Nominations Open for PRSA Colorado Special Awards

PRSA Colorado is now accepting nominations for its 2017 Special Awards. Categories include:

  • Swede Johnson Lifetime Achievement
  • Joe Fuentes Rookie of the Year
  • Chapter Service
  • PR Person of the Year
  • Business Person of the Year
  • Mentor of the Year
  • PR Team of the Year

Special Awards winners will be recognized during the annual PRSA Colorado Gold Pick Award ceremony on Thursday, May 4, 2017 at the DCPA’s Chambers Grant Salon.

9News Shakes Up Sports Coverage

Joanne Ostrow at The Denver Post reports that 9News is abandoning the traditional sports segment in favor of sports feature stories integrated throughout the newscast. The move is intended to fight the “ratings drop off” that normally occurs during sports segments at the end of newscasts.

“Sports has always been done at the end of the newscast. Typically you see ratings drop off at that point. We want to take the people doing sports and incorporate all that stuff throughout the newscast,” said KUSA general manager Steve Carter. …

“No one’s losing their job. We’re adding another sports person, another digital person,” Carter said. “Right now, even if sports becomes a bigger story our station tended to hold it until the sports segment. There’s no reason sports can’t run in the A block or B block. We’re spreading the sports out.”

Get Grounded Foundation Awards $20k

The Get Grounded Foundation, the charitable giving arm of GroundFloor Media (GFM) and its digital sister agency CenterTable, has awarded more than $20,000 to seven local community programs supporting youth services. Recipients are:

Teen Facebook Usage Actually Increasing

Conventional wisdom has it that teens have abandoned Facebook in favor of WhatsApp, Snapchat and Instagram. A new report from UBS Evidence Lab finds a different story:

UBS Evidence Lab conducted research on U.S. use of Facebook in 2016 and found that most teens use the social media platform daily and that that number is actually on the rise, as reported by eMarketer.

The research found that 65% of U.S. teens reported using Facebook daily last November, and that figure was up from 59% in November 2014. Facebook actually beat out Snapchat and Instagram for daily use by teens, though that may be less surprising given that Facebook’s overall audience is significantly larger than the competition.

Separate research from RBC Capital Markets, also from last November, found that that about one-third of teens reported increasing Facebook usage over the past year.

Denver TV News Landscape Continues Shifting

The Denver Post’s Joanne Ostrow reports that Tom Green will leave KWGN/Channel 2 this spring when his contract expires:

“It’s just time to change my vista,” Green said. “I don’t have a plan.” The anchor known for his droll style will stay in Denver and will likely remain in broadcasting, he said. He has had conversations about a return to sportscasting. “I’m not retiring.”

Green’s departure is just the latest in a string of recent local TV news changes that include:

Yes, Please …

Foodstuffs conglomerate Kraft Heinz Co. is thinking outside of the box with its Super Bowl promotional plans, Bloomberg’s Craig Giammona reports:

Kraft Heinz Co. plans to give all of its salaried U.S. employees the day off following the Super Bowl, a move that the food giant hopes will generate more publicity than buying a 30-second ad for millions of dollars.

The idea is to relieve workers from dragging themselves into the office on the Monday after the game — a day that’s notorious for absenteeism — while promoting the notion of a post-Super Bowl holiday. Kraft Heinz declined to say how much the gambit will cost, but it involves giving a free vacation day to thousands of employees.

SE2 Hiring a Director of Client Services

Integrated marketing communications agency SE2 is hiring a Director of Client Services:

We are looking for a highly skilled, enthusiastic Director of Client Services who can manage our account team, enhance client relationships and help grow the organization. This is a leadership position in a dynamic company committed to doing great work for issue-oriented clients including health, education, policy and more.

Who Said It, President Trump or Dear Leader?


It turns out that President Trump and Kim Jung-Il, former Supreme Leader of North Korea, share an unorthodox approach to braggadocio. Can you guess which of them said each of the following statements?

