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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Special Request from the Business Journal

From Special Reports Editor Kim Johnson:


Although the holidays still seem a ways off, it’s never too early to plan for them.

For the Sept. 22 Meetings & Conventions Special Report section, I’d like to do a story on the hot new trends for company holiday party planning. What are big and small companies alike doing for their annual holiday parties? Are companies devoting more or less money to these events?

Do you know of anyone who would be willing and able to talk about their special plans for December/January?

I’d like to assign this story by the end of the week, so if you could get in touch with me, e-mail preferred, by Friday morning, that would be terrific!

Thanks in advance for your help!

Kim Johnson
Special Reports editor
Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal
Web site:

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

PR Week Career Guide

PRWeek released their second annual Career Guide which highlights valuable information on various agencies, interesting people in the industry, and advice for practitioners at all levels. This 80-page document has a lot of useful information whether you are new to the PR world or have been in it for some time. Check it out here.

Thanks to Brittini Nelemans at CLS for sending the info my way.

Monday, August 28, 2006


These days, interning is a must for any young professional attempting to get into the public relations industry. Participating in an internship program not only allows you to gain professional work experience and develop your skills and abilities, but also provides you with an opportunity to network with people within the industry.

I was fortunate enough to intern at Carmichael Lynch Spong this summer, and have prepared some tips on how to make the most out your internship experience:
Determine your objectives: Prior to beginning an internship, write down what you would like to gain from the experience. Include skills you hope to learn, people you want to meet, and questions you have about the industry. As the internship progresses, refer back to the list from time to time in order to check that you are making the most of your experience.

Ask questions: During the first few weeks of your internship, take advantage of the transition time to ask a lot of questions. You are not expected to understand everything right away, but the sooner you have a grip on your daily tasks, the more quickly you'll move forward.

Get feedback: Coordinate regular meetings with your supervisor to make sure that both of your expectations are being met. This is a good way for you to gauge your performance and make changes if needed. It also ensures that you are managing your time well and are on task with assignments.

Take your time:
While it is important to finish tasks as scheduled, do not rush assignments. Instead focus on fine-tuning your communication skills, both written and verbal. Always proofread your written work carefully, including your daily e-mails.

Go the extra mile: During slow periods, volunteer to lend a hand with extra projects. By showing initiative and enthusiasm, you can prove that you want to be with the company and are willing to take on more responsibility.

Make connections:
As an intern, you are essentially a visitor. Take advantage of this opportunity and network with people in other areas of the company to whom you would not normally have access to. Use your time with them to better understand about their department, their role within the company, and the organization in general.
My summer internship at Carmichael Lynch Spong was a great learning experience. In the long run, you get as much out of your public relations internship as you put into it. Remember to work hard and have fun!

Author: Jillian Beauman
Company: Carmichael Lynch Spong

Shandwick Named Among Great Places to Work

Weber Shandwick’s Twin Cities office was recognized by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal as one of the “Great Places to Work for 2006.” Winners were chosen based on an employee survey conducted by Quantum Market Research and the Business Journal.

“A company can aspire to be a great place to work, and even have procedures in place that enable and encourage it,” said Sara Gavin, president of Weber Shandwick’s Twin Cities office. “However, it only happens if every day each employee is personally committed to contributing to the company’s atmosphere, culture and work quality, and brings respect, camaraderie, team spirit and positive energy to the office. Each member of our team makes it such a great place to work.”


The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced the promotions of Greg Swan, Katharine Kaboord, Stacy Tapp, Stephanie Moncada and Ryan Benbo.

Swan, who joined the agency in September 2005 as a senior account executive, has been promoted to account supervisor. He currently leads several accounts in the consumer practice. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Swan worked at Kohnstamm Communications PR Counsel. A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Swan earned his bachelor’s degree from Drake University.

Kaboord, who joined the agency in 2004 as an intern, has been promoted from an assistant account executive to account executive. She currently works on key public affairs accounts, including those in the energy and defense industries, in the corporate, community & public affairs practice. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Kaboord worked on Congresswoman Betty McCollum's re-election campaign. A native of Wauwatosa, Wis., Kaboord earned her bachelor’s degree from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

Tapp joined the agency in 2002 as an account coordinator and has been promoted from an assistant account executive to an account executive. She currently works on several local, non-profit and public affairs accounts in the corporate, community & public affairs practice. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Tapp worked as a marketing coordinator for Mid-America Festivals. A native of Slinger, Wis., Tapp earned her bachelor’s degree from Winona State University and is finishing up her master’s degree at the University of Minnesota.

