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Friday, January 30, 2009

Flashback Friday

In order to better understand where we are going in communications sometimes it is worth pausing to remember where we have come from. Enjoy.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

AdFed - Media Auction - *NEW DATE: Tuesday, March 24, 2009

*Please note the date is Tuesday, March 24, 2009 not February 24 as previously stated.

Excellent media! Cheap!

It's the annual Media Auction! This is an excellent opportunity to purchase a variety of good advertising space -- print, broadcast, outdoor and online -- at exceptional savings of 60 to 90 percent off regular price. Think of the money you will save for yourself, your organization and your clients.

This exciting event takes place Tuesday, March 24, at Palomino's Special Event Room, in downtown Minneapolis. Registration begins at 5:00 pm with the event winding down at 8:00 pm.

In addition to the live auction, there will be a silent auction with all sorts of items to bid on. The silent auction begins at 5:00 pm and closes at 7:30 pm. Enjoy delicious light appetizers, desserts and beverages.

The Media Auction is one of Ad Fed's premier fundraising events. Proceeds from the event support Ad Fed programs and charities throughout the year.

Parking will be validated at registration for people who park their vehicles in the La Salle parking ramp.

Registration: $40 for non-members; the event is free for Ad Fed members.
When: Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Please note the date is Tuesday, March 24, 2009 not February 24 as previously stated.

5:00 pm-8:00 pm ( registration beings at 5:00 pm)
5:00 pm - 7:30 pm (silent auction)

Members: FREE
Nonmembers: $40

Location: Palomino's Special Event Room
825 Hennepin Ave (Skyway Level)
Click here for driving directions.
Register online or call the Ad Fed office at .

Registration Deadline: 5:00 pm, Monday, March 23, 2009.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Weber Shandwick announces promotions of Gillard, Westin and Frederick

The Minneapolis-Saint Paul office of Weber Shandwick announces the November promotions of employees in the financial services and corporate, community and public affairs practices.

Kristen Gillard was promoted to account executive in the financial services practice. Since joining the agency in May 2006, her work has focused primarily on an award-winning national campaign to promote electronic payments for federal benefit check recipients. In addition to her client work, Gillard also participates in Weber Shandwick’s pro bono efforts. A native of Hutchinson, Minn., she earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication with a concentration in public relations from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn.

Mary Westin was promoted to account executive in the financial services practice. Westin joined the agency in 2006 and has worked on many of the firm’s public and private sector financial services accounts. She currently works on an Internal Revenue Service public information campaign and the 2010 Census account. Additionally, she has coordinated the agency’s internal education program. A native of Chaska, Minn., Westin holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication with a concentration in public relations from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn.

Erika Frederick was promoted to account executive in the corporate, community and public affairs practice. Frederick joined the agency in 2006 and since then has been providing public relations support, strategic counsel and project management for several clients, including driving the logistics for a defense-related Web site. In addition, Frederick also lends her skills to the agency’s pro bono accounts. A native of New Richmond, Wis., Frederick holds a bachelor’s degree in life science communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

2009 SEMMY Awards - Choose the best Social Media Article of 2008

Choose the best article in the SOCIAL MEDIA category by indicating below.

Vote now by clicking here.

Innovation for the New Millennium: Innovation Conference 2009

Presented by

Make plans now to join other product development professionals at the PDMA Minnesota Chapter's Innovation Conference 2009. The conference will be held February 9-12, 2009 at the Ramada Mall of America.

We invite you to network with other product developers, participate in our workshops, and attend a one-day symposium featuring nationally-recognized keynote speakers and industry experts presenting on the 5 Competencies of Innovation as described by Sarah Miller Caldicott and Michael J. Gelb in their book Innovate Like Edison - The Success System of America's Greatest Inventor.

