Tuesday, December 27, 2011

In the Mix...The Bulls “Paint the Town” at Northbrook Court

Tipping off the 2011-2012 basketball season and a “BIG things are coming” campaign, the Chicago Bulls greeted fans last week at our client General Growth Properties’ Northbrook Court. The LCWA team was on hand to help media in attendance capture the Bulls’ players while they met fans, signed autographs and posed for pictures. Starting at 6 a.m., fans filled Northbrook Court with eager anticipation of the players’ arrival. With staff from Northbrook Court working overtime to make sure the crowds were under control, LCWA was available for media and helped to answer questions from fans throughout the day. If Wednesday was any indication, the Bulls are going to have a lot of support this season!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

In the Mix…Electrolux Vacuum Featured on “The Nate Berkus Show"

As consumers rush around to find last minute holiday gifts, TV shows are providing their favorite finds for the season – and companies covet those national TV spotlights that have large audiences. We secured a segment on “The Nate Berkus Show” for the Electrolux Ergorapido Ion vacuum which ran yesterday. Gift segments are always exciting, from the unveiling of the product to the audience’s excitement when they learn they’re taking one home. For us, the most exciting part is seeing our client’s messages communicated to a captive audience of more than 1.6 million! Check out the segment now!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

In the Mix…Vermont Castings and First Alert Help Consumers Deck the Halls, Safely

It’s the holiday season and we’re busy pitching our clients' great seasonal stories. This year, we paired up clients Vermont Castings, a leading hearth supplier, and First Alert, a leader in residential fire and CO detection devices, to provide tips on safe holiday decorating, including safe places to put trees and decorations and how to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning. We secured an Associated Press story, “Ensure decorations aren't a fire hazard,” that recently ran in the Palm Beach Post. This dream team client combination is sure to be a great resource for future home safety stories. Along with our clients, we’re wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

In the Mix...Oakbrook Center Shows Off Gifts for Mom

As the holidays near, one way our clients make headlines is through gift guide related stories. Luckily, our client General Growth Properties has three Chicago centers full of retailers with something for everyone’s holiday list – the perfect resource for a TV segment. Thanks to our outreach, this morning Suzanne Cook-Beres of Oakbrook Center showed off gift ideas for mom on FOX (WFLD-TV). From electronics to clothing and accessories (including another client, Tiffany & Co.) Suzanne’s advice will help many shoppers looking for a perfect gift for moms this season. Watch the segment here.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Are Theater Subscriptions a Thing of the Past? Maybe. Maybe Not.

Theater Communications Group (TCG), the national trade association for the non-profit live theater industry, released sobering statistics last week including this show stopper:  subscription income at non-profit theaters nationwide declined by more than 15 percent between 2006 and 2010.

This presents a fundamental conundrum for theater marketers. Do we attribute the downturn to the tough economy, and continue allocating funds to marketing multi-play subscriptions, which lock in working capital and a guaranteed audience upfront?  Or do we muster the courage to back off selling subscriptions, and refocus our marketing budget to target the more elusive single ticket buyer?
This is not a new conversation.  And I’m not sure anyone has the answer, including me.  However, what I do know is that three LCWA clients are successfully bucking this downturn and attracting repeat audiences.

TimeLine Theatre:  Consistency and mission-connectivity keep ‘em coming back.  Contrary to TCG’s new stats, TimeLine Theatre has grown its subscription base beyond the 3,000 mark for the first time this season, a 30% jump over last year, and a 125% increase over the past three seasons.  Why is TimeLine’s subscription base growing? Consistency. High production values are the norm, and TimeLine’s shows always connect to the company’s history-based mission. What’s more, simplicity, convenience and flexibility are the hallmarks of TimeLine’s FlexPass subscription program, which keeps people coming back and recommending the company to others. 

Paramount Theatre:  Surpassing expectations for subscription success. Last January, the Paramount Theatre, a 1,888-seat Art Deco palace in west suburban Aurora, announced it was flipping its 80-year programming model on its head.  Instead of importing touring road shows, the Paramount would self-produce its own Broadway Subscription Series.  The introductory offer? Four popular musicals featuring Chicago’s A-list actors, directors and designers, and the same production values audiences are accustomed to downtown, all for as low as $70.  Fast forward to December, and in less than a year, Paramount has successfully racked up a jaw-dropping 12,500 subscribers for its inaugural Broadway series.  Why? Audiences were enticed by the promise of enjoying four top-quality musicals, right in their back yard, for the price of just one show downtown. As the Chicago Tribune noted in last month’s review of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, “the Paramount has knocked its second self-produced musical out of the park and halfway to Egypt.”

Theater Wit:  An all-you-can-eat theater buffet.  Unlike Paramount, Chicago’s Theater Wit is encouraging repeat visits by offering the city’s first Netflix-like, live theater membership program, recently hailed by Time Out Chicago as a “bold new venture.” With a Theater Wit membership, you can see as many plays as you want in any of the venue’s three theaters, year round, for the low monthly fee of $36 ($30 for students). Armed with your unique Theater Wit member ID, you can even bring a friend along for free, twice a year.
More than just a bold alternative to traditional subscriptions, Theater Wit memberships also make great holiday gifts.  ‘Tis the season!  Click here to learn more.

Monday, December 5, 2011

In the Mix…Shoveling up Twitter Followers for Snow Joe

The Snow Joe/LCWA team is on a mission to increase Snow Joe’s humble Twitter following to a large and interactive network of weather lovers and snow-plagued souls. To do this, the team implemented a 7 week “snow blower a week” sweepstakes on Twitter, asking followers to “twell” us why they need a powerful, electric snow blower using the hashtag #snowjoeplus for a chance to win. And it looks like our wintry mix of snow news, personalized outreach, contest promotion and follower engagement is just what the weatherman ordered. In just three weeks, Snow Joe’s followers have grown more than 300 percent – with a 20 percent jump in 24 hours – and Snow Joe posts are generating as many as 60 RT’s. Check out Snow Joe on Twitter to join in the fun!