Monday, July 15, 2019

Award Spotlight: First Alert 2018 Campaigns

First Alert, the most trusted brand in home safety, had a banner year in 2018. Celebrating its 60th jubilee, increasing its involvement in community risk reduction efforts and launching a new smart home product all warranted comprehensive, award-winning campaigns!

The “60 Years of Firsts” campaign highlighted the ways First Alert has launched innovations since its founding. To amplify outreach with local fire departments, LCWA launched the "60 Years of Thank Yous” donation sweepstakes. Sixty departments were randomly chosen to receive either 60 smoke alarms or 60 carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. Additional campaign elements included firefighter brand ambassadors and local community sponsorships. Overall, the campaign garnered more than 286.2 million impressions, and the sweepstakes earned more than 700 entries!

First Alert and LCWA partnered with two reputable and well-known fire safety organizations – Campus Firewatch and the Michael H. Minger Foundation – to coordinate the “Town/Gown Community Service Project” campaign. This project promoted fire safety education and collaboration between students, fire departments, universities and their surrounding communities. Through an application process, 25 fire departments were selected to receive 100 smoke or CO alarms for community outreach with college students in their respective communities. In addition to national outreach, LCWA coordinated with departments for local media outreach for each initiative, earning more than 97.2 million impressions and installing 2,500 alarms in at-risk homes.

In addition to community outreach, First Alert launched its latest innovation in 2018: a 3-in-1 smoke and CO alarm with a premium speaker and built-in Amazon Alexa, dubbed the Onelink Safe & Sound. LCWA and First Alert debuted the product at CES 2018 to key tech media, including Digital Trends and The Verge. Before the official launch in May, LCWA secured several one-on-one interviews with top consumer and tech media, including Gearbrain, Gizmodo and Good Housekeeping. The Onelink Safe & Sound’s key features were amplified with a strategic influencer program and celebrity endorsements, including a celebrity-gifting suite. Finally, LCWA researched and submitted the alarm for consideration to several editorial and product award programs, earning seven awards including the Good Housekeeping 2018 Lab Pick and the GOOD DESIGN Award. Overall, the Onelink Safe & Sound launch resulted in more than 2.1 billion impressions!

First Alert won a Golden Trumpet from the PCC in the Marketing Category and a Skyline Award from PRSA Chicago in the Marketing – Consumer Products, Packaged Goods category for the “Onelink Safe & Sound Launch.” The “Town/Gown Community Service Project” won a Skyline Award from PRSA Chicago in the Most Effective Corporate Social Responsibility Campaign and a Silver Trumpet from the PCC in the Corporate Social Responsibility category. First Alert won a Skyline Award in the in Events & Observances, Businesses – Products Category from PRSA Chicago for its “60 Years of Firsts” campaign and a Silver Trumpet from the Publicity Club of Chicago (PCC) in the Special Events category.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Leveraging News of the Day


It’s the job of PR professionals to constantly look for ways to keep their clients in the news. One such approach is responding to news of the day or breaking news stories. This is an especially useful strategy when your clients don’t necessarily have their own news to share. By leveraging trending stories already in the news you can insert your clients into the conversation. Effectively leveraging the news of the day requires the following key steps: 

Select the Right Stories 

As you scan the news of the day, it’s important to consider what storylines make the most sense for a particular client. Consider piggybacking on news angles that capture the attention of the media. Such examples include research studies, interesting statistics, new trends or data about the industry that’s relevant to your client.

Steer clear of stories that may come across as insensitive, such as promoting good deeds after a natural disaster. A PR professional should never try to take advantage of the misfortune of others. In such instances, it’s important to subtly share your good deed or assistance in relief efforts so you come across as supportive but not desperate to reporters or readers.


Respond Quickly 


In order to use other news for your clients, it’s essential that you constantly read and watch pertinent news outlets so you can contact a reporter as soon as possible. If you respond too late, it’s likely that your client’s competitors will already have beaten you to the story.


For breaking news, most journalists need an expert to comment on a situation quickly via a phone interview, video conference or live video interview so have your spokesperson prepared and ready to go.  Once a reporter or editor sees they can count on you quickly for story ideas, and expert comments, then you become a valuable resource to them.


Be a Resource


The best way to build relationships with reporters is to be succinct and provide them with 
material they haven’t already learned or written about. In other words, don’t waste their time. As a PR professional, it’s your job to capture the attention of these writers with a different angle or addition to the story.

Leveraging the news of the day and inserting clients into a news conversation requires a few key steps that include regularly monitoring the news and finding ways to insert your client into relevant stories. To do so effectively, you must offer new angles to the story, share useful information, be timely, and know your client’s spokespersons and areas of expertise.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Award Spotlight: American Academy of Sleep Medicine “Sleep Works for You”

Getting insufficient sleep and working while fatigued have become commonplace in the modern workforce, causing employees to experience cognitive declines and presenting employers with heightened safety risks and increased economic costs. So, LCWA and our client the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) — the leading voice in the sleep field launched the “Sleep Works for You” campaign.

This multifaceted campaign, conducted on behalf of the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project — a cooperative agreement between the CDC and the AASM — embodied the vision of achieving optimal health through better sleep for long-term success and well-being. “Sleep Works for You” encouraged employees, from entrepreneurs to shift workers, to prioritize sleep for safety and productivity on the job, and educated employers on ways to help workers avoid fatigue and develop healthy sleep habits.

To reach these audiences, the campaign included a wide variety of tactics, such as feature stories, media outreach — highlighted by a co-branded press release with the National Safety Council — influencer partnerships, a Twitter chat and social content, landing page design and more.

The campaign resonated strongly with media, consumers and influencers, and was honored with the Skyline Award in Integrated Communications from PRSA Chicago and a Silver Trumpet in Integrated Communications from the Publicity Club of Chicago.