Category Archives: Awards

Biggest PR Disasters of 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, we take time to reflect on the year’s biggest PR disasters:

lochteRYAN LOCHTE … An Olympic swimmer perpetually overshadowed by Michael Phelps finally finds the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

Ryan Lochte is an accomplished Olympian who in almost any era would be recognized as one of the greatest swimmers of all time. Unfortunately for Lochte, though, he swims in the Michael Phelps era. That frustration may have contributed to his decision to “over-exaggerate” – his term ­– the details of an alleged armed robbery at the Olympics in Brazil. After video emerged of Lochte and other U.S. swimmers appearing to vandalize a gas station bathroom, the armed robbery started looking more like a request for restitution. Lochte apologized, but the consequences were swift: sponsors Speedo and Polo Ralph Lauren dropped him immediately, and he solidified his spot as an Olympic punch line for generations to come.


SAMSUNG … What do the global electronics giant’s mobile phones and washing machines have in common? They both explode.

It was a tough year for Samsung, who twice found itself at the top of the list of the year’s biggest safety recalls. First, it was the company’s flagship mobile phone, the Galaxy 7, some of which were spontaneously exploding. It got so bad that the Department of Transportation eventually banned the phones from all U.S. airline flights. And then Samsung was forced to recall 2.8 million washing machines because they could explode. That caused a viral sensation because no one could really wrap their heads around how a washing machine could explode. But YouTube videos gave us our answer, much to Samsung’s dismay.

Read more after the jump…

Colorado Companies – What We Learned at The Wright

The 2016 Wright finalists on stage with Governor Hickenlooper

The 2016 Wright finalists on stage with Governor Hickenlooper.

Last week marked the fourth straight year that GroundFloor Media/CenterTable has sponsored The Wright – a Shark Tank–esque event focusing on Colorado companies who work in the outdoor/lifestyle industries, and love to give back to their respective communities. Companies are nominated, finalists are required to produce a short video about their business, a panel of judges narrows the list to three finalists at a live event and then questions those companies before selecting the winning contestant.

Some of these companies are big, some are small, some are new and some are more established. The common theme is that they’re all amazing Colorado-based companies who have great entrepreneurial spirit. It’s truly one of my favorite events each year – and one where everyone can learn a thing or two from the contestants. Here are a couple of things we took away from, or were reminded during the 2016 Wright: Read more after the jump…

The Shrinking Denver Media Landscape

crumpled-newspaperThe shrinking Denver media just got even smaller. Last week, the Denver Post announced that 20 journalists took buyouts, and it was followed by an unknown number of additional layoffs.

This brings the total number of newspaper reporters working for Denver’s only metropolitan daily to less than 100. In perspective, 10 years ago, there were an estimated 400 journalists working for either the Post or the now-closed Rocky Mountain News.

Without getting into the critical role the media plays in our community, here are a couple points to consider as we work on behalf of our clients to navigate the Denver media landscape:

Build relationships: It will be nearly impossible to catch the attention of a journalist, let alone build ongoing relationships with the new crop of reporters. Just think, there are 90 journalists, half of which work behind the scenes, covering a metro area with 2 million people.

Strong pitches:  Getting a client’s news in the newspaper will be even more of a challenge, and only the best pitches will succeed. Strong news hooks and trends remain important. Read more after the jump…

Why Outside Magazine Thinks GFM is a Great Place to Work

A day at GroundFloor MediaI’m not off cloud nine yet, but I do want to take a minute to reflect on GroundFloor Media’s recent honor of being named the best place to work in the United States by Outside magazine while the joy and appreciation are fresh in my mind. Many friends and colleagues have asked how we achieved this, wanting to emulate “it” in their own work environments. I tried to break “it” down into three key things…

1. You have to apply to win. If your company or a team member is doing something worth recognizing, find a relevant award and apply for it. It may sound like I’m oversimplifying things, but – like most things in life – you can’t win if you don’t play!

Read more after the jump…

Is an Awards Program Right for You?

And the winner is . . .

That’s right, it’s awards time of year in the PR Biz and I recently developed a press release touting wins for GroundFloor Media. It got me thinking about the love/hate relationship I have with awards. Those of you responsible for awards programs for your agency or clients know exactly what I’m talking about. They are exhilarating to receive and are a testament to the hard work, creative thinking and smart minds that come together to make them possible. Celebrating the success of a campaign with clients and co-workers is a great time.

However, it seems the number of awards opportunities are constantly growing and developing entries can be time consuming and overwhelming if you try to bite off too many. Not to mention the cost! GFM has refined its own awards process over the years and we’ve learned a lot along the way.

To help you decide how to tackle this challenge, we are sharing our lessons learned. Here are a few tips to sift through the potential trophy-winning opportunities and go from having completed an outstanding campaign to collecting shiny figurines for your wall! Our tips can be summed up in three words, but I’ll elaborate, of course!

Read more after the jump…