Gaia Group PR Blog
It’s that time again – the commencement speech news cycle. We see luminaries and thought leaders from across the spectrum dishing out advice to young men and women across the US. Our favorite dish is from Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter, at the University of Michigan commencement. Dick shares his failures and successes with the crowd along with some genuine and outstanding pieces of advice. Here’s a sample below and for more go to the YouTube link. At a little over 17 minutes, it’s worth a watch at lunchtime.
“If you make courageous choices and bet on yourself and put yourself out there, then you will have an impact.”
That was an attention grabber headline, eh? Well, we can’t say there will be any shorts this week (DC is unusually chilly for April), but there is a lot going on with soccer in D.C….
Our very own, Susan Shuckra, will be presenting on social media at the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s annual Urban Soccer Symposium. Susan will be presenting along with Jason Longshore, Chief Strategic Officer, Soccer in the Streets. These two social yoda’s will be teaching young jedi’s how to wield the force for their brand benefit (yes, we are girl geeks too!).
The week concludes with the first annual Capital Soccer Classic. Where, perhaps, you may be able to glimpse Members of Congress trouncing the competition.
All of us feel deeply saddened by the events in Boston this week. The first 24-48 hours after something like this, no one goes without thinking of how things went terribly wrong and what, if anything, could have prevented the dominos from falling.
In crisis, media professionals get to work. Clients need to be informed that the AP reporter who was interested in the story yesterday, may be much less interested today. Oh, by the way, it’s very bad taste to be tossing story ideas within 24 hours of national tragedy. An unwritten rule, but one to remember and abide by. This also applies to social media posts and large group promotional emails. Nothing is that important that it needs to be promoted while a nation mourns.
A new day dawns, times passes and we are back at it again. Recovering what we can and moving forward. It’s what we do best.
“A mediocre person tells. A good person explains. A superior person demonstrates. A great person inspires others to see for themselves.” – Harvey Mackay. At the New Year, Inc. Magazine ran a list of motivational quotes for each month of 2013. Just as interesting are the comments to the article. Happy reading!
Giving is receiving. We’ve heard it a hundred times in books, from our parents and in our houses of worship. As the Deepak Chopra says, “The universe operates through dynamic exchange . . . giving and receiving are different aspects of the flow of energy in the universe.” To keep our flow of energy going, Gaia offers pro bono services to organizations that are in need of assistance, but don’t have the resources to support their efforts. One such client is in our local area…
Last week marked the first event we held with New Directions Alternative High School in Arlington, Virginia just outside of Washington, D.C. Much like other inner suburbs of East Coast cities, Arlington has its fair share of urban issues from crime to immigration and anything in between. Somewhere in this mix are kids that need a little extra help to prepare them for what waits on the other side of high school. My husband has been a tutor at the school for almost a decade and he has loved every moment of volunteering. The administrator, reached out to Gaia regarding community partnership and mentoring idea. We worked to develop a partnership program and reached out to the local business community. This meant hours canvassing local small and large businesses and retailers. Just like a political campaign, we had messages and tried to rally around the first community open house and tour.
When the day came, there were a wonderful crew of local businesses that showed up bright and early to meet the kids, their parents and the teaching staff. We started out in a giving mode and by 9am, it was clear that we were the recipients of wonderful and positive energy. Thanks to the whole New Directions community for all the hard work that goes into creating happier kids, stronger families and better communities.
A special thanks to Barnes & Noble (Clarendon), Burke & Herbert Bank (Clarendon Branch) and Washington Sports Club (Clarendon) for supporting this important event!
Early in my career, I had an incoming call from the news room at a local paper. The desk had been monitoring the police and fire radio channels and picked up a distress call from one of our offices. They called me to find out if we had a fire and get the scoop. I immediately told my boss and he ran it up the chain of command. Word came back that there was no fire. So I called the fire house to double check before handling the reporter. When the chief got on the phone, he said, “honey, where there is smoke, there is fire. You have lots of smoke, so don’t let anyone tell you there is no fire.” I will never forgot that piece of obvious yet wise advice. I have a fire chief to thank for adding perspective to every crisis situation we encounter.
“Magazine stories, the best ones anyway, are generally a combination of three elements: access, narrative, and disclosure.” – Vanity Fair, March 2013
I had the good fortune of running into a wise man this week. We talked about the shared and widespread feeling of self doubt among entrepreneurs. Doubt in business is real and exists in spades, but there are also other positive emotions that correspond with running a venture.
The general perception is that people who opt to work or run startups are adventurers that possess a high degree of joie de vivre even though the work can be challenging. This isn’t necessarily true. According to a recent 2012 Gallup poll on entrepreneurs and stress, “entrepreneurs are slightly more likely than other workers to report experiencing stress a lot of the day ‘yesterday’– 45% vs. 42%. They are also slightly more likely than other U.S. workers to say they worried a lot of the day “yesterday”– 34% vs. 30%.”
While these numbers don’t seem like much, I’m sure those in the stressed percentile will argue otherwise. The upside of the data collected is that entrepreneurs feed their intellectual curiosity more often and have a stronger sense of optimism – 30% to 25%. After years of working with entrepreneurs and then becoming one, it’s true that we all swim in a mixture of doubt (not too often!), optimism and curiosity. We’re also a tenacious bunch.
The wise man gave me something to ponder this week and I think him for it: If you get up on a surfboard and look down, then a tumble to the water is inevitable. However, if you get up on the board and fix a stare on the horizon, the likelihood of falling decreases exponentially.
To all the entrepreneurs out there, you are not alone and be sure keep an eye on the horizon.
1776 was the year of our independence and also makes a great name for the newest technology incubator in DC. The crew at 1776, alumni of the Startup America Partnership, are moving forward with a vision that DC can build and maintain a significant startup presence in this region and on the East Coast. Local incubator Fortify, will be moving in to the space along with a few other anchor startups. DC has struggled to carve out a name in the world of urban technology hubs. Where Silicon Alley in New York got plenty of brand spotlight, others including DC have struggled. With the 1776 announcement there is renewed hope for a stronger voice in the venture and startup worlds.
Kudos to the Alliance to Save Energy and National Grid for their leadership around energy efficiency and inspiring renewed interest in generating real commitments from the public and private sectors around their #Energy2030 campaign. Rallying around energy efficiency measures are former Governor George Pataki of New York and Senator Mark Warner (VA). If adopted, the plan will do the following:
- Add 1.3 million jobs;
- Cut average household energy costs by more than $1,000 a year;
- Save American businesses $169 billion a year;
- Increase GDP by up to 2%;
- Decrease energy imports by more than $100 billion a year; and
- Reduce CO2 emissions by one-third.
Part of the plan is to embrace cleaner technologies that will help mitigate carbon while getting smart about our current energy solutions. We look forward to hearing progress on this issue.
Trying to translate the corporate world into public affairs? Think of Congress as the CEO, staff as the sales/marketing team, influencers as potential funders and constituents as investors. Works every time.