Category Archives: In the News

Reporting Workplace Harassment During the #MeToo Movement

person-of-year-2017-time-magazine-cover1Many of us were captivated by the sudden rise in awareness around the #MeToo movement last year, with the departure of high-profile newsmen and then earlier this year, Hollywood stepped in to create another round of publicity.

While #MeToo launched more than a decade ago, it took Hollywood to bring it into focus and raise nearly $22 million for the Legal Defense Fund to help women and men with legal fees.

I’m part of a women’s discussion group – similar to a book club with lovely food and wine, but we usually bring in a speaker and have a discussion on a topic – and we recently took on the #MeToo topic. Here’s some of what we learned.

Read more after the jump…

Libraries That Check Out People and Other Non-Obvious Brand Trends

At South by Southwest this year Rohit Bhargava spoke about some of the non-obvious trends for 2018 that his company identified. You can see the full list of 2018 and past trends on the company’s website. Two that caught my eye were Human Mode and Lovable Unperfection.

Human Mode

Human mode is the pendulum swinging away from pure digital automation. Sure sometimes you just want to order a pizza online or skip chit-chat with a cashier and check yourself out at a kiosk, but there are other times when you need a quick question answered by a real human.

Trend spotted – Human Mode

Read more after the jump…

As Pets Become Top Influencers, Coloradans are Getting in on the Act

Dog at Eiffel TowerAs a huge animal lover, I was intrigued by this recent story on CBS Sunday Morning about how people are making money with their pets as “influencers” on social media. Some of the popular pets represented by The Dog Agency include Ella Bean the Fashion Blogger (a four-pound Chihuahua), Atticus the Hedgehog (profiled in ads for Stainmaster carpet cleaner), and Diddy Kong and Yeti Kong, two monkeys from Miami.

According to the story, using pets as influencers is not just creative – it’s lucrative. “Influencers with millions of followers are getting around $10,000 to $15,000 per piece of sponsored content,” said Loni Edwards, owner of the Dog Agency. “Some campaigns have many pieces of sponsored content.”

In a state that loves its dogs, it seems only natural that Coloradans are getting in on the act.

Read more after the jump…

Denver Post, Chicago Sun-Times Issue Mayday for Journalism

Gil Rudawky at the Rocky Mountain News news desk on the final day of publication


Gil Rudawsky, a city editor at the Rocky Mountain News, is at the news desk on the final day of publication for the paper nearly 10 years ago. In this blog, he revisits the future of journalism.

Leading up to the closure of the Rocky Mountain News in 2009, the mantra among corporate executives engaged in cost cutting was for journalists to “Work harder, not smarter” or “Do more with less.” But by that time, with a newsroom basically cut in half, the reality was “Doing less with less, and charging customers more.”

Nearly 10 years later, the continued death by a thousand cuts across the journalism world have continued, and we are at a tipping point. On Monday, The Chicago Sun-Times left its front page blank in a plea for subscribers in an effort to “protect the long-term survival” of its newsroom.

The Denver Post made a similar plea earlier this month, after one-third of its staff were laid off, demanding that its owners sell the newspaper. Hard-working Daily Camera reporter Alex Burness tweeted this week: “The stories being told now about the Post could be told about all of these newsrooms, just on different scales. National media reporters would do well to check out what’s happened in Boulder, Canon City, Longmont, Loveland, Sterling, Julesburg, Lamar, Broomfield, Brush.”

What’s Next for Journalism?

There’s the non-profit model, or the pay-wall model for digital news or the billionaire-backed model, or any combination of all three. As the shakedown continues, people are more and more realizing what the world looks like without the print media. There are city council meetings that aren’t being covered, feature stories that define the fabric of communities that aren’t being shared and checks and balances on our democratic way of life that aren’t being made.

As we grapple with this change, I have become keenly aware that in most instances news coverage originates from the print media. And the news is a commodity and just like anything else of value, you have to pay for it. The biggest question now is whether our news-obsessed culture will realize this as well.

What Communicators Can Learn from Teen Activists

Screen Shot 2018-03-02 at 8.35.20 AMLike other Americans, I watched in horror as yet another school shooting took place, this time in Florida. If there is any good that comes out of this, it has been watching enraged teens share their voices in every possible way. I found this PR Week article: Politicians worst nightmare: Tone, Social Savvy make Parkland students authentic advocates, particularly interesting.

According to the article, what’s working is that students are not being careful and cautious and are not overly messaged. They’re being direct, outspoken and passionate. And they don’t have anything to lose, and everything to gain.

While many are speaking out about what happened, it’s the teenagers who could have the greatest impact on effecting real change. Theirs is the first generation that grew up with the internet and social media. To them, social media is allowing them to speak directly to elected officials, and rally people across the country on platforms to directly share their message.

