Monday, September 28, 2015

In the Mix…De-Cluttering The Garage for National Clean Out Your Garage Day!

Most homeowners know the feeling: with the summer season winding down and cooler temperatures setting in, a random assortment of junk has piled up in the garage. This year, the LCWA home products PR team helped combat “seasonal garage disorder” with our client The Lehigh Group by promoting National Clean Out Your Garage Day on September 12. This annual observance – now in its seventh year – reminds Americans every fall to organize the garage before the winter months.
The program was a success, with syndicated pick-up from prominent home reporter Alan Heavens and placements in priority outlets like This Old House (pictured right), The Detroit News, Houston Chronicle and The Record and Herald News. In all, our team secured more than 79 million impressions for the brand. Due to our outreach, media have been buzzing about the latest garage cleaning and timely organization tips, as well as the latest organization tools from Crawford.

Miss out on this year’s National Clean Out Your Garage Day? Don’t worry! You can still pick up what you need to get the job done, from

Friday, September 25, 2015

Favorite Finds

So much good insight amidst a week of big news! Here are my favorite finds from the week in PR headlines … and a few non-work related articles, too!
  • An insightful article advocates for continued emphasis on earned media relations in conjunction with integrated content marketing and “brand journalism” of the day. Here’s a “bottom line” for clients: it’s cost-effective and successful, not to mention useful for social media channels and imperative to help build credibility.
  • For integrated marketing communications professionals, mobile continues to grow in importance. These mobile statistics won’t come as a surprise to some, but I like this one in particular: according to Loyalty360, “46% of consumers are less likely to comparison shop when using a company’s branded app.”
  • This social media infographic neatly summarizes the state of social media in 2015. A personal favorite? Buyable pins on Pinterest.
  • The classic tome is now on e-reader! AP Stylebook – what will you do with your printed versions?
  • The Art Institute of Chicago and cultural institutions across the nation have heralded local celebrity architect Jeanne Gang. Time Out Chicago gave us a look at a future neighbor of ours! Spectacular!
  • Interested in fall foliage? Galena is among these small cities Country Living highlighted. Check out the photos – they will make you yearn for a Sunday drive.

Monday, September 21, 2015

In the Mix...AASM Helps Ring the Bell on School Start Times

This back-to-school season, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) partnered with the Centers for Disease Control to promote the CDC’s recently announced recommendation to push back school start times. The announcement garnered significant interest from media outlets across the country, and AASM spokespeople were available to reiterate the importance of sleep for adolescents with priority media contacts.

In addition to traditional media, the AASM participated in a CDC-sponsored Twitter chat on several association handles, weighing in on the importance of healthy sleep for learning and the risks associated with drowsy driving. In addition, a story aired on Al Jazeera America featuring AASM spokesperson Dr. Camilo Ruiz, who explained to a national audience how the adolescent brain needs sleep to learn and grow.

These opportunities, along with an ongoing social push, prolonged the conversation on this important topic – continuing to spread the news about the importance of sleep for our students at the start of a new school year.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Favorite Finds

From new Facebook features to tips on improving writing, this week’s Twitterverse featured several helpful tools for both journalists and PR practitioners. Here are my favorite finds for the week:
  • Facebook Launches Signal: Facebook has launched Signal, a new tool that help
    s journalists find and curate stories on FB and Instagram.
  • Survey Says: Although most CEOs understand and appreciate the value corporate communications can bring to their company, a new global study has found that few have the proper applications and people in place to benefit from that value.
  • Creating Cool Infographics: Using these 20 tools can help make the process of creating infographics simpler than ever.
  • Thumbs Down? Facebook CEO and grey t-shirt fan Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed that Facebook is working on a dislike button to help people better express themselves on the social network.
  • Zippy Writing: A recent post by @PRDaily suggests writers pay close attention to the descriptors they use and utilize precise and meaningful adjectives and adverbs to improve writing.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

In the Mix…Starting to Scare

We’re baaa-aaaack. Fall is in the air and that means we’re in full monster mode with our client, 13th Floor Chicago. The Haunt is back for its second year in Melrose Park and we’re already scaring up some great media leads. To kick off the season and really spook Chicagoans, we’re also launching a “Scary Snapchat Selfie” sweepstakes, where we are asking fans – particularly younger ones – to send us a Snap with their best scary face with makeup, or scary face using the “doodle” feature.  We had a blast last year engaging with the social community for 13th Floor and we are so excited to see what they have in store for us this year. The sweepstakes runs throughout September, and fans will also have another chilling contest to look forward to in October. Stay tuned as Halloween approaches and we count down to some of the scariest sights (and startling stories) Chicago horror fans have ever seen! 

