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Monday, February 26, 2007

Tunheim Partners Announces Staff Additions

Tunheim Partners, a Minneapolis-based public relations and public affairs agency, is pleased to announce the appointment of Allison Frailich as senior account executive, and Eliza Appert as account representative.

Frailich joins Tunheim Partners from Planned Parenthood, where she directed the fundraising efforts and helped determine strategic direction for a successful statewide ballot initiative. She brings experience in advocacy, media relations and strategic planning skills she gained through experience working on political campaigns.

Appert brings experience in campaign measurement, public affairs research, and strategic writing. Prior to joining Tunheim Partners, she interned for Cone Inc., a public relations agency in Boston , the non-profit Center for Victims of Torture and Wells Fargo.

Tunheim Partners, a Minneapolis-based communications firm founded in 1990, specializes in public relations, public affairs and corporate consulting services. The company is ranked as one of the top strategic counseling agencies in the United States and represents clients in an array of businesses and industries.

Job - Schermer Kuehl - Senior Copywriter

University Students Form Fusion Marketing with Risdall Marketing Group

Fusion Marketing, a student-run agency of Risdall Marketing Group (RMG), introduces an all-new internship program. Instead of interns working with senior staff members, a group of 13 students from the University of Minnesota’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication will be working together directly with clients. Students are hired and seen as employees of the company.

Dr. Dan Wackman, Ph.D., director of undergraduate studies at the University of Minnesota's School of Journalism and Mass Communication stated, "The structure of students working with students is a novel idea that other agencies do not incorporate into their internship programs. We believe that this program will make the students more marketable for jobs than other graduates across the country."

RMG was inspired to start a student agency after it hosted three "" programs. On these days students from colleges around the Twin Cities were invited to RMG to brainstorm with clients and met with mentors.

"The ideas and energy that came out of the students were remarkable. By creating a 10-week program, we have allowed the students to utilize and expand these ideas to full capacity," states, John Risdall, CEO.

Each week Fusion Marketing is assigned a project for a different Risdall account. The following week, their ideas are presented to the client. Some of the clients Fusion Marketing will be working for include the Masters Forum, Twin Cities Originals, Zia and Taymark.

"Responding to a single e-mail, almost 100 advertising and public relations students sent their resumes and writing samples in hope of obtaining an interview for a prestigious spot with our student agency," said Risdall. "We interviewed 50 students, and it was tough to narrow it down to 13 because all were highly competent for the positions."

As a commitment to Risdall, students are working at least eight hours a week and receiving a weekly paycheck of $100. Fusion Marketing is composed of six account executives, two public relations specialists, two art directors, two copy writers, and one media planner. The program will last 10 weeks, with a possibility of permanent employment upon graduation.

"I'm really excited to be here. I love working in the atmosphere of an agency. In only a week, we have already created and presented work to the Masters Forum. I could never get this kind of experience in a classroom setting," said Emily Ray, Account Executive.

Friday, February 23, 2007


The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced that Jim McCartney has joined its healthcare practice as an account director.

McCartney will work on medical technology, nonprofit and other key healthcare clients. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, McCartney spent more than 25 years as a business reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

A highly accomplished journalist, McCartney has received more than two dozen state, regional and national newspaper awards in every major category of business writing. He has won national contests sponsored by Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and by Dartmouth College’s Amos Tuck Business School, the Frank Premark Memorial award sponsored by the Star Tribune, and numerous awards from the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists.

A native of St. Paul, McCartney holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Carleton College and earned his master’s degree in journalism and mass communications from the University of Minnesota.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick today announced the hire of Stephanie Connolly and Curtis Riddle.

Stephanie Connolly has joined the corporate, community and public affairs practice group as an assistant account executive.

Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Connolly worked for the Minnesota Department of Education as the deputy communications director where she handled a variety of assignments to help communicate the Governor’s education messages to the media and public. She also served in Gov. Pawlenty’s communication office where she conducted research, wrote event briefs and produced the Governor’s weekly radio show which airs on WCCO AM.

A native of St. Paul, Minn., Connolly earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and communication from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse.

Curtis Riddle has joined the Web relations practice group as a senior Web developer. Riddle has more than seven years of programming expertise in Web site and database development and has worked in a wide variety of industries including finance, travel, entertainment, sports and fitness and public relations. Before joining Weber Shandwick, Riddle spent five years with He also worked as a consultant for Deloitte and Touche DRT Systems.

