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:

- Sophia Bly, Senior Publicist

September 12, 2014

Client Happenings: Texas Toast

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

The’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. offers one of the largest selections of cufflinks and men’s accessories online ( 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 team for the great Southern hospitality!

Bolsa Mercado -> On Tuesday, we held’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 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


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 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 to learn more about the benefits of a Jewelers Mutual policy.

- Alana Horinko, Vice President

August 29, 2014

Client Happenings: Virgin Hotels Wants to Know What Have You Heard…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 5:37 pm

Sometimes, rumors aren’t always a bad thing. Especially when they involve one of the biggest brand launches Chicago has seen.

If you heard the rumor that Zapwater is working with Virgin Hotels to launch the first-ever location right here in Chicago, it’s true. Our team has been working with some of the smartest and most creative people in the industry, planning fun and exciting ways to introduce the brand to the world.

If you heard that the faucets at the hotel will have three settings: hot, cold and champagne, I cannot confirm or deny that. But as a fan of Champs, I can say I’m pushing to make that a reality.

If you heard the showers sing to you, I also can neither confirm nor deny that. But I hope that one is not true– the shower is MY voices time to shine!

Have you heard the Do Not Disturb sign has been removed from the Virgin Hotels website? That one is 100% true. So if you’re in the mood to stir the pot a little bit this week, Virgin wants to give you something to talk about. Head on over to the website to find out more about the upcoming opening and share some of your favorite rumors for a chance to win some pretty great stuff.

And don’t forget to follow Zapwater’s social media channels for all Virgin Hotels Chicago news!

- Mary Doyle, Account Supervisor

August 27, 2014

ZAP Wanderlust: The Places PR Will Take You

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

Some kids are born with a silver spoon in their mouth. I was not one of them. My parents like to say that I was born with a Samsonite carry-on in-hand.

I am an airline brat. My dad spent his career with Pan Am and Delta.

In fact, if you’ve visited my office at Zapwater, you’d know it was adorned with Pam Am nostalgia.

Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve had the travel bug.  One of the benefits of being an airline brat is the free travel. Unfortunately, those perks still don’t exist, and I actually have to buy my plane tickets now. Traveling with my dad in my youth lit something in me that continues to burn today.

My grandfather proudly used to tell stories of his travels to all seven continents. I guess Travel is in my blood.

I’ve been lucky enough to climb the ruins of Tikal, Guatemala, Machu Picchu, Peru and Angkor Watt, Cambodia.  I’ve worked at an orphanage in Russia and on a Coffee Cooperative in Nicaragua. I’ve canoed in the Amazon, road the rooftop of a train across the Andes, climbed Cotapaxi and hiked up Angel Falls. I’ve even studied comparative revolutions in Havana, Cuba.

Maybe that’s why I love travel clients. Long-time hotel clients like the dana hotel and spa or projects from global airlines like Hainan Airlines always have a special place in my heart.

Even though we’re a boutique agency, you’d be surprised the places PR will take you.

Through our membership in the global agency network, Travel Lifestyle Network, I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to Copenhagen and Dublin. I’m especially excited for next year’s meeting in Luxembourg. In October, I’ll also be traveling to Singapore to represent TLN at ITB Asia. To say I’m excited would be a little bit of an understatement.

And where else I am headed?  I’m working on putting together a trip to Haiti. More on that to follow.

Cheers to passport stamps and travel adventures!

- David Zapata, President

August 22, 2014

Client Happenings: Old Style Pays Tribute to Chicago’s Heroes

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 3:20 pm


Firefighters have always held a special place in my heart. Growing up on the West side of Cleveland many of my closest friend’s parents were second or third generation firefighters. We witnessed firsthand how they regularly put their lives on the line for the community. These brave men and women weren’t just the unknown face of a hero, they were our family. Our high school group also shares many fond memories of visiting the stations downtown and taking the fire boat out on the Cuyahoga River so we could listen to an evening summer concert.

Imagine my joy when Zapwater client, Old Style, the beer famously known as “Chicago’s beer since 1902,” decided to honor the dedication, lives and risks taken by Chicago’s Bravest with the launch of a Chicago Heroes commemorative can. The sales from these cans, which will become an instant collectable for Chicagoans and Old Style enthusiasts, alike, benefit the Ende, Menzer, Walsh and Quinn (EMWQ) Retirees’, Widows’ and Children’s Assistance Fund, a local organization which provides financial assistance annually to the neediest widows and orphans of members of the Chicago Fire Department.

EMWQ Retirees’, Widows’ and Children’s Assistance Fund works each year to identify the families and children most in need of monetary donations. The organization also provides immediate assistance to the children of an active member who passed away in the line of duty or off duty. A 22-year-old organization, the EMWQ Assistance Fund has provided more than $10 million dollars in assistance over the years through the generous support of active and retired firefighters and paramedics, the community, an annual charity softball event and more.

To celebrate the can’s launch, Zapwater hopped a ride on the Old Style branded fire truck (also playing bodyguard over the beer so it didn’t fly out the back) this Saturday, and helped the team deliver the new cans to several hundred local firefighters and their families at the 5th District CFD Softball Tournament.

Upon arrival, we had the chance to chat with some key members within the firefighter network and community. Many took several cans for personal collections and to share with others who weren’t on site. Many devoted Old Style fans were thrilled about the branded content and brought others over to the tent to learn more. Whenever our team has the opportunity to combine our work with a cause close to our hearts, it’s a reason to celebrate. Being able to work on this project will be one that I don’t soon forget.

To learn how you can get involved and more about the EMWQ organization, visit:

- Michael Corrigan, Account Supervisor

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