Thursday, December 19, 2013

'Tis the Season for Holiday Shopping and More!

With Christmas less than a week away, it’s safe to say the holiday shopping season is well underway! And what a season it has been for LCWA’s clients Northbrook Court, Oakbrook Center and Water Tower Place.  From festive fashion
shows and charitable giving to snapshots with Santa Claus, Chicagoland shoppers have been treated to more than just the latest trends this year.

Guests have been invited to experience a host of holiday happenings and one-of-a-kind events, such as Oakbrook Center’s first-ever Holiday Spectacular, which included unique art demonstrations, live reindeer and a stunning pyrotechnic performance. LCWA helped to drive excitement and attendance by generating coverage in multiple print and broadcast outlets. Northbrook Court kicked off the holiday season with its second-annual Fashion Forward Event benefiting local charities FORCE: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered and Bears Care. The LCWA team secured local media attendance and coverage of this unique fashion show and live auction as well. And shoppers got a head start on their holiday lists this year when select retailers at Chicago’s famed Water Tower Place opened their doors in the wee hours of the morning on Black Friday. LCWA ensured that local television stations were on hand to cover the annual shopping tradition.

There are still a few days left before Christmas so ho-ho-hop on into to one of these fantastic destinations for everything on your list! For a full list of seasonal shopping events, visit each center’s website: www.northbrookcourt.com, www.oakbrookcenter.com and www.shopwatertower.com

Friday, December 13, 2013

Favorite Finds

It was a week for looking back on the best and worst of 2013, buzzing about global leaders and celebrating some crazy holiday PR program gambles. If you need a refresher, take a look below at some of the stories I found most interesting this week. 
  • Tis the Season – For great PR stunts. We love how WestJet, a Canadian airline, showed their customers they really care by making a plane full of Christmas wishes come true. This social stunt has all of the great elements: hidden video cameras, a head honcho who meets the people, a charity tie and the true and moving emotional reaction of more than a hundred customers who are now brand ambassadors for life. You can see the video gone viral here, but for the social marketers take, read this WestJet blog article.
  • Blogger Humbug A Philadelphia blogger who solicited local restaurants to feed her family for free on Christmas Eve is not getting the same great reception as WestJet, leading social media critics to ponder if the move is going to boost her clicks or force her to cook for Christmas.  Check out one experts take on the attempt here
  • Worst Corporate Tweets of 2013  Speaking of what not to do, we loved this ABC news list of the worst corporate tweets in 2013.  From hashtag gambles gone bad and innocent mistakes to truly outrageous PR platforms, this list reminds us to tread smartly in the Twitterverse.  
  • Ohhh Snap Have you met SnapChat? This rampantly growing social media platform is based on the idea that sometimes, you don’t want the things you share with friends to live forever.  The brand is incredibly popular with tweens and teens and its recent “SnapChat Stories” feature has made it increasingly interesting to brands as well.  Check out how some marketers have leveraged SnapChat in 2013 and let the 2014 planning wheels begin to turn!
  • World Tweets About Leaders – This week the world was atwitter about two major global leaders. Pope Francis made headlines – literally – as the 2013 Time Magazine Person of the Year, sending supporters and critics to Twitter en mass to critique the decision. Amidst this debate, tweeters also pondered President Obama’s “selfie” moment, captured during the funeral for Nelson Mandela, leading the photographer Roberto Schmidt to share the “story behind the selfie” which spread like wildfire across our Twitterfeed.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Viewers Open Their Eyes to the Snow Joe iON

Last week hundreds of thousands of early-bird “Wake Up with Al” viewers opened their eyes to the newest snow blower from client Snow Joe. The powerful and convenient Snow Joe iON doesn’t need an electric cord or any gas to operate, so it was an easy display to coordinate with The Weather Channel’s popular morning program. In the segment, contributor and HGTV star Chris Lambton called it “the ultimate snow blower” and showcased it’s easy-to-use, lightweight and rechargeable design. Viewers will be seeing a lot more of Snow Joe iON as additional segments hit TV screens this winter and snowfall totals climb.   

