Community and Govt Relations - HCCHS
Thursday, December 30, 2010
The Science Museum of Minnesota announced that Chris Bauer has joined its team as co-director of Public Relations and Communications.
Bauer brings more than 20 years experience in public relations and communications to the Science Museum of Minnesota. For the past eight years, she has run Chris Bauer & Company, LLC, a public relations and communications company serving clients in the financial services industry and non-profit sector.
Prior to running her own company, Bauer was an account supervisor at Padilla Speer Beardsley Public Relations where she managed some of the firm’s largest accounts. She also held positions as the communications manager at Education Alternatives and The Department Store Division of Dayton Hudson Corporation, where she was an internal communications and public relations specialist.
Bauer is an accredited member of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and a past board member of IABC. She has won numerous awards for her work over the years through various industry organizations including IABC, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and National Association of Investors Corporation (NAIC). She currently volunteers for Dress for Success Twin Cities, a non-profit organization working to help women achieve economic independence.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Lowell Ludford, APR, Fellow PRSA, was inducted into PRSA’s College of Fellows in 1998 following a 30-year career in the 3M Corporate Public Relations Department. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Minnesota and received the Minnesota PRSA chapter’s first Community Classic Award for the year 1995 (now the Donald G. Padilla Distinguished Practitioner Award).
He is retiring in January after 22 years as a member and the current chair of the Metro Regional Review Committee, a nine-member Minnesota Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management agency that reviews city and county Emergency Operations Plans for compliance with federal and state regulations for hazardous materials incident response.
1. What are the highlights of your public relations career?
|Lowell Ludford, APR, Fellow PRSA|
2. What are some of the key lessons that you have learned in your career?
Perhaps the biggest lesson I learned in my career was the need to develop a trust relationship with those I worked with from other professions, many of whom were not familiar with and did not understand public relations or exactly how it might support them and their work. Engineers, for example, do technical writing where the conclusion comes at the end. Is an engineer going to trust a public relations person they don’t know who shows them writing that starts with the conclusion? The lawyers don’t trust you to write or say anything; except that they are good writers, many are even frustrated writers, and if you ask them to help with the writing that’s were a relationship begins. It takes time to earn the trust of those you are trying to support, but without it I found that success could be elusive.
Another lesson: hire APR. In my business travel around the country, I frequently needed local public relations help. Unfamiliar with the local public relations agencies and practitioners, it was a challenge to quickly find the ‘right’ one for my project the first time. Everyone said they could do the work, but not so. I soon found the best bet was to hire a PRSA member, preferably APR, which indicated basic qualifications.
3. Tell about your successes at 3M and some difficult challenges that you dealt with.
|Ludford received the Minnesota PRSA chapter’s first Community Classic Award in 1995 (now the Donald G. Padilla Distinguished Practitioner Award).|
I was responsible for public communication/information concerning the cleanup of several former hazardous waste disposal sites. The engineers and other technical personnel generally know how to do it and the lawyers have a set of legal procedures to follow. Together, they can get a waste site cleanup done in a straight-forward manner without much controversy or delay.
The great unknown is public reaction that can cause controversy, conflict, court battles, higher costs and long delays. Therefore, my job was considered important but it had difficult challenges. I found that by doing a very good job of keeping local residents and public officials thoroughly informed before, during and after, including public participation, it was possible to achieve public acceptance and cooperation. One of these success stories was a PRSA Silver Anvil entry.
I developed a program to help 3M facility managers at factories, warehouses and sales centers around the nation become more comfortable doing public communication in their communities. These were mostly technical or business managers with no public speaking training and who, consequently, avoided public attention. The program, which included basic media training and more, created many success stories and improved understanding about the value of good public communication.
4. What predictions do you have for the evolution of public relations?
|The state of Minnesota recognized Ludford in December for his contributions to the Metro Regional Review Committee.|
Many states face severe budget cuts in 2011 and I fear this will put thousands of public information professionals out of work in state, county and city governments, and also school districts, forcing retrenchment and new approaches to public communication in the public sector.
Unethical behavior has become a serious problem in society. I hope I’m right in anticipating that public relations soon will become a recognized national leader in helping to deal with the problem. Public relations is in a good position to do so, it has the tools and it has a motive. I also think the will is present.
WWhat advice would you give to new public relations practitioners?
WWhat advice would you give to new public relations practitioners?
