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Friday, December 21, 2007


Twin Cities office takes home several awards for video production on behalf of the Opus Group

The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick has won four awards for video production work done on behalf of The Opus Group and the Opus Prize Foundation. The Audio Visual Association (AVA) recently announced 2007 International AVA Award recipients. Weber Shandwick earned three Platinum and one Gold award.

Weber Shandwick won a Platinum Award for “Building Beyond: Opus Overview” in the category of Company Overview (video/film) and a Gold Award in the category of Product Marketing for its “Opus Retail Sector Overview” video. The agency also won Platinum Awards for “Opus Prize 2007 Awards Video” in the categories of Cinematography and Awards Videos.

"We're very excited to have won this kind of recognition among such strong competition," said Weber Shandwick President Sara Gavin. "We're extremely proud of the videos our office has produced with The Opus Group and the Opus Prize Foundation."

The AVA Awards recognize outstanding work by creative professionals across the world involved in the concept, writing, direction, shooting, and editing of audio-visual materials and programs. Entries include film, analog and digital productions viewed in a wide variety of mediums- from movie screens to televisions to computers. Entrants include video and film production companies, Web developers, advertising agencies, PR firms, corporate and government communication departments, producers, directors, editors, and shooters. The AVA Awards program is administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP).

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Job - Exponent Public Relations/Colle + McVoy - PR - Senior Counselor

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Job - Charter Communications - PR & Communications Manager

Monday, December 17, 2007


Once again the Morris + King Company brings you the best ProfNet Queries of 2007.

10. BEHAVIOR/TODAY: People's Busy Lives and the Bad Things that May Happen as a Result—The Cincinnati Post

I'm looking for a sociologist/psychologist to talk about people's busy lives and bad things that may happen as a result, i.e., leaving the car on in the garage, going to bed and dying of carbon monoxide poisoning because they were so busy they forgot.

9. SPORTS/TODAY: Transitioning from Cheerleader to Coach/Gym Owner—Freelancer

I'm working on an article for Cheer Biz magazine about transitioning from cheerleader to coach. If you've ever been a cheerleader who transitioned into coaching either a school squad or an all-star cheer team, please answer these questions: 1. What has been the hardest part about transitioning from cheerleader to coach/gym owner? 2. How long have you been coaching? Also, how long did you cheer? 3. When you were cheering, did you ever anticipate becoming a coach? Did you consciously prepare to do that? 4. What would have helped you make the transition easier? 5. What would you say to young cheerleaders coming up in the cheer system with the goal of becoming a coach/gym owner? 6. Any advice on making rules and running practices and gaining respect of other coaches, cheerleaders, parents, etc.? Many cheer coaches and owners are so young, they have a hard time with the respect part. How do you handle it? (By the way, how old are you?) 7. For coaches who are not married, barely 21, how do you suggest they separate themselves from the cheerleaders? 8. Is the pressure too much sometimes? Is it all worth it in the end? 9. What characteristics do you think a person needs to have in order to be a good coach/gym owner? Please feel free to add any other info you think might be beneficial to this piece.

8. PARENTING: Purity Balls—WOSU-AM (OH)

I'm looking for someone who can speak about purity balls, either for or against. I need someone who can say why father-daughter purity balls are good, or why they are bad.

7. BEHAVIOR: Lion/Tiger Tamer—Parenting Magazine

No, this isn't a joke. I am seeking a circus lion/tiger tamer for a short, humorous piece on how to get small children to behave. I would vastly prefer that the tamer have children of his/her own and speak English. Please forward me your candidate's credentials and availability, as well as the name of a contact person I can reach for further information or to schedule an interview.

6. BEHAVIOR: Vampires—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

I'm out to prove we still love vampires. I need some folks familiar with creatures of darkness to help me give evidence of this passion and/or tell me why we still love them.

5. BOOSTER/TODAY: Bible Verses for Daters—

Many daters look for inspiration from the Good Book. So I'm compiling a list of the best Bible verses for daters. Please e-mail your most inspirational verse, a 100-word explanation of what it means to you and why you chose it, and your name, title and location with "Bible Verses" in the subject line.

4. NON-EXPERT: Taser Parties—Cloaked

A national women's magazine is looking for women who've hosted taser parties. Please respond ASAP with your info, and I'll provide details about the article.

3. BEHAVIOR/TODAY: Effects of Drugs and Alcohol—Star Magazine

I need someone to explain to me the effects drugs and alcohol can play on a 25-year-old's mind. How might their behavior change? Will they do irrational things?

2. FITNESS: Exercising While Drinking—Freelancer

I am writing an article on how barflies can stay in shape. I am looking for experts who can suggest exercises that can be done at a bar. I am open to anything—low-impact aerobics, barstool dips, beer curls, etc. I am looking for detailed descriptions on how to correctly do the exercise. This is for, a social networking site for sports fans.

1. LIVING/TODAY: Finding Treasure/Thwarting Mosquitoes/Chicken Fights—Freelancer

I'm writing some how-to pieces for WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) magazine, and am looking for advice on three rather unique topics: find buried treasure, thwarting mosquitoes, and winning a chicken fight. If you are, or work with, an expert treasure hunter, insect killer, or chicken fighter, please let me know, or simply pass along your top tips. My deadline's Tuesday, so I'm looking for great info in a hurry.

To view last year's list click here.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Tastefully Simple, the Alexandria, Minnesota-based national home taste-testing company offering easy-to-prepare gourmet food through 24,000 independent consultants, and and Feed Company, the St. Paul-based company which created the Farm Boy & Farm Girl fashion brands of authentic jeans, shirts and accessories sold in 1,000 retail locations, have both chosen Maccabee Group as their new public relations agency.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Job - Strother Communications Seeking a Sharp Communications Pro

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Media Training 101

Carol Rosenbaum wrote an article for the December issue for PR Tactics that boiled down the basics of an interview and serve as a great media training 101 guide for your clients.

One of the over-riding themes of the piece is "know your audience" - you can't decide what your talking points are until you know who you are talking to. It seems easy enough, until a last minute interview pops up and you are scrambling to put together points minutes before an interview opportunity. It's a great refresher and worth putting together to share with clients.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Deadline for Classics Quickly Approaching

Classics Awards Entries Due Dec. 14

Entries are now being accepted for the 30th Annual Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards, which will be held March 27, 2008, at the Graves 601 Hotel, 601 First Avenue North, in downtown Minneapolis.

All Minnesota communications professionals are eligible to enter; you do not need to be a PRSA member. The deadline for receipt of entries is noon, Dec. 14. Each entry must be submitted according to the "How to Submit Your PRSA Classics Entry" instructions located at or it will be disqualified without a refund. There will be no deadline extensions.

The majority of an entry's work must be completed between Oct. 1, 2006 and Nov. 30, 2007. Programs tend to have a better chance of winning when they're near completion and they can be better evaluated against their initial objectives.

For more information and to register, go to or call the Minnesota PRSA office at .

Monday, December 03, 2007

Job - Special Events Internship @ Alzheimer's Association Minnesota North Dakota

Last Chance - 2007 AdFed/Ad2 Holiday Party


In addition to celebrating the holidays with friends and co-workers, part of the proceeds from the event will benefit The Courage Center, a resource center that helps to empower, rehabilitate and uplift both children and adults experiencing barriers to health and independence.

Meeting Specifics


5:00 PM Registration
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM Program

Ad Fed/Ad2 Members: $25.00
Nonmembers: $40.00
Students: $25.00

For more information, call the Ad Fed office at , or revisit the Ad Fed Web site at

Friday, November 30, 2007

Free PR Tools on the Web has an interesting article in their December 3 edition on 101 free things on the Web. Most interesting to me was the discussion of free TV on the Internet. points to which offers local live streaming of local affiliates. For as much as I travel it is nice to know that I can catch local TV news on the Web.

Another service that offer free television on the Web is Check out the full Business Week article here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Next Frontier in Press Releases

Are the traditional, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE press releases and press kits going the way of the dinosaurs? Is it time to move to social media friendly press releases or are they just a waste of time and money?

Ford is using them
HP did it

Webit PR says it's the wave of the future - see part of their release below and go to read the full text

What the Social Media News Release is

The Social Media News Release (SMNR) is a new kind of press release aimed at (but not exclusive to) both journalists and bloggers. It does not include the 'spin' of the traditional press release, but provides multimedia content in an accessible format that can easily be repurposed and shared on blogs, websites and social networks including MySpace and Facebook.

