Friday, June 27, 2014

Favorite Finds

It was an exciting week for USA soccer as the men's national team advanced to the knockout rounds in the FIFA World Cup! Here are some of our other favorite headlines of the week:
  • Top 100 Social Ideas: Looking for more social media content ideas? Check out this list from Forbes that covers just about everything you could possibly post on social media.
  • There’s A New Sheriff in Town: PR Newswire has imposed stricter guidelines to root out "low quality content" and crack down on releases more focused on gaming search engines than providing useful information.
  • Healthy Summer Travels: Here are some tips to make sure your summer vacation goes off without a health-related hitch, courtesy of UnitedHealthcare.
  • 7 News Trends Affecting PR: With a 24/7 news cycle and social media's emergence as a primary source of information, the public relations world just gets wilder and wackier with these news media trends.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Favorite Finds

It’s been a stormy week in Chicagoland, but the climate has been more temperate on Twitter the past several days. Here are some of my favorite finds:

  • The 10 Percent Rule – Millennials are checking their smartphones 43 times per day on average, and 10 percent of marketers’ content is doing 90 percent of the legwork communicating to those aged 18-36, according to a study reported on by Bulldog Reporter.
  • Dog Crazy – As several members of the LCWA team and I gear up for a huge pet trade show next month, dogs have been on my mind. The Huffington Post compiled this video of lovable labs to inspire the dog lover in all of us.  
  • Networking 101 – Refresh – Feel the need to brush up on your networking skills? Some people are naturals while others make benefit from some refreshers. Check on these quick tips from PR News.
  • Summer Fun – If the weather is good and you’re heading on a summer road trip this weekend, check out the “Best Road Trip Songs” courtesy of 3 Boys and a Dog.
Enjoy the weekend! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

.The Healthy Sleep Project: Raising Awareness with the CDC

Chronic sleep loss and sleep illness are big problems in America – demonstrated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classifying insufficient sleep as a “public health epidemic.”

LCWA client the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has partnered with the CDC on a project to increase awareness of sleep illness and the importance of sufficient sleep: the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project. The program is designed to promote widespread public behavior changes leading to improved sleep health through diagnosis and treatment of sleep illness. We conducted aggressive national and local media outreach and developed a series of memes and an infographic for social platforms. As a result, AASM president Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler was featured in a local news segment on healthy sleep, and the campaign was featured in the Chicago Sun-Times, U.S. News & World Report, Huffington Post and Philadelphia Inquirer. Additional media coverage is pending to help spread the word about the dangers of chronic sleep loss and how to achieve healthy sleep.

The AASM and CDC both recognize that untreated sleep illness and chronic sleep loss are vital to a wide variety of public health and chronic disease concerns, including obesity, hypertension and cancer. For more information on sleep illness or the AASM, visit

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Favorite Finds

Lots of excitement this week from the kick-off of the World Cup to Eric Cantor’s historic defeat in the Republican primary. Here are some other stories that caught our attention last week:
  • The Secret is Out: CIA director John Brennan announced that the super-secret agency planned to launch official CIA social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook. Based on the first tweet released on June 6th, the powers that be have a sense of humor!
  • Hail to the Leap: To celebrate his 90th birthday, former president George W. Bush jumped from a helicopternear his summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine, fulfilling a goal he made five years ago after a similar jump even though he can no longer use his legs. Impressive!
  • Fit for a Queen: Miss Indiana Mekayla Diehl became the social media phenomenon of the Miss USA 2014 pageant when she revealed a bikini body that actually dared to look perfectly normal.
  • Apple after Steve Jobs: Tech leader Apple is experiencing what is being reported as the most exciting period of activity since it launched the iPhone seven years ago. Business Insider compiled this rundown of highlights from the post-Jobs era.
  • PR Popularity: If you’re looking for a job in PR, you’re not alone. According to the 2014 State of the Internship Report, PR internships are the most popular across all industries. No surprise here!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