I think most new public relations practitioners would do well to broaden their horizons, to see who and what else is out there, how others are functioning and to get new ideas and possibly new job prospects. A good way to start is by joining PRSA and becoming an office holder or committee chair, where interface with others will happen. Getting accredited will provide an advantage and a career boost. Join Kiwanis, Chamber of Commerce or other civic organization, volunteer or do something else to meet others and get known outside of the public relations community. If a particular type of public relations is favored, such as health care, agriculture, environment, etc., attend some conferences of groups in that field to learn more, especially by seeking out the group’s public relations director who is likely to be in the news media room (I did and it really helped). These extras obviously take time, effort and money, and not everyone is willing or able. But those new to public relations are likely to fall behind and become discouraged if they don’t take their own steps to move forward.
6. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Much (not all) of my work became what I call 'defensive public relations,' where public attention is not desired, but often can’t be avoided; in which case the communication better be right the first time. Otherwise, it can be a career-limiting experience. I think I was lucky, but I entered public relations after a dozen years in the news media (TV news) and that proved to be a great advantage. Then this: 10 years after I retired I was called to testify for eight hours in court, where I defended my public communications activities in an environmental lawsuit, and the dream job became a nightmare.
-- Brant Skogrand, APR, MBC
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
MN PRSA 2011 Professional-Amateur Day
SAVE THE DATE!
2011 Professional-Amateur (Pro-Am) Day
Twin Cities’ PR Professionals
Pro-Am Day is an annual mentoring event matching PR professionals around the Twin Cities with PRSSA students in an effort to provide a day of and networking for participating students to learn more about the PR industry.
Job Shadowing – Professional’s Work Place
Networking Event –
Job Shadowing approximately from 9 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.
Networking Event from .
First and foremost, happy holidays!
Pro-Am Day registration for professionals opens so don’t forget to save the event to your calendars! A follow-up e-mail will be sent out closer to the date, which will include registration how-to information and additional event details.
The more professionals we have signed up for this event the more students we can accommodate, so feel free to forward this save the date to friends and co-workers who might also be interested in participating. The more the merrier!
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Padilla Speer Beardsley
Monday, December 27, 2010
To continue its path of growth as an industry leading digital marketing agency, TopRank Online Marketing has added two key staff to its team to provide leadership and support in meeting client needs and business growth for the coming year.
Ken Horst has joined the agency as an account manager to assist clients in meeting increasingly critical online marketing goals including content marketing, search engine optimization, and email strategy.
Ken has been involved in Internet marketing since the mid 1990’s, before Google, when he as doing keyword research, content optimization and pay-per-click for an IT training company. Since that time, he has provided Internet consulting in the areas of strategy, site design, content plans, social media integration and more to both billion dollar companies and small businesses with a hyper local focus.
Dave Folkens will join the agency to serve as director of marketing communications in January 2011. A veteran communicator with an established background in traditional strategies as well as online development, Folkens brings both agency and corporate communications history along with a deep understanding of social media to TopRank.
Dave will be responsible for leading efforts to expand the agency brand and highlight the work of leading TopRank clients along with providing counsel on future growth opportunities for the organization. Prior to this new role, Folkens has worked at Fleishman-Hillard International Communications, Medtronic Inc., Orphan Medical, and the Minnesota AIDS Project providing a wide range of experience across industries.
Lee Odden, TopRank CEO, stated “Thanks to a strong list of creative, forward-thinking clients we have been fortunate to continue to increase our capabilities over the past few years despite a challenging economic environment. We’re excited to be in a position to add some very strong, experienced staff to assist us with future growth and to serve increasingly savvy digital marketing clients. Ken will add great direct client service to our existing team and Dave’s background in public relations and marketing will be an asset to us as we seek to add new opportunities to build and lead our industry.”
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
MarketingLab is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. MarketingLab creates and implements marketing programs that establish relationships between brands and shoppers for a wide range of national companies, including Procter & Gamble, Qwest Communications, Lowes, Land O'Lakes, Regis, Delta Faucets and U.S. Bank.
“A lot of marketing agencies have come and gone in the past ten years,” said Rich Butwinick, president and founder of MarketingLab. “We established this company in a down economy, and ten years later we continue to thrive and generate positive results for a wide range of companies and brands. This anniversary is a milestone for our organization and it is as much a celebration of our partners over the years as it is for us – we couldn’t have done it without them.”
MarketingLab is an agency with expertise in working with marketers in consumer packaged goods, telecom, retailers, financial services and other channels who believe there is a better way to drive sales more effectively. Its entire business model – how they create, deliver and capture value – is based on providing marketing ideas and solutions that improve marketing efficiency and effectiveness. In other words, MarketingLab invents incredibly effective ways to change behavior and sell more stuff.
Based in Minneapolis, MarketingLab has grown leaps and bounds since being established ten years ago. In the last two years alone, MarketingLab’s revenue has grown 55 percent and it has increased its total number of employees from 14 to 23.
