One-and-Done Mel Tucker Angers Dallas Cowboys Legend

Mel Tucker spent most of yesterday telling the world he was staying in Boulder as CU’s head football coach because he had “#UnfinishedBusiness.” It turns out his only unfinished business was his signature on a Michigan State University coaching contract.

No reasonable person begrudges a coach for changing jobs, but doing it after only a year at the school is pretty weak. Weaker still is waiting until February when you have lured an entire class of freshman to sign with the school. Tucker gets to leave clean. Those kids he tricked have to sit out for a year if they want to transfer somewhere else.

One grandparent of a Buff recruit went public with his anger, and unfortunately for Tucker it was former Dallas Cowboys receiver Drew Pearson:

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Vail Mountain Responds to Viral Ski Lift Line Images

Credit to Vail Mountain COO Beth Howard, who apologized today to skiers caught in the enormously long lift lines that were featured in viral photos and videos earlier this week.

Howard also explained the conditions that led to those lengthy lift lines, saying that 38 inches of snow in a 48-hour period created operational challenges that slowed Vail’s ability to carry skiers and dramatically increased the number of skiers looking to take advantage of the powder.

“I know we could have done a much better job anticipating these situations and communicating with our guests,” Howard wrote (in a statement). “I am well aware that a picture is worth a thousand words, but I truly hope my words here help provide context for what happened.

Give Howard (and her PR staff) credit for actually using the phrase, “I apologize” in her statement, and for clearly explaining what went wrong. While it might have been a couple of days late, it was a human response to a situation that is understandable.

Egg Strategy Latest to Flee Boulder for Denver

PR and advertising firm Egg Strategy is the latest firm to make the move from Boulder to Denver to escape exorbitant rents and long commutes for employees who would rather live in (comparatively) affordable Denver. Egg, which also has offices in Chicago and New York, will relocate to the SugarCube Building at 15th & Blake. Said Egg Strategy President Matthew Singer:

“We’re going to where the growth is to make it easy to attract top talent and to put us in closer reach to the consumers at the heart of our human-centered process as well as the clients we serve.”

Put through the PR-to-English translator:

“Boulder is expensive as %$^#. Until we figure out how to AI our way out of having employees, it’s off the table. So, Denver.”

Dunkin’ Donuts CEO in Fetal Position Under Desk after Snoop Dogg Threatens CBS’ Gayle King & Offers Support to Bill Cosby

It’s not quite the same as finding out that the most recognizable face of your company has been arrested for pedophilia, but Dunkin’ Donuts has to be rethinking its marketing strategy after spokesman Snoop Dogg spent the last 48 hours threatening CBS news anchor Gayle King and calling for the release of convicted sex offender Bill Cosby.

In January – one month after Dunkin’ Donuts’ CMO resigned to pursue “the next opportunity” – the coffee chain launched a national ad campaign featuring Snoop Dogg. Now, less than a month later, it has to make a decision about whether to suspend the campaign entirely.

Those of us old enough to have owned The Chronic on CD marveled at the idea that Snoop Dogg had evolved to the point that he would be the star of a mainstream advertising campaign. And it turns out maybe we were right. I think Snoop himself said it best on Gin & Juice: “With so much drama in the L-B-C, It’s kinda hard bein’ Snoop D-O-double-G.”

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2019’s Top PR Disasters

The year is now officially more than halfway over, and we already have some blue-chip contenders for 2019’s biggest PR disasters. Among them:

BOEING – Boeing, by a wide margin, has had the worst 2019 so far. Following plane crashes by Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines that killed 346 people, countries around the globe began grounding Boeing’s 737 Max. Then, air travel authorities worldwide officially grounded the plane in March. Boeing has since been working to fix its flight control software, which is thought to have played a role in the crashes. Four months later, the crisis remains unresolved. The most damaging crises are those where you remain stuck without a clear resolution – think Malaysia Airlines when cable TV news covered its missing Flight 370 for months on end. Boeing finds itself in a similar situation since it is unclear when its 737 Max planes may get the green light to fly again. Meanwhile, media are penning sidebar stories about the history of quality complaints at the facility that produces the 737 Max and whether flyers will trust the plane when it does return.


ROBERT KRAFT – The incredibly successful owner of the New England Patriots saw his personal life turn into a bad made-for-TV movie when he was charged “with two counts of soliciting sex as part of a wide-ranging investigation into prostitution and suspected human trafficking.” The colorful nature of the allegations – a billionaire NFL owner visiting a low-rent, strip mall massage parlor – made the story even more intriguing to journalists. He has fought the legal charges in court with some success, but the underlying facts seem clear: he paid money to women who performed sex acts on him. And with that, his stellar, grandfatherly reputation has vanished.

Continue reading the full list on the GroundFloor Media blog  >>

Athletes Hammer Nike for Lack of Maternity Leave Protection

Nike has gone all in on a marketing strategy that positions itself as a socially progressive company. From Colin Kapernick to Serena Williams to LeBron James, Nike has been aligning itself with athletes who are known for social justice issues as much as they are for their performances on the field or court.

So why are high-profile athletes now hammering the company? Sports Illustrated’s Jenna West reports:

“Olympic runner Alysia Montaño opened up to The New York Times nearly two weeks ago to shed light on the lack of maternity protection given to female athletes in sponsorship contracts. In a video for the Times, Montaño called out Nike for preaching a message of chasing dreams—only until an athlete wants to include motherhood in her journey.

