LAST CALL: Morale boosting and media relations served a la cart at GCI Group Atlanta

Kudos to GCI Group's Atlanta office, which managed to turn some bad news into golden coverage. The PR firm's hometown newspaper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, came to GCI for a story about how local firms were coping with downsizing and keeping up morale among their office's overworked survivors. Cue GCI president Ken Willis and the snack cart he wheels around the office each Friday as a morale booster. The paper's Sunday, October 20 business pages were dominated by a picture of a beaming Willis chatting with AAE Alison Gallaher as he made his rounds with the cart.

Kudos to GCI Group's Atlanta office, which managed to turn some bad news into golden coverage. The PR firm's hometown newspaper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, came to GCI for a story about how local firms were coping with downsizing and keeping up morale among their office's overworked survivors. Cue GCI president Ken Willis and the snack cart he wheels around the office each Friday as a morale booster. The paper's Sunday, October 20 business pages were dominated by a picture of a beaming Willis chatting with AAE Alison Gallaher as he made his rounds with the cart.

GCI Group SVP Bill Crane won the coverage over lunch with Journal-Constitution reporter Tammy Joyner, who writes the paper's workplace issues column.

"She was working on a piece about layoff survivors," said Crane, "and she encountered reluctance among the usual suspects to comment on the topic."

Crane told her what GCI's Atlanta office had done to repair morale following third and fourth-quarter layoffs.

The coverage humanized the firm, and clients approved. "They appreciated the candor," said Crane. "A lot of them are experiencing the same things with their workforce."

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