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leadership, Media, Newsroom, UST MBC

UST Master of Business Communications Student Christina Milanowski Honored with Young Professional Award

Christina Milanowski with UST MBC program director Mike Porter

Christina Milanowski with UST MBC program director Mike Porter

Christina Milanowski, social media director and account supervisor at Minneapolis-based Maccabee Public Relations, and a student in the Opus College of Business’ Master of Business Communication program, has been named the 2012 Young Professional by the Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) at the 35th annual Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards. In addition to honoring the outstanding public relations campaigns of 2012, the Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards honor one young professional from the chapter who has made an extraordinary contribution to the professional’s organization, the public relations profession and local community.

“Christina exemplifies the core values of PRSA,” said Tracy Carlson, APR, president of Minnesota PRSA.  “She is an advocate for the advancement of public relations and proves to be a compelling thought leader who recognizes the value of strategic communications. Christina is a pillar of excellence among young professionals in our industry.”

As social media director and account supervisor at Maccabee Public Relations, Milanowski blends the new world of public relations with that of PRSA’s rich legacy. Directing public relations, marketing and communications strategies for GNP Company (Gold’n Plump and Just BARE brands), RBA and PsyBar, Christina also champions campaigns involving YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus, corporate and thought leadership blogs, and content-driven inbound marketing.

“Christina’s personal thirst of PR knowledge is only matched by her enthusiasm for contributing to the professional development and career advancement of her co-workers, a selflessness and generosity, which I find rarer than diamonds in our discipline,” said Paul Maccabee, president of Maccabee Public Relations.

A member of Minnesota PRSA for more than six years, Milanowski currently volunteers as a co-chair of the Membership Committee.

Centers, Ethics, Events, Faculty, leadership, Media, Newsroom

Managing an Ethics Crisis

This post is from The Business Ethics Exchange, the newsletter of the Center for Ethical Business Cultures

Kathy Tunheim
Jim Lukaszewski

It isn’t whether, but when, an organization will experience a crisis. Anticipate and prepare in advance, advised veteran PR and crisis management experts Kathy Tunheim, president and CEO of Tunheim Partners, and Jim Lukaszewski of the Lukaszewski Group, meeting with CEBC members at the center’s fall roundtable.

What constitutes a crisis? Lukaszweski argued that a crisis calls into question the very trustworthiness of the organization and its leadership – nearly always triggering highly emotional responses. Tunheim described the moment when leaders suddenly realize this situation is radically different from ordinary bad days at the office and make a conscious decision to go into crisis mode. Both agreed that an effective response hinges on leaders who set the moral tone for the response.

Ethics, Newsroom, UST MBC

Ethics Month

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) designates September as Ethics Month for its members.  As the ethics officer for Minnesota PRSA, my responsibilities to the chapter include advising the board of directors and serving as a guide for any member with ethics-oriented questions. This month represents a time to highlight for the greater business community the standards of professional practice those of us in PRSA commit to maintain as members.

The foundations of the PRSA Member Code of Ethics begin with shared values. Those that may be perceived as most important to those outside our organization are commitments to: Advocacy – to serve the public interest as advocates for the multiple stakeholders impacted by the actions of the organizations we serve; and Honesty – to adhere to the highest standard of accuracy and truth in the messages we deliver, at all times.

Can behavior in Social Media be policed? Who’s in charge if you can? Can there be an ethics code in such a wild and woolly atmosphere? Are there any ethical expectations in social media beyond those already described in the PRSA code of ethics?

These questions and more are considered in three podcasts about ethics and social media with Jim Lukaszewski, President of the Lukaszewski Group Division of Risdall Public Relations, and member of the  PRSA national Board of Ethics and Professional Standards (BEPS) and Dr. Mike Porter, Director of the Master of Business Communication Program at the University of St. Thomas, and Ethics Officer for the Minnesota chapter of PRSA.

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Centers, Ethics, Events, Local business, Newsroom, UST MBC

Managing an Ethics Crisis: Learn from the CEO of Tunheim Partners

Any organization can find itself confronting a sudden ethical crisis. The key is being prepared.

Join us as Kathy Tunheim, president and CEO of Tunheim Partners, shares her insight and experience in preparing organization’s to manage a crisis. We’ll also be joined by Jim Lukaszweski, founder of the Lukaszewski Group, who has a long track record of helping major national firms with ethical issues. Kathy and Jim have assisted numerous organizations work through crisis situations in ways that will be helpful to you. Our discussion will be moderated by David Rodbourne, CEBC’s vice president.

There is no registration fee; however, advanced registration is required. These are invitation-only meetings for members of CEBC. For information on membership, please visit the Center for Ethical Business Cultures website.

Event Details:

Wednesday, September 19, 8:00 AM, Terrence Murphy Hall 201
University of St. Thomas, Opus College of Business

We will post an event recap here on Opus Magnum later this month.

