Author: lora

If you were unable to attend the Snowsports Industries of America (SIA) snow show a few weeks ago in Denver, don’t worry. All the lectures are now online, including our presentation on “The Business of Being Good: CSR Best Practices.”

Take a look:

Click here to get directly to our presentation on corporate social responsibility. Happy watching! #csr

Our University of Colorado Leeds School of Business Corporate Social Responsibility class took a road trip last week. Where? To two of the biggest brewers in our state, Odell Brewing and New Belgium Brewing Company. Why you ask? To taste beer of course. And hear about their corporate social responsibility initiatives. What did we learn?

  1. Marshmallows make a really easy, cost-effective sustainable holiday decoration.


2. The bathroom is always an excellent place to tell your CSR story.

3. That having a good culture, rooted in CSR values makes everyone smile.

Besides learning about the sustainability practices at the brewery (cans versus bottles, etc.), we also learned about HR and governance and what roles CSR plays in those departments. Best part? Seeing the cultures and brands that believe in businesses as a force for good. And oh yeah, getting a chance to taste a few of the newest brews out this winter. If sour is your thing, try the Odell Friek. I still have a soft spot for the top-seller 90 Shilling Ale.

Curious about CSR and what it involves for your business? Give me a shout (303-893-8608 ext. 202). We’d love to put our CSR education and experience to work.

Interested in going back to school for CSR? Now’s the time to enroll in the winter semester. Don’t wait too long, the application is due ASAP.

We in Denver should be very thankful to have not just one local dance company, but several here in our community. Scream Agency has had the opportunity to work with both the Colorado Ballet and Wonderbound brands over the years and we attended the opening season acts this Fall.

Scream Agency: Colorado Ballet Case Study from Scream Agency on Vimeo.

Colorado Ballet’s Swan Lake was incredibly beautiful and I’m still in awe as to how ballerina Maria Mosina was able to flutter. Her White Swan Pas de deux brought me to tears of joy. And Wonderbound’s A Gothic Folktale showed magical creative collaboration at its finest.

The magic at Wonderbound continues.

The magic at Wonderbound continues.

Let’s just say if you haven’t purchased a ticket yet, you’re missing out. It’s not too late to support these amazing athlete artists. Next up?

Colorado Ballet’s Nutcracker opens this weekend at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House Nov. 26 – Dec. 24. This large ballet will include more than 300 costumes, 30 Company dancers, 20 Studio Company dancers and 65 Academy dancers. “Colorado Ballet’s captivating presentation of The Nutcracker remains the ‘gold standard’ because it is the largest production of the holiday favorite in Colorado,” says Gil Boggs, Colorado Ballet Artistic Director.

And remember, Colorado Gives Day is Tues. Dec. 6. Our local ballet companies always need the support.

Click here to make a donation to Colorado Ballet. Or give to Wonderbound through Colorado Gives.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been a buzzword for years but it’s growing into a new acronym that can’t go ignored. Corporate marketing teams and branding experts are jumping in with both feet. Rightly so since the concept of “using business as a force for good” is a sure way to lure the hearts of the Millennials. And, the idea that companies can use their impressive power and influence to make the world a better place is a refreshing approach to business practices.

bcorpimgresWhat is Corporate Social Responsibility?

Corporate social responsibility, or CSR, is a company’s initiatives to take responsibility for the company’s effects in a way that positively impacts society and the environment.


However, similar to marketing and branding plans, not all CSR programs are created equal. Brands who want to be successful, need to curate their CSR practices strategically and carefully. Good CSR requires that charitable actions are rooted in a company’s existing mission and values. Sure, it’s easier to throw some money at a non-profit and call it a day but trust us, your customers will see right through that. Those Millennials with their $2.45 trillion in spending power are especially conscious about the authenticity of CSR efforts. According to the recent Millennial CSR Study by Cone Communcations, Millennials are universally more engaged in CSR efforts. The study reveals more than nine-in-10 Millennials would switch brands to one associated with a cause (91% vs. 85% U.S. average) and two-thirds use social media to engage around CSR (66% vs. 53% U.S. average).

Of course, a big part of aligning actions and values is to recognize the importance of giving back. Businesses are slowly becoming more aware of the spaces they occupy. Whether it’s the neighborhood the office is in, or the communities their products’ impact, corporations are recognizing their footprints and acting to not only reduce their negative effects but also give back and make lasting impacts.

