MNPR Blog

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Job - AccessAbility, Inc - Public Relations / Marketing Internship

AccessAbility, Inc - Public Relations / Marketing Internship

Friday, October 29, 2010

Azul 7 Names Jenna Krings Senior Account Executive

Azul 7, a local branding and digital agency has hired Jenna Krings as senior account executive.

“Jenna’s strengths are most evident in her ability to connect with clients and her personality is energetic and contagious, which makes her a great fit for our agency,” said Lisa Helminiak, principal of Azul 7. “Her extensive business development and relationship building skills are invaluable and we are confident her addition will further solidify Azul 7 as a leading marketing agency.”

Krings brings six years of experience with a diverse marketing background to AZUL 7. In her new position, Krings will be responsible maintaining strong relationships with clients and working with them to ensure their marketing needs are met. Krings will manage projects, collaborate with clients to create strategies and produce measurable results.

Previously, Krings was an account manager at Razr Marketing where she focused on developing thoughtful strategies and marinating successful relationships with clients. She also worked as a marketing and business educator in the St. Louis Park and school district. Her experience in education brings a unique insight and a wealth of knowledge to the Azul 7 team. Krings is currently on track to receive her Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in marketing from the University of St Thomas in 2012 and holds a Bachelors of Science (B.S.) in marketing and business education from the University of Wisconsin – Stout.

Weber Shandwick Promotes Within Consumer Marketing and Digital Communications Practices

The Minneapolis office of Weber Shandwick today announced the promotions of Heather Schwartz Cmiel, APR, Christina Smith and Brianna Gallett in the agency’s consumer marketing practice. Also announced was the promotion of Rachael Lybeck in the agency’s digital communications practice.


Heather Schwartz Cmiel, APR, has been promoted to account group manager. To this role she brings expertise in brand-centric public relations with experience in product launches, strategic communications programs, events and brand management initiatives. Throughout her time at Weber Shandwick, Cmiel has played a crucial role on multiple accounts, including Amway Corporation and the 2010 U.S. Census. She is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and active in the Minnesota chapter. Cmiel also co-founded the Alphabet Bash, which recently celebrated its fifth year as Minnesota’s annual marketing communications, advertising and public relations networking event. Prior to joining the agency in 2008, Cmiel served as brand public relations director at Maccabee Group. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in communications with a public relations emphasis from Augsburg College in Minneapolis.

Christina Smith has been promoted to account group manager. Since beginning at Weber Shandwick in 2008, Smith has demonstrated exemplary public relations skills on various account teams within the consumer marketing practice. For the past two years she has played a critical role in leading strategic initiatives for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and U.S. Army Racing programs. Additionally, she’s led a successful product launch for Polaroid, helped bring in new clients and managed the agency’s pro bono account team. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, she worked on other high-profile accounts such as Dell, Continental, Corner Bakery CafĂ© and Nike. Smith graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a master’s in advertising and holds a bachelor of arts degree in English and communications from Virginia Tech.


Brianna Gallett has been promoted to account supervisor. Since joining Weber Shandwick in 2008, Gallett has brought her expertise in strategic communications to a variety of accounts including The Allstate Foundation, Samsung, Mall of America, 2010 U.S. Census and the U.S. Army’s NHRA Racing and Youth Education programs. She specializes in programs that help clients reach, influence and empower advocates and has experience with national product launches, media relations and special events. Gallett also gained knowledge working for national food and beverage clients, including Naked Juice, Thai Kitchen and Nordic Ware prior to joining Weber Shandwick. She graduated magna cum laude from Winona State University with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and a minor in marketing.

Rachael Lybeck has been promoted to graphic designer. Lybeck joined the digital communications practice in summer of 2008 and has since demonstrated a unique blend of creativity and business acumen that has led to this promotion from junior graphic designer. Throughout the past two years, Rachael has significantly contributed to numerous visual communications projects across Weber Shandwick’s practices, both in Minneapolis and across the agency’s network. Her client roster has included the U.S. Census Bureau, Syngenta, U.S. Army, BAE Systems and the American College of Surgeons. Rachael is a member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth with a bachelor of arts degree in graphic design.

Compass Point Media Wins Minnesota Department of Public Safety Account

Compass Point Media just “buckled up” for another three years as the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) strategic media planning/buying agency. The state agency awarded the October 1 contract to the media unit of Minneapolis-based Campbell Mithun after a state-mandated competitive review (required every three years).

This marks the second contract renewal for Compass Point Media, who has driven the DPS media account for the past seven years to maximize statewide exposure of the Department’s safety messages. (By the way, the DPS just announced that year-to-date traffic deaths are just one higher than last year at this time; 2009 marked the lowest annual fatality count in Minnesota since 1945.)

“We view this renewal as an affirmation of our great work for the Department of Public Safety,” said Dick Hurrelbrink, president of Compass Point Media. “This is a rewarding partnership; we couldn’t be more proud to help keep Minnesota drivers safe.”

Compass Point Media delivered DPS messages about speeding, seat-belt use and impaired/distracted driving to Minnesotans via a strategic mix of TV, radio, digital, out-of-home, print and event-sponsorship channels. The creative work, directed federally by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is done by The Tombras Group (Knoxville); the DPS also uses StoneArch Creative of Minneapolis.

Milanowski and Boss Promoted at Maccabee Group

Christina Milanowski has been promoted to Senior Account Executive and Deanna Boss has been promoted to Online Measurement Specialist by Minneapolis-based Maccabee Group Public Relations. Milanowski, formerly an Account Executive with Maccabee Group, helps coordinate the agency’s marketing communications programs for healthcare, consumer food and technology clients. Boss will direct Maccabee Group’s use of online measurement and social media monitoring tools that enable clients to listen to Web conversations and draw strategic insights from a client’s presence on blogs, video sharing and news sites, and social media networks.

