Pixels of Fury!!

by KGBTexas Admin on October 31, 2014

Graphic design isn’t usually a competitive sport.

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That’s what makes Shutterstock’s “Pixels of Fury” event intriguing to me. It’s a chance to test my creativity and design skills in a high-energy, win-or-go-home environment. Welcome to the Digital Thunderdome.

The competition opens at the Dorcol Distilling Co. on Nov. 14 with two rounds of four competitors each. We’ll have 20 minutes to design a poster based on a premise we won’t know until the competition begins. Try conceiving and designing a poster addressing a topic as nebulous as “hunger” in 20 minutes.

The two winners of the qualifying rounds will meet in the finals, another 20-minute throwdown with a new topic. A live audience will be watching our designs evolve on giant monitors. Nothing like having a few hundred people looking over your shoulder while you’re working against the clock on a completely subjective design.

This is the second annual Pixels of Fury event in San Antonio. I watched the first one from the audience and decided I wanted to be a part of the competition so I submitted my portfolio to the American Institute of Graphic Arts and made it into the round of eight.

While every design project is a challenge, I’m looking forward to a unique night of high-stakes competition against some of the best graphic artists in San Antonio.

–DJ Pennington, Art Director

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Workplace lessons from the San Antonio Spurs

by KGBTexas Admin on October 28, 2014

It’s game day! The entire city is still beaming with pride because our very own San Antonio Spurs will receive their championship rings today. As we kick off the race for seis championships, it’s a good time to reflect upon what our Spurs taught us about teamwork and how that applies to public relations.

It’s all about teamwork

You’ve heard it over and over again, and the video below sums up what we love about our Spurs. It’s always about the team. We have legendary players in our starting lineup, but it’s the overall teamwork mentality that earned the Spurs yet another championship.

The moment someone stops being a team player is the moment the team is headed for failure.

The past is for learning – not dwelling

When the Spurs lost the championship to the Miami Heat in 2013, we were devastated, but only for a minute. San Antonio was right back out in the streets – honking and welcoming the team home at the airport, because we made it to the finals! The Spurs didn’t dwell on the loss, they instead learned from it. They knew what they needed to improve on and they channeled the energy towards the goal: winning as a team.

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Recently, I heard from a classmate from my Alex Briseño Leadership Development Program who works with the San Antonio Spurs and she told us that it’s back to business as usual. Coach Popovich has instructed the entire organization to move forward. Their eyes are on the prize, looking to the future, not the past.

The same can be said for the workplace. If you constantly dwell on failure instead of learning lessons, you will continue to fail. At the same time, if you’re too busy bragging about a win, you’ll never have time to earn your next one.

Remember these tips the next time you’re put in a team at work and you’ll be an MVP like Kawhi…and Timmy…and Tony…and Manu…and Boris…and…

–Laura Elizabeth Morales-Welch–

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Get out and vote!

by KGBTexas Admin on October 23, 2014

It’s that time again, San Antonio. Dust off those voter registration cards and cast your ballots. Early voting for the November 4, 2014 joint general election is open through October 31.

The ballot this year is headlined by the gubernatorial race between Democrat Wendy Davis and Republican Greg Abbott.  Republican Dan Patrick is facing Democrat Leticia Van de Putte for the lieutenant governor post. Ken Paxton and Sam Houston are the leading candidates in the race for the attorney general position formerly held by Abbott.

Incumbent John Cornyn is being challenged for his United States Senate seat by David Alameel. United States Representatives Joaquin Castro, Lamar Smith and Henry Cuellar are all facing reelection.  While Rep. Pete Gallego is in a highly contested race against Will Hurd.


There are also a number of local elections and initiatives, including an amendment to the state constitution that allocates funding to transportation initiatives, Prop 1, on the 2014 ballot.

Nearly one million of the more than 206 million Americans eligible to vote this year are in Bexar County. And, per a recent ruling by the Supreme Court, all Texas voters must present a photo ID when casting their votes. There are several acceptable forms of identification including a Texas driver license or a United States citizenship certificate.

Voter turnout is expected to be heavy despite 2014 being a non-presidential election year. Nearly 65 percent of registered voters turned out for the 2012 election. More than 20,000 San Antonians have cast their votes so for this year.

