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Thursday, January 31, 2008

SEO 101 - Coming next week

Holly Matson answered my call to arms and will be writing a 4 part series on "SEO 101". I will be posting it for her every Tuesday beginning next week. Here is her quick intro and look forward to her pieces for the next several weeks.

Hello to all the loyal readers of MNPR and to those stopping in for the first time.

My name is Holly Matson and I will be writing a 4 part blog series for MNPR called “SEO 101.” These posts will give a little insight into some basic Search Engine Optimization practices with special
interest in how SEO can be integrated into PR.

I am a University of Minnesota: Curtis L. Carlson School of Management Alum that was a transplant from the Black Hills of South Dakota. I took to “city life” almost instantly and now proudly call Minneapolis home.

I work at Risdall Marketing Group in New Brighton as the Online Visibility Specialist for its Search Marketing division. My position with Risdall is where I have acquired much of the SEO knowledge I will be sharing with you over the next 4 weeks.

In my free time I love to spend time with my friends, watch movies, go to the gym, read magazines, cook, and attempt to stay current on all things Social Media related (post 3 in the series will explain more about Social Media).

Stay Warm and Happy Blogging

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

CLS Finalist for the PRWeek Midsize Agency of the Year Award

Carmichael Lynch Spong has been chosen as a finalist for the 2008 PRWeek Midsize Agency of the Year Award. Should Carmichael Lynch Spong win this accolade in March, it would mark the third time in the last four years that the agency has been named Midsize Agency of the Year. Carmichael Lynch Spong previously received this honor from PRWeek in 2005, and from The Holmes Report in 2004.

"We are thrilled to be recognized as a finalist for this celebrated award, and at the prospect of achieving the Midsize Agency of the Year title three times in the last four years," says Douglas K. Spong, APR, president of Carmichael Lynch Spong. "During the past year our firm has achieved new levels of success: another record year of outstanding revenue growth, ranking among the nation's top 20 PR firms and being one of the most award-winning public relations firms in the world."

The PRWeek Awards, the world's leading awards program for the public relations industry highlighting and showcasing the best PR campaigns, people and companies from the past year, will be held in New York City at Tavern on the Green on March 6, 2008. The Midsize Agency of the Year Award is given to one firm with annual fees between $10 and $65 million that’s shown impressive, steady growth over several years; leadership in its category (a highly competitive one); and a profound understanding of top-level service to clients and staff alike, according to Additional firms nominated for this year’s Midsize Agency of the Year Award are Capstrat, Peppercom, OutCast Communications and Text 100.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Search Engine Optimization

When I started researching Search Engine Optimization I got completely overwhelmed. I have found everything from programing tips to how to write content. Obviously, content is where I feel most comfortable so that is where I am going to start. For a future post I would really appreciate a local SEO expert writing SEO 101 for the blog readers. Please send me a quick email if you are interested in providing a post.

To start, what is Search Engine Optimization? According to Wikipedia "Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via "natural" ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results for targeted keywords. Usually, the earlier a site is presented in the search results, or the higher it "ranks", the more searchers will visit that site. SEO can also target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, and industry-specific vertical search engines."

Ok, so the higher a website ranks in search engine results, the more likely someone will click to the site. That left me with two questions. 1) how do you get to the top of the results and 2) How do you make sure you are getting to the top of the RIGHT results so that the right reader is clicking through to the site?

PR Newswire provides a 1 pager called "How to Write a News Release for Better Search Engine Optimization" they say that "Search engines are the primary driver of Web site traffic for most companies and organizations...Releases that are optimized for search are more easily found, and are found toward the top of relevant search results..." Here is a shortened version of their advice.

1) Choose your Keywords wisely.
  • Choose keywords that will depict the central theme of your release by first DEFINING WHAT YOUR RELEASE IS ABOUT, WHO THE TARGET AUDIENCE IS AND HOW IT WILL TIE BACK TO YOUR BRAND OR COMPANY WEB site.
  • Once you've defined a theme, determine a list of key words that represent that theme.
  • Decide which keywords your release will focus on. IN general, identify two or three relevant search terms your audience is likely to use when performing a search.
2) Write a keyword rich, contextually thematic headline
3) Utilize keywords in the first sentence of the initial paragraph and throughout the body of the release.
4) Write naturally to get your message across in a human manner
(here is the sales pitch)
5) Use PR NEwswire's Keyword density tool
  • Search engines use keyword density to determine the relevance and classification of a document.
I am going to keep researching (and hopefully hear from an expert) and posting on this subject.

