September 3, 2015

ZAP Style Notes: Back to School

Filed under: ZAP Style Notes — Tags: , , , , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 8:00 am

We had a sneak peek of fall last week with cooler temperatures and a fashion-filled back-to-school segment on WGN Chicago. There’s something about the start of a new season that invigorates and inspires the team, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome autumn to Chicago this month.

In case you missed the TV segment, we thought we’d share a few of our favorite back-to-school looks for the little ones in your life… although, we fully support using the trends as inspiration for your own seasonal upgrade!

Pop of Color

Night falls a bit earlier in September so we love the idea of adding a pop of color to your outfit to brighten up the day – our models, Hazel and Liam, are showcasing pink and red. Both of their looks are from, and the Kate Spade Dorothy Jacket is available in women’s sizes, too!

Hazel had her hair done in a low ponytail by Blohaute, which guarantees her hair will be out of her face during the day and won’t distract from her outfit!

WGN segment

Mixed Prints

Mixing prints is a great way to let your personality shine and to turn an otherwise ordinary outfit into a personal style statement. Jak & Peppar, one of our favorite clothing lines for young girls, does this the best, and we love the unique combinations worn by our models, Ella and McKenzie.

Blohaute styled braids and twists to embrace the girls’ natural hair textures (and to help save time in the morning rush). The styles definitely represent the carefree attitude of the looks as well.

Jak and Peppar

Image via Jak & Peppar


It’s important to have a few looks in your closet that work for dressy occasions – whether it’s a professional field trip or class picture day, who doesn’t want to look their best?

Rosie’s look from vineyard vines is fashion-forward, yet perfect for a last-minute Labor Day getaway to the lake. She can switch out her books for beach toys once the weekend rolls around!

Her half-up braided hairstyle is the perfect combination of stylish and casual.

Vineyard vines WGN

Cozy Casual

A cozy sweater is the perfect transitional piece for the fall season and is an essential for chilly mornings. We love Viv’s addition of silk trousers from Zara Kids at Block 37 to keep the look appropriate for school, and a pretty twist adds a bit of edge to the bohemian look.

-Allie Duncan, Publicist

September 1, 2015

Meet Team ZAP: A Day in the Life of an Intern

Filed under: Meet Team ZAP,Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 6:35 am

I’m Anna, a summer 2015 intern at Zapwater. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like interning here, you’ll definitely want to read this!

6:00 a.m.

I wake up early to catch a Metra train from the suburbs into the city. I cannot wait until I graduate next June and can move to the city for a quicker commute, but for now I’m at home with good ol’ Mom and Dad. Typically, on the train I drink coffee and catch up on reading, which (nerdily) is something I love. Right now I’m reading Eight Hundred Grapes. It’s about a love triangle, family drama and wine country- such a good summer read.

9:30 a.m.

I arrive at the Zapwater office in the West Loop and bring any current newspapers up to the office. After organizing them, I take a seat at my desk, where I check my e-mail and answer the front desk phone calls.

10:00 a.m.

By now I’ve made my to-do list for the day and can start on bigger projects. I usually start my day by working on social media for Block 37, a shopping center on located at 108 N State St. I write tweets about all things fashion, beauty, food and local happenings in the city. It’s one of my favorite parts of the day because I get to personalize the brand’s twitter account and also catch up on my fashion & beauty trends! Here’s an example of one of my recent tweets I’ve written:

AuBonPain Block 37 Tweet


Image via @Block37Shops on Twitter

12:00 p.m.

Coming up with enough tweets for a week takes me a few hours so, I’m finished, I typically need a lunch break. On the days I don’t bring my lunch from home, I can be found splurging on sushi or a Toasted Ramen Chicken Cabbage Salad from Root’s Pizza – SO good.

1:00 p.m.

I’ve hit mid-day, which means there are a lot of media placements to track and clip for our clients. I work on a variety of them, including Gilt City Chicago, Block 37, Entertainment Cruises Chicago (ECC) and Jak and Peppar. Here is a recent article I clipped for ECC from one of my favorite Chicago bloggers, Kelly in the City:


Image via Kelly in the City blog.

3:00 p.m.

After clipping and tracking is done, it’s time to work on creative, writing-focused projects. As a journalism major, I love this! I work on blog posts like the one you’re reading or sample media alerts and pitches for modern furniture retailer Room & Board.

4:30 p.m.

A lot of the work at Zapwater and in the public relations industry involves events. Sometimes that includes doing on-site check-in or simply sharing the event details with Chicago media outlets. Events are a really fun way to represent the clients outside of the office.

5:30 p.m.

The day is done, and I can head out to enjoy the city! I love meeting friends who are also interning downtown for dinner. A tasty spot right around the corner for doing just that is Parlor Pizza! Plus, they have a great outdoor patio to enjoy the beautiful summer weather.

Parlor Pizza

Image from Parlor Pizza on Facebook.

This is just a glimpse of a day in the life of a Zapwater intern. No day looks the same, but that is one of the things I love most about PR!