Job - Associate Account Executive - Sought By Maccabee Group - PR/Social Media Marketing

Associate Account Executive - Sought By Maccabee Group - PR/Social Media Marketing

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Integrated Marketing and Communications AND the PR Industry: Five Questions with Beth Harte


This is part two of a two-part interview with Beth Harte focusing on Integrated Marketing Communications and the public relations industry.

In part one, Beth Harte discussed the philosophy of IMC and aspects PR pros should understand and embrace in order to be part of a customer-centric organization. In this post, we continue the discussion, talking about the role social media plays in IMC...


Q1. One point of contention/misunderstanding about IMC is with regard to how the model addresses only customers, but not multiple audiences such as stakeholders, and employees. How do you respond?

Sean Williams commented on Part One regarding this same concern. I’d like to share my response here because I think it’s really important to stop silo building with the “Us versus Them” (i.e. PR vs. Marketing) mentality. At the end of the day, customers just don’t care about the internal battles and silos and as professional communicators we need to start really focusing on the customer and their wants and needs (outside-in thinking). IMC helps in that regard. Two-way relationships and customer-centric understanding are key.

A great example I like to use is Apple. There is potential for one constituent to be an employee, a customer, a shareholder and a stakeholder (i.e. they live near the Apple Headquarters and are therefore part of the local community). Will you have four different departments address that constituent? If so, will it be cohesive, timely, and relevant communications or will everyone be arguing internally as to who is better suited to communicate? IMC puts the customer at the center of the equation, not departments. Just some food for thought...

Here’s what I shared with Sean:

IMC does not advocate speaking to all constituents in the same manner. In fact, IMC doesn't advocate talking to all customers/prospects in the same manner...and that's where both marketing and PR folks trip up (the spray and pray mentality). IMC is about segmenting. And just like PR, IMC is also very focused on targeted messaging and two-way relationships.

In reality, many PR professionals are pitching everyone in the exact same manner. They are not segmenting, listening, building two-way relationships or providing relevant, timely messaging... They could take a lesson from IMC there.

To your point about stakeholders. Yes, some stakeholders may never purchase a product or service, but they sure as heck can stop the sale of a product or service through word of mouth, picketing, etc. It's PR's job to make sure that there is a mutual relationship that allows for the "greasing of skids" so to speak in order for business to continue.

Q2. It seems that social media could be a valuable means for developing two-way relationships. How do you see social media helping (or adding to the challenges) of PR being able to move the needle on IMC?

Social media, and the data/insights that it provides, is the glue that binds all departments together. For the first time in history, we have unbiased data to get a truer sense of customers’ relationship with our brands (how they feel, what they like, etc.) and how they interact with others. Psychographics, sociographics and ethnographics are really important to better understand customers and constituents and their behaviors.

That said, I don’t believe that social media sits in marketing or PR - that’s a siloed approach. Everyone should have access to the data so that better business decisions can be made by all departments. If I am a customer or stakeholder and I complain or compliment on Twitter, I don’t care who responds, I only care that someone cares enough to respond and help or thank me. Organizations need to understand that people don’t silo their interactions with a brand (i.e. this direct mail piece must be from marketing and that article must be from PR...) so they shouldn’t silo their interactions.

Honestly, I don’t see PR pros moving the needle on IMC until they get back to their roots of people relations. I see many PR agencies, consultants and professionals using social media channels to push internally developed messaging and not engaging in relationship building.

Q3. What are ways that the public relations industry can use social media to become more customer-centric, within our own roles as well as across departments?

Let’s be clear that customer-centric isn’t a buzz word. Being customer-centric requires an organization to totally revamp how it operates from top to bottom. And that is a very arduous task that requires management commitment and time. If an organization is unwilling to put their customers at its core and reorganize how they do business, there isn’t much a PR professional or social media tools can do to help.

Q4. Changing the subject slightly, but, I’d be remiss if I didn’t drop the ROI card. I’m a big advocate for challenging the PR industry to prove ROI not just via impressions, ad equivalency, but in how it actually translates to making money for the company. How does this fit into the IMC equation?

Proving ROI and value is what IMC is all about. From short-term to long-term brand value to calculating ROI on expenditures; ROI can be proven each and every time when it’s based in IMC. The key is to have a database (or CRM) system that provides the ability to provide closed-loop data (i.e. We know a customer responded to these three tactics and purchased X amount in relations to them). Again, if you want to be able to prove ROI for PR, read “IMC: The Next Generation.” There is an excellent formula that will help to do just that.

Impressions and AVEs DO NOT equate to ROI. If anyone is out there selling ROI based on impressions they are doing a HUGE disservice to our industry. Impressions are the same as subscriber number (and sometimes plus one for pass along). There is absolutely no guarantee that any one person will read every single article in a magazine or newspaper.

Q5. To conclude, can you share any companies do you think are doing particularly well with true IMC?

By ‘true’ IMC, we are talking about a customer-centric business that relies on data-driven marketing and communications. There are only a handful of companies: Best Buy, Target, Starbucks, Jones Lang Lasalle, Lafarge, Southwest, Zappos, Cisco, FedEx.

A great book on understanding IMC is “IMC: The Next Generation” by Don & Heidi Schultz. Another great book on understanding the value of being customer-centric is “Reorganizing for Resilience” by Ranjay Gulati. [And yes, even PR pros should read these books!]


Beth Harte is a marketer, blogger, speaker, communicator, thinker, connector (people & dots) and Client Services Director at Serengeti Communications, where she helps clients with their social media strategies and markets the digital brain trust that is Serengeti. She is also an adjunct professor at Immaculata University where she teaches multiple classes in the graduate level public relations program. She is co-founder of #IMCchat which takes placeTwitter on Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. CST. Follow her on Twitter or read her insights on becoming more customer-centric on her blog, The Harte of Marketing.

Kary Delaria is a digital PR strategist and social media monitoring and measurement specialist for Kane Consulting, a Minneapolis-based social media marketing and PR firm. You can contact her via email, kary@kaneconsulting.biz or @KaryD on Twitter.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Augmented Reality: PR's Role


In part 1, I gave a brief overview of augmented reality along with a few examples of how brands and organizations were using the technology. While it’s fun to sit back and analyze the “what ifs” of augmented reality, the important thing for us is figuring out the role it plays in the PR industry.

