I 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.”
Onefold Denver restaurant owner, Mark Nery, is a regular critic of his online critics (Photo: Instagram)
Consider your audience’s response.
That’s a cardinal rule for consumer brands when developing digital content. But does the same now go for consumers aiming to critique these brands online?
In an age in which critics have become brands unto themselves, that notion is certainly an interesting one. And one of my favorite Denver restaurants provides a captivating case study.
If you’re a brunch junkie, you’ve done yourself a disservice if you haven’t been to Onefold in Denver, a quaint spot that artfully weaves comfort foods of the Asian, French and Mexican persuasions. That is to say, there’s always a line out the door and it’s highly likely you’ll be dining amidst a sea of chambray and skinny jeans.
Without getting into the merits of each crisis communication instance, since we have already worn a path around the water cooler, in general there are some best practices to make an effective apology that will at least take a bit of the sting out of a negative situation.
Immediacy: When something goes wrong and your reputation is at stake, the sooner you apologize, the better. This can be difficult, without knowing all the facts and when dealing with legal issues. But, an immediate apology that expresses remorse, admits responsibility, makes amends and promises that it won’t happen again should still feel real without having completed a full investigation.
Use Social Media: Either through Twitter, Facebook, YouTube — apologize on a platform that your target audiences are following. Read more after the jump…
HBO’s John Oliver takes on the media’s attempts to sell his show’s content through sensational headlines and clickbait.
As media outlets look to grow their shrinking audiences and advertising budgets, they are turning to popular online platforms to share stories and drive engagement.
The New York Times for instance, is setting the bar for how it presents its stories online, by including video, graphics, podcasts and photos. It’s refreshing compared to the tired ink and paper version that fewer and fewer people find on their door steps each morning. But, as some media outlets are looking to truly engage and embrace online platforms, there are others that are simply driving their audiences to digital properties to drive clicks, which they will somehow count as audience growth and sell to advertisers.
This trend is called clickbait, content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page or to comment, with the goal of growing audiences and digital revenue. It has nothing to do with journalism, although it can be cloaked as such.
For me, watching the U.S. Women’s National Basketball Team destroy the competition was a highlight of the Rio Olympics, especially in comparison to their more highly touted male counterparts who occasionally struggled to squeak out wins. The women straight up dominated on their way to winning gold (for the sixth straight time), outscoring their opponents by an average of 37 points. Their superiority made me wonder: why does the WNBA settle for such terrible names and logos for their teams? These women are athletes and competitors. They deserve better than to play for the Sparks, Sky, Fever and Dream. The especially irksome names are all derived from NBA affiliates, with the women’s team being the lesser of the two. The Wizards (an awful name in its own right) have the Mystics, the Timberwolves have the Lynx, the Spurs have the Stars, and the Mavericks have the Wings. Let’s give these women the respect they deserve and come up with some team names that are cool, and logos that aren’t simply bastardizations of their NBA brothers.
Media complaints about public relations pros are well known: too many lame pitches, misleading pitches, ill-timed pitches and incessant follow-ups. But it’s a two-way street. PR folks can be just as frustrated with with the media. Digiday offers some pet peeves that agencies have with the media. I can attest that all of them are based in some reality. Here are some of the highlights submitted by PR firms to Digiday, along with some personal experiences: Read more after the jump…
The shrinking Denver media just got even smaller. Last week, the Denver Post announced that 20 journalists took buyouts, and it was followed by an unknown number of additional layoffs.
This brings the total number of newspaper reporters working for Denver’s only metropolitan daily to less than 100. In perspective, 10 years ago, there were an estimated 400 journalists working for either the Post or the now-closed Rocky Mountain News.
Without getting into the critical role the media plays in our community, here are a couple points to consider as we work on behalf of our clients to navigate the Denver media landscape:
Build relationships: It will be nearly impossible to catch the attention of a journalist, let alone build ongoing relationships with the new crop of reporters. Just think, there are 90 journalists, half of which work behind the scenes, covering a metro area with 2 million people.
Strong pitches: Getting a client’s news in the newspaper will be even more of a challenge, and only the best pitches will succeed. Strong news hooks and trends remain important. Read more after the jump…
One of the most important things about being a professional designer is staying inspired. Many people outside creative fields often confuse the lines between design as a career and a hobby. Just because I love what I do doesn’t necessarily mean it’s always easy. Creativity is hard work. When I find myself in a design rut, I look to creative friends and colleagues to bolster my mind and get my creative brain back on track. I love checking out what other artists and designers are posting on Instagram and Twitter, but I also find inspiration in everyday objects. As a designer AND home-brewer, beer labels are one of my favorite sources of inspiration. Read more after the jump…
Some of our favorite meals at Denver’s Civic Center Eats this summer! Photo by @jimlicko on Instagram.
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.
Thinking back on it, my career in communications was inevitable. I always scored off-the-charts for verbal skills (if you know me personally, this shouldn’t surprise you!) and from an early age my mom encouraged me to take responsibility and speak up for myself.
Today, I appreciate and apply these lessons (thanks, Mom!) every day as a professional communicator. However, I’m beginning to wonder if kids today are learning these same basic skills. Or has technology completely undermined their ability to truly and personally communicate? Read more after the jump…