According to the author of Topgrading, Dr. Bradford Smart, the key to building a superior company is the ongoing ability to recruit and retain superior personnel. In Topgrading, Smart expands upon that concept by examining in great detail exactly how leading organizations have assembled such top-level employees, and then showing precisely how others can do it, too. In 2006, Denver-based GroundFloor Media implemented a “topgrading” process for hiring new employees, separating A, B or C player characteristics and hiring only the best and introduced a peer review process for current team members. The firm’s commitment has paid off in terms of attrition rate (around 6 percent, one of the lowest in the industry) and employee satisfaction to the extent that it was named our Best Small Agency to Work For in 2007 (and the number one best company to work for in the
The inspiration for GroundFloor Media came in April 2001, when founder Laura Love was managing communications for a start-up company in Colorado and growing increasingly frustrated with PR agencies that assigned too many inexperienced junior-level staff to her account. She recognized the potential opportunity for an agency with a different model, built around senior level professionals—its people have an average of 13 years experience—who could deliver results-driven public relations services, from strategic planning to cause-related marketing programs, product launches, community research and assessment, media and analyst relations, public affairs, program development, crisis communications, messaging and positioning, event planning and execution, promotions, website design, viral and online “buzz” campaigns, media training and thought leadership programs.
GroundFloor is headquartered in downtown
Among the more interesting assignments of the past 12 months, GroundFloor helped the Emergency Preparedness and Response Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment educate residents about the importance of emergency preparedness. Using a combination of media relations, community relations and partnerships with key members of the
“It’s no secret that public awareness campaigns initiated by government agencies have a reputation for being a bit stale and predictable,” says Dana Erpelding, training and exercise manager. “The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment wanted to break out of this mold and take a fresh and unexpected approach to educating the public about two important issues: emergency preparedness and pandemic flu awareness. GroundFloor Media leapt to the top of our pile when reviewing agencies because of the exciting twist they put on the topics – as well as the way they were creatively able to maximize our budget while combining public relations with other traditional and emerging media.”
Finally, the firm has implemented a Get Grounded Program that offers all team members the opportunity to actively participate in important social causes for their community. GroundFloor team members can choose to volunteer time through the donation of paid time off or to receive cash grants to nonprofits, schools or other organizations or projects for which they volunteer. Love herself was able to travel to