MNPR Blog

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Campbell Mithun hires Kristine Olson as Director of Corporate Communications

Campbell Mithun hired veteran communicator Kristine Olson for its newly created position of director of corporate communications, affirming a commitment to make Everything Talk for its own brand.

“We’re so obsessively focused on our clients’ success that we often neglect the Campbell Mithun brand.  Bringing in Kris will help us strengthen our voice and profile in the marketplace,” says Don Kvam, chief growth officer at Campbell Mithun.  “She has the right mix of strategic skills, executional drive and agency experience to lead our public relations and social media communications efforts.”

Olson brings to Campbell Mithun an extensive communications background including tenure at Weber
Shandwick, Carmichael Lynch Spong and her own firm, serving brands and companies including:  General Mills, Qwest, Volvo, CNS, Bristol Myers-Squibb and Land O’Lakes.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tunheim Partners’ “Tonight Show” Project Wins 2010 PRSA Classics Award

When No Name Premium Meats & Seafood challenged Tunheim Partners to “Bring Home the Bacon,” little did they know it would come in the form of a 300-pound likeness of Conan O’Brien, carved out of white chocolate (to reflect his pasty, white complexion) complete with No Name bacon for his red, wavy hair.

Yet that’s exactly what won the small Minnesota meat company national visibility on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien and won Tunheim Partners a 2010 PRSA Classics Award for Creative Tactics. Tunheim Partners received the award at the 32nd annual Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards ceremony at International Market Square on Thursday, March 25.

Background: In a local TV interview last June, Conan O’Brien said he would bring The Tonight Show to the Minnesota State Fair in return for his weight in chocolate-covered bacon, a state fair delicacy. Because No Name Premium Meats & Seafood makes bacon, they challenged Tunheim Partners to capitalize on O’Brien’s “request.” With little more than two months to capitalize on the State Fair time-hook, Tunheim Partners commissioned the State Fair’s butter-carving artist to create a life-sized bust of O’Brien; then established contacts at NBC Universal to get the bust past security and into The Tonight Show studios in hopes of a “guest appearance.”

In preparation for a possible mention, Tunheim Partners prepared a comprehensive social media strategy by creating accounts for the ‘bacon bust” on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter and Flickr. The team also produced a cartoon-like video for YouTube, showing the bust “traveling” from Minnesota to Hollywood to mimic Conan’s first show in which he “ran” from New York to Los Angeles . The bust “took photos” of itself at well-known tourist destinations like Old Faithful, Las Vegas , etc. that were posted on Flickr.


The effort paid off. Conan O’Brien mentioned No Name Premium Meats & Seafood once and showed the chocolate-carved bust on The Tonight Show twice: on August 26 and 31 for a total of 7.5 minutes with nightly audiences of 2.5 million viewers per night. By leveraging social media networks as well as traditional media relations, No Name achieved a media slam dunk and saw bacon sales increase by 27 percent nationally.


No Name is a division of J&B Group - a family-owned company based in St. Michael , Minnesota . The company is a leader in perishable food manufacturing and distribution, serving the retail and food service industry throughout the Midwest and beyond.


No Name and Tunheim Partners have established strong working relationships with media contacts throughout the Midwest region focusing on food and entertainment, business and trade media.


The PRSA Classics Awards are divided into two categories: Elements and Programs. Classics Elements Awards honor the best program tactics, while Classics Programs Awards honor the best overall public relations campaigns.

Survey Says Americans are Responding to Online Advertising in Greater Numbers

Consumers are more likely to read and act upon online advertising than they were a year ago, according to the second year of an Opinion Research Corporation consumer preference survey sponsored by Adfusion, an article-based advertising network and division of ARAnet. Every type of online advertising scored better with consumers in 2010 than a year ago.

For the second year, consumers say articles that include brand information is the type of online advertising they’re most likely to read and act upon, compared to banner ads, pop-up ads, email offers or sponsored links.

Article-based advertising was preferred by 53 percent of respondents who said they are “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to read and act upon the material, compared to 51 percent a year ago. Coveted demographic groups are even more likely to express a preference for articles. According to the survey, 66 percent of people between the ages of 25 and 34, and 60 percent of those making at least $75,000 per year, say they are “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to read and act upon article-based advertising. Pop-up ads were least likely to be read or acted upon.

In the national study of 1,053 adults conducted in March 2010, survey respondents rated their likelihood to read and act upon five types of online advertising: banner ads, pop-up ads, e-mail offers, articles that include brand information, and sponsored search engine links. Respondents said they were “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to read and respond to:

  • Articles that include brand information: 53 percent compared to 51 percent a year ago
  • Email offers: 51 percent compared to 47 percent last year
  • Sponsored search engine links: 40 percent compared to last year’s 39 percent
  • Banner ads: 28 percent compared to 25 percent in 2009
  • Pop-up ads: 19 percent compared to 13 percent last year

Further, when asked how frequently they conduct Internet searches for products or services they read about in online articles, the results were eye-popping. Frequency increased from about 50 percent a year ago saying they initiate a search “very frequently” or “somewhat frequently,” to 57 percent this year. Younger and high-income people showed a considerable propensity to conduct a search after reading online articles. Seventy-two percent of 25-to-34-year-olds said they were likely to conduct a search for products or services based on an article, up from 66 percent a year ago. And 70 percent of those making more than $75,000 per year expressed their likelihood to perform a search – 13 points higher than last year’s 57 percent.

According to ARAnet president Scott Severson, year-two of the online advertising study revealed three critical areas of data for marketers.

