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Friday, July 30, 2004

Blahnick to leave Strib

Piper Jaffray & Co. is stealing Business Editor Mike Blahnick away from the Star Tribune. According to yesterday's Business Journal, Blahnick will leave the Star Tribune Friday, August 6 and "will cover companies such as Home Depot Inc., Lowe's Cos. Inc., Fastenal Co. and various pet and auto supply companies for Piper."

Here is an excerpt:

His move stems from a conversation Blahnik had with Mike Cox, retail analyst at Piper, about a story he wrote a few weeks ago regarding Select Comfort.

"I'd called him for the story but he didn't get a chance to call back," Blahnik said. "He called back after the story and started talking. ... I [asked] what are you looking for in an analyst. Turns out what analysts do is somewhat like what we do as reporters."
Get the full story here.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Brush up on your PR Skills

Registration is open for the Minnesota PRSA Professional Practices Conference (formerly Skills Seminar).

Highlights of this years event include a new Master's Track and Skills Track, and limited-attendance roundtable discussions. Dick Martin, former head of communications for AT&T will be the luncheon keynote.

To secure your preferred roundtable and get the early-bird registration discount click here.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Martin|Williams Loses E-Trade Account

Yesterday, reported that Martin-Williams lost their $90-million E-Trade account. Today the Business Journal reports that Martin-Williams has laid off more than 30 of its 275 employees.

Get the story here or the Business Journal article here.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Carmichael Lynch hires Fischer

Marcus Fischer has joined Minnesota-based Carmichael Lynch as as Group Planning director. According to the Business Journal, Fischer  was most recently at ad agency One And All in Minneapolis, where his work included helping create the "Sleeping CEO" campaign for law firm Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi.

Strib gets new web editor

The Star Tribune has hired Will Tacy as its new Web editor according to today's Business Journal. Most recently, Tacy was the managing editor of The New York Times on the Web.

Get the full story here

What is the media covering? Find out here...

Ever sit in a brainstorming session, flip through the newspaper or talk to a colleague and wonder why the media isn't covering your company? Maybe you've asked yourself what is the media covering? If you have considered either of these, the Tyndall Report is your answer.

The weekly report offers the top 10 news stories of the week tracked by minutes of coverage on TV networks. Here are last week's hot news items:

Keep an eye on this site it may be useful.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Smokers on the Run!

If you are a smoker, you are likely keenly aware of the debate going on at the local level to keep smokers out of restaurants, bars and other places of entertainment. If you are not a smoker than you are probably happy that you can breath easy as you enjoy your vodka-tonic.

Either way it seems clear that our state is headed in the smoke free direction. Last week both Bloomington and Minneapolis passed smoking bans and St. Paul is expected to override Mayor Randy Kelly's veto of the ban passed by the council last month.

Follow the smoking debate as it unfolds:
St. Paul Council Likely Won't Override Smoking Ban Veto


Minneapolis council passes smoking ban
Tavern talk: Ordinance has no place in bars
Bloomington OKs smoking ban
Bloomington passes first metro area smoking ban
Status of Minnesota smoking bans

Thursday, July 22, 2004


Fleishman-Hillard Minneapolis/St. Paul announced the promotions of nine public relations practitioners today:

• Julie Batliner promoted to senior vice president,
• Sarah McNeil promoted to senior vice president,
• Mary Rosenthal promoted to vice president,
• Meg Childs promoted to managing supervisor,
• Elizabeth Costello Amaris promoted to managing supervisor,
• Chris Murphy promoted to managing supervisor,
• Gabby Nelson promoted to managing supervisor,
• Molly Hanus promoted to account supervisor,
• Amy Bear Smith promoted to senior account executive.

“The staff members promoted today are each strong examples of Fleishman-Hillard’s most important asset, our talented people,” says Frank Parisi, general manager of the Minneapolis/St. Paul office. “Fleishman Hillard’s excellent reputation for quality is based on the great work done by such people.”

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

PR in 2014

What will the world look like in 2014? Will we be flying around in little Jetson cars? Will Public Relations still be around? This month PRSA Tactics reporter Mike Marino, takes a look at the future of PR to try and determine what the PR world has in store in 2014.

