Mastering Crisis Communications @ CrisisCon


CrisisCon, the inaugural conference hosted by Greenbrier Partners on all things crisis management, took place in San Francisco’s historic Fort Mason district last Thursday. Over the course of this half-day event, professionals from across the communications and PR ecosystem gathered for an afternoon of insightful conversations by industry experts around the applications of proven crisis practices and management, and real-life stories from the trenches.

The agenda kicked off with a fireside chat between Lane Kasselman, founder of Greenbrier, and Peter Ragone, principal at PWR, LLC, to discuss the nature of a crisis and how to determine if you’re in one.

  • Key Takeaway: A crisis to one person will not be a crisis to another.

Nairi Hourdajian, VP at Canaan, followed their session with an impactful solo talk on “The Art of the Deal: Crisis Style.”

  • Key Takeaway: You can’t spin your way out of a bad story.

Before breaking for cocktails and a networking reception, the afternoon concluded with panels around damage control and recovering from a crisis. Panelists included speakers from companies such as Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, and Strava. Closing the event was an intimate fireside chat between President of the Center for American Progress Action Fund Jennifer Palmieri and The Messina Group CEO Jim Messina.

Looking to learn how to get ahead of a crisis? Get in touch with Greenbrier Partners!


Bowery Capital Summit: The Changing Role of the CFO


Bowery Capital’s Summit series, a structured quarterly forum built to generate opportunities and insights for thought leaders at early-stage companies, made its return this week in New York. This quarter we focused on finance leaders, where CFOs, Chief Accounting Officers, COOs, and even CEOs yet to hire a full-time finance leader, were invited for a day of networking and tactical dialogue. The goal of the day is to create engaging content for the audience, covering real-life topics seasoned finance leaders have experienced, such as creating an effective forecast, reporting measuring and metrics to management, and how the role of the CFO has evolved to include leveraging data, managing people, and building processes.

Highlights included Lorcan Malone, Boxever’s COO, taking us through his pitfalls and lessons learned around scaling companies in size and locations. CFO Scott Southern took the stage to share insights on the freemium business model.

To close out, we invited attendees to participate in roundtable conversations, where they could share their lessons learned on the day, engage with speakers on any additional questions, or just connect with like-minded peers on some of the challenges and questions they face in their role.

Watch out for our final Summit of the series in December, where sales leaders will congregate in NYC. If you’re interested in speaking at or sponsoring any of the Bowery Capital Summits, please get in touch!


Exploring the Future of Payments at Swell by Ripple


Earlier this week, hundreds of seasoned professionals from the blockchain and global payments community gathered in San Francisco for Swell— the second annual conference by our client Ripple. Hosted at the Terra Gallery, the venue was buzzing with innovation as the brightest minds in policy, payments, and fintech discussed the next era of payment technology across the two-day event.

Installations demonstrating facts about cross-border payments and Ripple software decorated the walls. The second floor was home to the main stage where the conference’s sessions took place. Across both days of the conference, a central theme was highlighting blockchain as a global opportunity, as well as exhibiting use cases.

Day one kicked off with a keynote by 42nd President of the United States Bill Clinton, who drew parallels between the new wave of blockchain enthusiasm to that of the internet during his presidency. Clinton’s fireside chat with Gene Sperling, National Economic Council Director and National Economic Advisor under Presidents Clinton and Obama, covered concerns around regulation and emerging technology.

Thoughts from the stage:

“To effectively advance in blockchain, we must move on from horse and buggy technology in other areas.” - Former U.S. President Bill Clinton

On top of opening remarks from Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse and sessions with speakers from Banco Santander, the IMF, and RiceHadleyGates, the day continued the excitement with the official announcement that xRapid, the Ripple product powering transactions, is commercially available and will go into production with three financial institutions.

Closing out the first day of the event, attendees were treated Monday night with a performance from the Counting Crows.

On day two, the morning began with Ripple Chief Market Strategist Cory Johnson and Celent Senior Analyst Alenka Grealish discussing proprietary research on payments trends. The rest of the day included panels and flash talks on cross-continental crypto regulation and digital asset adoption, and thoughts from futurist leaders in the blockchain space.

Professionals in the audience left the conference with key insights on the future of global payments and blockchain technology. Garlinghouse drove the conference home with a final thought: “Change takes a grassroots movement, and Ripple is driving it.”

Thank you to the Ripple team for having us at #SwellByRipple!


Meet cred’s Fall Intern


The cred intern program is not your average internship! We don’t ask you to fetch the coffee, run errands, or take our snack orders. Instead, we ask you to help plan events for some of the biggest brands and thought leaders in the industry, pitch clients for some of tech’s biggest events, and so much more.

What does it take to be an intern at cred? You need to be a rising student in your senior year of university, love a fast-paced environment, be enthusiastic about all things PR and events, and have a proactive attitude.

So, who has met all of these requirements? Meet Helen Matt, our cred intern this fall. Here are some quick facts about Helen:


cred: Where are you going to school and what are you studying? Why did you choose to study that subject?

