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Thursday, April 30, 2009


The times they are a changing; especially when it comes to marketers and communicators having to prove their ROI and budget spend in this struggling economy, where unemployment rates have skyrocketed.

Minnesota Women in Marketing and Communications' spring conference has evolved into an exciting workshop series that will focus on topics related to “Offline, Online and Bottom Line“ and will offer attendees the opportunity to learn from some of the brightest women on the Twin Cities marketing and communications scene. Each workshop will take place from 1-4 p.m. in The Heritage Center at the U of M’s beautiful McNamara Alumni Center, with an on-site happy hour to follow.

Remaining dates include May 19 and June 23, 2009.

The Geek Girls from Clockwork Media Systems will lead the “Online” workshop Tuesday, May 19 and bring attendees to the next level in online marketing and communications. Speakers include: Nancy Lyons, president and CEO of Clockwork Active Media Systems and Meghan Wilker, managing director of Clockwork Active Media Systems.

Find out on Tuesday, June 23 how to make our businesses and our work recession-proof with speakers: Wendy Nemitz, founder of Ingenuity Marketing Group; Stacey Ackerman, MA, director of marketing services for Small Business Builders – A Division of Haworth & Company, Ltd.; and Chris Bez, principal of Creativity Consulting and Coaching.

Registration for this event is required at Cost per workshop for MWMC members is $65.00 Non-members are encouraged to attend; cost is $75.00 per workshop. Full-time students may attend for $30 per workshop. Instant membership + reservation is $127.50 per workshop.


Many college students and recent graduates fear what might happen if a potential employer were to stumble across their Facebook wall posts and photos. Knowing these young professionals hold more potential for creativity and hard work than for youthful indiscretion, Fast Horse, a non-traditional marketing agency, is turning Facebook into a powerful recruiting tool.

Fast Horse has created an online gathering spot for entry-level candidates on Facebook, called “The Fast Horse Experience.” The page ( will serve as both a recruiting tool for the agency and as a resource for those looking for tips on breaking into marketing disciplines such as advertising, public relations, graphic design and interactive.

“This group will help us cast a wider net for talent and begin the conversation with entry-level job candidates much earlier, in a way that is both relevant to the way they communicate and to the kind of work we do for our clients,” said Jörg Pierach, president and creative director at Fast Horse. “We believe Facebook is a great forum for people new to the job market to learn more about what we do, how we work, and what we value, and it’ll help us find the cream of the crop when it comes time to add to our roster.”

The bulk of the activity at the Fast Horse Experience will take place within the “Discussions” forum where Fast Horse staffers will answer questions and discuss all things related to the job search and the agency life. The group is intended for recent graduates and entry-level candidates, but all those interested in Fast Horse are welcome.

To demonstrate its commitment to finding the best talent and developing the budding careers of young professionals, Fast Horse plans to hire its next intern from the collection of friends that engages in discussion on the Fast Horse Experience.

“The more people we have asking us questions and sharing their ideas, the more useful the Fast Horse Experience will be for everyone,” Pierach said. “We want young professionals interested in agency careers to think of it as a sort of ‘digital informational interview,’ where they are free to share their hopes and dreams in an informal setting, and we are too.”

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


New York-based SecondMarket hired Weber Shandwick to help raise visibility for its marketplace solutions for illiquid assets, including mortgage-backed securities, collateralized debt obligations, limited partnership interests, bankruptcy claims, auction-rate securities and other illiquid assets. SecondMarket’s online trading platform has 3,000 participants, including global financial institutions, hedge funds, private equity firms, mutual funds, corporations and other institutional and accredited investors, which collectively manage more than $1 trillion in investable assets.

“Our partnership with Weber Shandwick kicked off during a critical time in the financial markets,” said Barry Silbert, SecondMarket’s founder and chief executive officer. “We look forward to telling our story about the solutions we are providing to address liquidity needs through a robust trading environment and active marketplace.”

