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Monday, March 31, 2008

Public Relations – a Global Perspective

In American society, most news is generated through public relations. The position of the public relations practitioner maintaining a positive image between client and public is therefore extremely visible and popular. Generally, public relations professionals possess a media interest and a degree in communications.

In Europe, the picture is different. Only a few universities offer a specialized public relations degree, as the practice of public relations is widely undiscovered. However, the few institutions offering such a degree in Europe present it exclusively as part of their business division.

The further one extends the geographical borders of the field of public relations, the broader the definition appears. But how can such a powerful tool have different roles across the globe resulting in differing degrees and objectives? When looking at what differing public relations portraits have in common, the picture seems clearer.

All public relations professionals serve as a client’s guide to persuade the public in a positive way. In doing so, the professional communications practitioner find themselves dealing with a number of stakeholders such as CEOs, managers, lawyers, policymakers, and most importantly, the general public.

When viewing public relations in a global context, one can clearly see how complex and broad the profession is and will be in the future. In order to be a successful public relations practitioner, it takes more than just a degree hanging in an office. A true professional must constantly consume news and be well informed in various fields of education such as business, law, and political science.

Matt Richter hails from Germany

Matt Richter
JOUR 3279
Blog Assignment

Sunday, March 30, 2008

For Better or For Worse….

in scandal and in triumph

When you think about recent catastrophes like the or the resignation of Eliot Spitzer, PR firms really do have their work cut out for them. And whether you are working for the Minnesota Department of Transportation or for a well-known public figure or company, you are bound to run into “relationship troubles” that may affect the way the public thinks about them. But you, the public relations practitioner, needs to provide guidance to help them during this difficult time. Therefore, when facing a crisis or if prone to crisis situations, keep the following in mind as they may help you handle a tough situation:

Expect the unexpected. Bernstein Crisis Management, a national consultancy with more than a handful of crisis experts, suggests having vulnerability audits to see how prepared PR is for an unexpected crisis. It seems simple, but is often overlooked. Don’t underestimate the power in knowing the ins and outs of “what-if” scenarios.

Be aware of every word you use to describe a “sticky situation.” Your clients are not perfect. For example--when Don Imus’ spit out racially derogatory comments toward the Rutger’s women’s basketball team last year, it cost him his job.

How did PR people handle the situation? Imus made a public apology, and yet CBS fired him. Officials from the CBS station were upfront because of the nature of his remarks, but they were brief in their response. They made clear that they were going to let him go and his remarks were unacceptable.

The head coach for the Rutger’s women basketball team took the high road and said the team forgave Imus and that they would keep an “open mind” upon meeting Imus.

Lesson learned? Things happen and a crisis cannot be ignored. Be ready to take action. Be even more ready for the media to pick up and run with it. The press waits for moments like these to get the “scoop.” Knowing this ahead of time will help you prepare for the seemingly never-ending questions the reporters will throw your way.

Get ready for a lifetime of happiness and hardships with your clients. And remind society why it needs PR. Know that there will be bumps along the road and be prepared. Or at the very least, be aware.

Kelly Jo Mitchell
JOUR 3279
Blog Assignment

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards Honor Top PR Achievements from 2007

Erbert & Gerbert’s with Exponent Public Relations wins Best of Show for “Taking a Bite Out of the Saturated Sub Category” campaign

The Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), celebrated the best public relations campaigns of 2007 during the 30th annual Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards, held at Graves 601 Hotel in downtown Minneapolis on Thursday night.

The awards banquet, emceed by Leah McLean, evening news anchor of KSTP-TV and Rose McKinney, president of Risdall McKinney Public Relations and Minnesota PRSA immediate past president, attracted nearly 300 communications professionals from agencies, corporations and nonprofit organizations. The awards honored public relations campaigns and tactics that, in the judgment of their peers, successfully addressed communications challenges with exemplary skill, creativity and resourcefulness.

“The public relations industry in Minnesota is thriving, as evidenced by the high-quality, high-impact work showcased during this year's Classics Awards,” said Anna Lovely, APR, president of Minnesota PRSA. “Practitioners across the profession, from nonprofits to agencies and corporate teams, continue to demonstrate the importance and ever-growing value of strategic public relations to businesses and industries through their hard work, creativity and dedication to the profession.”

