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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

SCG gets GO North! Account

Strother Communications Group (SCG), has been selected to conduct marketing and PR services for the Go North! 2006 Alaskan Arctic Expedition.

Go North! is a collaboration between the University of Minnesota, Arctic research scientists, explorers, students and teachers across the nation.

In February 2006, an international team of educators, scientists and explorers will embark on a two-month, 700-mile crossing of the Alaskan Arctic by dogsled. The team will transect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to bring to focus the prospects of oil exploration, while ascertaining the realities of global environmental change in the region.

Although the journey itself is impressive, the purpose of the program is to engage students and teachers in a unique educational, scientific and cultural journey of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. An extensive, free online education program will give K-12 students the opportunity to comprehend traditional and contemporary life in remote Arctic communities, emphasizing the effects of environmental changes.

This is the second expedition that SCG has helped the team members of GoNorth! with. SCG handled media relations for Arctic Transect 2004, gaining extensive media coverage and winning a Minnesota PRSA Classics award for best nonprofit media relations program.

Read the Business Journal story by Nicole Garrison-Sprenger here.

Transition to a New Year

Reflecting on the past year and reading , I am encouraged to see that is continuing to grow. Since last year, readership of this site has doubled. Our readership is up to about 80 to 100 unique visits every day and over 2,000 a month since August, 2005.


As many predicted, 2005 showed tremendous growth for Podcasting here in Minnesota and elsewhere.

In addition, as more Internet users subscribed to broadband Internet connetions, 2005 saw the evolution of vlogs. 2005 also witnessed the spamming community jump aboard the blogging revolution with the creation of splogs.


What will 2006 hold for blogging? I think it is safe to assume that blogging will continue to evolve and become more sophisticated as is does. RSS will take blogging to the next level as we see programs like Outlook integrate it into their e-mail software. will be here to report on events as they happen.

What about PR?

But what about in the PR community? In 2005, we saw the invention of , we saw PRSA president and CEO Judith T. Phair testify in front of a Senate Committee on video news release legislation and we, as the PR community scrambled, to come up with a coherent response to the question "What constitutes PR?".

In 2006, I would like to see the PR community here in Minnesota , so that everyone will have a better understanding of what we are talking about when we say that we practice public relations.

The Wiki Experiment!

In an effort to define PR, I have developed a brand new website known as a Wiki. For those of you that don't know what a wiki is it is defined by Wikipedia as a website that allows users to add and edit content and is especially suited for constructive collaborative authoring.

Through the use of this new wiki I hope to get your sense of what it means to practice public relations.

Remember this experiment will only work if you choose to participate so let get going. Put your thinking caps on and help me come up with a definition for public relations.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The rise and rise of corporate blogs had an interesting article on corporate blogging yesterday. The article referenced the often sited PEW Internet & American Life Project predicting that there will be 34 million blogs by the end of 2005.

Also referenced in the article was, a Swedish run Web site, that discusses some critical elements to consider before or while starting a Corporate Blog.

Not to be out done by its competition, also ran an article yesterday on IBM's approach to Corporate Blogging. Here is an excerpt from that article:
According to a study by compensation specialist and Time Warner's (NYSE: TWX) America Online, about 45% of respondents report goofing off online at work, with the average worker wasting more than two hours (not counting lunch). Companies, in general, expect some slacking off, but their estimates have been more like one hour per day. So these extra hours are costing more than they thought -- according to the study, the lost productivity is valued at up to $759 billion. Yikes.

That should be enough motivation for some companies to unplug all of their employees' computers. But wait -- there are some upsides to time spent online, too. Just ask IBM(NYSE: IBM).

I (Selena Maranjian) recently wrote a short piece about "The Business of Blogging," where I mentioned, among other things, that "Some CEOs are finding blogs valuable in their operations. According to a article, the fifth annual 2005 PRWeek/Burson-Marsteller CEO Survey reveals that ... '59% of CEOs said blogs are useful for internal communications, and 47% said blogs are effective for external audiences.' Companies with corporate blogs include IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Verizon(NYSE: VZ), and Microsoft(Nasdaq: MSFT)."

After it was published, I heard from Brian Doyle, director of Corporate Affairs for IBM, who wanted to share how (and why) IBM was using blogs and "new media." I thought some readers may be interested, since IBM is venturing into areas where other companies are sure to follow. So here are some of his points. See what you think.
Find these Corporate Blogging articles and many more at your source for .

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Tunheim Partners announces Blue Cross and Blue Shield as new client

Tunheim Partners, a Minneapolis-based public relations and public affairs agency, announced today that the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation has selected the agency to assist in developing policy initiatives for the Foundation. The agency will create recommendations for strategic policy efforts related to four social determinants of health: social connectedness, housing, environment, and early childhood education and development.