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Getting Fit with HIIT and Synrgy360

Last month, Chicago fitness bloggers got up close and personal with the tremendous capabilities of the Life Fitness Synrgy360 functional training system.  LCWA coordinated a fitness class to give these local bloggers a firsthand view of the revolutionary system, which is a perfect fit for the top fitness trend for 2014, high- intensity interval training (HIIT).  Held at The University of Illinois at Chicago’s Sport and Fitness Center, the class was led by Melissa diLeonardo, a 2013 Personal Trainers to Watch global finalist. diLeonardo’s class got hearts pumping by implementing HIIT on the system’s multiple stations, including the boxing bag, step-up platform and battle ropes. The bloggers were extremely impressed with the machine’s vast potential for a variety of workouts, and will be sharing their experiences on their blogs in the coming weeks. Check out Chicago Now’s Eri-Thon blog to see what she thought of the class and Synrgy360 – what she calls “an amazing piece of work out equipment.”

Friday, December 6, 2013

Favorite Finds

Everyone is busy with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season – and social media is no different! Below are some of the stories I found most interesting this week: 
  • Year of the Hoax – Pace Picante was in the spotlight when a comedian posted a Twitter exchange with the brand’s handle, @Pace_Foods. The social exchange got a lot of publicity before it was revealed that the entire thing was a hoax. We’re seeing more and more of these and it will be interesting to see if they continue to remain popular – or become more elaborate – or if the trend fades out.
  • Social Media “Oops” – Not all Twitter buzz was fake, however. The Republican National Committee tweeted a tribute to Rosa Parks on Sunday, but the wording that she “ended racism” raised a few eyebrows. That tweet sparked a new hashtag to poke fun: #RacismEndedWhen.  
  • Facebook Changes News Feed Algorithm – Facebook announced that it’s changing the way its News Feed algorithms sort shared content. Now, more “high quality articles” will show up prominently, rather than meme photos.
  • Social Media Hacks – The announcement of more than two million stolen and leaked passwords for Twitter, Facebook, Gmail and more popular spots on the Internet left users scrambling.
  • Newsweek Revives, New York Magazine Survives – In the world of print media, many rejoiced at the announcement that Newsweek is reviving its weekly print edition, starting early next year. However, fellow weekly magazine New York Magazine announced that it is going from weekly to bi-weekly – leading many to wonder about the future of other weeklies.   


Monday, December 2, 2013

Favorite Finds

With the holiday last week, it was quiet. So we took the opportunity to turn our attention to next year – what new trends are appearing and how can we implement them into our client work?  Here’s a quick look at what we dug into this week:

  • 2014 Marketing Strategies – Social Media Today did a great recap of statistics that will drive marketing strategies next year.  It’s chock-full of great information – and we’re happy to see social media and custom content will be a major presence.
  • Social Media Trends Check out these 5 social media trends for 2014. We’d love to hear your thoughts on number 2 - “giving up control.” It’s a scary thought, but according to the previous article, customer testimonials have the highest effectiveness rating for content marketing.
  • Niche Amplification According to PRNewswire, niche amplification is one of the top PR focuses for 2014.  It seems like a buzz phrase, but, simply put, it means zeroing in on media outlets with very specific content as a way of targeting your key audience.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Eureka Rolls in with a Powerful Prize

Drumroll please! After a three-month, tiered Facebook contest, Eureka today announced the winner of its "The Most Powerful Experience" contest, with a little help from LCWA. The premise of the contest was simple: Eureka showed fans a power-packed moment for the new Eureka AirSpeed ULTRA vacuum as it held up a 3,000 Mazda Miata, and then asked fans to share a powerful moment from their own life for the chance to win a new car. After the votes were tallied and the winner selected, LCWA got to work creating another powerful moment – a video showcasing our winner as she received her new car from Eureka president Marty O’Gorman. LCWA coordinated with a local Mazda dealership, production crew and one very lucky winner to make this impactful moment come to life in a powerful “winner reveal” YouTube video.  Intrigued? Click here to watch the video and meet the grand prize winner in the Eureka “The Most Powerful Experience" contest.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Favorite Finds

It’s not Thanksgiving yet, but here are some delicious finds from social media this week!