 

 

American & Southwest Still Flying Boeing Jet Grounded in 15+ Countries

More than 15 countries have now grounded Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft due to its auto-crash feature. The New York Times reports:

“Britain, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and Oman banned all Boeing 737 Max 8 planes from their airspaces on Tuesday, two days after 157 people were killed on such a plane during a flight from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to Nairobi, Kenya. At least 27 airlines have now grounded the Max 8, which has crashed twice in five months. Boeing stands by the airworthiness of the jet, but it said it planned to issue a software update and was working on changes to its flight controls and training guidelines.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. is not among the countries grounding the jet, and American Airlines and Southwest continue to carry passengers on it.

Nike Sheds $1.1B in Value After Duke Debacle

New York Times: “When the left sneaker of college basketball’s biggest star split open on national television Wednesday night 30 seconds into the biggest game of the season, what spilled out was not only his foot but also questions about the future of a marquee player and about the huge influence shoe companies hold over big-time college basketball.”

“The episode occurred in a game between the archrivals Duke and North Carolina. Zion Williamson, a Duke freshman, pivoted with the ball above the foul line, and the sheer force of his 285-pound frame and acrobatic versatility appeared to cut the shoe almost in two, as though severed by a sharp knife.”

“Former President Barack Obama, sitting on the sidelines at the Duke arena, was seen on video pointing at Williamson and appearing to say, ‘His shoe broke.’ “

Zion Williamson

City Council Tries to Replace DPS as Villain While Denver Teachers Strike

They say timing is everything, a truism that Denver City Council members apparently are not aware of.  While Denver teachers are on strike fighting for what they say is a living wage, council members “voted unanimously Tuesday to move forward a proposal that would raise their own and other elected leaders’ salaries by the maximum amount allowed by law.”

Denver Post: “Under city law, the salaries for elected officials are up for review every four years. Right now, Denver City Council members make about $92,000; the council president makes $103,000; the auditor and clerk make $148,000; and the mayor makes $171,000.” …

“For comparison, Aurora voters narrowly approved a measure to raise council members’ pay to about $19,000, while their mayor makes $80,000. Denver council members also significantly out-earn state legislators, who just got a raise to about $40,000 a year. The governor makes $123,000.”

Instacart Offers Instapology

Tech Crunch: “On the heels of a recently filed class-action lawsuit over wages and tips, as well as drivers and shoppers speaking out about Instacart’s alleged practices of subsidizing wages with tips, Instacart is taking steps to ensure tips are counted separately from what Instacart pays shoppers.”

“In a blog post today, Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta said all shoppers will now have a guaranteed higher base compensation, paid by Instacart. Depending on the region, Instacart says it will pay shoppers between $7 to $10 at a minimum for full-service orders (shopping, picking and delivering) and $5 at a minimum for delivery-only tasks. The company will also stop including tips in its base pay for shoppers.”

Great Moments in Spokesmanship

One of the cardinal rules of crisis communication is “Don’t Drag Your Partners Into Your Problem.” It appears that is a rule that representatives of Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown haven’t quite figured out yet.

The Hollywood (Fla.) Police Department confirmed to ESPN that Brown is the subject of an investigation relating to a domestic dispute that allegedly occurred last month. When Brown’s attorney was asked about the investigation, he responded, “We have no comment on the situation. We are focusing our attention on a new shoe (Antonio) just released with Nike.”

I put the over/under on Nike dropping Brown as a representative at two days.

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A Tough Week for Metro Denver School Districts

cpr21742A work strike is at its heart a public relations battle. Economic leverage and political influence are only as strong as the strikers’ ability to win the hearts and minds of the public.

That is why Denver Public Schools’ misstep last night – a letter sent to teachers threatening to report visa-holding teachers to immigration authorities – hurts so much. They lost a bit of their moral high ground at a pivotal negotiating moment, and no doubt increased solidarity among teachers. DPS spokeswoman Anna Alejo quickly apologized for the letter, calling it an “incorrect communication” and an “error.”

Denver Public Schools wasn’t alone this week with its misstep. Douglas County Schools is continuing to address the fallout from one of its middle school teachers who incorrectly identified the Covington Catholic student at the center of the Lincoln Memorial viral video and then doubled down by alleging he was a member of “#HitlerYouth.” (Side note: I imagine there is a long line of defamation attorneys lined up at that student’s house.)

DougCo quickly suspended the teacher, but the school board was not in the mood to dwell on the issue. As Erin Powell at 9News reported last night, the board selectively enforced its civility rules and had a sheriff’s deputy remove a speaker from the room for merely citing the teacher’s name. If the goal was to minimize media coverage, that failed spectacularly.

 

RunSwitch PR Representing Covington Catholic student

Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann’s family has retained Louisville, Ky.-based RunSwitch PR to help guide it through the media firestorm that ensued over the weekend. Grace Schneider of the Louisville Courier Journal reports:

Asked about its role, RunSwitch released a statement saying that the firm “has been retained by the Sandmann family to offer professional counsel with what has become a national media story. We are working with the family to ensure an accurate recounting of events which occurred this past weekend.”

RunSwitch partners Steve Bryant and Gary Gerdemann said that Sandmann family asked people they knew over the weekend about getting help with handling the media.

“They reached out to our firm, and we responded,” said Bryant, adding that the business specializes in crisis management “all over the country.”

Scott Jennings, a conservative political commentator and a columnist for the Courier Journal, is the third partner in RunSwitch. 