Friday, January 25, 2008

8 Top Trends for 2008

Wondering what 2008 will bring for the world of marketing? Join the Minnesota American Marketing Association and Hans Eisenbeis, Sr. Editor at Iconoculture for a discussion on social networks and green technologies.

That's right, it's that time of year again. As the curtain closes on 2007, marketers, brand planners and media outlets across the country are pondering the same billion-dollar question: What's next for 2008?

From group solving of social issues to the maturing of social networks and green technologies, Iconoculture's 8 Top Trends for 2008 unearths future projections, trends and values that are impacting consumer behavior today and tomorrow - illuminating not only what consumer activity is transpiring, but why it's happening and where it's heading.

Presented by Hans Eisenbeis, Iconoculture's Sr. Editor, "8 Cultural Trends for 2008" is designed to inform and inspire spot-on marketing plans, savvy business strategies and innovative marketing solutions. This presentation will feature a full "8 in '08" countdown, expert analysis and a question and answer session.

About the Event Sponsor
The Master of Business Communications program at The University of St. Thomas is a unique program for professional communicators. It offers professional development for mid-career professionals, communications specialists, and people in transition. For more information, go to or call .

Meeting Specifics

Date and Time
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
7:30-8:00 AM: Registration & Networking
8:00-9:00 AM: Program
9:00-9:30 AM: Q&A / Meet the Speaker

University of St. Thomas
Minneapolis Campus,


Member $25
Guest $50
Student $15

Click here for registration!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Technical Difficulties

MNPR Blog is experiencing technical difficulties today. If you have trouble accessing the site please try back later.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


List Honors 100 Locals Who Make Things Happen

Tyler Richter, director of media services at ASI Communications, has been selected along with other local icons like Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Horst Rechelbacher and Tubby Smith, to the Mpls. St. Paul Magazine’s 2008 "Top 100 Influentials" list. Individuals are selected based on their abilities to provide a spark or push; create a perception or drive a trend; seed a venture; and/or setting the example for the rest of us.

"Tyler is an excellent choice for the honor of people who make things happen in the community," said Rick Marklund, president of ASI Communications. "He’s one of a kind, and I’m proud to say he’s ours."

Richter, a two-time National Television Academy Emmy award-winner, joined ASI in 2005 in the public affairs practice and has contributed to high-profile client work such as the Roberts and Alito U.S. Supreme Court confirmations and Families United, one of the largest troop-support networks in the nation. Along with his public affairs prowess, Richter’s creativity in blending traditional legacy media with cutting-edge viral and online media have become that of agency legend, propelling him recently as director of the newly created ASI Productions facilities.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Minnesota State Lottery Ads

Find more videos like this on AdGabber

Adrants points to several Minnesota State Lottery ads that "capture store clerk geekism perfectly." The ads were created by the folks at Minnesota-based Colle+McVoy. Catch all three ads here.

Minnesota PRSA's Friday Roundtable

Recruiting the Industry’s Best ~ A Conversation with Minnesota’s Own Emerging Entrepreneur

Although it may sometimes feel like a crap shoot or a gut reaction, hiring and keeping top performers is anything but a game of chance. In other words, there are specific strategies you can use to recruit and retain your most productive employees.

The PRSA Friday Roundtable discussion will help Minnesota’s public relations industry leaders sharply focus on their recruiting practices. The roundtable will be led by Amy Langer, partner and co-founder of Sálo, which specializes in matching senior-level financial services professionals with positions that suit their skills. Langer was named “Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year” at the 2006 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® Awards. She’ll help guide the conversation through various staffing strategies, including the concept of Top Grading, which is applicable to all industries, whether it’s financial services or public relations. Top grading is the practice of filling every position in your company with an “A Player” at the appropriate level of compensation.

From the basic challenges facing recruiters today, to the qualities that make up a top job candidate, to the evaluation of top-performing employees, this will be an opportunity for discussion and idea sharing. Learn to watch for red flags during the interview process and find out how to ensure your newly-hired top performers succeed in their new environment. Your key hires ultimately lead to added value for your clients and your company. Attend this roundtable and help ensure the industry’s high performers don’t slip through your fingers.

