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Friday, December 31, 2004

Ergotron Selects Maccabee Group

Ergotron, Inc., the Saint Paul-based global manufacturer of ergonomic computer and video hardware management solutions for the healthcare, office and home entertainment markets, has chosen Minneapolis public relations agency Maccabee Group to perform publicity for its new product introductions across Ergotron’s industry trade and consumer markets.

Ergotron has five subsidiaries in Europe, 2004 revenues exceeding $65 million, 250 employees worldwide and representation for its products in 65 countries worldwide.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

IABC Event for 2005

If you are at work this week you may be bored and looking for something to do. Maybe you should take some time and layout your resolutions for next year. Here is an idea -- In 2005 I am going to brush up on my business writing skills.

If this sounds like a good resolution idea I have the perfect event for you.

Thursday, January 13, 2005 IABC is hosting a program titled Crafting the Message – Building Effective Writing Skills for Business. Here is a description of what the event will cover:

Reaching the target audience is never easy, but remains a critical aspect of communications success. Effective writing plays a significant role in achieving this business-critical task. To be successful, communicators must understand how to write clearly and concisely, and engage the reader.

This month, IABC presents a writing skills seminar hosted by Stephen Wilbers, a writing consultant, author and syndicated columnist. The seminar will offer participants an opportunity to learn how to write more clearly, engage their audiences and integrate key strategies into their communications. During the seminar, Stephen will offer tips for improving writing skills and effectively communicating through writing. Attendees also will be able to participate in a series of writing exercises that can immediately be applied to both personal and professional writing.

Location: University of St. Thomas

Click here to obtain driving directions, maps and parking locations.

Cost: Pre-Registered: $80 members; $60 students; guests: $125;
After 1/11/05: $100 members, $70 students; guests: $145.

Here is the promotional code -- WS05 -- for MNPR readers who sign up through IABC's site. You will get the member rate.

Register By: Monday, Jan. 11, 2005, to receive the discounted rate.

To Register: Watch the programs and events page at for online registration or call the IABC office at .

Contact: For registration questions, contact the IABC office at . For questions regarding this meeting, contact Samantha Hetzel at .

Thursday, December 23, 2004

End-of-year Report

As I head into the holiday season, I suspect that my time will be limited for blogging here so I wanted to wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas (or Happy Holidays) and a Happy New Year!

This has been a ground-breaking year for this blog. Readership is nearly five times what it was last year and I now have a loyal readership of around 40 people every day. While many of my co-workers and friends still consider blogging to be a bit nerdy, I think many have come to except the reality that blogging has .

So what next? Well, in the blogging world next year I predict Podcasting will explode in popularity as iPod prices drop and more people jump on the bandwagon of .

Also, I think video and photos will take on new popularity as they are integrated into RSS feeds more readily.

Of course, if you want to know the latest, continue to visit Minnesota Public Relations Blog.

Thanks for your support and don't forget to click on the Google links to the right. It's the only way this site makes any money. Have a happy holiday season.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

New Approach to Marketing via the Web

A New York Times article published today highlights something that bloggers have known for a long time -- Web sites can be more than just traditional company information, they can be highly-valuable, unique marketing tools.

Using sites like, Burger King's Subservient Chicken as an example the Times lays out how companies are choosing to use specialty Web sites to shatter the bonderies set by more conventional corporate sites.

Some other sites listed in this article include:
Alaska Airlines -
Best Buy -
Microsoft/Intel - Digital Joy

Get the full story here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Twin Cities Business Monthly's Annual Survey on Business Issues

Minnesota PRSA and Twin Cities Business Monthly present:
What Business ThinksTM
January 11, 2005
Join , Minnesota PRSA, and MDA Leadership Consulting for a breakfast and briefing on the results of the 2005 What Business Thinks™ survey regarding corporate reputation. The presentation will answer such questions as, “Which are the most highly reputable Minnesota businesses?” and “Can actively managing the corporate reputation as an asset give your business an edge?”

Meeting Specifics

Tuesday, January 11, 2005
7:30 - 8:00 a. m. continental breakfast
8:00 - 9:00 a. m. briefing

3M Auditorium, Carlson School of Management
, Minneapolis

For reservations contact Twin Cities Business Monthly at or
Admission is free but reservations are required

Monday, December 20, 2004

Minnesota Blog Top Dog

Time Magazine has named Minnesota's own Power Line Blog 2004 Blog of the Year.

Get the full story from the Star Tribune.

Friday, December 17, 2004

New Hires at Weber Shandwick

The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced new appointments in the consumer marketing, financial services and IR/Technology groups.

Andres Ybarra joins the IR/Technology group as a senior account executive and is primarily working on the Honeywell account. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Ybarra was a sports writer and desk editor for the Minneapolis bureau of The Associated Press, where he wrote national and local feature stories. Before that, he served as a public relations assistant for the El Paso Electric Co. in Las Cruces, N.M., and as a reporter for Santa Fe's daily newspaper, The Santa Fe New Mexican. An El Paso, Texas native, Ybarra received his bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from New Mexico State University in 2001.

Andrea Faiad joins the financial services group as a senior account executive and is working on the Federal Reserve Bank account. Before joining Weber Shandwick, Faiad worked for six years at the Rochester Post-Bulletin as a senior features reporter and spent one year at Words at Work, a Minneapolis business-to-business marketing firm. She also worked for 18 months as editor-in-chief of the Kiev Post, an English-language daily newspaper in Ukraine. Faiad received her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota.

Kris Olesen joins the consumer marketing group as an account executive and will support the Ferrero and Polaris accounts. A Minnesota native, Olesen previously worked in New York City for Gibbs & Soell Public Relations and Rubenstein Public Relations. Olesen earned her bachelor's degree in Sociology from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass.

Cell Phones in the Air

Having spent most of the last week in an air plane flying around the country, I have come to have a new appreciation for both sides of the cell phones on planes debate.

Before this week I was vehemently anti-cell phone use on planes, but as I was flying from Tampa back to Minneapolis on my way to Oklahoma, I found myself wanting to check my voicemail.

On the other hand, it was nice to be able to say, "Sorry, I didn't get back to you sooner, but I was in transit." I think this quote from today's USA Today sums it up best, "There are so few places these days where we can escape cell phones, pagers, BlackBerrys and CNN. Please let my airline flight be the last comfortable, quiet cocoon that is left to me where I can get lost in my own thoughts."

Get the results of the USA Today cell phone poll here.

Fleishman-Hillard Launches FH Out Front

Fleishman-Hillard Inc. announced the launch of , a new team designed to reach the gay and lesbian community, one of the largest untapped audiences in the communications marketplace. “This practice is another example of Fleishman-Hillard’s commitment to continually offering our clients comprehensive communications services that reach a variety of audiences,” said John D. Graham, the firm’s chairman and chief executive officer. “FH Out Front represents a structured, strategic approach to communicating with a large group that has unique needs and interests as well as tremendous purchasing power.”

“Research estimates the buying power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) community—which is estimated to be as much as 10 percent of the U.S. population—at $450 billion annually. New developments in the marketplace—including the launch of the first gay cable channel, Logo, next year and the continued growth of advertising directly to gays and lesbians—as well as work we are currently engaged in for several major consumer brands encouraged Fleishman-Hillard to launch the new practice,” Graham said.

With nearly 100 Minnesota-based corporations extending domestic partner benefits to all employees, the Twin Cities has become one of the most rapidly growing metro areas in the country. According to Lavender Magazine, Minneapolis ranks in the top 10 U.S. LGBT populated cities.

FH Out Front is intended to be the most comprehensive gay and lesbian public relations/marketing practice at a major public relations firm in the United States, and currently includes more than a dozen communications experts in seven major U.S. markets: Washington, D.C., San Diego, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Kansas City, and San Francisco. This growing capability draws on professionals from a variety of Fleishman-Hillard practice groups, including marketing communications, healthcare, corporate reputation, public affairs, and litigation support.