  • Word of the Year: Raise your hand if you’ve ever taken a “selfie!” The Oxford English Dictionaries have named “selfie” as the 2013 Word of the Year. Social media breakthrough, or sign of the apocalypse? You decide.
  • Advertising Favorites: Social video marketing firm Unruly has compiled a list of the most shared advertisements of 2013, claiming that shares mean more than views in today’s social sphere. Did your favorite make the cut?  
  • Media Relations: Everyone has their own distinct pitching style, but there are some “golden rules” to keep in mind when talking to reporters. Take a look at these three statements to never say to a reporter, from PR Daily.
  • Kmart’s Creativity: This week, Kmart released a creative, outside-the-box(er) advertisement to support its Joe Boxer line this Christmas. The results – more than 11 million views in two days. Check it out for a good Friday laugh!

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Rewarding Profession

The public relations profession offers a plethora of rewarding experiences, many of which focus on helping our clients successfully market and promote their products and services. Then, there are occasions when we support initiatives that are especially gratifying in a different way.

These would be clients’ assignments that involve public service, cause-related programs or charitable work. Recent LCWA efforts include heralding a state-wide bike ride that helps injured military veterans rehabilitate, securing donations to a national animal welfare organization, publicizing a fashion show that raised funds for local charities and arranging sponsorship of a documentary on fire safety.
 
Another meaningful project occurred this past week. LCWA helped the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center (www.ilholocaustmuseum.org) plan and stage Kristallnacht 75, a program to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the horrific night that started the Holocaust. Kristallnacht, translated from the German as the “night of broken glass,” was the first organized act of Nazi violence against the Jewish people of Germany and Austria that culminated in the murder of millions.

The event featured personal and historical perspectives about Kristallnacht and its relevance today from prominent religious, academic and community leaders. We helped enlist speakers (such as Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Cong. Brad Schneider, National Commander of the Jewish War Veterans of the USA Dr. Robert Pickard, among many other dignitaries), arranged for honorary co-sponsors (which included eight local mayors), developed copy for direct outreach to target audiences, and generated media coverage, highlighted by a riveting front page Chicago Tribune article.

More than 700 people attended the Nov. 9 event to hear the moving and memorable reflections from participants. As program chair Al Gruen said, “The Kristallnacht commemoration is not just a remembrance of the past, but an opportunity to remind the world of what can happen when such ideologies take control. Programs such as these help ensure the phrase, “Never Again,’ is heard around the world.”


Playing a role in the extraordinary program that evening, indeed, was a rewarding experience.            

Friday, November 15, 2013

Favorite Finds

As PR professionals, we experience the ongoing evolution of the industry. With new social media channels becoming a bigger part of our everyday lives, as well as smartphones and tablets making communication easier than ever, we learn new ways to refine our skills and help clients communicate their messages. Here are my favorite finds for this week that offer a snapshot of just some of these changes.
  • Changing LandscapePR Week released a three-part series this week on how “PR is a different beast now.” In it, the contributor notes that time is becoming more and more valuable for journalists as our news cycle has sped up considerably with blogs and Twitter. In turn, finding new ways to make connections with editors is more important than ever. 
  • Media Relations Refresher – With new ways to communicate with journalists – such as Twitter and LinkedIn – media relations continues to change. As PR pros, we integrate these new methods with traditional ones (i.e. email and phone calls) to strengthen media relationships. As a quick refresher, PR News offers a few tactics to avoid when reaching out to journalists, including doing your background research to make sure the journalist is right for the story and making sure you can deliver on interview offers.
  • Live Experiences – While many people receive product and brand recommendations from friends – often on social media – traditional live events have been shown to make a bigger impact. AdWeek reported on a new survey that found live branded experiences to be the most effective way to drive brand recommendations. 
  • Famous “Selfies” – Finally, in the spirit of blending traditional media with new trends, here are a few famous pictures reimagined as “selfies.”

Monday, November 11, 2013

In the Mix…Northbrook Court Fashions It Forward

Last week, our client Northbrook Court held its second-annual Fashion Forward event to kick off the holiday season in style and benefit two local charities. Charity representatives modeled some of this season’s top holiday looks from Northbrook Court retailers, and with a twist on a traditional fashion show, attendees bid on the looks as they went down the runway. Local media were in attendance to cover this unique event, and proceeds from ticket and auction sales topped last year’s donations.