"We're thrilled to be selected by SecondMarket as its public relations partner," said Paul Jensen, general manager and executive vice president of Weber Shandwick's New York office. "We look forward to bringing our deep financial services expertise to bear in raising awareness of this new and dynamic marketplace for buying and selling illiquid assets. SecondMarket is a company with a great story, and one whose time clearly has come."

Monday, April 27, 2009

Strother Communications Group - Internship Opportunity

Thursday, April 23, 2009


The Minneapolis-St. Paul office of Weber Shandwick today announced the promotion of David Krejci to senior vice president of its digital communications practice. In addition, David was recently appointed as the Global Digital Education lead for Weber Shandwick worldwide.

Since joining Weber Shandwick in 1998, Krejci has emerged as a leader in digital strategy and social media tactics for clients covering financial services, health care, defense, consumer products, corporate and public affairs and technology industries. Most recently, Krejci has been one of the primary architects of a next generation social media newsroom approach that seeks to redefine how clients interact with media and their publics.

“David has always been interested in helping our clients and staff understand how the practices of public relations and marketing are forever evolving,” said Sara Gavin, president of Weber Shandwick’s Minneapolis-St. Paul office. “He provides vital digital and social media counsel, ensuring our clients are aware of the latest communications trends, tools and strategies.”

Krejci holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Minnesota.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Companies Scramble to Social Media

Many companies and organizations today want to be represented through social media, but have little or no knowledge of what this means. A company does not benefit from a social networking site like if it does not regularly update its page or know how to use the site to achieve its organizational objectives.

It is also important to find out if the publics important to your organization would even want or use these new social media tools. These tools bring with them many exciting opportunities, but they cannot simply be thrown around to suggest that your organization is cutting edge and hip. Many organization leaders saw the success of social media campaigns like Obama’s and now want to have that for their own organizations. It is not that simple. Every organization has different needs, goals, and publics, so each organization needs to design a campaign for its specific needs.

There are many resources that public relations practitioners can use to familiarize themselves with social media. These include the social media sites themselves, other practitioners and blogs such as The Social Media Marketing Blog found at

Corinne Long
University of Minnesota
JOUR 3279
Blog Assignment

Meet & Mingle with the Media

Everyone is invited to PRSA’s networking event, Meet & Mingle Wednesdays. May’s focus is networking with members of the media and PR professionals. Meet and mingle with producers, reporters and other personalities in the Twin Cities like Jason DeRusha, Jason Matheson, Alexis Thompson, Todd Walker, Neal Justin, Mandy Grosser and more at Crave, the new locally owned and operated restaurant at Mall of America. Also meet new industry peers. This is a great opportunity to expand your network of business friends and referral sources in a casual, lighthearted atmosphere.

Early registration is encouraged.

Light appetizers are included. A cash bar with happy hour specials on wine, beer and rail cocktails are available for the duration of the event.

Details & Registration:

Time: 6:00 p.m. Registration
6:30–8:00 p.m. Networking
Location: Crave at Mall of America®, level 3 south near Macy’s
Price: $10 members, $15 nonmembers
(Price increases by $5 after May 11th.)
Registration: Register online or contact the PRSA office by May 11th.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Losing Our Space?

As I sit on , Pandora, and Orkut, and email my professors questions about the day’s lectures, I think about how my computer is my hot seat when I get home. I can see what others are up to via and chat with friends on Facebook, all while I type up assignments for upcoming classes. But even with these wonderful conveniences, I often think about my privacy and what technology is doing to it.  

I am not saying that technology is bad by any means, but one can only imagine what we will be doing in the years to come and how we, as not only public relations specialists, but as regular people will have to adjust our lifestyles to technology. “Most technological advances in the last 20 years (or more) have taken away from our privacy. Very few have actually given us more privacy,” says a blogger on a naturist site, I can only agree.

Privacy aside, I love technology, but I don’t want to live in fear. 
Gabi Gesch
University of Minnesota
JOUR 3279
Blog Assignment

Friday, April 17, 2009

Social Media Not Just For Fun

What do you think of when you hear the words “” and “”? I think of a goldmine of information. I do not think enough strategic communicators are tapping in to that goldmine. Recently, an article was published in PR Tactics about how to successfully tap into the social media craze. did and it dramatically increased his visibility, especially among college students.

