Tag Archives: California

Harvey’s Horrendous PR Nightmare


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Hollywood is no stranger to PR nightmares.  Whether it’s a box office blunder or another celebrity partying too hard, PR nightmares are sure to swivel around Tinseltown.  PR pros love a good PR nightmare to work with, especially in the entertainment capital of the world (I’ll say this again – there’s NO such thing as bad publicity!).

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We all enjoy checking out the latest in movies, music, tv shows, fashion and even literature; but it’s the scandals hiding beneath the curtains that make the show that much more spectacular.  As social media’s popularity grows, the thirst for juicy scandals become much more desirable.  There’s one PR nightmare stemming from a man who co-created a movie company known for producing some of the best independent films to date.  Get ready, folks – this is the PR nightmare of Harvey Weinstein.

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Harvey Weinstein was born in New York City on March 19th, 1952.  He’s most known as the co-founder of Miramax, a subsidiary film and television company founded in Buffalo, New York.  Miramax is known for producing some of the hottest independent films such as Clerks, Sex, Lies, and Videotapes, Pulp Fiction, and The Crying Game.  What’s interesting to point out is that their television production division (Miramax Television) produced series like Project Runway and Clerks.

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All the scenes were set smoothly for Harvey Weinstein…that is, until the PR nightmare began.  In the beginning of October, The New Yorker and The New York Times reported that a dozen of women accused Weinstein of sexual harassment, assault, and even rape.  Many of these women reported having similar experiences with Weinstein, in which he denied all of these accusations.  Due to the results of the accusations, Weinstein was fired from his own production company.

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But the PR nightmare was JUST getting started for Harvey.  His wife, English fashion designer and actress Georgina Chapman, left him once the accusations started.  Not only was he fired from his own company, but he was also expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  Many leading politicians he supported started denouncing him.  This horrific PR nightmare was only getting worse each day.  It only took one match to engulf his reputation into flames.

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Even while writing about this particular piece, Harvey’s PR nightmare is only drudging along ever so slowly.  His wife, political supporters, and even his own company are out of his grasp.  Hollywood is a small town where everyone hears through the mounting grape vine.  It only takes one small vine to connect with its other branches in order to ignite a PR nightmare.

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That is the tragic PR tale of Harvey Weinstein and his entertainment career.  The cat is already out of the bag (and continues to be out as well), so there’s very little damage control that can be done at this point.  Only strategic PR move would be to roll with the punches.  Word has already gone out, so only time will heal this reputational wound.

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Rather than dwell on the horrors of the accusation, we should take this as a lesson in the muddy world of Public Relations.  Secrets will be shocking to hear, especially if you’re higher up on the totem pole.  The higher you climb up, the harder you will fall.  These scandalous sexual accusations will only plunge Harvey down further into his nightmare.

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Sometimes the scariest event is not so much the monster, but the leading events that happen once the monster is caught.

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September Sunset Philosophy


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Yesterday I decided to hike up to my favorite spot called Fox Dennings Area.  Located within Nahant, Fox Dennings Area is a beautiful park area that features amazing trails.  These trails lead up to the end where you can experience a breath-taking view like no other (I’ll go further into this hidden gem on another post later!).

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The time was reaching towards 5:00 PM, so I had to find out when the sun would set.  The sun would start setting around 6:37 PM, which meant I had an hour or so to kill.  I roamed around the rocky boulders and navigated towards the best spot to view the sunset.  I bought my pre-roll of Moonshine Haze that I was saving for the special occasion.

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Minutes were passing by and the sun was slowly slipping away.  It was started to wedge between the apartment buildings, so I lit up the Moonshine Haze pre-roll to get things started.  Sun setting, waves crashing, seagulls crying, hazy smoke floating into the blue sky – it was the picture-perfect night for this sunset.  I barely moved, becoming too fixated towards the greenish-yellow glow reflecting upon the earth.