All proceeds from Fashion Forward benefited local charity FORCE: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered – the only non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by hereditary breast and ovarian cancer – and Bears Care, the charitable beneficiary of the Chicago Bears that is committed to improving the lives of those in the Chicagoland community through support of targeted programs in the areas of education youth athletics and health awareness. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Favorite Finds

All press is certainly not good press – and we saw numerous examples of that this week. From the White House to the NFL to your local yoga studio, PR reps have had the hands full this week as they take on the hazardous world of crisis communications:
  • Not so Miami “Nice”. The NFL’s Miami Dolphins are in the midst of an apparent bullying crisis – raising questions about hazing around the world of pro sports. Dolphins PR has been using Twitter and Tumbr to post updates on the escalating situation.
  • Rob Ford: Crack Smoker. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford took the mic this week to admit what he had been denying for months, in what a PR exec. called "…one of the most unconventional and mind-boggling communications strategies that I've ever seen in my life."
  • #IPO. After a highly successful first day of trading, what does Twitter's IPO mean for communicators?
  • Obamacare rollout big business for PR firms. Tens of millions of dollars are being spent to promote, and now defend, Healthcare.gov.
  • Lululemon leaves a sour taste. More bad press for the yoga-wear giant, as founder Chip Wilson blames quality control issues on size of female wearers.



Thursday, November 7, 2013

In the Mix…150 Years and Counting

When this school first opened its doors, the Civil War raged, baseball was in its infancy, and ground was broken for America’s first transcontinental railroad. That’s a century and a half ago, and LCWA client Everest Institute-Rochester, formerly Rochester Business Institute, marked the milestone 150th anniversary of its founding in 1863 at an open house celebration Nov. 1. 

We arranged for the city of Rochester, N.Y. and Monroe County (N.Y.) to officially proclaim “Everest Institute-Rochester Day,” scheduled presentations by local dignitaries and coordinated media coverage, highlighted by three live TV segments on ABC affiliate WHAM 13WHAM News that ran more than 12 minutes in total.


Each segment featured an interview with campus president Carl Silvio, who discussed the school’s numerous innovations in business education over the past 15 decades and how its current business and healthcare training programs respond to today’s needs in the Rochester community. WHAM reporter Norma Holland quite enthusiastically told viewers on several occasions to “come on down”  to tour the campus, review the history and learn what the school has been doing for 150 years…training people to get a career. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Favorite Finds

We don’t have any tricks, but we do have a treat: the top stories from social media! Here’s what peeked our interest this week:
  • Spooky Spoofs: Oreo proved (again) that the brand has some scary good tactics when it comes to cranking out engaging social media content. The brand’s Halloween Vine videos were a spoof on popular scary movie scenes, generating more than 1,000 retweets. 
  • More Mobile: If you still weren’t convinced about the importance of mobile media, Facebook announced this week that almost half (48%) of daily Facebook users are now mobile-only users.
  • Real Recs: Soon, Pinterest is set to roll out a new feature called “Related Pins” that will suggest recommended pins to users. Users will have the ability to set controls on what sort of suggestions they will receive by clicking the “Thumbs Up” or “Thumbs Down” button on the Related Pin. 
  • Photo Power: Google has unveiled 18 new features for Google+ – most of which are centered on editing and managing photos and videos. Google hopes that these new photo sharing tools will help boost the lagging social network.
  • News for Newspapers: Traditional media isn’t dead yet. According to Social Media Today, newspaper stories receive 44% more social media mentions than stories that are published on online-only venues. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Eureka’s Crowdsourced Videos

Sometimes life hands you a messy day and when you get home, an urge overcomes you to just Let Loose and Throw Things. That’s exactly what you’ll see through the dancing in three new videos from Eureka – all crowdsourced with the intention to convey visual power for the brand and a surprise to viewers who don’t expect to see a Eureka connection. Over the next few weeks the LCWA is charged with spreading the videos all over the web and creating buzz for the brand. Viewable on YouTube, the videos already are receiving thousands of views and we’re excited to share them even further. Be sure to watch – and more importantly share – how you want to #LetLoose and #Throwthings if you agree that Life is Messy.  

