Friday, August 29, 2014

Favorite Finds

It’s the last week of summer, so to speak, and the news pipeline has been filled with summertime fun and a constant flow of social media and communications insights. Here are some of my favorite finds from the week. Happy Labor Day weekend!
  • Celebrating our National Parks – The White House helped spread word of the National Park Service’s 98th birthday via Twitter, reinforcing the importance of taking in America’s natural and historic wonders. Festivities included free entrance to all parks – a great way to cap the summer!
  • Free Speech in Social Media? – Debate over what constitutes free speech, good judgment and human decency continues, this time following an announcement by Twitter CEO related to recent tragedies in the Middle East.
  • Innovation Nation – Inc. Magazine has published some compelling news gleaned from its survey of 500 CEOs. Where do some top business leaders come up with their best thinking? How much revenue is from new product developments? Find out in these crisply designed, easy-to-read graphics. 
  • Instagram Time-Lapse Videos – Do people need one more reason to use Instagram? The company thought so and unveiled Hyperlapse, a new application for time-lapse videos.
  • Hello Kitty Shocker – So Hello Kitty is a girl named Kitty White and not an adorable Japanese feline cartoon character? Really? This reveal made mainstream news and got bloggers and others on the case. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Up in Arms

The “baddest pullers” in North America hit Chicago this week to compete in one of the country’s largest World Armwrestling League (WAL) tournaments and LCWA armed them with a major TV appearance to promote the event. 

The Fox Chicago morning show "Good Day Chicago" featured a live, 4-minute interview with three WAL champs, who discussed the surge of the underground sport in the U.S. and how one masters this gritty form of combat. A highlight of the gripping coverage: Anchor Corey McPherrin putting his elbow on the table to challenge 5-time national champ Devon Larratt. Who prevailed? See here.

Some 400 pros competed in the pit for $30,000 in prize money August 23 at Chicago’s Hard Rock CafĂ©.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Favorite Finds

Here are some of my favorite finds from the past week!

  • It’s an Ice Bucket World in the Summer – The #IceBucketChallenge hit new highs this week with foreign friends, celebrities, CEO’s and even former presidents getting iced – and its watershed effect is currently washing new life in Facebook and helping define how this platform can make headlines in the future. 
  • What the Tweet – Sure you know all about RT, DM and #FF, but what about RLRT, OH and MT?  As Twitter continues to grow, it’s developing a whole new wave of Twitter-lingo from “Tweetstorm” and “Twitter Canoe” to the sly “subtweet” – all things the savvy social media expert needs to know!
  • Feeling Appy This week brought the announcement of several notable new apps to help you do everything you used to do in person with just your phone – including professional networking on the new Tinder-like Weave app and finding comfort and anonymous friendship with Kindly.
  • Social Refresher – All around the Chicagoland suburbs, kids are heading back to school. With this in mind, we embarked on a social media refresher course this week, uncovering handy tips on driving engagement with hashtags and building better blogger programs.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Trex’s Winning Season

Call it a Trex trifecta. LCWA client Trex Company, the leading provider of wood-alternative decking and outdoor living products, has firmly secured its place as the category social leader after winning major awards from three of the country’s most prestigious communications associations. As previously discussed on this blog, the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the Publicity Club of Chicago (PCC) each have recognized Trex with awards for outstanding social media channels and initiatives.

These awards reflect work done over the past few years, as the Trex social channels have become trusted resources for both consumers and professionals alike, offering inspiration and motivation through engaging content, images and sweepstakes that are attracting an increasing number of new fans like you every day. In the past year, “Likes” on the Trex Facebook page increased considerably, while its Pinterest page inspires homeowners to visit the Trex website to learn more about the products featured on Trex’s boards. In addition to Facebook and Pinterest, Trex’s robust presence on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Houzz also provides opportunities for users to interact with the brand.

The strength of these channels, combined with a growing community of fans and followers, has enabled Trex to secure and maintain the top social position within the industry. And, social media isn’t the only award-winning tool in Trex’s tool belt. LCWA assisted Trex with nominations, and eventual wins, in marketing and human resources awards as well. Trex was honored for its “Engineered Artistry” marketing campaign at the prestigious American Business Awards. This campaign included print and digital media buys, a complete website overhaul and a comprehensive public relations campaign. The company also was recognized as one of The Washington Post’s 2014 Top Workplaces. The newspaper’s feature described Trex’s leadership, compensation, training, workplace flexibility and diversity as company strengths.

There truly has never been a better time to “Like” Trex! If you don’t already, you can follow Trex on Facebook, Twitter (@Trex_Company), Pinterest (trexcompany), Houzz (trex-company-inc), YouTube (TheTrexCo) and Instagram (@TrexCompany).

Friday, August 15, 2014

Favorite Finds

Here are some of my favorite finds from the past week!
  • Take the Challenge – Trending this week across all social media platforms is the #IceBucketChallenge. This marketing campaign serves as a great example of how something simple but fun can go viral – and generate $4 million in two weeks for the ALS Association!
  • Internal on the Rise – In the world of measurement, internal communications is often neglected. A new survey from Ragan Communications and PoliteMail reveals that the value of internal communications is increasing and a there is a growing demand for affordable measurement tools. (The survey is attached.)
  • Blurring the Lines – With less explicit labels, are readers able to distinguish all paid advertising from editorial content? Ad Age reports on the evolution of sponsored content – from readers’ responses to FTC regulation.
  • Instagram Inspiration – Instagram is now more popular than Twitter among smartphone users. Blogger Amy Taylor of “Brains of Fire” shares six brands that are captivating their Instagram audience – including the TSA!
  • RIP Robin Williams – The Twitterverse celebrated the life of actor and comedian Robin Williams by sharing favorite photos, quotes and clips. A great line of his that can apply not only to comedy, but also public relations: “When you have a great audience, you can just keep going and finding new things.”

