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Weekly Reads – The Push and Pull of Automation vs. The Human Touch

Technologies that not too long ago seemed like the stuff of science fiction, like virtual reality and artificial intelligence being used to communicate with humans, are at the forefront of marketing trends this year. However, another major trend we’re watching is the importance of brands, and people, maintaining their authenticity and humanity. To be successful, marketers need to figure out how to make these new technologies work while keeping the human element.
Read more after the jump…

Facebook puts bigger emphasis on time spent with posts

Trying to figure out the mysteries of the Facebook Newsfeed is not only impossible, but it’s a moving target that can change as soon as you might think you’re getting close. That target has moved again as Facebook recently announced changes to the Newsfeed that favor the amount of time a user spends on a given post.

While liking or commenting on a post is one indication that the platform uses to decide how the News Feed appears, it’s not a full picture of what the user wants. People don’t typically like or comment on everything they read so moving forward Facebook will prioritize posts based on how long users spent on similar posts from the author or publisher in the past. To inform these tweaks, Facebook will rely on data it’s been collecting on how long people spend on Instant Articles or how long posts were viewed online or in the app.

In another change that will effect publishers more than businesses, Facebook is reducing how often people see several posts in a row from the same source within the coming weeks.

Why social coverage should be part of your broadcast pitch

Facebook vs. TV

When I was working as a digital content manager in broadcast news, I sat next to the segment producer for our morning broadcasts. You could always tell when she was being pitched, because she would pick up the phone and recite the following:

“Hello, morning show.”

(Pause for response)

“I’m busy. How are you?”

It’s true, segment producers are busy. But so are PR pros. So when you’re utilizing precious hours to pitch broadcast news stations on behalf of a client, efficiency is everything.

That’s why I always wondered why our segment producer rarely (if ever) hung up the phone, turned to me and said “those guys want to know if they can also get some coverage on our social pages.”

Read more after the jump…

How to Get on the Good Side of Legal

More and more, as public relations practitioners, especially if you work with clients on crisis communication, you will work with attorneys – either the client’s in-house attorneys or outside counsel. Bill Ojile, an attorney and partner at Armstrong Teasdale and former GFM client, recently met with the GFM team to share his insights on how to effectively work with legal counsel.

According to Bill, lawyers’ jobs are to make people uncomfortable, to ask a lot of questions and to be skeptical. He also noted that lawyers don’t write for everyday people, and they don’t write for the media; they write for every contingency. With that said, how do PR people and lawyers co-exist and together create the very best communications and outcomes for their mutual clients? Bill provided the following tips for how to navigate the legal waters:

Read more after the jump…

Company Culture – What it Really Boils Down To…

digidenCulture is a really, really big deal at GroundFloor Media (GFM). It’s something we talk about regularly, and it’s something both our president and founder present on quite frequently. As the team member who prepares and submits award entries for GFM, I end up writing about our culture a lot. And by virtue of working for a marketing communications agency, I get a glimpse into a whole variety of company cultures as we meet and work with all of our clients. And with all of this talking, writing and observing, I’ve come to believe that a healthy and vibrant company culture – one that results in a business that employees and clients/customers are excited about – really boils down to four main things.

Read more after the jump…

We’ve Reached the Snapchat Tipping Point

Snap logoThe experts have been saying it for a couple of years now, and given some of the most current statistics, it seems like 2016 might actually be The Year of Snapchat:

  • There are more than 100 million daily active users
  • There are an average of 9,000 snaps every second
  • 8 billion video snaps are sent every day
  • The average user spends 30 minutes in the app every day

Probably the most telling news that points to Snapchat’s coming of age is the fact that Facebook is now developing its own Snapchat-esque camera app. The addition of features like Stories, geo-filters and face recognition lenses has made the app even more interactive (and dare we say, “fun?”) and more importantly for us, a bit more metrics-driven.

Read more after the jump…

Building Working Relationships

2016 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report Infographic

2016 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report Infographic

The grass isn’t always greener in the nonprofit world. Only 40 percent of communications directors describe the working relationship with their executive director and teams as “excellent” according to the 2016 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report. So what gets in the way? It is not hard to believe that the report found goals, objectives and how these are communicated often vary greatly between communications directors, development directors and executive directors. Read more after the jump…

Weekly Reads: Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone on Social

If it feels like the social media post you’re about to publish is toeing the line, it’s probably safest not to post it at all. That’s the conventional wisdom, and to be fair, it’s not entirely wrong. For the many brands guilty of pushing out misguided posts or campaigns, social media has served as a hindrance rather than an accelerant. But there are also many brands for which the latter is true, and those brands tend to push the envelope when it comes to social. In this edition of Weekly Reads, we’ll explore some brands that are reaping the rewards of stepping beyond comfort zones in the social space.
Read more after the jump…

Google’s New Best Practices for Bloggers Reviewing Free Products From Companies

A few weeks ago, Google announced new guidelines for bloggers reviewing free products from companies. If a blogger receives free product(s) in exchange for posting a review on their blog, these steps must be followed to be complaint with Google Webmaster Guidelines. Although these are all important, please pay particular attention to number 1 as Google recently issued several penalties for violation of this guideline.

  1. Use the nofollow tag on any links that point back to the company/product website to avoid passing any PageRank, which would be considered a “link scheme” in the eyes of Google because the links were not earned organically. See below for instructions on how to implement the nofollow tag.
  2. Disclose the relationship so users know that it the blog post includes sponsored content.
  3. Create compelling, unique content. No two blog posts (whether within your own blog or related to others) should be the same or too similar.

Read more after the jump…

When a Client Moves On: Agency Transition Tips

An agency’s client relationships transition for countless reasons. Sometimes the project has simply run its natural course. Other times there is a major shift in a client’s business strategy and budgets are best spent in a different direction. Sometimes, despite the best intentions by all parties, it simply isn’t the right fit anymore.

As the communications agency of record, no matter why the client has chosen to part ways, there are several key elements to consider as you tie up loose ends.

Read more after the jump…