer science research on stereo vision as part of a project funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He worked for four years as a student consultant to the Multimedia Development Center at St. Olaf, co-designing the college’s Virtual Tour; designing posters and websites for faculty, staff, students and campus organizations; and presenting at software instructional workshops for students and faculty. Edwins also served as public relations director to the Student Government Association.

David Neuger, president and CEO of Neuger Communications Group, said, "We are delighted that Daniel has joined us. His technological expertise and insights will be terrific assets to our team and to our clients as we continue to grow. In addition, he is quite simply a terrific human being and he will mesh wonderfully within our corporate culture which emphasizes integrity, excellence and success."

Edwins said, "I was attracted to Neuger Communications Group because of its great people, who I know will serve as wonderful mentors. I am interested in finding ways to make information more meaningful and interactive, and in combining math, computer science and art to form new media. I look forward to applying these interests to designing and employing technology-based solutions that will help our clients meet their goals."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

YMM announces application process now open for its 2009 pro bono partnership

Minneapolis brand agency Yamamoto Moss Mackenzie (YMM) has relaunched its groundbreaking community building program, and announces that the request for applications process is now open for its 2009 pro bono partner.

The agency will select one non-profit organization each year and work in partnership with that organization to provide a full range of brand strategy, research and creative services. The non-profit organization partner will be treated as a paying client, assigned an account team and receive a full range of consulting support.

YMM focuses its program exclusively on supporting organizations providing services in visual and performing arts, environmental conservation or health and well-being of children, youth and families. The agency¹s 2008 pro bono client is the Children's Theatre Company, Minneapolis.

Organizations applying for program support must be a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization, with headquarters in the Twin Cities and service delivery in the region or in communities where YMM has significant client presence. The organizations must provide established programs with at least 10 years of service delivery history, and must provide community outreach programming.

Applications for the community building program are due Friday, September 5, and complete directions and application materials are available on the agency's website, www.ymm.com.

"We designed the program to do the most good in communities in which we do business, to maximize our resources and support our partners in building or maintaining their brand, then equipping them with the tools to sustain the effort," says Shelly Regan, president, YMM. "We conducted this program for many years as Yamamoto Moss, and now that we're relaunching it after our agency merger, we look forward to many more years of supporting Twin Cities non profits."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

ARAnet Announces New B-to-B Online Marketing Tool

Adfusion gives B-to-B marketers a way to drive qualified visitors to their Web destinations.

ARAnet, Inc., an innovator in helping marketers connect with customers, introduces a tool to help marketers reach business-to-business audiences online with the release of its Adfusion business-to-business channel.

“This is a revolutionary development because for the first time, B-to-B marketers can drive visitors to their Web destinations through content-rich Adfusion articles,” says Scott Severson, president of the Hopkins, Minn.-based ARAnet.

Severson says Adfusion customers only pay for visitors that arrive at clients’ Web destinations through articles placed on the Adfusion network, making the service highly measureable.

“The visitors that Adfusion delivers to our B-to-B customers are extremely high quality. A visitor clicks on a headline based on interest, reads a short article about the subject, and then clicks to go to our client’s site to learn more,” says Severson. He says the credibility of the Web networks on which his clients’ articles appear add credibility to marketers’ messages.

ARAnet has been offering Adfusion to consumer marketers since 2005. Since then, it’s grown to serve over three billion impressions monthly.

Severson says the secret to Adfusion’s success has been using well-written headline topics to allow readers to self-qualify based on their interest in the subject matter and then guiding them to click through to client Web destinations to take action.

“Now B-to-B marketers can appeal to business audiences with this proven method, driving self-qualified and motivated business people to their sites,” Severson says.

