Tag Archives: Public Relations

Summer Reading #1 – Angels in America


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One of my goals this summer is to read more books (at least 5-10 in total).  Days are getting much longer, which means I get extra time to spend outdoors.  With all of these new books I got over the past few months, I figured it’s the perfect time to do some summer reading.  It is also a good time to discuss my summer reading titles for the blog.

First up on the summer reading list involves a timeless play that takess place during the 1980s AIDS crisis when the disease was rampant all across the country.  During these rough times, many gay characters turned on each other due to various personal conflicts among each other.  This is the story of Angels in America.

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Angels in America is a two-part gay fantasia series written by Tony Kushner.  Roy Cohn is a successful New York lawyer and power broker.  He is a deeply closeted gay man who has AIDS.  Through his political connections, he is able to score some supply of an experimental drug called AZT.  Alone in a hospital, he is constantly judged by his night nurse Belize (friend of Prior’s and former drag queen) and the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg.

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In the meantime, Joseph Pitt is a closeted gay Mormon and republic who is offered a job in Washington D.C. by Roy Cohn.  Joe hesitates about accepting the job due to his agoraphobic wife Harper who refuses to move.  Harper starts suspecting that Joe does not love her as she loves him.  It is then that Joe confesses to her that he is gay.

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After his confession, Joe hooks up with Louis Ironson.  Louis’s boyfriend, Prior Walters, contracted AIDS.  While Prior’s illness progresses, Louis moves out and abandons Prior altogether.  Prior is then visited by a pair of ghosts who claim to be his own ancestors and hears this angelic voice informing him to prepare for her arrival.

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The first part of Angels in America is titled ‘Millennium Approaches’ and premiered in May 1991; meanwhile, the second part ‘Perestroika’ premiered in November 1992.  These two parts happen in a span of almost five years.  It’s a metaphorical and symbolical examination of AIDS and homosexuality in America during the 1980s.  Many characters are supernatural beings (such as angels) while others become deceased persons (who are the ghosts).

Image result for Angels in America HBO

Image result for Angels in America HBO

Years after the play was released, Angels in America was made into an HBO series back in December 7th 2003.  The miniseries starred Al Pacino as Roy Cohn with supporting actors including Meryl Streep, Patrick Wilson, Mary-Louise Parker, Emma Thompson, Justin Kirk, Jeffrey Wright, and others.  There are six episodes that span within a total of 352 minutes.  It makes for a great miniseries that stems from the play.

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Overall, I really enjoyed reading Angels in America.  It was definitely intense to read and I really connected with the characters throughout.  I really enjoyed the symbolism and metaphors surrounding the whole AIDS crisis.  There were times where the story line had some bizarre scenes in the mix, but I understood what was happening either way.

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This play was a great start to my summer reading list.  There were AIDS, homosexuality, heartbreaks, new friendships, and even betrayal all rolled up into one incredible story.  You should definitely pick up Angels in America this summer if you want a riveting tale that involves one of the most notorious health PR nightmares in American history.

Check out Angels in America this summer.

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Domino’s Paving For Pizza


Some companies may modify their brands in order to keep up with the current times while other create a nation-wide campaign.  Creating a campaign for your brand helps to bring it more to life.  That campaign will do wonders for the story you are trying to present to your audience.  People always love a good story to hear, so its important to write up a great one to tell.

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Earlier this week, IHOP unveiled their PR stunt with International House of Burgers.  This PR stunt presented a new story for the IHOP brand with some tasty burgers on the menu.  Meanwhile, Dominoes initiated an interesting campaign for their brand.  Domino’s newest brand campaign involves the work of…filling potholes?

Image result for Domino's Paving for Pizza

Image result for Domino's Paving for Pizza

That’s right folks – Domino’s Pizza is paving potholes all across the country.  It’s all under Domino’s newest ‘Paving for Pizza’ campaign that initiated on Monday.  The campaign allows customers to nominate their town for pothole repairs.

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Customers can nominate their town by entering pavingforpizza.com and entering their ZIP code.  If your town gets picked, then you will be notified about your city receiving extra funding to fix the potholes.  While you won’t see the Domino’s branded trucks coming by to do the work, your town will get some much needed essential resources.  So far four towns were provided with the funding which include Bartonville, Texas, Milford, Delaware, Athens, Georgia, and Burbank, California.

