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:, and

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.