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Friday, June 30, 2006


Digineer, a technology and management consulting firm, has chosen Minneapolis agency Mackenzie to handle project and positioning work.

“Mackenzie’s approach of combining proven methodology with exceptional customer service and creativity meshes nicely with our style,” says Jon Whitcomb, vice president of sales, Digineer. “Refining the Digineer brand internally as well as externally is a key to moving forward. We know Mackenzie has the skill to make this happen.”

“We look forward to working with Digineer, to help them define their brand in the marketplace,” says Andrew Mackenzie, president and chief executive officer, Mackenzie. “Together we’ll help them grow even faster.”

Mackenzie wins national honors for Collins

Minneapolis-based Mackenzie took home a silver Portfolio award for creative excellence in financial services advertising at the , hosted by the . The event was held Thurs., May 11 in New York City. Mackenzie won its award for a brochure it created for reinsurance intermediary Collins, Inc. Mackenzie handles the company’s brand positioning, advertising, marketing and communications work.

“Financial communications is one of our core client bases,” says Andrew Mackenzie, president and chief executive officer, Mackenzie. “To be recognized by the Financial Communications Society for our work, in a category that had many great entries this year, makes us feel very proud.”

The Financial Communications Society (FCS), a not-for-profit organization, is dedicated to improving professional standards in financial communications. For more information on the FCS, please visit .

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Wilson and Persuitti join RAA

Risdall Advertising Agency (RAA) announces the addition of Tom Wilson, executive vice president, chief connectivity officer (CCO), a newly created position at the agency.

"The experience and strategy development Tom brings to Risdall will help keep us at the top of the industry," says John Risdall, chairman of RAA. "With 15 new clients joining us in just the first half of 2006, we have been able to hire top-notch people to provide exceptional work."

Wilson joins RAA with more than 25 years of agency experience. As CCO, he will be making a connection between brands and end users that results in building and sustaining customer loyalty.

Also joining RAA is Anna Persuitti, account executive. Persuitti, a 2006 spring graduate of Northwestern University in Iowa, started at RAA with an internship from May through August 2005 in which she assisted with various projects for RAA client Twin Cities Originals (TCO).

Persuitti also completed an internship at Energy BBDO in Chicago where her focus was competitive research for the Dial team.

Vote for Mauer!

Down the Home Stretch. Mauer Now Third.

Hey Twins fans! Your efforts are working! Joe Mauer has moved into third place amongst A.L. catchers in All-Star voting. Make sure he's starting at the Mid-Summer Classic on July 11 in Pittsburgh by voting up to 25 times in the 2006 All-Star Game Online Ballot before balloting ends this Thursday at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Be sure to "Vote Joe Mauer" or any of your other All-Star favorites and automatically be entered for a chance to win great prizes, including a chance to meet Joe! <Complete Info »

Vote & be entered in two easy steps:
1. Fill out a ballot online and select the Twins as your "favorite" or "other favorite" team.
2. Submit your ballot, and you will be automatically entered!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Confusion, e-mails and signing off

Two articles in today's Wall Street Journal caught my attention this morning. The first, by Jared Sandberg, discusses inspirational quotes at the end of e-mails. This article struck me because I get lots of e-mail from PR pros all over the state and I know that there are many of you who like to put quotes at the bottom of your e-mails. Sandberg was unclear about his own like/dislike of e-mail quotes, but he did offer up a Web site that offers every e-mail signature you could ever wish for and more. Here is a quote for you to meditate on today, "I'm not normally a praying man, but if you're up there, please save me, Superman!" - Homer Simpson

The second article of interest from today's WSJ is from Lee Gomes. Gomes interviewed Nicholas Epley, of the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. Epley studied e-mail communication and found that "many e-mail users remain unaware of some of the medium's basic, and rather stark, inadequacies."

The reason this article appealed to me is because I think as PR professionals we need to be vigilant to ensure we are communicating accurate information. Personally, I have a tendency to be a little sarcastic at times, Gomes points out the sarcasm doesn't always translate into the electronic world.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Vacation Planned!

Okay, my vacation is planned. Thanks to those who shared your concern last week by insisting that I get out of the office. Actually, now that I think about it, it may have been my coworkers that were urging me to leave...wonder if that is a bad sign?

Anyway, I am headed to Canada for the week of August 20-27. Anyone interested in guest blogging? Let me know.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Jobs - Creative Memories an Antioch Company is Hiring


Friday, June 23, 2006

Summer is your vacation planned?

