July 2008

It is a busy time in our wild, wild world.  Indiana Jones’ son can’t stop crashing cars, Amy Winehouse can’t stay out of the hospital, LA is rockin’, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  As a PR professional, I read a lot and I follow lots of news sources and blogs.  Instead of shouting out expletives and gasps from my desk, I thought it might be more useful to get my reactions down in writing.  So here’s my two cents on just some of what’s going on.

Note: I don’t always go into the background about the situation.  For more details, click the topic for a link so you can read more about the story.

PR query face-off: HARO vs Profnet: So one is free, and one you pay for.  I use both, and I think most reporters do too.  I love ya, PR Newswire, but relax.  It’s fine.  We got you covered.

Hasbro removes Scrabulous from Facebook: I never played it, but I know many people that did.  It’s fine for Hasbro to take back what’s rightfully theirs, but honestly, in this day and age of user generated media and content, you need to listen to the people.  Say it with me now: “Give the people what they want.”   Hasbro needs to come up with a suitable licensed replacement, and fast.

Bennigan’s closes all locations: What’s really more frightening is that they left Ponderosa open.

The launch of Cuil: If people can’t say it, then clearly it’s going to be difficult to accept from the beginning.  (Just look at my last name – I know these things.  Trust me.)  Seth Godin wrote a great post about this – if ain’t broke (Google), then don’t fix it.  Be something new and different, not just a copycat of what works.

AisleDash announces its final days: This makes me mad because a lot of cool people work on this site and it also makes me scared because if the recession (yes, I said it, the big bad “R” word) is now hitting the Web, what next?  Is anything safe?

Starbucks is closing and closing and closing: I’m sorry, but have they waited in line at all at the Oliver/High Street location at 1 International Place in downtown Boston?  Do you really expect me to wait 20 minutes for a cup of coffee because there’s 4,000 people also purchasing a coffee and believe that the chain is doing poorly?  I dunno, maybe I’m just scared they’ll close more near me and then what will I do about my Rainbow cookie addiction…but still.

Twitter Fail Whale epidemic: Every day something goes wrong on the site, and yet it almost draws us closer to it.  With the recent manic micro-blogging around the earthquake and #ramday, it’s still got quite a draw.

Dark Knight lights up the reviews: For once, there is more coverage on the actors’ personal lives and not the storyline, and yet the movie is still rated highly across the board.  Well played, Batman.

Twins!: Brangelina.  JLo and Marc Anthony.  Marcia Cross.  Julia Roberts.  And now Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell.  Oy.  What IS in the water over there, Cali?


So I apologize if this came across as a negative rant.  Picture this: it’s more me reading the news and singing the classic 4 Non Blondes hit, “Hey hey hey . . . I said hey . . . what’s going on?”

What have you been reacting to in the news lately?


Its a Small World

My freshman year at UMASS, I befriended a girl on our floor and her boyfriend, Eric, who visited so much, he practically lived on the floor…


…Fast forward to senior year – we all had moved off campus but I still waved to them whenever I saw them around school.  My friend Katie invited me out one night with one of her coworkers from Old Navy…who happened to be Eric.  Random!  Eric stays in our circle of friends, and moves to Waltham, eventually joined by his new girlfriend Jill (another UMASS student).  Keep this story in mind as we move forward to 2006…


…2006 – My Jazzercise instructor Melyssa (stop laughing, it’s actually an intense aerobic program!) introduces me to a classmate, another NY expat named Colleen.  We become friends, and after some time both quit Jazzercise and join the local WorkOut World.  We start taking Zumba classes.  I randomly bump into Jill (SEE: the story about Eric above), who also goes to the same gym.  Jill mentions she goes to the Sunday Zumba classes (Colleen and I go to the one on Monday nights). 


…I move to Brockton and go to a different WorkOut World…


Colleen gets married in June 2008 and goes on her honeymoon…


…I see an article in the NY Times about the recent popularity of Zumba and email it to both girls.  In the email, I also welcome Colleen back from her recent honeymoon. 

Jill responds to me: “Does Colleen go to WorkOut World in Waltham?”

Me: “Yup.”

[During this exchange, Colleen emails me to tell me she delayed her birthday dinner one night to Tuesday to go to Zumba on Monday.]

Jill: “I know her!  She stands next to me in class!  We talk all the time!  We were just talking about how she came back from her honeymoon, and how she is going out for birthday a day late so she can go to Zumba!”


Wow.  Too funny.


The point here? 

  • Always think of what we all have in common, rather than what our differences are. 
  • Network, network, network. 
  • Don’t be afraid to let random friends from different points in your life mingle.
  • Connect friends who have never met but who have something-anything!-in common.  (Also a good tip when introducing people who don’t know each other – tell both about something they have in common so they can connect much easier than through typical small talk which can easily fall flat.) 

What next, finding out my old roommate works with two other former UMASS floormates of mine? Oh wait…