7:30 a.m. Registration (continental breakfast provided)
8:00 – 9:30 a.m. Roundtable Discussion

Fast Horse Inc.
240 North 9th Avenue

Cost: $25 for PRSA members, $35 for non-members

Register online!

Friday, January 18, 2008

When Baby Boomers meet Millennials

Executive Roundtable Presentation: The Baby Boomers Meet the Millens

When Baby Boomers meet Millennials in the workplace, there is sure to be conversation. Why are they so different? What are the strengths and challenges of each of these generational cohorts? It's not enough to just co-exist: today's organizations challenge us to thrive. But how?

Carol Rinkoff, professor and department chair of the Organizational Management and Leadership department at Concordia University will discuss these answers and more. For more details, visit the MWMC Web site.

Hosted by the MWMC Executive Roundtable (Must be a MWMC member to attend).

Thursday, January 24
5:30-7:30 p.m.
Jax Cafe, 1928 University Ave NE, Minneapolis

Please contact , Events Chair, to reserve your place
Space is limited. (There is no charge for this event, but if you would like to order food, you may do so off their menu at your own expense.)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Standing Out in a Crowd

This week I went to the PR Newswire event "Standing out in a Crowd". The discussion included a few good reminders:

1) Reporters/Editors won't read more than 1 or 2 paragraphs - make sure the news is at the top of your release
2) Headlines - make sure they actually address the news - if the headline is catchy but doesn't have any actual, usable information your audience is less likely to read it
3) Make information easily accessible. Link to additional information right in the release. Make sure the links work!
4) Write your release like an article. If it sounds like something the reporter might write, they are more likely to actually write it.
5) Best time to send releases? EARLY in the morning before editorial meetings
6) This one seems obvious but...make sure the contact information on the release is correct and there is someone available on a regular basis.

They also handed out some information on Search Engine Optimization - a hot topic lately. I am doing some more research and will write a more comprehensive piece early next week. If you have thoughts, questions or expertise on SEOs - let me know!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Heather Schwartz, Senior Account Executive - Strategy Planning for Maccabee Group, has been promoted to the new position of Brand Public Relations Director by the Minneapolis-based public relations agency.

In her new role at Maccabee Group, Schwartz will direct integration of the agency’s media relations, corporate communication and event marketing services – along with services from a network of advertising, graphic design, sales promotion and interactive marketing partners -- into a unified, measureable service focused on supporting outstanding brands for the agency’s clients.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Chris Henderson becomes the latest creative talent coup for BBDO Minneapolis as Minnesota’s pioneering ad agency strengthens its team for aggressive growth.

Chris joins BBDO as Creative Director of the newly formed Proximity Minneapolis office to lead interactive work for the sixty-person BBDO Minneapolis. Henderson arrives from Colle+McVoy where he was Interactive Creative Director, producing award-winning work for Purina, Johnson & Johnson, New Holland, Aveda and other key clients. Before C+M, Chris spent seven years with Olson building the agency’s interactive department and rising to Executive Creative Director. At Olson, Chris won industry recognition for his work on Nike Bauer, Target, PBS and Formica.

At BBDO, Chris reunites with Brian Kroening, BBDO's Executive Creative Director who joined last September to lead the 78 year-old Minneapolis shop. The two Minneapolis creative veterans worked together at Olson when Kroening was Executive Creative Director and Henderson led its interactive work. The duo’s past success in attracting national clients will fuel their efforts in establishing Proximity Minneapolis as an interactive destination agency.

Formed in 2000, Proximity Worldwide is aligned with BBDO in 50 countries and is the most awarded integrated services network over the last eight years. Its North American headquarters are in Toronto where Proximity Canada was named Digital agency of the year in 2006. "We opened up Proximity Minneapolis with the vision of bringing Proximity’s global expertise and highly-lauded creative product stateside." says Kroening. "Chris is uniquely qualified to make it happen with his proven creative chops, contagious energy and a fire to tackle the never-been-done."