So, where do you start? I decided to go back to school to get a Certificate from CU on Corporate Social Responsibility (CCSR). Sure, Scream Agency has been giving back to our community for nearly 20 years (our 5K Scream Scram is just one example). And we’ve been helping clients, marketing execs and brands with CSR initiatives for just as long. But, this CSR topic is not going away and learning the standard business practices and collaborating with other professionals in this field brings a whole new perspective to the approach.

If the idea of college homework sounds daunting, there are other resources. For our fellow Denverites, there are several local options to get rolling with CSR. B:CIVIC, B Corps and B Labs are all in our community and great places to start.

This year, Scream Agency has joined B:CIVIC and has also made a commitment to apply to become a certified B Corp company. If CSR interests you, join us at the B:CIVIC Summit a week from today, Sept. 29.

If you’re still not hooked (or on the fence) as to whether you need to dig deeper into this CSR or B Good topic for your company or brand, give me a shout. I might even make you be a research candidate for my homework. Okay, maybe not. But, we’d love to fill your brain and heart with why we think “being good” and “being the change” matters for business.

Yesterday, we attended the CREJ Hotel & Resort Summit & Expo with 300+ other people in the industry. What did we learn?

CREJ's Hotel & Resort SummitThe good and the bad: the hotel and real estate industry is still growing at record-setting pace but it’s starting to level off.

With 55 hotels in the Denver pipeline (1,686 rooms in the final planning stage) and another 1,519 in construction, the hotel landscape in Denver is changing…quickly. According to STR, research shows that the number of hotel rooms in Denver will grow by 65 percent over last year making it one of the top three U.S. Markets under construction in overall room supply (behind Las Vegas and Dallas). The room demand for the Denver market is predicted to decline by -2.5 percent. That means Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) is predicted to also decline by -2.7 percent. The highest RevPAR will be in the Center Business District of Denver.

STR Report Shows Denver Hotels in Top 3.

With our Scream Agency offices in LoDo Denver and only a block from Union Station, we know the hotel landscape is changing (along with all the new breweries and restaurants) because we see it everyday.

So what does all of this mean for hotel brands and marketers? It means you better figure out a way to differentiate and market so you stand out from all the competitors.

How does marketing affect room bookings?

With the growth of the Millennials, and Gen Z following right behind them, hotel brand marketers will need to focus on the experience. Similar to the independent-seeking Gen X crowd, this cohort of people prefer unique experiences catered to their personality (and delivered in their social channels).

If you’re a hotel or resort brand, ask yourself…what is your unique experience that you provide guests? Do you offer a local craft beer tasting at check-in? Do you offer to walk their dog for free upon arrival? Will you give them information so they can “live like a local” as Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants has done?

Let’s look at how top brands are performing in these social marketing channels. Technology and data company Engagement Labs, released rankings on the top U.S. hotels on social media and through word of mouth (WOM) conversations.

Engagement Labs Findings on Social Marketers

Engagement Labs Findings on Top 10 Social Marketers

As we all know, research shows that travelers are turning to social media now more than ever to discover various options, reviews and receive recommendations on where to stay during trips. It’s prime time for hotel brands to use social media to provide a story and visuals about what makes their property unique and why travelers should buy.

Hotel brands that build a two-way communication with guests build trust with the consumer, thereby making them a hotel they’d prefer to book. Provided you deliver on the experience, this in turn will then allow them to share in their channels, introducing your brand to more consumers who will eventually affect your bottom line.

Interested in knowing more about hotel marketing and branding? Scream Agency has worked with Four Seasons, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and several small independent boutique brands. Contact for a free 60-minute hotel marketing consult.

Several years ago, Scream Agency had the wonderful opportunity to work with Gretchen Gagel when she was the President and CEO of The Women’s Foundation of Colorado (WFCO). We watched as she fearlessly led the organization to triple its grantmaking capacity and double the endowment including an 18-month, $12 million campaign, as well as significant successes in research and public policy reform.

8 Steps_3D_Cover

As WFCO’s PR, digital and creative agency, we assisted in crafting the message, creating 6-foot-high big red purses that traveled the state for the “Fill the Purse” campaign, and collaborating on brand strategy. Our work was continually supported by Gagel as we navigated this territory for women on the path to economic self sufficiency.