“First, we’re seeing that all these areas of online advertising are being received favorably by consumers, which means they are tuning in to marketers’ online messages. Secondly, we continue to see a growing and healthy preference for article-based advertising. And a third key is that coveted younger and more affluent audiences are receptive to all types of online advertising, and article-based advertising in particular,” Severson says.

Severson says the data revealed that other high-potential demographic segments said they frequently conduct searches for products or services after reading about them in online articles, including: 65 percent of respondents with household size of three or more; 72 percent of households with children in the 13-17 age group; and 63 percent of college educated respondents – compared to 57 percent of the general population.

“We’re seeing that article-based advertising rates highest with these important and discerning audiences. Compared to other online advertising options, consumers prefer reading an article, evaluating it, and then deciding to click through for more information,” says Severson

Monday, March 29, 2010

Business Marketing Association - Brand Naming for the Digital Age

Forget everything you know about naming for B2B—the rules are changing. Five converging trends are having a profound effect on how well brand names perform. Will your brand have the power to compete in the coming years? How will you know if it's time to rebrand?

If you're introducing a new brand, what should you know about naming? John Stucker, founder of Pollywog, will share how Medtronic and other B2B leaders have created names that succeed in the digital age and how a powerful name can propel the success of your business.

Presentation Highlights:
  • Brand Naming through the Ages
  • Converging Trends Affecting Naming for B2B Marketers
  • What a Brand Name Needs to Succeed in the Digital Age
  • Power Names
  • Elements of a Power Name
  • What a Power Name Does for a Brand
  • Is Your Brand Working For You or Against You?

A members-only networking event will be held immediately following the event (9-9:30 a.m.) to discuss presentation highlights.

About John Stucker:

John has been helping clients create and evolve their brands for over 15 years. In addition to his naming and branding work, John’s broad experience in design and advertising has helped him develop a rare facility with both visuals and words which ideally suits him to lead naming and branding projects. Before founding Pollywog, John created strategic communications in virtually every medium from brand

identity to packaging, print ads to Web sites. John has worked as a consultant, art director and designer for a wide range of agencies including Campbell Mithun, Rapp Collins Worldwide and BBDO. His work has won awards from such institutions as the American Institute of Graphic Arts, How magazine and Print magazine, and his brand identity work has been published in Print’s Best Logos.


About Devon Thomas Treadwell:

Prior to founding Pollywog, Devon had been an independent consultant and copywriter/associate creative director with some of the world’s leading advertising agencies, including J. Walter Thompson in Los Angeles, and Young & Rubicam, Bozell and Campbell Mithun in Chicago. Over the 20-year course of her career, Devon has worked on many leading brands, including the Walt Disney Company, Paramount Home Video, Coffee-mate, 3M, Southwestern Bell, @Home, Berlitz, Best Buy, Harmon AutoGlass and Mexicana Airlines. Her creative awards include The Show, The One Show, the Art Director’s Club, the Gold Addy, Print’s Regional Design Annual, the International Advertising Festival of New York, and others. Devon holds a Masters of Advertising from the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University.

When: April 20, 2010

Time: 7:30 a.m. Registration and breakfast
8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Presentation

Where: Metropolitan Ballroom, Golden Valley
5418 Wayzata Blvd
Minneapolis, MN 55416
Directions

Cost: Members $30 / Non Members $45

Registration link: https://www.123signup.com/register?id=mzqpv
Register by April 16

Friday, March 26, 2010

MINNESOTA PUBLIC RELATIONS SOCIETY OF AMERICA (PRSA) CLASSICS AWARDS HONOR TOP PUBLIC RELATIONS ACHIEVEMENTS FROM 2009

Last night, the Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) celebrated the best public relations campaigns of 2009 during the 32nd annual Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards, held at International Market Square. The awards banquet, emceed by KARE-11 weekend anchor reporter Rena Sarigianopoulos, was attended by more than 250 communications professionals from area agencies, corporations, non-profit organizations and independent practitioners.

“The Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards recognize excellence in the field of public relations,” said Candee Wolf, APR, president of Minnesota PRSA. “We have a talented pool of local professionals, and the bar set by our peers is extremely high. This year’s winners really stand out for their exemplary professional skill and creativity.”

The Classics Awards are divided into two categories: Elements and Programs. Classics Elements Awards honor the best program tactics, while Classics Programs Awards honor the best overall public relations campaigns.

The highest-scoring entries in the Programs Awards category were eligible for the top honor of the evening – Best of Show. The award for Best of Show was presented to the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) and Padilla Speer Beardsley for “Be the Match.”

A vital need for more support had the National Marrow Donor Program taking a new approach to engaging the public in its life-saving mission, which included a new name for its marrow donor registry – Be The Match. The NMDP turned to Padilla Speer Beardsley to launch Be The Match and encourage more people to join the cause. Despite a very limited budget and the reluctance of media to cover “just a name change,” Padilla created a highly successful campaign that captured public attention by showcasing compelling stories of patients and donors, attracting thousands of marrow donors, volunteers and financial contributors.

Donald G. Padilla Distinguished Practitioner Award
Also at the Classics, Minnesota PRSA honored Ted Davis, APR, with the Donald G. Padilla Distinguished Practitioner Award.

The late Mr. Padilla devoted himself to helping civic, educational, human services and arts organizations communicate more effectively. He was equally diligent in teaching the clients of his firm to see the many benefits of community stewardship and relationship building. The Donald G. Padilla Distinguished Practitioner Award recognizes an individual who is judged to have made selfless contributions to the community and to the mission of PRSA, and who has demonstrated exceptional professional achievement.