Helen Matt: I’m going to Miami University studying Interactive Media Studies! It is a mixture between business, communications, and design in media so it encompases everything that I wanted to study all in one!

cred: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

HM: I’m from Cincinnati, Ohio. My dogs are big mops with dreadlocks. I’m a little obsessed with true crime Netflix documentaries, and I am my happiest when I’m laughing with my closest friends.

cred: What do you want to achieve while interning at cred?

HM: I want to get more experience in the PR and communications industry! Being event specific, cred is so unique and niche that it gives you more insight on events than other firms.

cred: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

HM: Quesadillas with chips and guac all day every day.

cred: Can you give us one interesting fact about yourself?

HM: I met Nick Jonas in high school.

cred: What is one thing you want to accomplish in the next five years?

HM: I want to make San Francisco my permanent residence!


Connecting the Physical and Digital World @ Real World Talks


Back by popular demand, Unacast hosted their 2nd annual Summit. This year, the team expanded the concept to include all kinds of real world data signals—with more speakers, more guests and more insights to gain. The event brought together data scientists, marketing technologists, product developers, app publishers, data tech journalists, and ad agency leaders to share their perspectives on location insights.

A common theme threaded throughout the day’s full agenda was”Transparency and Trust”; more specifically how data providers can confidently approach and communicate the way their data is being managed and handled safely and securely. As one of Unacast’s core values, attendees got a chance to understand the psyche behind how they are accurately approaching innovation and technology through a location-based lens.

One of the world’s leading data strategists, Dr. JT Kostman, who has led data initiatives for several U.S. intelligence, defense and security agencies, and the social media analysis for the 2012 Obama Campaign, talked about the evolution of data and how it’s diversified over time, stating we’re not quite there yet, but we’ve come a long way.

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Other C-level thought leaders took the stage to engage in conversations around capturing ROI offline, how industries like GasBuddy and AccuWeather are leveraging location data, and a look at how UPS uses data to connect the physical and digital worlds.

Final thoughts: our outlook on our day-to-day interactions with places and spaces is about to drastically change as we see growth in technology utilizing location-based data.

Check out some highlights below!

Disrupting Trends and Traditions at Disrupt SF 2018


When arriving to Disrupt SF at the Moscone West Convention Center, there is absolutely no mistaking where you are. This year, there was a buzz around the venue as a record-breaking 9,000 registrants arrived to learn, network, and promote their latest gadgets and startup ideas. Inside, the whole venue was decorated with the familiar TechCrunch green, from the banners hoisted on the ceiling, to the TC logo for photo ops—even the escalators had a green glow, although it’s debatable whether this was intentional or not.

The first floor was dedicated to their Startup Alley, featuring almost 1,000 startups and exhibitors from all across the world. The second floor had workshops, receptions, and meeting rooms where All Raise hosted an AMA and roundtable for female funders, founders, and executives. The female-focused events had an amazing turnout, with many who came prepared with questions to ask the All Raise investors. Table topics ranged from raising capital and recruiting tactics, to investor/board management.

The third floor was dedicated to the main stage, where our client Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, spoke on Day 1. He was joined by Arrington XRP Capital and TechCrunch Founder, Michael Arrington, to discuss blockchain, banking, and what sets XRP apart from other cryptocurrencies. Brad stated that in order to accelerate the natures of transaction, Ripple needed to take a different approach to appeal to banks and institutions, recognizing that not everyone was willing to give up existing infrastructures to switch over to a new and unknown one.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi spoke on Day 2 about taking on the company following former CEO Travis Kalanick’s departure. Dara addressed revamping Uber’s image to become “a positive force for change,” eliminating minority biases in the workplace, Uber’s expanding services, and becoming the company for mobility. In addition, he shared his long-term mission to build Uber’s autonomous fleet so “10 years from now, no one in the audience will own a car.”

More insights shared by Dara from the stage:

  • Monetization will come later, first “you have to be solving for the customers”.

  • “People like choices”. It creates more engagement and breadth of use.

  • “People and computers work together better than as standalones.”

On the last day of the event, entrepreneurs from around the world took the stage for the final round of Startup Battlefield. Over the course of three days, 21 startups gathered at the competition to pitch their company to investors and the audience for the grand prize of $100,000. Concluding with final demos presented in front of a panel of judges, the five finalists included CB Therapeutics, Mira, Forethought AI, Origami Labs, and Unbound. After much deliberation, Forethought AI was named the Startup Battlefield winner of Disrupt SF 2018.

Attendees are loyalists for a reason, some mentioned this was their fourth time at Disrupt. With all the excitement that was going on, there was never a dull moment.

Thank you to the entire planning team at TechCrunch, the volunteers, and everyone who helped put on Disrupt SF. We had a blast and look forward to next year!


All About the Experience: Connecting Beyond the Digital World

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The live experience is not dead.

While we can listen to free music on Spotify, we jump at the chance to see our favorite bands in concert. While we can FaceTime family from across the country, we endure the pains of traveling to spend the holidays together. While we can go on YouTube to watch keynotes and presentations, we travel to different cities to  hear thought leaders share their ideas live.

