Tom Garrity

Getting ABQ Into Tech

In Uncategorized on August 15, 2014 at 1:15 pm

InnovateABQThe great recession and double dip recession in Albuquerque continues to have a devastating impact. Some reports indicate the city lost $1.5 billion in wages since 2007.

On a personal and professional level, I’ve seen friends and competitors leave the state for other, greener pastures. I miss them but don’t blame them. We all have to do what is needed to survive and eventually thrive again.

One of the great bright spots in Albuquerque’s horizon is in the City of Albuquerque’s economic development office, Gary Oppedahl. In addition to being the department’s director, Gary is also a proven tech entrepreneur.

Sitting down with him recently, it is very easy to be optimistic about the future for tech firms in Albuquerque. He is one of “them” and speaks the tech language. This is a good thing. He plays to his strength’s which is knowing Albuquerque about as well as he knows the life cycle of tech companies.

It seemed like we had a 2-hour conversation in 30 minutes. Central to Gary’s plan to promote tech entrepreneurship in Albuquerque is a blueprint of sorts, developed by Brad Feld. Feld is the tech entrepreneur who captured and best explained tech success in Boulder, Colorado.

Gary told me that in order to appreciate Albuquerque’s developing tech road map that I should, “read Startup Communities by Brad Feld.” I downloaded the audio book and listened to it twice while traversing New Mexico for company business.

The premise of the book is built on an approach called the Boulder Thesis. It is a set of four rules that will help to create vibrant tech communities. Those foundation elements include: The tech community needs to be led by entrepreneurs, it needs to be a long term commitment, it needs to be inclusive and engage the community. Make sense? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Check out this fun and short sketchbook video by the Kaufman Foundation that does a better job of illustrating it.

Here is the exciting thing, the steps outlined in the Startup Communities book are already coming to life. ABQid is a tech accelerator that already has its first class. The 1 million cups of coffee mentorship approach is already 60 cups into its Albuquerque journey.

Both of these initiatives are under the InnovateABQ umbrella. It is a collaboration of public and private sector that is dedicated to creating an environment where the tech community can test, succeed and fail (only to try again).

Trust of Police Officers in #NM and #ABQ

In Uncategorized on June 26, 2014 at 2:15 am

The Garrity Perception Survey is a franchise element of The Garrity Group Public Relations.  Since 2011, the firm has commissioned Albuquerque-based Research + Polling to conduct the 3rd party, statewide, survey of New Mexico residents.

The survey provides insights to the favorability of 17 industries, trust of 14 professions and how New Mexico residents access news and information.  It has a 95 percent level of accuracy.  That means if you ask for the opinion of 10 random New Mexico residents, their answers will align with the survey 95 percent of the time.

Police officers are one of the 14 professions where trust is measured.

The survey question is phrased, “on a scale of 1 to 5, with five being very favorable and one being very unfavorable, what is your level of trust of police officers?” In Albuquerque, this is broad enough to include the Albuquerque Police Department, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s office, New Mexico State Police, United States Marshalls Service, Federal Bureau of investigation and other certified law enforcement officers.

The “favorability” numbers below represent New Mexico residents who responded with either 5 or 4.  The statewide survey was in the field the last week of February 2014 through the First Week of March 2014.

GPS11 to 14 Trust Police Region

When Albuquerque Police Chief Eden addressed the Albuquerque Economic Forum recently, he indicated wanting to increase trust of police officers as one of his goals.

Why only the “Top Line Data”?

The first year of the survey, representatives of the Albuquerque Police Department requested a copy of the results for the trust of police officers.  They wanted the information so they could respond to a media inquiry from KOAT-TV.  As a favor to the director of communications for the Mayors office and the APD communications staffer, I provided the valuable “cross-tab” information.

However, when I wanted to follow-up and explain the information, neither of them returned my phone, text or email messages.  That urgency to get the data, followed by their lack of responsiveness is why I only release the top line results to the public.  Our clients have access to all of the information.

Both of the city staffers are no longer employed by the Mayors office or APD.

 

An Insiders Guide to CAPRSA’14

In Education on March 14, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Cabo San Lucas was the location of my first Counselors Academy Spring Conference. During my brief tenure, I’ve had a chance to meet a number of top-notch professionals.  People who have taught me so much, making me realize I have so much to learn!

Putting together this year’s program, with a strong co-chair and an engaged executive committee, I wanted to share a few quick inside tips on how you can get the most out of this year’s event in Key West.

Get involved

It is easy to sit on the sidelines and listen to some great speakers, gleaning insight that is relevant to where your practice is headed.  But that is like being at the Super Bowl and watching the event’s inline at the concession stand.

This year’s event has a number of great opportunities for you to get involved.  The Counselors 101 event is a great way to meet other first time attendees and to connect with seasoned attendees who know the ropes.  Take the momentum of your first session and soak in the fun at the opening night reception.

The breakfast roundtable and dine around events are a great place for informal networking.  Also, if you have a question for one of the speakers, ask away.  Chances are someone else has the same question.  If not, they are all very approachable to talk to after the session or at other points of the conference.

Favorite Children

As a father of two great and confident daughters I know I am getting into dangerous turf by even hinting I have “favorite” sessions.

Well they are all great sessions!

However, there are some of the sessions that I am looking forward to seeing how you respond..  They include: the “Bold Moves” session where we will hear from PR firm owners about a bold move they implemented that worked well for their firm; key note speakers Stan Phelps, Shonali Burke and Steve McKee; and the “Focus” sessions, a new approach that will feature TEDx style presentations from our presenters.

Relax

Enjoy Key West.  There will be plenty of time to knock out emails during your flight and after the session.  Get here early or stay later to enjoy an extra day.

The hotel is a great place to relax.  They have an hourly shuttle to the center of activity where you can hangout at Mallory Square, shop, rent a boat or take a selfie at the southernmost point in the United States.

But you can’t do any of these things unless you register. There are airline discounts and free shuttles from the airport to the Marriott.  Just visit this link.

Reflect

One of the biggest benefits to attending and participating is returning to your team at home! Sharing the contacts you’ve made, lessons you’ve learned and ideas that your office can apply is invaluable. Hope to see you in sunny Key West!

Click on these links for more information about Tom and his firm The Garrity Group Public Relations.

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