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Monday, March 30, 2015

In the Mix…Trex Highlights Top Trends for Outdoor Living

As we shed our winter coats and finally head into spring, do you know what’s hot – and what’s not – this outdoor living season? As outdoor living and entertaining become increasingly popular, nobody wants to be caught with a patio that’s passé – especially readers of design and style media.

That’s the idea behind our client Trex’s annual Outdoor Living Trend Forecast, which highlights the top trends that will be seen outside homes across the country this year. The Forecast is a great opportunity to showcase the latest Trex products, while also strengthening the company’s thought leadership position and legacy of innovation and expertise within the industry.

Already, editors have taken notice, with early pickup in both trade and consumer media. With 2015 being heralded as “the year decking gets its groove back*,” we expect the Forecast and the momentum it is generating to lay the groundwork for a successful decking season!

*Home Channel News, October 2014

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Favorite Finds

This week was madness – and we’re not talking about basketball! From puppy cuteness overload to teenage heartbreak, this week the Internet just can’t even.

Here are my favorite finds of the week:
  • Puppy Love: If your social feed seemed extra adorable on Monday, that’s because it was #NationalPuppyDay! While celebrities and athletes joined in on the cause to raise awareness for pet adoption, our favorite pup pics came from @chicagoist, which featured adoptable pets from Chicago rescue organizations.
  • Auf Weider ZAYN: Pop heartthrob Zayn Malik announced that he was leaving #OneDirection, citing his desire “to be a normal 22-year old.” Naturally, teenage fans everywhere took to Twitter, Vine, SnapChat and every other social app to collectively FREAK OUT.
  • Oh yeah, there’s a basketball tournament: As #MarchMadness heats up, here’s everything you need to know about this year’s #Sweet16, via @usatoday.
  • Facebook’s new friends: The New York Times broke the story that Facebook is holding talks with major media publishers to host news within Facebook. The plan has been touted as a way to streamline user experience, but some media observers are saying it could destroy journalistic integrity. Either way, it’s yet another reason for PR pros to stay on top of their social media game.

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

In the Mix…Life Fitness Brings Innovation to IHRSA 2015

The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association held the 34th Annual IHRSA Trade Show from March 11-14 and Life Fitness was there to show off the latest in industry-leading trends and products. The LCWA/Life Fitness team conducted proactive outreach to fitness media and was able to secure seven booth appointments in support of the latest news from Life Fitness, ranging from the IHRSA debut of Brunswick billiards tables to Life Fitness open technology and a brand-new Rower machine. LCWA also brought a virtual element to IHRSA – managing a Tagboard page with a real-time social media feed that showcased the latest activity from Life Fitness fans and booth attendees on the floor. Next up, Life Fitness shakes up the FIBO show in Italy!

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Monday, March 23, 2015

In the Mix...Contigo Puts Spill-Proof Products on Display at IHA

LCWA helped client Contigo®, a leading producer of innovative water bottles, travel mugs and kids cups, display spill-proof products designed for every lifestyle and every age at the International Home and Housewares Show. The Chicago company highlighted new innovations, as well as the company’s popular Contigo AUTOSEAL™ and AUTOSPOUT® collections, to more than 40 media outlets during the four-day trade show at McCormick Center. In addition, LCWA also helped Contigo’s sister brand bubba tout its exciting new TasteGuard Travel mug to trade and consumer media, leading to a great placement in Chicago’s own Daily Herald. Cheers to another great, spill-free trade show!

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Favorite Finds

The Twitterverse this week was filled with #SXSW announcements, new social platforms and features and a hearty amount of best practices and advice I loved reading. Here are my favorites!

  • Meerkat Makes Its Debut – The live-streaming iOS app has been called “the breakout app of SXSW” and yet has already faced several ups and downs in its first week. Issues included privacy, a shut-down from Twitter and several critiques over “parasite apps.” We’ll be watching the adoption closely, but remembering other possibilities – like live streaming from Google Hangouts to YouTube.
  • Facebook Financials – As peer-to-peer payment systems become more popular, Facebook is diving into the fray and offering the option to pay others through Facebook messenger.  It’s free to use and seems simple and secure. More to come as it rolls out in the U.S. over the coming months.
  • Twizzler Challenge Takes Off – It’s been…interesting… to watch the #TwizzlerChallenge unfold. It’s yet to be seen if this will indeed be the new #IceBucketChallenge, but with a few high-profile celebrities already participating, the charity-focused stunt is gaining a bit of ground for the autism cause.
  • Bacon and Eggs – It’s just too cute of a campaign to ignore. I loved watching the web videos featuring Kevin Bacon promoting incredible eggs.
  • News You Can Use – It’s nice to see that in the latest study from American Press Institute, 85% of millennials “say keeping up with the news is at least somewhat important to them.” The overall learning was that instead of seeking out news (e.g. reading a newspaper) this generation is more interested in letting the news come to them (for example, with Twitter).

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

In the Mix...Less Stress in Sunny Orlando

With the brutally cold winter we had in Chicago this year, we were happy to “escape” for a few days to warm Orlando to help the Jarden Pets Division launch its “Less Stress” rebranding at the annual Global Pet Expo. The booth served as a nexus for four pet-focused brands under the Jarden umbrella and featured a “Less Stress Lounge” complete with ample seating, free chair massages and “Less Stress Kits” filled with items like compression masks to help visitors relax. LCWA was charged with coordinating the media for the show and during the two days met with several trade and consumer outlets to walk editors through the new positioning and introduce them to the available products from First Alert for Pets, Healthy Home Solutions, Oster and Oster Professional. We brought the warm weather back with us to Chicago and are looking forward to turning the “hot” leads from the show into spring/summer coverage.   

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Monday, March 16, 2015

In the Mix...More Sunshine, Less Sleep: Second Annual Insomnia Awareness Day

On the heels of daylight saving time on Sunday, March 8, LCWA client the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) declared Monday, March 9, the second annual Insomnia Awareness Day – reminding those who suffer from chronic insomnia that help is available from the sleep team and an AASM-accredited sleep center. As a result of LCWA’s outreach, our sleep experts were featured in influential consumer outlets including The Wall Street Journal, the Daily Herald and Huffington Post.  LCWA also coordinated a Huffington Post blog piece from AASM President Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler.

To reach even more insomniacs suffering from sleep loss, LCWA coordinated a Twitter #InsomniaChat, and secured a Wall Street Journal health columnist to serve as moderator. The chat included more than 50 participants and earned more than 470,000 timeline deliveries on Twitter.

Temporary insomnia symptoms, which occur in about 30 to 35 percent of adults, can be caused by a sudden change in schedule, such as the one-hour shift to daylight saving time. LCWA shared tips to help Americans cope with the potential hour of sleep loss and recommended options for seeking treatment for sleep illnesses. As many as 10 percent of adults have a chronic insomnia disorder, which involves ongoing difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or regularly waking up earlier than desired, despite an adequate opportunity for sleep. For more information on sleep illness or the AASM, visit sleepeducation.com

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