Unlike the traditional press release, the content of the SMNR is deconstructed so that the core facts, quotes, contact details and boilerplate are all individually segregated to allow users to disseminate its various elements. It can accommodate images, audio and video (including embedded social media video including YouTube) and incorporates many of the Web2.0 and folksonomy tools popular among social media users today.

Characteristics of the realwire Social Media News Release:
The realwire SMNR is based on the SHIFT Communications template and includes:
  • Social bookmarking options to allow users to 'tag' the SMNR to popular social bookmarking sites.
  • The use of hyperlinks in the copy body.
  • RSS feeds to allow subscribers to receive updated content in real time as it is published.
  • Optimised for visibility in search engines.
  • Links to related news for further background info.
  • Incoming blog links.
  • Technorati tags.
  • The ability for people to register and leave a comment on any particular SMNR - creating a two way dialogue unlike the 'top down' delivery method of the traditional release.
  • The ability to brand the SMNR with the client's logo.
  • The ability to ‘domain map' the release to the client's website URL (E.g. giving the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) benefits to the organisation.

What the Social Media News Release is not
Because social media is turning consumers into active producers of content, the SMNR is a tool that can assist in helping PR adapt to this changing media landscape in ways that were previously not possible. However, the nature of social media does not resonate with some existing PR methods which means the SMNR is not:

  • A secondary afterthought to traditional news distribution Timing with a SMNR is just as important as other forms of news distribution. Outdated or already published news should not be used for distribution on a SMNR.
  • A tool used instead of conventional PR methods. While the balance of influence is shifting in favour of the individual, other communication channels should not be ignored. Any PR person worth their weight in salt will know this.
  • The shiny new thing that will change bad PR practice The SMNR is only the delivery mechanism and the real value lies in the content. Knowing what your audience wants and providing them with something of value is the first step to creating an effective and useful SMNR.
  • A tool to control the message PR in social media should not aim to spin or deceive the audience. The SMNR can, however, be used as a way to communicate with and gain valuable feedback from key audiences.

Another factor that differences us from our competitors is our ability to track where your SMNR has been discussed, referenced or used in editorial. Because the internet is a medium that knows no geographical boundaries, a SMNR can be picked up and used by any blog or online publication around the world.
Some online publications, however, may not always reference back to the original release making it almost impossible to find without the appropriate tools and software. We have always provided inclusive coverage monitoring within our press releases services that covers both social media and the regular online media. This means we can provide the sender of the release with updated details of where the SMNR has appeared and the sentiment of discussion it has generated.
We understand that your role as a PR practitioner is not to find the data - your role is to make sense of it.

On the other hand...

This blog post by Cynthia Baker raises some good points:

...The job may have gotten easier for the reporter, but it has mushroomed for the marketers and PR practitioners. Simply put, the click of a mouse is easy, but HTML code is complex. To stay focused, we first need to understand who we are writing for and who is reading what.
Are we writing for reporters or robots … or both?

  • Can we write directly to the consumer and bypass the media?
  • Are consumers reading more trade publications or press releases online?

I believe that the answers will come with an in-depth understanding of a PR terrain that is far more multi-dimensional than it was in the past. Savvy PR practitioners and marketers will balance the use of the Microformat right alongside traditional press releases to create fully functional campaigns. It may bolster the professional image of your client to reach the reporters on their turf at the newswire sites. Simultaneously, it may be important for that same client to appear in the results when their consumers “google” certain topics online or read their newsfeeds.

Will our Web 2.O challenges be relieved by new tools? Exactly what can the social media press release do to get a client right smack in the faces of reporters and consumers online?


Are you using SMNRs? Are your clients asking for them? How are you distributing them - combined with a traditional release or as release on it's own.

Would anyone like to contribute a post on this topic?

Two Job Openings at Kohnstamm Communications

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

From Snoopy to SpongeBob

How Mall of America Brought Nickelodeon to the World’s Largest Indoor Amusement Park
Jill Renslow, Associate Director, Retail Marketing, Mall of America

When it is time to consider a new amusement park brand after 15 years with the world’s most famous beagle and his friends, it’s a job you take seriously. Jill Renslow will share the strategy behind the decision to move to a new partnership, the criteria they developed and how they found the right fit for the Mall and the families that visit to create a truly unique experience. You’ll get a sneak peek at what’s to come when the new Nickelodeon Universe opens in the spring of 2008.

What to Expect

Jill Renslow will address the following questions:
• What were the options at the outset?
• What were some of the considerations?
• Why Nickelodeon?
• What are the challenges of building the world’s largest exclusive Nickelodeon amusement park?
• What are the new rides and attractions?
About Jill Renslow

Jill Renslow is the Associate Director of Retail Marketing at Mall of America. Starting at the Mall over ten years ago, Jill began her career in event marketing coordinating hundreds of events with various celebrities, musical artists and touring shows. After a couple years of event life, Jill moved on to retail marketing and advertising where she has been involved with numerous advertising campaigns, media segments, fashion productions, trend analysis, retail enhancements, brand research projects and developments with the phase II expansion.

About Mall of America

Mall of America is the nation's largest retail and entertainment complex. The 4.2 million square foot complex is home to more than 520 world-class shops; the nation's largest indoor family amusement park; Underwater Adventures® Aquarium, a 1.2 million gallon walk-through aquarium; a 14-screen movie theater and more. The Mall opened in August of 1992 and is located in Bloomington, Minn., just minutes from downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul

Meeting Specifics - Date and Time
Tuesday December 11, 2007
7:30-8:00 AM: Registration & Networking
8:00-9:00 AM: Program
9:00-9:30 AM: Q&A / Meet the Speaker

Member $25
Guest $50
Student $15
(walk-ins add $10 to the prices above)

*Please Note New Venue. If you arrive prior to 8am, you will need to park on the west side of the Mall*
Executive Center - Level 4, Mall of America


Register online here.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards: Call for Entries

Entries are now being accepted for the 30th Annual Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards. All Minnesota communications professionals are eligible to enter; you do not need to be a PRSA member.

Deadline for receipt of entries is noon, Friday, December 14, 2007. Each entry must be submitted according to the "How to Submit Your PRSA Classics Entry" instructions located at or it will be disqualified without a refund. There are no deadline extensions.

The majority of an entry's work must be completed between October 1, 2006 and November 30, 2007. Programs tend to have a better chance of winning when they're near completion and they can be better evaluated against their initial objectives.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Job - ARAnet - National Media Consultant

Friday, November 16, 2007

Job - ARAnet, Inc. - Adfusion Online Media Buyer

Clipping Services?

Hi Everyone,

I received a email from one of our readers asking about clipping services. She is unhappy with the quality of her current one.

Do you have any recommendations of a service with high quality clips and a reasonable price?

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Yamamoto Moss Mackenzie left The Show, the Advertising Federation of Minnesota’s annual advertising awards gala, with two new awards, a silver pushpin for an agency holiday mailing and a bronze for a piece designed for the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. The honors were given on the evening of Fri., Oct. 19 at The Depot in downtown Minneapolis.

The advertising and interactive marketing awards were judged earlier this year from a pool of 1,620 entries from agencies, individuals and corporate advertisers.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Job - Misukanis & Odden - Online Marketing Manager

Friday, November 09, 2007

BlogWorld Update - Small Business Blogging

BlogWorld continues today, as promised here is some information I learned yesterday. I sat in on a session about small business and blogs lead by .

He listed several reasons to start a blog as a small business that really resonated with me. Here are the reasons he listed:
  • Professional Development
  • Customer Engagement
  • Professional Development
  • Personal Branding
  • Industry Networking
  • Industry Leadership
If you are doing PR for a small business or thinking of starting a small business consider this article I wrote several years ago that gives some more clarity as to why blogging makes sense for small businesses.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


I am in sunny Las Vegas for the next two days for the BlogWorld conference. I am excited to see what I can learn about what's new in the virtual world.

Expect updates as I feel appropriate.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

It's official! Journalists Tap Into PR Contacts for Story Ideas

MediaPost released a report today from the Arketi Group 2007 Web Watch Survey that outlines how journalists like to communicate and where they get story ideas. Highlights are below and you can go to to get the whole scoop.