Why? Technology allows for valuable connection, but in-person interactions create irreplaceable and authentic experiences outside of the digital world. An Eventbrite study found 78% of millennials  are fueling the “experience economy”—spending more money on experiences rather than materials.

Here are four reasons why it’s valuable and important to attend events in today’s digital era.:

1. Learning IRL Instead of URL

Listening to a speaker in person offers a rich opportunity to actively watch, listen, and receive information. According to a recent Forbes article, “like artists, the best speakers are original and relevant in the moment. You can’t get that online. The best reinforce a mission, catalyze an audience, even inspire action.” Face-to-face interactions help motivate and mobilize people, rather than just being another message on the other side of a screen.

2. Networking

Nothing beats gathering people in one place in real life. According to The Muse, “conferences are one of the single best ways to network.” Instead of having to come up with an icebreaker, a conference provides a common topic to chat about: the conference itself!

You may not only make new connections, but also could potentially make new friends. Thirty percent of millennials say they met someone at a live event that became a good friend. Who knows, the conversations you have at an event may be even more valuable than the content.

3. Ask Questions, Get Answers

When a session includes a quick Q&A, make sure to bring your questions! While you may already follow a speaker on Twitter or have their email address, make the effort to introduce yourself personally and ask a question directly. The answer they provide face-to-face may be more extensive than over a tweet or email. Conferences allow for direct access to experts and thought leaders seen on stage.

Events allow you not only to gain insight from speakers, but also from other industry professionals. Gather intel from fellow attendees on topics and ideas that are of interest to you. Translate those insights into actionable takeaways that you can implement at your company.

4. A Change of Scenery

How often do you actually set aside time to learn something new relating to your field or industry? Conferences and events offer the opportunity to embrace a posture of learning. Take advantage of listening, asking questions, and participating in discussions at events. Embrace the change of scenery and extract all that you can from the experience.

People appreciate live experiences, even with an abundance of online content available. Watching videos from behind a screen is not the same as watching a speaker live from the audience. People truly value the event experience: learning from speakers in live settings, networking with other attendees, and implementing relevant takeaways.  

Interested in attending more events? See where we’re speaking next and subscribe to our monthly newsletter today!


How to Leverage Social Media for Your Business


With nearly two-thirds of the population checking social media daily, there has never been a better time to utilize online platforms as a business tool. In fact, last June Instagram, reached a whopping one billion monthly active users, making customer engagement just one click away for most businesses.

For some people, social media may seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. When executed correctly, social media is an incredibly effective marketing tool. It serves to boost brand exposure, encourages two-way communication, and humanizes your brand. No matter your experience with the various social media platforms available today, we’ve compiled eight  cred-approved strategies below to help you drastically improve your online presence.

  • Establish a clear goal
    No matter what your goal is, make it SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. Once you have established your one clear goal, you and your team can collaborate on how to achieve it. Remember, it needs to be realistic. You won’t get 1,000 followers overnight.
  • Commit to your brand
    In order for your company to be distinguishable from competitors, it’s important to establish one style for your brand. Every post, retweet, and Instagram story should be in line with your brand. This includes keeping everything consistent, from voice to aesthetics.
    • Pro tip: People are drawn to authentic brands so don’t be afraid to show personality, but always keep it professional. For more tips on developing your personal brand, check out this post.
  • Stay on top of trends
    Channel your inner Austin Kleon and steal like an artist. When you notice new trends on social media, leverage it to your advantage by improving or expanding upon it. Things are popular for a reason. If you see a creative Instagram story or an engaging tweet, save it and then improve it later to make it your own.
    • Pro tip: Tag your location using Instagram Stories to broaden your reach and then organize your stories into highlights.
  • Use the right hashtags
    Make it a daily habit to search trending hashtags on Twitter and Instagram to see what people are talking about. By consistently #hashtagging related content on your posts, your account will gain more traction and followers.
  • Make customer engagement a priority
    Social media has opened the floodgates to instant gratification. In a matter of minutes, you can comment on a post and receive a response, and this makes customers feel important. By interacting with users daily, your company will be on its way to boosting followers and building credibility.
  • Track your analytics
    Create a business account to learn more about your audience’s behavior and demographics. With Instagram Business Tools you can track your impressions, outreach, profile views, website clicks, and more. With Twitter Analytics, you can measure and boost your impact on Twitter by viewing your impressions. These insights will help you gauge what days and times are best for you to post your content, this way you can provide more timely and relevant content for your followers.
  • Create a content calendar
    Using business accounts, find out the best times to post on your feed, then plan out your content for the month. By using a calendar, you can keep yourself organized and have your content scheduled ahead of time. This way, you’re never missing a day or struggling to find content to post.
    • Pro tip: Create content ahead of time and save them in your drafts. When the day comes around, all you have to do is press send.
  • Make a commitment
    Last, but certainly not least: staying on top of mind should be your number one priority. In order to make an impression, you first need to make a commitment. Set reminders to post daily on social media so you never miss a beat.

By making time to post consistent, relevant, and relatable content on social media, you will be able to expand your reach, boost your brand exposure, and engage more frequently with your audience. By using these tips, you will be well on your way to improving your online presence and increasing your brand’s credibility.

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