Author Archives: Will C. Holden

Charleston TSA nets simple, genius PR win for much maligned industry

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has posted "Great Catch" signs across the Charleston International Airport celebrating the efforts of their security agents.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has posted “Great Catch” signs across the Charleston International Airport celebrating the efforts of their security agents.

What do you discuss with your TSA agent?

Believe it or not, that’s a question I often ask myself as I approach the gatekeepers of airport security. Is it the weather? Do I venture a joke about the tumultuous sea of humanity I just traversed? Should I preemptively acknowledge the fact that my ID looks like it’s been acid washed (it does)?

Thankfully, that question was answered for me on my latest trip.

“Thank you Officer Mady,” I said to the agent. “Thanks for making sure that doubled-edged knife didn’t make it on my flight.”

You see, someone who works for the Transportation Security Administration within the Charleston International Airport has posted “Great Catch” signs throughout airport security lines — an arena where eyes are prone to wander and likely land on graphic images of weapons.

But instead of simply declaring these items aren’t allowed in your carry-on (duh), beneath the images are stories about how Charleston TSA agents have detected these very items during the course of security screenings.

All of a sudden, Officer Smith and I had something to talk about.
Read more after the jump…

Owner of Popular Denver Restaurant Regularly Puts Online Critics on Blast

Onefold Denver restaurant owner Mark Nery is a regular critic of his online critics (Photo: Instagram)

Onefold Denver restaurant owner, Mark Nery, is a regular critic of his online critics (Photo: Instagram)

Consider your audience’s response.

That’s a cardinal rule for consumer brands when developing digital content. But does the same now go for consumers aiming to critique these brands online?

In an age in which critics have become brands unto themselves, that notion is certainly an interesting one. And one of my favorite Denver restaurants provides a captivating case study.

If you’re a brunch junkie, you’ve done yourself a disservice if you haven’t been to Onefold in Denver, a quaint spot that artfully weaves comfort foods of the Asian, French and Mexican persuasions. That is to say, there’s always a line out the door and it’s highly likely you’ll be dining amidst a sea of chambray and skinny jeans.

Read more after the jump…

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…

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’

Weekly Reads

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.