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Steps Towards Change

Many of us have spent the past several months having difficult conversations. Fewer of us have had these kinds of conversations our entire lives. And while the topic of diversity, equity and inclusion within our company isn’t a new one, the ongoing struggle playing out on our city streets has led us to reexamine our commitment, efforts and room for improvement in combating racism at all levels of our workplace.

Start the Conversation… Virtually

Planning is essential to action that creates lasting change. With that in mind, we invite you to listen in as our CEO Kit Hughes and Tim Cynova, Co-CEO of Fractured Atlas, discuss their part in the work of anti-racism. Steps Towards Change will feature the pair examining their roles as white, male CEOs working toward the goal of equity and meaningful change. The Conscious Capitalism in Action Virtual Gathering goes live Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 2 p.m. EST.

Why Should You Care?

As two white males in leadership roles, Kit and Tim are aware of the privilege they enjoy and the oppression that does not directly affect them. They are using Conscious Capitalism’s platform to start meaningful conversations with their peers centered around racism, leadership, and whiteness. These discussions are meant to share the importance of anti-racism work and to engage white, senior-level leaders in business to create healthy, open environments that allow their workplaces to thrive.

Kit, Tim and several other leaders within the Conscious Capitalism network are collaborating to address the problem of systemic racism instead of leaving the work of solutions to those who are oppressed. In terms of an internal focus, Kit would like Look Listen to be “an example of a company that is open to the feedback and the corrections it needs to make to be diverse and inclusive.”

He also believes “white male CEOs should recognize their critical role in marshaling resources to correct a system that works against people [who are not white].”

When asked about his thoughts related to the upcoming session between two white males, Tim explained the importance of sharing his unique experience that helps white, senior-level leaders learn and inform others about the journey towards anti-racism.

How Can You Tune In?

If you’d like to begin — or continue — the journey to a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace (and ultimately, society), a quick registration is all it takes to join Tuesday’s live stream and take in Kit and Tim’s conversation. Ready to join the conversation? Follow us on social or drop a line — we welcome your thoughts.

News & Work,

November is Coming: Information Disorder & the Election

Remember the 2016 US presidential election? Remember scrolling past extreme headlines and wildly inaccurate memes, only to see them shared later by a high-school classmate/Facebook friend known for their questionable judgment? Remember the results of the election? Of course you do; how could any of us forget?

When discussing information disorder, or “the various ways our electoral environment was and is polluted,” it is important to note that not all incorrect election-related information is shared with the knowledge that it’s flat-out wrong — a big problem nonetheless.

Types of Information Bias
Image credit:
Claire Wardle & Hossein Derakshan

While disinformation and malinformation share the intent to harm, misinformation is differentiated as “misleading information created or disseminated without manipulative or malicious intent.” Unwittingly sharing misleading headlines, cropped images, Photoshopped content, out-of-context (or just plain wrong) statistics, opinion pieces as news and so much more falls into the category of misinformation. Chances are though, someone created that content to be shared with literal reckless abandon — using disinformation to encourage the viral spread of misinformation.

Accidents Happen… But They Still Have Consequences

While misinformation occurs without malicious intent, it can still cause irreversible damage to organizations, people, and — memorably — elections (Pizzagate, anyone?).

Speaking of Pizzagate, a recent example of misinformation gone viral is the co-opting of legitimate disgust and concern regarding child sex trafficking to push an anti-mask agenda in the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic. Well-meaning people by the thousands never stopped to fact-check the artfully designed Instagram and heartfelt Facebook posts claiming — wrongly — that wearing masks leaves children vulnerable to kidnapping and exploitation.

Image credit: Instagram

Social media plays an outsized role in the accidental spread of false information. According to a recent study by Pew Research Center, “people who prefer social media for news are more likely to share made-up news and information than those who prefer other pathways.”

There is hope though. Earlier this year, Forbes gave an overview of social media sites making strong efforts to combat misinformation ahead of this year’s presidential election.

  • Following the infiltration of Russian bots on Facebook during the 2016, Facebook now requires campaigns to give their US mailing address and state how much they spent on each ad.
  • YouTube recently shared several changes meant to make the platform a reliable source for news, including the removal of election-related content that violates their policies, the increase availability to authoritative election news and the overall reduction of misinformation.
  • To make it easier for users to identify political candidates, Twitter has reintroduced election labels with pertinent candidate information as well as provided badges for candidates who qualify for US primary ballots. The popular social media platform has also began applying labels to certain tweets from political leaders in an effort to reduce the effects of misleading information.
Twitter Labeling Misinformation
Image credit: Twitter

Caught on Video

When discussing fake news, information disorder or other phrases related to incorrect information, there is usually only a focus on the diction, or text, of a fabricated news site. With this mindset,

“the implications of misleading, manipulated or fabricated visual content, whether that’s an image, a visualization, a graphic, or a video are rarely considered.”

