Friday, August 30, 2013

Favorite Finds

As summer officially draws to a close this Labor Day, many of us will be enjoying our last barbecue of the season before ushering in cooler temperatures, football games, crisp leaves and sweater weather. But before the last hotdog is pulled off the grill, here are my favorite finds for summer’s last stand.          

  • Media Pitching – Media relations is such an important part of our everyday work, so it helps to be reminded of what not to do when pitching journalists. A USA Today reporter outlines the “10 ways to ensure a journalist will delete your emails” on PR Daily, which includes avoiding buzz words and making sure the reporter covers your topic.
  • Football Teams with Most Fans – Just in time for kickoff, Mashable reported on a Facebook data map that shows which college football teams have the most fans in each county throughout the country. University of Texas ranked No. 1, followed by University of Florida and Ohio State University.
  • Stunts Still Stun – In PR, we’re always coming up with creative new ways to grab attention for our clients. Stunts like this giant, record-setting Lego tower built by Red Clay School District in Delaware prove that any company or organization – big or small – can garner national attention with the right idea.
  • Facebook Updates and False Starts – This week, Facebook unveiled shared photo albums, which allows multiple users to contribute to an album. In related news, Mashable first reported that Facebook started to support GIFs , but soon retracted the news upon further investigation.
  • Only PR Pros Will Understand – Speaking of GIFs, PR Daily shared a recent post on BuzzFeed about “things only PR majors will understand.” Beginning to speak in AP Style is one that hits particularly close to home.       


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

In the Mix...Riding Toward Recovery

More than 200 injured veterans and their supporters departed Chicago this past Saturday to participate in the 2013 Ride 2 Recovery Great Lakes Challenge, a 375-mile bicycle ride from Chicago to Detroit that will take six days to complete. The event, sponsored by client UnitedHealthcare, offers veterans that have been injured in the line of duty an opportunity to use cycling – hand cycles, recumbents, tandems and traditional road bikes – as a form of rehabilitation and healing.

LCWA handled media outreach for the first half of the ride that included the kick-off event at Soldier Field, lunch stops in Gary, Ind., and St. Joseph, Mich., and overnight stops in Michigan City, Ind., and South Haven, Mich.

Three Chicago TV stations covered the kick-off event Saturday including WGN-TV, WMAQ-TV (NBC) and CLTV, and CBS radio station WBBM-AM also covered the departure. Local newspapers along the route featured heartwarming interviews with the vets with coverage in the Northwest Indiana Times, Merrillville (IN) Post-Tribune, Michigan City (IN) News-Dispatch and the St. Joseph (MI) Herald-Palladium.

The riders will reach Detroit this Thursday, Aug. 29, where they will be guests at a Tigers baseball game.

Monday, August 26, 2013

In the Mix … Super Bowl Champion Partners with AASM to Encourage Sleep Apnea Evaluation

You may not think football and sound sleeping go together, but a well-rested player performs better on the field. In fact, quality sleep is just as critical to a player’s performance as training and diet, according to Aaron Taylor, former Green Bay Packer, Super Bowl champion and current CBS college football analyst. Taylor was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea five years ago and uses continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy to treat the disorder. With the knowledge that diagnosis and treatment of his sleep disorder have improved every aspect of his life, Taylor partnered with LCWA client the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) to increase awareness of the symptoms of and treatments for sleep apnea among younger athletes – and encourage earlier testing by a sleep specialist. Media outreach was conducted with national publications and sports radio outlets, and LCWA garnered interviews with the Huffington Post and San Diego’s “The Mighty 1090.” For more on Taylor’s partnership with the AASM and the warning signs of sleep apnea, or to find a local sleep specialist, visit

Friday, August 23, 2013

Favorite Finds

As summer winds down in Chicago, brands are heating up social media in big ways that could have lasting effects on the future of online communications with consumers. Below are the stories we found most interesting this week.
  • J. Crew Debuts Fall Collection on Pinterest – In a first for the brand (and all other major retailers of women’s fashion), J. Crew gave Pinterest followers a first look at its new fall collection by debuting the pieces on Pinterest. Check it out, this could be a major trend among retailers in the coming seasons.
  • Planning for a Social Media Crisis – No online brand manager likes a crisis, but, as major brands such as Rolling Stone and Chick-fil-A found out this year, social media crises do happen. Check out this handy infographic on how to best plan for an online crisis.
  • Nike Celebrates 25 Years of “Just Do It” – Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? LeBron James, Serena Williams and Bradley Cooper helped breathe fresh life into Nike’s iconic “Just Do It” tagline with a new ad spot.
  • Demographics of Social Media – Looking for a handy guide to the “who, what where” of social media platforms? This infographic dives into the demographics of social media platform users.
  • Facebook Rolls Out Embedded Posts to All Users – Building upon its inter-website integration, Facebook made available this week the ability to embed Facebook posts into other websites available to all users. Previously only available to news sites such as and, now any user with a third-party website can embed one of their Facebook posts directly onto the website pages.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

In the Mix…Cleaning on Campus

For many parents, fall is all about one thing: back-to-school . As students head back to campus, LCWA coordinated inclusion for client Electrolux’s Ergorapido Brushroll Clean in segment on dorm room essentials with “Good Day NY" on New York's FOX affiliate. The story featured a Real Simple contributor offering tips on campus must-haves to make dorm living a little easier, and the Ergorapido Brushroll Clean 2-in-1 vacuum cleaner was touted as super powerful yet compact. Be sure to check out the segment, and for more information, visit the Electrolux Small Appliances Facebook page