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Why McDonald’s Doesn’t Fight Social Media Wars

Diana Bradley at PRWeek reports:

It seems Wendy’s can’t stop trolling McDonald’s on social. Burger King, too, attempted to make the Golden Arches the butt of the joke with its #WhopperDetour stunt last month. Year after year, McDonald’s has been a target for its sassy rivals – an easy one, too, mainly because the brand never defends itself or fights back. …

The principle McDonald’s has adopted is that no fighter in the history of boxing has ever won simply by blocking punches.

“You have to go on the offense,” said Jano Cabrera, SVP, U.S. comms, global media and PR at McDonald’s. “There has to be something you stand for that is appealing. What is the case, proactively, you are making?”

“The nature of leadership brands is you get to a point where you understand real ROI is being mindful of and responsive to competition,” he said. “But you don’t stay a leadership brand by simply responding to competition. You do it by continuing to innovate and staying customer-focused.”

 

RTD Names Tonilas as Head of Communications

Mass Transit: “Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chief Communications Officer Pauletta Tonilas will leave the L.A. area transportation agency to return to the Regional Transportation District (RTD) in Denver to serve as assistant general manager, communications,” replacing long-time AGM Scott Reed who retired last fall.

“Tonilas held the positions of FasTracks public information manager and senior manager, Public Relations & Public Information at RTD before joining L.A. Metro in August 2015.”

Trolls Run 9News’ Gary Shapiro off Twitter

“Less than a month after 9News’s Gary Shapiro caused a tweetstorm by bluntly refuting Twitter charges of fake news, the veteran morning anchor has announced that he will stop posting as he has been out of frustration over what he characterizes as the commandeering of his account,” Michael Roberts at Westwood reports.

“My feed has been taken over by tons and tons of people who are from out of state and probably don’t even know who I am,” Shapiro says. “So except for tweeting about breaking news and weather, I’m going to shut it down.”

Meanwhile, fellow 9News anchor Kyle Clark has doubled down on his approach to confront and mix it up with trolls, which has put him in an online fight with the QAnon, the shadowy, far-right conspiracy group.

Hypocrisy Alert, NFL Edition

Three years after forcing NFL players, including then-Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, to withdraw from a fantasy football convention in Las Vegas because of its connections to gambling, the NFL announced that Caesars Entertainment is the first-ever “Official Casino Sponsor of the NFL.”

“We couldn’t be more excited to work with one of the world’s largest gaming and entertainment companies. Combining the NFL with Caesars’ expertise in world-class entertainment will provide our fans unique experiences both here in the United States and abroad.”
–– Renie Anderson, SVP of NFL partnerships, sponsorship & consumer products

PR Week Releases Annual ‘Best (Coastal) Places to Work’

PR Week has named its 2019 Best Places to Work, and the news isn’t particularly good for agencies not located on an ocean. Denver agencies like GroundFloor Media, Linhart PR, Ink Communications, Turner PR, Sterling-Rice Group, Room 214 and others may be recognized on other lists, no firms located outside California, Florida, New York and Washington, D.C. were recognized on PR Week’s list.

The locations of the winners:

Small Agencies

  • Santa Monica, Calif.
  • Miami
  • Santa Barbara, Calif.
  • Washington, D.C.

Mid-size Agencies

  • New York City
  • New York City
  • New York City
  • New York City

Large Agencies

  • San Francisco
  • Washington, D.C.
  • San Francisco

Pac-12 Taps FleishmanHillard for PR Support

It has been a tough year for the Pac-12 Conference. Despite having traditionally strong teams like UCLA, USC, Stanford, Oregon, Arizona State and (ahem) Colorado, the conference continues to be overlooked on the national stage. Add to that a series of self-inflicted wounds – an exorbitantly paid commissioner, exorbitant HQ office space and a less-than-exorbitant television deal – and you can see why it has been a troubling year for the conference’s schools.

To better tell its story and repair the damage to its brand, the Pac-12 has engaged mega-agency FleishmanHillard. John Canzano at The Oregonian reports:

“Conference commissioner Larry Scott recently pitched his bosses a plan that would sell a 10-percent equity stake in the conference’s media rights to private investors for $500 million. The hiring of FleishmanHillard is designed to help position the conference for that possible offering.”

“Still, when your motto is ‘Conference of Champions,’ being left out of the championship tournaments in college football and failing to matter in men’s basketball is far more impactful to your brand than talking points.”

The Biggest PR Disasters of 2018

As 2018 comes to a close, I take time to reflect on some of the higher-profile PR disasters, debacles and mistakes:

RoseanneRoseanne Barr – There has always been a fine line between creative genius and mental illness, and it can be argued that Roseanne wobbled along that line when she melted down on Twitter in May. Riding high from the return of her groundbreaking television show, “Roseanne,” the mercurial star made outrageously racist comments about a former advisor to President Barack Obama. ABC immediately canceled her show, then revived it as a separate show, “The Conners,” that does not include her.

One company did emerge from the Roseanne debacle looking good, however: Sanofi, the makers of the sleep drug Ambien. When Roseanne said her tweets were a byproduct of using the drug, Sanofi responded by saying, in part, that “racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.”



AppleApple
– The computer giant started 2018 with the corporate equivalent of a big New Year’s Day hangover when it was disclosed that the company was throttling iPhone performance to maximize battery life. While that trade-off is one that many might willingly choose, the fact that they didn’t let consumers make their own decisions was at the heart of the problem. Apple apologized and quickly offered an inexpensive battery replacement program for older phones, but the company still got a tidal wave of “planned obsolescence” stories that questioned its integrity.

