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Monday, November 24, 2014

In The Mix...Oakbrook Center Debuts Exclusive, High-Tech Holiday Cottage

Last week, LCWA was on hand to help our client, Oakbrook Center, with the grand opening of DreamWorks Animation’s Adventure to Santa—a state-of-the-art, high-tech holiday cottage that allows visitors to embark on a virtual journey to the North Pole. Guests at the event enjoyed a spectacular light show, photographs with Shrek, food from several restaurants at Oakbrook Center and the opportunity to be some of the first to travel by sleigh to the North Pole.

As one of only eight locations throughout the country to host this magical DreamWorks Animation experience, Oakbrook Center gathered great attendance for this event on a cold and snowy evening. The event received coverage on ABC 7 Chicago and Fox 32 Chicago, as well as several online outlets, and was a great way for Oakbrook Center to kick-off the holiday season. 

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Favorite Finds

There was a bitter wind blowing through Chicago, but hot stories continued to burn up our social media feed. Here are some of the headlines, tips and tales that caught our attention: 

  • Facebook Cracks Down... Facebook announced that overly promotional content on brand pages – meaning posts that solely push people to buy a product or enter promotions/sweepstakes – will receive lower priority in news feeds in 2015. Whether you think the announcement is a public service to the Facebook community or a fatal blow to corporate Facebook pages, it's clear that change is in the forecast for brands actively marketing via Facebook.
  • Twitter Opens up…Twitter – the platform for real time news and commentary – is ready to let users get nostalgic. Twitter announced that you can now search for any tweet ever sent. Interested to see who has shared love for your brand, topic or competitor in the eight years since Twitter started? Click here to give the new advanced search option a try.
  • #Cringeworthy Marketing Made Us Squirm…Every week comes with a new set of social blunders, and this time Dave & Busters and Barbie made headlines for how not to market a brand. Dave & Busters’ racist #TacoTuesday tweet and poorly edited apology made consumers wonder who runs the national brand's social pages, while a bumbling computer engineer Barbie traded girl power for unflattering female stereotypes.
  • And the "Best of 2014" Began! With December just around the corner, the pull to recap 2014 has proven too strong for some of our journalist friends. Two of our favorite “best of 2014” proclamations thus far? We loved Mashable’s 20 most shared ads of 2014 and our inner word-geek closely followed the heated debate for #WordoftheYear that transpired between Vape and Exposure.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

In the Mix...Decked Out at DeckExpo

At the recent Remodeling Show and DeckExpo in Baltimore, LCWA helped client Trex Company, the world’s largest manufacturer of wood-alternative composite decking, showcase its total outdoor living package – from substructure to spotlights – including Trex Elevations Steel Deck Framing System, Trex Transcend decking and railing, and Trex Outdoor Lighting.

DeckExpo provides building and remodeling professionals with a vibrant exhibit hall, filled with hundreds of the industry's top manufacturers, hands-on training and business education. On behalf of Trex, LCWA coordinated media appointments with editors from high-profile industry trade outlets to share insights into 2015 trends and reinforce 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 the year – the International Builders’ Show. And, with winter setting in here in Chicago, we’re looking forward to a January visit to Las Vegas

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

In the Mix…Promoting Popularity of PopUps

Can you guess what’s popping up in larger-than-usual numbers right about now?  That’s right, it’s pop-ups – those temporary stores such as seasonal shops, farmers markets, flea markets and arts and crafts fairs. LCWA is helping client PopUp Republic, a new Chicago-based social media marketing firm servicing the pop-up category, promote its multi-faceted services and the burgeoning pop-up industry.

Just last week, LCWA garnered two high-profile stories. VentureBeat, which receives 7.5 million unique monthly visitors, featured PopUp Republic’s founding by CEO Jeremy Baras and the firm’s new online marketplace for pop-ups called “PopUps Across America,” an industry first.  And, a Chicago Business Journal story showcased the company’s national survey conducted by LCWA Research Group of 1,200 Americans about pop-up stores. The poll asked Americans their top reasons for shopping at a pop-up. Ranked first? “Finding seasonal products,” cited by 61%. Other reasons for patronizing pop-ups cited included finding new and unique products (39 percent), shopping locally (36 percent) and getting attractive pricing (34 percent.)  LCWA will continue to promote PopUp Republic throughout the busy holiday pop-up season.

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Favorite Finds

We found some interesting headlines this week in the social media realm. Following are some of the stories and tips that caught our attention: 
  • Cosmic Connections: As scientists cheer and the media celebrate, brand managers may consider the best way to get in on the action of the Philae comet landing. PR News Writer Matthew Schwartz suggests not getting too cosmic with the brand connection.
  • Apple of My Eye: A new “brand intimacy rankings” survey of Americans by MLBM revealed that Apple is the winner by a landslide, with intimacy rankings more than eight times as high as the runner-up. Rounding out the top five are Sony, Nike, Dell and Starbucks.
  • Famous Alex: It’s only been about a week and a half since the first #AlexFromTarget tweet was sent. Since then, Alex Lee has made an appearance on Ellen and his fan base has grown to 733,000 Twitter followers. A New York Times article revealed both the perks and the pitfalls of Alex’s new Internet fame.
  •  In Facebook We (Don’t) Trust: Facebook and other social networks did not fare well in a new study from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, as 81 percent of respondents said they felt “not very” or “not at all secure” using social media sites when sharing private information with other trusted people or organizations.
  • Pitch Perfect: Communications officer Tracy Schario, a presenter at PR News' Dec. 11 Media Relations Next Practices Conference in Washington, D.C., offers 11 tips to help PR pros connect with the journalists who matter.

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

In the Mix...Contigo Gets “Real” on New National TV Show

LCWA secured a placement on Fox’s hottest new afternoon talk show “The Real,” and reached more than 1.1 million viewers nationwide! The segment focused on “Essentials for Your Next Trip to the Gym” and included an on-air product demonstration of the Contigo Kangaroo water bottle, which features a built-in compartment, so users can carry keys, an ID, money, a gym pass and more when on the go. An audience giveaway and online article were also a part of this great placement, which aired last week. 

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

In the Mix...Urgent Care’s Response to the Ebola Scare

Last month, as news of the Ebola virus in America spread, everyone – including media – was wondering: how is our healthcare system preparing for this threat? And part of that -- what if someone with Ebola symptoms walked into their neighborhood urgent care center? Luckily, the Urgent Care Association of America was there to provide guidance to its members and ensure that clinics around the country were prepared – and, we were able to help UCAOA reach the general public by coordinating interviews for the association’s spokespeople with top media outlets.

During height of media interest in Ebola, we coordinated media interviews for the UCAOA with the Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, Modern Healthcare, The Dallas Morning News and KDRV-TV in Denver, and provided written statements for many other local inquiries. The AP story alone was featured on numerous high-profile news websites and was picked up by more than 150 outlets in total. UCAOA experts used these opportunities to show how urgent care was extremely prepared to handle potential Ebola cases – and to encourage citizens who believed they had symptoms to call 911 to limit potential exposure to others.

The hype and hyperbole of the Ebola threat has subsided, but thanks to UCAOA’s quick response to the situation and readiness to speak with interested media, we were able to help offer reassurance at the height of the scare – and establish UCAOA as a well-prepared, informative resource for health-related stories.

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