The purpose of the Blue Cross Foundation is to address issues that will create a healthier future for Minnesota. As the philanthropic arm of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, the foundation addresses significant influences on health that are beyond the traditional reach of the health care system.

Fleishman-Hillard promotes Hanvik to Senior VP

Fleishman-Hillard today announced the promotion of Senior Vice President Robert N. Hanvik to partner and general manager of its Minneapolis/St. Paul office.

"We interviewed a great many talented candidates, both internal and external,” said Fleishman-Hillard Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John D. Graham. “In the end, we unanimously agreed that Bob brings just the right combination of qualities to this position – outstanding client dedication, impressive communications experience as both counselor and client, and an intense commitment to developing and supporting staff.”

Hanvik replaces Frank Parisi, who stepped down from the general manager post in August 2005 and who remains with the firm as a senior counselor.

Hanvik joined Fleishman-Hillard in March of 2005 as a senior vice president to lead the healthcare practice in the Minneapolis/St. Paul office.

Prior to joining Fleishman-Hillard, Hanvik served for five years as senior director of global public and media relations at Medtronic. There, he managed marketing public relations, financial, and issue/crisis management programs throughout the world, with an emphasis on Europe, Asia, and Australia. Before Medtronic, he spent 15 years in public relations on both the corporate and agency sides, specializing in consumer, technology, healthcare, financial communications, and sports marketing.

Hanvik, a native of Minneapolis, is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., with a degree in journalism and minors in business administration and international economics. He also has a certificate in advanced journalism studies from the London School of Journalism. Hanvik serves on the boards of directors of the Minnesota Literacy Council and Stages Theatre Company.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Russell $ Herder hiring

Russell & Herder is seeking an experienced public relations specialist with a passion for strategic client leadership. Responsibilities 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.

Get the details from

Friday, December 16, 2005

2006 Minnesota PRSA Officers

The 2006 Minnesota PRSA Officers were announced yesterday at the annual Minnesota PRSA meeting. Congratulations go out to the following:

President: Gail Liebl, APR
Vice President: Rose McKinney, APR
Treasurer: Anna White Lovely, APR
Secretary: Janice Hennings, APR
Director: Pam Fricke, APR
Director: Anne Hendricks, APR
Director: Sean McDonnell, APR
Director: Jennifer Bagdade, APR
Ethics Officer: Theresa Palmersheim, APR

Also continuing their terms on the 2006 board of directors are:

Immediate Past President: Shireen Ghandi, APR
Director: Kevin O'Connor, APR
Director: Candee Wolf, APR

PSB looking for interactive developer

Padilla Speer Beardsley’s growing Creative & Interactive Services group is looking for an interactive developer with solid e-marketing experience and skills in FLASH and html development for Web sites, micro-sites and e-mail marketing. Should be familiar with content management solutions and Web analytics. SEO experience a plus. Check out our creative portfolio at Send your resume to Stephanie Grogg: .

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Public Relations Vice President/Senior VP at Weber

Weber Shandwick is looking for a senior member for its Corporate, Community and Public Affairs team with corporate and issues management experience. We offer the chance to work with outstanding clients in an exciting and energetic office.

Candidates should have at least 15 years of experience, including 3 – 5 years of agency experience. Ideal candidate will have strong managerial and supervisory skills, and corporate background and experience in issues and crisis management. Excellent strategic thinking and planning skills are required, in addition to a strong background in exceptional client service. Candidates must have superior communication skills, both verbal and written. Experience with mentoring and developing junior-level employees is required.

Get more information from click here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Changes at KARE 11

Leading Twin Cities TV news station is making some changes. As you've probably heard, , Ken Barlow and now with Pat Evans and Roxane Battle is being replace with advertainment.

That's right, technologies like TiVo, that allow viewers to skip commercials, have finally taken its toll on the television community with the introduction of advertainment. An advertainment is basically a glorified infomercial. Minnesota Public Radio explains:

This spring KARE will be the first in the nation to convert its into a long-running commercial, called "Showcase Minnesota." You'll see anchor hosts sitting in comfy chairs, with guests snuggled next to them, to talk up the latest in food, fashion and gadgets.

Guests will pay to be on the new show and the anchors will act like inquisitive hucksters.

"It's the reality of the business that is in a volatile state of change and fluctuation," says Roxane Battle, who has co-hosted the soon-to-be cancelled KARE 11 Today show for five years. She doesn't like the format change, but she understands why her station is switching to a talk show that's pure advertising.