The Classics Awards are divided into two categories: elements and programs. Classics Element Awards honor the best program tactics, while Classics Program Awards honor the best overall public relations campaigns.

Winners in the Program Awards category were eligible for the top honor of the evening –Best of Show. The award for Best of Show was presented to Erbert & Gerbert’s and public relations agency Exponent Public Relations for their campaign titled “Taking a Bite Out of the Saturated Sub Category.” The campaign helped Erbert & Gerbert’s share its unique brand essence by leveraging the power of nontraditional marketing into national and global buzz, multiple new franchisee stores, and the achievement of double-digit growth in a declining category.

Savvy Students
Minnesota PRSA also bestowed its 6th Annual PRSA Student Classics awards for the best in student public relations among Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin undergraduate students. Awards were presented in four categories for projects completed for class work, Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter activities, internship projects and volunteer work.

Five recipients of this year’s Dr. Willard Thompson Scholarships also were recognized for their excellence in the study of public relations and communications. Sarah Ryder of the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities was awarded Best of PRSSA and a $2,000 scholarship. Laura Wightman (University of Minnesota – Twin Cities) won a $1,000 award, and Alyssa Atkins (University of Minnesota – Twin Cities), Bridget Jewell (University of St. Thomas) and Marit Karbowski (Augustana College) each won $500 awards.

In addition, four recipients of the President’s Award also were recognized for scoring the highest among applicants from their PRSSA chapter within the communications experience section of the scholarship entry. Those honored include: Sarah Ryder, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities; Bridget Jewell, University of St. Thomas; Jessica Mongeon, University of North Dakota; and Marit Karbowski, Augustana College.

A total of 50 Classics Awards were presented during the evening to corporations, public relations agencies, nonprofit organizations and students from the metro and outstate areas. Here is a list of all the winners, which also can be found on the Minnesota PRSA Web site.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Case Study #1 - Colin Powell Youth Leadership Center Grand Opening

Colin Powell Youth Leadership Center Grand Opening

Created By:Chelsey Oosterhuis
For: Ridgeway Events

The Situation: The Colin Powell Youth Leadership Center was scheduled to open in early October 2007. This state-of-the-art facility is occupied by two nonprofit organizations, Urban Ventures and Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. Jointly, they wanted to host an event to showcase this long-awaited facility to their donors.

The Challenge:
Unveiling the Colin Powell Youth Leadership Center in the prestigious manner it deserved while respecting limited budget provided.

The Solution:
Ridgeway Events was invited to help find a solution that would provide a desired result within the financial guidelines. By enlisting the support of vendors, requesting their support through donated and discounted services along with Ridgeway Events contribution of staff time to coordinate the launch of this project, all goals were exceeded.

The Result: Ridgeway Events, in partnership with Urban Ventures and Cristo Rey Jesuit High School delivered a community experience that not only introduced the Colin Powell Youth Leadership Center but also provided a memorable experience for all guests, donors and administrators. Ridgeway Event services included:

• Coordination with General Powell’s staff
• Ribbon cutting ceremony
• Facility tours
• VIP reception
• Elegant dinner
• Enlightening program

We welcome your comments and questions.

Arthur Page: Little Known (Dirty) Facts

To most people in the PR industry, Arthur Page is a hero. He is seen as the father of the practice of modern corporate public relations and his philosophy of ethical and effective communication with the public has set standards for corporate practices for decades. Page’s vision, in fact, is so influential that there is a as well as a research center at Penn State University established in his name.

What most of Page’s devoted fans aren’t aware of, however, is that Arthur Page was involved with controversial organizations and practices that are ostensibly counterintuitive to his central principles. According to the web site, Page believed that "all business in a democratic country begins with public permission and exists by public approval."

Shortly after World War II came to a close, the U.S. government felt a need to contain Communism in Eastern Europe as soon as possible. In 1949, the National Committee for a Free Europe was established and included our very own Arthur Page as a board member. It was not discovered until much later, however, that the committee was an instrument of the CIA.

