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September 30, 2014

ZAP Happenings: From the Midwest to West Coast

Filed under: Uncategorized — Zapwater Communications @ 6:30 pm

If you follow our social media channels, you may have seen the news that Zapwater has opened up shop in the “City of Angels.”  Late this summer, I moved to Los Angeles to help open up our first satellite office. We selected LA for a variety of reasons. Some of our clients have a significant West Coast presence; we feel our agency brings something new to the market; and it’s a top media market and the entertainment capital of the world. So far, so good.

As a Midwest transplant, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve been fortunate to have spent a lot of time in Southern California throughout my professional career. I remember my very first public relations event in LA at Hollywood and Highland. We launched M&M’s Ice Cream treats with an ice cream truck manned by Mario Lopez. Marilyn Monroe, Elvis and assorted celebrities of yesteryear joined in the fun and scored us a photo that landed in People. Since then, my work in LA has expanded beyond events to include influencer relations, public affairs and more.

My time spent in LA for work has made for a smooth life transition. As a wellness aficionado, I love the ease of finding fresh produce, the array of outdoor activities and the city’s passion for good-for-you foods that don’t compromise on taste. I’ve fallen in love with Kreation’s kale chips and juices and have taken to cooking a lot. As a dog owner, I’m able to walk Mattie everywhere and take her with me to most establishments. I spend a lot of time on the Westside near the ocean, but still enjoy the occasional night out in Hollywood. The city has welcomed me with open arm — especially the people.

While in our industry it can be hard to predict a few weeks out, let alone a year, I’m optimistic for Zapwater LA’s future. Our company’s culture is based on creativity, teamwork and pushing the envelope. I suspect we’ll fit in just fine.

- Nora Sarrawi, Vice President

September 27, 2014

ZAP Wanderlust: West Coast Road Trip

Filed under: Uncategorized — Zapwater Communications @ 10:45 am

I caught the travel bug at an early age, so I try to take one big trip each year to somewhere new. I love the opportunity to see new places and cultures and of course, some of my favorite memories are from trips I’ve taken with family and friends.

Now, as someone who considers travel such an important part of my life, until recently, I had never been to the Pacific Northwest. This past August, I finally did a west coast road trip with a friend of mine. Here is a list of some of the highlights and recommendations for all you travelers out there:

Seattle, WA: If you’re a foodie, you absolutely need to visit Seattle. Pike Place Market (aka birthplace of the flying fish) is one of the biggest tourist attractions of the city. I recommend going first thing in the morning to watch the local vendors set up. Trust me, it’s worth the early wake-up call. And, if you’re craving caffeine, be sure to hit up the first ever Starbucks. It’s adorable and vintage and almost unrecognizable. You also don’t need me to tell you that the restaurants in Seattle are top-notch. From Bon Appetit rated, The Whale Wins and Joule to Food & Wine’s top pick, The Walrus and the Carpenter, Seattle’s food scene is clearly only going to get bigger.

Portland, OR: Portland is a hipster’s dream. Hailed for being one of the most bike-friendly cities in the nation, you can rent a bike and take it anywhere in the city. I highly recommend doing it, and it’s a great way to see the city. With endless amounts of local beer and breweries, you won’t go thirsty either. If shopping is your thing, be sure to check out the Alphabet District (23rd street) to browse the local shops and swanky boutiques.

San Francisco, CA: San Francisco is probably one of my favorite cities in the US. The weekend farmers market at the Ferry Building is must-see…pick up an assortment of items from local vendors for a picnic and take it to Golden Gate Park. If seafood is your thing and you can handle a lot of tourists, be sure to check out Fisherman’s Wharf too. A word to the wise, the hills are killer so bring your walking shoes.

Of course, the best part about traveling is coming home to the best city in the world. Check back with me in a month or two when the weather drops and I may be singing a different tune :)

- Morgan Bellock, Account Director

September 26, 2014

Client Happenings: The Search for the Next Great Pop-Up at Block 37

Filed under: Uncategorized — Zapwater Communications @ 5:30 pm

The search is on! I think it’s great when businesses are able to support local retailers and companies, and Zapwater client, Block 37 is doing just that. With the Search for the Next Great Pop-Up, one lucky retailer/company will get the chance to win a FREE pop-up space at the shopping center for the most popular shopping season — the holidays.

In addition to winning free rent, the retailer will get up to $2,500 to build out the space. All companies that apply must have a Chicago Business License, but that’s about the only requirement! The shopping center is look for something fresh and fun to enter teh space, whether that’s a clothing concept, card company or something in between.

Those interested in applying have until Wednesday, October 1 to submit their application. Details about the program and how to apply are available at: http://www.block37.com/info/nextgreatpopup

This has been an exciting project to work on and our team can’t wait to find out what concept will win!

