MNPR Blog

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Hartford - Sr Marketing Communications Consultant

The Hartford - Sr Marketing Communications Consultant

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Can you network yourself out of a job?

Last week I encouraged you to think about the value of networking. Today, I am wondering if it is possible to network yourself out of a job?

I believe it is...in fact I believe I have witnessed it on several different occasions. To begine with we need to understand what networking is. According to Dictionary.com networking is defined as a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest: Working mothers in the community use networking to help themselves manage successfully.

Note in bold above is supportive system of sharing. This is important because where networking usually breaks-down is when networking becomes one dimensional. In this economy it is critical to understand this principle because desperate people, that want a job, do desperate things. If you are networking to land a job, ask yourself what you are giving back to your network? If you can't list at least one thing more than just your lovely personality, then you may be over-networking.


What is wrong with being aggressive and selling yourself? Well, to be frank, it is annoying and disrespectful. In writing this I am sure that a bunch of people are going to feel like I am annoyed with them. The truth is I love networking and I don't get annoyed, but I have heard comments recently about people that are annoyed. Here is the problem...today's students coming out of college are use to social networking and reaching out to a hundred people at a time, but today's executive likes to be treated as if they were special.


If you are mass networking you run the risk of offending the person that was thinking about hiring you! Don't believe me? Okay, but it is true. I actually received comments on my last post telling me that this is happening more and more. Get out and network, but be strategic and be sensitive to those you are targeting.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Are we in a social media bubble?

There is an interesting article in today' Wall Street Journal. It discusses the nature of fads, crazes or bubbles as they have been called. At the turn of the century there was the dot-com bubble, the author reminds us of the "Beanie Baby" bubble, the housing bubble and the "hand bag" bubble.

The author lists five signs of an approaching bubble and I think it is interesting how social media seems to fit perfectly into these buckets. Take a look:
  1. Fertile Ground: "The biggest bubbles appear to develop during periods of rapid and radical innovation, which may leave us more vulnerable to accepting the bizarre rationalizations that often accompany financial speculation," writes author Karen Blumenthal. There are hundreds of people looking for ways to make money fast on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.
  2. Getting On-Board: more obvious thing about booms is that lots and lots of people get on board, pushing prices up. Initial skepticism gives way to curiosity and then escalates into a kind of frenzy, a feeling that you may be the only person on the planet who isn't part of the fun, and you'd better scramble to get in, says Blumenthal. Have you seen the latest numbers on Twitter and Facebook growth?
  3. Ignoring Warnings: Right now we are so deeply rooted in the on-boarding stage it may be too early to recognize the dangers of social media. But where opportunity lies so does risk
  4. Greed Takes Over: Anyone who has a following on Twitter has been followed by someone that insists they are making thousands of dollars if not hundreds of thousands every month online. Simply search for how to make money online and you will see greed is taking over quickly.
  5. The After-Party: This is the life lesson stage says Blumenthal. "The party may be dangerous, but trying to keep the party going—the after-party, if you will—is what really hurts you." Will the hangover from the social media blitz be too much for us to handl as communicators or are we strategic enough to see the party coming to an end?
It is too early to predict where we are in this Web 2.0 (or is it 3.0 now?) world. But being aware of the mentality that has gotten us into trouble in the past is the best way to avoid trouble in the future. I am interested to know you thoughts. Please post them here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Four Local Communication Professionals Earn ABC Accreditation Designation

Katie Beal, Senior Communications Coordinator-City of Eden Prairie, Audrey Britton, Principal-Britton Communication, Paul Omodt, Vice President Crisis and Critical Issues-PSB and Trace Ulland, Senior Specialist-Target, have earned the Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) designation by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).

IABC’s accreditation process measures the strategic abilities and technical skills of a communicator, and is a critical step in a communicator’s career growth. “Accreditation validates the individual and the communication profession as well,” said Donna Vincent Roa, PH.D, ABC. “The ABC suggests that you have the ability to add value, you are confident in that ability, and you are invested in your work and the profession.”

The accreditation process consists of rigorous evaluation that identifies and recognizes the highly qualified, well-rounded communicator through a review of his/her portfolio of work, and a written and oral examination. Candidates meeting the exacting requirements earn the ABC designation. The following three individuals learned of their accomplishment on Friday, August 14.

Katie Beal has more than nine years of experience in communications, marketing and media relations in the retail and restaurant industries. She currently works for the City of Eden Prairie handling public relations and marketing, as well as Public Information Officer duties and crisis communications for the Police and Fire Departments. She is currently pursuing an M.A. in strategic communication at the University of Minnesota.