That very same year the Committee established Radio Free Europe, which was founded to inform its Eastern European listeners about the fall of Communism. Because the CIA funded the radio, the government needed a way to disguise the source of financial support to gain trust abroad and avoid scandal at home. The committee thus created the Crusade for Freedom, a massive public relations campaign convinced many Americans to donate millions of dollars to the (already funded) Radio Free Europe.

With the help of experts (from Minnesota!) in public relations, the committee created Freedom Scrolls for Americans to sign, which they delivered to Berlin. They created Truth Dollars for Americans to purchase and donate to the stations to spread democracy. They even created a Freedom Bell that was cast identically to the Liberty Bell and delivered it, along with the scrolls, to Berlin in a special bell-ringing ceremony.

If it is documented that Arthur Page, the hero of modern PR, was involved in this deceptive massive public relations campaign and propaganda generator, what does this mean for the field of PR? I suggest that the history of PR should be reexamined and rewritten to include how it has been and is still used by governments for less than ethical reasons. Even the negative aspects of its history may be used to enlighten the field today.

Allison Troyer
JOUR 3279
Blog Assignment

Crabtree, Nate L. The Story of the World Freedom Bell. Minneapolis: Nate L. Crabtree Company, 1951. 2
Sig Mickelson. America’s Other Voice. (New York, NY: Praeger, 1983)
Stacey Cone. Presuming a Right to Deceive: Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, the CIA and the News Media. Journalism History 24 (Winter 1998/1999). p. 1.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Job - Vice President - Fleishman-Hillard Inc.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pearson Promoted to Senior VP at Weber

The Minneapolis-St. Paul office of Weber Shandwick today announced the promotion of Aaron Pearson to senior vice president in its technology practice.

Since joining Weber Shandwick in 1997, Pearson has been instrumental in building strong relationships with key technology accounts. Pearson specializes in developing trade media relations, analyst relations and vertical market programs primarily for enterprise technology companies.

"Aaron has contributed significantly to the success of our technology practice in Minneapolis and other offices around the world. He brings depth-of-knowledge and a deep understanding of the enterprise software market to our clients," said Sara Gavin, President of Weber Shandwick’s Minneapolis-St. Paul office.

Before joining Weber Shandwick, Pearson worked at Minneapolis-based Dillon Advertising & Public Relations. He holds a master’s in marketing from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. He received his bachelor’s in journalism magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota’s School of Journalism & Mass Communications.

MNPR Blog Teams with class at the University of Minnesota

Recently, I was approached by Marti Jones, an adjunct at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communications, to guest lecture about the influence of blogs and how students need to understand blogs as a growing communication channel for public relations professionals.

The class, Public Relations Writing and Tactics, is a professional skills course designed to develop writing expertise and tactical thinking for public relations practitioners. Marti assigns various assignments to help students gain experience in the art of public relations writing. But she felt it was time to do something different than the standard tactics, she wanted to create something new for her students beyond just the press release, media alert, feature article, and op-ed.

So we decided to create an assignment where her students would write a blog post for MNPR Blog focusing on a public relations trend or an aspect of the public relations profession that they believe would interest the readers of MNPR Blog. We thought we could accomplish two objectives with these series of posts throughout the month of April. One, we would provide a different twist for the readers of MNPR Blog to read what students are thinking about in regards to the profession; and two, we would provide a different outlet for the student to express themselves and to tailor their writing to a blog with a distinct audience.

I have come realize that as a public relations professional I get so wrapped up in my day-to-day business, I don't have time to focus on new trends or the past history of our profession.

We hope you enjoy this series, it is something new and different for both myself and Marti, but new and different are good especially when it comes to teaching about the fast pace nature of public relations. I encourage you to comment on their posts and encourage them on their journey to become PR practitioners.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ad Fed Mentorship Program

The is designed to allow members to individually interact with potential mentors by meeting them in an informal group setting called a Circle Group. These are held four times a year and offer introductions based on areas of interest. Following each Circle Group Event, Ad Fed facilitates the formal expression of interest between mentees and mentors. Once the pairs yes, it is easy! The mentee and mentor set their own schedule, their own topics and their own meeting forum/location. The rest is a fantastic experience for both the mentor and mentee to heighten the satisfaction they get from their respective careers. Participants can also choose to simply attend quarterly Circle Events where mentorship will happen via group discussions by area of interest.

