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Saturday, June 30, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
MACCABEE GROUP WINS CHICAGO PUBLICITY CLUB’S SILVER TRUMPET AWARD
- Promo Magazine’s Interactive Awards honored the OfficeMax ElfYourself online publicity program -- created by Maccabee Group and New York-based Web design firm Toy -- as its “Viral Campaign of the Year.” Maccabee Group inspired Internet users to send 11 million OfficeMax-branded elves to friends worldwide, with consumers creating as many as 41,000 elves per hour. Media coverage included ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America,” USA Today and The New York Times. The campaign sparked 40 million media impressions, as ElfYourself became the fastest-growing site on the Internet just before Christmas with 444,523,398 page views.
- The Chicago Publicity Club honored Maccabee Group and its client OfficeMax with the Silver Trumpet Award for its “World’s Largest
Rubberband Ball” campaign, which involved the unveiling of a 4,594-pound, 18-foot-circumference ball made of 175,000 rubber bands -- breaking the Guiness World Record.
- Finally, Maccabee Group’s “World’s Largest Rubberband Ball” campaign for OfficeMax was also honored with a 1st Place Award of Excellence as “Best Publicity Campaign” by the 13th Annual Communicator Awards.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
PURECHOICE AND LIGHTSTONE CHOOSE MINNEAPOLIS PR AGENCY MACCABEE GROUP
WEBER SHANDWICK ANNOUNCES TWIN CITIES PROMOTIONS
Lida Poletz has been promoted to account director in the financial services practice. Poletz joined the agency in 2003 as an account supervisor and for the past three years has played a lead roll in an award-winning national campaign to increase direct deposit use. She has contributed tremendously with her exceptional writing, strategic thinking and project management skills. Before joining Weber Shandwick, she was a senior financial journalist for Reuters news agency, with postings in New York, London and Kiev, Ukraine. A native of Minneapolis, Poletz graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Minnesota and also holds an M.B.A. with a marketing focus and an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University in New York.
Michael Koenigs has been promoted to account group manager in the corporate, community & public affairs practice, which he re-joined in 2006 as an account supervisor. Based in Chicago, he has built strong relationships with public affairs clients through his thoughtful counsel, attention to detail and infectious enthusiasm. Prior to re-joining Weber Shandwick, Koenigs worked for CKPR in Chicago managing the agency’s AirTran Airways account. A native of Marshalltown, Iowa, Koenigs graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee with a bachelor’s degree in public relations.
Eryka Jackson has been promoted from senior account executive to account supervisor. Jackson joined Weber Shandwick in 2004 as a senior account executive. She currently provides strategic counsel, media relations and event planning support to technology clients and has developed a reputation for creative PR thinking well beyond the Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick. Before joining Weber Shandwick, she was a manager of marketing and corporate communications at PLX Systems Inc. Jackson graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s in English, applied linguistics from Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Va.
Andrew Krupicka has been promoted from junior web developer to web developer in the web relations practice. Krupicka joined the agency in 2005 as an intern. He currently specializes in creating and maintaining web sites, electronic press kits and newsletter designs, supporting all practice groups. A native of Minneapolis, Krupicka graduated from Brown College in Mendota Heights, Minn., with an A.A.S in visual communications.
Monday, June 25, 2007
How do we penetrate the information filters?
So, why do I mention this? Because whatever profession is represented in this blog, we all have one thing in common – we are information receivers and information providers. (Same is true for all professions and people in general, I suppose.) And more and more, our society is choosing to filter the information they receive. Consider newspapers. The tab format, while still available in some markets, is considered a thing of the past. Most newspapers are in broadsheet form which can be divided into sections – making it easier for people to divide and read only what they want. RSS feeds. Known as various things, but commonly as Really Simple Syndication, enables a person to customize online content to receive updates on only those subjects they find of interest. Television. Twenty years ago the major networks carried a wide variety of show content. Today, the major networks are in the minority and the remaining 5 million channels (okay, slight exaggeration) cater to as many interests as there are viewers. Cell phones, or any other mobile device, can be programmed to receive specific news updates, sports news, and even the daily religious message. If a review of the entire media world is examined, one would find that four or five major companies control roughly 70 percent of the information market. This includes newspapers, television, Internet, music, magazines and books.
With that in mind, what is our role as communicators in a world of ever-increasing filtered information? How do we analyze what message, to what market and by what means of delivery? Obviously, market research and keeping abreast of across-the-board information will lend an edge in this competitive field, but I, by no means, have the answer. I am just seeing this as a daily and ever-increasing challenge for any communicator. Any thoughts?<
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Blog Box vs. Press Box: Separate But Equal?
