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Thursday, June 30, 2005

Friday afternoon blues and its only Thursday

As you prepare for the holiday weekend you may be feeling as I am...that the weekend can't come fast enough!

Well, in your haste to head out of town, maybe you could pause for a minute to take a look at your goals for 2005. The year is officially half way over, so how are you doing on your New Year's resolutions? By the time you finish pondering that thought the weekend should be here. Have a great 4th of July!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Weber's Hiring

Weber Shandwick, the leading Twin Cities public relations firm, and PRWeek’s 2005 Agency of the Year, has an opening for an Account Supervisor in our Financial Services group. This is a great opportunity to be part of an exciting and growing organization. We provide amazing client service, work hard on great accounts, and have fun.

Account Supervisor duties include:
• Regular client contact including strategic counsel, presentations, developing long term plans, recommendations to client
• Staying current with relevant media, generating ideas for media outreach, pitching the media, with a thorough understanding of industry’s issues
• Developing proposals, releases, customer profiles, bylined articles and other press materials
• Effectively leading a team to ensure quality work; developing staff
• Experience with client billing & budgeting
Successful candidates will have 5-7 years of experience, and the ability to handle a fast-paced and environment with outstanding attention to detail. Excellent interpersonal, analytical and problem solving skills as well as strong communication skills (both verbal and written) are required. Ability to lead and motivate a team is essential, as well as strong client management skills. Experience on large campaigns or political background a plus. Understanding of electronic payments a plus, as well as experience in influencing change in behavior.

We have a wonderful work environment and offer a competitive salary and benefits program.

If you would like to join us, send a resume and salary requirements to:

Human Resources
Weber Shandwick

Suite 400


The Press Release Lives

Last week as it related to Sally Saville Hodge's article at

This week, reporter Harry Hoover argues that the press release is still a valuable tool.
Those PR practitioners who are spreading these death rumors would have you believe that press releases should be neither written nor distributed. I take issue with this old-school thinking.

Now, inundating the media with press releases has not been a good practice since shortly after Edward Bernays opened the first PR firm in 1919. Any competent PR person has known for years that garnering media coverage almost never happens directly due to a press release. However, that is fodder for another article.

Let's talk about the evolution of the press release into a solid tool for helping organizations deliver key messages to multiple audiences in the digital age.
My online poll seems to support Hoover's findings. .

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

PR Guide to Starting a Blog

In my post last Friday, , this week I promised to talk about how we can begin to educate people about blogging. The first step is understanding how blogs work. To that end, here is a brief explanation of how to start blogging. Download this document and then click below for your first hands-on lesson in starting a blog.

Hot to start a blog:

Download the PR Guide To Starting a Blog.

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Monday, June 27, 2005

Account Supervisor/Director Position open at PSB

From Monster:

Padilla Speer Beardsley

Account Supervisor/Director

Employee-owned public relations agency in Minneapolis has an opening in its B2B practice, working with manufacturing clients. Need 10-15 years of proven leadership experience in public relations, media relations, brand strategy development and/or integrated marketing, preferably a mix of agency and corporate. Candidate must have a successful track record in program planning and execution with manufacturing or technology-based businesses. Job requires excellent oral and written communications skills, including counseling and leadership. Must have strong skills in writing, editing and relationship building skills. Previous success with new business development and previous agency experience a plus. Some travel required.

Padilla Speer Beardsley, an employee-owned company rated one of the top 10 public relations firms in the nation for customer satisfaction, is an Equal Opportunity Employer and offers excellent benefits. We strive for excellence. We’re strategic. We deliver results. We have fun. And we’re seeking entrepreneurial individuals who want to grow with us.

Please e-mail or send resume to Stephanie Grogg at or #400, . For more information about Padilla Speer Beardsley, check out our web site at

Friday, June 24, 2005

The History of Media

In my previous podcast, I mentioned that PR bloggers need to slow down and educate others in the profession about blogging because we are forgetting that not everyone understands this new medium. We don’t want to lose people by trying to shove technology like blogs, podcasts and RSS down their throats. We want to educate them so we can continue to move forward in the blogging world together, as a profession.

Listen to my post on the history of media:

Download the history of media here.

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Other podcasting news:

Clear Channel expands radio content through podcasting

Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Missing Message

Have you ever had a word stuck in your head that you just can't get rid of? Or maybe you've had a tune in mind that you just can't shake. Well, that has happened to me with the word "blog." Everyone is talking about it and I am having trouble thinking about anything else.