Thanks to our sponsors Digital People and The Times/Jitters Bar and Café, this event includes free appetizers and one free drink ticket.
The Cost:

FREE for members (non-member mentors may also participate for free).
The Categories of Interests/Topics:
  • Creative
  • Marketing
  • Interactive
  • Account Management
  • Media/PR

4.16.2008, 5:30pm to 7:30pm


The Times/Jitters Bar and Café
201 E Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55414

Friday, March 21, 2008

PR Strategy - Case Studies Needed

Good Morning,

In an attempt to infuse more strategy into the blog I am going to start posting local case studies. These case studies will create an opportunity to showcase:

1) What was your communication challenge.
2) What you did
3) What was the result
4) Finally, get comments, critiques and recommendations for next steps from the blog readers.

Next week we will kick off with a case study by Josh Kohnstamm and Trish Scorpio of Kohnstamm Communications. To keep this going I would love volunteers - do you have an example you are particularly proud of or a challenge that requires input/suggestions about? Please let me know by sending an email to or comment and leave your contact information.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Job - PR Pro Needed for Minneapolis TV News Pitching Expertise

SCG Adds Eight to Client Roster

Strother Communications Group (SCG) has been selected to provide branding and marketing services to eight companies that are leaders in their respective industries. SCG will use its Converging on Customers™ model to help Minn.-based Bay West, Hedberg Landscaping, Donaldson Semiconductor, Koch Logistics, Richfield Bloomington Credit Union, Osprey Medical, Truth Hardware and Michigan-based Wolverine Advanced Materials realize their goals.

These new clients represent a diverse range of industries including banking, medical technology, home building and landscaping, computer technology, logistics and environmental services.

SCG will provide research, branding, graphic design, public relations, web development, marketing support and direct programs as needed.

Job - Vice President, Medical Devices, Weber Shandwick

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

16 new hires at Weber

The Minneapolis-St. Paul office of Weber Shandwick today announced the new hires of 16 employees in the interactive and emerging media, financial services, corporate, community and public affairs, technology, consumer marketing and health care practices.

After completing her internship, Leslie Sorum joined the interactive and emerging media practice as junior designer. Prior to Weber Shandwick, Sorum interned at several companies gaining experience in media buying, promotions, and Web development. A native of New Richmond, Wis., Sorum graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications with an emphasis in advertising and design from the University of Wisconsin- Madison.

Roman Gaponenko joined the interactive and emerging media practice as a digital strategy supervisor. Prior to Weber Shandwick, Gaponenko was an account supervisor of digital marketing at Fleishman-Hillard in Washington, D.C. Gaponenko holds a bachelor’s degree in regional studies from Moscow State University, and has also studied at University of Northern Iowa and Georgetown University.

Tony Saucier joined the consumer marketing practice as an account supervisor. Prior to Weber Shandwick, Saucier was a senior associate at Exponent PR. A native of Bangor, Maine, Saucier graduated from the University of Maine, and holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology.

Marie Kurth joined the consumer marketing practice as an assistant account executive. Prior to Weber Shandwick, Kurth held three communications internships abroad in Germany. A native of Maple Plain, Minn., Kurth holds a bachelor's degree in English print journalism and German from Concordia College.

Amy Tieder joined the health care practice as an account supervisor. Prior to Weber Shandwick, Tieder was the media relations and marketing specialist at Mayo Clinic. A native of Rochester, Minn., Tieder holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Minnesota.

Sarah Stakston joined the health care practice as a senior account executive. Prior to Weber Shandwick, Stakston work in the health care and medical device practice at Padilla Spear Beardsley. A native of Woodbury, Minn., Stakston holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations and business management from the University of Minnesota. Stakston is currently pursuing an MBA at Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

After completing her internship, Rebecca Wright joined the health care practice as an assistant account executive. Prior to Weber Shandwick, Wright interned at Ryan Partnership. A native of Edina, Minn., Wright holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication and communication studies from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA.

