Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Award Spotlight: First Alert “Super Prepared Family” Campaign

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), three out of every five home fire deaths result from fires in homes without smoke alarms or without working alarms. Conversely, when a home does have working smoke alarms, the risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half.

To maximize consumer awareness during Fire Prevention Month last October, LCWA
worked with First Alert to develop an educational advocacy campaign infused with fun. Built around the idea of the “Super Prepared Family,” the campaign aimed to help people understand the importance of practicing fire safety and involving their whole families in the process.

The overall goal of the “Super Prepared Family” campaign was to increase awareness about whole-home safety, and specifically about the benefits of installing 10-year smoke alarms during Fire Prevention Month. Our specific objectives for this campaign included driving views to the “Super Prepared Family” website content; garnering at least 150 million media impressions; securing at least 20 blog partners for a minimum of 5.5 million impressions; generating 150,000 impressions through social and digital advertising and donating a minimum of 2,000 alarms through grassroots efforts.

First Alert created graphics, videos and a microsite dedicated to the “Super Prepared Family” initiative. Content provided insight into what each member of the family can do to be prepared and help keep their home and family safe.

LCWA utilized these materials in a multi-media press release to launch the “Super Prepared Family” campaign, allowing these materials to be viewed, shared and downloaded. LCWA also shared fire safety tips from the campaign with TV and radio audiences via a satellite media tour.

Influential mom bloggers were enlisted to further amplify the “Super Prepared Family” messages. LCWA prepared and provided targeted bloggers with customized Fire Prevention Kits that included two 10-year smoke alarms, a 10-year smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarm, 10-year CO alarm and a Tundra Fire Extinguishing Spray – to  help protect their home. Bloggers were encouraged to install the First Alert products and share fire prevention and safety tips from the campaign with their followers in an effort to create more “super prepared” families.

To spread the word about our resources with fire departments, LCWA coordinated social and digital advertising for First Alert with Firehouse, the largest fire safety trade publication. LCWA also shared graphics and content from the campaign with a proprietary list of fire service organizations.

Throughout Fire Prevention Month, LCWA coordinated a variety of community outreach activities with local fire departments and advocacy organizations. First Alert and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) announced a training course collaboration for volunteer fire departments on smoke alarm installations, as well as a nationwide smoke alarm donation program.

Overall, the “Super Prepared Family” campaign exceeded all objectives. LCWA secured more than 356 million media impressions and more than 526,000 impressions from social and digital advertising. 40 bloggers shared content about Fire Prevention Month and shared “Super Prepared Family” graphics. In total, the “Super Prepared Family” content was viewed more than 95,400 times, and First Alert donated nearly 4,000 alarms in October.

Additionally, this campaign earned LCWA and First Alert a Silver Trumpet Award from the Publicity Club of Chicago in the Marketing category, and both a Skyline Award in the Events and Observances (more than seven days) and an Award of Excellence in Marketing Consumer Products, Packaged Goods from PRSA Chicago.