As a whole, I think we all like to get caught up in the “shiny object” syndrome and salivate over the cool tech aspects of new platforms and technologies. We begin to think of creative and innovative ways of how our brand could implement these new features.

“Dude, imagine if our customers could point their phone at our product and this thing would appear and say a bunch of cool stuff.”

Don’t worry, I probably said the same thing when I first heard about “this tool that creates things in space and gives you the ability to see it.” But as cool and futuristic as augmented reality might be, if you think strategically, the technology opens a lot of doors for you as PR professional.

Thinking beyond the technical capabilities of augmented reality, the biggest opportunity (and challenge) I see is the ability to create more content and messaging. With augmented reality, as a brand, you open yourself up to the ability to communicate and connect with current and potential customers in spaces that aren't confined to physical structures. Instead of being constrained to the traditional outlets (i.e. radio, print, web, etc.) you now have the ability, whether it be via mobile, web, app, or gasp-a physical structure, to spread your message and connect in ways that were never a possibility.
Just as the social space has changed the way our work is done, augmented reality opens a completely new door to create and share content. And as PR professionals, we need to know where brand relationships are being formed and what information is being shared. It’s causing our industry to rethink ethics, fundamentals and the concept of “customers.”

During the World Cup, a beer company got in trouble for ambush marketing tactics. While the concept of ambush marketing isn't new, having to deal with it in the virtual space is a responsibility many of us may have to deal with soon.

There are many definitions of what PR entails. In my opinion, it’s to create a mutually beneficial relationship between a brand and its public. As we continue to become a more mobile-based society, the ability for consumers to carry our brands with them and do what they want, when they want, is an increasingly big hurdle our industry is facing. The challenge that arises is the ability to give the customer the information they find valuable and allow them the opportunity to share and interact with that information, as they see fit. Effectiveness comes from adapting.

Think beyond the technology. Augmented reality is simply another means in which a brand can share information. Get past the flash and ask yourself if the message and information made available is consistent with your brand. Is the strategy consistent with the overall goal(s) of your brand? And most importantly, how will your customers find this outlet valuable? What need/problem does it solve?



Update: After I had written this piece, AdAge came out with "Your Ad Where? Defining Virtual Property Rights in an Augmented World." An interesting and relevant piece to this story.

Job - Medtronic - Print Public Relations / Communications Specialist

Medtronic - Print Public Relations / Communications Specialist

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Target Corp PR Phenom Katie Heinze Joins Kohnstamm Communications as Managing Director

Katie Heinze, a 10-year public relations and brand marketing veteran of Target Corporation, has joined Kohnstamm Communications as its VP/managing director, the agency’s number two role. Heinze managed relationships with some of Target’s biggest names and consumer brands including Nina Garcia, Giada De Laurentiis, Sabrina Soto, Isaac Mizrahi, Sonia Kashuk, Thomas O’Brien and others. Her influence can be seen through Target’s strategic use of “pop-up” stores, blogger events, and the recent “Kaleidoscopic Fashion Spectacular,” in which the retailer transformed Manhattan’s Standard Hotel into a massive light show to introduce its fall line. Heinze orchestrated PR agency searches for Target and concurrently was the client contact for four outside firms.

“I know the difference between agencies that think big and deliver and those that get caught in the mundane,” said Heinze, who before Target worked consumer accounts for Carmichael Lynch Spong and Kilter, Inc. “Kohnstamm has built a strong national name that takes great brands to new places.”

Trends that Heinze feels are on the rise include enhanced retailer partnerships, tapping emerging celebrities as brand spokespeople, and continued focus on social media.

Kohnstamm Communications was named Boutique Agency of the Year at the Sabre Awards in May, receiving national attention for its work in corporate social responsibility, business media, and consumer PR for food and wellness brands.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Exploring Unemployment - 5 Questions of the Unemployed

As many readers of this blog know, I was laid off from my job in June of this year. When I was first laid off people were surprised at my upbeat attitude. They asked me "Aren't you worried about finding a job?" or "Don't you feel bad not working?" The truth is, I wasn't worried. And I didn't feel bad because I have been working since I was 11 years old.

I recently completed my 20th job interview since June. In this unemployment journey I have found myself doubting that I am qualified, doubting that I have what it takes to succeed and wondering if I should ponder opportunities outside the public relations industry.

Honestly, I feel like I DO have what it takes to be successful in PR, the trick is finding someone to take a chance on me. This time of unemployment has been good for me. It has made me look introspectively and ask myself some tough questions. Here are a few that run through my head on a daily basis:
  1. What separates me from the competition?
  2. What are my strengths and weaknesses?
  3. Why me?
  4. Who do I want to work for and why?
  5. Where do I want to be in five years?
There are many more questions I have about what it means to be unemployed, but this is a start. I plan to address one of these questions every Monday for the next five weeks as I attempt to make sense of it. I hope that you will join me as I explore this journey of unemployment and that you will feel free to comment.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Azul 7 hires Denny Royal as creative and technical director

Azul 7, a leading branding and digital agency has hired Denny Royal as creative and technical director. “Denny has a history of initiating innovative strategies that command strong and positive results, making him a valuable addition to our agency,” said Lisa Helminiak, principal of Azul 7. “His extensive brand development and relationship building skills are invaluable and we are confident his skills will further benefit Azul 7 as a leading marketing agency.”

Royal brings more than 18 years leadership experience with several noteworthy advertising and marketing agencies to Azul 7. In his new position, Royal will be responsible for maintaining an environment where creativity is boundless and produces materials that both invigorate and impress Azul 7 clients.

