Thursday, March 22, 2018

How New Media, Digital Channels and Social Strategy Are Changing the PR Landscape

Last week, members of the LCWA team attended the Publicity Club of Chicago’s monthly luncheon that focused on the topic of how digital media and social channels are changing public relations. An expert panel, including representatives for LinkedIn and CBS 2 Chicago, led the discussion on how brands can be effective in this changing landscape.  Here are some of the key takeaways from the session:
  • Facebook is the best platform for a combination of business and personal, but the panel predicted that that LinkedIn will see growth due to Facebook’s shrinking focus on news and publishers. Some panel members also find that Reddit AMA’s are helpful for reporters, and Facebook and Instagram were noted as having the best ad capabilities.
  • The panelists agreed that pitching media may shift even more to social channels in coming years. Reporters appreciate targeted (and relevant) info or video that’s sent via Twitter, and may more readily interact with a Tweet than a phone call or e-mail. No matter what the channel, it’s advised to tell a story to media contacts instead of simply pitching.
  • Influencer marketing is already a new face of media, and will continue to present huge opportunities for brands. 
  • In the future, the panel predicts that print and traditional TV as we know them will be gone, with an even bigger shift to shareable and consumable content. Journalism will continue its evolution but maintain a hold at the local level, and newspapers will shift more content online and continue to operate under subscription services.
  • Digital media pet peeves of the panelists include content that isn't customized for the platform, content masked as news, and poor-quality video.  

Overall, this panel focused on the shift of traditional media to digital media and how brands can stay on top of this evolution. The panelists encouraged constant learning about these digital channels as they always have updates and changes, and stressed that as PR professionals, we need to stay ahead of the curve, not on it.     

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

AASM Brings Together Experts to Show How #SleepWorks4You

LCWA and client the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recently launched the Sleep Works 4 You campaign to educate employees and employers on the dangers of workplace fatigue, including tips on getting enough sleep to stay safe and remain productive.

As part of the campaign, we held a Twitter chat last Monday – one day after daylight saving time, when employees are very likely to be especially fatigued due to the time change. In addition to AASM (@AASMOrg), participants included experts from the CDC (@CDCChronic), National Safety Council (@NSCsafety), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (@NIOSH) and Sleep Research Society (@ResearchSleep). Leading the discussion was moderator @AnitaBruzzese, an award-winning journalist, author and blogger specializing in career/workplace issues. 

Followers of #SleepWorks4You received tips and information on the overall importance of sleeping seven or more hours, negative impacts of insufficient sleep on safety and productivity, tips for shift workers and discussion of the dangers of drowsy driving.

With an esteemed moderator and experts from multiple prestigious organizations at the helm, the #SleepWorks4You chat was a success, reaching 1.6 million with 3.2 million impressions. In addition, the chat engaged with numerous participants, leading #SleepWorks4You to become a trending topic during and after the chat.

LCWA is proud to be a part of the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project, which was initiated in 2013 and is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through a cooperative agreement with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The project involves collaboration with the Sleep Research Society and other partners to address the sleep health focus area of Healthy People 2020, which provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Big Social Players Make Moves, Money & March Madness

Here are some of the things that caught my attention this week in the Twitterverse:

Block, Report & Delete – That's been the Twitterverse tactic to rid the platform of tweetdecking – the practice of selling retweets and stealing content. Twitter doubled down by suspending several popular accounts. No one was sad to see them go, with tons of posts this week celebrating #TweetDeckIsOverParty!

SXSW 2018 Tackles Social Responsibility – South by Southwest examined the darker side of social media this week, with questions about the unintended consequences of social networks and how to address them. Several social media execs weighed in, mostly with assertions that tech would prevail with new, innovative ways to combat hate speech, misinformation and spam.

It’s all about the Benjamins – The cost to work with social influencers continues to rise. Don’t expect to pay less than $500 for a popular Instagrammer to provide a decent return on views and engagement. For clients with big money to spend, here are the top social influencers in 2018, according to CBS News.

B-ball Chatter – With the start of the tournament, it instantly dominated online conversations.Here's an interesting read about how social media has changed college basketball. And here is the most hilarious tweet thus far from the Lawrence, KS Police Department

Happy St. Patrick's Day! – However you plan to celebrate the holiday this weekend, may your troubles be less, and your blessings be more. And nothing but happiness come through your door! 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Distilling History with Jim Beam Bourbon

This week marked a major milestone for our client Jim Beam® Bourbon, filling its 15 millionth barrel of bourbon since the end of Prohibition. The milestone barrel — a first for Kentucky distilleries — was personally filled and sealed by Seventh Generation Master Distiller Fred Noe and his son Freddie Noe, Eighth Generation Beam Distiller, at the brand’s flagship distillery in Clermont, Ky. The historic barrel, filled less than two years after the filling of Jim Beam’s 14 millionth barrel, will join the nearly 2.3 million barrels of bourbon currently aging in Jim Beam’s rackhouses.

With some help from LCWA, the historic milestone generated both local and national media attention, touting Jim Beam’s heritage and further positioning the brand as a category leader. FOX, ABC and NBC news crews covered the event in person while stations across Kentucky pulled b-roll that included interviews with Seventh Generation Jim Beam Master Distiller Fred Noe, footage of the final barrel fill and bourbon fans toasting the occasion. Furthermore, the story was picked up by a number of target daily newspapers, bourbon trades and  the Associated Press (driving an additional 650+ placements and eventually landing right back on our desks in the Chicago Tribune).