For example, while we can’t say for certain whether or not President Trump knowingly shared this fabricated video of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Twitter users who shared it to virality actively participated in spreading misinformation.

While video deepfakes and other misleading visuals are hard to stop, researchers at the University of Waterloo recently developed an AI tool capable of detecting misinformation in the form of text. Ultimately, the researchers’ goal is to have their new technology be used by social media and news organizations as an automated fact-checker.

Clickbait and Switch

Online clickbait can be defined simply as “something (such as a headline) designed to make readers want to click on a hyperlink especially when the link leads to content of dubious value or interest.” Specifically, when speaking in terms of a headline, we can use the phrase partisan emotional clickbait, which is a headline that appeals directly and explicitly to the emotions of the partisan reader.

A prime example of partisan emotional clickbait originated during the 2016 presidential campaign. An article from The Political Insider claiming WikiLeaks confirmed Hillary Clinton sold weapons to ISIS was later debunked, but not before its striking headline resulted in over 700,000 engagements on Facebook. The damage of this work of fiction may very likely have affected the voting cycle.

Debunked Claim about Hilary Clinton
Image credit: Insider

Clickbait has a bad connotation (and gives us flashbacks from 2016), but it can also be used for good. Twitter users are now following an effective trend that uses pop culture to lure people to voting registration sites.

Clickbait Trends
Image credit: Twitter

Check, please!

With the high volume of content spread, retained and discussed everyday, it is impossible to stop all bad information from showing up on your timeline or interfering with an election. The best way to combat information disorder is to stay informed and to use and contribute to news with positive intention.

Source-checking, fact-checking and logical processing will all help us navigate this year’s upcoming presidential election.

While we’re on the subject, have you registered to vote

cheese board and a glass of wine
News & Work,

Bringing the Digital Experience to Life Offline (with Wine)

Since the dawn of humanity, we’ve progressed through various economic offerings — from physical toils of the agricultural and industrial economies to the high-skilled labors of the service economy and, for the last 20 years, the experience economy.

First discussed in a 1998 article written by Joseph Pine and James H Gilmore, the experience economy dictates that,

“… businesses must orchestrate memorable events for their customers, and that memory itself becomes the product.”

Joseph Pine and James H Gilmore

To which any of us who’ve done an escape room, shopped in an Apple store or attended Fyre Festival can attest. (Okay, maybe Fyre Fest isn’t the best example.)

fyre festival GIF

But as the world becomes increasingly digital, how can businesses and marketers create experiences that blend seamlessly online and IRL? At Look Listen, we recently had the chance to tackle this very challenge.

We were pitching a redesign for a luxury travel brand’s website and saw an opportunity to not only show what we can do with design and development, but also to create an unforgettable experience. Here’s how it played out.

Our potential clients each sat down to a personalized placemat and were given instructions to scan a QR code printed on their place setting. They were then taken to a brief quiz designed to uncover each person’s travel persona. As they finished the quiz, we kicked off the presentation with a selection of interesting world wines.

Next, we walked the group through a demo of our proposed experience. This included an enhanced version of the travel quiz they’d just taken, which could be leveraged to both keep prospects on site longer and capture leads. On the site, the quiz results were gated, which our team mimicked by finishing the presentation with a ceremonial push of the submit button.

This triggered an email to each of our potential clients with their own quiz results and an explanation of their individual travel personas. As they were reading through the results, our ExperienceMakers™ (members of our Client Services team) delivered custom cheese boards to each person, with cheeses chosen to complement the personas revealed during the quiz.

Look Listen’s Jeana & CJ: ExperienceMakers™

The presentation wrapped with everyone enjoying a real-world manifestation of their chosen travel style. We won the business because we were able to place value on experiences — from microinteractions on the proposed new site to the surprise and delight of finding a bespoke wine and cheese flight at your seat — and show how to bring them to life online and off.

white wine GIF by Travel Oregon

Have an idea for bridging experience and the digital economies or need some inspiration to get started? Drop us a line and let’s have a glass of wine.

Photo by Lana Abie on Unsplash

News & Work,

4 Questions with Digital Marketing Expert Jeff Pugel

On October 10, The Marketing Alliance (formerly BMA Colorado) will host Jeff Pugel, founder of Ignition LLC, at Look Listen’s Denver office for the pre-work discussion: Morning Brew: Filling the Funnel — Strategy, Tactics & Tools to Drive Revenue. Ahead of that chat, we were interested in learning more about Pugel and what his experiences have taught him as a digital marketer in this fast-paced industry.

Do more ... to make your website accessible.
News & Work,

What You Need to Know about ADA and Websites

First, you should know Domino’s Pizza and Beyoncé are currently facing lawsuits about their websites’ lack of accessibility. We’ll get into that more a little later, but just know that this is no longer an issue you can push off, or a “nice-to-have” feature. There are consequences, and they are now.