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Minnesota Public Relations Blog

The most recent news, jobs and events in Minnesota Public Relations. On twitter @mnpr.

Updated: 2017-01-20T08:05:08.130-06:00


Preston Kelly Announces New Leadership


PrestonKelly, long-time and award-winning Minneapolis branding agency, today announced that Jennifer Gove has assumed the position of President, effective immediately.  “Jennifer’s fanatical passion for our industry and born leadership abilities make her the ideal candidate to help guide our evolving agency,” said Chuck Kelly, Chief Executive Officer, Preston Kelly. “With Jennifer’s brand success stories and client relationship skills, we are strategically aligned for exceptional work and growth into 2017 and beyond.”As President, Jennifer will serve as key leader of the agency, helping to drive evolution and next-generation thinking, including fostering breakthrough and strategic brand and digital work. Among her responsibilities will be leading business development and account management.“I was born into an advertising agency owning family, literally learning the business at my grandfather’s knee,” according to Gove. “This step into an up and coming agency like Preston Kelly is what I’ve been planning my career toward. Preston Kelly’s Iconic Ideas approach and the results they’ve been getting for growth-minded clients is nicely aligned with what I believe and how I like to work.”Jennifer has more than 20 years of agency experience in consumer and business-to-business marketing and branding.  For the past nine years, Jennifer has been leading a newly formed division at Olson with her most recent title Vice President, Managing Director. She is a sought-after industry speaker and has been leading teams internationally and domestically on some of the world’s most successful Lottery campaigns. Recent clients have included the Minnesota Lottery, Fifth Third Bank, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, University of Virginia, St. Luke’s Health System and Allen Edmonds, to name a few.  Prior to Olson, Jennifer was Account Director at Colle+McVoy where she worked on Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Nestle Purina and Minnesota Lottery. In addition to account management, her early career consisted of media planning, public relations and production as well. Originally from Syracuse, NY, Jennifer left the east coast to attend the advertising school at Southern Illinois University, making the great Midwest her home.[...]

PadillaCRT Selected As Bordeaux Wines U.S. Public Relations Agency of Record


The Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB), which represents and promotes nearly 6,600 wine growers and 300 wine merchants in France’s respected Bordeaux wine region, has selected PadillaCRT as its public relations agency of record for the United States. The work will be based primarily out of the agency’s New York office.  
“We’re excited to partner with PadillaCRT on our consumer, trade and influencer public relations activities in the U.S.,” said François Jumeau, CIVB marketing manager. “PadillaCRT’s creativity, dynamism and professionalism, as well as its extensive experience working with other wine regions, make the agency an ideal fit for promoting Bordeaux wines.” 
“Bordeaux is considered one of the world’s seminal wine regions,” said Lynn Casey, PadillaCRT CEO. “What makes Bordeaux so exciting is that its wines come in a variety of styles, colors and price points, so there is a great opportunity to tell the full story of Bordeaux wines and showcase their versatility and food-friendliness. The unparalleled history of the region is coupled with a new generation of growers and winemakers who honor both innovation and deep-rooted tradition. 

They are expanding the definition of Bordeaux, while remaining anchored in the spirit of the region’s people and wine. PadillaCRT is thrilled with the opportunity to work with the region at such a dynamic time.”

Clarity Coverdale Fury to Elevate Animal Conservation from 6700 Feet


The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo – a leading force in animal conservation and endangered species protection – has chosen Clarity Coverdale Fury (CCF) to head up its advertising and marketing efforts.

Located in Colorado Springs, CO (and the only zoo in the country to be located on a mountainside), the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo uses the beauty of the animal kingdom as a gateway to inspire people into action that helps conservation efforts both here and around the globe.

“There is a lot of synergy between the conservation work Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is known for and CCF’s work with conscious consumers that made them a natural fit for us,” said Jenny Koch, Marketing Director for Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo was named 6th best zoo in the country and 16th best zoo in the world in the most recent TripAdvisor Top Zoos ranking.

With ‘Giraffe Cams’, breathtaking vistas, over 30 endangered species and their ‘Quarters for Conservation’ program – the Colorado-based zoo is a truly unique experience that helps fund conservation initiatives with every single visit.

