Archive for September, 2008

Post 9/11, our country has an even more unique and critical role in the world. I really like the way Mitt Romney put it:

“What we have today in the world is four major strategies at play. One, they’re the nations with the energy, like Russia. They’re trying to use energy as a way to take over the world.

Then there’s China, which is using communism, plus sort of a Wild West form of a free enterprise. They’re going to give nuclear weapons — or nuclear technology to the Iranians, they’re going to buy oil from the Sudanese. You’ve got China.

Then you’ve got al Qaeda, which wants to bring everybody down.

And then there’s us, the only major power in the world that says we believe in free enterprise and freedom for the individual.

And this great battle is going on right now, and it’s essential for us to strengthen other friends like ourselves, and to confront one by one these other strategies and help turn them towards modernity so that the world our kids inherit does not have to know war.” 


Source: Debate at the Regan Library, January 30, 2008


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The Patriots season officially kicked off yesterday with our first game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Technically, we won, but we lost our quarterback! It has been a dismal 24 hours and we’re all thinking to ourselves “what will this season bring with no Tom Brady?” At least for now, I can overlook this horrible injustice as I revel in the opening of Patriot Place. Have you heard of it? Apparently I’ve been out of the loop – I just heard about it yesterday.

Patriot Place is a shopping and entertainment mecca built adjacent to Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. Not all of the stores are open at this point, but my guess is that, if the retailers are smart, everything will be open by Christmas. The complex will feature mall staples like Aeropostale, Bath & Body Works, Claire’s, GNC, Godiva, Hallmark, Pac Sun, Old Navy, Victoria’s Secret, and more.

But, what I’m most excited about are some of the restaurants and bars, like Davio’s and CBS Scene, and the new “Showcase Live” venue (Joe Bonamassa is playing in the fall – we’d probably be there if we weren’t already seeing him at Austin City Limits in a few weeks). I’m also looking forward to visiting the new Christmas Tree Shop (best store ever!) and the first Bass Pro Shops in New England (a 150,000 square foot outdoor superstore – yeah, that’s 3 1/2 football fields.) Not to mention, I’ve never been to the Patriots Pro Shop and, with all of the new added benefits of Patriot Place, it will make the trip from Newton to Foxboro even more worthwhile.

Click on the image below to check out the interactive map of Patriot Place.

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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:

  1. Gamers shall have the right to return games that don’t work with their computers for a full refund.
  2. Gamers shall have the right to demand that games be released in a finished state.
  3. Gamers shall have the right to expect meaningful updates after a game’s release.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Gamers shall have the right to expect that games won’t install hidden drivers or other potentially harmful software without their consent.
  7. Gamers shall have the right to re-download the latest versions of the games they own at any time.
  8. Gamers shall have the right to not be treated as potential criminals by developers or publishers.
  9. 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.
  10. 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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The unofficial end to summer has come and gone (Labor Day), the official end to summer is fast approaching (Autumnal Equinox)…and I couldn’t be happier. This is the best time of year in New England. Sure I love summer, and yeah, the dwindling daylight is a bummer, but there are just so many things I love about the fall:

●  NFL, college football, fantasy football
●  Pennant races, October baseball
●  Foliage – I’ll admit it, I dig foliage
●  Orion starts creeping up over the horizon – I’ll admit it, I dig constellations
●  Stews, braised meats, roasted birds, and other comforting fare
●   Crispy morning air that will wake you up better than a shot of espresso
●   And of course, our wedding anniversary 🙂

And get this, all the suffering through the tedious rain we endured during the summer is paying off in spades for the fall harvest. Cranberry and apple farmers in New England are expecting one of the most bountiful, colorful, and juiciest harvests in years. Extra helpings of cranberry sauce and apple pie all around!

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