Monday, September 30, 2019

AASM Shares Back-to-School Health Tips

To help prep parents and kids for back-to-school season, LCWA and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine conducted media outreach providing families with tips for a healthy sleep routine this school year. In conjunction with sleep hygiene recommendations for children, LCWA promoted the official sleep recommendations from AASM and drove parents to the online bedtime calculator, which allows users to enter their age and needed wake time to determine their bedtime for optimal health and success.

LCWA secured coverage with numerous outlets, including U.S. News & World Report, Newswise, Drugs.com, Healthday, Health News Digest and News Medical. Overall, this outreach increased awareness of sleep hygiene for children and families among consumers nationwide, drove traffic to the bedtime calculator and earned more than 16.8 million impressions.

To ensure you are sleeping enough on a regular basis, try the bedtime calculator for yourself!

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Own an Issue: Keys to Establishing Effective Thought Leadership

Thought leadership is a marketing strategy that can help a company build a reputation and establish itself as an industry expert and authority. With an effective thought leadership strategy, experts can establish credibility for an issue, differentiate a business from the competition, and create positive brand interest.

Customers and clients often prefer companies that are recognized as thought leaders because these organizations are perceived as industry leaders. According to the 2019 Edelman-LinkedIn B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study, 89% of B2B buyers said that thought leadership content increased their awareness of a brand.

Here are some key steps to consider when building a thought leadership program:
  • Identify Issue and Influencer – The first step in creating a thought leadership program is to identify an issue to own that is insightful and persuasive, differentiates your organization and will resonate with target audiences. Concurrently, it’s important to select a spokesperson who is a savvy speaker and can connect his or her subject matter expertise to company goals and messages.
  • Create Inspiring Content – Once the issue is established, it’s vital to craft valuable and pertinent content that speaks to a brand’s purpose. Consider investing in proprietary research that can serve as new news to pique the interest of the media and target audiences. Authoritative content from a trusted source is more likely to earn public approval and support. 
  • Make the Commitment – Conducting an effective thought leadership program doesn’t happen with a single whitepaper. It requires a long-term strategy and a willingness to share ideas and concepts in a meaningful way. Consider a variety of ongoing tactics to reach target audiences including the development of bylined articles, opinion pieces, videos, talking points, speeches, blog posts, media pitches, podcasts and more.
  • Be Go-To Resource – Ensure that the spokesperson is media trained and fully
    prepared for all types of interviews and speaking opportunities. Once a reporter or editor sees they can count on a spokesperson quickly for a story or expert comments,
    then you become a valuable resource to them.
  • Partner with Thought Leaders – Collaboration can help boost a thought leadership program and help build momentum quickly. Consider partnering with another high-profile influencer, executive or speaker to expand your reach and platform in the industry.
  • Review Strategy – Evaluation of a thought leadership program is essential. Be sure to improve and update the program strategy as you learn what types of materials and content resonate most with target audiences. 
Thought leadership is a proven and powerful marketing tool to showcase and support ideas and viewpoints – and to build credibility and expertise for an organization. A long-term strategic thought leadership program can build trust over time and, most importantly, move target audiences to action.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

PFF Ambassador and 9/11 First Responder Shares PF Story

Each September, our client the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) observes Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month, a 30-day campaign to raise awareness of pulmonary fibrosis (PF), a devastating lung disease affecting more than 200,000 people in the United States.

To raise awareness of pulmonary fibrosis and #PFMonth, the PFF team tapped PFF Ambassador and retired NYPD detective Tom Frey to help us shine a light on this disease. Tom was a 9/11 first responder who was called to Ground Zero on that fateful day in 2001. Years later, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and then PF, all linked back to the toxic chemicals from his 9/11 rescue and recovery efforts.

In the months leading up to September, we proactively pitched Tom’s story to national media outlets in hopes that we can help others understand the many journeys people affected by PF have experienced. As part of these efforts, we secured national print, online and broadcast coverage in support of Tom’s heartfelt story.

Broadcast: We worked with NBC New York to plan a segment, where Tom revisits September 11 by walking the grounds of the World Trade Center Memorial with NBC 4 reporter David Ushery. You can watch the full segment here.

Print: Cindy Dampier of the Chicago Tribune spoke with Tom and the PFF’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Cosgrove on a piece about 9/11-related illnesses on the rise among first responders. Read the Tribune cover story here.

Online: Tom shared his PF story with Today Show Online’s health contributor Agnes Pawlowski. Read about his experience at Ground Zero in his own words here.

Pulmonary fibrosis is a disease that remains largely unknown, even among doctors, and can lead to later stage diagnoses. With more than 50,000 new cases of pulmonary fibrosis diagnosed annually, it is imperative that we raise awareness of the disease and educate patients on all of their healthcare options. To learn more, visit www.AboutPF.org.

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 https://www.firstalert.com/towngown/.

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.