Thursday, April 30, 2020

Spring Spruce Up with DAP

Spring is an ideal time to take on cleaning and organization projects around the home. And, because people are spending more time at home these days, they are looking for timely DIY projects to tackle. To fill that need, LCWA recommended that client DAP participate in a “Spring Spruce Ups” co-op satellite media tour (SMT) featuring expert craftsman and HGTV Star Chip Wade.

A co-op SMT typically features three to five brands that a spokesperson presents together under one umbrella theme, allowing the brands to share production costs while still elevating their presence during key seasonal time pegs such as back-to-school, holiday entertaining or as in this case, spring cleaning.

Designed to help consumers stay busy and learn more about cleaning and organization projects, the “Spring Spruce Ups” SMT featured several home projects to consider including updating a kitchen or bath with Kwik Seal Ultra, a premium sealant from DAP that repels water, dirt and stains so the sealant stays looking clean, fresh and new. It’s easy to apply, is shower ready in just four hours and it’s backed by a lifetime mold & mildew resistance guarantee.

SMTs are a popular public relations tool for reaching broadcast media – and for good reason. A well-executed SMT can provide wide exposure for a client in a relatively short period of time. The “Spring Spruce Ups” tour resulted in some excellent exposure for DAP with more than 15 million impressions as a result of 27 separate TV news and radio interviews.

Check out this sample clip of our SMT from KDRV-TV, the FOX affiliate in Denver, and discover more about Kwik Seal Ultra from DAP and other DIY projects to tackle around the home.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

PFF Spokesperson Educates TV Audiences Nationwide about Pulmonary Fibrosis

A recent survey revealed that 86% of Americans don’t know the symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis (PF), a disease that affects more than 200,000 people in the U.S. The LCWA team is working closely with the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) to improve awareness of this progressive and debilitating disease that leads to scarring of the lungs, with no known cure. In February, we scheduled a series of TV and radio interviews for Dr. Gregory Cosgrove, Chief Medical Officer of the PFF, with syndicated and local broadcasts across the country. Dr. Cosgrove educated audiences about the risk factors of PF, as well as the common symptoms of the disease. His message was well-received, with more than 750 airings for an audience of 23 million. Watch a segment here. For more information about pulmonary fibrosis, visit www.aboutpf.org.  


Thursday, April 16, 2020

First Alert Celebrates National Volunteer Week with Fire Extinguisher Donation Program

In honor of National Volunteer Week in April, the LCWA home PR team helped promote an exciting new fire extinguisher donation program between First Alert and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), which will allow volunteer fire departments to distribute fire extinguishers to keep homes and families safe. 

A donation of 1,000 First Alert rechargeable fire extinguishers will be distributed to departments registered with the NVFC's Fire Corps program to help fire service volunteers make an immediate impact in the fire readiness of their communities. 

This program comes at a critical time – with more people at home and cooking, the risk of fire incidents increases exponentially! According to the National Fire Protection Association, the number one cause of home fires in the U.S. is unattended cooking. Fire extinguishers can help save lives when used quickly and effectively and many of these small kitchen fires could likely be resolved with a fire extinguisher if caught early.

Media coverage of the donation has already started rolling in with coverage by the fire trades, including FireEngineering.com and FireHouse.comFor more information on fire safety, visit www.firstalert.com.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Educating and Engaging Consumers with Influencer Deck Builds

Influencer marketing has changed the way people shop, and it’s a trend that’s here to stay across all industries – especially in the home space. When it comes to renovation and d├ęcor, consumers are looking to trusted influencers with hands-on product experience for recommendations. That’s why our PR program with Trex, the world’s leader in wood-alternative decking and railing products, includes campaigns with bloggers and social media stars from around the globe to take fans on the journey of planning and building a composite Trex deck – showcasing how Trex makes it easy for anyone to build a dream outdoor space.

In exchange for Trex product, our carefully vetted influencer partners guide their followers step-by-step through the deck building process via videos, blog posts and social content. Whether it’s a DIY project or a DIFM (do-it-for-me) build with a TrexPro contractor, each influencer discusses his or her deck design and layout choices, product selection, installation and, finally, gives a tour of their completed outdoor living space – all while reinforcing the benefits of Trex products, tools and customer service.