*84 percent of journalists say they would or already have used blogs as a primary or secondary source for articles.
*100% of those (journalists) surveyed say they rely on the Internet to help get their job done. *One-quarter of journalists say blogs make their job easier.

Mike Neumeier, principal of Arketi Group, says "In an era exploding with user-generated content, social media, and Web 2.0, it's important for those in business-to-business communications to understand how journalists are using technology..."
*Ninety-seven percent of journalists surveyed say they enjoy using new technologies
*Sixty percent of journalists say they spend more than 20 hours a week on the Internet.

When asked how journalists use the Internet:
98% say reading news
97% say emailing
93% say finding news sources
89% say finding story ideas
72% say reading blogs
67% say watching webinars or webcasts

Dr. Kaye Sweetser, APR, assistant professor of public relations at the University of Georgia's Grady College, said "...this survey shows that business journalists are embracing user-generated content like blogs, webinars and podcasts... in their day-to-day reporting..."

*Ninety percent of journalists say they turn to industry sources for story ideas, an equal number get story ideas from news releases and a nearly equal number say they tap into public relations contacts.
*79% of journalists report finding story ideas on newswires
*74% say from Web sites
*72% say from other media outlets
*54% report blogs spark story ideas

Working with known sources:

All journalists surveyed said they prefer working via email
*91% prefer telephone
*77% say in-person
*25% say they prefer instant messaging
*98 percent say they prefer to receive news releases via email from companies they know

Working with unknown sources:

*98% of journalists surveyed say they prefer emails
*80% say phone contact with an unknown source is acceptable
*93% of business journalists say they prefer to receive news releases via email from companies they don't know, but are in industries they cover

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

So You Think You Can Be CEO? – an Evening of Cocktails and Competition

Local PR professionals and firms are invited to participate in So You Think You Can Be CEO? – an Evening of Cocktails and Competition.

Teams of four business-minded professionals will compete to run fictitious companies to see who can make the most profitable business for Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest. The winning team will be crowned "JA Titan of Industry" and will receive laptops from Title Sponsor Best Buy. Come and win bragging rights for the PR industry.

The competition will take place on Thursday, November 15 starting at 5:30 p.m. at the University of St. Thomas Minneapolis campus.

For sponsorship information or to register a team of four, contact Junior Achievement at , or visit and click on "Special Events."


Expanding Expertise in Financial Services Practice

The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced the promotion of Randy Sands to executive vice president in the financial services practice group.

Since joining the firm in 1999, Sands has led successful account teams for many of Weber Shandwick’s top business-to-business and government clients, including the Internal Revenue Service, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America and Prudential Retirement. Sands recently led the firm’s efforts to win the U.S. Census Bureau account. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, he managed communications for the commercial business unit of Travelers (previously The St. Paul Companies).

With more than 20 years of public relations, marketing and communications experience, Sands brings to his new position a long history of managing strategic communications programs for Weber Shandwick’s numerous government, retirement and other financial services clients, as well as experience in crisis communications.

"Randy is a significant contributor to the success of our financial services practice – both in Minneapolis and well beyond – with regard to leadership, client service, account management and new business," said Barb Iverson, president of Weber Shandwick’s North American financial services practice.

Sands is a graduate of the University of Kansas. He also is a member of the Public Relations Society of America.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Select Comfort Moves into new offices.

Select Comfort is moving! Effective today (November 5th), we will be located in our new building, only a couple of blocks away from our Trenton Lane office. Please take time to update your records with our new address at , .

Haberman & Associates - senior-level public relations executive

Friday, November 02, 2007

Extreme Ad2 Event: Magazine Edition

Magazines. Great for catching up on the latest celebrity dish, discovering new travel destinations or just spreading across your coffee table. Either way, there are magazines for all types of readers, meaning opportunities for all types of advertisers. Three periodical-pros from our very own Minnesota Monthly will join us to share the inside scoop on working in the magazine industry, how they work to fulfill clients needs through advertising and the pros and cons of magazine advertising compared to other mediums.

Minnesota Monthly speakers include Sara Soli, Marketing Manager; Kylie Engle, Sr. Account Executive; Chrissy Sarinske, Promotions Editor and Writer.

You and your advertising posse

November Ad2 Event

Ad2 Members: Free with pre-registration, $5 at the door
Ad Fed Members: $10 with pre-registration, $15 at the door
Nonmembers: $15 with pre-registration, $20 at the door
Students: $5 with pre-registration, $10 at the door

Pre-Registration closes at 5:00 pm on Nov. 13, 2007

Thursday, November 15
5:30-6:30 pm - Registration
6:30-7:00 pm - Speaker
7:00-On - Cocktails/Networking

The Imperial Room

Minneapolis, MN

Because we promised you an Ad2 event. That's why.

Register Now!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

PR Veteran Rumpza Launches Firm

, a veteran of corporate and agency public relations in the Twin Cities, has launched Rumpza Consulting LLC. Rumpza says his firm leverages his extensive experience to improve the reputations of his clients’ organizations, products and services.

"My work in strategic communications over the past 30 years has prepared me to open Rumpza Consulting," Rumpza said. "I’ve seen it work over and over: A company’s reputation translates into sales, market share and buyer favorability. My job as a strategic communications consultant is to help my clients identify the keys to improving reputation, and then make it happen."

Initial clients of the firm include Marvin Windows & Doors, The Toro Company, Lawn-Boy, Liberty Diversified Services and Avant Energy Services. During his 20-year public relations agency career, Rumpza spent 17 years with Weber Shandwick and three years with Nicholson Kovac. His areas of experience include marketing communications, public affairs, crisis communications, employee/internal communications and communication training.

He has already established a network of partners who help him deliver public relations and strategic communications services to his clients.
Rumpza’s community service includes his current position as board chair ServeMinnesota, which directs AmeriCorps community volunteerism in Minnesota.

Ad Fed November Luncheon - Social Computing

November Luncheon - Social Computing
Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Time: Registration - 11:30 am; Program - Noon
Location: The Metropolitan, ., Golden Valley, MN


David Krejci, Weber Shandwick
Larry Harris, Ansible
Tommy Arrix, Facebook

As the popularity of social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace outpace time spent on other Web sites and even email, marketers are left wondering how to harness the power of this new phenomenon ... or better yet, anticipate what the “Next Big Thing” will be and prepare for it!

Prepared to speak on this topic are David Krejci, VP of Interactive and Emerging Media at public relations firm Weber Shandwick; Larry Harris, formerly of Draftfcb and now with Ansible Mobile; and Tommy Arrix of Facebook.

Come see what these visionaries have to say – not only will you get a short break from the office, but you may take away a thing or two.

Members: $30
Nonmembers: $65
Students: $25

Register Online Today

Reserve tables of eight for $400 (includes company mention in promotional materials and corporate signage on the table during the presentation).

Contact the Ad Fed office at for more information.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

TransFair USA Selects Carmichael Lynch Spong as Agency of Record

TransFair USA, a nonprofit organization and the only third-party certifier of Fair Trade Certified™ products in the United States, recently selected Carmichael Lynch Spong as its agency of record. The firm will embark on a strategic communications campaign focused on raising awareness of Fair Trade Certified products and concepts, and the role Fair Trade Certified plays in alleviating third-world poverty.

Founded in 1998 and based in Oakland , Calif. , TransFair USA is one of 20 members of Fairtrade Labeling Organizations International (FLO), the nonprofit umbrella organization based in Bonn , Germany , that sets Fair Trade certification standards. TransFair USA audits and certifies transactions between U.S. companies offering Fair Trade Certified products and their international suppliers. This guarantees that the farmers and workers producing Fair Trade Certified goods are paid fair prices and wages, have better working conditions, and it also promotes environmental stewardship and assists producers in quality improvement.

"We’re excited to have Carmichael Lynch Spong on board because they’re passionate about our mission of enabling sustainable development and community empowerment through certifying and promoting Fair Trade Certified products. The firm is driven to help us empower and enrich the lives of family farmers and workers around the world," says Anthony Marek, director of public relations and external communications for TransFair USA .

As one of the 20 largest public relations firms in the nation, Carmichael Lynch Spong represents a select portfolio of clients that are the leaders of their industries. Current nonprofit clients include the American Humane Association and Dunkin’ Brands Community Foundation.