– Anna, Summer 2015 Intern

August 25, 2015

Social Media Spotlight: Three Important Ingredients to Grow Your Social Following

Filed under: Social Media Spotlight — Tags: , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 10:49 am


Social media growth is a popular topic in our office and among our clients. How do you grow your channels? What are the best ways to do it? In my opinion, there are three easy (and affordable) ways to grow your social media following. I like to refer to them as the three “C’s” – Content, Consistency, and Community.

CONTENT: Research shows that you only have seven second window to make a strong first impression upon first meeting someone in-person. Why would our social channels be any different? Give people a reason to want to come back (and often!). You can do this by posting regularly to your channels…without going overboard! You don’t want to overwhelm someone’s feed with your photos and links! In addition, your content should be original and aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

CONSISTENCY: Post consistently to your channels and make it a routine. Do you prefer to post on Instagram only twice a day? Only like to share a link or status update on Facebook on weekends? That’s fine! Fans/followers like to know what to expect – so manage their expectations by remaining consistent on your posting habits.

COMMUNITY: Develop an online community of engaged users. Find people’s feeds and content that speak to you, and engage with them – comment, like, re-share, etc.

– Jenn Lake, Vice President

August 23, 2015

Around Town LA: Hollywoodland

Filed under: Around Town — Tags: , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 10:43 am

Processed with VSCOcam with e3 preset

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, which perfectly describes the setting here in Hollywoodland in 1923. This charming town in the hills was built by Harry Chandler, Sidney H. Woodruff and General M. H. Shermanto. The convenient location made it accessible to all studios, but at the same time was removed from the hustle and bustle of the city. Running streams, deer and horses prancing around, beautiful oak trees and rolling hills-it was the perfect outlet for artists/musicians/actors to relax and hone in on their creativity. The L.A. Times announced this new development as “one of the most attractive residential sections of the City of Los Angeles”, envisioning it as a Mediterranean Riviera in the Hollywood Hills.

Beachwood Canyon, as it’s referred to now, is the epitome of the laidback California lifestyle. It’s relaxed and enchanting vibe is what has always attracted people to it, including celebrities like Charlie Chapman, Madonna, Humphrey Bogart, Keanu Reeves and Aldous Huxley. Not much has changed since 1923. The Beachwood cafe is a neighborhood staple, along with a flower and antique shop, dry cleaner and grocery store. The old Hollywood charm remains and continues to attract people from all over.

– Katie Foley

August 20, 2015

ZAP Style Notes: Hotter Than Hot Beauty Tips

Filed under: ZAP Style Notes — Tags: , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 4:35 pm


Summer is finally in full swing in Chicago, meaning the humidity is in full force and my makeup is melting off my face. Never fear, I’ve wasted all of my money on a plethora of beauty products and tested them out so you don’t have to!

My hair tends to get a little frizzy with the Chicago humidity and summer storms. I swear by John Frieda Frizz-Ease Hair Serum, Extra Strength Formula. Put it in your hair mixed with Moroccanoil while it’s still damp and you are golden. For touch ups, try Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Creme. A low, tight bun is also a great frizz mask!

ZB_8.20.15(3)Now for the face… There is nothing worse than commuting to and from the office in the dead of summer. Hot walks to the El + stifling train cars = no, me gusta. I recently starting using Hourglass Cosmetics Veil Mineral Primer, and it keeps me looking fresh all day long! Best yet, it has SPF 15 protection. Top it off with Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer and Matte Radiance Baked Powder Compact with Make Up For Ever Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder Foundation and you are a golden goddess.

I also am a huge fan of Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Lengthening Mascara. It’s waterproof (which also means sweat proof), so even though you are crying from heat exhaustion, your makeup will look great!

Cheers to summer in Chi! Stay cool, my friends.

– Brigid Parr, Senior Publicist

August 6, 2015

Around Town: Brews and Views on the Seadog

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 11:35 am


This summer, get ready to sample from local breweries while you cruise along the Chicago River and learn about the city’s architecture and history. Beer Flight cruises are available on select Thursdays and will continue through September.

You’ll be able to enjoy and sample four beers from featured breweries, while the Seadog’s docent keeps you entertained with an interesting narration during the cruise – making this the perfect ending to a long week. Sit back, unwind and enjoy yourself!

You’ll be able to make your reservations online here or call 888.636.7737

Chicago Beer Flight River Cruises

  • Available select Thursdays: 7/30 (featuring Motor Row Brewing), 8/13 (featuring Ale Syndicate Brewers), 8/27 (featuring Atlas Brewing Company) and 9/10 (featuring SweetWater Brewing Company)
  • Boarding at 8:00 p.m.
  • Departing from Navy Pier at 8:15 p.m. | Returning at 9:30 p.m.
  • Price: $36.95 per adult (must be 21+)

– Huong Spais, Assistant Publicist

All images provided by Seadog Chicago*

August 4, 2015

ZAP Style Notes: vineyard vines Comes to Chicago

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 10:24 am


Have you heard the news? vineyard vines (, the preppy East Coast men’s, women’s and children’s luxury brand, has set up shop in the Gold Coast (932 N. Rush St) and the suburb of Oak Brook at Oak Brook Mall. Surrounded by some of Chicago’s most luxurious brands, the Chicago location will have unique city items like “I Whale Chicago” tees alongside the iconic and classic Shep Shirts.