The agency offers a wide range of services, including shopper marketing, consumer and online promotions, one-to-one marketing, strategic planning and segmentation marketing, event marketing and sponsorship, sweepstakes execution and fulfillment, field marketing and more.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
"The selection of Campbell Mithun was a very important decision by Frontier. We tripled in size on July 1, 2010, in terms of both customers and employees. We are committed to aggressively deploying broadband in our new markets and to increasing broadband availability in our legacy markets," said Gayle Bock, senior vice president of marketing at Frontier. "We're thrilled to partner with Campbell Mithun. Their team demonstrates a clear understanding of Frontier's culture, our brand positioning, and, most importantly, our passion for putting the customer first. The agency will help us make the `New Frontier' more visible to all of our constituents - customers, shareholders, employees -- and will take our 'Conversation Company' to the next level."
Ms. Bock emphasized that Campbell Mithun's understanding of Frontier's local engagement model was key to its selection. "Our local engagement differentiates us from the competition. Our general managers live in the communities they serve and take an active role in local affairs. We offer our customers great products that make life simpler and more productive. Also, products like our Peace of Mind
Campbell Mithun brings to Frontier 23 years of experience in the communications industry - having worked with Verizon Wireless, Qwest, AirTouch and DISH Network - as well as a strong media offering in its Compass Point Media
"Our agency capabilities and philosophy align squarely with this assignment," said Campbell Mithun CEO Steve Wehrenberg
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Weber Shandwick would like to invite local Twin Cities non-profits to our annual Telling Your Story Workshop on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011 from 8 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. in McNeely Hall at The University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. Telling Your Story is a free, one-day training seminar that provides local Twin Cities non-profits practical tools to effectively communicate their missions. Weber Shandwick staff host training and provide hands-on consulting sessions to provide non-profits with actionable PR recommendations.
For more information or to register, please visit http://www.redwoodeditor.com/content/weber_shandwick/telling-your-story/about-telling-your-story.html or email Drea Garrison at email@example.com or Carolyn Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TELLING YOUR STORY IS CURRENTLY AT CAPACITY FOR ATTENDEES.
We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience but we are not able to take any new registrations at this time (Jan.6, 2011). Early response to this event has been overwhelming and we unfortunately must end registration before the previously announced deadline ().
However, if you would like to attend next year’s workshop, please send your contact information to email@example.com and we will add you to the invitation list. Again, our apologies that we are not able to accommodate more organizations at this time. Please contact Drea Garrison at or Carolyn Sullivan at
Friday, December 17, 2010
Email. Blog. Twitter. Facebook. LinkedIn. How do the Internet savvy really use these social networking tools to reach audiences? Meet an expert panel to learn more!
The panel will include Lynsey Struthers, The Lawlor Group’s Web Whiz, Michael Wells, St. Catherine University’s Digital Communications Manager, and Griff Wigley, social media consultant to business and civic leaders.
St. Catherine University
Rauenhorst Hall (the ballroom) in Coeur de Catherine
Click here for more information and to register.
The MWMC SPs (Seasoned Professionals) targets the unique needs of professional women who have been in the work place for 15+ years. SP events offer lively discussion on topics relevant to their level of experience, information to re-energize their careers, and networking and support from peers.
Tunheim Partners is pleased to announce that Mitch Anderson and Elizabeth Kitt have been hired as account executives. In addition, Tunheim Partners has promoted Bill Brozak to the position of account manager.
With experience in public affairs, public relations and political journalism, Anderson will be providing excellent client service on several public affairs and public relations campaigns, including Telvent DTN, U.S. Energy Services and the Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission.
Prior to joining Tunheim Partners, Anderson held several newspaper and communications positions across the country, including the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Washington , D.C. Bureau, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal and Edina Public Schools . He is a 2008 graduate of the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in professional journalism from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Kitt has experience in consumer public relations, media relations and social media. She will executing media relations through a mix of consumer and public affairs campaigns, including Life Time Fitness, Meet Minneapolis, ClearWay Minnesota and Ingersoll Rand.
Prior to joining Tunheim Partners, Kitt worked for two years at Landau Public Relations in Cleveland , OH. Recently, her work on Mead’s OrganizHer blog campaign earned a PRSA Cleveland Rocks Award. Previous experience includes the late U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy’s Washington , D.C. press office and Porter Novelli’s Boston office. A native Minnesotan, Kitt graduated from Boston University in 2008 with a bachelor’s of science in communication and a minor in business administration.
Brozak joined Tunheim Partners in 2007 and has developed extensive expertise in business-to-business and consumer communications, as well as social media, with numerous clients, including Telvent , U.S. Energy Services and Dominium. Brozak graduated from Minnesota State University , Mankato with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Wisconsin-based communications agency Buzz Monkeys, Inc.® has opened its doors in Minnesota. Mary Roberts, veteran public relations professional and Top Banana at Buzz Monkeys, today announced the expansion of the agency in the Twin Cities area. “We’ve worked with clients in this market for over a decade and it’s just a natural extension to open an office here,” Roberts said. “We’re excited to infuse our special brand of energy and enthusiasm into Minnesota.”