Here are a few highlights from the article:

Increasingly, PR professionals can expect to change jobs more frequently, both for voluntary ("better offer") and involuntary ("layoff") reasons. In fact, if you are reading this article in 2004, it's more than likely that you will change jobs three or four times by the time 2014 rolls around. Younger employees today expect to change jobs frequently...
...For agencies, there is a need to be more realistic and proactive about the changes to come. Firms that don't make work-life balance a priority, for instance, will continue to experience low morale and productivity, high employee turnover and difficulty in recruitment...

...For employees, it means that the next 10 years are going to provide a lot of career options, some of which may not have been available in the past, like a two-day-a-week vice president or part-time account-executive positions. Employees themselves will need to help define what these new roles and responsibilities look like. This means that employees at all levels will need to take even more control of their work life by more carefully mapping out what's ahead, staying current and continuously reinventing themselves to fit the changing market and their shifting priorities as they move through their own careers and life stages.


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Fiscally Speaking the Twin Cities is in Good Shape!

The Twin Cities  is ranked 6th among the top-10 fiscally fit cities in the nation, according to a report by State Farm Life Insurance Co.
The report measured citizens in 50 metro areas on total Fiscal Fitness with Salt Lake City topping the list. Fiscal Fitness was defined by investments, quality of life and steps Americans are taking today to prepare for tomorrow.
The study indicated that although the top ten cities ranked high comparatively in retirement investments, quality of life and life insurance coverage, the report finds significant areas of vulnerability and gaps of coverage in financial planning. In particular, none of the cities claimed higher than 47 percent of households with life insurance which keeps families from having to tap into savings or change their lifestyle in the case of an unforeseen death.
Get more information on this study from today's Business Journal.

Adidas Launches Campaign With Minnesota's Garnett

The Associated Press reported yesterday that has launched a new global advertising campaign featuring Olympic athletes and a new basketball shoe endorsed by Minnesota NBA star Kevin Garnett.
The campaign which debuted yesterday on network and cable television, aims to show the Minnesota Timberwolves forward as a team leader who also is involved in the lives of his family, fans and community.
From the AP:
The ad begins with Kevin Garnett and a friend walking down a Minneapolis street. Suddenly, his friend climbs on his back, followed by someone else walking down the street while Garnett continues to effortlessly walk along, acquiring more and more people as the "impossible is nothing" logo appears.

"We wanted to create a campaign that is an honest reflection of KG's personality, leadership and character as a player," David Bond, global chief of Adidas basketball, said in a statement.
The Olympics ads feature former gymnast Nadia Comaneci, distance runner Haile Gebrselassie and 1936 gold medal winner Jesse Owens.

You can get a behind-the-scences view of the making of Garnett's commercial at . 

Monday, July 19, 2004

PRSA After 5!

Minnesota PRSA's new networking event, PRSA After 5!, is hosting their July event this Thursday at Majors Sports Café in Bloomington. These social and networking meetings are open to everyone, whether you are a PRSA member or not. 
Thurday's event runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and includes  appetizers and a cash bar.  The event costs $5 and no pre-registration required.
Get more information on the event from Minnesota PRSA's Web site.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Global PR Blog Week 1.0 reflections


A Global PR Blog Week 1.0 comes to a close, I thought it appropriate to reflect on what was covered. During the week the following topics were discussed:
  • Monday - PR in the Age of Participatory Journalism
  • Tuesday - Corporate Blogging
  • Wednesday- Making PR Work: Creativity & Strategy
  • Thursday - Crisis Management
  • Friday - The State of the PR Profession

Over all I would say the week was a success, but I am looking forward to getting back to covering stories that are a little closer to home and a little less esoteric. To catch up here is some of the hard hitting (some of it more hard news than others) business news I missed this week while I was busy covering Global Pr Blog Week.

The opening of IKEA - 2,000 "crazed" shoppers lined up for the 9 a.m. opening on Wednesday.

Best Buy outsourcing 600 employees - The company completed plans to outsource technology work to consulting firm Accenture.

Carmichael Lynch wins business of manufacturer Peterbilt

Hope you all have a great weekend.



Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Global PR Blog Week - Day # 3 - It's just getting better


Today on Global PR Blog Week Mike Manuel of Media Guerrilla, published one of the clearest, well-articulated articles I have read on why PR pros should care about blogs.