Moncada, who joined the agency in 2000 as an intern, has been promoted from a senior account executive to account supervisor. She plays a lead role in managing the agency's largest defense client, and provides crisis communications counsel and support to key clients in the corporate, community & public affairs practice. Moncada helped found, and now co-chairs, the agency's internal learning program. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., Moncada earned her bachelor’s degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Benbo, who joined the agency in 2003 as an account executive, has been promoted from a senior account executive to account supervisor. He currently works on key defense and public affairs accounts in the corporate, community & public affairs practice. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Benbo worked as communications coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. A native of Winger, Minn., Benbo earned his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern College in Roseville, Minn.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

When you are too busy to follow the news...

I am a news junkie, so when I don't have time to read the newspaper I feel completely at a loss. I have been so busy these last few days I just haven't had time or energy to read. I need to hook my IPOD up to some good news feeds. Anybody have any suggestions?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Ad Fed September Luncheon - September 13

"Changing the Game: Moving Cargill from a Commodities to a Customer Solutions Company"
Date: Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Location: The DoubleTree Minneapolis - Park Place
1500 Park Place Blvd.,
Time: 11:15am-1:30pm
Cost: $30 members, $65 nonmembers, $25 students
Speaker: Ann Ness, V.P. of Corporate Brand Management, Cargill

Turning a ship takes lots of effort, energy and cooperation. Find out how Cargill has strategically reoriented itself since 2000 from its 140-year-old commodity origins to become a worldwide consumer brand. Ann Ness, V.P. of Corporate Brand Management, will discuss the decisions the company has made to support this strategic redirection. Ness is responsible for Cargill's brand identity, including the 2002 launch of the new logo and brand strategy as well as a high-profile business-to-business advertising campaign.


Minnesota Jobs, Jobs and more Jobs

Monday, August 21, 2006

OLSON PR Adds Hickory Farms To Client Roster

OLSON today announced that its public relations group has added Hickory Farms – the nation’s leading specialty foods retailer – to its client roster.

“This is a great win for our PR group,” said John Olson, CEO of the agency. “To add a brand like Hickory Farms to our roster is a testament to the group’s growing reputation and signifies that this great momentum is going to continue. For more than 55 years Hickory Farms has been a part of the holidays, birthdays, special occasions and everyday snacking all over the world. We’re here to help grow that reputation and let consumers know of all the fine products Hickory Farms has to offer.”

As the nation’s leading specialty foods retailer, Hickory Farms products are perfect for gifting, snacking and entertaining. They can be purchased in grocery stores nationwide and through the Hickory Farms Web site, catalogs and holiday mall locations.

For Hickory Farms, OLSON will be responsible for increasing awareness of the brand and driving people to its numerous outlets through traditional media relations and guerilla marketing tactics.

“OLSON gets our brand. They understand our history, our products and our services,” said Erik Long, vice president of grocery products for Hickory Farms. “They have a unique approach to brand building and public relations that continually brings success to their clients. We’re excited to be working with this agency and look forward to where they’re going to help take us.”

PRSA - Midwest District Conference, Featuring Chester Burger

This is an event not to be missed!

A true Renaissance man and communications icon, Chester Burger spent almost half a century shaping the future of our business. Burger began his career as a CBS page boy, employed to run errands. However, in 1941 during the height of World War II, Burger earned his stripes when he produced the Army’s first television broadcasts. After the war, Burger returned to CBS and in 1946 became the first television news reporter. Burger left CBS more than a decade later, having left a lasting mark on the station.

In 1964, Burger founded the first American communications management consulting firm, Chester Burger & Co., advising clients such as Sears Roebuck, 3M and Occidental Petroleum Corporation.

While undoubtedly a professional success, Burger also used his tremendous skills to better the world around him. During the Civil Rights movement, Burger was an officer and member of the Board of Trustees of the National Urban League. Burger also founded the Black Executive Exchange Program and received the Outstanding Mentor Award for 21 years supporting minorities in the field of public relations. Burger is a life member of the NAACP.

During his lifetime, Burger has received awards from government agencies including the Award for Outstanding Service to America for his public diplomacy efforts and the Drew Middleton Public Affairs Award for Distinguished Service. In addition, the Public Relations Society of America awarded Burger a Gold Anvil – its highest honor.

Burger’s entire body of photographic work was acquired by the New York Historical Society and the New York Library. And his papers reside in The Center for American History at the University of Texas in Austin. Burger is the author of six books about management including, "The Chief Executive."

