Friday, October 31, 2014

Favorite Finds

Happy Halloween! This week was full of tricks and treats. Following are just a few of the stories we collected in our treat bag:

  • Too Soon?!: Nothing was scarier this week than the continued concern and coverage of the Ebola crisis. In the spirit of the season, a British nightclub decided to host an Ebola-themed Halloween party com
    plete with biohazard d├ęcor and bartenders dressed in hazmat suits. Following backlash from the public and media, the profits from the event are being donated to charity and the bar owners are under self-imposed quarantine.
  • Fanatical Fans: San Francisco Giants fans upheld two baseball traditions this week – winning the World Series in even-numbered years and setting the city on fire in celebration.
  • Royal Tweets: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II dipped a toe into 21st-century communications when she posted her first tweet during an event at the Science Museum in London. The inaugural tweet was posted to the official British monarchy Twitter feed under the Queen’s official handle @BritishMonarchy.
  • Power Couple: IBM announced a partnership with Twitter to help shape business decisions using data collected from tweets worldwide. Together, the powerful duo will help businesses predict trends in the marketplace as well as consumer sentiment about products and brands, and consult with businesses on the best use of Twitter data.
  • Is He Nuts?!: John Oliver, host of HBO’s comedy news show “Last Week Tonight,” aired a hilarious but thought-provoking segment emphasizing just how much sugar Americans consume and what it does to our brains. In lieu of communicating in grams, Oliver suggested the use of Circus Peanuts as a more relatable way to translate the amount of sugar in foods, and urged viewers to show their support by tweeting using #showmeyourpeanuts. In the few days since the “Sugar” episode aired, the hashtag received more than 8,500 online mentions.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

AADSM Takes a Bite Out of the Big Apple

This month LCWA took two board members from the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) through the offices of influential health media to introduce editors to a surprising solution to treating sleep apnea – available from a dentist!  More than 25 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea in the U.S. and an estimated 50 percent of those diagnosed can’t use a CPAP machine, the traditional treatment for the disease. During each 30-minute meeting secured by LCWA, editors learned about the effectiveness and compliance rating for oral appliance therapy, a mouth-guard like device offered by AADSM member dentists. They even had the chance to interact with a CPAP machine and several oral appliances first-hand.  During our time in New York, we met with seven editors representing magazines that reach a total of 17M readers, including influential journalists at Reader’s Digest, Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Day, First For Women and SHAPE.  

We look forward to leveraging these conversations in the coming months to generate magazine articles that raise the profile of oral appliance therapy and our client AADSM. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Connecting Globally at the PRGN Conference: London

Last week I was very lucky to attend the fall meeting of our Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) affiliates in London. I always enjoy the opportunity to meet with the principals from our partner agencies around the world, and this meeting was no exception. Here were some of the highlights:
  • Big Picture Perspective. During the conference, I led a roundtable discussion of attendees on the global economy, business landscape and PR outlook for next year. We also discussed expectations for social media and the major news stories of 2014. All of our partners had interesting perspectives on what’s going on in the world, and it was enlightening to discuss how the impacts of today’s realities vary from Seattle and Spain to Sweden and Singapore.
  • Idea Sharing. There is nothing more educational than hearing what is working – and what isn’t – for other mid-sized, independent PR firms. We discussed many new business and marketing dilemmas as well as recruiting and retention issues. Guest speakers gave expertise on valuable topics, and case studies showed creativity in action.
  • Networking 101. Meeting new friends, and catching up with old ones, is the best part of being a member of PRGN. Over delicious dinners or pints at the pub, the conference provided plenty of opportunities to really get to know my colleagues from around the world.
  • Award Winning.  I was proud to pick up two first place and one second place award on LCWA’s behalf. Knowing all of the great work done by the PRGN across the world makes receiving these honors – given for work done for clients Trex, Eureka and Life Fitness – even sweeter.
All in all it was another great gathering. While it was hard to say “cheerio” to our PRGN partners in London, we look forward to ongoing collaboration until our next gathering. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Favorite Finds

Here are my favorite finds from a very busy week.
  • 5 PR lessons from celebrities – Theses celebs bring more to the table than their talent; they have shown insight into ways PR pros can use these tips to help clients as well. Are you using any of these lessons already?
  • Calling in Sick? – CareerBuilder has released its annual list called “The Most Unbelievable Excuses for Calling in Sick” which ranges from “I just put my casserole in the oven” to “I accidentally got on the plane.” Check out the whole list and see if you recognize any of them.
  • PR News releases its own quiz – In this day and age of apps and ways to pass the time, PR News has made its own quiz to see which TV character in the PR biz you are, take it now and see if you agree!
  • Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made – With the last installment of The Hobbit movies coming out in December, Air New Zealand has released their newest safety video, “The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made,” with guest appearances from Elijah Wood and director Peter Jackson – watch it and see if you think it’s as epic as they do!
  • RIP Mr. de la Renta – After battling cancer, Oscar de la Renta passed away on Monday at 82. Celebrities (and first ladies!) shared their tributes to this fashion icon and tweets came in from around the world to comment on his legendary career.

