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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

CLS Promotes Herzfeld to Senior Media Relations Specialist

Stephanie Herzfeld has been promoted to senior media relations specialist in Carmichael Lynch Spong’s New York office. Herzfeld joined the firm as a media relations specialist in 2007. In her position, Herzfeld interacts with editors on behalf of all clients and oversees media relations team efforts for projects and events.

As a former trade magazine editor, Herzfeld knows what the media desires from public relations professionals. Prior to joining Carmichael Lynch Spong, she served as an editor for Building Products Magazine (a Hanley Wood title) and Kitchen and Bath Business Magazine (a Nielsen Business Media publication).

“Stephanie’s media background has enabled her to successfully connect our clients to editors in the trades,” says Douglas K. Spong, APR, president of Carmichael Lynch Spong. “I’m proud to see her efforts rewarded with increased responsibilities and recognition.”

Herzfeld earned a double major in journalism and government at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md.

Monday, March 30, 2009

LaBreche and CG3 Consulting Announce Healthcare and Wellness Alliance

Minneapolis-based, LaBreche and Edina-based, healthcare consulting firm CG3 Consulting, LLC, have created a unique Healthcare and Wellness Alliance designed for medical device, pharmaceutical, biotech, healthcare providers and insurance companies. The alliance will combine best-in-class brand development, public relations, interactive services and design with real world experience in healthcare general business, marketing, market development and sales leadership capabilities.
“Our new alliance is an exciting new chapter for LaBreche’s healthcare and wellness practice and for CG3 Consulting,” said Laura Boyd, president of LaBreche and Patrick Kullmann, president of CG3 Consulting. “The distinctive blend of traditional upstream and downstream marketing and communications capabilities that will be provided by this new alliance is unlike any other service available. Healthcare clients of both companies now have the opportunity to engage the best communications services, tools and marketing, market development and sales services at any time during the product or service development, launch and life cycle process.”

The Healthcare and Wellness Alliance combines LaBreche’s extensive experience of 20 years delivering results in communications and public relations for companies in the healthcare industry to include Coloplast, Invibio and EntroMedics as well as other companies that include 3M, Wausau Paper and Capital Safety, along with Kullmann’s  25 years in senior marketing, market development, sales and general business leadership positions serving nine different medical specialties with Medtronic, Boston Scientific, Baxter, Johnson & Johnson and many other emerging medical device companies
The alliance provides marketing and communications support services through the five phases of commercialization of a healthcare product and/or service:
  • Product and service concept phase 
  • Research and development phase 
  • Regulatory and clinical phases 
  • Launch Phase 
  • All Life cycle phases
“The comprehensive services of the Healthcare and Wellness Alliance provide unsurpassed value to our clients from beginning to end,” said Kullmann.  “LaBreche and CG3 believe it is vital to become engaged at the front end of the product or service development process in order to develop a mutual understanding, a common objective and a clear strategy to ensure overall success and cost savings for our clients in these uncertain economic times.”

Boyd adds, “We are excited to begin implementing this process with our current clients and look forward to applying our knowledge to help other companies achieve great results.”
Information about the LaBreche and CG3 Consulting Healthcare and Wellness Alliance is available online via video and text. Please direct all questions about the alliance to Laura Boyd, LaBreche, at or Patrick Kullmann, CG3 Consulting, at .

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Tonight, the Minnesota chapter, Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), celebrated the best public relations campaigns of 2008 during the 31st annual Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards, held at the Minneapolis Marriott City Center. The awards banquet, emceed by WCCO reporter and blogger Jason DeRusha, attracted 290 communications professionals from area boutique and large-scale agencies, corporations, non-profit organizations, and independent practitioners.

“The Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards recognize true excellence in the field of public relations,” said Jan Hennings, APR, president of Minnesota PRSA. “We have a talented pool of local professionals, and the bar set by our peers is extremely high. This year’s winners really stand out for their exemplary professional skill, creativity and resourcefulness.”

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 the U.S. Army with Weber Shandwick for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Held annually in San Antonio, Texas, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl not only offers a chance for football fans to get their first look at the stars of the future, but also provides the U.S. Army with a tremendous opportunity to tell its story and further its recruiting mission. The All-American Bowl is a year-round program that highlights the shared values of Army soldiers and elite football players, emphasizing that the same values which produce excellent football players also produce the excellent soldiers the Army prides itself on developing, and that these values are best taught in the U.S. Army.