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Trex Steps Up at DeckExpo

At LCWA, we love a good trade show! Whether it’s in our hometown Chicago, or a plane ride away in Orlando, Las Vegas, Baltimore or San Francisco. These shows give us an opportunity to meet with media in-person about our clients’ new products and initiatives, and allow us to get some industry perspective. 

Most recently, LCWA coordinated media appointments for our client Trex, manufacturer of wood-alternative outdoor living products and leader of the composite decking category, at the 2013 DeckExpo at McCormick Place in Chicago. At the show, we met with editors and reporters from priority building and remodeling trade publications and introduced them to Trex’s top products for the 2014 decking season.

Amid the sea of products on display at trade shows, companies have to pull out all the stops to stand out. To do that this year, we strategically timed the announcement of Trex’s newest product offering, Trex Spiral Stairs, a first of its kind offering from a composite decking manufacturer, on the first day of the trade show. This helped to attract attention and coverage from attending editors who knew they were some of the very first to see the new system.

With this show under our belts, we’re now gearing up for the biggest building show of the year, the 2014 International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. See you there!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Favorite Finds

There was a little bit of everything making headlines this week. Here are a few noteworthy news items we uncovered:

  • PR Trends – Public relations is a dynamic field, and we must adapt strategies to help our clients stay relevant. Check out 4 Trends Affecting PR Departments, which identifies challenges of some tried-and-true tactics to reach consumers.
  • SeaWorld Versus #Blackfish – CNN Films premiered Blackfish this week, an anti-captivity documentary that tells the compelling story of the plight of captive orcas – or killer whales – around the world. The premiere event trended worldwide on Twitter and generated significant audience engagement, mostly negative words for SeaWorld, the main aquatic park featured in the film. While the film portrays SeaWorld as ranking ticket sales above the well-being of its animals, the film provides a platform for SeaWorld to promote its conservation efforts, tell its side of the story and potentially help shape the global captivity debate.
  • Teens Prefer Twitter – Twitter’s steady growth reached a milestone this week – it became the most important social platform for the all-important teen demographic (surpassing Facebook). The coup could be short-lived, as Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, has nearly doubled its popularity with teens in a single year.
  • Holiday Plans? It’s not too early to begin planning social media initiatives around the holiday season. So make a (to-do) list, and check it twice – after you read these Tips for Holiday Social Campaigns.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Life Fitness Personal Trainer to Watch Named at London Event

1,500 entries. 43 countries. 10 finalists. One winner. Recently, our client Life Fitness, named Kim Ingleby of Bristol, England, the winner of the 2013 Life Fitness Personal Trainers to Watch program.  In early September, we announced the top 10 elite finalists from all corners of the globe. Since then, LCWA planned and led the event’s live judging competition held just outside of London.  From coordinating arrangements with the finalists, judges, hotel, gym, media and many vendors – it was a busy fall for the Life Fitness team at LCWA!  At the event, judges observed as finalists shared their best practices and demonstrated their training expertise and, in the end, the trainer that rose to the top was announced at the evening awards dinner. Congratulations to Kim and all of the finalists on this outstanding career achievement!  To find out more about the event and to view the finalists’ video biography’s, event highlights and the live winner announcement, visit www.lifefitness.com/pttwevent.  

Friday, October 18, 2013

Favorite Finds

Whenever I comb my Twitter feed, I am always amazed by the amount of advice that’s available. There are so many developments to keep up with on a daily basis (media, social, current events), and with a little help from friends, we’re able to stay up to speed through a few scrolls each day. Here’s some of what my favorite Tweeple had to offer this week:

