Friday, December 21, 2012

Favorite Finds

Although the year is winding down, and many are already vacationing for the holidays, our Twitter stream was as active as ever this week. Here’s what we liked:
  • Snow, no?: Here in Chicago we were in a snow drought until today… 290 days without snow!  Welcome, winter wonderland.
  • Brands beware: Sometimes a well-intentioned hashtag campaign goes wrong – sorry for Starbucks, this was their week.
  • Research Nerds Rejoice: The latest “State of Consumers and Technology” report is chalk full of data about how we use our devices (maybe why Nielsen is using Tweets as a TV rating metric). TechCrunch sums it up the report for us here
  • Proliferation of Paywalls: Half of all U.S. newspapers have paywalls and 1/5 of magazines do too, now. How will that affect reader numbers moving forward?
  • Kudos to our #PR colleagues: We applaud these brands that handled their PR disasters of the year with grace!  

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

In the Mix…LCWA Helps Welcome Home Heroes

Over the last month, we assisted client UnitedHealthcare of Illinois, a corporate sponsor of Chicago Welcomes Home the Heroes, spread the word about a two-day series of events to celebrate the service of thousands of veterans of the U.S. Armed Services since 9/11. The events included a parade on Saturday, Dec. 15 along Chicago’s signature parade route down Columbus Drive. Despite cold, rainy weather, a thousands of Chicagoans lined the route to show their support and thank the vets. Media coverage included several print and broadcast segments, an op-ed from local veteran Shawn Riley and a post-event story in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Favorite Finds

The second week of December was all about the number 12 – well and a few other numbers too. We tweeted about numerology, 2012 highlights and tips for a better social you in 2013. Check out some of our favorite stories below: 
  • Top Twitter Topics of 2012: Reminisce with us about the year that flew by with Mashable’s Top Twitter Topics of 2012 – which of these did you join in on?
  • Speaking of 12: Social media users worldwide buzzed about the perfect alignment of 12-12-12 this week, specifically at 12:12 p.m., and wondered about the significance of the day in the grand scheme. Check out one fun take on the notable date here.
  • On This Date 12-12-12: Twitter welcomed a heavy hitting holy Tweeter this week. Pope Benedict tweeted for the first time (again) from his new Twitter profile @Pontifex on 12-12-12. According to Twitter, 93% of the top 150 religious organizations in the U.S. tweet, and those that do get high engagement stats.
  • Pruning Your PR Counsel, By the Numbers: Looking for great tips to improve yourself professionally (and socially) in 2013? We recommend reading up on the Seven Habits of Highly Effective PR People, the Top Ten Twitter Marketing Tips and 13 Reasons You’re Not As Effective As You Should Be
  • Join Our Team! And of course, we are partial to our own Twitter announcements, too. LCWA is hiring ambitious, friendly, hard-working PR practitioners who love media of all shapes, sizes and formats. If that sounds like you, check out our job postings

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

In the Mix...Paramount Theatre’s Annie a Hit with Families and Animal Lovers Alike

Aurora’s Paramount Theatre is winning the hearts of generations with its current smash hit, Annie. In addition to spreading the word about this wonderful show, we are also helping Paramount build awareness for its unique community relations efforts associated with everyone’s favorite rags-to-riches musical.

First, click this recent feature in the Aurora Beacon News, a holiday heart-warmer about actor and professional dog handler Brian Michael Hoffman. Brian appears on stage in every performance and is the primary caregiver of Mikey, a rescue dog who has been carefully trained to play Annie’s canine friend Sandy. Brian convinced local pet adoption agencies to bring a stray dog to each show to make a live, on-stage appearance during Act One. Then, the lucky duck, er, dog, gets  the chance to meet and endear itself to potential new owners in the lobby during intermission. Already, two dogs, Whiskers and Tootsie from Rover Rescue in Aurora, have found new homes with Paramount audience members through this wonderful outreach program.

By the way, did you read the reviews? Both the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times agree Paramount’s Annie is better than Broadway’s!  Performances run through December 30, so don’t wait until “Tomorrow!” Get your tickets today!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Favorite Finds

The first week in December included news that will shape the future of social media – from digital presidential announcements to Google, Facebook and Twitter battling it out to be the number one social media network. Check out some of our favorite stories below:
  • The 144 Character Press Conference: President Obama forwent the old-school press conference and announced via Twitter Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s second term as the Democratic National Committee Chair. BO is a savvy Chief of State!
  • Social Media Rivalry: The most talked about story this week in the Twitterverse – No more instant Instagram sharing on Twitter!  Facebook, after outbidding Twitter to acquire Instagram, now directs clicks to the Instagram website rather than allow users to embed photos in their Tweets.
  • Google+ Joins the Fight: Google aims to grab more of the social media market with its new community-building Google+ groups feature, which allows users to form groups based on shared interests or brands. 
  • How Creative is Your Diction?: LinkedIn released the top 2012 buzzwords used in profiles. Ironically, the number one overused word is “creative.” Ragan’s PR Daily warns to be wary of using these words if you want to set your profile apart from the other 187 million LinkedIn members.
  • Integrated Digital Marketing 2013: Social Media Today discusses seven 2013 trends that will influence how businesses develop and execute digital marketing, with an emphasis on mobile marketing initiatives. 

In the Mix...‘Tis the Season to “Tech the Halls”

After the shelves were cleared on “Black Friday” and virtual carts were loaded on “Cyber Monday,” consumers were encouraged to be charitable on the new holiday dubbed #GivingTuesday.  On November 27, individuals across the country gave donations to their favorite charity or volunteered their time to help those in need.  As part of the holiday, our client GiveFoward partnered with tech companies in Chicago for GiveForward’s “Tech the Halls” initiative.  This program collected more than $100,000 in donations for those seeking financial assistance to pay their medical bills through  To help spread the word about the program, LCWA secured placements in the Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald, Crain’s Chicago Business and a nearly five minute segment on WMAQ2-TV’s “The Talk.”  Because of the initiative, GiveForward experienced one of its best days for receiving donations since its inception in 2008.  Hats off to our client GiveForward for rallying companies and consumers alike to give back!