Castle Around the World

In January the Events Team traveled to Orlando, Austin and Houston. This month they will be in Carlsbad, and look forward to programs in San Juan, Maui, and Dallas this spring!

Castle in the Community
Last August, Castle began a partnership with WriteBoston, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the writing skills of high school students. As professional communicators, we understand the impact of polished writing. We're proud to support the next generation of great writers.

WriteBoston's annual fundraiser, the Pros & Conversation Gala is on April 27 at Genzyme Center. The event will include a panel conversation featuring WriteBoston students and bestselling writers Jennifer De Leon, Dick Lehr, Kim McLarin and Robert Pinsky. The proceeds from the gala directly fund WriteBoston's student support and teacher training programs. To purchase tickets, click here.

2017 Pinnacle Awards
The Castle Group table of friends and clients at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce's 2017 Pinnacle Awards

Welcome Alyssa
Welcome intern Alyssa Marceau, a Simmons College junior majoring in public relations and marketing communications. Alyssa is supporting our PR team with client research, media list building and writing.

Sandy Lish and her son Jack were touring colleges earlier this week and made a stop in Philadelphia to visit our PRGN affiliate Buchanan Public RelationsA big thank you to Anne and her team for their wonderful hospitality!

Sandy _ Jack at Buchanan PR

A Bet's a Bet!
In the spirit of friendly competition, our Boston and Atlanta offices set a small wager for Super Bowl LI. The losing team's beloved office pup had to parade around in the winning team's garb for a day. Always a good sport, Lady Hauserman obliged Castle Patriots fans by sporting this lovely Pats t-shirt.

The Scoop on the Snapchat IPO

Earlier this month, Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, officially filed for an IPO with an intended valuation of $25 billion, according to FortuneLast Thursday, Snap updated its IPO filing with a proposed stock price of $14 to $16 per share, bringing down the estimated valuation to somewhere between $19 and $22 billion. This will be a relief for potential investors who were previously concerned about the steep stock prices.

Whether Snap's decreased valuation will stick when trading begins in March remains to be seen. We'll just have to wait and see. To learn more about the Snapchat IPO, visit the Fortune website.


I joined the Boston Business Journal (BBJ) last year after being in Albany, New York. Castle has been amazing to me in terms of helping me connect to the Boston business community. They gave me the inside scoop on everything and have introduced me to so many people. Boston is a huge community to get to know from a business standpoint and they have been a great resource for me and a great friend to the BBJ.

Carolyn Jones, Market President and Publisher of the Boston Business Journal

Welcome New Clients
Castle has been engaged by the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship , which provides expertise, support and connections to MIT students aspiring to become more effective entrepreneurs.

We've also been engaged for crisis communications by the regional body of a Southeastern religious organization that is comprised of more than 850 churches across 12 districts.

Breaking Through the Noise in a Crowded Media Landscape
By Hilary Allard, SVP, Public Relations

From a communications standpoint, this year has started off with a bang. The daily flood of political news has created a never-before-seen demand on media outlets to assign resources to cover it all.

More reporters, editors and time are being shifted to politics. The critical minutes of broadcast news--and column inches of print media--are being devoted to political issues, activism and commentary. And social media feeds are jammed with people sharing it all, including their own perspectives about what's going on in the world. It's exhausting.

So what does this mean for your organization? How can you reach your key audiences in this crowded, noisy environment?

Start by taking a look at the Paid/Earned/Social/Owned (PESO) model--how, where and when you are reaching your audiences.

A few points to consider:
Keep it timely: In a world where "evergreen" pitches may never see the light of day, it's critical to keep media relations efforts as timely as possible. Can experts on your team comment on relevant topics? A healthcare expert who can address potential healthcare reform impacts? Or an immigration law expert who can discuss current policy matters? Reaching out to beat reporters and industry outlets with an expert resource is a good first step toward establishing a relationship with media contacts.
Allocate additional resources to content creation and marketing: In the absence of timely stories to pitch, creating and sharing your own content (either on your company's blog, on LinkedIn or on a platform like Medium) will allow you to share your company's insights and expertise. Here at Castle, we recently launched three new blog series (see below) to engage readers on a variety of topics. The right internal and external resources have to be involved to ensure a steady pipeline of quality content.
Rally the troops: The power of face-to-face communication cannot be denied. Targeted events that engage your employees, prospects, customers or other constituents are a direct path to impart your key messages. Who do you need to talk to? Who haven't you seen in a while? How does your organization communicate most effectively? It may be a simple lunch meeting or a conference with multiple moving parts. A management offsite. Whatever the event, it is important to get the right people in the right room at the right time (keeping them focused on the right topics is another story).
Amplify through social media: Be sure to share your content and coverage through social media. Curate content that's relevant to your messaging. And absolutely support your reach through boosted posts and AdWords campaigns. This will help cut through the clutter. Also consider your social media goals (if you don't have any, you should!). Are you enhancing your brand? Supporting thought leadership? Promoting a product or service? Be mindful of which types of content and messages are best for each channel.

