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Pokemon a No GoAs I recently stated in a blog post, I have the Pokémon Go app on my phone, and when we have time, my son, Aiden, and I hunt Pokémon on the weekends. I really just want to get out and about and possibly do a little hiking, but if I ask Aiden if he wants to go with me, I might or might not get a yes. If I ask him if he wants to go hiking AND Pokémon hunting, the answer is a resounding yes! We also go Pokémon hunting in parks and other public art attractions that are fun and also a good learning experience.

We have been to many parks and public facilities around Phoenix including Roadrunner Park, #AMountain, and around downtown and central Phoenix. It has been a lot of fun visiting these public locations and spending time with my son. I’m sure other families around the country are enjoying it as well.

So, imagine my shock and surprise when I found out that Discovery Green Park in downtown Houston is asking for all Pokémon Go related times be remove from the park. I first read about it in a Houston Press article titled Discovery Green Officials Removing Everything Pokemon Go-Related. After reading this article I was simply blown away by the comments from Discovery Green President Barry Mandel, including comments about safety, cost and security.

But there were two that really stood out to me:

  • A few days ago, Mandel says, a driver pulling out of the garage nearly hit a family of four – the parents were too into their game to make sure that their young children weren't about to be run over. First I would like to know if Mandel personally saw the young family playing Pokémon or if that came from a third party. Second, that is a pretty random assumption that this family would have actually been watching their children even if they were not playing Pokémon.
  • When asked, how much, exactly, has Pokémon Go cost the park? “It's expensive,” Mandel says, adding, “I've almost tried not to figure it out,” saying it would be just so much. WHAT? I almost don’t even know how to comment on this one. It’s expensive? First of all, what does that mean? And second of all? He has not “tried” to figure it out? How can he say it is expensive (his term) if he hasn’t looked at the numbers. So does he know and isn’t saying or does he not understand that numbers he has been given?Pokemon a no go 2

I can only image the surprise from the creators of Pokémon Go when they were asked to remove Pokémon Go from this location, when I am sure they are overwhelmed with requests for Pokéstops and Gyms.

But I really want to know why the City of Houston would allow Mandel to speak on behalf of the park and city when he clearly does not have his information correct. This instance shows the importance of knowing who in your organization is allowed to speak to the media and the importance of being media trained.

I would now love to hear your thoughts about A) The City of Houston wanting to remove Pokémon from the park? B)  Mandel’s statements (representing the City of Houston) about why they want Pokémon removed?

Rachel Brockway
Rachel Brockway
A former HMA Public Relations employee.

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