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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Weber Promotes Joni Written

The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced the promotion of Joni Written to account executive.

Written, a member of the financial services practice, joined the agency as an intern in May 2004 and was hired as an assistant account executive in August 2004. She currently works on an award-winning national campaign to promote direct deposit, as well as a national campaign to promote electronic tax payment.

Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Written worked in the sales division of Midwest Wireless, where she also completed a public relations internship. A native of Mankato, Minn., she earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communications with emphasis in public relations from Minnesota State University, Mankato.

New Sister blog - Minnesota Public Relations Jobs

Minnesota Public Relations Blog is expanding. Based on reader feedback I know many of you visit this site to find new job opportunities within the PR industry. This is an important service offered by this site, but can distract from some of the other news and events happening in Minnesota Public Relations.

So from now on you will only see a short link to that will list the title of the job and with what company. If you are interested you can then click on the link to find more information.

Here is an example of a job I found today:

Let me know what you think.

Mackenzie hires three new account managers

Minneapolis-based Mackenzie Marketing has hired three new account managers.

Kirsten Feste Taylor joins the agency from Piper Jaffray, Minneapolis, where she was vice president of marketing, Private Client Services. Prior to that, she was the director of advertising, promotion and publicity for Augsburg Fortress Publishers, also of Minneapolis. Taylor will handle clients including Ameriprise Financial, RiverSource and U.S. Bank.

Randy Werner joins from Federated/Marshall Field’s, where he was guest service research manager. Before that, he was an account planner at Minneapolis agencies Carmichael Lynch and Martin-Williams. At Mackenzie, Werner will work on agency clients including Collins and GMAC Residential Funding.

Heather Saucier who holds a B.A. in sociology from the University of Maine, was formerly a project manager. Her accounts include John Deere Credit, Pearson Assessments, Lominger and Black Box. Before joining Mackenzie, Saucier worked in account planning and new business at Mackenzie’s sister agency, Colle+McVoy, Minneapolis.

“We’re continuing to increase our breadth of experience,” says Andrew Mackenzie, president and chief executive officer, Mackenzie. “Kirsten Feste Taylor and Randy Werner represent the kind of senior, consultative approach we bring to our clients.”

Monday, February 27, 2006

So you got the boot! What's next?

The Star Tribune's Jon Tevlin had an interesting article in Sunday's StarTribune that got me thinking about something I don't talk about very often...if ever? Getting fired. Tevlin addresses some interesting points about the stigma of failure and how to rebound after.
Despite the increasingly public nature of losing (see various reality shows), it is still a significant stigma, said author Michael Laskoff. "People are comfortable with changing jobs, but very few people you meet admit to being fired. It is as much a disgrace as it always was, and getting fired is always personal. Fortunately, dignity is a renewable resource."

You might say Laskoff has failed his way to the top. A Harvard business grad who rose quickly during the Internet boom, only to be dumped -- several times -- from jobs, Laskoff turned his rejection into an industry. He wrote a book called "," runs a website and writes an online column.'s guide to job searching also discusses the stereotypes of someone who has been fired and how to deal with it.First of all, don't beat yourself up...getting fired can happen to the best of us. Don't dwell on it. Instead, focus on what you are going to do next and how you are going to find another job. Keeping in mind that another hurdle - the stigma of being fired - has just been added to your job search. That said, there are ways you can address this issue and put it in at least a neutral, if not a positive, light. What are the way to deal with it? suggests that the interview is where having been fired is going to surface and matter most.
You can be sure you are going to be asked the question "Why did you leave your last job?" Dick Bolles, author of recommends volunteering that you were fired even before the question is asked, then moving on. Joyce Lain Kennedy, in gives similar advice "... keep it brief, keep it honest, and keep it moving." She suggests explaining why (downsizing, merger) if it wasn't your fault. If it was, Kennedy suggests telling the interviewer you learned a lesson and explain how you benefited from the experience. Take the negative and turn it into a positive. In addition, Kennedy provide sample answers you can use when asked if you were fired.
Get all of's tips here.

Read the Star Tribune story here.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Thanks to Mackenzie Marketing

Thanks to Mackenzie Marketing for inviting me to their Dead Presidents Party last night. The food was good, the music was great and the new company identity is sharp. Cheers!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

SCG Selected by TPT and Intek Plastics

Strother Communications Group (SCG) has been selected to provide strategic communications services for St. Paul, Minn.-based Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) and Hastings, Minn.-based Intek Plastics.

Twin Cities Public Television
(TPT) has engaged SCG to provide advertising planning and public relations to promote a new national program titled, “The New Medicine,” which premiers March 29. TPT, whose mission is to harness the power of television and other media for the public good, uses television to inform, engage, enlighten, and delight viewers.

