Friday, May 29, 2015

Favorite Finds

From brand updates and future emojis to social media tips and tricks, there was no shortage of interesting stories in the Twitterverse this week. Here are some of my favorite finds:

  • Apple of My Eye – Having grown 67 percent from last year, Apple overtook Google for the top spot in WPP's annual ranking of the top 100 global brands. With Microsoft and IBM rounding out the top four, technology is the fastest growing category.
  • Pop Quiz – The use of quizzes can open up a brand new stream of leads for your business. This story from PR Daily offers three ways marketers can use quizzes to attract new customers.
  • Selfie Symbol – What do a drooling face, selfie, shrug, handshake and bacon have in common? They are all among the 38 new emojis proposed for 2016.
  • Improve Instagram Engagement  - More than 75 million people check their Instagram accounts every day. PRNews offers five ways to spark your Instagram content plan to engage this audience.
  • Journalists Turn to Twitter – A new report on verified Twitter accounts shows that journalists are the most prevalent and the most active making up 25 percent of Twitter’s verified users. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Favorite Finds

Today kicks off the long-awaited Memorial Day weekend, and here in Chicago, that means the start of summer. 


While Cubs games, beaches and BBQ’s may be top-of-mind, this timely post reminded us how to secure summer-themed press coverage for our clients (Hint: take lots of pictures.)

Here are a few more of our Favorite Finds to warm up to on this Friday before Memorial Day:
  • Crayola found itself asking consumers not to use its products this week. It was a smart preemptive strike though, considering beauty bloggers have been recommending women “blunt” Crayola’s colored pencils and use them to apply eyeliner. #notsafe
  • I can certainly relate to the queasy feeling it causes, but I didn’t know there was a hashtag for it – Fear of Missing Out, or #FOMO.  The short business definition is wondering how much business you’re losing by not establishing a presence on an emerging social platform. Should you and your brand be on Snapchat? #FOMH (Find Out More Here)
  • Lastly, I was in Los Angeles last February and walking down Santa Monica Pier was like wandering into an outdoor fencing competition. So for me, the week’s biggest social media news was Walt Disney World’s ban on selfie sticks.

 Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Toast to Successful Client Coverage

It’s time to raise a glass to summer and to the power of broadcast media to reach and inspire consumers! At a time when many homeowners are looking for ideas on how to spruce up their backyards, we coordinated a television and radio satellite media tour for our client Trex from beautiful St. Helena Island, S.C. Broadcasting from a cozy, low-county-inspired Trex outdoor living space, we offered interviews with fourth-generation winemaker and lifestyle expert Rob Mondavi, Jr., to news stations across the country. Rob advised viewers on the latest trends in outdoor entertaining, and the importance of selecting low-maintenance, eco-friendly outdoor living products to enhance your enjoyment of the season. In the span of six hours, he spoke with more than 20 different media outlets! Many of these segments are scheduled to air ahead of Memorial Day weekend, so be sure to tune into your local morning news for outdoor living inspiration.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Shining the Spotlight on Child Hunger

Child hunger and food insecurity are growing concerns nationwide, especially in suburban areas where many low-income families have relocated in search of employment, affordable housing and better schools. Last year alone, our client Loaves & Fishes Community Services provided nutrition assistance to nearly 10,000 children in DuPage County, which represents 25 percent of food insecure children in the area, according to Feeding America.

To help elevate awareness of this growing public health crisis, Loaves & Fishes recently hosted a community-wide symposium titled “Spotlight on Child Hunger” that brought together some of the country’s foremost experts to discuss the long-term impacts of food insecurity on children, their families, and the community-at-large, and to share ideas and best practices for ending hunger and the cycle of poverty in our area.

Community members from across DuPage County gathered at Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, IL, for the event which featured a keynote address by nationally-renowned expert Dr. John Cook, principal investigator at Children’s Healthwatch and professor in pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine, who discussed his research findings on the detrimental effects of food insecurity on children. His presentation was followed by an interactive discussion featuring a panel of regional and local experts, including: Dr. Theresa Hawley of the Illinois Governor’s Office on Early Childhood Development; Dr. Jennifer McNulty, Medical Director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics at Edward Hospital; and Dr. Linda Van Horn, Northwestern Comprehensive Center on Obesity at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

To further elevate the profile and prestige of the event, LCWA secured Dr. Sandy Goldberg, clinical nutritionist and Emmy Award-winning on-air Health and Nutrition Contributor for NBC5 Chicago, to moderate the panel discussion. Additionally, we promoted the event through targeted media outreach securing pre-event coverage in more than a dozen outlets ranging from WGN-TV to Positively Naperville. We also hosted several reporters at the event itself. Following are two of the resulting articles:

Overall, the event was a huge success both in elevating the issue of child hunger and forging connections among the DuPage non-profit community. We were proud to be a part of it all!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Favorite Finds