Here's the problem. What people don't understand is blogs aren't the solution for everyone. There is no doubt, they are nifty and that they have become a valuable addition to the world of journalism, but that doesn't mean they are a perfect fit for everyone's communication problem.

Let me explain. Yesterday I attended an IABC meeting on blogging. Overall the session was uneventful. But after the meeting I got into a discussion with some of the attendees and one of them explained his situation like this:
I want to start a blog to communicate to my customers. I work in a specific regional area and have two small target audiences. The problem is each audience needs messages specifically crafted for them. Does it make sense to start a blog?
Whether or not the answer is yes is irrelevant to my point in this case. My point is simply that it is okay if the answer is no. As PR professional we may be too quick to suggest a fix simply because we want to try something new, without think about the impact on the strategic marketing/pr plan.

There is no harm in blogging, but it’s not always the answer. What do you think? Post your comments below.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Rate your PR agency with this short quiz

The Idea Grove, a PR firm in Dallas, Texas, issued this quiz yesterday in a news release to help companies assess their current agency relationship.

Use this quiz to evaluate whether your current public relations firm is adequately meeting your needs. In cases where you do not know the answer, the Idea Grove recommends that you make a point to find out. A scoring key is provided at the conclusion of the test.
Download a printable version of this quiz here.
1. Does the agency ask you for ideas more often than it provides you with ideas?
2. Do you catch careless typos in agency-drafted news releases?
3. Do you catch factual inaccuracies in agency-drafted news releases?
4. Do agency-drafted news releases seem to miss the point – often burying important information?
5. Does the agency follow up every news release with pestering phone calls to the media, asking “Did you get my release?”
6. Does the agency seem to think PR stands for “press release,” churning out releases but not offering other, more creative ways to gain attention?
7. Do agency representatives get the names or titles of your company’s senior executives wrong in correspondence and/or conversation?
8. Examine the media list your PR firm uses when distributing your news releases. Are there more than a few inappropriate publications or out-of-date contacts on the list?
9. Do the agency representatives who pitch your company to media on the phone have a poor understanding of what your company does?
10. Has the agency ever arranged a meeting with a reporter and your company’s executives that didn’t seem to have a well-thought-out objective?
11. Has your primary agency contact person changed more than once in the past 12 months?
12. Does your primary contact person seem inexperienced or immature?
13. When you have a problem or concern, must your primary contact always talk with a supervisor before responding to you?
14. Does the agency send a senior executive to meet with you every month or two to smooth over complaints about the firm’s performance?
15. Does the agency miss deadlines or seem to always be scrambling at the last minute to meet them?
16. Has a journalist ever complained to you about your PR agency?
17. Are the agency’s billing statements confusing, so that you’re not sure exactly what you’re paying for?
18. Do the agency’s billing statements show that more time is spent on client relations (e.g., meetings and correspondence with you) than on actual client service?
19. Does the agency boast about delivering measurable results, but then only give you a stack of news clippings that means nothing to your company’s executives?
20. Does it seem like the agency’s heart isn’t really in it – that it’s simply working to get a fee?
How is your agency doing? Score one point for each “no” answer.

If your score is 16-20, you have a very good agency relationship. Nonetheless, we recommend you discuss your “yes” answers with the agency to clear the air on those issues.

If your score is 11-15, you can do better. But can you avoid the hassle of finding a new agency by improving the current relationship? It may be worth a try. Have a heart-to-heart with your agency about your concerns and gauge their response. If they seem reenergized and refocused on your account, give them another two or three months – then take this test again.

If your score is 0-10, the agency is not meeting your needs. You don’t trust them and they’re not giving their all for you. It’s time to move on.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Is the press release dead?

Sally Saville Hodge on says, in her article published today, that the press release as we know it is dead. She writes, "despite the popular image of PR firms as press release factories and their account personnel as pitching machines...the reality is that the press release is pretty much dead as a piece of the strategic communications arsenal."

What do you think?

Read her entire article here and then vote below.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Groehler joins Best Buy Corporation

Kelly Groehler, Minnesota Public Relations Society of America's immediate past-president, will join the corporate public relations team at Best Buy Co., starting July 11.

Groehler has been with Padilla Spear Beardsley for nine years. "I thank PSB for nine years of camaraderie, professionalism, and outstanding experience, which I plan to put to good use in my new role," said Groehler.