Intek Plastics has engaged SCG to develop a full range of strategic marketing initiatives including research, branding, public relations, identity development, collateral and eMergent™ media web services. Intek Plastics supplies high-performance, custom-made plastic extrusions to North American residential window and door manufacturers.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

New Beat for Nicole

Received this message from Nicole Garrison at the Business Journal today:

More changes in the newsroom at the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal... We just hired a new reporter, Lauren Wilbert, who will cover health care.

She joins the paper sometime in April. That means I will no longer cover health care - it was simply too big of a beat to handle along with my banking and finance, marketing and food coverage.

I will add professional services to my list, however. That means law and accounting, primarily. Please inform your clients in this industry that I am their new contact at the paper.

Hope all is well.



**Reminder** Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards

Since 1978, the Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards have been presented to public relations practitioners who, in the judgment of their peers, successfully addressed a communications challenge with exemplary professional skill, creativity and resourcefulness.

Please join Minnesota PRSA as it again honors the best in public relations during the 28th Annual Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards and 4th Annual Student Classics Awards program.

The awards will be presented March 9 at the Depot in downtown Minneapolis. The event is being emceed by former news anchor Frank Vascellaro.

The celebration begins at 5:30 p.m. with registration and cocktails. Dinner is served at 7:00 p.m. with the announcement of winners beginning at 7:30 p.m.

You can register online, download a PDF registration form or call the Minnesota PRSA office at . Advance tickets are available for PRSA members at $70 and for non-members at $90. After February 26, the price for admittance will increase to $80 for members and $100 for non-members. Tables of 10 are available prior to February 26 for $700 per table.

You can view more information about the upcoming Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards online.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Resumes and full disclosure

News came out today the the CEO of Radio Shack has resigned following questions about his resume's accuracy. This news comes as PR News released results from a survey saying that PR Professionals have largely ignored calls for full disclosure from the Federal government.

While these two items are not directly related I think they are symptomatic of a larger issue--the need to disguise the truth and to make things (companies or people) look better than reality.

According to the AP news story, Radio Shack CEO David J. Edmondson worked nearly 11 years with the company.
He stepped down on Monday after less than a year at the helm.

The company's board said it had accepted Edmondson's resignation and promoted Claire Babrowski - executive vice president and chief operating officer - to acting CEO.

"One of the most important things we have as a corporation is integrity and trust and we know we have to restore that back to the public,'' Executive Chairman Leonard Roberts said.
If a CEO can get away with lying on a resume for 11 years it's no wonder we have Sarbanes-Oxley in place in an attempt to try and keep our CEOs honest.

Once again it is time for us as PR professionals to remember that PR is not about "spin" it is about telling the truth. As Radio Shack learned today, sometimes the truth hurts.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Minnesota Public Relations Blog Readers

Some time ago I posted a poll on this site to see who reads . The results are in:

MNPR wants to know a little more about you?
Male age 20-30 (19%)
Female age 20-30 (43%)
Male age 31-40 (9%)
Female age 31-40 (14%)
Male age 41-50 (4%)
Female age 41-50 (3%)
Other (5%)
Total votes: 141

View the results here.

You can now take my new survey posted here, asking you what the average salary of MNPR readers is? Take it now.

Business Journal Ventures Section needs your help!

The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal is expanding its March 31 Ventures section and needs your help.

The plan is to profile three small businesses, of varying sizes, that are doing something(s) unique to control health care costs.

More specifically, they are looking for three growing companies that are:
Category 1: $1 million to $5 million in revenue
Category 2: $5 million to $15 million in revenue
Category 3: $15 million to $25 million in revenue

These companies need to be doing something innovative to control health care costs, without sacrificing coverage for their employees or simply passing those higher costs on to employees.

These companies need to be willing to talk about revenue and health care costs to some extent.

These companies need to serve as models for what other business owners, leading similar-sized entities, can do themselves.

And the Business Journal needs your suggestions soon. The editor will be assigning these stories Wednesday, March 1.

Please e-mail your ideas to:
Kim Johnson
Special Reports editor

Top 25 PR Firms in the Twin Cities

In case you missed it last week the Business Journal posted an article about CLS and how the company is climbing the ranks of Twin Cities PR firms. It is worth a read.

Check it out here.

Padilla Speer Beardsley Adds Seven Employees

Padilla Speer Beardsley Inc., an independent public relations consulting firm with offices in Minneapolis and New York, announced today it has hired seven new employees, enhancing key practice areas including: agribusiness, consumer marketing, interactive and creative services, manufacturing, technology and public affairs.

The additions include directors Wanda Blair and Kim Isenberg, account supervisor Theresa Skillrud, senior account executive Kurt Zellers, senior graphic designer Zion Wu Anderson, account executive Muriah Keith and assistant account executive Heather Johnson.

