Tom Garrity

Posts Tagged ‘New Mexico’

A Political Divide as Scenic as The Taos Gorge

In Reputation, Uncategorized on May 24, 2016 at 10:15 pm

TGG Taos GorgeThe divide in the Republican party is not quite as prominent as the Taos Gorge, but it is close.

In the headlines, the Republican split is playing itself out on the national level with the presidential primary.  On a state level the split has manifested itself with the election of a new national committeeman.

The 2016 Garrity Perception Survey tells a somewhat more in-depth story, highlighting a fundamental rift among New Mexico residents who consider themselves “somewhat conservative” or “conservative.”

The philosophical split surfaced as a part of a scientific, statewide, third party survey commissioned by The Garrity Group and conducted by Albuquerque’s Research & Polling.  The survey focused on gauging favorability of industries, trust of professions among other topics related to perceptions of government and business.  The demographic data, also known as the “cross-tabs” is where some of the disparities between those who consider themselves to be “somewhat conservative” or “conservative” surfaced.

Favorability of…

Somewhat Conservative

Conservative

Oil & Gas Industry

51%

79%

Solar & Wind Industry

55%

33%

National Banks

44%

35%

Public Schools

33%

47%

Medical System

39%

50%

State Universities

73%

60%

National Laboratories

62%

71%

Church & Religious Institutions

63%

82%

The above chart highlights disparities of greater than 10 percent between those who identify themselves as “somewhat conservative” or “conservative.”  The survey, conducted at the end of February 2016 has a 95 percent level of confidence.

The survey shows clear splits in favorability of the oil/gas, solar/wind and  church/religious institutions.  Come voting time, it will be interesting to know if these split ideologies will are reflected on the primary and general election ballot.

Finally, responses to the question “what do you feel causes more problems in government?” highlights an additional rift between the traditionally Republican factions. Those who identify themselves as somewhat conservative are more likely to blame problems in government on “elected officials who are not willing to compromise” opposed to conservatives who blame “elected officials who are not willing to stand up for their principles.”

What do you feel causes more problems in government?

Somewhat Conservative

Conservative

Elected Officials who are not willing to stand up for their principles

33%

50%

Elected officials who are not willing to compromise

48%

29%

Both

14%

17%

Don’t Know/Won’t Say

5%

4%

TGG Taos Gorge Bridge

One final insight on the split related to favorability of industries and institutions; in the areas of the greatest differences, those who identify themselves as “somewhat conservative” align more with registered Democrats than registered Republicans.

A copy of the topline results can be secured through http://garrityperceptionsurvey.com

One Medal

In Life on July 8, 2013 at 9:05 pm

One MedalApril 14, 2013, the day before the Boston Marathon, marked an important date for me.  It was 3 years, 2 months, 14 days and 16 hours earlier (yes think Forrest Gump) that I ran the first two miles for what would be three marathons, three half marathons, one ultra marathon and three 200 mile cross country relays.

My first two-mile training run, through Team in Training, was difficult.  It should have been seeing that I hadn’t run, well, since high school.  Everyone else on that two mile run was running for a reason. They had a friend or loved one battling an illness. I was running; no reason; no purpose, just for me.

That night, cruising Facebook, I saw a high school friend, Pete, was starting his chemo treatment for a blood cancer the next day. Through a brief email exchange on Facebook, I shared my concern and gave Pete my commitment that he was going to be with me in spirit for the training and running of the 2010 San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon.

So, I ran.

Today, Pete is in remission!  Finishing the races and sending him the medals provided him a “boost”. Mission accomplished! His name engraved on the back, my initials next to the time (BTW, that kind of accountability also forced me to get to as many speed training workouts as possible)!

Pete wrote back about the great encouragement the medals provided.

But then I started thinking; Pete is just one person.

Consider these United States facts: In 2009, there were 1,555,143 people suffering from cancer.  Last year, 528,375 people finished a marathon.

What if only a quarter of the runners gave their medal away to someone else? Then 132,093 people will be encouraged.

That’s why I built on a movement fueled by DetermiNation, Team in Training, PCAN, Joints in Motion, Team World Vision, Cycle for Life and many other excellent endurance training programs for charities.  There are also scores of runners, far more talented than me, participating in clubs around Albuquerque and the United States who are running for someone.  All of These groups, including my current running club the Oxy-Gen Morons, have these “One Medal Moments.”

One Medal is all about celebrating the accomplishments of others, providing a sacrifice of time and effort for someone else.

