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Friday, February 27, 2015

Last Chance to register for Minnesota PRSA - Content Marketing for Communicators on 3/3

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
5:00-5:30 p.m. Registration & Networking
5:30-7:00 p.m. Panel and Q&A
Cambria Gallery on 7th
625 South 2nd Avenue #101
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Register for the event here.

Cost:
$30/PRSA Member
$25/Student
$45/Non-PRSA Member
(2015 Event Pass Eligible)

Remember when public relations required you to persuade gatekeepers – news editors, TV and radio producers and reporters – to carry your company or client’s content to their audiences? Now, brands from Red Bull and Google to Zappos, Patagonia and Whole Foods are becoming publishers and broadcasters themselves. In the new world of public relations, brands are creating their own content – like infographics, e-books, podcasts, webinars, YouTube videos, and branded magazines – that are distributed for free on their digital channels.

As the practice of content marketing evolves, it’s not only the term itself that is difficult to define, but even more so the role of communications and public relations within this strategy. Join Minnesota PRSA for an exclusive content marketing panel to discuss the strategy and tactics behind best-in-class content marketing programs from Minnesota-based panelists.

Hear how Ameriprise Financial, General Mills, 3M and SCHERMER are successfully leveraging content marketing – plus learn tips and tricks for creating and maintaining best-in-class content marketing programs. Moderated by Maccabee Public Relations’ Social Media Director Christina Milanowski, the March 3rd Content Marketing Panel features four all-stars:

Angela Dalton, Content Strategist and Senior Marketing Planner, General Mills – Tablespoon.com
AngelaDalton
Angela Dalton (@angeladalton) leads content strategy and marketing for Tablespoon.com, a millennial-focused food and recipe website owned by General Mills. Prior to her role on Tablespoon, she was part of The General Mills Innovation Brand Lab, leading content marketing initiatives for Kix and Cheerios cereal. Angela has more than 10 years of experience working for local agencies including Periscope, Ham in the Fridge and Carmichael Lynch, producing digital content ranging from websites to gaming to mobile.


Brian Enderlein, Digital Media, Interactive Marketing & Analytics, 3M
BrianEnderleinBrian Enderlein leads strategy and implementation of digital media, e-marketing and online advertising programs for the 3M Consumer Business Group. Brian has more than 10 years experience in using real-time data to drive branding and revenue-generating digital programs. Prior to 3M, he led e-commerce programs at Digital River, and was a senior producer for home shopping. He has spoken multiple times on the topic of content marketing, including for Brand Innovator Summit.


Maura Ryan, Digital Content Marketing Manager, Ameriprise Financial
MauraRyanMaura Ryan (@mauraryan) focuses on content strategy at Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Previously, she was the director of online content for Mpls.St.Paul Magazine for eight years. She oversaw the development and execution of various content initiatives for Mspmag.com, including its thousands of pages of content, 200-plus videos, six e-newsletters, nine blogs and social media presences on Facebook, Twitter,
Foursquare and Pinterest.


Chris Schermer, President, SCHERMER
ChrisSchermer

Chris Schermer (@Chris_Schermer) is President of SCHERMER, a Minneapolis-based agency that drives B2B brand experiences through brand, demand and digital capabilities. Through content marketing campaigns, SCHERMER connects its clients, including Honeywell, GE, 3M and Wells Fargo, to buyer journeys. Chris is a firm believer in the power of content strategies to move buyers from response to revenue. He is a sought-after speaker and author on content marketing for businesses.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Job - Strother Communications Group - PR/Content Writer

Strother Communications Group - PR/Content Writer

AD VETERANS LAUNCH NEW SPECIES OF AGENCY — AND IT’S A HUMDINGER (& SONS)

More and more, advertising agencies are scrambling to be on the cutting edge of everything — to understand new technologies, have deeper insights into smart devices, and combine the digital and physical worlds in new ways. In reality, many clients are receiving lots of lip service and little action. That’s about to change. Humdinger & Sons is coming out of stealth mode to reveal a new kind of shop: a video and design agency, birthed from the archaic land of big advertising, focused on helping emerging startups and technologies build, launch and grow their brands.
         
Nicolas Will and Andrew Berg, Humdinger’s co-founders, built their careers in San Francisco and New York City, respectively, working on some of the world’s most iconic brands, including Nike, Google, American Express, P&G and Dolby. After going through the mill, Humdinger has taken the expertise and know-how, dropped the setbacks, and applied its unique knowledge to the startup world.

