Friday, June 29, 2012

In the Mix...“Secret Millionaire” Viewing Party on Sunday


In June, the LCWA team was charged with creating local buzz for ABC’s July 1st “Secret Millionaire” episode featuring Steve Kaplan.  In just a couple of weeks, the LCWA team secured several interviews, articles and blog posts in Chicago media, all leading to Sunday’s program. We will attend the show's viewing party to watch the show and support the worthy causes represented by Steve and the participating non-profit organizations. The event takes place from 6-9 p.m. this Sunday, July 1, at Moe’s Cantina at 155 West Kinzie Street in Chicago. Tickets can still be purchased online at www.stevekaplanlive.com or at the door. All proceeds will be divided among the three Chicago charities featured on the hit show. We hope you’ll join us for an entertaining evening that will highlight some of the goodness in Chicago! 

Favorite Finds


Fiascoes, folly and fun. This week our tweets rode a rollercoaster of mishaps, controversy and surprises in the social and traditional media spheres. Here’s a recap of our favorite finds:
  • Hold the Dock: In a sly, space saving move, Apple is rumored to have changed the pin-port on its latest iPhone, meaning the new model won’t dock on what you’ve got.  Are all of your favorite Apple-friendly accessories doomed to go the way of the tape player? 
  • You’ve Got Facemail: Whether you want it or not. The social media giant converted users to an @facebook.com email address this week to “give users a choice.” Feeling like you didn’t have a choice? Click here for tips on how to switch back.
  • Reporter Relations: Our top tip this week for ethical PR: practice good reporter relations, not reporter impersonations. Read how the latter backfired for a Walmart PR firm this week here.
  • Human Relations: The Today Show and LCWA agree – knowing when and how to use email is important.  We loved their feature on “When and How to Talk to a Human” and if you need more encouragement to drop email for face-to-face time, check out our Research Group’s “Stop Bad Email” report.
  • Manly Relations: Looking for a testosterone-filled version of Pinterest? Check out Dudepins, DartitUp, manteresting or any of the new male-focused social spin offs trending this week.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

In the Mix…Trex Kicks-Off "Summer Comfort" Sweepstakes


The signs of summer are all around: flowers are blooming, the sun is shining and people are lounging on their decks!  To celebrate the season, and to increase the brand’s Facebook follower base, we worked with Trex to launch the month-long “Summer Comfort” Sweepstakes on June 20.  Just by “liking” the Trex Facebook page and clicking on a special app, consumers may enter to win a beautiful and durable seating option from the Trex Outdoor Furniture line.  After little more than a week, the Sweepstakes has generated more than 2,000 additional Facebook “likes”  for Trex!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bad Emails and Middle Management Mayhem

Based on the results of the 2012 Work-Related Email Perception Study, it’s mayhem out there for middle managers. Not only are managers stuck between a rock and a hard place on the corporate ladder, they also are stuck between their inboxes and their outboxes. 
  • 6,000 Wasted Minutes: Middle managers typically spend 100 hours a year on irrelevant email. Their biggest email complaints include: too many back and forth replies (34%); using email when a meeting/phone call is more appropriate (32%); and using “reply all” (29%).
  • The Portable Office: Managers are significantly more likely than other employees to access work-related email outside business hours (79%), and of those that do, 68% log in with their smart phone.
  • Burning Midnight Oil: The mid-level managers are significantly more likely to email after hours in order to: meet deadlines, connect with global clients/co-workers, fit in with the company culture and impress others. As a result, middle managers are more likely than their colleagues to experience work-life balance issues, stress and fear of missing information.
  • Big Business Blues: Larger companies – with 10,000+ employees – have middle managers who are significantly more likely to say they or their co-workers experience work-life balance issues.
We are presenting our research results and conducting interactive email diagnostics at the IABC World Conference in Chicago today. Visit us in booth #108 and stay tuned as we reveal more detailed findings here.


*based on research by LCWA Research Group and The Grossman Group, a communications consultancy

Monday, June 25, 2012

“e-nough alre@dy!” Employees Waste 70 Hours Per Year on Email

Where does the time go? Employees waste 20 minutes a day on bad emails.  That's 4,250 wasted minutes – or 70 wasted hours – per year! Time is money, and every day employees unintentionally waste time on irrelevant, excessive or unclear emails – but at what cost? According to our 2012 Work-Related Email Perception Study, employees spend nearly 20 minutes a day on emails that are irrelevant to their work.