Donald G. Padilla Distinguished Practitioner Award

Also at the Classics, Minnesota PRSA honored David Hakensen, APR, with the Donald G. Padilla Distinguished Practitioner Award.

The late Mr. Padilla devoted himself to helping civic, educational, human services and arts organizations communicate more effectively. He was equally diligent in teaching the clients of his firm to see the many benefits of community stewardship and relationship building. The Donald G. Padilla Distinguished Practitioner Award recognizes an individual who is judged to have made selfless contributions to the community and to the mission of PRSA, and who has demonstrated exceptional professional achievement.

During his 25-year career, Hakensen has become a sought-after counselor who provides strategic counsel to senior management and who understands the importance of leveraging communications and public relations to support business objectives. He has a broad range of agency and corporate experience, with particular expertise in strategic media relations, crisis communications, issues management, and merger and acquisition communications. Most recently he was vice president, public relations, at Pearson Education in Bloomington.

A PRSA member since 1981, Hakensen has been a loyal and active advocate, volunteer and leader in the organization and the profession it supports. He has a keen interest in giving back to his profession and has held PRSA leadership positions that include: Minnesota Chapter Board of Directors (1996-2001); President of the Minnesota Chapter (2000); National Chair for the Senior Advisory Task Force (2001); serving as a member of the National Nominating Committee (2000); and chairing the Midwest District (2006-2008).

Along with the award, Minnesota PRSA will contribute $500 to a charity of Hakensen’s choice. Padilla Speer Beardsley will donate another $500 to the same organization.

A total of 54 Classics Awards were presented during the evening to public relations agencies, corporations, non-profit organizations and students from the metro and out-state areas. Attached is a list of all winners, which also can be found on the Minnesota PRSA Web site (


Piper Lemons, award-winning interactive designer and art director, is the latest addition to OLSON’s creative team. She joins from Ameriprise Financial as creative director to handle accounts including Allina Hospitals & Clinics, Target and General Mills.
Piper has more than 16 years of experience, as director of site experience and content development for and, and in previous roles for companies including Organic Online Inc. and Target Corporation.

"Piper’s a tremendous strategic thinker with exceptional craft,” says Tom Fugleberg, OLSON’s executive creative director.  “Her experience with everyone from start-ups to agencies to Fortune 500s is already helping clients assemble and grow their social circles online. And, seriously, how could we not hire someone named Piper Lemons?"

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How transparency could change the perception of GM

I was asked to attend the Minnesota autoshow today to sit in on a presentation by Mark LaNeve the VP of Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing for General Motors (GM).

To be honest I was a little nervous about attending because I didn't think I liked GM as a company, because they had taken government bailout money. But, I decided to attend and see what I could learn about what the company was going through.

I arrived just in time to catch a seat at the table in the front row. I had just sat down when Mark LaNeve came and sat at my table too. This was perfect because I wanted to ask him some difficult questions about his company. To my surprise LaNeve was very willing talk and quite candid about his company's struggles. Here are a few of my major take aways:
  1. GM wants to create dialogue around the problems the company is facing
  2. From a dollars and cents perspective the auto industry has a long up hill battle to fight
  3. GM has too many brands at the bottom of the market competing with each other
  4. People buy the cars they see in their neighbor's driveway
  5. GM leadership needs to stop whining about labor unions and international markets and figure out a way to compete.
  6. Transparency of GM's actions and communication to a broader audience is critical
LaNeve admitted that the auto industry maybe could have predicted a decline in sales. But the bottom falling out could not have been predicted anymore than the housing market crash or the banking crisis. He spent a good deal of time talking numbers and how GM sales are down 52.9 percent from last year.

What I learned
What I didn't understand until the meeting was that reporters do in the auto industry exactly what they do in every industry. They repeat number and figures without fact checking!

I don't know why this was so surprising but I know that it true. Once a journalist published that GM was taking an $80 billion buyout, that was the number that stuck. It didn't matter if that number was inflated or not because that was the number available. In truth the number is $18 billion with contingencies that could bring it to as high as $30 billion.

