Two-Way Street

PR, social media, events and incentives – Collaboration & communication ideas for demanding businesses from The Castle Group's Mark O'Toole

Archive for the ‘Castle News’ Category

Online Travel Industry Innovations & Search Marketing

Posted by thecastlegroup on January 6, 2010

Attending Online Travel Industry Innovations & Search Marketing on Jan. 12?

Fewer than 20 seats remain.

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Boston Rising CEO search

Posted by thecastlegroup on December 17, 2009

Our client Boston Rising is searching for a new CEO.

Boston Rising is a start-up fund and grantmaking organization focused on fighting poverty in Boston.

Inspired by the Robin Hood Foundation, the Harlem Children’s Zone, and new approaches to empowering individuals and communities to chart their own paths out of poverty, Boston Rising will invest in the most innovative and effective strategies to break the cycle of poverty in Boston while engaging the next generation of philanthropists in the issues of economic inequality and urban poverty.
The Eos Foundation team is incubating Boston Rising along with a distinguished and committed group of business and civic leaders who comprise the Boston Rising Advisory Committee. In addition, Boston Rising benefits from the guidance of five national experts who, as Eos Fellows, are working closely to shape the initiative.

Boston Rising is seeking an entrepreneurial and passionate leader to serve as its first Chief Executive Officer. This exceptional CEO will lead all aspects of Boston Rising from its current start-up state to achieving its vision of an organization that will transform the fight on poverty across the city of Boston and serve as a national model. Please visit their Opportunities page to learn more.

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Five Questions

Posted by thecastlegroup on December 16, 2009

We are going to start a new section of the blog in 2010 called Five Questions. The premise is simple — ask five questions around the topics of communications, branding, PR, events, social and digital media of a variety of professionals. We may talk to clients, partners, media — even strangers.

Who would you like to hear from? Let us know and we’ll add them to our list for Five Questions.

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United Educators Partners with Castle for Education Industry Crisis Communications

Posted by thecastlegroup on December 16, 2009

The Castle Group has partnered with United Educators (UE), the leading provider of risk management and liability insurance to educational institutions, to provide crisis communications coverage to eligible UE members. We are a pre-approved crisis communications service provider for UE’s member schools, colleges and universities that may require specialized planning and communications services for a covered crisis event.

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Special Boston Business Journal offer today only

Posted by thecastlegroup on December 9, 2009

We like the BBJ. Annually they offer a one-day special offer to drive subscriptions for the coming year. Well, that’s today, so contact Sean Ryan if you’re interested. Contact information and details are below.

The Boston Business Journal is offering a one-time subscription discount.  Regular subscription price in 2010 for one year will be $119 but as a way to say “thank you” to the business community, they’ve lowered the rate to $79, a $40 savings. This includes 52 issues of the BBJ delivered to your home or office, full online access to the digital edition, all archived issues and the 2010 Book of Lists. The Book of Lists will retail for $70 this year alone.

To take advantage of this offer you must subscribe on Wednesday, December 8th. 

Call Sean Ryan at 617-316-3207 or send an e-mail to 

If you place an order online, the discount will not apply.

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Calculating Success

Posted by thecastlegroup on November 18, 2009

In anticipation of increased hiring and an improving economy, we asked Patricia Fox of Pat Fox Consulting to share her expertise on assessing and predicting employee success. Enjoy.


When hiring team members, most people look for the obvious attributes: experience, domain knowledge and track record. What are often overlooked in the hiring process are three attributes that are just as crucial in predicting the success of an individual or team. The good news is that there is an assessment tool available that can measure and predict the impact that individual behaviors and values will have on performance, culture and motivation.

  1. Behavioral strengths and blind spots: Understanding these elements is critical, particularly in regard to how they relate to the business goals and objectives. For example, the person you expect to do inside sales may have a profile that is better suited for customer service and is not so adept at closing a deal. Knowing blind spots as well as strengths equips you to leverage the team to offset weaknesses and also opens up opportunities for training and mentoring.
  2. Ambitions or values: An individual’s ambitions or values play a key role in performance and motivation. Understanding key values makes it easier to predict things like sales aptitude, leadership tendencies, attention to detail and management style. You can improve motivation and increase job satisfaction when compensation structures, bonuses and rewards are in alignment with fundamental values. We usually assume that most individuals are motivated by a cash bonus. However, highly altruistic individuals may be more motivated by matching a charitable contribution or sponsoring an employee volunteer program. Someone who is more theoretical may prefer a company-sponsored class or course. 
  3. Cultural fit: The collective values and behaviors of the leadership teams have a direct effect on the culture and performance of an organization. Have you ever hired a team member who is a proven top performer only to have it turn out to be a bad fit for them and the company? When you can measure and align potential new hires with corporate values and behaviors, it’s easier to predict who will thrive within the organization.

Hiring the right person for a job is always a challenge. However, having insight to critical and quantifiable key human values will enable you to hire star performers who can make significant contributions to the success of their team and the overall organization.  
If you’d like to see how your behaviors and values impact your team and career you are invited to take a complementary assessment.

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Caring for your elders seminar

Posted by thecastlegroup on September 18, 2009

Please join Castle client Andrea Cohen, co-founder and president of HouseWorks, at a special Women’s Network Executive Roundtable hosted by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce in October. She will present an informative session on “Caring for your elders: making it easier, managing your professional time and worrying less.” The roundtable will take place on October 20 from 7:45-9:00 a.m. at Metro Meeting Centers. For more information and to register, click here.

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Welcome Plum Voice

Posted by thecastlegroup on July 24, 2009

We are excited to work with new client Plum Voice. Plum Voice just launched Plum Survey, the first tool that allows users to create one survey and deploy it over both the Internet and the telephone. Plum Survey also provides users with real-time analytic tools and graphics to help navigate responses to identify hidden trends, patterns and behaviors. 

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March of Dimes walk

Posted by thecastlegroup on June 1, 2009

Thanks again to the Castle team that participated in the recent March of Dimes walk.

Please feel free to contribute here:

march of dimes team

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Global business needs global PR

Posted by thecastlegroup on May 28, 2009

PRGN, our international network of outstanding independent PR firms just got a little bigger (see below). Our network now has 43 members around the world, which is beginning to feel more and more like an international virtual firm, as the number of queries, information requests, new business opportunities and suggestions increases every day.

In the last 24 hours, I have been in contact with members from Singapore, Poland, Spain, Atlanta, San Francisco, South Africa, Ireland and India. Last month, the group’s agency principals met in Sao Paolo, in November we convene in NYC, and next spring it’s Brussels. I never did a semester abroad when I was in college, but I feel like I am making up for that now.  

Every day I learn about not just what is happening in PR in other vital cities, but about how those cities are being affected by the global economy, digital and social media, sporting events, weather and even the swine flu. This insight is helpful to my clients and to my staff, and is a daily reminder of how things are both different and the same in other cultures.  

If we accept that PR is about reaching audiences, there is no better eye-opener than hearing about how different methods and approaches work in different cultures. The European members tend to be more collaborative, as different countries obviously have their own languages and cultures to contend with; in the US there is less client collaboration, as the agencies don’t typically have those barriers when representing national clients. Although it is fun to work collectively on clients that have local market needs, we learn that what works in Atlanta might not work in Boston, and vice versa. I admit I’m slightly jealous that in London it is still acceptable for journalists and PR people to discuss their pitches over drinks. 


Joining the ranks of PRGN are:

CooperKatz & Company (New York)

Ground Floor Media (Denver)

The Harrell Group (Dallas)

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