"TransFair USA is helping to create a more sustainable economy for growers and producers around the world, and our firm is delighted to be a catalyst in this effort," says Douglas K. Spong, APR, president of Carmichael Lynch Spong.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Don't Get Blacklisted! Email Pitching

Are you on the Blacklist?

some of you are!

Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine is fed up with lazy PR people. He gets 300 or more emails per day, most of which have nothing to do with his publication so he has found a solution. He is blocking every single person who sends him a blast, a non-tailored email or anything that isn't relevant to him. No warning, just blocked. Not only that but he is posting your email on his blog as well.

Are you guilty of blasting and not tailoring your pitch? Have you spent enough time honing your list? According to this list a lot of us are lazy pitchers. Email is an incredibly important PR tool but we need to remember that the reporter/PR relationship is a two way street. They need to write articles and get accurate, relevant information - we provide them with ideas and references. We need to get coverage for our clients. Therefore, we need to work together appropriately and respectfully. Form relationships.

How do we do that? Do your research before you send a pitch. Tailor the email to fit a particular reporter's beat. When you call to follow up make sure you are focusing on what their needs are and what they are working on. Everyone responds well to showing (or at least pretending) you care what is important to them.

If we take our time and focus on making the emails we do send high quality we won't need to send mass emails to every reporter in our database and the reporters that do get it will be more likely to read what we do send and respond favorably - with coverage for your client.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Weber Shandwick Promotions

The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced the promotion of employees in the consumer marketing and corporate, community and public affairs practices.

Whitney Mares has been promoted to account supervisor from senior account executive in the consumer marketing practice group. Whitney helps lead projects and accounts for clients such as The Allstate Foundation, the United States Army and a number of food and beverage companies.

Prior to joining Weber Shandwick in 2006, Whitney established a public relations department for the nation's top nonprofit student lender, and managed a consumer outreach and sampling campaign for Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream as well as trendspotting and market research for liquor giant Brown-Forman. Whitney holds a master's degree in strategic public relations from the University of Southern California and a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ithaca College.

Angela Gassett has been promoted to account executive from assistant account executive in the corporate, community and public affairs practice group. Gassett provides writing and media relations support to clients including The Opus Group, National Marrow Donor Program, a Minneapolis-Saint Paul branding campaign and the REACH Project.

Gassett is also active in the Twin Cities office’s Employee Action Group (EAG) and helps organize the agency's annual "Telling Your Story Workshop," a day-long public relations workshop offering free counsel to local non-profit organizations. A native of Milaca, Minn., Gassett holds a bachelor's degree in public relations and psychology from the University of St. Thomas. She is an active member of the St. Thomas Young Alumni Council. launches on November 8, 2007

For those of you that haven't heard, there is a new online newspaper coming to Minnesota on Nov 8. MinnPost is a publication started by Joel Kramer, former editor of the Star Tribune.

Last night I was invited to an open house where Joel talked a little about his vision for the paper, this is what I learned.

MinnPost is a 501c3, so much like Minnesota Public Radio or Television they will be primarily supported by readers, although they will have advertisements on the site as well. To-date MinnPost has received $120,000 in reader contributions.

The paper's new cycle will be to publish Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. The look of the site will change on weekends, but because of limited resources there will not be any new information. They will have a PDF version for download and printing on their homepage and a small number of printed copies (2,000) will be distributed for free in high traffic areas around the metro area.

The paper's focus will be on delivering high-quality journalism to people that like news. While the focus will be readers in Minnesota, the paper will not be provincial, they WILL cover world news. There will not be sports coverage and they will take a more New York Times approach to crime coverage focusing on trends rather than daily events.

The site will link to additional resources for more information and the site will feel, in some ways, more like an online magazine like or

The paper has a wide array of freelance journalists already signed up to write for the paper. Many of these writers are familiar faces to the Minnesota journalism world, so it will make it easier for those of us in PR industry.

Joel said it is time for journalists to adjust to the new way of journalism and that takes a new attitude. MinnPost will encompass the best of the news business.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

How Can I Help?

I love SoCal...I lived out there for 5 years. Now, California is burning and I am sitting here in Minnesota. I feel like all I can do is watch. How can we help without flying off to San Diego?

Los Angeles Times Family Fund and KTLA Charities Fire Relief Campaign: 100% of all donation plus match funds will be granted to organizations supporting disaster response and recovery in Southern California.

American Red Cross: Cash donations can be made through or through a local Red Cross chapter.

New Leash on Life: The animal rescue group needs help caring for evacuated pets at its Newhall facility. The group can be contacted at .

Salvation Army: Cash contributions can be made through its website or by calling (800) SALARMY.

You can also shop for the cause at

Get some good Karma and help out those in need.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Work Downtown? Get a Complimentary Chair Massage!

To help introduce Twin Cities residents and downtown office workers to the new Ivy Spa Club, located at 201 Eleventh Street South in Minneapolis, owner Pamela Margolis is taking her show on the road by offering complimentary chair massages to downtown
Minneapolis employees.

From Nov. 27 through Dec. 21, 2007, Ivy Spa Club is sending out 20 of its top massage therapists and estheticians to the companies and skyways of downtown Minneapolis. Their mission is to ease the tense muscles in the backs, shoulders, necks, faces and hands of stressed-out downtown Minneapolis workers during the holiday season. To schedule a complimentary massage time block for your employees, contact Breanna Wagner at Ivy Spa Club at or .

The complimentary chair massages are just a taste of the services that will be offered by Ivy Spa Club. Other unique treatments available on-site at Ivy Spa Club will include:
  • Caviar Facial: Scientifically advanced, age-defying treatment containing
    the latest phyto-extracts, a vegetal botoxine proven to visibly smooth
    wrinkles and firm skin.
  • Four Hand Massage: Two therapists performing a choreographed massage in
    unison that dissolves tension and transports recipient to a blissful place.
  • Ivy Ritual: Treatment begins with jojoba full body exfoliation, wrap and
    scalp massage. A hydrotherapy anti-stress milk bath follows, during which
    the recipient¹s face is cleansed, toned and moisturized. Then a water lily
    body wrap is enjoyed with a de-stress and anti-puffiness eye mask and a hand
    and foot massage. Finally, the session ends with a full body moisturizing
  • Rejuvenating Still Water Mud Mask: A cleansing and healing treatment
    practiced throughout history by many cultures. A body scrub uncovers new
    skin under a Vichy shower from multiple showerheads while the spa guest lies
    on a cushioned wet table. Then the guest luxuriates in a cocoon of warm
    aromatic pine and rich mineral mud. Treatment helps alleviate muscle aches,
    reduce tension and relieve stress.
Ivy Spa Club also offers manicures, pedicures and a wide array of specially tailored packages for couples, newlyweds, parents-to-be and bridal parties. For the busy downtown worker there are several lunch express services.

In early December, spa owner Pamela Margolis launches her unique luxury destination spa located at 201 Eleventh Street South in downtown Minneapolis, at the historic Ivy Tower, on the second floor of the new Hotel Ivy, a Starwood Luxury Collection® Hotel. The 17,000 square-foot Ivy Spa Club will offer world-class spa services to soothe and relax, and fitness options tailored to invigorate and energize members and day guests alike.

Ivy Spa Club¹s exclusive list of more than 75 services has personally been developed by Ivy Spa Club Director Gary Duprat, who brings over 30 years of luxury spa experience, with more than 20 years as spa services director of the famed La Costa Spa in southern California. Facility features that members and day guests will enjoy at Ivy Spa Club include heavenly relaxation areas, dedicated couples¹ suites and hydrotherapy treatment rooms, steam rooms, saunas, a co-ed whirlpool, Vichy shower, a cold plunge shower, Water TileTM shower by Kohler in the women¹s locker room, and much more. Ivy Spa Club¹s 14 treatment rooms will allow for ease of appointment

Because the historic Ivy Tower is a valued treasure to the Minneapolis area, spa owner, Pamela Margolis has taken care to use recycled and renewable materials wherever possible ­ from natural hemp uniforms for the staff to bamboo flooring, cork upholstery and teak custom furniture; and from organic menu selections in the café to botanicals and natural essential oils used in Ivy Spa Club¹s Signature Formula line of body care products.

