Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Showing off Trex in a Show Home

One of the ways we help to tell the story for some of our clients is to create in-person experiences where media, customers and other stakeholders can interact with the brand in a meaningful setting. Earlier this month in South Carolina, we did just that with our client Trex.  During a two-day open house, we assisted with tours throughout a newly-built “retreat” for Rob and Lydia Mondavi where they launched the Mondavi Home Collection. The home was built with Southern charm and sustainability in mind, and our client Trex fit right in. Trex had the opportunity to showcase its decking, railing, furniture and outdoor lighting in several parts of the home including two screened-in spaces, an outdoor deck, walkway and dock – all outfitted with high-performance, low-maintenance Trex products. Visitors were wowed by the beautiful product and the experience allowed Trex to communicate its story to many influencers throughout the event.  

Friday, September 26, 2014

Favorite Finds

Here are my favorite finds from a busy internet this week:
  •  #FreeSimmons: More fun sports news. After sounding off against the NFL commissioner in a profanity-laced outburst during his own podcast, ESPN sportswriter Bill Simmons was suspended for three weeks – a week longer than Ray Rice’s original punishment (!). The public viewed this suspension as yet another major screw up in the sports world and #FreeSimmons was a top trending hashtag this week.
  • How “suite” it is. Popular social media managing site Hootsuite gathered another $60 million in venture funding. In the wide world of mostly useless startups, this one is gold (mainly because we at LCWA use it).
  • Black-what? Yep, Blackberry still exists. The newest model, BlackBerry Passport, is supposedly something that people will actually use somewhere. Is there still a line at the Apple store?
  • How to not do PR. As we know, the NFL did and mostly continues to do everything wrong in its multiple crisis PR situations. What a great teaching moment.
  • More is less for text. If we could use a graphic for this we would: it’s now super important for social media content to have a visual focus. Here’s how.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Life Fitness Announces The Top 10 Personal Trainers To Watch Finalists!

We helped our client Life Fitness announce the top 10 Personal Trainers to Watch finalists last week. These elite finalists span the globe, representing five continents and six countries. The 10 finalists were chosen out of more than 1,700 nominations from 43 countries and will compete in a live global competition on Oct. 17, in New York City at DavidBartonGym.The finalists will be judged based on popular training techniques using Life Fitness equipment and demonstrate to the judges why they deserve to be named the 2014 Personal Trainer to Watch. Check out this video introducing the finalists and be sure to tune in to the event live stream on www.lifefitness.com/pttw

Friday, September 19, 2014

Favorite Finds

Fall is approaching and as the leaves start to fall, we raked in some of this week’s top communications news! Below, I rounded up some of my favorite finds from the week.

  • Scots Vote on Independence from the UK – It has been building for months, and this week Scotland is finally voting on independence from the UK. While it has been an intense campaign effort on many fronts throughout Scotland, social media also played its part over the past few weeks – in fact, the debate over Scottish independence spurred 10 million Facebook interactions in the past month and a half alone!
  • Dancing Traffic Light Entertains for Safety – The company behind the original smart car, Smart, recently unveiled its latest innovation in Lisbon, Portugal – the dancing traffic light. The ad is part of Smart's #WhatAreYouFor campaign, which emphasizes the company's dedication to safety. Learn more about this creative campaign and if a dancing light could be coming to an intersection near you!
  • Apple’s iPhone 6 Sets New Pre-sale Record – While it was no surprise when Apple unveiled its latest iPhone last week, the company was overwhelmed with a record number of pre-orders –more than four million in the first 24 hours. Bloomberg Businessweek reports that “[Apple] will likely sell more iPhones this weekend, when retail sales begin, than on any previous weekend.” Check out the graph of historical iPhone pre-sales to see how this latest version compares.
  • Nine Tricks to Ease Public Speaking Fears – Speaking in public isn’t natural for everyone, but with a few simple tips, getting in front of an audience can become easier – and possibly even fun. Review this cool list of "tricks for you" and "for them" to start practicing today. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Favorite Finds

The week is ending on a chilly note in Chicago, but communications news has been heating up this week! Take a look at some of my favorite finds from the week.
  • DiGiorno Messes Up and Apologizes on Twitter – The scandal swirling around former Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice has been unavoidable this week, and some brands have (unwisely) joined the conversation. DiGiorno’s misstep on Twitter taught two important lessons: ALWAYS research Twitter handles before joining conversations, and be upfront with apologies if you mess up.
  • Fighting Facebook’s Organic Reach Algorithm – Anyone who manages a Facebook page for our clients know that Facebook recently made it much harder for organic posts to reach fans. Check out these tips on how to succeed in the face of changing algorithms.
  • iPhone Release Surprises and Delights – This week, Apple trotted out the newest iteration of iPhone. The iPhone 6 is larger, thinner and boasts an amazing camera and features to make it easier for users to navigate between their apps. Check out all the details!
  • Revive Press Release Endings – It’s easy to get stuck in a release-writing rut, wrapping up releases with the standard “for more information, visit…” Use these tips to help craft strong endings to all of your press releases!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Contigo profiled in the Chicago Tribune’s “Blue Sky Innovation” Series

A leading producer of travel mugs, water bottles and kids’ bottles, Contigo has a passion for engineering great products right here in Chicago. To share Contigo’s story of innovation and Chicago-roots, LCWA teamed up with the Chicago Tribune’s “Blue Sky Innovation” series, a new business section of the publication that reports on Chicago-area technology companies, ground-breaking products and services and innovative entrepreneurial best practices.  

The segment featured an interview with Contigo CEO Sami Elsaden, who discussed how they cultivate a culture that is always focused continuous, meaningful innovation – taking the best Contigo products and making them even better, as well as finding new solutions for common problems. Additionally, the segment featured shots of Contigo’s brand new office space and some entrepreneurial tips from Sami. Check out the coverage here.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Favorite Finds

Twitter was the first to tell the world about many breaking stories this week and the trending hashtags alerted me to some of my favorite finds – enjoy!
  • PR Plan Musts – It’s planning season for many businesses right now and I found this list to be a good foundation for a strategic approach. 
  • Everyday Ethics – Although we live by this Public Relations Society of America code, it’s important to take a step back for Ethics Month this September and remember our professional values. Join the conversation at #PRSSAEthics.
  • Auto-Play Automatically Eats Data – As PR practitioners, we rely heavily on our phones for day to day work – so I was glad to learn that Facebook automatically enables videos to play automatically in the feed and by turning it off, data will be spared. Thanks Twitterverse! Our data bills thank you.
  • Success In and Out of the Office – Reader’s Digest shared 10 things that successful people do after work to create work/life balance and help make the most of each day.   
  • RIP Ms. Rivers – Yesterday tweets came in from all around the world to share in solace and gratitude for Joan Rivers and her legendary career. Talk about an influencer!