Be a Chameleon – Or Get Eaten in the Jungle

by KGBTexas Admin on June 30, 2015

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard how important it is to integrate your communication strategy. Today’s PR/Advertising/Marketing pro must have an understanding of the multiple communication channels available to engage the public with their brand. When should what type of message be shared on which tool?

Scared chameleon

Photo: 50 Shades of Chameleon

Ultimately, to be a communication master you have to read enough, experiment enough, measure enough and care enough to craft your message in the way that resonates with your target audience. But clients won’t listen if they don’t trust you. And trust takes connection, derived from solid communication.

Think about how you communicate your personal brand. Do you adapt that message depending on your audience?

Me? I’m a chameleon.

I’ll adapt my communication style and identifiable traits to my environment to best connect with the audience. In some groups, I need to be known as a multicultural communicator, and my personal and professional experience with the Hispanic culture matters.

In others, it’s best that I’m seen as a general market communicator. Or maybe being a working mother will resonate with this group, while my corporate, nonprofit or agency experience excites another.

Think of all the ways people could identify with you.

Then, get ready to change your color to stand out, relate to or blend in with others. Either way, you’ll navigate the jungle to live another day!

- Melissa Vela-Williamson


Take Your Dog to Work Day

by KGBTexas Admin on June 25, 2015


KGBTexas .communications will celebrate Take Your Dog to Work Day June 26 as both a way to show our affection for our pets and to raise awareness of America’s pet overpopulation. San Antonio is committed to becoming America’s largest no-kill city and we’re committed to helping make that goal a reality.

pet promo pic1

Talk About It! is the San Antonio Area Foundation’s animal welfare initiative, dedicated to educating the community on the importance of Care. Adopt. Neuter.  It’s video, “Goose”, shares the story of a rescue dog becoming a service dog and highlights the value animals can provide humans.

Check out the Talk About It! Goose video.

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Pet-friendly offices are a growing trend, and for good reason. Allowing furry pals into the workplace can be beneficial to a company’s bottom line, boosting morale and productivity, and even attracting customers.

Bringing their pet to work means employees aren’t worrying about their pets sitting at home alone all day. This is particularly important for employees who have young puppies or senior dogs.

Being able to bring pets to work also means employees may be willing to stay later to finish working on a project because they aren’t worrying about having to rush home to let the dog out.
Dogs are a social catalyst. Stopping by someone’s desk to give their dog a belly rub inevitably leads to striking up a conversation with their owner. A 2010 study from Central Michigan University revealed dogs in the workplace can lead to more trust between coworkers, resulting in greater collaboration.
A 2012 Virginia Commonwealth University study showed employees who bring dogs to work produced lower levels of cortisol (the hormone released during times of stress). The study was conducted at a dinnerware company in North Carolina, which “employs” 20 to 30 dogs a day.
According to studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, owning a pet can decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels and increase opportunities for exercise and socialization, both of which have immense health benefits.
Not only does regular exercise improve physical health, but going for a walk has been proven to deliver mental health benefits, allowing the brain to relax and boosting inspiration. A recent study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found going for a walk can boost creative thinking by as much as 60 percent compared to sitting.
Dogs not only boost internal morale, but have also helped companies bond with clients and venders who come to visit the office.

-Randy Lankford


Lessons in Communication from Jurassic World

by KGBTexas Admin on June 23, 2015


Besides adventure, running in fabulous heels and Chris Pratt, Jurassic World brings us some great lessons in communication that we can apply to our day-to-day lives. Potential spoilers ahead!

Here are a few lessons from the summer blockbuster:

Pick an Alpha you can trust

The pack of velociraptors sought after an alpha they could follow. At the start of the movie, we find Chris Pratt’s character is the alpha team member the raptors could trust. He built relationships with them and trained them through trust and positive behavior. Conversely, the film’s rival sought to capitalize on the raptors’ strengths and use them to accomplish his own selfish goals.

The lesson here is that every team needs a leader, but your leader needs to be trustworthy and respectful of the team.

Be a good team player
Speaking of teams, you have to be a good team player. Each and every member of a team brings to the table specific strengths and some weaknesses. Good team members will use their strengths to the benefit of the overall group. In the movie, we find Claire is a loner and trusts that her ways are the best ways to get things done. Ultimately, she finds that trusting Owen and her teammates results in success. She’s also willing to compromise for the betterment of her team, even if that means mussing her perfect all-white outfit.

Don’t rely on technology
Technology has made life much easier. With smart phones we can work remotely and automate processes that used to take a long time. Most of us probably don’t have each other’s phone numbers memorized. But what happens if you’re at the mercy of an event with a dead battery? Technology also can’t substitute human intellect, instinct and ability to build relationships.

Make sure you’re as sharp as your technology and that you’re as charming IRL as you are online.

- Laura Elizabeth Morales-Welch


Twittering For Fun and Profit

by KGBTexas Admin on June 15, 2015

Orange is the new black, 40 is the new 30 and Twitter is the new Facebook. If recent events are to be believed, none of that is true.