“We’ve worked in both agencies and startups, and have seen a huge disconnect,” said Nicolas Will, Humdinger co-founder and creative director. “The business models of each are oil and water — big agencies demand big budgets. They’re slow, layered with fat, and don’t have their pulse on emerging technology.”
         
But, startups have the most upside,” added Will. “These clients are new brands, new ideas, in a new world. They’re not unwanted stepchildren— they’re juggernauts in the growth stage, and they’re the future. We get it. And them."
         
“Focus creates advantages all around, and our business model just makes sense — in both the short and long run — for everyone involved,” said Andrew Berg, Humdinger co-founder and account director. “Consumers are engaging products and services differently — while most agencies aren’t.”
           
 “A multi-million dollar budget to create impactful work isn't always necessary,” added Berg. “It's industry insights and understanding, paired with captivating content built on a new platform, that enables us to give fledgling brands an edge. It’s David vs. Goliath out there — and while Goliath is putzing around trying to update his firmware Humdinger is slinging digital bombs.”

Humdinger has also forged strong partnerships along the way — including RetailGroup, Capture Films and industry connector Greg Heinemann’s strategy hub, Titus Oates — to deliver a full complement of services to clients. The approach is paying dividends. In a year and a half, Humdinger already has a strong client roster, including miCoach — the Adidas line of wearable technology; Northern Grade — the first true Made in America pop-ups celebrating New American creative with cool, cutting-edge fashion and home goods; Ilumi — a whole-home LED Smartbulb featured on “Shark Tank” and backed by Mark Cuban; and Equil — a Smartpen that recently became one of the top funded campaigns on Indiegogo; as well as more than a dozen other ambitious products and services. 

For more, visit www.humdingerandsons.com.

Monday, February 23, 2015

THE SHOW 2015 - Buy Your Tickets Now!

It’s time to buy your tickets for The Show 2015!
You don’t want to miss all the thrills, spills and retro frills of this year’s competition. Watch our lovely contestants go head to head on March 6th. One lucky winner will take home the fabulous grand prize – the coveted pin for Best In Show.

Don’t worry. We wouldn’t let the contestants have all the fun. Press your luck and try your hand at various games, enjoy some tasty treats and hobnob with the best in the local ad biz.

March 6th @ 6:30 PM
The Depot, 300 Washington Ave. S., MPLS 55415


The Price is Right!
Early Bird tickets purchased by March 2nd:
  • Member $55
  • Non-Member $80
  • Student $30
Tickets purchased after march 2nd, or at the door:
  • Member $70
  • Non-Member $95
  • Student $45
Visit www.TheShowMN.org to buy tickets.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Onsite Tips to Increase the Visibility of Your Website

Whether you are a business owner hoping to increase the search engine visibility of your website or a personal blogger hoping to increase your reader base, the importance of onsite optimization cannot be ignored.

If you have taken classes in SEO or online marketing, you have no doubt heard about the importance of inbound links to your website. It is proven that quality inbound links increase your website’s visibility. However, obtaining inbound links can be a very time-consuming process.

Patrick Puhalla – who oversees the marketing efforts for his furnace repair company – was not producing any sales from his website for months.

“I was initially excited by the idea of creating a quality website so that we could better connect with our customers online. I had a ‘build it and they will come’ mentality. I thought that a nice-looking website would do the trick in regards to SEO,” said Puhalla.

Little did Puhalla know that just a few minor changes to his onsite content would make all the difference in terms of search engine visibility. Once he learned more about onsite optimization, he was able to land his website on the first page of Google and greatly increase visitors and conversion. Listed below are the five important changes that Pahulla followed in order to improve his onsite SEO.

Optimize your title tag. What keyword are you trying to rank for? Make sure that you feature that focus keyword in the page’s title tag along with the location in which you are targeting and your company name.

For example: Keyword – Minnesota | Company Name
  
Add an outbound link on every page. This is simply a good SEO practice. One potential benefit of this strategy is that by linking to another website, they may link back in return.

Make sure every page has at least 300 words of text. Search engines like Google favor sites that put more “effort” into their site by using text. I’d recommend writing a minimum of 300 words per page.

