A Super Way to Start This Super Bowl Sunday

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

Perhaps it’s not an exciting way to start off Super Bowl Sunday, February 7, 2016.

A view of northbound Milwaukee Avenue, my favorite street in the world.

A view of northbound Milwaukee Avenue, my favorite street in the world.

But here’s what I did on this unseasonably warm and pleasant morning: I went for a long walk in the neighborhood and stopped for a cup of coffee at a new, independent shop just off Milwaukee Avenue, my favorite street in the world.

Sounds innocuous, uneventful, even predictable, right.

Not so.

My stroll and stop at the Bow Truss shop on Kedzie Avenue gave me an opportunity to break away from my Sunday morning routine of coffee on the couch with the Sunday Chicago Tribune and gain some more insight on the changes taking place in and around Logan Square.

My view from the corner stool on a warm-for-February Sunday morning.

My view from the corner stool on a warm-for-February Sunday morning.

While sitting at the Bow Truss counter, I overheard a conversation between the barista (who hailed from a small town in northern Michigan) and the two guys next to me — one from Toronto, the other from France.  All three had been in Chicago for a short time, all were happy to be here, and all looked forward to learning more about the city.

Using my keen powers of observation (remember, I used to be a reporter), I ascertained that other patrons of the establishment, which was a scary bar back in the early 1990s, also moved to the neighborhood recently; they selected Logan Square because it’s become a very desirable place to live and work, and drink good coffee, too.

Ah, great coffee in a real glass mug!

Ah, great coffee in a real glass mug!

And, as illustrated in the adjacent image, I brought along some of today’s Sunday newspaper to read while I enjoyed the excellent coffee and relaxed atmosphere.

 

Bow Truss is just one of the seemingly dozens of new establishments bringing vitality and diversity to Logan Square. More restaurants, bars and even a brewery will open along Milwaukee Avenue in the near future.

These changes, which are leading to dramatically higher rents and housing prices, come in the wake of what some call “gentrification,” or a process where lower-income residents and business get priced out by newcomers.

And, there’s certainly validity in that perspective.

But Bow Truss replacing a long-gone seedy tavern called the Big O is a reflection of many factors, like market dynamics, the economy and shifting demographics.

Hopefully, those who want to live in Logan Square will still be able to do so. I’d welcome to overhear their conversation about the neighborhood the next time I break my Sunday morning routine.

 * * *

I’ve written about Logan Square (and Avondale, where we live) before. Here are some past posts.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sons of Liberty Spirits: What’s Strategic About Manning Stunt?

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

Sometimes, it’s the short, “filler” type of news stories that catch one’s attention  and — in this case — inspired commentary.

Here’s what happened.

On Thursday, while scanning the Chicago Tribune Sports section, I read a one paragraph story about a Rhode Island distillery that resorted to a silly stunt to generate publicity.

The distillery owners even captured their silly stunt on this image. And, note the signatures -- more than likely those of the proud owners.

The distillery owners even captured their silly stunt on this image. And, note the signatures — more than likely those of the proud owners.

The distillery, Sons of Liberty, reportedly sent a bottle of its spirits and a snarky message to Denver Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning (care of Manning’s wife, Ashley) as a taunt, given the Broncos play the New England Patriots today in the AFC Championship football game. The winner, as you may know, goes to  Super Bowl 50 February 7.

Plain and simple, this stunt was mean-spirited, calloused and apparently not the result of a communications plan driven by ethics and strategy.

Read more about this “marketing initiative” from an online report.  The source is New England Sports Network. And, there’s more to the story, specifically an unfounded report that Manning took a growth hormone.

(Note to NESN writer Mike Cole: This stunt is not “well-played.” It’s garbage. And, it should have nothing to do with today’s AFC Championship game.)

A visit to the Sons of Liberty site did not reference the whiskey dispatch, but the Press Inquires link led to this email address. Through a little investigation, I learned the distillery has contracted DPA Communications of Boston for communications counsel.

Not sure if DPA Communications was responsible for this initiative; if the goal was publicity, they certainly succeeded.

But, I’d like to learn what is gained from this little campaign and how this effort builds awareness and acceptance of Songs of Liberty whiskey that leads to sales.

All I learned is that a producer of spirits resorted to a grandstanding effort that involved an athlete (and his wife) in order to gain some exposure.

I’ll coin a new phrase for this type of tactic: Corporate trollism. Unfortunately, it’s way too prevalent today.