After completing her internship, Helga Radio joined the health care practice as an assistant account executive. Prior to Weber Shandwick, Radio was a public relations and marketing intern at Fairview Partners. A native of Shoreview, Minn., Radio holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications with an emphasis in public relations from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

Anne Torkelson joined the technology practice as an assistant account executive. A 2007 cum laude graduate of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., Torkelson holds a bachelor’s degree in English and religion with a media studies concentration. Before joining Weber Shandwick, she interned in internal communications at Wells Fargo Business Credit. Anne has also interned at Minneapolis Downtown Journal and Southwest Journal, City Pages and at publishers Milkweed Editions and Fairview Press. While at St. Olaf, Torkelson held multiple leadership positions on the staff of both the college newspaper and literary journal.

April Nelson joined the financial services practice as a senior account executive. Prior to Weber Shandwick, Nelson was a public relations specialist at Education Minnesota. A native of Langdon, N.D., Nelson holds a bachelor’s degree in advertising/public relations with a minor in English writing from Concordia College.

Amy Reasoner joined the financial services practice as an account supervisor. Prior to Weber Shandwick, Reasoner was in charge of grassroots initiatives at the Office of Government and Community Relations at the University of Minnesota. A native of St. Paul, Minn., Reasoner holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, Wis.

After completing her internship, Sarah Rydland joined the financial services practice as an assistant account executive. Prior to Weber Shandwick, Rydland interned with the Charities Review Council in St. Paul. A native of Chanhassen, Minn., Rydland holds a bachelor's degree in public relations and journalism from the University of Minnesota.

After completing his internship, John Poferl joined the financial services practice as an assistant account executive. A native of Oakdale, Minn., Poferl holds a bachelor's degree in mass communications with a public relations emphasis from St. Cloud State University.

Michelle Holford joined the corporate, community and public affairs practice as an account supervisor. Prior to Weber Shandwick, Holford was the community relations director at the Burnsville Eagan Savage School District. A native of Gresham, Ore., Holford holds a bachelor's degree in communications/public relations from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash., and holds a master’s degree in higher education administration from the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse.

Ben Maurer joined the corporate, community and public affairs practice as a senior account executive. Prior to Weber Shandwick, Maurer worked for the Minnesota Vikings for six years. A native of Pierz, Minn., Maurer holds a bachelor's degree in communications from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn.

Meg Paschich joined the corporate, community and public affairs practice as a senior account executive. Paschich is based in Chicago, but works for the agency's Minneapolis-St. Paul office. Prior to Weber Shandwick, Paschich worked on financial, investor relations and corporate clients at Edelman. A native of El Paso, Texas, Paschich holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Texas in Austin and a master's degree in public relations from DePaul University. Paschich is also actively involved with the Junior League of Chicago.

Longtime Minnesota PRSA member remembered

Betty E. Watson, longtime PRSA member and former board member died last week. Watson began a career in Public Relations at Dayton's. After raising her beautiful daughters and pursuing graduate work at the U of M, she worked as a PR executive at Apache Corporation for 15 years.

Watson served as an officer of the state chapter of the and participated in a business exchange program to China in 1987.

Get Watson's complete obituary and information on the memorial service here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Strother Promotes Silgen and hires Two

Strategic communications agency Strother Communications Group (SCG) has promoted Jenny Silgen to senior account executive and added two staff positions. Ryan Van Haaften, formerly of Fallon Worldwide, joins the firm as senior account executive. Chad Breske, previously from 50 Below, joins the creative department as senior web developer.

Silgen joined the agency in 2005 as an assistant account executive. A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Silgen will have increased responsibilities with key accounts’ marketing programs.

Van Haaften has a broad range of agency experience including Fallon Worldwide, Stone Arch Creative and Campbell Mithun and will support planning and execution of clients’ integrated marketing programs. Van Haaften holds a bachelor of arts degree in advertising and strategic communications from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor of arts in theatre from Central College in Pella, IA.