Not everything about social media is easy, but it offers important channels of information. More communications plans need to incorporate social media (and there are sites to help!), whether it be a page on Facebook or a video on . Web sites and blogs are also useful tools. Creating these can be easy, but monitoring them is not. A good reputation comes from encouraging positive conversation about clients or corporations.

As a college student, I get a lot of my information from social media. I feel I would get more messages if more corporations were online. The Internet is an integral part of my everyday life and where I turn first for information. Social media is not just for college students (or Internet users) anymore, so get online!

Laura Hay
University of Minnesota
JOUR 3279
Blog Assignment

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Branding Oneself Through Social Media

Social media is changing everything. From the way people conduct business within a company to the way people look for jobs, the environment is changing. With the networks that make privacy almost impossible, everything we do affects the brand we represent, whether we are in PR or not. That brand can be a person’s name they are establishing for themselves, or the company he or she works for, but privacy does not exist anymore.

Last week an IT recruiter and networking specialist came to one of my classes and gave a presentation about how to get a job or internship in this tough economy. He offered valuable advice to my class full of college students and explained how to market oneself to possible employers through social media.

We have all heard the suggestion, “clean up your profile,” but this presenter came bearing new advice: make your Facebook profile with basic information public–excluding crazy photos from the weekend–so that recruiters can see what you are all about when they are sifting through possible employees. He also suggested creating a public account. This allows job seekers to craft a personal brand and creatively sell themselves.

Later that day, I began thinking about this “branding oneself through social media” idea. If companies are utilizing this software daily to market products, why aren’t we job seekers utilizing it more to make a name for ourselves in this no-privacy world?

Ingrid Fellman
University of Minnesota
JOUR 3279
Blog Assignment

TVbyGirls - Producing messages for youth, by youth

It’s hard to deny the media’s ability to project certain perceptions. Growing up, I was a huge fan of the television show, “Dawson’s Creek”. I remember the night before my first day of high school, carefully picking out my outfit: a blue Calvin Klein tank top with black, “pleather” (shiny like plastic, no ventilation like leather) pants. I daydreamed about the James Van Der Beek look-alike who’d inevitably have his locker right next to mine.

Needless to say, this was not my experience. And instead of a James Van Der Beek look-alike, my locker was squished between a garbage can and a couple (I would have asked for their names, but that would have required them to stop making out). My point is, this glamorized vision of high school came into my head in part from the countless television shows and magazines that portrayed it that way.

This isn’t anybody’s fault. We know media cannot single-handedly change our worlds. But I can’t escape the thought of what “Dawson’s Creek” would have consisted of if it were created by teenagers themselves. What images of young people would we receive if youth had more say in the creation of media? I admire organizations that work to put youth on both ends of the spectrum by producing messages for the youth, by the youth.

TVbyGirls is an organization that enables young women to be the producers of their own media, allowing images of young women to be created by young women. Its work, and the work of others who encourage youth-produced messages, create a youth voice that isn’t just feedback, but a primary message.

Rashelle Holmgren
University of Minnesota
JOUR 3279
Blog Assignment

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Heart’s a “Twitter” - University of Minnesota - Blog Assignment

Professionals in communications have fallen in love with the latest social networking craze Twitter. But what’s all the “hubbub” about it anyway?

After some exploration through my personal account, I’ve found that Twitter can be useful in a way can’t. I’m following timely updates from local PR firms like , my university’s sports center and local news stations like . It’s been useful to have everything in one place while keeping up-to-date on the PR industry.

But why Twitter? I can get news, sports and entertainment news all in one place with a personal Google or Yahoo account. Who cares if I’m working on a project for school? Who cares about exact location?