Ivy Spa Club members and day guests may also benefit from state-of-the-art Matrix cardio and strength equipment with individual television monitors, vitalizing fitness classes, personal training and wellness options that fit personal requirements and schedules. For more information, visit

Monday, October 22, 2007

14 new accounts at RMG

During a robust third quarter, Risdall Marketing Group (RMG) added 14 new accounts to its client roster. The new accounts will add $6.5 million in capitalized billings to RMG’s 2007 annual capitalized billings.

"We’re experiencing growth in all facets of the agency," said Tom Wilson, president of RMG. "From branding to search marketing, Risdall excels at providing integrated marketing services for our clients."

Showcasing its integrated capabilities, RMG announces its new business for quarter three of 2007:
  • Blanchard & Calhoun Commercial – Search Marketing
  • Perfect Reach, Inc., – Search Marketing
  • P S Finance – Search Marketing
  • Park Industries – Search Marketing
  • Grey Fox Pottery – Search Marketing
  • Minnesota Department of Agriculture – Site search redeployment
  • Red Lambda, Inc., – New product introduction
  • Innovative Office Solutions – Branding, key message and a story-development project
  • Pinnacle Communications International, Inc., – Branding, messaging and Web site redesign
  • Sundance Exteriors – Rebranding
  • Anderberg Lund Printing – Rebranding
  • Holbrook and Associates – Interactive support
  • UpOnGreen – Media planning and a future Web site
  • Chanhassen Kitchen & Bath – Web site design and development

Minnesota Women in Marketing and Communications - Learning Lunch Series - Method and Mayhem: Creating Balanced Communications

The Minnesota Women in Marketing and Communications series of three Learning Lunches will explore the various sides of communications, from creativity to crisis, leadership and management.

The first event in the series is:
Creativity and Organization presented by 5 by 5 Design, November 15, 2007

In today's crowded marketplace, creative communications are key to standing out and making an impact. Join 5 by 5 Design founders Diana Lillicrap and Wendy Ruyle, creative communications experts, as they cover ideas to combine clever design and a creative process to energize your brand.

Sign up now for the entire series and save, or sign up for each individual lunch:

Safeguarding Your Brand
Weber Shandwick, January 17, 2008

Grown Up Leadership
Bailey Consulting Group, March 20, 2008

All lunch events in the series will take place from 11:30-1 p.m. at The Woman's Club of Minneapolis, reet, Minneapolis, 55403.

Registration fee for the whole series:

$80 Members
$140 Non-members
$50 Students

Registration fees for the individual lunch sessions:

$30 Members
$50 Non-members
$20 Students

For more information and to register, visit their Web site.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Crisis Communication 3 of 3

I went to the PRSA Core Training on Crisis Communications this week. Ted Canova, Chief Communications and Development Officer for the Twin Cities Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, Kathryn Janicek, PIO, Hennepin County Sheriff's office and James Shiffer, Star Tribune discussed what worked and what didn't when communicating the 35-W bridge collapse.

To round out my discussion of Crisis Communications I want to quickly give my take aways from this conversation and ask you all for your input. I would love to make this a discussion.

Kathryn Janicek was in charge of all of the media for the sheriff's office including all international and national media of the water recovery. They had just practiced their crisis communication plan the week before.

Reunite all missing loved ones

Key Messages:
Immediately Following Collapse
  • Don't use your cell phone because the lines were needed for emergency use
  • Don't come down here - emergency workers need room
  • Give blood - this helped people feel like they were doing something to help
During this time she wanted to make sure that the media was getting information but she also wanted to protect the victim's families. For example, in messages to the media she would say "human remains" rather than body parts because that was not necessary to get the story across. Also, she tried to avoid having the number of casualties reported early on because they were not accurate.

Ted Canova was the spokesperson for the Red Cross. As the collapse happened 100 yards from their site they played a key role in the rescue and got significantly more coverage than they typically would. A lot of the media took up camp in their parking lot and he had to deal with treating and keeping victims save while working with the media to keep the public up to date.

Goals: Re-unite missing loved ones and portray a unified message and to protect the victims who were receiving treatment while ensuring there was adequate media coverage
  • Portray calm and confident
  • Express heartache and condolence
He allowed media into the parking lot of the Red Cross but set up a perimeter for the victims protection. he was also on a lot of different news programs describing what he was seeing because it was difficult in the early hours to get camera crews that close.

James Shiffer is an editor at the Star Tribune but immediately following the collapse he got to cover it. He wanted to ensure that the public got all of the information available. He is very concerned with public access to information including that about the infrastructure. He didn't think it was the Kathryn and Ted's job to "protect" people from the truth about what was happening.

What Worked
  • Having a plan allowed them to immediately know who the designated spokespeople were
  • They did not stray from messaging
  • Kept a lid on pettiness and political agendas
  • Keeping in constant contact with the other organizations ( red cross, sheriff, politicians, etc)
  • Having good relationships
  • Setting up good visuals for media coverage
What Didn't
  • Not enough communication support
  • Not prepared for a web communication piece
  • Needed a liaison for print/releases

Thursday, October 18, 2007

New Web Address for MNPR Blog

Minnesota Public Relations Blog has a new URL - Now instead of getting confused with the you can type it all in one word -!

In case your worried the old URL will still work. No worries.

Minneapolis Picks is Here!

Life and Style to You…First Friday of the Month
***First issue launched Friday, August 3, 2007 ***

What are the newest and hottest places to shop, dine and do in Minneapolis ? The girls from Westover Media have launched – a girlfriend’s guide to the city – to fill you in on everything fashionable and fun. Be the first on your block to shop the newest stores, find the best restaurants, and sip the hottest cocktails. Minneapolis Picks gives you the skinny—the First Friday of Every Month!

Following the phenomenal success of Portland Picks and Seattle Picks, we are shopping our way east to uncover (and rediscover) the plethora of local boutiques, spas, and restaurants popping up all over Minneapolis .

Minneapolis Picks is a free monthly email update about all that’s hip and cool—it reads like it’s from your sassy, albeit a bit crazypants, BFF. We hold nothing back, so it’s not only a great resource, but the most fun you’ll find in your inbox…at least, fun you can actually use.

Minneapolis Picks will focus on local and independent small boutiques, businesses, and events. It’s not only a fabulous editorial resource for subscribers, but a targeted market for advertisers. Our readers are savvy, hip, educated and view the Picks as personal suggestions from a friend. If you have a retail store, restaurant, bar, spa, salon, product or service to promote, this is an incredibly effective avenue for your ad dollars.

To get a feel for what Minneapolis Picks will become, visit or And tell your friends that Minneapolis Picks is here! Friday mornings will never be the same again.

1st Annual Community Cornerstone Award Recognizes PSB

Join the March of Dimes in recognizing Padilla Speer Beardsley for their leadership and contributions to the Twin Cities community. The employee-owners of Padilla Speer Beardsley have a cherished tradition of giving their time and talent to nonprofit organizations. The March of Dimes will recognize this commitment to the community by presenting them with the March of Dimes Community Cornerstone Award. The event will take place at the Marriot Minneapolis West on Prematurity Awareness Day, November 13th from 12:00 to 1:30pm. Proceeds benefit the March of Dimes and the fight to stop premature birth. Open seating is available for $125. Reserved tables for 10 are available for $1,000.

Padilla Speer Beardsley employees donate hundreds of hours each year to nonprofit organizations of their choice. Additionally, the firm contributes public relations expertise and financial support to a host of organizations improving the quality of life where its employees live and work. Padilla Speer Beardsley also is a consistent recipient of the Minnesota Keystone Award for contributing an amount equal to five percent of annual pre-tax profits to charitable organizations.

"The Community Cornerstone Award is about honoring a company or individual that is a true leader in community giving. Padilla Speer Beardsley exemplifies this leadership through their outstanding involvement in the Twin Cities community. They are truly making a difference," said Keith Halleland, Founder and Shareholder of Halleland Lewis Nilan & Johnson and Chair of the 2007 March of Dimes Community Cornerstone Award Committee.

Local sponsors for this event include Halleland Lewis Nilan & Johnson, HealthPartners and the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Himle Horner, Inc. Will Manage Public Affairs for I-35W Bridge Reconstruction

Public affairs and community engagement for the reconstruction of the collapsed I-35W bridge will be managed by Minneapolis-based public relations firm . Himle Horner is part of the design-build team that won the construction award from the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The project will be headed by the design and construction team of Flatiron Constructors, Manson Construction and FIGG Bridge Engineers.

