Monday, January 30, 2012

In the Mix…Monessen Heats Up the Headlines

Think home improvement stops in the winter? Not always. When it comes to adding warmth to the home, winter is just the right time, with great sales on fireplaces and other hearth supply products. That’s why we pitched tips from our client, Monessen, on when and how to give an outdated fireplace a new, modern look. As a result, we secured a story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, featuring product photos and several quotes from Monessen experts. Be sure to check out the story, “Updating your fireplace can rekindle the look of a room,” here. And stay warm!

Monday, January 23, 2012

In the Mix…Trex and LCWA Visit Meredith Editors

Did you know that one of the biggest media conglomerates in the country isn’t based in a New York City skyscraper? Meredith Corporation, home of Better Homes and Gardens, Ladies’ Home Journal, and dozens of other titles, is headquartered 1,000+ miles from the Big Apple – in Des Moines. Last week I went to Iowa with our client Trex to introduce Meredith’s editors to Trex’s latest outdoor living products. We talked with 20 editors and stylists about potential projects and photo shoots, then went on a personal tour of the impressive Meredith Corp., headquarters – and even enjoyed a snack in the Better Homes and Gardens Test Kitchen! So, despite the freezing Midwestern temperatures, our trip to Des Moines left me buzzing with energy and looking forward to fostering these editorial relationships for years to come.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

In the Mix…Pergo Works with Blogger to Showcase New Product

As part of our promotion for the launch of Pergo’s new flooring collection, PERGO XP, we’ve been working with the “Mommy Digger” blog to document a living room renovation. A series of four posts has outlined the process, from d├ęcor selection to installation – while letting the blog’s readers know all about the new product’s key features and benefits. Looks like Pergo has won a new fan! To see the latest post, visit the blog at

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

In the Mix...First Alert Hits 10,000 Facebook Fans!

Congratulations to the First Alert/LCWA team for reaching 10,000 fans! The team at LCWA has worked to spur conversation with fans, educate about important fire safety initiatives and give away products to consumers looking to try First Alert. With two completed sweepstakes and one in the works, and actively engaging the fan base, the page continues to grow and serve as a vital communication vehicle for the brand. Check it out at!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Getting in with the Mom Crowd

Last week I sat on a panel focusing on how to build successful blogger relationships, called “Getting in with the Mom Crowd," hosted by the Publicity Club of Chicago (PCC). Joining me on the panel were local bloggers Beth Engleman of Mommy on a Shoestring, Kim Moldofsky of Hormone-colored Days and Cindy Richards of

Below are some tips gathered from my experience, as well as the insights of Beth, Kim and Cindy, on how to get “in” with mom bloggers:

  • Do your homework. Finding the best blogger partner takes time. To get the right balance between relevance and influence, start by asking for recommendations from your current partners. Next, try and align your brand’s affiliations with those of the blogger. For products launching at Walmart, we always look for bloggers who are part of the Walmart 11. Then, look for those with the widest reach. In addition to rankings from tools such as Alexa, Technorati, Klout and Google, look at which bloggers have been quoted in your local or national news, to find a partner that will help you spread the word.
  • Tailor your pitch, just as you would for traditional media. So much of bloggers’ personal interests, hobbies and backgrounds are available online. Leverage the information to build a specific story idea for their tone and their audience.
  • Drop the one-night-stand mentality. You want your brand to stay top-of-mind for bloggers, so keep them top-of-mind. After a blog story hits, use social media channels to promote the placement and the blogger. Maintain the relationship by inviting bloggers to visit clients at trade shows and local events, sharing media opportunities and keeping them in the loop on client news.
  • Keep it engaging – and compliant. Engage a blog’s audience with interactive content: a product test, sweepstakes, Twitter party or exclusive insight from your experts. Just remember in the case of product testing or a sweepstakes, you’ll need to work within FTC guidelines to put the proper disclaimers and rules in place. To learn more, check out this Social Media Examiner post.

I hope this advice helps you build a robust and successful program in 2012. And if you have any additional tips to add, we’d love to hear them!

Friday, January 13, 2012

In the Mix…Everest Graduate Overcomes Adversity

It can be hard to find inspiration in today’s newspapers, among stories of continued world and economic turmoil – but when the LCWA Everest College team pitched Everest College graduate Rebecca Malivuk’s story, the media took notice. Malivuk suffered many hardships in a short time and was frightened by her uncertain future. Determined to turn her life around, she enrolled in Everest College’s medical insurance billing and coding program and was named a Dream Award scholarship winner for her unwavering perseverance to succeed. Yesterday, the Southtown Star shared her moving story with readers, and we hope you find inspiration in it, too!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

In the Mix…Electrolux Appoints Chief Design Officer

Electrolux made history this week with the appointment of the company’s first Chief Design Officer, Stefano Marzano, a prominent and renowned design industry leader. The LCWA team helped introduce Marzano to top-tier U.S. business and design media and quickly secured interviews for the new CDO. The introduction not only highlighted this new role within the company, but also marked Electrolux’s continued focus on being a consumer-insight driven business. We certainly look forward to seeing the future innovative solutions Electrolux will offer with Marzano leading the global design team!

Friday, January 6, 2012

In the Mix….First Alert’s “High Five” Sweepstakes

As part of a larger campaign to increase carbon monoxide (CO) awareness and legislation, we recently launched a “High Five” Facebook sweepstakes for First Alert in honor of two states that have had CO alarm laws in place for five or more years – Illinois and Massachusetts. The LCWA team has created a fan-gated sweepstakes, asking consumers across the country to “like” the page to enter to win five CO alarms every week. To increase traffic, engagement and to maximize interest, we’re also adding “surprise” prize packages throughout the five-week sweepstakes. Check it out at and click on the “High Five” tab!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

In the Mix…Everest Graduate Provides New Years Inspiration

Need some inspiration for your New Year’s resolutions? Look no further than Anthony Phillips. As a professional NFL football player, Phillips seemed to have it made, until a series of debilitating injuries sidelined his dream. With no safety net or backup career, Phillips fell on hard times and depression – until he decided to take his life into his own hands and enroll at our client Everest Institute’s campus in Kalamazoo, Mich. Today, Phillips is living his dream of helping others with health problems and injuries as a medical assistant, and proving that it’s never too late to pursue your dreams. Inspiring? The Kalamazoo Gazette certainly thought so – we pitched his story to reporters there, and then worked with them to secure interviews. On Christmas morning, people in Kalamazoo woke up to Phillips’ story on the front page! Click here to view the story, and best wishes for a wonderful New Year!