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Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Missing student found alive

Breaking news: College Student Charged in Fake Abduction

Seiler abduction bogus!

With so much bad news to report, it is nice to finally have a good news story. CNN is reporting, Audrey Seiler the missing Wisconsin student was found alive.

Get the details here.

Get some background on this story - Clues elusive as search for missing student continues

Another student missing

The Hatch Sisters

Since my post on Mike Hatch's daughters the other day traffic to this site has increased dramatically. So, if you are looking for stories/pictures of Minnesota's now-famous Hatch sisters click here or click on one of the links below.

Al Franken personal PR

Regardless of what you think of Al Franken, it is clear that as he prepares to launch his AM radio show today he has garnered a fair amount of support and has used a variety of media methods to get it.

From his days on Saturday Night Live, , to now a radio show,
Franken has spanned the media map to get where he is today. The question is can his talk show survive in what has been a traditionally conservative environment? Certainly, Franken's opponents say it can't last and that no one will listen, but will a polarize enough to give Franken an audience?

Franken will air locally on WMNN until Starboard Communications takes ownership of the station later this year.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Steep drop in hiring

The Star Tribune is reporting this morning that more than 72,000 Minnesotan's are competing for 29,000 jobs in this state. These statistics are part of analysis done by the . The study also showed that the seven-county metro region had a 70 percent drop in job openings in the three years that ended in December 2003. More than a third of the current openings were for part-time work, and half of those paid $9 an hour or less.

Get the full story here.

Consumer confidence remains virtually unchanged in March

Monday, March 29, 2004

Growing Hispanic Media Market in Minnesota

As I have said before, the Hispanic media market is growing and its time to take notice.

The Business Journal had a nice article last week on the hispanic magazine Latino Midwest News, which helps to prove my point.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

When Latino Midwest News (LMN) hit the streets four years ago, Steve Castillo's sales team struggled to reel in advertising revenue from Minnesota companies.

Today, a number of savvy corporations and organizations are calling Latino Midwest News to place ads, including St. Paul Grill, Midwest Coca Cola Bottling Co., Wells Fargo & Co., Minnesota Twins, Coldwell Banker Burnet, the city of St. Paul and WCCO Radio. These companies want to be in a publication that serves the fastest-growing population in the state, Castillo said.

Get the full story here.

Big News of Minnesota's AG

Besides the Minnesota Gophers making their way to the final four this weekend and winning a national championship, Attorney General Mike Hatch was the top news story as his daughters were arrested in Chicago.

Anne Hatch, 21, and Elizabeth Hatch, 22, suffered injuries including black eyes, scratches and abrasions on their faces, arms and legs as they scuffled with officers Saturday morning outside the Crowbar nightclub on the Near North Side of Chicago.

The sisters were charged with misdemeanors, including assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest and damaging a police car. They are scheduled to appear in court on May 5, Taylor said.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Bad Journalism, Bad PR or Both

An Alabama TV station, WVUA 7, recently had a run in with a bad video news release posing as a TV news package.

According the The Crimson White, the University of Alabama newspaper, WVUA 7 aired a "reporter package" on February 4, 2004. The VNR covered the benefits of the new Medicare bill that President Bush signed on Dec. 8, 2003. The VNR features statements from Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson and ends with the reporter saying, "In Washington, I'm Karen Ryan reporting."

Unfortunately for WVUA and its viewers Karen Ryan is not a reporter. In fact, Ryan owns her own communications company Karen Ryan Group Communications.

The story goes HHS contracted Ketchum Advertising, which in turn contracted D.C.-based Home Front Communications, which hired Ryan.

Because WVUA is a local station it takes its national news from CNN Newsource, which is where this clip came from. Obviously the station is now reviewing their news clips more closely.

Read the full story from the Crimson White here.

Catch what The New York Times had to say about this.

Even the Hollywood Reporter says this is bad PR.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Credit Counselor Crack-down

Sen. Norm Coleman announced yesterday that he is cracking down on credit counselors who take advantage of consumers in financial crisis. Here is the full story as reported by the Star Tribune. On a more humorous note the links to debt consolidation at the bottom of the article.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

PR Resource Rediscovered

A few years ago I interviewed Steven R. Van Hook of About Public Relations for a story I was working on for Minnesota PRSA. Since that time his site slipped my mind, until I rediscovered it today.

There are some really fun and interesting things on his site including The Dan Rather Rule, a simple cure for writers block and more in-depth material like this article by, Tim O'Brien titled Why Some Crisis Plans Miss the Boat.

Check it out and enjoy!

Monday, March 22, 2004

Tunheim Crosses Party Lines

The Star Tribune reported this morning that Tunheim Partners has named several new conservative consultants to its traditionally liberal panel of consultants.