Breske comes to SCG from 50 Below, a web development and hosting firm in Duluth, Minn. Breske graduated from the University of MN - Duluth with degrees in computer science and graphic design. He will advance SCG’s interactive practice, including website design and search engine optimization.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Job - Kohnstamm Communications Account Manager

Friday, March 14, 2008

PR in a Economic Downturn

Both Ad Age and have recently written about how PR will fare through the current economic downturn. Will companies reign in their spending on PR or will our clients cut their advertising budgets while beefing up their spending on PR?

Thomas J. Madden was quoted in the Tactics article laying out public relation's opportunity during a recession saying "When there is a slowing in the economy the sector that gets hit hardest is advertising because it's a large chunk of the marking budget of most companies. When advertising is curtailed, companies are forced to look for more cost-effective ways to get their products and services before the public. So they look to public relations as a very effective substitute that is less expensive, more targeted and more credible."

So, the bad economy gives PR practitioners an opportunity to council their clients on the importance of public relations - great, but what about the small agencies with smaller clients and smaller budgets? These clients don't have advertising budgets to cut. These clients are dependent on PR to jump start their sales. What happens to these small agencies as those clients are now cutting their PR budgets?

What do you think the opportunity for small agencies is during this economic downturn?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


The Minneapolis office of Weber Shandwick today announced that Paul Kelash has joined the firm as vice president in its financial services practice.

Kelash brings to his new position considerable strengths in asset management and retirement services and will play a key role in new business development. In addition, he will participate in the firm’s North American Financial Services industry practice group, which involves 20 Weber Shandwick offices in North America and is led out of Minneapolis. Kelash, who lived in London earlier in his career, will help bridge the North American industry practice group’s business growth strategies with Weber Shandwick’s London office, another key center of excellence in the firm’s growing worldwide presence in the financial services industry.

"The Minneapolis office of Weber Shandwick has long been considered a key player in the financial services industry -- in our local market, on the national level and even on a global level," said Barb Iverson, president of the North American Financial Services practice group. "Paul's caliber, experience and expertise further strengthens our already very strong position in the marketplace. We are positively thrilled Paul will be joining us."

For the past five-and-a-half years, Kelash has directed public relations and staff communications for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, a Fortune 500 organization with nearly three million member-clients, more than $6 billion in revenue and $73.2 billion in assets under management. Under Kelash’s leadership, Thrivent’s 10-person PR and corporate communications staff was responsible for PR programs for the 2,500+ national sales force and 1,400 volunteer chapters, and also for supporting Thrivent’s government relations PR strategies and initiatives. In addition, Kelash maintains a Series 7 securities broker license from FINRA.

Before joining Thrivent in 2002, Kelash worked in San Francisco as a principal/communications strategist for Barclays Global Investors, one of the world’s largest investment managers. While at Barclays, he was responsible for global institutional client publications, white papers and commentary, and he also directed content development for the company’s sales support materials. He launched and edited Investment Insights, a white paper series that continues today as the key communications vehicle to demonstrate the firm’s investment expertise.

Earlier in his career, he served as an executive editor at Miller Freeman, a San Francisco-based magazine and newsletter publisher; Buraff Publications, a leading publisher of legal and business publications in Washington, D.C.; and as a reporter and senior editor at American Banker-Bond Buyer, also in Washington. A native of Minneapolis, Kelash holds a master’s degree in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


WHAT:The 30th Annual Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards, which will recognize the best in Minnesota public relations from the past year, will be held on Thursday, March 27 at the Graves 601 Hotel in Minneapolis. Each year, the Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) presents these awards to public relations practitioners who, in the judgment of their peers, have successfully addressed a communications challenge with exemplary professional skill, creativity and resourcefulness. In addition, area college students will showcase their work during the 6th annual PRSA Student Classics, held during the ceremony.

WHEN: Thursday, March 27, 2008
Program: 5:30 p.m.

WHERE: Graves 601 Hotel
601 First Avenue North

Registration is $80 for PRSA members, $100 for non-members, and free for PRSSA Student Award finalists. Tables of 10 are still available and can be purchased for $800. The cost of admission includes dinner.

