Category Archives: Strategic Communications

Media Relations Takeaways from Maternity Leave

Last week I returned to GFM after the second maternity leave of my tenure and have been eager to share observations and tips related to media relations that have been swirling in my PR-minded brain since we got home from the hospital.

We welcomed Anderson boy #2 on Oct. 23, 2016 and I was fortunate to be able to spend 13 wonderful weeks at home with our newest addition.

But, like many a PR pro will admit, “unplugging” is simply not in my nature.

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Into the Future: Thinking about Gen Z

Millennials are a prized demographic for communicators – they’ve been analyzed and overanalyzed as companies adjust to millennials having more purchasing power than before or simply joining their workforce. But, it’s time to think about the next generation as they could be even more influential in changing the face of marketing communications.

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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.

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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.

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The Importance of Patagonia’s Black Friday Campaign

This year, Patagonia announced that it would donate all Black Friday proceeds to grassroots environmental groups fighting to protect natural resources like water, oil and soil. The company expected to rake in about $2 million across its 80 global stores and Patagonia.com. In reality, Patagonia recorded $10 million in revenue – five times what the company expected – and is still promising to donate 100 percent of that revenue to the environmental groups.

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First Things First

blogpic_firstthingsfirstThanksgiving has come and gone (hard to believe!), but I still feel compelled to dedicate this blog post to it as it happens to be my favorite holiday. Unfortunately, however, it tends to get short-shrifted every year as people tend to jump right from Halloween to Christmas. No sooner does Halloween end, then stores start putting out their holiday decorations (if they haven’t already done so), we are inundated with holiday catalogs, and radio stations start playing holiday music. To which I say – FIRST THINGS FIRST! Thanksgiving comes before the December holidays, and we should absolutely honor that. Goodness knows we should never overlook an opportunity to slow down and be thankful.
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Want to Bring Your Brand to Life? Start with Messaging.

messagingThe GroundFloor Media team has worked with many organizations that have struggled to tell their story in a way that engages and resonates with target audiences. Building a strong brand starts with messaging. And delivering the right message at the right time is critical to an organization’s success.

I recently read an article, “Why and how you should integrate messaging into branding” by Carolyn McMaster, that talked about how messaging is now considered “verbal branding.” In the article, McMaster said, “if employees don’t understand an organization’s vision, they can’t convey it to their customers, so the organization will miss advocacy opportunities on its two most important fronts.”

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Tips for Working In House with Clients

Source: Freepik

Source: Freepik

At GroundFloor Media, we often have team members work in house with clients to support crisis situations, provide interim solutions between new hires or to help cover maternity leaves. Sometimes it is just one day per week and other times it has been three plus days per week. I’ve had the opportunity to work in house for several clients over the years and what I like about being in house is not only learning about the products and services at a deeper level, but celebrating success on both sides. In addition, I believe it makes our agency team more aware and empathetic as to how to navigate the internal challenges our client contacts face everyday.

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Media Relations at the Height of the Presidential Election

Credit: Jon S Flickr | NS Newsflash

Credit: Jon S Flickr | NS Newsflash

The majority of PR pros sunk in their chairs a little at the beginning of the year when it became a reality that 2016 would be marked by not just one, but two, long and furiously competitive news cycles—the Olympics in Brazil followed by what has become an incredibly polarizing and contentious presidential election campaign.

Weave in unspeakable national and international tragedies and it has been an extremely tough year to secure, and maintain, the media’s fickle attention.

As we kick off October there is a pretty predictable trajectory for what mainstream media will cover between now and the end of the year—barring breaking news that we cannot predict. Presidential debates and the 24-48 hour fall out, election week, pumpkin spice and egg nog everything, and holidays from every angle imaginable.

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Millennial Madness

39343492-millennials-word-written-on-a-school-chalkboard-to-illustrate-young-generation-learning-in-class-aboI’ve been in several client brainstorm and strategic planning sessions this year when the inevitable question comes up, “How can we reach and engage with millennials?” And then the second question is always, “And remind me again, who are they?”

Millennials (also known as Generation Y) are the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates for when this cohort starts or ends; demographers and researchers typically use starting birth years ranging from the late 1970s to early 1980s and ending birth years ranging from the mid-1990s to early 2000s. (Source: Wikipedia) Read more after the jump…

Don’t Forget the Good News

superheroes“If it bleeds, it leads.” It’s the adage that the news has lived by for as long as I can remember. But I – and I know I’m not alone here – get so tired of hearing so much bad news. Yes, there are issues and crises going on in the world that we need to be aware of. Absolutely. But there are positive things happening out there that we need to know about as well.

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