The success of the event is a testament to the continued popularity of the bourbon industry, and a little elbow grease from us here in Chicago. Cheers!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Rejuvenate Puts Cleaning to the Test at IHHS

Click, clean and go! That was the mantra echoed by one of the nation’s leading floor care innovators, Rejuvenate, during the 2018 International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago.

LCWA helped client Rejuvenate debut its Click n Clean™ Multi-Surface Spray Mop System to both media and show attendees. Unlike ordinary mops, the new Click n Clean combines the proven cleaning technology of Rejuvenate's floor cleaners with a revolutionary mop that transitions from dusting to scrubbing and cleaning with ease. From hardwood and laminate to tile, grout and even carpet, the Click n Clean mop system offers the ultimate flexibility for cleaning tailored not only to your home's floors, but to your cleaning style.

LCWA arranged on-site product demonstrations and touted key product attributes to more than 15 attending media and bloggers. The effort was the first of a multi-faceted media relations campaign focused on driving brand awareness and trial leading up to the product’s on-shelf debut at The Home Depot in May.

Friday, March 9, 2018

“Holiday” Celebrations and New Words for Your Conversations

The web was certainly poppin’ this week with Popcorn Lover’s Day taking place yesterday and people sharing their thoughts on the newest words to be recognized in the English
language. Here’s a roundup of all my favorite things from the week: 
  • Food lovers rejoiced as we celebrated National Oreo Day on Tuesday, National Cereal Day on Wednesday and Popcorn Lover’s Day on Thursday. In celebration, brands jumped on these silly holidays left and right. Oreo gave away one million candy bars to fans who filled out a form online and Kellogg’s partnered with actress Hailee Steinfeld and hosted a party at their cafĂ© in New York City.
  • International Women’s Day was celebrated on Thursday, and Barbie took part by launching its“Inspiring Women” collection. Featuring female role models Amelia Earhart, Frida Kahlo and Katherine Johnson, the brand struck the right cord with many by celebrating these women’s contributions to society. However, judging from reaction on social media, a brand that seemed to miss the mark was McDonald’s. The company flipped its iconic golden arches upside down to create a “W” at a location in California, and many criticized this move saying that it was a cheap PR stunt.
  • If Facebook’s new Voice Clip status update tests go well, we might all have the option to record our own mini-podcasts soon. The social media giant is testing a new feature in India that would allow users to record a short audio snippet that could be used as a status update.
  • A group of 850 words were officially added to the online Merriam Webster Dictionary this week, including glamping, cryptocurrency and mansplaining, but the internet seemed to take the most to dumpster fire, which now means “an utterly calamitous or mismanaged situation or occurrence.”
  • Could robots be taking over the world? Some Amazon Alexa users certainly are starting to think so after they reported hearing unprompted laughter from Alexa-enabled devices this week. Amazon has said that they are working on fix to this creepy situation.   

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

DIY Bloggers Show How to Keep a “Fresh Home Happening”

Influencer programs can be very effective at reaching specialized audiences if your strategy is on-point when choosing partners and platforms. In order to reach client Filtrete’s target audience of hardware store customers and other DIY enthusiasts, LCWA secured partnerships with three expert YouTube influencers to produce step-by-step video tutorials on replacing Filtrete vacuum bags, filters and belts to optimize performance.

Through the YouTube partners – Page Danielle, The Handyman and Keep Calm and Clean – the program successfully tapped into DIY-ers’ desire to learn new tasks visually and directly from experts. Also included in the video was the promotion of Filtrete products’ leading benefits for a fresh and healthy home, and information on retail availability.

With 34,000 views and counting, the highly credible video content produced in this program will help DIY-ers nationwide keep their vacuum running at peak performance and their Fresh Home Happening with Filtrete. We are looking forward to continuing this momentum with exciting consumer programs as 2018 revs up.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Social Soirees

As Chicago jumped through forecasts from spring, fall and winter temperatures this week, the social sphere was busy with trending topics. Here are just a few of my favorite finds from this week:

  • Ladies’ Night – Johnny Walker has rolled out a limited edition of its iconic scotch, “Jane Walker,” in an attempt to help reach more women who can be “particularly intimidated” by scotch. The bottle will be available in March for Women’s History Month, if you feel ladies need their own scotch, such as the recent female-oriented Doritos.
  • Bookmark for Later – In an increasing move of social media as a news source, Twitter launched a new feature this week, “Bookmarks,” allowing users to save content to read later. This new feature also allows users to save items in a private function, whereas likes and favorites are in the public domain. To use the new feature, simply click on the new “share” icon found to the right of the favorite button.
  • Powerful Influence – Influencers are a powerful tool on social media. For our clients, that can be a wonderful tool, however it also comes with enormous responsibility. After a recent Snapchat update which confused many, one tweet from star Kylie Jenner dismissing the app from her daily use had the Snap Inc. stock plummeting. Great case study on the true value of celebrity prowess. 
  • Ad Free Social Media – A new platform, Vero, is promising a platform to users that will have no ads. Founder and billionaire Aymnan Hariri says he was frustrated by the privacy options on current networks and wanted a place he could be comfortable with his friends and family. Vero is currently free but will eventually have a small subscription fee. All new users currently will be given a “free for life offer,” so check it out here.