Image result for Domino's Paving for Pizza

Image result for Domino's Paving for Pizza

The gist of Domino’s PR campaign is so that pizzas can safely make it from their locations to their destinations.  As simple as this idea seems, it also makes for a great strategy to advertise their carryout service.  By scoping in on one downfall about delivery service (with this case, it’s the potholes!), Domino’s seized this opportunity to highlight the option of carrying it out with you.  So not only did Domino’s create a brilliant campaign, but they also showcased their carryout option during the process.

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This says a lot about American businesses when a pizza company is offering road repairs for certain towns.  It’s a bizarre look into how our society is run.  Politicians usually deal with things like fixing up potholes, yet a popular pizza chain like Domino’s is easily providing the funding necessary to do just that.  Who knew that a pizza chain would be fixing up potholes all across this nation.

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Nevertheless, Domino’s brilliant PR campaign already has a huge following on the internet.  Many customers are taking to the site to have their roads paved, all in the name of pizza.  Your pizza will be saved, but your roads will be improved as well.

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This is the kind of campaign we need here in America.  Businesses like Domino’s are solving some the country’s major annoyances, one day at a time.  They may not be catastrophic problems, but they still need to be fixed in the long run.

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Time to start being like Domino’s and pave for pizza.

IHOB: International House of Burgers


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Brands are being modified every year with unique changes.  Sometimes they merge with other companies or other times they alter their name to introduce something eye-catching for their audience.  Companies must adapt to the ever-changing landscape every year if they want to stay ahead of their competition.  In some cases, these changes revolutionize the brand in an entirely new way; but in other cases, the change falls flat and ends up becoming a PR nightmare for months to come.

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One prime example that happened recently involves the famous breakfast chain restaurant IHOP (International House of Pancakes).  IHOP underwent a major brand change in the past week, changing their iconic brand name to IHOB.  What’s the new name change, you might ask?  International House of Pancakes is being flipped to become… International House of Burgers.

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Image result for IHOP IHOB Tweet

Image result for IHOP IHOB Tweet

IHOP is temporarily changing its brand name to International House of Burgers.  A tweet was released yesterday to reveal the answer to the question that was on every fan’s mind.  Many fans speculated that the ‘b’ would stand for ‘bacon’ or ‘breakfast’.  One user joked about how it should stand for ‘International House of Brunch’ so that they would start serving mimosas.

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The idea was a PR stunt to showcase the line of burgers being released for the menu.  Specifically, the IHOB campaign is for the ‘ultimate steak burger’ product.  Not only that, but a burger-themed IHOP will be opening in Los Angeles this year.  While a new IHOB restaurant will be opening, this PR tactic won’t be applied to all 1,700 IHOP locations.

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A major reason for this plan was to capture customers for the day and early evening.  Almost half of the customers enter IHOP during breakfast time than any other time.  There is a typical lunch/dinner menu for IHOP, but most customers come in for breakfast.

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Image result for IHOP

As intriguing as some of the fan’s guesses were, International House of Burgers seemed like a great name idea for the PR tactic.  IHOP was always known for their various pancakes and now they are promoting more burgers on their menu.  The company has been in business for 60 years and it was about time they start shaking things up with a funny name change.

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This right here is a prime example of a company shaking up their brand in an interesting and entertaining way.  IHOP took to social media to create this ‘IHOB’ campaign where users had to guess what the ‘b’ would stand for.  Many users didn’t get the right answer, but they were still impressed with the new roll out happening in the future.  It was an entertaining PR tactic and we even learned about a few releases coming from IHOP.

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If you want to learn about how to revolutionize your brand in unique and entertaining way, look no further than IHOP.  IHOP successfully flipped their branding name all while keeping their audiences in the loop during the process.  All it takes is a fun guessing game and you have thousands of twitter users by storm.

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Whether you are for IHOP or IHOB, one thing is for certain– IHOP flipped many heads through their incredible PR tactic that was launched on their social media.

Cannabis + LGBTQ Pride at The Stud


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Image result for San Francisco Pride

Pride week may be over in Boston, but many other cities are still celebrating or getting their celebrations started as well.  Popular cities like San Francisco don’t have their parade starting until near the end of June.  Being that San Francisco is the heart of many progressive sub-communities, LGBTQ residents get a lot more creative in their pride celebrations.  Celebratory events are about to get a lot more unique now that the recreational cannabis industry is booming around California.