“FH Out Front is a simple, instantly recognizable name that describes who we are, how we operate, and why we know the community,” said Ben Finzel, co-chair of the FH Out Front practice. “We are members of the community, which allows us to offer our clients expertise, reach, depth, and insight into the unique needs and interests of gays and lesbians.”

Finzel, a senior vice president in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office, chairs the practice along with Phillip Sontag, a vice president in the San Diego office. FH Out Front adds to the agency’s multicultural focus, which helped drive the introduction last year of FH Hispania, a national team with bilingual/bicultural professionals strategically located in each of the major U.S. Hispanic population centers, including California, Texas, New York, and Florida.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Bad news story turned good story!

On Tuesday, December 7, ran after the station found that fish being advertised as walleye on the menus of several Twin Cities restaurants wasn't walleye, but a related species from Eastern Europe called zander.

One of the restaurants in the expose was Majors Sports Cafe, who responded to the story by hosting a "Goodbye to Zander" event at their restaurants Friday night. Store managers apologized for the confusion and gave free walleye to customers.

Story Development:

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press: Gander shows that walleye is zander.

From the Star Tribune: This big fish story was on the menu.

From KARE 11: , Get the .

MPR's "Sound Money" Loses Producer

The Twin Cities Business Journal reported yesterday that Minnesota Public Radio's Sound Money lost producer Kathryn Scott to a Los Angeles radio station.

Scott will move to Los Angeles in January to become senior producer of 's newest national program, Weekend America.

Get the full Business Journal story here.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Inoculate Yourself Against Bad PR

Are you protecting yourself, your company, your client from bad PR? Do you even know what bad PR is? Well, maybe its time you find out...check out this article from Robert A. Kelly of

Wednesday, December 08, 2004


As a PR professional and member of Toastmasters, I strive to articulate messages clearly, so when I caught myself saying "Dude" in a business meeting the other day it was a real wakeup call.

But now I can rest easy, because a linguist from the University of Pittsburgh has determined "dude" is much more than a catchall for lazy, inarticulate surfers, skaters, slackers and teenagers.

From AP news:
An admitted dude-user during his college years, Scott Kiesling said the four-letter word has many uses: in greetings ("What's up, dude?"); as an exclamation ("Whoa, Dude!"); commiseration ("Dude, I'm so sorry."); to one-up someone ("That's so lame, dude."); as well as agreement, surprise and disgust ("Dude.").

Kiesling says in the fall edition of American Speech that the word derives its power from something he calls cool solidarity — an effortless kinship that's not too intimate.

A Wireless World Leads to What?

There is an interesting article in today's Star Tribune that highlights some of the questions facing the "Wireless youth" of today -- like, is our wireless culture leading to anti-social behavior?

In a recent discussion with a friend, he told me he gave up his cell phone, that allowed him not only to talk and text-message but to e-mail people, because he found he was always checking his messages and not paying attention to his those around him. In other words, he was ignoring his "live" friends in favor of e-mailing his "virtual" friends.

From the Strib:
While their time spent in front of the computer and online has grown, teens are spending less time on other social activities. In a 2004 survey of people aged 13 to 18, White said the number of teens going to the mall and out on dates dropped by 5 percent, compared with 1997. Those going to dances decreased by 10 percent.

Chris Saribay, 17, of Hawaii, quit the regular school scene altogether for an all-online public high school, where he watches video lectures and frequently instant messages or e-mails his teachers. But the junior is anything but lonely -- he has friends all over the world and has maxed out the allowed instant messaging buddy list of 200.

He became close friends with Clark Mueller, 18, of Columbia, Mo., after Mueller solicited Saribay, a.k.a. hawaiiansuperman, in an online community forum for Macintosh enthusiasts, for some Hawaii sightseeing tips a few years ago.

The strangers-turned-pals haven't met in person. But they have watched each other eating while talking online, using a popular video conferencing program that piggybacks on AOL Instant Messenger.

Get the full Star Tribune story here.

Are you addicted to e-mail and virtual communication? Vote here.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Mitsubishi parts with Interpublic

Mitsubishi North America has parted with Interpublic Group of Cos.’ Deutsch Los Angeles, its agency of four years, according to the company. Get the AdAge story here.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Twins Change TV stations

The Twin Cities Business Journal reported today, the Minnesota Twins have switched television broadcast partners.

From the Business Journal:
Next season Eden Prairie-based WFTC-TV Channel 29, a UPN affiliate, will air the games, instead of KSTC-TV Channel 45.

Next season, Channel 29 will air 28 games in 2005, including two spring training contests, the home opener and telecasts on Saturdays and Sundays.

Fox Sports Network North will continue to simulcast games for viewers outside of the Twin Cities market that don't get Channel 29.

WFTC is part of a Minneapolis duopoly with KMSP-TV Channel 9, a Fox affiliate. As a Fox owned-and-operated station, KMSP-TV has rights to Major League Baseball, which has included regular season Twins games on Saturday afternoon and postseason Twins games.

Channel 45 is owned by St. Paul-based .

Thursday, December 02, 2004

New PR JobMart

has launch a new with free listings of available jobs in PR and communications.

Here is a sample of the jobs listed:

Classic Residence by Hyatt
Chicago, IL

Classic Residence by Hyatt, a national leader in luxury senior living, has an outstanding opportunity for an energetic communications professional to develop and implement strategic public relations plans and corporate communications programs. In addition to managing the internal and external day-to-day operations of the PR function, this successful individual will identify PR opportunities to generate sales leads for our 19 luxury senior living communities. In addition, you will manage all communication vehicles (e.g.,corporate newsletters, press releases, communications aspects of company Intranet ).

Requires a minimum of 6 years of PR experience (agency preferred) at the account supervisor level. Excellent communications skills and the ability to partner with business departments across the organization is a must. Knowledge of Intranet design is a plus. Bachelor’s degree required.
If you possess these qualifications and are ready to merge your talents with our Company’s brand and product, please send your resume and salary history to

To learn more about senior living at Classic Residence by Hyatt, visit

Classic Residence by Hyatt is an equal opportunity employer.

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Work for Fallon

Fallon Worldwide posted a position on today.

From Monster:
Department: Corporate Communications

Experience: 3-5 years of advertising or public relations agency experience, Bachelor’s degree in public relations, advertising, or journalism.

Qualifications: Excellent writing ability, ability to deal with an ever-changing workload,

Scope of responsibilities:

• Media relations, proactive and reactive: including direct and support responsibilities for entire agency network (MSP, NY, and Int’l). Tasks include developing and writing press releases, making pitches, preparing supporting materials (reels, print materials)., and media list development and maintenance (60 %)

• Clearinghouse for press clip/tracking, as well as public relations archives (10%)

• Facilitating all agency biographies and photographs (5%)

• Supporting public relations updates and changes to corporate communications vehicles, including:,, and Fallon Fact book (5%)

• Support/development of an agency speaker’s bureau. Seeking (10%)

• Counterpoint for creative submissions, including to, Print, Archive, Communications Arts, etc. (5%)

• Facilitating submissions for publications ( Agency of the Year, Campaign of the Year, etc.), as well as all agency directory listings for AAAAs, Gunn Report, etc. (5%)
Get the full posting here.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Brokaw Signs Off


Long time NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw sign off tonight handing the desk and chair to Brian Williams after tonight's 5:30 p.m. network newscast.

In addition to “Nightly News,” Brokaw anchored The Brokaw Report (1992-93), a series of prime-time specials that examined critical issues facing our nation. He also co-anchored the prime-time news magazine Now with Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric (1993-94). In addition, Brokaw has played an active role in many other prime-time NBC news specials and in-depth reports. In June 1997, he anchored the “Dateline NBC” documentary special, Tom Brokaw Reports: Why Can’t We Live Together, which examined the hidden realities of racial separation in America’s suburbs. Brokaw earned an Alfred I. duPont- Columbia University Award for excellence in broadcast journalism for this special report.

Read Tom's Bio here.