It is finally Friday, summer is here and the days are officially getting shorter. Kind of depressing, what's even more depressing is that I don't have a vacation planned for this summer. Usually by this time of year I am well into making plans to get away. Maybe I will start planning this weekend because as this article shows it is important to take time away from the office.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Eden Prairie wins MAGC Award of Merit

The Communications Division of the City of Eden Prairie was recently recognized for its efforts in two areas.

The Minnesota Association of Government Communicators (MAGC) presented two awards to the City for the Life in the Prairie monthly newsletter and for the City’s design and introduction of its new logo and brand.

“It’s always great to be recognized for your efforts,” said Communications Manager, Patrick Brink, “but it’s even more rewarding when that recognition comes from your peers.”

The Awards of Merit were presented at the 24th annual Northern Lights awards ceremony.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Job - Target - Media Relations Specialist

Weber Promotes Carlson to AE

The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced the promotion of Jessica Carlson to account executive in the consumer marketing practice.

Carlson, who joined the agency in 2005, focuses on retail marketing and financial services and currently manages several media relations programs for the agency’s clients.

Kistle Appointed to Commission on Public Relations Measurement and Evaluation

Padilla Speer Beardsley announced that David Kistle, senior vice president, has been appointed to the Institute for Public Relation's Commission on Public Relations Measurement and Evaluation. Kistle leads the firm's Research practice.

Founded in 1956, the Institute for Public Relations (IPR) expands and documents the intellectual foundations of the practice of public relations, and makes this knowledge available to all professionals, educators, researchers and their clients. IPR's Commission on Public Relations Measurement and Evaluation was formed under the auspices of the organization in 1998. It exists to establish standards and methods for public relations research and measurement, and to issue authoritative best-practices white papers.

"I am pleased that David will be contributing his expertise to this commission," said Lynn Casey, Padilla Speer Beardsley chair and chief executive officer. "His role with IPR represents the kind of deep expertise within our senior staff that attracts clients to our firm."

In addition to appointing Kistle to the Commission, other appointments include:
-Dr. Donald K. Wright, University of South Alabama


-Michelle Hinson, Institute for Public Relations

-Forrest W. Anderson, Consultant

-Don Bartholomew, GCI Group

-Patricia Bayerlein, Gagen MacDonald

-Donna Q. Coletti, Texas Instruments

-Kathryn Collins, General Motors

-Pauline Draper, Millward Brown Precis

-Marianne Eisenmann, Echo Research

-Dr. Craig S. Fleisher, University of Windsor

-Dr. David Geddes, Fleishman-Hillard

-John Gilfeather, GfK NOP

-Toni Griffin, MetLife

-Angela Jeffrey, VMS

-David Kistle, Padilla Speer Beardsley

-Fraser Likely, Likely Communication Strategies Ltd.

-Dr. David Michaelson, David Michaelson & Company

-Frank E. Ovaitt, Institute for Public Relations

-Sunshine Janda Overkamp, Overkamp Overkamp-Smith

-Katharine D. Paine, KDPaine & Partners

-Dr. Brad Rawlins, Brigham Young University

-Dr. David Rockland, Ketchum

-Dr. Don W. Stacks, University of Miami

-You Mon Tsang, Biz 360

-Mark Weiner, Delahaye

-Sean Williams, Goodyear

-Walter G. Barlow, Research Strategies Corporation

-John W. Felton, President and CEO Emeritus, Institute for Public

-Dr. James E. Grunig, University of Maryland

-Dr. Walter K. Lindenmann, PR Research and Measurement Specialist

Monday, June 19, 2006

Exclusive Resorts Retains CLS as Agency of Record

Exclusive Resorts (SM) has retained public relations firm Carmichael Lynch Spong (CLS) as its agency of record. CLS will launch a strategic media relations campaign to raise awareness and drive inquiries for the company. The agency’s assignment will start immediately.

Based in Denver, Colo. and Washington D.C., Exclusive Resorts is the largest destination club in the world, offering its more than 2,000 members unprecedented access to an approximately $750 million portfolio of luxury vacation residences in dozens of the world’s most desirable destinations. Members can choose from nearly 300 properties that combine the spaciousness and elegance of private homes with the services, amenities and conveniences of a five-star resort.

"Exclusive Resorts members have discovered that there really is no better way to vacation," says Rachel Neumann, communications director for Exclusive Resorts. "Through awareness and education, we believe that even greater numbers of families will come to experience the kind of effortless, luxurious vacation lifestyle that our club can offer, and we believe CLS is the partner to assist us in this effort."