Who cares
Of course, whether it is $18 billion or $80 billion that is a lot of zeros, so why should we care? Well as LaNeve was quick to point out much of the financial industry and housing market are reflected in the health and well-being of the auto industry. If we stop for a second and consider all that is impacted by getting a couple numbers wrong we suddenly relies that we are talking the difference between 4 years to GM paying its loan off and 4 decades.

Politics aside, transparency rules
Walking into this meeting I was a skeptic of GM at best. After listening to LaNeve, at worst I am willing to stop by a GM dealer and give the GMC hybrid a test drive.

LaNeve said that he loves to talk in front of people and that he wished he could travel around the country talking to small groups of people about GM's plans for the future. While it may not be possible to talk with everyone, he is convinced that if he can put a GM car in your neighbor's driveway, you will eventually consider purchasing a GM car.

Job - Tastefully Simple, Inc. - Director, Marketing

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

AdFed - The ABCs of PR

Escape the winter blues and spend an evening at the Cantina #1, the Twin Cities official ambassador of the Corona lifestyle! Chips, salsa, quesadillas, and cocktails await you.

Join for an exciting and entertaining panel discussion on public relations. Learn what it is, why it’s important, and where it’s going. Learn tips and tricks of the trade from these three seasoned and successful public relations practitioners:
  • Dan Jasper, director of public relations for The Mall of America
  • Beth LaBreche, founder and CEO of LaBreche
  • Steve Rudolph, account director/director of media relations for Olson

The Schedule:


March 26, 2009, 5:30pm to 9:00pm


Cantina #1, Mall of America
Bloomington, Minnesota
5:30pm: Registration/Networking
6:30pm: Panel Discussion


Ad Fed/Ad2 Members: Free with pre-registration, $5 at the door
Students: $5 with pre-registration, $10 at the door
Nonmembers: $15 with pre-registration, $20 at the door

If you're coming from downtown, jump on the light rail! It's fast, easy, and cheap. Once at the MOA, head to the 4th floor of the east rotunda. Go to for more restaurant info.  Happy hour specials available and Salsa dancing starts at 8:30. You don't want to miss this event. Register today!

McFarland Cahill Communications Adds New Clients; Hires Greta Deutsch

McFarland Cahill Communications (MCC), a local boutique public relations firm, recently added three new companies to its client list and Greta Deutsch to its staff.

MCC is now working with Contigo, a Chicago-based company that produces innovative, spill-proof drinkware; All Inc. Appliances and Cabinets in St. Paul, which offers the largest kitchen design center in the Midwest; and Navigate Forward, a Twin Cities firm that works with executives in transition by helping them brand and package themselves to stand out in a crowd of job seekers.

“Now more than ever, the economy requires companies to use cost-effective methods to tell their stories and public relations is an efficient and effective way to do that,” said Teresa McFarland, co-founder of MCC. “We are excited to work with these new companies to share their stories and leave a lasting impression with their target audiences.”
Deutsch Joins MCC Team

MCC recently welcomed Greta Deutsch to its team as a public relations specialist, where she will assist in media relations, social media practices and overall strategic communications. Prior to joining MCC, Deutsch held internships with Children’s HeartLink and Tunheim Partners. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of St. Thomas , where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations and advertising, with a minor in business administration.“Greta is a tremendous addition to the MCC team,” said Maureen Cahill, co-founder of MCC. “She has incredible enthusiasm and energy, and goes above and beyond to work with clients to communicate their messages to the media and the general public.”

Monday, March 23, 2009

It’s Cookie Time for Campbell Mithun

Some of the strongest memories are the ones made while connecting with family in the comfort of home.  Minneapolis advertising agency, , demonstrates this power with its “Cookie Time” campaign for Land O’Lakes, reminding us that sometimes the most simple and oldest pastimes are often made unforgettable.

“Cookie Time” opens with a family gathered in the kitchen eating their freshly baked, homemade cookies.  Mouths full and without a word being spoken, they burst into laughter, contagiously continuing until the scene fades to a shot of LAND O LAKES® Butter.  “In today’s tough economic climate, Land O’Lakes wants to continue to bring simplicity back into America’s households,” said Steve Wehrenberg, CEO of Campbell Mithun.  “’Cookie Time’” illustrates how you can use affordable ingredients, such as LAND O LAKES® Butter, to bring the fun back and enjoy family at home.”