Friday, July 13, 2018


Happy Friday the 13th! If you don’t have World Cup fever yet, hurry up because it’s almost over! If soccer (football) isn’t your jam, here are a few other happenings from this week you may want to check out:
  • Joyful Homecoming: Thailand and the rest of the world rejoiced this week when 12 boys and their soccer coach were rescued from a flooded cave. The rescue was an international effort including help from an Australian cave diving doctor, British rescue divers, U.S. air force pilots and Thai Navy SEALs. The story gets even better now that the heroic backstories of the survivors have become known, as many of them were refugees having fled Myanmar.
  • You’re a Lovely Shade of Pink…A recent study found people with pale skin and
    sensitive to the sun should use more than just typical sunscreen to avoid sunburn. As I, myself, am from the paler persuasion, I understand that a thick layer of SPF 100 doesn’t last long on a cloudless day. According to the researchers, fair-skinned people who only used sunscreen were more likely to burn than those who also wore a hat. The study recommends sun-sensitive people add additional protection such as long sleeves or SPF clothing on sunny days to prevent skin cancer, which affects roughly 1 in 5 people in their lifetime. No matter what SPF level you use, be sure to slather on the eco-friendly, 
    coral reef-safe sunscreen that has been approved by Hawaii! If you forget to cover up and get more than just a bit pink, grab some shaving cream to ease that burn.
  • Pink Before it was Pink: Groundbreaking research on the prehistoric world shares a small glimpse into what it might have been like on Earth way back when. Researchers discovered the oldest known colors produced by living things were shades of pink pigments dating back about 1.1 billion years! These colors were used in photosynthesis, becoming more vibrant in sunlight, and belonged to cyanobacteria in the sea before larger creatures evolved…such as the first giant dinosaur, whose fossils were recently discovered in Argentina! Though mostly likely not a shade of pink, the earliest-known giant dinosaur was a four-legged plant-eater with a medium-length neck and long tail named Ingentia which means “first giant.” *Insert Jurassic Park theme song*
  • Check Ancestry.com: Apparently ancient humans have a few surprises up their sleeves as well. Researchers in China excavated stone tools that were likely made by human ancestors about 2.12 million years ago – marking the earliest evidence of human lineage outside of Africa. In addition, another group of scientists found human ancestors were scattered throughout Africa more so than once thought, and kept apart by natural barriers. Each group thrived in a unique environment such as a desert or forest, resulting in a variety of human forms – which is why we all look so different!
  • Just Browsing…If you are done with Earth and all her unique populations and natural wonders, consider packing a bag and hopping a space shuttle to the exoplanet Ross 128B, the next up-and-coming planet for people! Thanks to some 20/20 vision and a pretty strong telescope in New Mexico, scientists believe the exoplanet is a safe enough distance from a nearby star to potentially be habitable by humans, taking urban sprawl to a whole new level. You might even run into some ghost particles from a galaxy far, far away, so keep your eyes peeled!
  • Catfish with Burgers! After teasing the world with a mystery name change, the global pancakers at IHOP switched their name to IHOB for no other reason than to promote their new burgers! Once that fun jaunt was over, they promptly switched back to IHOP proving the whole ordeal was a sham and leaving customers feeling a little used and confused.
  • Mr. Peanut’s on the No Fly List: Southwest Airlines has recently announced it will no longer serve peanuts to passengers on all of its flights in an effort to protect those with allergies from getting sick. If this means you will boycott air travel for the sake of your coveted PB&J, don’t forget to grab these motion sickness glasses for your next road or boat trip!

Have a great weekend! I hope you have as much fun as this horse!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Award Spotlight: Boise Paper “Dare 2 Compare” Campaign

The Boise Paper “Dare 2 Compare” campaign was created to help Boise Paper dispel the
myths surrounding the quality of recycled paper and educate business professionals on why they should be using a mix of recycled and non-recycled paper through a variety of social media and digital marketing tactics. Tactics included holding a video contest, generating influencer-based content, launching a LinkedIn quotes campaign, distributing press and MAT releases, engaging with social media content and more.

Prior to the campaign, secondary research showed that 46 percent of paper buyers believed that non-recycled paper had a higher-quality than recycled paper, and 52 percent of paper buyers said that appearance is a deciding factor when it comes to buying paper. In response to these findings, LCWA set out to prove that thanks to technological advances and rigorous production standards, todays recycled papers – like Boise ASPEN® – feature the same hardworking characteristics and brightness as paper made without recycled content. 

To accomplish our goal, LCWA kicked off the “Dare 2 Compare” campaign with a “Why
Recycled Paper?” Video Contest, where entrants were asked to create a short video explaining why they choose recycled paper over non-recycled paper, while encouraging others also to do so. In conjunction with the video contest, we worked with eight online workplace influencers to promote the premium qualities of Boise ASPEN® papers and conduct side-by-side tests of recycled and non-recycled varieties. Through the user-generated content from the video contest and influencer program, we strategically utilized third-party quotes throughout a three-month long LinkedIn campaign. The quotes were brought to life with bold visuals and attention-grabbing copy.

To broaden our reach even further, we delivered our messages through a targeted press and MAT release. The materials explained why small businesses should use a mix of recycled and non-recycled paper in their offices. Additionally, LCWA distributed a pair of e-blasts directed toward office decision makers. To drive sales, we deployed search/display
ads targeting office managers and small business owners.

Rounding out the “Dare 2 Compare” campaign, LCWA produced ongoing social media content, using #Dare2Compare. This social content continuously supported and communicated the “Dare 2 Compare” messages across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

In the end, the “Dare 2 Compare” campaign exceeded all of our objectives. We were able to boost total impressions and social engagements over 2016 metrics, achieve a high open rate for the e-blasts and surpass the industry standard average click through rate for the search/display ads. Ultimately, this campaign set Boise Paper apart from competitors and highlighted the high quality of today’s recycled paper!

