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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Are e-mail and the Internet replacing brochures and newsletters?

In an age of every imaginable communication flowing across the Internet or your mobile phone, it’s hard not to question if this is the beginning of the end for printed materials like brochures and newsletters.

But while there are more choices today than ever before, we believe that print communications are alive and well.

Take, for instance, the issue of portability. Sure, you can hypothetically read an e-newsletter on your BlackBerry. But it’s easier said than done. The experience of reading a printed piece is oftentimes more meaningful and more convenient than reading an electronic version. Printed pieces can also be distributed to many people at a meeting in any location or read easily from the passenger seat of a car or an airplane.

Printed pieces can also achieve a more professional, credible impression simply by using a high-quality paper or special cuts, folds or shapes.

In general, a combination of print and electronic communications have a place in most campaigns. Striking the right balance will enable you to capture the best of both worlds.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Vacationing in August? Don’t forget to vote

August is when many Minnesotans take vacations from hectic work schedules. But this year Minnesotans who are planning to be away from the state on Tuesday, August 10 will miss the chance to vote in one of the most highly contested Minnesota primary elections in recent history – unless they plan ahead.

This year, Minnesota passed a law moving the primary election from September to August to comply with a new federal law lengthening the legally required absentee balloting period for military and overseas voters from 30 to 45 days. Under Minnesota’s former political calendar, the primary election would have occurred on September 14, leaving only three days for candidates to campaign before absentee voting for the general election is required to open on September 17.

With as many as five candidates vying for one spot on the ballot, each vote is crucial to help narrow the field of candidates for the general election. Those who will be out of town on August 10 should make sure they request an absentee ballot in time to vote before then. To cast an absentee ballot, voters must already be registered (the registration deadline was July 20), but they can still register at their polling location on the day of the primary election if they will be in town.

More information about the primary elections, voting districts, and voter registration can be found on the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website.

Friday, July 23, 2010

500 million like Facebook

Facebook gained its 500 millionth member this week – only six years after its inception. With a membership contingent greater than the population of the United States, Facebook has quickly grown to be one of the most – if not the most – powerful social networking website in the world.
• Facebook surpassed Google as the most visited website in the world in 2010.
• 100 million new users joined the site in the past six months alone.
• The fastest-growing demographic of users is women older than 55.
• The average user spends 55 minutes per day and views 661.8 pages each month.
• More than 25 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) are shared each month.
(Sources: Facebook, Inside Facebook, and Business Insider)
Even Hollywood is paying attention. This fall, Columbia Pictures will release The Social Network, a movie about the creation of Facebook, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg will make an appearance on The Simpsons.

Facebook’s success has come with a price recently. The social networking giant has been criticized by everyone from users to U.S. Senators for its changes to its privacy settings. Facebook is even being sued by a man who claims to own 84% of the company.

But Facebook’s popularity seems solid, especially if users continue to spend more than 500 billion minutes per month on the site.

For more information, watch Diane Sawyer’s interview with Zuckerberg.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rock Head PR Move: Via-bomb

Even if you’re one of the most powerful media tycoons in the world, you can’t pressure a reporter via voicemail to divulge his source and expect any good PR to come of it. Viacom czar Sumner Redstone is being haunted in today’s headlines by a voicemail recording of him telling a reporter to divulge the source of an anti-Redstone story. The kicker: he assured the reporter, “We’re not going to kill him. We’re just going to talk to him.”


A spokesman ineffectively attempted to dismiss with flap with a “That was just Sumner being Sumner” quote.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Monday, July 19, 2010

New client among best places to work

You know your business is a great place to work when you get a call from the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Business Journal saying you won a “Best Places to Work” award and you didn’t even know your company had been nominated. That’s what happened with our newest client – Ackmann & Dickenson. Its employees nominated the company and won without owners Michael Ackmann and Andrew Dickenson being aware.

We’re excited to work for this fast-growing Web development firm that is not only impressing its clients – but its employees as well.

Congratulations to Ackmann & Dickenson.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blue Cross Blue Shield celebrates employees’ involvement in government and politics

Employees are not often given the opportunity to spend the lunch hour learning about government and politics, but at Blue Cross Blue Shield, they have been doing exactly that for the last 10 years. Blue Cross has made it a priority to provide employees opportunities to participate in meaningful civic engagement activities through its CitizenBlue program.

CitizenBlue was formed in 2000 as a grassroots initiative to provide information to employees about politics and government in a nonpartisan, non-intimidating, and fun way. In the past ten years, more than 100 public officials and candidates for office have visited Blue Cross Blue Shield. Employees have also taken Capitol tours, educated their coworkers about voting, and served as election judges.

The award-winning civic engagement program has served as a model for other companies striving to educate employees about the political system and encourage participation in government at all levels.

We have enjoyed helping Blue Cross Blue Shield shape and grow the program from the beginning. Congratulations on 10 years of success.

Goff & Howard’s Bob Goff joins Blue Cross Blue Shield officials
Kathy Mock, senior vice president of public and health affairs,
and Phil Stalboerger, vice president of policy and legislative affairs,
at CitizenBlue’s 10th anniversary celebration.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Saint Mary’s University starting classes in Oakdale

Saint Mary’s University – our client since 2006 – is expanding to the Twin Cities east metro area. Saint Mary’s is holding an open house at its new classroom center in Oakdale today.

Saint Mary’s believes in bringing education to the learners. Because 15 percent of Saint Mary’s students are east metro residents, the university is opening a new Oakdale location to better serve these students and other east metro and Wisconsin residents.

The university has improved access around the region by opening classroom centers in places like Apple Valley, Minnetonka, Rochester, and Oakdale – in addition to their campuses in Minneapolis and Winona.

Congratulations to Saint Mary’s on its newest location. Join us at the ribbon-cutting event at 3 p.m. today and the open house that will follow until 7 p.m.

For directions to Oakdale Center, click here.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Media mogul oversteps boundary

Media mogul Mort Zuckerman recently told Fox News that he had helped write one of President Obama’s speeches. Zuckerman is the owner of the New York Daily News and U.S. News & World Report and a regular commentator on Sunday morning news shows.

Despite The Atlantic’s report that “Obama’s aides don’t remember consulting with Zuckerman,” Zuckerman’s claim blurs the relationship between journalists, media companies, and the people and issues they cover. Can media companies be an unbiased source of information if they also help create content for the same high-ranking officials on whom they report?

How would you react if the publisher of the Star Tribune wrote a speech for Governor Tim Pawlenty or the publisher of the Pioneer Press wrote a speech for Mayor Chris Coleman? Would you be skeptical of the newspaper’s future reporting, especially its investigative reporting? Or would you think it is just a reflection of the evolution of the media industry from unbiased reporting to slanted coverage (for example, the Huffington Post or Fox News)?

Certainly, a move like this would undermine the public’s respect for the media and public policy. But the question remains, how much would the journalism industry suffer?

Media companies are trying to stay relevant by redefining their niche in society. Speech writing for the President of the United States goes too far.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Community Action Partnership joins G&H client family

Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties has hired Goff & Howard to help raise awareness about the agency and its work to reduce poverty. Community Action provides services such as early childhood education, energy assistance, and financial independence training to reduce poverty and prevent homelessness in Ramsey and Washington counties. Based in Saint Paul on University Avenue, Community Action is a nonpartisan, locally run, private nonprofit with more than 300 employees.

Goff & Howard will help Community Action share its stories of service and advocacy. Thanks to Community Action for involving us in this important community effort.