Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Favorite Finds

Happy Thanksgiving! It’s an abbreviated week for LCWA, but we still had time for some favorite finds. Here are mine for the week.
  • Now you see it, now you don’t– Facebook is reportedly testing Snapchat-type disappearing messages with its users in France, Mashable reports.
  • More Facebook expansions – In its never-ending quest to be the one social media platform that rules them all, Facebook is also expanding its video features. PR Daily has best practices for the expanded video platform.
  • Writing refresher Poynter provides tips for better organization. It’s a blog post which will help any storyteller – journalist or PR pro.
  • Uber crisis management – Uber has been the subject of brutal PR this past year, and part of its strategy for handling the blowback is to establish a safety advisory board.

Monday, November 23, 2015

First Alert Raises Awareness with Fire Prevention Month

It’s a dangerous scenario that is, unfortunately, all too common – a homeowner deliberately deactivates a sounding smoke alarm and leaves the device disabled, opening up the entire household to a high risk potential for undetected smoke and fire. During October’s Fire Prevention Month, First Alert and the LCWA PR team encouraged homeowners to “double team their safety” by updating their alarms to the new First Alert 10-Year Dual Sensor Smoke and Fire Alarm. The team also underscored the importance of checking smoke alarms and following national installation guidelines.

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) and other local and national safety advocates recommend installing dual-sensor alarms, such as the new alarm from First Alert, because they provide the best potential for early detection of all types of common household fires while helping to reduce the number of non-emergency or nuisance alarms. Make sure that your home is protected from fire by following the guidelines set by the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), which recommends that homes have smoke alarms installed inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement, and one CO alarm on each level and in each sleeping area. To put this into perspective, the average-sized home in America – a two-story, three-bedroom house – needs a minimum of five smoke alarms and four carbon monoxide alarms.

Looking to upgrade your smoke and CO alarms? You can pick up the latest from First Alert at

Friday, November 20, 2015

Favorite Finds

Happy Friday! As Chicago braces for its first snow of the season, here are my Favorite Finds of the week. They may not keep you toasty, but at least they’ll distract you from the cold!
  • So Long, Sun: Chicago’s glorious brush with Ibiza-like temperatures is coming to an abrupt end this weekend, as forecasters predict between two and six inches of accumulation starting Friday evening. Sounds like the perfect night for a Netflix binge.
  • Let’s Hug it Out: Forgo the handshake – an @ChicagoBlueSky poll shows 56 percent of workers are in favor of hugging in business settings. In my opinion though, nothing trumps a good fist bump for a job well done.
  • Gram It: @ThrillistChi crunched the numbers to determine the 30 most Instagrammed places in Chicago. Considering the stream of tourists we can see from our offices visiting Millennium Park each day, we’re shocked “The Bean” isn’t #1.
  • Keep it Brewing: A new study conducted by the American Heart Association found that higher consumption of coffee could reduce the risk of deaths due to cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases. So go ahead and order that Venti.
  • Hail to the Chief: Our very own Alison Bruder (@AlisonHamer) was named the president of PRSA Chicago. First order of business: an office-wide celebration with cake (and fist bumps). Congrats, Alison!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Favorite Finds

Happy Friday the 13th! As we wrap up this week on a superstitious note, here are some of my favorite stories from around the web:

  •  Freaky Friday: The official term for the fear of Friday the 13th is Friggatriskaidekaphobia, but this is only one of many interesting facts about this bad luck holiday.
  •  Tis the Season: The notorious Starbucks holiday cups were in the news this week when people claimed that Starbucks tried to start a war against Christmas after the company opted for a sleek red cup design without traditional holiday motifs. Meanwhile, Target received critiques for its “Obsessive Christmas Disorder” sweater and Bloomingdales left many wondering how its new holiday ad even got published.
  • Pinterest Update: Pinterest got an update and now offers a visual search function, which allow users to focus in on something specific within a photo to find similar pins. Launched just in time for the holidays, Pinterest is hoping that this new tool will help to increase the visibility of buyable pins while pinners are browsing for d├ęcor and gift inspiration.   
  •  YouTube Music: YouTube jumped on the music-streaming bandwagon with the announcement of its new service. With both a free and paid version, YouTube Music is now the newest competitor of Spotify and Apple Music.  
  • Box Office Blunder: If you’re looking for a good film to see this weekend, it’s best to avoid “By the Sea” starring Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Receiving only a 24% rating on Rotten Tomatoes along with several other one-star reviews from critics, this may be a movie that Jolie and Pitt hope to soon forget. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Eye Health Life Health Coalition Wants All Eyes on Health