The fact of the matter is that someone somewhere cares! People have an innate need to belong and connect to something, whether it is a student organization, a church group or an online social networking site. Communicators should jump on the Twitter bandwagon; as we learned in PR foundations class: put a message out in as many forms as possible, and it’s bound to be read by someone. With Twitter, you have the option to customize who you “follow” and who “follows” you. It’s an easy way to communicate with a target audience or generate new interest in a brand.

Now, I may not be a successful professional… yet. But I do know that the future of communication is here. All we have to do is put faith in the connection.

Trisha Heerah
University of Minnesota
JOUR 3279
Blog Assignment

Blogs are Twittering Their Way into Public Relations - University of Minnesota - Class Assignment

Blogs such as and MNPR definitely have an important place in strategic communication. Blogs are able to tap into the raw and truthful opinions of consumers without the forced communication behind surveys and focus groups. Although blogs can be very difficult for strategic communications professionals to monitor because of the vastness of the Internet, blogs are a location where consumers often enjoy discussing their genuine feelings towards products, brands, people, etc.

Blogs are an excellent tool for strategic communication clients. By successfully monitoring them, clients can gain valuable insight into consumer opinions and reach consumers in the most effective way. Although there are countless blogs of various topics on the Internet and it is often difficult to measure their credibility, legitimate posting sites such as Twitter serve as outlets for professionals or individuals in a field to share thoughts and ideas.

The most useful benefit of blogs is the freedom of the participants; those who post their opinions pertaining to products or brands are often doing so out of free will, and therefore their comments are more honest and accurate. For example, a thread on Twitter between friends discussed the unfavorable taste of energy drinks. “They taste like moldy fermented sweet tarts and make your heart explode” is a comment extremely valuable to energy drink clients, but probably too honest to be shared in focus group discussions.

Carly Morris
University of Minnesota
JOUR 3279
Blog Assignment

Job - UnitedHealth Group - Senior Marketing Communication Specialist

Monday, April 13, 2009

Job - Gage Marketing - Management Supervisor

Job - University of Minnesota - Events Coordinator - Prin Ofc & Admin Specialist

Thursday, April 09, 2009


The Minneapolis-Saint Paul office of Weber Shandwick has selected People Serving People (PSP), the largest and most comprehensive family-focused shelter in Minnesota, as its pro bono client for 2009, citing the strong need for increased visibility and support to address the long-term causes of homelessness in the community. With the state’s unemployment rate at a 26-year-high, combined with the sub-prime mortgage crisis and economic recession, Minnesota families are seeking the services of emergency housing shelters at an overwhelming rate.

PSP works to provide homeless children and their families with a new opportunity for healthy and stable lives, offering on-site services such as a pre-school and infant/toddler childcare center, medical clinic, housing and employment center, job training center, mental health and counseling services, computer labs, libraries and a cafeteria. In 2008, the number of families at PSP rose 15 percent, with an average of 312 guests per day.
“We are privileged to help tell the stories of People Serving People this year,” said Sara Gavin, president of Weber Shandwick’s Minneapolis-St. Paul office. “In these challenging economic times, we need to support important resources in our community that help meet the immediate needs of children and families.”
In past years, Weber Shandwick’s pro bono program has divided its provided public relations services among a number of local non-profits, but this year it will put all of its resources behind just one organization in a challenge to make a significant and measurable difference for PSP. One of Weber Shandwick’s goals is to have its entire staff step through the doors of People Serving People, either as a volunteer or simply for a tour, in order to transform all staff into community advocates for the organization and its mission.
“With increased foreclosures and financial pressures, more and more families are in crisis,” said Jim Minor, PSP president and CEO. “Weber Shandwick’s partnership will help us communicate that children are the youngest casualties in this economic crisis, but with smart intervention, we can provide long-term stability
for families.”   
In addition to working with pro bono clients, Weber Shandwick’s community outreach efforts include an annual communications workshop for non-profit agencies across the state and several daylong work projects. During the past 10 years, the agency’s Minneapolis office has provided more than $1 million in services to more than 30 organizations. 

New MNPR Group on Facebook!

Now that we have such at strong showing on , I thought it would be fun to start a group on Facebook.