View MSNBC's "Tom Brokaw Eyewitness to History" here.

Deficit Projected

According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press Minnesota faces a projected $700 million deficit for the two-year budget period that begins July 1.

The deficit prediction annouced today, does not include any general provision for inflation in spending items, and is worse than the approximate $400 million revenue shortfall predicted at the end of last spring's legislative session.

Get the St. Paul Pioneer Press article here.

Read the Star Tribune's take

Other sources:
State budget deficit climbs to $700 million -- Grand Forks Herald
State budget deficit climbs to $700 million -- InForum

Hear audio from Gov. Tim Pawlenty here.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Classsics Deadline Rapidly Approaching


If you haven't begun filling out your Minnesota PRSA Classics Award forms yet you may want to get started, because the deadline for receipt of entries is 5:00 p.m., Thursday, December 2, 2004. There are no deadline extensions. Each entry must be submitted according to the "How to Prepare Your PRSA Classics Entry" instructions below or it will be disqualified with no refund.

Get more details on the Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards here.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Maccabee Group Adds Five New Clients

American Medical Systems, Landmark Creations, ipHouse, Viva Italia restaurant, and Young Entrepreneurs’ Organization-Minneapolis/St. Paul have chosen Maccabee Group for public relations services. The new clients include:

  • Landmark Creations International, the Burnsville, Minnesota-based manufacturer of high-quality custom inflatables for clients ranging from General Mills to Ford Motors, will use Maccabee Group for nationwide publicity and communications.

  • American Medical Systems, the Minnetonka-based medical device company whose products were used to treat pelvic disorders affecting 120,000 male and female patients spanning 54 countries last year, chose Maccabee Group to handle a variety of media relations and corporate communications projects.

  • ipHouse, the Minneapolis-based Internet Service Provider which offers high-speed connectivity and Web hosting to Twin Cities residential and business customers, has selected Maccabee Group for media relations, sales promotion and event marketing.

  • Young Entrepreneurs Organization-Minneapolis/St. Paul, a Twin Cities-based association of leaders of “fast growth” companies that offers peer-to-peer networks, interactive Forums, and a community of business owners, has chosen Maccabee Group Inc. perform regional media relations on a pro bono basis.

  • Viva Italia, a new mid-priced Italian restaurant created by Two Guys From Italy entrepreneur Danny Sarno, chose Maccabee Group to handle publicity for its January 2005 Grand Opening in Eagan, Minnesota.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Fast Horse Inc. is seeking a Client Relationship Manager

Fast Horse Inc. is looking for a Client Relationship Manager (CRM) with approximately 2-5 years agency experience, preferably in consumer brands.

The CRM will be responsible for driving programs and assisting with day-to-day account execution.

The CRM also manages appropriate client engagements; contributes to and leads appropriate strategic discussions and applies critical judgment on all daily work; conducts consumer and industry research, and is responsible for timely invoicing and other basic account and agency management tasks.

Fast Horse Inc. was ranked among the fastest-growing consumer marketing public relations firms by PRWEEK, and has been named one of the Best Places to Work by The Holmes Report.

For immediate consideration please send a resume and writing sample to or fax to .

Local Minnesota PR Firm Fights 'The Man'

Since the late 90s, when Microsoft crushed Netscape, the IT world has been waiting for someone to step up to the plate and take on Microsoft--Mozilla Firefox 1.0 browser has answered the call. And while Firefox holds but a fraction of the browser market it underdog status appeals to many.

According to, Minnesota's own Haberman & Associates "recently joined a grassroots effort aimed at making the upstart Firefox browser a plausible alternative to Microsoft's market-dominant but problem-plagued Internet Explorer."

Rob Davis of Haberman & Associates, cooked up one of the Firefox campaign's most prominent publicity stunts to date: a full-page New York Times advertisement, due to appear soon, which incorporates the names of 10,000 Firefox users who helped pay for the ad with US$10 or $30 contributions totaling about $250,000.

The ad has become a cause celebre sight unseen. It's part pat-on-the-back souvenir for Firefox fans, part anti-Microsoft clarion call and part reality check for average PC users who think Internet Explorer is the only Windows browser worth considering.

Davis originally intended to run only 2,500 names but had to hurriedly redesign the ad when contributions poured in from all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and more than 80 other countries. Wisconsin and Minnesota are ranked 9th and 10th in number of donors.

Get the rest of the story here.

Download Firefox here.

Join the campaign to spread FireFox here.

4 1/2 month search for the perfect candidate

In an article that ran in yesterday's St. Paul Pioneer Press, Paul Maccabee president of the Maccabee Group, tells the story of his search for the perfect employee.

Maccabee is seeking a public relations account executive "who is a linear thinker as well as a creative one."

"We need someone whose judgment on the linear side is as good as their wild theatrical creativity," said Maccabee.

Maccabee Group is a six-employee firm specializing in public relations, marketing and sales promotion.

Anyone interested should e-mail office manager Deanna Boss at or fax a resume and writing sample to .

Get the full Pioneer Press article here.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Blogging as a PR Tool

Last month, the Public Relations Society of America published several quality articles on blogging, in their two publications and .

gives some ideas on how to start a blog.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Will Sears/Kmart Merger Hurt Target?

When most Minnesotans heard about the merger of Kmart and Sears they probably didn't give it a second thought, because most good Minnesotans shop at Target. But as today's Star Tribune points out, Kmart and Sears are "two of the most familiar names in retailing...and are drawing a bull's-eye directly on the back of their Minneapolis-based rival Target."

For Kmart and Sears it is make or break according to the Detroit Free Press. From the Detroit Press:

Kmart sales have fallen every quarter since it emerged from bankruptcy in May 2003. On Wednesday the Troy-based retailer reported it made money but also had a 12.8-percent drop in same-store sales for the three months ended Oct. 27, indicating that its discount stores are still losing customers.

Sears Roebuck and Co. has had an equally tough time with rapidly growing competitors such as Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Target and Lowe's. The majority of its 870 stores are in America's malls, where foot traffic has been falling for the past 10 years. In October, Sears reported a 15-percent drop in sales and a $61-million loss for July through September.

The Press quotes Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates, a national retail consulting and investment banking firm in New York as saying. "Competitors don't believe, from a retail point of view, that this is going to work. I think it is more of the same ... more cost cuts, more sales of real estate, more sales of divisions."

Looks like Target needs to keep the heat turned up, but no need to worry just yet.

Get the Star Tribune's take here.'s going upscale

Sears got its start in Minnesota.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Minnesota Unemployement Down

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Matt Kramer announced today that Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October was 4.3 percent, down from last month’s rate of 4.6 percent and well under the national rate of 5.5 percent.

Seasonally adjusted monthly employment increased by a healthy 7,700 jobs. The major gainers over the month included manufacturing (up 2,700); Education and Health Services (up 3,600); and Government (up 2,000).

“These job gains are good news for Minnesota as they provide more evidence of improvements in the unemployment situation and continued healthy employment growth,” said Commissioner Kramer.

Get the Star Tribune story here.

Find a job in PR here.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Crispin Porter resigns from IKEA

Crispin Porter & Bogusky said it has resigned the advertising account for Swedish furniture-maker Ikea account, ending a nearly three-year relationship. Get the details from

Monday, November 15, 2004

National Sales Tax vs. IRS

Minnesota Republican Rep. Gil Gutknecht is a leader among those pushing for tax reform in Washington. With the support of a few colleagues, Gutknecht is pushing for a national sales tax vs. the traditional income tax.

On his web site Gutknecht says, "our tax code is too big, too onerous and too complicated. The time has come for us to scrap the IRS and replace it with a simpler, fairer tax code which will stimulate the economy, create jobs and give families ownership over their own pocketbook."

The Washington Post cited an internal Treasury Department study that "warned that any fundamental simplification of the nation's tax system would 'produce windfall winners and losers,' would likely lower taxes for the rich, and could have devastating political consequences for its champions."

Get the full story on Gutknecht's proposal here.

What do you think?