Monday, August 19, 2013

AADSM Hits the Air Waves

Our client the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) was featured on two nationally syndicated morning news programs, “The Daily Buzz” and “Life Love Shopping,” to help raise awareness about a little known sleep apnea treatment – oral appliance therapy. Oral appliances are mouth-guard like devices custom fit by a dentist that are an effective, alternative treatment to the standard CPAP machine and mask – and a lighter load for travelers. The television segments ran in nearly 200 markets nationwide, including eight of the 10 top U.S. markets, reaching approximately 2.2 million viewers! We are excited to help AADSM educate sleep apnea sufferers about a comfortable solution for a better night’s rest whether traveling or at home. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Favorite Finds

It was a roller coaster week at work and in the social media universe. Here are some of my favorite finds: 
  • Gigya Study – Many pundits have commented on the latest findings from Gigya. Google and Pinterest are increasingly used as social logins to third-party websites.  The study showed, too, that Pinterest has surpassed Facebook with regard to e-commerce sharing. The infographics produced are worth a look, too!
  • E-commerce Sharing – Speaking of e-commerce, I attended a retail summit hosted by ShopLocal.  The summit united leaders in retail, e-commerce and social media. Steve Biddle, Global Marketing Solutions Retail Lead for Facebook, shared thoughts on “real time marketing in a connected world.” He said, too, that cute animal photos and videos still rank among the most shared pictures on Facebook.
  • Cute Animal Video – I credit People magazine with this little treasure. This clip of a mother giant panda meeting her cub is sure to go viral.
  • Fitness Tips Galore – My colleagues who work on Life Fitness have gotten me thinking about exercise regimes. Check out these arguments for adding resistance training to your workout. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Favorite Finds

This week’s headlines reminded us to keep sharpening our social media skills – but keep those crisis PR tools in our back pockets, too.

·         We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat: This week, Discovery Channel aired its 26th annual Shark Week, and – despite making unwelcome waves with its mockumentary “Megalodon” – it’s on par to exceed the channel’s 2012 record 21.4 million total viewers.

·         Beg, Borrow, Steal? Facebook began testing a trending topics feature on its mobile site with select users. This isn’t the first time the social network has borrowed from Twitter, but we’re looking forward to the next truly new and unique feature to hit our newsfeeds.

·         A Picture’s Worth 1,000 Words: A study released this week found that Instagram users are 18 times more engaged than those on Facebook and 48 times more engaged than users on Twitter. Results were attributed to the more visual elements of Instagram and have big implications for brands – even those that aren't officially using the platform.

·         May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor: A Florida summer camp raised some eyebrows this week – hosting its own “Hunger Games,” inspired by the widely popular book by Suzanne Collins. Children participated in a series of challenges in which they could “collect lives” – although the focus on team-building didn’t stop one camper from writing on her poster “LOSING MEANS CERTAIN DEATH.” No word on if the camp will open again next year.

Monday, August 5, 2013

In the Mix…Electrolux and Macy’s Bring A Little “Glam” to Small Spaces

This summer, our client Electrolux is teaming up with Macy's to host a “Small Space Makeover” sweepstakes on the Electrolux Vacuums and Small Appliances Facebook page in conjunction with the retailer’s yearly “Glamorama” event in Chicago. Through Aug. 23, fans who visit the page to design the party-ready, small space of their dreams in either Chicago, Los Angeles or New York City will be entered to win passes to a "Glamorama" event and a $2,000 Macy’s gift card. LCWA worked with both of these major home brands to coordinate sweepstakes logistics, design and promotion – and we’re already off to a great and glamorous start!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Favorite Finds

August is here and summer is in full swing. In addition to our summer party, we got our creative – and fun – juices flowing this week with these ideas, tips and research. 
  • YouTube Playbook – Stand back football season, YouTube has a game plan for aspiring social phenoms and it’s ready for the world. The online video site has revealed it’s official “Playbook” – gathered tips to help anyone get to the top of YouTube. Check out this interview with YouTube Head of Programming Strategy Ben Relles from the USA Today to learn more.
  • InstaCreativity – Viral videos have been an office topic all week, so we went exploring for some of the best, creative approaches to social video content and stumbled upon this great campaign from Lexus that combines Instagram and YouTube. Check it out to start thinking “outside the photo” on Instagram.
  • Summer Brand Lovin’ – Looking for ways to get your consumers to love you? New research shows marketers should focus on personalized content, which delivers higher purchase intent than broad outreach.
  • What Day Is It? OK, so by now we all know a camel who loves “Hump Day” – but its not so popular at the office, especially in the middle of summer. Fight the midweek slump and stay proactive with these 9 tips.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Lights, Camera, Action for Vermont Castings

Our client Vermont Castings was in the spotlight on July 18 during a segment for The Science Channel’s “How It’s Made” television show, which detailed the process of manufacturing and assembling an iconic Vermont Castings cast iron wood-burning stove. From the video shoot in June 2012 to working with the production team to cull down more than 20 hours of footage and finalizing the script, the segment has certainly been a labor of love for our team – and the end result was a beautiful segment that perfectly captures the hard work put forth every day by workers in Vermont Castings’ cast iron foundry and assembly plant in rural Vermont. The segment will appear in numerous upcoming reruns on the show, so check your listings!