1. I was a prodigy who could drive at age 3 and was winning yacht races at age 9.

2. My fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well documented, are various other parts of my body.

3. I penned six operas in two years – “all of which are better than any in the history of music.”

4. If we are provoked by our enemies, I will not hesitate to slap them with a pre-emptive nuclear strike.

5. My IQ is one of the highest in the world.

6. I shot 38 under par in a round of golf, and that included 11 holes in one.

7. I declared an official “National Day of Patriotic Devotion” to celebrate my leadership.

8. It’s very hard for people to attack me on looks because I’m so good looking.


Continue reading “Who Said It, President Trump or Dear Leader?”

Perhaps He Stayed a Month Too Long …

Longtime sports announcer Brent Musburger has announced his retirement, and the Associated Press included this nugget in his farewell coverage:

“Both Musburger and ESPN say his recent Sugar Bowl comments criticized as being insensitive to a female assault victim had nothing to do with his exit.”

You can get the backstory on his cringeworthy 2017 Sugar Bowl comments, as well as his cringeworthy 2013 BCS Championship Game comments.

Amelie Company Seeks AE

Denver-based Amelie Company is hiring a Social Media/PR account executive:

The Social Media / PR Account Executive is responsible for day-to-day client activities and is able to work independently and autonomously on PR and social media projects. This includes public relations, media relations, social media strategy and management in addition to grassroots events. This person will support the account supervisor in developing strategic PR campaigns for a wide range of clients and industries, including but not limited to, consumer and trade media outreach as well as public awareness campaigns. This person possesses a strong desire to have a career in public relations, event planning and social media; strong desire to be a part of a growing, nimble team at a boutique agency.

Edelman’s 2017 Trust Barometer Finds, Well, You Know …

Edelman released its annual Trust Barometer report, and, as you might expect, things don’t look particularly good:

The 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals that trust is in crisis around the world. The general population’s trust in all four key institutions — business, government, NGOs, and media — has declined broadly, a phenomenon not reported since Edelman began tracking trust among this segment in 2012.

With the fall of trust, the majority of respondents now lack full belief that the overall system is working for them. In this climate, people’s concerns about job-threatening issues such as globalization and automation turn into fears, spurring the rise of populist actions now playing out in several Western-style democracies.

To rebuild trust and restore faith in the system, institutions must step outside of their traditional roles and work toward a new, more integrated operating model that puts people — and the addressing of their fears — at the center of everything they do.

Someone is going to have enormous shoes to fill

Tom Clark, the CEO of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp., is retiring, according to The Denver Post’s Emilie Rusch:

“Clark has led the regional economic development office for the past 14 years, serving as a key player in virtually every major business relocation and expansion along the Front Range since first landing a job with the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce in 1985.”

New Denver D.A. Ousts Long-time PIO

In one of her first moves on swearing-in day, new Denver District Attorney Beth McCann “has dismissed Lynn Kimbrough, the long-time public information officer who often was the face of the district attorney’s office, according to Noelle Phillips at The Denver Post. McCann named Ken Lane, “a veteran spokesman for Democratic politicians” including Secretary/Senator/Attorney General Ken Salazar, to the position.

In Memoriam

Jason Blevins at The Denver Post writes the obituary for Factory Design Labs:

Factory Design Labs is dead.

Denver’s iconic, independent ad agency with posh offices in Cherry Creek and big-name clients like Audi, The North Face and Oakley, has shut down only two months after celebrating its 20th year in business.

At its peak, Factory Design Labs employed more than 100 workers spread across offices in Colorado, Switzerland, Shanghai and California. The company climbed to international prominence crafting ad campaigns for Aspen Skiing Co., Sports Authority, Callaway Golf, Head Tennis, Jim Beam and MapQuest. Factory’s fall began last year, when it lost its account with The North Face, which named Factory as its agency of record in 2007. Oakley and Callaway Golf were gone by then. Sports Authority was collapsing. Factory’s latest clients included Eddie Bauer, MapQuest, Head Tennis and local restaurant chain Punch Bowl Social.

