Goff and Howard Public Relations / Public Affairs Logo

Friday, January 29, 2010

Paula Howard completes sixth year on Saint Paul Chamber

Goff & Howard is committed to making our city a vibrant community that supports all types of businesses and people. To help accomplish this, numerous Goff & Howard employees have been active members of the Saint Paul Chamber of Commerce for the past 15 years.

Chief Operating Officer Paula Howard recently completed her sixth year on the Saint Paul Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and her fifth year on the Executive Committee. While volunteering on the board, Paula was active in membership campaigns, the Republican National Convention Task Force, and the Strategic Planning Task Force.

Mike Zipko and Bob Goff have both served on the Chamber’s Political Action Committee, and Patty Dunn, Heidi Larson, and Jennifer Hellman are alumnae of the Chamber’s Leadership Saint Paul. Most Goff & Howard team members continue to be active members of the Chamber.

Our involvement with the Chamber helps us contribute to a conversation on city and state issues, network with area business leaders, and enhance our knowledge of trends and issues that impact our clients. Goff & Howard is proud to be involved in Saint Paul civic life, and we hope you join us to make our city an even better place to live and work.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Congrats, Linder's and Forest Lake

Congratulations to Linder's Greenhouse and Flower Marts on its victory last night in Forest Lake. The Forest Lake City Council voted 4-1 in favor of allowing Linder's and other seasonal businesses to continue operating in the city.

This crucial victory was only possible with the help of hundreds of Linder's supporters who got involved by signing a petition and contacting city officials. The 100-year-old company successfully weaved both traditional and new lobbying techniques to harness grassroots energy to help produce an overwhelming show of support – more than 500 people signed the petition.

As Dave Linder said, "It is great that when the community spoke the Council listened. Democracy works!"

We are proud to be a part of your team. Congratulations!

For more information, click here.

A behind the scenes look at ATV lobbying

ATV enthusiasts might not think a lot about the work that goes into securing their ability to operate machines on public land. Each state sets its own laws about what types of vehicles can be registered for use on state trails and other riding areas. These legal vehicle definitions date back to the early days of ATV development in the 1980s and often don’t account for the new and safe innovations that manufacturers – including our client, Polaris – work hard to create.

Polaris recently completed a multi-state public affairs effort to update the ATV definitions in 10 states in which some of their vehicles did not meet the legal definitions for an ATV. Now, Polaris’ newest, safest, and most innovative products can be registered and used on public land, state trails, and other riding areas in Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.

Happy riding!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, GH Spin

A year ago today, Goff & Howard set out to give our “spin” on blogging and the information we find most interesting – trends in the ever-changing media, the latest social media crazes, updates and insights from our State Capitol, and more. It took some work, but the GH Spin has become a part of our culture. Looking back on the past 12 months, here are the top five things we have learned about blogging.

1. Blogging is harder than it looks – finding the right mix of provocative, funny and serious topics is an art.

2. Update frequently, but only if you have something interesting to say. Quality matters!

3. Keep posts short and sweet – these days, no one has time to read pages of text.

4. Get the whole team involved – it takes a village and an entire office to keep a blog fresh and the views diverse.

5. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Sometimes the best ideas and posts come from just having fun with an idea.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rock Star PR Move – January edition

The city of Grand Forks has managed to turn a printing error on the city’s official calendar into an opportunity to show how it adeptly wipes egg off its face - with humor, effectiveness and a well-placed plug for the Grand Forks area.

Tiger should take some advice from Grand Forks Public Information Officer John Bernstrom. Brilliant.

Read more about it here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Looking back on the ’00s

Over the past decade, the media industry has changed dramatically because of social media. Blogs, tweets, and Facebook posts have enabled writers who previously would have had little or no voice in mainstream media to express their diverse points of view. This has made a reporter out of anyone who wants to be one.

Yes – I know – the topic of social media as the biggest change of the decade is cliché and overused, but it is a topic that hits close to home. I grew up in Kathryn, North Dakota, a small farming town with a population of 60. This town is too small to be on any reporter’s radar screen, and the nearest newspaper is in a community 20 miles away. Kathryn doesn’t even have its own Web site.

When the town and farms in the area were threatened by major flooding in April 2009, getting the latest news from Kathryn was actually fairly easy – thanks to Facebook. Residents and those of us with family in the area received reliable news and photos through Facebook updates – something that was not possible ten years ago.