MNPR Podcast Update

Minnesota Public Relations Blog has been added to PodcastMN - The Sound of Minnesota. Making the list at number 30 of 30. Stay tuned this week for my second podcast posting.

In the meantime, check out the full list of Minnesota Podcasters here.

1 in 5 Internet users prefer to read online news

In a news release issues this weekend, Nielsen/NetRatings announced it has found that some 1 in 5 Internet users prefer to read online news rather than actual newspapers in a first-ever study conducted in the United States. 72% of those surveyed still read offline editions of papers.

Senior media analyst Gerry Davidson, from Nielsen/NetRatings, said: “A significant percentage of newspaper readers have transferred their preferences from print to online editions.” The NY Times is the most-visited newspaper site in the US.

Get more on this story from American Public Media here including audio comments from Bob Calder, director of consumer research at the Readership Institute.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Work as an AE at PSB

From Monster:

Padilla Speer Beardsley

Relevant Work Experience: 3+ to 5 Years

Account Executive
If you have a passion for writing and a nose for news we want 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 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 manufacturing and technology industries. 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, visit

Friday, June 17, 2005

Promotion of Fransen at Weber


The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced the promotion of an employee in the consumer marketing practice.

David Fransen has been promoted to group manager in the consumer marketing practice. Fransen joined the agency in 1997 as an intern, and currently manages accounts in the automotive and manufacturing, consumer financial services and food and beverage categories. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Fransen interned in the communications division of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and worked in the promotions and news departments of a public radio station in Fargo, N.D. He holds a B.A degree in communications from North Dakota State University.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Minnesota Public Relations Podcast

This is the first in what will hopefully be a series of podcasts. I am experimenting with this new technology and really have no idea how much bandwidth and memory it will take to operate, but that is part of the fun of launching something new. Have fun listening, hope you enjoy!


Download Minnesota Public Relations Podcast here.

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Welcome to the first broadcast of Minnesota Public Relations Podcast.

Over the course of the last few weeks I have been doing a lot of thinking about PR and the blogging world as a whole and it occured to me that us in the PR blogging world are forgetting a very important audience--mainly everyone outside the PR blogging world. Things in the blogging/podcast/RSS world are changing so fast many PR professionals can’t keep up.

For example, I attended a local communications networking event a few weeks back. The focus of the meeting was blogging and how it is changing the face of the communications world. At the end of the presentation the first question was, “What’s a blog?”

Keep in mind the people attending this event are “leaders” in the communications industry. People that influence corporate communications on a daily basis. It they don’t understand blogging, how can they begin to comprehend RSS and podcasting.

As we begin to discuss blogging and how it is impacting the corporate world, we need to stop focusing completely on what is next and start educating those that have yet to learn what a blog is and how it can help them communicate.

For those of us old enough to remember the world without the Internet, we remember the first time someone told us about the World Wide Web. At first the Internet seemed exciting and most of us were able to enjoy e-mail and watching dancing monkeys on occasion.

But, as the Internet became more sophisticated, programs like Flash were invented and suddenly the dancing monkeys movie couldn't be viewed on your computer without installing special Flash software.

At every stage in the evolution of the Internet we have lost a certain percentage of the population. Today, there are still people that have never accessed the Internet, used e-mail, installed Flash, read a blog, downloaded an RSS news aggregator or listened to a podcast.

We need to start the education process by getting people within the PR industry to understand what blogging is, why it is important and how it is changing the face of media communications.

Download Minnesota Public Relations Podcast here.

Friday, June 10, 2005


The Minneapolis-based public relations agency Maccabee Group has been chosen to handle publicity for the June 2005 Grand Opening of the new TRIA Orthopaedic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota and for RE/MAX North Central in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

* Maccabee Group will handle publicity for TRIA Orthopaedic Center, a first-of-its-kind 100,000-square foot, $60 million outpatient treatment, research and education facility created by orthopaedic specialists from Park Nicollet Health Services, University of Minnesota Physicians and The Orthopaedic Center.

* Maccabee Group is also coordinating regional media relations for RE/MAX North Central, which provides Minnesota and Wisconsin home buyers and sellers with the expertise of 2,972 experienced realtors in 183 branch offices.

IABC June Monthly Meeting on Blogs

Blogging: Is It for You?

Blogs are growing in popularity and making an impact on today's consumers and newsrooms, as well as how businesses communicate with their key audiences. As the number of companies adopting this medium increases every day, some of us are still wondering if blogs can really improve awareness of a company's brand, products and services. How much do we really know about blogs? And, are companies simply following this new movement so they aren't left behind?