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

Monday, March 10, 2008

University of Minnesota PRSSA Chapter Acknowledges Outstanding Members

The University of Minnesota’s Willard Thompson PRSSA Chapter announces its 2007 Member of the Month award recipients. The members who excelled in their PRSSA efforts and were nominated by their peers include Jessica Kasmirski, Katie Kraker, and Ashley Larson.

Jessica Kasmirski is the chapter’s Member of the Month for October 2007. As a senior majoring in public relations and minoring in business management, Kasmirski brings valuable insight to the chapter. She contributes her skills as Account Executive for client Comply in the Ear. Currently, Kasmirski is involved in the CLA mentorship program and interns with the College of Continuing Education. After graduation she wishes to work for a PR agency in either Miami or Chicago.

Katie Kraker is the November 2007 Member of the Month recipient. She is a first-year sophomore focusing on a major in the Mass Communication track. She enjoys traveling and is incorporating this into her education this spring by studying in Germany. Kraker loves the language so much she is looking into making her current German minor a double major. Kraker is involved in the PRSSA activities committee and organized the Round Table Alumni event and last semester’s chapter trip to Chicago.

Ashley Larson received the December 2007 Member of the Month award. She is a sophomore pursuing a strategic communications degree with a public relations focus. Her minor in art supplements her PRSSA work. She wishes to find a way to merge the two interests together in a future career. Larson joined the chapter two semesters ago and has contributed to both the event planning committee and the firm. Her dream job would be to work with Minnesota Twins baseball team.

The University of Minnesota Willard Thompson Chapter Member of the Month award is offered to members who display talent and good work ethic in their respective chapter positions. The award is nominated by fellow chapter members and is given to someone who is passionate about the public relations industry.

New Video PR Tool

There is a new PR video tool being offered by . For those of you that are unfamiliar with PRNewChannel it is a new press release news channel. PRNewsChannel announced yesterday they are launching a new site, similar to .

The site is a video sharing tool for business social networking and free video sharing for businesses owned and operated by Upload corporate videos and video news releases to increase your business profile. Embed the videos free in all press release distributions through

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

AdFed Monthly Meeting - March 19, 2008

More than ever, audiences are in control over when and how they receive information about products and services. Panelists from four well-known and highly respected agencies will talk about how advertisers are using digital media to reach them.
Meeting Specifics

The Spot:
The Metropolitan,
, Golden Valley, MN 55416

The Time:
Registration/Networking: 11:15 am
Lunch: 11:45 am
Panel: Noon – 1:30 pm (Includes Q&A)

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

The Registration:
Register online or call the Ad Fed office at . ($10 late fee applied after March 16.)
Registration deadline: 5:00 pm, Monday, March 17, 2008

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

PR and Politics

PR Strategist magazine this month talks about what the PR industry has learned so far from Election 2008. In an interview with Garrett M. Graff, editor-at-large at Washingtonian Magazine, PRSA discusses the transformation happening in this year's election cycle.

The article draws parallels to the Nixon/Kennedy debates in 1960.

Up until seeing this article, I hadn't seen anyone drawing on the similarities between the 1960 election and what is going on in Presidential politics today. If you examine the "Clinton Machine" the campaign is set up for a 1990s-type campaign. Clinton clearly started targeting her Democratic base, meaning those that are over the age of 50.

While this strategy may have worked in the past, a recent Pew Internet study has shown that there is an increasing generational divide in how people are getting their news. You can see in the diagram to the left that nearly 50 percent of those 18-29 years old are getting their political news from the Web. Interesting that Obama has a and that his strongest supporters are coming from the 18-29 year-old demographic.

In contrast Clinton and Mccain were slow to enter the online market and their support is coming from those over 50 years old. Fifty percent of 50-year-olds are getting their news from their local television news.

As Clinton and Obama make their final pleas to voters it is clear that we are witnessing history in the making for many reasons. Not since in 2004 have we heard this much noise around Presidential candidates. Lets watch the numbers role in tonight.
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