Posted by: Lindsay Derr | November 17, 2014

Case of the Mondays: ‘Serial’ly Obsessed

Last week, two things took the internet by storm. The first (and far less important) was Paper Magazine’s photos of Kim Kardashian, the ones they claimed would “break the internet”. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case and left room for the second (and far more important) item: praise and obsession over the new podcast from ‘This American Life’ called Serial. If you haven’t started listening yet, stop what you’re doing and start listening. I dare you to stop after the first episode. I double dog dare you.

Photo Credit: Instagram user @james_wallace

Photo Credit: Instagram user @james_wallace

What you may be asking yourself is “What is Serial?” Good question. According to the podcast’s website:

Serial is a new podcast from the creators of This American Life, hosted by Sarah Koenig. Serial will follow one story – a true story – over the course of a whole season. We’ll follow the plot and characters wherever they take us and we won’t know what happens at the end of the story until we get there, not long before you get there with us. Each week we’ll bring you the latest chapter, so it’s important to listen in order, starting with Episode 1.

Since airing the first episode on October 1, the podcast has grown each week and is currently the number one downloaded podcast on iTunes.  Major media outlets like Rolling Stone, Wall Street Journal, Buzzfeed and Vulture have written about it. Slate does a weekly podcast … on the podcast. Youtube users and Funny or Die have even gotten in on the action. I could go on and on, for my own benefit to quench my thirst for all things Serial-related, but I’ll spare you.

So why is Serial so popular? As PR practitioners, what can we learn from the popularity of a weekly podcast?

  • It has a compelling story/subject.

There’s a reason shows like Law and Order and the CSI franchise are popular – people are interested in crime and drama. Serial provides both and, like Law and Order, provides it on a weekly basis. Each week, listeners are taken on part of the journey to uncover who really killed Hae Min Lee. Finding an absorbing story to tell can help raise the excitement for a client with the media.

  • It has an interesting voice/POV.

Serial’s host, Sarah Koenig, is amazing. The way she tells the story and makes it accessible and interesting is just one of the reasons listeners can’t get enough. By interjecting her own opinions, doubts and humor listening to her speak feels like you’re sitting in a coffee shop with a friend. Make sure the person you have talking to the media is well-informed and interesting. Even if they’re talking about a “boring” topic, if they can make it easy to understand and interesting, it will go a long way.

  • It’s interactive.

In addition to all of the media attention, the general population has gotten involved too. Reddit has a forum for people to discuss the podcast and propose theories. It’s become the topic of many water cooler discussions at the office and around the table at happy hours across the country. People are getting involved and are curious how (and if!) the story will end. Creating interactive stories to engage people is a great way to raise a client’s profile.

The countdown to Thursday’s new episode has already begun.

Posted by: Linda Obele | November 14, 2014

Limelight: Why We Love Real Estate (and our clients)

Real estate is an industry that touches just about facet of our everyday lives. Consider what your morning would be like if your favorite Starbucks had never been built. Or, the fact that that you might not be here at all if the office suite where your parents first locked eyes over the water cooler had not been constructed. Or, the startling possibility that your favorite childhood memories would not have had a place to be created had the home where you grew up never moved off the drawing board.

See how it all comes back to real estate? That’s one of the reasons we love companies that build, sell and operate places that mean something to people. Over the past few months, several of these companies we work with have made headlines for their projects and pursuits that make the world a better place to live, work and play.  Take a look:


Bioscience Partnership Building groundbreaking. Photo credit: Downtown Phoenix Journal

Sundt and DPR Construction Break Ground on Biosciences Partnership Building

Who knows what life-saving discoveries will one day emerge from the Biosciences Partnership Building, a new 245,000-square-foot research building under construction on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix?  The DPR-Sundt team recently broke ground on the 10-story building, located just north of the Health Sciences Education Building (also constructed by this mighty duo).

 Maracay Homes Introduces New Home Plans for Active Adults

Senior adults are fast becoming a major force in America as the baby boom generation barrels toward retirement age. This fact is not lost on Maracay Homes, which recently partnered with a national architectural firm to design a special line of home plans tailor-made for the 55+ crowd.  The new Freedom Collection incorporates Universal Design features, such as single levels, wider hallways and doors, sitting showers, raised counter heights and storage within reach, intended to add convenience and ease of living to this important group of buyers. Maracay will debut the new designs at its Victory at Verrado active adult neighborhood early next year.

FishSwim High Res

 Whitetail Club Named Among the Best for Outdoor Pursuits

All work and no play…well, you know how the rest goes. The Whitetail Club in McCall, Idaho, is in business to make sure that doesn’t happen. Set in the heart of the Salmon River Mountains, this resort community’s private club offers some of the best golf, skiing, fishing, hiking and biking around – not to mention gorgeous mountain and lake views.

Posted by: Eric Dachman | November 14, 2014

Happy Hour: The Movie Doc’s Top 10 Dumb Comedies

Dumb and Dumber To is officially in theaters, today! In order to celebrate the release, I’ve come up with my top 10 favorite dumb movies. Now when I say “dumb,” I don’t mean they are bad movies. When I say “dumb,” I mean these movies are on a whole different level of comedy. “Dumb comedies” are stories that follow the lead character(s) through a series of goofy shenanigans. So, here it is! My list of Top 10 Dumb Comedies:

10. Tommy Boy (1995) – Tommy (Chris Farley) is incompetent, immature, and dimwitted, but he’s also hilarious! Tommy must team up with Richard (David Spade) to save his business. While out on a road trip, you can almost guarantee that there will be a vast array of wild antics.

9. Young Frankenstein (1974) – This is a classic. One of Mel Brooks’ best movies and Gene Wilder is at his finest. Frau Blücher.

young frnakenstein

8. Zoolander (2001) – The real question is: which character is the least wacky? Ben Stiller plays Derek Zoolander, a clueless fashion model. His counterpart: Hansel (Owen Wilson) who is almost just as clueless. They both team together to face a common enemy, Mugatu (Will Ferrell). I’m trying to think of one word to describe Mugatu, but have seem to drawn a blank… kooky?

7. Happy Gilmore (1996) – Any kid growing up in the ‘90s will also tell you that this is also on their top 10 list. And you’d be lying if you told me that you haven’t tried the Happy Gilmore golf swing at least once in your life.

Happy  Madison

6. Caddyshack (1980) – Bill Murray and a destructive dancing gopher. Next.

5. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) – King Arthur and his knights embark on a low-budget search for the Grail, encountering many very silly obstacles. If you haven’t seen this movie, then your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries!

4. Wayne’s World (1992) – Are you Team Wayne or Team Garth? Either way, party on!

Wayne's world

3. Airplane! (1980) – The punniest movie ever made.

2. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006) – Very nice! No list is complete without Mr. Borat Sagdiyev. (*Read in your best Borat voice*) Watch him make travel and interview peoples through U, S and A. Wa-wa-wee-wah!


1. Dumb and Dumber (1994) – “We’ve got no food, no jobs… our pets heads are falling off!” There’s nobody dumber than Harry and Lloyd. And that’s why we love them.

Dumb Dumber

If you were a fan of the first Dumb and Dumber, then you will absolutely love Dumb and Dumber To. Make sure to check out Harry and Lloyd in an all new set of dumb adventures today!

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