Depending on the size and structure of your organization, email misbehaviors can cost your company thousands of dollars annually. Get a quick look at the amount of money bad emails cost you every year by taking our Email Diagnostic online or stopping by booth #108 at the IABC World Conference today.  All you’ll need is the number of employees, supervisors and managers in your organization.

Interested in a more personalized evaluation of your organization’s work email policies? Email me at htarr@lcwa.com to discuss our proprietary LCWA Email Dxsurvey solution.

*based on research by LCWA Research Group and The Grossman Group, a communications consultancy

Friday, June 22, 2012

Favorite Finds

Sweltering heat hit Chicago this week, and the @LCWATeam Twitter feed was on fire too with the hottest news and front-burner PR and social media tips. Here’s a recap of this week’s favorite finds:


  • Love newspapers?  We sure do. Newseum, the must-see museum of news if you’re ever in Washington D.C., posts their picks for the top 10 daily newspaper front pages from around the world every day.
  • We know where you live. According to tweepsmap.com 81% of @LCWATeam followers are from the USA, 20% are from Illinois and 16% are from Chicago.  Click here to find out where your followers are from.
  • What does gardening have to do with social media?  We dug these clever comparisons to help cultivate your social media effort.
  • Rising to the Surface.  Did you miss Microsoft’s unveiling of its new Surface tablet this week?  If so, Gizmodo edited it down to a quick 90 second video.
  • Live theater is big business.  LCWA is particularly proud of our Arts & Leisure division clients for helping contribute more than $2.2 billion annually to Chicago’s economy.  Read more about the new economic impact study on Chicago's arts and culture scene released earlier this week.




In the Mix...LCWA Announces 2012 Work-Related Email Perception Study

“Email overload” is taxing companies around the globe and driving major organizations to ban afterhours – and even work time – emails completely. As internal communication and research experts, we wanted to know: is email indispensible, irritating or detrimental to today’s business communications?

In a comprehensive, quantitative study, the LCWA Research Team surveyed employees at various organizational levels – from the C-suite to the cubicle – to investigate perceptions and costs of work-related emails. The results can be found in our pioneering white paper “e-nough alre@dy! Stop bad email: An update on work-related email reversing the notion to ‘ban’ email,” created in conjunction with our colleagues at The Grossman Group.

I encourage you to consider how this research applies to your organization and discover who is most affected by bad email, learn employee-endorsed email solutions and find out what bad email costs your company in productivity and dollars:
We’ll be presenting our research results and conducting interactive email diagnostics at the IABC World Conference in Chicago next week. Visit us June 25 and 26 in booth #108 and stay tuned as we reveal more detailed findings here over the next few weeks.

Monday, June 18, 2012

In the Mix...First Alert Hits 15,000 Facebook Fans!


The First Alert Facebook page has reached 15,000 fans! Last summer, the page had only 1,046 fans, but now – just one year later – it has grown to be the number one brand page in its industry. The LCWA team has continued to develop the First Alert fan base by posting engaging content and creating several opportunities for fans, including partnering with Duracell for two timely sweepstakes. Check out the page at www.facebook.com/firstalertsafety and watch as we climb toward the next milestone!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Favorite Finds

If you are following our Twitter feed then you already know it’s been a whirlwind week for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. As always, we’ve been keeping our eyes out for great stories:
  • Only 140 Characters?: Twitter’s expanded tweets will display the first few lines of articles text of an article and even video right on the Twitter website.
  • Presidential Pinterest: If you’ve ever wondered what the fist family does behind the scenes, you can now follow Michelle Obama on Pinterest.
  • ROI via Facebook Messages: New research from ComScore claims people exposed to brand messages and ads on Facebook are more inclined to buy products.
  • Where in the World is Google?: Searching for something on Google might seem easy, but a new infographic from the company shows just how far that search goes.
  • Facebook Friending: The Wall Street Journal reports that both user engagement and new user growth rate is slowing sharply for Facebook. 

