Monday, January 14, 2019

Showcasing a New Standard of Clean with Sanitaire at ISSA


The 2018 ISSA Show – the professional cleaning industry’s premier trade show – was a priority event for client Sanitaire Commercial to connect with decision-makers and media to highlight brand news and demonstrate its continued industry expertise. To help Sanitaire, an innovator in commercial vacuums, stand out in this crowded trade show environment,
LCWA implemented a strategic mix of media relations and social media activities.

In preparation for ISSA, a blend of planned and opportunistic tactics ensured Sanitaire was able to capitalize on the timeframe. Focusing media outreach and LinkedIn content efficiently and effectively engaged Sanitaire’s target audiences – decision makers in the healthcare, education, office and hospitality commercial facility industries, and editors at the top trade outlets.

To increase media traction and exceed coverage goals, LCWA leveraged new product news and thought-leadership partnerships with a press release distribution and media outreach. For social, posts on Sanitaire’s LinkedIn page – including graphics, links, on-site videos and opportunistic content – engaged target audiences and partners.

This concentrated media and social media strategy, combined with months of relationship building with key trade editors and building Sanitaire’s LinkedIn presence, paid off. LCWA was able to help cut through the clutter and exceed benchmarks, with numerous media booth meetings, media coverage, and more than 30,100 impressions, nearly 7,800 video views and hundreds of clicks on LinkedIn.

Before, during and after the show, LCWA helped Sanitaire reach its target audiences and capitalize on the increased attention on the commercial cleaning industry to amplify its messages and new products. We look forward to working with Sanitaire on strategic programs to make a big splashes on social and in the trades with big announcements in 2019!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Four Questions to Ask when Choosing an Influencer Partner

Influencers are an important part of many public relations campaigns. They help grow brand and product awareness and can increase traction on social media. However, not all
influencers fit every campaign. Part of the allure of influencers is the individual, personal perspectives they provide. Here are four questions to consider when choosing influencer partners:

1) What are your goals from this influencer partnership?

Before beginning the search for an influencer partner, it is important to set up clear goals for your program. First, understand what you are hoping this partnership will do for your brand. This may include generating brand awareness or growing product sales.

Once you have your overall program goals, it also is important to determine how you will measure success by establishing key performance indicators (KPIs). Website clicks, social media engagements and overall impressions are valuable metrics to consider. Depending on the program, it may be best to include multiple types of analytics.

When crafting your program, it is important to be aware of the reach of each influencer. Large impressions are helpful toward your KPIs, however it is also important to consider the number of social media followers and typical engagements on blog posts and social content. When analyzing the influencer’s content as a whole, it may be best to choose those with smaller, however more active and engaged following, to reach your program goals.

2) Does the influencer fit for your audience?

Now that program goals are finalized, understanding your target audience is important when choosing an influencer. Start with your target audience – perhaps millennial females who cook – and work backward. If you are entering a new geographic market, then promoting your brand with influencers in the area will be important.

To help your program succeed, influencers should represent a similar look and feel as your brand to best fit your target audience. Many influencers consider themselves in the lifestyle category, however when reading their content, does it match the personality your brand wants to portray? Finding a blogger who meshes with your brand, such as a outdoor photography blogger for a camera company, is a natural fit – and will make great content for the brand and the influencer.

3) Is the topic ultimately a good fit for the influencer?

You may find some influencers who provide high-quality content, however understanding the typical content they cover is central for a successful campaign. Your campaign should be something the influencer might actually write about – not just content published and quickly forgotten. For instance, a food blogger may be health conscious and talk about making healthy choices. But as a meal-oriented site, it may not be a good fit for a disease awareness post unless it has a clear tie to food such as diabetes or celiac disease.

Competitor coverage is also important to consider. A quick search can determine if the influencer has covered one in the past, but it is also worth asking about. For example, Ford would not want a blogger who recently posted about Dodge to then share why they love Ford vehicles a month later.

The ultimate goal in a partnership is to make the content feel as authentic as possible to the reader – and for the influencer. Finding an individual who is an avid supporter for your brand or product, and wants to share that with their network, is priceless.

4) Are the expectations from the partnership clear for both you and the influencer?

After confirming the influencer is a fit and you begin negotiation, it is crucial to be as clear as possible about what you expect from the partnership. Outlining expectations down to the number of blog and social posts, specific messaging and hashtags or links to use ensures that what they create will be in line with your campaign. Providing a deadline will keep the influencer on a schedule, and have you both on a timeframe to be accountable for providing materials.