In June, IABC takes a closer look at blogs and their impact in business communications. Specifically, the presentation will examine:
  • The power of blogs and how they have positively and negatively affected companies
  • How (if at all) your organization should use blogs
  • If blogs really are here to stay
Additionally, the speaker will offer case studies on consumer and automotive companies that have realized success with blogs and blogging strategies.

Get more details from the Minnesota Public Relations Events Calendar or register at Minnesota IABC's site.

Hope Chest for Breast Cancer Foundation chooses BARD Advertising

BARD, a fusion marketing communications firm, announced Thursday that it has been named the agency of record for the Hope Chest for Breast Cancer, retail shops and foundation, whose vision is "to completely eliminate breast cancer". Hope Chest is really two organizations that work hand-in-hand and that are dedicated to creating programs to help fund the research, early detection, treatment and hospice care for people living with breast cancer who have inadequate or no health insurance.

Barb Stabno, BARD's lead account supervisor, will manage the account. "BARD has a reputation of excellence and innovation especially in the area of retail and professional services, and non-profit marketing," said Barbara Hensley, the founder of Hope Chest. "The agency's understanding of our brand positioning and our mission and their proven successes in this arena were important to us as we were choosing a marketing communications agency of record. We look forward to working and growing with BARD."

As Hope Chest's marketing agency, BARD will help to launch an aggressive marketing program to build brand awareness at the regional and national level. The program will include collateral development, event marketing, presentation and media kit for executive visibility and will highlight Hope Chest's impressive accomplishments and mission. Their impact is already felt across the Twin Cities area and will soon be spreading to other states throughout the nation.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Pat Hirigoyen joins John B. Collins Associates


U.S.-based reinsurance broker John B. Collins Associates has named Patrick Hirigoyen vice president-marketing and communications, "to lead our efforts to communicate with key audiences and support our reputation in the reinsurance marketplace," Collins President and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Denzer announced today.

Collins is one of the world's leading reinsurance brokers, serving clients in the property-casualty, life, and accident & health insurance markets. Headquartered in Minneapolis, it has offices across the United States as well as in London and in Bermuda.

Since its founding in 1987, Collins has also grown rapidly in the global reinsurance marketplace. It placed more than $1.5 billion in ceded premiums in 2004.

Denzer said Hirigoyen's responsibilities include corporate communications, advertising and media relations strategies and programs.

"We're pleased to have someone with Pat's experience and reputation, particularly in the reinsurance industry, on the Collins team," Denzer said. "He will play an important role in helping Collins tell its story to our clients, prospects and markets, and in representing the company to the news media and other audiences."

Hirigoyen, 52, previously worked 17 years for The St. Paul Companies (now St. Paul Travelers), where he held several positions in corporate communications and public relations. During the 1990s he led marketing communications and public relations strategies and programs for St. Paul Re, The St. Paul's reinsurance operation, based in New York City.

A resident of Saint Paul, Minn., he holds a master's degree from the University of Minnesota, a bachelor's from St. John's University (Minn.), and is accredited by the Public Relations Society of America.

Ameriprise - AMEX Financial Advisors' new name

American Express Financial Advisors is changing their name to Ameriprise beginning August 1, 2005.

For those of us that remember when American Express Financial Advisors used to be IDS you may enjoy looking back at the history of Ameriprise.

Get the full story from AdWeek here or the Star Tribune here.

What do you think of the new name? Take the MNPR poll here.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Job Opening at Roepke


Roepke Public Relations
Public Relations Account Executive

Minneapolis agency seeking account executive (AE). This position requires experience in the public relations agency business. We have a dynamic, highly collaborative team and provide exceptional career growth opportunities for those motivated to excel.

Required skills and attributes:

· BA or BS in journalism, public relations, communications or related field.
· A minimum of 2 years PR agency experience.
· A proven media relations track record supported by a portfolio of clips.
· Team oriented, warm, engaging and diplomatic personality
· Superb written and oral communication skills are required.
· Excellent client services skills.
· Ability to work well in an entrepreneurial environment.
· Ability to multitask, anticipate needs, switch gears and react immediately.
· Strong leadership skills and the ability to communicate with energy and confidence.
· Proficiency in Word, Excel, Outlook, Power Point, Bacon’s Media Source.

