Friday, July 31, 2015

Favorite Finds

Favorite Finds
July ended on a few positive notes this week – from Americans rallying behind wild animals to progressions in the college admittance system. Here are some stories that I found most interesting:
  • Slowly Ditching the SAT – The trend for colleges to become “test-optional” picked up steam on Monday, as George Washington University decided to follow suit – making it the biggest school yet to join. Reasoning behind the transition lies in that most high scores on the SAT nowadays are a direct result of affluent means of preparation, and the decision is being made to close the gap for underprivileged students. Good job, America!
  • All About That Big Cat – Lions may be kings of the jungle, but this week they were the king of trending topics. From public outcry over an American dentist killing one of the most beloved lions in Hwange National Park, to the appearance of a mysterious lion in typically lion-free Milwaukee, it seems that America knows to respect the big cat. News doesn’t seem to be slowing down, especially as the Zimbabwe Minister of Wildlife seeks extradition for that crazy dentist. Even still – who knew lions could tweet?
  • #plagiarized – Twitter has always been a breeding ground for outright plagiarism, specifically with jokes! But the folks at Twitter have had enough and are deleting stolen tweets. So if your draft folder is filled to the brim with comedy gold, you may want to run a check first.
  • Google+ Was Still a Thing? – Apparently, Google+ has still been around the past few years, because the team at Google sheepishly pulled it as a rival to Facebook this week. As of now, all new Google users won’t be required to set up a profile on the platform. A wise man once said, “you’ve got to know when to fold ‘em.”
  • Windows 10 – This week, Microsoft unveiled another version of its operating system in an attempt to battle Apple. And although many are happy with the changes (over 14 million people have already installed it on their PCs), the system is facing criticism for its privacy settings. Be careful what you tell your computer!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Favorite Finds

Summer’s in full swing, and social media news continues to stay hot. Here is round-up of stories that I found most interesting this week:

  • YouTube On the Rise – YouTube’s first report on branded content yielded some interesting info, including the fact that monthly views of branded content are up 55 percent since last year. In addition, Google announced that YouTube is now bigger than any individual U.S. cable network for the key demographic of 18-49 year olds.
  • It’s All Political – The Donald continues to make headlines – and stir up trouble for Republicans – with his brash comments, including his criticism of Arizona Senator John McCain. And in response to Mr. Trump giving out his personal cell phone number, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham made a YouTube video in which he destroyed his cell phone.
  • Power of Apology – Mitsubishi made a long-awaited apology to survivors of its POW camp, the first private company to do so – prompting questions of if corporations will follow suit.  
  • Battle of the Stars – Several celebrities made headlines by duking it out on social media this week. Popular battles included Nicki Minaj vs. Taylor Swift on Twitter – which was joined by a number of other celebrities – and Scottie Pippen vs. Shaq on Instagram.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Trex #NextDecks Pinterest Sweepstakes

LCWA’s home products team recently helped Trex host a successful social media sweepstakes on Pinterest. Following changes to Pinterest’s sweepstakes rules, we had to get creative on how we could encourage people to enter the contest without requiring them to pin specific content, so we decided to ask entrants to create a Pinterest board that showed off their dream outdoor living space. Entrants also were encouraged to pin an image from the Trex #NextDecks Sweepstakes Pinterest board and received an extra entry for doing so.

The sweepstakes ran for four weeks and generated more than 1,400 entries. Upon completion, five winners were randomly selected to win a piece of Trex Outdoor Furniture to spruce up their outdoor living space. Trex saw its number of Pinterest followers greatly increase and traffic to their website was significantly boosted as a result of the sweepstakes.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Favorite Finds

Social media is one of the best – and most irritating (if you’re not careful) – ways to keep up on culture…from pop to politics to sports. Here’s a smattering of topics:

  • Call me Caitlyn: Big, buzzy week for the transgender community as Caitlyn Jenner received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYS.
  • Friday Night Oops. Despite your personal beliefs, posting an inflammatory, controversial image on Instagram is always a bad PR move in these sensitive times
  • Smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em? Those dang millennials are back at it again, expressing opinions and stuff. This time: weed is OK. 
  • Put a smile on:  Did you know that happy hour had been illegal in Illinois? Well, now it’s not! Bottoms up.
  • Avada Kedavra!!! After a Twitter troll went after Serena Williams for her impressive physique, J.K. Rowling sent him to the Deathly Hallows with a prime-time response.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Introducing the New Leadership of AAAHC