Previously, Royal was creative director at ASI Communications, a full-service marketing agency. He has served as creative director of ResortsandLodges.com where he oversaw all creative for a community of leisure, group and corporate travelers and he served as the brand and interactive creative director at Go East for five years. Royal’s longest tenure was at the Minneapolis brand agency, Yamamoto Moss where he spent nine years leading their digital efforts.

Royal graduated magna cum laude from the College of Fine Arts at Ball State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design and Ceramics and a minor in Cultural Anthropology, a discipline that informs his strategic and user-centered approach to design. His identity work has been widely recognized and published and his video work has appeared on the Discovery, History and Military channels.

Job - Weber Shandwick - Account Director – Public Health Communications Expert

Weber Shandwick - Account Director – Public Health Communications Expert

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Integrated Marketing Communications: Are you customer-centric? An interview with Beth Harte.

This is part one of a two-part interview with Beth Harte discussing Integrated Marketing Communications and the public relations industry.

Every day, the way in which we communicate, the tools we have to do so, and the speed at which we can do it, is changing. As the public relations industry evolves, we continue to debate where and how it fits into the greater marketing and communications mix. Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) is one concept that addresses these turf battles, yet nearly 20 years after its' introduction, corporations and agencies struggle with putting this into practice.


With that in mind, I approached Beth Harte, who, in addition to her marketing experience, is a nationally recognized blogger and speaker on this topic, which, in itself, has evolved since it was introduced.

In her own words, Beth describes IMC:
The IMC of the past was based on “one sight and one sound” integration of tactics, sometimes based on data (typically segmentation). However, that only worked in the best interest of the organization, not it’s customers. Today’s IMC is about being customer-centric in order to provide two-way interactions that are based in relevancy, receptivity, responsiveness, recognition and relationships.

I presented Beth with a series of interview questions asking how the PR industry can work toward an IMC model.

Here's what she had to say...

Q. What are some of the philosophical reasons that the PR industry has, historically, struggled with integration and IMC concepts?

Starting with higher education, there has always been a separation between public relations and marketing professionals. Public relations is typically taught in the Communications or English Department and Marketing is taught in the Business or Management Department. If PR students do take a “marketing” class, it’s usually advertising. Unfortunately, taking an advertising class doesn’t really teach marketing theory and fundamentals. I think if more PR students took marketing classes steeped in integration, they’d see how closely related marketing and PR actually are (the main goal is being customer-centric).

Philosophically, PR professionals have been taught to believe that they are responsible for establishing and maintaining two-way relationships with constituents and that marketers are one-way message pushers whose job is to drive demand generation. In reality, both departments haven’t done a stellar job at relationship building. Just like marketers push promotional messaging, PR folks push internal messaging that is just as irrelevant to the outside world.

Q. As silos break down, where do you see PR fitting in? What’s the umbrella, and what falls under it? (Or, is an umbrella the wrong analogy?)

If there aren’t any silos, there isn’t any “fitting in.” That’s the beauty of IMC and being a customer-centric organization. All departments (including HR, accounting, product development, marketing, communications, operations, etc.) work systematically together in a coordinated and cohesive manner to service the customer’s wants and needs. It’s an outside-in perspective.

However, I have been known to debate in the past that PR should fall under marketing because I view both PR and marketing communications to fall under marketing. That said, I wouldn’t argue that it’s a must for IMC or being customer-centric.

Q. As noted previously, IMC is more than just departmental integration – and that to truly achieve integration, companies need to focus on becoming “customer-centric," adding another layer into the mix. What suggestions do you have for PR professionals to take IMC to this level?

I just want to clarify that being “customer-centric” doesn’t add another layer to the mix. It’s a cultural change within the organization. It’s about making decisions based on customer (or client) wants and needs, not on the latest products or services an organization wants to push onto the market (the “if we build it, they will come” mentality).

PR pros that truly understand relationship building can be instrumental in driving their organizations to become customer-centric. PR pros are typically ahead of most other departments when it comes to building relationships outside of the organization. As long as they adopt a data-driven mindset, they can help management to understand what it is that customers want and need based on quantitative and qualitative findings.

Q. It seems like a lot of discussions about IMC revolve around breaking down silos in large organizations, but at the same time, even independent PR consultants and agencies need to embrace these philosophies. What might be the unique challenges or opportunities for PR professionals in these roles?

There are silos that exist in agencies too! Copywriting, account services, creative, accounting, client services, account management, etc. These silos also prohibit effective relationships with clients. Sure, you’ll hear that it’s client services job to maintain the relationship, but how many times have projects been screwed up due to miscommunication when it could have been easily solved if they just let the customer speak to the copywriter? In large organizations, sales people tend to be very protective of their turf (i.e. customers). Client services can be the same way.

Outside-in thinking is key regardless of the size of the agency or consultancy. What do clients need to solve their internal challenges? What pain can be taken away? How can campaigns be better coordinated between other agencies?


Most agencies think inside-out... What are our billings or how much of a retainer can we get from Client X? If agencies were more focused on offering services that clients need, they could worry less about billings and retainers.


Will the industry put this into practice?
Customer-centric. Realationship-builing. Seems obvious that the PR industry should support (and, successfully execute) these concepts. But does it? Can the public relations industry contribute to and embrace a customer-centric, IMC model as Beth describes, or will it continue to operate independent from other departments, as well as clients and customers?

Please, use the comments to discuss, and stay tuned for part 2 of this interview next week when Beth discusses the role social media plays in IMC and offers additional insight and resources.

Read part two of my interview with Beth Harte here.

Beth Harte is a marketer, blogger, speaker, communicator, thinker, connector (people & dots) and Client Services Director at Serengeti Communications, where she helps clients with their social media strategies and markets the digital brain trust that is Serengeti. She is co-founder of #IMCchat which takes placeTwitter on Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. CST. Follow her on Twitter or read her insights on becoming more customer-centric on her blog, The Harte of Marketing.

Kary Delaria is a digital PR strategist and social media monitoring and measurement specialist for Kane Consulting, a Minneapolis-based social media marketing and PR firm. You can contact her via email, kary@kaneconsulting.biz or @KaryD on Twitter.