Meet this impressive professional, advocate, artist and author at the Minnesota PRSA Midwest District Conference.
What: Minnesota PRSA Midwest Conference
Date: Thursday, Sept. 21, 2006
Where: Millennium Hotel Minneapolis
1313 Nicollet Ave.

Time: 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. Registration, breakfast and networking
8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. Morning and afternoon breakout sessions
Noon to 1:30 p.m. Lunch and keynote from Chester Burger, APR, PRSA Fellow
4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Social gathering and networking

Cost: Full program
PRSA member $180
Nonmember $220
Student $90
Dine + One (includes lunch or breakfast seminar plus one additional session)
PRSA member $120
Nonmember $160
Student $30
Those registering after Thursday, Sept. 14 will be charged an additional $25.


Friday, August 18, 2006

How To Stand Out in An Interview

I was talking to a couple of my agency friends last night at the and we were discussing how the process of interviewing potential internship candidates. They said several times that they are disappointed in the lack of preparation of these potential candidates.

In my quest to provide MNPR Blog readers with priceless information, I asked them for some ideas on what can be done to stand out from the crowd during an interview. Here is what they said:
  1. Ask questions before the interview - Find out as much as possible about the job you will be interviewing for and then move to step two.
  2. Do your home work - After asking some questions you should have an idea about the work you will be doing. If the job you are applying for is a media relations job try and dig up some recent articles, so that you can reference them in the interview.
  3. Be on time - Don't show up late for the interview. If you need to go the day before the interview and scout out the location so that you know where you are going.
  4. Look alive - When you sit down in the conference room, sit up straight, smile and look alive. If you are nervous try to channel your nervous energy into professional energy so that you shine.
  5. - Every one is too busy these days. If you are lucky enough to get someone to sit down and talk to you about the possibility of getting a job, make sure you thank them.
These tips may seem obvious to a few of you, but if you implement them, it will help push you to the top of the list.

Job - Internship - Weber Shandwick

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Job - Carmichael Lynch - Proofreader

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Who's joining me this Thursday night?

Hope you are planning on attending the Thursday night! I wouldn't miss the biggest networking event of the decade!


Job - Win/Win Radio, Inc - Business Development Manager

Monday, August 14, 2006


The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick has been tapped by and the United States Golf Association (USGA) to help with media relations and pre-event promotion of the 106th annual Men's U.S. Amateur Golf Championship, which takes place August 21-27 at Hazeltine and Chaska Town Course.

Weber Shandwick will provide pre-tournament media relations support to Hazeltine and the USGA to increase visibility in an effort to drive local interest and ticket sales to the event.

"We're proud to be working with Hazeltine and the USGA to promote this upcoming tournament," said Sara Gavin, president of Weber Shandwick's Twin Cities office. "This assignment takes advantage of our significant depth in sports marketing, and we are looking forward to partnering with two highly respected organizations and to be part of a great national sports event."

Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn., opened in 1962 and is the premiere championship golf club in the Midwest. This preeminent venue has been challenged by some of the best players in the world.

Hazeltine has played host to major events such as the U.S. Open Championship (1970 and 1991), U.S. Women’s Open Championship (1966 and 1977), PGA Championship (2002), and U.S. Senior Open Championship (1983). Hazeltine will be welcoming the world’s best back to Minnesota for the 2009 PGA Championship and the 2016 Ryder Cup.

Friday, August 11, 2006


The National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) has hired the Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick to develop an informational campaign aimed at 16- to 20-year-olds. The project, titled “FORWARD: Life After Transplant,” will include a magazine and DVD that informs and comforts young people as they prepare to go through a bone marrow or blood cell transplant. Weber Shandwick previously developed a similar campaign for the NMDP aimed at people over the age of 50.

“We’re honored to work with an organization that links patients to the resources they need to live longer, healthier lives,” said Sara Gavin, president of Weber Shandwick’s Twin Cities office. “We’ll be able to draw on our deep experience in healthcare, as well as our past work with NMDP, to effectively reach this important audience.”