Friday, October 17, 2014

An Urgent Case for Urgent Care

In September, we were thrilled to welcome new client the Urgent Care Association of America to the LCWA family. And last week I had an opportunity to jump right in to the association’s Annual Fall Conference in Denver.

It is an exciting and important time in the urgent care industry, which has experienced recent rapid growth and continues to play an important role in today’s healthcare system. At UCAOA’s largest-ever Fall Conference, I was able to attend a variety of sessions and seminars about the issues facing the urgent care industry and meet with the Association’s leadership, including Board members and prominent urgent care owners, operators and staff from across the country.

During the conference, we coordinated our first media interviews for the organization as the Ebola threat became more and more serious in the U.S., starting with a local TV segment about how urgent care centers were preparing for the virus. With urgent care centers on the front lines of this healthcare issue, it made sense for the experts of the UCAOA to weigh in on this important topic.

The conference and the segment were an exciting start to our new relationship, and I look forward to sharing news of future media stories coordinated for the Urgent Care Association of America!

Favorite Finds

There are a lot of questions – and some answers – in this week’s roundup of my favorite finds:
  • Is Your Page Performing? – This infographic from Quintly shows the average key performance statistics for Facebook pages of all sizes in September. How does your brand compare?
  • Turnip for What? – First Lady Michelle Obama used popular social platform Vine to reach young Americans as part of her "Let's Move" healthy living campaign. Check out her parody of “Turn Down for What” here
  • Are We Lovin’ It?McDonald’s launched its Our Food, Your Questions campaign, which is intended to answer consumers’ inquiries and concerns about its products. The chain is soliciting questions through the brand’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, claiming they’ll answer even the toughest or most controversial questions. Do we really want to know?
  • Clear Communication on Ebola – How we communicate during a crisis will influence how audiences respond. International best-selling author and marketing leader Seth Godin argues that education—clear, fact-based and actionable education—is the single most effective thing we can do during the early stages of a contagion.” 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Favorite Finds

Here are my favorite reads from this week:
  • The future is…now? How do we truly define PR? Some question if the PRSA’s 2011 definition is still relevant as we barrel toward 2015.
  • Social media: It’s ladies night (and day and afternoon). With 55 percent more Facebook posts, 8 percent more Facebook friends and a 40 million person/month visitor lead over men on Twitter, women are tops in social media usage.
  • #BloodMoon. No, it’s not the name of your cousin’s garage band – the blood moon was a rare lunar eclipse early Wednesday morning that was huge on social and traditional media. Where were you for #BloodMoon?
  • I wanna get visual, visual. With visual content a necessity for social media success, use this infographic to succeed on Instagram!
  • More PR nightmares in Ferguson. In a brutally ironic twist, it was discovered that the man hired by the city of Ferguson to help improve its image had shot and killed a man a decade ago.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Favorite Finds

We found some interesting headlines this week in the social media realm. Following are some of the stories and tips that caught our attention:
  • LinkedIn Goes to College: Three new college-finding tools from LinkedIn — Decision Boards, University Outcome Rankings and University Finder — focus on college-bound students who are deciding where to apply, what to study and people who might give them some useful advice on the way.
  • Holiday Social Media Spending: Research shows that 67 percent of marketers plan to increase their social media budgets this holiday season. Brands also appear to be sticking to proven social media platforms, with 92 percent of marketers saying they will spend the majority of their budget on Facebook.
  • Perry Leads the Pack: Katy Perry, who became the first person to reach 50 million followers in January, maintains her position as Twitter’s most-followed individual, with a nearly 2.5 million follower lead over second-placed (and former number one) Justin Bieber. President Barak Obama ranks third with 47 million followers.
  • Brand Storytelling: SocialBro provided seven vital social media delivery optimization strategies to ensure the story your brand is telling doesn’t get missed.
  • The Future of PR: According to Fast Company, the future of PR is creating a shareable experience and facilitating an ongoing conversation while remaining on the forefront of innovations in the communication arena. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

What’s on the 13th Floor?

Chicago, brace yourself for a new breed of terror! Award-winning 13th Floor Entertainment Group – the country’s largest professional haunted house production company – opened a new location in Melrose Park on September 26.  They’ve tapped LCWA to help ensure 2014 is a Halloween to remember at 13th Floor Chicago.

And, we’re off to a scary-good start, coordinating two TV segments that aired opening weekend!

WGN features reporter Amy Rutledge stopped by the haunted house the morning before opening to film an in-depth segment about the inspiration behind 13th Floor and to showcase the elaborate set design. That segment aired the same day on WGN Evening News and multiple times over the weekend on both WGN and CLTV.

In the afternoon, Telemundo entertainment reporter Maria Elena Ponticiello interviewed LCWA’s own Nicho Campos and took her Spanish-speaking audience on a terrifying walk through the house – which viewers got to experience on the Friday evening news.

If you’re brave enough, more information and tickets for 13th Floor Chicago are available on its website: We’re coordinating media visits and social media promotions all month!