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Instagram + New York = All The Feels

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This week, let’s cut straight to the chase and share two terrific stories that have us swooning. As you may know, we’re remodeling our office so we’ve got our eyes peeled for hip design trends. So, you can imagine our delight at this article (with pics, of course) about How Instagram Made Its New York Office Highly Instagrammable. Amazing! Swept up in a New York state of mind? Let us give you another reason to love the Big Apple by introducing you to the New York Public Library’s new Instagram stories campaign that puts the story back in stories by turning classic novels into – well – stories. Genius! We simply cannot wait to see this campaign unfold. Meanwhile in other news… 

U.S. News & World Report: Social Media Makes People Change Their Views

New research indicates that 14 percent of Americans have changed their views on a social or political topic within the last year because of something they saw on social media. With elections coming up, this is a pretty incredible statistic. Learn more about the research in this comprehensive recap. Read more after the jump…

Get Grounded Spotlight: Denver CASA Serves Kids in Juvenile Court

Since 2015, The Get Grounded Foundation has awarded grants biannually to Denver-based nonprofits that focus on at-risk youth in the areas of child abuse and neglect, youth behavioral health or childhood hunger relief. GroundFloor Media (GFM) and our sister agency, CenterTable, started our Get Grounded Spotlight Series to highlight past recipients and show their outstanding work in the community. The latest episode spotlights Denver CASA, an organization dedicated to advocating for Denver’s abused and neglected children in the juvenile court system.

CASAs, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, represent the child’s best interests in juvenile court and give a voice to children that don’t have the power to speak for themselves. CASAs are volunteers who spend numerous hours bonding with the children they fight for. They also work with the courts to find the best possible solution for their future. Several members of GFM have been so inspired by their work that they have chosen to become CASAs themselves. Watch the video above to learn more about Denver CASA and how you can become involved.

Please check out our previous Get Grounded Spotlight episodes on our Vimeo channel and keep an eye out on our social channels for when you can submit your application for our Fall 2018 grants. If you’re interested in getting involved with Denver CASA, click here for more information.

Why ‘Purpose’ is Crucial for CSR efforts in 2018

Holding the world in your hands; Photo credit: Ken Teegardin

Photo credit: Ken Teegardin

“Purpose is more than just a trend, it’s the new norm. Americans have expectations of companies to lead with Purpose by not just making money, but positively impacting society as well. Companies need to identify, communicate and live their Purpose to maintain relevance, trust and competitive advantage.”

~ 2018 Cone/Porter Novelli Purpose Study

Cone Communications has been studying corporate social responsibility (CSR) in America for 25 years. This year, they focused on the concept of a company’s Purpose. They examine this concept from a number of angles in their recently released 2018 Cone/Porter Novelli Purpose Study. I’d like to take a look at three specific points: Authenticity, Brand Loyalty, and the Intersection of Purpose & Social Justice.

Read more after the jump…

Getting to the Point in Public Relations

Getting to the Point in a PR Pitch

When he’s not peering into my purse and desk drawers to scout for contraband snacks and gum, Gil Rudawsky spends his days as one of GroundFloor Media’s fearless leaders. As a Vice President, he has more than two decades of communications and journalism experience. This translates into expert counsel for our staff and clients, particularly in the areas of issues management, crisis communications and public policy campaigns.

Prior to joining GroundFloor Media, Gil served as the deputy editor on the business and metro desks at the Rocky Mountain News. When asked to describe the number of pitches that crossed his desk during those years, he estimates 50,000. This volume of requests has helped him to finely craft pitches of his own.

As colleagues, we review one another’s client communications constantly. Gil is adept at revealing the heart of the matter and never mincing words – a quality I deeply appreciate and admire in a teammate. I sat down with him to talk about how digital and public relations professionals can get to the point.

Press releases then and now

CLARE: With ever-expanding digital media, has there been a shift away from lengthy press releases?
GIL: Going back 30 years, lengthy press releases were always looked down upon, and that’s the case today. I don’t think anybody should have ever sent them, even when we had newsrooms that were four times the size they are now. Because of the breakneck pace of news, journalists have always been too busy. Back then and today, they are only attuned to the top one or two paragraphs of a pitch. If you haven’t sold your story or angle in that spot, you haven’t done your job.

From journalism to public relations

CLARE: Given your background at the Rocky Mountain News, how does that experience as a journalist serve you in your day-to-day work as a communications leader?
GIL: I use the skills I gained in journalism on a daily basis in a variety of areas, mostly in messaging. I focus on writing concisely and getting to the point quickly and I encourage our clients to do the same. In terms of strategy, I’m always thinking about audiences and the best way to present the information. I love capturing a narrative through an engaging video, graphically or in a podcast. For better or worse, we don’t need journalists to tell our client stories anymore.

CLARE: Your personal writing is succinct and to the point. Do you have a method to harness that style when you write content for clients?
GIL: Succinct and to the point are good but context and good storytelling are more important. Color, flavor and storytelling can bring dry or mundane issues to life. Always ask “Why should the audience care about this?”