Learn more here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

PRSA - Pro-Am Day Registration Now Open

Professional-Amateur Day (Pro-Am Day) is an annual mentoring event that matches Twin Cities’ PR professionals with Minnesota PRSSA students. Participating students have an opportunity to learn more about work environments and job expectations by spending a day job shadowing local public relations professionals. After the job shadowing portion of the day, students and professionals are invited to attend a speed networking session and reception at Weber Shandwick.

The Minnesota PRSA 2009 Pro-Am Day/Speed Networking Event will be held on Friday, February 20, 2009.

Click here to register. Registration closes Weds., Feb. 11.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Job - Portico Healthnet - Senior Communications Specialist

For 10 points: What else is there to do in January in Minnesota?

Mark your calendars for the SJMC Alumni Board's annual Twin Cities Media Stars Quiz Bowl.

Teams from major Twin Cities media organizations will battle for the championship in the 5th annual Quiz Bowl organized by the Alumni Board of the University of Minnesota’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Mike Gelfand—“Stretch” from the KQRS Morning Show—will turn up the heat on the contestants with questions on Minnesota politics, sports, arts and entertainment, and more.

WHO: Teams from WCCO-TV, Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, MinnPost, Weber Shandwick, Risdall Marketing Group

WHERE: A.I. Johnson Great Room, McNamara Alumni Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis campus

WHAT: SJMC Alumni Board's annual Twin Cities Media Stars Quiz Bowl

WHEN: Thursday, January 29, 2009 7:00 PM

WHY: Plenty of mirth and no mercy. (Also coffee, mini-desserts and a cash bar.)

HOW: Donate $5.00 at the door. For more information, contact

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tunheim Partners Announces Promotions and New Hires

Tunheim Partners is pleased to announce Eliza Appert has been promoted to senior account executive, Kate Slater has been promoted to account executive, and Kristin Gast and Natalie Wires have been hired as account representatives.
Appert, previously an account executive, joined the agency in 2007. She specializes in public awareness campaigns, media relations and research analysis projects. In her new role, she also will help refine the agency’s offerings for foundations and social causes. Appert serves on the board of directors for the St. Croix Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, and she holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations with an emphasis on global conflict, cooperation and justice from Tufts University .
Slater, previously a senior account representative, joined the agency in 2006 and specializes in corporate and health care communications, community relations, events marketing and media relations. Slater graduated magna cum laude from the University of St. Thomas and holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism, with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in business administration. She is serving on the planning committee for the 50th anniversary of St. Thomas ’s journalism program.
Gast, previously an intern, brings experience in event planning and execution, media relations and promotional marketing. Before coming to Tunheim Partners, Gast held internships with Meet Minneapolis, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Nemer Fieger and The Minnesota Daily. She graduated with cum laude honors from the University of Minnesota , earning a bachelor’s degree in strategic communications with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in history.
Wires, also previously an intern, has experience with social media, media relations, and event planning and execution. Prior to joining Tunheim Partners, Wires held an internship with the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce. She graduated with cum laude honors from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire , where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in mass communications with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in sociology.

The Cost of Social Media

I posted a question on my awhile back to see how much people thought Web 2.0 costs. In general, the response was simply--good question. People asked me to let them know when I find out how much a social media campaign costs.

As you may have already guessed, the answer depends.  Anyone could spend a fortune entering the world of YouTube and Twitter, but from a grassroots perspective Social Media has low barriers to entry which is what makes it so attractive.

I found an interesting post today that talks about this very issue from . Feel free to comment below if you have expertise in this arena.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Carlson Hotels Worldwide has chosen OLSON, Minneapolis as its agency of record

After a national competitive search, Country Inns & Suites has chosen OLSON, Minneapolis, as its agency of record. OLSON will develop and implement marketing efforts in the United States and Canada on behalf of the brand, including marketing strategy, print and broadcast advertising.