Audrey Britton, founder of Britton Communications, has led teams and headed communications projects for 17 years with Fortune 100s-500s, nonprofits, government and sole proprietorships. Her experience includes marketing, organizational and media relations communications. Britton holds a business communications master’s certificate and serves as IABC MN Awards Programming Director.

Since 2001, Paul Omodt has helped his Padilla Speer Beardsley clients successfully deal with difficult issues, from plant closings to product recalls to workplace accidents. Omodt is also a frequent guest lecturer on public relations and crisis communications at colleges and universities in the Twin Cities. He holds a master’s degree in business communication (MBC) from the University of St. Thomas.

Trace Ulland has more than 12 years of experience in corporate communications, marketing and media relations, working in retail, financial services and higher education. Currently, she works in Communications at Target where she develops strategies that engage team members in the mission and vision of the company. Ulland serves as Vice President, Finance for IABC MN.

There are more than 830 accredited business communicators throughout the world. For more information about IABC accreditation, visit www.iabc.com/abc.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Value of Networking

Last night MNPR Blog held a small happy hour event at Kip's Irish Pub in St. Louis Park. It was fun to get together with people that understand PR and are looking to develop in their careers.

A few in attendance had never been to a networking event before and were uncertain about the value, however in the current economic climate they were looking to make connections and maybe find a job. Truthfully without networking I wouldn't be in my current position at Risdall McKinney.
  1. Utilize Social Media
  2. Use being shy to your advantage
  3. Set networking goals
  4. Know when to speak up  
  5. Smile
For more details on these five networking techniques click here.

Hope to see you all at Alphabet Bash tomorrow where we can practice our networking skills together.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Internal Communications Intern - Fairview Health Services

Internal Communications Intern - Fairview Health Services

Puspoki joins OLSON as public relations director, vice president

Kelly Puspoki joins OLSON as public relations director, vice president, from Weber Shandwick, Minneapolis, where she was a director in its consumer marketing practice. Her expertise includes consumer education, corporate social responsibility and reputation management, social marketing, executive visibility, youth and young adult marketing, entertainment marketing, new product launches, B2B and brand revitalization.

OLSON Public Relations works with clients including General Mills, Chinet, Lumber Liquidators, Women’s Foodservice Forum, Memorex and TDK Life on Record. It’s a good fit, as Puspoki’s experience includes retail, food and beverage, health and wellness, entertainment properties, consumer technology, powersports, homes/shelter and insurance.

"I'm a big believer in shaking things up through creativity based on solid strategy, so OLSON's a great home for me," says Puspoki, OLSON’s new director of public relations, vice president. "Public relations is no longer just about generating media clips and pushing out messages. It's about engagement, about inviting communities to become part of a brand and connecting with them in myriad ways. OLSON’s holistic model is powerful, and I’m thrilled to be able to work across all disciplines to deliver measurable public relations results for clients.”

“The minute we met Kelly we knew her mix of personality and passion, smarts and chutzpah was right for OLSON PR and our clients. That’s a tall order, as OLSON public relations is already being recognized for delivering some of the industry’s greatest work,” says Kevin DiLorenzo, president, OLSON. “We’re a different breed of agency, and we’ve brought in a public relations pro with a world-class pedigree. Because Kelly’s group has the power of OLSON’s other holistic offerings in social media, design, creative, brand anthropology and media behind them as well, clients will continue to reap the rewards of having it all available under one roof.”

Kelly graduated from St. Mary’s University, Minn., and holds a bachelor of arts degree in journalism and public relations with an emphasis in philosophy and theology. Prior to Weber Shandwick, Kelly was at Kerker, Minneapolis. Her work has earned awards around the globe, including SABREs, Silver and Bronze Anvils, IABC Gold Quills, Bulldogs and PRSA Classics.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Job - Carmichael Lynch Spong seeks social media intern

Carmichael Lynch Spong seeks social media intern


Information overload! Breaking through the noise!

Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, blogs, e-mails and not to mention voicemail, many of us are overburdened with information. What happens when people feel they are being over communicated to? They stop listening.

For example, I was talking with a friend who admitted to no longer listening to her voicemail. She confessed that she had at least 40 unopened voicemails, but didn't see the point in listening to them.

Actually, many times it will be days before I will listen to a voicemail, because I assume if someone needs to reach me they can find me on e-mail, Facebook or Twitter. Although reflecting now, my inbox has at least 50 unopened e-mails. And Twitter? I don't even know where to start.

And so it begins. A slow process to be sure, but gradually we start turning off things we consider irrelevant noise. A recent article in Ragan talked about what to do when your e-mails aren't being read. What happens when people tune you out not because of what you have to say, but because of the organization you work for or the department you work in?