In addition to the television spot, an interactive component to the Land O'Lakes consumer Web site has been developed that offers easy, inexpensive cookie recipes with most of the ingredients already present in one’s cupboard or refrigerator.   Banner ads offering coupons for LAND O LAKES® Butter and other products also make this age-old entertainment effortless.

“LAND O LAKES® Butter is a product that has stayed true to its simple goodness positioning,” said Peggy Ellingson, Vice President of Marketing for Land O’Lakes. “With this campaign, we illustrate this further by showing that a simple activity such as baking a fresh batch of cookies, can create an opportunity to bring the whole family together and of course, share in the enjoyment.”

For 75 years, Campbell Mithun has made everything talk for Land O’Lakes by generating pioneering brand ideas like “Cookie Time.”  For more information please visit and .

Job - Nexus - Corporate Communications Manager

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Keith Negrin has joined Minneapolis-based agency Maccabee Group Public Relations as Senior Counselor.

Prior to joining Maccabee Group, Negrin served as Director of Public Relations for advertising agency Morsekode and as Public Relations Counselor with Carmichael Lynch Spong, where he worked with such clients as Hasbro Games, Clorox and Jack Link’s Beef Jerky.

Negrin brings to Maccabee Group clients an array of legal and public affairs experience, including a Juris Doctor degree from George Washington University Law School, working as a contract attorney with the law firm of Pepper Hamilton in Philadelphia and serving in the office of U.S. Senator Carol Moseley-Braun. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Imation has chosen OLSON as its agency for its Memorex, TDK Life on Record and XtremeMac

Imation has selected OLSON for marketing its Memorex, TDK Life on Record and XtremeMac consumer brands. OLSON will handle holistic consumer marketing efforts, including brand strategy, advertising, media, social media, design, promotional work, as well as U.S. public relations.

“OLSON clearly understands how to have a conversation with an audience,” says Jeff Meredith, general manager, Imation global consumer brands. “We were impressed with OLSON’s passion, creative work, retail understanding, unique brand anthropology insights, and comprehension of our brand philosophy. There is a solid fit between Imation and OLSON, and we are confident in our choice.”

“Memorex, TDK Life on Record and XtremeMac brands are powerful consumer brands with incredible potential,” says Kevin DiLorenzo, OLSON president. “We’re excited, and ready, to leverage their strong market equities in more contemporary and meaningful ways.”

Imation is a leading global developer and marketer of branded products that enable people to capture, save and enjoy digital information. Imation’s world-class portfolio of digital storage products, audio and video electronic and accessories reaches customers through a powerful global distribution network. The company’s global brand portfolio, in addition to the Imation brand, includes the Memorex brand, one of the most widely recognized names in the consumer electronics industry, famous for the slogan, "Is it live or is it Memorex?" and the XtremeMac brand. Imation is also the exclusive licensee of the TDK Life on Record brand, one of the world's leading recording media brands.

Imation, the Imation logo, Memorex, the Memorex logo, 'Is it live or is it Memorex?' and XtremeMac are trademarks of Imation Corp. and its subsidiaries. The TDK Life on Record logo is a trademark of TDK Corporation.

Job - Marketing Manager – Continental Airlines Vacations

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Eric McPherson Joins Risdall Marketing Group as Account Executive

Risdall Marketing Group (RMG) is pleased to announce that Eric McPherson has recently joined as account executive. In his new role at RMG, McPherson will serve as agency liaison to a diverse roster of client accounts.

“Eric’s commitment to learning about the advertising business both during his time at the University of Minnesota and during his internship demonstrate the ‘go get ‘em’ attitude that defines our culture at RMG,” said John Risdall , vice chairman and CEO of RMG. “We’re confident that Eric will bring fresh perspective to his client work and excel in creative thinking and client service.”

A member of the University of Minnesota’s (U of M) well-recognized National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) team, McPherson was an account management team leader and presenter at the 2008 competition. He led a management team of 10 students from the U of M’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Under the direction of Howard Liszt, the retired CEO of Campbell Mithun, McPherson helped develop and present a campaign for AOL Instant Messenger.

