Category Archives: Thought Leadership

GFM @ SXSWi: 2016 Preview

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Rain or shine, GFM will be at South by!

For the sixth year GFM is headed back to the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, March 11 – March 15. Beginning this Friday you can follow Jon Woods’ and Carissa McCabe’s recaps of all things SXSWi here on the GFM blog, or via Twitter (@WoodrowWilson and @CarissaMc).

The reason we value the South by experience so much is the fantastic programming, which is most easily explained as marketing-meets-digital-platforms-meets-Texas-meets-thought-leadership-meets-TED-Talks-meets-food-trucks-meets-pop-culture-meets-startups-meets-hipsters-meets-brilliant-minds-meets-Tech-Stars.

Read more after the jump…

Reporter Talks About Being Human In Goodbye Column

Jack Broom Seattle Times

Using the two-way radio in a photographer’s car, Jack Broom calls the newsroom with the details of a breaking story in 1978. (Greg Gilbert/The Seattle Times)

Over the years, I’ve read many farewell columns by retiring or transitioning journalists.

Even before the profession hit this sustained downturn, I mostly thought these columns were self-serving, focusing on the glory days of news reporting, and self-aggrandizing about news stories uncovered.

With so many departing journalists, the farewell column has become cliché, and editors are surely loathed to provide the opportunity to all those leaving. And readers, remember them, aren’t interested.

This week, however, I came across a particularly poignant goodbye column by a reporter retiring from The Seattle Times after nearly 40 years.

Jack Broom was a general assignment reporter, which means he usually covered the big stories of the day, and when there wasn’t breaking news, he would work on occasional feature stories. General assignment reporters are a special breed; they can cover a legislative hearing one day and a volcanic eruption the next with the same grace and poise.

Broom started reporting when newsrooms were filled with typewriters, and over the years had the dubious honor of writing obituaries for his colleagues. There are few journalists left like him.

Broom saw his role as a journalist quite simply. “My goals have been straightforward: To tell readers something about the community and world they live in, and — if possible — help them enjoy the time they spent with the newspaper.”

Read more after the jump…

2015 Facebook Favorites

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 11.13.39 AMWhile many of us have some well-deserved down time over the holidays it’s a great chance to get caught up on some reading – and possibly discovering some new content sources for the New Year. We polled our GFM team, asking them to share their favorite social media accounts with our readers over the holidays, and we’ll be sharing them platform-by-platform in the coming days.

To be somewhat unbiased, we’re not including our client’s social accounts (because they’re all fantastic, of course), and we’ve left off some of the more obvious choices that many people already follow (Mashable, local news sources, etc.). But we hope these recommendations bring some new and useful content to your holiday season and New Year! Read more after the jump…

Does Curiosity Really Kill the Cat?

ApolloI was curious about a book written by a famous movie producer, one who had been responsible for such mega hits as “Splash,” “A Beautiful Mind” and “Apollo 13.” In fact, Brian Grazer’s movies and TV shows have been nominated for 43 Oscars and 152 Emmys. A Curious Mind, The Secret to a Bigger Life is Grazer’s 35-year story of having curiosity conversations, every two weeks, with thousands of people, including scientists, politicians, writers, athletes, dictators, inventors and entrepreneurs – everyone from Steve Jobs to Fidel Castro to Jacques Cousteau to Dr. Edward Teller, the maker of the hydrogen bomb.

Read more after the jump…

State of News Media Shows Changing Habits of Americans

Fellow iPad UserI recently caught a segment on CBS Sunday Morning about a Spanish language TV show called “Sábado Gigante,” a three-hour program that airs every Saturday night and is viewed by millions of people in the U.S. and in 40 countries around the world. The interview included Don Francisco, the gregarious host who has missed just one week in the 53 years since the show began. Amid declining viewership over the past few years, particularly among younger viewers, the show is ending its historic run.

That’s just one example of how TV viewing habits have changed dramatically over the past decade, particularly among the Gen X and Y viewers. Many in these age groups are forgoing cable TV in favor of the massive on-demand content of Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. According to a Retrevo “Pulse Report,” 23 percent of people under 25 watch most of their television content online compared with just 8 percent of people over 25.