Davis has worked in public relations in Minneapolis/Saint Paul for 25 years. He founded Davis Communications Management in 1998 to provide strategic public affairs council to companies, organizations and individuals across Minnesota. His practice focuses on navigating complex public issues through media and community relations, crisis communications and mobilizing grassroots advocacy.

Throughout his career, he has maintained a strong commitment to the community. He has served as a crisis media relations volunteer for the American Red Cross and as a public relations advisor to numerous public officials and community organizations. As a frequent guest lecturer and adjunct instructor at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communications, he has helped young PR practitioners prepare for their careers.

He has been a member of PRSA since 1986 serving as a director, National Assembly Delegate and committee member including past service as co-chair of the accreditation committee.

Along with the award, Minnesota PRSA will contribute $500 to a charity of Davis’ choice. Padilla Speer Beardsley will donate another $500 to the same organization.
A total of 54 Classics Awards were presented during the evening to public relations agencies, corporations, non-profit organizations and students from the metro and out-state areas.

For a complete list of the 32nd Annual Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards click here.

32nd Annual PRSA Classics Winners

ELEMENTS
1. Brochures
“How People Are Counted” Brochure
U.S. Census Bureau with Weber Shandwick
2. Special Purpose Publications
Giving Dealers an Edge
Winfield Solutions with Exponent
3A. Video (Programs)
Who Pooped at the Minnesota Zoo?
Minnesota Zoo
3B. Video (Public Service Announcements – PSA)
Affordable...Convenient...Fast...MSP Value Parking
Metropolitan Airports Commission with Padilla Speer Beardsley
4. Audio
Untying the PurseStrings of America’s Most Powerful Consumer
WebmasterRadio.FM with Carmichael Lynch Spong
5A. Annual Reports (Business/Industry)
Showcasing St. Jude Medical’s Lifesaving Successes
St. Jude Medical with Padilla Speer Beardsley
5B. Annual Reports (Government/Nonprofit)
Celebrating Success
Minnesota Zoo
6A. Media Kits (Products)
GoGirl! Building A Brand Worth Standing For
FemMed, Inc., with Risdall McKinney Public Relations
6B. Media Kits (Services)
Capturing Public Attention for a Critical Cause
Be The Match with Padilla Speer Beardsley
6D. Media Kits (Other)
The Whole Kit and Caboodle: Recipes for Grilling Safely
Propane Education & Research Council with Exponent
7. Newsletters
Cargill E-Newsletter Puts Industry Trends “InPerspective”
Cargill with Carmichael Lynch Spong
8A. Magazines (Internal)
The Link Magazine
Best Buy Co., Inc.
8B. Magazines (External)
CHS Brings the World to Your Door
CHS Inc. with Exponent/Colle+McVoy
9A. Media Relations (Business/Industry – Budget < $75,000)
World’s Largest Boot Takes Stroll Down Main Street
Red Wing Shoe Company with Beehive PR
9B. Media Relations (Business/Industry – Budget > $75,000)
Lutron Electronics: Saving Energy with Lighting Controls
Lutron Electronics with Carmichael Lynch Spong
9C. Media Relations (Government/Nonprofit)
Big Business for Small Farmers
TransFair USA with Carmichael Lynch Spong
10. Feature Writing
Toolkit for Reaching Latinos
U.S. Census Bureau with Weber Shandwick
11. Technical Writing
DU: What Veterans/Service Members Need to Know
Minnesota Department Veterans Affairs with Weber Shandwick
13. Web Sites
“Salt 101” Spices Up Diamond Crystal Salt
Cargill with Carmichael Lynch Spong
14. Research
Teen Voice 2009: The Untapped Strengths of 15 year olds
Best Buy Co., Inc with Search Institute
15. Evaluation
Clearing the Air and Bringing Energy Efficiency into Focus
Trane with Carmichael Lynch Spong
16. Social Media
GoGirl! Building A Brand Worth Standing For
FemMed, Inc. with Risdall Marketing Group
17. Creative Tactics
No Name Brings Home the Bacon
No Name Premium Meats with Tunheim Partners