Last week the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) ejected a Louisville Courier-Journal reporter from a college baseball game for writing a live blog. Next thing you know, we're looking at a possible suit that could set a precedent for how news is controlled and reported, and subsequently, how teams bloggers. As of yesterday, according to Associated Press, the NCAA had backed down on its policy.
Interestingly, around the same time the NCAA blogger was ejected, the NHL’s New York Islanders broke the blogging ice with the introduction of the “NYI Blog Box.” But a letter from the Islanders PR department encouraging fans to blog on – from their own separate box away from “scribes and broadcasters” – has folks questioning the Islanders’ attempt to engage serious sports news bloggers.
The popular sports blog, Deadspin, was intrigued by the Blog Box idea and checked Islanders’ Vice President of Communication Chris Botta in a recent interview.
Deadspin: You seem to be selling this more as a fan-interactivity type thing than any sort of recognition of bloggers as a new medium to cover the games.Yes, there is “fan-interactivity,” and kudos to the Islanders for braving the blogosphere to engage passionate fans and create traffic online. And, yes, there is “recognition of a new medium,” but perhaps the more critical question – using the Islanders as an example – is whether it’s a true embracement of the new media?
Botta: On major bloggers…who already have established blogs with decent audiences, my hunch is they will not apply for fear of being accused of going to the dark side, the official team website side. But as we mentioned, we have thick skin and we're not censoring…I want to make clear this is fan-interactivity AND a recognition of a new medium. I hope we made that clear in the press release, but I'll check.
Will Leitch, editor of Deadspin, shared ,
"You have to give them credit for at least trying something. But it should not really be confused with any credentialing at all, this is a fan thing. [In their release] the team should have said: ‘Hey fans, you can pretend to be a reporter for a night.' It's hardly a breakthrough for bloggers."
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Paul Potts and the quest for authenticity
Trend watchers have been talking about “authenticity” for several years now, and the mega-trend shows no signs of slowing down. Broadcast and cable TV were quick to jump on the bandwagon with their interpretations, namely reality shows and various sorts of talent contests. The latter have proven themselves to be an amazingly successful formula: The “American Idol” juggernaut shows no signs of slowing, and the entire genre has quickly become Simon Cowell’s oyster.
But even the A.I. enterprise has exposed a few cracks, with professional and semi-professional singers and outright frauds swelling the contestant ranks. Still, every once in a while there is a breakthrough performance by a true amateur on one of these shows that stands out and demonstrates the real power and impact of authenticity.
So it is with Paul Potts on "Britain's Got Talent." A cell phone salesman by trade, Potts sings opera (that's right, opera). A somewhat shy, not necessarily camera-friendly man who, by his own admission, struggles with self-confidence, Potts makes for a great story.
Three separate clips of his performances have been viewed on YouTube more than 5.6 million times and have elicited more than 10,000 overwhelmingly positive comments — itself an amazing feat in the often nasty Web 2.0 world.
Potts went on to win the contest on Sunday evening, earning a cash prize and, of course, a recording contract. He will also perform in front of the Queen at the Royal Variety Performance later this year. Watch the clip below of his tryout for B.G.T. and prepare to be blown away.
Then maybe ask yourself: How can my company or client connect with its target audiences in a way that leverages the power of the authenticity trend?
Monday, June 18, 2007
IABC Minnesota Hosts Branding Event
Be HeardTM - the new brand by which (International Association of Business Communicators) will be known - was broadcast loud and clear at an area networking event held on June 14. Julie Freeman, APR, ABC, and president of IABC, spoke to the crowd of approximately 50 IABC members. Said Freeman, "What I like most about our new brand is it concisely reflects what our organization is and what we do." Research was done both at the local and international level so that all IABC chapters would be represented by the universal brand. "We are an international organization and we didn't want to say anything that would be offensive in any other language," Freeman explained. Prior to the general meeting, senior members of IABC Minnesota, including chapter President Sue Kraus of SMK Marketing and Communications, met with Freeman to review local initiatives using the new brand. Minnesota chapter members Diane Rose of Rose Communications, Mary Ann McCauley of Catalyst Communications and Jill Daneu of Daneu Communications felt a local twist could be added to the new brand - Be Heard, But Be Nice ... and Bring a Hotdish. The event was sponsored by Mitch Waters and John Michael of DiscBurn.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Vacation and guest bloggers...
Next week I will be on vacation in the Dominican Republic city of Guayabal. Like many of my "vacations" this will be anything but typical. With a team from my church, I will be building homes for Haitian refugees, playing with the children and teaching Bible school!
