Viewing Tips for the Total Solar Eclipse

Viewing Tips for the Total Solar Eclipse

by Andy Likes, Senior Vice President

Short of living under a rock, everyone should know about this Monday’s eclipse.  The St. Louis region will have a front row seat for the event, if the meteorologists are right.  Here’s hoping for a mostly cloud-free view of the totality, but of course there are no guarantees.

Eye Safety

If you plan to view the eclipse Monday afternoon, you already know you need approved glasses (or risk permanent eye damage) to view the sun. Or, you could build one of those shoebox contraptions we built as kids to safely view it.  If you plan to take pictures, we have a few things you will want to know.

Camera Safety

If you have a camera, video camera or smartphone, it needs to wear glasses, too.  You’ll burn the lens if you take a photo or video without one.  If you are looking through the viewfinder, it can also damage your eyes.

Smartphone Shooting

If you plan to use a smart phone, turn it on its side to shoot horizontally.  You will get a larger, clearer image.  You won’t have a great zoom, it might be a little grainy, but you will at least see the eclipse and capture the moment in time. You shouldn’t need the filter during the totality, but it’s awfully hard to take the filter off and put it back on, maybe just soak in the moment and catch the photos and videos online afterward.

TVG Live Broadcast

If you do not live in one of the cities that will see the eclipse in full, TVG has you covered.  Our video production team will be broadcasting the eclipse live from our offices in Chesterfield, MO on TVG’s Facebook page, from the beginning to the end, so starting at 11:30am until the end.  Totality is expected in Chesterfield at 1:23pm CDT and should last for about 90 seconds.  Feel free to like/follow our page now, and join us live beginning Monday morning.

Here’s hoping for clear skies!

https://www.facebook.com/vandivergroup

TVG would love to help with your video needs, give us a call, email us or send us a note on Facebook.  We create videos long and short.

The Reality of Crisis Communications

The Reality of Crisis Communications

by Andy Likes, Senior Vice President

In light of the recent events in the media, we wanted to share this piece written last year by our crisis communications and reputation management pro, Andy Likes.

Not “If,” but “When”

Throughout my 20+ years in broadcast journalism and public relations, I’ve seen my share of crisis issues. They happen every single day. I tell my crisis communications training classes that it’s not a matter of “if” a crisis happens, but “when.” Whether you are part of a small non-profit organization or a major multi-national corporation, you are vulnerable. It could be an employee issue, a cyber-attack, lawsuit, natural disaster or any other number of things, but it’s only a matter of time before your reputation is on the line for one reason or another. The biggest issue in a crisis is time!

We have clients come to The Vandiver Group in one of three phases of a crisis; pre-event, mid-event, and post-event. The clients who come to us before a crisis happens are being proactive. They want us to help write a plan, create messages, and draft template press releases before things go bump in the night. They may or may not see a crisis on the horizon, but they know anything can happen. Other clients call us mid-crisis, or after the crisis is over, for reputation management and overall communications to mitigate the damage.

Proactive Crisis Planning

Implementing a crisis plan before a crisis occurs can save you three things: time, money, and frustration.  Planning ahead saves you time. It’s easier to write a plan and use it as your guidebook when bad things happen, rather than “wing it” and address things as they occur. Planning takes preparation and time, but it’s a fraction of the time you could spend on a crisis when you’re in the middle of it. Having a succinct, understandable plan that is easy to find can also be the key to rebuilding your reputation after the crisis is over.

Having the right messages that are timely and well-delivered helps build trust with employees, the media and the public, no matter what the issue may be. Holding information back because you don’t know everything may seem easy, but it’s not the best way to handle a crisis. Give all the information you have at the time and say you’ll be back with more when you have it. It’s like ripping off a bandage – it might hurt initially, but the quicker you respond, the quicker the crisis will be over. Ultimately you want to get from the crisis to the post-event stage, so you can rebuild your reputation as quickly as possible.  That all begins with the crisis plan and having your team ready for anything.

TVG has helped companies in all three stages of a crisis for more than 20 years. Are you ready to tackle a potential crisis? How can TVG help you? Tweet us @VandiverGroup or email info@vandivergroup.com for more information.

The Reality of Crisis Communications

Andy Likes, Vice President

 

Throughout my 20+ years in broadcast journalism and public relations, unfortunately I’ve seen my share of crisis issues. They happen every single day. I tell my crisis communications training classes that it’s not a matter of “if” a crisis happens, but “when.” Read more

The Impact of the Flood

Jesse Selz, Graphic Designer

 

If you haven’t already heard about the current devastation caused by the historic Meramec River flooding in St. Louis that occurred in the days leading up to the New Year, there are endless numbers of articles and online sources that discuss the details. However, this blog will be focused on a micro perspective of this natural disaster, and the personal impact the floodwaters has had on my family and me. Read more

How a Lack of Communication Became a Major Fumble for the Rams

Andy Likes, Vice President

 

Like it or not, Stan Kroenke, his Rams franchise and the NFL are squarely in the middle of a crisis—and it’s all due to a lack of communication. When Kroenke purchased the majority ownership of the Rams in 2010, he told the NFL, Associated Press and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “I’m going to attempt to do everything that I can to keep the Rams in St. Louis, Just as I did everything that I could to bring the team to St. Louis in 1995. I believe my actions speak for themselves.” Read more

Social Media “Best in Show”: The Brands that Rocked Social in 2015, Part 2

Abbey Theban, Assistant Account Executive

 

Did you catch Part 1 of our totally awesome social media awards show blog? Now it’s time for Part 2! Check out the rest of our picks for the most inspiring/hilarious/innovative social media accounts. We’re giving you the best accounts to follow in 2016. See which brands made the cut! Read more

Social Media “Best in Show”: The Brands that Rocked Social in 2015, Part 1

Abbey Theban, Assistant Account Executive

 

So this blog post is going to be a little different. No advice, no lessons… just an appreciation for some good ‘ole social media accounts. We’ve decided that brands aren’t getting enough recognition for their social media successes. That’s why we’re making up our own awards show… and yours truly is the judge. Read more

When “Spiking Your Friend’s Eggnog” Becomes a Public Relations Crisis

Abbey Theban, Assistant Account Executive

 

‘Tis the season for print and digital ads alike to be donned with holiday cheer. From red and green- themed layouts to festive ad copy, retailers are getting in the holiday spirit. But can holiday cheer be taken too far? Read more

As Parents, We Are Sometimes Overwhelmed By What Our Kids Accomplish

Donna Vandiver, President & CEO

 

There are fewer things in life that give parents more pride than watching their children accomplish something significant. I’ve watched my own daughter ace storytelling and creative writing as a child, and become an iron-distance triathlete and blow the socks off everyone in a presentation as an adult. Read more

In The News: PR Crisis & Recovery

Jesse Selz, Graphic Designer

 

Imagine you are running a well-established company with a name everyone knows and a distinct label the public can instantly identify. To keep your high-quality brand image, you always strive for perfection. Let’s face it, there’s no room for marketing mistakes in today’s society. Read more