Friday, May 18, 2018

Superheroes, Skyscrapers and Sounds

This week a mystery sound took over social media, Batman came out of retirement and Chicago’s
skyline is slated to get some work done. Get the social scoop here:

  • Do you hear what I hear? At LCWA, about 25 percent of our office heard Yanny, while most (75 percent) heard Laurel in the recent internet sound-off. It all started with a sound clip posted to Reddit by  Roland Szabo, an 18-year-old high school student in Lawrenceville, Ga. He said he was working on a school project and recorded the voice from a vocabulary website (which was from the page for “laurel” some will be pleased to find out) playing through the speakers on his computer. People in the room disagreed about what they were hearing, so he posted it to extend the conversation. Then the sound-off really took-off when self-described YouTube “influencer” Cloe Feldman, tweeted it earlier this week. Read more.
  • 400 Lake Shore Drive to re-inSpire site. Chicago’s skyline is slated to get two new additions. On Tuesday, developer Related Midwest unveiled a bold plan for the waterfront site formerly slated for Garrett Kelleher’s Chicago Spire. Designed by One World Trade Center architect David Childs, the new plans for the 2.2-acre site along the Chicago River and Lake Michigan include a south 1,100-foot south tower and a 850-foot north tower featuring residential, retail, event and hotel space. The still-ambitious project is slated to be complete by 2023.  Read more.
  • Two words. Sometimes that’s all you need to make a memorable statement. Michael Keaton made headlines this week for his closing words—I’m Batman—at his Kent State commencement speech. Allegedly he also imparted inspirational words for the students as they head into the real world to start their careers. But who will remember anything, but this closing line?  

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Rejuvenate Takes to the Airwaves and Maximizes 1:1 Time with New York Media

Spring cleaning is in full swing at L.C. Williams as our media relations team hit the ground running to promote the new Rejuvenate Click n Clean Multi-Surface Spray Mop System.
Building on the momentum gained with a strategically timed product giveaway on the “Megyn Kelly Today” show, our team leveraged a series of tactics to generate media interest and coverage in print, online and broadcast outlets.

A satellite media tour reached core consumers across the country with news of the latest floor-cleaning tool that helps speed clean across every flooring surface in your home. The 17-station media tour not only opened the door for Click n Clean commentary direct from the brand CEO and founder Joe McDonnell, but it also helped foster the brand’s relationship with retail partner The Home Depot via on-air mentions. The team further drove product awareness with its presence at one of New York’s premier “Great Finds” new products media expos. More than 40 editors and producers from outlets such as “Good Morning America,” Woman’s Day, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle and BuzzFeed, experienced the mop’s cleaning power first-hand and spoke with our team about editorial opportunities and product reviews.

A comprehensive influencer engagement campaign will supplement the team’s traditional media efforts. Stay tuned as buzz builds for the Click n Clean!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Launch and Release

The Twittersphere was busy with news from the fashion, tech, and social media industries. Here are my top picks from this week:
  • Met Gala – The Met Gala was held this week, and the theme of “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” left quite a stir. Rihanna stole the show with an outfit fit for the pope.  Zendaya and Jared Leto also rocked the theme, wearing Catholic-inspired outfits from Versace and Gucci respectively. You can check out the rest of the best dressed here.
  • Google Can Do It – At the annual Google I/O conference this year, several new updates were announced for the Google Assistant. Notably, the Assistant can now make appointments and reservations for you by calling the restaurant, hairdresser, doctor’s office – you name it. The demo proved not only can the Assistant handle the appointment, it sounds remarkably human – even down to the mmm-hmms. 
  • SpaceX – SpaceX is launching its newest version of the reusable rocket, the Falcon 9 Block 5, which is designed for 10 or more flights with very limited refurbishment. This makes the rocket much more cost effective than previous spaceships. This is the final design of Falcon 9, and will be eventually human certified.
  • End of Klout – The end of an era for social influencers, Klout, a startup that provided how important you are on social media, has announced that it is closing its doors on May 25. While Klout may not live on, the impact of Klout on the Influencer landscape will.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Leveraging History to Build a Brand

Every brand has a heritage. Some are a bit deeper and richer than others, some a bit more
colorful, but every company has a history they should be proud of and be willing to share. A company’s heritage is what sets it apart and makes it unique.

As communicators, we have a responsibility to understand, appreciate and recognize this uniqueness then convey it to relevant audiences.

Longtime client Jim Beam offers a terrific example of a company that touts its heritage. Founded more than 200 years ago, and featuring seven generations of distillers, their story is certainly special. And, over the years, Beam has done a great job of telling it in a variety of ways: books, videos, seminars, photos, all creatively capturing and communicating the essence of the brand.

