Friday, December 9, 2016

Favorite Finds

Winter has finally reared its head here in Chicago, and as we put on our woolies, here are a few of my favorite finds that can keep at least your Internet browser warm:
  • Social Spending Fever – Advertising agency Zenith has predicted that by 2020, the amount of advertising spent on social media ad revenue will hit $50 billion, and account for 20 percent of internet revenue.
  • Instagram Updates – After Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have taken stronger
    stances on dangerous content,
    Instagram rolled out a hate speech update that allows users to remove comments completely and remove followers from private accounts.
  • Google Goes Emoji – Google is finally embracing emojis. Individuals can now tweet an emoji at the @Google handle, and receive nearby locations and searches relevant to the emoji you used.
  • Pokémon Frappe – Pokémon Go and Starbucks announced a partnership this week. Starbucks will be debuting a Pokémon Go Frappuccino – a frozen raspberry and blackberry-flavored frappe. The drink, which will be available for a limited time, will be featured only at store locations listed as PokéStops and Gyms.
  • Skimm Strategy – One of the most popular daily email newsletters, theSkimm, an off-beat wry approach that reaches millions every day. With headlines such as “What to Say to Your Friend Who Wants to Go Skydiving for Her Birthday,” it provides ample lessons for public relations and communications. Check them out from PR Daily here

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

In the Mix...Trex Takes on the Big Apple

LCWA and client Trex Company, the world’s largest manufacturer of wood-alternative composite decking, recently took the Big Apple by storm to meet with top-tier shelter, design and lifestyle magazines. During a whirlwind two-day media tour in New York City, we met with editors and staff writers from 14 different publications.

An annual initiative designed to keep Trex top-of-mind with editorial influencers, these meetings provided the opportunity for us to reinforce the company’s position as the ultimate outdoor living resource by showcasing its extensive portfolio of Trex products and user-friendly online resources. We also were able to brainstorm story ideas with editors on the spot and discuss how Trex could fit into outdoor living coverage planned for 2017 and beyond.


So, come next spring and summer, don’t be surprised if you run across Trex as you’re flipping through the pages of your favorite magazine!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Favorite Finds

This past week kicked of the busy holiday shopping season and the Internet was abuzz with deals and steals. Here are my favorite finds from this week:
  • Shopping on the Sly – A survey of North American workers by staffing firm Robert Half Technology revealed that nearly half of employees (49%) shop at work on Cyber Monday but most (65%) try to hide it from their bosses.
  • Crowning Achievements – Whether you're just beginning your career or are a seasoned professional in need of a pep talk, here are some lessons inspired from “The Crown” Netflix series on how to be more confident at work
  • Perfecting Pitching – PR pros should consider these tips for successfully pitching reporters courtesy of Micah Warren, co-founder of Large Media. Among the tips, be authentic, think like a journalist and respect a journalist’s time.
  • Writing Wisdom A recent infographic from GrammarCheck.net highlights five of the most common bad writing habits and how to avoid them.
  • Holiday Sales Surge –The 2016 International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Thanksgiving/Black Friday Shopping Report shows that three quarters of Americans spent the same or more this year – a positive indicator for the holiday shopping season. And U.S. online sales gained momentum on Cyber Monday – surpassing initial expectations by hitting a record $3.39 billion as consumers snapped up deals on the busiest day of the year for Internet shopping.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Favorite Finds

It was a short week but one full of interesting reads. 

  • The Fake News Battle is On. Remember when The Onion and "Daily Show" were the only "fake news" outlets around? There has been a rise of fake news publications. Both Facebook and Google announced policies to restrict those outlets on their networks. 
  • Black Friday Madness. The holiday shopping season starts in earnest on Friday (or tomorrow, depending on who you ask.) While there are many bargains to be had - Patagonia is taking a different route to get attention. the company has pledged 100% of its Black Friday sales to environmental groups. So you can shop well and do good at the same time!
  • Showing Thanks. As we get ready to feast on Thanksgiving, this article ponders using thank you notes to enhance your communications career. 
  • Celebrating with Friends. How will you celebrate Turkey Day? Fabulous feast or quiet day at home? Family and football? Or fun run to start the day? If you find yourself in need of entertainment, this ranking of Friends Thanksgiving episodes will guide your holiday-themed Netflix pursuit. For me, Monica with a turkey on her head wins every time. 
As we head into Thanksgiving, we at LCWA are giving thanks for our great team, wonderful clients and the exciting projects we get to work on every day! Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2016

In the Mix...Keeping Outdoor Living “Hot” with Fall and Winter Trade Shows

As temperatures cool, the days of summer fun and enjoying outdoor living may be a fading memory for many – but not for attendees and exhibitors at the recent Remodeling Show and DeckExpo, held in Baltimore, Md., last month. This annual convention provides building and remodeling professionals with a look at what’s ahead for the coming spring, which is why LCWA helped client Trex Company, the world’s largest manufacturer of wood-alternative composite decking, showcase its complete portfolio of outdoor living products – from decking and railing to substructure and spotlights – at this year’s show.

