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Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Total Recall -- TV's obsession

With the , TV nationwide has been giving this election a tremendous amount of coverage.

The Miami Herald reported yesterday that "the California recall - a combination of star vehicle, peep show and political game of chicken - has gotten unprecedented national TV coverage for a statewide election, receiving more airtime on the Big Three networks than the White House race."

Is it the celebrity power Gov. Arnold brings to the election process that is drawing the attention? Minnesotans are certainly familiar with that. Or is it the dogged fight between the democrats, republicans and the independents that is spurring emotions in all of us?

Whatever it is one thing is certain...advertisers are loving it. The New York Times reported this morning that the big candidates are raising bundles of money. The airwaves are congested with campaign commercials; some analysts predict that television advertising in the campaign's final stretch will easily top $15 million. And the Democratic and Republican party apparatuses are closing ranks around their front-runners.

Who do you think will win?

Monday, September 29, 2003

Anatomy of a News Release, Pitch and E-Mailed Release

What goes into a successful release, pitch or e-mailed pitch? Test your own copy against our checklists to make sure it includes everything it needs to include - in the right order, using the most effective approach - without including too much. You’ll walk away with formats, do’s and don’ts and rules of thumb for effective public relations writing based on the latest research. They didn't teach you this in Public Relations 101!

You'll learn:
* How to use the six-word limit to make your e-mail pitch leads less irritating to editors and reporters.
* The most common lead approach - and why you should avoid it.
* The one-foot rule for making your pitches more effective.
* How long your e-mailed release’s message line should be.
* Why two heads are better than one - and how to tap the power of communication layers in your next release.
* How to avoid editors’ pet peeves about e-mailed releases.

You Will Hear From:
Ann Wylie, president, Wylie Communications Inc. Ann has served on all sides of the PR "desk:" a PR pro in an agency, a corporate communicator for Hallmark Cards Inc., an editor of a nationally acclaimed executive magazine and a consultant in her own firm. Her popular workshops take her from Hollywood to Helsinki and from Portland to Paris, helping communicators in companies like , Reader’s Digest and The Mayo Clinic. She helps organizations like FedEx and Sprint PCS launch or improve their communication vehicles and is the author of more than a dozen learning tools that help people improve their communication skills.

Register Today!
Member: $125 Non-Member: $225

Click her for registration details:
Registrations must be in writing. Fax your completed form to , or mail to PRSA Registration, , ,

Friday, September 26, 2003

AWC presents a Fresh Perspective on Employment and Career Trends

The Association for Women in Communications (AWC) presents a fresh perspective on employment and career trends:

Casey Selix of the St. Paul Pioneer Press will be speaking about trends she has observed as a reporter covering workplace issues for the paper’s business section as well as her own experience “reinventing” herself to win a new position at the Pioneer Press. Realistic about today’s economy, Casey will share some of the unique ways people are approaching their careers to remain employed or find work

If you’re looking for work, planning your next career move or just want to stay up on how people are approaching their professional life in light of the current economy, plan to attend this event. You’ll walk away with a fresh perspective on your future options.

Date: Wednesday, Oct. 8.
Time: 8 to 10:00 a.m. Continental breakfast served.
Location: The Woman’s Club of Minneapolis, ., Minneapolis. Call for directions.
Cost: If preregistered by Oct. 3, $25 for AWC members, $30 for non-members. After Oct. 3 add $10 to registration fee.

Register today for this event by visiting

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Do-not-call list stopped...or maybe not?!?

Although the national do-not-call list got put on hold yesterday, because it was ruled illegal, the U.S. House of Representatives acted today to allow a new national registry to shield consumers from annoying telemarketing calls.

Minnesotans however don't need to lose sleep over this issue, because we are covered by the Minnesota Do-Not-Call list. Get that story here

If you want to follow breaking news on the National Do-Not-Call list .

What does this mean for public relations professionals? Who knows for sure, but the Direct Marketing Association is working hard to curb this .

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Everything is a rip off

Proving once again that originality is dead, Subway has unveiled their new ad campaign and have completely ripped off Mentos old ad campaign as The Fresh Maker.

The idea of the new ads, created by Fallon Worldwide, is that those who eat Subway can get away with anything. Sound familiar? Hmm ... well rip off or not the ads are funny and are a lot better than seeing Jared shed pounds every 30 seconds.

ADWEEK has the whole run down and description of the new Subway campaign...check it out here.



September 23, 2003


WHAT: After a hectic and often contentious political process in Minnesota last year, the 2003-2004 legislative session reconvenes soon. With an agenda focused on key issues such as budget and deficit projections, education and graduation standards and handgun laws, the 2004 legislative session will be closely watched by businesses across Minnesota.

To address Minnesota’s political issues and discuss what public relations professionals need to know about these issues, Minnesota PRSA has assembled a panel of the state’s foremost political commentators. Panelists include Kerri Miller, chief government reporter at KARE 11; Wy Spano, accomplished editor and publisher and principal of Spano & Janecek; and Sarah Janecek, political analyst and principal of Spano & Janecek.

Cost is $30 for PRSA members, $35 for nonmembers or $25 for students. To register, call or online

WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 23, 2003
Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. – noon
Lunch: noon – 12:30 p.m.
Program: 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: Science Museum of Minnesota
., St. Paul

Minnesota PRSA is among the top 10 largest chapters of the Public Relations Society of America. The chapter is comprised of 530 corporate, agency, non-profit and government public relations professionals who are among 20,000 PRSA members nationwide.

