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Weekly Reads – Spend Your Budget on Your Best Content

If you’re going to spend a percentage of your marketing budget on advertising, through any medium, don’t you want the content you’re distributing to be of the highest quality? Far too often brands are engaging in social media advertising with less than ideal content. Save your budget for your best.

Read more after the jump…

Weekly Reads – How Are We All Maximizing Social Networks?

This week we came across a number of articles that highlight the move toward Social Media 2.0: how brands – and users alike – can better leverage social networks. From Nordstrom trying out the “Like2Buy” platform that mimics Instagram, to Twitter hinting at major changes to its own news feed…its clear that in many ways we’re still in a test-and-revise mode when it comes to social media. But as brands like Starwood Hotels are proving, a strategic approach can provide huge value in your organization’s investment.

Read more after the jump…

When New Search Engines Become Viable

DuckDuckGo to Make a Grand Entrance

Although search engine DuckDuckGo has been around for a few years, its partnership with Apple could make it a viable player in the internet search world in the very near future. The search engine displays a clean and uncluttered set of results to its users all within a secure, private environment. Will this be enough to vault it into competition with Bing and Yahoo? Perhaps.

Search Engine DuckDuckGo

The much anticipated launch of Apple’s IOS 8 iPhone operating system will include DuckDuckGo as the default search engine. This exposure will likely bring a great deal of attention and many new users, but will consumers react positively to a new search engine and modify some long-held search behaviors to change permanently? A couple key factors may determine the speed of acceptance.

Read more after the jump…

Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone. Really!

Leaders are often told that we need to operate “out of our comfort zone” in order to achieve continued success, and I recently had the opportunity to literally get way out of my comfort zone. I thought I’d share some thoughts from that experience in case you’re wondering if leaving your zone is really worth it.

Summiting La Plata Peak, CO

(L to R) Rachel Basye, Tracy Faigin Boyle, Meagan Buck (COBS instructor), Darcy Struckhoff and Ramonna Robinson (under six layers of clothing) on the summit of La Plata Peak.

To set the stage, I’m a “car camper” and a “crag climber” – according to one of my friends in the outdoor industry. I know this about myself, so I knew that a three-day excursion with the Colorado Outward Bound School would push me outside of my comfort zone. Camping without campfires, s’mores and boxed wine?? That’s really pushing it for me.

On this particular women’s invitational, we hiked in three miles to our self-proclaimed campsite at approximately 11,500 feet, carrying all of the food, shelter and supplies we’d need in our large backpacks. We slept on the ground under tarps – not tents. We (AKA our awesome instructors) cooked on liquid fuel stoves – not campfires. We got water from the stream – not from a two-gallon jug from the grocery store. And I’ll leave the “ladies room” scenario up to your imagination.

Read more after the jump…

Influencer Events From an Attendee Perspective

Sierra Trading Post ColoradoA few months ago I shared my six tips for hosting a strong event for influencers. Over the years I have been on the PR/organizing side for more events than I can count.

However, this week I was invited to be a guest at a sneak peek blogger event prior to the grand opening of the first Sierra Trading Post (STP) store in Colorado. I was thrilled to sit on the other side of the fence to learn, experience and observe as a guest.

The event was casual, fun and well-planned. I learned quite a bit and look forward to applying best practices to future client events for media, bloggers and influencers.

Takeaways from participating in the STP sneak peek include:

Read more after the jump…

Help GFM Present at SXSWi 2015! – Week of August 25, 2014

Laura LoveFor the past few years GFM has sent team members to attend South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) to hone our social media skills. We’ve learned a lot from the sessions – but this year we’re hoping to add to the mix by presenting a session titled “Coding Culture: Programming a Best Place to Work” featuring our founder, Laura Love.

If you have just a few minutes (honestly – it’s fast), we’d really appreciate you taking the following steps to help us ensure Laura gets to speak about the amazing GFM culture at SXSWi in 2015!

  1. Follow this link
  2. Select “sign in” in the upper right; “create account” and follow instructions
  3. Confirm account and sign in
  4. Select “search/vote” and type in Coding Culture
  5. Click on the “thumbs up” to vote for our panel!

It’s that simple. Thanks, in advance, for your help. Now on to our weekly reads…

Read more after the jump…

Lessons from a CBS4 Editorial Meeting

I had the opportunity to sit in on an editorial meeting at CBS4 last week. (Many thanks again to Tim Wieland and his team for allowing me to do that!) I’ve worked in PR for a long time, and I know the “rules” for working with broadcast media. However, I’d never had the chance to observe an editorial meeting in “real life,” and I gained a lot from the experience. The following are five reminders/insights I took away from the meeting:

Read more after the jump…

Going (Sort of) Viral on Social Media

Football season is generally a happy time in Denver. Orange and blue-clad fans fill the streets, and memories of yet another abysmal summer at Coors Field have nearly faded away. The Nuggets and Avalanche are gearing up for their campaigns as well, but everyone knows that Denver belongs to the Broncos.

When the preseason kicked off a couple weeks ago, we thought it would be fun to post a Broncos-themed image on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Having grown up in Denver and being a lifelong Broncos fan, I enthusiastically jumped on the project. I immediately opened Photoshop and started crafting my tribute to the team I love. Peyton Manning’s head – check. Bucking bronco with orange accents – check. Explosion – check. Within about an hour my monster was ready to face the world. Read more after the jump…

Weekly Reads – Learning from the Best

Best practices. We’re addicted to reading about them and have the utmost respect for brands and organizations raising the bar in the social space. This week we glean new ideas from the continuation of the #IceBucketChallenge phenomenon and important reminders of when to step back from social after tragedy strikes. In addition, Google has announced a search and security related update that you don’t want to miss.

Read more after the jump…

What’s Your Story?

Essentials_of_a_Company_Story_Infographic_cropEvery organization has a story to tell. Maybe the founder was downsized from a previous job and started a new company in a basement, was on maternity leave and created the next big “must have” product for caring for an infant, or was simply at the right place at the right time. Even if your organization doesn’t have a big bang behind it, keeping it fresh, timely and of interest to readers/viewers takes a bit of finesse.

Sandra Stewart, a principle at Thinkshift Communications, posted an article with an infographic on Regan.com  this week outlining the five essential ingredients to telling a compelling company story, including:

1. Inspiration
What sparked the business’s founding? Who was involved, and what motivated them? What problem were they trying to solve? What was their vision and mission? Read more after the jump…