Posted in Video Games, Work, tagged 1up, Boing Boing, Edge Online, Gamasutra, Game Industry PR Stunt, Gamer Bill of Rights, Kotaku, PAX, PC Games, Penny Arcade Expo, Slashdot, Stardock, Video Game PR, Wired.com on September 3, 2008 |
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In Public Relations, especially “consumer” PR, the challenge of having no news is a frequent occurrence for many companies. In these cases, the PR department (or agency) has to get creative when figuring out how to attract attention to the company or cause.
A perfect example of this type of creativity is Stardock Games‘ recent creation and announcement of the Gamer’s Bill of Rights. What a catchy concept!
Stardock spotted what they considered an industry-wide issue – that PC games are often not held to the same standards as console games. With The Bill, Stardock not only gained attention for their company, but helped to shed light, for a brief period, on some of the issues in the PC game industry.
Stardock issued a press release just prior to the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX), a video game conference held in Seattle each year (some of my clients from 360 were there as well ). In the release, Stardock promoted their booth # and then, at the show, prominently displayed the Bill of Rights in their booth.
Brad Wardell, the CEO, even penned an article for popular industry website Edge-Online surrounding the Bill. As a result of his article and the press release, the news snowballed and was covered by tons of websites including Boing Boing, Slashdot, Kotaku, CNET, Gamasutra, GameDaily, 1up, and Wired.com.
As a PR initiative the effort was a success, in my opinion. On the other hand, I don’t think the Gamer’s Bill of Rights will become an industry-altering official document that game developers worldwide will adhere to. It doesn’t hurt to try, though!
The Gamer’s Bill of Rights:
- Gamers shall have the right to return games that don’t work with their computers for a full refund.
- Gamers shall have the right to demand that games be released in a finished state.
- Gamers shall have the right to expect meaningful updates after a game’s release.
- Gamers shall have the right to demand that download managers and updaters not force themselves to run or be forced to load in order to play a game.
- Gamers shall have the right to expect that the minimum requirements for a game will mean that the game will play adequately on that computer.
- Gamers shall have the right to expect that games won’t install hidden drivers or other potentially harmful software without their consent.
- Gamers shall have the right to re-download the latest versions of the games they own at any time.
- Gamers shall have the right to not be treated as potential criminals by developers or publishers.
- Gamers shall have the right to demand that a single-player game not force them to be connected to the Internet every time they wish to play.
- Gamers shall have the right that games which are installed to the hard drive shall not require a CD/DVD to remain in the drive to play.
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Posted in Digital Media, Photography, Work, tagged Anime, Anime Action Figure, Computer Use at Work, Disconnecting, Flickr Photo, Funny Laptop Photo, Internet Issues, PamelaSu, Web on August 27, 2008 |
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Towards the end of last week our Internet was “down” at the office for a few hours. My hands were tied. I felt crippled and cut off from the world. It was incredibly frustrating not being able to deliver on the list of tasks outlined on the various colored post-its scattered across my desk.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge advocate of “disconnecting,” but on a normal day I spend 90% of my time on the computer and at least 50% on the Internet. Without the web, I’m lost.
When I saw this photo from PamelaSu on Flickr I was reminded of my experience (or lack there of) with the Internet last week. I chuckled because sometimes, at the end of a busy day, my hair sticks up (and may even appear green) and my eyes take on an Anime-like appearance from staring at my monitor, just like this little girl.
So, what is in her hand anyways?
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Posted in Digital Media, Public Relations, Work, tagged 360PR Blog, BlogHer Business, Kathy Lee Gifford, Mir Kamin, Mom Blog, TLC, Today Show, Vera Sweeny on May 7, 2008 |
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About a month ago I attended the BlogHer Business Conference in NYC (check out my work post on the 360PR Days blog). At the conference, I had the chance to meet a handful of women bloggers like Miriam Kamin who writes/contributes to about 7 blogs – wow! – including Woulda Coulda Shoulda , and Vera Sweeny who writes the very popular celebrity blog I’m Not Obsessed .
While at the conference, I heard that a bunch of the women were actually at The Today Show studio that morning for interviews – they were working on a segment about moms who blog. So, now that a month has passed, the segment aired just this morning and guess whose head happened to get about three seconds of camera time? Yours truly!
Check out the segment here or click on the picture below. Soon after the 2 minute mark, you’ll see me typing away on a laptop during one of the BlogHer sessions! (Side Rant: I can’t stand Kathy Lee Gifford – you’ll see what I mean after watching the clip!)
I wouldn’t exactly call this my “15 minutes of fame.” That debate-ably special moment will come sometime this summer when, thanks to my 360PR co-workers, I’ll be the subject of a new makeover show on The Learning Channel (TLC). More on that later…
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You know Dilbert? The comic strip that runs in more than 2,000 newspapers. Well, I’m not sure how funny it is to those who don’t work in an office, but I can relate to the comic strip without a doubt.
