To call my husband a fan of fly-fishing would be a huge understatement. He is passionate about the sport and spends every spare moment he can on the river. I mention this because I’ve had the chance to go fishing with him a couple of times this summer, and while I’m nowhere near as experienced or skilled as he is, I have managed to glean a few PR lessons while standing hip-deep in the water in my waders:
In public relations, it often is the small things that make big differences. The U.S. Women’s National Team goalie, Hope Solo, learned that lesson the hard way when she was suspended from the team for six months this week.
What were the little things that went so wrong for Hope?
- She used colorful language. Many athletes engage in sour grapes after a tough loss by complaining that the better team actually lost. They will use expressions like, “They didn’t win; we gave it to them.” Hope expressed those thoughts, too, but she made her quote more colorful by calling the Swedes “a bunch of cowards.” In my non-scientific survey, the word “cowards” appeared in 100 percent of the media coverage. Journalists love colorful, which can work for you or against you.
- She had priors. No criminal appearing before a judge would expect to catch a break when he or she has been convicted before. And Hope should have known that she had little margin for error based on her previous actions this year alone that included a domestic violence arrest and allowing her inebriated husband to drive a U.S. Soccer vehicle.
- She set the stage. A lesson that every professional wrestler learns is that it is okay if they love you or hate you; it is indifference that will end your career quickly. Hope loves the spotlight, and she established herself as the anti-hero of the Rio Olympics before she even left the U.S. by tweeting photos of herself in heavy-duty, mosquito-proof outfits. She thumbed her nose at her Olympics hosts, and she was already the center of attention when she arrived.
- She violated the spirit of the Olympics – When athletes are paid mercenaries (i.e., performing in for-profit leagues while being paid millions of dollars), fans tend to be pretty forgiving for lapses in etiquette. But when you act like a jerk on arguably the biggest sports stage in the world that is also synonymous with sportsmanship, it becomes a problem.
Pop quiz: Is Twitter an opportunity or a threat for your business? The answer, of course, is both.
Social media allows businesses to connect more directly with customers and prospective customers than in any time in history. And it also allows competitors and detractors to screw with your brand more than in any time in history.
The stakes are real, and so is the data. A recent study conducted by a professor at Belgium’s University of Leuven found:
- 94 percent of all PR crises either started or were fanned by Twitter, and online trolls were a “key catalyst” for spreading awareness of PR issues
- 19 percent of PR crises actually broke on Twitter, making the social media platform a bigger threat to brands than Facebook (16 percent), YouTube (4 percent) and blogs (4 percent)
- Consumers are more comfortable criticizing brands on Twitter. Users are 17 percent more likely to send a negative Tweet than publish a negative Facebook post.
These figures are as stunning as they are frightening. If social media monitoring isn’t part of your marketing budget, you are making a serious mistake.
Not long ago, I posted a blog about what I believe really matters when it comes to company culture. One aspect I didn’t really delve into in that post was employee engagement. I recently came across Cone Communications’ 2016 Employee Engagement Study and wanted to share some interesting insights that I think absolutely relate back to creating a strong company culture where employees look forward to coming to work and want to stick around long-term.
Emotional intelligence, known as EQ, is being touted as a key ingredient to surviving any working environment. Don’t get me wrong, IQ is still important and not to be dismissed. But the EQ is playing a critical role within the PR profession as digital media, client demands and no-such- thing-as-being-offline expectations seem to be the new norm. Read more after the jump…
When we decided to form GroundFloor Media’s sister agency, CenterTable, a design challenge arose in the form of a new identity. Unlike logos for most new businesses, CenterTable’s had to show a connection to an established brand. CenterTable had to look new and unique, while also calling to mind its relationship with GroundFloor Media. As soon as we figured out the name for our new venture, I began sketching out dozens of ideas. Below, I’ll summarize the process of breathing life into CenterTable’s identity.
Step 1: Initial Sketches
Knowing the logo had to incorporate some elements of GFM’s design, I chose to focus on shape. With a shared hexagonal silhouette, the logos look cohesive when placed side-by-side.
Read more after the jump…
Alexis – California “Nachos! I like a LOT of veggies…tomatoes, peppers, avocado…, along with beans and good, regular cheddar cheese.”
Amanda – Texas “I’d have to go with chips and queso. Even better, you can go with Bob Armstrong Dip – which is basically queso with ground beef, sour cream and avocado mixed in – divine!”
Amy – Texas “We always do Super Bowl Nachos – fully loaded (meat, beans, cheese, sour cream, salsa, guacamole).”
On any given day at GFM, you’ll find team members swapping recipes, sharing
homegrown veggies, or enjoying a homemade treat prepared specifically for everyone to share at our center table. But our love of food goes beyond that which we prepare for ourselves – GFMers love to eat out. Whether it’s with friends or family, you’re likely to find one or more team members at a local restaurant any given night of the week.
Last month we shared a list of some of our favorite books. As we enter the season for celebrations and entertaining visiting friends and family, we thought it was the perfect time to share our take on the best Denver restaurants! Read more after the jump…
At GFM we pride ourselves on being storytellers. Whether we’re drafting messaging, cooking up some social content, or even managing the frontline of a crisis – at the end of the day it’s all about telling a story.
Ask one of these GFM storytellers what stories have resonated with them recently, and you’re bound to get a variety of answers. From short stories to historical novels and everything in between, one thing is clear: GFMers love a good story.
And while we don’t all have time for long novels (just ask the new parents who could recite classics like Where The Wild Things Are or new favorites like Go the F**k to Sleep! thanks to reading them to little ones over and over again…), the only thing we love more than reading is sharing our favorite titles with friends.
Here’s a list of some of the recent titles we’ve devoured, compiled by GFM team members for your reading pleasure! Read more after the jump…
Last month, I blogged about helping clients achieve their super powers. A key part of this is encouraging them to think creatively and dream big. I have a confession, though – despite the fact that I work in a creative industry with some amazingly creative people, creative thinking is not my strong suit. I’m much more analytical and detail-oriented. This can be a bit of a challenge when I’m supposed to be helping clients strike creative gold, so I’ve learned a few tricks along the way to help bring out my big-idea side even though such thinking doesn’t always come naturally to me.