Prior to joining RMG, McPherson served as account services intern at Minneapolis advertising agency OLSON where he tracked print work and performed competitive analysis reports for clients. McPherson received a bachelor’s degree in advertising with a minor in Spanish studies from the University of Minnesota in May 2008.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Local Jewelry Leader and Public Relations Firm Team Up to Bring on the Bling

Minnesota’s engagement store, Wedding Day Diamonds, and Minneapolis-based Lola Red PR are striking up the perfect partnership to reinvent the way Twin Cities sweethearts buy diamonds. 
Wedding Day Diamonds has spent more than 30 years making the engagement process as pure and simple as falling in love. The family-owned and -operated business has been the state’s premier engagement resource since 1978 and has five convenient metro-area locations. Wedding Day Diamonds features a comfortable environment for shoppers to browse the largest variety of rings in the country. Customers can also enlist the help of friendly, knowledgeable engagement specialists in picking out the perfect ring, planning a place to pop the question, or setting up the perfect engagement soiree. For more information, log onto
Lola Red PR was founded in 2001 by Alexis Walsko; it has since grown into a team of four that informs the media and public about buzz-worthy products, services, ideas, and people. Clients include local and national businesses as well as nonprofit organizations. Lola Red PR is on the Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) of New York’s “It List” of public relations firms. Located in a funky, urban space in the warehouse district of Minneapolis, the company is known for keeping its pulse on the latest trends and concepts. Head to for more information.

MWMC - Women Launching Women Networking Event

Thursday, March 19
6 p.m.
Open Book,1011 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis
Cost: FREE for MWMC members; $20 for non-members

Members: register here
Non-members: register here

While online networking is easy, face-to-face communication is still the most powerful. Relax and connect with other women for a casual happy hour/networking event. MWMC's Women Launching Women is open to members and non-members for networking, mingling and mixing. Amy Gage, MWMC member, will share her career path and lessons learned along the way.

About our speaker
Amy Gage is director of marketing and communications at the College of St. Catherine, where she oversees a 12-person department responsible for rebranding the institution as a university, effective June 1, 2009. A former journalist, Amy has written and edited for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, where she wrote a column on women and business, Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Minnesota Monthly and the Star Tribune.

Appetizers will be served. Directions are available at The event is free to MWMC members and $20 for non-members.

Consumer Trends Through the Eyes of the Retail World

Although all companies and brands are subject to the same changing trends, reaction to these trends varies from industry to industry. Trend reports and trend watchers are useful tools as companies seek to engage the consumer and understand their motivation, especially during the financial crisis that is affecting so many businesses and individuals. Businesses are asking how the economy will affect their sales, their staff and their consumers.

How can we utilize our analytics and strategic direction to continue to build upon our current consumer base? Is now a good time to be innovative? How are our consumers being affected by the economy? What can we, as a company, develop for ourselves and our consumers to effectively move forward? These are the types of questions that will be discussed at Ad Fed's March luncheon featuring guest speaker Ed Dobbles, vice president of research and analytics with SUPERVALU INC., and Brian Hooks, vice president of sales and marketing with Holiday StationStores.

Dobbles obsesses over the patterns found in the millions of customer transactions per year conducted at SUPERVALU stores like Jewel, Cub or Albertsons. His team consists of 50 world-class analytical minds in the United States and India covering cool analytical functions like pricing, customer analytics and market share. Prior to SUPERVALU, Dobbles worked for Best Buy, where he helped build their customer-centric research organization.

Hooks joined Holiday StationStores in 2006, taking on marketing direction and strategy, program development, brand development, market analysis, alliance and customer loyalty marketing, promotions and advertising media. Holiday StationStores is the leading convenience and petroleum retailer with more than 450 corporate and franchise locations in 12 northern states from Michigan to Alaska. It is also the sole distributor of Blue Planet gasoline. Hooks began his career in Minneapolis on the agency side, working for Carmichael Lynch, Campbell Mithun and Martin Williams on accounts including U.S. Bank, 3M, Toro, Harley Davidson, Polaris and Ford Motors. Hooks then worked with Peterson Milla Hooks, known as the lead strategic and creative agency for Target Stores.

Register online or call the Ad Fed office at .