"Revenue," she says. "It's no secret. Eyeballs are evaporating from television screens. They're going to the Internet, and that's affecting the bottom line."
What will this meaning for local television? As if the lines between public relations and advertising weren't fine enough this should really confuse people. What do you think?

Get the rest of the Minnesota Public Radio story here.

Here is a story from today's Onion on stealth marketing.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

PR Candidates waiting!!

, crossing over from college to the professional world can be difficult. Even if you've had internship experience, finding a job can be difficult and getting companies to notice you is just as hard.

A few enterprising job-seekers have posted their resumes to my site. If you are an HR manager or someone in the position to hire take a look, you never know who you might find.

Interested in having your resume posted? in a word document and I will put it on the site.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Get your MNPR Gear for the Holidays!

Be the first in your office to come into work dressed in stylish Minnesota Public Relations Blog gear. Check it out. Visit my new store just launched today.

Let me know if there is something that you want that isn't offered and I will see what I can do.

**Rescheduled from earlier**

Expand Your Horizons

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Download the Conference details (PDF)

Meeting Specifics

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Registration & Breakfast/Networking: 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Professional Practices Conference 9:00 m. – noon
Lunch and Annual Meeting Program: noon – 1:30 p.m.


Metropolitan Ballroom


Full Registration
PRSA Member $90
Nonmember $110
Student $45

Lunch Only
PRSA Member $30
Nonmember $45
Student $15

or call the Minnesota PRSA office at .

Registrations for the full program after Thursday, December 8 will be charged an additional $25.
Registrations for lunch only after Thursday, December 8 will be charged an additional $10.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Account Executive Position at Haberman & Assoc

Minneapolis-based PR firm Haberman & Associates seeks modern storyteller to lead national media relations campaigns in the technology, med-tech and bio-tech sectors.

Ideal candidate will possess insanely great national business, trade and consumer media relations skills; 3-5 years experience at a PR agency; awesome writing skills; and an appetite for working in an ever-changing, fast-paced environment. Investor relations experience a plus.

Send resume/cover letter to by Jan. 31, 2006.

Salary commensurate with experience.

Friday, December 09, 2005

FAST HORSE Seeks Two New Employees

Fast Horse Inc. is looking for two Client Relationship Managers (CRM) to join its growing team.

The CRM has a minimum of 2-5 years PR agency experience and is responsible for driving programs and assisting with day-to-day account execution. The CRM also manages client engagements; contributes to and leads appropriate strategic discussions and applies critical judgment on all daily work; conducts consumer and industry research, and is responsible for timely invoicing and other basic account and agency management tasks. Candidates who demonstrate creativity, strong writing skills and a sense of humor will have the inside track.

Please send your resume to .

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Vascellaro to host the 28th Annual Minnesota Classic Awards banquet

Frank Vascellaro will host the 28th Annual Minnesota Public Relations Society of America Classic Awards banquet. The Kare 11 host, who recently announced he will be leaving for greener pastures has been the anchor for the station since 2003 and has been with the station for nine years.

According to , Vascellaro came to KARE from WHOI-TV in Peoria, Illinois in 1996. He has been involved in community projects since arriving; most notably, the Cancer Kids Fund, the Crisis Nursery and the Minnesota Children's Museum among many other organizations.

Get details on and register for the Classic Awards here.

Minnesota PRSA Award Entries Due Tomorrow

Just a reminder, award enteries for the Minnesota Public Relations Society of America are due tomorrow, 12/8/2005.

Deadline for receipt of entries is 5 p.m., December 8. There are no deadline extensions. Each entry must be submitted according to the How to Prepare Your PRSA Classics Entry instructions or it will be disqualified with no refund.

Get more info at

Funniest Commercials of the Year

Vote for the 2005 Funniest Commercial of the Year at TBS click here.

To view other funny commercials from TBS click here.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Minnesota PRSA Annual Meeting and Professional Practices Conference

**Rescheduled from earlier**

Expand Your Horizons

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Download the Conference details (PDF)

Meeting Specifics

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Registration & Breakfast/Networking: 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Professional Practices Conference 9:00 m. – noon
Lunch and Annual Meeting Program: noon – 1:30 p.m.


Metropolitan Ballroom


Full Registration
PRSA Member $90
Nonmember $110
Student $45

Lunch Only
PRSA Member $30
Nonmember $45
Student $15


or call the Minnesota PRSA office at .

Registrations for the full program after Thursday, December 8 will be charged an additional $25.

Registrations for lunch only after Thursday, December 8 will be charged an additional $10.

AWC - Giving voice to your value

Wondering how you’re going to get a new job, capture a new client, or convince a decision-maker to see it your way? Don’t miss the Association for Women in Communications’ Learning Lunch, Invest in Selling Your Ideas – Make Your Value Proposition Irresistible, the next in the Smart Women Get ROI series.

