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Monday, October 31, 2005

Olson is agency of record for SLM

The Business Journal is reporting that Olson Advertising Inc. announced today that it will serve as the agency of record for SLM Corp., the nation's largest higher-education finance company.

Minneapolis-based Olson is a full-service ad agency providing public relations, advertising, design and other media services.

Olson will work with SLM's in-house teams in all marketing areas, including brand positioning, design, advertising, media, public relations and more.

Get the full story here.

Weber Shandwick agency of record for Jo-Ann Stores

Weber Shandwick has been appointed agency of record for the leading national craft and fabric retailer, Jo-Ann Stores, Inc. (NYSE: ). The agency will provide public relations and communications support by building brand awareness, generating key market support for new store openings and developing community relations initiatives. Weber Shandwick's Minneapolis office will lead the account with support from the firm's New York office.

"We are honored to be appointed agency of record for Jo-Ann Stores," said Sara Gavin, president of Weber Shandwick's Minneapolis office. "We're looking forward to weaving our strong retail experience and creativity into industry-leading, innovative public relations programs for Jo-Ann Stores."

Jo-Ann Stores, Inc., the leading national craft and fabric retailer with locations in 47 states, operates 705 Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts traditional stores and 142 Jo-Ann superstores. Superstores generate almost four times the revenue of a traditional store and house a large assortment of crafting, floral, custom framing and finished home-décor items in addition to an expanded selection of fabrics and sewing needs. The company offers customers the choice, quality, style and support needed to pursue the passion of creating beautiful things.

Maccabee wins Galaxy Award for "Go Organic! For Earth Day" Campaign

Maccabee Group has earned a national Bronze “Galaxy Award” for its 2005 “Go Organic! For Earth Day” publicity program for client MusicMatters. “Go Organic! For Earth Day” was honored as one of the best “Cause Related Marketing Campaigns” in America.

Presented by New York-based Mercomm Inc., the Galaxy Award honored the media coverage generated for “Go Organic! For Earth Day,” a campaign produced by MusicMatters for the Organic Trade Association and Earth Day Network which united 56 organic food brands and 20 supermarket chains to encourage consumers to enjoy the benefits of organic food on the 35th anniversary of Earth Day.

Maccabee Group’s PR campaign for “Go Organic!” generated more than 35 million consumer impressions, including a feature on TV’s “Good Morning, America.” MusicMatters’ post-campaign research found that awareness of organic food went up 8% to 72% among U.S. adult consumers. In addition, over 15,000 educational curriculums were downloaded from Earth Day Network as a result of the campaign and sales increased at retailers across the country.

Thanks FH!

I'm back in town! What a trip!! Thanks to FH for posting while I was out. Looks like you had some good conversations and some great posts. Today I will be working of putting together a summary of my trip to Louisiana, but right now I am still trying to sort it out in my head.


Friday, October 28, 2005

Awards – Why Bother?

I think it’s obvious that entering industry awards for your company or firm is a worthwhile experience. Entering, and especially winning awards, lends your company credibility and shows that your agency or department is the best in your market or industry. It demonstrates to your clients or stakeholders that you are proud of the work you have done and feel it needs the recognition it deserves. Even having your company’s name in the program gives visibility among your colleagues. But what does entering awards do for you personally?

There are several reasons for an individual to decide to take on the painstaking task of entering industry awards. First of all, becoming a finalist or winning in your category gives you recognition within your company or firm.

A senior account executive in our office decided to enter an element she was very proud of in last year’s PRSA Classics Awards. She drafted her two-page summary and collected supporting materials basically on her own because her supervisor felt that entering awards might not be the best use of her time and would prefer that time was instead focused on building new business relationships. Long story short, the SAE’s entry became a finalist, she invited her clients to attend the awards ceremony and the clients were very excited to accept the award when it won. The SAE’s supervisor admitted afterward that it took a lot of initiative to go through with the entry and was very happy the client was so pleased.

Another good reason for an individual to get involved with industry awards is the opportunity to network with industry leaders and peers. The award ceremonies are great to meet people you don’t know, catch up with people you haven’t seen in awhile and introduce yourself to that PR professional that has always impressed you.

One of the most important reasons to enter awards and attend award ceremonies is to have fun. What’s better than spending a celebratory night with co-workers? Being recognized by your peers is one of the most fulfilling events that can happen in a public relations practitioner’s career.

Curtis Smith

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Be Part of Pro-Am Day 2005

Volunteer Now to Provide Students with a Look at PR Careers

Pro-Am Day, short for Professional-Amateur Day, is slated for Friday, November 18. The annual mentoring event matches Twin Cities' PR professionals with Minnesota PRSSA students for a day of job shadowing. Participating students have an opportunity to learn more about work environments and job expectations by experiencing a day-in-the-life of a public relations professional. We hope you will consider hosting a student. Following the visit to your workplace, you're also invited to join students at a reception and skills seminar at RSM McGladrey in Bloomington.