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It wasn’t that I couldn’t move, but rather, I didn’t WANT to move.  I told myself to stay still to watch the magic happening before my eyes.  All was still, life was happening in its natural pace.  There was no noise, only the blissful sounds of what I was experiencing this very moment.  Choosing to stay still meant choosing to sit back and watch nature takes its course.

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Watching this gorgeous sunset made me reflect back to another blissful time.  It was March 6th, 2012 – I was roaming around Santa Monica Pier in California.  I was walking through the hot sand and noticed the sun was setting.  Walking further away from the pier, I sat down to stretch my legs for a bit.  Within the hazy smog floating around the Pacific Coast, I noticed the sun seeping under the Santa Monica Mountains.  Same peaceful setting like I felt at Fox Dennings Area – seagulls crying, waves crashing, very little noise.

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Writing about both of these tranquil instances made me stop to think about how amazing life is.  What’s interesting about these events is that they happened around Spring/Fall equinoxes.  I know that its fall, not because of the traditional decorations or what our ‘calendar’ says, but because of watching the sun setting east.  The sun sets east around Spring/Fall equinoxes every year, which is one of nature’s indications of seasons changing.

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This was a glorious event to experience.  As a PR pro, I always trace ideas back to their natural roots.  Going back to nature gives me a better perspective of how things operate.  Sometime it only takes a small hike around the woods to spark your creativity.  Letting your mind wander aimlessly is crucial for generating that creative buzz.

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If any of you are stuck in your creativity rut, I suggest heading to the nearest trail and wandering aimlessly around the woods.  Letting your mind get lost in the tranquility of nature is one of the rejuvenating experiences to have as a human being.  In order to understand how a society operates, one must fully understand themselves as a human.  It is then, and only then, that you will understand what role public relations has in our social culture.

2017 Emmy Awards!


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Afternoon folks!  Another weekend flew by in the middle of September with Autumn starting in just FOUR days.  I certainly enjoyed munching on game day appetizers while watching the Pats kick ass yesterday (36-20 baby!).  Other than watching my favorite football team, I also checked out the 69th Prime-time Emmy Awards.

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Ah yes, the Primetime Emmy Awards – a glitzy and glamorous night celebrating the very best in television.  It’s the one night where all the trending series battle it out for the Emmy Award.  27 categories were featured in last night’s event, with awards ranging from outstanding writing to outstanding lead actor.

Here were some of the major winners of the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards:

The Handmaid’s Tale

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Image result for 69th primetime emmy awards Elisabeth Moss

Racking up five Emmy wins was Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale.  Elizabeth Moss (Peggy Olson in Mad Men!) won for lead actress in a drama series while Ann Dowd won for supporting actress for her role as Aunt Lydia.  Not only did The Handmaid’s Tale win awards for outstanding writing and directing for a drama series, but it also won for overall drama series as well.  It’s interesting to note that The Handmaid’s Tale was on Hulu, a popular streaming service among television viewers.  Hulu is one of few streaming services that is slowly dominating the list of Emmy nominations.

Big Little Lies

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Another major winner was HBO’s Big Little Lies.  The limited series dominated their competition with five Emmy wins (even beating Feud: Betty and Joan, which racked up ten Emmy nominations!).  Nicole Kidman and Laura Dern took home awards for their roles as well as Alexander Skarsgård for lead actor.  HBO’s newest show even took home the award for outstanding limited series.  Even as streaming services like Netflix continue to climb up the ladder, HBO continues to be the most dominating network to win the most awards.

Feud: Betty and Joan

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Even though Feud: Betty and Joan didn’t take home any awards this year, it’s interesting to point out that the limited series received ten nominations.  FX series did take home Emmys in the past (for American Horror Story and American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson), but they were up against some heavy hitters up there.  Hopefully Ryan Murphy’s next series will stand out more towards its competition for the next award show.

Black Mirror: San Junipero

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Going back to the subject of streaming services, Netflix snagged some Emmys as well.  The fourth episode of Black Mirror titled ‘San Junipero’ won two awards – outstanding writing for a limited series and outstanding television movie.  As dark as Black Mirror can be, ‘San Junipero’ was one of the more optimistic episodes that featured a beautiful love story between Yorkie and Kelly.  It was one of the most praised episodes of the season and now it took home Emmy awards.  This is just another instance where streaming services (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu) are dominating the list.