More Awards for the LCWA Team

Last night our team attended the PRSA Chicago Skyline Awards, where we were again honored for our 2013 public relations work. At the event, held right across the street at the Chicago Cultural Center, we received a Skyline award for client First Alert in the brochures category, and Awards of Excellence for clients Life Fitness (global communications), Eureka (integrated marketing) and Trex (social media). These were the same programs I described in this post last week. After a whirlwind couple of weeks celebrating, it’s back to the grind – so we can generate more award-winning results for next year! 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Hail to the Chief

I’ve attended over the years numerous public relations organization events featuring prestigious speakers, but it’s difficult to top last week’s keynoter at the Publicity Club of Chicago (PCC) ( Golden Trumpet Awards dinner: former President Jimmy Carter.

On the dais to honor the PCC’s 2014 lifetime achievement winners and former Carter White House staffers – long-time Chicago-based political PR pros Rick Jasculca and Jim  Terman – Mr. Carter briefly reflected on his presidency, but then focused on the  work of his current pride and joy, The Carter Center

He cited three key areas the Center addresses today: 
  • Helping stamp out tropical diseases often neglected by other organizations, mentioning recent efforts to eradicate Guinea worm
  • Assisting countries in the throes of “troubled elections” to bring more democracy to the world
  • Protecting human rights and what he called the leading problem in this area – the disparity in equal rights for and protection of women and girls around the world and in America (the frequency of sexual assaults on U.S. college campuses, the majority unreported, is a great concern to Mr. Carter)
In a less serious vein, Mr. Carter recalled when Jasculca first was asked if he wanted to work for the next president of the United States, and when told it was Jimmy Carter, replied something to the effect, “who the heck is he?” And Terman rather sheepishly noted he and Jasculca needed to refer to notes for their speeches, while the soon to be 90-year-old former President spoke off the cuff, armed with statistics, wonderful stories – and no notes.

It was indeed memorable for our team to be present to hear Mr. Carter’s remarks, an evening beautifully capped off when LCWA went home with four Trumpet awards.

Monday, June 9, 2014

In the Mix…Building a Client’s Bottom Line

All public relations efforts should serve to improve a client’s business – whether that means earning a client more customers, an enhanced reputation or a larger share of voice. LCWA recently secured a media placement for client the Accreditation Association for Hospitals/Health Systems (AAHHS) that helped to launch a relationship with a potential customer, demonstrating the value of media relations.  

Facility Care interviewed the physical environment specialist for AAHHS about its new comprehensive accreditation program customized for rural hospitals, critical access hospitals (CAH) and small hospitals with less than 200 beds. The ensuing story included the advantages of the accreditation program and, as a result, gained the attention of a quality director for a CAH seeking accreditation. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Favorite Finds

This week saw a lot of buzz surrounding social media platform updates and some great PR campaign award wins as PR awards season continues.
  • Instagram added 10 new editing tools to its platform, giving users free access to high-level photo editing software commonly found in paid programs.
  • With the addition of live chatting added to the Snapchat platform, the amount of brands using the platform to communicate with their fans and users is growing. Some examples include: GrubHub used Snapchat to find a summer intern, and Nars cosmetics previewed a new collection and drummed up interest by cross promoting on other social sites like Instagram and Twitter.
  • LinkedIn announced a new design exclusively for premium users. The update includes a larger profile image photo and customizable header image, similar to the designs that Facebook and Twitter have rolled out. Additional enhancements to the platform are expected to happen in the coming months.
  • The merger between Vocus and Cision is causing much speculation in the industry. Vocus’ new CEO is confident that the merger will benefit customers, allowing for more innovation and access to research and social tools that have not been readily available.
  • A big congratulations goes out to our Trex, Eureka, Life Fitness and First Alert teams who won prestigious industry awards last night at both the Publicity Club of Chicago gala and the International Association of Business Communications (IABC) awards dinner. Nicely done!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

LCWA Takes Industry Awards

Yesterday was a big day for LCWA, as we took home industry awards at both the Publicity Club of Chicago (PCC) and International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) of Chicago awards dinners. The team attending the PCC dinner was honored to see keynote speaker, former president Jimmy Carter, and those at the IABC event mingled with our peers at an open house that showcased other highlights of our city’s great work.

