Best Practices for Communicating About COVID-19

Today, effective communication is more important than ever.

As COVID-19 impacts more people and businesses every day, SideCar PR is here to help guide you through how to communicate during these challenging times. While the type and frequency of communications will evolve over time, the way you respond now has a lasting impact.

We’ve put together some best practices for communicating with your audiences – from employees to tenants to investors to partners – when dealing with a crisis like COVID-19.

  1. Take a breath.

We know these challenging times can feel overwhelming. It’s important to stay calm and take a moment of pause before acting. Additionally, well-respected organizations and leaders have the opportunity to set the tone for how their employees and communities will feel about and respond to a situation.

2. Gather (accurate) information.

During times of crisis and panic, news travels particularly fast as more and more new information is released in real-time. This has been evident during the entire COVID-19 timeline. It is important to rely on information from trusted sources such as the medical community and government officials.

3. Consider your specific audiences

Different audiences require different messages in times of crisis. While there needs to be a core message that is woven throughout all of your communications (health and wellbeing should remain a top priority), consider what is most important to a particular audience and lead with that.

4. Be clear, concise and empathetic

Especially when there is a global crisis like a pandemic, people are absorbing more content than normal. In all of your communications, be clear and to the point, while never sacrificing the chance to show someone you’re listening. Empathy during these times will help people feel calm and confident that you know what you’re doing and have their best interests in mind.

5. Be consistent and available

Keep your audience updated as new information evolves. Keep the lines of communication open and respond quickly to all incoming questions and comments.

6. Build camaraderie during ‘social distancing’

As we all move into a more virtual world, consider how your communications efforts can help people feel more connected. Just because we are socially distant doesn’t mean we can’t be social. We are privileged to have the technology that can help us create and build connections in new and creative ways. Plan virtual happy hours with clients, employees and partners and leverage social media to provide services online. These times are challenging and uncertain, but we should still feel empowered to find new ways to connect with one another.

Free Communications Help for Nonprofits

As we continue to closely monitor the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) in our communities, we understand this unprecedented situation is impacting our local nonprofits in several ways, including increased demand for services, lost revenue due to closures, limited volunteers, and more. With so many moving parts, we also understand the importance of effective communications during times like this.

To all nonprofits: if you need any help with communications to keep your people up to date on the latest information/needs from your organization, please let us know! We recognize this is just one piece of the puzzle you’re trying to figure out, but we’d love to donate our time and expertise how we can. Please contact us at hello@sidecarpr.com to schedule a 30-minute session to kick things off.

Part 3: 4 Ways to Use Video to Build Your Brand In 2020

In last week’s blog, we focused on ways to translate data analytics into actionable social campaigns. This week, we’re excited to discuss how you can use video as a powerful educational tool.

Use Video as An Educational Tool

When it comes to raising awareness for a particular product, service or issue, video is an enormously powerful educational tool. About 68% of people said they would prefer to learn about new products or services by watching a short video, but 96% of people say they’ve watched lengthier videos to learn more about a product or service. The audience is there! Remember that the next time you’re considering how to get across a piece of information. Adding a video component could make all the difference.

We used video to explain how our client NINE dot ARTS’ creates engaging and unique art experiences for their own clients.

Thank you for tuning into our blog! Next week we’ll focus on leveraging social media as a search engine.

Part 2: 4 Ways to Use Video to Build Your Brand In 2020

Last week, on our blog, we discussed the power of integrating video into your communications strategy and simple ways to measure the success of your videos. We’re continuing our four-part multimedia series this week with a look at how you can translate your video strategy into actionable social campaigns.

With more people using social media than ever – around 3.48 billion – visual content strategies, including social media and video campaigns, are becoming increasingly important to reach your target audiences.

What makes a strong social media strategy even more important is that it’s increasingly the gateway to your brand – about 58% of consumers visit a brand’s social media channels before visiting their website.

So, how can video raise your game on social media? Let’s dive in.

