Larry Holdren Departs Pure Brand, Forms Own Firm

Congratulations to Larry Holdren, who has decided to leave Pure Brand to start his own firm, Holdren Strategic Communications. From Larry:

“After nearly 10 fantastic years with Pure Brand Communications, I’m excited to announce that I’ve spun off our reputation management and training business to form Holdren Strategic Communications. While we’ll operate independently from Pure, the plan is to work together on select pieces of business. We will focus on providing strategic communications services – including strategy development, reputation/issues management and communications/media training – to clients who operate in highly complex, regulated and/or controversial environments.”

Pure Launches ‘Free a Hero’ Campaign

As part of Pure Brand Communications’ Pure Good Works initiative, Pure has teamed up with Freedom Service Dogs to launch the “Free a Hero” campaign. Freedom Service dogs is a nonprofit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by rescuing dogs and custom training them for individual client needs. The outdoor advertising campaign encourages people to donate to Freedom Service Dogs via a custom-designed mobile application to support the organization’s efforts.

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Pure Selects Freedom Service Dogs as Pro Bono Partner

Pure Brand Communications has selected Freedom Service Dogs of America is its 2012 Pure Good Works partner. Entering its second year, Pure Good Works awards one nonprofit organization one year of integrated creative services valued up to $75,000.

Freedom Service Dogs of America trains rescue dogs to serve people with disabilities, from those with physical challenges to veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. The dogs accomplish simple tasks, such as turning on lights, and more profound feats like pulling a weakened client to an upright position in bed. The organization doesn’t breed dogs; it saves animals facing unfortunate futures. And while some dogs each year go unmatched with a client, they are found adoptive homes.

Pure Soliciting ‘Good Works’ Applications from Non-Profits

Pure Brand Communications is accepting applications for its second-annual Pure Good Works program. Pure Good Works awards one nonprofit organization—located anywhere in the U.S.—one year of integrated creative services valued up to $75,000.

The inaugural Pure Good Works grant was awarded to Rachel’s Challenge, a K-12 school assembly and continuing education program inspired by Rachel Scott, the first student killed in the 1999 Columbine High School shootings. Rachel’s Challenge is a program that empowers young people to release their inner good and create a chain reaction of kindness.

Pure Brand Launches ‘Pure Good Works’ Pro Bono Program

Pure Brand Communications has launched its inaugural Pure Good Works call for applications. Pure Good Works awards one nonprofit organization—located anywhere in the U.S.—one year of integrated creative services valued up to $75,000.

Whether it’s logo re-design, message development, guerilla marketing or social media, Pure will craft a comprehensive strategy to help advance the chosen brand. Karma is at the core of these proposed partnerships. Pure wants to elevate great causes with great work, allowing both parties to walk away galvanized for the future. The nonprofit’s passion will become Pure’s inspiration, fueling the agency’s many disciplines to sculpt the best possible product.

Pure Brand Relocates

Pure Brand Communications has completed its move to a new location at 2401 Larimer Street. Larry Holdren wanted the new office to resemble a cross between Snooze and a United Airlines Boeing 757, his homes away from home, but he got this instead:

Directly East of Ballpark Lofts, the new office was refurbished with the help of local design firm Xan Creative, who also completed nearby Snooze, Marco’s Coal-Fired Pizza and the Great Divide tap room. A central aisle in Pure’s open floor plan hosts 24 feet of bar-height tables—with tops doubling as white boards—for brainstorms and critiques. The aisle diverges into work pods on either side. A series of factory windows atop the walls pours natural light onto all desks. Highlights include two meeting spaces at polar ends of the aisle: a covered booth whose curves resemble a Shasta trailer and “The Shed” whose walls combine beetle-kill pinewood and translucent write-on glass. The office’s flowing, inclusive organization facilitates the integration of Pure’s many disciplines as they serve clientele needs.

