Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Favorite Finds

It was a short week but one full of interesting reads. 

  • The Fake News Battle is On. Remember when The Onion and "Daily Show" were the only "fake news" outlets around? There has been a rise of fake news publications. Both Facebook and Google announced policies to restrict those outlets on their networks. 
  • Black Friday Madness. The holiday shopping season starts in earnest on Friday (or tomorrow, depending on who you ask.) While there are many bargains to be had - Patagonia is taking a different route to get attention. the company has pledged 100% of its Black Friday sales to environmental groups. So you can shop well and do good at the same time!
  • Showing Thanks. As we get ready to feast on Thanksgiving, this article ponders using thank you notes to enhance your communications career. 
  • Celebrating with Friends. How will you celebrate Turkey Day? Fabulous feast or quiet day at home? Family and football? Or fun run to start the day? If you find yourself in need of entertainment, this ranking of Friends Thanksgiving episodes will guide your holiday-themed Netflix pursuit. For me, Monica with a turkey on her head wins every time. 
As we head into Thanksgiving, we at LCWA are giving thanks for our great team, wonderful clients and the exciting projects we get to work on every day! Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Keeping Outdoor Living “Hot” with Fall and Winter Trade Shows

As temperatures cool, the days of summer fun and enjoying outdoor living may be a fading memory for many – but not for attendees and exhibitors at the recent Remodeling Show and DeckExpo, held in Baltimore, Md., last month. This annual convention provides building and remodeling professionals with a look at what’s ahead for the coming spring, which is why LCWA helped client Trex Company, the world’s largest manufacturer of wood-alternative composite decking, showcase its complete portfolio of outdoor living products – from decking and railing to substructure and spotlights – at this year’s show.

On behalf of Trex, LCWA coordinated a record number of media appointments with editors from high-profile industry trade outlets, sharing insights on the latest outdoor living trends and reinforcing the company’s position as the leading resource for high-performance outdoor living solutions.

Now that DeckExpo is behind us, we’re gearing up for the biggest building products trade show of them all – the International Builders’ Show. And, with winter setting in here in Chicago, we’re looking forward to a January visit to Orlando!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Favorite Finds

In an effort to forget the recent election, the social world was busy staring at the moon, holding some serious poses and laughing at the lame ducks. Here are some random
goodies I found for you to gobble up before the holiday food flood:

  • Um who died? Last Friday afternoon, Facebook decided to kill many living users. These poor victims were temporarily memorialized on the social network, causing confusion for some and laughter for others.
  • Shake what your mama gave ya! A Golden State Warriors fan has found a way to decompress after the stressful election, and is now my hero.
  • Everybody freeze! The #MannequinChallenge is taking social media by storm. From celebs to athletes to major brands, everyone seems to be striking an awkward pose. Even LCWA!
  • And the winner is….Twitter! The social network announced the recipients of the first #TwitterAwards last week and is replaying the results for those unable to watch the event. The awards highlighted Twitter practices to boost marketing campaigns. Here are some other tips and insights on how to optimize your 140 characters.
  • World Diabetes Day: Monday was World Diabetes Day, designed to raise awareness of the disease, prevention, health tips and the latest research from across the globe. The #WorldDiabetesDay hashtag spurred individuals and organizations worldwide to share their stories, support and health information with others throughout the day!
  • It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s SUPERMOON! On Sunday and Monday night, the Supermoon appeared, providing a massive display of bold beauty above the clouds for all to enjoy. If you missed it, here are some amazing photos! And if giant moon pics aren’t doing it for ya, here is an image of Saturn that is out of this world! (dad joke, you’re welcome). Are you a client whisperer? Muck Rack decided to breakdown a typical PR team into 6 distinct personalities – including the “brainstormer” and the “wildcard.” Take a look and find out which one you are, or if you are a combination of more than one. 
  • Food for thought… Trending this week was #2016WasTheYearThatIFinally hoping to inspire people to reflect on the past year and pinpoint some specific achievements. As we approach the holidays, maybe take a break between delicious dishes to think about what you accomplished this year. You know, like this deep thought.
  • The Future of PR looks like… After you are done reminiscing on the year past, check out what some experts believe will be the future evolution of public relations.
  • Farewell to BROTUS! The election is over, a winner has been named. No matter which way you voted for, you will likely be missing the delightful bromance we saw blossom between Obama and Biden. Let the farewell memes commence!
  • Okay, one quick Cubs video… Sorry, I can’t help it! Here are the Cubs on Weekend Update singing Go Cubs Go!
Happy Friday! Have a great weekend! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Boise Paper Demonstrates Teacher Appreciation

To celebrate the start of the school year and thank teachers for their dedication to students throughout the country, LCWA helped client Boise Paper develop a month-long, digital campaign that would thank teachers across America for their role in educating children.