Blair joins the firm as a director in the firm's consumer marketing practice. She will be responsible for developing media relations strategies, national publicity opportunities and media training for clients Capella University, GE and General Mills.

Skillrud and Keith join the firm's manufacturing and technology practice. Skillrud will supervise work primarily for client Rockwell Automation. Account executive Keith will serve a variety of clients, including Aveso and Rockwell Automation.

Isenberg and Zellers expand Padilla Speer Beardsley's public affairs practice. As director, Isenberg will prepare clients for a broad range of public affairs challenges, including congressional and state legislative inquiries and regulatory development and enforcement. Senior account executive Zellers is currently a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives and a former director of public affairs.

Wu Anderson rounds out the Padilla Speer Beardsley creative and interactive services practice as the firm's senior graphic designer. Her areas of concentration include print collateral, corporate and brand identity, advertising, layout, photo direction and packaging design.

Johnson joins Padilla Speer Beardsley as an assistant account executive in the firm's consumer marketing practice area. She will assist clients Cub Foods, General Mills, Metropolitan Airports Commission and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.

LaBreche Murray Adds New Senior Account Executive

Minneapolis-based public relations firm LaBreche Murray announces the addition of Connie Stelter as senior account executive. Stelter will serve as a day-to-day contact at the agency for clients in the financial, business-to-business and consumer practice areas. She will also assist in researching and developing new business. Stelter's addition to LaBreche Murray is part of the company's 2006 initiative to double.

Stelter joins LaBreche Murray from Minnesota Public Radio where she developed and executed national publicity campaigns for its programs and hosts. She has also contributed to communication initiatives at Best Buy Co., Inc. as well as other Minneapolis-based agencies. Stelter has more than 10 years experience working with corporate, non-profit and business-to-business industries.

"It is an exciting time to join LaBreche Murray. There is a tremendous energy and an upbeat culture that translates into offering sound communications counsel that delivers positive results for its clients," says Connie Stelter. "In turn that energy and culture makes LaBreche Murray a great place to work."

Thursday, February 16, 2006


The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced the promotion of employees in the financial services and consumer marketing practices.

Rebecca Lechner has been promoted to senior account executive in the financial services practice. Lechner joined the agency in 2004 as an account executive and works on an award-winning national campaign to promote direct deposit. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, she spent nearly four years as a television reporter and producer for WEAU-TV in Eau Claire, Wis. A native of Eau Claire, Wis., Lechner earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a broadcast emphasis from the University of Minnesota.

Delia Spears has been promoted to senior account executive in the consumer marketing practice. Spears joined the agency in 2005 as an account executive and manages diverse public relations programs in the food and beverage and financial services industries. Before joining Weber Shandwick, she worked as a Promotions Manager for Burt’s Bees, Inc. in Durham, N.C., started her own business, CITY DOG, Inc. and was a Program Director for PAWS Chicago in Chicago, Ill. A native of Oklahoma City, Okla., Spears holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a public relations and advertising emphasis from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas.

Kris Oleson has been promoted to senior account executive in the consumer marketing practice, which she joined in 2005 as an account executive. She specializes in retail marketing programs and works with clients in the beverage and outdoor industries. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Oleson worked as an account executive for Gibbs & Soell, Inc. and an assistant account executive for Rubenstein Associates in New York City, N.Y. A native of Montevideo, Minn., Oleson earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Agency Selects Friendship Ventures for Yearlong Public Relations Support

The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick has selected Friendship Ventures as its pro bono client for this year. Based in Annandale, Minn., Friendship Ventures is a nonprofit agency that creates educational, recreational and social opportunities for children and adults with mental and physical disabilities. Weber Shandwick will provide public relations support to Friendship Ventures to help raise awareness of its programs and the contributions the company makes to the lives of those with disabilities.

Established in 1964 as a summer camp, today Friendship Ventures offers a broad array of therapeutic and outdoor recreational programs, including winter camp and respite care on weekends year-round. Participants have mental retardation, physical disabilities or other developmental disabilities.

“For thousands of Minnesotans living with mental, physical and developmental disabilities, visiting Friendship Ventures is the highlight of their year," said Sara Gavin, president of Weber Shandwick’s Twin Cities office. "We are thrilled with the opportunity to use our public relations expertise to help Friendship Ventures tell its story and communicate the resources offered to individuals with disabilities and their families.”

In addition to working with pro bono clients, Weber Shandwick’s community outreach efforts include an annual communications workshop for nonprofit agencies across the state and several daylong work projects. During the past 10 years, the agency has provided more than $1 million in services to more than 30 organizations.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentines Day!!!

Happy Valentines Day to all the Minnesota Public Relations Blog readers! Hope you have a fantastic day.