A native of Minnetonka, Minn., Riddle has a bachelor’s degree in quantitative methods from the University of St. Thomas and a master’s degree in computer information systems from the University of Phoenix.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Weber Shandwick Wins National Agri-Marketing Association Award

Weber Shandwick and client DMI Inc. awarded first place in regional program

The Twin Cities office of Weber Shandwick, on behalf of Dairy Management Inc. (DMI), won first place in the Region IV Best of National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) Awards in the "public affairs/issues management" category for its Dairy Industry Crisis Readiness Program.

Weber Shandwick and DMI worked together to develop and implement this comprehensive Crisis Readiness Program, bringing together the entire dairy industry, including dairy co-ops and processors, to embrace an industry-wide crisis plan that identifies specific roles and responsibilities, as well as action steps and communication information. The overarching goal of the program is to preserve and protect public confidence in milk and dairy. The Crisis Readiness Program includes an industry newsletter, Web site development, training programs and online learning opportunities.

"The work we do with Weber Shandwick is vital to maintaining and improving our industry's communications and preparedness," said David Pelzer, Vice President of Industry Relations and Communications at DMI. "It's gratifying to receive third-party recognition for our efforts."

The Best of NAMA awards program honors the best work in agricultural communications, encompassing advertising and public relations. Weber Shandwick and DMI's award-winning entry will now advance to national-level competition. The national awards ceremony will be held April 11 at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas, Texas.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Job - Fast Horse - Internship

The Same Rowdy Crowd

A few weeks ago I was quoted in a Business Journal article saying that I thought that Minnesota had one of the best, most thought provoking PR communities in the world. In past month three electronic tools for public relations professionals have been started here in Minnesota. I told you about Public Relations Chat and Truth In PR last month, now another blog has come to my attention, help me welcome The Same Rowdy Crowd.

According to the site, The Same Rowdy Crowd was started by five guys who combine idiot idealism, a hairball or two of cynicism and an irresistible urge to shoot our mouths off about communication – good, bad and stupid.

We’ve been doing it for years in boardrooms, newsrooms, bars and the op-ed pages; amazingly, each of us has made a living in communications for decades. Some of us have worked for newspapers, some for government, some for companies large and small. Now we all work for ourselves, and we’re ruined for real jobs.

Rowdy crowd contributors include; Mark Andrew, Jon Austin, Bruce Benidt, Tony Carideo and Joe Loveland. To find out more about each of them, click here.

Looks like the Minnesota PR community is continuing to grow!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Do You Know An Entrepreneur Who Has Created and Built a Leading Business?

Nominate Them Today for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award.

Nominations for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2007 program are being accepted through March 30, 2007. The nomination form can be accessed online at

To be eligible to receive an award, the nominee must be an owner/manager of a private or public company who is primarily responsible for the recent performance of the company and an active member of top management. The nominee’s company must be at least two years old. Awards are given to entrepreneurs who have demonstrated excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Self-nominations are encouraged and there is no fee.

Recognized as one of the most highly regarded business award programs in the country, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards program, now in its 21st year, acknowledges business luminaries for creating and guiding innovative companies. Award winners are selected by a panel of independent judges.

The Entrepreneur Of The Year awards program was created and is produced by professional services firm Ernst & Young LLP. The program honors entrepreneurs through regional, national and global award programs in more than 125 cities and 40 countries.

Past winners in the Minnesota/Dakotas region include Dick Schulze (Best Buy), Horst Rechelbacher (Aveda) and Earl Bakken (Medtronic).

Job - Padilla Speer Beardsley - Account Executive (Emarketing)

Job - Polaris - Mgr, Mktg Communications

Friday, February 16, 2007

Risdall Marketing Group Shows Commitment to Students, Real-World Experiences

While classroom learning provides necessary tools for careers, college courses are often missing one major component in preparing students for the working world – real-life experience.

To help fill the gap and in addition to kicking off a student agency that includes 16 student employees working within the agency, Risdall Marketing Group (RMG) recently hosted its 3rd annual Intern-for-a-Day event.

On Friday, Feb. 9, RMG opened its New Brighton-based doors to over 30 area college students as paid interns for one day, allowing them to job shadow employees, break into mentor sessions, participate in client brainstorms and earn a paycheck for their time.