What will this mean for Tunheim's public affairs practice? Get the details here.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Weber Shandwick to Manage Grand Re-Opening of the Sofitel in Minneapolis

The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick has won the business of the Sofitel Minneapolis.

Sofitel Minneapolis, one of 160 Sofitel properties worldwide, brings a unique French “art de vivre” to the world’s leading business and holiday destinations. As a brand of Accor hotels, Sofitel’s prestige has made these establishments internationally synonymous with the best in hospitality.

Sofitel Minneapolis has partnered with Weber Shandwick to announce the hotel’s redesign and grand opening, scheduled for May. The initial renovation phase includes the entire lobby and more than one-third of the guest rooms, including two suites, the exterior and new signage.

“We are thrilled to be working with one of the leading hotel properties worldwide," said Sara Gavin, president of Weber Shandwick’s Twin Cities office. "It enables us to broaden the travel and tourism clients we serve in the region."

Put Down the Soda!

Another study has been released saying that drinking too much soda is bad for your health, or more specifically bad for your kids teeth.

At the same time reports indicate that milk (you know the white stuff you used to drink before Code Red was invented) may actually help fight childhood obesity.

According to researchers from Britain's Birmingham University, even sugar free soda can increase tooth decay in children.

Catch some of the debate by clicking on the links below:

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Weber Shandwick Wins Corporate Social Responsibility Award

The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick has received a Corporate Social Responsibility award from PR News in the Employee Relations category. This category recognizes internal communications efforts and honors organizations that build social responsibility into their cultures, support volunteerism, and have a connection to their communities.

According to their news release issued today, Weber Shandwick has a long history of supporting local non-profits through pro-bono client relationships, daylong work projects, as well as an annual workshop designed to help non-profits effectively tell their story. All of Weber Shandwick’s pro-bono work supports its mission of supporting youth and families.

“I am proud of our history of supporting the Twin Cities community,” said Sara Gavin, president of Weber Shandwick’s Twin Cities office. “This is not an initiative for our office. It’s a responsibility that we take seriously and are committed to fulfilling, not only in Minnesota, but in Weber Shandwick offices around the globe.”

Finally a descent Polling Option

If you have been looking for an online polling option that's free check out Blogging Poll. With a little HTML you can easily add a poll to your site in literally seconds.

Check out my new pr poll in the right-hand column.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

PR Today and Tomorrow

Last Friday PR Opinions published a piece on PR and the role it is playing in our world.

The article referenced a quote from PR pro Howard Rubenstein in an interview he gave to . Here is the quote:

"I think that in 10 or 15 years PR will command more respect. You'll find a far greater sense of ethics. When I was first around, they wouldn't let the PR person into the room until they made the decision. In 10 years the PR person will be an integral part of the decision-making process and on the executive committees of most major corporations. You see it today--wars are being run on PR, governments, businesses, hey, almost everything."

This is right on. Let's look at some of the local stories on the front page of the St. Paul Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune just this week.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Minnesota PR Internship Guide

If you are looking for that perfect public relations internship or that perfect pr intern you need to check out the resources available through the Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

If you are an employer you can post your internship by visiting their listing page here.

If you are looking for an internship then click here to download the latest internship listing.

Also if you are looking for a job, why not post your resume on this site and make it available to hundreds of public relations professionals.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Classics Award Winners

Minnesota Public Relations' Biggest Night Honors Best Public Relations Programs, Community Service
PR News Wire

March 11, 2004 0311BC-MN-PRSA-HONOR

MINNEAPOLIS, March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The Minnesota Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) honored 2003's best work in public relations at its annual Classics Awards Thursday night.

Minnesota PRSA presented more than 50 awards, including the "best of show" award to American Standard and Carmichael Lynch Spong for its campaign, "A Watershed Event to Launch the Champion Toilet."

In addition, the 2003 Donald G. 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. Barkelew has more than 30 years of top management experience with Fortune 100 and small-to-mid cap companies. In 1995, she was named by her peers internationally as "Public Relations Professional of the Year."

Barkelew currently gives her time and talents to several community organizations, including VocalEssence, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Twin Cities, Minnesota Women's Economic Roundtable, the Arthur W. Page Society and the National School Public Relations Association. She also has volunteered with the Girl Scouts of America, the Minnesota News Council and the PRSA College of Fellows. Barkelew also served as Chair of the board of The Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis and was on the board of the United Way Success by Six. She has received the National School PR Learning and Liberty Award and was honored with the Esther V. Crosby Award for leadership by the Greater Minneapolis Girl Scout Council.

Created in 1995 as the Community Classic Award, the honor was renamed in 1996 in memory of Donald G. Padilla, a Minnesota public relations pioneer, and his legacy of volunteer service. 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.