PROGRAMS
18A. Community Relations (Business/Industry)
Padilla Plugged In: Improving Our Community
Padilla Speer Beardsley
18B. Community Relations (Government/Nonprofit)
Capturing Public Attention for a Critical Cause
Be The Match with Padilla Speer Beardsley
19A. Institutional Programs (Business/Industry)
New Vision Plants Seeds of Growth for DuPont
DuPont Crop Protection with Exponent
19B. Institutional Programs (Government/Nonprofit)
WORKplace
Saint Paul Public Library
20A. Special Events/Observances (Less Than Seven Days) (Business/Industry)
BART Fair Trade Certified Chocolate Giveaway
TransFair USA with Carmichael Lynch Spong
20B. Special Events/Observances (Less Than Seven Days) (Government/Nonprofit)
Congratulations! You’ve Landed on Free Parking!
Minnesota State Lottery with Exponent
21A. Special Events/Observances (More Than Seven Days) (Business/Industry)
“Because We Care” Employee Giving Campaign
Thomson Reuters
21B. Special Events/Observances (More Than Seven Days) (Government/Nonprofit)
Moneyvation to Quit
ClearWay Minnesota with Carmichael Lynch Spong
22A. Public Service (Business/Industry)
The Safe Driving Talk
State Farm Insurance with Weber Shandwick
22B. Public Service (Government/Nonprofit)
Capturing Public Attention for a Critical Cause
Be The Match with Padilla Speer Beardsley
23A. Public Affairs (Business/Industry)
Geek Squad and the FCC Team Up for DTV
Best Buy Co., Inc. with Ketchum
24A. Marketing Services (New – Budget < $75,000)
WORKplace
Saint Paul Public Library
24B. Marketing Services (New – Budget > $75,000)
2009 PGA Championship: Making Minnesota Sports History
2009 PGA Championship with Exponent
24D. Marketing Services (Established – Budget > $75,000)
Moneyvation to Quit
ClearWay Minnesota with Carmichael Lynch Spong
25A. Marketing Products (New – Budget < $75,000)
Brushing up on Mobile: ColorSnap iPhone App
Sherwin-Williams with Carmichael Lynch Spong and Resource Interactive
25B. Marketing Products (New – Budget > $75,000)
GoGirl! Building A Brand Worth Standing For
FemMed, Inc. with Risdall Marketing Group
25C. Marketing Products (Established – Budget < $75,000)
Jack Link’s Living Sasquatch
Jack Link’s Beef Jerky with Carmichael Lynch Spong and Carmichael Lynch Advertising
25D. Marketing Products (Established – Budget > $75,000)
Helping Jim Beam Honor America’s Heroes
Jim Beam Bourbon with Padilla Speer Beardsley
27B. Crisis / Issues Management (Government/Nonprofit)
Preparing the Dairy Industry for the Unthinkable
Dairy Management Inc. with Weber Shandwick
28. Internal Communications
Attracting, Retaining and Engaging Achievement Addicts
Carmichael Lynch Spong
29. Investor Relations
Going Public Against Great Odds to Save Limbs
Cardiovascular Systems, Inc. with Padilla Speer Beardsley
30A. Integrated Communications (Products)
Launching Personalized Health Care in the Internet Age
Mayo Clinic and Microsoft with Padilla Speer Beardsley
30B. Integrated Communications (Services)
WORKplace
Saint Paul Public Library
31. Multicultural Public Relations
Make College a Part of Your Future
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities with Franke + Fiorella
32A. Industry Campaign of the Year (Consumer Products)
GoGirl! Building A Brand Worth Standing For
FemMed, Inc. with Risdall Marketing Group
32D. Industry Campaign of the Year (B2B)
New Vision Plants Seeds of Growth for DuPont
DuPont Crop Protection with Exponent
32E. Industry Campaign of the Year (Health Care)
Capturing the State of the Nation’s Brain Health
Martek Biosciences with Carmichael Lynch Spong
32F. Industry Campaign of the Year (Nonprofit)
Moneyvation to Quit
ClearWay Minnesota with Carmichael Lynch Spong
STUDENTS
New Media/Technology (Internet site design and writing)
Sioux Empire Adoption and Foster Care Fair
Augustana PRSSA
Augustana College
Planning
Players Performance Group PR Campaign
Laura Bebo
St. Cloud State University
BEST OF SHOW
Capturing Public Attention for a Critical Cause
Be The Match with Padilla Speer Beardsley

Thursday, March 25, 2010

DAVIS LAYS DOWN ROOTS AT OLSON AS DIRECTOR OF PROJECT MANAGMENT

OLSON is pleased to announce the hire of Shannon Davis as director of project management. She joins the agency from Met|Hodder, where she was director of project management and production services, working on recap shows and enhanced episodes of ABC’s Lost, and on Disney projects.

“Not only is Shannon a fabulous director of project management, but she also knows how Lost is going to end,” says Kevin DiLorenzo, president, OLSON. “Yes, she has strong leadership skills and experience all over town managing departments, but really, we’re also very happy to have her insider information.”

“I’m excited to be joining OLSON to refine agency processes—to change things organically, incorporating ideas from each agency discipline,” says Shannon Davis, OLSON director of project management. “A great process needs to feel effortless, and I’m hoping it’ll look that way too."

Before Met|Hodder, Shannon was manager of the project management department at Best Buy.

Morsekode wins new business

Morsekode, a Minneapolis-based creative marketing agency, today announced that it won three new client assignments for interactive marketing and video services – adding to an already active 2010 for the independent agency.

Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota is partnering with Morsekode to create an educational video for K-4th grade students on influenza prevention. Children’s will offer the video to Minnesota school districts this fall.

“At Children’s we are committed to reaching out to the community to educate families about influenza prevention and with the generous support of the Kohl’s Cares For Kids® program, we’re taking our messages to schools around the state,” said Brian Lucas, public relations manager at Children’s. “We are excited to work with Morsekode to create a fun and engaging tool for teachers to use in the classroom while educating students on health and wellness.”

Morsekode and Toro are teaming up for a global product launch with a microsite featuring video and animation. The agency also will conduct an online teaser campaign for the launch from Toro’s Domestic and International Sports & Grounds groups.

“Morsekode has been a great partner from the development of this new product messaging to campaign content ideas that will connect with the audience,” said Jamie Bergen, Toro’s international marketing product manager.
Medtronic turned to Morsekode to create a microsite and video to support product launches with its CardioVascular division.

“These wins continue to demonstrate that our Brand Motion offering is working for some of the best brands in the country,” said Mark Morse, founder and principal of Mosekode. “As we celebrate our eighth year in business, we’re honored to represent such iconic businesses with our approach of dynamic brand communications that contributes to bottom line results.”