If they choose, athletes can donate their hardware, instead of placing it inside of a dusty shoebox, to provide encouragement to people going through chemo, recovery, remission or through some other reality changing life event.

If you run, why do you run?

My call to action is this: Run for someone, provide encouragement, let your time sacrifice of running, cycling and/or swimming be spent to provide someone, maybe a stranger, peace… if only for a moment.  Then share your One Medal moment on www.onemedal.com.

Understanding the East (ern Part of New Mexico)

In Messaging, Reputation on April 14, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Roswell2Eastern New Mexico has a complex.

It is misunderstood and stereotyped by people who live along the Rio Grande corridor of central New Mexico.

Politically diverse, the 2012 Presidential election provided a significant wakeup call for Republicans.  Their votes, for Republican Mitt Romney, in the seven counties that border Texas were off-set in Santa Fe County, by Democrats who were voting for President Barak Obama.

Tourism in Eastern New Mexico is defined by Carlsbad Caverns and the UFO phenomenon.  But it is accented by the Norman & Vi Petty Rock ‘N’ Roll Museum and roadside attractions like the windmill farm in Portales.

Economically, the region relies upon agriculture, fossil fuels and renewable energy for jobs.  As a result, the region sees significant domestic and foreign immigrant traffic.  The area also has a strong federal and state government presence.

When we look at the 2012 Garrity Perception Survey, we learn a little bit about who residents trust, which industries are viewed as favorable as well as how Eastern New Mexico residents access news and information.

Residents living on the Eastern plains have a very favorable impression of the farm and ranch industry, organized religion and the oil and gas industry.  They favor local banks over national banks by a 2:1 margin, and have the same level of favorability in K-12, higher education and the solar/wind industry.

Blood is thicker than water as Eastern New Mexico residents trust family members twice as much as doctors, teachers or police officers. While Eastern residents access news and information in similar ways to those around New Mexico, they have a very low level of trust in journalists.

When it comes to New Mexico’s signature events, residents in Eastern New Mexico like the Balloon Fiesta at a rate that is three times higher than the annual UFO Festival that takes place in their own back yard.

The late and great Buddy Holly once said “I’m not trying to stump anybody… it’s the beauty of the language that I’m interested in.”  Perhaps, in a way, he was referring to Eastern New Mexico, where he recorded many of his “pop” hits.  Eastern New Mexico isn’t trying to stump anyone, it is just a unique place that can’t be easily placed in the New Mexico “box.”

Image from one of the original UFO themed marketing campaigns for the City of Roswell (circa 1997)

Three Unique NM Election Storylines

In Life on November 7, 2012 at 2:52 pm

New Mexico’s post election analysis will include a number of pundits laying blame, pointing fingers and claiming success.  Here are three uniquely New Mexico story lines from the 2012 Election.

In Plain Sight v. Breaking Bad

U.S. Marshall Mary Shannon, played by Governor Susana Martinez,  fell short of capturing Walter White, played by Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez.  But the PAC run by her political operative, played by Jay McCleskey, was successful in dislodging two other core senate leaders (Senate Pro Tem Tim Jennings and Senate Majority Whip Mary Jane Garcia).  Did the Governor get a pathway through the Senate for her legislative agenda?  No, the “all in” strategy only agitated an already independent political body, played by the New Mexico Senate.

Paul Lynde v. Jerry McGuire

The effort to raise the minimum wage got a huge boost of support when pro-business groups went for the “Block” to keep the issue off of the ballot.  The issue might have survived if pro-business groups created a “You Complete Me” coalition with the pro-wage groups to identify ways to improve the workforce and working conditions for Albuquerque-area employees.

Judiciary v Scarlet Letter

Approaching 11:59pm on election night it was apparent that the Governor’s coat-tails were more tripping up her judiciary picks than pulling them to victory.  An aggressive advertising campaign that publically aligned the Governor with conservative judges appears to have backfired, providing a scarlet letter, of sorts, giving liberal voters an outlet to vent their angst.

Finally, these views are my own and do not represent opinions of my company or the clients we have the opportunity to represent.

NM Trust in Media

In Messaging, Reputation on September 24, 2012 at 11:09 pm

The Gallup Corporation recently issued results of a national survey gauging the level of trust people have toward mass media.

In the 2012 survey, Democrats are much more trustworthy of mass media (58 percent) than those identifying themselves as Independent (31 percent) and Republican (26 percent).

If 2011 is an indicator, New Mexico residents have a higher trust in mass media than the typical American.