Clarion Award Banquet Honors the Best in Communications

On May 23, the 2006 Clarion Awards banquet celebrated the best in creative communications that the Twin Cities has to offer. For the first time, the Association for Women in Communications recognized 10 Silver Medal Division Champions:
Division 1 Winner - Advertising
Safety Advisor e-newsletter
American Family Insurance and iq Marketing

Division 2 Winner – Marketing/PR
PAAS 125th Anniversary Celebration
RMS Public Relations LLC
with Paula Mielke and Janette Law

Division 3 Winner - Newsletters
Planning Ahead
ELCA Board of Pensions

Division 4 Winner – Magazines
Thrivent Magazine
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans

Division 5 Winner – Brochures
Value Proposition for Health Plan Members
ELCA Board of Pensions

Division 6 Winner - Employee Publications
American Family Insurance Agent Enrollment
American Family Insurance and iq Marketing

Division 7 Winner - Other Publications
Medicare Drug Plan Preview
MN Senior Federation

Division 8 Winner - Audiovisual
Thomson Legal & Regulatory

Division 10 Winner - Design
Cooking Pleasures Magazine
Cooking Pleasures

Division 11 Winner - Writing
Pressure Ulcer Prevention
Nancy Giguere, Wordsmith
Minnesota Health & Housing Assoc.
The 2006 Gold Medal Best of Show award for the most outstanding entry or organization was given to ELCA Board of Pensions. Also at the Clarion event, Robin Smothers received the the 2006 Headliner Award, and Sara Masters was presented with the annual Rising Star Award.

A full list of winners can be found here.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Job - Communications and Data Specialist - Neuger Communications Group

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced two new hires in its technology practice group.

Jen Jorgensen has joined the Twin Cities office as a senior account executive. Jorgensen comes to Weber Shandwick from Washington, D.C. where she worked in media relations for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Prior to working for SHRM, Jorgensen worked in the press office of U.S. Senator Tim Johnson.

Jorgensen received her Master’s degree at the Media and Public Affairs School of The George Washington University and her B.S. from Northern Arizona University.

Josh Purdy has also joined the technology group as an assistant account executive. Purdy most recently worked as an editor/writer for the Cyclone Report Newspaper in Ames, Iowa and also served as a technology/policy/corporate intern at Edelman in Washington, D.C.

Purdy received his B.A. from Iowa State University where he majored in Journalism/Mass Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations and is currently working on a Master’s of Arts degree with an emphasis in Public Relations, Technology and Social Change, and Higher Education from Iowa State University as well.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Sources needed for story on Rising Gas prices

A message from Nicole Garrison-Sprenger of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal:


We're working on a story about how rising gas prices are affecting small and mid-sized business owners.

We want to know what's going on with companies in the Twin Cities. (Ad & PR folks, we're wondering about your clients).

Do you expect revenue to drop as a result of gas prices? By how much? How will other aspects of the business be affected? What are you doing to deal with the increasing gas prices?

A recent poll showed that more than 85 percent of small business owners expect a drop in revenue as a result of increased in gas prices with most of those already feeling the pinch, according to an online survey conducted by DollarDays International, an Internet-based product wholesaler to small businesses and local distributors.

Let us know what you think. Please respond by 3 p.m. today, June 13.



Monday, June 12, 2006

LaBreche Murray announces the promotions of Simon and Mike

Minneapolis-based public relations firm LaBreche Murray announced today the promotion of Stephani Simon to director and Jessica Mike to assistant account executive.

As an eight year veteran of the firm, Simon has successfully provided measurable results to the agency’s business to business and consumer clients. From strategic thinking to implementation of campaigns that support and enhance client’s brand identity, Simon’s skills are highly valued by both clients and the agency. In her new position Simon will play a key role in new business development along with heading up the agency’s real estate and construction practice.

Simon is an active member of The (SMPS) and a member of The City of Lakes Rotary Club, serving on the PR and marketing board for Rotary District 5950.

Jessica Mike steps into the role of assistant account executive after serving as an intern and an account assistant with LaBreche Murray over the past year. Mike will continue to lend her talents to clients in the manufacturing and professional services industries in addition to driving public relations initiatives for the firm’s pro-bono accounts.

“It’s wonderful seeing employees develop and grow professionally. Stephani and Jessica have gone above and beyond while advancing up the ladder of success. Both women will continue to be an asset to LaBreche Murray by upholding our standards to serve our clients at the very highest level,” says Jake Trippel, vice president of operations.