Last year, several magazine publishers blasted Factory for not paying for ads. Many high-profile magazines said Factory offered pennies on the dollar when it was unable to pay for ads, citing the sudden loss of The North Face account. Publishers reported losing tens of thousands of dollars.

Chipotle CMO Pleads Guilty to Drug Charge

From The Wall Street Journal:

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (Chief Marketing and Development Officer) Mark Crumpacker pleaded guilty on Friday to a misdemeanor that will be dismissed next year if he submits to drug testing and undergoes treatment.

Prosecutors in New York said the burrito chain’s chief creative and development officer participated in a cocaine drug ring. He pleaded guilty to a single count of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree.

Mr. Crumpacker, who returned to Chipotle in September after less than three months on leave, told investors in October that he had learned from his mistakes. “I’m sorry I caused a distraction for the company,” he said.

CU Boulder Adds PRSSA Chapter

Colorado State University students have long benefited from the school’s PRSSA chapter (as well as from its unofficial/official champion Jane Dvorak). Now, the University of Colorado Boulder has launched its own PRSSA chapter with an equally talented and passionate sponsor – Dawn Doty.

If you would like to find ways to support the new CU chapter, contact Dawn via email. And if you would like to support the CSU chapter, contact chapter president Allyson Katherine Berry via email.

Linhart Promotes Two, Adds One

Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 9.24.35 AM.pngLinhart PR promoted Kelly Womer to senior vice president and Kelly Janhunen to vice president. Womer and Janhunen are two of the firm’s four partners, who also include Managing Partner Paul Raab and CFO Carri Clemens.

Linhart also added Shannon Hughes as a new associate. Hughes was previously an intern, supporting various clients with research, media outreach, content development and results reporting.

PRSA Colorado Announces 2017 Board

PRSA Colorado announced its 2017 Board of Directors:

  • President: Renee Robinson, APR, director, corporate communications, Ball Corporation
  • Past-President: Nicole Yost, founder and president, Fyn Public Relations
  • President-Elect: Amy Sperber, APR, director/employee communications, Charles Schwab
  • Treasurer: Jerry Brown, APR, independent practitioner
  • Secretary: Suzanne Trantow, corporate communications consultant, Aguilar PR
  • Teresa Dougherty, APR, strategic communications consultant, Ledermark Communications
  • Elisabeth Monaghan, APR, consultant, Monaghan Communications
  • Diane Mulligan, APR, president & CEO, M&C Communications
  • Stacey Sepp, APR, founder and principal, Xstatic Public Relations
  • Elise Bishop, communications specialist, The WhiteWave Foods Company
  • Bill Doughty, APR, principal/consultant, Engaging Communications
  • Michelle Ellis, partner, Orapin Marketing + Public Relations
  • Kelly Janhunen, senior account director & partner, Linhart Public Relations
  • Quinn Kelsey, account supervisor, Olson Engage
  • Jessica Sidener, director of communications/programs/partnerships, Arapahoe Library District

The board members were elected by the membership at the organization’s annual meeting and terms run Jan. 1 – Dec. 31.

2016 PR Disasters – The Finalists

I joined KOA NewsRadio’s April Zesbaugh recently for my annual list of 2016’s biggest PR disasters, and I wanted to share the complete list of the year’s finalists:

Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte, perpetually overshadowed by Michael Phelps, finally finds the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

An allegedly inattentive Tesla driver gives the company its first fatal auto-pilot accident.

A viral video shows an employee of Kellogg’s urinating on a Rice Krispies production line.

The lack of diversity among nominees spurs the #OscarsSoWhite protest. In response, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences selects comedian Chris Rock to host the awards ceremony, who almost immediately draws criticism for mocking Asians.

India’s Tata Motors introduces its exciting new car – the Zica!

Snapchat introduces a Bob Marley “black face” filter to celebrate 4/20. Realizing the publicity bonanza that bad taste can give it, Snapchat then introduces the yellow face filter that offends many Asians.