"We’re honored to be working with the Flatiron, Manson and FIGG team, which has been committed since day one to engaging citizens in the design and construction activities of the 35W bridge," said Todd Rapp, managing director of Himle Horner and the lead account person on the project. "In the coming months, we’ll be focused on getting Minnesotans involved in the final design and bridging any gaps between community expectations and the realities of building a safe, high quality bridge that reflects community values.

"The country will be watching closely as a new bridge rises from tragedy. We hope to do our part to help Minnesotans and visitors to the Minneapolis area embrace the new bridge," Rapp said.

The State of Minnesota signed a contract with the Flatiron, Manson and FIGG team Oct. 8 to immediately finish design and build a new 35W bridge. The previous bridge collapsed Aug. 1.

As part of its contract with the team, Himle Horner will develop the project’s public information plan, develop and implement core communications tools with various audiences (including policymakers, elected officials, neighborhood and other community organizations), manage media relations and conduct other public outreach and engagement efforts.

Rapp brings 25 years of Minnesota public affairs experience to this project, most recently as the project director and day-to-day campaign manager for Minnesota ’s Transportation Amendment—which won approval by Minnesota voters in 2006.

Himle Horner specializes in public relations, crisis management and public affairs. In recent years, the firm has played a pivotal role in developing and implementing multi-faceted communications strategies in support of a comprehensive statewide clean indoor air law, a private/public genomics research partnership, enhanced urban open spaces and the development of Minnesota ’s first commuter rail line.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Global Vehicles Selects Fast Horse For Consumer Marketing

Fast Horse, a Minneapolis-based consumer marketing services agency, has been retained by Global Vehicles U.S.A., Inc. to support the national launch of Mahindra SUVs and trucks, the first line of Indian-made automobiles to hit the U.S. market.

Global Vehicles, headquartered in Alpharetta, Ga., is the exclusive importer and distributor of Mahindra vehicles, which are manufactured by The Mahindra Group, recently ranked by Forbes as one of the World’s 200 Most Reputable Companies. Set to go on sale in the second quarter of 2009 through a vast national network of premier dealers, Mahindra vehicles will offer a blend of ruggedness, performance and affordability – highlighted by a clean-burning diesel engine built with top-of-the-industry green technology designed to reduce emissions and maximize fuel efficiency.

Fast Horse will develop and execute integrated marketing campaigns to build brand awareness and consumer acceptance of Mahindra vehicles, in addition to assisting Mahindra dealers with marketing activities on a local and regional level. Initiatives will include media relations, blog relations, dealer communications, special event coordination, grassroots marketing and consumer promotions.

"We’re excited to help introduce U.S. consumers to one of India’s most respected brands," said Jörg Pierach, founder and president of Fast Horse. "Mahindra represents the new India , demonstrating a unique convergence of superior style, technology and culture. We’re already seeing a buzz associated with Mahindra’s entry into the market and we believe consumers will quickly recognize the quality, durability, green technology and overall value packed into this line of vehicles."

Thursday, October 11, 2007

New Hires at Weber Shandwick

The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced the hires of new employees in the health care, technology, financial services and interactive and emerging media practices.

Cameron Potts joined the health care practice group as an account manager, focusing on hospital and health care systems and device manufacturing accounts. Potts has more than eight years of expertise in strategic public relations activities related to hospitals and health care systems. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, he worked as the director of communications and marketing for Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina, Minn. and also as the communications director for the Minnesota Hospital Association in St. Paul, Minn. A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Potts earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, N.D. and also holds an M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis.

Ranae Sandholm joined the technology practice group as an account supervisor, specializing in public relations strategy development, vertical and trade media engagement and industry analyst relations for technology and business-to-business clients. Before joining Weber Shandwick, Sandholm worked for Waggener Edstrom Worldwide in Seattle. In addition, she also spent part of her career at Text 100 in Seattle. An Iowa native, she received bachelor degrees in journalism and mass communication and communication studies from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa.

Nora Hayes joined the financial services practice group as a senior account executive working with clients in the retirement industry. She specializes in product packaging, collateral development, media relations and special event planning. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Hayes worked as a senior marketing specialist at Phillips Electronics in Plymouth, Minn. and as the director of marketing and communications at Minnesota Independent School Forum in St. Paul, Minn. A native of Jackson, Mich., Hayes received a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich. and holds a certificate in business communications form the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. She also is currently the treasurer of Minnesota Women in Marketing and Communications.

Angie Koehn joined the interactive and emerging media practice group as a graphic designer, specializing in print designs for clients in the consumer, financial services, health care, technology and corporate, community and public affairs practice groups. Before joining Weber Shandwick, she was a graphic designer for BoldMarketing in St. Paul, Minn. A native of Eau Claire, Wis., Koehn holds a bachelor’s degree in business and advertising from the University of Saint Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. and a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Judy Abel joined the interactive and emerging media practice group as a print and interactive project manager, overseeing print designs, Websites and newsletters for clients in all practice groups. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Abel worked at Fleishman-Hillard Digital in Washington, D.C. as a designer and production artist. A native of Jackson, Miss., she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English literature and European Cultural Studies form Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass. and also holds an M.A. in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University in Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Crisis Communication 2 of 3

For Part two of this article I will address first steps after the crisis hits.

You have created your crisis communication plan and designated your spokesperson. You know where to reach key corporate messaging and who to contact. You feel fairly prepared but once a crisis hits, time is of the essence. The first statements that you make will determine how your organization is viewed and whether you come through the event a winner or a loser.

BOOM! Crisis Hits:

1) Do not hide from the media. If the event is important enough for them to cover it will only make you look worse not to acknowledge it.

a. Have your spokesperson acknowledge that there is a problem. If some one or something was effected by it, admit it and say that you will remedy the situation
b. If you don’t have enough information to address the problem, let the media know that you are aware of the problem, you are looking into it and you will keep everyone abreast of developments.

2) Explain what happened and how: Once you have the details of what happened, give the media a brief explanation. Explain why it happened and that are committed to putting safeguards in place to prevent a recurrence.

3) Apologize and offer to fix the problem: I think this is one of the most difficult and most important steps. This will determine how the public remembers you.
a. Take full responsibility
b. Give specific actions you will take prevent a recurrence
c. Aside from just putting internal safeguards in place, also offer to help the victims if there are any. Donate to a charity, set up a fund but be sincere.

Next week I will write about managing the after effect of a crisis and report on the PRSA Core Training on Crisis Communications. I hope to see you there!

Carmichael Lynch Spong’s Maria Reitan to Host Marketing-to-Women Program on WebmasterRadio.FM

Want to become best friends with the most powerful person in the country? A new global radio show will give you the inside track on today's woman — how to capture her attention, grow her loyalty and create such enthusiasm about your company or product that she spreads the word with her friends and family.

Carmichael Lynch Spong announced today that Maria Reitan, principal and chair of the firm’s Marketing to Women and Lifestyle Marketing groups and Emmy Award-winning news director and producer will host “PurseStrings” —- a weekly 30-minute marketing-to-women radio program on WebmasterRadio.FM, a 24-hour Internet business radio station.

"PurseStrings" will launch on October 16, 2007 at 3:00 p.m. EST and will air every Tuesday. The show will feature expert insight about how to successfully capture the attention of the country’s most coveted demographic — the 51 percent of the country who controls more than 80 percent of the household spending: the woman. Each show will feature female-savvy guests ranging from marketing executives to third-party experts and more. The show will be streamed LIVE over WebmasterRadio.FM and available in archive, distributed in podcast format through all major podcast portals (including iTunes and Mobilecast) and through RSS feeds.

"Carmichael Lynch Spong is the expert when it comes to capturing women’s attention. We’ve helped companies realize their marketing goals and gain market share by aligning themselves with the number one consumer today – the woman," says Maria Reitan, principal and chair of the Marketing to Women and Lifestyle Marketing practice groups. "Now, I'm excited to share that experience with WebmasterRadio.FM listeners."