Continue reading on the GroundFloor Media blog

ESPN Report Will Make You Skip Denver Concession Lines

If you are headed to the big game in Denver – and it really doesn’t matter which one – you may want to skip the concession line. ESPN studied recent health inspection reports from 107 pro-sports stadiums and arenas and found that Mile High Stadium, Pepsi Center and Coors Field all rank in the bottom 10.

The article is especially tough on the Colorado Rockies. Let’s just say that Dinger isn’t the only rodent wandering Coors Field. The lead paragraph in ESPN’s report:

“Most Cracker Jack boxes come with a surprise inside. At Coors Field in Denver, the molasses-flavored popcorn and peanut snacks came with a live mouse. A health department inspector found the mouse in a commercial-size bag of Cracker Jacks at Coors Field in September 2016, along with five live cockroaches in a trap in a storage room. Two weeks earlier, inspectors had found copious amounts of mouse droppings on a kitchen floor, in food-prep trays, inside a bin of rice and amid bags of cookies that had been chewed. Dead mice were found, and another live one had been found.”

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104 West Named Finalist for PRWeek Award

PRWeek has named Denver’s 104 West as a finalist for its Outstanding Boutique Agency award. From CEO Patrick Ward:

When we submitted our entry, we were very honest and open about some critical decisions we had made which impacted our business negatively at first, but then very positively. For those who follow our shop, we have focused very assiduously on a communications strategy that we believe fits today’s PR world and offers our clients the best way to begin and maintain conversations with their markets. We also believe that that is the essence of a boutique agency. It’s about doing something specific and doing it really well. It’s not about just being a smaller version of a big, full-service agency. And we can now presume, at some level, the judges agreed.

104 West was also named a finalist in the Best in B2B category for one of its campaigns for longtime client Magisto. Winners of both awards will be announced in March.

Linhart PR Moving to RiNo

Linhart PR has announced it will relocate to the Industry RINO Station building at 38th and Walnut. The firm currently is housed in the historic Baur’s Building in the downtown Denver Theater District.

“Linhart PR decided to move to the new location to offer a more vibrant and collaborative space for its 16 team members. RiNo is becoming a hub for creative businesses, including communications firms, studios, art galleries, designers and photographers. The new Denver World Trade Center campus also will be directly across the street from Linhart PR’s office.”

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Thomas’ Departure from 9News Leaves Large Void

TaRhonda Thomas’ announcement that she is leaving 9News to move to Philadelphia is a significant blow to Denver on several levels. In addition to being one of the most talented and respected journalists in town, she also is the highest-profile African-American in local TV news. Michael Roberts at Westword reports:

Her departure will leave the Mile High City with no African-American anchors at present and just three black reporters at four stations, all of whom currently have significantly smaller on-air roles than she did. … (T)he remaining three are 9News’s Eddie Randle, a reporter hired in January 2017; CBS4’s Toni Mason, a reporter who came aboard last August; and Fox31/KWGN’s Shaul Turner, a onetime anchor now working in the outlet’s Problem Solvers unit. And in Thomas’s view, that’s a shame.

“We’re a large city,” she points out, “and Denver is one of the top twenty markets in the country. The African-American population isn’t that big here, but no matter how small a population it might be, seeing someone who looks like you on TV makes you feel like you can be the way they are. I remember meeting a little girl at a gala, and her mom said, ‘She’s so excited to meet you. Every time she sees you on TV, she stops and looks. Now she wants to be on TV, and she didn’t start talking about it until she saw you do it.’ “

Netflix Axes CCO After Racial Slur

Netflix fired Chief Communications Officer Jonathan Friedland after he used the N-word in an office meeting. Emmy Stefansky at Vanity Fair reports:

(Netflix CEO Reed) Hastings explained that Friedland had first used the word in a meeting about sensitive words a few months ago, and that he had apologized to staffers who had approached him after the meeting. Just a few days after that, Friedland had used the word again while speaking to a group of black employees who were trying to speak to him about the first incident. Hastings said in his memo that he only recently learned about the second usage, and decided to terminate Friedland’s employment.

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Is There a Crisis Client You Wouldn’t Take?

Meet the $1,100-an-hour crisis communications expert who believes that – like legal counsel – everyone has a right to public relations representation. That morally agnostic approach has landed him a bevy of bold-name clients. From Abby Aguirre at The New York Times:

“(Michael Sitrick) represented Kelsey Grammer when the star was accused of having sex with his underage babysitter. He helped Christian Slater when the actor was arrested on charges of assaulting his girlfriend. … Mr. Sitrick was retained by Halle Berry when she was in a hit-and-run, Naomi Campbell when she was accused of assaulting her housekeeper, and Rush Limbaugh when he was arrested on prescription drug charges.”

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Chris Arnold to Leave Chipotle

Chris Arnold joined Chipotle 15 years ago this month when the company was privately held and had fewer than 150 restaurants. In the intervening years, Chris helped position the company into a $12 billion publicly traded corporation that has more than 2,400 locations. Chris played offense with Chipotle’s “Food With Integrity” campaign, played defense with E.coli crisis communications challenges, and helped the company essentially redefine the quick-service restaurant (QSR) marketplace.

Chris has let friends know this week that he has made the decision to leave Chipotle on May 28, which is 15 years to the day he joined the company. Here’s wishing Chris the best of luck on whatever comes next.

MAPR Opens Fort Collins Office

Boulder-based MAPRagency (MAPR) has added a Fort Collins office to accommodate the firm’s rapid growth and better serve clients in Northern Colorado. The company also has an office in Denver.