Make way for fall and head into the closest vineyard vines store to check out the newest collection, including Back to School looks for everyone. Browse through campus favorites and seasonal staples to find your perfect fit. It’s never too early to do some shopping!


– Katie Niemiec, Assistant Publicist

Photo credits for both images: vineyard vines

July 30, 2015

ZAP Style Notes: Festival Fashion

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 9:13 pm


With Lollapalooza right around the corner, it’s been a packed summer of music festivals in the city! While I’m sadly not attending Lolla this year, I still love all the boho chic festival looks. Here are my top five picks—so whether you are attending a festival this summer, or just jamming out on your own blocks from Grant Park, you can look the part. Enjoy!!

-Anna Schapiro

July 26, 2015

ZAP Bites: Eating My Way Through the West Loop

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 3:40 pm

Since starting my internship at Zapwater I quickly discovered my favorite lunch break activity: strolling the streets of the West Loop to find the best places to eat. I don’t know if I could call myself a “foodie” (can real foodies like Oreos as much as I do?), but I do like my food deep fried, plentiful and frequently consumed.

My favorite section in the West Loop so far is the block or two on Madison St. between N Racine and N Morgan. That’s where I found one of the best BBQ sandwiches and ice cream cone I’ve ever had.

I found Real Comfort American Kitchen by means of Google and Urbanspoon. Because I can’t hear the words “comfort food” and not be on board, I headed there first. Though I’ve been on a bit of a health kick lately, I threw all thoughts of kale and juice cleanses out the window and ordered the Sweet Heat BBQ Chicken Sandwich. What I really wanted in addition to this was one of their signature bowls of mac & cheese, but thoughts of an extra few minutes on the elliptical later made me settle for just the sandwich.

This sandwich was borderline euphoric, a comfort food experience unlike any other I’ve had before. While Yelp reviewers criticize the cheese sauce they generously dollop on top, it really was the best part. My only regret is not taking a picture of the sandwich before I devoured it.

Bonus points to Real Comfort for having an incredibly nice employee working the cashier who helped me decide what to get. I also met a cute family wearing Kansas City apparel who made me miss Missouri tremendously. (Never thought I would say that–this BBQ obviously evoked some strong emotions.)

Just two doors down I saw Cone, a gourmet ice cream shop I had passed by the day before. For a fleeting moment I internally struggled with whether or not I really needed ice cream, but quickly decided that the answer to that question is always a resounding “yes.”

I sampled the birthday cake flavor, which had the most sprinkles I have ever seen in ice cream. (This is my obligatory ice cream sample; I try this flavor everywhere I go in search for the best one. I take my ice cream very seriously and Cone is a strong contender for the top spot.)

Eventually I went with the most unique flavor they had: avocado lime. With its subtle avocado flavor and little bits of lime rind mixed throughout, this ice cream was utterly perfect. Though Cone is a little pricy, it was delicious and made for a great addition to my Instagram–which is really what life is all about these days, right?


Next on my list: Wishbone. Southern shrimp and grits are calling my name.

-Lily Zacharias, Intern

July 23, 2015

Around Town: Take a Vacation in Your Own City, Chicago Edition


Stay at a hotel
Indulge and treat yourself by staying at a luxurious hotel for your ‘vacation’. Who doesn’t enjoy wearing those fluffy robes and ordering late night room service? Check out a few of these cool hotels.

  • Virgin Hotel Chicago
  • This brand new hotel has re-imagined what a hotel should be, with unparalleled hospitality and quite possibly their best feature, eradication of minibar inflation.
  • Dana Hotel and Spa
  • A luxury boutique hotel and spa that serves your every need, the ultimate getaway!
  • AC Hotel
  • With an urban feel and European flair, this beautiful hotel is only steps from the Magnificent Mile!


Be a true tourist in your own city by going to some of Chicago’s staples, and then venture into some that you would have never thought to explore.

  • First stop, check out Gilt City Chicago to see all the great deals they have on activities. You’d be surprised on how much you can save on fun activities, like jet skis rentals and Cirque du Soleil shows!
  • Explore Block Thirty Seven.Do the shopping that you never have time for, then grab a quick bite before heading to Millennium Park.
  • Go to the Bean and snap a few selfies.
  • Let’s go to the beach! Grab your favorite vineyard vines swimsuit and have an amazing time relaxing on North Avenue Beach.
  • Crack open an Old Style beer at a Chicago Cubs game
  • Book a day cruise with Entertainment Cruises to go out on Lake Michigan to enjoy a warm summer day with a few cocktails. Or even reserve a spot on a dinner cruise to enjoy a magical evening looking over Chicago’s twinkling skyline.

Grab a Great Steak Dinner
Spoil yourself by grabbing a delicious steak dinner, we recommend making a reservation at either one of these two amazing restaurants


– Kaitlyn Wallace

Photo credit (in the order that they appear):

  2. Virgin Hotels, dana hotel and spa, AC Hotels Chicago Downtown
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