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Wednesday, November 26, 2003

The Nations Number One Turkey Producer

Well Thanksgiving is here and I hope you have as much to be thankful for as I do. In celebration of thanksgiving lets take a look at some of the top local thanksgiving stories.

From egg to Thanksgiving dinner -- the life of a turkey

Quirky Turkey and Gravy Soda Selling Well

THANKSGIVING: Churches get together for holiday

Once again Minnesota is the nations number one turkey producer.

Organizations offer free meals, seek volunteers

Turkey test kitchens opening in Willmar

Farmers give 15,000 pounds of turkey to help the hungry

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Minnesota Sports Takes a Turn for the Competitive

The Star Tribune is running a three part series on the increasing competition among high school athletes and the effect it is taking on schools, parents and most importantly students. According to the articles Minnesota sports is becoming a business.

I think Richard Weinberg, University of Minnesota professor in developmental psychology, sums it up best at the end of the article:

Weinberg says the ardent critics of youth sports must not forget studies that show obesity and lack of exercise to be two of the biggest problems facing American youth. He calls the data "scary" that shows elementary children spend more time in front of TV's and computers than playing games.

"It's all interrelated and complex," Weinberg said. "I think we want to keep the wonderful joy of a Friday evening game that brings a community together. But are we turning that into a business that fills the coffers of people who run the camps and clinics? Are we selling false premises to kids? That scares me."

Get the full article here.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Soymilk is huge cash cow!

Soymilk is the latest money maker for General Mills, according to the Twin Cities Business Journal. In just two years, Yoplait: 8th Continent soymilk has become the fastest-growing business for the $10.5 billion food giant.

Get the full Business Journal story here.


MINNEAPOLIS, November 24, 2003 - Padilla Speer Beardsley Inc. (PSB) announced today that Joe Curry and Aaron Miller have joined the firm as assistant account executives in the manufacturing and technology practice. Both will work on existing accounts such as Rockwell Automation and BASF, supporting trade media relations and a variety of writing projects.

Previously, Curry had been serving PSB as an intern. From May 2003, he worked with a variety of account teams on case studies, news releases, trade show activities, publicity and promotions. Curry graduated from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, in May 2003 with a bachelor's degree in marketing and a minor in Spanish.

Miller came to PSB after completing an internship at Dome Communications in Chicago as a member of their creative and account teams. He also held positions at The Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau and The Lansing State Journal. Miller graduated in May 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in social relations from Michigan State University.

The PSB's web site is

Friday, November 21, 2003

"Take Out" - Trends and Tools to Take With You.

The Minnesota chapter of Association for Women in Communications presents a series of luncheon programs to provide insights into demographic trends, creative
thinking and strategic planning.

Thursday, January 15, 2004.
Research ToGo.

Who's out there and what do all those numbers mean?

Knowing your audience is key to a communications professional. Our speaker is Bill Goergen from ACNielsen, a leader in market research and marketing consulting. Come for insights on demographic trends, consumer attitudes and behaviors.

Thursday, February 19, 2004.
Creative Tactics To Carry Out.

Take a walk after lunch to get your creative juices flowing.

Rotate to different stations and hear from professionals about what's new in their area. Explore trends and innovations in the areas of print, video and web. Dick Bolger, from Bolger Concept to Print, will speak on what's new in print and design. Ideas on how to use video, including video streaming, will be presented by Catherine Miller from Target's Corporate Media Center and Jon Barthalomew from Visual Storytellers, Inc. Suzanne McGann, Co-Owner and President of Voyageur Information Technology Inc., will share her knowledge and insights on resourceful ways to use the web. Just imagine the possibilities of using these creative tactics for your next PR campaign, marketing project or internal communications plan.

Dessert and a question and answer period will wrap up this program.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004.
Strategic Planning To Take-In.

How do you use those tools and trends?

It's time to bring the take-out to the table. Speakers are Tammy Gifft and Jennifer Kompelien from Open Dynamics, a consulting company that helps organizations maximize bottom line results through improved team communication and strategic
innovation. They'll draw from their experience in coaching, promotions, partnerships and corporate team building as they share thoughts on how to impact plans, influence teams and keep your project moving.

To get more information or to register visit

Thursday, November 20, 2003

KARE names Vascellaro to replace Magers

Usually I try to avoid making editorial comments on this site, however, today I have some built up angst that needs a target. Lucky for me I have one. and their selection of Frank Vascellaro as a replacement for Paul Magers.

Vascellaro is possibly one of the top ten most boring anchors in the history of television! Why not or ? I have had enough!

Well my suggestion Minnesota is simple...just change the channel. Here I come 4, 5, 9, or 29.

The Star Tribune currently has a poll on this subject check it out.

An award for everything

Proving once again that we (as PR people) will do anything in the name of self-promotion, PR NEWS announced earlier this month the roll out of the 2003 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Awards.

CSR, in its second year, is PR News' response to the new business climate of increased corporate scrutiny and accountability. In other words, we are now congratulating companies that don't rip us off??