MAPR has been working with several companies in the region, as well as participating in events like Fort Collins Startup Week, PitchNoCo and New Tech Fort Collins meetups since 2017. The agency’s current roster of clients in Northern Colorado includes:

    • LaunchNo.CO – a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing and supporting entrepreneurship and small businesses in Northern Colorado.
    • everHuman – a company that empowers technology users and work teams to “delight in their digital lives” through expert advice, consulting, workshops, tutorials, and downloadable content.
    • ItyDity – the premier music production network and marketplace, connecting artists with producers and session musicians through one-of-a-kind song production contests.
    • Jalapeño Inventive – a company that leverages cryptocurrency in mobile gaming to benefit both the developer and the end user by streamlining in-game revenue and purchase opportunities.
    • Vortic Watch Company – a small batch, custom watch manufacturing and vintage restoration company.

Linhart Promotes Campbell, Nash

Linhart PR has promoted Ashley Campbell to senior account director and Kelly Nash to senior account executive.

Campbell joined Linhart PR in 2006 as an intern and previously served as an account director. She specializes in leading communications strategies and programs for clients in the energy and utilities, infrastructure, and manufacturing industries. Nash was previously an account executive, and she has been with Linhart PR for about four years, also starting in the firm’s internship program. Nash manages communications programs and media relations outreach for clients in the energy, infrastructure, manufacturing, healthcare and professional services industries.

 

Women Sweep PRSA Colorado 2018 Special Awards

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

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.

Starbucks Shows it Takes Discrimination Seriously

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

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.

 

 

Scream Agency Adds Clients, Supports Local Nonprofits

Denver’s Scream Agency has added a couple of new clients:

  • Reach Out and Read Colorado, an organization that gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together
  • Gold Crown Foundation, a Colorado nonprofit that offers youth sports and education programs to nearly 20,000 boys and girls annually throughout Colorado and the surrounding states

The Agency has also been busy giving back to the community through their Scream Serves Program, participating in the Scream Scram 5K benefiting the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver this fall and donating hours to Easterseals Colorado, Destination Imagination, Best for Colorado, Habitat for Humanity and Protect Our Winters.

The Biggest PR Winners of 2017

Earlier this month, I have shared some of 2017’s biggest PR disasters. I thought it would also be interesting to take a look at some of the year’s biggest PR winners:

JJWATTJJ WATT …  JJ Watt is a star player for the NFL’s Houston Texans who is known for his community involvement. He took it to a new level following Hurricane Harvey, however. He started a fundraising campaign with a $200,000 goal that would be used to help Houstonians affected by the devastating flooding. Football fans quickly responded, and he met the $200,000 goal within hours. So he raised it to $1 million, and media coverage helped him reach that goal within a day. As the number climbed and climbed, and media attention got stronger and stronger, celebrities starting donating six- and seven-figure checks – people like Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Fallon, Miley Cyrus and Drake. And then corporate donors such as HEB and Walmart started adding even more. When it was done, Watt had raised more than $37 million that is being used to help people directly affected by the flooding.

TSWIFTTAYLOR SWIFT … This summer, Taylor Swift became the face of girls and women who fought back against sexual harassment and assault, and her battle occurred in a courthouse in Denver. Swift was groped by a local KYGO disc jockey at a Denver pre-concert meet-and-greet photo session, and he was fired after her complaint. When the publicity made him essentially unemployable, he sued Swift alleging defamation. Swift said she refused to be shamed by someone who assaulted her, and countersued for assault, asking only for the symbolic amount of $1. The case went to trial in Denver, and Swift prevailed. And in doing so, she became a champion for women everywhere.

CajunNavyCAJUN NAVY … Herbert Hoover popularized the concept of rugged individualism, the idea that individuals – and not government – should be primarily responsible for the welfare of Americans. The ideal is perhaps nowhere more obvious today than in the “Cajun Navy.” Formed in the aftermath Hurricane Katrina, the Cajun Navy is an ad-hoc group of volunteers largely based in Louisiana who help rescue victims of flooding when traditional first responders are overwhelmed. The group uses the smartphone app Zello to connect rescuers on bass boats, air boats, jet skis, etc. with those needing help. The Cajun Navy reappeared this year in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, and it is credited with saving thousands of lives.

THIRTEENWOMENTHIRTEEN WOMEN … Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was one of the most powerful people in Hollywood for decades. His track record of delivering hit after hit gave him enormous power, and he took advantage of that power to hurt women in the industry. His behavior had gone on for years, but this year 13 women summoned the courage to share their experiences – ranging from sexual harassment to rape – with NBC reporter Ronan Farrow. His article in The New Yorker sent shockwaves through Hollywood. Weinstein instantly became a pariah and a subject of criminal investigations, and more women throughout the worlds of entertainment and politics began sharing their stories, resulting in a wave of firings and resignations known as the “Weinstein Effect.”

The Biggest PR Disasters of 2017

As 2017 comes to a close, I take time to reflect on the year’s biggest PR disasters:

United_Airlines_Logo.svgUNITED AIRLINES … The only good news for United Airlines is that its string of PR disasters occurred early in the year when they could be overshadowed by newer debacles over time. But what a year it was. The airline took the worst hit when it literally dragged a passenger off an overbooked plane, breaking his nose and knocking out teeth in the process. While that incident took the lion’s share of the headlines, the airline also managed to make additional waves when it banned two girls from flying because they were wearing leggings and forced a mom to hold a toddler in her lap for a full flight because it gave away the toddler’s paid-for seat to a standby passenger. United apologized for all the incidents, but the airline’s brand was harmed and its stock price remains down nearly 17 percent since the first incident.