  • Survey Says: Jeff Bullas is one of my favorite social media bloggers and this week, he talked about Facebook surveys and the features they offer. Definitely appealing to PR’s research interests!  
  • Powerful Presentations: One of my go-to resources when it comes to blogging and content curation is Heidi Cohen. This week she featured a handy 17-step guide to creating a killer presentation.  
  • Tuning out the Television: Mark Scott is a social media strategist and often shares helpful tips. One that caught my eye this week: YouTube now reaches more adults than any U.S. cable network.
  • Business Bits: It’s nice to have a resource that is focused on marketing specifically as it relates to B2B audiences, and we often find great nuggets from Steve Sipress. I gained a few tips on content marketing this week.  
  • Social Savvy: I always appreciate someone with an eye out for the latest tricks with the social tools our clients use every day and Shona Mackin shared great advice for Instagram.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Contigo Shakes Things Up With Bloggers

With the launch of our client, Contigo’s AUTOCLOSE™ Shake & Go Tumbler, we’ve ramped up efforts for our “Shaken Not Stirred” blogger campaign to get products into the hands of on-the-go moms. Contigo is dedicated to continuous, meaningful innovations with the brand new Shake & Go Tumbler which lets consumers shake-to-mix or shake-to-chill their favorite beverages without spilling a drop. The tumbler features AUTOCLOSE technology, which seals the lid for shaking as soon as the straw is removed, making for a convenient one-handed drinking solution. For the past month we’ve been coordinating tests of the Shake & Go Tumbler with bloggers, and we’ve already seen many great testimonials and reviews highlighting the tumbler’s leak-proof technology that Contigo products are known for.  Take a look at what bloggers are saying about Shake & Go on 2 Wired 2 Tired, From Dates to Diapers and more!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Eureka Spotlights 10 Fans with Powerful Stories in Facebook Contest

Our client Eureka is all about power, and its latest contest – “The Most Powerful Experience” Contest on Facebook – continues to spotlight and celebrate fans’ most powerful moments. During the contest submission phase from September 5th to 30th, Eureka collected more than 8,000 entries from fans who shared with us the most powerful moments in their lives. We truly enjoyed reading these unique and powerful essays – from babies being born and children overcoming obstacles to heroic acts and once-in-a-lifetime trips, Eureka fans know power! Now, the entries have been narrowed down to the 10 most powerful, personal and unique moments! Through October 24, fans can view the top 10 entries and vote on their favorite. The winning entry will receive a brand new Mazda Miata MX-5 Sport! 
To view the finalists and read some truly powerful stories from our fans, visit the Eureka Facebook contest app and help us choose the most powerful moment!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Favorite Finds

Even with the government still shut down, life goes on in the social sphere. In fact, it’s been a great week for social media activity and advice! Following are some of the stories and tips that caught our attention:


 
  • You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide: Facebook tweaked its privacy settings this week and will no longer allow users to completely hide from others searching for them on the site. In other words, with few exceptions, we’re all now searchable.
  • Deep Pockets: Since filing its IPO, Twitter has solidified its position as one of the leading social media sites, second only to Facebook in terms of popularity and daily active usage. However, in a faceoff between Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, you might be surprised by which company wins the revenue race.
  • Social Media and Sales: Did you know that social media generates nearly double the marketing leads of trade show, telemarketing, daily mail or PPC? This informative info graphic by Digital Insights reveals some fascinating facts, figures and stats related to social media and sales.
  • Cool Tools: We’re constantly trying out new resources for identifying trends, researching media and sharing information. Thanks to Mike Lizun @PRDaily for posting this terrific list of lesser-known but valuable digital tools for PR Pros.
  • Inbox Zero: The end of the week is a great time to clean out your inbox. Many thanks to the folks @Mashable for these 5 Tricks to Finally Achieve Inbox Zero.

 

Monday, October 7, 2013

LCWA Wins Seven Public Relations Global Network Best Practice Awards

Congratulations to our LCWA account teams for winning seven PRGN Best Practice Awards – one gold, two silver and three bronze.  In the gold category, we won for the First Alert "Carbon Monoxide (CO) Legislative Outreach Campaign."  We were awarded two silver awards for our work with  the American Association of Dental Sleep Medicine for “AADSM Unveils Dental Treatment for Sleep Apnea” and  Merit School of Music for “From Pilsen to Matsumoto:  Merit School of Music Represents Chicago and the U.S. at the 16th Annual Suzuki Method World Convention."  The bronze awards were given to us for “Frigidaire Makes the Gift of Time Legendary,” “Millions of Impressions for Secret Millionaire” and “Trex Outdoor Living Season Facebook Sweepstakes.”   It is wonderful to be recognized by our peers in this worldwide network of public relations firms representing nearly 50 countries.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Favorite Finds

