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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

PR Tips for Schools Looking to Increase Enrollment

It is common for specialty schools to be so busy that they do not think about marketing their school for future students. One of the best things a specialty school can do for itself is invest time in learning how to work directly with the press. Local media can be a valuable marketing tool of advertising one’s specialty school or college to the general public.

Expanded communication is important for specialty schools that rely on a certain audience for enrollment. By making communication a priority, a school can make a marketing campaign that includes determining their image and what makes them better than comparable schools. Find a compelling story that aligns with your school’s purpose and use it to market your school and its success.

In many cases, administrators do not understand the real value of cultivating good public relations skills. It’s time to change thinking as a school ultimately is a business and this enrollment is the return on investment. The benefits of becoming more proactive will lead to a more positive future for the specialty school or college.

“Any school, whether public or private, will go through these complex image problems. Ultimately a specialty school or college’s first priority should be the health, safety and well-being of their students and staff. With that, it’s important to continuing adding to the dynamic of the school and gain more students over time,” said Cindy Nichols, who runs a school that teaches students how to become a flight attendant.

A specialty school such as will need to learn their audience and how to market to them.

"Job fairs are a great way to find potential students who are looking for a career or a school to attend during their transition period," said Brooks Hitchcock, marketing spokesperson for a Minneapolis tree service. "Marketing to high school seniors is another valuable way to gain new students. Whatever marketing campaign is used, it’s important to devise valuable approaches to continuing enrollment so the success of a school continues time and time again."

Job - H.B. Fuller - Digital Communications Specialist

Friday, June 26, 2015

Job - Minnesota Department of Human Services - Communications and Web Coordinator

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Job - Weber Shandwick - Account Executive

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Job - PadillaCRT - Senior Account Executive, Business-to-Business

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Job - Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota - Internal Communications Consultant

Job - The Ordway - Public Relations Coordinator

Monday, June 22, 2015

Apple Nudging Its Way Into the Search Industry

In an apparent attempt to chip away at Google’s user base, Apple has been improving the search capabilities of the Spotlight feature on its iOS 9. In fact, several influential bloggers have recently expressed their belief that Apple will transform Spolight into a functional search engine.

The Spotlight app features a very convenient search function that offers personalized news and information to its users before they search for it. Once you open Spotlight, you will have the ability to access recent news, local businesses and their primary contacts.

What this truly means is that Apple users will have one less step to take when it comes to online searching. This fact could result in a diminished user and client base for Google in the future.

With Google, searching for tips for building an outdoor patio will result in a list of websites that offer advice services related to deck building. At times, it can be challenging to find information that fills all of your informational needs. With Spotlight, a search for deck building tips will bring you straight to the tips themselves within its app, eliminating the need for a long search process.

Job - Xcel Energy - Communications Consultant (Executive Webcasts & Meetings)

Friday, June 19, 2015

Five Minutes with a Legend: Sara Gavin

Sara Gavin, president of Weber Shandwick North America, received the Donald G. Padilla Distinguished Practitioner award at this year's Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards.

1.      What role has PRSA had in your career?

Early in my career, PRSA was a bit of a lifeline – it was a place to meet people, a resource and, in many ways, the place to learn what great work looked like. I was on the awards committee that named our Minnesota chapter’s awards, “The Classics.” Earlier this month I attended the , the national awards celebration, and so many awards went to Minnesota pros – an acknowledgment of superb work by a professional community that focuses on high standards, integrity and creativity. PRSA and the professional community here nurture that ethic.

Weber Shandwick actively supports participation in PRSA by our colleagues. We have only one requirement: Be involved – participate in a committee, attend, hold office. And I always see how those colleagues grow professionally as a result, including the talented who served as president of the chapter several years ago.

2.      What are some of the key lessons that you have learned in your career?

They probably boil down to five:
  • Listen well.  Most situations have nuances, considerations and complexities.
  • Integrity is core.
  • Kindness and attentiveness matter. That doesn’t mean you have to be a milquetoast or are absolved from making tough decisions. But we work for and through and with people.
  • Be an avid learner. Our discipline – and marketing services, generally – are on a bullet train of change.
  • This profession requires that we work very hard. So seek out – and help actively create – an environment that attracts and keeps talented people, infuse it with creativity, openness, humor, laughter and fun. It’s our jet fuel.