Silver Anvil Early Bird Deadline

Reminder: The PRSA is Friday, February 17th. Submit your entry(ies) for receipt at PRSA by the early bird deadline of February 17th, 2006 and save $50 per entry. All Entries must be received at PRSA by the final deadline of March 3, 2006

Silver Anvil Call for Entries

The Call for Entries for PRSA's Silver Anvil Awards competition, considered the preeminent industry awards for complete public relations programs and campaigns, is now available online at or by contacting PRSA headquarters at . Also available in the are copies of the 2005 winning Silver Anvil two-page summaries, tips on how to prepare your entry and answers to some frequently asked questions.

Monday, February 13, 2006

New Duo at KSTP - 5

KSTP-5 reported today that they will introduce two new anchors their 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts. According to the station, Cyndy Brucato and Joe Schmit will continue to anchor 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS at 5:00pm and Cyndy will join Joe on the anchor desk at 6:30pm. John Mason and Leah McLean will anchor 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS at 6:00pm and 10:00pm.

Additionally, Brad Sattin and Jessica Miles will anchor 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS on Saturday, at 5:00pm, 6:00pm and 10:00pm, and Sunday at 5:30pm and 10:00pm.

Get the full story from KSTP here.

Read the Business Journal story here.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Check out the jobs @

Check out the great jobs listed on the Minnesota Public Relation Society of America's web site:

Listings as of Saturday, February 11, 2006

Vice President (Health Care/Medical Device), Padilla Speer Beardsley

Director of Marketing and Communications, Minnesota Private College Council

Public Relations Program Manager, Greater Twin Cities United Way

Account Executive, Weber Shandwick

Technorati Tags: PRSA, PR Jobs

Friday, February 10, 2006

What;s Love Got To Do With It?

The Minnesota Chapter of the American Marketing Association presents:

What’s love got to do with it?
A conversation about customer experience

How do companies tap into what we love and hold dear to develop their experience strategy? This is a fabulous presentation we just couldn’t fit in to the Annual Conference! Come join us Valentines Day for a fun interactive walk through the “story land” of human behavior. Learn how your expectations drive the experiences you have every day, and what that should mean to companies you patronize. If you are looking for a competitive edge, and have struggled to do it with new products and services, then you need to hear this message about customer experience.

Kyle’s straightforward human perspective of what influences customers experiences is a refreshing break from the confusing narrative currently floating around in the marketplace.

Since experiences know no boundaries and are always present, you will want to hear this message – it could change your life!

  • Learn how experiences occur to individuals
  • Hear about the building blocks of experience
  • Discover how past experiences mask reality from memory
  • Learn why your expectations of love drive you to buy more than teddy bears.

2/14/2006: 7:30 am - 8:00 am
Registration and Networking

2/14/2006: 8:00 am - 9:00 am

2/14/2006: 9:00 am - 9:30 am
Q & A

University of St. Thomas

Get more information here and register for this event here.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

40 Under Forty petition for you ... deadline extended

Message from the Business Journal:

Hello, this is Mark Reilly from the Business Journal.

I'm writing because I'm putting together our annual "40 Under Forty" list, which honors young business leaders, entrepreneurs and up-and-comers.

I'd like your help: If you can think of someone who excels at what they do and seems destined for further success (and, of course, is under 40), please drop me an e-mail or better yet, fill out our nomination form at:

Too often, I think, some worthy candidates for this honor get overlooked because they're at a small or quiet firm that hasn't yet gotten on our radar screens yet or doesn't have a marketing or PR person handy. I'd like to avoid that this year.

The deadline has just been extended to Feb. 17.

Blogs and the Corporate Machine

A couple weeks ago on the increasing role of public relations in corporate communications. Today, the Economist has an article about what blogging is doing to the corporate environment:
The spread of “social media” across the internet—such as online discussion groups, e-mailing lists and blogs—has brought forth a new breed of brand assassin, who can materialise from nowhere and savage a firm's reputation. Often the assault is warranted; sometimes it is not. But accuracy is not necessarily the issue. One of the main reasons that executives find bloggers so very challenging is because, unlike other “stakeholders”, they rarely belong to well-organised groups. That makes them harder to identify, appease and control.
The article also points out the importance of listening to what the blogosphere is saying about your company.
One firm that could have saved itself a lot of trouble is Diebold, an Ohio-based firm that makes automated cash machines. After America's presidential election in 2000, which featured a vote-counting fiasco in Florida, the firm decided to expand a part of its business that made electronic voting machines by acquiring Global Election Systems (GES) in early 2002. The deal turned into a disaster when computer scientists and voting-rights groups educated the public about problems with machines such as those made by GES. The critics complained that GES's voting devices could not leave an audit trail because, among other flaws, they did not print paper ballots. By 2004 the mainstream print and broadcast media were also hammering away on this issue, leading several states, including Ohio, to reject GES's machines.