Buzz Monkeys has had great success working with a variety of national and regional companies throughout the Midwest, and specifically in Minnesota. For example, top consumer brands like Leinenkugel’s tapped the agency to launch its first holiday beer regionally and Chipotle Restaurants looked to Buzz Monkeys to tell its “Food with Integrity” story throughout Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
“We’re well known for developing exciting word of mouth public relations programs that garner great results on behalf of clients,” Roberts said. “Every day, we share our clients’ stories, generate ‘buzz’, and alter the perceptions and behaviors of consumers.”
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Following a highly competitive six-month review, Newell Rubbermaid has named Carmichael Lynch Spong as domestic agency of record for four of its popular Home & Family brands, including its iconic Rubbermaid brand and Décor brands Levolor, Kirsch and Amerock. The agency has worked with Newell Rubbermaid’s leading culinary brand Calphalon since 2009.
The Atlanta-based company is looking to Carmichael Lynch Spong to help position its Home & Family brands with public relations, digital and social engagement. The public relations agency will work alongside its parent, Carmichael Lynch, which was recently awarded advertising responsibilities for the same Home & Family brands, as well as for Baby & Parenting brands Graco, Aprica and Teutonia. The review was led by The Bedford Group, a national search consultant.
Newell Rubbermaid Inc. is a global marketer of leading consumer and commercial products, with 2009 sales of approximately $5.6 billion. The company’s Home & Family group alone accounts for almost $2.4 billion in sales.
“We were looking to consolidate our agency relationships with a partner who could marry holistic thinking with world-class creative to forge a bond with our consumers, and we found that ideal partner in Carmichael Lynch Spong,” said Jay Gould, President of Newell Rubbermaid’s Home & Family business unit. “The agency’s proven success with our Calphalon brand, expertise in the home and unique approach to forging brand devotion elevated Carmichael Lynch Spong to the top of our list.”
Carmichael Lynch Spong President Doug Spong said, “Our team was very impressed by the strong sense of purpose that drives engagement for Newell Rubbermaid’s Home and Family brands. Our job is to translate that brand essence to consumers in a way that endears brand devotion. We are honored to be awarded the responsibility of building passion for the envied brands within Newell Rubbermaid Home and Family.”
Carmichael Lynch Spong has a long pedigree of success in the home category with decades of experience representing such household brands as Amana, American Standard, Formica, Jenn-Air, Lutron, Sherwin-Williams, Therma-Tru Doors, Thomasville, Trane, as well as Newell Rubbermaid brand Calphalon. The agency has also represented national homebuilders Pulte Homes and K. Hovnanian Homes.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
All brands big and small are looking to utilize the power of social media and are now all clamoring to get on the networking wave to promote themselves online. That said, the latest social media PR campaign announced by Mercedes makes you wonder if some people really understand what social media is about...
I am talking about the Mercedes 'Tweet Race' competition to be launched on the Super Bowl final. The German giant will pit teams against each other as they race across the country in Mercedes cars while tweeting about Mercedes all the way along as part of the challenge. USAToday better explains it by saying the car giant will: "offer hefty prizes to consumers who best use unconventional social-media tactics to tweet and digitally tout the foreign brand before the Super Bowl".
So instead of carefully building a social media network by utilizing the Mercedes fan base, engaging with people and communicating with them on the same level for months on end, Mercedes is instead going to throw some cash at a few plucky youngsters to get people to "digitally tout" the Mercedes brand during the Super Bowl?
MySpace failed because it became a one-way communication outlet heavy on ads and light on communication - an experience we can all get by switching on the TV. This event, it seems, is a one-way street also as it is basically offering a prize to the person who can tweet a brand's message the loudest.
This, to me, is not understanding social media. Social media is a two-way experience and those brands who want to get ahead in it need to be able to give as much as they get. They need to get onto the ground floor and actually communicate, even if they don't like what they are hearing. Ultimate success will come through communicators organically pushing the brand and the message because they want to, not because they are forced or duped into it.
Mercedes has just under 25,000 followers on Facebook, a paltry sum for a world-renowned brand. I actually spent time in my youth working for a Mercedes enthusiast publication (one of three in the UK alone!) so know that there are a lot of fans out there who can be and should be communicated with at a grassroots level and who would love the spread the Mercedes word. By bribing people to tweet a message rather than cultivating it organically the car giant is merely using its marketing budget to get up onto a bandwagon.