With the official shutdown of the U.S. government being the major story of the week, there were a few important social media related moments that need to be called out. Here are some of the stories that gained attention this week:
  • Apple overtakes Coca-Cola as most valuable brand. According to a recent report released by Interbrand, Coca-Cola fell from its top spot on last year’s list to No. 3, and Google jumped from No. 4 to No. 2. The full top 100 brands list can be found on Interbrand’s website.
  • A new way to quit your job. A Next Media Animation employee took to YouTube to announce that she was quitting. Chicago-native Marina Shifrin created a video dancing to the Kanye West song “Gone” to announce that she would be leaving the company. The video has received more than 4.6 million views.
  • Brands get in on the shutdown action. With the U.S. reeling due to the Government shutdown, a few brands took to social media to parody this momentous event. Brands such as Denny’s, Red Bull, and of course, Kenneth Cole all had humorous remarks. The question is, will this help or hurt those brands’ image?
  • Twitter is going public. It’s official, Twitter just filed for its IPO. The company is looking to raise $1 billion in its initial offering.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

In the Mix…Find Your Safety Style with First Alert

October is Fire Prevention Month and to kick off festivities, our client First Alert launched the “Find Your Safety Style” Facebook sweepstakes! In a continuous effort to promote fire safety with style, First Alert is helping fans channel their inner designer with a fun personality quiz that reveals if you are a Modern Sophisticate, a Futuristic Decorista (or Decoristo) or Traditional Trendy.  For a chance to win one of the trendy and high-tech Maximum Protection Smoke Alarms, participants answer 10 questions and enter their personality to win an alarm that best reflects their style. Ten winners will be selected daily throughout the entire month of October and a grand prize winner will receive a whole home of alarms, security camera system and year-long subscription to WhimseyBox. So, what’s your safety style?  Find out by visiting the First Alert Facebook page

Monday, September 30, 2013

In the Mix…Eureka Rolls Into Mazda Showrooms

Eureka’s new AirSpeed ULTRA vacuum is powerful enough to hold a 3,000 pound Mazda Miata! – and they’re ready to show it off, showroom style!  With LCWA’s help, Eureka AirSpeed ULTRA is rolling into 25 Mazda dealerships across the county, where it will be on display to customers through November.  Signage placed with the vacuums announces Eureka’s surprising Mazda Miata car hold video to customers. It also encourages customers to watch the video and participate in Eureka’s “The Most Powerful Experience” Facebook contest - where they can win their very own Mazda Miata MX-5 Sport. Many dealerships are going the extra mile, and giving the vacuum away to a lucky customer to drive additional engagement. For an example of the excitement Mazda and Eureka are generating locally, check out how Jim Ellis Mazda in Atlanta is promoting the vacuum and video on its Facebook page and with local media. The Mazda Dealership Program is a unique way the LCWA team was able to leverage an interesting advertising video and give it social and grassroots support to extend a “powerful” new product message.


Friday, September 27, 2013

Favorite Finds

It has been a social media kind of week – from to-the-minute talk about the Emmys to breaking news coverage from the tragedy in Nairobi. Here are some of the stories that stuck out to me:
  • Forbes predicts top social trends. Social media changes every day – from new channels to new ways to measure those channels. Forbes predicts that Google+ will become a major player in the months to come, the popularity of image-based platforms will continue to rise and – most surprisingly to me – MySpace will continue to grow.
  • Twitter changes how we get breaking news…As the attack and subsequent standoff unfolded at the shopping mall in Nairobi, the world was given a front row seat – with a number of those affected providing real-time narration on Twitter.
  •  …and sports. Twitter is adding major sponsorships, like CBS and the NFL – which will now show instant replays via Twitter
  • Tweets as a press release. Amazon chose Twitter to send out the press release for the latest version of its Kindle Fire, and they did so over 14 tweets – demonstrating just how much social media has shaken up the public relations industry.
  • PR Fails: A few companies are dealing with offended customers this week: pasta company Barilla receives backlash after his CEO says he’ll never feature a homosexual family in ads, and Coca-Cola distributes an offensive bottle cap.