Get Social with Video

With Instagram and Facebook providing ways to post live stories and videos, companies have more opportunities than ever to leverage these features to share a brand’s story with more than 400 million active Instagram users and 500 million daily Facebook users.

About 90% of businesses today are posting videos at least once per week on Facebook and YouTube while 80-83% of brands regularly post videos on Instagram, which is unsurprising, given that social videos are shared 1,200% more than images and text combined!

And it’s not just consumer-focused brands using it to their advantage. Video is just as relevant for the CRE community. Given the highly visual and experiential nature of the built environment, there’s tons of opportunity to help people understand what you do and how you do it through video.

Here’s an example of how our client Elsy Studios used video to share the completion of an impressive adaptive reuse project with their social networks:

By leveraging social media analytics from your accounts and campaigns, you can track and improve performance to ensure you’re putting your time and resources into the right channels and content types.

Don’t forget to tune into our blog next week! We’ll tell you how you can use video as a powerful educational tool.

SideCar PR Expands Video, Digital and Social Capabilities with Multimedia Associate Hire

Emmy-winning video producer Tyler Lahanas joins SideCar PR from 9NEWS in Denver

DENVER (Feb. 24, 2020)SideCar PR, a full-service communications firm specializing in commercial real estate, community building and placemaking, has expanded its digital, video and social media capabilities with the hire of multimedia associate Tyler Lahanas.

Lahanas, an Emmy Award-winning video producer previously with 9NEWS in Denver, will help SideCar PR’s growing client base reach their target audiences through compelling video and photography and engaging social media content.

“Tyler is a natural storyteller with a creative vision that will allow us to take our multimedia services to the next level,” said Sarah Cullen, SideCar PR’s president and founder. “As our client roster in Denver, Los Angeles and Austin continues to grow, Tyler’s original content will help us highlight the aspects that differentiate the companies we’re proud to represent in line with their business goals.”

At 9NEWS, Tyler shaped the news station’s video strategy and implemented best practices for video across all platforms. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Digital Cinematography from Full Sail University. While working toward his degree, he built a successful online presence as a YouTube partner, creating content for an audience of over 3 million subscribers and gathering over 14 million views.

“Our clients are eager to embrace not just social media, but visual communications content like photo and video, as a way to stand out in today’s competitive development market,” said Kelly Jensen, SideCar PR’s multimedia director. “Tyler’s experience in broadcast journalism, paired with his eye for stories that draw audiences in, will help position our clients for success by helping them meaningfully connect with the audiences that matter to them.”

Recognizing the importance of aligning public relations and visual communications strategies, SideCarPR offers a completely integrated approach – from media relations, marketing and website development to videography, graphic design and more – all under one roof. To learn more about SideCar PR, visit http://sidecarpr.com/.

Sarah Cullen Named to DBJ’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2020!

The SideCar PR team is excited to share that our president Sarah Cullen was recently honored as a 40 Under 40 recipient by the Denver Business Journal (DBJ)!

Every year, DBJ recognizes 40 business professionals under the age of 40 years old for their business acumen and community involvement. Sarah was recognized for her leadership in both business and philanthropy.

Over the past two years, Sarah has been instrumental in creating Women on the Rise, an initiative of the Downtown Denver Partnership’s Commons on Champa that provides female entrepreneurs with the support and resources to become the future business leaders of the city. As the Communications Chair, she helped organize Denver’s largest women’s entrepreneurial showcase in 2016, and has since helped the organization continue to grow its attendee base. She is also actively involved in the Downtown Denver Partnership, CityBuild, and regularly mentors students at her alma mater, Colorado State University.

Sarah’s passion, grit and business success were also recognized. Sarah founded SideCar PR in 2011, after the Great Recession, on the idea that relationships are the foundation of great PR, and relationships are built on trust. Over the years, she’s worked to build that trust by delivering exceptional results for our clients in the commercial real estate, community building and placemaking communities.