To learn more about this Tweet Race, you are forced to 'Like' the Mercedes' Facebook page. I did so for the purposes of this blog, learned nothing and 'unliked' immediately. Unless it changes its social media tact, that's the way it is going to stay I am afraid.
Follow me on Twiiter @xpsocialmedia
Follow me on Twiiter @xpsocialmedia
Monday, December 13, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
In November, Risdall Marketing Group (RMG) landed new or expanded engagements with 11 well known, diverse organizations with an emphasis on online marketing, websites and brand messaging.
As we approach the close of 2010, we are as busy as ever and thrilled to be building momentum going in to 2011,” said John Risdall, vice chairman and CEO of RMG. “This year, we’ve developed a huge number of new and exciting strategies — both online and off — that help our clients meet their business and communication goals, and we’re looking forward to what next year brings.”
- Advanced Dental Specialists – Website re-design and development
- American Dental Partners – Brand and website support
- Conwed Plastics – Expanded engagement to include website update, sponsored search (PPC) and SEO
- Deerwood Orthodontics - Website re-design and development
- Elkay Manufacturing – Information architecture and User Interface Design
- FasTest – Website re-design and SEO
- Health Recovery Center – Website re-design and SEO
- Priority Courier Express – Website re-design and sales materials
- Stylmark – Brand messaging and trade industry presentation
- Viksnins Harris & Padys – Expanded account to include collateral
- VINMonitor – Website design and public relations
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Weber Shandwick today announced that Kelly Puspoki has rejoined the firm’s consumer marketing practice as vice president.
Having previously held a nine-year term with Weber Shandwick beginning in 2000, Puspoki has managed a variety of accounts in the consumer electronics, food and beverage, retail and home products categories. She has been a key contributor to campaigns and programs for clients including Polaroid, Best Buy, Jo-Ann Stores, General Mills and The Coca-Cola Company. In addition, Puspoki is noted for building strong client relationships, implementing results-driven programs and exceptional team leadership.
Another of Puspoki’s passions is promoting education and helping youth and families. She dedicated four years as the marketing communications chair and a member of the board of directors at The Link, a Twin Cities non-profit that provides life skills training, positive affirmation and after-school programs for at-risk youth and families. During her time with the organization, Puspoki developed a five-year PR/marketing plan, including a communications program for the launch of a local homeless shelter funded by The Link for young adults.
She holds a bachelor of arts in journalism and public relations with an emphasis in philosophy and theology from St. Mary’s University. Puspoki has been recognized for her outstanding work on various account teams with multiple industry awards including SABREs, Silver and Bronze Anvils, IABC Gold Quills and PRSA Classics.
Bridget Nelson Monroe has joined Beehive PR as digital strategist.
Monroe has more than five years of experience developing social media campaigns, managing strategic communication programs and helping businesses maximize their online platforms. Her deep expertise in content strategy immediately expands Beehive’s digital and social media capabilities.
Before joining Beehive, Monroe was marketing manager and content strategist for Digitas Health in New York, where she oversaw online content planning, creation and acquisitions, as well as created content strategy best practices for leading healthcare brands. Monroe also co-founded a video production and social media-consulting agency Mediamazing and was a research editor and reporter at Reader’s Digest. Her writing has also appeared in Better Homes and Gardens.
Monroe graduated from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, with a bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in sociology and a concentration in music performance.
Tags: New Hire, Bridget Monroe, Beehive PR
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
LaBreche announced the expansion of its team with the addition of four new employees - a design director and three new public relations professionals - in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Jes Lahay joins LaBreche as Design Director after nearly a decade at Soho Joe as founder and creative director. Lahay drives traditional and digital design initiatives for LaBreche and its clients. Her work focuses on social media, micro-sites, awareness campaigns, brand development and digital engagement. Lahay looks forward to taking the design division to the next level and building LaBreche’s design reputation. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with an emphasis in advertising and graphic design. Lahay is also a member of the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA) and AdFed Minnesota.
Senior Account Executive Natasha Woods comes to LaBreche with a specialty in social media and background in strategic planning. Her client roster includes 3M, Faegre & Benson and AECOM. Woods earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in communications with an emphasis in media relations from California State University, San Marcos.
Account Executive Dustin Sadnick joins LaBreche with both nonprofit and agency experience, particularly in the legal, higher education and financial industries. Sadnick’s clients include Faegre & Benson, Bercom, WoodWorks and MicroCare Medical. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations and political science from Winona State University. In his free time, Sadnick volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities.
Account Executive Kate Rogers comes to LaBreche with a strong media relations background and a vast knowledge of the hospitality, consumer and retail industries. Rogers is also a contributing writer for Mpls. St. Paul Magazine, where she contributes to dining stories and writes a monthly “brunch beat” column reporting on local restaurants. Her client list includes Computype, Hearth & Home, Meritas and Ascent. Rogers earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Minnesota.