Speaker: Brian Hooks, VP Sales and Marketing Holiday Stationstores
Ed Dobbles, VP Research & Analytics, SUPERVALU, Inc.
When: Wednesday, March 18, 2009
11:15 am - 11:30 am
11:30 am - 11:50 am
11:50 am - 12:15 pm
12:15 pm - 1:00 pm
1:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Registration and Networking
Lunch Buffet
Introduction and Presentation
Adjournment and Networking
(add $10 after 03/16/2009)
Location: Metropolitan Ballroom
5418 Wayzata Boulevard
Golden Valley, MN 55416
Register online or call the Ad Fed office at .

Registration Deadline: 5:00 pm, Monday, March 16, 2009.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


The Minneapolis St. Patrick’s Day Association has asked OLSON, the 180-person ad agency, across from the Basilica of Saint Mary, to lead the Minneapolis Patrick’s Day Parade as its marquee sponsor. And not because they were looking for ordinary.

OLSON has brought a lot of high-energy hijinks to the Loring Park neighborhood since they joined in 2001, including Christmas llamas, a Brickman statue, interoffice stair luging – and the Minneapolis St. Patrick’s Day parade will be no different.  

“We live in St. Paul’s long green shadow,” says CEO John Olson. “This year is going to be different – Minneapolis is the place to march and mass curb side. We’re asking Irish folk of every heritage and ethnicity, along with their pets, clan signs, shamrocks and in-laws, to help lead the parade into a new era.”

There are going to be surprises, forewarns Olson and the crew. March 17 will be a lucky day in Minneapolis.

Parade Information:

Parade rolls at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 17 along Nicollet Mall

Grand Marshal Esmé Murphy of WCCO Radio and TV will lead the parade down Nicollet Mall from 13th to 5th Streets.

The history of the parade dates back to 1969 when Duff’s Bar and the Bradford’s Pub initiated the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade for Minneapolis. It was a short caravan between the two pubs, and ironically, was prompted by friendly jibing of some gentlemen of other ethnic backgrounds. The first parade consisted of one float, provided by the Sons and Daughters of Ireland. It was a social event, including wild members of the Minnesota Vikings Football team riding motorcycles into Duff’s Bar to commemorate the parade.

For more information about the parade and other events sponsored by the Minneapolis St. Patrick’s Day Association, visit or call . Applications for parade units are still being accepted.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Lee Jeans has chosen OLSON

Lee Jeans has chosen OLSON, Minneapolis, as its interactive agency.  In April, OLSON will launch its first assignment, the new highly interactive Lee Jeans website,  
“E-commerce has been an underdeveloped retail channel for Lee, which is why we brought in OLSON to spice it up,” says Liz Cahill, VP of marketing, Lee Jeans. “OLSON’s deep strategic thinking about social circles is helping us reach our consumers in different ways, and its best-in-class e-commerce experience from technology to design means we’re about to launch a cool and different”
“We’re excited to showcase the new Lee Jeans, leveraging its rich heritage and fresh sense of style,” says Kevin DiLorenzo, president, OLSON. “This is just the beginning of our marketing efforts to help the brand move confidently forward.”

Monday, March 09, 2009

Schermer Kuehl Hires One; Promotes Two

Despite the current economic challenges, local marketing communications agency is growing and promoting.

Nick Reitenour joins the agency from Fiskars Brands as a graphic designer. A former Flash instructor at the Minnesota School of Business, Reitenour brings extensive interactive design capabilities to support many of the agency’s clients including Best Buy For Business, Stratasys, Inc. and UHS.
Agency veteran Heather Naumann was promoted to senior project manager. Hired in 2001, Naumann has a consistent record of strong performance and is well respected by clients and peers. Naumann now assumes total project responsibility for Stratasys, Inc., a global manufacturer of 3D printing and production systems.

Lindsey Voigt was promoted from project coordinator to project manager. As part of her professional development, Voigt recently spent five months onsite supporting one of the agency’s key clients, HID Corporation, at its Minnesota headquarters. In her new role, Voigt assumes project accountability for HID, a leading manufacturer of security solutions and smart card technologies.
“SK employees have a history of consistent promotion based on outstanding performance,” said Chris Schermer, president, Schermer Kuehl. “We’re pleased to add additional interactive experience to compliment our project management and client service talent.”

Friday, March 06, 2009

Denny Royal joins ASI Communications as creative director

When Denny Royal joined ASI Communications in January, the question heard around the agency wasn’t so much “Is that the new creative director?” but “Who’s the guy with the shaved head and tattoos?”