Job - Minnesota Lynx - Public Relations Intern

Minnesota Lynx - Public Relations Intern

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Job - Snap Fitness - Marketing & Communications Intern

Snap Fitness - Marketing & Communications Intern

Job - Best Buy - Director Community Relations

Best Buy - Director Community Relations

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

OLSON SCORES DODGEBALL PRO EDDIE PRENTISS AS CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Often referred to as the Brett Favre of dodgeball (ask him to find out why), Eddie Prentiss, straight from a grueling season with the National Dodgeball League team the Las Vegas Vipers, has joined OLSON as creative director.

“Back alley dodgeball has long been a signature part of OLSON's culture, so Eddie is certain to fit right in,” says Tom Fugleberg, executive creative director, OLSON. “I just hope he’s ready for the jump from the professional ranks to playing in a pool or two of Dumpster juice.” Prentiss will be joining OLSON as a creative director, and brings more than just sheer pedigree to the post—he’s also a tremendous mentor."

Besides his illustrious sports career, Eddie has been running his own shop, Prentiss, Inc., and managing operations at the school he founded, Brainco—The Minneapolis School of Advertising, www.brainco.org. “I think Eddie may have taught a third of our staff at some point—including me,” adds Fugleberg. “And a number of our creatives have taught at Brainco over the years. We’re thrilled to have Eddie on board.”

“I’ve always played to win and had fun along the way,” says Prentiss. “That’s what excites me about OLSON. Advertising is really no different than dodgeball, except I probably won’t break any fingers.” One hopes.

And, for more information about Eddie’s role in the National Dodgeball League, visit www.thendl.com. (I know you think we’re making that up, but we aren’t.)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Client Disclosure on Twitter – When do you do it? How do you do it?

My colleague, Jennifer Kane, and I talk a lot about how to achieve "calculated authenticity" and transparency in our firm's social media engagement.

However, we've also noticed that there's a fine line between being calculated, and being misleading (whether intentional or unintentional).

In my years of using Twitter as a public relations tool, and observing the practices of others in the trade and how these practices have evolved, I've developed an acute awareness of (and questions around) how PR professionals talk about their clients on Twitter.

I've observed a few styles of tweets within PR professionals' Twitter feeds:
  • Tweets about their job and the trade, and projects on which they are working, but don't mention client names.
  • Tweets that mention clients, but not in a promotional way: "I am working on a campaign for client name."
  • Tweets that mention clients in a promotional nature, but unless the reader is familiar with that individual's client roster, they wouldn't know that it's a client of theirs: "I am reading a fantastic article by client name." or "I think this gadget from client name is awesome!"
  • Tweets that mention clients, along with some sort of disclosure that it is a client: "Client name is having great event this weekend. (client)"
One local firm that emerged early with this practice of Twitter disclosure was Tunheim Partners (BloisOlson and DErickson). When I saw the graceful way that they navigated this issue, I immediately thought, "Duh ... why aren't more PR professionals (including me) doing this?"

Consider these questions:
  • If a PR professional (or agency) is receiving a retainer from a client, and she tweets promotional information or pitches pertaining to that client, is she then, essentially, being paid to tweet?
  • If a PR professional tweets promotional information or pitches pertaining to a client, is he using his influence as an endorsement for the client?
Why does any of this matter?

Well, at the core of all of this, we're talking about industry ethics and best practices. And, as you're probably aware, the FTC recently revised its guidelines for disclosure of connections between advertisers and endorsers, including those on personal blogs and social networking sites.

What do the FTC guidelines mean for PR professionals?

They are merely guidelines, and no legal action will be brought against those who do not comply.

However, I go back to the question that I raised previously -- if a client is paying us, and we promote that client via social networks, are we then being paid for that endorsement?

In a webinar last month with Brian Solis, principal, Future Works, Ted Murphy, principal, IZEA and Mary Engle, associate director, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, it was stated that the FTC would like to see PR firms with policies in place that tell people when and how to disclose.

The FTC has not set any requirements for how to disclose, but some practices have emerged. Here are some suggestions:
  • Develop disclosure language, and use it. Whether it's "(client)" or "(c)" or "#client" or "#paid" -- select language that makes it clear to your audience when you're talking about a client or have received some sort of compensation for sharing that message.
  • Use your bio and Twitter wallpaper. If you're going to tweet about clients on occasion, use this space to tell your followers who your clients are and share any policies or guidelines to which you adhere.
  • Create Twitter lists. Include your firm's clients and those who tweet about your clients. Consider taking this a step further and aggregate these tweets on your firm's website.
  • Consider an agency Twitterfeed. If you want to tweet client news and pitches, an agency Twitterfeed of press releases and client news may serve this purpose well.
  • Develop a policy. Once you establish whether or not you or your firm will talk about clients in social networks, decide what the nature of those posts will be, and how you plan to disclose client relationships. Make sure that employees and sub-contractors understand this policy.
Bottom line -- there's no steadfast rule to when or how PR professionals disclose client connections in social media. It's a choice, up to you, as to how you will proceed in this very gray area.

What steps are you going to take?

Kary Delaria is vice president of PR and CLO (chief listening officer) at Kane Consulting, a social media marketing and PR firm that specializes in research, strategy and measurement/monitoring in addition to producing events and providing training in these areas.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Risdall Marketing Group Hires Karen Van Heiden as an Online Marketing Specialist

Risdall Marketing Group (RMG) announced that Karen Van Heiden has joined its Online Marketing Group division. Van Heiden’s responsibilities include evaluating client Web sites to increase Search Engine Optimization.

“Karen’s is entrepreneurial and has an eye for numbers, making her a perfect addition to our search engine optimization team,” said Jennifer Risdall, CEO of Risdall Online Marketing Group. “Her ability to think analytically is critical for her new role in reviewing Web metrics for our clients.”

