Friday, July 27, 2012

Favorite Finds

It’s Olympics Opening Ceremonies Day (also known as Friday), and this week we’ve had one eye on social media and one on London. Check out our favorite finds below to get the scoop on the social impact of the games to date and brush up on Twitter following and posting recommendations.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

In the Mix…Trex "Summer Comfort" Sweepstakes (That’s a Wrap!)

We definitely “like” all of the attention generated for the Trex Facebook page as a result of the “Summer Comfort” Sweepstakes!  In just four weeks, the sweepstakes drew more than 300K entries and the brand’s fan base grew by 25%!  We’re looking forward to seeing photos of how the four lucky sweepstakes winners show off the beautiful, durable Trex Outdoor Furniture on their decks and porches.  And – after a short “summer vacation” – we plan to launch another exciting sweepstakes to continue growing the Trex Facebook community and increase user engagement!

Monday, July 23, 2012

In the Mix...Eureka Seals the Deal on Pet Cleaning

Eurekaรข’s new SuctionSeal™ Pet vacuum received two “howling good” press placements in major national media outlets last week. Both the Wall Street Journal and This Old House recently covered the new Eureka vacuum, which uses SuctionSeal Technology with All-Surface Suction Plates™ to prevent the pushing, blowing and scattering of debris while vacuuming. When combined with the cleaner’s powerful suction, all-floor cleaning capabilities and pet specific cleaning features, media agree the Eureka SuctionSeal Pet is the cat’s meow. Stay tuned for more SuctionSeal Pet coverage later this summer in publications including Dog Fancy and News Journal.

Friday, July 20, 2012

In the Mix...Frigidaire Professional Scores Big on

Our team secured great online coverage for two products in the Frigidaire Professional line of small appliances. We worked with popular’s housewares and appliances guide Mariette Mifflin as she wrote about her very positive experience with both products. The 12-Cup Drip Coffee Maker received a full 5-star rating in its review while the Tri-Blade Immersion Blender/Mixer earned 4.5 stars. In her review of the coffee maker, Mariette found that the product delivered hot, flavorful coffee and noted that the carafe was top-notch as well. In her testing of the immersion blender/mixer, she noted that the product was very well constructed and that the fit and ease of connecting various pieces was tremendously easy. Looks like Frigidaire has won a new fan!

Favorite Finds

Summer’s in full swing and we’re feeling the heat in Chicago.  Before we head into another warm, fun-filled weekend, we’ll leave you with some of our favorite stories of the week:
  • Twit Tools: Social Media Examiner listed five new Twitter tools worth checking out. Our favorite: The Twoolr dashboard.
  • Blogging Don’ts: PR Daily called out “12 horrible pieces of blogging advice” this week in a no-holds-barred blog post.
  • Olympic Fever:  PR Newswire warned us not to get swept away in the Olympic excitement in our press releases by outlining the Olympic Games marks use restrictions.
  • “Want!”: Our appetites were whetted with talk of the Facebook “Want” button. We’re envisioning big implications for consumer products and beyond.
  • Driving Facebook Engagement: Social Media Today confirmed our finding that explicit calls to action on Facebook get the best responses in their article on “What Message Content Works.”

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

In the Mix...Pergo Partnership Proves a Doggone Success

Pergo’s partnership with the Best Friends Animal Society has pet-lovers everywhere wagging their tails! In just over two months, the brand’s “Pergo vs. Claws” YouTube video and corresponding Facebook promotion have generated more than 20,000 “likes” for Pergo and an equivalent donation to the premier national animal welfare organization through Pergo’s “$1 per like” campaign. As a result of LCWA’s aggressive traditional and social media outreach, more than 200,000 people have viewed the clever and cute video, which features Pergo floors being put to the test at Best Friend’s new Los Angeles facility, demonstrating how well they can withstand paws, claws, and even hooves! As word continues to spread, the campaign is effectively benefitting both organizations by boosting pet adoptions and inspiring consumers to bring Pergo floors into their own active spaces. Check out these comments from some of Pergo’s newest fans!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Favorite Finds

As we've stared out our windows this week on the Taste of Chicago 38 floors below and a few blocks away in Grant Park, we've been following the annual event's news on Twitter! Here's a quick look at some of our favorite finds this week:  
  • Cool graphics: PR Daily included a neat world map that illustrates the U.S. as the top Twitter user in the world.
  • Useful Tips: How to "rock Twitter chats on the go" from Social Media Sean are duly noted!
  • Olympics News: This New York Times story on an NBC and Facebook partnership caught our attention.
  • Possible American Airlines' Merger: This news is dominating the business pages and the Twitter feeds of many an aviation enthusiast.  
  • Artsy Etsy: New app from Chicago art show favorite Etsy is getting attention.
  • Food news: Spiaggia at the Taste of Chicago?! Yum!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Breaking the Bad Email Chain

LCWA’s Research Group and The Grossman Group recently presented our “E-nough Alre@dy! Stop Bad Email” research results to IABC World Conference attendees.  In just two days, we distributed more than 200 copies of our research results, met with hundreds of inbox-burdened communicators and heard first-hand how irresponsible email usage is affecting corporations. 