Denny Royal joined ASI Communications as creative director, coming from An established creative leader with over 16 years experience as creative and design director for a number of top design firms, Royal is enthusiastic about ramping up the focus on brand strategy and killer creative.

“I was drawn to the straightforward style of ASI,” he says. “We’re not about suits and ties, or being ultra-hip…we’re blue jeans and brains. The team here does creative work based on deep insights and rigorous process.”

Royal’s background in brand development will be a plus for the firm’s clients. “When it comes to creative, our job is basically problem-solving. You can apply design to anything, and the process of finding the right solution becomes more than linear. Creative teams view problems differently—and at ASI, we base our solutions on excellent work up front. That’s the kind of thinking we’ll put to use for our clients, across the board.”

A magna cum laude graduate of the College of Fine Arts at Ball State University, Royal earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design and Ceramics and a minor in Cultural Anthropology, a discipline that informs his strategic and user-centered approach to design.

Royal has worked with high profile brands such as GE, Celebrity Cruises, Cargill, Kodak, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Macy’s, Marshall Field’s, Wells Fargo, Target, Pillsbury, Polaris, 3M, St. Jude Medical, and Blue Cross Blue Shield. His interactive work has been published in Redesigning Web Sites and on, the Web design magazine published by Communication Arts. His identity work has been widely recognized and published and his video work has appeared on the Discovery, History and Military channels.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Holly Matson Rejoins Risdall Marketing Group as Online Marketing Manager

After spending nearly a year in California at San Diego-based Geary Interactive, one of the top 50 Web agencies in the U.S., Holly Matson has rejoined New Brighton-based Risdall Marketing Group (RMG) as online marketing manager in its Risdall Online Marketing Group (ROMG) division.

In her new position, Holly will be responsible for creating online marketing strategy, managing search and social marketing campaigns and integrating them with the overall brand strategy and online and offline marketing tools.

“Holly's experience in search marketing and social media combined with her expertise with national and international clients complement our growth as more and more clients turn to online marketing,” said Jennifer Risdall, CEO of ROMG. “Our growth and expanded client service offerings can be directly attributed to the strength and knowledge our team provides to clients across all industries. Our clients and our team are thrilled to have Holly back at Risdall.”

While at Geary Interactive, Holly received the prestigious “30 under 30” award from DMNews. She was given this honor for her work both at Geary Interactive and RMG. As an organic media planner at Geary Interactive, Holly worked with clients to increase online visibility through search engine optimization tactics, social media campaigns, link building and other organic media strategies. Holly graduated from the University of Minnesota – Carlson School of Management after receiving two bachelor’s degrees: one in marketing and one in entrepreneurship studies.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

LaBreche Announces Marketing Stimulus Package for the Twin Cities

Minneapolis-based brand communications firm LaBreche is announcing a new effort to help local businesses jump-start marketing and strategic branding initiatives in 2009. Bullish about the impact that proactive, aggressive marketing can have in current economic times, LaBreche will provide $25,000 worth of communications services free to new clients looking for a low-risk way to initiate marketing activity.

"We believe so much in the companies in our community,” said Beth LaBreche, CEO of the firm. “It’s agonizing to see some of them hesitating and putting their marketing plans on hold when you know they could be taking advantage of the lull to really get their messages out there. Our new package gives companies a powerful argument for investing in their brands in 2009 – it’s our way of co-investing with businesses that are tentatively moving into the New Year.”

LaBreche is offering $25,000 of hourly time free-of-charge to clients who sign on in the first half of the year. LaBreche’s services include brand communications strategy, positioning, messaging, public relations, graphic design, interactive, and social media strategy and execution.

This stimulus package is a way that a company on the fence about a new marketing or communications initiative can get a professional assessment on the positioning of its brand as well as recommendations on the best tactics to drive bottom-line results. The package is also for companies currently reviewing partnerships but lacking time or money to educate and immerse a new agency.

“The Twin Cities is home to many great, powerful brands. It’s important that smart, strategic brand initiatives continue to show the market that companies remain relevant and strong. LaBreche is here to support the local business community in getting those messages out to consumers,” Beth LaBreche explained.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Kane Consulting expands practice with new public relations consultant

Kane Consulting, a Minneapolis-based new media marketing and PR firm, has expanded its consultant roster to include Kary Delaria of KDPublic Relations. Delaria will work to expand the firm’s growing public relations practice.