2010 Denver PR Predictions – Larry Holdren

By Larry Holdren
Partner, Pure

  • Companies will increasingly look to hire communications talent that clearly understand how to use the ever-changing array of tools available to communicate with audiences in 2010. More importantly, they will look to hire talent that can combine that knowledge with the ability to think strategically and understand their clients’ or organizations’ businesses.
  • Shiny Object Syndrome will continue when it comes to social media, but smart organizations will continue to tie results of their online efforts directly to business objectives.
  • Traditional mass media outlets will continue to look and sound more like activist organizations with political agendas, making it more important than ever for organizations to use digital communications and social media tools to tell their own stories.
  • Local and national economies will continue to improve and spending on well-thought-out, original communications efforts that take full advantage of both traditional and new tools will increase when compared to 2009.
  • All of our professional sports teams will, once again, not win championships, yet an entire section of the Denver Post and nearly 15 minutes of 10 pm newscasts will be dedicated to telling their stories and I will continue to consume that media in its entirety.
  • City and state governments will continue their budgetary struggles and will look to any and all methods to increase revenue – meaning I will likely rack up thousands of dollars in parking and speeding tickets and may be looking for rides to and from work.

2009 PR Predictions

By Larry Holdren
Principal, Pure Brand

holdren-larry12009 will be filled with challenges for the PR industry, just like it will be filled with challenges for nearly any kind of business. But unlike other down economies, in which PR budgets were often the first on the chopping block, I’m incredibly optimistic that that this time around will be different for our industry. The role of public relations has always been to build and maintain relationships with people who can affect an organization’s success or failure. That hasn’t changed, regardless of the state of the economy or constantly increasing number of vehicles available to communicators.

The difference now is that, thanks to the technological advances of the last several years, those relationships are in the balance nearly ever second of everyday. A company’s reputation – and bottom line – can be damaged or enhanced quicker than ever. So, it’s critical that smart organizations dedicate the resources to maintaining existing relationships and developing new ones. Good public relations people are doing that now and will continue to do it in 2009 and beyond.

Along the same lines, PR people/firms/departments that are focused on enhancing relationships with their clients’ key audiences and, importantly, proving the value of those relationships to the success of their clients’ businesses, will see success in 2009. Those who are unable to connect what they do to the bottom line will struggle.

Additionally, the lines – if there really are lines anymore – between what’s PR and what’s marketing and what’s interactive and what’s advertising will continue to blur. Organizations will continue to care less about whose budget something comes from, while caring more about maximizing tight budgets to establish meaningful relationships with their customers and stakeholders.

Lastly, I predict that I will continue to push deadlines to their absolute max and that Denver PR Blog will continue to be the undisputed leader in delivering news about Denver’s ever-interesting PR industry.

Few Denver PR Agencies Are Walking the Walk

The amount of lip service public relations agencies give to new media, social media, Web 2.0, etc., is stunning. It seems you can’t sit through a pitch these days without listening to agencies explain how “critical it is to connect directly — and unfiltered — with your target audiences.” 

So we thought it might be interesting to examine how many Denver PR agencies practice what they preach even at the most basic levels. What we found surprised us. Of the 32 agencies we checked, only seven had blogs, and even those seven had great disparities in how often posts appeared and how easy it was to find their blogs. So here is the honor roll:

  • Pure Brand — 45 posts to its blog since January 1. We found this blog to be the most varied and interesting, with a lot of quick hits on a number of PR and advertising issues.
  • Schenkein — 25 posts since January 1. The Schenkein blog disappeared for a while, but was resuscitated by Elaine Ellis at the end of January. Since then, it has made a strong showing.
  • Story + Welch — 21 posts since January 1. We found this to be the smartest blog, with a lot of analysis about business issues (not just PR issues). But mixed in with those lengthier pieces are some amusing quick hits.
  • Metzger — 19 posts since January 1. Originally, we missed Metzger’s blog because it isn’t linked from the agency’s Web site (or if it is, we still haven’t found it), but fortunately a reader emailed us the URL. 
  • GBSM — 8 posts since January 1. For GBSM, we counted Steven Silver’s Scatterbox blog, which offers an array of opinions on topics that interest Silvers ranging from elder care to HBO’s Inside the NFL. Our only complaint is how infrequently he posts.
  • JohnstonWells — 6 posts since January 1. A mix of JW and industry news, it is not uncommon for the blog to go almost a month without a new post. 
  • GroundFloor Media — 3 posts since January 1. The GFM blog offers updates (albeit sparingly) on interesting firm and client projects.

Steven Silvers/GBSM had already found his way into our blogroll, but we will be adding the blogs from Pure Brand, Schenkein, Story + Welch and Metzger because of their commitment to blogging frequently on interesting topics.

NOTE: Post updated 3/9/2008 @ 1:04 p.m.