It's noisy out there. Think about quality versus quantity. Combining the best of a broad landscape and a strategic, focused path, is the best way to be heard. 

Client News
Financial Services
Salem Five recognizes that people need more than financial help to make their lives run smoothly. The bank launched its "Uncomplicate Me" series of workshops and promotions last month, offering consumers expert help with cooking, personal style and organization. The first "Uncomplicate Me" event featured a healthy weeknight meals cooking demonstration by "MasterChef" contestant and food blogger Anna Rossi.

Chef Anna Rossi

Gordon Brothers executives Bob Maroney, president of the commercial division, and Rick Schmitt, president of the valuations division, spoke with ABL Advisor  to offer insight into the major issues impacting the healthcare sector and the potential impact on the asset-based lending industry.

Gordon Brothers also recently announced that the firm has entered into a strategic partnership with Carolina Pride, a family-owned packaged meat producer based in Greenwood, South Carolina. As a result of Gordon Brothers' investment in the company, Carolina Pride will continue its operations, serving customers throughout the Southeast. News of the partnership appeared in key local and trade publications.

Higher Education
UMass Boston  Chancellor J. Keith Motley recently appeared on NECN's "This Week in Business where he discussed the Trump administration's impact on higher education and the latest developments on the UMass Boston Campus.

Professional Services
Roger Sametz , president and CEO, Sametz Blackstone Associates , shares his insight on building an authentic, differentiated brand with Inside Higher Ed This article is the first in an eight-part series on brand building. 

Information Technology
Gathering key customers or valued employees to enjoy an A-list sporting event is an excellent way to build relationships with MVPs. The Castle team has been designing and managing customer appreciation programs for global computer/IT services clients at the nation's top sporting experiences. We're just back from Super Bowl LI, heading to the 2017 Masters Tournament in April and have wrapped up events at the Boston Beanpot Tournament. Our programs include access to exclusive game-day hospitality, premium seating, cool after parties and countless personal touches, guaranteeing once-in-a-lifetime experiences for our clients' customers.

Right before heading to Houston for the Big Game, our team was in Austin, where we produced a 1,200-person sales kickoff conference for a global IT products and services provider. The four-day event included awards programs, daily keynote speakers and trainings, a product trade show and Hawaiian-themed closing party.

Castle Outside the Office
VP Sheila Green participated in a New England Society for Healthcare Communications (NESHCo) webinar on building relationships with the media. She was joined by Boston Business Journal reporter Jessica Bartlett.

SVP and UMass Amherst alumna Hilary Allard will speak at the University's 2017 Women of Isenberg Conference , a day-long event that connects students and faculty with alumnae to build a support network and community of empowerment for collegiate women in business.

Principal and co-founder Sandy Lish will be at the National Association of Independent Schools Annual Conference  discussing the evolving expectations of school responses to student-on-student sexual assaults. Sandy will be co-presenting with Linda Johnson, partner, McLane Middleton ; Eric Seaborg, senior risk management consultant, United Educators'  and Maureen P. Ferris, director of risk management, Philips Academy Andover . To register for the conference, click here.

Sandy and VP Jamie Kelly will present at the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM) Spring Symposium. This interactive session will discuss how to best determine an institution's communications and engagement strategy around sensitive and timely topics and during times of crisis.

Sandy will be speaking at the Atlantic Leaderpreneur Panel Series  next month with Colin Angle, CEO, iRobot and Erika Ebbel Angle, CEO, Ixcela. The group will discuss their roles as leaders and entrepreneurs; their paths to success; and what advice they have for other people in leadership positions. To register for the event, click here .

Philip Hauserman has been invited to speak on crisis communications at the annual meeting of the North Georgia Conference Preschool Directors Association .

Sandy led a breakfast roundtable discussion about crisis preparation and prevention at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education District I annual conference

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 sandy   wendy

Sandy Lish             Wendy Spivak

Principal/Founder   Principal/Founder