Airbnb Apologizes for ‘Sioux Style’ Teepee Experience

Airbnb has apologized for its “poor judgment” in advertising a teepee property in California’s Joshua Tree National Park as “true Sioux style.” John McCarthy of The Drum reports:

The Memorial Day weekend ad that appeared on Facebook and Instagram … offered a “250-square foot tipi, which accommodates up to 7 people” that features “the comforts of a cozy master bedroom” as an “unconventional getaway”

One issue was that the California site was half the country away from where the Sioux was historically situated in, and around, the American Midwest.

airbnb sioux style ad


Denver Broncos Promote PR VP Smyth

The Denver Post’s Nicki Jhabvala reports that the Denver Broncos have promoted Patrick Smyth from vice president of public relations to executive vice president of public and community relations. Jhabvala also reports:

Erich Schubert was promoted from senior manager of media relations to director of the department, Seth Medvin, formerly a media relations coordinator, was elevated to strategic communications manager.

Denver Broncos practiceCredit: Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post

9News Extends Lead in 10 pm News Ratings Race

Joanne Ostrow at The Denver Post crunched the numbers from the latest ratings period, and the data show that 9News has extended its lead in the benchmark 10 pm news category and that Fox31 has jumped into second place ahead of CBS4.

Last year, 9News notched a 2.75 rating, accounting for approximately 45 percent of viewers who were watching local news. This year, 9News increased that to a 3.13 rating, accounting for 49 percent of viewers watching local news.

Meanwhile, Fox jumped from a 1.00 rating last year (16.5 percent of viewers) to a 1.23 share this year (19.3 percent of viewers). That allowed it to pass CBS4, which saw its numbers decline from a 1.34 rating (22.1 percent of viewers) last year to a 1.10 (17.3 percent of viewers) this year.

The bottom line remains that having a client on just 9News is roughly as impactful as having them on all three other networks combined.

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Floyd’s 99 Retains PRIM Communications

Floyd’s 99 Barbershop has retained PRIM Communications to handle public relations activities for the brand’s upcoming national campaign and ongoing publicity efforts.

“We are thrilled to forge this partnership with Floyd’s 99,” says Gretchen TeBockhorst, president of PRIM Communications. “Floyd’s 99 has transformed the business of barbershops in the United States, and their upcoming campaign captures the business’s innovation and creativity in an exceptional and meaningful way.”

‘What’s America Really Watching in the Morning? Local News’

Provocative cable news shows may get all the headlines, but a Poynter Institute analysis finds that Americans overwhelmingly view local TV news rather than their cable TV counterparts. Media writer James Warren used Chicago as a benchmark and found:

The power and potency of local news endures, perhaps all the more so in a fragmented digital age. It’s a reality generally missed by media reporters.

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‘Jimmy Fallon Was on Top of the World. Then Came Trump.’

Dave Itzkoff at The New York Times looks into one of the unexpected casualties of the Trump administration: NBC Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon.

Once the undisputed juggernaut of the late-night category, Mr. Fallon’s “Tonight Show,” a celebrity-friendly cavalcade of games and gags, has seen its ratings decline in recent months. Meanwhile, his politically pointed competitor Stephen Colbert, who hosts CBS’s “The Late Show,” has closed what was once a formidable gap of nearly one million viewers.

The resurgent interest in left-leaning programming hasn’t helped Mr. Fallon, a former star of “Saturday Night Live” who has built his brand on his all-around entertainer’s skills and down-the-middle tastes. And as Mr. Fallon is well aware, viewers haven’t seen him in quite the same light since an interview he conducted with Mr. Trump in September, which was widely criticized for its fawning, forgiving tone. In a gesture that has come to haunt the host, he concluded the segment by playfully running his fingers through Mr. Trump’s hair.

trump-fallon Provides Pro Bono Services to Esprit Venture Challenge Winner, formerly Metzger Albee, is partnering with the Boulder Chamber to provide pro bono public relations services to the winner of the Esprit Venture Challenge, an annual award presented to an outstanding Boulder startup.

MAPR has pledged a year-long public relations and communications program to each year’s Esprit Venture Challenge winner starting with this year’s recipient, Qualify. Founded by University of Colorado students Sean Chenoweth, Keenan Olsen and Jack Elder, as well as Christian Tucker, the company has developed a mobile dating application. The app is exclusively for college students — all users must use a university email address in order to download the app.
“Qualify exemplifies the Esprit Venture Challenge’s spirit of entrepreneurship,” said Doyle Albee, president and CEO of “The Qualify team is made up of creative and energetic individuals willing to collaborate and take risks to create a fun but substantial solution to meeting people in a new and different way.”

CBS4’s Ed Greene Bites Back as Station Eases Him Out

Longtime CBS4 weathercaster Ed Greene is being phased out, according to The Denver Post’s Joanne Ostrow, and he isn’t happy about. Asked about being slowly transitioned out in favor of Lauren Whitney, Greene told Ostrow:

“I guess management is ‘going in a new direction?’ I did not ask for ‘more time to spend with the grandkids’ (don’t have any, yet), or to spend more time at our home in Santa Fe (wife still busier than ever with her business … and we still have a student up at CU).”