Under her leadership, SideCar PR has grown into a leading communications firm for the commercial real estate industry with offices in Denver, LA and Austin. In 2017, the national PR community recognized Sarah’s efforts, naming SideCar the Best Boutique Agency (Silver Award) in the country.

Congratulations to the 40 Under 40 Class of 2020!

To learn more about Sarah and her incredible leadership, check out her feature in DBJ and her bio.

Part 1: 4 Ways to Use Video to Build Your Brand In 2020

It’s no secret that the way we communicate is changing. And while buzzy platforms like Tik-Tok might not make sense for a developer, architect or brokerage firm just yet, the way businesses in the commercial real estate industry communicate with their audiences is rapidly becoming more social and increasingly visual.

Today, video remains the most engaging, most shared type of content on social media and one of the most valuable tools your company can use as part of its overall communications strategy. But video alone, sans strategy, won’t land you meaningful results.

With 87% of businesses leveraging video strategies to deepen their communication tactics, it’s essential to create meaningful content that tells your story and highlights your competitive differentiators.

With that in mind, we’re kicking off a new series with four ways your team can leverage multimedia to drive visual brand communication in 2020.

For this first post in the series, we’re looking at integrating video into your communications strategy and ways you can make sure your video strategy is effective. 

Integrated Video Campaigns (Embrace Those Analytics!)

Visual content is reshaping how and when businesses communicate their story. By the end of this year, it’s predicted that an impressive 82% of internet traffic will come from video.

Not convinced that applies to business yet? Simply adding multimedia content to your email blasts has been shown to increase the click-through rate by a whopping 63%.

Here’s an example of integrating video into a newsletter for one of our clients, JOHNSON NATHAN STROHE. Capturing the essence of their Founding Partner, Jim Johnson, was best done via video and resulted in a 39% open rate – more than double the industry average!

Already on board with video? How are you measuring its effectiveness? Data analytics and metrics are making it easier than ever to understand what type of video is resonating best with your audiences, so an agile approach will yield more success.

Here are seven key metrics that can help you measure the success of your videos:

  • View Count – This tells you how many times your video has been viewed. If you want to boost your video view count, consider sharing your video with your audience through email and social media; distribute your video to relevant influencers; encourage your team to share it on their own social profiles.
  • Play Rate – By analyzing the percentage of visitors who actually clicked play and began watching your video, you can measure how relevant your video is to where it’s placed and how successful it is in attracting viewers.
  • Average Time Watched – This shows you how much of your video viewers stuck around for. Measuring engagement is a great way to gauge the quality and usefulness of your videos, as well as experiment with optimum length.
  • Social Sharing – This can tell you a lot about how viewers felt about your video by showing you how inclined they were to share it.
  • Click-through Rate (CTR) – The CTR will show you how successful your video is at stimulating viewers to take action (or click).
  • Conversion Rate – This is the number of leads you gained resulting from the video.
  • Feedback – Analyzing the tone of comments and overall reactions to the video will allow you to create a video more tailored to your target audience in the future.

Stay tuned for our next post in this series! We’ll take you through how you can translate these analytics into actionable social campaigns.

Sneak Peek at Sun Valley’s Booming Development

There’s nothing we love more than getting an inside look into Denver’s bourgeoning development scene. This week, we joined the Downtown Denver Partnership for a tour of the rapidly changing Sun Valley neighborhood.

From a new mixed-income, multifamily community spurring the neighborhood’s growth to Meow Wolf’s immersive art experience and a vibrant mixed-use community, it’s safe to say that Sun Valley is becoming a dynamic destination with awesome places to live, eat, work and play.

Couldn’t make it on the tour? No worries, here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the neighborhood’s major developments.

Stop #1: Gateway North and South

Our first stop was at the construction site for Denver Housing Authority’s Gateway North and South, two multifamily buildings containing a mix of affordable and market-rate rental apartment units.