Van Heiden graduated from Drake University as a marketing major, but started her college career as an actuarial science major. Previously, Karen served as executive director for Iowa’s Windsor Heights Chamber of Commerce.

Business Marteting Association - Branding for the Digital Age

Branding for the Digital Age
When: April 20, 2010
Where: Metropolitan Ballroom
Time: 8:00 - 9:00 a.m., with breakfast and registration beginning at 7:30

Forget everything you know about naming for B2B - the rules are changing. Five converging trends are having a profound effect on how well brand names perform. Will your brand have the power to compete in the coming years? How will you know if it's time to rebrand? If you're introducing a new brand, what should you know about naming? John Stucker, founder of Pollywog, will share how Medtronic and other B2B leaders have created names that succeed in the digital age and how a powerful name can propel the success of your business. Register Now.

When: April 20, 2010

Time:
7:30 a.m. Registration and breakfast
8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Presentation

Where:
Metropolitan Ballroom, Golden Valley
5418 Wayzata Blvd
Minneapolis, MN 55416
Directions

Cost: Members $30 / Non Members $45

Registration link: https://www.123signup.com/register?id=mzqpv
Register by April 16

*A members-only networking event will be held immediately following the event (9-9:30 a.m.) to discuss presentation highlights.

We look forward to seeing you at our April event!

Monday, March 15, 2010

d.trio marketing group hires Wocken as director of emerging media

The Minneapolis office of d.trio marketing group today announced Philip Wocken has joined the agency as the director of emerging media. In this key role, Philip is responsible for developing and expanding services for existing and future clients in the social media, mobile and email marketing capacities as well as online advertising, web analytics and search engine optimization services.

Prior to joining d.trio, Philip ran his own interactive marketing agency, which specialized in creating affordable and inventive campaigns for a portfolio of small business and start-up clients based in the U.S and U.K. He’s also served as marketing manager of Granite City Window Cleaning, Inc. where he managed all marketing communications efforts. Wocken currently volunteers his time as a staff blogger for the Minnesota American Marketing Association Web site. A native of St. Cloud, Minn., Wocken graduated with a bachelor of science degree in marketing from the G.R. Herberger College of Business, St. Cloud State University.

“Philip will be a significant contributor to the success of d.trio’s full-service marketing communications efforts,” said Maureen Dyvig, d.trio co-founder and partner. “His client leadership and creative problem-solving skills are a huge asset for us as we continue to expand and offer clients services in the ever-evolving marketing landscape.”

Libby promoted to studio director at OLSON

Ryan Libby has been promoted to director of OLSON’s studio team, from associate director. Libby manages the studio, an efficient team with advanced technology and design backgrounds focused on supporting all disciplines, and the agency’s internal resource for producing interactive and print-ready materials.

“Ryan has built a world-class, hybrid studio,” says Tom Fugleberg, OLSON’s executive creative director. “And every day, it becomes more and more of a direct extension of our creative department.”

Libby joined OLSON in 2006 from RMG Connect, where he was development manager, interactive. Libby began his career at Best Buy Corporation, where he was instrumental in the redesign of the company’s corporate intranet. He has also worked for Target.com, and in Washington D.C. for PR shop The Bivings Group.

Friday, March 12, 2010

2010 Minnesota School Public Relations Spring Conference - Friday, March 19

The 2010 MinnSPRA (Minnesota School Public Relations) Spring Conference will be held Friday, March 19. "Community Conversations: Tame the angry mob and build relationships that last" will give public relations and communication professionals an in-depth look at community engagement using the IAP2 model.

Used by school districts, government agencies and non-profit organizations across the world, the IAP2 model centers around seven core values and a spectrum of public participation levels. Whether you’re new to school communications or a seasoned professional—there is a lot for you to learn from leading community engagement practitioners.

Attend this conference and learn:
  • Why is community engagement more important now than 10 years ago?
  • What is the IAP2 spectrum? How do I use it?
  • How do I begin to engage my community? What are the first steps?
  • The risks, benefits and costs of community engagement.
The conference includes a keynote presentation and afternoon workshop from Dr. Deb Gurke, Director of Board Governance for the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, and an in-depth look at Saint Paul Public School's current community engagement process.

The 2010 MinnSPRA Spring Conference is scheduled for Friday, March 19, at the Northland Inn in Brooklyn Park. The program will start at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 4 p.m. The 2010 Star Awards program will be held during lunch, beginning at 12 noon.

The cost of registration for MinnSPRA members is $130 for MinnSPRA members, and $170 for non-members. Rooms are available at the conference center for $119 per night for those wishing to stay on Thursday night. Register now.

Job - University of Minnesota - Public Relations Support

University of Minnesota - Public Relations Support

Thursday, March 11, 2010

SHOCK DOCTOR, SPARKHOUSE CHOOSE MACCABEE GROUP AS PUBLIC RELATIONS AND SOCIAL MEDIA AGENCY

Shock Doctor, the Plymouth, MN-based global brand leader in mouthguard technology and performance protection products for athletes, has chosen Minneapolis-based Maccabee Group as its new public relations agency for social media marketing, consumer product publicity and strategic communications.

In addition sparkhouse, a Minneapolis-based organization that provides curriculum and design services to the Christian education community, has hired Maccabee Group to perform public relations projects.

Job - Prime Therapeutics LLC - Communications Specialist

Prime Therapeutics LLC - Communications Specialist

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Levy Joins Beehive PR as Group Director

Melissa Levy has joined Beehive PR as group director. Previously, Levy spent five years with Carmichael Lynch Spong working as a senior counselor and chair of the agency’s retail industry practice.