“We’re looking forward to working with a team and an organization that has such a clear mission that aligns with ours,” said Jim Landry, CCF’s Executive Creative Director. “At Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, it’s about having fun and inspiring positive change.”

Continuing its tradition of partnering with brands that believe in helping create behavioral change for the good and following a string of other recent new and current client wins, CCF extends its position as a strong and forward-thinking leader in the advertising and marketing industry.

What Will 2017 Bring for SEO & Digital Marketing?


frameborder="0" height="61" scrolling="no" src="" width="50">By Hannah Scherrer, SEO Content Specialist at Rocket55Where did 2016 go? Time flies when you’re sending snapchats and sharing videos on Facebook Live. As we all know, looking forward is the only way to survive in the constantly changing world of digital marketing. That being said, it’s time to consider which 2016 SEO and digital marketing trends will continue to be popular in 2017.Let’s talk SEO first...Mobile Will Continue to GrowThis just in: phones are still popular (gasp). All jokes aside, Google has confirmed that mobile search will continue to be developed and improved in 2017. We expect that in-app indexing will advance within search engines in order to meet high demands for mobile search experiences.Thanks to Google, More Targeted Attacks on Spam WebsitesCatching “spammy” websites will be quicker and more efficient than ever with the release of the Penguin 4.0 update. The update will run in real time with the Google algorithm and will target specific webpages rather than an entire website. Penguin 4.0 update also will give important insights into how long it takes a website to recover from poor linking techniques.Title Tags Will Become All about IntentWe disagree with predictions that title tags will become obsolete. Title tags or keywords, in our opinion, will simply become more about user intent rather than matching exact order of keywords or phrases. Google is only getting better at understanding what the user is truly searching for online and we expect keyword searching to follow this trend.Let’s Get InteractiveTechnology such as virtual reality has increased expectations for interactive digital experiences. In 2017 we will continue to see an upsurge in content more engaging than ever before. While there will still be a need for quality written content, there’s going to be a continuing trend for content that interacts with the consumer.Did We Mention Intention?That’s a good segue into another discussion on user intent-based content (say that five times fast). Overflowing a webpage with keywords is going out of style, as it has become blatantly apparent that understanding where users want to get to is the key to ranking success. Programs like RankBrain are leading the way in artificial intelligence systems that pinpoint the user’s desires, rather than simply matching keywords and phrases.Awesome PossumGoogle’s new Possum update is going to be heavily location-based. In an effort to make Google your number one for directions and suggestions on where to make a pit stop, Possum will weed out spam or businesses that don’t actually exist at a location listed online. The update will benefit users who get quality reviews from clients and will give them a little jolt in the rankings.Expect More from SiriWe anticipate that there will be a big push for voice search optimization going into 2017. While businesses are aware of Google Home and Amazon Echo, the new year will likely bring about revamped mobile voice search for incredibly convenient in-home or on-the-go assistance from best friends like Siri.What about Social Media?More Content that Disappears in SecondsWho would’ve guessed that some of the most popular social content would be the kind that expires before you can read it? Snapchat started this trend and in 2017 other social platforms will follow in their footsteps. Instagram just added the (expiring) story feature and now Facebook Messenger has the option to send messages that expire after a certain timeframe. Our advice? Brush up on your screenshotting skills.More Chatting on SnapchatIf you have[...]

Southdale Center hires Amy Siegel as new director of marketing and business development


Southdale Center has announced the hiring of Amy Siegel as its new director of marketing and business development. Siegel is returning to Southdale Center’s marketing department where she worked from 2011-2013 as a marketing administrator before moving to a management role at another Simon center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
With a background in sales, employee management, marketing, and special events coordination, Siegel joins the Southdale Center team with enthusiasm for creating great experiences for guests. 
“As someone who considers herself a ‘forever Minnesotan,’ I am thrilled to be returning to Southdale Center where I will join a team committed to creating and maintaining a superior shopping environment,” said Siegel. “Southdale Center has such a rich history, and I am very excited to be a part of its legacy.”
“Amy has the perfect skillset and personality for this position,” said Ben Martin, general manager at Southdale Center. “We are excited to welcome her to the team during Southdale’s 60th year of business to continue our momentum and create special shopping experiences for visitors.”