Monday, September 14, 2015

An ‘Evergreen’ Topic

LCWA truly warmed up to our first initiative for new client Weil-McLain®, a leading manufacturer of hydronic comfort heating systems, when we announced the introduction this month of the highly energy efficient, sophisticated Evergreen™ boiler. Numerous leading trade journals already have covered the product launch, including Engineered Systems, Contractor Magazine, HVAC News and Healthcare Facilities Today.

An important component of our program for Weil-McLain is to inform target audiences of the benefits of hydronic heating. The system has become quite popular among homeowners who seek a quiet, client, high performance and energy saving alternative to a forced air furnace. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Favorite Finds

The beginnings of fall are in full force as Chicago Public Schools kick into gear! Here are my favorite finds this week:
  • New species found – For anyone who is looking for a Ross Gellar from "Friends" in their life, check out the archaeologists from the University of Wisconsin have discovered a new relative of humans: Homo Naledi. Found in a cave outside Johannesburg, more than 1,500 fossils have been recovered in the largest find on Africa yet.
  •  Apple Pencil? – In case you haven’t been on social media all week, Apple had their annual September event on Wednesday which included a new Apple OS2Watch, upgraded Apple TV, iPhone 6s and 6s Plus and the iPad Pro. The iPad Pro has two accessories, a case with a keyboard, and the completely revolutionary Apple Pencil. Naturally this was picked up quickly on social media; check out some of the best responses.
  • Instagram Upgrade – Instagram has announced that they are opening advertising to everyone, as opposed to a select few who shelled out a hefty sum. In their blog post on the subject, it was clear that they are becoming a major player in the social media advertising game.
  • The Late Show Debut – Stephen Colbert began his reign on CBS’ “The Late Show” on Tuesday with several prime guests including George Clooney and presidential candidate Jeb Bush. But many are talking about Sabra Hummus and Oreos. Sabra had a plug during the show, which was very obvious, and separately he pulled out some Oreos for a pun on Donald Trump. Colbert will definitely be one to watch in the future, and perhaps not just for his content!
  • Soup in a Mug – Keurig Green Mountain and Campbell’s Soup Co. announced that they have created single serving K-Cups with Campbell’s soup – available in Homestyle Chicken Broth & Noodle Soup Mix and Southwest Style Chicken Broth & Noodle Soup Mix. Innovation at its finest? Perhaps a taste test is in order first, check them out here.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Favorite Finds

From the #VMAs to #Deflategate, this week’s Twitterverse has been filled PR successes and failures, as well as some helpful tools for practitioners! Here are my favorite finds for the week:
  • Bad Blood: While Nicki Minaj (@NICKIMINAJ) and Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) seemed to have come to a truce, the “Anaconda” singer had some choice words for #VMAs host Miley Cyrus (@MileyCyrus), with media and viewers weighing in on whether this latest feud is real, or just a ploy for publicity.
  • Google Refresh: New logo, same website – and lots of opinions! The Twitterverse is still stirring over the new schoolbook-inspired #Google logo. Where some people regard it as clean, simplified look, others are calling it childish and unimpressive.
  • Deflategate Update: A federal judge erased New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's four-game suspension for the Deflategate controversy that the NFL claimed threatened football's integrity. Patriots fans rejoiced, and even brands like @Drpepper and @Sauza Tequila got in on the action with timely tweets. Of course, not to be outdone by a federal judge, @realDonaldTrump also weighed in with his thoughts. 
  • Insta-amazing: @PRDaily identified these 10 terrific Instagram tools for marketers – but we think they’re great for improving anyone’s Instagram feed.
  • Monster of the Midway: With #Football season just around the corner, @ChicagoBears fans don’t have much to look forward to – except this amazing hot dog topped with corned beef and bacon, which will at least provide some comfort for this predicted rocky season.

 Have a great weekend!