Denver, Colorado and the Rocky Mountains have many known attractions, but one that may have slipped under the radar is Communications Strategy Group or CSG. In 2016, it was named one of the “Top 10 Best Workplaces in Advertising & Marketing” by Fortune Magazine. CSG had already been named “Best Place to Work” earlier that year by the Denver Business Journal.
Although the award was four years ago, the culture that earned the recognition for CSG still exists and is even more important today with the changing employee market being overtaken by Gen Z. Their values for workplace openness and honesty, ethics, fairness, respect and camaraderie were the basis of questions asked of more than 4,000 employees by Fortune.
It’s not surprising then that CSG bills itself as a strategic communications consulting firm which helps its clients achieve their goals through behavior-design driven content experiences that require action.
It’s founder and president, Steven Shapiro, came from a background steeped in successful B2B and B2C marketing and communication strategies. In an interview with Speakers Corner, Shapiro said he was motivated to start CSG because of a desire to improve the role, reputation, and delivery of what had been traditional PR and change it into the structure of a philosophy grounded on content-based influencer relations.
In addition to public relations, CSG promotes itself as specializing in content marketing, brand communications, social media, digital marketing, internal communications, website design and creative services, crisis communications and reputation, and marketing and business analytics.
Their process begins with working with the client to form a strategy and then turning things over to their creative people to generate great stories and ideas. The company’s Innovation Lab constantly monitors and evaluates the digital landscape for best practices they might adapt and incorporate.
Many of CSG’s clients are Fortune 500 companies representing financial and professional services, health and wellness, education, technology, and consumer industries. They range from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Charles Schwab, Crayola, Mattel, Wells Fargo Advisors, TIAA, New Belgium Brewing, NASA, Kaiser Permanente, Invesco Power Shares, Transamerica, Janus Henderson, the National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation and Financial Planning Association.
When NASA hired CSG, it had a goal of increasing awareness and engagement in their international K-12 science and education program that connected teachers, students and scientists known as GLOBE. By leveraging social media to engage teachers and educators, CSG generated more than 600,000 views of NASA’s “Salute to Teachers” video, earned a 37% increase in traffic to the website, and saw a 25% increase in teacher sign-ups.
This success caused other engagements to grow exponentially. Facebook “likes” rose from 1,240 to more than 120,000. Referrals to the globe.gov website increased 46% on social media with total traffic going up 37%.
A four-month initiative on behalf of Mattel to raise the relevance of Thomas the Tank among parents was also successful. CSG was tasked with expanding a partnership between the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the popular series, “Thomas & Friends.” The goal was to increase awareness and get parents to check out resources like quality education, gender equality, clean water, sustainable cities and responsible consumption on Thomas & Friends. By identifying and using 15 key micro influencers, CSG was able to generate 15 million impressions in support of the partnership and deliver education to an important audience.