March 31, 2011
The Fast Horse crew attended the Minnesota PRSA 33rd Annual Classics on Thursday at Windows on Minnesota, located on the 50th floor of the IDS Tower. We brought along five graduating college seniors who were invited to network among the local PR community’s elite and, perhaps more importantly in the short term, score a free meal.
Here’s a very exact account of how the night went down:
5:09 p.m. Suited and dressed in our Sunday’s best, we converge on Club JÃ¤ger to trade intros with our college guests before attending the show. We’re impressed by a strong group made of University of Minnesota and St. Cloud State University students. Also impressive– baseball banter! “What do you want to do after college?” is frequently followed by “How many games will the Twins win this year?” (The consensus: 93)
6:04 p.m. We arrive at the IDS Tower. One of our college guests let’s out a gasp when she crosses local TV personality Jason Matheson in the lobby. We tell the young woman he’s one of the emcees for the show. The awards are still an hour away and we’ve almost lost our first student.
6:06 p.m. We arrive at Windows on Minnesota, 50 floors up, where Target Field is in plain sight, featuring the only green grass this side of the Mason-Dixon Line. Also, we can see our office from here!
6:07 to 6:34 p.m. Hundreds of PR professionals eagerly network, exchanging business cards, Twitter handles, Facebook pages, LinkedIn invites, MySpace requests, etc. Some time later when the show starts, emcee Kelly Groehler invites attendees to follow the night’s events through #MNClassics, even though the crowd is notably present. Nevertheless, #MNClassics trends locally.
6:37 p.m. We take our table. I wind up seated next to John Reinan. A month ago, I would’ve said, “Duh. Winning.”
7:03 p.m. Dave Fransen and I decided to wear sweaters instead of suits.
Reinan points to each of us and says, “You two are bringing sexy back!”
Scott Broberg says, “Do you think you just invented that?”
Without hesitation, Reinan says, “Drop it like it’s hot, baby!”
7:32 p.m. After the first few awards have been given out, George Fiddler and I cave to our vice: Betting. Our NCAA Tournament brackets long worthless, George and I start betting on Classics. In categories with three finalists, we both choose wrong. Every time. We discuss a 64-campaign bracket for next year’s Classics.
7:35 p.m. Following through on an earlier promise, emcee Matheson uses a megaphone to quiet a loud crowd member. Idle banter continues undeterred. Matheson remembers what kind of people he’s surrounded by.
7:40 p.m. We win our first award– the Research category for our work with scrapbooking company Creative Memories. There’s no getting Lucci’d tonight!
8:10 p.m. Reinan pulls out the double guns after we claim Institutional Programs (Government/Nonprofit) for work with MinnPost.com.
8:12 p.m. Expedition 206 for The Coca-Cola Company earns Special Events/Observances (More than seven days; business industry).
8:16 p.m. Now, we’ve got a rally going. Our agency marketing efforts earn us Marketing Services (Established– Budget less than $75,000.)
8:17 p.m. We win Marketing Products (New– Budget less than $75,000) for work with growers’ cooperative Next Big Thing.
8:23 p.m. George and I bet correctly when Expedition 206 wins Multicultural Public Relations after being the only finalist.
8:24 p.m. Expedition 206 wins Industry Campaign of the Year (Consumer Products)– our biggest win of the night.
8:35 p.m. The Classics end. We’ve collected seven pillar-shaped awards. Allison Checco yanks our starstruck college student for a quick introduction to Matheson. We’re all winners at this point.
9:31 p.m. For our post-game celebration, we ascend on The Local with awards in tow. We hope we’ve shown our guests a good night as we toast to our successful evening, even while most of us think about tomorrow’s work. It was a good evening, indeed.