3.      You have been very involved in the community. What are some noteworthy milestones/accomplishments by organizations in which you have been involved? 

This community has such a rich array of organizations and people who daily work to make it better.  

Sara Gavin, President of Weber Shandwick North America
Some highlights for me: Being a past trustee of St. Kate’s during the time when Andrea Lee came as president to lead the university so brilliantly; being a past trustee of MPR/APMG as it resourcefully led during such dynamic change in the media industry; serving currently on the board of College Possible as it scales nationally its proven model for college access; and recently joining the Second Harvest Heartland board, an incredibly innovative organization that tackles the fundamental problem of hunger in our community. 

It’s been inspiring, humbling and exciting. My takeaway is that this is a community that steps up. The more we do so, the more resilient the Twin Cities and Minnesota will be. It’s an imperative, not a nice-to-do.

4.      What advice would you give to new public relations practitioners?

There’s never been a better time to enter our field. The core precepts of our discipline – storytelling, authenticity, transparency, engagement, two (or more)-way conversation, trust – have more salience than ever. The power of digital and social and visual communications makes so much more possible.  

My advice is:
  • Be insatiably curious. 
  • With all the skills, knowledge and teamwork that it takes to build out an integrated solution, give up on the idea that you’ll be the smartest person in the room. Hone your teamwork skills. Share credit generously.
  • Be comfortable in your own skin. Be yourself very well.
  • Mistakes can be your friend, if you choose to learn from them.
  • Be aware of your sphere of influence (you have one) and use your personal agency to improve the work we deliver, and the workplace.
  • This one is important: Find a place that fits for you, that aligns with your temperament and work style. Be on the lookout for a place that values innovation, even though it is hard work.
  • Last, have fun. Sweat the details of course, but don’t worry too much. Embrace the ride. It’s a good one. 

Job - Valspar Corporation - Marketing Communications Manager

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Job - Comcast - Director, Media/External Communication

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Bellmont Partners Adds Three New Hires to Growing Agency Team, Promotes Gruenewald to Account Executive

Minneapolis-based Bellmont Partners has added three new public relations and strategic communications professionals to the agency, including Alison Buckneberg as Account Supervisor, Megan Derkey as Senior Account Executive and Erin Lilliencrantz as Account Coordinator. It also announced the promotion of Briana Gruenewald to Account Executive.
“We are thrilled to welcome Alison, Megan and Erin to our growing team of communications professionals, and to give Briana a well-deserved promotion,” says Jen Bellmont, Bellmont Partners’ chief operating officer. “As our agency continues to expand, each one of these professionals’ unique experience will be key in providing new and existing clients with the excellent service, strategy and execution they have come to expect from Bellmont Partners.” The new team members’ expertise further strengthens Bellmont Partners’ focus in a number of areas, particularly business-to-business.
Buckneberg brings more than eight years of experience to the agency. Prior to Bellmont Partners, she worked at Maccabee Group, a Minneapolis-based PR agency. There, she worked with a wide range of clients in the professional services, technology and consumer product industries. In addition to her current role, Buckneberg will continue her work as a volunteer social media manager and public information officer with Le Sueur County Emergency Management, which she has served in since 2011. She has a B.A. degree in Strategic Communications from the University of Minnesota’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
Derkey joins Bellmont Partners with seven years of experience managing marketing communications for multiple global technology companies. Most recently, she was at GNet Group, a global Microsoft services company. Prior to that she spent several years at XRS, a mobile application company in the transportation industry where her work won two Platinum MarCom Awards, as well as a PR News Platinum PR Award honorable mention. She has also served as a member of the PRSA Classics committee, and was a board member for Minnesota Women in Marketing Communications (MWMC). Derkey attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she received a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, and also minored in Architecture.
Lilliencrantz was most recently a Bellmont Partners intern, supporting the agency’s many media
relations, events and social media projects. She also worked as a community management ambassador at Periscope by monitoring social media channels for a major restaurant brand. Previously, she worked as a marketing and communication intern for Wishes & More, a local wish-granting nonprofit organization. Lilliencrantz is a recent graduate of the University of St. Thomas, where she earned a degree in Communication and Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations and a minor in Business Administration.
Gruenewald had been an assistant account executive at Bellmont Partners since 2014, with experience in journalism, cause marketing, communications, promotions and design. She has been a key contributor to several client projects, including Public Art Saint Paul’s CREATE: The Community Meal, which recently won the Best Community Relations Campaign award from Ragan’s PR Daily.
For more information about Bellmont Partners and its newest team members, visit

