Denver PR Blog


Women Sweep PRSA Colorado 2018 Special Awards
May 2, 2018, 10:21 am
Filed under: Public Relations

Industry organizations tell us that women account for 61 percent of the jobs in public relations, and that disparity is even more pronounced in groups like the national PRSA organization, where about 69 percent of the membership is female.

PRSA Colorado experiences a similar effect, and nowhere is that more obvious than in its Special Awards. Women swept this year’s awards, and they now account for more than 85 percent of the Special Awards over the past five years.  Meanwhile, about 80 percent of the PRSA Colorado board members listed on the organization’s website are women.

Obviously, anyone can join PRSA Colorado, enter an election for a board seat and nominate men for awards. That those things aren’t happening at a rate that one might expect is curious. As a former PRSA Colorado board member, I can’t explain it other to say that the activities and benefits provided naturally skew toward what may be more interesting to the female-dominated membership. Breaking that cycle may take a conscious effort that is disruptive in the short-term.

Anyway, this year’s highly deserving Special Award winners are:

Swede Johnson Lifetime Achievement
Lisa Cutter, Cutter Communications*

Lisa Cutter founded Cutter Communications in 1998. A 25-year PR veteran, she is well respected for her media, partnership and crisis expertise. Her programs have garnered local and national awards, including several Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Colorado Gold and Silver Picks, the organization’s small practice of the year award, and its highest honor – the Grand Gold Pick for a comprehensive PR campaign.

Public Relations Person of the Year
Jessica Berry, University of Colorado Hospital

Jessica Berry is a spokesperson for UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital. She places well over 100 positive local and national stories a year for UCHealth, in addition to responding to the frequent requests for experts and handling crisis communications.

Business Person of the Year
Cindy Mackin, City of Loveland

Cindy has been in marketing and destination development for over 22 years, with a start in marketing of destination events at outlet malls all over Colorado. Creating excitement in everything she did led to her earning many SASI awards within the industry.

Joe Fuentes Rookie of the Year
Kayla Roofe, RE/MAX

She may be small, but she is mighty. With national and local communications and marketing experience, Kayla Roofe has planned and executed winning campaigns for some of Colorado’s heavy-hitters, including JKD & Company, Fyn Public Relations and RE/MAX World Headquarters.

Chapter Service
Megan Ryan, CoBiz Financial

Building communities and connecting people are passions for Megan. Megan has always been a passionate community volunteer from mentoring youth through Big Brothers Big Sisters to granting wishes for sick children through Make A Wish Foundation to organizing employee volunteer projects. Megan chairs PRSA Colorado’s Membership Recruitment Committee and helps run the organization’s Employee Communications Group.

Public Relations Team of the Year
March on Colorado

On January 21, 2017, the Women’s March on Colorado brought more than 150,000 people together in the streets of downtown Denver to march in solidarity for social justice, human rights and equality for women and all marginalized people across the U.S. The inaugural Women’s March on Colorado was a spontaneous, grassroots effort motivated by the national Women’s March in Washington, D.C., and sister marches around the country. As MOC leaders came together to decide what the future of the group would look like, they knew that public relations would still need to be a key component of the movement going forward. Lisa Cutter, owner of Cutter Communications in Denver, led public relations for the 2017 March and spearheaded the effort to bring a larger PR team together to keep the momentum going. She assembled a team of local PR professionals who expressed interest in volunteering their time to the organization and its mission. Over the next few months that team took shape to include three other PR professionals, Cara Crifasi, Liz Miller and Stacey Sepp.

*Any time you land on the same list as Lisa Cutter, it’s a good day.



Linhart Adds Two
April 26, 2018, 10:48 am
Filed under: Public Relations

Linhart PR has added Hannah Morris as an account executive and Carly Connor as an account associate. Morris will focus on media relations, communications counsel, content development and community relations for clients in a variety of industries, including energy and utilities. She previously was with Barnhart and Project Angel Heart, and she is a University of Denver graduate. Connor previously was an intern with Linhart and will provide media relations, digital media and other communications support for clients such as Chipotle and Meyer Natural Foods. She is a graduate of St. Cloud State University.