“We held a national search to find an agency that would best represent our brand and communicate its positioning and personality, and found it here, right in our backyard,” says Steve Mogck, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Country Inns & Suites. “OLSON’s strong capability for out-of-the-box localized advertising and in-hotel integration fit very well with the strategic direction Country Inns & Suites would like to pursue. ”

“We’re thrilled to be a part of the future of Country Inns & Suites By Carlson,” says Kevin DiLorenzo, president, OLSON. “This brand is special; it has a warm and caring service culture that inspires guest loyalty. When you walk into a Country Inns & Suites hotel, the residential-style architecture, home-like interior and welcoming service help you really feel like you’re home. And that’s what OLSON’s going to emphasize.”

Country Inns & Suites By Carlson® is an expanding, successful mid-tier lodging chain with more than 465 locations worldwide. Founded in 1987, this innovative lodging concept has locations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, India, Austria and Germany. Country Inns & Suites By Carlson is part of Minneapolis-based Carlson Hotels Worldwide, whose operations also include Regent Hotels & Resorts; Radisson Hotels & Resorts®; Park Plaza® Hotels and Resorts and Park Inn®. For reservations and information, visit or call toll-free .

Monday, January 19, 2009


Viewpointe®, one of the nation’s leading providers of check image exchange and archive services, has named Weber Shandwick its public relations agency of record. Weber Shandwick will provide media and industry analyst relations, communications support and other consulting services as it works to expand Viewpointe’s presence with the media, industry analysts and key audiences and constituencies in the financial services industry.

New York City-based Viewpointe selected Weber Shandwick to develop a comprehensive public relations program, spanning national media relations, executive visibility and marketing support as it continues to implement new solutions to support its ever-expanding customer base.

“This partnership with Weber Shandwick demonstrates our commitment to furthering Viewpointe’s profile and market share,” said Diane Scott, Viewpointe’s chief sales, marketing and product officer/chief strategy officer. “Our work together is kicking off at a critical time, as Viewpointe is poised for growth. In the current economy, we continue to work closely with our customers to introduce innovative, secure and cost-effective solutions to help them remain leaders in the industry.”

The Weber Shandwick partnership signals Viewpointe’s commitment to deepening its market presence and expanding its product offerings. “We’re thrilled Viewpointe selected us as their public relations partner of choice because we know Viewpointe is going places,” said Barb Iverson, president of Weber Shandwick’s Financial Services Industry Practice Group. “We are excited to be able to apply our deep financial services knowledge and expertise to Viewpointe’s exciting and ambitious business objectives. We look forward to helping Viewpointe establish itself even further as the undisputed leader in its market and a financial technology company to watch.”

Quali Tech, Inc. chooses Yamamoto Moss Mackenzie to develop brand strategy

Minneapolis brand agency Yamamoto Moss Mackenzie (YMM) has been selected by Quali Tech, Inc., Chaska, MN, to provide branding strategy development for Quali Tech, Inc., and to help the company launch its new plant nutrition product Polyplex™.

“The Polyplex™ product launch presented a great opportunity to look at the overall brand position of Quali Tech and its businesses,” said Cory Ploen, President of Quali Tech, Inc. “We’re looking forward to working with YMM to build a strong brand foundation for our company and the successful launch of Polyplex™.”

Sierra Nevada Selects Carmichael Lynch Spong as Agency of Record

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., one of the pioneers of the craft brewing renaissance, recently selected Carmichael Lynch Spong as its public relations agency of record. The firm will provide event execution and media relations efforts, including social media outreach.

“Our partnership with Carmichael Lynch Spong is a nice fit for the company, and it will allow us to affirm our position as the premier craft brewery in the country,” says founder/owner Ken Grossman. “We are looking forward to working with the firm, and we know the team will inspire and challenge us as a business.”

Based in Chico, Calif., the company came to life more than 28 years ago when its founders brewed the first batch of what would become a landmark in American craft brewing, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Since its inception in 1980, Sierra Nevada has been brewing with nothing but 100 percent whole-cone hops, and now uses more whole-cone hops than any brewer in the world. Today the company has grown to more than 400 employees, with state-of-the-art brewing and processing equipment. Regardless of its size, Grossman continues to be involved in every aspect of the operation, including running the brewery in an environmentally efficient manner.