Job - Insightformation, Inc. - Public Relations/Marketing Internship

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Job - Careers at TSI - Marketing Event Planner

PR Caffeine Launches EspreSEO Search Engine Optimization Package

With 93 percent of online experiences beginning with a search engine, search engine optimization (SEO) has become a necessity for website owners. To assist businesses nationwide in harnessing the marketing power of SEO, PR Caffeine has launched EspreSEO.

“EspreSEO is PR Caffeine’s full menu of SEO strategies that we use to perk up our clients’ search rankings. We know what the search engines like and don’t like,” said Ryan Berkness, founder and CEO of PR Caffeine. “Our job is to serve up our clients’ content just the way they want it. A shot of EspreSEO does for businesses what caffeine does for the body -- it energizes it!”

PR Caffeine’s EspreSEO package contains:
·         On-page optimization
·         Inbound content marketing
·         Local search website optimization
·         Link strategy
·         Social media marketing
·         Reporting and support           

The package begins with a project manager who coordinates a full-bodied campaign staffed with SEO programmers and link-building experts. Clients can access the status of their campaigns through PR Caffeine’s online dashboard, which is available 24/7. In addition, campaign reports are delivered to clients on a weekly and monthly basis.

. A free SEO audit report can be requested at

Hoffman Joins PadillaCRT as Senior Vice President

Edward Hoffman, a food and beverage marketer with more than 20 years of industry experience, has joined as senior vice president and leader of the agency’s Food, Beverage and Nutrition Group. He’s based in the agency’s New York office.
Hoffman brings to PadillaCRT extensive experience in branding and strategic marketing in the food and beverage industry. For the past six years, he served as executive vice president at Porter Novelli, where he provided strategic marketing communications expertise to food and beverage clients in all channels of the industry – consumer, foodservice and ingredient. Ed also previously founded the food marketing consultancy, The Varick Group, as well as held leadership roles at Landor Associates and Ketchum.
“The food, beverage and nutrition sector is a strong growth area for PadillaCRT, particularly given our extensive work with commodities. Ed’s depth of experience in food and beverage marketing will be key to our expansion in this area,” said Lynn Casey, PadillaCRT CEO. “Ed will be leading an exceptional group of talented individuals dedicated to all things food and beverage.”
PadillaCRT is currently providing strategic counsel and communications execution to a variety of food and beverage clients, including the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, Florida Sweet Corn Exchange, Florida Tomato Commission, Hass Avocados, Les Vins Georges Duboeuf, North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission, Prosciutto di Parma, U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, Van Gogh Vodka and Wines from Rioja (Spain).
“PadillaCRT has a stellar reputation in food, beverage and nutrition, and I’m excited to be a part of it,” said Hoffman. “With the agency’s other strong capabilities in branding, creative design, digital and health care, we expect great opportunities and great expansion in the food and beverage sectors.”
Hoffman is actively involved in several industry organizations, including the American Marketing Association, International Culinary Professionals and International Foodservice Editorial Council.

Start Fresh Recovery Program chooses Maccabee Public Relations of Minneapolis as its agency of record

Start Fresh Recovery Program, the national program which suppresses alcohol cravings using a minimally-invasive, time-released implant of the FDA-approved drug Naltrexone, has chosen Maccabee Public Relations of Minneapolis as its agency for media relations, social media marketing and communications.

Headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, Start Fresh Recovery Program has locations in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and a newly-opened office in Minneapolis/St. Paul. For more information on Start Fresh Recovery, visit:

Monday, June 15, 2015

Job - 2nd Wind Exercise Equipment - Online Marketing Manager

Friday, June 12, 2015

CCF Announces Hull the Director of Business Development

Minneapolis-based advertising agency Clarity Coverdale Fury announced yesterday that has been named Director of Brand Development.

