Friday, April 25, 2014

Favorite Finds

It may or may not feel like it in your neck of the woods, but we are in the midst of spring – a time for change, growth and trying new things. There was a lot of media change and evolution happening this week – read on for my highlights (Spoiler alert: Change isn’t always popular):

  • Bash-tag? The New York Police Department launched #myNYPD, a social media campaign encouraging New Yorkers and Big Apple visitors to share photos with New York officers – demonstrating pride in the city’s law enforcement. It didn’t take long for Twitter users to share unflattering images of alleged police brutality – teaching some valuable social strategy lessons.
  •  AP Style Alert: The Associated Press has decreed that state names will henceforth be spelled out in the body copy of news articles and press releases. State names will still be abbreviated as appropriate in datelines, so that J-school memorization wasn’t (completely) futile. (Don’t even get us started on the more than/over upheaval.)
  • Wired Up: Facebook launched FB Newswire – a resource designed to make it easier for journalists to find and share newsworthy content from around the world. Have you found any success sharing or procuring content with this new tool?
  •  Pinning’s Still Winning: Pinterest hit 30 billion (yes, billion) pins this week, up 50 percent in the last six months alone. The growth was partially attributed to the platform’s new “related pins” feature, which suggests new pins based on what users have shared.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Life Fitness Has Run Away Success on CBS2 Chicago

Until last week, many Chicagoans probably didn’t know that their favorite workout machines may be manufactured right here in their hometown. But thanks to a local morning news crew, that is all changing. LCWA recently pitched and secured coverage for the Life Fitness manufacturing story on the Chicago CBS affiliate, WBBM-TV. On April 16, four short segments, filmed live at the Franklin Park Life Fitness plant, aired over the course of the 5-7 a.m. morning newscast, and each showcased the care and quality that the company pours into its products, as well as the faces and stories of the hard working Chicagoans who build them.

Reporter Vince Gerasole of WBBM-TV joined Life Fitness and LCWA at the plant last Wednesday to learn firsthand what it takes to makes the best cardio equipment in the world. Life Fitness President Chris Clawson toured Vince around the facility, got his heart racing on a Discover treadmill with the latest in fitness technology and introduced Vince to the skilled members of the plant’s elite treadmill team. Treadmill team members walk thousands of miles on Life Fitness treadmills to ensure they meet the highest standards for durability and performance. Check out one of our favorite segments here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Super Bowl Champion Shares Recovery Story with CNN

On behalf of client the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), LCWA secured a segment on CNN’s The Human Factor featuring Super Bowl champion and former Green Bay Packer Aaron Taylor. Five years ago, Taylor was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) – a dangerous condition characterized by complete or partial airway obstruction during sleep – and he uses continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy to treat the disorder. He’s sharing his story to increase awareness of the symptoms of and treatment for OSA and encourage earlier testing by a sleep specialist so others may share in his improved quality of life. Taylor was profiled by CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta and his story also aired on CNN and HLN.

As many as 12-18 million Americans suffer from OSA, and many don’t realize that seeking diagnosis and treatment could relieve their symptoms of snoring and exhaustion to improve their overall health.

For more on Taylor’s partnership with the AASM and the warning signs of OSA, or to find a local sleep specialist, visit

Friday, April 18, 2014

Favorite Finds

From social media fails to new Facebook rules, there’s never a dull moment in the social media realm – and this week is no exception. Here are some of my favorite finds from the past few days:

  • Common Sense Takes Flight – Another week, another “oops” from people and companies on social media – particularly for the airline industry. A Dutch teen was arrested after sending what appeared to be a threatening tweet to American Airlines – serving as a warning to “pranksters” everywhere. On the brand side, US Airways accidentally tweeted a graphic photo that spread far and wide across the social media sphere in minutes.
  • Taxing Twitter – Turkey continues to battle U.S. social media companies. The latest: the Turkish government now wants Twitter and Facebook to pay taxes to its treasury – despite the fact that neither have an office in the country – because they are “reaping unfair benefits from Turkey.”
  • Ch-ch-ch-changes – In the ever-evolving world of top social networks, both Facebook and Twitter have recently announced changes – Facebook with revisions to the way brand pages work, and Twitter with updated designs.
  • It’s a Trust Thing – According to new research, millennials overwhelmingly trust user-generated content – media created by peers, which include status updates, blog posts, etc. – over other media. This helpful infographic gives a visual breakdown of how much time millennials are spending with UGC, where they're getting it and how it's affecting the media landscape.

Monday, April 14, 2014

AAAHC Annual Report Showcases Passionate Commitment to Quality Health Care

“Entering A New Era In Health Care” is the theme of the just-off-the-press 2013 annual report we designed and wrote for the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), the leader in accrediting a wide variety of ambulatory health care organizations that include ambulatory surgery centers, urgent care facilities, college student health centers, health plans, medical homes and more.