PRSA Anvil Award Winners

Apparently I picked a bad day to take a vacation, because everyone sent me their news releases on Friday about winning . The Anvil Awards are presented by PRSA and represent the very best of public relations work completed in 2005, as judged by industry peers at this national competition. Here is a summary of the awards received during the annual awards show in New York on June 8:
Congratulations to all of this year's winners! You can access the complete database of this year's winners by .

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Minnesota PRSA Holds First Ethics Summit

Former PRSA national president Judith Phair, APR, Fellow PRSA, to headline event; members and local business pros to discuss topical ethical issues

Judith Phair, APR, Fellow PRSA, and past national president of the , will be the keynote speaker at a half-day Ethics Summit – the first of its kind for Minnesota PRSA. The summit will also feature past Minnesota PRSA presidents and former ethics officers David Schoeneck, APR, managing director of the Praxis Group and Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, system director for communications and public relations with Fairview Health Systems; and current Minnesota PRSA ethics officer, Theresa Palmersheim, APR, director of communications with the Academy of Holy Angels. Attendees will take part in interactive role-play sessions on topical ethical issues.

In addition, a media panel will focus on ethical issues PR professionals face when dealing with the media. Panelists for this inaugural event include: Kate Parry, reader representative at the Star Tribune; Don Brazeal, assistant professor in the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication; and Marisa Helms, reporter for Minnesota Public Radio and president of the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Beyond their historic role as the public face of their employers, public relations professionals are increasingly being called upon within their organizations to help analyze and guide ethical decision-making. This summit will help educate public relations professionals about their ethical role and responsibilities.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006, 8 – 11:30 a.m.
and Continental Breakfast: 8 – 8:30 a.m.
Ethics Summit: 8:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Optional New Member Luncheon: 11:45 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Metropolitan Ballroom
Golden Valley, MN 55416

Cost is $60 for PRSA members, $80 for nonmembers and $40 for students that register before June 13 at 5 p.m. After that date and time, $10 will be added to each price. In addition, the optional lunch will cost $20. or call the Minnesota PRSA office at .


Nicole Christopherson has been named project manager at Mackenzie. She was previously the agency’s office manager.

Christopherson is a graduate of the University of Minnesota’s School of Journalism, and was a supervisor in the Minnesota Daily’s advertising production department.

"As our business grows, we’re happy to promote our top people from within," says Andrew Mackenzie, president and chief executive officer, Mackenzie. "Nicole has done a great job as office manager and we’re ready to have her achieve new successes."

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

CLS Names Reitan Partner, Head of Marketing to Women Special Services Group

Carmichael Lynch Spong (CLS) has named Maria Reitan partner and head of the firm’s Marketing to Women special services group. Reitan joined CLS as senior counselor in 2003 after 15 years in television news as an Emmy Award-winning news director, producer, reporter and writer.

Based in the firm’s Minneapolis headquarters office, Reitan’s current female-friendly client responsibilities include MasterBrand Cabinets, Scripture Union and Radisson Hotels and Resorts. In addition to her consumer product experience, she has also consulted for clients in both the financial and health care fields.

“Maria is a star CLS asset,” said Douglas K. Spong. “Not only is she a consumer marketing whiz, but her intimate knowledge of the inner workings of a television newsroom has time and again proved invaluable to our clients, from media coaching to crisis and issues counsel. We’re proud to call her a partner.”

As chair of the CLS Marketing to Women special services group, Reitan harnesses the group’s award-winning consumer marketing expertise and in-depth knowledge of the female demographic to reach women where they live and where they work on behalf of CLS’ clients. The CLS Marketing to Women practice stays on top of female purchasing power and loyalty trends while delving into women’s attitudes about products and companies.

Reitan earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America.

Job - Marketing Director & Communications Director - American Heart Association

As the comments below suggest, last night was a great time of networking, laughing and drinking. Special thanks to Minnesota PRSA President Gail Liebl for coming up with the idea of First Tuesday's. Thanks to Kimberly Johnson for blogging about new media and PR, keep up the good work. And finally, special thanks to Sarah Shamla for dubbing me the Czar of Minnesota Public Relations--a title I humbly accepted last night (just for the night). It was a fun night, we missed those of you that couldn't make it. Cheers!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Want to grab a drink after work?