Today Show host Billy Bush goes from boy wonder to persona non grata at NBC.

There is not a lot that can create bipartisanship in Washington these days, but allegations of price gouging by the maker of the Epi-Pen did just that.

Cinemark tries to make victims of the Aurora Theater shooting pays its legal bills.

Three years ago, Penn State set the gold standard for college athletics PR debacles. An unimpressed Baylor said, “Oh yeah. Watch this.”

Looking to reclaim its position back from Baylor, Penn State chooses to honor disgraced former coach Joe Paterno on the 50th anniversary of his first game.

Scientists discover that Dyson’s hip new hand dryers actually spread germs 190 times more than old-fashioned paper towels.

US Soccer goalie Hope Solo plays the Ugly American to perfection by calling the Swedish team “cowards” after they defeated the US team.

Chipotle tries to change the subject from E.coli after a disastrous 2015, and its Chief Creative Officer takes one for the team by getting arrested as part of a New York City drug ring investigation.

Homelessness, open drug use on the Cherry Creek Trail, violence on the 16th Street Mall and historically high rents all take their toll on Denver’s reputation.

Banks, airlines and cell phone providers are the businesses that people love to hate, and this year Wells Fargo vaulted itself to the top of that list by allegedly creating fraudulent accounts for its customers.

What do Samsung’s mobile phones and washing machines have in common? They both explode.

Miss Teen USA somehow holds on to her title following the discovery of racist tweets. Meanwhile, Joe’s Crab Shack uses photos of lynchings to give its restaurants an authentic decor.

The US Department of Defense asks veterans to repay enlistment bonuses 10 years after they were paid.

Chili’s takes away a veteran’s free meal.

Leading up to the Iowa caucuses, Stanford alumna and presidential candidate Carly Fiorina tweets that she is rooting against her alma mater and for the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Rose Bowl.

Tennis superstar Maria Sharapova is dropped by sponsors after testing positive for a banned substance.

Advertising giant JWT Global’s CEO is accused of sexual harassment. Not to be outdone, the chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi is put on leave for his insensitive gender diversity comments.

Facebook allows advertisers to exclude audiences based on race.

An Indian Wells tennis executive is forced to resign after belittling female players and the Women’s Tennis Association.

George Mason University is horrified when its newly named Antonin Scalia School of Law is being referred to as “ASS Law.”

A Sprint TV commercial shows focus group participants associating T-Mobile service with ghettos.

Analyst Curt Shilling is fired by ESPN for a social media post related to transgender bathrooms.

Both ABC and Michael Strahan incur the wrath of Kelly Ripa when she is blindsided by his departure from the Live with Kelly and Michael show to join Good Morning America.

The University of California at Davis goes to incredible lengths to try to cover up its Pepper Spray-Gate.

The National Football League is accused of trying to influence the results of scientific research through its grants.

A two-year-old is snatched and killed by an alligator at a Disney resort.

England voters looking to make a statement inadvertently vote to leave the European Union.

Jostens gives Denver Broncos defensive coordinator “Wade Peters” his Super Bowl ring.

Uber is sanctioned after it uses a CIA-linked intelligence firm to investigate lawyers and plaintiffs in a suit against the ride-sharing company.

The wife of a Tampa Bay Buccaneers football player tweets about the front office taking care of its “Jew buddies.”

Fox News cans Roger Ailes following allegations of sexual harassment by a number of female employees, including anchors Gretchen Carlson and Megyn Kelly.

The National Football League is forced to cancel its season-opening Hall of Fame game after the painted surfaces of the field become rock-hard.

NBC Olympics announcers Chris Marlowe, Al Trautwig and Dan Hicks take turns offending groups of viewers.

JetBlue sends an unattended 5-year-old to the wrong airport.

Big Sugar commissions Harvard studies to point the finger at fat and away from sugar as the cause of obesity and other health problems.

Skittles unwillingly finds itself at the heart of an immigration debate when Donald Trump’s son uses a bowlful of its candy as a metaphor.