The NMDP is the world leader in the facilitation of unrelated donor marrow and cord blood transplants. The program helps people who need life-saving transplants by connecting patients, doctors, donors and researchers to the resources they need. The NMDP, which has helped more than 25,000 patients, is based in Minneapolis.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

PRSA Strategist Covers Blogging

The summer issue of The Strategist, the award-winning quarterly magazine published by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), examines the continuing evolution of the blogosphere and its implications for the PR profession. Coverage addresses whether and under what conditions companies should start their own blogs, how the blogosphere continues to impact the media landscape, and introduces readers to several of today’s most influential PR bloggers. Stories include:
  • “The Buzz on Blogs” examines the fundamental changes blogs have inspired in the way companies do business and communicate with their customers. (And in the method in which customers make their satisfaction or dissatisfaction known.) With input from experts, including , senior vice president of Edelman Worldwide’s me2revolution group, the article analyzes how PR professionals can best address and use blogs and other social media to increase their communication budgets and success.
  • “Meet the PR Bloggers” ()introduces readers to several key PR bloggers and the joys and challenges of creating and maintaining an industry blog.
  • “The Blog Divide” illuminates the gender divide in the PR blogosphere, where women are largely underrepresented — surprising, given that women comprise 70 percent of the profession. The article examines the causes and potential cure for the gender gap.
The summer issue of The Strategist will be mailed to PRSA members and subscribers this week. For information on how to subscribe or receive Tactics and Strategist Online, visit PRSA’s Web site at .

P.S. The letter from Editor states that as of July 23, there were 501 PR- and communications-related blogs and podcasts, according to a list maintained by PR blogger Constantin Basturea. You will note that is in the Top 10 original PR Blogs.

PR New Announces the Finalists for Platinum PR Awards!

Presented by PR News, the leading trade publication among communicators, this highly competitive program shines a spotlight on the best practices in the PR profession. The finalists in this year’s awards Platinum PR Awards program include corporations, nonprofits and agencies large and small.

The award winners will be announced at an October 18 awards luncheon at the Grand Hyatt in New York and in the Platinum PR Awards Special Issue in October.
Congratulations to all the finalists, we hope to see you on Oct. 18th!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Writing and Your Cover Letter

In applying for your dream PR job it is important to think about your cover letter and the message you are sending out to the person potentially looking to hire you. The cover letter is your first writing sample they will look at so make sure it is the best it can be. Here are some things to consider:
  • Formatting: The look of your cover letter is your chance to show HR that you are detail oriented and that you care enough to take time to make it look nice
  • Spelling/Grammar: Make sur u spel corectly, and, use your bestest grammar
  • Highlight Don't Bore: The temptation in a cover letter is to repeat everything you list in your resume. Don't. Be brief by highlighting the most important things you've done related to your potential position.
Want more do and don't tips when writing a cover letter? Check this site out.

While it might serve you well to be more creative than to copy a cover letter template here are some samples that might help you get started.

Best of luck, I hope you find your dream job.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Job - Target - Sr Manager Media Relations

Monday, August 07, 2006

2007 Minnesota Work-Life Champions™ Award Applications Now Available

Award applications are available for the 2007 Minnesota Work-Life Champions™ Awards, Minnesota’s state-wide awards program spotlighting the efforts of employers to implement programs and practices that create flexible and supportive workplaces.

Award applications are available at with applications due no later than Oct. 20, 2006. Applicants in five size categories, based on the number of employees, will be evaluated on organizational culture and leadership; work practices and flexibility; health, wellness and benefits; leave options; help with personal and family issues; community involvement; and a brief survey of a small number of employees.

The judging panel will consist of delegates from Minnesota businesses of varying sizes and industries. They will identify and honor up to ten employers in each size category as Minnesota Work-Life Champions. One employer in each category will receive the top honor of Outstanding Minnesota Work-Life Champion. Employers who have demonstrated their commitment and efforts to implement work-life policies and practices but have not yet achieved the Champions level will be recognized with Advocate Awards. Award winners will be announced and recognized at a luncheon ceremony on Jan. 25, 2007. Additional details regarding the awards ceremony will be announced at a later date.

A special award will be presented to one or more employers who have implemented the “Most Innovative Work-Life Initiative”—a practice or initiative that is particularly creative or innovative in meeting the dual agenda of generating positive results for both the organization and its employees.

The Minnesota Work-Life Champions™ Awards are sponsored and presented by The Minnesota Work-Life Champions Partnership, a group of local chambers of commerce, business and professional associations, foundations, and non-profit work-life advocacy organizations committed to making Minnesota’s employers the strongest in the nation. The 2007 Minnesota Work-Life Champions Awards have a framework similar to that outlined by the National Alliance for Work-Life Progress (AWLP) and are based on extensive research on the bottom line value of work-life practices. The awards program was initiated by a grant from The McKnight Foundation and is managed and organized by the Center for Ethical Business Cultures with assistance from Work and Family Connection, Inc.

Need to expand your network? Alphabet Bash is just what you need!

Minnesota PRSA, IABC, AMA and are jointly hosting the inaugural , a program designed to be a high-powered networking event for professional communicators.