The Boise Paper “Dare 2 Compare” social media campaign won a Golden Trumpet from the Publicity Club of Chicago in the category of Social Media and an Award of Excellence from the Public Relations Society of America’s Skyline Awards in the category of Integrated Communications – Business to Business.  

Friday, July 6, 2018

From Birthdays and Books to Typos and Teasers – Highlights from Around the Web

This week Americans across the country gathered at firework shows, parades and barbecues to celebrate our county’s 242nd birthday.  While many took time to enjoy the holiday, the internet was filled with engaging content and hair raising brand news.

  • Ready for a road trip? Thanks to Good Housekeeping, we learned that there are 3
    3 places in the United States with the word “liberty” in their names.
      And, this was just one of 17 fun facts the magazine shared about Independence Day.  We’re glad their editorial staff knows how to spell independence, because Twitter proved that not everyone does. Oops, these folks need the LCWA team to proof their content.
  • Time to get reading. If you haven’t made a dent in your summer reading list, Inc. is giving us the inspiration to get started with its article on “Why Reading Books Makes You a Better Person, According to Science.” We’re all ears, or should we say eyes.
  • The internet just got a little fuzzier. Razor subscription service Billie says it will be the first women’s razor brand to show hair in its advertisements. Billie has launched #ProjectBodyHair in an effort to address the lack of female body hair on the internet. Guess there’s a cause for everything. 
  • iOS 12 preview. While Apple has made iOS 12 available as public beta, we’ll wait until fall when it officially comes out. Still, we were excited to learn from Mashable that the new software promises to speed up old devices, offers the ability to FaceTime with up to 32 people in a group video call and provides new Animoji and Memoji offerings – among other updates.    

Monday, July 2, 2018

Award Spotlight: AASM “Sleep Recharges You” Campaign Continues Success

After winning at the IABC Chicago Bronze Quill Awards last fall, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine “Sleep Recharges You” campaign continued successfully to promote the importance of healthy sleep among teenagers. The continued effort paid off, as the campaign was honored with a Silver Trumpet at the Publicity Club of Chicago for Advocacy, and a Skyline Award from PRSA Chicago for Public Service – Associations/NonProfits.

This campaign is part of a larger cooperative agreement of the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project, a joint group between the AASM and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A panel of sleep medicine experts concluded that teenagers 13 to 18 years older should sleep eight to 10 hours per night for optimal health. Our goal was to increase the number of teenagers sleeping the recommended number of hours per night.

LCWA and AASM created a tagline of “Sleep Recharges You” to focus on the positive effects of healthy sleep for teenagers. We targeted not only teens but also parents, school administrators, coaches and health counselors.

Our award-winning campaign built on previous successes including our aggressive media outreach about the official teen sleep duration recommendations. AASM released an official statement recommending high schools not start before 8:30 a.m., and LCWA created a downloadable template letter for parents to urge administrators to adopt these later start times. To signify the importance of this issue, we created several blog posts from AASM spokespeople.

LCWA created an online Bedtime Calculator for SleepEducation.org, allowing users to enter their age and needed wake time to determine their bedtime for optimal health and success. Unveiled during back-to-school season, the tool encouraged teens to set good habits for the coming year. It was supported with a press release, influencer partnerships and Reddit “Ask Me Anything” to drive awareness and clicks.

LCWA partnered with teen online influencers to spread awareness about the benefits of healthy sleep. A “Sleep Recharges You” video contest engaged teens by asking them to submit entries showing how to be motivated to prioritize sleep. Social ads targeting teens interested in health or filmmaking helped publicize the contest and increase submissions. A teen sleep advocate crafted several blog posts sharing the importance of healthy teen sleep.

An infographic and sharable “infosnacks” were developed, illustrating ways healthy sleep can recharge teenagers. LCWA shared content and conducted a social ad campaign, driving traffic to the “Sleep Recharges You” landing page. We also coordinated banner ads on websites geared toward teens such as TeenVogue.com, Seventeen.com and BroBible.com.