Check it out & sign up:

Job - ServeMinnesota - Director of Marketing and Communications

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

April 21, 2009 - BMA-Minnesota Session to Explore B2B Lead Generation Strategies

Lead generation is important when business is booming and essential in a tough economy. The Minnesota chapter of the Business Marketing Association (BMA-Minnesota) will host Brian Carroll, CEO of InTouch, a specialized lead generation company, and industry expert on B2B lead generation, for a feature presentation, “Eight Critical Success Factors for Lead Generation.” The session will be held on April 21, 2009 at the Calhoun Beach Club in Minneapolis , Minn. from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

“Lead generation is an essential part of a successful business model,” said Chris Schermer, president of BMA-Minnesota. “Brian’s insights are applicable across industries and are significant during all economic climates.”

Brian will highlight eight critical success factors for lead generation that help fill the sales pipeline, even in today’s tough economy. Discussion topics include:
  • Aligning sales and marketing efforts to optimize the number of leads
  • Avoiding lulls in the sales cycle
  • Developing Universal Lead Definition (ULD) and ideal customer profile (ICP)
  • Building, maintaining and growing your database
  • Multi-modal lead nurturing
  • Readying yourself for what’s next: new and promising tactics

Members of BMA are invited to join a small group discussion and in-depth Q&A session immediately following the presentation and will have a chance to win an autographed book from Brian.

The program will run from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. with registration and continental breakfast beginning at 7:30 a.m. The cost of the event is $25 for BMA members and $40 for non-members. Attendees can register online at through April 20. A limited number of walk-up registrations will be available.

Start with a Lead: Eight Critical Success Factors for Lead Generation, can be downloaded at

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Kane Consulting - Social Media 101 - A Beginner Bootcamp

Social media is changing the nature of communications, marketing and sales. But something has been missing in the buzz – how do you actually DO this stuff?
"Social Media 101 - A Beginner Bootcamp" will teach participants basic social media strategies and skills that can be applied immediately to enhance business and marketing efforts.
Join top educators in the industry for one of two day-long workshops for immersion in social media:
April 24, 2009 from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at Aloft Hotel in Minneapolis
May 18, 2009 from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at Aloft Hotel in Minneapolis
The event will start with a  strategic overview on why social media is relevant, how it works, and why it works. Breakout sessions will then explore the different social media tools and how to use them, including:
  • Blogs
  • Twitter
  • Social Media Communities (Facebook/LinkedIn)
  • Mobile (social media on the go)
Additionally, the day will include open lab periods where attendees can network with each other, explore applications and set-up accounts. Our social media SWAT team will be on hand throughout the day to answer questions and provide technical support.
This workshop promises to arm attendees with:
  • A better understanding of the social media landscape, how to fit into it, and use it to market a business or organization;
  • A basic road map and skill set for navigating the tools of the trade;
  • Your own burgeoning social network of like-minded professionals;
  • A flash drive loaded with additional resources - a "virtual tool kit" - to take back to the office and keep for personal or professional use.
To register for this event, please visit Cost to attend is $200.00 and includes continental breakfast, lunch, parking and conference supplies. All participants receive a flash drive as a gift for attending.
For additional details or to view information on each of our educators, please view the social media release at:

AdFed - Change in Size of Agencies, from Big to Boutique

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Want to know what it's like to work at a boutique-sized agency? Find out from three local agency veterans during the upcoming Ad Fed April luncheon. Hear stories from Jason Smith, co-founder of Pocket Hercules; Jim Scott, managing partner/co-founder of mono; and Michelle Fitzgerald, who co-launched the creative communications company Brew in 2006.

Smith departed from Carmichael Lynch, a large agency where he was an art director, to become co-founder of Pocket Hercules (, where he is also the creative director.

Scott has been in the advertising industry for 15 years. He left Carmichael Lynch, where he managed accounts that ranged from Harley Davidson to Volvo to Northwest Airlines, to become managing partner/co-founder of mono ( Scott's role is to help lead mono's growth and work closely with clients on defining brand strategy and market planning.