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Weber announces Four Promotions

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

Tonya Tennessen was promoted to account supervisor in the financial services practice. Having joined Weber Shandwick last year, Tennessen plays a key role on the award-winning Go Direct campaign of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. She manages the campaign's national media and partner outreach efforts. Tennessen has also served on Weber Shandwick's pro bono client selection committee and currently directs Weber Shandwick's pro bono work with a local non-profit legal services organization servicing Minnesota's immigrant population. A native of Minneapolis, Minn., Tennessen holds a bachelor's degree in English, Economics and secondary English Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The health care practice has promoted Toccara Torres, Stacy Buehner and Rachel Lonsdale from assistant account executives to account executives.

Torres works on the American College of Surgeons and the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis accounts providing account management, media relations, newsletter editing and production and event coordination. In addition to her work on client accounts, Torres is a member of the Weber Shandwick Minneapolis office United Way committee as well as the Employee Action Group (EAG) Green Committee, which supports office-wide, environmentally friendly initiatives. A native of St. Peter, Minn., Torres graduated from Macalester College with a bachelor's degree in communications and media studies.

Buehner plays a key role on several health care accounts including the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, Hazelden Foundation, American College of Surgeons, Prime Therapeutics, Boston Scientific and Army Healthcare (AMEDD). She provides media relations and writing expertise to all of her clients and recently helped manage a national campaign for the Hazelden Foundation. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Buehner held an internship at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview in the communications department. Originally from Canistota, S.D., Buehner graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor's degree in journalism focusing on public relations.

Lonsdale plays a key role on the Boston Scientific and Carlson Wagonlit Travel account teams where she provides media relations, research and analysis and strategic planning support. She also manages media tour booking for both of these clients. A native of Eau Claire, Wis., Lonsdale graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor's degree in Communication Arts and Political Science.

Job - Kroll Ontrack - PR Specialist, Legal Technologies

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Crisis Communication 1 of 3

A crisis can strike your client with no advanced notice. Some companies will react well, like the well documented case of Tylenol, some will react by the book but in a non-personal, uninspiring way, such as Skype during their recent coverage outage and some will fail miserably,Jack in the Box, anyone?

Tylenol recovered from their crisis in better shape than before. They were able to communicate to the public what their values were and having that crisis gave them a wider audience to communicate with. You want to set your clients up to respond in this manner.

How do you make sure that your clients are prepared for a crisis and how do you make sure that in the event of a crisis it is handled in the best possible way?
I have spoken to several local PR practitioners and I have done quite a bit of research to put together this “Dummy’s Guide” to crisis communication. I will link a lot of resources at the conclusion of this series.

1) In a crisis time is of the essence, plan ahead

I could write the whole article on the importance of preparation. Have contact information for these people and this information in your easily accessible crisis tool kit

a. Crisis Management Team
b. Spokesperson-not the CEO
c. Legal Council
d. Mission and Values of the organization or person
e. Key media contacts

I will post the next installment next week. For even more information on Crisis Communication check out PRSA's Training.

PRSA’s October Core Training Breakfast Session

Communicating During a Crisis: The 35W Bridge Collapse

Thursday, October 18 at the Metropolitan Ballroom
Registration and continental breakfast: 7:30 am
Program: 8:00 – 9:30 am

Guest Panelists:
· Ted Canova, Chief Communications and Development Officer, Twin Cities Area Chapter of the American Red Cross

· Kathryn Janicek, PIO, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office
· Member(s) of the media TBD

Join our panel in a discussion regarding the ultimate in crisis communications—what works, what does notand how to effectively work with the media to keep the public informed when it really counts. Our panelists were all instrumental in the communication and media coverage during the 35W bridge collapse and will share their experiences with attendees. Take away best practices for your own crisis communications plan—including planning and preparing for a crisis, media needs and policies, establishing protocols and channels for information release, and more.

Please also note a time change for this October meeting. Member survey results indicated that many PRSA members were interested in breakfast training sessions. So, to meet that request, we are trying our first breakfast training, with registration and breakfast starting at 7:30 and the program running from 8:00-9:30 am.
The October training is sponsored by Metro Dentalcare.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Job - Minnesota Department of Revenue - Media Relations Coordinator

ASI Communications Names Lindgren Director of PR

ASI Communications announced today that it has hired Dawn Lindgren as director of public relations. Lindgren joins ASI after 10 years with Weber Shandwick, where she honed her skills in strategic communications, public relations, media relations, crisis communications and public affairs.

"I knew the first time I met Dawn that she was the right person for the job," said Vice President Patrick Rosenstiel. "She knows that public relations is more than a press release and a prayer, and she understands our agency-wide perspective that PR efforts need to be flexible — able to stand on their own in some cases, while integrating seamlessly into broader marketing campaigns in others."

ASI Communications is growing to over eighty employees, and Lindgren will coordinate the efforts of its 15-person public relations team. This team includes media relations experts, researchers, senior writers and media monitors offering vertical expertise in retail, health care, issue management, B2B, government, defense and regulated industries.

Lindgren will report directly to Patrick Rosenstiel, who oversees ASI’s public relations, public affairs, government procurement, crisis management and writing and research practice areas.

"The challenges and opportunities excite me," said Lindgren. "This team is experienced, driven and motivated to build a best-in-breed public relations offering for current and future clients."

Five Tips for Identifying and Collaborating with a Freelancer - Part 3 of 3

If and when you make the decision to hire a freelancer, the following tips can be helpful when identifying the appropriate freelancer(s) and collaborating with them to meet your needs.
1. Know your team’s strengths and weaknesses. Use a freelancer to fill in the gaps when necessary. For example, if your team is very good with the big picture, but needs help with the details, find someone that can develop a plan and timeline to deliver your vision and keep the team on track.

2. Develop a roster. Strategic versus nitty gritty. Specialized versus generalized. There is a time and place for different freelancers. Perhaps you need someone with 20 years of experience to help with your crisis plan, but they may not be the best use of your budget when you need a press release or media support.

3. Know what you want. A freelancer is not a mind reader. Be able to provide them with a good idea of what you’re looking for so there aren’t any surprises in the deliverable and you get the most out of your investment.

4. Provide details. A freelancer is most helpful when they have all of the details, good and bad, up front. If you’re not straightforward with them, the end result will not be ideal. Also, to save time and money in the future, once you’ve “company-ized” a document, let them know the changes you’ve made so they can keep this in mind next time.

5. Gain outside perspective. Take advantage of an impartial, educated perspective and ask for the freelancer’s opinion. A freelancer can sometimes provide an easy solution or unique way of doing things based on their experience or simply because they haven’t been as entrenched in the company or project.
Have any other tips to add? Please post them here as well.

Amy Smith is owner of Bear Smith Communications, LLC. Previously a managing supervisor at Fleishman-Hillard, she researched freelancing and started her own business after the birth of her first child last November. She can be reached at .

Monday, October 01, 2007

New Clients for Maccabee Group

AmericInn, a 200+ location mid-scale hotel chain with headquarters in Chanhassen, Minnesota; The Ivy Spa Club, a luxury spa and fitness facility opening in downtown Minneapolis; Angie’s Kettle Corn, the North Mankato, MN-based manufacturer of freshly-popped classic popcorn snacks; Certes Financial Pros, the St. Louis Park, MN-based provider of high-level financial staffing for Twin Cities companies; and Icon Services Corp., a Saint Paul-based security agency providing executive/VIP protection, public safety and investigative work, have all chosen Maccabee Group Inc. as their public relations agency.

Job - Junior/Mid-Level PR Practitioners Fleishman-Hillard

Friday, September 28, 2007

MWC becomes MWMC

Minnesota Women in Communications (MWC) has changed their name to the Minnesota Women in Marketing and Communications. Here is the announcement:
Inspired by the success of our organization's first year, The Board of Directors felt challenged to respond to the needs of our expanding membership, which grew by 50 percent since our launch last September.

Celebrating that success, the Board modified the name of the organization to Minnesota Women in Marketing and Communications (MWMC). This name more accurately represents the diverse membership and better positions the organization in Minnesota's rapidly changing marketing and communications industry.

Our logo and Web address will remain the same, and most importantly, we continue our commitment to investing resources to the betterment of the marketing and communications industry with new and improved programming and in support of our mission, "To be Minnesota's professional association of choice for women in marketing and communications.

During the month of October, MWMC is conducting its annual membership drive. Existing members are asked to renew, and members may join at a reduced rate ($35 admin fee is waived). Additionally, MWMC's new business memberships offer discounted rates for companies with three or more members.