In my absence, I have recruited three able bloggers to stand in for me; John Merritt, Katharine Kaboord and Sandy Sweep. Hope you all have a great week. Talk to you when I return.
Merritt is the owner of White Pine Public Relations, which he founded in the spring of 2007. His experience includes clients ranging from Rapala, Harley-Davidson and Maytag to Northwest Area Foundation, New York University and the Rally for Ducks, Wetlands and Clean Water. Merritt’s work has been awarded on numerous occasions, including a PRSA Silver Anvil award and a PR Week Business-to-Business Campaign of the Year award. In addition to public relations and marketing communications, his background includes experience in e-commerce, operations management and higher education. A Minnetonka native, he holds bachelor’s degrees from the University of Minnesota and master’s degrees from New York University
An account manager at Beehive PR, Katharine¹s public relations and marketing experience spans local, national and international markets. Her current and previous agency work includes providing strategic media and community relations, market analysis, crisis communication, executive visibility, tradeshow, grassroots outreach and electronic communication counsel primarily for clients in the defense, energy and financial industries. She is an active member of the Minnesota PRSA chapter, serving on the Communications Committee
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
New PR Blog run by Minnesota Students
Well, I am pleased to announce the launch of "Minnesota STUDENT Public Relations Blog."
This summer Allison Dent, a junior at the University of Minnesota, will chronicle her summer internship experience and ask the professional world for advice. Last week Allison made her first post and I am excited to watch her progress through the summer. Please help me welcome Allison to the Minnesota PR community.
If you are a college student interested in PR and want to learn more about posting to this new blog, .
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Wingnut Adds PR to Its Capabilities
Wingnut is partnering with John Merritt, a PR veteran whose experience includes stints on both the agency and client side of the business, most recently at Carmichael Lynch Spong. Merritt’s work has been recognized by his peers in the public relations industry on numerous occasions, including both a PRSA Silver Anvil award and a PR Week Business-to-Business Campaign of the Year award in 2006.
"Clients look to Wingnut to provide integrated solutions to their marketing needs," said John Arms, partner and president of Wingnut. "With so many options available in today’s distributed media economy — including blogs, social networks and other emerging media — John’s expertise in these areas combined with his solid background in traditional PR tactics will allow Wingnut to broaden our approach and provide clients with new ways of approaching their marketing needs."
In addition to public relations and marketing communications, Merritt’s background includes experience in e-commerce, operations management and higher education. A Minnetonka native, he holds bachelor’s degrees from the University of Minnesota and master’s degrees from New York University.
"Like many of us here John is an outdoor enthusiast," added Arms. "We're really hoping that an added benefit of this partnership will be for some of his fishing skills to rub off on the rest of us."
Monday, June 11, 2007
The good news is that I have vacation planned for next week. The bad news is that I won't be around a computer to catch up on my blogging. Which leads me to my point, is anyone interested in acting as a guest blogger while I am out of town. You offer your thoughts on PR to a large audience and get some networking exposure. Let me know ASAP and I will give you more details.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Financial Communications Society honors YMM
The event was held Thurs., May 17 in New York City. YMM won both awards on behalf of work for client CUNA (Credit Union National Association) Mutual Group.
"Financial communications is one of our core client bases," says Andrew Mackenzie, chief executive officer, Yamamoto Moss Mackenzie. "And to be recognized by our peers at the Financial Communications Society for this work for CUNA Mutual Group in direct mail and brochure writing and design is the highest honor."
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Carroll joins YMM
"Yamamoto Moss Mackenzie is expanding our account management staff to support the agency’s growth," says Andrew Mackenzie, CEO, Yamamoto Moss Mackenzie. "Tim Carroll is marketing savvy and entrepreneurial, and brings both excellent client-side and agency experience to our shop. He’s a great addition."
Carroll holds a BA in economics and studio art from St. John’s University , Collegeville , Minn. , and an MBA with a concentration in information systems technology from the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota .
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Friday, June 01, 2007
PR People Awards!
Call for Entries: Deadline - June 15, 2007
Awards Luncheon: November 8th at the National Press Club in Washington, DC
Recognize the Outstanding PR Professionals on Your Team Today!
(Self-nominations are accepted)
PR News' PR People Awards are open to All Communications Professionals Worldwide - corporate, agency, non-profit, government. Winners and honorable mentions will be honored during a luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
* Program Information
Don’t Miss Your Chance To Be Honored By PR News, The Industry’s Most Respected PR Publication.