Media Advisory

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This is my first try at it, so take it easy on me. The advisory is for the Ideapolis conference hosted by the American Advertising Federation.


Central Region Conference: Ideapolis, Idea Before Creation

WHO: American Advertising Federation club leaders from 18 states and 5 districts.

WHAT: The American Advertising Federation is hosting a conference for industry professionals and academics alike. The ambition of this conference is to, in a way, ignite a creative spark within the industry and inspire new ideas surrounding the world of advertising.

WHERE: Hilton Hotel
1001 Marquette Ave S
Minneapolis, MN, 55403

WHEN: October 4th, 2013. Conference lasts all day.

CONTACTS: Advertising Federation of Minnesota

• The conference is being promoted to all 84 university clubs and the more than 12,000 members that comprise the Central Region.

• The Central Region includes attendees from Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Texas, and Oklahoma.

• Guests are almost exclusively those involved in the advertising/communication industry and are leaders in their local and district AAF organizations.

• An estimated 250-300 attendees will be present at the conference. For more information visit

Objective/Goal: The objective of this advisory is simple, to raise awareness about the event. It is an interesting conference in that it mixes academics with professionalism.

Target Audience: The target audience for this advisory would be any and all advertising students in the Twin Cities. The objective was to raise awareness in the media about the event, and hopefully that exposure will bring more students to the conference.

News Value: The advertising industry is rapidly changing, and the new generation of advertising professionals is going to be very different from the generation they are replacing. It would be interesting to report on this gap.

Key Message Point: The key message to this advisory is to show the work the Advertising Federation does for the field and the students waiting to get an opportunity in said field.

Just Stand

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Who sits anymore? The following includes 4 media pitches to various media outlets, attempting to pitch the new movement encouraging people to stand for 30 minutes a day at their desk.

Media Outlet: 89.3 The Current
There's a new healthy movement sweeping the country, and as one of the forerunners in progressive health, the Twin Cities need to get on board.
• The organization/movement is called "Just Stand", and they promote standing at one's desk rather than sitting, at least for a few periods throughout the day.
• As the premier non-profit radio station in the state, 89.3 The Current has consistently been involved in community improvement.
• This new movement fits the description of something that would appeal to the target demographic of your programming.
• The health benefits are shockingly significant, and could have a noticeable impact on one's physical and even emotional health. Also, these claims have been backed up by extensive research done on the topic.
• They have a "Take a Stand" promotion that allows parties to join in to raise awareness.
• Very low-risk, organized by Ergotron, a company renowned for its ergonomic products for the workplace.

Media Outlet: WCCO
A new awareness program has been gaining notoriety throughout the country for its rather unorthodox suggestion.
• The "Just Stand" movement has been traveling the U.S. giving lectures and speeches on the benefits of standing at one's desk. Obviously, new, specially designed monitors and taller desks would be needed.
• Backed by expert research, this simple action done several times a day has sizeable health benefits, both with physical fitness and stress levels.
• The originality of the movement, as well as the unpopular stigmas associated with doing more work at work, will create quite a buzz. It is interesting enough for a television news segment, and even possibly a radio discussion segment with call-in available for the listeners to provide opinions.
• WCCO has always been active in the community, and this is a simple, practical promotion that could be used to easily continue your reputation as such.
• Ergotron, a company renowned for creating ergonomic products for the workplace, organizes the movement.

Media Outlet: 5 Eyewitness News
A new "health" movement is taking the country by storm, as the "Just Stand" organization has been busy promoting standing at one's desk at work for various lengths throughout the day.
• This movement appears to have all the makings of a genuine promotion that seeks nothing more than providing workers with substantial health benefits.
• However, this organization does not seem to take into account those who are physically unable to stand for long periods of time.
• Their progressive idea begs the question of how far employers are allowed to go when it comes to asking for the compliance of their employees.
• It would be interesting to find out if these health benefits outweigh the possible morale decrease within the employees in a specific workplace environment.
• They have real people share their stories and experiences with the "Just Stand" movement. These people provide an interesting perspective on just how dangerous the "sitting disease" can be.
• The opportunity to hear from Minnesota's workforce in regards to this idea is significant, and their responses would more than likely be very newsworthy.
• It also provides the opportunity to get more involved, or at least intertwined, with the local community by asking for their thoughts and opinions on this topic.
• It is backed by Ergotron, which is an established company that produces ergonomic products for the workplace.

