Author Archives: Will C. Holden

Video killed the radio star — and pretty much all other forms of content

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It’s not exactly breaking news, but it was a big week for video across all digital channels. So much so that we better jump right to it!

Snapchat

TechCrunch: Time Warner will spend $100M on Snapchat original shows and ads
Your video is too long. That’s a common refrain from marketers to brands these days, and Time Warner may be buying in. The cable juggernaut struck a deal with Snapchat this week to produce a gaggle of 3-5 minutes shows in vertical video format that will span genres, including scripted drama, daily news shows, documentaries and comedy. Read more after the jump…

PR Snafus from the Week that Was — and Social Media’s Response to Them

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There’s a social media axiom heavily utilized – some would say over utilized – by those seeking to juxtapose gaffes alongside even bigger gaffes. That term? “Hold my beer.” To say it was used a lot this week might be an understatement. In this week’s editions of Weekly Reads, we take a look at how social media responded to some of the biggest PR snafus from the week that was. 

USA Today: Airlines take to Twitter to exploit United’s misfortune

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz has put his foot in his mouth several times in the wake of a video-taped incident that saw a United passenger dragged off a flight. Munoz may also now regret the time he described his competitors in the Persian Gulf as “not real airlines.” At the very least, it seems Emirates and Royal Jordanian airlines haven’t forgotten about that old comment, as both took to Twitter this week to reexamine it alongside some of United’s recent blunders.

Read more after the jump…

GroundFloor Media Expert Quoted on WikiLeaks CIA Crisis

CIA_Spying_Through_TVs_PR_Brand_CrisisIn an unprecedented leak of C.I.A documents, WikiLeaks released on Tuesday thousands of pages describing software tools and techniques used by the agency to break into smartphones, computers and even Internet-connected televisions.

For companies around the world, this should be setting off alarm bells. If the CIA can get hacked, what about you? GroundFloor Media’s Gil Rudawsky offers some advice to a reporter Ragan.com.

GroundFloor Media Crisis Expert

Organizations can perhaps mitigate the damage of leaks by having a plan in place to respond when they do happen, says Gil Rudawsky, vice president of GroundFloor Media.

“This is another alarm bell for all clients dealing with sensitive information that anything you say or email can potentially become public knowledge,” Rudawsky says. “If the CIA can get hacked or has a leak, what about businesses that spend millions of dollars less on maintaining secrecy of proprietary information?”

Read the entire article and what it means to your company.

What We’re Reading: Snapchat goes public, but long-form storytelling isn’t going away

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It was a big week for Snapchat, as the social platform went public this week. Naturally, that spurred another wave of stories about how we’re using the short-form, visually focused platform. In the midst of that news, we also found some great insight about why long-form social content still has a place in this day and age — a surprisingly big place, in fact. Read more after the jump…

3 Nonprofits That Used Social Media to Stand Out on Colorado Gives Day

Now in its seventh year, Colorado Gives Day, the brainchild of the Community First Foundation and FirstBank, promotes giving to all registered Colorado nonprofits over the course of a 24-hour period each December. This year, it fell on Dec. 6, and ended up raising a record $33.8 million for great, local causes across the state.

Having been the beneficiary of some extensive and successful awareness campaigns, Colorado Gives Day has vastly improved charitable giving in a state that was once ranked 37th in the nation in contributions to nonprofits. That said, Colorado Gives Day has become so big that many in the marketing and communications sectors have almost come to lament the email and social media barrages that come with it.

So this year, we looked for nonprofits who rose above the din with creative social media strategies seeking to amplify their fundraising efforts. These three stood out:

Read more after the jump…

Weekly Reads – Year-end recaps, announcements and things that make you go ‘awww’

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Christmas and New Years are swiftly approaching, and we all know the stories that this season brings: year-end recaps, big 2017 announcements and stories that make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. We just so happen to enjoy all of those types of stories, so this week’s edition of Weekly Reads features some of our favorites. 

Social Year-in-Review

Forbes: The Top 7 Social Media Trends That Dominated 2016

As this Forbes contributor aptly writes, “the social media world changes so fast it’s hard to tell which trends are temporary fads and which ones are going to stick.” This recap does a good job of encapsulating seven trends that rose above “fad” status.

CNET: Adele’s ‘Carpool Karaoke’ is top viral video of 2016

That a video involving Adele would top the charts in 2016 doesn’t tell us all that much. It’s what she’s doing in that video that does. This isn’t a music video from her newest, multi-platinum album or a live performance showcasing the full extent of her incomparable ability as a musician. It’s not even her singing. It’s her doing something we all do: crushing every lyric of a rap song in her car — once again underscoring the power and importance of stripped-down, easily-relatable authenticity on social media.

