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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

In the Mix…First Alert Secures National Coverage for Innovative Alarm

The First Alert Safety POD (Protection on Demand) is ready to go wherever you go and is generating a ton of media attention, thanks to seasonal outreach conducted by LCWA.

The Austin-American Statesman and Chattanooga Free Press featured the First Alert Safety POD in holiday fitness gift guides – highlighting the alarm as a great present for friends and family members who take their running from the treadmill to the pavement. With the easy-to-find panic alarm and built-in bright LED light, runners can feel more secure when jogging alone or at night.

In addition, newspapers from coast-to-coast – from the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Houston Chronicle – have touted the compact device as ideal for helping consumers guard against loss and personal injury when traveling, exercising outdoors, in a college dorm or at home.


LCWA is excited to continue to work with media to generate coverage for a great product – the First Alert Safety POD – that provides on-the-go security and peace of mind. 

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Favorite Finds

The air is full of holiday cheer – and tons of news from the social media world. Below please find a list of my top picks for the week:

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Friday, December 5, 2014

Favorite Finds


The Twitterverse is in full giving-season mode! From giving us great deals on Cyber Monday and a day this week completely devoted to charity donations (Giving Tuesday) to many Tweeps doling out great advice, we saw a generous amount of Twitter conversation this week. Here are the highlights:



  • Online Cookies! Not to be confused with browser cookies, the real-deal sweet treats from the Girl Scouts of America will now be available for order online. Troops around the country will now have a digital option for selling Girl Scout Cookies – and based on the Twitter excitement we saw – they’ll do quite well.
  • Holiday Hoopla. With Thanksgiving in the rear-view mirror and a host of December observations ahead, many brands are jumping on the holiday train and playing to consumers’ love of the season. Here are a few ways to join the festivities.
  • Say This. Many working Americans will go through an annual review process in December, so we found it timely to review a list of 15 “magic” things great leaders say not only during reviews, but every day. Let’s learn from this.  
  • The Gender Game. We see a lot of females in the PR industry, so it was surprising to read this perspective from the UK, which says that media is still a gentleman’s club. Do you agree?       

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Monday, December 1, 2014

Spin Doctor Warnings and Key Learnings from November’s PRSA Chicago Event

Last month I attended the last PRSA Chicago program of 2014 – “Spin Sucks: Creating Compelling Content for Google and Humans in 2015” presented by Gini Dietrich. Many of us PR pros look to Gini for her humorous and on-point insights on Twitter and her blog – Spin Sucks – but it was nice to get an in-person perspective from her November presentation.

Basically, Gini wants us to know that no matter what “other people” are doing in the PR industry, it’s important to stay strong with our counsel and remember ethics. She touched on three different areas where it could be easy to jump in the name of results: 
  • Whisper Campaigns. This is the “anonymous” practice of starting a rumor with malice in mind. One way to stay straight? If it’s not true, don’t say it. 
  • Astroturfing. Otherwise known as pure fakery, there have been instances of companies creating fake accounts to “review” issues and products and even fake letters to the editor. Not only is this unethical, it’s illegal.
  • Media Manipulation. Gini shared that PR pros now outnumber journalists 4:1 – so we have an obligation to help the media as much as we can. Reporters often are in the race of “get to it first” so it’s our job to give them the truest facts up front so there’s no confusion or backlash that can come from it.
I very much appreciated Gini sticking up for us do-gooders and issuing a plea to fellow PR practitioners to keep doing the right thing. It was nice to be reminded that PR strategy is a marathon – and that despite the viral videos and seeming overnight successes we see on social media, there is no one magic bullet that will ever equal long-term success.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Favorite Finds

It’s a short work week for the Thanksgiving holiday, but there was no shortage of news stories. Here are some of the headlines, tips and tales that caught our attention:

  • Smell-o-Vision is here! Rumored to be in development for years (literally…. years) the untapped potential for smell-technology is starting to become a reality. Debuting at London’s Heathrow airport is the “Scent Globe” that lets travelers smell the world. What marketing implications will this new technology has as it becomes more widespread? What it in action here.
  • Twitter now saves you money…Twitter is now letting marketers run promotions in the Twitter newsfeed that users can redeem via their credit card. If a Twitter Offer pops up in your timeline, now you can add the Offer to your credit card or debit card for the future purchase. This holiday season will kick off the new feature, but read more about here.
  • Marriott and Hilton Introduce Cancellation Fees… Both Hilton and Marriot recently announced plans to boost revenue through cancellation fees and as a result, stirred up a negative social media frenzy. Is this a terrible PR move, or standard business practice? Learn more about here.
  • The #Hashtag is here to stay The hashtag may have once been an up-and-comer trend, but it with its own USB keyboard link, and it’s ever increasing presence in our culture, it looks like it’s here to stay. Check out the latest gadget for the hashtag here.      

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In the Mix...First Alert Gives Gift of Safety in Time for Holidays

This week – just in time for the holidays – the First Alert team at LCWA was thrilled to help support First Alert and its work with the CBS Chicago Cares telethon, benefiting
 the American Red Cross - Greater Chicago Region.

First Alert played a prominent role in the day, including presenting the Red Cross with a $48,000 check for its Team Fire Stopper program! I also was privileged to attend a donation event at a Bronzeville fire station, where team members handed out more than 300 combination smoke/carbon monoxide alarms, 100 10-year smoke alarms and 300 Tundra fire extinguishing sprays to members of the community to help protect them and their families this holiday season and beyond! In addition, CBS Chicago filmed a live segment from the station to remind viewers about the donation event and the importance of having working smoke and CO alarms. It was a wonderful experience, and helping so many people to stay safe was the perfect way for First Alert and LCWA to kick off the holiday season!

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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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