Media Outlet: 101.3 KDWB
The "Just Stand" movement has been becoming more and more popular across the country, and it sheds light on a simple health problem working Americans never seem to address or even be aware of.
• The idea is interesting on its own, as it promotes standing at one's desk for a meaningful amount of time during the day.
• Its currency and relevance are perfect for your morning program, the Dave Ryan in the morning show, which relies on pop culture gossip and "What's happening now" style content.
• The movement itself is bound to have differing opinions surrounding it, as many Americans will most likely not embrace the idea of standing at their desk. This fact could produce easy satire for the sometimes comedy-oriented programming on your station.
• It also makes an easy way to inspire discussion amongst the facilitators in the booth and their listeners.
• KDWB has always been a figure in the community, and joining or promoting healthy workplace habits (especially in a place like Minnesota) will most certainly produce desirable results and attitudes amongst the majority of your listeners.
• The movement is legitimate, as lengthy research as well as Ergotron, the company known for its ergonomic products, back its claims.

I Love Beer

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This is a corporate Q&A (with myself, to myself) profiling the Surly Brewing Company in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota and their upcoming event Darkness Days.

Public Company: Surly Brewing Company
Angle: Upcoming event, Surly Darkness Day

1. What year was Surly founded?
Omar Ansari founded Surly Brewing Company in 2005.
2. Will there be a lot of people attending this event? In other words, how early should one arrive at the brewery?
-The predicted number is between 1,500 and 2,000, but the first 800 people to attend this event will receive an orange wristband, allowing for the purchase of 6 beers throughout the event.
3. Is there enough parking available around the brewery, or would it be advisable to find another means of transportation?
-The neighbors of Surly Brewery have been gracious enough to all their spaces to be used for parking. All that is asked is that attendees are asked to be respectful of these spaces and to not make a mess. It is okay to leave your car parked in one of these lots Saturday night, but those cars must be gone by Monday morning.
4. What are some of this organization's accomplishments that would merit a visit to their brewery?
-Mr. Ansari began home brewing in 1994 and was an apprentice at New Holland Brewing Company™ in Michigan. Also Esquire magazine selected Surly Brewing Company's CynicAle 16 ounce as one of the "Best Canned Beers to Drink Now" in a February, 2012 article.
5. What are their current, active beers for sale?
-Bender (Brown Ale), Furious (India Pale Ale), CynicAle (Saison), Coffee Bender (Coffee Infused Brown Ale), Hell (German Style-Munich).
6. What was the legal battle between Surly and the City of Minneapolis regarding?
-On February 2011, Surly announced that it intended to open a restaurant and beer garden, which was expected to cost $20 million. The new facility would also increase its brewing capacity to approximately 100,000 barrels. This type of installation was not in line with Minnesota's liquor laws, however. With the help of the Surly Nation, fans of the brewery's beer, some members of the Minnesota Legislature were convinced to propose changes in order to allow it. Minnesota's three-tier liquor sales system, would not allow breweries to distribute their beer for retail sale and sell on the brewery's premises, as a brewpub does. After just a few months, changes to Minnesota's liquor laws that would allow Surly to sell beer for consumption at the proposed BrewPub, were passed in an omnibus liquor bill introduced by Rep. Jenifer Loon (R -Eden Prairie) and Sen. Linda Scheid (DFL- Brooklyn Park). Known as the "Surly Bill", this bill was signed into law by Governor Mark Dayton on May 25, 2011.

30 sec TV spot

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You are not a true University of Minnesota student until you have been to Mesa Pizza. However, they have a significant lack of advertising. So, I chose them to write a quick tv ad for as an assignment for a class. Here is what I came up with:

Target Audience: College aged men and women who enjoy having a prominent nightlife. (18-24, sociable, middle to low income, all ethnicities)
TV Station to be aired on: ESPN
Broadcast date/time: Friday, November 15th at 7pm

Scene 1: 4 young adults leave bar, two guys and two girls arm in arm (2s)
SFX: Bar music playing in background
SFX: Girl's laughter
-The group stops moving- (2s)
Girl 1 (Looking at group, with mischievous expression): "So, what do you guys want to do now?" (1s)
Guy 1 (Holding same expression): "I think I know how we can end this night the right way." (1s)
-Group all looks at each and smiles/giggles naughtily- (1s)

Scene 2: The group is now in line at Mesa Pizza
-First shot shows group in line with Mesa Pizza logo showing- (2s)
Guy 1 (Ordering a slice): Hawaiian Pizza (1s)
Guy 2: Buffalo chicken (1s)
Girl 1: Mac and cheese (1s)
Girl 2: Hamburger and French fry (1s)
SFX: Miguel's "Adorn" begins to play (1s)
-Slow motion shot of each one of them eating- (6s)

Scene 3: Fade out last scene, fade in Mesa Pizza logo and locations listings on screen
VO: "Mesa Pizza, always the best way to end your night. Seriously, we can't think of anything better to do at 2 in the morning. Open until 3 Thursday to Saturday, and located in Uptown and Dinkytown." (8s)

