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Feature

Jackie Brudlos holding her PRSA award.

Jacqueline Brudlos won the PRSA-Minnesota Classic Award for "A Blogger's Diary at the U."

Blogger transit diary wins public relations award for the U

March 10, 2006

Blog-speak and a playful creative spin resulted in a surprise win for the marketing team from Parking and Transportation Services (PTS), Twin Cities campus, March 9. The department took home a Classic Award from the annual awards banquet of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Minnesota chapter. Jacqueline Brudlos, writer and coordinator for the project, won the award in the feature-writing category for her work in a direct-mail brochure, "A Blogger's Diary at the U." Written from an online blogger's point of view, the brochure described how to get around the University of Minnesota using various modes of transportation. The message promoted U-Pass, a deeply-discounted, unlimited-ride student bus pass that costs $60 per semester. Supported by other marketing efforts, the brochure helped PTS sell a goal-surpassing 17,204 passes during fall semester 2005. That achieved a 130 percent increase in Twin Cities campus bus riders since U-Pass's inception in 2000.

"We're a little in-house project team compared to all the advertising agencies here tonight," said Brudlos. "We work hard to create quality products that resonate with a very youthful generation. I'm proud that we succeeded in those goals!"

With more than 300 employees, PTS is responsible for all aspects of transportation for Minnesota's third largest traffic generator, second only to the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. It's a self-supporting department of the University that establishes, maintains, and improves a comprehensive transportation system that reduces congestion, eases accessibility, and enhances a friendly University community. With a modest budget, PTS markets many products and services to 80,000 students, staff, faculty members, and visitors.

Brudlos joined the University staff in 2001 and is currently the marketing coordinator for PTS. She brought communications experience in several industries and at a daily newspaper. She holds a degree in mass communications from St. Cloud State University.

For more information about the award, see the PRSA-Minnesota.