 

Uber Logo UpdatedUBER … When the hashtag #DeleteUber becomes your company’s most impactful marketing campaign, you know what kind of year it has been. You can pick which issue was the worst: privacy and tracking concerns, erratic behavior from its CEO, a plot to evade regulators through a complex program named “Project Grayball,” allegations of systemic sexual assault, being banned in the London – the choices go on and on. Former CEO and still-current board member Travis Kalanick added to the miserable year by feuding with his fellow board members, threatening a potentially lucrative IPO.

 

Equifax Logo.svgEQUIFAX … There are only about 320 million Americans, so it takes a special kind of incompetence to let hackers steal the personal data (names, Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses and driver’s license numbers) of more than 145 million of them. But the good folks at Equifax rose to the challenge. Particularly frustrating is that there is little to nothing that average consumers can do to punish the company. Fortunately, Equifax’s corporate clients have also grown leery of the company. And to date, it has spent nearly $90 million in legal fees and other expenses to respond to the incident.

 

Red_Cross_Logo.svg

RED CROSS … NPR and ProPublica have been a thorn in the side of the American Red Cross since the media outlets examined the nonprofit’s spending following Superstorm Sandy in 2014. They found, for example, that seven months after the storm, the Red Cross still had not spent $100 million of the $300 million it had raised. Unfortunately for the Red Cross, NPR revisited the questions about the Red Cross’ efficacy just as Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and the Red Cross was frantically trying to raise money for relief efforts. The Red Cross promised more transparency, but a generation of Millennials who like to invest locally have been finding smaller nonprofits on the ground in affected areas to support. The long-term implications of this PR disaster for the Red Cross have to be scary.

 

facebook-logoFACEBOOK … Advertisers love Facebook because it allows them to customize ad campaigns to target people with very specific tastes. Football fans, country music lovers, frequent vacationers … and “Jew haters?” An investigation by ProPublica found that Facebook’s self-service ad-buying platform allowed individuals and organizations “to market Nazi memorabilia, or recruit marchers for a far-right rally.” After ProPublica contacted Facebook, it removed anti-Semitic categories such as “Jew hater,” “How to burn jews,” or, “History of ‘why jews ruin the world.’” Facebook said the categories were created by an algorithm, not employees, and “said it would explore ways to fix the problem, such as limiting the number of categories available or scrutinizing them before they are displayed to buyers.”

Continue reading “The Biggest PR Disasters of 2017”

Colorado Companies Dominate Outside’s Best Places to Work

Screen Shot 2017-11-09 at 11.36.19 AMOutside Magazine is out with its annual ranking of the Best Places to Work, and 40 of the 100 winners are Colorado-based companies, including all of the top four. The Colorado-based marketing companies on the list are:

#2 – GroundFloor Media
#7 – Room 214
#18 – Bluetent
#31 – Sterling-Rice Group
#47 – Blizzard International Marketing
#53 – Mondo Robot
#56 – TDA_Boulder
#67 – Backbone Media
#85 – Ascent360
#89 – Turner PR

Great Moments in Public Relations

Having worked for large, publicly traded companies, I know firsthand that CEOs always want coverage in The Wall Street Journal. This, however, is not what First Data’s CEO was looking for. Allison Prang at the WSJ reports:

First Data Mistakenly Announces Acquisition Plan for BluePay

First Data Corp. said it mistakenly posted a draft of a news release Thursday morning that it would acquire credit-card processing firm BluePay Holdings Inc., a deal it says hasn’t been finalized.

The payment-processing company has since removed the release from its website and said the conference call mentioned in the release isn’t going to happen.

First Data, however, did confirm Thursday that it is in talks to buy BluePay.

GroundFloor Media, CenterTable Acquire Video Production Agency FourthWall

CenterTable, GroundFloor Media’s sister digital agency, announced it has acquired FourthWall Productions, adding to the suite of video services the agency offers in-house. CenterTable began working with FourthWall three years ago as strategic partners, and they have jointly worked on client projects involving video production and editing, animation and motion media, and live video streaming.

The firms also announced that they have added three new team members:

  • Elise Bishop as Director of Communications at GroundFloor Media. Elise was most recently a communications specialist at DanoneWave (formerly WhiteWave Foods).
  • Adrienne Schafer as Director of Social Media and Digital Strategy at CenterTable. Schafer joined CenterTable from Twitter, where she was an instructional designer.
  • Shelbi Warner as Director of Finance for both agencies. Prior to joining GFM, Shelbi served as controller for Novarus Capital Group.

 

Linhart Adds Two, Promotes Two

Linhart PR has added Miranda King as digital media strategist and Samantha Harris as an account associate. King was most recently social media manager at Door to Door Organics, and Harris started at Linhart PR earlier this year as an intern. Additionally, Linhart PR also recently promoted Libby Pinkerton and Emily Rado to the position of account executive. They both were previously account associates, and both started at the firm as interns.

 

COHN Launches Formal Marijuana Practice, Adds Industry Veteran Taylor West

COHN Marketing is getting into the marijuana marketing business in a big way with the launch of a specialty division, COHNNABIS, and the addition of former deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association Taylor West. From COHN:

Since Colorado began legal sales of adult-use cannabis in 2014, COHN has supported the brand, digital, marketing, packaging, social media and PR needs of dispensaries, products, venture capital backed start-ups, and allied companies that sell to the industry.

In support of the agency’s dedication to the industry, COHNNABIS has hired Taylor West, former deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, as senior communications director. By adding West’s cannabis industry insight and in-depth strategic communications experience to COHN’s long-established and respected expertise in integrated marketing, COHNNABIS is setting a new standard for companies serious about building a compelling, effective, and authentic brand within the industry.