Add a unique Meta Description. A Meta Description is the first thing users see when they find your site using a search engine (before they actually visit your site). It is your site’s first impression. Make sure the copy you place in your Meta Description is inviting.

Add a photo to every page. This makes the page more appealing to the eye and will “impress” search engines.

Add ALT tags to your onsite images.
ALT tags will help search engines understand what the image represents. The best practice is to use your focus keyword as the ALT tag.

Everyone seeking a larger audience for their website should follow the six tips listed above. Along with obtaining quality inbound links and implementing a social media marketing plan, these strategies will ensure that you increase traffic and conversion to your website.

Job - Skogrand PR Solutions Seeks PR Intern

Skogrand PR Solutions Seeks PR Intern

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Job - Consortium Book Sales & Distribution Internship

Consortium Book Sales & Distribution Internship

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Iwanicki Joins PadillaCRT as Vice President of Creative Operations

Jennifer Iwanicki, an agency operations and creative services veteran, has joined PadillaCRT as vice president of creative operations. Jennifer works from the agency’s Minneapolis headquarters and oversees operations, project management and production for the agency’s creative design and digital team, across PadillaCRT’s six U.S. offices.

“Great ideas are nothing unless they’re turned into something tangible,” said Heath Rudduck, PadillaCRT chief creative officer. “There’s artistry in the science of making things happen, and Jennifer makes things happen. Her years of experience in agency production and operations, from film to digital development, will help our agency continue to bring more great ideas to life.”

Iwanicki brings more than 15 years of experience in agency operations to her new role. She most recently served as vice president of operations at Minneapolis-based agency Olson, where she managed resourcing, budgets and process for clients including Aurora Health Care, Bauer, BISSELL, Carlson Companies, McDonald’s, Sharp, Wet ‘n Wild and Target. Prior to her tenure at Olson, she founded and served as president of Curation Station, a software as a service (SaaS) company, and co-founded online media production company Bannerpalooza and advertising agency Hello Viking. She also freelanced as an executive producer, project manager and developer. In addition to her work in agency operations, she has produced award-winning interactive and films for notable clients including Apple, Burger King and Volkswagen.

“This is an exciting time to join PadillaCRT, as the lines continue to blur between public relations, advertising, marketing and digital,” Iwanicki said. “I’m thrilled for the opportunity to help the agency continue to evolve its creative product and deliver the best possible strategies and tactical solutions, regardless of the communications channel.”

Iwanicki has received numerous honors and creative awards from Ad Age, Art Directors Club and the FlashForward Film Festival, as well as Cannes awards, Clio awards, International Automotive Advertising awards, Webby awards, London International Advertising awards, Communication Arts Interactive Annual awards and Telly awards.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Job - Press Friendly - PR Manager

Press Friendly - PR Manager

Call now or tomorrow. Be the first caller or number 100.

Most infomercials urge you to “Call now!” to receive a special offer or bonus gift, but a new effort from ad agency Clarity Coverdale Fury (CCF) for client QUITPLAN Services turns the traditional direct response formula on its head. The completely free tobacco cessation help from QUITPLAN Services is available whether you call today or in a year, whether you are the first caller or the 2,000th.

In what may be the first infomercial for a product that is completely free, QUITPLAN Services delivers barrier-busting messages that are too long for traditional media. There are a lot of questions about how the service can truly be free (it’s funded by a portion of the settlement Minnesota received from the tobacco companies) and what the user experience will be like. To address these questions, the infomercial includes multiple layers of content: in-studio with a live audience (made up entirely of current and former tobacco users), advice from one of the nation’s top nicotine dependence experts, interviews with actual QUITPLAN phone coaches, conversations with current smokers out on their smoke breaks, and testimonials from both smokers and smokeless tobacco users who quit with help from QUITPLAN Services.

The medium was recommended by CCF based on research showing that smokers are more likely than the average consumer to both watch infomercials, and to watch overnight TV when many infomercials air.

Ian Simpson, CCF Senior Copywriter said, “In the beginning, I was freaking out about how we’d ever be able to fill 30 minutes. By the end, I was freaking out about how we’d ever be able to cull it down to 30 minutes. It’s a fact that 70% of smokers want to quit, and both smokers and former smokers alike were just so willing to open up and give their true feelings about that. It was pretty inspiring at times.”