"By bringing students on board as interns for a day, they’re getting hands-on, agency experience," said John Risdall, CEO and COO, RMG. "And we’re able to tap into their youthful brilliance while generating innovative ideas for our clients. It's as win-win situation."

Students from Bethel, Concordia-St. Paul, Northwestern, St. Thomas and the University of Minnesota spent the day job shadowing RMG employees and attending mentoring sessions where they were able to gain insight on the profession and ask questions about entering the advertising industry.

They were also able to put their classroom knowledge to use in brainstorming sessions for RMG clients like Twin Cities Originals (TCO) and Taymark.

"The students offered a fresh perspective and cultivated a wide variety of creative ideas," said John Schiltz, TCO president and RMG client, who attended intern day. "It was a learning experience for both the students and our organization, as TCO is in the process of revamping its Web site."

Just like any full day of client work, the interns were given a paycheck for their time, hard work and enthusiasm.

"We all left last Friday with a really good idea of how Risdall runs, which doesn't normally happen on the typical 'agency tour'," said Hannah Meium, a senior at St. Thomas . "Being immersed in the agency for the entire day let us see the integration at Risdall. It seems like this is, or at least should be, a growing trend in this business."

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Job - Snow Communications - Account Executive

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Job - Yamamoto Moss Mackenzie – Account Manager

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

World’s Largest Rubberband Ball

Minneapolis public relations agency Maccabee Group, Inc. and experiential marketing agency Innova Marketing jointly won a national 2007 RACie Retail Marketing Award for their client, OfficeMax.

Maccabee Group and Innova’s "World's Largest Rubberband Ball" PR campaign for OfficeMax won the first-place Gold RACie Award in the "Innovation/New Media" category from the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association. The Award honored the introduction of OfficeMax’s "World’s Largest Rubberband Ball," a PR campaign which involved the unveiling in Chicago of a 4,594-pound, 18-foot-circumference ball made of 175,000 rubber bands -- breaking the Guiness World Record.

Maccabee Group’s PR campaign generated more than 150 million consumer impressions, including 422 TV segments in 127 markets from ABC-TV "World News Now" to "Anderson Cooper 360" and CNN-TV Headline News, along with mentions on 200 Web sites, 300 blogs and in hundreds of magazines and newspapers. A was downloaded over 360,000 times from Yahoo’s home page.

It's my birthday!

Yeah, I forgot that February marks the 4th birthday of . It is hard to believe in someways that I have been doing this for four years. On the other hand, sometimes it feels like it has been a lot longer. Anyway, no need for presents :-)


Monday, February 12, 2007

RMG Develops Brand for Gabberts’ New Retail Concept

Months of extensive clinical and industry research were conducted. Focus group findings validated its need. Strategies and a tactical timeline were developed.

With the necessary pieces, Risdall Marketing Group (RMG) created and implemented an integrated marketing plan for home-furnishings executive Jim Gabberts' entirely new retail concept that takes a five-senses approach to creating personalized sleep sanctuaries – Zia/Sleep Sanctuary, located in Eden Prairie Center .

"From digital signage and Web site development, to word-of-mouth tactics and public relations, each Risdall component is vital to Zia's success," said Ted Risdall, chairman, RMG. "Zia is a perfect example of what we all do best – together."

Implementing strategy against an aggressive timeline, RMG worked as the liaison with Zia’s architectural firm, digital signage company and Eden Prairie Center to ensure consistency in messaging, design and implementation.

Now, with months of building the Zia brand and successfully executing marketing tactics, RMG has already launched the Zia Web site (October 2006), opened its retail doors in Eden Prairie Center (November 2006) and will kick off its Ecommerce this spring.

"Risdall helped make this new retail concept a reality by defining the Zia brand and carrying it through each phase of development," said Gabbert, creator of Zia.

Guerrilla Marketing

Hopefully you are all planning to attend Friday's PRSA meeting on guerrilla marketing. I know I am, and I have a great example.

My wife Stacy, received a huge package in the mail last week with a bunch of potato chips inside. Weird (maybe), random (for sure), but totally appropriate considering they were Stacy's pita chips.