Chipotle Hires Former Yum! Brands Exec as First CCO

Chiptole has hired former Yum! Brands executive Laurie Schalow as its first chief communications officer. Diana Bradley at PR Week reports:

Schalow will work from the company’s Denver headquarters and report to Steve Ells, founder, chairman, and CEO. Her responsibilities include overseeing all facets of the chain’s internal and external communications.

Chipotle PR director Chris Arnold will report to Schalow. He previously reported to CMO Mark Crumpacker.

Schalow has joined Chipotle from Yum! Brands, where she was VP of public affairs. In her most recent position, she was responsible for building the brand reputations of more than 44,000 KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell restaurants in 140 countries.

The hire follows a string of E.coli, norovirus, rodent outbreak and labor challenges over the past two years for the Denver-based restaurant chain. Burson-Marsteller is Chipotle’s agency of record in the U.S.

NFL Faces Another Round of CTE Challenges Following Study

The smartest player in the NFL – and perhaps in the history of the NFL – “abruptly” retired two days after a medical study found indications of the degenerative brain disease CTE in 99 percent of the deceased NFL players who donated their brains for scientific research. ESPN reports:

Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel, the NFL’s mathematics expert, abruptly announced his retirement from football at the age of 26 on Thursday, just before the first full-team practice of training camp. …

Urschel is pursuing his doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the offseason, focusing on spectral graph theory, numerical linear algebra and machine learning. He was expected to compete for the Ravens’ starting center job in training camp.

GFM Foundation Awards $17K in Grants

GroundFloor Media’s Get Grounded Foundation distributed a total of more than $17,000 to Child Advocates – CASA of Jefferson & Gilpin Counties, The Bridge Project, The Denver Children’s Advocacy Center and PCs for People. The programs were selected for their efforts to get a new or innovative program off the “ground floor” in the area of child abuse and neglect, youth behavioral health or childhood hunger relief.

Great Moments in Higher Education

When asked by a student reporter to comment on a University of Oregon basketball player being under criminal investigation for an alleged sexual assault, President Michael Schill responded:

“I don’t have any awareness of that,” Schill said. “In any event, I can’t comment on an individual student. What if I was asked by another reporter about you being obnoxious? Would you want me to tell them that?”

 

Ummm, what?

Food & Wine magazine is relocating from Manhattan to Birmingham, Ala. Stephanie Strom at The New York Times reports:

Hunter Lewis, the editor of Cooking Light, will become Food & Wine’s new editor in chief, replacing Nilou Motamed, who is leaving the company after a little more than a year … said the move to Alabama was partly to save money — Time Inc. has struggled since it was spun off from Time Warner three years ago — but also to give Food & Wine a more national flavor. …

The relocation is a gamble, though. Unlike Time’s other food titles, which cater more to home cooks and those beginning to cook, Food & Wine has developed a following among chefs, wine connoisseurs and restaurateurs. Its New York offices have for almost 40 years been a sort of crossroads for visiting chefs and high-end advertisers like Rolex.

FW

“Do you watch 9News and think, ‘Hey, I can do better than this guy?’”

What do you get when you cross 9News with America’s Got Talent? Apparently just 9News. And not everyone is happy about it.

The on-air promos are short and sweet: “Do you watch 9News and think, ‘Hey, I can do better than this guy?’ ” asks KUSA-Channel 9’s Steve Staeger. “Now is your chance. Send us a short video of you being the you-est you there is through 9News.com. Your take, and your voice, could lead you straight to 9News.”

The 15-second spot, which began airing on Denver’s NBC affiliate two weeks ago, offers a novel solution to a decades-old problem. Namely, soliciting reality TV-style audition videos that farm out the task finding on-air personalities for local news. …

Not everyone finds the idea of crowdsourcing on-air talent charming.

“Another major embarrassment for the once great industry,” wrote Scott Jones, editor of the TV news industry-watching site FTVLive.com. “It is nothing more than a slap in the face to real journalists.”

Great Moments in Journalism

Matthew Reisen from the Albuquerque Journal reports:

Someone stole a television news station’s SUV in Downtown Albuquerque while the crew was gathering footage for a story about crime in the area.

Michelle Donaldson, KOB news director, said the crew watched as the vehicle was stolen near First and Central.

The crew was in the area reporting on recent concerns about crime and safety by the local business Lavu when they became part of the story.

‘The Story is Bigger than Uber’

Farhad Manjoo of The New York Times continues the media’s examination of how social media is reshaping marketing and branding. Manjoo notes that social media warriors have taken down what previously had been considered untouchables – people like Uber’s Travis Kalanick and Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly.

To see why, we must first understand why brands are suddenly more vulnerable to consumer sentiment than they once were. It all comes down to one thing: Social media is the new TV.

In the era when television shaped mainstream consumer sentiment, companies enjoyed enormous power to alter their image through advertising. Then came the internet, which didn’t kill advertising, but did dilute its power. Brands now have little say over how their messages get chewed up through our social feeds.

PR Industry Not a Fan of White House Comms Team

A new study from the USC Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism shares what PR pros think about the White House communications team’s impact on the reputation of the public relations industry. The results:

  • 73% of PR professionals surveyed said the White House comms team is impacting the PR profession’s reputation. That number was lower among self-identified conservatives (53%) and higher among liberals and moderates (77% for both).
  • 83% agreed that the top reason the White House team is damaging to the industry is that they “constantly change their views/statements.”
  • 80% said the White House team “distorts the truth” and 63% said they “purposefully lie” (63%).
  • 36% said the White House comms team members “do their best despite the circumstances.”
  • 11% said that the comms team acts like PR professionals.