To sign up for Pro-Am Day 2005 as a professional host, please fill in the Professional Registration Form and return it to Anne Salmen via fax at or via e-mail at by November 4.

For more information for professionals wishing to host students, please visit the MN PRSA Web site at --> -->.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Hey there, Blimpy Boy

As previously discussed on the Oct. 11 entry, the mystery blimp is no longer a mystery. KMSP-TV Channel 9 is behind the blimp, which can still be seen circling Minneapolis (see pictures, which were taken yesterday). Certainly the blimp created buzz before the banners were switched, but has it convinced viewers to watch its early newscast? Are you more aware of the newscast time? Please, let us know your thoughts.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

2006 PRSA Classics Call for Entries

Entries are now being accepted for the 28th Annual Minnesota PRSA Classics. The deadline for entires is December 8, 2005 at 5 p.m.

In addition to the outstanding public relations elements and programs that will be recognized, Minnesota PRSA will also name a recipient of the Donald G. Padilla Community Classic Award. In addition, area college students are encouraged to showcase their work by entering the 4th annual PRSA Student Classics.

Celebrate your public relations achievements of the past year by entering your own outstanding work in the 28th annual Classics Awards program on March 9, 2006 at the Depot.
More information on the PRSA Classics can be found at

Greetings from the FH think tank

We would like to introduce ourselves and thank Ryan for the opportunity to post on this excellent blog.

If you have any questions or story subjects you want us to cover, please shoot us an e-mail or post in the comments section.

In the next few days, look for entries that will cover such subjects as Getting a Job Out of College and Awards - Why bother?

We are very excited to cover for Ryan while he is bailing out Louisiana.

Jessie and Curtis

Monday, October 24, 2005


President Bush has picked Ben Bernanke, chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, to replace Alan Greenspan as Fed chairman, according to an administration official.

Get more info at

Friday, October 21, 2005

Fleishman-Hillard to blog for me while I'm in Louisiana

Starting Tuesday, October 25, 2005, Jessie Dienst and Curtis Smith from Fleishman-Hillard have volunteered to blog for me while I am in Louisiana next week.
is a Senior Coordinator at Fleishman-Hillard, Inc, where he directs the new business and marketing efforts for Minneapolis/St. Paul office. Along with his marketing and new business responsibilities, Curtis manages creative assignments for FH clients, including print collateral, promotional materials, Web development, interactive applications and video.

Prior to joining Fleishman-Hillard, Curtis worked for the Minneapolis office of Weber Shandwick Worldwide as a member of its marketing and new business team. At Weber Shandwick, he assisted in distributing promotional material, managing the prospect database and preparing capabilities and collateral for new business presentations.

He is a member of the (PRSA) and serves as co-chair of the PRSA's Classics award committee.

is an Assistant Account Executive at Fleishman and works primarily on their technology accounts, serving as support for media relations and trade shows, writing and editing documents, and spokesperson coordination.

Jessie graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and an emphasis in public relations. During school, she wrote for the Iowa State Daily and served as the 2003-04 president of the ISU chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America.
Good luck, I am sure you;ll enjoy it.

2005 International PRSA Conference Cancelled

The PRSA Board of Directors has canceled the 2005 PRSA International Conference, scheduled for October 22 - 25, due to the potential effects of Hurricane Wilma. The Board and staff are exploring options for rescheduling the event in the near future. Please stand by for more information.

In addition to posting the latest information on our Web site (, we have a Conference Hotline for updated information. That number is .

Judith T. Phair, APR, Fellow PRSA
President and CEO
Public Relations Society of America

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Volunteer Bloggers Needed

Last time I went on vacation I recruited several colleagues from Weber Shandwick to ghost write for me while I was out of town. Next week I will be headed out of town again to Louisiana to help with the clean up effort down there. If there are any loyal readers out there that would like to give blogging a whirl please let me know.

Here are a few topics I would loved to see covered on the blog in more depth.
  • Finding a job in PR after graduation
  • PR Ethics - How things have changed since Enron
  • APR - The importance of being accredited
  • Evaluation - Reviewing a PR Campaign
  • Awards - Why bother?
  • How to build an integrated communications budget

These are not requirements but just some food for thought if anyone is ambitious enough to tackle on of them. If you are interested in writing, shoot me an e-mail, two references, a lock of your hair, a finger print and 245 writing samples and I will get back to you. .

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Corporate blog adoption

There was an excellent article in yesterday's Wisconsin Technology Network on the acceptance of corporate blogging in companies acroos the nation. The article, written by Chris Shipley, offers some startling statistics on the influx of blogs into corporate America.