Ethics, EveningMBA, FTMBA, Newsroom, OCB Commentary, UST MBC

Businessweek: PR Belongs in B-School Studies

From Warren Buffet attempting to explain away insider trading at Berkshire Hathaway to Tony Hayward, formerly of BP, complaining about getting his life back, the litany of gaffes certainly changes public perceptions and corporate reputation—along with company valuations and career trajectories. Why then, aren’t even the highest-ranked MBA programs doing better at preparing graduates for eventual responsibilities in reputation management?

Last month, Anthony D’Angelo, co-chair of the Public Relations Society of America’s effort to influence MBA programs to add strategic communications content to their curricula noted in a column in Businessweek that few MBA programs bother to teach reputation management.

D’Angelo has a great point—one that the Opus College of Business has already taken to heart. At the core of his position lies ethical behavior. The cornerstone of our curriculum. From the start, principled business leaders who consider the long-range picture are less likely to run into many communications crises. (Though crises can always arise—and the way they are handled operationally is deeply intertwined with how they are communicated.)

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Ethics, Media, Newsroom, OCB Commentary, social media, UST MBC

Secrets are Lies

img-article---lyons-facebook-google_232825188165[1]A million years ago, while attending junior high (that’s like middle school, if you were born in the ‘80s), if students saw two people whispering to one another, someone would start yelling “Secrets are lies!”  Recently, Burson-Marsteller (“part of Young & Rubicam Brands”) found out the hard way that keeping secrets isn’t good public relations practice.

Essentially the case boiled down to a couple of media relations hacks who started pitching negative stories about Google to select media, but without being willing to reveal the identity of their client (Facebook). In fact, keeping a “secret” client represented the lesser of the ethical evils displayed in this case, since the material being promoted to the media turned out to be patently false (lies – but not secrets). To learn more about potential ethical pitfalls in the practice of public relations, read the Public Relations Society of America’s Code of Ethics.

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Entrepreneurship, Newsroom, OCB Commentary, UST MBC

Start-ups: Connect your Strategy with Design

Go for the fancy fish taco rather than the fast-food version when meeting with an advisor.

Go for the fancy fish taco rather than the fast-food version when meeting with an advisor.

Recently, an associate asked me to provide some consulting to a promising start-up company that needs “PR help.”  Experience indicates that this request for tactical communication assistance really means the organization needs strategic help that may, or may not, ultimately lead to some public relations tactics.

So, after confirming an appointment with the firm’s president, it was time for a visit to the company’s attractive web site, where my suspicions were confirmed.  Among the concerning highlights (or lowlights), a list of “benefits” of the organization’s services – all of which were features of the offering, not the value those elements bring to potential customers.  There was a list of actual benefits, but it took a couple of clicks to find. Continue Reading

Local business, Media, Newsroom

Roof Collapse at Mall of America (Field)

This post by Steve Baird originally appeared on DuetsBlog, which was born out of the chasm that can divide legal and marketing types and seeks to facilitate collaborations among them.

Do you suppose that the Mall of America ever thought about its brand name being associated with a “roof collapse” when it signed on and paid for the naming rights at the aging Mall of America Field, the nearly thirty year old inflatable indoor venue “formerly known as” the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, located in Minneapolis, Minnesota?

Having seen this image, the above question may seem especially relevant now, given the sheer size and importance of the integrity of the roof at the actual Mall of America, a roof so large that:

I’m thinking that the Mall of America has some pretty impressive public relations and PR talent to have most roof collapse news stories referring to the Metrodome name, not Mall of America Field.

Perhaps unintentional subtlety, or a slavish distinction between a roof and field, but it appears the Metrodome name is being linked more closely with the roof collapse, and the Mall of America Field name is being associated with some harmless snow falling on the empty field, with this headline, as a good example: “Metrodome Roof Collapse Leaves Snow on Mall of America Field.”

I suspect this is a good example of one time when the Mall of America may be happy its naming right to the Metrodome hasn’t supplanted all use of or reference to the Metrodome:

We certainly can all be happy and thankful that the roof collapse didn’t occur during an event, and that no one was hurt during the collapse of the “Metrodome” roof.

Still, I’m left wondering whether the Vikings will be thankful for the roof collapse, especially if it ends up playing a role in obtaining a new home field for the team.

Losing the ability to host two home games in a disappointing and already losing season may be a very small price to pay for some new digs.

Thanks again to Steve Baird and DuetsBlog for allowing us to re-post this here.

Ethics, Local business, Newsroom, UST MBC

When to break the silence in a business crisis

toyota-logoEvery week it seems another major business crisis story hits the news, sometimes with a personal twist,.  At the moment, the Petters trial is waning, the Denny Hecker trial just gearing up, and assorted other business communication crises continue to percolate, including the safety recall at Toyota.  We spent some time recently in the UST MBC degree capstone course talking specifically about Toyota, and Hecker came up.  The class discussion hovered for a bit on how/when/why Toyota leader Akio Toyoda, grandson of the firm’s founder, decided to make his first statements a week after the turmoil began.  Hecker has long been quiet, then suddenly “broke his silence” and did the first press conference since the local media frenzy began around his corporate and financial issues.

If timing is everything, when is the right time to face the cameras?   It depends. Continue Reading