- Stephanie Poquette, Senior Publicist

 

September 19, 2014

Client Happenings: Viva Las Vegas

Filed under: Uncategorized — Zapwater Communications @ 10:05 pm

You’re in luck, because what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. Our team recently traveled to Sin City with the Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company for Wedding MBA, a wedding business expo. High profile wedding and event planner, Debi Lilly, was also onsite to share her expertise with the wedding planning industry. She provided her “Wedding Planning Checklist” during her 10 minute Wed Talk presentation at the conference. Here are a few highlights:

  1. Share a Save the Date. Send Save the Date cards to all invited to the wedding, not just out-of-town guests. This builds excitement, sets the tone for a big, fun celebration, and ensures the date is set on guests’ calendars.
  2. Recommend Jewelry Insurance to Protect The Symbols of Their Ever After. Worry about one less thing while planning your wedding, or even going on your honeymoon by insuring your engagement and wedding rings. Certain homeowners’ policies may only provide limited jewelry protection, and may not cover damage or loss and mysterious disappearance, so it’s important to check your coverage or switch to a separate jewelry insurance policy, like one from Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company, the nation’s leading jewelry insurance specialists for more than 100 years. Their worldwide, comprehensive coverage can go beyond standard homeowners insurance and warranties and provides same “kind and quality” repairs and replacements.
  3. Create an Event That’s All About THEM. This is their moment to share. From the officiant and readings, to location and music, design a unique, personal ceremony that reflects the two of them in every way. You can even create custom his and hers cocktails by using modern mixology and incorporating their favorite styles and flavors into a “themed” happy hour. Don’t let the party die down between the wedding and reception – keep the momentum going by creating a cocktail hour all about them and kick-off their party in style!
  4. Provide a Welcome Gift Upon Arrival. This is such a warm, thoughtful way to have guests arrive at the hotel and check into a standard room. It can be as simple as a gift bag to include a handwritten local postcard, local snacks and beverages, maps, travel brochures and more.
  5. Create a Unique Wedding Hashtag. Make sure their wedding hashtag is unique by checking Facebook, Twitter and Instagram before the big day. Whether they create a simple sign to encourage guests to post their favorite moments or include the hashtag in their wedding program, don’t miss a thing on social media by helping curate all posts and images for the wedding celebration.

Happy wedding planning!

- Stephanie Reay, Senior Publicist

September 18, 2014

PR Buzz: The Woes of Loving Your iPhone

Filed under: Uncategorized — Zapwater Communications @ 10:00 am

Hi, my name is Sophia Bly, and I’m a textaholic. Well, I’m actually just addicted to my phone in general. I mean, why wouldn’t I be? I can work, date and socialize easily, all the time from almost anywhere. The thing is, this has caused a greater issue. At first, I was in denial. I thought I had tennis elbow or tendonitis in my wrist from my mouse at work. I kept thinking “Oh, you are working too much. Just take a vacation.” But then I went on said vacation for a couple weeks and the pain did not go away. Next, I blamed yoga. I thought too many cobras may have been the issue. Wrong again. Maybe the elliptical? NOPE! I basically cut every upper body movement out of my life except for one thing…my iPhone. Call it what you may – tendonitis, text claw, i-injury – whatever it is, I have it.

The good news is, I’m not alone, and there is help out there. Are you experiencing text claw? Do you have wrist and/or elbow aches and stiffness followed by continuous cell phone use. Have no fear, Huffington Post posted a tutorial on how to get rid of this dull aching pain. And I’m not talking about putting down my phone either. Now, that would just be absurd. Want to know the best part about Huff Post’s little tutorial? I can do these exercises from virtually anywhere, anytime… when I don’t have 3G or a Wi-Fi connection.

Check it out: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/05/text-claw-pain-hand-smartphone_n_3825077.html

- Sophia Bly, Senior Publicist

September 12, 2014

Client Happenings: Texas Toast

Filed under: Uncategorized — Zapwater Communications @ 8:02 pm

The CuffLinks.com’s account team headed to Dallas this week to help celebrate the company’s 15th anniversary. Our team organized an exclusive media and tastemaker dinner, strategy sessions, product immersion meetings, and more. It was a busy schedule, but a great meeting overall.

CuffLinks.com offers one of the largest selections of cufflinks and men’s accessories online (www.cufflinks.com). We’ve been looking forward to this trip for quite some time. Here are three must-stop destinations if you’re deep in the heart of Texas! Thanks to the entire CuffLinks.com team for the great Southern hospitality!

Bolsa Mercado -> On Tuesday, we held CuffLinks.com’s 15th anniversary dinner for media and tastemakers at Bolsa Mercado, a funky buy-local grocery store and event space located in the Bishop Arts District. Bolsa’s menu draws inspiration from the best local ingredients available each season and changes regularly depending on produce offered by local farmers, small growers, ranchers and fishermen. Chefs Jeff Harris and Matt Balke delivered an exception three course meal that left guests wanting more. It was a wonderful evening!

Blushington -> Countless Dallas-based bloggers have posted about Blushington, a makeup studio featuring an array of services and chic, feminine interior design and décor. Fingers crossed that they expand to Chicago! If you have a chance to visit one of their three locations, I highly recommend it!

Flywheel -> I’m absolutely love cycling and Flywheel is my obsession! The CuffLinks.com team, fully aware of my ongoing commitment to the gym, set me up with a Flywheel class Dallas. It was one of the most thoughtful gestures. I can’t thank them enough! If you haven’t tried Flywheel I highly recommend it. It has completely transformed my body and it’s a great workout to relieve stress.