Join me tonight at the Minnesota PRSA First Tuesday Networking event at the Nochee Bar and Restaurant, located at 500 Washington Ave S. (next to The Depot) from 5 pm to 8 pm. Did I mention that food and beverages are complements of Minnesota PRSA? Hope to see you there.


Monday, June 05, 2006

Risdall Advertising Agency Hires Taylor as AAE

Risdall Advertising Agency (RAA) announces the addition of Kieley Taylor, assistant account executive.

"Kieley's versatility and passion for creativity matches the innovative edge at Risdall," says John Risdall, chairman of RAA.

Taylor, a recent graduate of the University of Colorado ­Boulder, comes to RAA with a background in advertising and business administration. She also spent four months as a public relations intern at Wodell, Iltis, Sherman, Associates, Inc. (WISA), a Denver-based advertising and publicity firm that focuses on marketing for the entertainment industry.

Throughout her college career, Taylor has gained industry knowledge and experience. During her internship at WISA, Taylor generated buzz for and attended word-of-mouth screenings, as well as reported to the respective film agencies prior to film releases.

Job - Fast Horse needs Client Relationship Manager


The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced the hire of Brad Ruiter and Brian Israel to work on accounts in the Corporate, Community & Public Affairs and Consumer Marketing Practice respectively.

Brad Ruiter joins Weber Shandwick’s corporate, community & public affairs department as a group manager. In his previous position as corporate communications director for the Minnesota Twins, Ruiter was responsible for media relations surrounding the team’s off-the-field activities, including community affairs, marketing and promotions, government relations and public affairs.

Ruiter brings to Weber Shandwick a great deal of experience in crisis communications, community relations and events coordination garnered from five years with the Twins and prior to that, eight years at the University of Minnesota men’s athletics department. Ruiter graduated from Northwestern University in Roseville, Minn. with a bachelor’s degree in sports management and hails from Clara City, Minn.

Brian Israel joins Weber Shandwick’s consumer marketing department as an account supervisor, bringing more than 10 years of professional sports experience to the company. Prior to working at Weber Shandwick, Israel spent six years with the NHL’s Minnesota Wild as creative services manager, during which time he was crucial to the team’s communications, marketing and branding efforts, and played an integral role in the team’s introduction into the NHL.

In addition to his work with the Wild, Israel brings vast experience in sports marketing, media relations, publications and brand-building from his work with several other professional sports teams, including the Boston Celtics (NBA), the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (MLB) and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (NHL). Israel graduated from the University of Massachusetts- Amherst with a degree in sports marketing.


Fast Horse Inc., a Minneapolis-based consumer marketing public relations agency, has added two new professionals to its growing staff.

Emalie Wichmann has been hired as a Client Relationship Director. She concentrates on a variety of integrated marketing strategies and tactics, including media relations, special events, influencer outreach, grassroots initiatives and guerilla marketing activities. Wichmann will lead the agency’s work on Warroad, Minn.-based Marvin Windows and Doors.

Prior to joining Fast Horse Inc. in February 2006, Wichmann focused her six years at Weber Shandwick developing the firm’s youth marketing expertise and working on clients such as Coca-Cola, Snickers and The Allstate Foundation. Wichmann graduated magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities with an individually designed major – Public Discourse: Public Relations, Creative Writing, and Mass Media and Popular Culture.

Betsy Ringham has been hired as a Client Relationship Manager. Ringham specializes in developing and executing consumer marketing campaigns, media relations and event coordination. She currently is working with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota on the “do” campaign, which was named PR Week’s Community Relations Campaign of the Year in 2006, as well as the MacPhail Center for Music, which recently was honored with a Silver SABRE Certificate of Excellence.

Prior to joining Fast Horse Inc., Ringham was in Chicago, first as a member of Hill & Knowlton’s public affairs team and then as an associate at Burson-Marsteller. She worked on Marshall Field’s “Marshall Field’s Ultimate Renaissance” program, which won multiple Chicago-based awards and was a finalist for both the PR Week Awards and SABRE Awards. Ringham graduated with a B.A. in communication and a minor in French from the College of Saint Benedict, in St. Joseph, Minn.

“As we expand, we’re pleased to be able to continue to attract the very best consumer marketing talent,” said Jörg Pierach, president, Fast Horse Inc. “Our proposition allows talented practitioners to work on some of the most sophisticated and visible marketing programs in the country, while gaining the opportunity to make a big impact on the culture and direction of our firm. It’s always gratifying when high-talent individuals like Emalie and Betsy recognize and seize that opportunity, and we are even better positioned for the future as a result.”
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