Haberman was recently named marketing partner for EcoBonus™, also based in Minneapolis. Haberman will begin its work by developing branding and launch communication programs as well as retail-specific promotions strategies for the innovative new online rewards program launching in April 2011.
EcoBonus is a pioneering new consumer loyalty and rewards program that brings together a coalition of leading manufacturers, retailers and service providers to reward consumers interested in learning about and purchasing sustainable products. The EcoBonus coalition was specifically developed to provide eco-conscious product manufacturers a platform to build and maintain customer loyalty. By joining manufacturer and retail forces, EcoBonus arms brand marketers with promotional currency and the ability to identify, acquire and retain the incredible purchasing power of eco-conscious consumers. It also gives consumers access to a robust database of information regarding the environmental and social efficacy of thousands of consumer products.
“EcoBonus selected Haberman due to the agency’s incredible depth of knowledge in the sustainability and consumer brand space,” said Tiger Beaudoin, EcoBonus founder and vice president of marketing. “We believe that EcoBonus is a game-changing education and reward resource for eco-conscious consumers, retailers and manufacturers and that Haberman is the ideal partner to build our brand and share our story as we prepare for our national launch.”
“Environmentally-conscious, organic and natural companies need sophisticated and tech-savvy promotions options such as EcoBonus to better tell their story and expand and reward their customer base,” said Haberman CEO and co-founder Fred Haberman. “We look forward to engaging customers, manufacturers and retailers around this pioneering rewards program.”
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
OLSON is acquiring Dig Communications, the Chicago-based public relations agency. Together, OLSON and Dig will broaden existing public relations services, delivering enhanced thinking, creativity and capabilities to clients. Dig’s founder Peter Marino will serve as president of the newly combined Dig and OLSON PR practices.
With the addition of Dig, nearly 20 percent of OLSON’s revenue will now be driven by PR, securing the agency’s position as one of the top 10 independent, full-service marketing agencies in the United States.
“The borders between different agency disciplines continue to blur, and that’s why we have been building a cross-disciplinary agency that will thrive as that dynamic accelerates,” says Kevin DiLorenzo, president and CEO, OLSON. “Clients may come in through any number of doors at OLSON, but all will have a broad, deep set of capabilities at the ready to help them grow their business. Combining Dig with our current PR capabilities creates a next-generation PR firm to enhance our agency model.”
OLSON, a privately held agency, was named earlier this year to Ad Age’s “Agencies to Watch” list for its “out-of-the-box thinking.” Dig Communications, founded in 2004 by PR veteran Peter Marino, was named by PR Week in 2009 as that publication’s small agency of the year, and by Inc. magazine as one of the nation’s 5,000 fastest-growing private companies. For more on Dig, and to link to its new blog, follow @think_room on Twitter.
“We have been fortunate to grow with great clients and great employees who believe in the increasingly critical role that PR plays,” said Peter Marino, founder and president, Dig Communications. “OLSON is the perfect partner. We think alike and are both highly motivated to move our clients’ brands forward.”
Ultimately, Dig will transition to become OLSON PR. All Dig employees will remain in their office locations in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Milwaukee, and OLSON PR will remain in Minneapolis. Earlier this year OLSON closed a deal with Denali Marketing, which added brand loyalty, one-to-one marketing and analytics to the agency’s offerings.
OLSON’s expanded PR discipline serves some of the largest brands in the world including MillerCoors, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, Southwest Airlines and Harley-Davidson. These will be combined with OLSON’s existing PR clients, including General Mills, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson and PepsiCo brands Izze Sparkling Juice and Naked Juice.
“Dig’s capabilities will truly augment our services. It’s a great match in the way we both think and serve clients—making this deal feel right from the get go,” adds DiLorenzo. “And Dig’s already thinking, like OLSON, in innovative, holistic ways. This year, it brought home four gold Effies, the top marketing effectiveness award in the world—quite unusual for a PR firm. Add that to OLSON’s 18, and together we’ve hauled 22 Effies home in the last nine years.”
One of the most sensible things I have read since I began tweeting was from a contact who said that you must use the same rules for social media as you do for real life. With that in mind it seems to me that when it comes to using Twitter the best tweeters are those who approach Twitter as you would a business meeting with a contact or a client.
In a professional, real-life meeting you are polite, you try to engage, ask questions, hold interest, listen and if you can, get someone’s attention for as long as possible so as to be able to get a message across or indeed receive one. This goes for B2B or when talking to a consumer and all the best businesspeople possess these skills.