Sighting stats from a recent study conducted by
Guidewire Group’s BlogOn 2005 Social Media Adoption Survey, Shipley highlights some of the major results of the survey:
  • Companies that are adopting blogs are doing so with significant initiatives. Almost 10% of respondents have more than 20 internal and/or external blogs.

  • Internal blogs – used for communication within a company – are predominantly used for knowledge sharing (63%) and internal communications (44%). Four out of five companies with internal blogs use them to improve internal communications. One in three are replacing e-mail-based processes with blogs; one in six are using blogs to replace other software.

  • About 60% of those with external blogs –used for communications outside a company – have more than one, and about 17% have more than five blogs. External blogs are mainly used for PR/marketing (61%) and demonstration of thought leadership (61%). More than 40% have a CEO blog.

  • The expected benefits of external blogs include improved brand recognition (78%) and external communications (78%), as well as a vehicle for customer feedback (66%). A few respondents are expecting blogs to generate income (20%), but many more are expecting them to improve search engine positioning (58%).

  • The biggest challenges faced by business bloggers are maintaining enthusiasm (42%), encouraging adoption (36%) and dealing with technological problems (30%). Editorial policy (14%) and dealing with inappropriate comments or content (14%) are less of a problem than getting management support (18%).
Get more info on this survey and register for a social media seminar hosted by executive producer Chris Shipley for BlogOn 2005 Social Media Summit here.


Monday, October 17, 2005

Minnesota Bankers Association hires Melissa Holm


The (MBA) today announced the hiring of Melissa Holm as Public Relations Specialist. Holm will work on the organization’s new initiative to enhance the public’s understanding of the key role that banks and bankers play in their communities.

Holm, a native of Nicollet, Minn., graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in strategic communication. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and most recently worked for public relations firm Weber Shandwick Worldwide.

Daniel Boone joins Colle+McVoy as new director of integrated services

MINNEAPOLIS — (August 12, 2005) — Daniel Boone has joined Colle+McVoy as the director of integrated services, where he will oversee both the agency's direct and interactive groups.

"Daniel brings a fascinating and diverse background to our halls," said John Jarvis, Colle+McVoy's chief executive officer. "We're thrilled to have someone of his caliber on board to expand our growing direct and interactive groups into best-of-class status."

After a national search, Boone was wooed to Colle+McVoy from Penn Garritano, where he served as the vice president and director of strategic marketing. Boone has previously held positions at Saatchi & Saatchi, the Layton Marketing Group and Miller Meester Advertising.

And for the record, Boone is indeed a direct descendant of the famous Daniel Boone — but he doesn't wear a coonskin cap to work.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Public Service Announcement - Boss' Day

Don't forget Sunday, October 16 is National Boss Day. You don't want to be the only one to forget, come Monday.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

KMSP-TV Channel 9 behind mystery blimp

Nicole Garrison-Sprenger of the Business Journal broke the news this afternoon that local TV station KMSP-TV was behind the mystery blimp .

Here is an excerpt:
The Twin Cities' Fox station affiliate, commissioned the airborne billboard -- with the phrase "Enough is enough!" on one side and "Had it up to here?" on the other -- to advertise its new 5 p.m. newscast, which will debut on Monday.

"As we started to look at our marketing needs we wanted something that could break through the clutter," said Carol Rueppel, general manager of the station, early Thursday. "We wanted something people could pay attention to."

The blimp's certainly attracted attention. Local media, including the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press, have tried to figure out who in town is behind the gimmick. There's also been much speculation on blogs such as and .

Get Nicole's full story here

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Public Relations Specialist Position at Russell & Herder

Russell & Herder is seeking an experienced public relations specialist with a passion for strategic client leadership. Responsibilities will include: developing/managing public relations initiatives for major accounts; communications plan development and execution; providing strategic counsel internally and externally; and delivering outstanding results by building significant staff and client relationships.

Ideal candidates will have PR or agency background, proven track record in media relations and ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects/accounts. Must have a Bachelor’s degree minimum, strong agency experience, a commitment to deliver client ROI and the ability to generate creative results within a team environment. You must be entrepreneurial, a self-starter with excellent written, interpersonal, project management and presentation skills. We are looking for someone who is resourceful and detail-oriented.

Candidates within the Minneapolis area who meet qualifications will be give first consideration.

Contact Lynn Clark @ for more information.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Red October Campaign

The mystery blimp that has been roaming the Twin Cities over the past week remains just that, a mystery. On one side the blimp reads "Enough is enough!" and on the other it reads, "Had it up to here?"

Who is the sponsor? Good question. The only thing we do know is that the company who bought the blimp paid $1.7 million, according to WCCO, and that this event is called the Red October Campaign.

