CONGRATS TO MATTHEW GRAY
We’re proud that this is the fourth year in a row that one of our clients has been named to this prestigious list.
We don’t make headlines, our clients do.
David Zapata and I recently had the privilege of attending a private dinner to celebrate the launch of Gilt City Chicago. The dinner was hosted by Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, Founder and Chief Merchandising Officer of Gilt Groupe at Balsan, the European Bistro at the Elysian Hotel.
At this particular dinner, I sat next to Matt Carroll, Senior Director at Gilt City and Isaiah Freeman-Schub, Fashion Associate Editor at Chicago Social. While all three of us work in industries that place emphases on networking (editorial, sales and public relations), we set aside formalities and instead engaged in candid conversations about work, professional development and more. Each week there are an array of Chicago events to attend and industry professionals with whom to network; I am as guilty as the next person in keeping many conversations on the surface and avoiding getting to philosophical while sipping on white wine and watching hors d’oeuvres pass by. My dinner companions offered a wonderful change of pace.
The next day I couldn’t help but wonder if there is a growing set of young professionals who understand that true networking will only succeed through genuine communication and dialogue. It was refreshing to chat with two individuals who could easily rely on cookie-cutter conversation tactics but instead forced themselves out of their comfort zone to offer authentic insights and witty banter.
While it may seem like an odd observation, is it really? In this day and age aren’t we are all thirsty for a little honesty? I’m proud to be a part of a Public Relations agency that places a considerable emphasis on being candid with our clients, media, and peers.
THE ZAPWATER TEAM
Photos by Jack Edinger. Styling by Lipstick Dinosaur.
I have three goals this fall:
1) Become a hockey fan (obviously Blackhawks)
2) Become a football fan (Da Bears – I’m almost there with my cute vintage Bears leather purse)
3) Learn how to bake
You might think number three should be pretty simple but I really struggle following directions. Typically I read a recipe and just throw all the ingredients into one bowl and mix together. But soon I realized there’s actually chemistry involved in baking…
My first fall 2010 baking adventure was Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. I made them for my Glee Tuesday dinner parties. Little background: every Tuesday my gal pal Spohn hosts Glee dinner parties with her husband B-Zak, BFF Ashley, cousin Adam and me.
Key learning: reading directions is a really great start because they were tasty! I also brought in a batch for my fellow Zapwater folks and they loved them! Although there is a slight chance everyone was lying to me.
If you’re interested in making your own Pumpkin Whoopie Pies you can get the recipe here.
A STAR IS BORN?
At Zapwater we live by the mantra “We Don’t Make Headlines, our Clients Do”. We prefer to call the shots behind the scenes and let others shine. Always mindful of not being “those PR people” we prefer to be off camera. Of course things do pop up from time to time.
This summer I had an opportunity presented to me by Zapwater friend and host of Celeb TV, Kelli Zink. The reality show Giuliana and Bill was filming there third season and they needed a local PR person to dole out some advice and hang with Giuliana as she taught a broadcast seminar to aspiring journalists. After a little hesitation I agreed that it could be a fun experience. I shot three times with Giuliana over the next month including two dinner scenes and the broadcast seminar. I was immediately struck by two realizations:
1) It is very uncomfortable being filmed eating while groups of people watch you from the street
2) It is clear to see how Giuliana gained her fame
She always remained professional, well spoken, and put together in front of the camera. Observing her teach her seminar I appreciated seeing that true broadcast journalist are the ones that make it look easy.
After we wrapped I waited with bated breath to see how it would air. You never know with reality television and I hoped it would not be something I regretted. My episode aired this week and I was relieved to find out that family and friends from Ohio, Miami, Colorado, and California all tuned in for my debut. My “reviews” were solid. I was told I stayed true to myself and my career, while getting in some good “one-liners” and gay husband time with Giuliana. Overall it was a great experience and something I wont soon forget. I wont be quitting my day job for reality fame anytime soon though!
CHICAGO MARATHON RUNNERS
If you haven’t yet heard of On Your Mark Coaching and Training, you probably will soon. The gym is made up of an incredible group of trainers who push their clients to the limit and offer an array of unique classes. From F-Train to Power Ball Pilates, it’s hard not to walk out feeling like you’ve just had an amazing workout. One of their specialties is an intense running class which I’m sure many of this weekend’s Chicago marathon runners may have taken once or twice.