But it seems like, on Twitter, these skills are lost for many. There is too much going on, too much flotsam and jetsam and to much inane information that means all the good stuff – the interesting, engaging tweets that swap ideas and thoughts – are lost in the white noise.
For Twitter to work as a proper channel of communication, the users have to think of what they are trying to get across. To spend the day on the mundane hides the real interesting links, the points of view or the news. As a journalist I knew I had to get the right news in a face-to-face meeting or over the phone, and I knew the best contacts were those who knew what to say, and when. Equally, a salesman knows they have to say the right thing in the right way to convince the right people to buy something.
Twitter is a channel for communication, pure and simple. It offers speed, accuracy and flexibility in what you can say and whom you can say it to. Texts are too personal, chat rooms are too specific audiences, emails not personal enough. Twitter fits inbetween all these. But it will only work if it’s used in the right way.
So for me, the best tweets are those that are treated like a remark to a contact or a client. They make me think, they ask me a question and some even make me laugh - but all the good ones say something I want to hear.
Follow me on Twiiter @xpsocialmedia
Follow me on Twiiter @xpsocialmedia
Monday, December 06, 2010
OLSON has promoted Noah Will and Matt Burgess to associate creative directors. They were both previously senior copywriters.
“Matt and Noah contribute mightily to OLSON’s creative product—and to our culture,” says Tom Fugleberg, executive creative director, OLSON. “They have continually stepped up to meet greater challenges with class, humility and hilarity as we’ve grown. We’re thrilled to announce this promotion—they’ve earned it.”
Matt has been with OLSON since January 2008, joining from Campbell Mithun, where he was a copywriter. He works with clients such as the University of Minnesota, Capital One, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson, KraftMaid and General Mills. Matt has also worked at Best Buy Advertising, JWT New York, FCB Seattle and Martin/Williams. He attended Miami Ad School for copywriting after receiving his B.A. in journalism and advertising from the University of Minnesota.
Noah joined OLSON in April 2007 from WONGDOODY, where he was a copywriter. At OLSON, he works with clients like BAUER, the Minnesota State Lottery and Capital One. Noah has also worked for Fallon and Jung von Matt. He spent time at Miami Ad School after receiving his B.A. in journalism and business from the University of St. Thomas.
Friday, December 03, 2010
This post of "Journey to My Job" features Lisa Grimm, who works at Mall of America as a digital public relations specialist.
1. Tell me about your career path so far, and how you found each of your jobs.
Nothing about my life has been conventional, including my formal education and career path. There are many paths to success, and sometimes they’re not necessarily those that ‘most’ people follow. Everyone is different, learns at their own pace and has their own potential to discover. That path can be whatever you want it to be.
Mine includes a college career that lasted six years. Two of which were at the University of Minnesota and four more, including the completion of my bachelor’s degree, at Metropolitan State University where I studied public relations and social science. Jobs have included: server, writing and research intern (agency), account coordinator (agency), marketing manager at a small sales training company and my current role, digital PR specialist at Mall of America.
Each life experience and job has taught me an incredible amount about the communications (and other) discipline(s), but far more about myself and how I can be a better professional. Instead of running you through each of my job searches, I’ll share with you what’s been key in each of my career opportunities thus far.
I’m not shy. I’ve always immersed myself in environments that interest me and tend to surround myself with people far smarter than me. I read and am fiercely committed to learning and growing, as a human and as a professional. I write and chat with a number of people in hopes that my communication skills improve. I work at being self-aware and knowing what my strengths and weaknesses are so that I can work best with those around me and continue to grow. Wherever I go, there I am, and good character accounts for a lot in this world. In short:
- · It’s all about who you know.
- · It’s all about what you know.
- · It’s all about how well you articulate what you know.
- · Always present your best self wherever you go.
- Don’t compromise on what you’re passionate about for a job (or anything) you don’t really want.
My job consists of writing and implementing digital strategy, community management, pitching and a sprinkling of traditional PR. In essence, I work on building social media strategy that lays over existing marketing communications and business objectives. The Mall has a number of digital properties and our aim is for them to each serve a different, but complementary purpose to the audiences that use them. Community management consists of monitoring online conversations, curating content and engaging with our online and offline communities in a cohesive manner. I get to do a little pitching and more traditional PR from time to time, which I enjoy as well. I have an amazing job.
3. What worked well for you in your most recent job search?
Knowing what I wanted, diligence and perseverance were the foundation of my job search. On top of that solid ground, I focused on networking, events, education, and building relationships.