Classics awards were given for the following elements of public relations:


-- Cub Foods with Padilla Speer Beardsley

-- Novartis Animal Health with Colle+McVoy

Special Purpose Publications:

-- Riedell with Strother Communications Group

Video (programs):

-- American Standard with Carmichael Lynch Spong

Video (public service announcements):

-- Cub Foods with Padilla Speer Beardsley

Video (video news releases):

-- Internal Revenue Service with Weber Shandwick

Audio (programs):

-- NA Olive Oil Association with Colle+McVoy

Audio (public service announcement):

-- Minnesota Department of Health with Ogilvy PR & Pradhan Consulting

Audio news releases:

-- Orange Julius with Karwoski and Courage

Annual Reports (business/industry):

-- St. Jude Medical with Larsen Design+Interactive

Annual Reports (government/nonprofit):

-- Minnesota Historical Society

Media Kits (products):

-- General Mills with Padilla Speer Beardsley

Media Kits (services):

-- Great Crates with Padilla Speer Beardsley

Media Kits (events):

-- Mill City Museum Grand Opening Media Kit, Minnesota Historical


Media kits (other):

-- NA Olive Oil Association with Colle+McVoy


-- RSM McGladrey

-- Hurd Millwork with Carmichael Lynch Spong

Magazines (internal):

-- CHS Land O'Lakes with Colle+McVoy

Magazines (external):

-- CHS Land O'Lakes with Colle+McVoy

Media Relations (business/industry):

-- White Wave with Carmichael Lynch Spong

Media Relations (government/nonprofit):

-- Lifesource with Padilla Speer Beardsley

Feature Writing:

-- NaviCare Systems with Padilla Speer Beardsley

Technical Writing:

-- Wilson Tool with Strother Communication Group

New Media/Technology (Web sites-Internet or Intranet):

-- BASF Corporation with Padilla Speer Beardsley

New Media/Technology (CD-Rom):

-- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

New Media/Technology (other):

-- Microsoft with Riley Hayes Young

Creative Tactics:

-- General Mills with Padilla Speer Beardsley


-- Donaldson Corporation with Strother Communications Group


-- Lawson Software with Weber Shandwick

Classics awards were given for the following public relations programs:

Community Relations (business/industry):

-- Weber Shandwick

Community Relations (government):

-- Minnesota State Colleges & Universities

Institutional Programs (business/industry)

-- Novartis with Colle+McVoy

Institutional Programs (government):

-- Put Children First Committee with Karwoski & Courage PR

Special Events/Observances (less than 7 days; business/industry):

-- American Standard and Carmichael Lynch Spong

Special Events/Observances (less than 7 days; government/nonprofit):

-- Minnesota Historical Society

Special events/ observances (more than 7 days; business/industry):

-- Maytag Appliances with Carmichael Lynch Spong

Special events/ observances (more than 7 days; government/nonprofit):

-- Minneapolis Downtown Council with Padilla Speer Beardsley

Public Service (business/industry):

-- Hormel Foods Corporation with Fleishman-Hillard

Public Service (government/non-profit):

-- MN Dept. of Health with Ogilvy PR & Pradhan Consulting

Public Affairs (business/industry):

-- Prairie Island Indian Community with Weber Shandwick

Marketing Services:

-- Quick MedX with Fast Horse, Inc.

-- Select Comfort with Carmichael Lynch Spong

Marketing Products:

-- American Standard with Carmichael Lynch Spong

-- White Wave with Carmichael Lynch Spong

International Public Relations:

-- Donaldson Corp. with Strother Communications Group

Crisis Communications (government/nonprofit):

-- Weber Shandwick

Internal Communications:

-- Thomson

Investor Relations:

-- Synovis Life Technologies with Padilla Speer Beardsley

Integrated Communications (products):

-- Cargill Salt with Carmichael Lynch Spong

Integrated Communications (services):

-- RSM McGladrey

PRSA Student Classics awards were given for the following:

Special Purpose Publication:

-- Karl Hatteberg

News/Feature Writing:

-- Katie Omdahl with St. Mary's University

Community Relations/Special Events:

-- Shelle Michaels and Tiffiny Dunn with University of North Dakota

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Target May Sell Marshall Field's and Mervyn's

Target Corp. selling Marshall Field's and Mervyn's is the big news in Minnesota today.

Marshall Field's, formerly known as Dayton Hudson is a Minnesota icon. Target was originally an off-shoot of the department store, but grew quickly and over the past few years has taken the lead. According to the Star Tribune, that's when the Dayton's name was dropped from the flagship department stores in favor of the Marshall Field's name.

Mervyn's has struggled since its inception facing stiff competition from other mid-priced retail stores like Kohl's and JCPenney.