Lastly, I leave you with these amazing Twitter stats. Have a great weekend! 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Favorite Finds

The weather in Chicago may be cooling off, but we still found plenty of “hot” stories in the Twittersphere to share with our followers this week.  Here are just a few of our favorite finds: 

  • Uber Lately? – The car-hailing app, Uber, has ramped up its hiring of lobbyists, lawyers and public relations firms to expand.
  • The Rhythm of PRPR professionals can get breakthrough results for clients by following these seven daily to-dos.
  • Keep Mom’s Engaged – This story from Social Media Today features tips to keep moms engaged with your content.
  • The Twitter Rule of Thirds – Here’s a quick rule-of-thumb for social media marketers: The Twitter Rule of Thirds. Make sure that your Twitter stream stays in balance with three general types of tweets: self-promotion, sharing and conversation.
  • Pinterest Metrics – This infographic lists 17 Pinterest metrics you should measure to ensure your hard work pays off.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Instagram Your Safety Style

After the first part of a fun summer sweepstakes on Facebook, our client First Alert continued to show off its stylish and high-tech Maximum Protection Smoke Alarms with an Instagram contest for its Facebook fans. We’d heard from First Alert followers about how these alarms enhance their home’s décor, but it was time to see how they actually look installed in people’s homes. For the last month, First Alert fans have been taking photos of the alarms with Instagram and hashtagging #StyleYourSafety. As the contest wraps up this week, we have 10 fantastic finalists – all of whom have won a gift card to enhance their home décor even further. Now, it’s up to the fans to decide who will win the grand prize. To vote for your favorite Instagram entry, visit the First Alert Facebook page (and look forward to another stylish contest coming up soon!)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Favorite Finds

Well, my colleague Matt was right! Last week he told us that people don’t really “get” PR, and this week a LinkedIn poll reports that PR is ranked as the number seven the most confusing profession.  Let’s dispel some more industry misconceptions this week with my favorite finds.\

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Eureka Launches “Powerful” Facebook Contest to Support New Vacuum

Our client Eureka recently unveiled an impressive new addition to its family of vacuum cleaners – the AirSpeed ULTRA. To support the launch of this powerful floor care solution – as this video shows, it’s powerful enough to hold a car! – LCWA worked closely with a team of social media app developers to create “The Most Powerful Experience” Facebook contest. A multiphase contest that requires users to “like” Eureka on Facebook before entering, “The Most Powerful Experience” Contest asks fans to share with us the story of one of their lives’ most powerful moments for the chance to win a brand new car or a Eureka AirSpeed ULTRA! Whether that be watching a toddler take his first steps or finally earning that college degree, Eureka is collecting these moments and showcasing them in a Pinterest-style gallery on its Facebook page.  Fans can submit their powerful moments through Sept. 30. Then, we’ll choose the top 10 most powerful moments and ask fans to vote on their favorites. The winning entry will receive a Mazda Miata MX-5 Sport! Check out “The Most Powerful Experience” Contest here and peruse the gallery of entries. Since launching last week, we’ve received more than 2,500 submissions to the contest – a powerful start in support of the new AirSpeed ULTRA.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Favorite Finds

What do PR people do? There are common misconceptions we all hear from friends and family. One thing we will be doing is spicing up our strategies for the new season. Those – plus some big Facebook changes – are included in my favorite finds this week.
  • The science behind crisis hashtags. A tweet with hashtags gets more engagement – which means properly using hashtags during a crisis is essential for messaging.
  • So, what exactly do you do again? As we know, misconceptions run rampant about PR and the people in the industry. How many of these have you heard before?
  • A big year for change at Facebook. Let’s take a look at the major changes Facebook has instituted in 2013.
  • Microsoft steps up to Apple and Samsung. Looking to mix-it-up in the global smartphone market, Microsoft purchased Nokia’s mobile business for $5 billion.  
  • Pumpkin-flavored PR. As fall approaches, it’s a good time to rethink strategies for the new season.