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That’s the highlight for some of the biggest winners/nominations for the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards.  Netflix and Hulu are gaining more recognition for their popular series, yet primetime networks like HBO continue to dominate the competition.  We’ll definitely have to keep watch of what surprises the streaming services have in store for us next year.

Who knows, Netflix and Hulu could become the dominating TV networks in the future!

Cannabis Strain Cheat Sheet


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If you’ve been consuming a lot of cannabis, you would notice that each new strain contains a different flavor and smell within the product.  Some flowers give off a pungent aroma while others taste similar to a grapefruit.  You’ve probably had a joint containing Lemon Skunk and noticed the jolts of energy rushing up and down your body.  With more strains being discovered every year, new flowers are popping up in dispensaries for customers to try out.

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This is actually not a coincidence – some cannabis strains actually DO smell/taste like a grapefruit.  With that being the case, does this affect cannabis’s usability as a healing product?  If yes, then how so?  Is there a simpler way to browse through over hundreds of cannabis strains to choose from?

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To start off this interesting point, I’d like to say this right now – this post will NOT get complicated!  You don’t have to become a world-class cannabis connoisseur to understand the workings of terpenes within cannabis.  This is will be getting down to the basics, not be a lesson in Advanced Cannabis Chemistry III.

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Back to the questions — these myriads of flavors definitely affect cannabis’s usability.  Each strain’s effect will be based on its terpene content.  Remember my post back in April when we took a tour of the terpenes found within cannabis?  If you haven’t, then you’ll probably want to start the journey here.

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Various terpenes (Caryophyllene, Limonene, Linalool) contain differentiated effects.  Limonene provides a mood-elevating effect while Myrcene has a sedating effect that will have you glued to the couch.  Not only are these terpenes featured within cannabis strains, but they are also found in other edible items.

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Here’s a perfect example of terpene flavors overlapping among various edibles.  Let’s suppose we have an orange in the morning.  We either drink orange juice or eat an orange with our meal.  Consuming oranges has a lot of amazing health benefits, with one of them being that it gives us lots of energy in the morning.  Ever wonder why soccer moms/dads packed oranges for the team each game?  Eating those orange slices is PERFECT for that jolt to start running around the soccer field.

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Now let’s move on to our strain of California Orange.  California Orange is a 50/50 indica/sativa hybrid strain that produces a sweet citrus aroma.  Consuming some California Orange will produce an upbeat, clear-headed effect that will leave you energized for the day.  It’s the citrus, orange aroma from the terpene profile that will induce the energizing effects of the California Orange.  Other than loading your body up with some THC, you’re also ingesting some healthy terpenes that come with amazing benefits.

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Just like the orange juice you have in the morning, California Orange will produce the same energizing effects.  The same goes for other strains and their various terpenes.  Vanilla Kush has some sedating effects because of its vanilla-like taste.

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If you’re ever confused about what cannabis strain is right for you, then think about what edible items produce similar effects.  Drinking coffee will keep you going and focused, so a strain with a coffee flavor would be right for you (like Chocolate Thai or LA Chocolat!).  Most berries will leave you relaxed, so consuming Blueberry Kush or Grape OX would be good for the night.  Your search for the right cannabis strain is based on the right terpene profile that is in other edible items (see how simple this can be?).

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So that’s the ‘cheat sheet’ of discovering the right cannabis strains for you.  Lemon-scented strains will keep you energized while scents of grape will leave you glued to the couch for a while.  Just remember what terpenes are good for a certain situation and you are just one step closer to finding the right cannabis for you.

That’s all for today.  Hope you enjoyed this simplified process of discovering the right cannabis strains!

Nipton’s Green Rush!