At any rate, here are the award catagories: Business Ethics Communications, Community Affairs, CSR Report, Diversity Communications, Employee Relations, Environmental Communications, Financial Communications, Labor Relations Communications, Most Outstanding Association Partner and Most Outstanding Nonprofit Partner.

If you are interested in finding out more visit

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Why Journalism needs PR

That is the question the Media Guardian answered in its article today. The article says that despite what some journalist say about the public relations profession the simple fact is that 75% of entertainment stories and 50 - 80% of news and business stories emanate from public relations, so journalist have come to depend on us and hate us for it.

If you do any media relations, you have got to read this story.

Another PR Blog

Greg Brooks has started a relatively new blog that covers public relations. Greg is a former journalist and offers some outstanding tips on why your last press release didn't receive the attention you were hoping for...check it out.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Insurance merger creates giant

The biggest news in Minnesota business today is the merger of The St. Paul Companies Inc. with Travelers Property Casualty Corp.

The merger agreement will create the second largest commercial insurer in the country, to be known as The St. Paul Travelers Cos.

Will this mean more jobs or job losses? According to this article from Minnesota Public Radio job losses are possible, particularly in general commercial insurance, but over all the outlook is good.

To read The St. Paul Companies press release click here.
For the Business Journal's take on this merger click here.
To get the Star Tribune's article click here.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Minnesota's #1 least when it comes to health...both Netscape and MSN reported on the state of your State's health today after the American Public Health Association's announced its annual annual American's Health: State Health Rankings.

The good news for me (and other Vikings fans) is that Minnesota and New Hampshire rank number one overall, while Mississippi and Lousiana round out the bottom of the list. Get the whole list here.

Seahawks look to Minnesota for Adevertising

To most Minnesota sports fans the Seattle Seahawks are far from the top when it comes to favorite teams, but for at least one Minnesotan the Seahawks have recently become a high interest item.

John Olson of Olson + Co. just landed his fourth professional sports team account -- the Seattle Seahawks. Olson also does marketing for the Minnesota Wild, Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers.

For a more detailed look into Olson + Co. and their growing firm check out this article from the Business Journal.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Spam Clogging Blogs

The Star Tribune published an article from the Associated Press today about the amount of Spam clogging Blogs.

Just the other day I received over 50 junk e-mails in just an hour and yesterday I was talking to someone who told me he received a junk fax through his cell phone. So here is the question...Is this legitimate marketing or a sleazy attempt to trick people into buying something they don't really need? For a deeper look into this debate get the full AP story here.

Minnesota PRSA and NIRI luncheon meeting

Don't miss your chance to hear the views of business reporters with the three major wire news services on the role of corporate communications to their respective roles. A panel of business and financial news wire reporters including Richard Gibson, Dow Jones Newswires, Doug Glass, The Associated Press, and David Liedtka, Bloomberg, will share their experiences on life on the wire side of media during the joint monthly meeting luncheon of the Minnesota chapters of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI). In addition to discussing life on the wire side, the panelists will provide tips on working with the financial news wires and how to effectively leverage these outlets for corporate communications.

WHEN: Thursday, November 20, 2003
11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Registration begins at 11:30 a.m.
Lunch and Presentation 11:45 - 1:00 p.m.

WHERE: Le Meridien, 601 First Ave. N., Minneapolis, Minnesota

To Register:
E-mail or online at


Japan is still on my brain and probably will be until I can kick my jet lag, but in any case I stumbled across an interesting article on chopsticks that will make heads spin in Asia. It turns out using chopsticks can cause arthritis. At least that is the story coming from the Boston University School of Medicine. The Los Angeles Times reported in this story that longterm use of chopsticks can contribute to arthritis in the fingers, especially in women.

I think it is not so interesting that chopsticks cause arthritis, but more astounding that a major university spent time figuring this out! What will they research next?

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Japan, Photo Cameras, Privacy Issues and Public Relations

As I mentioned in my last post on Nov. 4, I have been in Japan on travel. It was quite a trip, which included a stop at my old college.

Part of the fun of being in Japan as an 6’3” American is that you stand out as a novelity, This never really bothered me in the past, in fact it like being a minor celebrity, but on this trip something had changed. Bear with me as I try to explain.

Today everyone in Japan has camera phones, so they are constantly taking pictures, making movies and e-mailing them to there friends. In concept this is a great idea, but I found numerous times where people would take pictures of me on the train. At first I was flattered, but after awhile I started to feel my privacy was being invaded.

I know I am not alone. In fact the day before I left for Japan the Badger Herald published an article talking about Camera phones raise privacy issues worldwide .

What does all of this mean to a public relations professional. Well it raises a number of concerns. First it brings new meaing to "everyone's a journalist" expecially in crisis situations where anyone with a camera phone can take pictures.

Secondly, companies are facing numerous security issues in protecting trade secrets of confidential information. Consider this article from the Business Journal.

I am not one for conspiracy theories or dooms day predictions, but you have to admit the increasing pressence of camera phones does present a vivid resemblence to .

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Blogging from Japan

Well it has been a little while since my last post. I am in Japan and have had very little access to a computer. I will be back next week and plan to continue with regular updates. In the mean time, here is an article to ponder on RSS and why you should care.
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