Check for more details.

Business Wire Conference Series – Media Lunch

Come meet the people behind the voices of Twin Cities business radio media at the Business Wire Conference Series – Media Lunch and learn:

• How radio newsrooms differ from television and print.
• Why radio coverage is important for your company.
• Tips to improve your chances for radio coverage.
• Who covers specific industries at each station?
• How to build strong relationships with radio reporters.
• What information is—and is not—considered “newsworthy.”
• How radio newsrooms prioritize business news.
• Do’s and don’ts of working with radio reporters.
• The most effective approaches for pitching your story.

Meet Rita Maloney of KCCO-AM and WCCO-AM, Bill Catlin of KNOW-FM and Marilyn Butler of WMNN-AM.

Here are the details:

Thursday, October 9, 2003
Registration 11:30 a.m. • Lunch and Discussion Noon – 1:30 p.m.
Minneapolis Hilton & Towers, , Minneapolis

To register contact BusinessWire directly at .

Monday, September 22, 2003


Padilla Speer Beardsley Inc. (PSB), announced today that it has promoted Vince Bossany and Kristin Heinmets. Bossany is now a senior account executive with the manufacturing and technology practice and Heinmets is now an account executive with the media relations practice.

Friday, September 19, 2003

PR Technology Poll

In the most recent issue of there is a round table discussion on whether or not PR in the tech sector is making a come back. What do you think? Vote below...

From Google Weblog 8/04/2003


Today, introduced a new advanced search feature that enables users to search not only for a particular keyword, but also for its synonyms. This is accomplished by placing a ~ character directly in front of the keyword in the search box.

For example, to search for browser help as well as browser guides and tutorials users can search for browser . The ~ character was chosen because it's shorthand for approximate and a good way for users to express their wish to expand searches to include synonyms.

Ryan's comments:

This is just another tool to for us PR pros to use when we are searching online. It is important for us to have the best tools as we strive to do our jobs better. Hope this tip helps.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Piont to pnoder

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe.

This gives me great hope that you will overlook the many spelling errors on this site.

Happy "Talk Like A Pirate Day"!

Just in time for Talk Like A Pirate Day BoingBoing.Net is reporting David Weinberger and Dan Gillmor have launched a site, , where we can reposses the vocabulary that's been hijacked by politicans and marketers.

From BoingBoing:

They're our words, dammit!
Marketers, politicians and other short-sighted, self-interested, sticky-fingered people have been stealing our words. Not only do they take them for commercial purposes, but they misuse them entirely. They're Word Pirates and we're going to take back what's rightfully ours. For instance...

For instance, the word "pirate" itself has been taken over by the Big Content companies. They mean "anyone who shares files." Real pirates murdered, raped and stole. They didn't share music, rightly or wrongly.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

RSS and Information You NEED!

As I promised before my trip to Yuma, AZ I have put together some information on that I think you need to know. Fundamentally, RSS () is not that difficult to understand or use, but when you mix in techno-speak like XML, OXF and OCS the whole thing gets too complicated for the average user to understand! So lets break it down.

Rael Dornfest a developer at the O'Reilly Network wrote a simple, yet descriptive piece on the .

Once you understand what RSS is, you can begin to see how it can be used as a public relations tool. First, it can be a great way to follow what is happening in your particular sector.

For example, if your PR client is a personal computer maker and you were to check your RSS feed now you would see that Toshiba has suffered a loss in its first half of it fiscal year. This may not be ground breaking news to you, but if it comes to you fast enough it could give you an edge.

RSS can also be a great way to get more coverage. If you were to start your own RSS feed and the topic is of interest the possibilities for syndication are almost limitless.

Stay tuned for more information.

Monday, September 15, 2003

I Think I'm Turning Japanese

I really think so ... That's right the Vapors song sums up the feelings of people at Fallon Worldwide this morning. Because Fallon has opened a Tokyo office and is expanding into Japan. The Minneapolis-based advertising agency announced the formation of Fallon Tokyo on Friday. Get the full Business Journal story here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Blair Saga Continues

Jayson Blair formerly of the New York Times has signed a deal with Los Angeles-based New Millennium Press to write a book about his "journalism" career.

As if that weren't pathetic enough the name of the book is Burning Down My Master's House: My Life and the New York Times. Get the full story from the other New York newspaper.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Shameless Self Promotion

A while back I wrote an article for the Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America on the value of blogs. That article was reprinted almost in its entirety on the .

Monday, September 08, 2003

I'm Back

I'm back from a week in the hot Yuma, AZ sun I am exhausted and I have fallen behind on all my work. Speaking of work, if your looking for a job in public relations, journalism or advertising. The University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communications Alumni Association is sponsoring "Minnesota JNet" (or "MNJnet" to those technically inclined): one Saturday morning every month when people in journalism and related fields can get together to renew acquaintances, establish new contacts and find out what's going on in town.

You don't have to be a graduate of the School of Journalism to attend. In fact, you don't even have to be out of work; this isn't a support group. It's a chance for people to get together, free of charge, and ... network.

Please mark your calendar for Saturday, September 13th, at 9:00 AM, and plan to attend. We'll even furnish the morning treats ... this first time around. And remember: The person you help today may be in a position to return the favor ... someday.


What You Know, Plus Who We Know

Saturday, September 13, 2003 at 9:00 AM
Kenwood Recreational Center

For more information, please contact George Burr (tel.: /e-mail: ) or Len Mitsch (tel.: /e-mail: ).

Hope to see you there!
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