February 2021 Water Cooler Conversation
By The Garrity Group
Tom Garrity: Hello and welcome to the water cooler talk. Yes, we actually have a water cooler. The only thing is is that none of the guarantee group team members are currently are presently around the water cooler. And so I’m Tom Garrity. And this is an opportunity that we have decided to start with the new year to kind of get together once a month to have just have a general water cooler discussion. I’ll let the other team members kind of introduce themselves as we actually want you to introduce yourself and let me know one show that you are binge watching right now. And Andie, why don’t we start with you.
Andie Mirabal: So I am currently binge watching, we have circled back to married at first sight.
Which for those of you who don’t know,experts and these,
you know, doctors so to speak of relationships match up to people and they get their first date is at the altar.
Tom Garrity: Ah in honor of soon to be we’re recording this before Valentine’s Day, I would say that is a very dangerous show. And Amanda, what are you binge watching? Notice how we’re just gonna keep on.
Amanda Molina: So I am not super committed to anything right now. But when I do have a chance I’ve been rewatching the rest of development, which is one of my favorite comedies. And it’s, you know, it’s not new, but kind of rewriting and revisiting it. It’s a good one.
Tom Garrity: And mine is bluebloods. My brother and his family put me on to it over the Christmas break. And I started with season one not realizing that they’re like 23 episodes per season. And then there are now 11 seasons. I feel somewhat now that I’ve completed through midway through the third season, that I feel like I should be indoctrinated as a member of the NYPD after all.
Tom Garrity: But, but with that, PR trends, what PR trends are we all seen out there, I know we’ve all been kind of playing around with the clubhouse app, which is a new app. And for those of you who have not had a chance to try it yet clubhouse is basically it’s LinkedIn my opinion, and I’m interested in yours too. It’s where LinkedIn, Twitter, and podcasts all kind of meet together in these kind of these shows, for lack of a better term. And you get to listen in and participate and engage. It’s somewhat moderated, which is kind of nice, which is what I like about it. But Amanda, how would you describe what clubhouse is?
Amanda Molina: Yeah, it’s, uh, you can, the topics are really fun to explore, see, you know, you log in, and you have to be invited, of course, and there’s all these different topics from health and wellness, to technology to parenting, I mean, everything you can think of, which is, which is fun. It is if you if you. And if, forgive me, I haven’t explored it, you know, in depth. But you kind of need to be committed, right? Because when something pops up, there’s a show that you want to join. You listen to it then in there and participate. Right you there’s not really is or is there the opportunity to go back and revisit it. I don’t know if you can go back and listen to previous episodes. That’s a great question. That’s what I was, you know, in this world right now, we do have a little more flexibility, some of us with schedules, but you know, that’s a commitment to stop your day and focus and listen, but but I also like just the the community vibe around it. So interested in learning a little more for sure.
Tom Garrity: Andie, what have you found about clubhouse?
Andie Mirabal: I actually really like I think once I started using it, it’s almost addicting.
And so I sat in on what’s her name? Joanna stern. Reporter with the Wall Street Journal. She hosted a room the other day. That was clubhouse 101. So I figured that was a really good place for me to kind of start and I was in there just kind of listening. They were her and someone else they were up on the stage and they were just kind of going through how clubhouse works. And I’m in there. Perez Hilton ended up popping in. And it was interesting because he was sharing what his favorite thing about the app was and he was talking more
About how on like Instagram and Facebook and Twitter, and even LinkedIn, you have to brand yourself. And so you typically keep to one topic. And on clubhouse, you’re encouraged to be interested in a lot of different topics. And I think that’s, that was a really interesting perspective. And I think that a lot of the ones that I’ve sat in on, I mean, I’ve sat on in on, like, so many different rooms, for so many different topics. So I think it’s been fun.