Henderson adds, "The digital chapter of the Minneapolis creativity story is still being written. I'd like to model Proximity Canada's impressive growth by bridging the cool soul of a digital boutique with the unmatched resources of a global network. With Brian at the BBDO creative helm we can do it."

Friday, January 11, 2008

Goodall and Holterhaus Join LaBreche

Minneapolis-based reputation management agency, LaBreche, announces that Andrea Goodall and Mark Holterhaus have joined the firm as senior account executives. Goodall and Holterhaus will contribute to the company’s new and expanding business initiatives.

Andrea Goodall comes to LaBreche from Padilla Speer Beardsley Inc., where she served as a public relations consultant in the practice areas of manufacturing, technology and agribusiness working for clients such as BASF, Rockwell Automation, Vocollect and Protomold. Goodall has also worked for Neuger Communications Group focusing on non-profit communications, as well as Environmental Packaging International, a consultancy specializing in compliance with Extended Producer Responsibility laws for packaging, batteries and electronics.

Goodall is a member of the International Association of Business Communicators and the Turf and Ornamentals Communicators Association. She graduated magna cum laude from St. Olaf College in Northfield , Minn. , with a bachelor’s degree in English and minors in media and womens’ studies.

Mark Holterhaus is a strategic communications consultant with broad experience in both business and non-profit communications in the United States as well as overseas. Throughout his career, Holterhaus has established a strong reputation for his work with new media, e-marketing, online strategy and information design. Prior to joining LaBreche, Holterhaus managed technology, education and non-profit accounts for Tunheim Partners.

Holterhaus also spent several years coordinating online communications for the New Tactics in Human Rights Project, an international research and training project initiated by The Center for Victims of Torture. Holterhaus earned a bachelor’s degree in French studies from Carleton College in Northfield , Minn. , where he co-founded Periscope, Carleton College ’s first NPR-style radio program.

“We are thrilled to have found two individuals with such an impressive array of experience and accomplishments,” said Laura Boyd, president of LaBreche. “Mark and Andrea will be key assets to our team in helping to achieve our company’s growth goals through their extensive knowledge of strategic communications and knack for client service.”

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

New Hires at YMM

Yamamoto Moss Mackenzie has hired Emily Ashenbrenner as project manager and Nanci Keller as office manager.

This is Ashenbrenner’s second time around with the agency. She has also worked at Falls Agency and Hanley Wood Custom Publishing, both in Minneapolis. Ashenbrenner holds a degree from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn.

Keller holds a degree from North Central College, Naperville, Ill. She was previously a manager for Chanel at Macy’s and clearly can handle anything, as she has also been a flight attendant, a radio announcer and a salon manager.

"These two bring years of important experience to strengthen our agency backbone to keep us organized," says Andrew Mackenzie, CEO, Yamamoto Moss Mackenzie. "They’ll keep our work on time and on budget, absolutely."

Yamamoto Moss Mackenzie has also hired Elizabeth Peterson as account manager. She joins the agency from Miller Brewing Company, where she was associate promotions manager for crafts and imports. She was previously a marketing manager at Lunds and Byerly’s, an account executive at Colle+McVoy and a regional marketing representative for M&I Bank.

"Yamamoto Moss Mackenzie continues to expand after this successful first year of our merger," says Andrew Mackenzie, YMM’s CEO. "We snapped Beth up because she’s smart, and brings new expertise and client-side experience to our team."

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


WHAT: How is social media transforming the way you interact with your customers? Join Minnesota Public Relations Society of America for its latest Core Training session featuring David Krejci, vice president of Weber Shandwick’s Interactive, Social and Emerging Media Group. During the session, Krejci will offer a fresh perspective and practical tips on how to translate the theory of social computing communications into real-life public relations strategies and tactics. Come learn how the social computing phenomenon has revolutionized the way PR practitioners think about their profession from top to bottom.

WHEN: Registration and breakfast: 7:30 a.m.; Program 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Thursday, January 17, 2008

WHERE: Metropolitan Ballroom

Golden Valley, MN 55416

Registration costs for attending the Core Training session are $30 for PRSA members, $45 for non-members and $15 for students. The cost of admission includes breakfast.

To register, visit or call the Minnesota PRSA office at .

