Exiting 2008

December 31, 2008

It’s New Years Eve and it is snowing like crazy here in Rhode Island.  2008 has been filled with amusing and depressing and hopeful and downright ridiculous events and I can see no better way to end the year than with a Rick Astley Flow Chart.

normal_astleyflowchartThis concludes our 2008 blog posts.  We’ll see you all next year!

Here’s to an excellent 2009.

Posted by: Ashley / ashleyatcaster on Twitter

Journalists on PR: Tips for Working with the CE Press

December 30, 2008

My friend and former colleague Grant Clauser, editorial director of North American Publishing Company‘s Consumer Technology Publishing Group (E-Gear, Dealerscope, CustomRetailer, PictureBusiness and more), sent me the following in advance of our upcoming Journalists on PR interview, which we’ll post in January.

Says Grant, “Earlier this year, I was helping a friend who teaches a class in PR by doing a survey of other editors on how PR can better work with them… [T]he answers come from about 20 people and sometimes contradict each other.”

While the respondents all hail from the CE (consumer electronics) press, the results are great reading for any PR professional, as most if not all of what the respondents have to say is largely universal. As you read through, sometimes the contradictions that emerge will make your head spin… but keep in mind that these raw, unfiltered statements provide invaluable insight into how journalists think, and about what they want and don’t want from PR people. (And, of course, like snowflakes, no two journalists are exactly alike.)

Read the rest of this entry »

2009: The Year of the Great Audio Comeback

December 29, 2008
Earbuds are OK for when I am on the go but I need my Paradigm speakers are what really keep me running as the Alpha Male.

Earbuds are OK for when I am on the go but my Paradigm speakers are what really keep me running as the Alpha Male.

I may not be in the ranks of Miss Cleo or that Three’s Company chick with the edible nipple from the movie Mallrats but I can certainly make a prediction when it will benefit a client and that’s why I am dubbing 2009 as The Year of the Great Audio Comeback. TV’s provide only a percentage of the home entertainment experience yet audio is utilizied in virtually all forms of entertainment whether it’s music, movie soundtracks, gaming, entertaining guests or even as background during a suburban freestyle rap battle with some of the neighbors. 

Cleary John Guilfoil, contributor to the Boston Globe and also editor of Blast Magazine is drinking the audio Kool-aid as he  dubbed his December 2008 edition of Blast Magazine  “The Audio Issue.” Additionally, a column he wrote comparing five different home theater surround sound systems ran (Have a Blast in Your Living Room – 12/28/08) in this Sunday’s Boston Globe with Paradigm’s Esprit system taking the top spot for performance.

The esteemed Mr. Guilfoil portends, “We blasted the Paradigm Studio Esprit reference speakers (two front and one center speaker) paired with Paradigm’s ADP-590 surround speakers and their Seismic 10 subwoofer…It’s the best-sounding system on the list. The front, center, and rear speakers combine to create a realistic surround sound experience, and the subwoofer not only shakes a room but adds deep definition to the package.”

Mr. Guilfoil cleary has the golden ear necessary for defining quality audio

I have only begun to make my case for the year of the Great Audio Comeback so stay tuned and you’ll be buying speakers in no time.

Posted by: Nick

It’s the little things that build relationships…

December 26, 2008

One of the things I love most about PR is relationship developing. Rarely do I refer to a friend in the industry as a “client” or “co-worker” and never outside of an industry event. When in street clothes, we are friends, right? After 5 is after 5; a fantastic time to get to know clients and partners without pretense or objective.

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to meet up with a (industry) friend from Playback Magazine on the Green Mountain slopes of Vermont (some golf, we ski). A great opportunity to share the powder-day and build a better relationship. After a few runs (don’t worry, I passed the “girl” test with flying colors), the group headed to a peak where we encountered the Poma – the “pogo stick of ski lifts”. Had I known the nickname, I may not have attempted.

The “poma” is “…unlike any other lift that you will see on a ski hill. Poma lifts derive their name from the main manufacturer of them, Pomagalski. A Poma lift is essentially a pole with a seat suspended from a set of springs that connect it to a high-level moving cable. The springs in the arrangement give the impression of a pogo stick and hence the nickname…”

I was tentative – we are “friends”, but are we friends?

Here’s a video similar to my 1st attempt on the pogo stick of the hills… add to this video about 50 meters of dragging while a lift operator chases me yelling “LET GOOOOOO….”. It’s the little things… Ouch.

Well, I can officially report that we are FRIENDS because he has yet (to my knowlege) to share this incident with anyone. I can also officially report that I will be investing in golf lessons and sticking to trade show dinners for networking.

Posted by: katie | find me on twitter

Happy Stress-Free Sleep-Filled Holiday Week

December 25, 2008

Caster wishes everyone out there a delightful, stress-free, calorie laden, sleep-filled holiday week.


My week will be filled with children hyped on sugar, grandparents, excitement, toys and for me, wine…lots of wine. Happy Holidays everyone, thanks for another great year.

posted by: KDL | visit me on Twitter: newscaster

SELFLESSNESS: The Life You Impact Could be Your Own

December 24, 2008

The holidays are hectic, I know this and every year I get stressed. I rush through everything and then look back on Christmas night and think wow, it’s over and there are only so many left. My kids are little, 2 and 5, and their years of believing are short. I look at how the Internet has taken the mystery out of Santa and the imagination bursts so early. This is why we tryto make the holiday about more than Santa, but about building memories and sharing what we have that others may not.

As you settle into your holiday this week, whether its Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa; look at bringing Holiday to someone who needs it. A neighbor who is struggling with their heating bills or the ice in their driveway; kids who need coats and hats; or people who need food and someone to serve it to them.

Caster ran a holiday food drive the month of December, it was Ashley’s idea and it was a god one. It inspired me to do something as well. Every day all month I donated a Christmas dinner to a family. It cost me $7.95. It included their turkey and trimmings and as of right now I know I fed 25 families of four (I started on Nov 30). It’s not a lot, I didn’t save the world but my children and I did something. I explained to them that we are fortunate for everything we have and not everyone has the same opportunities in life, and it is good to help people when you are fortunate enough to be able to.

Right now there are millions of children starving; kids who won’t have gifts on Christmas Day or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa; kids who won’t have a bed to sleep in or heat to keep them warm. Look to your community to help today. Stop. Take 15 minutes and run by a local shelter and drop off a bag of food, a $20 or a coat. Bring your child and tell them we can all make a difference if we just slow down long enough to look around.

This uplifting post was brought to you by KDL. Follow my brighter commentaries on Twitter: newscaster

A Dose of Dilbert on a Freezing Tuesday

December 23, 2008

Anyone who needs to buy a last-second gift for a professional that will bring joy 365 days a year (or at least a snicker a day), should definitely consider a Dilbert flip calendar. My boy Scott Adams (total stranger) captures the office culture as well or better than any blog or British sitcom ripoff and it’s truly a treat to share a few minutes each morning with the Elbonians, his pointy-haired boss and of course Dogbert and Catbert.

Pick one up at Amazon.com or find one at the mall.

In honor of CES 2009 product launches and the our toilet bowl economy (and because I am running low on original thoughts), here is the comic from this past Saturday.