Hull has been with the agency for four years as Associate Director of Brand Development, leading the strategy on one of the agency’s largest accounts, ClearWay Minnesota, as well as serving on CCF’s leadership team.

"I am thrilled to be taking on this leadership role at Clarity Coverdale Fury. We have a roster of smart, savvy clients that I am proud to work with, and I am particularly passionate about our focus on Conscious Consumers. From day one, it's been a wonderful fit,” explains Hull.

Rob Rankin, President of CCF, says, "Molly has provided exceptional leadership with our teams internally and with our client brands. Her ability to pull all of the pieces of the puzzle together and provide integrated strategic thinking is second to none. As our industry continues to evolve, Molly is exactly the right person for us at exactly the right time."

Thursday, June 11, 2015

12 Expert PR Tips to Save Your Reputation When You Are in Legal Trouble

If you are a public figure or you work in a leadership role for a business, being placed under arrest or being charged with a crime can seriously damage your reputation and also the survival of the professional organization in which you are employed. Even if you are found not guilty or if the charges are dropped, repairing your damaged public image can be a difficult process.

Times have changed. In the past, the public had a limited number of resources in which to secure real-time information. They had to form their opinion based on information that the major news outlets provided them. Today, we are in the age of information. Because of the Internet, any subject that the public wishes to “dig deeper” into is just a click away. This is why – if you or your brand has acquired legal problems – you should expect that the public will know the details of your case.

Five professionals with knowledge in legal public relations (PR) or crisis management have provided the following PR tips that you should employ if you ever find yourself in legal trouble while you are in the public eye.

Be transparent.

“Because of the Internet, the public may have access to detailed information regarding any legal case. This is exactly why many public figures get into trouble. They lie. Your public image is already in jeopardy. If you are caught being dishonest when you discuss the case, you have dug yourself into an even deeper hole.”

– William Mauzy, owner of Mauzy Criminal Defense Attorneys.

Own up to your mistakes.

“You would be surprised by how forgiving the public can be if you do not try to run and hide from a situation. When John F. Kennedy admitted his wrongdoing and misjudgements after the disastrous Cuban Missile Crisis, his approval ratings quickly rose. Although he was not charged with a crime, this situation proves that the public may in fact forgive you if you simply fess up.”

– Thomas Beedem, a Minneapolis Long Term Disability Lawyer.

Try to use humor.

“Depending on what your specific legal dilemma might be, it might be wise to consider using humor to lighten the situation. Of course, humor would not be appropriate if you were charged with a crime that involved a tragedy.”

– Mark Herman, criminal defense attorney and owner of Expungement Lawyer MN.

Make sure that you have thought carefully about your response.

“When it is time to face the public, do not make the mistake of coming up with a response on the spot. Make sure that you have thought carefully about what you will say. After all, every word matters in a fragile situation. Saying one wrong thing can mean the end of your public image as you know it.”

– Deb Carney, PR spokesperson for Erotas Building Corporation.

Do not hide behind a logo.

“During a crisis, do not hide behind your brand or your company logo. If you have a social media profile, for example, your profile image should not be your company logo. People want to see your face so that they know there is a human behind the image. This is not the time to advertise.”

– Joshua London of Brockton Hunter Criminal Defense Attorneys.

Make it easy for reporters to get information.

“When you fail to cooperate with reporters, you should know that doing so might – in a way – turn them against you. On the other side, providing them with as much information as you can and being openly available will help you develop a better relationship and it will work in your favor. This is especially important when your brand has come under legal fire.”

– Chris Ochs of Windsor Companies.

Carefully monitor what is said about your brand.

"When your reputation is in trouble (such as when you have been accused of a crime), spend time monitoring what has been said about you in the media before you make a statement. This will allow you to form a much more educated and effective response."

– Barb Tresbesch of Corporate Mechanical.

Keep your company organized.

"When your organization is in legal trouble, it is reasonable to believe that panic will ensue within the office. It is crucial that you do what you can to maintain order so that everyone can work together to figure out the best possible solution."

– Jessica Tesdall of Central Roofing Company.

Make sure that you fully understand the impact of your response.