Please visit for information on how to join or renew your MWMC membership as well as details on our upcoming events, including our member-only tour of the Guthrie on October 10 and our Learning Lunch Series that will launch this November.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Job - Multiple Job Openings at Padilla

Crisis Communication

Crisis Communication is everywhere. Recently, we have seen the need for it coming from all different angles. Here in Minnesota we had the 35W bridge collapse. Actually, also with a Minnesota aspect, a public figure needed crisis help, Senator Craig. There are the collapsed mines, contaminated products from China. The need for PR professionals with Crisis Communications expertise is everywhere.

I do not have crisis communications expertise but I want to get some emails or comments from all of you to help me put together a "dummy's guide".

Please, contact me at if you have words of wisdom, articles to suggest or any other comments.

I will be researching this week and hopefully putting your comments into a 2 or 3 part series on Crisis Comm.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Job - looking for an Intern

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing - Part 2 of 3

What to consider when using a freelancer

If tapping freelancers were so easy, companies would do it more often. Freelancers come with their own advantages and disadvantages. Below are some examples to consider.

No overhead. It’s possible to enjoy the benefits of a part-time, full-time or “no-time” employee, without worrying about their healthcare, 401K, billability, etc.
No strings attached. If it doesn’t work out, you don’t need to use them again or work on developing their skills to get the most of your investment. If it does work, you have someone you can count on in the future.
Availability. Most freelancers are used to working odd hours and meeting tight deadlines.
Speed. Given an assignment, freelancers can focus on the task without typical work distractions and meet the deadlines they’ve provided.
Lack of business or industry knowledge. No one can understand your business like you do. Until you’ve worked with a freelancer for awhile, they may not fully understand your company, its brand essence, its industry, etc. As part of your business agreement, you may consider building in some non-billable research time so they can get up to speed.
More ramp up and clean up time. To ensure you receive high-quality work, you need to provide relevant background and have a good idea of what you want. You will most likely also need to review the material to make sure it “sounds” like your company.
Availability. Because a freelancer is not a member of your exclusive team, their availability also can be a disadvantage if they are on deadline for someone else or turn down a project due to prior commitments.
Please your thoughts on the advantages and disadvantages of using a freelancer.

Next week’s post will close this three part series with tips on how to best work with and use freelancers.

Amy Smith is owner of Bear Smith Communications, LLC. Previously a managing supervisor at Fleishman-Hillard, she researched freelancing and started her own business after the birth of her first child last November. She can be reached at .

Audio posting here

Monday, September 24, 2007

New look for MNPR Blog

You will notice today that Minnesota Public Relations Blog has a new look. Some additional features have been added including a more comprehensive archive as well as the ability to e-mail individual stories.

I am still getting the comment section up and running, in the meantime and let me know what you think.


Download the audio version of this posting here .

Tunheim Partners Acquires New School Communications

Tunheim Partners, Inc. that it will acquire St. Paul-based New School Communications, and will integrate both the public affairs and public relations practices of each firm over the next few months.

Blois Olson, president/chief executive of New School will serve as executive vice president at Tunheim Partners, and will become a shareholder at the firm. Olson will provide particular leadership in the public affairs and crisis communications, and lead new service and product initiatives.

At the same time, Tim Loesch, senior vice president of Tunheim Partners, was promoted to executive vice president of public relations, providing leadership in the retail and corporate communications practices.

"Each of our agencies has strong relationships with some great clients," said Kathy Tunheim, chief executive of Tunheim Partners. "This is an opportunity to put our combined energies into innovation and new service offerings to meet future needs of those clients. We've had the opportunity to collaborate and compete with New School in the past, and really appreciate the energy and vision they bring to our firm."

"Our regional public affairs strength and growing consumer practice will complement the already industry-leading corporate practices of Tunheim Partners," Olson said. "Together, we will provide clients with the most experienced corporate communications agency, and new, exciting public affairs and consumer offerings to the market. The combined entity will be the most innovative and visionary full-service public relations agency in the market, and will introduce multiple new service offerings to existing and future clients."

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Carmichael Lynch Spong Names Kargas and Latta Principals

Carmichael Lynch Spong has recently promoted David Kargas and Maclaren Latta to principals. Kargas, an eight-year Carmichael Lynch Spong veteran, currently leads the firm’s Denver office, while Latta, a six-year veteran of the firm, continues to create award-winning work from Bozeman, Montana.

Kargas joined Carmichael Lynch Spong in 1999 and relocated to the Carmichael Lynch Spong Denver office in January 2002. He brings a strong background in journalism, strategic planning, account management and media relations. In addition to heading the Denver office, he serves as the lead contact on clients such as The Clorox Company, Dunkin’ Brands, American Humane Association, TransFair USA , and he plays an integral role in new business.

Prior to joining Carmichael Lynch Spong, Kargas worked at Bozell Kamstra, a Minneapolis advertising and public relations firm. There, he focused on trade media relations and internal communications for his clients. Prior to that he was a news reporter at the Monroe Times in Southern Wisconsin . He continues to freelance write for local business and lifestyle publications.

Kargas received a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He’s also a board member of an anti-hunger charity group.

Latta joined Carmichael Lynch Spong in 2001 and brought with her a wide range of experience in account management, media relations and event planning. After five years in the firm’s Minneapolis office, she relocated to Bozeman , Montana .

Her current client responsibilities include managing the Maytag brand account team and providing counsel to the Dunkin’ Brands Community Foundation. As chair of the home and garden industry group, she also serves as a consultant to Sherwin-Williams, Lutron Electronics and other home-related clients. Her accounts have received national and regional recognition including two PRWeek Cause-Related Campaigns of the Year and multiple PRSA Silver Anvils and Bronze Anvils.

Latta’s background includes handling public relations and events for Big Sky Resort, operating a marketing consulting business and serving four years as a U.S. Senate staff member in Washington , D.C.

Latta is a graduate of the University of Colorado , where she earned a degree in economics and a minor in French. She is also an active member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and enjoys volunteering for nonprofit organizations such as the American Red Cross and Ducks Unlimited.

"David and Maclaren are invaluable members of our firm as they have successfully led numerous clients since they’ve been here," said Douglas K. Spong, APR, president. "David’s exceptional writing, media relations, creative and strategic thinking have made him invaluable in new business and endeared him to his clients. Maclaren is a remarkably talented, dedicated and successful leader. She’s adored by her teams, and highly valued by her clients."

Maccabee Group wins three national Hermes Awards

The Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals has honored Minnesota public relations agency Maccabee Group with three national Hermes Awards celebrating the Minneapolis-based PR firm’s campaigns for client OfficeMax.

Maccabee Group’s won both a 1st Place Gold Award for "Best Special Event," as well as the 2nd place "Best Publicity Campaign" Platinum Award. In addition, Maccabee Group’s viral "Elf Yourself" holiday campaign won a 2nd place Platinum Award for "Best Publicity Campaign." The Hermes Creative Awards, presented by the Texas-based Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals, is an international competition recognizing outstanding achievement in communications and marketing.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Not Just Social Networking

Hi, my name is Catherine and I use Facebook, OK, I check it religiously, but I am not an addict. I could stop at anytime. I just really like knowing what is going on with people from college-and high school. It doesn't matter that we never talk. I know. But, in my defense, I started in school. OK, I have another confession. I also use MySpace occasionally and I have joined LinkedIn.

I am not alone. Over 80% of the respondents to our poll said they use a social networking site. Others, yours truly included, use more than one.

It was a year ago that Facebook shed its student only rules and opened up its doors to everyone. Now my boss can see the pictures someone posted of me from a party in college (hypothetically of course...they read this). Is Facebook a viable networking tool? Should it be? Jon Fine recently wrote an article in BusinessWeek that describes this issue to a T.

Recently, Facebook picked OutCast, an agency based in San Fransisco and New York to run its PR efforts and there is no doubt those efforts will involve positioning Facebook as an alternative to specifically career oriented sites like LinkedIn.

Is Facebook a good professional networking venue? In my opinion, No. When the options to describe why you are here includes "Random Play" it is not a professional atmosphere. I think Facebook is shooting its self in the foot by trying to expand outside of the young people trying to keep in touch and share pictures niche. When college students realize their parents and supervisors are on Facebook, they will leave in droves to find a place of their own.
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