“In addition to traversing barriers, we’re providing a peek behind the curtain of what a user receives from QUITPLAN Services. We were excited to leverage the empathetic, ‘no judgments’ tone that was established with the last QUITPLAN Services mass media campaign,” said Molly Hull, CCF Associate Director of Brand Development.

The infomercial is another tactic in a long history of agency CCF breaking the mold for QUITPLAN Services. From a 3D billboard with a cigarette butt replacing the post to the QuitCash Challenge, an annual stop-smoking contest, to helping develop a new suite of cessation tools that were promoted in a TV campaign using stop-motion animation, CCF has continued to bring new ideas to the table to engage tobacco users in quitting.

The QUITPLAN Services infomercial will be running in the Twin Cities and Duluth markets for four weeks starting February 9.

Risdall Kicks Off 2015 with New Education Relationships

The University of California, Davis – one of the top 10 public research universities in the nation – has selected Risdall as one of its pre-approved vendors available to help campus units advance branding and integrated marketing initiatives.

To be included on the list, Risdall and more than 50 other successful vendors submitted requests for proposals and had a team of experts review their work and check references. Risdall took a required course in UC Davis branding and integrated marketing, earning its listing for marketing strategy and web development and design support.

“We are honored to be named a pre-approved vendor and look forward to potentially working with UC Davis campus units,” said Ted Risdall, CEO of Risdall. “The agency’s relationship with UC Davis reaffirms Risdall’s strengths in the education vertical.”

Risdall’s new projects for education clients in 2015 include creative services for Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton School District and brochure content development and design for Minnesota Minority Education Partnership.

“Risdall now has a footprint in three of the nation's 10 largest state university systems,” said Risdall. “With creative, public relations, advertising, web and digital experts, we provide our partners with a comprehensive solution for all of their marketing challenges.”

Risdall’s new clients include:
  •  Health Enhancement Research Organization – Web development
  •  I Can! KidsPublic relations and digital marketing
  • Nanolux – Branding, content development and web design
  • Twin Cities Ice Dam RemovalDigital marketing

Thursday, February 05, 2015

The Impact of New Google + Twitter Features on Marketing

It appears as though Google and Twitter have teamed up again, much to the benefit of those using Twitter to enhance their marketing efforts. The partnership means that user tweets soon will automatically show up in Google search results.

In the past, Google manually crawled Twitter and indexed specific tweets. With the new partnership, all of your tweets will be indexed by Google and will show up in Google search results. This opens up marketing opportunities for small and large businesses. To put it simply, the change means that your tweets will have now the potential to reach a much larger audience than before.

The change will be perfect for small businesses that do not have the resources to efficiently promote tweets.

“I have an extremely small staff and marketing budget. As a regular user of Twitter, I am pleased to know that my tweets will have a much better chance at being found,” said Mark Herman, a Minnesota expungement lawyer and owner of a small business.

Tweets will now have an extended lifespan. In the past, a tweet only had significant visibility during the time period in which it was positioned at the top of the Twitter feed. Now the tweets will have placement on Google search and can attract niche users for a much longer period of time.

The partnership might be extremely beneficial for Twitter in regards to its number of users. By offering users the chance to enhance the visibility of their tweets, Twitter may attract an abundant amount of new users. Twitter and Google actually teamed up in 2009 for a similar endeavor but the changes never came to fruition.

Engineers from both Google and Twitter are reportedly working on the changes now and they are expected to become active in the first half of 2015.

Two Promotions at Maccabee including Hill and Milanowski

Jean Hill, formerly a vice president at the Minneapolis PR agency Maccabee, has been promoted to Senior Vice President. Hill guides many of the Maccabee agency’s largest corporate, media relations and crisis communications clients, drawing upon her past PR and marketing communications work at Martin William’s PR division Karwoski & Courage, the law firm Leonard Street & Deinard and Edwin Neuger & Associates Public Relations. 