Research and Polling asked a similar question as a part of the 2011 Garrity Perception Survey (GPS) commissioned by The Garrity Group.  The 2011 GPS and 2011 Gallup surveys had a similar (not identical) process, asking respondents to rate their trust worthiness of media sources on a scale of 1-5.

Participants in the 2011 Gallup’s survey had more trust in mass media if they were a Democrat (56 percent) than either Republicans or Independents (both rating their trust at 38 percent).

Here is the 2011 GPS breakdown of how New Mexico residents trust mass media (Independent voters are identified as those who “decline to state” a political affiliation):

Local Newspapers:  53 percent of Democrats trust newspaper, compared to 49 percent of Republicans and 42 percent of all Independents.

Local Television News: 65 percent of all democrats trust what they see on the local newscasts compared to 59% of republicans and 55% of Independents.

National Broadcast News: 68 percent of Democrats trust the national news sources compared to 54 percent of Republicans and 40% of those who are Independent voters.

Radio News Coverage: 46 percent of Democrats trust what they hear, compared to 44 percent of Republicans and 42 percent of Independent voters.

When New Mexico residents were asked to gauge the trustworthiness of their “conversations with friends” Republicans had a higher level of trust (44 percent) than Democrats (37 percent) and Independent voters (31 percent).

Advertising had only single digit level trust among all of those identifying a political party affiliation.

So now New Mexico residents know why all they see on television are political ads and why your friends are shy to ask about your political opinions.

Fair Time!

In Life, Reputation on September 12, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Where can you walk around gnawing on a turkey leg while sampling a side of funnel cake and kettle corn?  The New Mexico State Fair, of course.

Resistance is futile. The last negotiating chip I have with my family is “as long as I don’t have to go in the midway”.

The New Mexico State Fair starts its 12 day run this week.  The event has been besieged in a funding tug of war as legislators debate scrapping or funding the State-owned Albuquerque property.

The ghost of past State Fairs linger.  Specifcally, a hop scotch pattern of scheduling has been the biggest point of confusion, which is reinforced on its website “This year, the Fair is condensed from 13 open days over a 17-day run to 12 open days.” The emphasis was theirs.

Based on the Garrity Perception Survey, mobile users are a great base of support for the New Mexico State Fair.  Just yesterday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reinforced his commitment to own the mobile space.  While the State Fair doesn’t have a mainstream “mobile app” there is a lot of opportunity for communicators to leverage their Facebook presence.

What else can the State Fair do in the social and mobile space?  Establish or piggyback on a #StateFair hashtag, have an Instagramphoto challenge” and provide updates about events via twitter.

Personally, my goal this year is to get a close up picture of a #Snout

A Butterfly, an Ostrich and Transparency?

In Crisis Communication, Education, Reputation on July 2, 2012 at 1:54 pm

The High Desert Investment Corporation (HDIC) and its parent the Albuquerque Academy (New Mexico’s academic leader for independent and public education), have a financial problem that has spiraled into a crisis which threatens its reputation as a trusted institution.

The Albuquerque Journal has an excellent overview of the situation in today’s publication by Rosalie Rayburn and Richard Metcalf.

The Readers Digest version: The Albuquerque Academy’s HDIC is pulling out of its most recent residential development, Mariposa (which means Butterfly).  Homeowners in the high-end community are now faced with the potential of staggering increases to their property taxes.

Aside from making a board member available to media, the Albuquerque Academy is in a communication “ostrich mode”; not communicating with Mariposa residents, parents of students and the community at large.

Opportunities to communicate the issue through social media are non-existent.  Mariposa’s website, facebook and twitter feed (run by HDIC marketing) are silent on nearly everything, including the issues facing its community.

The factors driving the HDIC decision are complex; annual bond payments of $1.2 million are the root cause.  Those complexities should be the motivators for the Albuquerque Academy communication efforts.

Getting consistent information from the Albuquerque Academy is difficult.  Their website is silent on the Mariposa issue as well as the current status of its endowment.  Reported to be $298 million in 2008 by the Albuquerque Journal, the New York Times reported its value at $180 million a year later.

Transparency and consistency of message are two approaches that the Albuquerque Academy can use to start addressing this communication abyss manifested by the Mariposa pull out.  Whether it will be enough to salvage the brand of a New Mexico education icon; that depends how its leadership addresses short-term communication efforts.

Disclosure: My firm, The Garrity Group, provided public relation assistance to HDIC on Mariposa issues unrelated to the current situation.  The work was completed two years ago.