Tom Garrity: So what do we generally what do we think that the, the opportunities are for clients? In this particular space? I mean, because it’s all personality driven, you don’t, you can’t sign on as a brand, so to speak. So, you know, you’ll, I don’t think it’s possible for someone to log in as Walmart, so to speak him and pretend to speak for Walmart or anything like that. But what what are some of the applications do you think for some clients?
Amanda Molina: Well, there definitely appears to be some some thought leader opportunities. And, and depending, you know, on how it grows, and I see opportunities for clients, especially in like the restaurant and tourism industry, there’s really that that free flowing opportunity for for not only them to learn more, and to share that as a thought leader, but for us PR practitioners to help guide them to learn more from the industry perspective. And that’s a that’s a whole other, you know, realm that we, I don’t know that we’ve ever had this much of an in depth opportunity to do.
Tom Garrity: So, you know, as in our in our role, I think it’s a great opportunity to be able to help clients and DNA specific clients that pop to mind.
Andie Mirabal: Yeah, I’m so in terms of, you know, I think like Balloon Fiesta, or Comcast ways that this could be leveraged is in terms of, it could be a new platform to do like, I’m losing the word press conferences.
really easily. I know that I’ve seen a lot of journalists on there could be a really quick and easy way to share, to share news on their behalf.
Amanda Molina: Yeah, you know, I really liked that whole idea of maybe having a clubhouse, you know, room that’s dedicated to Balloon Fiesta and just talk to those who are interested in learning more about the, the 49th event this October. So I see that as an opportunity, I also see an opportunity for New Mexico prsa, or any other trade organization to host their own room. And really, you know, have some moderated chats for lack of a better term, where you’re exploring a topic because, you know, if you want to find out, you know, what people think you just ask and everybody’s hand will start shooting up, and you’ll be able to moderate to bring everybody’s voice to the table. So, you know, I, I think there are a lot of great opportunities for for the public relations realm. When it comes to clubhouse.
Andie Mirabal: I think also in terms of not just sharing news, but I think one of the cool things is is you can so to speak, eavesdrop in on other people’s conversations. And so it’s a great way to learn more about like other industries and to get insight as to what people who maybe you normally wouldn’t cross paths with, in terms of what they’re thinking,
Tom Garrity: hmm. Good plan. I like that option down at the bottom of bottom left hand corner was leave quietly. It’s my very first experience into a clubhouse room. I had no idea what to do. And I clicked this one room, and I had, I was totally out of my league. And I won’t even go into deep details. I’ll just say that I silently backed away, I left that compensation. And I just didn’t open clubhouse for about two weeks afterwards.
Amanda Molina: So I want to know what group it was I want to eavesdrop. Now
Tom Garrity: I don’t know. I told him one day at the office. I’m just gonna pass a letter to everybody’s imagination. What that could be because we’ll be off track like we are right now. So with that kind of let’s change the gears real quick, unless anybody have anything else to say on clubhouse?
No. Okay. All right. So another topic, you know, hard to believe, where has the time flown? What almost one year ago COVID. And the public health orders that went along with it really impacted us and it was a topic a conversation around the office last week, as we kind of look at, you know, wow, what has happened over the last 11 months as far as from a work perspective.
Tom Garrity: You know, obviously, you know, today when we’re taping, this is February 12, bernalillo County and Albuquerque, New Mexico is, is now in yellow, which means some indoor seating is available. But we’ll start with Andie, did you ever think it would last quite 11 months?
Andie Mirabal: Not at all. I remember, everyone was following, you know, what the public schools were doing. And everyone was planning on closing down for two weeks. And here we are a year later. And many people, you know, don’t even have on their horizon when they’ll be going back into the office.
Tom Garrity: Amanda, what are your thoughts? I mean, you know, 1111 months ago, everybody, including myself, I was looking ahead to think, hey, what am I going to do this summer? What am I going to do? You know, but you all of a sudden had, you became, in addition to VP of public relations, you are also now full time teacher and a variety of other different undefined kind of job job categories.