At the same time, Account Supervisor and Social Media Director Christina Milanowski has been promoted to Vice President and Social Media Director at the Maccabee agency. Milanowski supervises social media and online marketing campaigns at Maccabee, helping clients leverage the use of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, as well as content marketing and blog strategies. Named “Young Professional of the Year” by the Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, Milanowski co-leads the agency’s work for GNP Company, producer of the Gold’n Plump and Just BARE brands of chicken.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Increased Local Photography Competition Leads to Better Minneapolis Photographers



It's now 2015, and the barriers to enter the world of digital photography have diminished greatly in the past decade. Today, for a few thousand dollars, a novice is able to purchase a pro-level DSLR camera, premium photo-editing software, create a portfolio website, and launch a photography business. Minneapolis is known as a national hub for the arts, with supporting programs from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Walker Art Center, and Minneapolis College of Art and Design, to name a few. Each year hundreds of new art students are graduating, and staying local due to the strong artist community in areas like Uptown and North East Minneapolis. The decreased barrier to entry, coupled with the increased retention rates of recent graduates has lead to a boom in local photography competition. This competition, however, should be welcomed, according to the owner and lead photographer of Minneapolis studio, Dan Oksnevad Photography.

Dan Oksnevad has been running his photography business since 2006, launching the company while living in Chicago. Over the past 9 years, he has seen the highs and lows of the trade, and had to deal with moving the business from Illinois to Minnesota, and the often crippling task of re-establishing himself as a leading player within a new local wedding photography scene.
2015 – Year of Marketing

In today's digital world of social media, web-driven leads, and high customer expectations it's imperative to be on the cutting edge of technology, especially when it comes to marketing. "Earlier in my career, I would obsess over my craft, only seeking to improve my skills as a photographer," says Dan Oksnevad. "In recent years I have learned to strike a balance between running the business side, and constantly improving my talents. It doesn't matter if you've been in the business for 1, 5, or 25 years; what matters is if you can get in front of the right customer at the right time and book the gig."

The increased talent pool, lower barriers to entry, and digital marketing savviness of the recent graduates is worrying to some established photographers, but Dan Oksnevad is optimistic, however; "An increased pool of talent will improve industry standards, lead to further differentiation between low-end and high-end players, and ultimately benefit the local economy."

Minnesota photography income rivals D.C., California, and New York
According to a 2014 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, Illinois and Minnesota lead the Midwest in employment of photographers, but Minnesota ($48,760) stands apart in the national earnings reports, rivaling Washington D.C. ($66,130), California ($53,280), and New York ($49,480). With the lower cost of living in Minneapolis as compared to its East and West coast counterparts, Minneapolis is fast becoming a national hub for the photography community.

"I love the local photography scene here in Minneapolis," says Dan Oksnevad. "It has big-city recognition, but small-town accessibility. In recent years I've been able to get plugged in with new and veteran photographers, something that was much harder to do back in Chicago. I'm glad I've settled here, and I look forward to where the industry will go in the next decade."

Dan Oksnevad Photography has been published in Minnesota Bride Magazine, Wisconsin Bridge Magazine, Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, and received both local and national awards for his work.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Registration Now Open for the 2015 Student Advertising Summit, February 27

Explore the North Woods with industry professionals, network and agency tours 

The adventure of the year is around the corner for students and young professionals interested in advertising, marketing, public relations, etc.. The Student Advertising Summit (SAS) is an annual, daylong event that gives attendees the opportunity to learn from industry experts, tour agency locations, and participate in portfolio reviews. 

The SAS event will be held on Feb. 27, 2015 from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the McNamara Alumni Center at the University of Minnesota, with an optional happy hour immediately following from 5:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.

Interested individuals can register at www.ad2sas.org. Tickets are $45 for members of AdFed and $50 for non-members. Tickets may also be purchased at the door for $50 for members and  $55 for non-members. This price includes breakfast and lunch.

“Our team has put in so much time and effort to make this event worthwhile for attendees,” said Stacia Zembal, co-director of the 2015 Student Advertising Summit. “The event has grown each year, with increased student attendees and sponsorships. We are thrilled to showcase what this will look like for the 2015 SAS.”

With over 30 corporate sponsors, SAS is a favored event for many Minneapolis-based marketing agencies and hosts professionals from around the country. Speakers from companies like Google and Wieden+Kennedy will share their experiences and insights to give attendees the tools they need to succeed in their career endeavors. With attendees ranging from college freshman to college graduates and traveling from all across the Midwest, this highly anticipated event is unlike any other.

The Student Advertising Summit is a production of the Advertising Federation of Minnesota (AdFed MN). The annual event competes at the National Club Achievement Competition through the American Advertising Federation (AAF), earning first place is 2014, second in 2013 and third in 2012. For more information, visit www.ad2sas.org.