Friday, January 13, 2017

Favorite Finds

The New Year is in full swing, and despite the onslaught of political information and opinions dominating the newsfeeds, we managed to find some interesting non-politics-related info worth noting.
  • Try to explain this in 140 characters or less: Twitter announced that it is shutting down its Dashboard app, which was released just six months ago. Dashboard was designed to help businesses make the most of their Twitter presence without having to refer to third-party options. While viewed as handy by industry users, clearly it did not meet Twitter’s expectations; the company continues to confuse users and investors alike with its program development strategy.
  • Just “Give” It: 2016 was a yuuuuge year for…giving to charity? Yep, according to a recent report on publicly announced giving there were twelve donations given by wealthy donors that surpassed $100 million, plus another six that totaled $100 million exactly. At the top of the list included Nike cofounder Phil Knight, who gave $500 million to his alma matter, the University of Oregon. Hopefully none of that money was spent on additional football uniform designs.
  • A new national holiday? Whether or not you sold all your possessions for tickets to see Hamilton in 2016, we all wished the most unlikely pop culture icon of all time a happy birthday. Alexander Hamilton was born on January, 1757 (maybe)…before Twitter even existed! Grab a slice of cake and learn some fun facts that may or may not have been included in the mix tape. 
  • A PR stunt the whole family can enjoy! To entice sportswriters to vote Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid for the All Star Game, Sixers PR sent media an ingredient kit to make their own Shirley Temples - the favorite drink of the budding NBA superstar - who reportedly needed an intervention from the team nutritionist to curb his habit. Things could be worse.
  • Forbes released its 2017 “30 Under 30” list and…hey, why am I not on here?!? Must be fake news.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Favorite Finds

Now that we are a few weeks into the new year, you may have thought all of the year end wrap-up type lists were over. Not yet. This week we are getting nostalgic: 
  • The Obamas’ last week in the White House- This week we close yet another
    chapter of our nation’s history, as the Obamas pack up their things. In the thankful and silly tone she does best, Ellen DeGeneres shared this video looking back over the last eight years.
  • The past year in pop culture- Speaking of Ellen, the People’s Choice Awards were broadcast this past week where the fans voted on their favorite movies, TV, and pop culture moments of the past year. Ellen took home 3 awards (Daytime TV Host, Favorite Comedic Collaboration and Favorite Animated Movie Voice for Finding Dory) giving her 20 over her lifetime, the most in history for these awards. That is quite the accolade, but may not beat the Medal of Freedom she was awarded this year as well…
  • Tunes from 2007- Let’s look back at pop culture further than the last year—back 10 years! Buzzfeed posted a list of songs turning 10 in 2017. It may be rainy in Chicago this week, but we can stay dry under our umberella-ella-ella-ay-ay-ay.
  • Looking back on the world of Pixar- Feeling nostalgic yet? Let’s take it back even further to when Pixar released Toy Story back in 1995. The Grand Unified Theory of Pixar Movies has been around for many years, in which eagle-eyed Pixar fans noticed easter eggs connecting Pixar movies together. This theory combining all Pixar films was popular, but never confirmed…until now.
  • Born in 1922 – Some people may start feeling old after looking at these articles, but you know who is feeling as young as ever? Betty White! The golden girl turned 95 this past week and is still shining like a star.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Favorite Finds

As 2016 became 2017, it was a time for reflection, wrap-ups, changes and predictions for the new year.
  • When the chili is too spicy…Wendy’s is getting reactions both hot as a patty fresh off the grill and cold as a frosty to its new Twitter “attitude,” as it appears to have given its social media team carte blanche to tweet whatever they want – likely to appeal to a new audience who appreciate the sass and edginess of accounts like DiGiorno and Old Spice. But recent activity poses the question: how much freedom is too much for a corporate Twitter account?
  • Sound of silence: Facebook, which launched auto-play (and auto-muted) video at the end of 2013, has now launched an automatic video subtitle captioning tool. Powered by voice recognition software, it takes the hassle out of transcription while making it easy to edit the subtitles it suggests.
  • Personal foul; unnecessary PR roughness? During the second half of the Eagle's recent 17-13 win over the Dallas Cowboys, Eagles staffers ejected a Philadelphia Inquirer beat writer from the press box and the stadium after he and an Eagles media relations rep argued over how loudly other reporters were talking in the press box. The question of which party crossed the line is under further review.
  • Trends for the trending: Impress your coworkers, boss, family, friends and strangers by capitalizing on these branding trends for 2017. This article is NOT fake news.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Favorite Finds