When pride events and recreational cannabis mix together, you create something truly fantastic.  And ironically enough, that is just what is happening here in San Francisco nightclub The Stud.

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June 14th is PUFF – A queer cannabis appreciation/drag pride party.  The event celebrates cannabis consumers within the LGBTQ community.  It’s a combination of a pride event all while celebrating legalized cannabis in San Francisco.

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DJ Sergio Fedasz spins your favorite 420-themed tunes as everyone meets and greets before the show.  After that, DJ Dank hosts a drag show featuring some of the best performers in the city.  There is also a stoner raffle that takes place throughout the event as well.  This event is held every 2nd Thursday from 7-10 PM.  While this event celebrates all things queer and cannabis, there is no cannabis consumption and distribution in or around Stud.

Image result for San Francisco The Stud 1966 Folsom Street

Image result for San Francisco The Stud

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The Stud has been open since 1966 and remains as the heart of San Francisco’s LGBTQ culture.  It was formerly located at the western end of Folsom Street, but eventually moved to the corner of Harrison and Ninth street in 1987.  Some famous icons that have entered the doors include Bjork, RuPaul, Charo, Etta James, and even Lady Gaga.  Fifty years later and the Stud continues to be an iconic bar for pride events.

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Image result for The Stud Puff

Ok folks, I have heard of pride events all around Boston and this right here takes pride to a WHOLE other level.  Think about it – the LGBTQ audiences come together to the Stud to celebrate recreational cannabis use in San Francisco.  You basically have this incredible combination of sub-communities forming together under one legendary bar in one of the most iconic cities of all time.  To date, this is the only cannabis-themed LGBTQ appreciation event anywhere in America (better, yet anywhere in the WORLD!).

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San Francisco continues to push the envelope with their bold pride celebrations every year.  Its things like the Folsom Street Fair and Amsterdam-style cannabis lounges that flourishes the city’s reputation even higher.  Surprisingly enough, it still remains as the top LGBTQ friendly city here in America.

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What we are left is two PR miracles meshed together into one amazing sandwich.  The cannabis industry is in full swing in California and is even helping businesses as well as other industries.  San Francisco was a historic town for both the LGBTQ and cannabis community, so it only makes sense to mix them together in one special occasion.  This is definitely one sandwich that will be easy to swallow for years to come.

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This is the time to celebrate not just LGBTQ pride, but also cannabis pride as well.  Whether you are a trans female who enjoys smoking joints or a gay masculine man who is an avid dabber, every audience of the LGBTQ community should enjoy some cannabis.  Cannabis touches all colors of the psychedelic rainbow.

MA Recreational Dispensaries – 30 DAYS


Well folks, here we are – June 1st, 2018.  A lot of exciting things happening this month.  Summer starts, the school year ends, and pride week starts around the world.  But besides that, it also marks an important milestone for the cannabis industry.

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In exactly one month from now, recreational cannabis dispensaries will open in Massachusetts.  Just thirty days left until the shops open.  You heard me right – THIRTY DAYS LEFT.

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Thirty days until it all goes down.  Recreational cannabis dispensaries will be hitting the streets before you know it.  This is about more than just a few shops able to sell some legal cannabis; its about a whole new business entering society.  We have been grateful enough with the medical cannabis industry, but now we will see the recreational industry enter the spotlight.  A new industry means new businesses and those business will drive in even more diverse audiences.

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So much change will happen within the recreational side.  New businesses, new brands, new products, new services, new audiences, new publicity.  But most importantly, fresh new ideas will be making waves around Massachusetts.  It has been a long while since voting yes on Question 4 back in 2016, but now the people will finally get what they deserve.  We made the PR miracle happen and now its time to reap in the benefits.

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If I were you, I would pay CLOSE attention to what is happening the next few months (especially if you’re in the field of communications!).  These next few months will bring about the most important stories within the recreational cannabis industry.  The buzz will start generating, prompting more audience to become interested in what is happening.

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That is all for now.  More stories will be cranking up for next week.  Who knows where the first dispensaries will be opening around Massachusetts or what kind of future holds for the cannabis industry.  But in just THIRTY DAYS, we will have our questions finally answered.

 

Countdown Till Recreational Cannabis Dispensaries

30 DAYS