Amelie Adds Suntrup as EVP
April 25, 2018, 11:42 am
Filed under: Jobs, Public Relations

Amélie Company has added Julie Suntrup as executive vice president. She has more than 25 years of experience in strategic marketing and business development, including in the CPG, food, beverage, retail, apparel and healthcare industries. Prior to joining Amélie, she was with several agencies in the Kansas City area.



Lodo’s Angers Rockies Fans with Cubs Flags
April 24, 2018, 9:48 am
Filed under: Colorado Rockies, Crisis Communications, Public Relations

The Chicago Cubs took two of three from the Rockies this past weekend, and Lodo’s Bar & Grill – located a block away from Coors Field – is playing a little defense after this photo starting making the rounds on social media:

LodosCubs



Starbucks Shows it Takes Discrimination Seriously
April 18, 2018, 6:35 pm
Filed under: Crisis Communications, Public Relations

Starbucks logoBy now, you have no doubt seen the news that two African-American men were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks Thursday. The men were waiting for a friend when they were asked to leave because they hadn’t yet purchased anything, a request that appears to run counter to the company’s policy.

The incident sparked outrage and protest amid accusations that race was at the heart of the incident – had the two men been white, for example, it is almost certain the police would not have been called.

Give Starbucks’ senior management and crisis communications teams credit for neutralizing a delicate situation. The company recognized immediately that it had a highly charged and potentially combustible issue on its hands, and its reaction has been impressive. Among its responses:

  • Starbucks immediately acknowledged the issue on social media and promised to look into the issue.
  • Once Starbucks quickly determined it was in the wrong, CEO Kevin Johnson personally apologized to the men. Johnson also apologized publicly in written and video statements that were posted to the company’s social media platforms.
  • Johnson traveled to Philadelphia and spent several days listening face-to-face to members of the community.
  • Starbucks reassigned the store employee who called the police.
  • The company announced that it will close all 8,000 of its U.S. stores on May 29 to conduct racial-bias education training for nearly 175,000 employees. Additionally, Starbucks shared that the curriculum for that training will be created in collaboration with some of the leading experts on addressing racial bias.

Starbucks followed the PR crisis playbook closely, and it has been incredibly effective at neutralizing this crisis. It didn’t just react, it leaned toward overreacting. Protesters in Philadelphia (and nationally) have been trying to leverage this situation into something bigger, but Starbucks has been a step ahead of them from the beginning.

Additionally, Starbucks has signaled to its socially conscious customer base that it shares their inherent values and is more than willing to be a leader in the fight for principles such as racial equality and respect for all individuals.



Denver PRSA Conference Adds ‘Third Rail’ Session
April 6, 2018, 8:55 am
Filed under: Public Relations

This year’s PRSA Western District Conference will dedicate a session to the third-rail of public discourse: seemingly untouchable topics such as gun control, immigration, and climate change.

PRSA Colorado is providing a rare opportunity to test and hone skills for discussing sensitive topics at the PRSA Western District Conference coming up April 11-13. Attendees will be invited to select a topic from a list taken from today’s headlines and have a respectful conversation about it with someone who may have a different point of view.

Those who want to participate (it’s strictly voluntary), will be invited to choose one or more of these topics:

  • Gun policy
  • Immigration
  • Health care
  • Climate change
  • Trade tariffs
  • Role of the press – advocates or objective observers?

Then they’ll be invited to think of up to three points to describe their opinions on the topic. Opinions might be based on:

  • Current events
  • News analysis
  • Personal experience
  • Emotional reaction
  • Family history or cultural background
  • Reading/research
  • Opinions of others you respect
  • What you see on social media
  • Discussions with friends

We’ll explain more about the mechanics when attendees sign in, but they can prepare now by watching this TED talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/celeste_headlee_10_ways_to_have_a_better_conversation

PR Matters. And conversation matters. This activity is one way PRSA Colorado is helping our profession raise the level of discourse.

 

 



Great Moments in Journalism, Opening Day Edition
April 6, 2018, 8:40 am
Filed under: Denver Post, Public Relations

Today’s Denver Post features an Opening Day article on the Colorado … Phillies?

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 8.35.47 AM

Update: The Denver Post has acknowledged the photo mistake.