Supportive proof points and audiences

CLARE: Do you have specific questions you ask a client during the briefing process?
GIL: For messaging, we always want to focus on three key points that we want to get out to their audiences. At the same time, you should your identify the audiences, whether internal or external stakeholders, customers or regulators, etc. You want your three key points to be strong and include supporting proof points that make sense to each of those audiences. I always look at it as a pyramid —  simple messages and building to more in-depth proof points.

CLARE: What are some common mistakes companies make during the messaging phase of a release?
GIL: I think it’s forgetting your primary audience. The general public doesn’t care about your internal terms and branded words – these are meaningless. Companies forget how to be conversational and accessible.

Fewer specialized journalists

CLARE: You have written on our blog about the changing landscape of journalism (one, two, three). Do you want to share any learnings from 2018 so far?
GIL: The trend over the past 15 years continues. We have fewer specialized journalists. Journalists who used to cover a beat now have to cover a variety of topics. Everyone has to be a generalist and that makes our job more difficult. You used to talk to a reporter and they were just as knowledgeable about the topic as you were, if not more so. Because journalists are stretched thin, that’s a rarity now. Educating the media is becoming more important.

CLARE: What do you enjoy most about working in public relations?
GIL: My favorite work is the collaboration between our staff at GFM and CenterTable and the variety of our clients. Our strategies and thoughtfulness can make a real difference in how clients communicate, and therefore how they are perceived by the public. Personally, I feel like the work I do is valued by both clients and teammates and that’s easily the best part for me.

19 More Fridays Until Christmas!

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Get ready for that time of year where big box stores skip straight over Halloween and dive headlong into winter holiday decorations. Perhaps your organization should be thinking ahead too. You’ve still got time to implement some web and content strategies for higher conversion rates during the holiday season. The strategies below can work for you whether your holiday campaign will include collecting donations or motivating people to purchase your services. Give your future self the gift of a solid plan.

Social Media Today: 5 Things You Should Be Doing Right Now to Prepare for Giving Tuesday

Opening day is coming! Whether you think of Giving Tuesday or Colorado Gives Day as opening day to the holiday giving season, put a plan in place now. Identify your most compelling stories, prep your tech for a deluge of donations and make sure you’ve thought through how to make the most of your hard work. Even if you’re a for-profit business, consider finding a nonprofit partner that might make sense for you to work with.
Read more after the jump…

The Get Grounded Foundation Awards Grants to 6 Programs Serving Denver’s At-Risk Youth

GroundFloor Media & CenterTable's Get Grounded Foundation Spotlight
The Get Grounded Foundation awarded six new community grants during its Spring 2018 grant cycle. Totaling more than $21,000, the grantees were selected for their efforts to get a new or innovative program off the “ground floor” in the areas of child abuse and neglect, youth behavioral health and/or childhood hunger relief. To date, the Foundation has granted more than $100,000 in community grants

Spring 2018 Get Grounded Foundation Grant Recipients

The spring 2018 grant recipients include:

Children’s Farms of America’s Farm-School Garden Specialist

The facilitator of the FreshLo Farms for Kids project in the Montbello neighborhood in Denver, Children’s Farms of America will use this grant to support a farm-school garden specialist to consult on urban agriculture, increasing yield in small spaces, working with children and adults on topics such as growing environments, pest management, nutrition and food preparation.

Read more after the jump…

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…

CenterTable Adds 2 New Digital Marketing Experts

The CenterTable team recently grew by two when Rachael Roark and Olivia Ward joined the team.

Rachael1_FA_centertable_jpgRachael Roark will focus on audience-based research to inform strategic integrated plans, SEO programs and content creation. She joins the agency from 90octane, where she was SEO manager supporting highly targeted, integrated marketing strategies for a number of B2B and B2C clients such as Oracle, Arrow Electronics and Whole Foods. A native of Colorado, Roark graduated from the University of Denver with a degree in photography and minors in business and marketing.

Olivia Ward combines a tactical approach to big-picture thinking with attention to detail, ensuring clients connect with their audiences through informed social strategies. Prior to joining CenterTable, Ward’s experience included working as a senior social media specialist at Volume Nine and as a digital marketing freelancer. She also served as a media buyeOlivia-1r for Lewis J. Advertising, successfully negotiating and buying traditional and digital media for four competitive markets. Originally from Wakeman, Ohio, Ward earned her bachelor’s degree in mass communication and international studies from North Dakota State University.

“Rachael and Olivia both bring unique, strategic experience to their roles that will ensure CenterTable remains at the forefront of industry trends,” said Ramonna Robinson, president and managing partner of GroundFloor Media and co-founder of CenterTable. “Their valuable insights will enable our team to continue delivering direct and measurable connections with our client audiences through the creative, integrated campaigns and strategic counsel for which we are well-known.”

To meet the other members of the CenterTable team or get to better get to know both agencies, visit Facebook, InstagramLinkedIn, or Twitter.

 

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…