As group director, Levy will lead Beehive’s consumer and retail-focused accounts. She will also serve as an internal and external writing coach.

Levy has more than 15 years of experience in the communication field, contributing more than a decade of her career to journalism. For eight years, Levy was a retail reporter for the Star Tribune, where she launched a weekly, “What’s in Store” trends column. She has won Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists’ “PageOne” awards for coverage of Marshall Field’s sale to Macy’s and a series on the business issues related to obesity.

In 2005, Levy joined Carmichael Lynch Spong where she lead the Sherwin-Williams paint stores public relations team. She has extensive experience in consumer brand public relations, working with clients such as MasterBrand Cabinets (Aristokraft, Diamond and Thomasville brands), Maytag appliances and stores, PETCO Animal Supplies and Lifetouch photography studios. Her teams have won two national Gold SABRE awards, a Bronze Anvil Award of Commendation and several Minnesota Public Relations Society of America honors.

Levy completed her bachelor of arts degree in international relations with an emphasis on journalism from Michigan State University.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

APR refresher course

There will be a PRSA APR Spring Refresher course on Saturday, March 27 from 9 a.m. to noon at Padilla Speer Beardsley. This session is designed for APR candidates who have already completed the full APR Study Workshop (held each fall).

The Spring Refresher will be an opportunity to review the major areas of the exam, and to ask panelists questions about portfolio preparation and the Readiness Review. Please RSVP to Betsy Anderson (bdanderson1@stthomas.edu) or Patty Hoffman (PHoffman@psbpr.com) by March 19 if you are interested in attending.

Schermer Kuehl was named Runner-Up, Small Agency of the Year by BtoB Magazine!

BtoB Magazine, the leading publication for B2B marketing professionals, today published its list of Top B2B Agencies. Minnesota Agency Schermer Kuehl made this list for the past two years, and this year they were a finalist for 2010 Small BtoB Agency of the Year and finished in the #2 spot.


Here is a link to BtoB's profile on Schermer Kuehl, Runner Up for Small BtoB Agency of the Year!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Job - Manager - Communications- Delta Connection

Manager - Communications- Delta Connection

WEBER SHANDWICK’S PAUL KELASH NAMED CHAIR OF PEOPLE SERVING PEOPLE CHARITIES BOARD

Paul Kelash, a vice president in Weber Shandwick’s Minneapolis office, has been named chair of the board of directors for People Serving People Charities, the largest and most comprehensive family-focused homeless shelter in Minnesota.


Kelash has served on the non-profit organization’s board for five years. He brings to the role 20 years of communications, marketing, journalism and public relations experience. At Weber Shandwick, he oversees account work for asset management, banking, insurance and capital markets clients. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Kelash held a senior communications post at Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, a Fortune 500 organization. Before joining Thrivent, Paul worked as a consultant to American Express Retirement Services, Fiserv and U.S. Bancorp. Prior to that, he was a principal/communications strategist for San Francisco-based Barclays Global Investors (now part of BlackRock). Paul started his career as a reporter for American Banker-Bond Buyer.


“I’m honored to be elected board chair for People Serving People Charities,” Kelash said. “The organization makes a tremendous difference for homeless children and their families. People Serving People not only helps address housing and employment issues, but also educational, emotional and life enrichment needs of people in crisis. I look forward to working with my fellow board members and People Serving People’s leadership team to support important strategic initiatives for the coming year.”

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Job - Vision-Ease Lens - Marketing Internship

Vision-Ease Lens - Marketing Internship

Job - Morsekode - Project Manager

Morsekode - Project Manager

KRUSKOPF COONTZ SELECTED BY TRANSAMERICA RETIREMENT MANAGEMENT IN NATIONAL AD FIRM SEARCH

Minneapolis advertising agency Kruskopf Coontz has been named a strategic marketing partner by Transamerica Retirement Management, Inc., one of the country’s leaders in financial and transition planning for retirement, located in St. Paul, Minnesota. KC won the assignment after a nationwide search that ended in a three-agency pitch.

“We’re thrilled with the news,” says Bill Coontz, President, Kruskopf Coontz. “Transamerica is an absolute leader in this industry and we’re excited to be bringing our deep understanding of the boomer generation. This was a very competitive pitch, but when it comes down to winning the business it’s always about creative concepts and ideas that solve problems.”

Effective immediately, Kruskopf Coontz will work with Transamerica Retirement Management to begin the work of building the brand and message platform for a soon-to-be-launched retirement and transition initiative. The program will also involve concepting and creation of comprehensive materials for financial advisors to help consumers through the retirement transition process as well as development of new business-to-business sales support materials and a lead generation program.

The first creative product for Transamerica Retirement Management is expected by Spring 2010.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Job - Strother Communications - Account Executive

Strother Communications - Account Executive

Job - Weber Shandwick - Social Media Director

Weber Shandwick - Social Media Director

MWMC Women@Work Workshop: Consumer Insights & Channeling Innovation

When:
Tuesday, March 9
1:00 to 4:00 PM

Where:
St. Catherine University
President’s Dining Room (#372) in the Coeur de Catherine building on the St. Paul Campus

Attend this workshop to hear about the latest research on motivations and values that will be driving consumer behavior in 2010. Then, learn how to channel innovation and creativity within your team to develop marketing initiatives that will resonate with your target audience and drive bottom-line results. This Women@Work Workshop will also include 30 minutes of valuable networking time in between speakers so you can meet fellow colleagues in the marketing and communications field.