Friday, November 12, 2004

PRSA November Monthly Meeting

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Financial Media Panel: Opportunities and Expectations in 2005

Presented by Minnesota PRSA, the Twin Cities chapter of the National Investor Relations Institute, and Business Wire

Panel Presentation
Doug Glass, Associated Press
Robert Simison, Bloomberg
Jennifer Waters, CBS Marketwatch
Nancy Barnes, Star Tribune

The way financial and business news is handled continues to change, from what information is required to be released by businesses to whom corporations choose to be spokespeople. How is this affecting the reporting of business news? What can we expect in 2005?

Join us for a unique opportunity to hear the insights of seasoned business journalists on their priorities for news coverage in the next year.

Topics to be addressed include:

  • The trends they are seeing in business reporting.
  • How the election, the economy and other factors are affecting the media's ability to do its job, and how communications practitioners interact with the media.
  • The stories they will be working on in the coming year.
  • How PR and IR professionals can best work with the media.

    Doug Glass, News Editor
    Associated Press

    Glass is news editor for the Associated Press in Minnesota, a position he has held for six years. Before that, he was a business writer and supervisor in the Kansas City bureau of AP for five years. He began his career at a small newspaper in southern Illinois before joining AP in Chicago in 1992.

    Robert Simison, Health team leader

    Simison is the editor in charge of Bloomberg's U.S. health industry coverage and is based in Washington, D.C. He joined Bloomberg two years ago after a 27-year career as reporter, editor and bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal with assignments in Dallas, Detroit and Brussels.

    Jennifer Waters, Bureau Chief
    CBS Marketwatch

    A 15-year business news veteran, Waters focuses mainly on the airline industry. She has previously reported on a number of industries, including retail, technology, food, consumer products and entertainment. She is the co-host of a syndicated business talk-radio show.

    Nancy Barnes, Business Editor
    Minneapolis Star Tribune

    Barnes came to the Star Tribune from The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., where she helped lead staff to numerous first-, second- and third-place statewide journalism awards. She's also held editor and reporter positions at newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Massachusetts.

    Thursday, Nov. 18, 2004
    Registration and Networking: 11:30 a.m. - noon
    Lunch: noon - 12:30 p.m.
    Program: 12:30 - 1:30 a.m.

    Metropolitan Ballroom

    Cost: Pre-Registered: $30 members, $45 guests, $15 students; Walk-ins (after November 15): $40 members; $55 guests; $25 students
    Register By: Monday, November 15, to receive the discounted rate.

    or call the Minnesota PRSA office at .

    Sponsors: Precision IR and SNL Financial

Thursday, November 11, 2004

IDS Center Sold

The 51-story IDS Center is under new ownership according to today's Star Tribune.

The Minneapolis landmark was purchased by a Chicago-based real estate agency The John Buck Co. for $220 million.

Get the full story here.

Find historic photos of Minneapolis and here.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004


Publicis Groupe's Fallon Worldwide has named Paul Silburn, the deputy creative director of Omnicom Group's TBWA, London, as the Minneapolis agency's new creative leader for North America. See for the full story.

Weber Shandwick announces: Two promotions / Two new hires

The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced the promotion of two employees in the agency's financial services practice group. Richard Goldsmith was promoted from account executive to senior account executive and Anne Kerber from assistant account executive to account executive.

Goldsmith, who joined the agency in 2002, works on the Case Western Reserve University and Federal Reserve Bank account teams. Kerber has been with the agency since 2003 and works on the Internal Revenue Service, Case Western Reserve University and Deluxe Corp. accounts.

The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick announced the hire of two new employees in the agency's financial services group. Rebecca Czaplewski joined the group as an account executive, and former intern Cate Dobyns was hired as an assistant account executive.

Czaplewski, a native of Eau Claire, Wis., will work on the Federal Reserve Bank and MasterCard account teams. Before joining Weber Shandwick, Czaplewski was a broadcast journalist for WEAU-TV, the NBC affiliate in Eau Claire, Wisc. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota's School of Journalism and Mass Communication, with an emphasis in broadcast journalism.

Dobyns, a native of Arden Hills, Minn., currently works on the Internal Revenue Service, Case Western Reserve University and Deluxe Corp. accounts. Prior to her internship at the agency, she was a marketing communications intern at American Girl, Inc., and Madison Magazine. Dobyns graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison's School of Journalism and Mass Communication with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Minnesota is #1 in Health Ranking

United Health Foundation released their 15th annual America's Health: State Health Rankings and Minnesota topped the chart.

Minnesota has ranked number one in the ranking nine of the last fifteen years and has never been out of the top two.

America’s Health: State Health Rankings utilizes 18 measures that include prevalence of smoking, high school graduation rates, infant mortality rates, premature death, and per capita public health spending to produce a composite assessment of each state’s health. Ultimately, these measures reflect three essential contributors to healthiness: the decisions made by individuals that promote health and prevent disease; the community environment that affects the health of individuals and families; and the health policies made by public and elected officials that determine the availability of public health and medical-care resources.

The 2004 edition of the report shows Minnesota, New Hampshire and Vermont as the healthiest states in the country, followed by Hawaii, Utah and Massachusetts. The least healthy states are Tennessee (48), Mississippi (49) and Louisiana (50).

Get the news release here.

Marketing Communications Specialist Job

From Monster:

Boston Scientific

Job Description:
Partner with marketing product managers to develop integrated strategic communications plans and messaging that will help achieve the business objectives for targeted products and product lines while reinforcing our brand image. Such plans will include advertising, public relations, promotions, etc. Work with other Communications and Programs team members and cross-divisional teams to ensure initiatives are consistent and leveraged effectively. Manage budgets, timing and relationships with outside agencies/consultants.

3-5 years as a communications professional. Media Relations/Public Relations (PR) experience preferred. Advertising/PR agency experience preferred. Strong communications and interpersonal skills required. Proven track record in executing successful strategic communications initiatives required. Proficient in managing a budget and accounting for timelines. Experience in managing relationships

Years of Experience Required: 3-5 Years

Email or click here for more information.

Reference Code:

Friday, November 05, 2004

'Unofficial' Spokesman Gets the Official Boot


"Mr. Wendy" the unofficial spokesman for Wendy's has gotten the official boot according to

Facing declining sales, robust competition and widespread criticism over the campaign featuring the hapless burger evangelist, Wendy's today said the chain would end its Mr. Wendy campaign at the end of the month.

Get the full Adage story here.

Watch the Mr. Wendy commercial here.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Strib Circulation Up

The Minneapolis Star Tribune's circulation is up slightly in the six-month period between March and September 2004.

Circulation for top twenty newspapers:
1. USA Today, 2,309,853, up 2.8 percent

2. The Wall Street Journal, 2,106,774, up 0.8 percent

3. The New York Times, 1,121,057, up 0.2 percent

4. Los Angeles Times, 902,164, down 5.6 percent

5. New York Daily News, 715,052, down 1.6 percent

6. The Washington Post, 707,690, down 3 percent

7. New York Post, 686,207, up 5.2 percent

8. Chicago Tribune, 600,988, down 2 percent

9. Houston Chronicle, 554,783, up 0.3 percent

10. San Francisco Chronicle, 468,370, down 8.5 percent

11. The Boston Globe, 451,471, up 0.2 percent

12. The Arizona Republic, 413,268, down 4.4 percent

13. The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., 400,042, down 2.1 percent

14. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 397,097, up 3.8 percent

15. Star Tribune of Minneapolis-St. Paul, 381,094, up 0.2 percent

16. The Philadelphia Inquirer, 368,883, up 0.1 percent

17. The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, 354,309, down 3 percent

18. Detroit Free Press, 348,838, down 1.1 percent

19. The San Diego Union-Tribune, 339,032, down 3.7 percent

20. The Oregonian, Portland, 337,707, up 0.9 percent

Four newspapers were not allowed to include their circulation figures in the report released Monday as a penalty for misstating circulation figures in the past: Newsday of New York's Long Island; the Dallas Morning News; the Chicago Sun-Times and Hoy, a Spanish-language newspaper in New York. The first three papers were among the top 20 papers last year.