LCWA client Eye Health Life Health Coalition is working to open people’s eyes – about the importance of eye health. This recently-launched, Chicago-based Coalition brings together health, social service and community business leaders as well as primary care providers, optometrists and ophthalmologists to spread awareness of the correlation between eye health and a number of serious chronic issues.

We’re excited to work with the Coalition to launch a marketing program, to take place over the next few months, to educate area audiences about the overall link between eye health and overall health. This initial announcement campaign includes a media rollout and targeted advertising campaign – and is just the beginning of an ongoing effort to raise awareness about the importance of keeping eyes healthy.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Favorite Finds

There were so many great stories in the news and on the net this week - from actress Leah Remini pulling back the curtain on Scientology to the cleaning of the Seattle gum wall. Here are a couple of others that caught our attention:
  • Republicans v. Reporters – Presidential candidates from the GOP declared war this week on what they have referred to as “lamestream” media. Representatives from most of the Republican presidential campaigns met for a post-debate Airing of Grievances and subsequently drafted a list of demands for future debates. The response from media? Be careful what you wish for!
  • Amazon Accelerates Black Friday – Expanding on the success of the Amazon-created sales holiday Prime Day earlier this year, Amazon announced it’s now launching a dedicated Black Friday Deals Store where Amazon Prime members will get early access to some of the best discounts.
  • Don’t Shoot the Messenger (App) – Messenger apps have experienced exponential growth over the past several years and, according to Social Media Explorer, may represent the future of marketing. With Facebook announcing ambitious plans to expand its own Messenger app to new heights, it might be time to consider the potential of this medium for reaching and engaging a new generation.
  • Infatuation with Infographics – Have you ever wondered why we all seem to love infographics? The team at NeoMam Studios did some digging into this question and compiled an infographic (what else?) on the science behind why our brains crave these beautiful displays of data points.
  • Breaking news from Facebook – Facebook announced this week that its next app will alert users to breaking news. The social networking giant is partnering with an array of big media brands, including CNN, Mashable, CBS, The Washington Post and Vogue, to introduce an app called Notify, which will go live next week. According to PR Daily, this could be a sign of great things to come for PR, marketing and communications professionals.
  • Parents at Work?Thursday marked “Bring Your Parents to Work Day,” an event created by LinkedIn to allow parents a glimpse into what their children do at work. While seemingly harmless, this event sparked a series of fun, yet mixed reviews from media. We particularly enjoyed these two from the Huffington Post (Pro) and Inc. (Con).

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

AASM Makes Waves on Twitter

LCWA recently helped AASM with two successful Twitter campaigns to raise awareness about new recommendations for adults to sleep seven or more hours per night. The first involved a #7andUp Twitter chat with AASM president Dr. Nathaniel Watson, CDC expert Dr. Anne Wheaton, the Sleep Research Society and moderator Huffington Post Healthy Living to discuss the new recommendations and overall importance of healthy sleep. This was followed closely by a Twitter sweepstakes that involved funny, lighthearted comments of individuals for #YouKnowYouNeedSleepWhen, which was also paired up with the help of bloggers to spread the awareness of healthy sleep. LCWA worked with AASM to create timely tweets and images to help spread the hashtag and promote the giveaway on Twitter.

The Twitter chat reached more than 18.3 million timeline impressions, and the sweepstakes ran for two weeks and generated more than 1,200 entries and 2.2 million timeline impressions. Upon completion, one winner was randomly selected to win a gift card and sleep pack to help them drift off -- hopefully for the seven (and up!) hours of healthy sleep they need per night!