In images and words, the report addresses how AAAHC is responding to the evolving health care landscape impacted by factors such as the Affordable Care Act, the continuing rapid shift of health care delivery from inpatient to outpatient settings, and consumers who are increasingly knowledgeable about medical issues.

Highlighted is the distinctive peer-driven AAAHC accreditation process that features surveyors who are experienced health care professionals. With this background, AAAHC surveyors are not just test givers, but educators who share personal insights and offer organizations suggestions on ways to meet and maintain rigorous standards.      

Resonating throughout the report is how the AAAHC team, member organizations and the accredited organizations themselves are passionate about ensuring patients receive the highest quality of health care.  

Friday, April 11, 2014

Favorite Finds

Spring shakeups are abound on late night television and the social sphere certainly is opinionated! In addition to the broadcast buzz, we found lots of interesting information to fill our week. Read on for our favorite finds.  

  • Take Back the Night – This morning everyone was talking about France’s decision to ban work after 6 p.m. Some praise the decision and others call it unrealistic. What do you think? Could such a deadline possibly exist in the U.S. at any point?
  • Word Play – As PR pros, we are masters of crafting copy so it makes sense that we would want to study the effect of every word choice and what that means for reach.  These words are said to help make a post go “viral.” 
  •  Suit Yourself – Selfies continue to make headlines – both by themselves and even in conjunction with major news events. Will these techy self-portraits become the new norm?
  •  Millennium – What was once the aspirational American Dream, is now very different for today’s millennial. We were very interested to read these insights, which highlight community as more important than homes for today’s young culture.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Electrolux Wows In the Big Apple

What’s the best way to bring to life the coolest new cleaning and cooking tools from Electrolux, Eureka and Frigidaire Professional? With an exclusive, hands-on New York City event, of course! LCWA hosted an editorial event at The London NYC to give influential media a first-hand experience with new home tools designed to save consumers precious time and hassle. The event, which featured six different “Chores to Cheers” challenge stations, encouraged media to put appliances to the test in real world scenarios. LCWA generated an impressive attendance list of over 45 media contacts representing more than 30 media outlets and blogs. The overall result was an event that engaged influential media contacts, strengthened brand awareness and generated story leads for the many brands under the Electrolux Small Appliances umbrella.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Contigo PR Team Seals the Deal at Housewares

Nobody does trade shows better than Chicago, and when an industry giant comes to town, the LCWA team has the home court advantage. Media relationships still matter, and our relationships paid off at the 2014 International Home + Housewares Show at McCormick Place in March. The Housewares show was a great opportunity to showcase our client Contigo, a leading producer of innovative travel mugs and water bottles. LCWA’s behind-the-scenes efforts to get the most out of our home town advantage included pre-show pitching to local media, culminating with interviews with more than 48 outlets during the show. Top local visitors included a reporter from the Chicago Tribune and a Contigo spotlight by Vince Gerasole of the CBS 2 Chicago “Morning News” show live from the floor. We look forward to seeing more coverage of Contigo's new products introduced throughout the year!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Favorite Finds

Two hot-button political issues had PR influence all over them this week, April Fools came and went and Starbucks had issues with Satan. Plus, you can swear in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal now.
  • Obamacare: After the rollout. Despite a near-shipwreck during its rollout, the Affordable Care Act met its initial goal of enrolling seven million Americans in the program by the deadline. A big reason why? Good PR strategies, of course!
  • That’s some hot coffee. Starbucks found themselves in a devilish situation when a Baton Rouge, La., schoolteacher claimed she was served two drinks with a pentagram and a "666" drawn on them.
  • April Foolishness. Few things are more predictable than the onslaught of corny corporate April Fools’ stunts.
  • Defending defense. Recently, editors all over the country received a media kit from the NSA. Here’s what it looks like. 
  • About #**#&@^ time.  The New York Times and Wall Street Journal are easing up on policies surrounding publishing profanity – if the words serve a real purpose.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Revealing the Genie at Global Pet Expo

In March, the LCWA team introduced media who attended the pet industry’s largest trade show to a new pet training solution to help dogs stop barking, made by the most trusted name in home safety.  First Alert's new, effective and harmless Bark Genie Handheld and Automatic Bark Deterrents debuted at Global Pet Expo and wowed editors and bloggers who have dealt with their share of noise. Our team helped to secure booth appointments and draw attention to the products on site. As a result of our efforts, we caught the attention of several important pet outlets that reach hundreds of thousands of readers. We’re looking forward to fostering these relationships and seeing some coverage for the new pet products!