DBJ Launches ShopWatch Retail/Restaurant Blog

If you have restaurants or retail stores as clients, you should know about ShopWatch, a relatively new Denver Business Journal blog that is written/edited by Boots Gifford. The blog covers “openings and closings of restaurants and retail stores, relocations, and major business strategy changes like remodels and major reworking of product offerings.” Don’t bother pitching minor menu additions or holiday “specials.”

2010 Denver PR Predictions – Sharon Linhart

By Sharon Haley Linhart
Managing Partner,
Linhart Public Relations

At the risk of pointing out the obvious, the world has really changed the way it communicates. I predict business will continue to adapt to and adopt new interactive media and digital communications for everything from customer service to crisis management to employee engagement. Organizations will seek to bypass the traditional news media and interact one-on-one with key audiences as never before. The smart strategists who know what, why, when and how to communicate will rule this new world and the question of “what’s the ROI of social media” will finally be put to rest.

2010 Denver PR Predictions – Tracy Weise

By Tracy Weise
President,
Weise Communications Inc.

There are two kinds of PR pros: Those who move at the speed of a nanosecond (I predict they will do well) and those who still have the Rocky Mountain News on their media lists (I predict they will soon be applying to MBA programs).

The news, and the not so newsworthy news, is reaching us all at the speed of 140 characters per posting. This means that product and service providers, corporations, politicians, athletes, and all those other entertainers/public figures who have private lives we don’t really need to know about but still do, need to be on top of their images every day, every minute. As PR professionals, it is our job to manage those images in nanoseconds.

Public relations professionals have incredible opportunities to promote our clients in new and innovative, and quite frankly, fun ways. We have not had to rely on old school practices of op-eds, newsletters, published profiles or speaking opportunities to develop the image of our clients or promote services and products. Now we have blogs, casts of the pod and video varieties, twits and flicks and so many more opportunities to publish content, react to breaking news, manage messages and craft identities. PR professionals who are taking advantage of the chance to own their messages without journalists as gatekeepers, will propel their clients to new heights. But those individuals (or agencies) not up to speed in this 140-character world, will be stuck reacting to community perception instead of owning media messages.

Not only do we need to embrace the ever expanding world of social communications, but we must continue to pull our clients to it as well. Posting apologies on personal Web sites, ala Tiger Woods, is clearly not engaging or effective communications. CEO’s blogging about the good, the bad and the ugly on a regular basis, ala Paul Levy of Beth Isreal, are in the game to control and own messages.  What type of communication program will you advocate? It is amazing how many times I heard during the past year, “We don’t need to Twitter.” Or, “I am the CEO, I don’t have the time to blog.” I promise you, during their next crisis communication moment (and they will have it), these same people are going to wish they had been participating in online communications for months.

I also predict that the traditionally academic motto “publish or perish” is no longer just for those seeking tenure. Getting good, optimized content online will be a new PR 101 lesson.

In addition, I predict that Oprah will continue to find some way to haunt our PR nightmares.

Finally, and most importantly, I predict that The University of Alabama will be the 2010 National Champions in College Football. Roll Tide Roll.

2010 Denver PR Predictions – Jeff Julin

By Jeff Julin
President, MGA Communications

  • It will still be economy, economy, economy and budgets will be tight. Creating public relations programs
    with value tied to productivity and profitability will be critical.
  • Social media will not be all the rage, it will be required. Social media is becoming an integral part of most programs and will join the other list of public relations tactics expected from our profession. The focus for this next phase needs to be on developing organizational social media engagement policies, clear integrated strategies and measurement processes linked to business goals.
  • Mobile technology is moving to center stage in communication. Speed and true 24/7 connectivity and will create incredible opportunities for developing and enhancing relationships with our target audiences. The smart use and development of applications will be a valuable capability to add to our public relations arsenal.
  • In-person exchanges, special events, community meetings, etc. are not becoming obsolete, but rather more important, in part, because of the wide-spread use of technology. We need to use both wisely.
  • User-generated content is foundational to the internet. However, actions like the FTC rule requiring bloggers to reveal when they have been paid in some way for blogging about a product or company may start a trend toward more transparency and validation about information posted on the web. Perhaps there is a future for editors, let’s hope so.
  • Online advertising is no longer about a simple click through. There will be increasing incentives offered to motivate people to click on the ad. Coupons anyone?
  • Survey Monkey is making everyone a researcher – public relations/ communications professionals should become the gate keepers of the validity of the information.