 

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Deep near the border of Las Vegas lies Nipton, a small town in San Bernardino County.  This California desert town sits within 120 acres of land featuring a general store, hotel, and school house.  It’s one of those ghost towns within the Mojave Desert area with a small population (even smaller than Ipswich!).  Even in this 21st century, we still have ghost towns lying around the wild wild west.

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Instead of dribbling on about the picturesque landscape of Nipton, this PR topic is on the golden opportunity that lies within desert towns (pay close attention to the term ‘golden opportunity’ throughout this story!).  Since these towns have a very low population rate, tourism is the key strategy for keeping these unique towns going.  There are still customers that would enjoy taking a trip to deserted towns to get away for a while.  Deserted towns have that nostalgic western feel, taking people back to simpler times.

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But with a ghost town like Nipton competing with big-time cities like Los Angeles or San Francisco, tourism competition can be heated around California.  And with many more Americans taking less vacations these days, the strategies to attract tourists become much more complex.  Businesses are testing out new tricks to attract the new and younger tourists (i.e. unique hotel bars with assorted craft beers, food tours, and even flavored water!).  Nipton is revolutionizing their tourism strategy by changing from being a ghost town to being a pot town.

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It’s official, folks – this California ghost town is going to pot…LITERALLY!  Cannabis-focused technology and growing firm American Green Inc. purchased the town for about $5 million.  The new strategy is to transform Nipton into what will be known as, “an energy-independent, cannabis-friendly hospitality destination”.

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Other than going to pot (again, LITERALLY!), Nipton will also be producing bottled water infused with cannabis.  These cannabis-infused water bottles will come from Nipton’s aquifer.  Looks as though the water is springing back up into this desert town!

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Think about this for a moment – a small deserted ghost town that found this golden opportunity to flourish their tourism business.  Not only that, but there will be a river of cannabis-infused water floating around the desert.  ‘Golden opportunity’, water appearing around the desert creating an oasis…history, my friends, is repeating itself!

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California was a huge gold town during the 19th century and Nipton was one of the popular destinations.  Pioneers traveled thousands of miles to the new lands in search for the gold.  It wasn’t so much ‘the’ gold they were looking to collect, but rather the idea concept of gold itself.

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Christopher Columbus once said that someone who had gold were in possession of something with such great value of earth.  People sought after the amazing value the gold had to offer.  This amazing value would help souls reach this paradise they yearn for.  Paradise is reflected not within the piece of gold itself, but the value gold would bring to the individual.  The mere idea of discovering gold would strike a sense of shock, adventure, excitement and even opportunity (a GOLDEN opportunity would be more like it!).

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Image result for Golden Cannabis

How does this philosophical concept of gold apply to this PR case?  Cannabis itself presents great value on this earth.  It is the number one booming cash crop in the country, with people planting their own seeds to grow strains of their own.  With cannabis becoming much more popular within the social norms, the demands for cannabis start increasing.  The ever-increasing demand presents a myriad of opportunities for the communities.  Ghost towns like Nipton, California see cannabis as this ‘green gold’ that would cause tourists to come rushing in (hence the term ‘Green Gold Rush’).  In a sense, the ‘ghost’ you’ll be hearing about in this ghost town is the shipment of Ghost Train Haze being sold!

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Image result for California Cannabis

We are presented with an intriguing, yet nostalgic strategy happening in California.  Legalizing recreational cannabis means the green gold has finally been unlocked and people are rushing to collect from the treasure chest.  This green gold provides many opportunities for the industry itself and the people who help it grow.  Some opportunities include increased profits, buzzing publicity, an ever-growing community of cannabis users; but the most important opportunity of all is the discovery of a new way of living.  It’s these golden opportunities that make the West so amazing.

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With that in mind, we continue to be in the midst of the 21st century green rush happening in the western region.  The cannabis community continues to spread and new opportunities arise on the horizon.  Pioneers from the 19th century aren’t so different from the pioneers heading out west these days.  Both groups set out west in search for gold, a new home, friends, family;  but most importantly, these pioneers went forth to search for their new lives.