Minnesota PR Job

Manager of Communications
American Red Cross of St. Paul

Plans, organizes, and evaluates the public relations function to achieve and maintain public awareness and support of the Red Cross. Counsels management and departments on the public relations aspects of programs and policies. Facilitates community input into Red Cross planning, decision-making and delivery of services. Details at

Salary Range: Commensurate with experience

To apply, send a resume to:
Carolyn Milbrath
Human Resources Director
American Red Cross of St. Paul


Do you have a job opening? Post it at Minnesota PRSA.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Fast Horse Promotes Resner

Allison Resner has been promoted to Client Relationship Director at Fast Horse Inc., a Minneapolis-based consumer marketing public relations agency. Resner had been a Senior Account Executive with the firm.

Resner, who joined Fast Horse Inc. in 2003, specializes in developing and executing consumer marketing campaigns, product launches, sponsorship awareness campaigns, special events and media relations programs on behalf of local and national consumer clients.

“Allison’s promotion to Client Relationship Director reflects the depth of consumer marketing skills she continues to contribute to our clients and the firm,” said Jörg Pierach, President of Fast Horse Inc.

At Fast Horse Inc., Resner has been instrumental in the execution of several high-profile media relations and guerilla marketing campaigns for clients such as The Coca-Cola Company and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. Resner began her career at Weber Shandwick, where she worked with clients such as Polaris Industries and MarineMax Inc.

Exit Polling Wrong, MNPR Poll Right

Well, another election has come and gone. What else more can I say? Well, I suppose I could complain about the horrible exit polls, but who needs to do that when you have resources like our that predicted the out come of the election.

Anyway, to all the democrats out there I say take heart you have four years to brush up on your key messages and pick a stronger candidate. To all you republicans out there I say, congrats now its time to show them what you got and it better be good.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Free Tacos for Everyone in America

Irvine, Calif. -- Which Boston Red Sox or St. Louis Cardinals Major League Baseball player will hit the home run that feeds America? That will be the question on everyone's mind tomorrow night during Game 3 of the 2004 World Series. Why? Because any home run that hits the Taco Bell target during the game will win everyone in the U.S. the opportunity to enjoy a free Crunchy Beef Taco, courtesy of Taco Bell®, the official quick serve restaurant of Major League Baseball.

The target, measuring at 12' x 12', features a giant bull's eye with the words "Free Taco Here." It is located approximately 410 feet from home plate in left-center field -- a prime home run-hitting area known as Homers Landing. During the 2004 season, 170 home runs were hit at Busch Stadium, with nearly a quarter landing in the vicinity of the target area.

"With strong home run hitters from both the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals, nearly 300 million people just may have the opportunity to 'Think Outside the BunTM' and win a free taco," said Greg Creed, chief marketing officer, Taco Bell Corp. "What could be more fitting than doing such a historic giveaway during a truly classic World Series."

If a home run hits the target, every person in the U.S. will have an opportunity to obtain a free Crunchy Beef Taco at participating Taco Bell® restaurants in the United States. Redemption will take place on Tuesday, November 9 from 3-6 p.m. (local time). Additional information and offer details will be made available to consumers on the Taco Bell Web site,, and in media materials should the target get hit.

Through the first two rounds of the 2004 Major League Baseball postseason, the Red Sox and Cardinals have posted a combined 32 home runs.

In June, Major League Baseball Properties and Taco Bell announced a three-year sponsorship agreement making Taco Bell the "Official Quick Service Restaurant" of Major League Baseball. As part of the agreement, Taco Bell has exclusive category rights as well as on-site signage and advertising opportunities during MLB Jewel Events, including the All-Star Game and World Series. During the 2004 All-Star Game, Taco Bell launched its sponsorship by hosting a contest in which a fan could win up to one million dollars by throwing five balls through a 24-inch cutout in under 30 seconds. A fan accomplished this task and won the million-dollar prize.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Minneapolis/St. Paul a good place to live.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press wrote an article in today's paper discussing a new poll taken by Gallop and release by that says the Twin Cities is a pretty good place to live.

From the Pioneer Press:
"On most of the key things that we ask about, we compare favorably with cities like San Diego and San Francisco and Chicago, in terms of how much our citizens like living here and how much their citizens like living there," said John Wood, managing partner at the Gallup Organization's office in Minneapolis.

Gallup interviewed 1,008 people in the Twin Cities from Aug. 24 to Sept. 13, including 154 from Minneapolis, 108 from St. Paul and the rest from the suburbs. Gallup has been doing such surveys for about five years, but this is the first in Minnesota.

More than four in 10 respondents said they were "extremely satisfied" with the Twin Cities as a place to live, compared with a 50-city national average of 30 percent. Minneapolis actually scored 44 percent; St. Paul topped the area with 46 percent.

Get the rest of the story here>

Get the WCCO story here.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Presidential Poll

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Profits up but future is uncertain for Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo has been charging ahead for three years as it saw profits sky-rocket during the refianancing boom of the last few years. But as interest rates rise the future of the mortage business as Wells is a bit uncertain, at least according today's Star Tribune.

From today's Strib:
Like many banks, Wells Fargo has felt the impact of what to date has been a relatively slight rise in interest rates and a concurrent slowdown in mortgage refinancing. But unlike most of its competitors, Wells Fargo has staked much of its profits on its home lending business. The San Francisco bank is the nation's largest home lender, originating 12.5 percent of the nation's mortgages in 2003, according to Inside Mortgage Finance.

In the third quarter of 2003...income from mortgages accounted for 50 percent of Wells Fargo's profits. In the recent third quarter, the mortgage share fell to a mere 15 percent.

Despite the uncertainty of the future, Well Fargo CEO remains confident. “This was our twelfth consecutive quarter of double-digit earnings per share growth,” said Chairman and CEO Dick Kovacevich. “We continued to invest for the ‘Next Stage’ of our success at a rate unprecedented in our company’s history. Compared with third quarter last year, we have over three times as many bankers licensed to sell products such as mutual funds and annuities, 17 percent more team members selling and serving customers in our banking stores and 16 percent more at Wells Fargo Financial, our consumer finance company. We’ve announced a long-term goal of doubling the number of our commission-based home mortgage consultants, currently numbering 10,000. We’ve opened 72 new banking stores this year, an average of two per week, and we’re on track to add by year-end 100 new banking stores and 80 new consumer finance stores. By year-end, we’ll have remodeled 261 banking stores.

Much of our growth continued to come from earning more business from our current customers. The attitude and commitment of our team members is the single biggest factor influencing our customers to entrust us with more of their business. Every month this year, through needs-based selling, we’ve had more than one million retail banking product sales, a company record. Almost one of every three of our new checking account customers now has a Wells Fargo product pack, which is a checking account and at least three other products such as a debit card, credit card and online banking. With our recently announced alliance with Grupo Financiero Banorte, in addition to those with HSBC Mexico and BBVA Bancomer, we now have the largest network for remitting funds to Mexico of any U.S. financial services company. In Florida, where we employ more than 1,800 team members and have 140 mortgage and consumer finance stores, we’re proud to have supported disaster relief efforts.”

Get Wells Fargo's earning statement here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

New knowledge portal for communications, PR and marketing launched this week as the first global knowledge-sharing portal aimed at improving organizational and human communication. The site is being built and supported by global communication leaders, associations, schools and businesses linked to the common goals of elevating the profession and sharing best practices that can make all forms of communication more effective.

Communitelligence brings together the vast world of communications – associations, events, training, jobs, news, trends, knowledge, leaders, topic experts and businesses serving this market. Communitelligence centers around dozens of expert-led communities on communication topics ranging from skills such as writing, visual literacy and public speaking … to managing the communications function, conflict communications, knowledge management and intranets.