Job - Cargill - Marketing Intern

Cargill - Marketing Intern

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

CLS Promotes Martine Larson to Senior Counselor

Martine Larson has been promoted to senior counselor at Carmichael Lynch Spong. She joined the firm in October 2007 as a senior associate. In her new role, Larson is responsible for providing strategy and counsel as an account manager for clients American Standard® Heating & Air Conditioning, Jack Link’s® Beef Jerky and Lutron Electronics Co.

Previously, Larson was a member of the Fleishman-Hillard office in Minneapolis, where she led the agency’s Imation Corp. account and provided support to clients such as Target, CommVault and St. Jude Medical.

“Martine is a determined and motivated professional,” says Douglas K. Spong, APR, president of Carmichael Lynch Spong. “We sincerely appreciate her efforts and achievements; she is extremely deserving of the increased responsibility and recognition.”

In her time at Carmichael Lynch Spong, Larson has worked on several award-winning campaigns, resulting in Silver Anvil, SABRE and PRSA Classic Awards.

Larson is a graduate of the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing.

Job - Weber Shandwick hiring Senior Account Executive/Account Supervisor

Weber Shandwick hiring Senior Account Executive/Account Supervisor

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rooker promoted to director in the strategy group at OLSON

Amy Rooker has been promoted to a director in the strategy group at OLSON. She joined the agency in 2008 as an associate director and brand anthropologist, and oversees all strategic work for the Minnesota State Lottery, Carlson Hotels Worldwide, Fifth Third Bank and General Mills. With more than 13 years of experience and several Effie wins, Amy has applied an anthropological lens to a broad spectrum of categories, brands and consumers.

Amy joined OLSON from Campbell Mithun, where she was a VP and strategic planner, leading work on clients for iconic brands like Nature Valley, Betty Crocker and Hamburger Helper. She holds a BA in communications from the University of Minnesota.

“Amy does a wonderful job of uncovering insights that are actionable for OLSON clients,” says Kevin DiLorenzo, president and CEO, OLSON. “She’s able to understand the nuances that really drive greater connection and build stellar strategy, but in addition to than that, she’s respected for her recipes, and the thousands of cookies she shares with family, friends and coworkers every year at the holidays.”

Weber Shandwick Celebrates Homecoming!

PR firm Weber Shandwick recently celebrated Homecoming as part of its annual United Way fundraiser. After the coronation of homecoming king John Poferl and queen Deb Nichols, cups were sold for the post-coronation celebration, with proceeds going to United Way. Last year the office raised $22,000 through its campaign, which was up five percent from the previous year.

Job - Marketing Jobs at Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic - Public Affairs Consultant -- Marketing

Mayo Clinic - Marketing Consultant

Monday, October 18, 2010

AdFed - Your Full-Access Pass to WCCO Radio

Live In Studio: Your Full-Access Pass to WCCO Radio
When: Thursday, November 4, 2010
Time: 5:30pm to 8:00pm

Cost: FREE for Members / $10 Non-Members / $5 Students

Location: MISSION American Kitchen
IDS Center, 77 South Seventh Street
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402

If you are in advertising, you need to know about radio broadcast. This is your chance.

Come mix and mingle with the best in the ad biz and get a tour of CBS Radio at the upcoming Ad2 happy hour at MISSION American Kitchen - straight class.

Register by November 2, for reduced registration fees.

Ad2 HH @ MISSION/CBS Radio
Thursday, November 4
Doors open at 5:30pm
Tours start at 6:15pm
Be there.


Register online or contact the Ad Fed office at (651) 290-7489.

Job - Benchmark Learning - Marketing Internship

Benchmark Learning - Marketing Internship

Friday, October 15, 2010

Save the Date: APR Fall Weekend Study Course

Get started on earning your Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) , a recognized industry credential established in 1964, by attending Minnesota PRSA's Fall APR Weekend Study Course. The APR program measures a public relations practitioner's fundamental knowledge of communications theory and its application; establishes advanced capabilities in research, strategic planning, implementation and evaluation and demonstrates a commitment to professional excellence and ethical conduct. The skills acquired through the process are applicable to any industry or practice area. Currently, more than 5,000 professionals from the agency, corporate, association and education fields hold the APR mark.
When: Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010 and Sunday Nov. 14, 2010
9 a.m. – 4 p.m
.
Where: Padilla Speer Beardsley
1101 W River Pkwy
Ste 400
Minneapolis, MN

map & directions
Registration:: This is a free event. For questions and to register, please contact phoffman@psbpr.com or bdanderson1@stthomas.edu. A continental breakfast will be served, but lunch is not provided. Parking is free.

BMA - Taking the "No" Out of Business Innovation

There are many reasons innovation doesn't happen successfully in businesses. Sometimes it's because there's NO orientation or mandate to innovate. In other cases, there are perceived to be NO capabilities in place or NO processes for innovation.

No matter what the reason, inability to solve problems and capture opportunities in new ways can hold back any organization. And that's never been truer than in the current environment when failing to adopt an innovative approach can lead to long-term challenges.

Please join us for our November BMA meeting featuring Mike Brown, Strategist at The Brainzooming Group, who will offer his insights on innovation in the B2B space.

Based on his ebook, "Taking the NO Out of InNOvation," the presentation will be a guide to breaking through personal. At the meeting, we'll discuss:

- Some of the most common NO's that block innovation

- What characteristics create each of these situations

- New possibilities to improve successes amid innovation challenges

Date: Thursday, November 4, 2010
Time: 7:30 a.m. Registration and breakfast
8:00 - 9:00 a.m. Presentation
9:00 - 9:30 a.m. BMA Members Only Discussion

Location:
Metropolitan Ballroom
5418 Wayzata Blvd
Minneapolis, MN 55416

Directions

Cost: Members $30 / Non Members $45
Register by: November 1, 2010
Register Now

October 21 Women Launching Women :: Expanding Your Brand and Deepening Community Relationships

Join MWMC for an intimate event at the Guthrie with Trish Santini, who will share the challenges and successes of expanding the brand for the world-renowned Guthrie and talk about how she has deepened the theater’s relationship with the Twin Cities community. She’ll also share her stories of marketing theater on Broadway and in Los Angeles, and about her arrival in Minneapolis to usher the Guthrie’s big move. Bring your business cards and network with other current and future female leaders. Event will include a Q&A with Trish and a tour of the Guthrie.