GPS: The Importance of Faith

In Life on April 23, 2011 at 4:31 pm

The conclusion of Easter and Passover, provides a moment for many people to reflect on the importance of faith in their personal lives. 

New Mexico has a very diverse “faith” history.  Native American Spirituality, Spain’s quest to promote the Catholic religion, the rich Jewish history in our state, a growing base of Eastern religions and the long established Christian outreach to people in urban and rural areas is a hint of how important faith is in New Mexico.

Curious about the importance of faith in the lives of New Mexico residents, my public relations firm ask a question on the topic in our recently completed Garrity Perception Survey.

The question was simple, “what is the importance of faith in your personal life?”  It didn’t focus on a specific religion, theology, practice, mantra, belief (or lack there of) or relationship.  The possible responses were very important, fairly important, not very important and don’t know/won’t say.

Overwhelming, New Mexico residents responded that faith is very important (74 percent) in their personal life.

Hispanic’s rely on faith more than Anglo residents and women more so than men.

New Mexico residents in the age ranges of 35-49 years and over 60 years of age rely more on it than other age groups.

Republicans outpace democrats; but democrats rely on faith more than both independent and nonregistered voters.

The connection between income and faith is interesting.  New Mexico residents who are “in the middle” rely on more faith than those with higher and lower incomes.

While it is interesting to see how faith is viewed in different parts of New Mexico, I found it particularly interesting that Albuquerque residents have the lowest reliance on faith in our state.

Cassie Bernall, a victim of the Columbine High School tragedy, relied on her personal faith, choosing death instead of compromising her belief.  As I reflect on the results of this question, I wonder how many of the 74% that replied “very important” would be willing to make the same sacrifice as Cassie. 

Yes, there are some questions that just can’t be answered in a survey.

GPS: Accountants

In Reputation on April 19, 2011 at 11:27 am

This is April 19, 2011… the day after tax day!  In honor of those certified public accountants who helped most of us get from point A to point B for our various 1040, 1099, K-1 and PIT forms, lets see what New Mexico residents think of the time honored profession.

The Garrity Perception Survey queried a random sample of New Mexico residents to gauge their trust of 16 professions.  Sandwiched between judges and lawyers (I know there is a joke in there somewhere), the eighth most trusted profession in the Land of Enchantment is the accountant.

New Mexico residents who earn less than $20,000 a year and those who earn more than $80,000 a year completely trust accountants; putting to rest the myth that the more money you have the more trust you place in accountants.

When it comes to party affiliation, Democrats and Independents completely trust accountants, outpacing Republicans and unregistered voters.  The age-old argument that accounts and republicans are bedfellows to “milk the system” appears to fall short here… at least in New Mexico.

Trust among residents increases with formal education.  Those with a graduate degree have greater trust in Accountants than those with a high school education.  Females also have a higher trust level of Accountants than males.

The greatest area of opportunity to build trust for the Accountant is in the age range of 50-64 years.  This group, which includes some of the highest wage earners, has a lower level of trust than any other age group in New Mexico.  Perhaps the recession coupled with discussion of higher taxes clouds the trust.  Whether or not that is the case, accountants can increase their trust level through “plain speak” about the issues facing this age group and the solutions they might want to consider as they approach retirement.

GPS: Government

In Uncategorized on April 12, 2011 at 1:08 pm

A writer for the Seattle Times posed the question: “Which can Americans afford to live without: The NFL or Government?” I guess the answer to that question could depend largely upon your NFL team and the prospects for a 2011 Football Season.

The premise of the question is gauged to generate a reaction.  But, the quiet response, muttered under our breath, is based on connection.  Lets face it, the NFL has a greater connection to the American population than the Federal government. 

The 2011 Garrity Perception Survey of New Mexico residents provides a unique take on the perception of government.  Only 18% of residents trust government to do the right thing most of the time.  And 54% feel that Government is trying to do too many things.

In New Mexico, the size of government grew under the previous administration.  The new leadership is cutting the size of government and challenging philosophies concerning government’s role.  According to the GPS survey results, this is a popular theme in New Mexico.

Where are the lines drawn between government’s supporters and detractors?  New Mexico seniors are more likely than others to say government can be trusted most of the time.  Residents in the Albuquerque metro area are more apt to say they can trust the government at least some of the time, while those in the Northwest and North Central regions are more likely than others to say the government can hardly ever or never be trusted.

Click here for more comments on this topic from Brian Sanderoff and me.