If, like the IABC attendees, you are ready to take action against irrelevant and costly emails, we recommend these steps:
  • Put a Price on It. Make a business case for new email policies by tying a cost to the behavior. Our online Email Diagnostic can estimate how much bad emails are costing your organization.
  • Identify Your Weaknesses.  Communication cultures vary between companies, and even between departments. Identify the specific email vices at your organization – including which behaviors are the most pervasive, time-consuming and costly – before you build a solution. For a quick, cost-effective email assessment, email me about the LCWA Email Dx.
  • Build Better Etiquette. Create an informed email etiquette policy based on the facts you have gathered.
Eliminating email misbehaviors is a step toward more effective internal communications, but it isn’t the ultimate solution.  If you are concerned about improving employee engagement, work/life balance and productivity beyond an email overhaul, let’s discuss ways to assess your organization’s entire communication climate.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Lights, Camera, Action – Lessons for Television Shoots

With Lara and Denise of Vermont Castings at the shoot!
On June 26-27, our client Vermont Castings was in the spotlight during a television shoot at the company’s cast iron foundry and assembly plant in rural Vermont. I was on hand during the shoot, which captured more than 20 hours of footage, and can guarantee that it’s going to be a great segment. The name of the show is a secret for now, but I can share the top three things I learned while staffing a television shoot! 
  • Get people involved. Vermont Castings is known for its rich heritage and proud craftsmanship – traits that employees are proud to show off. By involving the employees who work hands-on with our products, we were able to capture the most authentic images possible – and create an air of excitement throughout the entire shoot. 
  • Be prepared. Make sure to let everyone involved – from those on the line to those in charge – know that these shoots can be very tedious, often requiring participants to repeat steps so the camera crew can get the best footage possible. This means that shoots can often run longer than expected, so be prepared with extra food and water to keep everyone as comfortable as possible!
  • Check the rules. We love to spread the word when we are working on something exciting for our clients, but privacy regulations can prohibit you from making the name of the show public before it airs, or even from sharing photos from the shoot. Check with producers and show representatives to determine how much you can share with your employees, dealers, consumers and other audiences.

I’ll have more to discuss in a few months when we can share this wonderful television show and segment with you!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Favorite Finds

We may have had a holiday and a heat wave this week, but that did not stop the news from flowing on Twitter! Here is a look at our favorite announcements, statistics and stories:

  • Surprising Stats We’ve heard the “Internet is changing marketing/PR” speech, but now there is shocking data to support that claim.
  • LinkedIn and Twitter’s Breakup Many of us have posted tweets on our LinkedIn accounts, but as of this week, there’s no more “link.”
  • Disastrous June Remember when CNN and Fox News blew the Supreme Court’s call on Obamacare? Yes, we do, too. But how did it rank in Ragan’s PR Daily’s list of “5 worst media disasters of June?”
  • Virtual Wish List Mashable reported that Facebook is testing a “want” button for a huge social commerce push. Do you “like” this idea? We do!
  • Bite-Sized Apple Tablet According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple’s component suppliers in Asia are prepping for a smaller tablet computer.
  • #ExilePitbull Walmart’s Energy Sheets Facebook campaign with spokesperson Pitbull took a hilarious turn when users hijacked it in an attempt to send the rapper to the most remote Walmart location in America.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

In the Mix...Fallen Firefighter Honored 60 Years Later

A fallen Chicago firefighter lie in an unmarked grave in Des Plaines for sixty years – until now. Late last month, Mount Emblem Cemetery of Elmhurst, the Chicago Fire Fighter’s Union, The Chicago Fire Department and All Saints Cemetery placed a permanent marker on the gravesite of Firefighter John Francis Minich, who died in a 1952 Chicago fire after rescuing 12 civilians.  The permanent marker was donated by Mount Emblem Cemetery, a Dignity Memorial provider, to rightly commemorate Minich’s life and his sacrifice. Charged with spreading the news of this local hero’s story in the northwest suburbs, LCWA worked in tandem with the Chicago Firefighter’s Union PR team to secure coverage in the Chicago Tribune, Des Plaines Journal & Topics, and the Daily Herald. Read this heartwarming story here.

Monday, July 2, 2012

In the Mix…First Alert Launches “Independence Day” Sweepstakes

This Fourth of July, we’re asking Facebook fans, “what does freedom mean to you?”  For our client First Alert, freedom means having the ultimate peace of mind that your home is protected and safe. For that reason, we’ve worked with First Alert this week to launch its “Independence Day” sweepstakes on Facebook. From now until July 13, fans can visit the First Alert Facebook page and click on the sweepstakes tab for a chance to win one of four security camera systems! This is one in a series of sweepstakes we’ve coordinated for First Alert this year to increase fans and engagement. Our last sweepstakes generated more than 1,300 new “likes” and pushed First Alert over the 15K fan mark!  We’re looking forward to the results of this latest promotion.  In the meantime, on behalf of the First Alert team, have a happy and safe Fourth of July!