5:30 – 7:30 p.m., October 21
Guthrie Theater
818 South 2nd Street
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Enjoy free appetizers and a cash bar after the event.

Click here for more information and to register.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Job - Beehive PR Digital Strategist

Beehive PR Digital Strategist

Job - Pro Sports - Intern, Community Relations (PT)

Pro Sports - Intern, Community Relations (PT)

Tunheim Partners Promotes Stephanie Trow to Account Executive

Tunheim Partners, a strategic communications company, today is pleased to announce that Stephanie Trow has been promoted to an account executive. Since June 2010, Trow was intern at Tunheim Partners.


Trow has experience in public affairs, public-interest communications and grassroots advocacy. Trow will continue executing public affairs and media relations campaigns for her clients, including the Gateway Corridor Commission, Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, Telvent and Mining Minnesota.

Prior to joining Tunheim Partners, Trow held an internship with Minnesota State Senator Terri Bonoff during the 2009 legislative session. She also held positions in the Alpha Phi sorority, and promoted the 2010 Census on campus and in the surrounding Hmong community through the Public Relations Student Society of America.

Trow was a recipient of the Dr. Willard Thompson Scholarship and the PRSA President’s Award in 2010. She is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, with a bachelor’s degree in professional strategic communications with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in Spanish studies.

Job - HealthPartners - Communications/PR intern

HealthPartners - Communications/PR intern

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Gap: Bad Logo or Good PR

By now you have likely heard about Gaps tremendous blunder in logo design. Are we really to believe that Gap, a multi-million dollar company, is really unsophisicated enough to create a logo without any market research?

 What does this mean for the company? According to the AP News story, "Gap North America president Marka Hansen said in a statement late Monday that the San Francisco-based company realized how much people liked the old logo after they put up the new one." Hmm...would a company really do this on purpose? When was the last time you saw Gap get this much publicity?

Probably not everyone remembers 1985 and the launch of "New Coke." Coca-Cola spent $4 million on market research trying to see what its drinkers wanted. All signs pointed to more sugar and sweeter flavor. But when the product launched consumers were outraged. At the time, Coca-Cola was in a fearsome soft-drink battle with Pepsi. When they introduced the new formula there was a backlash from Coca-Cola drinkers. The company received letters, protests and even lawsuit threats. Just ten weeks later, the company withdrew New Coke and reintroduced its century-old formula as “Classical Coke”, giving the old formula even stronger status in the marketplace.

Could it be that Gap is playing out of Coca-Cola's playbook? 

Social Media Monitoring Earns RMG and McNally Smith College a spot in New Book from Groundswell Author

A social media monitoring initiative by Risdall Marketing Group (RMG) on behalf of McNally Smith College of Music has been profiled in the new book Empowered: Unleash Your Employees, Energize Your Customers and Transform Your Business. Other Twin Cities-based companies profiled in the book include social media leaders Best Buy and General Mills.
 
In Empowered, Forrester Research’s Josh Bernoff — co-author of the pioneering and New York Times bestselling book Groundswell — and Ted Schadler explain how to transform your company by unleashing the mighty force of these HEROes: highly empowered and resourceful operatives.
 
“It is an honor to have the agency’s work included in a book that is going to become the blueprint for the way all organizations will be engaging with employees and customers through social media in the near future,” said Ted Risdall , president of Risdall Marketing Group.
 
The McNally Smith College of Music example was selected to illustrate the power of “social media listening” to gain insight into target audience attitudes and current discussions prior to becoming part of the conversation.
 
According to the book’s authors, the McNally Smith example “shows two things: first, listening is not enough, you must engage to make an impact. And second, you have to keep listening to see if it’s working.”
 
For McNally Smith College of Music, RMG created a social media optimization strategy to distinguish the music college from other large, well known music colleges in the United States . This involved first identifying which channels of influence online where conversations about music colleges and music degrees were occurring, then mapping out the conversations and channels. McNally Smith internal staff then strategically engaged and followed up with prospective music students in online conversations.
 
As a result:
  • Brand mentions of McNally Smith College of Music in user-generated content surrounding music college conversations increased from 2.7 percent to 12.1 percent; and
  • McNally Smith College of Music has gone from not being mentioned in any online conversations to being mentioned alongside top music colleges in the nation “Social technologies are indeed changing the face of communications and business,” said Risdall. “The McNally Smith project is an example of results that come from following a process rooted in research and driven forward through ongoing listening/dialogue.”
 
In 2009, Forrester Research named the McNally Smith College of Music project a finalist in the “B2C Listening” category in its prestigious Forrester Groundswell Awards. The awards, which are named after the bestselling book Groundswell, recognize outstanding applications of social technology that result in successful business performance.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Job - Infinite Campus - Marketing Internship

Infinite Campus - Marketing Internship

64 Percent of the World’s Largest Company CEOs are Not Social Online, According to New Weber Shandwick Study

In a new study released today, global public relations firm Weber Shandwick found that the majority of CEOs from the world’s largest companies—64 percent—are not social, that is, they are not engaging online with external stakeholders. “Socializing Your CEO: From (Un)Social to Social” examines the publicly visible communications activities of CEOs in the world’s top 50 companies.

“Strong evidence exists that CEOs are not silent in these turbulent times. They are extensively quoted in the business press, frequently deliver keynote speeches at conferences and participate in business school forums. But when it comes to digital engagement externally, CEOs are not yet fully socialized, often with good reason,” said Leslie Gaines-Ross, Weber Shandwick’s chief reputation strategist and online reputation expert. “As we continue to track the rise of the Social CEO and chief executives become more comfortable with the new media, we expect that this will change and change fast.”