“There are no limits being placed on the number of communities, or topics addressed,” says John Gerstner, president of Communitelligence, Inc. “Our only requisite is that each community must be led by a knowledgeable and passionate topic expert committed to building comprehensive, ever-evolving wisdom-sharing communities.”

“To build a sustainable virtual ecosystem, we believe we must tap the one energy source that is absolutely and forever renewable – the creativity of the human mind,” adds Gerstner. “That’s why we’ve designed the site to maximize the opportunities and ease for leaders, members and even communications students to contribute content. Our first student intern is Christine Cifelli, a speech communications/PR senior at James Madison University, who is working on the internal communications community.

“We believe sustainable Web sites, like sustainable earthly communities, must have built in sensors and adaptive mechanisms that allow it to evolve with changing climate and environmental conditions. To grow and evolve, there must be processes for every site member to find and digest valuable nutrients (knowledge, solutions). But just as on Earth, all inhabitants must also understand they have a responsibility to contribute to the nutrient base of the site. Thus our site motto: ‘Because all of us are smarter than one of us.’”

“Because all of us communicate every day, the art and science of communication is below most of our radar screens,” says Robert Holland, of Holland Communication Solutions, and co-leader of the Communitelligence Internal Communications community. “But how well we communicate as individuals and organizations greatly impacts our success or failure – not only of our organizations but our families, and our most prized institutions.

“The sobering fact is that many of our human and institutional catastrophes could be squarely blamed on ‘communication breakdowns’,” says Holland. “Ineffective communication, in fact, could be blamed for NASA’s 2003 space shuttle disaster, the 1999 Columbine School shootings, and the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center. And on a more personal scale, think of all the misunderstandings in our daily work and personal lives that could be avoided if only we communicated better.”

Knowledge management has been a buzz-word around business and IT circles for a half-dozen years or so, and is finally being recognized as an organizational differentiator. Communitelligence takes global knowledge sharing to individuals whose livelihood depends on how well they communicate and manage that function in their organizations. That includes as many as two million workers in the U.S. alone, according to 2002 U.S. Census figures.

“Because the technology of communication has changed so dramatically within the last several years, it makes perfect sense for the profession most in touch with the New Media would be the pioneers of a new form of professional knowledge sharing,” says Carl Friedmann, leader of the Communitelligence Knowledge Sharing community and editor of the Knowledge Management Review, published in the U.K.

“The beauty is you don’t really have to be a communications professional to reap the benefit of this growing store of knowledge,” says Holly Schroeder, consultant and leader of the Communitelligence Web Marketing community. “What you have on the site is the best the industry has to offer, and the technology provides members with real-time knowledge and insight into the art and science of communications.”

You can visit the new site at Memberships, which allow full access to the site, are currently free in this start-up phase. All members and communication organizations are invited to add their listing to the Communitelligence Marketplace Directory, and contribute to other sections including Calendar, News, Discussion, Wisdom, Document Exchange, Surveys, Jobs, Resource Links, and Diversions.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Minnesota PRSA Pledges Support for Minnesota Media Collaborative/Urban Journalism Workshop

The Minnesota chapter, Public Relations Society of America board of directors recently approved a two-year, $4,000 commitment to fund programming for the Minnesota Media Collaborative/Urban Journalism Workshop.

The University of St. Thomas and the Twin Cities Black Journalists sponsor the program, which works with professional journalists, college faculty and staff, and local high school teachers to attract students, particularly minority students, to journalism careers.

The program gives more than 400 students a year basic training in journalistic skills and a taste of the profession's adventure and challenges by offering half-day workshops, classroom presentations, a two-week summer camp, teacher training and special projects.

"Journalism programs are the proving grounds for both the journalists and the public relations professionals of tomorrow," said Kelly Groehler, APR, Minnesota PRSA president. "Our organizations agree that the public with whom we communicate is more representative than ever of diverse populations. Supporting the Urban Journalism Workshop is one way we can help encourage a broader view of the diverse makeup of our society and a more representative approach in how we communicate with it."

Although 32 percent of today's U.S. population represents minority groups -- and is expected to hit 40 percent by 2025 -- the face of American journalism remains overwhelmingly myopic. According to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, only 12.9 percent of people employed in newspaper rooms represent minority groups.

"The opportunity that the Minnesota PRSA funding provides is great," said Lynda McDonnell, executive director, Minnesota Media Collaborative/Urban Journalism Workshop. "The support will encourage professional and community connections and divergent viewpoints that are often missing in today's newspapers and newscasts."

The Minnesota PRSA move supports the recent launch of the PRSA national diversity initiative, designed to promote multiculturalism in both the public relations industry and business community. In addition to giving financial support, Minnesota PRSA will partner with the Minnesota Media Collaborative/Urban Journalism Workshop to identify ways for both organizations to further advance the journalism and communications industries.

For more information, call Shireen Gandhi, APR, vice president of Minnesota PRSA, at or go to . For information about the PRSA national diversity initiative, go to .

Friday, October 15, 2004

**URGENT MESSAGE** - For all you brown nosers

Tomorrow is National Boss Day, but since it is not a working day it should be celebrated today. Here is a little history from

National Boss Day is October 16 each year. When the holiday falls on a weekend, it is generally celebrated on the working day closest to October 16.

National Boss Day offers employees an opportunity to recognize those in supervisory positions. Popular ways to say "thanks" include cards, a lunch in the boss's honor, flowers, or gift certificates.

National Boss Day was started in 1958 when Patricia Bays Haroski, then an employee at State Farm Insurance Company in Deerfield, Ill., registered the holiday with the Chamber of Commerce of the United States. She designated October 16 as the special day because it was her father's birthday. Ms. Haroski's purpose was to designate a day to show appreciation for her boss and other bosses. She also hoped to improve the relationship between employees and supervisors. She believed young employees often do not realize the challenges bosses face in running a business.

Bad news for ABC & "Desperate Housewives"

ABC lost advertisers Lowe's Home Improvement and Tyson Foods yesterday. Tyson's and Lowe's said they will no longer run advertising during ABC's hit series Desperate Housewives because of content concerns.

According to, both companies stated they felt the show was not consistent with the kind of programming they want their products associated with.

AgapePress said the decision was made after hearing from thousands of concerned consumers ... claiming the salacious prime-time soap opera sinks beneath their companies' strict, pro-family standards.

Despite its high ratings ABC's Desperate Housewives may be in for a rework, after all its all about the advertising dollars.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Dayton Closing Office Until After Election

Minnesota Senator Mark Dayton announced this week that he will close his office in Washington D.C. citing fear of terrorism as the reason.

On CBS, Dayton is quoted as saying, I take this step out of extreme, but necessary, precaution to protect the lives and safety of my Senate staff and my Minnesota constituents, who might otherwise be visiting my Senate office in the next three weeks," he said on a call with reporters. "I feel compelled to do so because I will not be here in Washington to share what I consider to be an unacceptably greater risk to their safety.

Question: Is this sending a message to terrorist that we are letting the win by changing how we would otherwise opperate or is Dayton being responsible by protecting his staff?

Take Minnesota Public Relations Blog's poll here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Carmichael to rake in a boat load

Carmichael Lynch has won a $10 million dollar boating account working for the Grow Boating Marketing Task Force part of the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

Carmichael beat out three competitors DDB, The Richards Group, to win the account.

Get more info here.

Ad Fed Alive After Five

Thursday, October 14

Time: 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Location: Bar Abilene, Uptown
Address: ,
Cost: $25 members; $35 nonmembers

Parking: Pay parking lot on Lagoon between Hennepin and Fremont.

Registration: Register online at or call the Ad Fed office at by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 12.