“We help clients create highly customized, strategic marketing and PR programs that bridge the technological divide between “old media” tactics and the “new media” terrain,” says Jennifer Kane, principal of Kane Consulting. “Kary’s ability to adapt traditional public relations tactics for today’s online, socially-networked world makes her an ideal fit for our clients’ needs.”

Delaria, a 10-year public relations veteran, adds, “The new media landscape is changing business as we know it. Working with Kane Consulting offers the opportunity to help clients identify and implement strategic, practical solutions, while also helping to advance the industry with its conferences and seminars. It’s everything businesses seem to be craving right now.”

Learn How Social Media Can Breathe Life into your B2B Marketing Program

Facebook? Twitter? Blogs? How are these social networking sites relevant to me or my company? Join us for another installment in the 2009 professional development program series as the Minnesota Chapter of Business Marketing Association explores how B-to-B marketers can use social media to boost their performance metrics and support a customer-centric business model.

The discussion will feature a panel of local social media experts, including:
Each of the panelists has proven that social media efforts can provide value to companies of all sizes. They’ll dispel the misperception that social media can’t be applied to the B-to-B arena and illustrate how tools like Twitter and blogs can be monitored and engage your audiences.

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.

Are you ready for the next big thing in B-to-B marketing?

Event Details
Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Time: Registration begins 7:30 a.m.
Program runs from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
Location: Metropolitan
., Minneapolis
Cost: $25 for BMA-Minnesota members, $40 for non-members.
Register: at through March 10. Limited number of walk-up registrations available.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Risdall Stimulus Value Package.

As a way to assist organizations with marketing and communications during the current economic downturn, Risdall Marketing Group (RMG) is offering the .

“Research has shown that companies that continue to communicate during recessions rebound more quickly than those that slow down or halt communications in tough times,” said John Risdall, chairman and CEO of RMG. “It’s simple enough – anyone who doesn’t do marketing right now is really going to miss out when the economy bounces back.”

The Risdall Stimulus Value Package offers new RMG clients a combination of strategic consultation, creative art direction and more – a starter offering designed to assist companies in generating leads and sales.

For $6,999, new clients receive:
  • Quick Strategic Planning
  • Results-Driven Public Relations
  • Perception-Shifting Creative
  • No-More-Market-Speculation Social Media Monitoring
  • Immediate Online Marketing Solutions
Quick Strategic Planning
The account planning strategists at RMG will help new clients identify their hot customer segments, the characteristics of those customers, and the customers’ beliefs, behaviors, demographics and psychographics. The RMG team then condenses all of the information into a single, simply stated idea about the client’s business.

Results-Driven Public Relations
As part of the Risdall Stimulus Value Package, Risdall McKinney Public Relations will identify the one key idea or observation about new clients’ business messaging, discover the unique story and begin key message development, and start crisis communication planning.

Perception-Shifting Creative
The SWAT creative team at RMG will take the development of the key idea identified in the strategic planning phase and create a powerful creative piece, such as a banner ad or radio spot, to reach the client’s target audiences.

No-More-Market-Speculation Social Media Monitoring
Through social media monitoring, new RMG clients receive reports that include: the passions of the client’s customers, prospects and key stakeholders; identification and tracking of emerging themes or trends; the social media strengths and weaknesses of the client’s competitors; and an analysis of pre- and post-engagement campaign effectiveness.

Immediate Online Marketing Solutions
The online marketing solutions offered through the Risdall Stimulus Value Package include all or some of the following: keyword research, Web analytics review, Web site audit, search engine ranking report and competitive search landscape audit.

“Now is a time of opportunity, not a time to pull back,” said Risdall. “We want to do our part to ensure that America recovers successfully.”

More information on the Risdall Stimulus Value Package is available at

Goodbye, Colorado - Rocky Mountain News

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You’ve likely already seen news surrounding this during the last couple days, but check out the Web site of the Rocky Mountain News. It was the publication’s last day after 150 years on February 27, 2009 at midnight. 
Definitely a sign of the changing landscape and impact of the news media and new media.
This is a paper within the nation’s 18th largest media market.
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