By securing these details through a contract, both parties will be happy with the results. A positive experience with you and the brand can lead to the ultimate goal of creating an ongoing brand advocate. Managing minute details in the beginning can help build lasting relationships for you and your client.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Leveraging Twitter to Drive Conversations about North American Forests

We helped our client Boise Paper and its partner, the organization #forestproud, share messages about the importance of forests. The organizations joined together for a very successful Twitter chat using the hashtag #beforestproud.

To help take the message far and wide, we partnered with a lifestyle blogger, Family Focus Blog, to host the chat. The blogger asked questions, while Boise Paper and #forestproud provided expertise touching on many forestry subjects, including the importance of using wood-based products and managing the sustainability of forests.

Through engaging content, appealing graphics and an interesting topic, the chat garnered more than 2,300 unique tweets and over 9.4 million impressions. To learn more about the #forestproud mission and goals, visit its website, https://forestproud.org/, or social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. 

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Celebrating the Decision to #ChooseSleep with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Recently, LCWA’s healthcare PR team a completed a campaign to help our client the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) promote the sleep medicine profession and emphasize sleep medicine fellowship training programs. The #ChooseSleep campaign ran during the time when doctors who have completed a medical residency were going through the fellowship matching process, with an emphasis on choosing a sleep fellowship training program.

First, LCWA created social media content using #ChooseSleep, starting with the opening of sleep fellowship rankings, when future fellows ranked which medical schools they preferred, through Match Day. These future sleep fellows going through the Match process were given access to resources, reminders of notable dates and key messages about the benefits of a sleep fellowship and a career in the field.

Next, LCWA partnered with current sleep fellow and AASM member Dr. Brandon Seay as he hosted a “Facebook Live” on the AASM page. Future sleep fellows learned what to expect during the remaining steps of the Match process and what they can look forward to in the next stage of their careers

To further encouraging the use of and engagement with #ChooseSleep, LCWA then conducted a #ChooseSleep hashtag sweepstakes on Twitter, which incorporated the trending #FellowMatch and #MatchDay hashtags. Participants, with help from Dr. Seay, celebrated the hard work of future sleep fellows, the benefits of a sleep medicine career and the importance of sleep medicine.

Finally, to reach medical and pre-med students directly at the resources they use to help make career decisions, LCWA secured an upcoming byline from AASM member Dr. Khurshid on the site Prospective Doctor, and placed an eye-catching digital banner ad on Life of a Med Student.

Overall, the two-month program achieved more than 103,500 impressions and nearly 1,600 engagements Facebook and Twitter, and 140,000 online impressions on medical student resources.

The above initiatives maximized conversations and built buzz around the Match process and Match
Day – recognizing the upcoming group of sleep fellows, and engaging with the sleep medicine community and the public. We look forward to continuing helping AASM push the sleep medicine profession forward in 2019!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Tricks of the Trades

While coverage in a big-name media outlet will always be a huge win, a feature story in a niche trade publication can be just as valuable – if not more so – to a client’s bottom line. Like all earned media, trade publications offer exposure and powerful third-party endorsements. Furthermore, trade outlets reach highly targeted audiences, including key decision makers and buyers. By establishing solid relationships with trade reporters, PR pros can ensure top-of-mind awareness for their clients and secure substantial placements that raise brand awareness and, ultimately, result in new business leads.

Here are some insider tips for planning and executing a successful trade media relations program for 2019:

Know your stuff. Trade reporters tend to have considerable experience working in the field
that they cover – so it’s important to do your homework. When pitching, let your inner geek out. This is when you need to shine and show off your expertise about your client’s products or services, as well as their industry. If you can demonstrate that you are knowledgeable and can serve up reliable information and sources, journalists will continue to come back for interviews, images, information and insights from you and your client.

Keep an eye on the competition. In addition to knowing your client inside and out, it’s important to stay on top of what their competitors are doing. Monitor the companies’ media coverage, regularly visit their websites and familiarize yourself with their product lines and promotions. Flag competitor news for your clients in real time to demonstrate your savviness and to keep them informed. Not only will this help you know the industry better, it can inform your PR strategy, strengthen your pitching skills and lead to new media opportunities.

Track editorial calendars. While editorial calendars for consumer outlets are primarily geared toward advertisers, many trade publications publish detailed calendars of their planned editorial for the entire year. These serve as great resources for crafting timely, relevant pitches for editors. To stay on top of upcoming opportunities, create a calendar that outlines potential opportunities month by month to ensure that your client is represented in any relevant articles or product roundups.

