Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Emerson Responds to Water Break

In reflection of the whole Boston water break these past couple of days, I was looking at how Emerson responded in terms of crisis communication. I think they responded very well. Sunday morning I woke up to an e-mail from Emerson about the issue and what they were doing to make it easier for students living on campus. They had clean, boiled water in the dining halls until a certain time at night that students go get to. They had bottles of water being delivered to the school, they were not serving anything in the dining hall that first needed to be cleaned by water and they were informing students of what they needed to do: how long they needed to boil water for before using it. I even woke up this morning with an e-mail from Emerson informing me that the boil water order had been lifted. I heard this from Emerson before even reading the paper, I didn't even see it in the paper until this afternoon. Therefore I think in terms of crisis communication, a college responding to a city crisis and communicating information to it's students, Emerson responded really well.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Red Line Fire

On Thursday night, the MBTA had to shut down service on the Red Line due to old wiring near the Downtown Crossing station. According to reports, a few feet away from the station platform, a fire started when 30-year-old wiring sparked a blaze. Smoke spread from Park Street all the way to the Boylston T-stop (where I happened to be standing)!

Fortunately, the T was up and running again by 5 a.m. on Friday. However, the quick fix of capping the damaged wires will only be efficient for so long. This blaze comes at a time where MBTA officials are already in a financial bind. The Boston Globe spoke with Bryan Kane, the financial analyst for the MBTA. He stated that the MBTA does not have enough funds at this moment to ensure that more problems do not happen in the future. Clearly, Downtown Crossing is not the only concern for the transportation system, but it is just one more thing that they want to fix but simply cannot fund.

As far as the public that uses the T, we are in a 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' situation. Many of us do not want to be one of the 19 sent to the hospital for smoke inhalation on Thursday night. However, many of us do not have a car in this city, either. We worry about using the trains in situations like these, but we simply do not have another choice. Here's hoping Massachusetts and the MBTA figure out a way to fund these problems soon. I, for one, would prefer a safer, more reliable public transportation system.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tea Party-Poopers

Fortunately, for Sarah Palin, she had some followers at her rally a few weeks back. Her staunch supports were there with their signs protesting Health Care, tax increases, and well--most of Obama's agenda.

Unfortunately, for her, the press already asked her supporters how of a Tea Party was expected on April 14. One advocate for Boston's 'Tea Party' rally estimated possibly 20,000 Palin supporters on that date. However, the 'underwhelming' party-of-sorts only managed about 5,000 party-goers (State House News). Those who attended still talked of the event as being a successful one. Palin was quoted clinging to her "constitution, guns, and religion," telling Obama to "keep his change.'

Though the Tea Party may not have looked successful to Democrats, it may have looked successful for Palin in lieu of a possible presidential bid. If Palin does indeed plan to run for office in 2012, she'll have plenty of those party-poopers--er, I mean, party-goers to cast their aggreeable votes when the calendar hits 11/2012.

3rd Annual Record Store Day = Best Day Ever

Last week, record store across the country celebrated the third annual 'Record Store Day,' and event that celebrates music on specifically vinyl records.

Well after the amount of relative tame media buzz, the day actually helped generate enough sales to make it the best sales day in Record Store Day history! And that isn't all. Not only did the day itself set records, but it helped set private record store records for many stores involved with the event. If the economy is back, the indie scene is bringing it back with an edge.

This day should be a wake-up call for many marketers and promoters. The frequently-tapped 'indie' scene has been good for many things. The latest great song for a car commercial, the best new movie, the coolest new 'do. However, with sales for these record stores soaring due to just one event, it is clear that more PR and marketing firms should take a stab at being part of the latest and greatest in 'cool, new indie trends.'

Sandra's Kept Her Secret

...that is, until now.

Announcements were made yesterday that Sandra Bullock and almost-ex-hubby Jesse James secretly filed for of an adoption four years ago. Their baby, 3 month old Louis, was actually brought into their home in January. Bullock had wanted to keep talk of the baby hush-hush until after the Oscars.

Unfortunately, we all know what news broke after the Oscars. Therefore, until now, the baby has been kept a secret by the Bullock camp's close friends and family. In light of Jesse James' already bruised ego, this news does not help him out one bit.

Bullock is a seasoned professional in the Hollywood scene, however. With all of the controversy about James and his mistress, she seems to have kept it cool in the baby arena. Yes, she is (and her PR team are) positioning Bullock to be the loving-mother-done-wrong. In this case, it looks as though she may have quelled the storm of controversy after all. Or at least until more unknown reports surface about her husband. Which, honestly, will not be very surprising.

Obesity Gene Can Lead to More Problems

A specific type of obesity gene has been found to also reduce brain volume and increase the risk of Alzheimer's. This gene has been found to be carried by one-third of Americans. The gene has been dubbed the FTO gene, or the fat mass and obesity gene. Those that possess this gene also may have brain defects that make them more likely to develop Alzheimer's. When taking a look at the numbers, they are startling. They are especially unsettling when taking into consideration another disease highly linked with obesity: diabetes.

Diabetes is already affecting numerous amounts of Americans, both young and young-at-heart. Massachusetts has taken great strides in creating healthier food programs in schools where it can. However, the rest of the nation needs to follow suit. Though the economy is tough, we need to figure out a way to replace Twinkies with apples and Sprite with skim milk. It needs to start from the bottom up: elementary schools and other educational institutions and then we can focus on the workplace. Obesity is a growing health concern for our nation and I'm glad that Michelle Obama has taken this issue under her wing.

Death of an Icon

News reports swirled today with news that Alexander McQueen was high on cocaine when he committed suicide just months ago. On February 11, McQueen was found by his housekeeper at his home in London. The fashion icon had hung himself after taking a "cocktail of cocaine, sleeping pills, and tranquilizers."

Having attempted suicide in the past, it is evident that McQueen had a history of inflicting self-harm. The designer had been close to his mother who recently passed away. And, sources believe, this was the final straw for McQueen. After his mother's passing he was fraught with grief and sadness. His mother was one of his closest friends and inspirations and he could not bear the thought of being without her.

The news of McQueen's harm to himself comes as an unfortunate and many time unwarranted stereotype for those in the fashion world. Because of McQueen are we to believe that other fashion icons, designers and models do not partake in this kind of behavior? What is it about the fashion industry that would drive a man to do something like this? If he spent his life creating 'beauty' and beautiful clothing, what is to be said about his not-so-beautiful private life? The fashion industry may have much more explaining to do in the future.