The campaign consisted of three key components – a social media program, blogger partnerships and a sweepstakes. The month-long social media campaign consisted of engaging Facebook and Twitter posts that featured statistics on the benefits of paper in education. During the same time, we partnered with eight bloggers to discuss back-to-school shopping and the importance of quality paper, such as Boise POLARIS® Premium Multipurpose paper, when it comes to learning.

Finally, in order to help our social media fans thank their favorite teacher, we hosted a sweepstakes where entrants were asked to share who their favorite teacher was to be entered for the chance to win an Office Depot gift card for their back-to-school shopping and two cases of premium paper for their favorite teacher.

Overall the program successfully generated more than 1 million impressions and showed teachers across the country that Boise Paper appreciates all they do for students. 

Friday, November 11, 2016

Favorite Finds

Wow! What a newsworthy and history making week for America, and if for some bizarre reason you hadn’t heard yet…
  • The results are in – No matter what whirlwind of emotions you’re feeling about the election results, the coverage of this year’s election had America on the edge of their seats. After a long night of results coming in and states being “too close to call”, Donald J. Trump was elected the 45th President of The United States. Winning 279 of the electoral votes, he was declared the winner during the very early hours of Wednesday morning.
  • In through your nose, out through your mouth – Still trying to calm down and understand what just happened? A new study was just released on the benefits of controlled breathing. Whether aiding in things like stress relief or depression, to energizing types of breath to help get you through the afternoon slump, mindful breathing tells the brain that everything is going to be OK!
  • Laugh it off – They say laughter is the best medicine and Saturday Night Live (SNL) is always there to provide some comic relief! This week, the World Series Champs along with Cubs superfan, Bill Murray, made an appearance on the late-night show’s Weekend Update to perform a rendition of “Go Cubs, Go.” Then on Monday, NBC showed a special compilation episode of SNL’s best skits from this election cycle. The special included skits mocking everything from the debates to the individual candidates, and included favorite guests like Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump and Larry David as Bernie Sanders.
  • Rethink that social media hiatus – The success of the Instagram Story has taken the social media landscape by storm. While many initially thought it was too similar to Snapchat, Instagram is a platform that generally allows more engagement between users, consumers and brands. Instagram just announced that users will now able to incorporate additional, new elements in their stories including: mentions, links, one finger zoom and incorporating its video app, Boomerang. 
  • But if you still want to flee the country – Your hopes of potentially marrying Prince Harry may have just been crushed, as Harry, 32, is officially, publicly dating actress Meghan Markle. On Tuesday morning, Kensington Palace released an official statement saying, “Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her.”

Friday, November 4, 2016

Favorite Finds

This week saw the greatest thing to ever happen to the city of Chicago – a Cubs World Series Championship. But we’re also in for another whirlw
ind week as the 2016 election nears and the media landscape continues to shift. Here, then, are my favorite finds of the week.
  •  The goat is dead – Fans celebrated across the world last night as the Cubs broke their 108-year losing streak to beat the Indians and take the World Series. What can I say about the Cubs win that you don’t already know? How about that a Chicago bar hosted the real MVPs of the game, or that Bill Murray said Mayor Emmanuel should cancel school for the rest of the week so kids can celebrate. There’s also this really cool scorecard that you can download and frame to help commemorate the event. Yay Cubs! Yay Chicago!
  • Newspapers feel the squeeze – again – This week brought even more dire news for newspapers. On Wednesday, The New York Times reported that print ad dollars were down 19 percent from last year, and Gannett, McClatchy and Tronc also reported dismal ad revenue as businesses move their dollars to Facebook and Google. What’s more, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian and Gannett are once again cutting staff. This led Poynter to ask how these cuts will impact the fate of investigative reporters – and what that ultimately means for citizens.
  • Not so fast, Santa – Esquire kicked off this year’s War on Christmas coverage by dissecting Starbucks’ newest holiday-themed cup, which depicts a number of hand-drawn individuals on a green cup with a white circle. Launched on Tuesday, the cup has already drawn criticism for not featuring the word “Jesus” or the color red. No word yet on what Esquire’s next target will be. 
  • Springsteen from your couch – Soon you will be able to enjoy your favorite concerts without the hassle of lengthy security lines, eardrum-shattering sound systems, and drunk concert-goers ruining the best part of your favorite song. At least that’s what Boiler Room is hoping. Last week the music company announced its partnership with VR hub Inception to build a virtual reality music venue, which they say is the world’s first. The collaboration, which underscores the growing movement toward VR events and communities, is set to launch next year, when viewers will be able to watch special music events with their VR headsets at home.
  • Election woes – As if we haven’t endured enough anxiety during this election cycle, The New York Times reported this week on five possible hacks to worry about before election day. Among their list: hackers interfering with voter registration rolls, which could lead to long lines and accusations of poll “rigging,” and an attack on internet connections that could disrupt voters’ ability to find their polling place on election day. My advice? Make sure you know where your polling place is ahead of Tuesday, research your ballot before heading to the polls, and keep a close eye (pun intended) on this blind kitten’s predictions.