On behalf of Trex, LCWA coordinated a record number of media appointments with editors from high-profile industry trade outlets, sharing insights on the latest outdoor living trends and reinforcing the company’s position as the leading resource for high-performance outdoor living solutions.

Now that DeckExpo is behind us, we’re gearing up for the biggest building products trade show of them all – the International Builders’ Show. And, with winter setting in here in Chicago, we’re looking forward to a January visit to Orlando!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Favorite Finds

In an effort to forget the recent election, the social world was busy staring at the moon, holding some serious poses and laughing at the lame ducks. Here are some random
goodies I found for you to gobble up before the holiday food flood:

  • Um who died? Last Friday afternoon, Facebook decided to kill many living users. These poor victims were temporarily memorialized on the social network, causing confusion for some and laughter for others.
  • Shake what your mama gave ya! A Golden State Warriors fan has found a way to decompress after the stressful election, and is now my hero.
  • Everybody freeze! The #MannequinChallenge is taking social media by storm. From celebs to athletes to major brands, everyone seems to be striking an awkward pose. Even LCWA!
  • And the winner is….Twitter! The social network announced the recipients of the first #TwitterAwards last week and is replaying the results for those unable to watch the event. The awards highlighted Twitter practices to boost marketing campaigns. Here are some other tips and insights on how to optimize your 140 characters.
  • World Diabetes Day: Monday was World Diabetes Day, designed to raise awareness of the disease, prevention, health tips and the latest research from across the globe. The #WorldDiabetesDay hashtag spurred individuals and organizations worldwide to share their stories, support and health information with others throughout the day!
  • It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s SUPERMOON! On Sunday and Monday night, the Supermoon appeared, providing a massive display of bold beauty above the clouds for all to enjoy. If you missed it, here are some amazing photos! And if giant moon pics aren’t doing it for ya, here is an image of Saturn that is out of this world! (dad joke, you’re welcome). Are you a client whisperer? Muck Rack decided to breakdown a typical PR team into 6 distinct personalities – including the “brainstormer” and the “wildcard.” Take a look and find out which one you are, or if you are a combination of more than one. 
  • Food for thought… Trending this week was #2016WasTheYearThatIFinally hoping to inspire people to reflect on the past year and pinpoint some specific achievements. As we approach the holidays, maybe take a break between delicious dishes to think about what you accomplished this year. You know, like this deep thought.
  • The Future of PR looks like… After you are done reminiscing on the year past, check out what some experts believe will be the future evolution of public relations.
  • Farewell to BROTUS! The election is over, a winner has been named. No matter which way you voted for, you will likely be missing the delightful bromance we saw blossom between Obama and Biden. Let the farewell memes commence!
  • Okay, one quick Cubs video… Sorry, I can’t help it! Here are the Cubs on Weekend Update singing Go Cubs Go!
Happy Friday! Have a great weekend! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

In the Mix...Boise Paper Demonstrates Teacher Appreciation

To celebrate the start of the school year and thank teachers for their dedication to students throughout the country, LCWA helped client Boise Paper develop a month-long, digital campaign that would thank teachers across America for their role in educating children.

The campaign consisted of three key components – a social media program, blogger partnerships and a sweepstakes. The month-long social media campaign consisted of engaging Facebook and Twitter posts that featured statistics on the benefits of paper in education. During the same time, we partnered with eight bloggers to discuss back-to-school shopping and the importance of quality paper, such as Boise POLARIS® Premium Multipurpose paper, when it comes to learning.

Finally, in order to help our social media fans thank their favorite teacher, we hosted a sweepstakes where entrants were asked to share who their favorite teacher was to be entered for the chance to win an Office Depot gift card for their back-to-school shopping and two cases of premium paper for their favorite teacher.

Overall the program successfully generated more than 1 million impressions and showed teachers across the country that Boise Paper appreciates all they do for students.