In the Mix…Drive Dad Crazy This Father’s Day


The LCWA team is busy gearing up for our client Oakbrook Center’s 44th Annual Father’s Day Classic Car Show. Presented by the Greater Illinois Region of the Classic Car Club of America in partnership with Oakbrook Center, the Father’s Day Classic Car Show is the largest open-air show of its kind in the Midwest. The show features rare and one-of-a-kind vehicles dating back to the early 1900s and draws visitors from all over the world. More than 75,000 visitors are expected to attend this one-day-only event where more than 90 antique, classic, vintage and specialty automobiles will be on display throughout the park-like grounds of Oakbrook Center. The team’s pitching has already generated some buzz in local publications like Crain’s Chicago Business, the Daily Herald and the The Doings - Oak Brook. If you’re looking for a fun family event this Father’s Day, find more details on the Classic Car Show on Oakbrook Center’s website

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

In the Mix…First Alert Celebrates Dad – And Safety


Father’s Day is just around the corner, and to help celebrate Dad – and spread the word on safety – we’re helping our client First Alert conduct its “Dad is #1” sweepstakes on Facebook. For this contest, we’ve once again teamed with Duracell, requiring contestants to “like” both companies’ pages to enter. These co-branded efforts have been successful at building the fan bases of both companies, while also delivering our message of safety to an even greater audience. From now until June 15, visit the First Alert Facebook page and click on the sweepstakes tab for your chance to win one of 50 prize packs of First Alert CO alarms and Duracell batteries, as well as the grand prize – which includes a First Alert Digital Combination Safe and DVR security system! And have a happy, and safe, Father’s Day! 

Monday, June 11, 2012

In the Mix...Steve Kaplan on ABC’s “Secret Millionaire”


Our newest client, Steve Kaplan, will be featured on an upcoming episode of ABC’s hit series “Secret Millionaire.” The best-selling author, renowned business speaker and successful entrepreneur will travel from his home in the suburbs of Chicago to the Windy City’s South Side neighborhood to work with three organizations making an impact in the community. Throughout this experience, the Secret Millionaire attempts to remain undiscovered, coming face-to-face with extraordinary people battling the odds every day of their lives. On the final day, in an emotional and dramatic climax, Steve reveals his true identity. He then surprises the charities with a great deal of his own money, changing lives and encouraging others to keep giving back. The LCWA team is working with Steve to promote and coordinate media outreach around his appearance on the show. We’ll also help in the hosting of a viewing party in Chicago when the show makes its debut. We are excited to work with Steve, ABC Television, Zodiak Media Group and three Chicago-based charities for this upcoming episode. Stay tuned!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Favorite Finds


You really do learn something new every day – especially if you’re keeping an eye on your Twitter feed!  Here are some stories that made us stop and think this week:


Thursday, June 7, 2012

LCWA Receives PRSA Skyline "Awards of Excellence"


This week, the LCWA team attended PRSA Chicago’s annual Skyline Awards, honoring the best campaigns in Chicago public relations. In this very competitive field, we are honored to be recognized with two “Awards of Excellence” for two 2011 campaigns:  

  • The First Alert team won for the “Breathe Easy, California” legislative campaign in the public service category.  
  • Snow Joe cleared the way for a win for the “Snowless Winter” campaign in the marketing consumer products category. 
Congratulations to all involved!  And award season isn’t over quite yet. Our team looks forward to attending the International Association of Business communicators this evening. Fingers crossed for more great news!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Favorite Finds


It may have been a short week work-wise, but the world of public relations is always buzzing!  Here are some of the interesting headlines we found this week related to social media and the PR industry:

  • Tweaking Twitter: Some suggestions from Social Media Today on how to improve the popular social media site
  • #Hashtag 101: Handy guidelines for using that nifty little symbol in your tweets
  • Say What?!: PR slang, defined – we’re definitely guilty of a few!
  • AP Upgrade: From A-line to zoot-suit, new additions to the 2012 AP Style Guide
  • B2B Basics: 7 Tips for Increasing Facebook Fans for Your B2B Business
  • Fact or Fiction: Common Misconceptions about the PR Industry
  • It Is What It Is: 12 of the Decade’s Most Irritating Words and Phrases