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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Carlson Names Kim Olson as First Chief Communications Officer

Kim Olson has been named Vice President-Chief Communications Officer for Carlson Companies, the first such position in the company's history. The announcement was made today by Carlson Chair and Chief Executive Officer Marilyn Carlson Nelson.

The appointment of a Chief Communications Officer for our enterprise reflects our continuing transformation to a more integrated operating company," Nelson said. "Kim's brand expertise and PR agency background make her perfectly suited to step into this historic role."

Olson will join Carlson's executive committee and will report to Nelson.

Currently Director, Brand Public Relations for General Mills, Olson heads all brand PR efforts at General Mills -- from Wheaties box introductions to the Pillsbury Bake-off. Prior to General Mills, Olson headed global client services for Weber Shandwick Public Relations.

Olson holds professional accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), is a member of that group's Counselors Academy and is a PRSA Silver Anvil Award winner. A graduate of the University of Minnesota, she holds a bachelor's degree in journalism.

Carlson Companies is a global leader in the marketing, business and leisure travel, and hospitality industries.

Among the names in the Carlson family of brands and services are: Regent® International Hotels, Radisson® Hotels & Resorts, Park Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson®, Park Inn® hotels, Carlson Wagonlit Travel®, Carlson Destination

Marketing Services, Carlson Leisure Travel Services, CW Government Travel, Results Travel, Cruise Holidays, America's Vacation Store, Cruise Specialists, Inc.,,, SeaMaster Cruises, Cruise Deals, Inc., Radisson Seven Seas Cruises®, Carlson Marketing Group®, Peppers & Rogers Group, and T.G.I. Friday's® and Pick Up Stix® restaurants. Carlson Companies' 2004 systemwide sales under the brands (including franchises) totaled $26.1 billion, while sales from the company's owned and operated divisions totaled $8.4 billion.

With headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Carlson Companies was recognized by Working Mother magazine as one of the "100 best companies for working mothers" from 2001 through 2004.

Events & Marketing Operations Coordinator - Mall of America

Mall of America is seeking an organized self-starter to serve as an Events & Marketing Operations Coordinator. This entry-level position is responsible for planning, sourcing, implementing and executing events at Mall of America to drive traffic and increase tenant sales. This position is also responsible for ensuring guests of Mall of America have a positive shopping and entertainment experience.

Duties include, but are not limited to:
  • Oversee the Exceptional Evenings Program, Mall Stars Mall-Walking Program, the development and implementation of the new Culinary Program, and create and manage all phases of events. This includes sourcing, negotiating, arranging and implementing events that generate over $20 million in media coverage annually.

  • Serve as a liaison between departments to ensure communication of marketing events, and assist Events Manager and staff with the responsibilities of the Events Department.

  • Oversee the writing & distribution of the monthly Merchant Newsletter and the following community relations programs: Pond Fund, Donations and Community Booth.
We are seeking a candidate with a BA/BS degree with an emphasis in marketing or business management, 1-2 years experience in event management and coordination, and excellent interpersonal, communication and negotiation skills. Candidates should be proficient in computer skills including MS Office, PowerPoint, Lotus Notes and have flexibility to work varied schedules including weekends, evenings and holidays. Organization, a keen attention to detail and responsibility are critical to the success of this role.

Mall of America offers a unique environment and excellent benefit package. To apply, please submit resume, cover letter and salary requirements no later than Oct. 14, 2005 to: MOA, Human Resources, , 55425, fax to or e-mail .

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Pioneer Press Hires New Editor/Vice President

The St. Paul Pioneer Press is reporting today that they have hired Thom Fladung, formerly of Detroit Free Press, to run their newsroom as Editor/Vice President.

Get the full story here.

Read the Business Journal story here.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Awesome Job at DQ

Opportunity is knocking?

Things are changing at DQ. You can be a vital part of reinvigorating this great American brand. Our plans are ambitious, requiring new talent and fresh ideas.

American Dairy Queen Corp. is seeking an energetic person to support DQ's brand team in managing DQ menu categories for growth and profitability (treats and treat concepts). Develop marketing plans to strengthen product line and overall brand performance.

The ideal candidate will have three plus years of experience in advertising, marketing or promotions (prefer quick service or retail marketing experience) and a Bachelor's degree in Marketing, Advertising, Communications, Public Relations or a related field.

International Dairy Queen, Inc. offers a comprehensive benefit package including full medical, dental, Life, 401K, Short-term and Long-term Disability Insurance and 125 Flex spending.