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The AASM and CDC urge Americans to #StoptheSnore

The nation’s sleep experts agree: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) – a potentially life-threatening disease involving episodes of complete or partial airway obstruction during sleep – is dangerously on the rise.

LCWA client the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) is continuing its partnership with CDC on the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project with a new campaign: urging the 25 million (and counting) Americans who suffer from sleep apnea to see a doctor. Many sufferers of the disease remain untreated, which puts them at higher risk for cardiac disease, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes and obesity. The program is designed to educate Americans about the five major warning signs of sleep apnea: snoring, obesity, gasping/choking, daytime fatigue and high blood pressure. A social awareness campaign has also been launched, encouraging those with warning signs to take the pledge to #StoptheSnore and talk to a doctor.

The AASM and CDC both recognize that many of the damaging effects of sleep apnea can be stopped, and even reversed, through diagnosis and treatment by a board-certified sleep specialist. Remember, anyone can have sleep apnea, so take the pledge to #StoptheSnore today:

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Grooming Media for Coverage at SuperZoo

Our July was filled with grooming competitions, new pet products and, of course, pets at the SuperZoo 2014 Expo in Las Vegas. LCWA attended the show with the Jarden Animal Solutions brands – Oster Professional Products, Nourish Dog Shampoo and First Alert for Pets – where we assisted with the booth, hosted media, talked to groomers and executed Facebook giveaways.  

During the course of the three-day show, we showcased the newest products from the company, including several solutions made to help groomers throughout every stage of the grooming process, including the Oster Professional A6 Purple Slim and Cool Comfort clippers and the Li+iON cordless clipper/trimmer/nail grinder collection. We also showed off the latest consumer products, including the First Alert Bark Genie, a deterrent meant to safely and effectively quiet dogs’ barking, and the new, all-natural Nourish dog shampoo, which will have a match program to provide product to rescue organizations. 

Trade shows are always a great way to tell a brand’s story and we’re excited to work with media and consumers in the coming months to further drive attention to the great products we highlighted at the show.   

Friday, August 8, 2014

Favorite Finds

There’s always news in the world of news – and social media. Here are some of my favorite finds from the past few days
  • Media Industry Change-Ups – Media com
    panies made news of their own this week, with the print properties of the Tribune Company striking off on their own as Tribune Publishing (leaving the parent company to soldier on as essentially a television business) while Gannett Co. – owner of USA Today – also announced a split of its print and broadcast businesses.
  • PR Firms Take a Stance – Ten of the world’s biggest PR agencies have waded into the political waters by publicly stating that they would not work with clients who deny the existence of man-made climate change.
  • We’re Watching Video Views – Since auto-play launched on Facebook last year, video consumption on the channel has exploded – in fact, it was just announced that twice as many people now watch videos on Facebook compared to just six years ago.
  • Snapchat Welcomes Brands – Once wary of brand involvement, Snapchat – a relative newcomer to the social network scene – is not only embracing use by brands, but is actively selling itself to marketers
  • PR Fail of the Week – A hotel in Hudson, NY, got a sharp lesson in PR when it earned a firestorm of negative headlines thanks to its online review policy – which fined guests $500 for posting bad reviews. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

In the Mix…Join the "POD Squad”

We are helping our client First Alert hold a fun summer sweepstakes on Facebook to celebrate its new Safety POD, which promotes personal safety for multiple lifestyles! The Safety POD (Protection on Demand) is a hand-held device that features a two-way alarm, an LED light and is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, but loud enough (100 decibels) to help deter potential theft or intrusion. This device is great to use as a panic alarm, a door alarm (for hotel rooms or dorm rooms) or as a travel alarm for luggage, brief cases and purses. To raise awareness, First Alert is giving away 100 Safety PODs, helping 100 lucky winners to join the “POD Squad” so they can stay safe this summer and beyond – and become brand and product ambassadors in the process. To enter the “POD Squad” sweepstakes, visit the First Alert Facebook page. (Stay tuned for “POD Squad” members sharing their experiences with the Safety POD!)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Favorite Finds

It was a good week on the economic front, with reports that the U.S. GDP surged 4% in the second quarter, “putting growth back on an upward trajectory according to the Wall Street Journal.  In other news this week:

  • The lurkers in the Twitterverse: Twitter’s CEO revealed this week the true size of the platform’s audience – the number of people who visit Twitter every month but don’t log in – is two to three times larger than its active user base of 271 million.  So Twitter is thinking of retooling its platform so more people become frequent users. Here’s how.
  • Small business social: We found a handy new guide that shows small businesses how to go global with social media marketing. Click here to learn how to pick and leverage the social media platforms that will help you increase exposure, reach out to customers and forge deeper connections with existing and potential customers.
  • Do you have what it takes?: Aspiring PR professionals - are you think-skinned? A team player? Does news fascinate you?  If so, those are three signs you should work in PR.  Find the full list of 10 reasons here.
  • No wonder we have meeting fatigue: Finally, did you know an estimated $37 billion per year is spent on unproductive meetings?  Check out this eye-opening infographic that may help you find out if that meeting is really helping you get the job done.