Goff and Howard Public Relations / Public Affairs Logo

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Can’t put a price on team

Companies everywhere are doing their best to make it through the economic slump. I’m really proud that even though times have been tough, Goff & Howard remains a company where people like to work.

When Goff & Howard recently won its third Best Places to Work award from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, it helped reaffirm that the decisions we’ve made as company leaders during this recession have been the right ones.

Planning ahead for 2009, we made it our top priority to retain every employee. Goff & Howard has always been a stable company that few people leave, and we value our employees as our most important asset.

This priority has involved financial sacrifice in other areas, but not in ways that change the upbeat tone of our office. We recognize that our company culture of showing gratitude for great work, taking pride in our team, and caring for our employees and their families are what make Goff & Howard special. We continue to do all of these things – perhaps in more cost-conscious ways, but in ways that still show our employees our commitment to their happiness at work. We also continue to communicate with them about how the company is doing and how they can help keep us on track.

We have succeeded in keeping every employee on board and busy. Like other challenges, we are taking this economy on as a team.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A piece of desert

“Who would like a piece of desert?”

If you are pausing, wondering, or questioning your spelling skills right now, there is a good reason. Or, if you are picturing sand dunes and cacti, you’re wondering what my previous sentence means.

Either way, I am getting my point across. One little letter can make a big difference.

What I meant to ask was, “Who would like a piece of dessert?” You know – like a delicious piece of apple crisp.

But my spell check didn’t detect my incorrect spelling, probably for two reasons:
1) because “desert” is a word, and
2) because it is possible that I could have meant “desert,” as in “Who would like to own land in the desert?”

Computers’ spelling and grammar check systems miss all kinds of misspellings and extra words. For example, none of these sentences/words set off any red flags on my screen:
• He has no patients.
• She is a descent person.
• The writing is in the wall.
• The writing is the wall.
• School funding cuts would harm on Minnesota students.

Don’t get me wrong; I appreciate and fully utilize the spelling and grammar check in my writing. It catches some things that I might otherwise miss.

Just don’t let it give you any false security. Read and re-read what you write. Or, ideally, have someone you trust edit and proofread your business documents.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Good news for PR people is not so good news for parents of middle schoolers

A recent study – forwarded to The GH Spin by a friend at KMSP-TV – delivered some heartening news to those of us in the PR biz. But it was a little disconcerting to those of us who also have children entering middle school this year.
The study, funded by the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication at Penn State University, found that PR pros ranked high in a test of ethical reasoning. Some journalists might even be surprised to hear that PR pros ranked as high as they did in the study. We also ranked as high as nurses and dental students and outscored orthopedic surgeons, business professionals, accounting students, and veterinary students.
On the flip side, junior high/middle school students ranked low in ethical thinking . . . even lower than prison inmates.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Social media growing pains

Your friends are not the only ones watching and reading what you say via Facebook status updates. Employers are now monitoring their employees’ social media activity and are more likely to take aggressive action when policies related to multimedia sharing and posting are violated.

According to a new study by Proofpoint, an Internet security firm, of companies with 1,000 or more employees, 17 percent report having issues with employees’ use of social media. And, 8 percent of those companies report having dismissed someone for their behavior on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. That’s double from last year, where just 4 percent reported having to fire someone over social media misuse.

Some of this can be attributed to a lack of common sense by employees. Dan Leone, an employee of the Philadelphia Eagles is a good example of someone who did not understand the impact a Facebook status update can have. Dan expressed his “displeasure” with the team’s decision to not resign a player. Eagle’s management saw his Facebook post ["Dan is [expletive] devastated about Dawkins signing with Denver ... Dam Eagles R Retarted!!"] and fired Dan.

As Facebook and other social media channels grow, what we as employees say, do, and post does not always stay in our immediate personal network. Companies are continuing to react to the exploding use of a technology that makes it easy for everyone to share their thoughts and opinions with almost anyone. Employees like the freedom to express thoughts and ideas, but may not always understand and acknowledge the impact of their actions.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

340 million visitors = advertisers

If Facebook seems a bit more crowded these days, there is a good reason.

Among the daily updates from friends and photos from a weekend outing, are messages from companies who are now investing money to be part of our social media world. According to a recent story in the Financial Times, mainstream brands are racing to reach out to people via Facebook.

More than 80 percent of the largest U.S. advertisers are using Facebook to promote themselves, suggesting that corporate America has embraced the social networking site as a mainstream promotional platform.

Many companies had previously been nervous that a logo or brand message could end up next to offensive content, but apparently, 340 million unique monthly visitors seem to be more than enough to help ease the corporate world’s fear.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Rock Star PR Move

In compiling its list of most overpaid and underpaid CEOs, The Business Journal offered all CEOs on the list the opportunity to comment. Those comments were printed alongside the list in last Friday’s issue.

Vascular Solutions’ Howard Root, who was among those deemed “underpaid,” wins the GH Spin’s award for best PR move with this gem:

“TO THE EDITOR: I received your letter on the list of CEO compensation. My only comment is that my dad, who grew up on a farm during the Great Depression, tells me that anyone making over half a million a year can’t possibly be ‘underpaid.’ I agree, so maybe you can say I’m ‘less well paid’?”