Read more after the jump…

Beware the Donalds

RumsfeldTrumpEvery few years a mavericky, break-all-the-rules type of leader bubbles up into the public consciousness. He wows people with his “blunt” talk, “refreshing candor” and willingness to address complex issues in a very simple and straightforward manner.

A decade ago it was Donald Rumsfeld. While U.S. Defense Secretary, his treatise on “known knowns and unknown unknowns” made him the darling of the lecture circuit. It even resulted in a book deal – Known and Unknown: A Memoir. And much more recently, Donald Trump has climbed up the GOP presidential nominee rankings through a sometimes-incoherent strategy of attacking almost anything that moves. Supporters admire his “leadership” and “take-action” style, if not his depth and nuance.

Leaders like the Donalds usually have a shelf-life, but the internal and external damage they may do can live far beyond the FOX News and CNN news cycles. The Donalds are charismatic, and serve as role models for many other leaders, including C-level executives.

CEOs who tire of having constraints placed on them with media will point to people such as the Donalds as proof that they should be able to speak bluntly and without talking points. After all, the Donalds prove that people love outspoken leaders who are not afraid of saying what people are secretly thinking.

So here’s some free advice for PR people who work with C-level executives: Don’t let them listen to leaders like the Donalds. Both Rumsfeld and Trump are outliers, and CEOs who seek to model themselves after them will quickly find out that you can’t count on lightning striking every time. And if they try, the clean up will not be pretty.

SXSW Denver Download Recap

The large and lively crowd at GFM's SXSWi Denver Download 2015

The large and lively crowd at GFM’s SXSWi Denver Download 2015

We had roughly 115 clients; partners and agency friends join us on Tuesday morning for our fourth South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) Denver Download event. A huge thank you to Infinite Monkey Theorem for hosting and providing cold brewed coffee and breakfast cocktails, Boulder’s Upstart Kombucha for powering us through the morning with samples, and 34 Degrees for sending everyone home with the tastiest crackers on earth.

Our esteemed panelists discussed the overarching concepts, themes and new technologies from SXSWi 2015, and in case you missed the event, or if you were there and want to compare notes, below is a high-level recap of the panel discussion – from content to influencers to trends in technology.

Read more after the jump…

Tips for Getting Hired in PR/Marketing Communications

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 10.03.46 PMSpring is a time when college students are looking for summer internships or new college graduates are looking for jobs. I am continually amazed at the number of inquiries and unsolicited resumes our company receives, especially from those who blast their resume and don’t take the time to do their homework on the front end. After recently conducting an informational interview with an eager, young professional who is working in education and wants to transition in PR/marketing, I thought back to all the advice that has been shared with me. In addition, having been one of those job seekers at one time and having conducted dozens of informational interviews over the years, following are some tips I have learned a long the way.

Read more after the jump…

This Week: GFM @ SXSW Interactive 2015

Keepin' it Weird at SXSW Interactive in Austin.

Keepin’ it Weird at SXSW Interactive in Austin.

GFM’s Jon Woods and Jim Licko are headed back down to Austin this week to attend and report back on the South by Southwest Interactive (#SXSWi) conference – but this year they’re bringing Laura Love and Ramonna Robinson with them.

Laura and Ramonna were selected to speak at this year’s conference, and their session – Coding Culture: Programming a Best Place to Work – will highlight the importance of building great workplace culture, and offer tangible concepts and tips for creating a place where the best of the best will want to work. If you’re in Austin, be sure to stop by conference room 407 at the JW Marriott on Monday at 5pm!

Read more after the jump…

Five Lessons In Effective Leadership

indexGroundFloor Media’s President Ramonna Robinson was featured in a recent blog post from the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce on the 5 lessons that can make you a more effective leader. The story contains some great, actionable tips that anyone can implement.

For GroundFloor Media President Ramonna Robinson, learning about leadership was just the first step. The Leadership Foundation also connected her with people she may not have otherwise.

“In business—and even in my personal life—I find it extremely beneficial to surround myself with individuals who bring a variety of perspectives to the table,” she said. “Whether I need to think of a solution from a different perspective or come up with a new idea from an industry I’m not familiar with, my Leadership Denver classmates and Leadership Exchange colleagues are only a phone call away and always provide unique and interesting perspectives that broaden my horizons and help me think of things in new ways.”