According to Stacy's Web site, Stacy’s Pita Chip Co. is reaching out to 133,000 people named "Stacy" in America by sending each one a party kit of Stacy’s® Pita Chips to enjoy! Just in time for the big football weekend, when snacking is top of mind, "Stacys" across the country will receive free bags of Simply Naked™, Parmesan Garlic & Herb, Pesto & Sundried Tomato, Cinnamon Sugar and Texarkana Hot Pita Chips.

Very creative. I wonder how Stacy's Pita Chip Co. is doing evaluation of this campaign?

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Risdall McKinney Public Relations President Rose McKinney, APR, to lead PRSA’s ninth-largest chapter

The Minnesota chapter, Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), recently named its 2007 board of directors, a group of 12 industry professionals charged with leading the organization’s strategic course and heading up various facets of Minnesota PRSA from ethics to accreditation. Top priorities for 2007 President Rose McKinney, APR, include furthering the organization’s mission of advancing the profession and the professional.

"This year, we're really working to help members convey the value of public relations within the broader community," McKinney said. "Essential for organizations large and small, for profit and not for profit, public and private, we can show how public relations ties back to the bottom line with measurable results."

McKinney is the president of Risdall McKinney Public Relations and was recently named to the Risdall Marketing Group’s Board of Directors. Her more than 19 years in public relations include leadership roles with several of the Twin Cities' top public relations and advertising agencies, including director of public relations at The Foley Group (formerly Foley Sackett) and vice president at Karwoski & Courage. Her leadership and strategic eye have helped her teams earn more than 50 prestigious industry awards, including the prestigious PRSA Classics "Best of Show" Award and a Silver Anvil Award of Excellence. She is also a member of the PRSA Counselors Academy.

Joining McKinney on the 2007 Minnesota PRSA Board of Directors are:

  • Vice President: Anna White Lovely, APR, marketing and brand manager, Cargill Value Investment
  • Immediate Past President: Gail Liebl, APR, senior communications manager, St. Paul Travelers
  • Treasurer: Janice Hennings, APR, senior public relations consultant, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
  • Secretary and Director of Membership: Candee Wolf, APR, marketing and communications manager, Metro Dentalcare
  • Director of Business Community Outreach: Jennifer Bagdade, APR, founder and president, PR Unspun
  • Director of Classics and Awards: Pam Fricke, APR, director of employee communications, Xcel Energy
  • Director of Accreditation and Job Mart: Anne Hendricks, APR, director of communications and marketing, Fairview Ridges Hospital
  • Director of Student Relations: Brant Skogrand, APR, senior media relations specialist, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans
  • Director of Communications: Brooke Worden, APR, account director, financial services, Weber Shandwick
  • Director of Professional Development and Networking: Arik Hanson,APR, account director, Beehive PR
  • Ethics Officer: Theresa McHugh Palmersheim, APR, president, McHugh Communications, Inc., and co-director of communications, Academy of Holy Angels

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Minnesota PRSA Fresh Thinking Fridays

Yeah, I know I missed the First Tuesday networking event last night, but I was out of town. You can be sure there is no way I am going to miss this:

Fresh Thinking Fridays

Utilizing Experiential and Guerrilla Marketing to Reach Consumers and Media

What do human art galleries, singing chefs and giant rubber band balls have in common? They’re all forms of guerrilla marketing used to reach consumers and the media. As PR practitioners, we continuously look for ways our messages or brands can stand out in the crowd.

Metropolitan Ballroom

Golden Valley, MN 55416


8:00-8:30 a.m. – Registration and Breakfast
8:30-10:00 a.m. – Program and Discussion

Members $25
Nonmembers $30

More info...

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Job - Target - Marketing Manager, Campaign Execution

Monday, February 05, 2007

Minnesotans for Global Warming!

I can't think of a better video to describe my feelings today. Check it out:

Want to learn more about Minnesotans for Global Warming? Visit their web site and I know its cold, but smile!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Wireless World and you can't escape!

Anybody else feeling tired of being connected to the internet? Yeah, I spent this week in the middle of the Arizona desert and I still had a wireless signal. Sure to a degree it is nice, but sometimes it would be really nice for no one to be able to get a hold of me. On Wednesday night, I lost my wireless connection in my hotel and didn't get it back until Thursday night. If you think the number of typos on this site are bad, you should see me e-mail from my crackberry, yikes! Have a wonderful weekend. I will be blogging from California next week so I may be a couple hours behind :-)
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