I’ve provided a link below to my blog, which contains more specificity about the above, but what I’ll say here is that PRSA is where I met one of my mentors. He provided me with 15 years of insight that I didn’t have and challenged me to think beyond my looking glass, which was immensely helpful. Serving as cochair of the communications committee of PRSA was a great path to getting to know the community and leadership better. Twitter was by far the largest driver of my job search. Twitter is an amazing communication tool and allows people to connect in real time based on shared interests, which can be as silly as sharing favorite food joints, to scholarly articles and literature about industry best practices. I have met some of the most amazing people on Twitter and built great professional relationships (yes, we know each other in real life too). My fluency in the tool and robust network served me well in the interview process. Events like MIMA Summit, Blogworld Expo and Social Media Breakfast have been amazing to learn about a broad range of topics and meet like minds. I read a lot and play with new communication tools to see where they may fit in something I’m working on, or just to keep up with all the fuss. I’m naturally curious, so a lot of my spare time is spent researching things.
4. What would you have done differently in your most recent job search?
Absolutely nothing. I’m the type of person that [when I know] knows what I want and takes the necessary steps to get there. This was one of those cases in my life where I went out and found what I was looking for. My patience was not always the best, but that’s why you surround yourself with people who kick you in the butt every now and then and remind you how much you have to be grateful for. I absolutely LOVE my job and am thankful for the opportunity.
5. What advice do you have for job seekers today?
There are obvious things, like extensively researching your prospects, being a good writer and being able to articulate your strengths and how they will be an asset to the company. In addition, a strong handshake, eye contact, good communication skills and humility. Confidence, or lack of it, is a large factor in the hiring process, and in life. How we present ourselves to people quickly determines so many things. Professionally, from what I’ve observed, it determines how a company will be able to take advantage of you, or ‘mold’ you, or if you’re going to be helpful closing deals and making it rain. May sound nuts, but I think I’m on to something. Be confident in who you are and what you have to offer, but always bring an equal amount of humility to the table.
There are two recent blog posts that may fill in a lot of holes not touched on here. “Dress for the Job You Want” sums up how I feel about some of the important things a job seeker should do and “What Does Digital PR Specialist for Mall of America Do Anyway” will give a bit more insight to my day to day.
Connect with Lisa through LinkedIn, Twitter or her Communications Passionista blog.
-- Brant Skogrand, APR, MBC
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Carrie Pruyn Lang has been hired at OLSON as account director in the agency's public relations practice. She joined the agency from Fleishman-Hillard, where she was a vice president in the consumer marketing practice. Before FH, she was a marketing director for Macy’s. She has years of experience handling PR for consumer clients like Buffalo Wild Wings, McDonald’s and Motorola.
“Carrie's retail marketing background and terrific sensibilities bring great new opportunities for OLSON clients as our PR practice continues to grow," says Steve Peckham, SVP and director of holistic services, OLSON. “But just as exciting to all of us are her infectious personality and meticulous account management, which make working with her a pleasure. We’re thrilled Carrie has joined OLSON."
“Thanks to OLSON’s holistic approach to client business, I’ll truly be able to merge my corporate marketing and consumer PR experience. The culture here is unlike anything I've experienced before in my career—the energy and passion are palpable in this office,” says Carrie Lang. “I’ve been watching OLSON for some time, and its fast-paced growth and top-notch client roster say everything. There are so many creative minds here, but all the work is founded in smart, strategic thinking. It’s amazing to be a part of this team.”
Best Buy’s WOLF Program: From Driving Innovation to Promoting Women Leadership
Thursday, December 9, 2010
3118 West Lake Street | Minneapolis | 612.920.7777
Presentation by Angela Chambliss, Best Buy’s Women Leadership Forum (WOLF)
Join MWMC and Angela Chambliss, senior manager for Best Buy’s Women Leadership Forum (WOLF), to learn how Best Buy is driving innovation while promoting women leadership through its Women Leadership Forum (WOLF). WOLF is made up of Best Buy hourly employees, corporate and executive employees and even Best Buy customers. Internally it promotes women leadership and professional growth through WOLF packs and events, and allows Best Buy to learn more about their female customers by connecting WOLF packs with the community. Bring your business cards and network with other current and future female leaders.
Appetizers will be served and a cash bar is available.
About Our Speaker
Angela Chambliss is the senior manager for Best Buy’s WOLF program. She has helped Best Buy develop a strategy for marketing WOLF internally and externally, creating awareness and driving global opportunity for women at all levels of Best Buy’s business—from Blue Shirts in Best Buy’s stores to female executives – and connecting WOLF packs with the community.
Seating is limited! Register online 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.
$10 Full-time Student MWMC Members
MWMC’s Women Launching Women Networking Series allows members and non-members to connect in an informal environment over appetizers and cash bar. Event-goers will hear a local business leader share her story about the launch of her career. All events include a Q&A with the speaker, appetizers/cash bar, and the opportunity to build vital connections with other women in the marketing and communications industry.