Designed by WORKSHOP8, Gateway North will house 95 units (ranging from one to five bedrooms), a leasing office and a small commercial space. The site will also include Gateway Rowhouses, featuring six-plex and for-sale rowhouse style condos.

General Contractor I-Kota Construction took us inside Gateway South, which will offer 92 units with one to two bedrooms as well as a fresh food market for the neighborhood. Slated for completion this fall, the Gateway projects allow a diversity of incomes and continued growth for the neighborhood.

Stop #2: Meow Wolf

We can’t lie, one of the best parts of this tour was getting an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at Meow Wolf’s new Denver exhibition. Turner Construction Company and Shears Adkins Rockmore gave us the full scoop on the new location, and although we can’t share any images or information from the tour (we were sworn to secrecy), you can definitely expect Meow Wolf to offer an immersive, explorative and collaborative experience for art lovers and creatives.

Stop #3: STEAM on the Platte

We ended the tour with Urban Ventures at STEAM on the Platte, a working community with a mission to spur innovation, energy and collaboration. The project team transformed this 65,000-square-foot former industrial warehouse, built in 1918, into a creative workspace. The site is home to high-profile tenants including Lyft, Turner Construction Company, MedCAD, Nimbl, and more.

We’re looking forward to spending (a lot) more time in Sun Valley!

Commercial Real Estate, Climate Change & Communications

Commercial Real Estate, Climate Change & Communications

We’re always looking at how external dynamics could affect our clients in commercial real estate. One enormous factor – climate change – isn’t anything new, but what is changing is how it is rapidly starting to impact all areas of the built environment. 

Earlier this week, when Dutch investment giant PGGM announced that it was undertaking an analysis to find out which assets and areas in its real estate portfolio are most exposed to climate change – and using that data to shape future investment decisions – two things became clear:

  1. Having a climate change strategy is no longer a “nice to have.”
  2. Demonstrating that you understand that fact and communicating your strategy will become increasingly important for nearly everyone working in the built environment.

Whether you are addressing the problem with proactive strategies such as prioritizing regenerative design, reducing energy or materials consumption or simply changing your investment strategy to avoid the areas of greatest potential impact, the way you communicate that you are paying attention and that you are responding matters.

We cannot afford to avoid the topic any longer. The private industry must respond, and businesses that demonstrate a true commitment and communicate a proactive approach will become the leaders of tomorrow. How are you going to make sure you are part of the conversation?

Get to Know Denver’s New Union Hall

SideCar Public Relations client, Union Hall

At SideCar PR, we believe in doing well by doing good. On a daily basis, we work with and learn from clients who are influencing all facets of the built environment here in Denver, making it the vibrant community it is. Working with these visionary place-makers and place-keepers inspires us to do more with the insight we have through select pro bono efforts.

From supporting DRiNk RiNo in capturing and promoting their status as an epicenter of independent craft adult beverage producers to helping launch the Women on the Rise program through the Commons on Champa by providing strategic communications counsel, we’re always looking for opportunities to work with organizations who are actively engaged in making Denver an awesome place to be. So when Union Hall, a nonprofit arts exhibition space in East West Partners’ The Coloradan, asked for our help promoting access to the arts and culture in Denver, we jumped at the opportunity.

Union Hall’s goal is to create a much-needed cultural hub for emerging and established artists in Denver. Their new 1,800-square-foot community-focused arts space is located on the ground floor of The Coloradan in the heart of Denver’s Union Station – the perfect location to foster cultural engagement in Denver.

Union Hall will also serve as a “Culture Concierge,” fostering cultural engagement in Denver by providing locals and visitors alike with information and recommendations on creative and cultural events around the city.

The SideCar team is so excited to work with Union Hall to help create a unique identity and promote the Union Station neighborhood as a community hotspot.

Ready to delve into the Denver art scene? Follow Union Hall on Instagram and Facebook and be sure to check out their current exhibition!