Evolve24, a consultancy which analyses corporate reputations and watches online trends closely, has used its blog-sniffing software to find out what was available on the internet before Diebold bought GES. It discovered that not only were a couple of voting-rights activists calling attention to the machines' drawbacks on their blogs well before the acquisition, but also that research papers highlighting the problems were available on technical websites. Diebold did traditional forms of due diligence before buying GES, such as verifying its financial health. But by ignoring the blogosphere, it failed to spot some crucial risks.
Get the full article from here.

Technorati Tags: Economist, Corporate Communications, Blogging, Corporate Blog

Hype Your New Products - Trade Show Media Relations

One of the things I enjoy most about my job is trade show media relations. I don't think it is just that I get to go to trade shows in Ft. Lauderdale FL in the middle of February, but that certainly doesn't hurt.

Trade shows and conferences are a great way to promote new products, get to know your customers and build relationships with key reporters. As such, it is critical that you have strategic plan when you step into the exhibit hall, so that you know exactly who you need to talk to and what you want to say.

Sandra Helse from, has a list of things to consider as you prepare for your next show she suggests 11 things to do before and during your next show:
1. Build PR into the total tradeshow marketing plan.

2. Build a PR analysis of previous years' tradeshows and use that historical information to plan for the upcoming event.

3. Cross-reference your marketing goals with the topics covered by media representatives who will be at the tradeshow.

4. Compile ongoing portfolios with articles from the top-tier writers who covered the tradeshow in previous years.

5. Issue invitations to the top-tier targeted media representatives who cover the tradeshow topic.

6. Write and distribute a Press Release that informs the media you are exhibiting.

7. Prepare a Press Kit that includes your conference press release and any additional releases you have sent out during the past six months. (MNPR Blog note: You may want to consider something other than the traditional paper press kit if you want to grab the reporter's attention. For example you could create an electronic press kit and put all your company information on a CD.)

8. Talk to the major wire services representatives (PRNewswire or BusinessWire) in the press room.

9. Ask for business cards from any representative of the media you meet at the show.

10. Contact the press after the tradeshow is finished.

11. If you choose to contract externally for PR services, choose a Public Relations consultant who has experience in your industry.
One additional thing to consider after the show is evaluation. Examine what worked for you and what didn't. Too often it is easy to just move on to the next thing without stopping to consider what can be improved.

Technorati Tags: Trade show, Media Relations, Press Release, Planning

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Don't Forget Tomorrow - AWC's Cabin Fever Silent Auction

Don't miss the Association for Women in Communication's (AWC) Spring Fever Silent Auction! It's time to shop, network and have a cocktail to support your favorite communications organization!

A portion of the proceeds from this year's event will be donated to Ready For Success, a local nonprofit program that provides professional clothing and coaching for women transitioning from welfare to work.

Peruse fabulous auction items, including marketing and communications-related products and services, gift certificates for your favorite theaters and restaurants,
and a few fun surprises! Listen to the hauntingly beautiful music of Dreamland Faces (Andy McCormick -- playing a saw -- and accordionist Karen Majewicz). Treat yourself to a new look with a mini-makeover. Or just reconnect with colleagues and friends.

Register Today.

Feb. 9 - AWC's Cabin Fever Silent Auction!
5:30-8 pm
$20 fee includes appetizers and dessert
Woman's Club of Minneapolis
Contact: Wendy T. Huckaby

Technorati Tags: AWC, Monthly Meeting, Twin Cities, Minnesota, Silent Auction, Spring Fever

Minnesota PRSA - Core Training Power Luncheons

Flex your mental muscles and your core professional skills! Minnesota PRSA's Core Training Power Luncheons are a hybrid of our traditional monthly meetings that are more interactive, focusing on topics you requested in the member survey. Did you know that getting away from the office for lunch can actually help you succeed? Motivational experts and career advisers alike recommend involving yourself in professional organizations and in networking situations to enhance productivity and motivation.

Life is busy. But strengthening your core will make you a more productive professional. After attending a Core Training Power Lunch, you'll return to work with new ideas, knowledge and the excitement to put these thoughts into action!

Crisis communications:
A behind-the-scenes look at how the Minnesota Department of Public Safety plans for worst-case scenarios

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The state of Minnesota has witnessed a number of high-stakes events in the past few years. Crises such as the Wellstone plane crash, school shooting in Cold Spring and the search for college student Dru Sjodin required an immediate, coordinated communications response.

As these events rapidly unfolded, officials from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety sprung into action - relying heavily on past planning and long-cultivated interagency relationships - to quickly disseminate information without compromising investigations.

