Friday, August 25, 2017

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder?

From celebrities to the sky, the world was all about the absence of color – or content – this week. As the week comes to an end, we’re bringing light to some of the “dark” events that happened.
  • Total (Solar) Eclipse of the Heart: On Monday, a total solar eclipse enchanted the nation as the moon completely blocked the light of the sun’s corona. From Oregon to South Carolina, viewers flocked to locations to be in the path of totality to witness the first since 1979 to have a path of totality in the United States.
  • A Blank Space, Website and Social Media Presence: August 18 marked three years since Taylor Swift released “Shake It Off.” That same day, her internet presence went rogue. Instagram? Gone. Facebook? Just a gray box where a profile picture should gleam at its viewer. And her website? You could call that a blank space. Finally after five days and a few ominous videos of a snake on her Instagram, she announced that her new album, “Reputation,” will be released on November 10.
  • Official to Disappear: Snapchat, the app where photos disappear after a maximum of 10 seconds, will now verify accounts. Much like other platforms the app will now extend the verification notation to influencers and “top creators”, a privilege formerly limited to celebrities.
  • A Storm’s a Brewin’: Hurricane Harvey is expected to hit Texas as a category 3 storm and residents are on high alert. The storm’s biggest impact is supposed to hit Southeast Texas and is predicted to strike late tonight or tomorrow morning, with a historic amount of rainfall anticipated. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Fun in the Sun

The country might be buzzing about the total solar eclipse, but our obsession with social media, public relations and pop culture simply won’t be overshadowed. Here are a few recent stories that caught our eye
– no special glasses required.
  • No Points for Popularity? According to @Entrepreneur, the most important goals when meeting with a new client are to convey sincerity and establish your competence. We all want to be liked, but keep in mind that the relationship will evolve over time – no need to rush it. 
  • Filling Your Virtual Cart. Want to reach millennial customers? Your best bet is through Instagram. Nearly 53 percent of millennials say that Instagram has the greatest influence over their purchasing decisions, according to new research. The next closest platform is Facebook, at 32 percent.
  • Refresh, Refresh, Refresh. Addicted to social media? You’re not alone. The average American checks social media 17 times a day! This handy infographic breaks down our social habits by the numbers and how to best reach certain audiences.
  • Take Deep a Breath. The LCWA team celebrated #NationalRelaxationDay with some mindful meditation. However, you don’t need to wait for a special holiday to get your zen on – here are 15 tips for reducing stress and creating a sense of tranquility at work.
  • Calling all Luna(r)tics. Can’t get enough of the solar eclipse? While an eclipse comes and goes in a matter of minutes, popular fascination with the phenomenon has lasted centuries

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Healthy Office Habits

In the office, it is easy to prioritize productivity over your own personal well-being. Even with the best intentions, this mindset can lead to high levels of stress and even damage your quality of work. Taking care of yourself will help you when taking care of business.

Around the office at LCWA, we know how productivity and personal well-being go hand in hand. Here are some tips from our staff on how to stay healthy in the workplace—mind, body, and spirit:

  • Cluttered Desk, Cluttered Mind. Tidying up at the end of each day for five minutes can help put a pin in the work you just finished and save valuable time by having a clean start in the morning. For more tips on office organization, check out our recent blog post Time Management Made Easy.
  • Address Your Stress. While some pressure in the workplace can help boost productivity, unmanaged levels of stress can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Finding time to prioritize yourself will lead to your best work and your healthiest mind—so book that spa day, spend time with your family, or just curl up with a good book. A healthy balance will do you some good!
  • Let the Sunshine In. Even on your busiest days, it’s important to step away and regroup. With our offices across from scenic Millennium Park, we know what a little Vitamin D from a brisk walk can do. Take a few minutes and see how a breath of fresh air can add a breath of fresh air to your work.

  • Bend So You Don’t Break. Even a little physical activity inside the office can do
    LCWA team members during the daily plank break
    wonders for centering yourself. Get together with a group of coworkers and try a few minutes of afternoon yoga to shake off the 2 p.m. blues. Or do what we do! A minute and a half of planking in the afternoon helps build the core muscles and brings focus to the last few hours of the day. Check out more office fitness tips here.
  • Keep a Productive Posture. It is far too easy to go day after day hunched over, staring at a computer screen. A very simple fix that can bring many health benefits is addressing your posture. Chair type and height, spine position, as well as computer screen and keyboard position all can affect your short-term and long-term health.
  • Pick the Right Fuel. Swap out that last cup of coffee for water and you might be surprised that you didn’t need the extra caffeine. An extra boost of hydration helps keep you alert and focused, and can boost your metabolism. Keep a bottle on your desk for a constant reminder and boost of energy.

  • Set a Happy Hour. Always been meaning to try the happy hour near work? It may even help you in ways you may not expect. While you spend all day with your coworkers, stepping out of the office to have a drink or two will help you strengthen interpersonal relationships. We get better at our jobs through working together, and what better place to forge a happy workplace than happy hour.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Tease for TV Producers

Last week I attended the Publicity Club of Chicago (PCC) monthly luncheon featuring a panel of four Chicago morning TV producers:

The panel provided many great tips and insights that we can incorporate into our ongoing local story pitching for our clients. 

Give us the Tease

The biggest part of watching television is how to keep viewers from switching channels
during the commercial. And the way to do this is with the tease. When pitching story ideas, one panelist suggested “if you can offer up what makes this story tease-able for us, that makes our job easier.”