This week on Twitter, the social media behemoth, Facebook, made headlines and hashtags nearly every day. Here are my favorite #Facebook finds:
  •  Radio Rises Again – Social media won’t kill the radio star. Facebook plans to introduce live broadcast streams in 2017. Once fully launched, any user can set up their own radio station on the platform, with access to a potential audience of 1.75 billion people.
  •  The Fake News Fix – The German government doesn’t think Facebook’s anti-fake news tools are enough. Amid fears that viral fake news stories could affect the country’s 2017 national elections, the government is planning a bill that will fine Facebook 500,000 euros ($522,000) per fake news post!
  •  Social Celebs – According to Vanity Fair, 2016 was the year that social media replaced celebrity public relations. In today’s cultural landscape, social platforms have become more valuable than tabloids and television. But, the author warns, not having a PR pro can be dangerous territory – causing celebs to lose control of a situation, which can outweigh what they gained in authenticity.
  •  Zuckerberg’s Acting Debut – Having revealed how he built his AI assistant, dubbed “Jarvis,” Mark Zuckerberg has now shared a video showcasing the virtual assistant in action. While Zuckerberg won’t be winning any Oscars, the video is pretty funny – and features Morgan Freeman as Jarvis!
  •  Facebook Live Tools – In accordance with the biggest social media trend in 2016, Facebook has released a set of new features to help manage its live video streaming. Venture Beat shares how celebrities and social media teams can better collaborate, edit and manage Facebook Live shares.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Favorite Finds

It is too cold to even move this weekend in Chicago, so here is some news to warm your mind, body, and spirit.
  • PR professionals know how important accurate reporting is for their clients. This past week, Facebook admitted that it has not been helping with that effort. In September, Facebook released that there was a miscalculation in the average viewing time for video ads the past two years, inflating those numbers greatly. In November, they admitted to a bug in their page insights reach numbers. Now there are errors with estimated reach numbers. Find more information on the bugs and what Facebook is doing to fix them.
  • Google Chrome released a web extension last week that may help find common ground in a highly divided America. The extension replaces all photos of Donald Trump in your browser with pictures of kittens. It seems like something many of us could use right about meow. 
  • As a part of his effort to support military families, self-titled “Rock the Troops”, Dwayne The Rock Johnson appeared on the Tonight Show late last week to coordinate a surprise for one of the show’s producers—reuniting her with her husband who had been deployed in the US Air Force. 
  • Finally, in some more festive news, today is National Christmas Jumper Day – a cause to support the organization Save the Children, as well as an excuse to wear you best/ugliest Christmas sweater.

Bundle up in that Christmas sweater and have a warm weekend!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Favorite Finds

Winter has finally reared its head here in Chicago, and as we put on our woolies, here are a few of my favorite finds that can keep at least your Internet browser warm:
  • Social Spending Fever – Advertising agency Zenith has predicted that by 2020, the amount of advertising spent on social media ad revenue will hit $50 billion, and account for 20 percent of internet revenue.
  • Instagram Updates – After Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have taken stronger
    stances on dangerous content,
    Instagram rolled out a hate speech update that allows users to remove comments completely and remove followers from private accounts.
  • Google Goes Emoji – Google is finally embracing emojis. Individuals can now tweet an emoji at the @Google handle, and receive nearby locations and searches relevant to the emoji you used.
  • Pokémon Frappe – Pokémon Go and Starbucks announced a partnership this week. Starbucks will be debuting a Pokémon Go Frappuccino – a frozen raspberry and blackberry-flavored frappe. The drink, which will be available for a limited time, will be featured only at store locations listed as PokéStops and Gyms.
  • Skimm Strategy – One of the most popular daily email newsletters, theSkimm, an off-beat wry approach that reaches millions every day. With headlines such as “What to Say to Your Friend Who Wants to Go Skydiving for Her Birthday,” it provides ample lessons for public relations and communications. Check them out from PR Daily here

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

In the Mix...Trex Takes on the Big Apple

LCWA and client Trex Company, the world’s largest manufacturer of wood-alternative composite decking, recently took the Big Apple by storm to meet with top-tier shelter, design and lifestyle magazines. During a whirlwind two-day media tour in New York City, we met with editors and staff writers from 14 different publications.

An annual initiative designed to keep Trex top-of-mind with editorial influencers, these meetings provided the opportunity for us to reinforce the company’s position as the ultimate outdoor living resource by showcasing its extensive portfolio of Trex products and user-friendly online resources. We also were able to brainstorm story ideas with editors on the spot and discuss how Trex could fit into outdoor living coverage planned for 2017 and beyond.

So, come next spring and summer, don’t be surprised if you run across Trex as you’re flipping through the pages of your favorite magazine!