Limited Pool of Social CEOs

Over nine out of 10 CEOs in the world’s top 50 companies (93 percent) communicated externally in traditional fashion: 93 percent were quoted in the major global news and business publications and 40 percent participated in speaking engagements to an external, non-investor, audience.

Online communications did not fare as well among this executive set. Most CEO online visibility is limited to what is said about them on Wikipedia, the web-based collaborative encyclopedia which CEOs and their communications teams are not responsible for. Removing Wikipedia leaves the online CEO space rather barren—only 36 percent are engaged through their company websites or in social media channels in any way (e.g., CEO messages on company websites, video/podcasts on company websites or company YouTube channels, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, company-affiliated blogs).



[Note: The analysis did not examine how CEOs are engaging internally using social media. It should be noted that this is a critical form of communications to align employees and distribute news and information.]


Who Is a Social CEO?

The research identified the following characteristics of Social CEOs:
Social CEOs lead companies with higher reputational status. Most admired company CEOs in our study had greater online visibility profiles than less admired company CEOs (41 percent vs. 28 percent, respectively).
  • Social CEOs are multi-users. When they engage online, social CEOs employ more than one channel, with 72 percent using more than one channel (on average, social CEOs use 1.8 channels).
  • Social CEOs are more likely to represent American companies. CEOs of companies with headquarters in the U.S. are more likely to engage online than those in EMEA (60 percent vs. 12 percent, respectively). Although the sample sizes of CEOs in Asia Pacific and Latin America are too small to allow for reliable comparison, indications are that they too are at low levels.
  • Social CEOs are more tenured. Newer CEOs (3 years or less) are less likely than those in their middle (3 to 5 years) or later period of their tenures (more than 5 years) to engage online—30 percent vs. 38 percent vs. 43 percent, respectively.

Which Online Channels are Social CEOs Using?

When CEOs go Social, they are most likely to post non-shareholder letters or messages on their company websites (28 percent). This content is primarily focused on corporate and CEO leadership news. Social CEOs are next most likely to be featured in video or podcasts on their corporate websites or company YouTube channels (18 percent). Less than 10 percent of the CEOs analyzed used Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn or participated in external blogs. "It’s not surprising that CEOs are less inclined to participate in social media given the perceived risk and time commitment required to engage in two-way conversations," said Chris Perry, president of Weber Shandwick Digital Communications. "What's surprising, however, is how few CEOs are using social technologies as mediums to share information and company perspective. These are potentially powerful tools for real-time communication."


Why are CEOs Not More Social?

According to Gaines-Ross, “There are several reasons why CEOs are not more Social. Time is better spent with customers and employees, their reputations are at an all-time low among the general public, the return on investment has not yet been proven, legal counsel tends to caution against it and anything that smacks of ‘celebrity CEO’ is a no-win.”


Why Socialize Your CEO?

There are also solid reasons why CEOs should engage online. ”In this increasingly digital age, CEOs should embrace the value of connectivity with customers, talent and other important stakeholders online. With 1.96 billion Internet users around the world, CEOs should be where people are watching, reading, chatting and listening,” said Gaines-Ross.


“Our analysis of leading CEOs around the globe revealed that traditional media still remains the preferred outlet for CEO external communications. What is changing is how CEOs are slowly coupling their traditional media communications with social networks and channels where they can reach more stakeholders and give their companies a much needed human face or connection,” says Gaines-Ross. “The nearly four in 10 Social CEOs in Weber Shandwick’s comprehensive analysis may be trailblazers now but in short order, will be expected from leaders who want to portray their companies as transparent, accessible and trustworthy. The Social CEO will one day be commonplace.”


How to Socialize Your CEO

Weber Shandwick recommends “six rules of the road” for CEOs to enhance their social reputation and interactivity:


  1. Identify best online practices of your peers and best-in-class social CEO communicators. Then establish and stretch your own comfort zone.
  2. Start with the fundamentals (e.g., online videos or photos). Inventory and aggregate existing executive communications for repurposing online.
  3. Simulate or test-drive social media participation. Understand what you’re getting into before you go live. Start internally although recognize that internal employee communications spreads externally seamlessly.
  4. Decide upfront how much time you can commit to being Social. It can range from once a week to once a month to once a quarter or less often. Be your own best judge of what feels right.
  5. Craft a narrative that captures the attention of audiences that matter and humanizes your company’s reputation.
  6. Accept the fact that Getting Social needs to be part of your corporate reputation management program. Purposefully manage your social reputation as well as your corporate reputation.
Weber Shandwick provides counsel on how CEO and corporate reputations are best built in today’s shifting business landscape. Included in that counsel and research-backed advice are recommendations on building Social CEO reputations both internally and externally. For more information on how to communicate in ways that keep customers and other audiences buying your products and hearing your messages, please visit Weber Shandwick at www.webershandwick.com or download the executive summary here: http://www.webershandwick.com/resources/ws/flash/Socializing_Your_CEO_FINAL.pdf

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Job - Archway - Marketing Specialist

Archway - Marketing Specialist

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Job - Best Buy - Senior Public Relations Specialist

Best Buy - Senior Public Relations Specialist

Popular Front Aids Make-A-Wish Foundation

Popular Front recently released a website featuring Delicious Wishes, a fundraising event benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Minnesota. The event site showcases the distinguished chefs and restaurants participating in the culinary celebration and also features five children and their ‘Wishes’ which will come true with funds raised during the event on November 4th. The site can be found at http://minnesota.wish.org/delicious_wishes2010/ .


Popular Front President Jason Ulrich commented, “We’re proud to continue supporting charitable organizations like the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Minnesota. Each year we dedicate a portion of our resources to giving back to the community in ways like this, and we’re thrilled to participate in something that has such a positive impact on children’s lives.”