When pitching, sending a short email is best. Producers care most about getting the five W’s rather than a press release or lengthy email. Many morning producers start work around midnight, making follow up calls difficult as their work schedule tends to be midnight to 8-9 a.m., making email the best form of communication. This further enhances why providing all the vital information upfront can be vital for booking a segment.

Upbeat, Impactful, Local

Producers are looking for upbeat stories, such as “National S’mores Day,” which is on August 10. Morning producers are always looking for stories that are influential to the viewer, such as a story on cancer or an individual doing good in the community.

And most importantly – with local television, everything needs a local connection. Whether it is a local company, individual or event, this tie is crucial to providing a hook for why a local news affiliate should give up precious time to their viewers.

TV-Ready Talent

“Deer in the headlights,” was a phrase used several times by the panelists to describe what can occur when clients are not prepared to do a live TV interview. As PR professionals, we can sometimes want to share our clients’ message on as many avenues as possible, but it is also important to make sure that the client is capable of fitting that media outlet. Producers love seeing footage of experts from live interviews so they get a feel for what to expect.

Media training is an important part of the process we offer clients, and should not be underestimated. Having clients who are comfortable in the space and topic is an invaluable asset, and media training can be a great asset to help turn anyone into a TV-ready spokesperson.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Tips for Media, Measurement and Managing People

Lollapalooza – staged right outside our door – is already a memory, and Chicagoans have
enjoyed lovely weather this week. The forecast on social media is cloudy, with a chance of politics. I’ve selected my own favorite finds from a different sphere:
  •  PR Daily shared a blog post that highlights some fundamental elements of media relations work that are not taught in college programs. Great insight for job seekers and their interviewers.
  • Are your brand social media accounts following the guidelines Facebook has established for the namesake platform and Instagram? Are your own? Find out how to easily prevent an account shutdown with some common sense tips.
  • PR measurement isn’t all about the campaign results – it’s about establishing direction for future campaigns, too. Lots of tools make it ever easier.
  • As a manager of people, I found this article on motivating employees very interesting. Hope you do, too!
  •  Finally, on a random note, happy 80th birthday, Dustin Hoffman! This was a great interview. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Our Recommendations for National Book Lover’s Day

It’s National Book Lover’s Day, so what better time to highlight what the LCWA team has been enjoying while on the beach, train or hammock this summer? From romance and mystery to historical fiction and pulp crime novels, we love getting our read on – starting with the highly-recommended fiction “It’s. Nice. Outside.” It was written by our very own Jim Kokoris!

Here’s what else is on our current reading list, recommended from LCWA to you:

Monday, August 7, 2017

Taking Office Fitness to a New Level

Leading up to and throughout the months of summer, healthy living is a popular topic among many who want to up their exercise regime and be more conscious of eating habits. While striving for a healthier lifestyle is a positive thing, it’s often difficult to achieve – especially if you work a full-time job! For this reason, we deployed the social theme of #OfficeFitness on Boise Paper’s social channels, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

To engage more chatter about how people stay fit and healthy while working a full-time position, LCWA worked with Boise Paper to hold an #OfficeFitness Twitter Chat, hosted by lifestyle and fitness blogger Comeback Momma. Through enticing open discussion topics, exciting facts and engaging photos, people joined the chat to share their expertise as well as learn new tips and tricks. Topics of fitness and healthy eating were the focus of the chat, covering everything from meal prep to workouts for the office. Participants were happy to have a place to express their fitness secrets, ending the chat with meaningful takeaways for everyone.

The chat successfully attracted 152 participants and over 10 million impressions. Creating and producing meaningful social events is something LCWA takes pride in, and we especially love when the topic hits home with so many people. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

LCWA Delivers National Media Coverage for Dyspraxia Foundation USA Facebook Live Event

Photo courtesy of Tonda Thomas
Media relations is a foundation of healthcare PR and an expertise of ours at LCWA. So when our Dyspraxia Foundation USA client asked us to generate media coverage for its Facebook Live event with actress Leigh-Allyn Baker, we were up for the challenge. In fact, we secured a five-part story on featuring an interview with Baker, who is best known for her role on the Disney Channel hit show Good Luck Charlie. As a mother of a son diagnosed with Dyspraxia, Baker is supporting the foundation’s efforts to drive awareness and education. Viewers can tune into the live event at 4:30 p.m. Pacific time on August 3 by visiting

Dyspraxia and Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) are neurological disorders that make it difficult to plan and coordinate physical movement, and they’re almost unknown in the USA. But the conditions are far more common than most Americans imagine. The World Health Organization says that Dyspraxia and DCD affect up to ten percent of the population, which is why this famous mom is speaking up about it.

This disease affects the brain, impairing motor, memory, judgment, processing, and other cognitive skills. Dyspraxia also impacts the immune and central nervous systems. Symptoms can include delayed early motor movement, repetitive behaviors, delayed language development, struggle with sensory input, limited response to verbal instruction and much more. Boys are more likely than girls to be diagnosed with Dyspraxia, commonly between the ages of 6 and 12 years old. And according to the Dyspraxia Foundation UK, an undiagnosed Dyspraxic child is five times more likely than an average child to suffer from mental health problems by the age of 16.

Those interested in learning more about Dyspraxia and Baker’s personal story can tune into the event via Facebook Live by visiting

For more information on Dyspraxia and how to support the organization, visit