It Could Be Worse …

Atlanta’s WATL has added a 7 pm newscast solely for the purpose of creating inventory for political ads for the runoff election for Georgia’s 6th Congressional district. The 7 pm newscast will run through June 20 – election day.

WATL is an affiliate of WXIA, the Tegna-owned NBC station in Atlanta. WATL and WXIA have the same affiliate arrangement as Denver’s 9News and KTVD/Channel 20 (also owned by Tegna).


CIG, Philosophy, Webb Big Winners at 2017 PRSA Gold Picks

CIG, Philosophy Communication, and Webb Strategic Communications were the big winners at last night’s PRSA Colorado Gold Picks awards event. Using the proprietary and highly sophisticated Denver PR Blog formula to determine who fared best (four points for the Grand Gold Pick, two points for a gold, one point for a silver), the results are:

Agency Winners

1.   CIG (22 points) – Ten gold, two silver
2.   Philosophy (15 points) – One grand gold, five gold, one silver
3.   Webb Strategic (12 points) – Five gold, two silver
4.   Linhart PR (11 points) – Five gold, one silver
5.   WildRock (8 points) – Two gold, four silver
6.   Fyn PR (7 points) – Three gold, one silver
7.   B Public Relations (5 points) – Two gold, one silver
8.   GKC PR (4 points) – One gold, two silver
9.   M&C Communications (3 points) – One gold, one silver
10. Cutter Communications (2 points) – One gold
10. Dstreet (2 points) – One gold
10. Feed Media (2 points) – One gold
10. Jumel PR (2 points) – One gold
10. Lola Red (2 points) – One gold
10. Xstatic PR (2 points) – One gold
16. Blake Comms (1 point) – One silver
16. Peri Marketing & PR (1 point) – One silver
16. Weber Shandwick (1 point) – One silver

Non-agency Winners

1.   Colorado State University (8 points) – Two gold, four silver
2.   Kaiser Permanente (5 points) – Two gold, one silver
3.   Colorado Tourism (4 points) – Two gold
4.   City of Boulder (3 points) – One gold, one silver
4.   Commerce City (3 points) – One gold, one silver
4.   Community First Foundation (3 points) – Three silver
7.   Denver Art Museum (2 points) – One gold
7.   Donor Alliance (2 points) – One gold
7.   Boulder Open Space/Parks (2 points) – Two silver
10. Ball Corp. (1 point) – One silver
10. Johns Manville (1 point) – One silver
10. Level 3 (1 point) – One silver

Note: Post has been updated.

Are Brands Backing Away from Memes?

Yuyu Chen at Digiday asks whether we have hit Peak Meme.

It’s hard to quantify the use of brand memes because most social analytics companies don’t track them. But influencer Dart Sultan, who runs the Facebook page Shit Memes, called memes a “played-out form of advertisement.

“Brands are utilizing this medium, and it has led to saturation,” he said.

Meanwhile, some marketers have started doubting the value of meme marketing for their clients aside from likes, shares and impressions.

“I don’t think memes will go away, but now lots of our clients are pulling back and asking, ‘What can we get out of this?’” said Jess Greenwood, vp of content and partnerships for agency R/GA. “Companies can be internet-friendly without creating memes. They can work with influencers, for example.”

Subscribers, Not Advertisers, Key to Future of News

The Media Insight Project, a collaboration of the American Press Institute and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, takes a look at the future of news and concludes that subscription models are the only hope because aggregators such as Facebook and Google will take most of the digital advertising dollars.

How many people pay for news? In all, 53 percent of Americans pay for news, including subscribing to newspapers or magazines, paying for news apps, or donating to public media. This number does not include those who pay for cable TV bundles that could include news channels.

Do young people pay for news? Fully 37 percent of the youngest adults, 18 to 34 years old, subscribe to news. The two youngest age cohorts who pay (18-34 and 35-49) also behave differently than older subscribers. They are motivated more by a desire to support the news organization’s mission. About two-thirds of them who use Facebook use it several times a day (compared with half of older subscribers), and many say that discovering a news source through social media was a key factor in deciding to pay for it.

What value do people see in news? People are drawn to news in general for two reasons above others: A desire to be informed citizens (newspaper subscribers in particular are highly motivated by this) and because the publication they subscribe to excels at covering certain topics about which those subscribers particularly care.

Why do people choose to subscribe? While there are a host of reasons, the No. 1 cited (by more than 4 in 10 subscribers) was that the publication they pay for excels at covering certain topics about which they particularly care. More than 4 in 10 also cite the fact that friends and family subscribe to the same product. More than a third of people say they originally subscribed in response to a discount or promotion. In print, people also are moved heavily to subscribe to get coupons that save them money, something that has untapped implications in digital.

Who does not pay for their news? Of those who do not pay for news at all, many resemble subscribers in a variety of ways. About half are “news seekers,” meaning they actively seek out news rather than primarily bumping into it in a more passive way, though the news that nonpayers are seeking (for now, at least) is often about national politics. Like subscribers, many of these people also get news multiple times a day, use the news in ways similar to subscribers, and are interested in similar topics, including foreign or international news. Nonpayers, though, generally see news as a little less valuable in their lives and think that there is plenty of free content available.