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How SEO is Quickly Becoming a Communications Function

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 9.51.16 AMWhy would a marketing communications firm have SEO capabilities?

We get that question from time to time, and the simple answer has been, “Our clients put solid resources behind having us develop rich content, so we want to be sure the right audiences are able to easily find that content.”

This week, with the advent of Google searches now showing tweets, the shift of SEO from a stand alone function to one that lives in the marketing and communications world is even more apparent.

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Be Present for Brand Activations

Brand activation in action with 34 Degrees at 2015 BLEND Retreat

Credit: Lindsay Mashburn Wright

This weekend I was lucky enough for GFM to send me just up the road to Boulder for the 2015 BLEND Retreat. The weekend is primarily geared toward health, food and fitness bloggers who have formed friendships from across the country. Activities like trail runs, yoga, hikes and group meals are designed to help attendees strengthen connections and celebrate the uniqueness of “IRL” (in real life) friendships first formed in the blogosphere.

That said, as a full time marketer and blogger at my personal site Lex & Learn, BLEND offered a fantastic educational combination of networking with potential blog partners and observing how both notable and up-and-coming brands activate in front of dozens of influencers.

My number one takeaway?

Be present. Literally.

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Weekly Reads – Building Strategy Into Every Single Social Post

When you’re responsible for creating multiple pieces of content every single day, it can seem like a monumental task just to keep your posts relevant and engaging. But to really add value to your customers – as well as your bottom line – you must create content with a strategy and clear business goal every time. Read on to learn how some brands and companies are executing…
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Weekly Reads – Social Celebrates Moms (and a baby princess)

It is fitting that this week we celebrate Mother’s Day and the birth of a princess. Media and brands have capitalized on these newsworthy events on social media channels. Beyond these #shinypennies, Facebook is making a play to keep users from ever leaving the site with full news articles popping up in your Facebook newsfeeds this month.
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SeaWorld On The Offensive With New Orca Campaign

SeaWorld Entertainment is in full response mode as the two-year-old documentary “Blackfish” continues to gain momentum.

The documentary alleges cruel treatment of the orca, or killer whales, that SeaWorld has in captivity and uses as part of its public entertainment program. The result has had a distinct impact on the publicly traded company’s bottom line, with its stock and attendance numbers in a continued free fall.

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Avoid an Air Ball by Setting Social Media Guidelines

As seconds were ticking off the clock and shots were falling for the Houston Rockets, the crowd at the Toyota Center knew that their team would make it safely into the second round of the NBA playoffs. However, with one tweet, their social media manager, Chad Shanks, ensured he would no longer be traveling with the team. A horse. A gun. Poorly chosen words. He put up the Twitter equivalent of an air ball, missing the mark so horribly that it hit an unsuspecting fan in the face.

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Under Pressure

pres·sure /ˈpreSHər/ The force exerted on a given area.

I’ve had one of those weeks where Queen’s “Under Pressure” has become a ballad inside my head because I can’t seem to catch up. We’ve all been there. It is what we love about working in the communications industry: the fast pace, multiple projects, varying client dynamics, problem solving on a daily basis, etc. However, when things start to really heat up mistakes are often made, which can damage client relationships. Whether proofing errors, email faux pas, quality issues or stepping on toes, it is vital to take a pause.

  1. Take a deep breath and step away from all things needing a power source. Walk the block or get a cup of tea, coffee or water. Give yourself a five-minute timeout.
  2. Find out what the client really needs and when they really need it. Many times after speaking with a client who asks for a document, messaging or strategy by “end of day” this may not be the case. They may actually need it for a noon meeting the next day. Asking for a bit more time often allows for checks and balances and delivery of a quality product.
  3. Know the players involved and who the ultimate decision maker is for the project. This may save multiple reviews or a last minute change of direction, as well as speed up the approval process.
  4. Take the conversation offline and pick up the phone. It is easier to have a conversation with client via phone or in person where you can discuss issues, gather information and problem solve more collaboratively. And it saves time!
  5. Clearly define next steps and set expectations for reviews, approvals and timelines.
  6. Determine a format for recap reports with action items to clients and your internal team. Ask how to follow up to make sure items are moving forward.
  7. Regroup with your internal team and clearly define roles, next steps and timing for the final product.
  8. If something can’t go through the proper proofing channels prior to going to the client due to tight turnarounds, tell the client it hasn’t been properly reviewed and clearly mark as a draft.
  9. Mistakes will be made even with the best intentions in mind. Own and fix what you can and then move on.
  10. Every project has things that work out well and others that are challenging. Don’t forget to debrief and talk through lessons learned.

TGIF! Amy Moynihan is a senior director of communications at GroundFloor Media. She’d love to hear your tips for taking a pause and dealing with pressure. Follow her on Twitter @amoyn

Weekly Reads – Social Media’s Fuzzy Lines

Continuing to identify the most effective ways to reach diverse audiences through social media is a top challenge for today’s marketing pros. Consumers don’t fall into neat categories, and it’s never about the quantity of people you reach, rather the quality of the engagement.
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Word-of-Mouth Matters

word-of-mouth-retro-640x400In the ever-changing world of PR, we are constantly working to determine the best vehicle or mode of communication for our client’s news. There are so many avenues we can take and a campaign can be wildly successful with the right combination of PR strategies and tactics. But when I take off my PR hat and simply become a consumer, I have to admit that word-of-mouth recommendations top the list of what actually makes me try a new product or service, visit a new restaurant, take a trip to a certain destination, or download a must-have app.

I read a Cision blog post recently by Susan Payton on “How to Use Word of Mouth Marketing” and was reminded that word-of-mouth should be part of all PR programs. Word-of-mouth opportunities are all around us and are more important than they’ve ever been. As Susan points out, just look at Yelp or product reviews on just about any online retail website.

Check out what she has to say. It’s worth the read and is a great reminder to never overlook the importance of WOMM.

Weekly Reads – The Only Constant is Change

Google changes its algorithm, and so does Facebook. The power of one-click, live streaming video comes to mobile via Meerkat and Periscope, and the powers that be ban it. The good news is that as things change, brands and brand managers are learning, and sharing, how to navigate the system. Read on to learn more.
Read more after the jump…