“We have wanted to represent a leader in the beer, wine and spirits category for some time and we’re pleased it is America’s premier craft brewery,” says Douglas K. Spong, APR, president of Carmichael Lynch Spong. “Ken has built a successful and unique business and we expect our efforts will enhance Sierra Nevada as one of the leaders of independent breweries.”

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Neuger Communications Group, a full-service strategic communications firm specializing in marketing and public relations, has announced the acquisition of Esse Advertising, a Northfield, Minn., advertising company headed by longtime Northfield resident Richard Esse.

President and CEO of Neuger Communications Group David Neuger said, “We are delighted to team up with Rick Esse and Esse Advertising. I have a lot of respect for Rick and the business that he has built over the years, and I’m thrilled that we can bring our two companies together. Neuger Communications Group’s core values of integrity, excellence and success are evident in the way Rick has conducted his business, and together we share a truly extraordinary commitment to producing results-oriented communications solutions that delight our clients.”

Esse Advertising, which was founded in 1993, has served a wide range of local and regional clients in a number of industries including healthcare, financial services, construction, nonprofit and education. Esse Advertising helped clients develop print and web communications, but is best known for its strength in the development of comprehensive advertising campaigns.

Neuger continued, “Rick’s extensive knowledge of the communications field and his strength in developing creative advertising campaigns that generate results complement our firm well. He has a great reputation and an extensive client network across the region. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll be an excellent addition to our team, bringing valuable insight to a wide range of projects.”

In his role as a senior communications counselor, Esse will counsel a number of local and regional clients, managing both the creative and strategic communications processes. He will also be responsible for fostering relationships with prospective clients.

Monday, January 12, 2009

CLS Promotes Dixon Leach and Larson

Denise Dixon Leach and Martine Larson have been promoted to counselors at Carmichael Lynch Spong.

Dixon Leach joined the firm as a senior associate in November 2005. She is responsible for clients Cargill Salt, Hasbro Games and SUPERVALU. For her clients, she is responsible for overall programs, including program development and implementation, as well as celebrity partnerships and sponsorships. Prior to joining the firm, Dixon Leach was an account executive with Gibbs & Soell in New York City. While there, she focused primarily on strategic communications for a variety of clients within the food and home industries. Dixon Leach is an active member of the Public Relations Society of America. She graduated with a communications major from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C.

Larson joined Carmichael Lynch Spong in October 2007 as a senior associate. She currently serves in account and project management roles for American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning and Jack Link’s Beef Jerky. Previously, Larson was a member of the Fleishman-Hillard office in Minneapolis, where she led the agency’s Imation account and provided support to clients such as Target, CommVault and St. Jude Medical. Larson is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management where she earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing.

“Martine and Denise are both extremely talented, dedicated professionals,” says Douglas K. Spong, APR, president of Carmichael Lynch Spong. “I am delighted to see their efforts and successes rewarded with increased responsibilities and recognition.”

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Management transition at Carmichael Lynch - Lescarbeau, Feriancek and Spong to Lead Forward

Management transition at Carmichael Lynch will comprise a team of three leading agency executives, all currently in senior roles with the agency. In addition to managing partners Mike Lescarbeau, president and chief creative officer, and Mark Feriancek, chief financial and operating officer, Doug Spong adds the title of managing partner of Carmichael Lynch to round out the management team at the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG) agency. Spong will also continue as president of the agency’s highly successful public relations division, Carmichael Lynch Spong. This move follows yesterday’s announcement that CEO John Colasanti has decided to leave the agency as of April 2009.