Time to fiesta? Fun and food included! Join Adfed for a tex-mex night of networking southwestern style. (Horse and lasso not required.) Enjoy tasty quesadillas, refreshing margaritas, and great conversation.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Minnesotan's Going Hollywood

Three Minnesota leading ladies are storming Hollywood. In June, had won SuperStar USA. While the show itself was set up as a joke it has kick started Foss' career. According to today's Strib, Foss has interviews with NBC's Las Vegas, Disney's That's So Raven, an audition for an Evian commercial and more.
Two other Minnesotan's mentioned in the Strib article are Kelly Carlson, star of the televison series and Leslie Stefanson who has had roles in The Mirror Has Two Faces and As Good as It Gets, the title role in The General's Daughter.
Pictured Above: Kelly Carlson

Minnesota PRSA Launches New Website

The Minnesota Public Relations Society of America has launched a new web site. Check it out at

Call for Professionals - MN PRSA Pro-Am Day, Nov. 19, 2004

Pro-Am Day is almost here! The annual mentoring event sponsored by the Minnesota chapter, Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), provides an opportunity for public relations professionals to share their knowledge and expertise with members of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).

WHO: Public relations professionals from the corporate, agency and nonprofit sectors are invited to share a typical workday with PRSSA juniors or seniors from six affiliated chapters of Minnesota PRSA.

WHAT: Pro-Am Day, short for Professional-Amateur Day, is a highlight in PRSSA member’s involvement and professional development. Professionals are matched with PRSSA members to gain a closer look at the public relations industry, the professional’s work environment and job expectations.

The event is followed by a reception and skills seminar to provide students with an opportunity to network with professionals and participate in resume critiques, mock interviews and portfolio/cover letter reviews.

WHEN/ Friday, Nov. 19, 2004
WHERE: Your workplace

Reception/Skills Seminar 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Padilla Speer Beardsley
River Parkway Place
, Suite 400

HOW: Register at

Student-professional match information will be mailed by Nov. 5, 2004. For further information, please contact Karen Greenwood at or .

Monday, October 04, 2004

Liberty Enterprises Job Opening


Liberty Enterprises partners with financial institutions by providing innovative payment systems, marketing services and technology solutions. We currently have an exciting opportunity for a dynamic PR leader to join a leader in its industry. Responsibilities include directing internal/external communication strategies, speech writing, and media relations as well as representing Liberty in industry events. The successful candidate will have a minimum of 8 years related experience as well as proven external media relationships within the financial services arena. Degree in journalism, or related required; MBA preferred.

Position Summary:

Directs and implements Liberty’s public relations strategies. Manages media relations, internal and external communications, editorial placement, publications, Web-site content and speaking opportunities for company leaders. Member of Liberty Marketing & Sales Leadership team that develops strategic branding, marketing and communications goals for company.

Get more info here.

Friday, October 01, 2004

General Mills Goes for the Grain

General Mills announced yesterday that 100 percent of their cereals will be made with whole grain by the beginning of 2005.

“Eating more whole grain could have a significant impact on the overall health of Americans,” said Dr. David Kessler, former Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in a General Mills press release. “The science shows a strong connection between whole grain and a reduced risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity, which are the biggest preventable killers in the United States.”

“This improvement by General Mills will benefit Americans and could signal the most comprehensive improvement in the nation’s food supply since the government began mandatory fortification of grains in the 1940s,” Dr. Kessler said.

The entire General Mills portfolio of Big G breakfast cereals will now be either a “Good” or “Excellent” source of whole grain. Long-time whole grain cereals such as Cheerios, Wheaties, Total and Wheat Chex were already “Excellent” sources of whole grain and were not changed.

General Mills increased the whole grain content of many of its cereals while matching or improving taste across the board. This improvement includes such popular brands as Trix, Golden Grahams, Lucky Charms and Rice Chex.

General Mills conducted extensive taste tests across the country with more than 9,000 people. The new whole grain cereals were liked just as much or even better than the previous cereal recipes.

In a national survey, 91 percent of Americans say they want more whole grain foods in their diet, but as a nation Americans are not getting enough. The reality is that nine out of 10 people in the United States do NOT eat the minimum recommended daily amount of whole grain.

“There seems to be a lot of confusion as to which foods really deliver whole grain,” said Susan J. Crockett, Ph.D., R.D., who is the senior director of the Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition, the nutrition research arm of General Mills.

To help consumers easily identify which ready-to-eat cereals are made with whole grain, General Mills also unveiled new packaging with bold, attention-getting “Whole Grain” labeling to be on every cereal box. Americans can expect to begin seeing this new packaging starting within the next few weeks and continuing on into the New Year, depending on the brand.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Minnesota PRSA Opens Nominations for Community Service Award to Non-Members

The Minnesota chapter, Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), is seeking nominations for the Donald G. Padilla Community Service Award which honors a career of outstanding community service in the field of public relations. Nominations are due Oct. 29 at 5 p.m.

For the first time Minnesota PRSA is opening the Padilla Community Service Award to non-members. “We decided to seek nominations more broadly because Minnesota PRSA wants to encourage public service among members as well as throughout the professional communication community,” said Steve Miller, board member and liaison to the public service committee, which manages the Padilla Award process on behalf of Minnesota PRSA.

The award, first created in 1995, is named after Minnesota public relations pioneer Donald G. Padilla. During his long career, Padilla devoted himself to helping civic, educational, human services and arts organizations communicate more effectively. He was a co-founder of the Minneapolis firm Padilla Speer Beardsley.

In 2003, the Padilla Community Service Award was presented to Ann H. Barkelew, APR, PRSA Fellow and a senior consultant for Fleishman-Hillard, Inc. of Minneapolis, for her years of service to the community.

Those interested in nominating a professional communicator for the Padilla Award can find a nomination form and other details by clicking here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Job Opening at Kohnstamm

This job just landed in my e-mail box. Looks like a good one.

Kohnstamm Communications is looking for Media Relations Account Executive. They are looking for a person with a degree in PR/Communications, strong writing skills and an ability to strategically craft and communicate messages to stakeholders.

To apply, send a resume to:

Click here for more information.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Weber Shandwick Announces Twin Cities Promotions

The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced the promotion of employees in the financial services, corporate relations and office services groups. The financial services group promoted Jennifer McFadden from senior account executive to account supervisor. McFadden, who joined the agency in 1999, currently works on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Carlson Wagonlit Travel accounts.

The corporate relations group promoted both Stephanie Moncada and Ryan Benbo from account executives to senior account executives. Moncada has been with the agency since 2000, and works with clients Minnesota State University,Mankato, and United Defense. Benbo joined the agency in 2002 and currently serves on the United Defense, DMI, and Toro teams. The group also promoted Stacy Tapp from account coordinator to assistant account executive. Tapp, who joined the agency in 2002, works with Hotel Sofitel, PATH Inc., the Home and Garden Show, and the Prairie Island Indian Community.

The office services team promoted Heather Kruger from mailroom specialist to office coordinator. Kruger has been with the agency since 2003.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Another Solid PR Job

Still looking for that perfect PR job? Here is one that might be right for you.

If you have a passion for writing and a nose for news Padilla Speer Beardsley wants YOU. We’re looking for candidates with three to five years of public relations experience with excellent writing skills, media relations experience and strong project management skills. As an account executive(AE) you would be responsible for managing and developing many day-to-day public relations activities, including writing case histories, feature articles and news releases, as well as planning and implementing trade shows and client events. The AE also will conduct ongoing media calls, schedule editor interviews and assist with research. The clients served include agriculture, manufacturing and technology industries, and community outreach and issues management. Experience working at a public relations agency is a plus.

Padilla Speer Beardsley offers great benefits and is an equal opportunity employer. Send resume to Stephanie Grogg at or #400, . For more information click here.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Why CNN Matters!

If you are like me September is a crazy month, filled with too much work, too much travel and not enough time to do the things you really want to do--like attend Minnesota PRSA's Professional Practices Conference held on September 15th. Well, good news! Now you can download part of the conference straight off the Web, courtesy of Minnesota PRSA and VCall.

At the Professional Practices Conference, Mitch Gelman, senior vice president and executive producer at, gave a presentation on Why CNN Matters Today More Than Ever.

Check it out.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

CBS Documents Unveiled by Bloggers

As the debate rages on as to whether or not bloggers are true journalists, it is interesting to note that even mainstream media are beginning to notice bloggers as a result of CBS's most recent debacle.