We are quickly approaching the point of information overload. I remember talking about blogs back in 2003 telling people that it is very important to not leave your audience behind. In other words, if you are a techno-geek that communicates via Twitter but your audience is looking to communicate via e-mail, you may never connect. Understanding your audience is Communications 101, if we stop listening then we have stopped communicating.

What is the solution? Should we shut down our Twitter accounts and stop blogging? No. One of the first lessons I learned in business was to watch and learn the preferred communication styles for those that I am trying to communicate with. The answer to this riddle is if your boss communicates via e-mail, then you communicate via e-mail. If your customer communicates via Twitter, then you communicate via Twitter. If the reporter you are trying to track down likes the telephone, then pick up the phone and give them a call.

The most successful communicators will be the ones that are paying attention to the communication styles of their audience and adjusting communication approaches to match.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

GOVE PROMOTED TO GROUP ACCOUNT DIRECTOR AT OLSON

Reinforcing OLSON’s commitment to client service, and to better align her title with her knack for successfully growing existing and securing new business, as well as developing people and teams, Jennifer Gove has been promoted from account director to group account director.

“We knew it was time to recognize the amazing work Jennifer is doing,” says Kevin DiLorenzo, president, OLSON. “She’s a natural entrepreneur, embodying the OLSON spirit internally and externally, while overseeing loads of client work, managing a large team and the running of our revamped OLSON internal training program.”

Gove, who has been at OLSON since 2006, leads brand strategy, holistic planning and overall account management for clients Fifth Third Bank and 3M. She has more than 17 years of experience in advertising — her destiny, perhaps, as her grandfather was one of the founding “Mad Men” of New York’s ad industry.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

OLSON adds Yahoo! guy to run interactive

OLSON has hired former Yahoo! senior director of agency development, Paul Ratzky, to head the agency’s interactive division. He will oversee innovation and strategy for all of OLSON’s interactive and digital marketing services.

Before Yahoo!, Ratzky was engagement planning director at Team One/Saatchi, where he led digital strategy for Lexus Automobiles for 10 years. He also served as vice president, interactive director at Think New Ideas and at Ketchum Communications, all in Los Angeles. He holds a degree in journalism and political science from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

“OLSON is an exciting place to be, and I couldn’t wait to get started,” says Ratzky, OLSON’s new interactive director. “It truly offers holistic marketing — it isn’t a digital-only agency, nor is it a company overcoming ingrained years of traditional marketing. This place is something different altogether. Independent and non-traditional. And that’s refreshing."

“Well, Paul’s obviously a find. He has years of experience in the interactive and digital realms, and he’s a good communicator. Those two things don’t always necessarily arrive together in one package,” says Kevin DiLorenzo, president, OLSON. “Of course, he’s never lived outside of LA before, so we’ll have to watch him carefully for signs of frostbite.”

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Be an Intern at Weber Shandwick!

Be an Intern at Weber Shandwick!

MINNESOTA IT COMPANY, VISI, OFFERS BUSINESS OWNERS FREE WHITE PAPER ON HOW TO THRIVE IN THE ECONOMIC DOWNTURN

VISI, Minnesota’s largest data center services and managed hosting provider, wants to help business owners understand the difference between merely surviving in an economic downturn and thriving, so starting today a new white paper titled “Thriving in an Economic Downturn: Focus on What You do Best; Outsource the Rest” is available for complimentary download at www.visi.com/whitepapers.

Authored by Ralph Awad, VISI’s director of hosting services, the 4-page white paper points out the six most common reasons that business owners cling to when justifying the money they spend on IT. These reasons, which often become mistakes, are control issues over IT infrastructures; feeling too small to outsource; aversion to change and risk; budget restraints and sunken costs; too much trust in the internal team and fear of staff layoffs by outsourcing. Awad breaks these arguments down in a way that any business can relate to and offers ideas for achieving IT success more efficiently and affordably long-term.

“The smart way to build a competitive advantage is to focus on the operations or areas that define your core business mission,” says Awad. “Determining what role IT plays in your competitive advantage can be difficult. Managing Web sites, e-mail applications and customer relationship management on your own may not actually be saving your company money.”

The complete white paper can be downloaded for free at www.visi.com/whitepapers.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Kohnstamm Communications - Senior Account Executive – Consumer Team

Kohnstamm Communications - Senior Account Executive – Consumer Team

Dahlin Joins Campbell Mithun to Lead Digital Experience

Adina Dahlin joins Campbell Mithun as vice president, director of digital experience

Campbell Mithun announces the hire of Adina Dahlin as vice president, director of digital experience. In the newly created position, Dahlin will help develop and integrate the agency’s digital capabilities, including connections strategy, creative development, production and training.