Read more after the jump…

Why Swallowing Your Pride Never Seems To Go Completely Out of Style

(Photo: Todd Heisler/Rocky Mountain News)

(Photo: Todd Heisler/Rocky Mountain News)

It seems that with each passing day, the era for digging in your heels, drawing lines in the sand and shouting “how dare you?!” becomes more and more pronounced. I was reminded of that last month as I watched a very public and painful saga play out between former coworkers.

It all started when former FOX31 Denver investigative reporter Heidi Hemmat took to her personal blog on Thanksgiving day to air grievances with her former employer. Mind you, these grievances were at the very least deemed worthy of headlines locally (see: Denver Post), nationally (see: New York Post) and internationally (see: The Daily Mail).

Hemmat said she received death threats from a man who had not only been put out of business but convicted of fraud on the basis of her reporting. These were threats, Hemmat claimed, that had been substantiated by the man’s psychiatrist. If nothing else, I remember hearing about these threats shortly after Hemmat became aware of them, as I was working for the Denver TV station as its digital content editor at the time.

Read more after the jump…

GroundFloor Media Expert Weighs In On Grubhub Controversy

grub_hub_crisis_comms_prThe chief executive of Grubhub, an online and mobile food ordering company, learned a lesson last week  after he sent out a companywide email that implied that employees should resign if they supported President-elect Donald Trump.

The backlash was immediate and sustained. CEO Matt Maloney quickly moved to clarify his comments, but he damage was done. There were calls for a boycott and media pounced on the executive.

Responding to questions from a Ragan’s PR Daily reporter about the issue, GroundFloor Media’s Vice President Gil Rudawsky said that he began advising clients to update their policies concerning making public political statements earlier this year, and re-emphasized this in the weeks leading up to the election.

“Public comments, even from personal accounts, can be—and often are—misconstrued as being representative of their company’s views,” Rudawsky told Ragan’s. “As a best practice, it is not appropriate for executives to make decidedly one-sided political comments or to push their views on employees.”

And regarding Maloney’s missive to his staff, Rudawsky offered this lesson:

“We remind our clients that while free speech is right, just because you can make political mandates doesn’t mean you should.”

Read the entire Ragan article.

My Friend Just Lost his Battle Against Mental Illness; We Need to Talk About it

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My September began pretty typically, with a host of meetings with companies preparing their 2017 budgets. This year, one of them stood out.

I had just reconnected with an old friend from high school, and he and I sat down to talk about the important work he was doing with a Colorado-based nonprofit. He was anxious to find out if our team at GroundFloor Media and CenterTable might be able to amplify his team’s efforts.

The meeting went well, and we were in the process of scheduling a follow-up to get leaders from both our teams in the same room. Then the emails and phone calls stopped. Earlier this week, I found out that my friend had tragically lost his life.

I didn’t know this young man nearly as well as others. And as my social newsfeeds overflowed with messages mourning his passing, I quickly realized I wouldn’t be able to eulogize him as beautifully or as fittingly. I wondered if I should say anything at all.

It was our final chat that ultimately empowered me to write this message.
Read more after the jump…

Weekly Reads – Go, Go Digital Gadgets!

Red Bull Shout/Out, speed reading, GIF

Behold Red Bull’s new Shout/Out GIF maker, which utilizes new speed reading technology.

Some weeks, we end up reading a lot about how to create compelling content. This week, we’ve been reading a lot about the gadgets one can use to disseminate that content. From emerging live video platforms to new tools to creative ways to use existing tools, this week’s edition of Weekly Reads is all about the digital toys. Here’s to hoping it helps you nerd-out as thoroughly as we did!

Blink and you’ll miss it

Marcomm News: Red Bull helping fans ‘reclaim’ social media feeds using speed reading GIFs

With the help of its digital agency, Red Bull has created a new social media tool that will allow fans to bypass character limits on Twitter during live events. How? By going directly to RedBull.com during one of its sponsored live events and typing a customized social post into the new Shout/out tool. Those words are then transformed into an animated speed reading GIF, where each word appears in rapid sequential order. Users also have the option to customize the GIF with imagery before sharing.

Meanwhile, in Russia…

Mashable: Live video could be headed for Instagram

Facebook and Instagram have been known to test new features in other countries before rolling them out in the U.S., which is why it’s worth noting that a Russian publisher was able to push out a live video on Instagram last week. More than anything, this underscores the need to start thinking about how to leverage live video – the same sort we offer through our video partners at Fourth Wall Productions, who have created seamless live video productions for Adventure Fest, Rocky Mountain CitySummit and Denver Street Talk.

Read more after the jump…