Use these links to see a sample ballot or find your polling location.

sample ballot

voting locations

Early Voting hours:

Monday—Friday, Oct. 20 – 24: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 25: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 26: Noon to 6 p.m.

Monday – Friday, Oct. 27 – 31: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Election Day Hours:

Tuesday, November 4: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

-Chelsea Campbell & Randy Lankford-

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Improvizing Your Way to More Productive Brainstorm Sessions

by KGBTexas Admin on September 24, 2014

The world lost two brilliant comedians this past summer, Joan Rivers and Robin Williams, each leaving a legacy of laughter. But as comedians, their contributions to our daily lives are potentially far greater.

As it happens, the strategies comedians use to entertain us can vastly improve our daily workplace interactions – and brainstorms. In fact, by following a few tried and true rules of comedy, you can motivate your team to contribute more, and better, ideas.

Just say “yes.”

One of the first rules of improv is “Don’t block.” For a scene to work, you have to move it forward – together. Saying “no” forces the scene to a halt.

Similarly, the biggest impediment to a great brainstorming session is not inexperience or a lack of creativity.  It’s “no.”

Although usually well-intentioned, “That won’t work…” crushes ideas before they’ve had a chance to hatch and signals there’s a right and wrong answer. Thought filtering and a deafening roar of crickets commence.

While some ideas are truly veto-worthy, try to go with them – if only for a minute. Consider the lead balloon lobbed into the room and ask, “If I absolutely had to, how could I make this fly?” Absurdity ensues, which does two important things. It forces new ways of thinking creatively, and it creates a culture of trust, where participants are comfortable sharing ideas.

Say “Yes, and…”

In improvisational comedy, students are taught not only to say “yes,” but to say, “yes, and…” The thought is to embrace your teammate’s contribution to the scene and push it forward. In a brainstorm, “and” can enhance a simple thought with the substance it needs to become a legitimate idea. A few more “ands” can turn that idea into a campaign. With an unimaginative thought as your starting point, “yes, and…” will help you push ideas forward, taking them from boring to brilliant.

Rule of three and the unexpected.

Consider comedian Laura Kightlinger’s line, “I can’t think of anything worse after a night of drinking than waking up next to someone and not being able to remember their name, or how you met, or why they’re dead.”

It’s what comedians call the “comedic triple” or “rule of three.” It establishes a pattern and lands a laugh with an unexpected twist.

In brainstorming, while “yes, and…” pushes your campaigns forward, the rule of three makes them buzz-worthy.

Once you have a baseline idea, force yourself to look for three different ways to implement it. Instead of merely passing hors d’oeuvres at an event, can you have a food truck? Serve from helado carts? Or have roving “vending” machines? Many of these ideas will end up on the cutting room floor. But giving your team the license to explore will yield vastly better results than accepting “good enough.”

Have fun!

Okay. So there’s not really a rule in comedy that says have fun. In fact, the process can be quite painful.  But, the next time you’re faced with leading a creative mission, remember to think like a comedian. Say yes, take things too far and throw in a few curve balls. It could make the difference between a mediocre brainstorming session and an inspired one.

-Tiffany Heikkila, PR Account Supervisor

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PR Lessons from the Celebrity Hacking of 2014

by KGBTexas Admin on September 3, 2014

If you haven’t been living in a hole this past week, then you’re aware of the latest scandalous celebrity photo leak – therein lies a valuable PR lesson.

Unseemly photos of A-list celebrities, including J-Law and Kate Upton, were leaked on the Internet this past weekend raising concerns and casting a dubious eye on the Apple iCloud. While the answer to this issue seems obvious – don’t take nude photos of yourself – the situation actually raises legitimate questions about cloud security and the capacity for corporate sabotage.

For us PR pros, the leak acts as a cautionary tale and leaves a few things for us to take into consideration:

  1. Ensure your clients’ most important servers are as far our of reach from hackers as possible –this seems obvious, but it doesn’t hurt to double-check
  2. Know that information you thought was deleted is probably still be stored on remote servers
  3. Be prepared and have an action plan for when/if sensitive information finds its way into the public eye
  4. Make sure everyone keep their clothes on; the internet never forgets

-Emily Wells-

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