Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Brings PF Awareness to San Antonio

Our client the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) set record-breaking attendance this year at its biennial PFF Summit, the world’s largest healthcare conference on pulmonary fibrosis (PF), as 950 PF patients, healthcare professionals, caregivers and scientists from around the world convened in San Antonio to advance the care of those living with PF.

To tell the PFF story locally in San Antonio, our health team hit the ground running pitching local health reporters and news desks in the weeks leading up to conference. As part of these efforts, we were able to secure a compelling piece on the local CBS station, KENS-TV, featuring co-chairs of the PFF Summit.

To open the segment, PFF Ambassador and San Antonio resident, Dot Delarosa, shared her PF health journey, offering hope and inspiration to those affected with PF by speaking about her own experiences with this serious lung disease. In addition, local pulmonologist Dr. Anoop Nambiar of UT Health San Antonio, and Dr. Joseph Lasky of Tulane University in New Orleans, shared expert insights on the disease, including risk factors, symptoms and important research in the pipeline.

Click here to watch the full segment, and to learn more about pulmonary fibrosis and the PFF, visit www.AboutPF.org.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Our Go-To Image and Design Resources

Photos and infographics grab user attention much faster and more effectively than text, increasing engagement and receiving more likes, shares and clicks than plain text updates.

In fact, according to a recent report from QuickSprout, content with relevant images get 94% more views than content without relevant images, equating to nearly double the views as content without any visuals.

Anyone can create visually captivating and engaging content for social media, email campaigns, websites and more with the right tools! Here are a few of our go-to, user-friendly image and design resources we utilize around the office nearly every day:

Canva: A start-to-finish design program perfect for non-designers, Canva provides templates and a plethora of stock images for social media platforms, ads, professional documents and print collateral. It’s a simple to navigate platform that makes image creation easy with premade templates, custom image sizes, drag-and-drop interface, cool fonts and more.

Easil: Easil is a drag-and-drop design tool that will have you creating attention-grabbing visual content in no time. With modern, edgy templates for posters, flyers, social media graphics, menus and more, Easil also offers an array of stock images making it a great back-up or alternative to Canva – plus Easily features an easy to use GIF-generator to help mix up social content.

BeFunky: If you are regularly needing some Photoshop capabilities without all the bells and whistle, BeFunky if for you. The platform has three basic functions: photo editing, collage making and graphic design. Each function has easy to use tools allowing you to crop and resize images, retouch portraits, batch edit photos, customize collages and more, in addition to access to over a million free stock images and icons.

ImageColorPicker.com: This is just a great tool to keep bookmarked on your web browser if you’re regularly creating visual content. ImageColorPicker.com allows you to upload images and URL’s to get the color codes – HTML/HEX value, RGB value and HSV value – for any color in the image you select. Using this site to get exact color codes is a lot easier than just eyeballing a match.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

What Happens in Vegas: Highlights from the Trex Booth at IBS 2020

Contrary to popular opinion, what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay there – especially when you play your PR cards right. With a combination of strategic media outreach, well-timed social content and an in-booth appearance by a special celebrity guest, the LCWA team helped longtime client, Trex Company, hit the jackpot at this year’s International Builder’s Show (IBS).

One of the first major industry events of 2020, IBS proved an ideal platform to set the stage for the year ahead. Trex unveiled a new, experiential booth complete with scenes, settings, sounds – and scents – that evoked the sensations and enjoyment of outdoor living. The impressive exhibit showcased the company’s robust portfolio, including three new collections, and offered a virtual product playground for attending dealers, as well as representatives from 42 different media outlets who accepted our invitation to stop by during IBS to tour the Trex booth.

Through proactive pre-show outreach and long-standing personal relationships, our team booked a record-number of appointments with media that cover outdoor living products and design. Already, these meetings have resulted in coverage by leading trade publications, such as Building Design + Construction, Casual Living, HBS Dealer, LBM Journal and ProSales

We also attracted the largest turnout of editors ever from high-profile consumer media ranging from Architectural Digest and Better Homes & Gardens to Veranda and Wirecutter. We even converted popular DIY blogger (and former composite skeptic), PrettyHandyGirl, into a Trex believer! Additionally, several outlets, including A&E Network, DIY’s “I Want That,” “Today’s Homeowner” and Professional Builder, shot video footage in the booth that will run in the coming weeks and months as we head into outdoor living season.

Beyond attracting a steady flow of influential media and camera crews, LCWA also arranged for Alison Victoria, host of HGTV’s “Windy City Rehab,” to make a special appearance in the Trex booth during IBS to greet fans, take photos and sign autographs. A long-time Trex devotee, Alison regularly specifies Trex products for the outdoor projects she designs. Be sure to check out Season 2 of “Windy City Rehab” later this spring to see Alison – and Trex – in action.

All in all, it was an exciting and productive couple of days in the Gambling Capital of the World. With the deck now strategically stacked in our favor, it’s a safe bet that what happened in Vegas will deliver a big payout for Trex in the form of valuable media coverage throughout 2020.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

How Mentorship Impacts Work Culture

Work culture can be a key aspect for enjoying your job. Joining a culture that fits your needs can make or break how easy it is to get up in the morning and head off to another day at the office. Everyone’s “must have” list when it comes to office culture may look a little different, but as a young professional, mentorship is at the top of my list.

During my internship at LCWA, I discovered that I thrive in an atmosphere that places a high significance on mentorship. Knowing who to go to for advice on setting personal goals or feedback on my performance–and having that set structure in place–is essential for my professional development and personal growth.

