Friday, October 28, 2011

In the Mix…A Flurry of Media Outreach

With this week’s disruptive snowstorm in Denver and looming winter weather in the Northeast, it’s safe to say that the winter campaign for our client Snow Joe is off and running! We letting media in those areas know all about Snow Joe’s selection of snow throwers – and preparing to reach out to other top markets when winter weather inevitably spreads across the country. Based on recent weather predictions, it looks like we’ll have our hands full this year!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

In the Mix…Riding, Running with Honor

So appropriate. Just days after the announcement that all troops are leaving Iraq by year’s end, a number of combat veterans already back home participated in the Honor Ride and Run held in Barrington, Ill., sponsored by client UnitedHealthcare. The 30-mile bike ride and 10K/5K runs raised awareness and funds for two groups dedicated to helping wounded vets - Ride2Recovery and Operation Homefront. We further promoted the cause with media coverage on two Chicago TV stations and a half-page article in a large newspaper chain, the Daily Herald.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

In the Mix…Caring Day from UnitedHealthcare

The wonderful season of giving is upon us and client UnitedHealthcare (UHC) of the River Valley (covering the Quad Cities of Illinois and Iowa) jump started the occasion with its annual “day of service” initiative. Thanks to an employee food drive and corporate support, the River Bend Foodbank in Moline, Ill., received $5,000 plus 1,000 pounds of food and other items. Our media relations efforts further spread the spirit of goodwill as three local TV stations and the Quad City Times covered the Oct. 18 presentation made by UHC employees. The food bank serves more than 300 charitable community organizations to support the hungry.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

In the Mix...Eureka Blogger Program

This week we are working with some of the most influential consumer bloggers to give them a first look at two of Eureka’s latest vacuums – both launching at Walmart this month. In addition to testing and reviewing the vacuums, the blogs will run giveaways for their own readers. We’ll be tweeting about the blog reviews and sharing them on the Eureka Facebook page throughout the month, so stay tuned!

In the Mix...First Alert is Featured Facebook Campaign!

We are just a week into First Alert’s the month-long sweepstakes, “The Great Escape,” and already it is making an impact with increased page visits, interactions and fans! Today, the campaign was featured on “Inside Facebook” – an expert resource for many social media enthusiasts and a resource for successful case studies. Read all about it right here!

Friday, October 7, 2011

PR Lessons from Steve Jobs

This week, like everyone else, I was saddened by the untimely passing of Steve Jobs. And as I read all of the reactions, tweets and articles about him – from tech reporters and former colleagues as well as the Apple devotees among my own personal network – I was struck by the emotion created by the passing of this entrepreneur, CEO and businessman. There have been many chronicles of the lessons he left behind. But the sheer volume of devotion around him and his larger-than-life persona made me realize there also are many public relations lessons to be learned from this CEO. Here are a few that I’d like to pass on to other CEOs who hope to follow in his footsteps, however large they may be.
  • Grant Access. So many CEOs view the media as a nuisance at best, an enemy at worst. But Steve Jobs recognized that granting media access and working with them directly could help your company, products and public profile in ways that shutting them out never would. So many media stories about Jobs’ death, like this great one by Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal, have led with anecdotes of meetings, interviews and personal moments shared with him. This access created a real respect by media, which impacted the devotion and emotional connection so many consumers feel for him today.
  •  Embrace the Drama. Steve Jobs was a great inventor, but also a master salesman. He treated every product launch like a five-star theatrical event and expected us to wait in line for hours to just get a glimpse of his latest innovation. And it worked – that flair for the dramatic reveal was contagious. Of course it helps if you have an innovation like the iPad behind the curtain!
  •  Go Out on a Limb. Steve Jobs was often right about the twists and turns taken by technology. But before that, he was often wrong. Media loved talking to him because he went out on a limb to make predictions about where our world was headed, and had bold, interesting ideas about the future. He was seen as a visionary in part because he was willing to take risks in expressing his thoughts. It takes courage in a world where CEOs are often uncomfortable discussing anything deeper than what the next quarter’s earnings might be.
  • Share Your Passion. The passion of Steve Jobs was evident every time I saw him speak or read an article about him. Yet so often, corporate spokespeople sound like … corporate spokespeople. The lesson here is obvious to me – be passionate about your business, products and people. And don’t let that passion be quelled by robotic talking points.  
  • Be Real. Which leads to my last point. Steve Jobs commanded respect for his ideas, his innovations and his contributions to technology. But his legend is revered because of his personality, his spirit and his heart. Underneath all of the business news and predictions, there was a real man. And he was willing to let media – and the public – get to know the real man.
As I continue to read the stories and quotes about the contributions of Steve Jobs, I’ll remember these and other lessons he left behind.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

In the Mix...La-Z-Boy on "Made in America"

La-Z-Boy recliners are an iconic American product – and we were thrilled to help the company secure a spot on the new Travel Channel show, “Made in America.” The show travels from city to city to find out how some of the most well-known American products are made. The process began last spring and continued through the summer as we worked with the show and La-Z-Boy team members around the country to coordinate shoots at the Siloam Springs, Ark., plant as well as the Emeryville, Calif., La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries store. All the work paid off last night, when the La-Z-Boy segment aired in one of the premiere episodes of the show. For more information on the La-Z-Boy episode of “Made in America,” click here.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

In the Mix...First Alert's "Great Escape"

Back for the second year, First Alert is again hosting a sweepstakes on Facebook in honor of October’s Fire Prevention Month – only this year it’s even hotter. This week the team is busy launching a sweltering sweepstakes. First Alert’s “The Great Escape” takes consumers through the ins and outs of an escape plan, tells everyone the benefits of a voice alarm and rewards one lucky entrant with a great way to escape... check out all this month to find out more!