Clarity Coverdale Fury Spreads the Gift of Literacy


In an effort to ensure that all children succeed, Clarity Coverdale Fury (CCF) is donating their newly created and self-published children’s book, The Story of Tré and Squire, over 250 other books and bookshelves to help build a library for the Learning in Style School, a non-profit that empowers adult immigrants through education.Rebecca Makayi, coordinator of the Children's Room at Learning in Style said, “We realized that when we had story time for the kids, those kids who had been read to at home paid closer attention. Also, the parents’ reading and comprehension dramatically improved, so we started to lend out the very few books we had to adult students to read to their kids. We need more books.”  (Pictures from Learning in Style and of the book, The Story of Tré and Squire) The library will offer a needed resource for immigrant parents and their kids to learn how to read. Combined with additional donations in CCF’s client markets throughout the country, over 500 books will be distributed to low-income children.Rob Rankin, CCF’s President and CEO, was inspired by a speech at the 2016 Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation Conference by George Halvorson, former CEO of HealthPartners and Kaiser Permanente.“In his (Halvorson’s) keynote speech, he shared a fact that startled me,” Rankin said. “Because the brain of a child is still developing when born, if the brain is not properly stimulated within the first three years of a child’s life, there are parts that will literally never develop. Never. Yet the solution is very simple: Reading, singing and talking to children as soon as they are born and throughout these formative years can pay dividends for their entire lives.”There are disparities in reading skills linked to both economic status and race. The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s policy report, “The First Eight Years: Giving Kids a Foundation for Lifetime Success” notes investing in the first eight years is critical for children to succeed, both in school and in life. Children who are not proficient in reading by the end of third grade are likely to feel alienated from school, and the consequences stretch well into adulthood. Thus it’s of concern that: 82 percent of low income fourth graders are not reading proficientlyChildren of color, those with disabilities and dual-language learners have challenges. More than 80 percent of black, Hispanic and American Indian children are not proficient readers by the end of third grade.The National Education Association shows that children who are read to at home have a higher success rate in school. They are more likely to: Count to 20 or higher than those who were not (60% vs. 44%)Write their own names (54% vs. 40%)Read or pretend to read (77% vs. 57%)Rankin’s inspiration led the CCF team to create the book, The Story of Tré and Squire, a holiday tale about an albino squirrel named Squire that goes on a quest to find his friend Tré, a giant pine that has been cut down and moved to New York City to be the Rockefeller Christmas tree. The book was written by Steve Barone (Creative/Video Editor), and illustrated by Jac Coverdale (V.P. Executive Creative Director) and Megan Lokensgard (Brand Development intern).   (Picture of the book, The Story of Tré and Squire)“Giving back to the community has been a core principle of CCF’s since our inception 37 years ago,” said Rankin. “And supporting the educational development of children can really impact individuals’ lives and a [...]

Willette joins Goff Public


Goff Public, the Saint Paul-based public relations and government relations firm, is pleased to announce that veteran public affairs strategist Pierre Willette will join the firm’s growing government relations practice as an account executive/lobbyist.
With more than 20 years of public, government and community affairs experience, Willette is well-known for his expertise in the areas of local government finance, bonding, public safety, community development, public works, and regulatory affairs.
“Pierre is widely regarded and deeply respected in our marketplace, and his broad experience in local and state government relations will strengthen our team and our service to clients,” said Chris Georgacas, president and CEO of Goff Public.
Willette most recently led the University of Minnesota Foundation Real Estate Advisors’ community development and relations efforts, earning the trust and respect of neighborhood, community, city and university leaders.
Prior to that, Willette worked for the City of Minneapolis in several capacities for 20 years, including nine years representing the city at the State Capitol. Willette is a seasoned strategist who has secured millions of dollars in bonding; analyzed the impact of tax and other complex policy issues; and forged strong partnerships with business, civic and community leaders.
A Minnesota native and 25-year Minneapolis resident, Willette has a master’s degree in public administration from Hamline University and a bachelor’s degree in government from St. John’s University.
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