- Jenn Lake, Vice President

September 10, 2014

ZAP Style: Fall Fashion Favorites

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 10:31 pm

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. I get absolutely giddy with excitement over cooler, sweater-perfect weather, leaves changing colors, hearty food, football Sundays and everything else that comes with the season. I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to summer yet, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t started my wish list. Check out some of my fall must-haves (and a few for my daughter because frankly she’s more fun to shop for), and tell us what’s on your list!

- Annie Block, Vice President

September 6, 2014

PR Buzz: Zapwater Heads West

Filed under: Los Angeles — Tags: , , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 8:40 pm

Over the past few years, we are extremely grateful for the opportunities that have allowed our team to participate in the evolution of your businesses.  As the media landscape continues to change, we strive to stay one step ahead and adapt to better serve our clients.

For this reason, we are excited and proud to announce the opening of Zapwater’s Los Angeles office.

Why Los Angeles?

After working with several clients in Southern California, we began to build our presence and have realized the benefits of having a consistent team on location. In an industry built on relationships, we firmly believe in the importance of face-to-face meetings. This is true for traditional media relations, but more so for influencer relations and celebrity seeding. As our clients and business continue to grow, a Los Angeles office will make us a stronger partner.

In addition, our experience in the market leads us to believe there is an opportunity for an agency with our values and experience.  Our individualized client approach and ability to drive results with any budget is a gap we can fill in Southern California.

 Nora Sarrawi, a Vice President in our Chicago office, has moved to Los Angeles to head and drive the expansion.

Our focus will continue to be providing the creative, award-winning work for which we are known. Our approach will forever be dictated by passion for what we do.

We’re proud of our continued growth and expansion and look forward to the next ten years.

David Zapata

September 5, 2014

ZAP Decor: I Like the Way You Move

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 5:48 pm

There are two words every Chicagoan dreads with a passion: Moving Season. And while August and September are filled with al fresco dining, boat days, vitamin D exposure and copious amounts of rosé, it also typically means a move is looming just around the corner.

Two weekends ago, it was my turn for the dreaded move. Eight bags of donated clothes to the Goodwill and one very chipped manicure later, I was settled in my new apartment and ready for the real fun and my personal dream come true to begin… time to decorate!

With seven moves in the last eight years under my belt, I pretty much have the whole “making a house a home” thing down to a science. As much as we’d all like our spaces to look like the pages of ELLE Décor, I’ve learned a mix of high- and low-end design (mostly low-end in my case) with a touch of personality and pizzazz can completely transform a blank canvas into cozy, chic space that’s all your own. Here are my three tips/tools:

Neutral Necessities

For those certain splurges that will hopefully last a decade (or two!), stick with a neutral shape and color palette. Grays, navys, whites and tans are classic colors that look fresh and clean and won’t have you rethinking that fuchsia headboard after six months.

Image courtesy of Room & Board

POC and POP

In order to truly make a space feel fun and one-of-a-kind, it’s all about the Pop Of Color and Pop Of Pattern. The easiest way to go a little crazy with colors and patterns is through your accessories. Rugs, pillows and accent chairs can be far less expensive than larger purchases, such as sofas, and you won’t feel buyer’s remorse with a purchase that’s a bit outside of your interior design comfort zone.

Image courtesy of Room & Board

Unconventional Wall Art

Another easy way to make your space more personal and homey is through wall art. Purchase a variety of shapes and sizes of frames and create a wall gallery with your favorite photos of friends, family or travels. One of my personal favorite DIY projects was hanging $20 metallic bowls from IKEA above my dresser to create a 3D work of art.

Image courtesy of IKEA

- Brigid Parr, Senior Publicist

September 4, 2014

ZAP Style Notes: Fall Wedding Bling

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 5:07 pm

Move over summer; fall is quickly becoming the new “wedding season.” According to TheKnot.com 2013 Wedding Survey, both June and September were the most popular months to get married. As we head into a busy wedding month, our friend, wedding planner extraordinaire Debi Lilly of A Perfect Event, and bridal expert for Jewelers Mutual’s Perfect Circle Jewelry Insurance (client), shares some of the hottest bridal jewelry trends we’ll see down the aisle:

1. Modern Vintage

2. European Single Stones

3. Barely Blush Colored Stones

4. Micro Pave

5. Bohemian

6. Matte Finish

Whether the jewelry is gifted from the groom to his bride or the bride to her bridal party, it’s a symbol of the special milestone, lifelong love and/or friendship, and should be properly protected. According to Debi, considering a separate jewelry insurance policy as part of the final wedding planning details is a “must do” before the “I Do’s.” She recommends Jewelers Mutual, the nation’s jewelry insurance specialists for more than 100 years, who offer comprehensive, worldwide coverage against damage, loss, mysterious disappearance and even loose stones while they are being set by your jeweler, where other carriers can fall short.

For those fall brides-to-be checking off their wedding to-do’s, we encourage you to visit www.ProtectYourRing.com to learn more about the benefits of a Jewelers Mutual policy.

- Alana Horinko, Vice President

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