For the last few weeks LCWA’s healthcare PR team has been introducing stakeholder media to the new leader of the AccreditationAssociation of Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), Dr. Stephen Martin, Jr., M.P.H.  Media tactics we are deploying for the announcement of Dr. Martin’s new position include a press release, which received coverage in Modern Healthcare, aggressive media outreach and introductory letters to editors containing the offer of interviews with the new CEO. As the leader of AAAHC, which provides accreditation to more than 6,000 facilities, Dr. Martin can serve as an authoritative voice on the future of health care quality improvement initiatives and LCWA is working to position him as a go-to source for trade media. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Favorite Finds

Is social media good or bad for us? Is it good for society? Is it good for the economy?

Social Media Today tackled these questions this week with a fresh, thoughtful list of pros (“unprecedented access to information”) and cons (“serious repercussions on productivity.”) It’s definitely worth a read.
Speaking of good and bad, Facebook this week unveiled smart new ways to make your news feed better by allowing you to select which friends and pages you would like to see at the top of your feed. Watch this short video to learn how to prioritize stories, and make sure you don’t miss posts from your best friends and favorite pages.

In more Facebook news, the social network’s 1.4 billion active users may need to strain to see a subtle new design change. But in the battle for gender equality, Facebook’s
new Friends icon makes a big statement. While the previous look had a more diminutive woman standing behind her man, look closely, the new Friends icon now shows the woman in front of the man, and the two silhouettes are of equal size. 

Quiz: Name the classic play that opens with “If music be the food of live, play on. (Hint: Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.) Clearly the Bard had a knack for catchy ledes, and writers today can still learn a thing or two about capturing reader interest from the very start. Thanks PR Daily for recognizing the power of the classics and posting 14 of Shakespeare’s most captivating openers.

Borrowing again from Shakespeare, I leave you with the final line in his play Julius Caesar, “And Let’s Away, to Part the Glories of This Happy Day.” Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Electrolux at Food Fete in New York

As part of our product roll out for the first line of Electrolux branded  countertop kitchen appliances in North America, LCWA and Electrolux staff met with more than 50 food journalists at the Food Fete media event in New York. The sleek and distinctive appliances of the Electrolux Masterpiece Collection – which feature a proprietary tilted design – were a hit with the media, who came in waves to see demos.

Prior to the event, our Chicago PR team arranged desk side meetings with editors at target publications to demonstrate the exciting products in person. The early results are promising – be on the lookout for the Electrolux Masterpiece Collection in media nationwide when sales begin this fall.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Favorite Finds

It was a short week, but there was certainly no shortage of interesting stories around the web. Below are my favorite finds for the week.
  • J L Chevy released a media alert announcing the launch of their 2016 Cruze written entirely in the language of emojis. While they later distributed a more traditional release, the innovative announcement received mixed reactions.
  • He’s Fired – Donald Trump found himself of the receiving end of his trademark phrase this past week when both NBC and Macy’s severed ties with him after he made racially insensitive remarks. The Donald’s response? Throwing out more insults, of course.
  • Siri Gets Sassy – Siri showed some serious attitude when she was asked to solve "what's zero divided by zero," but the sass didn’t stop there. It was discovered that Siri also provides blunt answers to six other questions.
  • In Other Apple News… – Although some are suggesting that Apple’s new music streaming service could make Spotify obsolete within a year, several people are still hesitant to jump on board. Intrigued? Here are 6 tips for mastering the new service.
  • Social Updates – Facebook mimicked Snapchat, and added the option to add text and filters to mobile image uploads, while Snapchat added its own long awaited feature: you no longer have to press and hold on your screen to watch your friend’s annoying 120-second story. #ThankGoodness
  • Get the Pepto Bismol Ready – Americans will eat an estimated 155 million hot dogs on the Fourth – more than enough to stretch from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles five times.