Letter to the Editor

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I love the Vikings, but an early season loss the the New York Giants on national television was very painful to watch. The next morning, I read an article that I enjoyed so much I had to write a letter to the editor about it (and it was required for class). So, here it is:

The article "Putrid in Prime Time" covering the Vikings embarrassing loss to the New York Giants on national television last night did a great job in capturing the stink coming off the 1-5 team and putting it into words. There was not enough focus, however, on head coach Leslie Frasier and his decision to play Josh Freeman. Two weeks is clearly not enough time to learn an NFL offense, and playing Christian Ponder had to be the safer move coming into this week. However, Frasier opted for Freeman and then stuck with him despite the lack of production and the fact that the Vikings had a serious chance to win the game into the third quarter. They were the actions of a man desperate to save his job, and it was not fair to (I can't believe I'm saying this) Bill Musgrave, the offensive coordinator, or Mr. Freeman. Do not get me wrong, I have always liked Leslie Frasier and I respect his style of coaching, but this decision should not go overlooked.

Website Overhaul

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For my class, I had to review the website of a particular nonprofit organization, in this case The Loft Literary Center. After reviewing this site, I was required to take what I had learned and suggest concrete, viable changes to be made. Here is the link to their current website: and here are my suggestions:

The website for our organization is currently in a state of mediocrity and could definitely benefit from updates and improvements. The need for these enhancements begins on our homepage. According to Key Web Concepts, the homepage of any website should act like a storefront window, providing a peek into the rest of the website. This "peek" should be appealing enough to snag the user's attention and provoke further exploration into our website (Key Web Concepts). The intriguing information is provided on our homepage, but not in the appropriate manner. For one, all that is seen is a picture of a pen and paper along with our mission statement. This is as basic as it gets for a website, lacking creativity and ingenuity while failing to separate this site from all the thousands of others like it. One is forced to scroll down for a list of events and pause while the slides of services provided by our organization pass one after another.
As our organization hosts many events and updates many new class schedules, the current homepage should display what is seen as most important (i.e. big event, class registration deadline) for that week. Secondly, the list of other upcoming events should be placed on the right hand side of the main homepage image and story, as well as the slides for other topics of interest at the time. These slides, therefore, should rotate vertically rather than horizontally so they are able to fit in that space with ease. Lastly, the "Sign Up for a Class" section of the homepage is in the bottom left-hand corner.
The Nielsen Norman Group suggests that readers usually scan a webpage in an "F" shaped manner. This puts the bottom left-hand corner of a webpage, as the last thing a reader will see (Nielsen). Since we are a nonprofit organization and we rely on both donations and class registrations, this should be put in the top right hand corner of the page. After the reader scans the article and image for the upcoming event, sees the lists of other upcoming events, and watches the slides of services offered pass by, they will then come to the "Sign Up for a Class" section. The same could be said about the "Become a Member" section of the homepage. It should be placed directly underneath the "Sign Up for a Class" section for the same reasons that were just listed. This will make for a more coherent homepage, adjusting our main links so that the reader can easily find them instead of having to do some navigation. That being said, the homepage is unfortunately not the only page that could use improvement on our website.
After reviewing all the sub-pages of our website (i.e. About, Events, Classes, etc.), I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and content of each, with one exception. Our "Resources" subpage contains five links to different services we offer regarding various resources. However, only about a sentence or two is written describing each link. The page itself is boring, short, and unclear. There needs to be more images associated with each link in addition to having a slightly more in-depth description of them. The page makes it appear that we do not have that much to offer; when in reality those resources provide a plethora of information for those seeking it.
In conclusion, our website is far too humble. We must flaunt our strengths in the most attractive way possible, using images to do so. People who visit our site must immediately know what services we offer and how to access them. They must be informed without forcing them to work for it and navigate around the site to find, what should be, readily available content. These suggested improvements would not take an incredible amount of effort to do, but they will result in more fluent webpage traffic towards eye-catching subpages, subsequently producing an overall simple and enjoyable experience for our visitors.

Social Media and Strategic Communication pt. 2

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To further prove this point, it would be beneficial to take a look at some real world examples. One perfect instance is that of Burger King™ and their Twitter page. The organization was hacked by an unknown group who changed their Twitter name and logo to McDonald's™ and claimed that their competitor had bought them out. This, obviously, is a public relations disaster as the over 380,000 people following Burger King™ were exposed to those messages. Another fantastic example is the case of the company HMV, who angered the wrong employee. Forgetting who held the keys to their social media outlets, HMV announced massive lay-offs. This annoyed their social media representative, who then live-tweeted during a meeting in which about 60 people were being let go. Using the hashtag #hmvXFactorFiring the employee first announced that a "mass execution" was taking place, before revealing that the marketing director had a limited knowledge of social media and that the Twitter account was initially established by an unpaid intern. This was an absolute disaster to say the least. There are, however, organizations that have found ways to master social media and they use it daily to successfully promote their brand. (More embarrassing social media blunders can be found at