Minnesota’s professional marketing and communications organizations have never collectively hosted a networking event before. That will change in August, when they host the Alphabet Bash on August 17 at Trocaderos Night Club in Minneapolis.

The inaugural Alphabet Bash is presented by:

  • IABC: International Association of Business Communicators
  • PRSA: Public Relations Society of America
  • AMA: American Marketing Association
  • Ad Fed: Advertising Federation of Minnesota

All attendees will receive drinks, heavy appetizers and a chance to win door prizes including Sun Country airline tickets.


The Alphabet Bash offers Minnesota marketing and communications professionals a unique opportunity to make business connections, develop lasting relationships, explore business development opportunities and have a good time.


Thursday, August 17, 2006, 6 – 9 p.m.


Trocaderos Night Club

107 Third Avenue North, Minneapolis


Cost is $25 for PRSA, IABC, AMA and Ad Fed members, $35 for nonmembers and $15 for students that register before August 10. After that date, $10 will be added to each price. Register online at or call .

Friday, August 04, 2006

Ways to be creative...

I attended the Minnesota Public Relations Society's Fresh Thinking Friday this morning with featured speaker Tom Jollie, senior vice president at Padilla Speer Beardsley. Jollie discussed ways to keep the passion in PR and offered up some interesting tips to spark our creative juices flowing.

Here is a list of ways to be creative offered up by Jollie during today's meeting:
  1. Take time off - get away from work, but find ways to keep your mind active
  2. Brainstorm with people from different industries with different areas of expertise
  3. Multi-task, staying on one thing all day takes away from your ability to be creative
  4. Read constantly, from a variety of publications
  5. Have lunch with someone outside of your profession
  6. Take educated risks
  7. Love what you do
  8. Be curious, never stop learning
Hope to see you all at next month's Fresh Thinking Friday, October 6, 2006.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Weber Promotes Saukko and Newman

The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced the promotions of financial services practice members Ben Saukko and Jessica Newman.

Saukko, who joined the agency in April 2004 as a senior account executive, has been promoted to account supervisor. He currently works on a national campaign to promote electronic payment of federal taxes and is involved with national initiatives to inform the public about taxpayer support services and the earned income tax credit. Saukko also supports communications efforts related to security and technology for one of the world’s leading payment processors, and has driven several new business development efforts. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Saukko was the communications director at Fingerhut Companies in Minnetonka, Minn. A native of Eveleth, Minn., Saukko earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and his MBA from the University of St. Thomas.

Newman, who joined Weber Shandwick in January 2005 as an intern, has been promoted from assistant account executive to account executive. She plays key roles on multiple accounts, including national campaigns to promote electronic federal tax payment and taxpayer services, as well as a leading financial services provider. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Newman was a public relations and marketing intern for Big Brothers Big Sisters. An Orono, Minn.-native, she earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Madison-Wisconsin.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Job - Weber Shandwick - Account Executive/Senior Account Executive

Therma-Tru Names CLS as Agency of Record

Therma-Tru, a leading manufacturer of fiberglass and steel residential exterior entry and patio door systems, has chosen public relations firm Carmichael Lynch Spong (CLS) as its agency of record. CLS will launch a multi-faceted, strategic communications campaign to create awareness, maintain brand equity and build consumer demand for the company and its products.

Based in Maumee, Ohio, Therma-Tru was the first to develop and introduce the fiberglass entry door system and continues to lead in innovation, style and performance. The company manufactures a complete portfolio of entry and patio door system solutions, including decorative glass doorlites, sidelites and transoms, and door components. Therma-Tru is part of consumer brands leader Fortune Brands.

“We’re confident that CLS embodies the passion and expertise we’re looking for to build the momentum of our leading brand,” says Sara Theis, senior public relations manager for Therma-Tru.

As one of the fifteen largest public relations firms in the nation, CLS represents a select portfolio of clients that are the leaders in their industries. Among the companies it represents in the home and garden industry are MasterBrand Cabinets, the second-largest manufacturer of cabinetry in North America and a Fortune Brands company; TRANE, the world’s largest manufacturer of heating and cooling; Clorox, a leading manufacturer and marketer of consumer products; Lutron, the world's leading designer and manufacturer of lighting control systems; and Maytag, Jenn-Air and Amana brands of the Whirlpool Corporation, the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances.

“As the leading brand of fiberglass residential entry doors, Therma-Tru is a perfect fit with our home and garden group. It’s also a Fortune Brands company, a leader in home products and a company with which we have a history of success,” says Douglas K. Spong, APR, managing partner and founder of Carmichael Lynch Spong.
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