Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Eureka Brushroll Clean Gets Techies Talking

After months of preparation, the LCWA home products PR team helped Eureka officially launch the Eureka Brushroll Clean last week – their newest vacuum model featuring innovative self-cleaning technology! Within hours, tech media were already abuzz online with comments about the latest release in two great write-ups. CNET associate editor Ry Crist posted an article on the vacuum and Brushroll Clean Technology, and called out the features of Eureka AirSpeed and SuctionSeal technologies. Meanwhile, Gizmodo contributing editor Andrew Lizewski was so impressed with the vacuum that he created a gif of the self-cleaning technology for his article and even quoted the self-cleaning brushroll as “the greatest innovation in cleaning since the housekeeper was invented.” Together, the placements yielded more than 54 million impressions!
The Brushroll Clean conversation has just started, and we’re excited to keep spreading the good news! 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

“Designing” Successful Market Coverage

While football fans count down to Super Bowl and movie buffs obsess about the Oscars – for design aficionados, there’s no bigger event than High Point Market. Twice a year, the sleepy town of High Point, N.C., comes alive with furniture makers, designers, taste makers and media – all on the hunt for the latest trends and fabulous finds. This past month, as part of team, I traveled to High Point to create buzz and awareness for our recently re-branded client Fashion Bed Group (formerly Leggett & Platt Consumer Products Group). With little more than 24 hours on the ground, the LCWA home products PR team concentrated on gaining valuable pre-show and at-show coverage with news of Fashion Bed Group’s new name, larger showroom and new products – delivering more than 870,000 pre-show impressions and seven trade placements that hit during the show! In addition, we led high-profile trade and consumer media – from Furniture/Today to Traditional Home – through tours of Fashion Bed Group’s new showroom, highlighting product innovations and the latest trends in bedding accessories and causal furnishings. Now that we’re back in Chicago, the PR team is actively following up with these media outlets to encourage additional coverage. All in all, it was a successful showing surrounding the industry’s largest show.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Favorite Finds

This week I read a lot of articles via Twitter about how to help brands gain visibility online. The communication vehicles we use are always changing and I’m grateful to have helpful resources via Twitter to navigate the field!

  • Mobilegeddon Motivation – In case you haven’t heard, Google now favors websites with mobile capabilities or responsive design over desktop-only sites. Most of us now access the web predominately from our smartphones, so this move makes sense but left many web designers with a very busy week!
  • Pinterest Promotion – As one of the fastest growing social media platforms, Pinterest draws a lot of brand attention. Now that promoted pins are available to everyone, it’s important to know what works best.
  • Twitter Talk – Since the channel’s inception, Twitter has required a mutual follow to direct message. Not anymore. Twitter expanded direct messaging this week, allowing private messages so long as you “opt-in” via the settings.
  • Facebook Favors Friends – Based on user feedback, Facebook has once again updated its newsfeed algorithm to now favor friend activity over pages, making it even more difficult for brands to achieve significant organic reach. 
  • And Speaking of Visibility… How can we not tout our building’s great (and very visible!) cameo in the new Batman v. Superman trailer?! Look for the diamond-shaped building on the right side of the skyline shots. We can’t wait to see it on the big screen! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Brushing Up on Business

Last week I attended a PRSA Chicago event led by Matthew Ragas and Ron Culp to talk about their book, “Business Essentials for Strategic Communicators.” The topic was basically a business 101 for PR professionals. As they reviewed their top 10 tips, I was proud that my teams already are doing a lot to keep up with our clients’ business. I know many of us are regulars on public earnings calls and we even help write annual reports for clients. However, there is always room to learn more and these tips may help:
  • Know the lingo. It should be expected of PR professionals to know the financial terminology that is used in the c-suite and with a company’s stakeholders. It’s especially important to know the vocabulary when reading and interpreting financial statements.
  • Understand the business of the business. Ron and Matt made a good point – do you know how much of a dollar a company (yours or your client’s) keeps after all expenses? That figure gives you perspective into the volume it takes to run the company and make a profit.
  • Brush up on the basics. Luckily for PR pros there are ample resources available to help us learn more. A few ideas mentioned during the event were:
  • Apply your knowledge. Once you have a handle on the basics, try testing yourself. The authors suggest following company financials, checking Seeking Alpha for the transcripts and interpreting the results for yourself. After you’ve done that, read news/investor stories about the financials to check if you got the story right.

Thanks to the authors for sharing these ideas! 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Favorite Finds

With the 24/7/365 social media cycle, there's no telling what sort of weird, funny, depressing or interesting info you'll find. Here's a mix of this week's hodgepodge: 
  • Humor from Hilary. The new presidential candidate shows her funny side on her website’s error pages.
  • A state in crisis. Indiana hired a PR firm to rebuild reputation after the state’s disastrous religious law situation   
  • Who do ya trust? Should consumers trust established (evil?) corporations or the questionably-credible bloggers trying to bring them down.
  • GOOOAAALLLLL! (TAAAACCTIIICCSS!!) What do PR and soccer have in common?
  • Going inZAYNE? A body-language “expert” analyzed the remaining One Direction members’ body language in first pic sans-Zayne.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Favorite Finds

A mostly rainy week has finally turned to sunshine in Chicago, and the wild weather was matched by a week of wild online stories. Here are some of our favorites from the week.