As stated earlier, it is entirely possible to create good public relations for your organization using social media. In fact, it really is the best, most efficient way to do so these days despite all the dangers that come along with it. It is said that in order to have a prominent social media/web presence the communication strategy MUST be consistent on all mediums. Each individual site is representative of the organization as a whole and because of this each site must portray said organization in the light that accurately fits their marketing scheme. Secondly, it is important to find a happy medium between informal and professional on these sites. They must relate to the consumers while still maintaining the consumer-business relationship. These are not "rules" by any means, just preliminary guidelines on how to avoid public relations crises on social media. The way we communicate interpersonally is changing, thus, the way we mass communicate must adapt and adjust.

Social Media and Strategic Communication

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The world of strategic communications has reached a pivotal point in its continuous advancement, one that will surely change the entire structure of this field. Unless you live under a rock, the basis of this turning point should be fairly obvious: social media. The entire media and formats through which communication has been traditionally carried out are shifting to these social networking sites, and for many good reasons. However, this new communications frontier, like any new frontier, is daunting, untapped, and presents organizations with new communications-related challenges. The whole idea of this online movement is so new and fresh that mistakes have been easy to make, and costly ones at that. So, what are some of the best ways to avoid making these errors? And on the other side, how can an organization best utilize these resources to improve their public relations? Answering these two questions correctly should make life much easier for communications departments everywhere.

From accidentally posting personal things on a company's page, to casually stating an unpopular opinion, to having accounts hacked or tampered with, the perils of social media facilitated communication are numerous (and yes, all of those things have happened before). Thus, it is crucial for an organization to portray themselves favorably using their chosen strategic communication tactics AT ALL TIMES on these sites. Things "go viral" so quickly online today that one inappropriate or poorly timed tweet can send an entire public relations department into crisis management mode.

Comcast is just the worst.

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Recently I had a terrible experience with Comcast, believe it or not, so I decided to write them a little complaint letter. Tried to keep it civil, but it was difficult.

To Whom It May Concern:

The other day I received a call from one of your employees reminding me to pay my monthly bill. While this was all well and good I did have one problem with it, I had already paid said bill. So I informed your employee of this, and he then asked me to find the account number into which I sent the money (I pay all of my bills online). This forced me to leave a family dinner briefly and go on my computer to look up the information. And what did we find? Oh, the account number I sent the money to matched the account number Comcast provided me with perfectly! Well, maybe it hadn't sent yet. So I go to my online banking account and check my payments. Whaddya know! The money had already been taken out of my account and sent to yours! Now, I figured I was off the hook. I clearly had paid the bill and the problem was on your end. However, the employee was not so quick to blindly believe me that I had paid the bill, so then I was told to go to my bank, get proof I paid the bill, and then find out where that money actually went. What?? I didn't do anything wrong, you guys are the ones who lost the money. If you have enough employees to call people and bug them about paying their bill, can't you also have them deal with those problems as well? I have a busy schedule and going to the bank, especially for something like this, is never an in-and-out experience. I am basically complaining about the lack of effort on your end to find the money I owed you, essentially putting me in a position where I might be out over $100 if the money cannot be found. That is a lot of money for a college student. Please figure out some other way of dealing with this, it was a miserable experience for me.

Media Profile Article

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This past week, I wrote an article profiling a sports journalist who blogs for the Star Tribune. Here is a summary of that article:
This article covers most aspects of what it is like working in the field of journalism, in particular sports journalism. The details of this piece will focus on online, blog journalism as well, covering the pros and cons of this new medium. Sports journalists are subject to a lot of criticism, as many journalists are, and can deal with many high profile names. The field can become one-dimensional at times and have a lot of the same writers vying to break open to same story. Thus, not unlike the world of sports, the world of sports journalism is highly competitive. As this profile article will reveal, this particular type of journalist can be forced to confront various challenges on a daily basis, from lackadaisical interviewees to highly opinionated readers. However, this professional field is not always so big and scary. This profile goes over what sports journalists typically get out of their job, and why one would continue to subject him or herself to the rigors of this position. It can turn a fan into an enemy very quickly, but it can also lead to a higher sense of fulfillment and enjoyment when a team that is being covered is successful. Sports journalists deserve more respect for what they do, as they often put their neck out on the line to try and provide readers with as much information as possible, many times on controversial topics (as we all know, there is no shortage of controversy in sports). Lastly, this profile covers what one should do if he or she wishes to begin a career in journalism, and step one is very simple.