In his article titled, Micro Media Measurement, Manuel keys in on an important point that is often missed in the scope of evaluating the effectiveness of PR blogs -- public perception and decision making. He writes, "one-on-one conversations and “water cooler chatter,” word-of-mouth behavior has become a significant underlying force that’s influencing public perception and decision making."

He goes on to say, "The total universe of Micro Media conversations that may be either building or bulldozing your brand at any point in time is gigantic and highly unpredictable. If, however, you can capture these conversations in real-time using quantifiable (volume) and qualitative (sentiment) methods, the insight and value your organization can glean from the findings is tremendously useful."

Get the rest of today's Global PR Blog Week news here.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Global PR Blog Week Continues with Corporate Blogging


As Global Pr Blog Week 1.0 continues today we are examining Corporate Blogging. Hans Kullin of Media Culpa offers some interesting ideas on how to launch a corporate blog for a professional services organization.

Here are just a few of Kullin's reasons you may want to think about starting a blog:

Issues management/lobbying

- Many politicians use blogs for opinion building. Organizations and
corporations can too.

Crisis communication

- I have yet not met a PR Manager that honestly can say that he quickly can post messages on the company web site himself on a Saturday afternoon, without having to call some site owner in a central position within the company. A crisis blog could be a quick way to post information in times of crisis, from remote places and on odd hours.

Media relations

- Companies are beginning to experiment with sending press releases via RSS. Predictions are that journalists will start using news aggregators and RSS readers to avoid being dependent on a mail box full of spam. So far, we have no indications that this actually works, rather we can see that the news stories sent out via RSS are being picked up by bloggers who spread the news. For example, the 8 press releases distributed by Apple via RSS between June 8 and June 23, 2004, were all picked up by blogs. In the Bloglines monitoring system, all press releases were picked up, the most popular one with 15 references (certainly more bloggers wrote about the topics without posting a direct link)

Get the rest of Kullin's article here.

For more on Corporate Blogging from Global PR Blog Week 1.0 click here.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Thoughts on PR and Blogging from a PR pro.


Dawn Lindgren, a Senior Account Executive at Weber Shandwick in Minneapolis, offered to give me some insight into how PR agencies view blogs.

RM: When did you first hear about blogs?

I first heard about blogs about a year and a half ago outside of the PR Industry circles. Today, talk of blogs has become a little more commonplace in the PR industry. We're aware that they are out there, but there really isn't a defined plan on how to utilize them when promoting our clients. I think there is still too much unknown information on their true value and how that can be translated to what we provide for our clients.

RM: Does your company send news releases to blogs on a regular basis? If so how many do they pitch to on a regular basis?

DL: We only send local office releases (new hires, new biz win, promotions, etc.) to industry related blogs that we are familiar with. For clients, we haven't really had buy-in from them that they want us to send releases to particular blogs.

I'd say that we pitch about 3 releases a month to the industry blog.

RM: Are there risks associated with pitching to bloggers?

DL: I think so. As much as blogs are a great new source of obtaining information about certain topics and gauging public interest and perception on those topics, they also can take on the feel of a one-sided chat room, where one person is stating their opinion on that subject matter. If that opinion doesn't match completely with the company/client that you are promoting, you may end up doing some damage control.

RM: Have your clients requested that you monitor blogs related to their business?

DL: I think that our clients are aware that blogs exist, but aren't instructing us to monitor what is said. Again, there's still that perception that blogs are "opinion" pieces and what one person says, doesn't necessarily make for worry at this time. However, if there is a project that our client is working on that is highly controversial or may develop strong public opinions, it's smart to monitor bloggers that show both the pro and con side to the project. Some bloggers are journalists who have a day job working for top print publications and their blogs are going to be seen as more credible than others.

What impact do you see blogs having on the future of journalism/PR?

DL: I think the main concern right now is credibility.

If I'm a journalist that writes for the New York Times and I develop my own blog, chances are it's going to be seen as more credible than Joe Smith, random guy - even though Joe Smith might be passionate and more educated than the journalist on specific subject matter.

For PR, I could see blogs being rolled into media relations plans for monitoring purposes once a system of gauging credibility and reach is created.