Here are some insights into how we maximize these influencer deck builds to deliver outstanding results for our client:
  • Keep it real. Collaboration is crucial to striking a balance between branded and authentic content that will keep audiences engaged. We work closely with our partners to ensure that Trex’s key messages are woven into all posts while giving influencers creative license to share their Trex experiences in their own personal tones and styles. This approach increases fan engagement and gives each influencer the flexibility to be responsive, such as when YouTuber DIY Creators started Part Two of his Trex deck build tutorial by addressing viewers’ feedback in the comments of the first video.
  • Provide real time updates. Keep your client informed on all influencer activity. Even better, work with the influencer to provide a content calendar so your client knows what’s in the pipeline. Share the posts as soon they publish and then follow up with updates. When our partner Little House in London issued her first Instagram post, we immediately shared it with Trex. Then, we provided a one-day update (1,285 likes and 82 comments!) and a three-day update (1,545 likes and 177 comments!). While it may depend on how often new photos are published, most Insta posts max out engagement after three days.
  • Build rapport. When working with influencers, deliverables and assets are important, but don’t make every interaction strictly transactional. Take the time to establish a meaningful relationship and ensure that they have an amazing experience with the brand. As a result, you’ll find that influencers will over-deliver and continue to promote your client long after their project and your partnership has ended. For example, we collaborated with Instagrammer Liam’s Home to build a Trex deck in 2018, and he’s still showing Trex love two years later!
  • Paint the big picture. Connect the dots to show how the influencer campaign is impacting overall brand engagement. In addition to sharing the number of likes, views, shares and comments, track brand mentions, message penetration, click-through-rates, referral traffic and any other metrics that are important to your client. For the past two years, we have been able to report that our 2018 and 2019 Aussie influencer campaigns with Interiors Addict and Naomi Findlay drove the most traffic to Trex’s Australian website throughout the year! Understanding the value an influencer is driving for your client’s business is an incredibly powerful tool to show the ROI of a campaign.
Influencer partnerships are an effective way to promote products, increase brand awareness, generate engaging content and drive website traffic – and sales. When done effectively, they can also convert influencers into longer-term brand ambassadors.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

The Prescription for Pitching Healthcare Stories

Recently, the LCWA healthcare team participated in a luncheon hosted by the Publicity Club of Chicago entitled, “Rx for Healthcare Media,” where some of Chicago’s leading healthcare journalists discussed how to stand out in Chicago’s competitive healthcare market and gave PR pros insights into working with journalists during the COVID-19 pandemic. The panel included Scott Becker, publisher of Becker's Healthcare; Katharin Czink, Medical Watch producer at WGN-TV; Lauren Petty, health reporter at NBC; and Kristen Schorsch, reporter at WBEZ.

Photo courtesy of photographer Will Byington
To kick off the program, each panelist introduced themselves and offered some pitching tips for healthcare stories, including:
  • Think real people with human interest angles and patient-focused features (with the exception of Becker’s Healthcare, whose core focus is providers).
  • Personalize pitches and talk to reporters like people. A personal approach is the most effective way to go about placing stories. 
  • Keep all mediums – such as digital and audio – in mind when pitching an NPR affiliate. Think characters and scenes to take people to places.
  • Make sure your pitch is understandable for the audience. Simplify press releases into layman’s terms and avoid using jargon or acronyms with no explanations.
  • Above all, journalists are looking for experts they trust to provide perspective. 

The Impact of COVID-19 on Pitches
The media landscape has shifted significantly since the COVID-19 outbreak, and the news cycle is now coronavirus 24/7. With the new normal of a singular focused news cycle, the pandemic is challenging the way we engage in media relations – especially for a number of our clients who are medical associations. During this time, it’s important to be careful in how you tell your story – and evaluate whether this is the right time to be telling it at all.

While NBC and WGN are solely focused on COVID-19, with 4-5 reporters tied to the virus at once, both Petty and Czink stressed that other pitches are still welcome, but to keep in mind these stories will be pushed to a later date, depending on when the pandemic passes the news cycle.

Yet, with all the negative news coverage daily, there are still positive stories to tell. From the healthcare workers on the frontlines to the local distilleries making hand sanitizers to colleges using 3D printing to create face shields. These are the encouraging, hopeful stories that people need to hear at this time.

The partnership between the healthcare industry and journalism has never been more important, and we will continue to work with our clients to arm the public with the information they may need to navigate the uncharted waters of this pandemic.