We were honored for our work on four different 2013 client projects:
  • Life Fitness “Flexing Muscle with Personal Trainer Relationships” PCC Golden Trumpet Award for International Public Relations and IABC Bronze Quill Award of Excellence for Communications Management, International Communication
    • In an effort to reach influential personal trainers and turn them into brand ambassadors for fitness equipment client Life Fitness, LCWA morphed an online awards program into an international personal trainer competition complete with an influential panel of expert judges from fitness organizations around the globe and a live top 10 event in London held to determine the winner. The result? Nearly 1,500 entries from personal trainers in 43 countries, resulting in nearly 100 percent growth over entries in 2012, with 58 percent of entries originated from non-US countries, and 2.8 million global media impressions.
  • Eureka “AirSpeed ULTRA’s Most Powerful Social Campaign” – PCC Golden Trumpet for Social Media Campaigns and IABC Bronze Quill Award of Excellence for Communications Management, Integrated Marketing
    • LCWA worked closely with the company and Doner, its advertising agency, to create a buzz-worthy social media campaign for the  new Eureka AirSpeed Ultra vacuum that would instantly convey its incredible suction power. Working with a “powerful” video showcasing the vacuum holding up a Mazda Miata and a series of unique crowdsourced videos, LCWA wove together an impactful, integrated social campaign that included outreach to Mazda dealers, a dynamic Facebook contest and a powerful disruption viral video push.  The result? PR efforts alone increased traffic to the web page by 125%. The Facebook contest efforts resulted in a 71% increase in fans, a 45% opt-in rate for Eureka email communications and a very engaged visitor who came back 3.5 times and stayed 2:35 minutes.
  • Trex “Trex Decks Out Social Media” – PCC Silver Trumpet Award for Social Media Campaign and IABC Bronze Quill Award of Excellence for Communication Management/Social Media
    • In 2013 Trex sought to expand its social footprint on Facebook and Pinterest. Together, LCWA and Trex effectively established the brand as the industry’s social leader through a year-long program of quality content, community engagement and enticing promotions. By the end of the year, Trex had effectively secured the industry leader position with a 10,000+ Facebook fan lead and nearly triple the number of Pinterest followers over its most active competitor.
  • First Alert “Safety with a Sense of Style Booklet” – PCC Golden Trumpet Award for Communications Materials – Brochures, Booklets or Books
    • LCWA conceived a communications piece that showcased the unique features of First Alert’s sleek new smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and presented them in a way that resonated with design-oriented audiences. The booklet has been vital in helping to generate nearly 1 billion impressions in 2013-2014.
Congratulations to our teams and clients for these award-winning programs!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Eureka Contest Engages Fans in a Powerful Way

This spring, Eureka unveiled the powerful new AirSpeed ALL FLOORS vacuum. To bring its POWER message to fans on social media in a meaningful way, we created a contest supporting the powerful organizations across the country that touch our fans’ lives. From March 18 to May 6, we held the Eureka “Power of Change” contest on Facebook and asked fans to tell us about the charities that have made a powerful impact on their lives or communities. From those entries we chose 10 finalists, and fans voted to choose the most powerful entry.  After nearly 7,000 entries, more than 1,900 votes and 3,000 new fans, we named Alicia P. and the Alzheimer’s Association as our grand prize winner! Alicia and the Alzheimer’s Association each received $2,000 – take a look at the winning entry above. Congratulations to Alicia and the Eureka team for creating a powerful contest that increased both Eureka’s fan base and positive brand perception on Facebook!