Adfusion’s sister product is ARAcontent, where a team of journalists writes and distributes consumer lifestyle articles featuring clients’ products and services to a network of publications and their Web sites. ARAcontent generates thousands of article placements, with a measurable return on investment model.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Political PR

Yesterday I saw a posting on a fellow PR blogger's site talking about a highly successful PR tactic that was used by Senator McCain in his bid for the White House.
The New York Times turned down an editorial by Senator John McCain, so the McCain camp leaked it to the Drudge Report, which not only published the editorial but made a news event out of the turndown. The result is that more people are seeing the editorial than readers of The New York Times -- and the Times looks bad. The negative to this, of course, is that the Times will get even, but the McCain camp apparently feels that the Times won't be fair in any event. The McCain camp has burned its bridge to the Times with style.
Today, I received an e-mail talking about the controversial cartoon in the New Yorker featuring Barack Obama in Islamic dress beside a burning US flag in the Oval Office. AdWeek offers one interesting perspective on the Barack cartoon saying that advertisers should be thrilled.
Meanwhile, within this world of minute media issues that are sensationalized enough to fill a full 24-hour news cycle, are there any lessons to be learned from this latest New Yorker kerfuffle? No. 1: I think that the magazine's advertisers should be thrilled. Any cover that through sheer cleverness generates this kind of attention is to be worshiped.
Get the rest of the story here. Thoughts? Comment below.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Reserve your spot for a fall APR prep course now!

The MN PRSA Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) committee is gathering details for a fall APR prep course. We need to know how many of you might want to attend and what type of schedule would work best for the group.

Number of MN PRSA members that are APRs: 103 out of 460
Number of new APRs since January 2008: 3


What is the APR Prep Course?

Feedback from APR candidates is that face time with each other and the APR prep course instructors makes a difference. Because each candidate is at a different place in their development, the books and study materials take them only about 80 percent of the way. The last 20 percent comes down to refining each person’s individual experience with the help of peers and instructors.

That is, candidates typically don’t know what they don’t know until they start dialoguing with the APR instructors, and hearing reactions from the other candidates.

The APR prep course provides candidates with the quality time they need with peers and instructors to close the gap.


Number of instructors: 10-12
Hours of instruction: 12

Cost: None! It’s free!

1. We need a headcount.
If there is any chance that you might attend the fall APR prep sessions, please let me know by clicking here right now!

2. What type class format should we have?
Please let me know which of the following you would prefer by clicking here. We won’t offer all of the following, but, we’ll consider feedback as we plan.
• One evening each week for six weeks?
• Over a weekend?
• Over two Saturdays?
• Webcast* during business hours?
• Other? If so, what?
*Note: A Webcast may be a long shot due to the fact that APR instructors volunteer their time and also have full-time jobs. It may be difficult for them to be available during business hours. That said, we are interested in exploring new approaches, so, let us know what you think!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

IdeaPeepshow and MinnPost Team up

The recently launched IdeaPeepshow blog (run by Fast Horse) and MinnPost.com are teaming up to feature a weekly column on marketing. The column will be authored by John Reinan, a senior director at Fast Horse.

John wrote a column for the Star Tribune called “Selling It.” "The MinnPost column will be similar," said Reinan in an e-mail. "Typically focusing on one person, company or trend that ties into a larger issue in marketing. It’s slated to run on Mondays beginning July 21. I welcome suggestions from readers, who can reach me at jreinan@minnpost.com."

MarketingLab Adds Art Director and is Named to Prestigious Industry List

MarketingLab has added Chris Haas as Art Director. Haas is an industry veteran who earned his stripes at retail industry giant Best Buy.

Haas has experience ranging from in-store promotion to television spots to guerilla marketing. He’s worked for both Best Buy Advertising and Promotional Marketing, and has been recognized by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association and Advertising Age. During his nine years at the company, Best Buy’s growth and stature helped hone Haas’ experience in a variety of different areas.

"Chris has almost a decade of experience working for one of the world’s largest specialty retailers," said Rich Butwinick, Founder and President of MarketingLab. "At Best Buy he had the opportunity to develop and support many unique campaigns that addressed a variety of targets. That’s what we are about here so we’re looking forward to our path together."

At Best Buy, Haas worked for projects on behalf of the company and its partners. Product, campaign and client integration have been key to his work; that will be no different at MarketingLab.

The firm also recently earned another PROMO magazine top 100 ranking as one of the elite U.S. promotional marketing agencies. The rankings figure in net revenue, two-year growth, number of years in the business and net revenue per employee. MarketingLab has been on the Top 100 list each of the last five years.