  • Supports brand manager in the creation and execution of annual business growth plan. Develop strategies to create, strengthen and improve flagship product lines.
  • Articulates the "voice of the consumer" into product needs and desires. Write product concept statements and catalogs new product ideas / improvements along with corresponding test and promotional results.
  • Tracks competitive product introductions, researches market trends and monitors customer satisfaction.
  • Coordinates paper-based and web-based survey research (consumers and operators) from questionnaire design to analysis.
  • Coordinates test market activities from market recruitment and support to generation of product scorecard.
  • Serves as key liaison with Restaurant Revenue Management Systems (RMS), responsible for DQ pricing recommendations.
  • Creates and maintains a weekly tracking list of product pipeline issues / decisions / next steps.
  • Traffics copy writing support documents through Marketing, R&D, and Legal. Schedules creative reviews before and after photo shoots with Brand team and Creative Services team.
  • Provides feedback for radio and print creative.
  • Project management as assigned.

  • Bachelor's degree in business, marketing or related field. (Master's preferred).
  • Experience/knowledge of the restaurant industry.
  • Creative in developing new product ideas.
  • Analytical with regard to product performance.
  • Excellent verbal communication skills.
  • Excellent problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to work well with cross-functional groups.
  • 3-5 years of applicable experience.
Visit our website for more information about Dairy Queen.

Business is Busy

Business is busy and I have been on travel the last couple of weeks. Sorry for the lack of quality posts, butI hope you all enjoyed Global PR Blog Week 2.0 last week!

Feel free to shoot me an e-mail if there is something big I am missing happening in the PR world. I will be travelling the next two weeks but I promise to try and make time to keep you all up-to-date.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Marshall Field's name change

Marshall Field's will be renamed Macy's in 2006.

All Marshall Field's stores will change to the Macy's nameplate in Fall 2006, Federated Department Stores Inc. said Tuesday.

Marshall Field's, which Federated acquired from The May Department Stores Co. for $11 billion last month, has 62 stores nationwide. Those stores, along with one Ayres in Indiana and the Macy's store at the Mall of America, will be operated by a Minneapolis-based division of Federated to be known as Macy's North.

Get the details from the Business Journal here.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Small Company? Better Blog!

My story has been published on Global PR Blog Week 2.0. Here is a preview.

Small Company? Better Blog!

As you probably know by now, a lot has been written about corporate blogging in the last couple of years. Major corporations like General Motors and Microsoft have demonstrated how highly-visible blogs can be contagious and can help companies reach new audiences.

But to date most small companies haven’t jumped into the blogosphere. Often small companies don’t have the workforce or the infrastructure to explore this new world and, as a result, have overlooked blogging and the solutions it may offer them.

It is my belief that smaller companies can benefit more from blogging than larger companies for several reasons. Let’s develop a couple hypothetical scenarios about a small company we’ll call ABC Co. to investigate this idea more thoroughly.

Get the rest of this article here.

PR Volunteer Needed

From the Pioneer Press:

Public relations help: The Minnesota Parent Teacher Association needs volunteers to assist local PTA units, write and edit newsletters, and perform general public relations duties. For more information, call Sharon Erickson Ropes at .

Global PR Blog Week 2.0 - Starts Today

Today Global PR Blog Week 2.0 kicks off with a discussion of corporate blogging. Be sure to tune in this week as we look at a variety of issues:
September 19
Building blogging communities
Business blogs around the world
CEO blogs
External corporate blogs
Fake blogs
Internal blogs
Product blogs
September 20: Tools & Practices
Online Newsrooms, ROI, RSS, SEO
Blog monitoring
September 21
Customer Generated Marketing
Tools & Trends
Transparency & Ethics
September 22
Education for the New PR
Government & citizens
Non-profit - blogging for non-profit orgs
September 23: Challenges of corporate blogging
Blog relations - pitching bloggers; engaging bloggers; blogging in a crisis
Consulting - PR Agencies & New Media
Challenges of institutional blogs
The practice of PR Blogging
2.0 Epilogue

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Carmichael Lynch Account Leader Opening

Looking to work on some of the most well respected brands in the world? Need to change to an environment where people are passionate about the brands they help build? Where the strategic thinking and creative work are internationally recognized as among the very best? Where we've assembled arguably the most coveted group of brands to work on in the world?

We're looking for an account leader with 5-7 years of experience to lead and manage advertising and marketing communications programs for several of our world-class brands. Possible work for our newest brand, Borders.

The right candidate should have a track record of insightful thinking, and the proven ability to help generate potent creative work and business results. And, of course we'd expect excellent interpersonal as well as client management relationship skills, strong ability to lead and motivate teams, superb project management, presentation and organizational skills.

Advertising Agency experience required.

If interested, send cover letter and resume to Human Resources at or fax. Visit for more info.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Weber Promotes Barb Hemberger To VP

The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced the promotion of Barb Hemberger from director to vice president in the healthcare practice. Hemberger began her career with the agency seven years ago as an account supervisor. Since then, she has been instrumental in the success of both the financial services and healthcare practices with regard to client leadership and national media relations efforts.