Amanda Molina: short order cook. my resume has really grown this year. No, yeah, I mean, I, I think we’re all in that that same boat, that none of us ever expected it to, to, to last as long but you know, let’s hope that there’s I find, I finally feel like there might be that light at the end of the tunnel. I feel like, every once in a while, we think, oh, okay, there’s that light and didn’t really happen. But now it does feel like we’re heading in that direction, with vaccines. And, you know, it’s hopefully going to be a more
positive time for all of us. So, yeah, looking forward to seeing where that that takes us. But with that, I think it’s gonna come a lot of learning too. We kind of need to readjust. Like, in what way,
a lot of ways, you know, something that I was having a conversation with a friend about the other day is, now that we’re slowly starting to venture out back into reality, and maybe visiting favorite stores, more little things like that, that we had kind of held back on, I’ve noticed a little bit of what I want to say, is a disconnect, or lack of that customer service, maybe that that traditional customer service. And I think that I wonder if it has to do with people just, you know, it’s been such a serious time, and the training and the safety. And the you know, we’re not focusing on that customer, where the customer feels we are, of course, focused on that customer being safe. But are we really focusing now on the customer experience? And are we getting back to? You know, hi, how are you? Let me help you. I’m sorry, that you had to wait, that sort of stuff. We’ve been so regimented. So, you know, I I’m hoping that that’s not a sign of what we are becoming, but more of a sign of, Okay, this is behind us. And let’s get back to it, to making that that guest experience what it should be.
Tom Garrity: Good stuff. Good stuff. Andie, what else? What other observations do you have on this timeframe?
Andie Mirabal: Um, I would agree with Amanda, in terms of that, I think that similar, you know, to anything, practice makes perfect. And I think people haven’t been practicing a lot of things over the past year. And so we’re almost having to relearn behaviors. So what does it mean to dress for an office setting? When you’ve been dressing in leggings and hoodies all year? What does it mean to, you know, to have that customer experience? How do you talk to people in person, even a lot of people haven’t even had that face to face interaction. And so they’re having to relearn these.
What were social norms? And who knows if they’ll come back?
Tom Garrity: Interesting. Yeah. And I saw a lot of really good discussion. It’s been kind of progressing over the last three to four months, as far as you know, the future of the office space. And, you know, there were some organizations that really value that face to face communication, because you’re able to really brainstorm in a way not like you’re able to do over, you know, very platforms like zoom, so to speak. So I think that’s going to be something ever all of us getting used to being in the same room together and playing off of that electricity, that kind of in that popcorn that really kind of is created when you start circulating different ideas. I think, you know, one of the things I had a conversation yesterday with an owner of an event venue, and he had indicated that his bookings for his venue had increased exponentially over the last 30 days with, you know, an increase of about 80% of their, of their bookings. And I asked him, What are they booking for? And they were all it was just a giant crescendo starting from March, all the way to October, where October, September October timeframe is really that timeframe, where a lot of folks are starting to see that level of comfort of getting back out again, and kind of re engaging with society, so to speak.
So, always, always encouraging.
Tom Garrity: All right, wow, we hit two great topics in just a short amount of time. Anybody have anybody want to go for the trifecta? What is the third topic? We’re hit on touch on today. This is where the whole podcast unravels.
Andie Mirabal: The third topic, um, I don’t know, maybe social media, in terms of I think over the past few days, things that I’ve seen. I don’t know if you’ve been following, but the Mandela that there was a Mandalorian. Actress. Yeah. And that was recently had some controversy. And also Justin Timberlake, following the release of a Britney Spears documentary. So I guess I don’t I don’t know what the question is. But
Tom Garrity: you know, what, you just gave me a question to ask. I’m moving forward. What is the How? What media will be relevant? moving forward? And here’s the premise for the question Is that you, you know, a lot of folks are just polarized, and they don’t really care for traditional media anymore. And so a lot of folks have started to pull away from traditional media. I’ve talked to a couple of folks who said they don’t even read the newspaper or watch television anymore. And you have others who are just really kind of going into their silos, a little bit of what we talked about last month. But what what do you think that future is of traditional indoor digital media?
