Thursday, November 29, 2018

Flu Season Is Upon Us: Top Five Things To Know

Last season’s historic influenza-related death toll is driving more people to get vaccinated
this year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 80,000 people died from the flu, while more than 900,000 were hospitalized, during the 2017-2018 season.

To help people get ready for flu season, we connected the President of the Urgent Care Association (UCA), Dr. Sean McNeeley, with Prevention magazine for a five-part series about the importance of getting the flu shot. The resulting five articles not only educated, but also helped position UCA as an expert on the topic. Here is what we learned:
  1. It’s not too late to get vaccinated – The flu season has only just begun and won’t wrap up until April. If you get your shot now, you’ll likely be protected for months to come. 
  2. Don’t procrastinate – As it can take a few weeks for the vaccination to take effect, you should get your flu shot ASAP.
  3. If you’re sick, wait it out – If you get your flu shot when you’re very sick, the vaccine may not be as effective and it can prolong the amount of time it takes you to get better.
  4. To ward off the flu, follow some simple steps:
    • Wash your hands frequently using soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to avoid spreading of germs and viruses
    • Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth
    • Avoid close proximity to sick family, friends and co-workers
    • Eat healthy, exercise, get plenty of sleep and reduce stress in your life
  5. Find an urgent care center near you – With walk-in, after-hours and weekend availability, urgent care provides on-demand access to flu shots, cold and flu treatment.
You can read the complete flu series at Prevention.com. Stay healthy and influenza-free this season!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Brainstorming with the Best in Bucharest

In October, I had the pleasure of meeting up with our Public Relations Global Network colleagues in Bucharest, Romania, hosted by our partner firm there, Free Communications. As always, it was wonderful to connect with and learn from our peers from around the globe. Some of the key takeaways from this conference include:

Trend Spotting and Innovation
A trend spotting and innovation expert, Delia Weisser, spoke to our group about the trends to watch and how to integrate them into our upcoming programs. From artificial intelligence to highly-personalized retail, the future is coming at us fast, and this lively discussion gave us new ways to think about using emerging technology and data on behalf of our clients.

Stronger Storytelling
We spent time discussing storytelling techniques and learning from our San Francisco partner, Landis Communications, about how they lead the information gathering with clients to produce engaging, personalized stories. No matter the channel we use, storytelling remains at the heart of our work in public relations.

Using Research to Drive Strategy
Our Malaysian partner, Perspective Strategies, shared many key learnings from recent research projects and how statistics were used not just to drive news, but to truly invent strategies and program direction. LCWA was built knowing that research should be a foundation of strategic programs, and it was great to see a like-minded philosophy from the other side of the world.

Engaging with a Common Purpose
The most valuable time was spent networking and talking through our day-to-day business dilemmas. It is always heartening to know that our common challenges – from finding new team members to staying creative for our clients – are universal. Networking with these dynamic, successful business owners always fills us with ideas and energy for the months ahead!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Media & Influencers Liked the Sound of This: Onelink Safe & Sound Launch

Our client First Alert made noise in the smart home space with its launch of the Onelink Safe & Sound – a 3-in-1 alarm that serves as a first-rate smoke and carbon monoxide detector, premium home speaker and virtual assistant. It’s the first alarm with fully enabled Amazon Alexa built-in and high-end audio – putting it in a category of its own.

The LCWA home PR team helped kick off the 2018 product debut back in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The week-long trade show was packed-full of media appointments and on-site interviews, which earned First Alert coverage in several top-tier outlets, such as ABC World News Now, Digital Trends, The Verge and Tom’s Guide.

In the spring, we took the First Alert team to the NYC offices of influential tech and shelter media to introduce editors to the Onelink Safe & Sound before it hit the market. LCWA secured deskside meetings with eight high-profile outlets, including Good Housekeeping and Gizmodo. The editorial meetings generated immediate online coverage and laid the groundwork for future product reviews in print.

As a result of our CES support, NYC deskside meetings and ongoing pitching efforts, our team secured more than 1,400 total placements. A few additional media highlights include Fox & Friends, Dwell magazine and PC Mag. In total, our efforts generated more than 1.9 billion impressions and an advertising equivalency of almost $30 million.

Beyond traditional media, we coordinated blogger and influencer campaigns to further raise awareness about the benefits of the Onelink Safe & Sound, build credibility for the new product and maximize the social media presence of the Onelink by First Alert brand.