Lescarbeau joined Carmichael Lynch as president and chief creative officer 18 months ago from Ogilvy New York. Prior to that, he held creative and management positions at Fallon, Leagas Delaney and Hill Holiday. Lescarbeau also founded his own award-winning shop One And All. His commitment to unwavering creative standards is recognized throughout the industry and in keeping with Carmichael Lynch’s heritage as one of advertising’s most acclaimed creative agencies. Feriancek joined Carmichael Lynch in 2002 as chief financial officer and added the chief operating officer title last year. Previously, he was CFO for Plasmon Inc. and held numerous finance positions with Pillsbury over a 10-year period. A certified public accountant by background, Feriancek was introduced to both the advertising business and Carmichael Lynch early in his career as an audit manager at Ernst & Young. Spong brings a winning pedigree in agency management, leadership development, strategic direction, client relationship management, brand marketing and new business development. He joined Carmichael Lynch in 1990 to found the public relations division from scratch. Carmichael Lynch Spong, the agency he currently leads, is among the 20 largest PR firms in the U.S. and was recently named “Midsize PR Agency of the Year” by trade journals PRWeek and Holmes Report.

“Carmichael Lynch is an agency with a great culture and a commitment to creativity and innovation that spans all forms of communications,” said Mr. Lescarbeau. “We thank John for all his contributions to making us an industry leader and wish him well in his next chapter, both personally and professionally. He, Mark, Doug and I have had a terrific working relationship, which means that we’ll have a smooth transition to the new leadership team. Our clients and our staff have been very supportive as we move through this process and we pledge to them that the agency will continue to be a strong business partner and a great place to come to work and create winning ideas and marketing programs.”

Job - Jostens - Communications Manager

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Intern for a Day - Risdall Advertising Agency - Courtesy of: Tom Erkfitz

The following post is courtesy of:

I walk into a room with a line of one hundred plus glass jars filled with more candy variety than Willy Wonka's chocolate factory sitting on the conference table. This set the stage for my second time participating in Intern-For-A-Day at Risdall Advertising Agency.

Founded in 1972 as Risdall Advertising Agency by John Risdall himself, Risdall Marketing Group (RMG) attracted more than 50 U of M students in hosting its fifth annual Intern-for-a-Day event on Friday, Dec. 5. Tucked away in the northern suburb of New Brighton, Minn., my own hometown, Risdall's headquarters is home to an ad agency full of individuals with big hearts.

The Intern-for-a-Day was a fun-filled day that began at 9 a.m. with a delightful breakfast and agency tour and ended with a Q and A session.

Throughout the day, students were given hands-on experience through two client brainstorming sessions and two different opportunities to meet with over ten of the agency's team members—including John Risdall—in mentor sessions. From account services and art direction to public relations and social media, the mentor sessions offered a range of topics to appeal to the interest of the diverse group of students.

Additions to this year's Intern-for-a-Day presentations were made to the students on topics that included search and social marketing, how an agency works and how to prepare for an interview.

This year's Intern-for-a-Day program was even more impressive than last year's program. Risdall is proud of its involvement with the U of M students. The agency has a several of their employees serving as mentors in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication's 2008-2009 Alumni Mentorship program.

For it commitment to students, Risdall deserves significant recognition. John Risdall and his team should continue the tradition of Intern-for-a-Day for the years to come. The event was an opportunity that students greatly appreciate, myself included.

I want to thank everyone at Risdall Marketing Group on behalf of the U of M Ad Club for the tremendous opportunity to learn more about their agency and the industry. I encourage students to take advantage of this great opportunity in the future.