Monday, January 07, 2008

Job - ARAnet - National Media Consultant

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Carmichael Lynch Spong Purchases Stanwood & Partners

Acquisition of Wyoming-based PR firm deepens Carmichael Lynch Spong’s national presence

Carmichael Lynch Spong announced its purchase of Stanwood & Partners, a Wyo ming -based public relations firm and a fellow go-to expert in the outdoor enthusiast arena. The acquisition will expand the firm’s national presence with new offices in Jackson, Wyo ming, and Boston; add 11 talented new staff members to its roster; and furth er entrench its dominance in the growing outdoor enthusiast and environmental and sustainability segments. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Carson Stanwood, president of Stanwood & Partners, will be principal and chair of Carmichael Lynch Spong’s environmental and sustainability practice, and he will oversee the firm’s many outdoor enthusiast brands. Stanwood becomes a key leader in the nation’s top 20 largest public relations firm, providing clients access to brand marketing, media relations, corporate communications, creative services and social media. Stanwood employees also will benefit from Carmichael Lynch Spong’s award-winning professional development program and will have the opportunity to expand into other practice and specialty groups.

"Carson has a lot of fuel left in the tank in terms of his career, having successfully grown his firm over the last 16 years," says Douglas K. Spong, APR, president of Carmichael Lynch Spong. "In many ways, his career track parallels ours in building a solid reputation with some of the best-known brands in the outdoor and leisure industry, and attracting a ‘best of the best’ talent base. We’re excited to have the Stanwood & Partners staff join our team."

Carmichael Lynch Spong has a strong heritage in outdoor enthusiast brands. The firm’s oldest client, Rapala, kicked off the firm’s outdoor and leisure practice 17 years ago. Currently, the outdoor and leisure group includes clients ASV, BRP Evinrude, Buell, FLW Outdoors and Harley-Davidson. Stanwood & Partners currently represents 21 category-leading clients in downhill skiing, snowboarding, biking, camping, outdoor apparel, kayaking and canoeing.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Year In Review

Check out PR Week's Book of lists 2007

In a year filled with recalls and resignations, Beckham and blockbuster deals, there were plenty of PR hits and misses. PRWeek's editorial team looks at the best and worst of the bunch.

Take a look and let me know who you think the best and worst are a few of my favorites from the list....Who is missing?

Toughest jobs in communications:

7. Leslie Sloane Zelnik, partner at BWR and spokesperson for Lindsay Lohan
Zelnik had her work cut out for her in a year where Lohan had more than one stint in rehab, an arrest for driving while intoxicated, and continuing family drama, making her
popular fodder for the tabloids.
  • As a sober young woman and reformed party girl - I always wonder if I could help her...
1. Lisa Marie Bongiovanni, corporate comms VP, Mattel
The upside is millions of kids will be spared harmful holiday gifts. But Mattel's next challenge is regaining the trust of skeptical, frightened parents. Happy New Year, indeed.

Frankly honest political quotes:

2. "I never understood that line. The point was to inhale. That was the point."

Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) on his past marijuana use and President Clinton's famous excuse.

4."The first time you get there, you're all excited, 'My God, how did I ever get here?' Then, about six months later, you say, 'How the hell did the rest of them get here?'"
Former Sen. Mike Gravel (D-AK) and long shot presidential candidate speaking about his election to the Senate.

Honestly absurd political quotes:

3. "In Iran, we don't have homosexuals, like in your country. In Iran we do not have this phenomenon. I don't know who has told you that we have it."
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in a speech at Columbia University.

Communicators we couldn't bear:

5. John Mackey
Apparently, the CEO of Whole Foods never got the transparency memo. In July, he was caught posting to the comments section of the company Web site's blog using a pseudonym.
  • By 2007 shouldn't he have known better????
Stunts that were Barnum worthy:

10. The iMoan
Steve Jobs caught heat when prices for the Apple iPhone were slashed by $200 shortly after it hit the shelves. But he offered early-adopter rebates, scored headlines, and got people back into the stores to spend their rebates on more merchandise.

Jobs, Jobs and more Jobs at Kohnstamm Communications

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Job - SCG Needs Expert Web Designer, Builder & Strategist

Happy New Year!!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday break! Sorry for being absent over the holidays but I needed some time away from my computer. One of my resolutions was to not turn my computer on over the break and I successfully achieved it. Expect regular updates beginning today. Happy New Year!
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