If every industry identified credible blogs (those that see both sides of issues and provide effective banter) then you will have buy-in.

RM: Thanks Dawn.

Defining Participatory Journalism (cont.)


From my post at Global PR Blog Week: defines participatory as:

Marked by, requiring, or involving participation, especially affording the opportunity for individual participation: a participatory democracy.

And journalism ( ) as:
1. The collecting, writing, editing, and presenting of news or news articles in newspapers and magazines and in radio and television broadcasts.
2. Material written for publication in a newspaper or magazine or for broadcast.
3. The style of writing characteristic of material in newspapers and magazines, consisting of direct presentation of facts or occurrences with little attempt at analysis or interpretation.
4. Newspapers and magazines.
5. An academic course training students in journalism.
6. Written material of current interest or wide popular appeal.

So together, participatory journalism means: collecting, writing, editing and presenting news or news articles through the participation of individuals.

Blogging has become the ultimate form of participatory journalism. Why are so many people interested in blogging? Well as Time magazine wrote in their article Meet Joe Blog "Because they're fast, funny and totally biased."

As PR professionals we have two choices when it comes to blogging, either we can ignore it and hope our company never ends up in a blog or we can monitor blogs related to our business or our clients.

So what rolls are PR agencies playing in the "blogosphere"? Check out my web site for a few view points from Minnesota PR professionals.

Friday, July 09, 2004

NKH&W hires Bob Rumpza

The Business Journal reported on Thursday that PR veteran Bob Rumpza has joined Kansas City-based marketer NKH&W. Rumpza had lead the corporate relations group at Weber Shandwick in prior to joining NKH&W.

Get more details here.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

International Public Relations Meetup Day

Interested in networking? Want to have a beer or two with some PR professionals? Well then you need to check out International Public Relations Meetup Day.

Meetup with other local PR professionals. (I don't know who is hosting the event or who started this Web site?)

Thursday, July 15 @ 7:00PM

Public Relations Practitioners Worldwide (We'll see who shows up!)

Minneapolis, MN (take the online survey)

Economy Looking Up

The economy has turned the corner, at least according to , which says that despite a springtime spike in energy prices and a recent increase in interest rates the economy is headed toward a record breaking year.

Still looking for a job in PR? Check out this site or this site or this site.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

PRSourceCode offers a webinar you can't miss!

Some of Tech PR's most important publications will participate in PRSourceCode series of free virtual lunches. Check out the schedule below or click here to register.

Redmond (the new face of Microsoft Certified Professional)
Doug Barney, Editor-in-Chief
Tuesday, July 13, 2004 at 12:00 PM ET

Brian Gillooly, Editor-in-Chief
Tuesday, August 03, 2004 at 12:00 PM ET

Ginger Conlon, Editor-in-Chief
Tuesday, September 07, 2004 at 12:00 PM ET

Mary Grush, Editor and Conference Program Director
Tuesday, September 14, 2004 at 12:00 PM ET

PC World / Digital World
Harry McCraken, Editor-in-Chief
Tuesday, September 21, 2004 at 12:00 PM ET

Application Development Trends
Mike Bucken, Editorial Director
Tuesday, October 05, 2004 at 12:00 PM ET

Look for more details and registration info on PRSourceCode's Web site.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Long Meetings, Happy 4th of July

I thought this Dilbert cartoon would be appropriate for those of us stuck in meetings today. Will the weekend ever come?

Have a happy 4th of July!
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Thursday, July 01, 2004

PRSSA Students get a free trip to the national convention

Are you a poor college student? Are you studying Public Relations? Are you hoping go to this year's PRSSA national conference? Would you like to go for free? If you answered yes to these four questions then you need to check out the PRSA Codispoti Technology Section Grant.

The Codispoti Technology Section Grant is open to all PRSSA members with an interest in high-tech PR. There is no limit to the number of applications a chapter may submit, however, no more than three grants per school will be awarded. In recognition of their achievement, winners’ PRSSA National Conference registration will be paid by the Technology Section and they will be invited to attend, "The Rules Have Changed: Essential Communications Strategies for Building the Digital Brand," on Tuesday, October 26 at 8:45 a.m. at the PRSA International Conference.

Click here for more details.
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