What does it take to plan for a crisis that affects virtually every level of your organization? How do you develop and execute a communications strategy when the world is clamoring for information? What's the best way to communicate with your audience during a crisis-level event?

Ask yourself, "Is my company prepared for its next crisis?"

Learn how Kevin Smith, director of communications and PR for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, worked with public officials to manage some of Minnesota's most notable crises. Smith will discuss the nuts-and-bolts of putting together a crisis communications plan for your organization and offer tips for counseling your company's executives while establishing a process for communicating with your key stakeholders during the actual event.

Kevin Smith's Bio:

Kevin Smith has served as director of communications and public relations for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) since 2001. In addition to acting as department spokesperson and primary media contact for this 2,000-employee agency, Smith liaises with the governor's office, other state agencies, law enforcement and business community partners to develop coordinated messages related to public safety issues.

Smith oversees a small, but energetic department of communications professionals who function as "account executives" for DPS agencies including: the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, State Patrol, State Fire Marshal's Office, Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and the Office of Traffic Safety.

Smith acts as spokesperson and lead public information officer in crisis incidents and high-profile events involving these and other DPS agencies. Major incidents with which Smith and his staff have assisted in recent years include:

Plane crash involving Sen. Paul Wellstone - Eveleth, October 2002
School shooting - Cold Spring, September 2003
Dru Sjodin body discovery - Crookston, April 2004

Prior to joining DPS, Smith worked for 10 years at WCCO television in Minneapolis as a newscast producer, executive producer of sports and weather and, later, as senior coordinating producer. He was also employed by Midwest Sports Channel, where he held the position of director of programming and executive producer.

Meeting Specifics

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Registration and Networking: 11:30 a.m. - noon
Lunch: Noon - 12:30 p.m.
Program: 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.


The Commodore

Click here for directions...


PRSA Member $30
Nonmember $45
Student $15
(add $10 after the early registration deadline of February 12)


or call the Minnesota PRSA office at .

Technorati Tags: PRSA, Monthly Meeting, Professional Development, Minnesota, Public Relations, Crisis Management

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

3 local radio stations change hands in Disney deal

From today's Business Journal:
The Walt Disney Co. on Monday agreed to sell its ABC Radio division, including three Twin Cities stations, to Citadel Broadcasting Corp. for $2.7 billion in cash and stock.

KQRS, 93X and Drive 105 are among the 22 ABC Radio stations included in the deal, in which Las Vegas-based Citadel will also receive the ABC Radio Networks. The transaction does not include the ESPN or Radio Disney networks.
Get the full story from the Business Journal here.

Technorati Tags: 93X, Zone 105, 92 KQRS, Radio Disney, Citadel, Walt Disney Co.

OLSON Names New Public Relations Director

Peggy Snook To Lead Independent Agency’s Next-Generation PR Practice

OLSON announced today that it has hired Peggy Snook to lead the agency’s rapidly expanding public relations practice. As public relations director, Snook will oversee the strategic development and creative implementation of client public relations programs and drive business development efforts.

“From strategic campaigns to executing breakthrough creative tactics, PR has always been an important part of what we do,” said John Olson, president of the agency. “But with increasing demand for public relations, we need someone of Peggy’s caliber to join our leadership team and play a key role in creating opportunities for our current and future clients.”

Having spent more than 17 years in the public relations field, Snook brings a wealth of experience to OLSON, most recently as director of communications at Colle + McVoy. Snook has also worked at some of the most well-known PR agencies in the world including Weber Shandwick, Carmichael Lynch Spong, Fleishman-Hillard, Inc. and Ogilvy & Mather. She has handled PR for some of the world’s most respected brands including General Mills, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Anheuser-Busch and Sears.

“We performed a nation-wide search to find the person with the right amount of experience who also understood what we’re trying to do here,” said Kevin DiLorenzo, managing director and senior vice president at OLSON. “It turned out the person we were looking for was right in our own backyard. Peggy is a natural fit for OLSON and we’re thrilled that she is on board.”

“I love OLSON’s fresh approach to marketing and how they’ve established such a strong PR foundation that is poised for tremendous growth,” said Snook. “I chose this agency for its energy, spirit and creativity and for the opportunity to grow the PR practice into one of the best in town.”

Technorati Tags: Olson, Peggy Snook, Public Relations, Minnesota

Monday, February 06, 2006

IABC - Brand, Budget and Beyond: 2006 Internal Communications Conference

The ‘must attend’ event in 2006 for IABC internal communicators. We kick off with a keynote from the Mayo Clinic ‘Bringing the Brand to Life’ - recently voted by Fortune as one of the top 100 best companies to work for. This will be followed by case studies from Best Buy, Thomson West, Carlson WagonLit and others. In addition, there will be a session called ‘What’s on your Mind?’ giving you the opportunity to network and exchange views with your peers on best practices and what’s next in engaging and motivating employees.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The Commodore
St Paul, MN 55102

Event Registration

$90.00 for a limited time
($110.00 original price)

$75.00 for a limited time
($94.00 original price)


$40.00 for a limited time
($50.00 original price)

RSVP Thursday, February 23, 2006

Interested? Click here to register.