"Before you make a statement to the public regarding your legal problems, carefully study the possible influence that your response will have on your business. How have other organizations facing similar situations responded and how did their response impact their business and their revenue?"

– Mitchell Otterson of Altemp Mechanical.

Carefully decide what channels you should utilize to address the public.

"During a time of crisis, it is important to consider the location in which you can best connect with the public. For example, will you response via your company blog? How will you handle the comments that may arise under your response? How will these comments impact your brand reputation?"

– Denise Raeker. Pro Vision Construction.

Get ahead of the problem.

"If your organization is in legal trouble, begin considering your PR strategy as early as possible. This will allow you to get ahead of the crisis. Create a detailed plan for your response to ensure the security of your reputation and your productivity."

– Dean Bjorkstrand, CEO of Dean Bjorkstrand Landscaping.

Create a team or hire a professional that is dedicated to your PR.

"If you have the resources, hire someone to focus solely on your PR strategy. When you are in legal trouble, your most productive option is to put all of your focus on the case itself. That is why you should allow someone to help you address the public. It should not be done alone."

– Jeff Winter of AmeriCare.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Job - Lola Red PR - Assistant Publicist

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Job - Vital Images, Inc., a Toshiba Medical Systems Group Company - Internship

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Forry has joined Weber Shandwick as Vice President of content strategy

Clinton Forry has joined Weber Shandwick as Vice President of content strategy. Forry has 15 years of experience working at various firms, including Ameriprise Financial Services, Brain Traffic and Public Radio International. He strives to help clients create content strategies that tell good stories, from beginning to end – incorporating market and industry analysis, social media engagement, editorial content creation, information architecture and every other aspect of content marketing.
Forry brings his expertise in planning, producing and editing content across many media to Weber Shandwick’s growing network of creatives.
Asked about the essence of content strategy, he says, “Clients, businesses and organizations are pressured to do more and more to keep up with everything. My perspective as a content strategist is to do more of what’s right, and less of what’s not working. And that requires making hard decisions, some soul-searching and paying attention to other industry trends, analytics, and the like.”
Learn more here.

Griffin Archer has been selected by Sotéa

Griffin Archer, a Minneapolis-based advertising agency, has been selected by Sotéa to help reposition and rebrand their carbonated tea products. Griffin Archer will partner with CPG Advisors to introduce the brand to the national stage through a holistic brand engagement and retail strategy. Sotéa, a Wisconsin-based, family-owned business is poised for success on a national level with their unique, authentic green tea products as a formidable alternative to traditional soda choices.

Job - MOM Brands - Public Relations/Social Manager

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Job - Yelp - Community Manager - Twin Cities

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Job - CBS Radio - Promotion Coordinator

Job - Fraser - Internet Marketing and Communications Specialist

Monday, June 01, 2015

3 Healthcare Public Relations Mistakes to Avoid

I recently discussed three public relations tips for healthcare providers. With healthcare being such a diverse and significant field, I feel that it the topic should be examined further. My previous article discussed PR actions that you should take in order to enhance your healthcare brand’s reputation. This time, I am discussing three PR mistakes that doctors, medical offices and all healthcare-related organizations should avoid.

Mistake #1: You fail to consider the local population.
When you are creating news releases and materials for media communications, do not write only for a broad audience. Consider the local population. Why? It is because people will have an easier time relating to news that is associated with their immediate surroundings. For example, those looking for allergy information in Minnesota will want to know about local allergens and not those in Florida.

Mistake #2: You do not write your media releases for a specific reporter or media personality.

“In order to successfully distribute your healthcare press releases via a reporter, make sure that you have written your material with that specific reporter in mind,” said Holly Westbrock, spokesperson for the chiropractors at Premier Sports & Spine. “Check out the articles that they have published and make sure that your notes follows a similar format.”

Mistake #3: In your press release, your first paragraph is…boring.

From a marketing perspective, healthcare is an incredibly competitive industry. That is why – when it comes to written healthcare-related PR material or marketing articles – you truly need to grab the reader’s attention right away. If you do not do so quickly, it is unlikely that your readers will continue reading this or any article that you release.

Job - Lakewinds Food Co-op - Assistant Marketing Manager

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