Tom Erkfitz

“How to Make Your Funnel Flow Faster” BMA-Minnesota Program Explores Marketing Strategies

The Minnesota chapter of the Business Marketing Association (BMA-Minnesota) will kick off its 2009 professional development program series on Jan. 22, with an exploration of the emerging “Buyer Marketing” sales and marketing strategy.
Led by Hugh Macfarlane, founder of Math Marketing and author of The Leaky Funnel™, the session will discuss the emerging customer-centric sales and marketing strategy that is changing the way businesses organize and manage their combined sales and marketing funnel.
Based on more than 20 years of experience working with and advising senior business leaders, Macfarlane’s contention is that by shifting the focus onto the buyer – not the seller – organizations can accelerate the effectiveness of their endeavors to earn more customers.
In an uncertain economy, buyers hesitate; they double-check selections, question projects and involve others in purchase decisions that might otherwise have been simple,” said Chris Schermer, president of BMA-Minnesota. “Macfarlane’s approach addresses how B-to-B sales and marketing structures can avoid the pitfalls that traditional seller models face during tight economies.” 
Drawing on his research into 1,400 businesses and experience in leading more than 250 growth projects across four continents, Macfarlane will provide a framework for finding “problem” buyers and strategies for accelerating the flow through your sales funnel.
Sponsored by Minnesota ’s only professional organization dedicated exclusively to the needs of business-to-business marketing professionals, the event will be held at the University of Minnesota ’s Coffman Memorial Union located at 300 Washington Ave. S.E. in Minneapolis .
The program will run from 6:00 p.m. to 7 p.m. with registration beginning at 5:30 p.m. The cost of the event is $25 for BMA members and $40 for non-members. Attendees can register online at through Jan. 19, with a limited number of walk-up registrations available.
In addition to its professional development events, BMA-Minnesota will sponsor smaller, more interactive forums throughout the year designed to help busy business-to-business executives, marketers and communicators stay on top of the latest trends, products and strategies.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Job - Kohnstamm Communications - Team Lead/Account Executive

Monday, January 05, 2009


Neuger Communications Group, a full-service strategic communications firm specializing in marketing and public relations, is pleased to announce that Penelope Hillemann has been promoted to vice president. Hillemann, who now holds the title of vice president and senior communications counselor, has been a member of the firm since 2004.
As a part of Neuger Communications Group’s senior leadership team, Hillemann counsels several of the firm’s local and regional accounts – developing communications solutions for clients in a variety of industries including healthcare, nonprofit and green building – while fostering relationships with prospective clients and helping to set the strategic direction of the firm.
President and CEO David Neuger said, “Penny has brought tremendous value to our team. Over the years, her responsibilities have steadily grown and she has proven to be a thoughtful and accomplished leader. The success she has helped her clients achieve and her everyday work truly reflect the firm’s values of integrity, excellence and success. We couldn’t be more pleased to have a person of her caliber representing the firm and serving clients on a daily basis.”
A graduate of Brown University in Providence, R.I., Hillemann holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and received her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School. Having served as a lawyer in Milwaukee and a web manager and communications associate at 89.3 WCAL, Hillemann brings more than 20 years of communications and related experience to her role at Neuger Communications Group.
Hillemann said, “Neuger Communications Group brings together such a wonderful fusion of talented, dedicated, nice people. It’s hard to imagine having colleagues who could be more rewarding or more fun to work with, and because of the variety of clients we serve, there is always a new challenge to keep things interesting. I’m looking forward to taking on new responsibilities, continuing to grow professionally and working hard to be successful for our clients.”
Hillemann lives in Northfield, Minn., and shares her life with her husband, David Keyes, and her three children. In addition to her work with Neuger Communications Group, Hillemann is a member of the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative board. In her free time she enjoys gardening, bird watching and choral singing. She is a strong advocate for sustainability and an avid reader.

Job - Colle+McVoy - Account Supervisor/PR Counselor

Friday, January 02, 2009

Search Engine Optimization in 2009

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a key tool for PR professionals and one that I believe can be easily employed quickly to deliver results. This article by Becky Sheetz-Runkle supports my thinking. She says:
One of the simplest and most cost effective ways to gain search traction - especially for smaller and mid-sized companies that may not already be doing this - is to utilize a wire distribution service like PR Newswire or Business Wire.
Get the full article here.

Job - Digital River - Creative Marketing Coordinator

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