“Adina will play a key role in Campbell Mithun’s mission to make Everything Talk for clients’ brands in the evolving digital space,” said Steve Wehrenberg, CEO of Campbell Mithun. “She will add a new breadth and depth to our ability to provide constant creativity and innovative thinking for our clients’ digital presence to help produce the original experiences their customers are looking for."

Prior to joining Campbell Mithun, Dahlin was chief interactive officer at Hunt Adkins, a full-service agency in Minneapolis. Dahlin also held a number of leadership positions throughout her 10 years at RMG Connect, a marketing agency in Minneapolis, including account director. Her strong technology, strategy and client service background includes experience working with brands like 3M, Ford, Unilever, AOL Time Warner, Pfizer, U.S. Marines and Xerox.

Dahlin holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from George Mason University, Fairfax, Va., and a master’s degree in engineering management from Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Campbell Mithun and United Way Partner to Change the Face of Poverty

Campbell Mithun’s new campaign for United Way, challenges people to “accept” poverty in their community

Who is the face of poverty? Poverty extends beyond a third world country or concentrated city block. Poverty is a single mom with mouths to feed, a recently laid-off worker in need of a paycheck or an elderly woman no longer able to care for herself. Poverty is all around and is a problem facing a growing number of people and affecting the long-term health and vitality of our communities. It is up to us whether we choose to accept or ignore it. Minneapolis-based advertising agency, Campbell Mithun has partnered with Greater Twin Cities United Way to develop “Connect with Poverty,” a new interactive campaign that demonstrates the changing face of poverty with a strong call-to-action.

“To my mind, we were up against two major issues with this United Way assignment. First, most non-profit work, however provocative and right-minded, leaves the viewer still wondering, ‘Ok, but what do you want me to do? How do I do it?’ Second, could we tap into new media capabilities to make the idea more relevant and actionable?” said Jonathan Hoffman, president and chief creative officer of Campbell Mithun. “I believe the ‘Connect with Poverty’ campaign answers both of these questions very effectively.”

In today’s economic environment, charitable organizations have been struggling to find the level of support needed for individuals within their communities. United Way and Campbell Mithun recognized this challenge, as well as how this recession has made poverty an issue closer to home, and sought to involve people through a series of radio, print and online advertisements, and via social networking sites.

“Knowing what we were up against, we set out to make it easier for people to support United Way than ever before. We tapped into the desire to connect with others through social networking to build a deeper level of engagement with United Way,” said Pete Leacock, vice president, account supervisor at Campbell Mithun.

The online ads state, “The face of poverty is changing,” then asks the user to either “accept” or “ignore” by clicking one of two icons. If the user chooses “accept,” they will then be prompted to the ConnectWithPoverty.org microsite, developed by interactive agency MRM Worldwide, where they are then able to further engage through donations, volunteerism or participation in the cause through United Way’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, United Way will utilize a “text to give” feature on specific print executions and within the microsite, which will enable donations to come through via a text message.

“Thanks to the help of Campbell Mithun, this campaign allows us to reach out in new ways to raise awareness about the often-misunderstood issue of poverty in our local community, with a clear way to activate the audience to get engaged,” says Andy Goldman-Gray, vice president of marketing for Greater Twin Cities United Way.

Additionally, as part of the overall campaign, United Way will introduce the “LIVE UNITED in 2009” program encouraging participation by offering regular, cause-specific promotions throughout the campaign and encourage people to not only wear the t-shirt, but live the message by giving, advocating and volunteering. Each promotion highlights the greatest needs in the community by focusing on one of the ten “Agenda for Lasting Change” goals.

To “Accept” the “Connect with Poverty” campaign in its entirety, please visit www.campbellmithun.com/connectwithpoverty/.

SPATE OF NEW CLIENTS HAS KOHNSTAMM PR HIRING

Kohnstamm PR has won a flurry of additional work and new clients this summer, and in addition to a recent hire, is looking for top talent in the form of an experienced SAE. Recent client wins include Dilmah Tea of Sri
Lanka, Lavera natural cosmetics of Germany, medical device maker ProUroCare, and organic baby food maker Happy Baby of Brooklyn, NY. Bear market economic forecasting leader Elliott Wave International added a significant project to its current work with the agency.

Sam Boeser, formerly of Tunheim Partners, joined Kohnstamm this month as an AAE. For more information on position openings at the St. Paul firm, go to the careers section of the website www.kohnstamm.com.