The name, Red October Campaign, has historically been linked to held during the month of October. Could the purchase of this blimp be a political statement?

Could it be tied to another radio promotion, like what KDWB did last year before the election?

What do you think? Feel free to speculate below.

Thanks to Minnesota Public Relations reader Lisa Carlson of Exponent Public Relations for bringing this story to my attention.

Monday, October 10, 2005

New look for the Star Tribune

As the Star Tribune prepares to launch a new look on Wednesday there are several interesting issues brought up in this article by Annie Baxter of Minnesota Public Radio.
  • Are newspapers still the primary source for news?
  • Will a makeover do anything to attrack readers?
  • Will more layoffs be the result of low readership?
  • Does everything always need to be in bullet form?
  • Will Sid Hartman ever retire?
What do you think? Get the MPR story here.

AWC’s Learning Lunch

On Thursday, October 20, Sharron Stockhausen will speak at AWC’s Learning Lunch for the next of our Smart Women Get ROI series topics: Invest in Your Ability to Negotiate – You Can Be Nice and Get What You Want.

Thursday, October 20, 2005
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Woman’s Club of Minneapolis

To register or for more information, visit Questions? Please contact Susan Ahrens at or .

Brand Specialist at Russell & Herder

Russell & Herder is looking for a seasoned brand specialist with a passion for strategic client leadership and proven track record.

The right candidate will have a Bachelor’s degree minimum (Master’s strongly preferred), strong agency experience, a commitment to deliver client ROI and the ability to generate creative results within a team environment. Excellent written, relationship-building, project management and presentation skills a must.

Responsibilities will include brand strategy development, team leadership and client management.

Candidates within the Minneapolis area who meet qualifications will be give first consideration.

Contact Lynn Clark at for more information.

Sunday, October 09, 2005


David Folkens has joined the Minneapolis/St. Paul office of Fleishman-Hillard, Inc. as a managing supervisor in the healthcare practice group.

“Dave brings excellent corporate communications experience to the practice,” said Bob Hanvik, senior vice president and healthcare practice group leader for the Minneapolis/St. Paul office. “With an understanding of both medical technology and pharmaceuticals, and a broad skill set, we look forward to Dave contributing locally, nationally and internationally in Fleishman-Hillard’s large and growing healthcare group.”

Folkens joins Fleishman-Hillard from Medtronic, Inc., where he served as manager of corporate public and media relations. His responsibilities included proactive public relations activities for the company and focused on managing issues, mergers and acquisitions, and financial communications.

Prior to Medtronic, Folkens spent nearly eight years at Orphan Medical, Inc. where he was responsible for public relations outreach, investor/analyst relations, Web development, and internal communications.

Folkens graduated from Moorhead State University in Moorhead, Minn., with a degree in mass communication and emphasis in public relations.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Minnesota PRSA October Monthly meeting

Agencies and Corporations: Working Toward the Same Goal from Different Angles

October 20, 2005

Presenter: Scott Robertson, Director of Marketing and Communications, NAMM, the International Music Products Association

Does it seem like PR agency representatives and corporate communications staff are speaking different languages? Do you feel that you have a PR plan and a different marketing plan that don’t always work together? Learn from a professional about working on the relationships that will help you reach your communications goals more effectively – your “inside” communications relationships. Those on the inside include your PR agency account liaison and people from the internal public relations and marketing communications departments.

Scott Robertson has been on all sides of the communications team and knows just what professionals in agencies and corporations/organizations want from their strategic communications plans. Join us for insights on how both agencies and their clients think, and pick up ideas that you can use no matter where you work, including:

  • How PR and Marcom can work together to effectively transmit an organization’s brand image
  • How corporations view the public relations function and what they expect from a PR firm
  • How an agency and client can more effectively work together to achieve maximum results
  • How you can make the transition from agency to corporate, or from corporate to agency, leveraging the skills you picked up along the way

Scott Robertson, APR, is the director of marketing and communications for NAMM, the International Music Products Association. NAMM is a not-for-profit trade association representing the interests of more than 9,000 music product retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors throughout the world and the producer of The NAMM Show and NAMM Summer Session trade shows. Robertson is responsible for communicating NAMM’s brand identity to its members and other audiences in order to help the organizaton reach its strategic objectives.

Meeting Specifics:
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Registration & Networking: 11:30 a.m. – noon
Lunch: noon – 12:30 p.m.
Program: 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Metropolitan Ballroom

Pre-Registered: $30 members, $45 guests, $15 students; Walk-ins (after October 17): $40 members; $55 guests; $25 students
Register By: 5:00 p.m. Monday, October 17), to receive the discounted rate.

Click here to register.
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