Maximize trade shows. Industry events are ideal for cultivating media relationships and placements. Smart practitioners will leverage opportunities to generate coverage for their clients before, during and following these events. In the months leading up to the show, pitch your client’s news to publications that typically publish pre-event coverage. (This is where those editorial calendars come in handy!) Invite media to stop by your client’s booth to see products firsthand and interact with company representatives. If possible, book appointments. Editors who schedule appointments tend to spend quality time at the booth and provide useful insight into upcoming projects. Beyond appointments, be ready to hustle! On-the-spot “wrangling” throughout the show can draw more media into the booth. A general rule of thumb is to introduce yourself and pitch your client to anyone with a camera. During any meeting, keep good notes so that you can provide quality follow-up and drive post-event coverage.

Showcase successes. Most trade magazines feature project profiles or case studies because they offer real-life examples and highlight the perspective of contractors and customers, rather than companies. Collaborate with clients to generate a steady stream of project success stories. This non-commercial, evergreen content is like gold to editors. Plus, case studies are invaluable for establishing clients as leaders in the industry and educating readers about the benefits of their products, services and brands.

By applying these tricks to your trade PR program, your account team will earn quality media coverage that will get your client in front of important, influential audiences – establishing them as thought leaders, increasing their visibility and generating leads.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Holiday Home Safety with First Alert and The Marc & Mandy Show


The gift of home safety will always be in style, so to help share this timely reminder with consumers LCWA’s home PR team set out to land high-profile coverage for our client, First Alert, to round out the year. As a result of our proactive pitching efforts in Canada, our team was able to secure a great opportunity with The Marc & Mandy Show, one of Canada’s top day time talk shows.

Hosted by the husband and wife team, Marc Atiyolil and Mandy MacLaren, The Marc & Mandy Show is a national design and lifestyle program that airs weekly on eight networks across Canada. As popular home décor and DIY influencers, the show presented the perfect opportunity to easily reach our target audience in a fun and festive way by featuring the First Alert 10-year Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm in a live studio audience giveaway during the show’s hit holiday episode.

In addition to this national TV clip, this giveaway generated coverage in Canadian Home Trends, a shelter magazine that covers all home topics from décor and gardens to building and renovating. The First Alert 10-year Carbon Monoxide & Smoke Alarm was featured in its Holiday Special Edition and in its online holiday gift guide.

With more exciting announcements on the horizon, the LCWA team looks forward to continuing to bring First Alert great results in the Canadian home market!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Three Tips for Creating Video Content on LinkedIn

LinkedIn has long been a platform for work-oriented and business professional people. The social media website originally launched in 2002 as a way for working professionals to connect and network with others. Today, it is a massive social media tool that is vital to professional networking, recruiting, sales and much more.

Like Facebook and Instagram, advertising and sponsored promotions on LinkedIn have become important ways for businesses and brands to leverage the social media community. While still image ads and sponsored posts remain effective ways to reach a targeted audience, video can be an even more dynamic and useful option.

Here are three tips from the LCWA social media content team on creating effective video for LinkedIn:

Know your audience
When creating video specifically for LinkedIn, it’s especially important to understand your audience. Because of LinkedIn’s professional setting and business-focused users, it’s essential to create video with them in mind. Focus the video on one topic and target accordingly using LinkedIn’s Marketing Solutions.

LinkedIn’s targeting options include location as well as specific workplace criteria, such as company industry, name, size, as well as an employee’s job title, function, skills, degrees and more. When getting across a specific message, don’t be afraid to be specific! Being selective with your target audience will put your content in front of the right eyes, making it even more effective.

Understand your Time Frame
Most people who are on LinkedIn are there for a reason. Unlike Facebook or Instagram, you typically don’t just peruse LinkedIn with no objective at hand. You don’t want to distract users too much from their objective, instead you want to grab their attention and deliver a concise, useful message. A good rule of thumb is to keep LinkedIn videos under 1:30 minutes. This should be plenty of time to convey your message to viewers while still holding their attention. Have more info to convey? Try a series of short videos instead of one long one.

In addition to knowing how long to make the video, it’s also important to know the best time to post the video to the timeline. In general, the best time to post to LinkedIn are weekdays in the afternoon. Employees are taking their afternoon break and browsing social media during this period, making it perfect posting time!

Make it Conversational and Informative
The best video content is made with a conversational and natural tone. No one wants to watch an uptight, boring video. Also remember the goal of your video. Is it to provide tips on a topic, or to drive clicks and purchases on a website? Whatever the goal is, construct your video to meet it.

Don’t be afraid to have fun with your video production! Get creative and enjoy the process by switching up your filming locations, doing a demonstration on camera or giving the audience a behind the scenes look. Discover what your LinkedIn “voice” is and continue that tone throughout your content. This will help establish a fan base so that people know what to expect out of upcoming videos.
  
Keep these tips in mind when you create your next – or first – video for LinkedIn! Social media is constantly evolving and sometimes it’s tricky to stay up-to-date, but if you consistently create engaging, thought-provoking content, you will always find success.