We knew back then that Gretchen was unstoppable. In addition to raising two extremely talented children, she has held positions of leadership for the Women’s Funding Network, Daniels College of Business and now President of Continuum Advisory Group.

But being a successful leader and a mom wasn’t enough. She wanted other women and moms to learn from her journey. In the past few years, she’s worked with a handful of other working moms (including me) to interview them and put their stories and tips in a her first book: 8 Steps to Being a Great Working Mom. This mother’s day, we hope this book gives you a chance to laugh, learn, reflect and be inspired. Congrats Gretchen and thanks for all of your support over the years!

The book is available on Amazon and locally in Colorado at Tattered Cover Bookstores. #greatworkingmoms

This week, we at Scream Agency took the opportunity to exercise. Hold the high fives for a second. We know you’re not impressed. Everybody exercises in Colorado right?

By exercise, we’re talking mental exercise. We took our brain to the gym. Deep brain stretches. Diving into branding, creativity and thinking. Back of the brain muscles that have to develop big ideas. Now that hurts. Okay, bring it. High fives all the way around.

Thanks Art Gym for creating space for creatives!

Thanks Art Gym for creating space for creatives!

Sure, we do this for clients everyday so this shouldn’t be a challenge. But, this time it was different. We’re talking Scream Agency branding. You know, the cobbler’s children have no shoes, yadda yadda yadda. We all know that working on our own brand is much harder mental work.

To open our brain, we went to Art Gym. Over 17,000 beautiful square feet of creative workspace located in Denver. The Art Gym is a place for artist to show their art, create their work and collaborate with other members. From printmaking and sculpture, to drawing, painting and culinary arts, Art Gym has all the tools you need to get that right brain exercising to its full capacity.

What came out of our offsite exercise? Well now, you’ll just have to keep checking back to find out. Thanks again to the folks at Art Gym. We appreciate all you do for our arts and creative community!

Hey industry people, this is your chance to roll into the holiday season in Christmas Story style. All happening 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 17. This is just two weeks from tonight, so get it on your social calendar.

We here at Scream Agency have been:

  • prepping the shoot-your-eye-out targets
  • setting up a classic leg lamp photo station
  • sewing Ralphie costumes
  • hanging paper trees for the forests
  • making a recycled holiday tree out of hundreds of your wine bottles
  • turning up the holiday tunes

There will be kegs, cocktails, Chinese apps, entertainment and trendy creative people (that means you). Be here: Scream Agency, 1501 Wazee St. (on 15th Street between Wazee and Wynkoop), Denver, 80202, phone:303-893-8608.

We double dog dare ya to not show up. What are you waiting for? RSVP now:


Date: Want to hear about how to use LinkedIn for your business? Attend the Turnaround Management Association luncheon on 10/22/15. Scream Agency team members will be presenting. 

During the luncheon, you will learn how to enhance your LinkedIn business profile and expand your network of connections using LinkedIn. Attendees will learn:

  • How LinkedIn fits into the social landscape
  • How to Integrate LinkedIn within an overall strategy
  • How to get the most out of LinkedIn based on your goals

This session will be interactive and led by experts, however participants will range in experience with social media.

Event Details: Rocky Mountain TMA Chapter

Chapter Luncheon: Using LinkedIn to Build your Business

Scream Agency Facilitators: Lora Ledermann and Amy Mikkola, Scream Agency

Date: Thursday, October 22, 2015 – Thursday, October 22, 2015

Time: 11:00 AM – 1:30 PM MST

Maggianos Restaurant, 500 16th Street Denver, CO United States

Register Now!


After 18+ years of driving the bus at Scream Agency, I decided it was time for a break. A time to get in the back seat and ride — around the world with my husband and two kids (ages 10 and 12). A sabbatical for three months. A summer off. A change of scenery from the world of advertising, PR, marketing and creative. Six countries, 84 days: Greece, South Africa, China, Bali, Australia and New Zealand. A trip of a lifetime. Want access to our travel blog to get all of the details? Send me an email.

Over the next few months, I’ll be posting some creative and promotional thoughts from those six different countries to give you a view of the marketing, PR and creative world overseas. Up first? Greece. Stay tuned.







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