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 ( 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,
  • 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.