Radical Collaboration - Building Event Buzz at Home and Abroad

  • Challenge

    Promote TEDxDU through national and international digital and social media outreach in just eight weeks

  • Solution

    Develop integrated communications plan to include media and social media outreach

  • Results

    60,000 Facebook post views, including 10,000 on event day; trending topic on Twitter for day


GFM had just eight weeks to promote the University of Denver (DU) annual TEDxDU symposium through national and international online and social media outreach. GFM was challenged to develop and execute its plans in cooperation with multiple stakeholders, while adhering to both DU and global TED branding and messaging guidelines.


GFM quickly hit the ground running, developing an integrated communications plan supporting the following TEDxDU objectives:

  • Leverage TEDxDU speakers and on-campus events to increase visibility for DU
  • Position DU as an ongoing leader in the global TEDx movement
  • Expand the reach of TEDxDU, particularly for online audiences

The team pared the list of 15 speakers down to a targeted group of five who represented a diverse selection of topics and backgrounds, and also presented the most compelling topics for national audiences, such as robotics, environment, art, mental health and politics. GFM developed background speaker materials, targeted media lists and pitches, then proactively reached out to generate interest among trade, national and international media.

GFM also developed social media initiatives to increase awareness of the TEDxDU event, both on campus and among TED followers. Efforts included Facebook and Twitter posts, foursquare promotions, PitchEngine posts, blog content, website updates and a collaborative video campaign with event performers John Common and Blinding Flashes of Light – all focused on engaging online audiences in conversations about, “What is 'radical collaboration'?”


Online audiences flocked to Facebook as a central hub of activity leading up to and during the TEDxDU event, with nearly 60,000 post views over the course of two months, including more than 10,000 on the day of the event.

The TEDxDU Twitter feed, optimized by a live wall of tweets during the event, was a #trending topic for the Denver market on the event day.

GFM's efforts established a solid platform for future online engagement in support of the annual TEDxDU symposium, as well as for its periodic salon events throughout the year on the DU campus.