Using the hashtag #OnelinkStory to highlight the multiple product features, we coordinated with 10 bloggers who write about tech, home and family to publish product reviews. Beyond blog posts, the #OnelinkStory blogger campaign generated 76 social media posts – boosting engagement through millions of impressions, shares, “likes” and comments. 

In order to emphasize the Onelink Safe & Sound’s premium speakers, we partnered with two music-focused celebrities, Stephen “DJ tWitch” Boss and Clare Bowen, and hosted a table at the 2018 Teen Choice Awards gifting lounge – generating shareable content and gathering photos from 50+ celebs like Adina Porter on-site at the awards. The social media frenzy that ensued amplified key product messaging and engaged thousands of the influencers’ fans about the high-quality audio that the Safe & Sound can bring to your home.

From garnering social media buzz to populating the pages of the most popular home and design magazines and tech websites, the Onelink Safe &  Sound product launch certainly made a big bang in 2018! The LCWA team looks forward to continuing to bring First Alert great results as the company expands even further into the smart home market.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Rejuvenate TV Tour Takes the Click n Clean Message to the Masses

Recently, LCWA’s home PR team participated in a back-to-school co-op media tour for the Rejuvenate Click n Clean Multi-Surface Spray Mop System. Hosted by TV host and lifestyle expert Ereka Vetrini, the tour featured top products that help moms survive the hectic school year. Leveraging the company’s existing commercial video, Vetrini spoke about the mop’s maneuverability, touting its ability to speed clean any flooring surface for a whole-home clean. What’s more, Vetrini spoke with TV anchors about ways the Click n Clean saves moms money and is environmentally friendly with its microfiber cleaning pads that can be rewashed up to 400 times.

The media tour reached more than 102.1 million people with 376 airings in key markets. “The Daily Flash” and “Newswatch” shows syndicated interviews just in time to support a product promotion and end cap display with partner The Home Depot.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Four Questions to Ask When Vetting a Media Opportunity

Most PR campaigns are focused on generating strong media coverage to ensure key messages are delivered to target audiences. But not all media coverage is created equal, and it is important to focus on securing high-quality coverage that meets specific criteria depending on the campaign. Here are four questions to consider when vetting a media opportunity.

Is the Outlet a Good Fit?
Every PR campaign typically includes key messages designed for target audiences. When vetting media opportunities, review the outlet’s main audience to ensure it matches the selected audience for the campaign. Research the size of the audience as
well, and how the outlet or reporter drives engagement with its readership. The tone of the coverage and the type of reporting can greatly impact how key messages are received by the audience.

Tip: Research the outlet and the media contact to identify the tone and type of coverage offered. Ask specific questions to get an idea of what the intended final product may look like.

Is the Topic a Good Fit?
The context surrounding key messages is just as important as the inclusion of the key messages in any media coverage. Understanding how campaign language will fit into a story is vital to ensure the media opportunity engages the audience in way that aligns with campaign goals.

Tip: Craft key messaging and statistics for clients that continually drive back to the main points or goals to prevent interviews or written statements from going off topic. Focus on concise language to eliminate opportunities for messaging or quotes to be taken out of context.

Is the Type of Opportunity a Good Fit?
Another aspect of a media opportunity to consider is the type of medium used to reach audiences – print, online, TV, social media, etc. Some campaigns have very specific key messages and target audiences that are best reached through certain channels. In addition, the requirements of the channel, such as urgent deadlines or in-person interviews, may be hard to accommodate.

Tip: Discuss potential media opportunities with the client at the start to gauge resources and ensure priorities are aligned. Assign key spokespeople to different topics, and determine the availability of each spokesperson as well as the organization as a whole to meet different types of media opportunity requirements.

Is the Timing a Good Fit?
PR campaigns are often designed strategically throughout a calendar year to align with seasons, events, awareness celebrations or other key markers. However, it is wise to keep campaigns adaptive and flexible, as the current climate in any industry can greatly impact the success of a campaign, and media opportunities should be reviewed with these considerations in mind. For example, it may be wise to delay a campaign if a major controversy just occurred in the client industry, or a campaign may be bumped up a few months if new research supporting the messaging was released by a third party.

Tip: Stay current on all the latest news in the client’s industry to ensure your team is able to predict how media will cover a topic relative to recent news. Discuss these trends and industry news with the client to determine their comfortability with different types of media coverage.