In 2010, no community is too remote for news anymore. Because of Facebook, Twitter, and other interactive Web sites, rural America is more connected to the population centers that distribute and consume news.

Monday, January 18, 2010

This Month in History: The Power of Words

Many Goff & Howard team members are avid history aficionados, and we have decided to share our love for history with you each month. I hope you’ll indulge this momentary change of pace from our normal industry-related topics.

Today we celebrate one of the 20th century’s greatest masters of creating memorable language: Martin Luther King, Jr. Grounded in human rights and the Baptist ministry, King combined the power of words and voice to inspire people to become involved in the civil rights movement. Some of King’s words are as well-known now as they were in the 1960s:

• “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

• “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

• “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

Timeless words like these are an important part of King’s legacy, and they continue to inspire writers – like those of us at G&H – to choose words with purpose.

Friday, January 15, 2010

FTC chairman calls for government protections of faltering newspapers

Skip Oliva exposed the absurdity of – and conflict of interest in – Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz’s musings earlier this week about the need for special government protections to ensure newspapers’ independence. The anti-trust lawyer now in charge of the FTC – and coincidentally married to Washington Post editorial writer Ruth Marcus – told the New York Times in an “on-the-record chat” that, among other justifications for an even cozier relationship between government and the mainstream media, “investigative reporting…and statehouse reporting would likely falter under blog operations.” Thank you, Comrade Leibowitz, for wanting to ensure that we read “independent news” in our morning copy of Pravda!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Howdy Neighbors!

Today was a big day for Lowertown and Saint Paul. The city officially welcomed Cray, Inc. and renamed its new home, Galtier Plaza, as "Cray Plaza."

The building is alive with hundreds of new faces that now call Lowertown home. This is great for Saint Paul and great for Lowertown. Welcome to our newest neighbors!

2010 Sports Predictions

The Star Tribune Web site was recently ranked as the 17th best newspaper Web site in the country. This statistic is surprising, considering that the Twin Cities is a relatively small market. But with the emergence of big market sports stars – like Joe Mauer and Brett Favre – the entire country suddenly wants to learn more about these popular athletes. So, in honor of Joe, Brett and their millions of fans, here are Goff & Howard’s top five Minnesota sports predictions for 2010:

1. Joe Mauer and the MN Twins will agree to a new contract the day before Twins Fest starts.

2. The Vikings will not win the Superbowl.

3. The Minnesota Wild will make the playoffs, win the first round, and then lose in the second round.

4. There will be frost on the field for the first exhibition game in Target Field between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Twins.

5. The University of Minnesota Football team will start out the season poorly, and Coach Brewster will be fired.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2010 Local News Predictions

Goff & Howard team members are local news junkies. As active members of the Twin Cities business community, we have a vested interested in our metropolitan area. Here are Goff & Howard’s predictions for the top five local news stories of 2010:

1. 2010 will be the year of the trial – Denny Hecker and numerous cases connected to the Minnesota Gang Strikeforce will produce multiple trials, charges, and plea bargains that will create news throughout the year.

2. Construction of light rail along the Central Corridor will begin, lawsuits will continue, and routes will continue to be debated.

3. As with the Republican National Convention in 2008, progressive, tech-oriented groups – like The Uptake – will break stories and/or catch 2010 gubernatorial candidates in scandals using an iPhone and a new live webcast video app.

4. Democrats will be hard-pressed to win back the Governor’s office.

5. Brad Pitt will play Mitch Rapp in “Consent to Kill,” the first movie to be made from a book by Saint Paul native Vince Flynn.

Monday, January 11, 2010

2010 Media Industry Predictions

Over the past few years, the media industry has changed dramatically – traditional print and broadcast media are now competing with online news sources and social media. We believe more changes will come to our industry in the coming months and years. Here are Goff & Howard’s top five media predictions for 2010:

1. Media News and Hubbard Broadcasting will announce a new partnership to create a new multimedia Minnesota channel that will bring Pioneer Press and KSTP reporters together into one hybrid newsroom.

2. Based on the success in Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Dallas – as well as the increased interest in Brett Favre – ESPN will launch ESPN Minnesota and hire reporters who have been laid off by both metro daily papers to generate the local content.

3. We will still have two daily papers.

4. Star Tribune gossip columnist C.J. will create her own iPhone App.

5. A new start-up based in the Twin Cities will help authors sell and market their books via the new Mac tablet computer.