Technorati Tags: IABC, Internal Communications, Best Buy, Minnesota, Professional Development, Mayo Clinic

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Sr. Seminar & Events Marketing Specialist - Thrivent Financial for Lutherans

The role of the Sr. Seminar & Events Marketing Specialist is to provide leadership to Thrivent Financial’s seminar programs and customer marketing events. The position is accountable for implementing dynamic strategies and tactics as well as turnkey solutions for seminars and events; managing and directing vendors and associates that support Thrivent’s seminar & event marketing programs; serving as liaison to other divisions involved in the process; providing guidance and training to our field staff; and providing leadership to a technology strategy for support and delivery of the seminar and event channel to engage customers.

Position Roles/Responsibilities/Accountabilities:
  • Implement a dynamic new strategy and direction for the Thrivent seminar programs and processes. Utilization of consultants, alliances and partnerships, where appropriate or required.
  • Develop and implement turnkey solutions for seminar programs and events. Includes developing a communication plan and involvement of key stakeholders in process.
  • Direct the delivery and evaluation of the seminar and event programs/processes that meet the planning needs of our current/prospective members and target markets.
  • Lead all field communications and training support for effective use of this customer channel.
  • Direct the development and delivery of specific proprietary corporate seminar materials to support other channels and marketing strategies (Grangaard, Retirement Market, Congregation)
  • Lead the implementation of Thrivent’s various field seminar packages (seminar kits and support materials) for effectiveness and consistency. Ensure that the message to members and Lutherans is consistent with Thrivent’s marketing/brand strategy and that seminars are monitored and evaluated for effectiveness, reviewed and updated annually. Compliance and corporate communication standards are to be meet for purchased and proprietary seminars and support materials.
  • Provide direction to the administration of the seminar & event programs/processes. Coach others to conduct needed tasks without direct supervisory authority.
  • Lead a technology strategy seminar delivery and seminar training support. This could include such items as interactive seminars, delivery over satellite technology, flexible seminar templates that allow minimal personalization, among others.
Position Qualifications:
  • College degree in marketing, sales, communication or related field preferred, or equivalent in work experience.
  • Minimum of 5-8 years of marketing experience.
  • Experience as seminar program/process strategist, or equivalent experience required.
  • Knowledge of financial services industry required.
  • Course work in industry related courses such as LOMA, LUTCF, FIC, CFP, or CLU, series 6 or 7 license helpful.
  • Experience in program/process management and project leadership required.
  • Experience in vendor management required.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with other marketing functions and cross-functional groups.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead complex cross-department initiatives and larger teams.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop strategic recommendations and for getting results.
  • Ability to develop marketing and management skills in more junior marketing staff.
  • Proven strategic leadership skills to develop and manage a program that will generate sales and deliver a positive brand image. Proven success in developing strategy and implementing large-scale projects on time and within budget.
  • Creative thinker who is open to exploring new processes and offerings through external strategic alliances/partnership when needed. Familiarity with successful seminar selling techniques preferred.
  • Ability to work constructively with individuals at all levels of the organization, soliciting input and ideas from various departments, looking for synergy opportunity with internal and external opportunities. Focuses on common goals when working with others.
  • Proven decision-maker who takes responsibility for decisions and producing measurable results.
  • Knowledge of Thrivent Financial and affiliate financial products and services (risk, investment and planning) as well as fraternal products and services preferred.
  • Knowledge of Thrivent Financial distribution system, sales system, legal and ad compliance preferred.
  • Knowledge of the Lutheran marketplace.
If this position is of interest to you, please apply directly through Thrivent Financial's career center at

Technorati Tags: Thrivent Financial, Events, Public Relations, Minnesota, Careers, Jobs

Account Manager - 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, strong agency experience, a commitment to delivering 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.

Apply online by clicking here or send your information to .

Technorati Tags: Russell & Herder, PR, Public Relations, Minnesota, Careers

Public Relations Director (Health Care/Medical Device)

Padilla Speer Beardsley is accelerating its growing Minneapolis-based health care/medical device practice. PSB serves many exceptional clients in this field from their Minneapolis headquarters and their New York office, and seek a strong and experienced leader to take their expertise even further.