About Our Speakers:


Hillary Plank, Consumer Strategist, Iconoculture
Hillary Plank is a consumer trend expert on younger and older Boomers, moms, sustainable/green energy and technology, sustainable consumers and Asian American consumers, across all categories. A former PR pro with front-line experience at scrappy startups and national firms, Hillary helps brands zero in on what matters to consumers (quality! performance!) while identifying marketable values inherent to the core value proposition. She holds an MA in Strategic Communication from the University of Minnesota and a BA in English, Art History and Asian Studies from St. Olaf College.


Glenn Karwoski, The Business of Ideas
Glenn Karwoski is the founder of The Business of Ideas and managing director of Karwoski & Courage. Glenn teaches creativity and innovation at the University of St. Thomas Graduate School of Business in Minneapolis. In addition to working with clients, Glenn presents his ideas about creativity and innovation to a wide variety of organizations and educators. The Business of Ideas is based in Minneapolis, MN and is part of the Omnicom global network of communications agencies.


Parking:
Free parking permits will be sent via email to all attendees who pre-register before 5 PM on March 7. Permits will NOT be provided onsite, so you must pre-register to receive a parking permit. Permits are valid in the O’Shaughnessy/Event Parking lot, which can be accessed from Gate 4, and the Visitor Parking lot, which can be accessed from Gate 3.

Cost:
$48 Members
$78 Non-members
$33 Students

Registration:
Seating is limited!
Register online now at www.mnwc.org

NOTE: If you plan to register at the door, MWMC can only accept payment via cash or check; credit cards will not be accepted at the door.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Ad2 Happy Hour with Colle+McVoy & Hopenhagen – Let’s Share!

Colle+McVoy is one of three primary agencies (including Ogilvy and Ketchum) tapped by the International Advertising Association on behalf of the United Nations to develop Hopenhagen, an international grassroots movement in support of a new global climate agreement at last December’s United Nations Climate Change conference in Copenhagen.

Colle+McVoy will present the good and the bad – along with some wishful thinking in hindsight – about leading the dynamic social media efforts of the extensive Hopenhagen campaign that engaged and enabled citizens around the world.

Join us to network with Colle+McVoy and learn more about their agency and what they have been up to. Did we mention free food and adult beverages? See you there!

When: 3.9.2010, 5:30pm to 8:00pm

Where: Colle+McVoy
400 1st Ave N, Ste 700
Minneapolis
, Minnesota 55401-1954

Cost: free for members; $15 nonmembers; $5 students; additional $5 after March 8

Agency Web site: http://www.collemcvoy.com/

Hopenhagen Web site: http://www.hopenhagen.org/home/map

The Cost:

Ad Fed/Ad2 Members: Free with pre-registration, $5 at the door
Students: $5 with pre-registration, $10 at the door
Nonmembers: $15 with pre-registration, $20 at the door
Register online or contact the Ad Fed office at (651) 917-6251.
Cancellation/Refund/No-Show Policy: Cancellations received by the Ad Fed office at least 48 hours prior to the event are eligible for a refund of the registration fee. No refunds will be provided for cancellations received fewer than 48 hours prior to the event. No-shows will be billed for any unpaid registration fees.

Padilla Speer Beardsley - Agriculture jobs!

Padilla Speer Beardsley - Senior Account Executive, Agribusiness

Padilla Speer Beardsley - Assistant Account Executive, Agribusiness

Two senior level job openings!

Vice President of Communications - Buffalo Wild Wings

Tasefully Simple - Vice President, Marketing

Monday, March 01, 2010

Fast Horse Hires Four New Staff Members, Promotes Checco

Fast Horse, a Twin Cities-based consumer marketing agency, has experienced significant growth on multiple fronts, including a 40 percent revenue spike in 2009, several new hires and a key promotion.

Fast Horse has hired Dave Fransen as a senior director. He rejoins the Fast Horse team after a two-year stint in corporate communications at Target Corp. Fransen will lead programs for the agency’s

Coca-Cola account and add to the Fast Horse sports marketing and sponsorship activation practice.

Meanwhile, Fast Horse continues to take its branding, interactive design and creative services to a new level. Sandra Huynh, who holds a B.F.A. in design from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and Hillary Heinz, who holds a degree in graphic design and a minor in information technology from University of Minnesota ’s College of Design , have both been added as associates.

Lindsey Boeser also has been hired as office assistant, where the graduate of St. Olaf College performs a number of key functions for the agency, including accounting and human resources support.

“Our business is built on talent, so it’s exciting to infuse such as diverse mix of skills and creativity to our team,” said Jörg Pierach, president and creative director at Fast Horse.

In addition, the agency promoted Allison Checco to senior director, where she will continue to develop and execute brand-building campaigns, product launches, special events, social media outreach and media relations programs for clients such as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, Creative Memories and Insight Schools.

“Allison displays a tremendous level of leadership and consistently delivers outstanding results for our clients,” said Pierach. “We’re thrilled to reward her for the many contributions she’s made to the agency’s success.”

Minnesota's PR Agencies

As Minnesota's premiere resource for the latest news, jobs and events in Minnesota Public Relations, I have been asked many times why I don't create a list of PR agencies in the Twin Cities.

The quick answer is that I have never taken the time to do it. Today that changes. Below is a complete alphabetical listing of all Metro-area PR agencies. If I am missed something please let me know.

Over the next year I hope to highlight one or two agencies every month. If you are interested in your agency being represented here please send me a note.