Thursday, Dec. 15, 2005
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Woman’s Club of Minneapolis

Register online now at to hear sales strategist and popular speaker, Jill Konrath. She’ll share instantly useable tips on how to create urgent and compelling needs for what you have to offer. For more information visit our Web site or contact Susan Ahrens at or .

Monday, December 05, 2005

Nordstrom SilverScreen

Nordstroms and Fallon have launched a new web site called Nordstroms Silverscreen. The site will feature a series of video remixes including the Go-Go's popular "Our Lips Are Sealed" and Culture Club's "I’ll Tumble 4 Ya."

The plan according to Nordstrom is that a new retro-video will be launched each month thru 2006. The Business Journal reported last week that "about 2.5 million Nordstrom customers received an e-mail inviting them to Nordstrom Silverscreen. So far, roughly 10,000 people downloaded the channel to their hard drive. Those who download the channel receive new content automatically."

So far, the mildly-entertaining videos seem to have been received well by the blogosphere, which is good news for both Nordstrom's and Fallon.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Writing to write because it feels right

This is a great article it was published in the Business Journal this week and discusses the importance of writing regularly. It addresses some important points for those of us in the field of writing. Here is an excerpt:
Many of you, at some point, would like to write something of significance. I ask my audiences, "How many of you have said to yourselves, 'I'd like to write a book' or 'Someday I'm going to write a book.'" Tons of hands go up. Eagerly.

I follow that question up with, "Keep your hand up if you have the first chapter written." Almost all hands go down. Sheepishly.

For most, there doesn't seem to be much will beyond the "want." Too bad because writing unleashes a whole new set of awareness within you:
  • Writing provides personal insight.
  • Writing clarifies thought.
  • Writing fleshes out existing ideas and generates new ones.
  • Writing creates characters and character.
  • Writing is a discipline -- a self-discipline of the mind.
  • Writing forces you to think from the back of your brain -- the creative section.
  • Writing enhances your creativity.
I think most of us tend to get too busy writing for work, school and volunteer stuff that we forget to write for ourselves. The new year is coming and with it comes a chance to resolve to do things better. Next year, I resolve to tell more stories, not because anyone cares, but because I enjoy telling them and want to improve my writing. Who's with me?

Get the rest of the Business Journal article by Jeffrey Gitomer here.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Russell & Herder seeking Copywriter

Russell & Herder is currently looking for a talented Copywriter to join our team. We’re seeking a rare mix: a candidate who knows the rules of good writing well enough to know how, when and why to bend them. This is not a “traditional” copywriting position, although you will be responsible for copywriting, from initial concept through final execution.

Other media skills, such as desktop video editing, will be considered a big plus. Successful candidate will be smart, professional, with the proficiency to write for a multitude of media, including print, Web, radio, collateral, as well as strategic positioning statements develop branding for campaigns. Must be comfortable interacting with both clients and consumers, in the office and in the field. You understand how to connect brands with consumers in engaging ways, how to communicate quickly and clearly, have a commitment to delivering client ROI and the ability to generate creative results within a team environment.

Strong knowledge of grammar and style, exceptional proofreading skills and self-editing capability, knowledge of strategic marketing/promotional tactics, enthusiasm for learning and developing new consumer engagement strategies, ability to quickly move between assignments and subjects and intellect, street-smart, sense of humor and positive, can do attitude.

Please submit cover letter, resume and five writing samples to . Candidates within the Minneapolis area who meet qualifications will be given first consideration.

See their Monster ad here.

Minnesota Hospital Association is looking for a communications specialist

The Minnesota Hospital Association — which represents the interests of 136 Minnesota hospitals and the communities they serve — is seeking a communications specialist. This important member of our communications team will primarily be engaged in writing and project management. Duties will include:
  • Writing, working with staff on articles and managing our weekly news publications; this will include covering some events;
  • Preparing and editing MHA background pieces and other collateral on topical issues, such as legislative priorities or MHA’s health policy-related work;
  • Creating other Web-site content;
  • Managing various projects and publications, such as the MHA Awards program, newsletters and the State Legislative Report;
  • Researching; and Assisting with media relations.
Reporting to the communications director, the specialist will work closely with other members of the communications team, other MHA staff members, hospital leaders and other contacts.

The central job requirement is a strong, proven ability to write clearly and persuasively. In addition, the specialist should have a relevant bachelor’s degree and four years of experience in the communications field or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Experience in health care or government is preferred.

MHA offers a competitive salary and a strong benefits package. For more information on MHA, visit For other information or to apply, contact John Manning, MHA communications director, at .
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