The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced new appointments in the financial services and Web relations groups.

Lisa Carufel joins the financial services practice as a senior account executive. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Carufel worked as a senior associate in public relations at Jones Lang LaSalle in Chicago, IL, a leading real estate services and money management firm. Carufel received her bachelor's degree in speech communications and Spanish from Miami University of Ohio.

Steffen Ryan joins the financial services practice as an assistant account executive. Before joining Weber Shandwick, Ryan was the communications director for the Satrom for Governor Campaign in North Dakota. Ryan earned his bachelor's degree in political science and international studies from the University of North Dakota in Grand

Teri Firkins joins the Web relations practice as a Web designer. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Firkins was creative director at Microgistix Technologies. Firkins received her bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Global PR Week 2.0

The second annual PR blogging summit,
Global PR Blog Week 2.0, will be held September 19-23, 2005.
The forum will bring more than 50 influential PR practitioners and
bloggers in an online environment to discuss how public relations and business
communications are changed by new communications technologies including,
weblogs, podcasting, RSS, and wikis.
During this year's five-day forum, participants from Argentina, Canada,
Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Spain, United
Kingdom and the United States will publish more than 70 case studies, articles
and interviews covering the latest breakthroughs in online technology
  • Challenges of corporate blogging
  • Blog relations
  • Education for the New PR
  • Types of corporate blogs
  • Tools, trends, and practices (including blog monitoring, podcasting, wikis, and online media rooms)
  • Customer generated marketing
  • Transparency & ethics
  • Mainstream media and citizen journalism

For a complete list of participants, including yours truly, and conference schedule visit:

The event is free and open to everybody -- for asking questions, making
comments and participating in the discussion through the event's weblog.

The planning of Global PR Blog Week was done mostly on the internet, by
using a public Yahoo! Groups discussions list, and the New PR Wiki, a
collaboration space for professionals interested in the practice of public
relations, hosted at

Sunday, September 11, 2005

The PR of Professional Thank You Notes

The job interview is over and it was stressful! You enjoyed the opportunity and really feel you put your best foot forward, but now all you can do is sit back and wait right? Wrong!

Now it is time to write your thank you notes. Why? Because a simple thank you can push an otherwise good interview to a great interview. An interviewer is looking for someone that is good at PR, right? So if you can't sell yourself how are you going to sell someone else?

Thank you notes don't have to be painfull.

It is a simple five step process:

Dear Mr. Johnson,


Thanks for taking the time to show me around your company.


I really liked meeting the team and feel that my personality would be a great addition.


Thanks again for meeting with me. I look forward to working with you in the future.


Many thanks,

It is that simple and I promise thank you notes will make a difference. Have a story or a suggestion about thank you notes? Comment below.

UnitedHealth Group is looking for recent college grads!

Ingenix, a UnitedHealth Group company, is one of the largest health care information and research companies in the industry. No one competitor offers the same breadth of products and services as Ingenix. In fact, our competitors strive to copy what we have done. We offer the most comprehensive set of data, technology and analytic capabilities. The power of our products and services help customers leverage information assets, enhance clinical and financial insight, increase the quality of health care delivery and administration and improve cost management.

If you’re a recent college graduate looking for an outstanding, entry-level position that offers unlimited growth and the chance to work with an array of products, look no further. We’re the Marketing Department and our goal is to increase product awareness, sales and market penetration of our brand.

We’re seeking a self-starter Specialist/Analyst with excellent communication skills to join our driven team of professionals. In this highly visible role, you would be supporting the Pricing Director analyzing and evaluating current products and working on gaining competitive intelligence.

Your key responsibilities would include:

  • Support the pricing and positioning strategy of 100+ products
  • Interacting with the Pricing Director and the Marketing and Sales teams
  • Evaluating current pricing of products, success of the products and making comparisons of our pricing versus our competitors’ pricing
  • Analyzing the data and presenting the findings to the Director for use in new and/or updated pricing strategies

A background in analysis is a must. Excellent computer, communication, interpersonal, analytical and organization skills are essential. A Bachelor’s degree in a related field is required.

UnitedHealth Group offers a full range of comprehensive benefits, including medical, dental and vision, as well as a matching 401k and an employee stock purchase plan.

If you are interested in growing professionally within an innovative, highly respected organization, we invite you to explore this excellent growth opportunity!

Apply Online

Friday, September 09, 2005


September 7, 2005 -- Machine Dreams Incorporated, the Minneapolis-based high technology resource center for business specializing in audience response systems, videoconferencing, interactive training, office automation, and multimedia production, has chosen Maccabee Group as its public relations agency.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Buehner will bring internship experience to healthcare and financial services practices

BLOOMINGTON, Minn., September 8, 2005 -The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced that Stacy Buehner will join the agency as an assistant account executive and will work on accounts in the healthcare and financial services practices.

Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Buehner interned in the public relations department at Fairview-University Medical Center and also served as the public relations director and special events coordinator for the University of Minnesota's Habitat for Humanity Chapter. Buehner graduated from the University of Minnesota in May 2004, with a bachelor's degree in journalism with a focus on strategic communication-public relations.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

See Yourself At Target

Specialist, Media Relations
Employing more than 270,000 team members in 47 states, we value creativity, diversity and collaboration in all its forms. From stocking our stores' shelves with fantastic products at great prices to a deep commitment to community giving, Target strives for excellence in every area.


Assists in presenting Target as a successful retailer and responsible corporate citizen to the public and helps maintain and promote the company's reputation overall. Serves as spokesperson for Target and assists with execution of general public and media relations efforts.


  • Responding to media inquiries about the company, including basic Target information, company expansion and store openings, product requests, and crisis communications.
  • Coordinating company information and helping monitor news media
  • Coordinating news releases on store openings, store closings and other company issues
  • Communicating effectively with internal company departments, especially Real Estate, Community Relations, Merchandising, Store Operations, Legal, Guest Relations and Assets Protection, Publicity, Investor Relations and Government Affairs.
  • Functioning periodically as back-up to Manager, Media Relations.
  • Handling store grand opening media relations process with public relations agency support.
  • Contributing to public relations projects managed in the department.
  • Assisting in drafting and dissemination of news releases and media statements.
  • Assisting Senior Specialist and Sr. Manager, Media Relations/Corporate Communications.
  • Conducting media training sessions at stores and within headquarters.
  • Providing strategic communications counsel, especially in the stores pyramid.



  • 2-3 years experience in corporate communications or related field.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Journalism or related field.
  • Strong oral and written communications.
  • Good organizational skills; able to juggle many projects at the same time.
  • Ability to interact with people from all levels of the company.
  • Able to prioritize and handle crisis situations calmly and professionally.
  • Professional representation of company to external audiences.
  • Strong computer skills; knowledge of Microsoft Word and Outlook required; FileMaker Pro is desired, but optional.
  • Flexibility to travel in order to conduct media relations training sessions.
  • Ability to perform effective oral presentations and training

    See The Rewards

    Eligible team members will receive one of the best earnings packages anywhere, including competitive pay, all-around insurance coverage, 401(k), flexible scheduling, training and development and many other perks and benefits. See a place of exciting challenges and rewards. See a place where you'll feel empowered to do something brilliant. See a place filled with creativity and unlimited opportunity. See a place where 'work' could easily be called play. To apply, visit our careers Web site at to view all career opportunities. See yourself here. Target is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and is a Drug-Free Workplace.

    To apply for this position, please click here.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Blue Cross Blue Shield of MN, Public Relations Consultant

Formal title: Program Communications Consultant

Please note: This is a full-time staff position

There aren't many jobs out there where you can use your public relations skills to improve and save the lives of thousands of Minnesotans. This is one.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is seeking an experienced public relations professional to join its Center for Prevention. The consultant will be responsible for planning, implementing and evaluating all aspects of a public and media affairs strategy in support of the Center for Prevention’s health improvement agenda. Over a ten-year period we aim to significantly decrease tobacco use and other risk factors for heart disease and cancer among Minnesotans. The consultant will report to Blue Cross’ director of media and public relations and will be dedicated 100% to work of the Center for Prevention.

Qualified candidates will have work experience in the following:

  • Public relations planning and implementation
  • Media relations, including spokesperson identification and training
  • Campaign evaluation
  • Public relations agency or contractor management
  • Community outreach planning and implementation
  • Public health, health care, public affairs or related field

Candidates must have a Bachelors degree in journalism, communications or closely related field, and a minimum of 8 years of versatile professional communications experience, preferably in both health nonprofit and corporate environments.

Other requirements include:

Creative thinker with excellent research, problem-solving, and analytical skills

  • Expert in developing, executing and evaluating program communications and public relations strategies and tactics
  • Experience with public opinion research and public awareness campaigns is desirable
  • Demonstrated leadership, consultative and interpersonal skills

For more information contact Carolyn Link (, ) or Karl Oestreich (, )

To apply, go to our web site at

Friday, September 02, 2005

Hurricane Katrina Relief

In light of what has happened in the south this week it has been difficult for me to concentrate long enough to put together a post. If you have been as broken up about this as I have please help! Click here to donate.

May God bless America and be with our brothers and sisters in their time of need. Now lets do all we can to help!
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