So, Dilbert.com just went through a bit of a re-launch. I poked around and came across this little gem. For a gal who is never really at the right temperature, this hits close to home. My “cube” is right next to the thermostat – I wouldn’t have it any other way!
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Last weekend hundreds gathered in all their geek glory for New York ComicCon (a couple of my clients were there, but I didn’t make it out.) I did, however, stumble across a post and video on Boing Boing about the conference – a great video. Love this guy! I mean c’mon, how great is his assesment that you can tell how good a game is based on the weight of the box? :-) I had some trouble embedding the video in my post, but you here’s the link.
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Most of us get up every day to the sound of an alarm, get dressed, grab a bite and its off to work we go for hours and hours….and hours and hours. I switch gears quite often throughout the day with my job- which can make focusing difficult sometimes, but overall it helps to make the day go by pretty quick. Others I know work on the same project for weeks, which can seem daunting. Either way, every now and again, you’ll catch yourself watching the minutes tick by waiting to go home. For me, here are a few things that help me get through those REALLY LONG days.
- Online radio at its best. Make playlists based on your favorite artists and songs and then Pandora will generate similar songs that you might like. It is a great way to hear new music while blocking out unwanted office noise and keeping your toes tapping til its time to go home….
Hoops and YoYo
- A couple of REALLY adorable animated characters from Hallmark. Their site has great free e-cards, so when you are thinking of someone while at work – friend, loved one, etc. - shoot them a quick card. I love sending and getting these! This one about ”Mondays”
Go for a walk (sorry no link for this one) - The most practical item on my list. With the weather getting nicer, I’m sure a walk around the block will do you good (I should do this more often myself).
Take a Break. Read a blog!
So, what tricks do you have up your sleeve?
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For the past six months or so the Framingham / Worcester line of the MBTA commuter rail has been running off schedule. In my experience, at least every other day the train will be between 5 to 20 minutes late. For someone who just worked a full day and is eager to get home, 10 minutes can seem like a lifetime. Not to mention Back Bay station is the most miserable place to spend any of your free time – dark, dingy, damp, and dirty!
Over the past month, things have been on the up-and-up and the delays were fewer and farther between. Just this week the MBTA revised the Framingham / Worcester schedule. They claim that recent delays have been a result of an increase in ridership and, therefore, an increase in the amount of time spent at each stop loading and unloading passengers. Seeing the MBTA taking action gave me hope. I thought to myself ‘this is a good sign.’
I should have known better.
This evening, as I waited in Back Bay station filled with hope, I could almost hear the announcement before it was made — “Framingham local boarding next on track 5.” Instead, the intercom kicked in and I was disappointed. The announcer proclaimed “For those waiting for the Framingham local, this train has been slightly delayed.”
It wasn’t too bad of a wait (maybe 5 minutes), but I hope its not a sign of things to come.
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I have a love-hate relationship with business trips. Working at a PR agency means always having to travel to and from conferences, media events, and new business pitches in different parts of the country. In fact, my colleagues are flying out to San Francisco next week to attend the Game Developers Conference (GDC). Even though I’m not attending, I almost wish I was (or do I?).
Why would I want to go to a busy conference next week when there are so many negatives to business travel? For example:
1) Time out of the office sucks because you have to work even harder before you leave and after you get back to finish other projects.
2) You are never really in your destination location long enough to enjoy the local attractions.
3) Jet lag – need I say more.
4) Yes, you get to expense food and spirits, but often times you end up staying out later than you probably should and, with the jet lag factor, this results in a less than wonderful feeling the next morning.
5) In PR, conferences and media events often mean scrambling to pull everything together at the last minute, running errands and tying up loose ends. No matter what your executive level is sometimes you have to walk 4 or 5 blocks to pick up lunch for the rest of the staff – go team!
With the negatives, comes the positives:
1) There is nothing like staring out the window of a plane looking down on the Grand Canyon. It gives you perspective.
2) Seeing new places, people, sights and sounds (and on the company’s dime) is so valuable. If business travel is not part of your job, you would normally have to pay for these experiences yourself.
3) Those nights where you stay out later than you should – they usually are a blast, especially when you enjoy the people you work with, which I do.
4) Despite all the hustle and bustle (and stress of events and conferences), the adrenaline keeps you going and when you do a good job there is a HUGE sense of accomplishment.
5) The flight home is always longer than the flight out (or so it seems), but the feeling you get when you drop your bags on your doorstep and hug your husband reminds you of all the reasons why you work so hard in the first place.
For those who are travelling to GDC next week – enjoy and maybe I’ll see you next time!
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