Read more after the jump…

How 3 Lesser-Known Winter Olympians Earned PR Wins in Pyeongchang

The Winter Olympics has drawn to a close leaving us with plenty of memorable moments. From Shaun White’s triumphant return to the podium to Lindsey Vonn’s final Olympics performance, North Korea’s enthusiastic cheerleaders to tension around Vice President Mike Pence’s attendance – there were plenty of headlines made over the last few weeks.Olympic Flag | How 3 Lesser-Known Winter Olympians Earned PR Wins in Pyeongchang

It would have been easy to predict many of these story lines – but what’s more notable are some of the “stories behind the stories” that grabbed some ink and airtime. Here are three examples worth a look: Read more after the jump…

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Take On Healthcare

Shaking up the healthcare industry: Amazon, banking giant JP Morgana and holding company Berkshire Hathaway publicly announced they will be taking on the healthcare industry | GroundFloor Media PR Agency

Shaking up the healthcare industry: Amazon, banking giant JP Morgan and holding company Berkshire Hathaway publicly announced they will be taking on the healthcare industry.

Well, “shake it up baby, now” comes to mind when I think of Tuesday’s announcement that Amazon, banking giant JP Morgan and holding company Berkshire Hathaway publicly announced they will be taking on the healthcare industry. CEOs of the three companies say they’re aware of the enormous challenges they face.

In a statement, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, said, “The healthcare system is complex, and we enter into this challenge open-eyed about the degree of difficulty. Hard as it might be, reducing healthcare’s burden on the economy while improving outcomes for employees and their families would be worth the effort.”

Although details on exactly how the new healthcare business would work have not been revealed, the partners plan to form an independent healthcare company for their employees in the United States. The initiative’s goal is to provide new technological solutions to simplify and decrease expenses for consumers.

Read more after the jump…

Forget Fake News, How About Fake Sources?

The old saying in journalism that “if your mother says she loves you, check it out” rang true recently with reporters at the Washington Post.

A source claiming to have had personal information about inappropriate relations with US Senate candidate Roy Moore was uncovered to be tied to an advocacy organization that attempted to trick the Post to report false allegations. If successful, it would have shown that the media failed to adequately check out its sources in a rush to print salacious information.

The sting failed, and is being held up as an example of journalists upholding the basic principles of their profession, namely, reporting the truth.

“The intent by Project Veritas clearly was to publicize the conversation if we fell for the trap,” Post Executive Editor Martin Baron said about the sting. “Because of our customary journalistic rigor, we weren’t fooled.”

This latest “undercover investigation” is a good reminder for clients to be aware that anything they say may become a matter of public record, regardless of the circumstances. Think you are talking to an interested student or a job candidate? Think again, they might be undercover and looking to catch you saying something that can further a cause.

It’s scary and unfortunate, but a good rule of thumb is to remember that private conversations are no longer private, and don’t share information that you wouldn’t put in a press release.

In terms of fake reporters, we created this video with tips to help from getting duped:

 

Denver Startup Week: Life Lessons from Serial Entrepreneurs

Cuban Laughing at Denver Startup Week Session: Chinese Rockets and Disco Dance Lessons: The Art of Reinvention - A Night with Startup Visionaries Charlie Ergen, Mark Cuban and Brad FeldI had the opportunity to attend one of the more than 350 sessions that were part of the 2017 Denver Startup Week. Now in its sixth year, Denver Startup Week is the largest free entrepreneurial event of its kind in North America, and is one of the best resources in the nation for those looking to start or grow a business, or in my case, to learn from the best in business.

One of the sessions I attended, “Chinese Rockets and Disco Dance Lessons: The Art of Reinvention – A Night with Startup Visionaries Charlie Ergen, Mark Cuban and Brad Feld,” was highly entertaining and included a candid discussion with successful entrepreneurs.

While admittedly I’m not an entrepreneur, I’m in awe of gutsy business leaders who just go for it and live their dream. Charlie Ergen is the co-founder of Dish Network; Brad Feld runs the Foundry Group, a Boulder venture capital fund; and Mark Cuban is the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks and star of “Shark Tank.”

Read more after the jump…

Working From Home Trend Getting Some Push Back

digiden copyNational Public Radio and The Wall Street Journal recently did stories about how some employers are cutting back on allowing employees to work from home, citing the need to have people together to enhance creativity and collaboration.

A number of large companies in recent years announced similar measures – Yahoo, HP and IBM – all began to recall home-based employees to work in the office.

Still, teleworking is extremely widespread. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 40 percent of employers allow employees to regularly work from home.

Read more after the jump…