On Monday, reported that bloggers were the first to fact-check the fraudulent documents used during a CBS report on Bush's National Guard service.

Then, NBC's Tom Brokaw talked with Minnesota blogger Scott Johnson who's blog was among the first to raise questions about the authenticity of the CBS documents. (Johnson's site was also featured in today's Star Tribune.) It seems that .

Incidently, my favorite quote about blogging to come out of Rathergate is from the Star Tribune's story: And it appears that what inhabitants of the blogosphere refer to as Rathergate is fresh evidence that blogs have gone from being a cyber-niche populated by lonely geeks to a potentially powerful political force.

In summary, it is a good day to be a blogger, but a bummer of a day to work for CBS. Today, I am one happy cyber-geek!

More bad PR for CBS...

Looking for a PR-related Job? Here's one...

The Minneapolis office of Weber Shandwick seeks a public relations agency professional with 4-7 years experience to join our Investor Relations/Technology team. Successful candidate will have solid writing skills and work on major accounts with emphasis on industrial tech. Responsibilities include working with other agency staff in a team setting and developing creative programs to meet client needs, and maintaining client relationships.

We are looking for smart, creative, high-energy candidates. In return, we offer our valued staff opprotunities to work on amazing accounts and to learn and grow along the way.

Send resume and salary requirements to

Get more info here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

27th Annual Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards

It hardly seems like it could already be that time of year, but it is. Its time to submit your award-winning outstanding public relations enteries to Minnesota PRSA for entry into their Classics Awards.

This year's Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards will honor the best in public relations practices on Thursday, March 10, 2005. In addition to the outstanding public relations elements and programs that will be recognized, area students will have the opportunity to enter the 3rd Annual Minnesota PRSA Student Classics Awards. And Minnesota PRSA will once again recognize an individual who has demonstrated exemplary dedication to community service projects and initiatives with the Donald G. Padilla Community Classic Award.

Deadline for receipt of entries is 5:00 p.m., Thursday, December 2, 2004. There are no deadline extensions. Each entry must be submitted according to the "How to Prepare Your PRSA Classics Entry" instructions below or it will be disqualified with no refund.

For more details click here.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Hubbard Broadcasting Receives Minnesota VFW Award

Hubbard Broadcasting properties 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS and KSTC.TV, Channel 45 were recently awarded the Minnesota Veterans of Foreign War's 2004 Ed A. Callahan News Media Award for their support of the VFW. 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS General Manager Robert Hubbard accepted the award at the 2004 State VFW Convention banquet on behalf of the two stations.

This award is presented to television stations, radio stations, newspapers and/or persons working in the media that report Veteran-related issues and stories. 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS and KSTC.TV, Channel 45 teamed up last holiday season to support Operation Uplink, a VFW program that raises money to send phone cards to soldiers overseas.

By promoting "Answer the Call: Operation Uplink" through public service announcements, news stories, web promotions and phone hotlines staffed by Veterans, the two stations together raised over $73,000. All local donations went to troops from Minnesota and western Wisconsin. The national VFW called 2003 a "banner year" for phone card distribution.

Operation Uplink was created by the VFW in 1996 to help military personnel keep in touch with their families and loved ones by providing them with a free 15-minute phone card, and is an on-going campaign.

In addition to the support given to Operation Uplink, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS reported stories from Kuwait and Iraq, where a station reporter and photographer were embedded with the 101st Airborne for 11 weeks during the Iraqi war. The station also covered several stories relating to World War II Veterans and their recognition at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Fast Horse Inc. Promotes Killoren

Emily Killoren has been promoted to Client Relationship Manager at Fast Horse Inc., a Minneapolis-based consumer marketing public relations agency. Killoren had been an Assistant Account Executive with the firm.

Killoren, who joined Fast Horse Inc. as an intern in 2003, specializes in media relations, consumer research, writing and editing, special-event coordination and consumer brand promotion.

“Emily has contributed enormously to this firm and our clients on so many levels,” said Jörg Pierach, President of Fast Horse Inc. “This promotion to Client Relationship Manager reflects her growth as a practitioner and positive influence on our developing agency culture.”

At Fast Horse Inc., Killoren has been instrumental in the execution of several high-profile projects, including national media relations programs for The Coca-Cola Company and local branding efforts with Tom Schmdit Spas and the Walker Art Center. Killoren began her career as an intern at Karwoski & Courage Public Relations, where she worked with clients such as Polaris Industries, 3M and McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant.

Friday, September 17, 2004

ABC News offers 24-hour News Now

Moving into the digital realm St. Paul based KSTP Channel 5 news now offers a 24-hour video news service called ABC News Now.

ABC News' expert team of correspondents and analysts will join Peter Jennings on television, broadband and digital. ABC News Now will also cover live breaking news events and hourly news briefs from ABC News correspondents.

However, Peter Jennings' anchored coverage on ABC News network will not be simulcast on ABC News Now.

ABC is the only network to offer this type of service to its viewers, which began July 26 at the . This 14-week programming venture is also available through Sprint cell phones and online sources.

Locally, ABC News Now is available to subscribers on channel 1051, and 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS viewers with a digital tuner can watch on channel 5-2.

For more info click here.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Continental, KLM And Northwest Join The Skyteam Alliance

Northwest Airlines global travelers will have additional route and fare choices as SkyTeam today announced that Continental Airlines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Northwest Airlines are now full members of one of the world’s fastest growing airline alliances. The SkyTeam Governing Board also revealed that effective September 15, passengers will be able to accrue and redeem frequent flyer miles interchangeably on any of the nine member airlines. With the addition of three new members, SkyTeam now serves 341 million passengers with 14,320 daily departures to 658 global destinations in more than 130 countries.

SkyTeam’s Governing Board said, “The entry of Continental, KLM and Northwest into the alliance marks the single largest airline integration in aviation history and is an important milestone for global airline customers. When the alliance launched in 2000, we promised SkyTeam would alter the competitive landscape for airline alliances by focusing on the needs of our customers. Our growth over the past four years in terms of network reach, frequencies and destinations is a testimony to our commitment to continually live up to that promise.”

Get more from the Star Tribune here.

Primary Day!

Today is primary day, time to vote!

In Minnesota you can find your polling place by visiting the Secretary of State's Web site.

It is time to make your voice

Monday, September 13, 2004

Stop the Press! Everythings Changing!!!

The St. Paul Pioneer Press announced in Sunday's paper that they will "launch sweeping changes to the way it covers and presents news" beginning Wednesday, September 15, 2004.

According to the article, "the new look of the Pioneer Press will emphasize covering news from local communities and feature other changes aimed at making the paper more useful, more user-friendly and more relevant to readers."

Pioneer Press Editor Vicki Gowler was quoted in the article as saying that they want to make the Pioneer Press "the hometown paper," but that they will also continue to cover world and national news.

The Pioneer Press has seen their , however they still do not offer daily home-delivery to the Minneapolis side of the river. There was no mention of this in the article.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Remembering the Victims of September 11, 2001

Minnesota remembers the victims and heros of September 11!


For info on "How To Cope With September 11 Anniversaries" .

Friday, September 10, 2004

Campaigning in Minnesota

With the presidential elections this year it seems that either George W. Bush or John Kerry have been visiting Minnesota every week. But is Minnesota cashing in on its swing-state status when it comes to the production of TV advertisements? Not according to today's Star Tribune.

According to Strib reporter Deborah Caulfield Rybak, the campaign has not produced the "bonanza of political ads" typically expected at this point in the campaign. Here is an excerpt from her article:

Although television viewers might feel they're already suffering from political ad clutter, "It's light right now" among the ad minutes allocated to local commercials, said station manager Trey Fabacher, of WCCO-TV, Channel 4. "There have been a number of bookings in October about three weeks prior to the election, but the market is lighter than expected this month. Buying has been sporadic at best."

Get the rest of Rybak's article here.
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