Understanding that Beam’s story is unique – not many places have been around for two centuries nor have had a variety of colorful family characters leading it – any company, regardless of the industry, can borrow a page from them when it comes to their telling their heritage story.

 Here are just a few thought-starters:
  • Milestones. This is an obvious and certainly time-worn idea, but one that works. Is it the 50th anniversary of your company? The tenth? The second? Did your company just produce its one-millionth widget, or land its one-millionth customer? Regardless of the reason, milestones, grounded in history and achievement, can serve as an effective “hook” for telling your story. So dust off the record books and see what’s coming your way. Then plan an event, engage your customers in a promotion and get the word out via traditional and social channels. Just don’t let the milestone pass unnoticed. You’ve earned some attention.
  • People. People make a company and, for the most part, people are interesting, especially the people (or person) who founded the company. So do some research and bring those visionaries out of the shadows. Discover what made them tick, where they lived and what their favorite dessert was. Whether through a book or video, a professional story teller or display, bring them to life in a way your audience can relate to and understand.  Remind your customers that your company wasn’t formed by accident, but instead was the idea of a living and breathing person – a person worth knowing.
  • Old stuff. That old filing cabinet or dusty storage room in the basement might be a treasure chest of historical materials that should be preserved if not cherished. That letter from the founder to his father asking for a loan, that photo of the first day in business, that sign with the original logo, those funny old ads, are all gold. Take them out of storage and get them in front of customers. People love to see and touch history. It makes them feel like they too are part of the story.
For ideas or thoughts on developing your own Heritage Program, contact our heritage PR team today!

Friday, May 4, 2018

Warm Weather, Hot News

The warm Chicago weather has us all itching for summer, but we’re not quite there yet. This week has shown that the news has no boundaries, from gigantic movie premiers to the crumbling of one of the biggest data firms; it’s been a busy week. Enjoy!

An Opening With a Bang – Move over Star Wars, the biggest opening weekend in movie history now belongs to the new film Avengers: Infinity War.  In North America alone, Infinity War opened with a total gross of $250 million, beating out Star Wars: The Force Awakens by more than $2 million. Even more impressive was the splash Infinity War made in foreign markets, adding more than $380 million, totaling $630 million globally. Marvel continues to be a powerhouse in the box office and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down, with more and more films (Deadpool 2, Ant Man and the Wasp and Captain Marvel, to name a few) hitting theaters in 2018.

Starbucks Resolution – Following the explosive story about two men who were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks last month seemingly without cause, it’s been reported that they have reached a settlement with Starbucks and both men will receive free tuition to Arizona State University. Additionally, the two men, Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson, have reached an agreement with the city of Philadelphia in which they will receive a symbolic $1 from the city. Philadelphia has also agreed to spend $200,000 on young entrepreneurs. In efforts to make sure an incident like this does not repeat itself, Starbucks will close its doors nationally on May 29 so employees can go through racial bias training.

Succumbing to Scandal – Everyone knows that Facebook has had its issues as of late, and it’s now apparent just how big that impact can be. Cambridge Analytica announced that they will immediately shut down all operations. Its misuse of Facebook user data, the downfall in clients and tacked on legal fees and issues have caused the data giant to close the curtain. Known for working on Donald’s Trump’s 2016 campaign and then misusing as many as 80 million users’ data, the data firm has been under fire for a while and many people see this as a “well finally” moment.

Belt it Out – Two of the most recognizable voices, Celine Dion and Christina Aguilera, both dropped new singles and music videos Thursday morning. Dion’s new power ballad called Ashes seems fairly run of the mill at first, but then you notice it’s paired with the upcoming release of Deadpool 2. The unexpected combination of the legendary vocalist and Marvel bad mouth is sure to be an interesting pairing. Aguilera on the other had released Accelerate, a single that is sure to be at the top of the billboard charts in no time. The Kanye West produced song is rooted in hip-hop with a strong “club vibe” and is giving everyone old X-Tina vibes.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Speed Cleaning with the Rejuvenate Click n Clean on Megyn Kelly TODAY

Let’s be honest, no one loves cleaning their floors. But, what if you could use a mop that takes the hassle out of traditional floor care? The Rejuvenate Click n Clean Multi-Surface Spray Mop System does just that by allowing you to move from surface to surface with ease and speed clean virtually any room in your home. The LCWA home PR team was tasked with launching this amazing product and getting people excited about the latest floor cleaner to hit store shelves.

To build excitement prior to the product’s May 1 availability, we worked with the "Megyn Kelly TODAY" show on a giveaway segment. The segment aired as part of the show’s “Club MK” promotion, which surprises the entire studio audience with useful and attention-grabbing products. The segment reached more than 2 million viewers and helped ignite immediate brand awareness. You can check out the segment online and get a Click n Clean unit of your own at