If you are a strategic communicator, well-connected in the health care field, with 10+ years of experience in this area (preferably with medical device organizations), consider this an excellent opportunity to build on our mutual successes. The ideal candidate is passionate about helping organizations communicate complex subject matter and is familiar with the regulatory environment. Excellent client service, high energy, and a drive to develop business and build lasting client relationships are critical. Education in health sciences and/or a marketing degree is a plus.

Padilla Speer Beardsley is an employee-owned company that strives for excellence, delivers results, appreciates collegiality, offers generous benefits and is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Send resume to Stephanie Grogg at or PSB, #400, . For more information visit our Web site at

Technorati Tags: PSB, PR, Public Relations, Minnesota, Careers

Friday, February 03, 2006

Exponent PR Internship - Immediate & Future

Exponent Public Relations (formerly Colle+McVoy Public Relations) is seeking an inspired, results-oriented public relations go-getter to fill the position of intern extraordinaire.

Why apply? Exponent offers its interns first-hand experience in the art, science and business of public relations. How? As an Exponent intern, you are involved in everything public relations from researching and writing media materials, to reaching out to media and coordinating interviews, to helping plan important events and meetings. And while you may have to buy us donuts once in a great while, we’ll never make you get our coffee.

We’re looking for college seniors, recent college graduates or graduate students to fill this immediate opening. Candidates must possess some knowledge of the public relations profession (e.g., know a thing or two about the media). Excellent writing skills, strong organizational skills, and the ability to meet deadlines also are essential attributes. Most important, though, is the desire to work in a fun, demanding, high-energy, collaborative environment.

This paid position requires a minimum commitment of 16 hours per week. To be considered eligible, resumes must be submitted by February 28, 2006. For more information about Exponent Public Relations, visit

To apply, e-mail your resume to . Qualified candidates will be contacted for an interview. No phone calls please.

Technorati Tags: Colle+McVoy, PR, Exponent Public Relations, Minnesota, Internships

Exponent Public Relations (formerly Colle+McVoy Public Relations) is seeking an inspired, results-oriented public relations go-getter to fill the position of summer intern extraordinaire.

Why apply? Exponent offers its interns first-hand experience in the art, science and business of public relations. How? As an Exponent intern, you are involved in everything public relations from researching and writing media materials, to reaching out to media and coordinating interviews, to helping plan important events and meetings. And while you may have to buy us donuts once in a great while, we’ll never make you get our coffee.

We’re looking for college seniors, recent college graduates or graduate students to fill this opening. Candidates must possess some knowledge of the public relations profession (e.g., know a thing or two about the media). Excellent writing skills, strong organizational skills, and the ability to meet deadlines also are essential attributes. Most important, though, is the desire to work in a fun, demanding, high-energy, collaborative environment.

This full-time, paid position requires a minimum commitment of 40 hours per week. To be considered eligible, resumes must be submitted by March 10, 2006. For more information about Exponent Public Relations, visit

To apply, e-mail your resume to . Qualified candidates will be contacted for an interview. No phone calls please.

Technorati Tags: Colle+McVoy, PR, Exponent Public Relations, Minnesota, Internships

Olympics and you?

Do you have a local advertising or public relations related connection to the upcoming Olympics? If so, please shoot me an outlining your story.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Happy Groundhog's Day!

Groundhog's day is one of my favorite days of the year. It might just be because !

Anyway, groundhog makes his appearance today, to decide whether spring has sprung or if we are in for another six weeks of winter.

The legend says, if the groundhog emerges and fails to see its shadow because the weather is cloudy, winter will soon end; however, if the groundhog sees its shadow because the weather is bright and clear, it will be frightened and run back into its hole, and the winter will continue for six more weeks.

Unless your a big fan of snow you may not like this year's forecast.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Happy Three Year Anniversary MNPR Blog!

That's right, it has been three years since I launched this site. It's amazing that just three years ago few people knew what a blog was and admittedly even I didn't understand its full potential.

From until now, I never could have imagined how much I'd learn and how much fun I'd have doing it.

Thanks to the more than 2,500 readers that visit each month for making this experience so rewarding.



The recipe for an effective media campaign can be yours when you join us at the 2006 Ad Fed Media Auction. Bid on over $200,000 worth of media time and space with the opportunity to save 70-90% off of the street value for these items. Discover great values on television, magazine, newspaper, out of home, radio, direct mail and online advertising space donated by local media outlets.

Silent auction items to be bid on include a Timberwolves Suite for 12, a walk on role as a bingo caller in "Gotta go Bingo" and a chance to be the first to ride the new thrill ride this Spring at Valleyfair.

Click here for a listing of auction items.

Date: Thursday February 9, 2006 5:30-8:00pm
Location: Palomino, 825 Hennepin Ave, Downtown Minneapolis
Tickets: $40 - Includes free drinks and light appetizers and dessert
Parking: Will be validated in the Lasalle Plaza ramp
To Register: Call or register online at

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