Shift in 9News’ Tone as Christiansen Replaces Arakawa?

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 8.41.08 AM.pngTwo interesting media articles on 9News’ decision to tap Kim Christiansen to replace longtime anchor Adele Arakawa.

Arakawa tells Joanne Ostrow at The Denver Post that she is getting out of the business at an ideal time:

Her timing is perfect: With local TV news in decline and media generally at a crossroads, Arakawa is getting out on top — while the industry is still recognizable. The era of huge anchor salaries is past. The corporate pressure to focus more on the bottom line and less on idealistic journalism is a given. …

Despite the erosion of the TV news audience, (Arakawa) predicts “local TV news will continue to exist,” even as more people are driven to the online platform. She anticipates “a shakeout of stations. There will be a few survivors of local news. You’re seeing a transition in this market. I did live in the Golden Age of TV news … . In the future, there will be fewer local news operations.” She anticipates more takeovers, more mergers.

Meanwhile, Michael Roberts at Westword questions whether Christiansen’s appointment means 9News’ “soft news” will get even softer:

As for Christiansen, her main gig lately has been helming the 4 p.m. newscast at the station, which tends to be dominated by what is euphemistically described as “lifestyle reporting” — feel-good stories about nice people doing nice things.

In a news release about Christiansen’s promotion, 9News president and general manager Steve Carter emphasized these qualities, saying, “Kim is an exceptional storyteller and naturally empathetic journalist. Her work for this community, leading our BuddyCheck9 cancer detection campaign as well as 9Cares Colorado Shares and her many other volunteer efforts, demonstrates her lifelong commitment to service.”

In other words, hard-hitting journalism isn’t a requirement for the position — and while Arakawa has something of an edge, Christiansen’s style turns on a blend of friendliness and concern.

For the record, I can’t imagine that any newscast featuring Kyle Clark is going to be accused of being soft. Love him or hate him, he has no sacred cows and is willing to ask the tough, uncomfortable questions. As for Christiansen, former 9News anchor Mark Koebrich showed that even cynical viewers can be won over with genuine good-natured charm.

‘Angry America’ Forces Advertisers to Walk Fine Line

Advertisers are having trouble navigating the new “angry America, in the aftermath of the 2016 election, which has polarized America’s consumer base.” Variety’s Brian Steinberg reports:

Marketers ranging from USAA, Mercedes-Benz, and Hyundai to T. Rowe Price and Delta Air Lines have come under pressure for supporting Fox News Channel programs like “The O’Reilly Factor” and “Hannity,” both of which have come under scrutiny in recent weeks, or, more recently, a revival of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” produced by New York’s Public Theater. When USAA announced its intention to remove its commercials from “Hannity,” conservative advocacy groups urged it to pull commercials from MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show.” Eventually, USAA returned its commercials to its regular rotation.

Advertisers have always had the ability to pull commercials from media properties that caused them angst or angered their consumers. But they were rarely as public about it as they have been in recent months. … Now, the practice is becoming commonplace. Activists often monitor advertiser support of a particular outlet, then throw a spotlight on the sponsors to try to get consumers to demand the cessation of financial support.

Anschutz Consolidating Colorado Political Media

Corey Hutchins at Columbia Journalism Review examines billionaire Phil Anschutz’s recent moves to “dominate Colorado politics coverage,” and speculates whether The Denver Post is Anschutz’s next target.

On May 31, ColoradoPolitics.com, owned by Anschutz’s Clarity Media Group, announced its acquisition of The Colorado Statesman, a subscription-based weekly print journal and website, and a stalwart of state politics coverage for more than 100 years.

Anschutz bought The Statesman from billionaire homebuilder Larry Mizel, who was co-chair of Donald Trump’s Colorado campaign; the sale price was not disclosed. Last week, The Colorado Statesman’s website began directing readers to ColoradoPolitics.com, which now hosts the Statesman’s archives. …

There is also some greater media business context for the ColoradoPolitics deal: a public perception that Anschutz has designs on The Denver Post, owned by Digital First Media.

“He tried to buy The Denver Post…but The Denver Post would not sell to him,” Vince Bzdek, editor of the Clarity-owned Gazette in Colorado Springs, said, referring to Anschutz, during a talk last fall. “If they would sell he would buy it tomorrow.” Bzdek tells CJR he does not know of any current discussions on that matter.

Great Moments in CORA

Kyle Clark and 9News are having a field day reading emails from the Longmont Housing Authority complaining about journalists such as … Kyle Clark.

Here’s a free tip to the LHA staff and board: It’s called CORA – Colorado Opens Records Act – and it means that any non-privileged email generated or received by a governmental entity (among other public documents) can be requested by a member of the public, including media.

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PRSA Colorado’s ‘Career + Beer Workshop’

Let’s face it, you need one or the other. So why not try them out together to comparison shop at PRSA Colorado’s Career + Beer Workshop this Wednesday. You might even find that both work for you.

The official description:

Join the PRSA Colorado Young Professionals Committee (in partnership with the PRSA Colorado Master Practitioners and American Marketing Association) for a career workshop night all about refreshing your job search tools for the summer. Come rotate through our round-robin of professional development workshops: Get your new professional headshot, edit your resume’ and LinkedIn collaboratively with your peers, learn the latest job hunting tips from AMA’s mentorship expert and practice mock interviews with the PRSA Colorado Master Practitioners.

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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