Fitzgerald co-founded Brew ( with acclaimed creative director Bruce Bildsten. Prior to that, Fitzgerald worked at Fallon as director of its communications planning group. Over the years she has worked on a variety of well-known brands including Best Buy, BMW, Brawny, Nordstrom, Target and Virgin Mobile. Fitzgerald is noted for being one of the original pioneers of communications planning in the United States. She is also the two-time winner of The Media Plan of the Year award by AdWeek and MediaWeek.

Register online or call the Ad Fed office at .

Speaker: Michelle Fitzgerald, co-founder of the creative communications company, Brew
Jim Scott, managing partner/co-founder of mono
Jason Smith, co-founder of Pocket Hercules
When: Wednesday, April 15, 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 Luncheon Presentation
Adjournment and Networking

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

(add $10 after 04/13/2009)
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, April 13, 2009.

Job - Mosaic - Director, Community Involvement

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Job - Haberman - Interactive Storyteller

April Fools? - Ely wants the 2016 Olympics!

Ely, Minn., the gateway to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, has today announced it is offering a late-entry bid to host the summer Olympic Games in 2016. Watch the press conference at or

Though Chicago is formally nominated as the United States Candidate City for the 2016 Games, Ely plans to submit its paperwork immediately to the International Olympic Committee, finalizing its bid for the 2016 Olympics.

“We missed the first deadline for the bid by a couple of years, but we are optimistic,” says Roger Skraba, Ely’s mayor. “Our 1.3 million acres of untouched wilderness is beyond compare, so there’s plenty of room for Ely to host thousands of athletes and more than a million visitors, and we have lots of space for the facilities.”

Plans are already moving forward for Ely 2016. “We’re draining Miners Lake to create the first in-ground Olympic Stadium, carving seats into the rock,” says Mayor Skraba. “Olympic Village? Yep. Aquatic facility? Absolutely. Rhythmic gymnastics? Badminton? Judo? No problem.”

“We won’t have any trouble pulling this event together,” adds the mayor. “Peter Ueberroth says the time is right for the Games to come back to America in 2016, well, why not Ely?”

The International Olympic Committee has so far offered no comment to Ely’s announcement. “We look forward to working with those guys,” adds Mayor Skraba. “And we’ll extend a hand of friendship to Chicago too so they don’t feel too bad about losing. Ely would be more than happy to let the Windy City host an event or two, if they feel up for it. But they’ve got political problems of their own now, they might just be relieved to hand things over to us.”

For more information, and to book a trip to Ely before the Olympic crush of 2016, please visit or call .

Get coverage of the . See .


Increase Your Chances of Winning a Kindle 2 by Donating Real Eggs for the Hungry

Moving the message of “social media for social good” across Twitter, has created a special holiday partnership with for the first annual Easter Twegg Drop.  Axiom’s old English phone booth will house 2,009 plastic Easter eggs filled with Twitter ID contest entries – representing the tweets and hard-boiled egg donations of 2,009 Twitterers. 

“With Axiom’s growing knowledge of social media and their continuing charitable contributions to fight hunger throughout the Twin Cities, we believe this contest helps strengthen our organization’s mission of social responsibility,” said Alan Graham, president of Mobile Loaves & Fishes.  “It’s a creative approach to raise awareness of an issue that continues to impact millions of people throughout the country.”

For every contest entry, a single egg drops into the booth. One lucky participant will win a Kindle 2 after the eggs roll out post-Easter Sunday and a name is announced. The winner will be featured on the Axiom blog at  The blog will also show video updates on reaching the 2,009 goal.

Twitter users can enter the contest one of two ways, but those wishing to increase their chances of winning (an additional Twegg entry added to the phone booth) may choose both options:

1) Tweet the message: Real Eggs for the Hungry. Win a Kindle 2! #tweggdrop
2) Make a direct egg donation of $5 or more to Mobile Loaves & Fishes at their site (

PLEASE NOTE: Deadline for entries is April 12 midnight.

Thank you for spreading the message of feeding the hungry, and Happy Easter!
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