Two-Way Street

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

Posts Tagged ‘Boston’

2nd BWP Odd Pairing Experiment

Posted by thecastlegroup on September 22, 2010

Sick of the same old events? Boston World Partnerships, an economic driver that I am proudly part of, is hosting its 2nd Odd Pairing Experiment. The first was a great mix of very different speakers, tons of meaningful attendees and an awesome venue. 

This next one promises the same. Here are details. 

Join Boston World Partnerships’ Connectors for our 2nd Odd Pairing Experiment.  Panelists will lead an interactive discussion on the topic of how organizations tell their stories. 

Damon Jones, Global Communications Director, Procter & Gamble, and former Director of Press Relations for the 2008 Democratic National Committee

Howard Anderson, Distinguished Senior Lecturer of Entrepreneurship at MIT Sloan, Founder of The Yankee Group, and Co-Founder of Battery Ventures

Chris Colbert, Founder of the marketing agency Holland Mark, and sherpa of FutureM

Susan Rodgerson, Founder and Executive/Artistic Director of Artists For Humanity

Peter Brown, Chief of Staff to the President & CEO of Partners Healthcare, Former News Director at WBZ-TV 


Dave McLaughlin, Executive Director of Boston World Partnerships and award-winning filmmaker 

When: Wednesday – October 6, 2010 

Where: Artists for Humanity EpiCenter
100 W 2nd St.
Boston, MA 02127 

Time: Registration: 6:00pm -6:30pm
Speaking Program: 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Networking Reception: 7:30pm – 9:00pm 

Fee: $55 early bird & BWP Connectors
$75 General Admission 

To buy tickets, please visit:

Posted in Castle News, Events & Incentives, fun stuff and more, Marketing, PR, Social Media (or the Digital Divide) | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Influence Matters (or Goodbye WBCN)

Posted by thecastlegroup on August 7, 2009

So we’re six days from one of the most iconic rock radio stations in America closing down. In its place comes a Top 40 station from down the dial.

If you lived in Boston anytime over the last 40 years, you know WBCN. The “Rock of Boston” defined radio in this town, and was a recognized brand across America. In the late 70s and early 80s (my formidable years), the station introduced the Ramones, U2, The Police and other cutting edge bands to the country.

Their hold on the local rock scene was so solid that competing alternative station WFNXused the tagline “New Rock on the Block” to counter BCN’s position in the market.

Its DJs were legendary, its events (the Rock and Roll Rumble) historic, its programming and even its promotions “must hear” radio. During its glory years, you would see (or seek out) BCN personalities around town at dance clubs and bars. The Big Mattress and its April Fool’s Parade was hysterical.

And now it’s going pop music. Don’t get me wrong, I like Top 40 stuff too, but we’re talking WBCN here.

Others can chronicle BCN’s decline (sports programming, getting Howard Stern, losing Howard Stern, satellite radio, HD radio, iPods, Pandora and more).

The real reason WBCN failed is that it stopped innovating. Maybe it just became too hard to make progress in a fragmented market, or maybe the weight of staying on top became too heavy.

BCN is moving its “format” to HD radio. While it will live somewhere, I won’t be able to access it, and even if I did, would I be rewarded with the WBCN that surprised and entertained me for 20 years?

This is a time when a brand moved away from its core offering — breaking new bands and introducing great local music — and found that the competitive landscape had changed so much, it could not recapture its mojo.

Boston is general needs to ramp up its sense of innovation. Does anything feel really groundbreaking out there right now? A new brand, technology, approach? WBCN is a microcosm of this.

With another reason to say goodbye to the 80s, I will respectfully put my memories of WBCN alongside those of the Rat, Metro, Channel, Stompers, Al Halliday and the Hurricanes, Buzzy’s Roast Beef and more.

In high school, a friend who was really into music carried around a box full of cassettes of bands no one had heard of yet: Psychedelic Furs, Smiths, REM, Husker Du. He went on to work for WBCN. Maybe if his music collection had continued to be so prescient, BCN would have survived.

So for Duane Ingalls Glasscock and the rest of 104.1 gang, goodbye WBCN.

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Want to meet Dustin Pedroia?

Posted by thecastlegroup on April 10, 2009

It was a big first quarter at Castle celebrity-wise. We had an opportunity to spend time Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Money and arrange some terrific interviews for him and CEO Asheesh Advani.


And we had a chance locally to work with Salem Five on the launch of their new kid’s literacy and savings program, Gold Star Saver. The spokesperson for the kid’s financial literacy program is Dustin Pedroia of the Boston Red Sox (and reigning American League MVP).


To kick-off the Gold Star Saver program, Salem Five hosted a press conference at their Congress Street branch featuring Dustin. The twist? We arranged to have the press conference run by kids for kids. Jimmy Young of YSA, Young Sportscasters of America, worked with The Castle Group and Salem Five by giving two of his talented students a chance to host the press conference and interview Dustin. Check out the interview here. It was a great success and a lot of fun — for the adults and the kids.


Next week, on April 18, Dustin will be at the grand opening of Salem Five’s Reading, Mass. branch. To support it, there is a Salem Five Gold Star Saver video contest. In an effort to teach kids the importance of financial literacy and responsibility, Salem Five is asking kids throughout Massachusettsto share their best or most creative money saving tip. The winner will receive a $150 deposit into a Salem Five Gold Star Saver bank account and will have a chance to meet Dustin Pedroia at the newest branch in Reading on April 18th. Here’s a link to Salem Five’s YouTube channel with all the rules and eligibility requirements. It’s a great way to get kids thinking about why being accountable for their money is so important.

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