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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.
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