"We’re very proud to be on the PROMO 100 list again," said Butwinick. "We consider consistent performance as a priority so to be a part of this important list for a fifth time in a row, it means an awful lot."

MarketingLab takes a unique approach to its promotions projects and focuses its efforts at retail or market-level marketing. The agency’s client list includes such stalwarts as Procter & Gamble, 3M, Qwest, Land O Lakes and Schwan’s Consumer Brands, among others.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Minneapolis Among Cities Top Five for Young Professionals

Forbes magazine has been tracking the number of 20 to 35-year-old professionals in the 40 biggest metro areas in the United States to find out which ones are attracting fresh talent.

Minneapolis came in at number five, bolstered by its highest concentration of top companies status, above average paying jobs, and its low cost of living.

San Francisco displaced New York for the top spot this year. Adjusted for its population, the Bay Area has the highest share of young professionals who graduated from the 1998 class at prestigious schools such as Harvard, Stanford, Duke, Northwestern, and Princeton. Forbes’ methodology tracks where graduates settle 10 years after graduation as a way to find out where the best jobs are for young professionals. Those rankings are combined with Forbes' research on 400 of the best big companies and 200 of the best small companies, median salary data from the Census Bureau, and is adjusted for population (so, for example, cities the size of Minneapolis can compete with New York).

The top-five cities for young professionals are:

1. San Francisco
2. Boston
3. Houston
4. New York
5. Minneapolis

See last year's list here.

Katie Harholdt is associate editor for Twin Cities Business.

CLS Hires Gardeen

Ben Gardeen has been named senior associate at public relations firm Carmichael Lynch Spong and will be based out of the Minneapolis office. His role includes managing the Maytag Repairman campaign while assisting and managing the Maytag brand. In 2007, Carmichael Lynch Spong generated the campaign, "The Next Maytag Repairman: Could It Be You?" in order to revitalize the brand, which included an open-to-the-public, nationwide search for the next Maytag Repairman.

Gardeen comes to Carmichael Lynch Spong from Porter Novelli, a public relations firm in Chicago , Ill. , where he was an account executive in consumer, health care and sports marketing practices. While there, he represented clients Merck/Schering-Plough, Gillette, Alcon and Harman/Becker, along with several others. Gardeen successfully pitched media in the top 100 U.S. markets, planned and executed client activities and co-led national media relations in programs for Merck/Schering-Plough and Gillette.

"We are thrilled to welcome Ben to Carmichael Lynch Spong," says Douglas K. Spong, APR, president of the firm. "His experience working with a variety of well-known clients, along with his media relations exposure, will be valuable in continuing the success of the Maytag Repairman campaign."

While at Porter Novelli, Gardeen was a 2007 team recipient of the Bronze Anvil Award for work in media relations with Merck/Schering-Plough, and a 2008 team recipient of the Golden Trumpet Award for work with Idearc Media, publishers of the Verizon Yellow Pages.

Prior to his role at Porter Novelli, Gardeen completed an internship at Ogilvy Public Relations, also located in Chicago , Ill.

Gardeen received a bachelor of arts degree in journalism and mass communications and a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish from Iowa State University .

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Don't Miss the Alphabet Bash - August 21

THURSDAY, AUGUST 21, 2008The Alphabet Bash is a "can't miss" networking event celebrating Minnesota marketing and communications professionals! Make business connections, develop long-lasting relationships, explore other business development opportunities - or just come for a good time.

Please join...

IABC: International Association of Business Communicators

PRSA: Public Relations Society of America

AMA: American Marketing Association

AdFed: Advertising Federation of Minnesota

MWMC: Minnesota Women in Marketing & Communications

...for the 3rd Annual Alphabet Bash.

Back by Popular Demand "Pre-Networking Workshop"
Beat the rush and check in early for the 2008 Alphabet Bash. Join us from 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. for networking tips from Barb Krantz Taylor of The Bailey Group. Barb will share practical networking tips to meet others who are authentically interested in knowing you and how to sustain those relationships after the Bash. Registration is an additional $15 and includes an extra drink ticket. Space is limited.