At LCWA, our mentorship program is central to the culture of our office, and I would argue a major factor in the uncommonly high retention rate of our team members. Here are a few ways I witnessed it benefit our company since joining the team five months ago:
  • Creates a smooth onboarding process – On-boarding is a critical part of attracting and retaining top talent. Studies show that new employees who experience a well-structured on-boarding are 82% more likely to remain at a company. Including mentorship as part of the on-boarding process gives the mentee access to a supportive relationship from day one, making them feel like a part of the team right off the bat.
  • Forms a culture of learning – Mentors help you set reasonable goals and guide you in reaching them. They offer objective and constructive advice, and can use their experiences, mistakes and lessons learned to help better your own career path and enhance your personal growth.
  • Decreases work-related stress and anxiety – When an issue at work arises, half of the stress can be determining the best way to go about solving it. Should I talk to someone? Should I try to figure it out on my own? These are the kinds of questions that young professionals who are still learning the ins and outs of workplace culture ask themselves. Personally, I have found these types of questions far more stressful than the issue or concern at hand. A mentorship program gives the mentee a protocol for navigating any issues, giving them a go-to person dedicated to guiding them, and significantly reducing the stress and anxiety that can come with any job
  • Promotes high employee retention – Having a great mentor is a key factor when it comes to employee satisfaction and retention. According to Forbes, those planning on staying with their current employer for more than five years are twice as likely to have a mentor (68%) than not (32%), and 81% of those planning to stay are happy with their mentor.
Hopefully all companies start to see mentorship as a “need to have” rather than a “nice to have.” If you do have a great mentor at work, make sure to say an extra thank you!

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Highlighting Client Expertise with Bylined Articles

At LCWA, we're all about providing superior client service — so, of course, we're not satisfied until our clients are rightfully positioned and maintained as industry leaders. We’re also always looking for effective ways to increase brand awareness among their target audiences, One of the most effective ways to do this is by securing opportunities for clients, whether B2B or B2C, to contribute bylined articles in publications that reach those audiences.

Bylined articles, usually attributed to clients' expert spokespersons or brand ambassadors, establish thought leadership and go beyond a simple product or brand mention in terms of enhancing credibility and reputations by providing helpful content to their audiences while also their goods or services. By representing the brand through the insights of an expert in the field, placing bylined articles is one of the more organic ways to promote clients. Additionally, with many media outlets short-staffed, providing quality editorial content is often welcomed by editors.

Recently, LCWA placed a bylined thought leadership article on behalf of client Staging Concepts — a leader in custom modular staging — in an issue of Productions Magazine. Productions, which is a trade magazine reaching show choir professionals and enthusiasts, was an ideal outlet in which to highlight Staging Concepts' unique projects and top products. Perhaps more notably, we had the opportunity to develop the article in conjunction with one of the company’s expert team members — who is just one of Staging Concepts’ talented employees who worked "in the field" in the performing arts industry before joining the company.

Productions readers, including those in charge of staging purchases, were exposed to a breadth and depth of knowledge about the keys to maximizing staging functionality and flexibility and undoubtedly came away with the conclusion that the team behind Staging Concepts’ designs and customer support genuinely know their stuff and care about being the best in the industry.

Another example of a successful byline was a piece we developed on behalf of LCWA client Trex Commercial Products for inclusion in Construction Specifier Magazine. Construction Specifier targets professionals who select, recommend and influence buying decisions in the construction industry, so this was a perfect opportunity to position Trex Commercial Products as a go-to resource when it comes to specifying architectural railing systems. For this particular byline, we worked with the VP of Engineering at Trex Commercial Products to discuss how to specify for windscreen railing systems designed for commercial exterior use. The timing was also strategic as Trex Commercial Products had just launched its own innovative windscreen product.

These are just a couple of examples of LCWA’s emphasis on incorporating thought leadership as part of well-rounded client programming. For more information and insight on effective thought leadership strategies, we encourage you to check out LCWA team member Ben Arens’ post on the "Keys to Establishing Effective Thought Leadership."

Thursday, January 23, 2020

PFF Position Becomes Front-Page News

Last year, our client, the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF), issued a position statement warning patients and providers against the dangers of unregulated stem cell therapies that often promise miraculous results but come with significant health risks. We pitched the statement to national media, and were happy to connect PFF’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Gregory Cosgrove, with a Washington Post reporter investigating the topic. Several months and conversations later, a front-page Washington Post article ran to educate readers of the hazards of unproven stem cell therapies, alongside an investigation into one organization offering these dangerous treatments.

While some stem cell treatments have been approved for other disease states, we hope this high-profile placement will drive awareness of the potential dangers of stem cell therapies for PF that are not part of regulated clinical trials.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

First Alert Assists Departments in Community Risk Reduction Efforts

Community risk reduction (CRR) is an important part of fire safety education from the fire service. The inaugural Community Risk Reduction Week, occurring January 20-26, 2020, allows departments across the country to improve their community’s safety.

In honor of this event, First Alert and LCWA held a week-long alarm giveaway for departments participating in these efforts. As a result of industry relationships, LCWA received nearly 800 entries from across the country. Out of the hundreds who entered, five lucky fire departments were randomly chosen to each receive 50 carbon monoxide alarms.

The winning fire departments represent a wide array of entries from both career and volunteer departments across the country:

  • Elmwood Park Fire Department (Elmwood Park, Ill.)
  • Fillmore Fire Department (Fillmore, Wis.)
  • Flint Fire Department (Flint, Mich.)
  • New Boston Volunteer Fire Department (New Boston, Texas)
  • Plympton Fire Department (Plympton, Mass.)
First Alert’s support to improve carbon monoxide safety comes at a crucial time. The risk for CO poisoning significantly increases during the winter months, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 50,000 emergency room visits and over 430 deaths are attributed to CO poisoning in the U.S. each year, making it the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the country.

To learn more about CO safety and how to keep your loved ones safe, visit FirstAlert.com.