Tom McKinney, Make-A-Wish Executive Director stated, “The work Popular Front has done for us has been invaluable. Their work has provided us a professional look at no expense. The money we save thanks to them goes to granting more wishes for the children of Minnesota. Our relationship with Popular Front is a true gift.”

Job - Spotlight Media Relations is Hiring an AAE

Spotlight Media Relations is Hiring an AAE

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Job - Aveda - Digital Community Manager

Aveda - Digital Community Manager

Job - Linnihan Foy Advertising - PR Specialist

Linnihan Foy Advertising - PR Specialist

Scales Advertising Balances New Growth

Scales Advertising, an employee-owned, full-service marketing and advertising agency located in St. Paul, Minn. has scored a major new talent and client win.

Capital Safety, based in Red Wing, Minn., selected Scales after an international RFP process to lead its branding, sales, marketing and corporate communications efforts. Capital Safety is a global leader in fall protection equipment for workers in the construction, wind, transportation, utilities and oil and gas industries.

“Hands down, Scales captured the essence of our brand and nailed the strategic direction we need to take the business,” said Jennifer Usher, marketing manager at Capital Safety. “We were so impressed with the caliber of creative concepts and the thorough understanding of our customers and sales channels – it made for an easy decision.”

Peter Winecke, a veteran creative director in the Twin Cities ad market, was named a Scales associate creative director. Winecke earned his creative chops by representing some the most memorable work coming out of the Twin Cities. In his nearly 20-year career, Winecke served as an ACD at Carmichael Lynch, Campbell Mithun and Gaberiel deGrood Bendt and has produced award-winning work for Harley Davidson, Rapala, General Mills, H&R Block, American Standard, St. Ives and the Science Museum of Minnesota.

“I’m looking forward to bringing my consumer brand experience to Scales to help take the agency’s work in new directions,” said Winecke. “Scales has always had a strong presence in this market but now is a great time to expand its creative product and stir the pot some more.”

Winecke graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 1980.

“The Capital Safety win and the addition of Pete fall perfectly in place for us as we begin to make strides in broadening our talent pool and portfolio,” said Walt Larsen, Scales president. “We see these acquisitions as representing an evolution for the agency – one that will bring even greater diversity to our offerings, team and client mix.”

Argos Risk Chooses Rumpza Consulting and Bellmont Partners for PR Services

Financial services newcomer Argos Risk has chosen the team of Rumpza Consulting and Bellmont Partners for public relations services.

Argos Risk is introducing a new online credit-risk monitoring and analytics tool for business. The Argos Risk Online service integrates business data from industry-leading credit information providers with proven risk-management systems developed by PrinSource, the Minneapolis asset- and invoice-based lender.

The subscription service is a daily, web-based dashboard for the business owner to avoid credit risk.
Rumpza Consulting, operated by veteran agency pro Bob Rumpza, and Bellmont Partners Public Relations work as a virtual team on several clients.

According to Bill Shell, Chief Marketing Officer for Argos Risk, “We chose the Rumpza/Bellmont team because we’re getting highly experienced PR professionals who have successfully launched products and established business reputations.”

The Rumpza/Bellmont team is providing launch messaging and positioning, writing services, video production and media relations.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Five Minutes with a Legend: David Therkelsen, APR, Fellow PRSA

David Therkelsen, APR, Fellow PRSA, is an outstanding example of the important role of public relations in organizations. In fact, Therkelsen was so well respected in his organization that he served as the CEO of the American Red Cross of the St. Paul Area from 2001 to 2006. He currently gives back to the profession by teaching at the University of Minnesota and the University of St. Thomas.

1. What are the highlights of your public relations career?

All-time career highlight was serving on the original team of five people who brought unrelated bone marrow transplantation into being. Previously, few unrelated transplants were done, usually in desperation, and were rarely successful. But because of this work done in the '80s, today hundreds of transplants occur every month, and the five-year survival rate is around 70 percent, depending on diagnosis. Other highlights: serving, on special assignment, as chief of staff to the president of American Red Cross. Also, being elected to PRSA College of Fellows for advancing the state of practice in American Red Cross and in the nonprofit sector.

2.  What are some of the key lessons that you have learned in your career?

Be a key advisor to the CEO and other senior managers. Understand that it’s all about building long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with the stakeholders who can help or harm the interests of the organization – forget “the general public,” forget media-centric public relations work (there are some rare exceptions to this latter). The employee public should be ranked as number one or number two in importance in virtually any organization. Networks are vital, and they are durable; you can pick up a good relationship even after years of dormancy.

3.  You made the transition from public relations to CEO of the American Red Cross of the St. Paul Area. How did you make that transition, and what was the perspective like from that side?
David Therkelsen, APR, Fellow PRSA

Public relations and CEO roles are similar to each other, but different from other functions, in that both are held highly accountable for what happens outside the organization, where they only have influence, not control. In my case, I spent much of my career as a key strategic advisor to CEOs; this helped me develop the mindset of a CEO. I also learned operations and finance, not just through earning an MBA, but also through taking on special assignments in these areas.

4.  What predictions do you have for the evolution of public relations?

Enabled by technology, our society is dividing into ever-smaller fragments. Maybe this is professionally beneficial, it makes it easier to target and reach key audiences. I worry about its effects on the good of society as a whole; where’s the sense of overall community today? Public relations may succeed in “owning” the master of social media turf. But if we build the profession around this, we may lose that proverbial “seat at the table.” The CEO wants strategic thinkers, not technology high priests, helping him or her to make decisions.

5.  What advice would you give to new public relations practitioners?

Build and maintain networks. Constantly think from the perspective of your bosses one and two levels above you. Read constantly and broadly, not just in your field. Get a graduate degree different from your undergraduate degree. Learn business broadly, and your specific business deeply. Maintain PRSA (or other) professional membership; give more than you get and you will then get more than you give.

6.  Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Beethoven was the greatest musical genius who ever lived. Bar none. This has nothing to do with public relations; I just threw it in since you asked!

-- Brant Skogrand, APR, MBC