    Need a refresher on the week’s events? From a #MothersDay surge to Mad Men fanatics, there was no shortage of weird and wacky distractions to divide attention. Here are some of our favorite moments in this week’s pipeline.  
    • Moms Are Trending!  The world couldn’t stop talking about Mother’s Day this year on Facebook, as 229 million people worldwide used the site to send 1.8 billion posts relating to Mom’s favorite holiday. The sheer amount generated more conversation than the Super Bowl, NCAA tournament and Sochi Olympics. Good job, children everywhere!
    • For More, We Go to Facebook…Rumors have circled and lines have been drawn, but Facebook still launched Instant Articles this week. The new tool allows for publishers to post articles straight to the Facebook News Feed, ignoring the click-through and further blurring the lines in traditional journalism roles. Pretty soon every article will be a list, and every list a gif.
    • End of a McEra: McDonalds is desperately trying to pull a quick turnaround on their bloated, unhealthy image, and this week they pulled out all the stops on their biggest asset – the Hamburglar. That’s right! Our favorite (insert description here) character has been renovated into the model of a mask-wearing, fedora-flaunting father figure. To prove he works as a new mascot, they released some new videos on social media to get everyone jazzed up. The results are unsettling.
    • Oh, Ikea: If you need some bold, futuristic thinking for your kitchen design, look no further than everyone’s favorite relationship pressure cooker – Ikea! Their high-tech, fridge-less kitchen has been all over the news lately due to its radical thinking, including a table that doubles as an induction cooking surface and cutting board, and a system that detects ingredients and recommends recipes to use all of your fresh ingredients. If these products are the same price as their $8.99 floor lamps, then I’m in!
    • Mad Men Prepares For Its Last Cigarette: The hugely successful television show prepares for its final episode on Sunday, May 16. The buzz was all about this week as viewers and critics alike shared predictions for the closely-guarded finale. If you didn’t catch it over the last seven years, you really missed out! See: Netflix.

    Friday, May 8, 2015

    Favorite Finds

    The weather’s heating up here in Chicago – and the news continues to stay hot. Here are some of my favorite stories from the week. 
    • News is in the News – A new US study reports that the news industry is struggling with a shift to mobile as more readers turn to smartphones and tablets for information. In fact, 39 out of the top 50 digital news websites had more traffic from mobile devices than from desktop computers in early 2015.
    • All Screens, All the Time – An article in the Economist stated that Americans spend over 12 hours a day, in total, watching TV, browsing the internet, reading newspapers and the like. Also interesting – this is the first year that consumers of media globally will spend more time online than watching TV.
    • It’s All Political – More GOP candidates entered the Presidential election race this week – and one experienced a tech “oops” off the bat. Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina failed to secure the web domain, resulting in someone else using it to launch  a page that’s critical of her tenure at HP on the same day she launched her candidacy.  In other political gaffes, an email from New York Mayor Bill de Blasio to aides turned into a New York Times story this week, because the mayor copied the reporter on a message.
    • Sweet Homage – Ryan Gosling continued to win hearts around the world by posting a touching tribute to Ryan McHenry, creator of the wildly popular “Ryan Gosling won’t eat his cereal” meme. Spoiler alert: the tribute has Ryan finally eating his cereal.
    • Lots of Appreciation  – Teacher Appreciation Week was a hit on social media, with #ThankATeacher trending throughout the week. The hashtag #PlusSizeAppreciation also picked up steam. And while people were expressing appreciation, they also were celebrating “Star Wars” – #MayTheFourthBeWithYou was another top hashtag. 

    Friday, May 1, 2015

    Favorite Finds

    From cheering on our hometown Blackhawks, to #NFLDraftTown out our window and #EmptyStadium buzz in our newsfeed, we’re enjoying the sporty-spirit in the air and looking ahead to big campaign launches, sunshine and 70’s in Chicago. Here are some of the homerun tweets that caught our eye this we
    • OMG Emoji – Instagram is about to change how we use emoji. The app announced this week it will allow users to add emoji to hashtags. (Nearly half of all photo captions include emoji). Hashtag emoji will work as links within photo captions and as search terms on Instagram's Explore page. If you head over to check it out, we recommend you also search the hot new hashtag #EmojisInTheWild for a little creative inspiration!
    •  401B – Sure, your know how important a 401K is, but according to @HubSpot benchmark data, 401 is important to marketers in a different way, too. Blogs with 401 or more posts drive double the amount of traffic to websites as those at or under the 400 mark. In addition, the research shows a prolific 16+ blog posts per month will drive 3.5x as those with 15 posts a month or less.
    • New Rules for Old Platforms – With new newsfeed algorithms rolling out on Facebook this week and the Twitterverse adjusting to loosened DM rules, there was lots of chatter on social strategies and the future of content management. Is it time to move on from Facebook? Are there new etiquette rules for Twitter? Read up to catch up on the ever-changing social game. 
    • Workin’ It – Agency life keeps us hopping, so we loved advice this week on how to go from being busy to being productive and this infographic on the best lighting, noise and set up for a to-do-list-crushing office space.
    • Webby Awards - The Webby awards were announced this week and we were excited to see Tinder get a top praise – we’ve used it in some social efforts already!
    • Uber Delicious – Good news Chicago – and all those suffering from sad desk lunch. Uber this week launched a meal-delivery service in New York and Chicago. We have an appetite to see how this pans out!