To reach educators, the AASM created an educator toolkit, with a full-sized poster, lesson plans and classroom activities on the importance of sleep to health, academic and athletic performance. The materials were available for download or mailed on request. Outreach to trade media publicized the educator toolkit and ways in which sleep benefits teens. Partnerships with associations generated an advertorial with the Society of Health and Physical Educators and an email blast to members of American School Health Association.

Overall, the campaign exceeded all objectives. Media outreach achieved more than 763 million impressions, with national placements including CBS This Morning, Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, Teen Vogue and TODAY. Five social influencers generated more than 587,000 impressions, and social and digital ads reach 1.3 million impressions. The high school video contest tripled the prior year’s number of entries. As a result of the educator outreach, AASM received more than 1,400 poster requests.

Friday, June 29, 2018

The Good, the Bad, but Mostly, the Ugly

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but this week has been particularly ugly. From pets to people, here are some hideous highlights from this past week:

  •  UGLY DOGS - A 9-year-old English bulldog named Zsa Zsa was named the winner of the 2018 World's Ugliest Dog contest last Saturday. The win earned owner Megan Brainard $1500 - but in a contest like that, are there really any winners?
  • UGLY DEFEAT - Playing in the World Cup means you are representing your country on a global stage, so it may hurt a little extra when things don't go as planned. With their loss to South Korea, Germany is officially out of the tournament, and German media is not happy about it. A Düsseldorf-based paper called the loss "Germany's downfall" and that is just the beginning. Check out how Germans are reacting to their surprisingly early defeat.
  • UGLY DE-FEET - Just like with those playing in the World Cup, being a new member of the royal family means all eyes are on you. Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, is known for her perfectly curated style, but some have noticed something strange about her shoes. Often looking particularly roomy, style experts are speculating wildly about why the new duchess is sizing up.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Award Spotlight: Flooring Trade Media with Ecore

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking only the biggest budget, out-of-the-box campaigns can win awards – but that’s not always the case. Despite being a 147-year-old leading producer of performance commercial flooring, Ecore

had minimal visibility in industry trade publications – a vital conduit to its key audiences of facility and commercial design specifiers. Best-known in the athletic arena, the company sought to extend its reach and relevance into the healthcare and hospitality markets. In late 2016, Ecore retained LCWA to develop and execute a trade media relations program to boost the brand’s profile across each of its key markets with a focus on promoting its industry-leading advancements in three key performance areas – acoustics, ergonomics and safety.

At the beginning of 2017, the LCWA B2B PR team rolled out a year-long program focused on reaching design influencers and decision-makers through consistent and meaningful coverage in trade media covering each of Ecore’s target industries. Our goal was to secure an average of three placements per month for the brand and deliver a YOY impressions increase of 100%.

To achieve this, LCWA focused on keeping the media pipeline filled with Ecore news. We…
·         Used problem/solution scenarios to educated around the performance benefits and effectiveness of Ecore flooring;
·         Leveraged success stories to elevate Ecore as a thought leader across key markets;
·         Promoted Ecore’s presence at key industry events.

Working with tried and true tactics, including case studies, bylined articles, a whitepaper,
product announcements and opportunistic pitching, creativity was key to cutting through the clutter and capturing media attention. LCWA built a campaign around the question: Can a Floor Do More? This served as the thematic thread that tied activities together across audiences, categories and outlets.
  • For Athletics, we showcased how “a floor can do more” by absorbing sound, cushioning equipment and reducing impact on athletes.
  • For Healthcare, we focused on how “a floor can do more” reducing noise, increasing ergonomics and improving safety.
  • For Hospitality, we highlighted how “a floor can do Eore” to enhance guest comfort and satisfaction.
Another cornerstone of our creative approach was incorporating clever headlines and copy to entice editors, such as: 
  • “Ecore Flooring Earns High Grades at USC Village Fitness Center"
  • "Johns Hopkins Hospital Provides a Prescription for Outstanding Healthcare Surfacing”
  • "Flooring Plays Featured Role in Fitness Center Facelift” (headline for Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center)
In the end, our program did not generate the desired three placements per month. Instead, our efforts resulted in an average of three placements PER WEEK between January and December 2017. A total of 178 placements were garnered (35 print and 143 online) generating more than 6 million impressions – a 750% increase over 2016. Furthermore, based on the estimated value of the media coverage generated, the program delivered a ROI nearly double Ecore’s investment.