Dick Costolo is on the way out as Twitter CEO. Dick Costolo is on the way out as Twitter CEO.

News broke on Thursday that Twitter CEO Dick Costolo had had enough Wall Street second-guessing and was stepping down. Retweeting his role as jefe, Jack Dorsey, one of Twitter’s founders and former chiefs, will return as interim CEO while the search for Costolo’s permanent replacement runs its considerably-more-than-140-character course.

Jack Dorsey will serve his second term as Twitter Chief. Jack Dorsey will serve his second term as Twitter Chief.

That bit of news triggered a new round of speculation the belabored social media outlet, valued at a pricey $24 billion, was ripe for the picking, most likely by Google. Twitter shares rose more than 7 percent in after-hours trading immediately after the leadership change was announced. Coincidence? Hardly.

Dorsey insisted Twitter’s board was not calling for a change in strategy. “We do have a great strategy, we do have a great direction, and we do have a great team behind it,” he said in an interview. Why then, did Twitter almost immediately rescind it’s 140-character maximum on direct messages? Can that not be interpreted as an attempt to increase its footprint in the increasingly popular private communications arena?

All of this comes on the heels of a scathing 8,500-word call for change by one of Twitter’s largest shareholders, Chris Sacca. In a world where 140 characters are considered verbose and seven-second videos are epics, change can come quickly.

Dorsey has already been ousted once, and Costolo rose to power in a boardroom coup in 2010 against Evan Williams, the company’s other co-founder. Given there are more than two weeks to go before the official transition, the Twitter drama may well take more turns, all leading to a tweetstorm that may block out the sun.

- Randy Lankford



Beyond the Basics

by KGBTexas Admin on June 9, 2015

The Center for the Intrepid, a state-of-the-art physical rehabilitation facility for our nation’s wounded warriors, opened at Fort Sam Houston back in January 2007. I had been following the center’s development for more than a year as a journalist. Amid all the political arguments about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the one thing everyone seemed to agree about was that when the men and women who went to fight those wars were injured, they deserved the very best care available.

Staff Sgt. Steve Bosson Staff Sgt. Steve Bosson at the 2013 Texas Regional Games in San Antonio.


Over the preceding years, I had written a number of columns about wounded warriors, including one for the Wall Street Journal that featured Staff Sgt. Steve Bosson. I planned to write another for the Journal about the opening of the Center for the Intrepid.

The grand opening ceremony was filled with dignitaries and celebrities. Cher and Denzel Washington were there. So were Sens. Hillary Clinton and John McCain, who were at the time presidential hopefuls.

As the ceremony began, the eyes of the audience were on the stage, while the eyes of many journalists were on the audience. My focus was on the wounded warriors, which allowed me to see this:

“As the Joint Service Color Guard of the Military District of Washington presented colors, Staff Sgt. Arnold-Garcia rose to attention, without crutches, on one leg.

“Next to him was a soldier I knew. Staff Sgt. Steve Bosson of the 1st Cavalry Division is a bear of a man. Looking at his frame, you wouldn’t know he’s been through three years of surgeries, prosthetic fittings and rehabilitation. Staff Sgt. Bosson lost the lower half of his left leg to a grenade in an ambush west of Baghdad.

“At moments during the National Anthem, Staff Sgt. Arnold-Garcia would teeter a bit. To keep his balance, he would occasionally touch the elbow of his right arm, drawn up in salute, to the shoulder of Staff Sgt. Bosson. It was a fleeting yet moving portrait of genuine sacrifice.”

That column was probably the most widely read and shared column I ever wrote. More important to me, it helped generate contributions for the Center, and the family of Staff Sgt. Arnold-Garcia sent me a touching note of thanks.

There were three ingredients that made that column a success – ingredients that are as important to the public relations and public affairs worlds as they are to journalism.

First, you have to do your homework. It was only because I had spent a good amount of time covering wounded warriors, talking to them and the leaders at Fort Sam Houston, that I knew them. Just as important, they knew me.
The same is true with agency work. When you get down into the weeds with a client, you learn about them, but they also learn about you.

Second, and related, relationships matter. The military community is very insular. Its members – military personnel and their families – have a lot of distrust of outsiders, especially journalists.

Clients are often the same. We ask them to let us into their businesses and handle their reputations. We need to have established a trusting relationship to do so.

Third, look past the obvious to discover what the real story or issue is. For many people covering the CFI’s opening ceremony, Rosie O’Donnell and John Cougar Mellencamp were the story. They were watching the stage or the stars in the crowd. I was watching the guys on crutches and in wheelchairs.

When people talk about businesses, they tend to focus on products or services or high-profile leaders. Sometimes, the heart of a business – or a business problem – is buried in its history or in a corporate culture that no one stops to think about. Sometimes you have to look where no one else is looking to see what no one else can see.

-Jonathan Gurwitz