While PR teams want to produce as much media buzz as possible for each client campaign, quality is more valuable than quantity. The right media opportunities will deliver key messages to target audiences in a tone and medium that best suits the goals of the campaign, providing support for client initiatives without straining resources. A few simple questions may separate the best media opportunities, ensuring campaign success!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Keep Home Happening with CleanandCookSupply.com

Clean & Cook Supply online makes it easy to find, buy and stock up on cleaning accessories, such as vacuum bags, belts and filters that help keep appliances and the home running smoothly. And now it’s even easier, thanks to a newly designed website that is more user-friendly so that consumers can quickly find and order the right accessories to keep home happening.

To help Clean & Cook Supply grow its customer base and establish a larger online presence, LCWA helped launch a new Facebook page as way to engage with customers. Facebook ads and an interactive social sweepstakes were designed to gain followers quickly and establish Clean & Cook Supply as a go-to resource for cleaning tips and products. Running concurrently, Facebook ads both encouraged users to enter the sweepstakes – a chance to win a $500 Visa gift card – as well as ‘like’ the new Facebook page and visit the website. The sweepstakes engaged fans with questions supporting key brand messages about changing vacuum bags, filters and belts, and generated more than 8,000 entries and nearly 2,200 page likes in less than one month. Additionally, the Facebook ads earned more than 600 clicks to the Clean & Cook Supply website, 88,000 impressions and more than 2,800 engagements. 

Native and display ads were designed to deliver quick, educational content to targeted audiences, directing viewers to useful content on the Clean & Cook Supply website. Creative featuring taglines like “we have a belt for that,” “we have a bag for that” and “we have a filter for that” helped increase awareness about what exactly can offer. The ads delivered almost 2 million impressions and 1,500 clicks.

This strategic use of social and digital activations helped establish Clean & Cook Supply’s new online presence, enhance their visibility online and drive consumers to the new website. Here’s to Keeping Home Happening!

Monday, November 5, 2018

LCWA Wins Four PRGN Awards

During the annual Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) Awards Gala held in Bucharest in October, we celebrated the great work done by all members. Consisting of 50 independent agencies from around the world, the PRGN is a group of top thinking and performing agencies, and these awards highlight “best of the best” programs from Singapore to Warsaw, and Budapest to Melbourne. 

LCWA was honored to win four awards this year, including the gold in the Agency Collaboration category for our partnership with the UK-firm, Spider PR, on social media influencer outreach conducted on behalf of Trex. We also won the gold in Blogger/Vlogger Outreach for Trex, and the First Alert team was honored with the Integrated Marketing gold for its Super Prepared Family campaign. In addition, our Ecore account team won the bronze award in the B2B category for its stellar trade and vertical media relations work.

Congratulations to our teams, clients and fellow award winners on their accolades!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

LCWA Delves into the Past to Tell Brand Stories

Earlier this year, when long-time client Beam Suntory (JimBeam® Bourbon) tasked us with helping to bring its 223-year history to life for its large internal audience and loyal consumers, the Heritage PR Team at LCWA met the challenge with a number of creative and effective tactics.

We started with an aggressive identification and collection of historical materials such as photos, documents and artifacts. These materials, many of which were unearthed in libraries, university archives and museums, as well as family members’ basements and attics, were digitized and uploaded online for employees to utilize to help communicate and market the brand story.

The Beam story came to life in another fashion last month when I had the privilege and pleasure of hosting a two-hour storytelling session for top sales representatives at the company’s annual sales meeting in Las Vegas. In addition to trying my best to entertain my audience with tales of the Beams, I had the opportunity to present the only film footage of Jim Beam ever taken (1938). Our team discovered the footage after months of searching, ultimately finding it in the possession of a distant family member in a small town in Tennessee. The highlight of the session, however, was the appearance of Jim Beam himself, an actor selected and scripted by LCWA. Old Jim regaled the audience with stories about his youth as well as the family’s struggles through Prohibition.

Most recently, we brought the Beam heritage story to the small screen in Louisville, Ky., a vital and highly competitive market for Beam Suntory. Master Distiller Fred Noe, Jim Beam’s great- grandson, appeared on the local ABC affiliate, WHAS-TV, and presented a number of never-shared-before items with viewers, including rare bottlings dating back to the 1890s and the original letter written by Jim Beam requesting reinstatement of his liquor license after Repeal of Prohibition in 1933.  We hope to coordinate similar television appearances around the country over time.

As the company’s 225th anniversary approaches in 2020, we look forward to remaining immersed in the Beam Heritage Initiative through continued research and creative programming that highlights the remarkable story of the First Family of Bourbon. Stay tuned!