Friday, February 24, 2017

Hot Topics for Warm Weather

Following a week of record-high temperatures across the US (especially here in Chicagoland), here are a few of my warm and fuzzy headlines from this week!
  • Instagram is Insta-changing. You heard that right, Instagram unleashed, yet again, another update. This update may be the most significant yet, next to the first video update and changing the logo of the photo-sharing app. Now, instead of taking 30 minutes to decide what picture you and your pals look more fun in, you don’t have to choose! With the new update, you can upload up to 10 photos or videos into a single Instagram post in a carousel-like format. This is a pivotal move, allowing users, especially business and bloggers, to have more freedom with their posts! It’s time to expect more how-to videos on the millennial-favorite app.
  • Who’s on your ballot? This biggest night in show business is this Sunday and everyone is patiently waiting to see who will be crowned king of Hollywood at the 89th Annual Academy Awards. From the red carpet where the starlets will dazzle us with their style, to the opening number where host Jimmy Kimmel will show us how effectively he can incorporate a tense political atmosphere into his monologue and finally, crowning the winners of the coveted prizes. Will the Academy tip their hat to the Hollywood favorite La La Land or will the fan favorite, Hidden Figures, take home the night’s biggest prize? Tune into ABC at 7:30 CT this Sunday to find out.
  • The Martian – more than just a fantasy? In a galaxy far, far away..well about 40 lightyears to be exact...astronomers have found not one, but seven Earth-sized planets orbiting around a dwarf star. This discovery offers the first real possibility of alien life outside of our solar system. The star that the seven planets are orbiting around, known as TRAPPIST-1, is a small, dim celestial star in the constellation Aquarius. Three of the circling planets are the right distance away from the star as well as the correct temperature, enabling the possibility of water and even life. Que the watch parties of ET this weekend.
  • Move over Kardashians, the Kattarshians are coming. A new Icelandic reality show is chronicling the life of playful kittens in a 24 hour a day, seven days a week via live streaming internet. The show, Keeping Up with the Kattarshians, is the purr-fect outlet for cat lovers everywhere. The show was created by the Icelandic Cat Protection Society as a fun way to showcase all of the orphaned cats who are currently up for adoption. Viewers can watch the cat’s daily shenanigans by the help of three GoPro cameras capturing their every move, exploring how they play, sleep, and interact. Just remember, these cats don’t have homes, and you could be the one to change that! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Trex Drives Brand Loyalty and Inspiration With #MyTrexDeck Sweepstakes

As the saying goes, a satisfied customers is the best business strategy. With that in mind, LCWA recently worked with Trex to harness the power of its happy deck owners through the #MyTrexDeck sweepstakes. This multi-channel social promotion served two main purposes – to encourage warranty registrations among Trex deck owners and to leverage them as brand ambassadors.

The promotion started with an Instagram contest that required Trex deck owners to register their Trex warranty and upload a photo of their deck using the hashtag #MyTrexDeck for the chance to win $2,000 in Trex accessories, including Trex Outdoor Lighting and Trex Outdoor Furniture, to enhance their Trex deck. Five entrants were selected as finalists to move on to a Facebook voting sweepstakes where a winner would be chosen by Trex fans.

To encourage voting participation, we offered Facebook fans the chance to win $5
00 worth of Trex Outdoor Lighting and Trex Outdoor Furniture. This incentive successfully helped to drive more than 1,100 votes on the finalists’ photos.

In addition to driving warranty registrations, this promotion nurtured brand loyalty among existing Trex deck owners by celebrating their Trex projects. Simultaneously, sharing those projects with the brand’s sizeable Facebook community provided ideas and inspiration for future customers.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Favorite Finds

What a week! From Valentine’s Day and Singles Awareness Day (S.A.D.), to sweet treats, business chatter and so much more, I sifted … Here are some of my favorite finds from the week.

  • What is a pangolin? – Google’s Valentine’s Day doodles helped promote awareness of this endangered species, which happens to be the world’s only scaly mammal.
  • Dulce de leche?! Yum! – I had no idea Johnny Rockets made a treat with this delicious concoction! But time is almost up. Does it taste as good as it looks?
  • Down to Business – Trendkite is offering a free guide called “Everything a PR Pro Needs to Know about Google Analytics.” You can download your free copy here.
  • Love the Crossword – The New York Times crossword is 75 years old! Various celebrities and other well-known figures developed special puzzles to mark the occasion.
  • Kitchen Redo for $200?? – I’m in a real2estate mindset and am in awe of this $200 kitchen makeover posted by Apartment Therapy.
If you paint your cabinets, reward yourself with a nice milkshake. Have a great weekend! 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Favorite Finds

Following a week of headlines dominated by “fake news” and football, this week was all about girl power!

  • Madame Secretary – Despite your political leanings, there’s no question that Betsy DeVos was a major newsmaker this week. In a historic tie-breaking vote, Vice President Mike Pence confirmed DeVos as the country’s new Education Secretary. The Washington Post captured these reactions – pro, con and otherwise.
  • Uptown Girl – At age 63, Christie Brinkley can still make a splash at the beach! The model returned to the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in a photo shoot with her daughters, Alexa Ray Joel and Sailor Brinkley Cook. Brinkley has graced the Swimsuit Issue cover three times and has appeared in the magazine eight times overall. The 2017 Swimsuit Issue comes out on newsstands next week. In the meantime, you can check out more shots of Brinkley and family here.
  •  Facebook Femme Fatale – Senator Elizabeth Warren is not someone who agrees to be shut down and put in a corner. After being silenced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the rest of Senate Republicans for impugning a fellow senator's character, Warren took to Facebook Live to finish her remarks.
  • Gone Girls – The organizers of the Women's March are planning an encore. Just more than two weeks after organizing a massive march on Washington, D.C. that generated solidarity marches around the world, a tweet on the Women's March Twitter account (@womensmarch) announced an upcoming “general strike.” While the details are not yet clear, the tweet alluded to “a day without women.”
  • Natural Woman Apparently, iconic soul singer Aretha Franklin “knew you were waiting.” The 74-year-old Queen of Soul announced that she is releasing one last album this year before retiring. Her final record, due out in September, will be recorded in Detroit and “entirely composed of originals.” R-E-S-P-E-C-T!