  • Mad Lessons: Sunday was bittersweet, as "Mad Men" returned but for the final time. This article cataloging client lessons from the show was a work-oriented way to celebrate the final season's launch.
  • Buzzing: This list of 2015's newest buzz words gives us some ideas of new trends in social measurement, such as "attention metrics." Though in this increasingly distracted world, the fight for attention is perhaps the hardest fight of all.
  • The Influence of Influncers: We stand behind the influence of key influencers, though sometimes it can be hard to measure and prove. This article tackles that conundrum. 
  • A Wise Woman Once Said...: The U.S. Post Office found a mistake more embarrassing than a typo when the quote on the Maya Angelou stamp was found to be a quote by Joan Walsh Angluno, instead. Ouch!
  • Spoiler Alert: No more avoiding the phone or internet before watching your favorite shows. Google has been granted a patent for hiding information about certain episodes or chapters. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Two-Screen Sweepstakes Just in Time for Spring Cleanup

Recently, LCWA client Sun Joe “took over” QVC for #SunJoeDay, with four hours devoted entirely to the outdoor tools brand, and exclusive appearances throughout the day. Sun Joe offered four limited edition colors and great deals on its Electric Pole Chain Saw – an essential and popular tool for the spring season. The saw was a huge hit on TV, selling tens of thousands of units – and to capitalize with even more engagement – LCWA held a sweepstakes on Facebook utilizing the two screens: TV and computer/smartphone.

We kept Sun Joe Facebook fans updated on when Sun Joe would be appearing on QVC throughout the day, and held corresponding Pole Chain Saw giveaways on Facebook during the TV segments, while sharing the live-stream link and anecdotes from the segments. Fans were encouraged to post photos of themselves watching QVC on the Facebook page, and the entire day was documented live on the Facebook wall! The “two-screen sweepstakes” was very popular with fans, who expressed how much fun they had getting the chance to win this great product, while also having the chance to see it live on TV. Throughout the day, thousands of new and current fans participated, and the sweepstakes reached nearly 60,000 people!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Survey Reveals a “Snore-Fire” Way to Hurt a Relationship

Our client the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine kicked off its “Snories” media campaign with a survey to collect nationally-relevant, fun statistics that showcase the effect snoring can have on the bed partner’s sleep and on a couple’s intimate relationship. The report exposed several staggering statistics, such as a quarter of adults confess to becoming annoyed or angry when dealing with a snoring bed partner, and one in five say a snoring partner could drive them out of bed.

LCWA leveraged the survey results to attract media attention and drive coverage of snoring and untreated sleep apnea as a problem – and oral appliance therapy, provided by dentists, as a solution. To engage those who suffer from snoring, AADSM and LCWA hosted a #SnoringStruggles Twitter party, which had 363 active participants, resulting in more than 28 million online impressions and hundreds of click-throughs to the AADSM website’s patient portal.

In addition, outreach conducted by LCWA generated several placements, such as The Huffington Post, The Baltimore Times, CBS 11 in Fort Worth/Dallas, and Medical Daily, helping the AADSM to educate tens of thousands of consumers about snoring, sleep apnea and dental sleep medicine.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Favorite Finds

The Twitterverse this week was filled with everything this week from April Fools pranks to breakthrough buttons and fluffy bunnies to important observances. Check out the stories that caught my eye, the new social features and brand announcements that caught my imagination and the best practices and advice I loved reading.

  • Buttons and Breakfasts – In case you missed it, a few major brand announcements took Twitter by storm this week. From night owls everywhere rejoicing at McDonald’s elimination of the breakfast ban (Egg McMuffins all day long!) to the breakthrough Amazon Button launch, we’re certainly springing into forward-thinking. Will our homes fill with “razor,” “paper towel” and “baby wipes” instant reorder buttons? Only time will tell.
  • Days for Tomfoolery – We enjoyed a spring weather tease from Mother Nature on April 1, but that wasn’t the only thing that had us smiling. From the cuddly Google Panda (please can we have one!) to the stylish Target FannyBasket, we loved the April Fools Spoofs from brands who got into the spirit and showed off their ridiculous creativity.
  • Days for Contemplation – Two additional observances this week made us stop and think. With so many medical clients on our roster, its hard not to appreciate the evolution of medicine on National Doctors Day. And several days later our building burned blue, quite literally, as the Crain’s Communication Building lit up blue with other major Chicago Skyline staples for World Autism Awareness Day.
  • Show Me the #Shelfie – Most of our PR experts are secretly also total bookworms, so we love the campaign buzzing this week from First Books and Disney designed to raise money and provide books for needy kids. Our staff is already getting into sharing their #shelfie shots and showing off the books that taught them to love reading. The hardest part of course is picking just one book!
  • Social Sense & Sensibilities – We followed a few great social tips and tricks this week including an overview of the eight social media trends for 2015, a great reminder about delivering social campaign results to clients and a list of 11 top content creation tools every marketer needs.