Specific responsibilities include:

· Craft and edit written press material; including press releases, media alerts, and requests for coverage that adheres to The Associated Press style guidelines.
· Research and prepare strategically targeted media lists and editorial calendars using tools provided by the company.
· Develop and maintain working relationship with various sectors of the media; meet tight media and client deadlines.
· Secure broadcast, print and online editorial coverage for clients of the agency.
· Prepare and assist clients for all media correspondence and interviews.
· Handle multiple clients simultaneously, within a variety of sectors.
· Assist senior account executives and company president.

National health care industry experience a plus.

Only candidates with PR experience will be considered.

This is not a sales position.

Please forward resume and salary requirements to Roepke Public Relations,

Roepke Public Relations is a high-energy, collaborative environment. We value integrity, dependability, entrepreneurial spirit, motivation, character and a positive attitude; in our clients and in our team.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Jobs from Bull Dog

Click any of the titles below to access a full job description at .

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The Allstate Corporation
New York

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McGrath/Power Public Relations
Silicon Valley

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Boutique PR Agency
New York

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Frank About Women PR
Winston-Salem, NC

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Mountain View, CA

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Environics Communications
Stamford, CT

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San Francisco

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Company Confidential
New York Metro Area

Company Confidential
New York Metro Area

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Company Confidential
New York Metro Area

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Top PR Firm
New York Metro Area

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Top PR Agency
New York Metro Area

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Top PR Agency
New York Metro Area

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The Baddish Group
Location Not Stated

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The Vermont Teddy Bear Company
Shelburne, VT

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Raz Public Relations
Santa Monica, CA

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Porter Novelli
Boston, MA

Martin/Williams promotes executive creative director Tom Moudry to president


Martin/Williams has promoted executive creative director Tom Moudry to president and chief creative officer, effective immediately.

Get the full story from AdWeek here.

Read today's Star Tribune for Moundry's take on his promotion.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Events next week

Just a reminder, be sure to check out the new events calendar on Minnesota Public Relations Blog. Next week there are two events happening both with the Association for Women in Communications (AWC).

You can add your own event by clicking the add event button near the bottom of the page.

Have a great weekend.

It doesn't lose suction


The Business Journal is reporting this afternoon that vacuum-maker Dyson will no longer work with local advertising agency Fallon Worldwide.

From the Business Journal:

Minneapolis-based Fallon had handled the Dyson account since 2002. Dyson, a Sheffield, England-based vacuum maker with its U.S. headquarters in Chicago, spent $50 million on U.S. media in 2004, AdWeek reported.
Get the rest of the story here.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Podcasting Revisited


The Star Tribune has an excellent story on Podcasting today. Be sure to check it out.

For a list of Minnesota Podcasts click here.

PodCaster Marketing Edge has a great (and short) take on John Reinan's article in today's Strib.

PODCASTING RAPIDLY EMERGING AS RADIO BUSINESS EXTENSION - It is good to see that radio stations are embracing podcasting, rather than trying to brush it off as simply a fad, like record companies did when Napster first came online.

"The Agency" Teams with Colorblind Chameleon to create Web site

a newly formed advertising agency here in the Twin Cities. Here is a press release they issued yesterday on there teaming with Colorbind Chameleon.

News Released: June 01, 2005

(PRLEAP.COM) ”The Agency” has come to be known as a bit out of the ordinary. According to founder Jeff Tietz, “big ideas come from people, not big agencies and big budgets.” It is this statement that has driven them to offer an experience that is to say the least, out of the ordinary. A drive focused on client interest, not big agency politics.

Colorblind Chameleon acknowledged this drive using it to create a website that is completely interactive. Flash technology was used incorporating some convenient features commonly used with HTML design. "Black and white graphics were designed to complement a story line loosely based on the spy movies of yesteryear" says Ken Buras, creator of Colorblind Chameleon. The design is sure to offer an engaging experience.

Colorblind Chameleon was created from the uncommon vision of Ken Buras. Located in downtown Minneapolis, services include branding and web design solutions. Ken strives to use this uncommon vision to provide more than design elements— he uses it to provide design strategies.

"The Agency" is Minnesota’s newest advertising agency run by people with plenty of business-to-business experience, especially in food, industry, and technology. They offer the full slate of services, including strategic planning, new media, creative services, and public relations. Visit their new webpage at

Over the course of the project, The Agency and Colorblind Chameleon decided to combine their services offered placing them in a position to offer clients an end-to-end marketing experience.

For more information on Colorblind Chameleon, please visit

Media Contact:
Colorblind Chameleon
Ken Buras
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