While the rest of the nation may view this as good business decision, I am sure many Minnesotan's will look back with nostalgia on the empire Dayton's used to be.

Follow the history of Target in Minnesota.

Read about Target's decision in the Chicago Sun Times.

Read Neal St. Anthony's article: Dayton family no longer a player in the industry.

Get the facts from the Business Journal.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Colle+McVoy Makes Chicago Purchase

The Business Journal reported yesterday that Colle+McVoy has purchased Mobium Creative Group of Chicago.

According to the Business Journal's story, Mobium employs about 30 and has about $30 million in annual billings. It will retain its name and will continue to be based in Chicago. Other details of the purchase were not released.

Read the rest of the story here.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Classics Awards This Thursday

Press Release Source: Minnesota PRSA

Minnesota Public Relations' Biggest Night of the Year; Minnesota PRSA Will Honor Best Public Relations Programs
Monday March 8, 11:35 am ET

MINNEAPOLIS, March 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) will honor 2003's best work in public relations at its annual Classics Awards at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 11, 2004 at Windows on Minnesota, 710 Marquette Av., in Minneapolis.

Minnesota PRSA will present more than 50 awards to individual public relations practitioners, businesses, non-profits, government agencies and public relations firms. In addition, the 2003 Donald G. Padilla Community Classic Award will be presented to Ann H. Barkelew, APR, Fellow PRSA, and a senior consultant for Fleishman-Hillard, Inc. of Minneapolis, for her service to the community. Barkelew has more than 30 years of top management experience with Fortune 100 and small-to-mid cap companies. In 1995, she was named by her peers internationally as "Public Relations Professional of the Year." For the second year, Student Classics Awards will be presented to members of local college chapters of PRSA for outstanding public relations work.

Liz Miklya, senior media consultant, Weber Shandwick Minneapolis, will serve as the emcee for the evening's event. Before joining Weber Shandwick a year ago, Miklya spent nine years as a television reporter, anchor and producer in the Midwest. Most recently, she was the political reporter for the Fox 29 News. Jackie Peacha, APR, founder of Kick, will provide color commentary.

WHAT: Minnesota public relations' biggest night: 26th Annual Minnesota
PRSA Classics Awards

WHERE: Windows on Minnesota
IDS 50th Floor
710 Marquette Avenue Minneapolis

WHEN: Thursday, March 11, 2004
Program begins at 6:30 p.m.
Registration begins at 5:30 p.m.

COST: $90 non-members
$70 PRSA members

Ridder named Pioneer Press publisher

The St. Paul Pioneer Press announced that Pat Ridder will be their new publisher. The announcement was made this week by the paper's parent company, Knight Ridder, based in San Jose, Calif.

Get the full story here.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Martin/Williams Drops Polaris

The Business Journal is reporting this afternoon the Martin/Williams has dropped its $15 million Polaris account. The article says, "The Minneapolis-based ad agency apparently decided to drop Polaris after the snowmobile and all terrain vehicle maker started using other agencies for some of its advertising."

Get the full story here.

Martha Business Bigger Than Just Martha

The guilty verdict in the Martha Stewart scandal has hurt much more than just the Martha Stewart dynasty. As the media mobs the jury for the Martha Stewart trial, smaller businesses are picking up the pieces of what was once a symbol of domestic perfection for millions of Americans.

Will Martha step down as CEO and leave the company? Only time will tell but the view by some is that Martha is bad for business.

According to AScribe, even with the conviction of Martha Stewart, her company Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, is in good hands and should be able to weather the storm.

Regardless of who the Martha Stewart scandal hurt, there are those who believe that the verdict will ultimately be chalked up as a win for the little guy.

Weber Shandwick New Hires

The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick announced last week that they hired and promoted two employees.

Eryka Jackson has joined the agency as a senior account executive in the investor relations and technology group. Jackson, has a master’s degree in Applied Linguistics from Old Dominion University and a bachelor’s degree in English from Norfolk State University. She works on the Lawson Software account. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, she was the manager of marketing and corporate communications for Pasadena, Calif.-based PLX systems.

Jill Favilla was promoted to an assistant account executive in the healthcare practice. Favilla, a native of Mounds View, Minn., graduated from Augsburg College with a degree in communications. She currently works with clients including Froedtert Hospital & Medical College, Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis and Gilead.

Playing Catch-Up

I was on business travel last week at a trade show and I hate being out of town, I fall behind on everything and it takes too much work to catch up, but I will try and get you up to speed on what has been happening over the past week or so.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Top News Items, Out of Office Message

I am going to be on business travel all this week, so it may be difficult to update this site. I posted a couple things over the weekend and have some more news stories for you to follow here:

Schwan teams with NASCAR to accelerate delivery sales
Creative turned president works to rebuild BBDO

In case you don't hear from me, have a great week.
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