Epic Event Center
110 North Fifth Street
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Phone: (612) 332-3742
Directions

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

Cost:

On or before August 4, 2008
$35.00 for members of the above organizations
$45.00 for non-members
$20.00 for students
After August 4, 2008
$45.00 for members of the above organizations
$55.00 for non-members
$25.00 for students


About The Alphabet Bash

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

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

ARAnet Inks Deal with TownNews.com

ARAnet, Inc., a leading provider of copyright-free feature articles to newspapers across the country, has reached an agreement with TownNews.com to distribute its content through the TownNews.com network of interactive newspaper Web sites, announced Scott Severson, president of the Hopkins, Minn.-based ARAnet.

Under the agreement, ARAnet will be the exclusive provider of high-quality, copyright-free feature articles for up to 750 newspaper sites hosted by TownNews.com. All ARAnet-generated content in 24 categories, including home improvement, real estate, health, family living, and home and garden, will be featured immediately on approximately 250 TownNews.com sites, with more to follow in the near future, Severson says. TownNews.com is a pioneer in helping newspapers create and maintain interactive Web sites.

"This arrangement with TownNews.com will further expand the already outstanding exposure and branding power ARAnet delivers to our diverse portfolio of corporate, government and nonprofit clients," Severson says. "TownNews.com’s customer demographics perfectly complement our distribution model. Our new relationship with this market innovator will enhance our ability to bring together print and online publishers who need top-quality feature articles with content providers seeking broad distribution of their marketing message."

"We are pleased to be able to offer these additional content channels to our member newspapers to use on their Web sites," says Brad Ward, vice president of technology and operations at TownNews.com. "This quality content will be available for our affiliates to use without additional cost and provides additional advertising inventory for the newspaper."

Founded in 1996, ARAnet generated more than 80,000 print placements for its clients in 2007, with current placement rates trending towards even higher achievement in 2008. Feature articles are written and/or edited by a team of content professionals with a collective 50-plus years experience in print and online media, journalism, public relations and marketing. To learn more about ARAnet, visit www.ARAnetOnline.com.

APR has nothing to do with Interest Rates!

While I was on vacation Heather Schwartz wrote an excellent article on the value of APR. For those that don't know APR, in the PR industry it stands for more than Annual Percentage Rate it is the distinction of Accreditation in Public Relations. Below is the first in a series of articles talking about what APR is and its value. The Minnesota Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America is looking to find out your thoughts on APR and how they can make it more relevant to the broader business community.

APR – Is it worth it?


I’ve been hearing a lot about how no one outside of PRSA knows what APR is. APRs want more support from PRSA National. They want a campaign to help MBAs understand the value of APR.

While many people in business may never have heard of APR, the benefits stand. APR provides you with a solid framework, supported by your industry’s experts. People who have earned their APR say that the process of preparing for the portfolio review and exam helped refine their work and made them stronger PR practioners.

Proposal: Update terminology to enhance APR’s image.
One proposal in support of changing APR’s image is to update the terminology used to describe it. What if we used the term, “Board certified in public relations” in place of APR?

After all, the credential is awarded by the Universal Accreditation Board. It seems reasonable to think that "board certified" would be an accurate description of the accomplishment.

PRSA and the Universal Accreditation Board have been notified of Minnesota PRSA’s membership’s desire for support. The Minnesota PRSA-APR Committee will monitor the situation. We are glad to pass along any feedback you have.

In the meantime, remember that if you are an APR, your local APRs are here to stand behind you. As you move into a leadership role, you may experience some growing pains. Suddenly, the path is less clear. That’s because part of what you’ve worked for is the right to create your own path!

Here are some tactics that might help if you are feeling as if your APR credentials aren’t recognized by co-workers or people outside of PRSA.
1. Show the strategy behind your work.
2. Ask questions about business, law and ethics if/when it will enhance the work. Show that you’re up to speed on what the rest of your project’s stakeholders will be looking for.
3. Use the term, “advanced certification in my profession,” in place of “APR” when talking with non-PRSA members.
4. Speak highly of other APRs to co-workers and bosses. Explain how their qualifications show through in their work, and/or inspire you.
Leah Otto
APR Committee Co-Chair
MN PRSA

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Independence Day!



Hope you all have a wonderful and safe 4th of July! Thanks to all those who have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice for our freedom!