Amanda Molina: Oh, if we only knew you had that crystal ball, but I do think it is. So
depending on who you talk to, you know, I’ll have these sorts of discussions with different acquaintances, and everybody really is been, you know, rubbed the wrong way, in some way or another, whether that’s traditional media, or I have not been on Facebook in a year. I’m sick of it. You know, I mean, I don’t know that there’s a right answer there, I think it’s going to be really important for us to follow the trends and see, more than anytime we’re gonna have to really study audiences and see see where they’re leaning. You know, podcasts are continuing to grow. And it’s, but it’s one of those, you know, it’s like an Instagram account. Everybody has one. At this point. So many people have them. And you know, it’s a lot. So how do we, in our role, navigate those waters? And I’m not sure I have that answer quite yet.
Andie Mirabal: I think it’ll be interesting. Over the next few years, I know there’s been talks by like,
a few, like high level people in terms of creating their own media companies. Yeah. And so I think it’ll be interesting to like, watch how that plays out. Because I just have this gut feeling that it’s gonna be a lot of turmoil over the next few years, a few years, but that it’ll start to go back to print. I don’t know so much about TV. I think that through all of this craziness, print, and publications with an editorial process, we’ll find their their way to, to be more relevant than ever.
Tom Garrity: Yeah, great insight. You know, the Albuquerque journal. Karen Moses was part of a panel that addressed the Albuquerque Economic Forum earlier this week. And it was really fascinating to kind of hear them talk about, you know, they’re very optimistic about the future as far as the newspaper and specifically community newspapers are concerned. I think the biggest and I think that it will Boomerang to the point that you both are making as far as people are going to leave the traditional media, I think for a while and just media in general kind of regather their senses and then you know, it
We’ll come back around, I think, how will the media change in that timeframe? is really the the larger question. Because, you know, the Albuquerque journal, you know, is one of my go to sources. And I really enjoy reading through, you know, their headlines and their stories. What just drives me up the wall is when at the bottom of all of those stories, they have the the clickbait, if you will, as far as the stuff that’s not really news, but they’re featuring it as if it is news, you know, everything from,
you know, car accidents or insurance, you know, kind of stories to, you know, just stuff that you would typically be reserved for the last five minutes of Entertainment Tonight, if that’s even still on.
But so I think that there’s a, you know, hopefully newspaper and other media sources will not be as focused on the banners in the banner advertising and the clickbait. And hopefully, they’ll be able to get to a point where they can just rely on content.
Andie Mirabal: And to that point, I think it has changed over the past few years. And you mentioned how you enjoy reading the headlines and stuff. But I think, as a society, I think people probably only read a lot more headlines. It’s that whole Twitter getting your news from Twitter type of thing. And
so I don’t know, I don’t know how that plays into to any of this. But just another observation.
Good observations. Yeah.
Tom Garrity: All right. Anything else before we all depart from the water cooler, so to speak? No.
Well, very good. Well, thank you all for watching and thank you team for participating. Our second adventure into the water cooler land, I think wasn’t success. And for you who are watching, we thank you for joining us. And for other great insights, or at least what we think are great insights. Or maybe just insights, go ahead and visit our website at guarantee pr.com and then just click on the blogs and information and you’ll find a lot of really good stuff in there as well. So until next time, have a great day.
Published March 4, 2021
Right out of the gate, full disclosure: I am a Southwest Airlines A-list flyer. I have enjoyed flying Southwest and will continue fly with this airline.
Welcome to the June edition of The Garrity Group water cooler conversation where we have a chance to talk about the events that are on our mind on this June 21, 2021.
Christmas celebrations were concluding when my brother and his fiancé asked what I thought about the CBS police drama “Blue Bloods.”
Schedule a Consultation
Request a time for your team to address a specific issue, learn more about the Garrity Perception Survey or lets discuss our work on your behalf.