Whether you are a marathon runner, or simply jog a few miles per week, it’s always important to keep safety in mind when you head out for your run. That’s why Emily Hutchins, co-owner of On Your Mark, decided to unveil her unique line of identification tags at this weekend’s Chicago Marathon Health & Fitness Expo.
Head over to booth 337, where the team will create an identification tag you can easily slip onto one of your shoelaces. The tags are only $20 to engrave one side ($25 for both sides) and contain your name, emergency contact information and any other important health information someone might need to know (exp: blood type, health conditions, etc.). Hopefully you will never be in the situation where it’s needed but just in case it’s important to have.
Good luck to all of the participants in this year’s Chicago’s Marathon! I will be out there cheering you on (especially my favorite marathoner, Tami Fitzgerald!).
CRIMSON LOUNGE BRINGS NEW YORK STAPLE TACO TUESDAY TO CHICAGO
As public relations professionals we always strive to be on the forefront of the hottest trends and the next big thing. Living in a large city such as Chicago there always seems to be a million events at your fingertips. How do you navigate which events to attend? Which events truly stand out from the crowd?
Zapwater and our client Crimson Lounge are proud to announce that Taco Tuesday, the nightlife staple of New York City, will be making its Chicago debut next week. For six years Taco Tuesday has drawn weekly crowds of New York partygoers, bringing together some of the hottest names in fashion and entertainment. Over the years Taco Tuesday has seen such participants as Barney’s, MTV, GQ, and Vitamin Water battle it out as guest bartenders for a local charity of their choice.
HALO [For Men] and Thrillist will be the first competitors in the Chicago launch of Taco Tuesday on October 12. HALO owner Bob Patrizi and Thrillist editor Matt Lynch will be on hand as guest bartenders to raise money for Movember and Susan G Komen for the Cure. Let’s hear it for the boys!
Partygoers will partake in a variety of specials including $4 Dos Equis beers and three tacos for $10. Show HALO [For Men], Thrillist, and their respective charities your support while grooving to the sounds of one of Crimson’s hottest DJs. Stay tuned throughout October as Taco Tuesday Chicago and Crimson Lounge announce the competitors who will go head-to-head on October 19 and October 26 as part of this now national, long-running nightlife event.
WHEN: Tuesday, October 12 from 6 p m. to 10 p.m.
WHERE: Crimson Lounge
333 N. Dearborn St (Inside the Sax Chicago)
Chicago, IL 60610
ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?
The start of fall symbolizes a lot of things, cooler temps, changing leaves, pumpkin everything and the start of football season. For years now, I have listened to my husband and guy friends go on and on about football, fantasy points, bowl games, etc. etc. I have never been the sporty type and although I don’t mind football, it’s always been background noise for my lazy Sunday… that is until this year. This summer, after years of us girls complaining about fantasy football, my girlfriends and I decided to start an all girls fantasy football league. We researched, held a live draft and even compete in a little smack-talk. After three weeks and all my complaining, I have to be honest and say it has been a blast! From not knowing anything about football to yelling “damn you, Baltimore” on a weekly basis, I truly enjoy football Sunday more than I ever have before. Plus, I’m sure my husband doesn’t mind my love for the game either.
Note: Check out the Sunday Game Day Specials at Bull & Bear!
THE MOST EPIC EVER TWEET UP
Networking events for PR and media types are usually a lot of fun. They are even more fun, when you win expensive toys, like an iPad. That’s right, I won an iPad. And I haven’t won anything since 1995 when I won a VCR from Blockbuster. I expect I’m on an every five year winning streak. Can’t wait for 2015.
Backing up…City Search hosted the “Most Epic Ever Tweet Up” at Mercadito last week, which I attended with Deanne (@DeanneCD) and Sarah (@Spin_City) from the office. Mercadito happens to be one of my favorite restaurants in Chicago – they have fabulous beverages and really scrumptious guacamole. At the event they served two versions of their guac (hot and mild), three different beverages and chicken and mahi-mahi tacos. Everything was delicious. You can sort of see the guac set-up below.
So back to the iPad. You could drop your business card and tweet about the event for a chance to win. I must be a pretty exciting tweeter (maybe not, but you can see for yourself @Megan_L). Big thank you to City Search for forcing me into the new age of technology – I can’t wait to try it!