Thursday, September 12, 2019

Kick off Annual Planning with Four Key Questions

Believe it or not, 2020 isn’t so far away. And while several organizations operate on fiscal years starting in July or even October, the majority of our clients embark now on planning for the traditional calendar year. Now is the time to regroup with the C-suite to discuss updates to long-term goals and any short-term projects.

How do you balance current and near-term programming while starting the conversation about next year’s plans?
  • Ensure you have an overarching sense of how the current year’s results are faring and what your budget status is. (This should really be top-of-mind for any account lead at any time.)
  • Approach the topic during a regular status meeting or call, but be careful not to let that derail more pressing matters. Instead, set a future date on the calendar to regroup about the coming year.
  • Prepare to address – even informally – a few tactics worth preserving and some program elements that could be replaced in the next year.
  • Review quarterly reports and call notes to refresh knowledge of corporate objectives.
When more formal discussion begins, these key questions can help foster productive discussion:
  1. Will there be any particular new product or service focus for the year, perhaps broken down by month or quarter?
  2. In addition to core communications to key audiences, are there new audiences we can consider targeting in the coming year?
  3. What are some key events in which the organization plans to participate (again or first the first time) in the year ahead?
  4. Are we working with a similar budget for the coming year, or should we plan for any changes?
These are some primary details that can help your team start thinking about creative strategies and tactics for a successful 2020 – while still focusing on delivering solid results this year.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Multimedia News Release Powers Up Town/Gown Launch

Now in its third year, the Town/Gown Fire Safety Community Service Project teams institutions of higher education and fire departments to install First Alert alarms in at-risk homes and increase fire safety education in these communities. This unique, impactful project is coordinated through a partnership between First Alert, Campus Firewatch and the Michael H. Minger Foundation, and invites colleges, universities and fire departments across the country to apply for the opportunity to participate.

In order to emphasize the project launch, encourage departments to apply and offer up access to multi-media assets, LCWA developed an attractive multi-media news release featuring five photos and an educational smoke and carbon monoxide alarm safety whiteboard video. The user-friendly format appeals to media and partners alike who can easily view, share and download the assets to promote the project across their networks as well.

This year’s launch has already garnered millions of impressions and the rate of entries is up from last year. The best part is knowing that these efforts will not only help prevent future tragedies, but improve the well-being of the communities individually impacted. Learn more about the Town/Gown project at

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Back-to-School Fashion with North Riverside Park Mall

From colorful backpacks to comfortable athleisure, there's a style for every kid no matter what grade they're heading into this school year. LCWA client North Riverside Park Mall offers a one-stop-shop for youth school apparel. Its colorful selection of retail stores makes it easy for families to start the 2019-2020 school year in style. What’s more, there is even something for mom to feel like she is on trend when shuttling between the drop-off line and after-school sporting activities.

To showcase Instagram-worthy looks from a few of the mall’s stores, our Chicago PR team secured and coordinated a back-to-school fashion show on WCIU – The Jam. Outfitted in fancy new kicks and layers that easily transition into the fall, students dazzled The Jam hosts Felicia Lawrence and Carly Henderson with their new looks and ear-to-ear smiles. The segment was strategically timed to reach viewers just before the first bell rang and now lives on the WCIU website, YouTube channel and Facebook page.