Friday, November 22, 2013

Our Purely Picks

The new iPhone app Purely Fashion celebrated the grand opening of their pop-up shop last night and we were more than happy to browse their selection of designer goods. Purely sells jewelry, accessories and clothing from some of the brightest design talent not only in Chicago, but across the globe.

One of the most popular items at the pop-up were the fur hats and scarves by C/FAN. It seems as though everyone gravitated towards them and was trying them on. They are so incredibly soft and cozy we didn't want to take them off!

We spotted the perfect party dresses by Rosie Clayton, owner of local boutique Roslyn. Their simple silhouettes and bow accents are right up Allison's alley. She hasn't stopped thinking about them since.

Emily's pick were the jeans at the Henry & Belle denim bar. Their skinny jeans came in colors and textures we've never seen before, like a blue velvet pattern and ikat print.

If you're in the market for a new handbag, you've got to stop by the store and check out the selection of Sterling & Burke and J.GEREN bags. Sterling & Burke's sturdy satchels will stand up to years of use and J.GEREN's Hudson bag is sure to be the new hot accessory around town.

Samantha Sleeper's designs are another favorite among the MDPR team, although last night we couldn't stop staring at these amazing drawings she whipped up to decorate the space. Her talent never ceases to amaze us.

Want to check out the pop-up for yourself? It's only around until December 24 at the 900 North Shops! Happy shopping!

By Allison Sickert, MDPR Publicist

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It’s Holiday Time in Chicago

With many of the Chicago’s favorite markets opening this weekend, including the Millennium Park Ice Rink and the Randolph Street Holiday Market, all we can think about are the holidays!  Be sure to hit up some of these great markets and shopping events to check some people off your shopping list.


Tru Bloom and Twig Designs Launch Party (910 N Damen Ave) 6 – 8 pm

“TALL” Fashion Event (Ann Taylor, 600 N Michigan Ave) 6 – 9 pm

Chicago Food Film Festival (900 Branch St) Visit website for various times

John Pinette (Park West, 322 W Armitage) 8 pm

Corey Cox (Bub City) 10 pm


‘Tis the Season to be Artistic (4401 N Ravenswood) 10 am – 6 pm

McCormick Tribune Ice Skating Rink (Millennium Park) 12 pm – 10 pm

Selena Gomez (Allstate Arena) 7:30 pm

Let Them Eat Chaos (Second City) 8 pm and 11 pm


Purely Fashion Pop-Up Shop (900 N Michigan Shops) 10 am – 6 pm

Randolph Street’s Holiday Market (Beaux Arts Plumber’s Hall) 10 am

An Evening with Y.O.U. (Loft 644) 8 – 11 pm

Keeping It Real with Loni Love (230 W North Ave) 8 – 10 pm


Holiday Hub (108 State St) 10 am

Medieval Craft Beer Festival (2001 Roselle Rd.) 1 pm

A Christmas Carol (Goodman Theatre) 2 pm

Paramore (UIC Pavillion) 7 – 9 pm

Do you have any extra special plans this weekend? Share them with us by leaving a comment or by tweeting us at @MonikaDixonPR!

By Ashley Siech, MDPR Contributor

Friday, November 15, 2013

Shopping Trip to Citizen Stone

On Wednesday, we decided to take a little shopping trip to Citizen Stone, the new store by former SARCA owner Alexis Cozzini at 1440 N. Dayton St. Unit 302. What better way to escape the stress of the work day than surrounding yourself with fabulous clothes and accessories?

The concept behind the store is a fictional woman known as "Stone." She is a mysterious, well-read, well-traveled and cultured fashionista with a passion for all things beautiful and creative. Whether it is fashion, travel, fine dining, beauty, interior design, the latest book, or the coolest tech accessory, Stone is your go-to aficionado on all things exceptional.

Citizen Stone carries women's clothing, shoes, jewelry, accessories, as well as home furnishings and accents, coffee table books, beauty products and tech accessories.

A few of our favorite things were the brightly colored blazers by Two Penny Blue, statement heels by Ivy Kirzhner, floral dresses perfect for a warm-weather getaway and desk accessories made out of recycled paper by Essent'ial. Allison even picked up some dog treats for her food-obsessed Lab.

Showroom hours are Monday-Friday 10 am-6 pm and by appointment only on weekends. Citizen Stone also offers personal shopping, in-home shopping, wardrobe and closet consultations, private events and trunk shows. We will definitely be coming back to finish up our holiday shopping!

By Allison Sickert MDPR Publicist

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Purely Fashion Trunk Shows

We’ve been reading about the new Purely Fashion iPhone app all over the place latelyin SPLASHChicago Magazine and Today's Chicago Woman to name a few. In a nutshell, Purely allows users to discover and follow up-and-coming and established designers from around the world.

Purely is hosting a holiday pop-up shop on level 4 of the 900 North Michigan Shops from November 15-December 24 and we have our credit cards ready. Almost every weekend of the pop-up, there will be a trunk show featuring a different designer and shoppers will be able to meet the designers as well!

For those of you wanting to check some people off your holiday shopping list, add these trunk show dates to your calendar.

Nov. 15, 16 and 17: Sterling and Burke 

Nov. 21: Grand Opening Event

Nov. 23 and 24: Bella Colletta

Nov. 26 and 27: EM Reservoir

Dec. 6, 7 and 8: Nashona

Dec. 11:  Henry & Belle

Dec. 13: Roslyn x Suite

Dec. 14 and 15: Samantha Sleeper and J. Geren

All week days of the pop-up:  Henry & Bell denim bar

For more information on Purely, visit their website. Happy shopping and we'll see you at the pop-up!

By Allison Sickert, MDPR Publicist 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Acchaa Spa Grand Opening

Mark your calendars for Monday, November 18th because Acchaa Beauty + Wellness Spa is throwing a grand opening party you won’t want to miss! The evening will be filled with ayurvedic inspired treatments including dosha readings, eyebrow threading, henna, makeup touch-ups, NuFace neck and facelifts and more. Guests will also enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and Sugar Hills Bakery sweets.

Ayurveda is considered the oldest medical science in the world and is based on holistically healing the body, mind and spirit. If you aren’t familiar with ayurvedic treatments, Acchaa’s grand opening is the perfect place to learn!

Stop by to experience not only the services, but the gorgeous Indian-inspired interior from hand carved wooden pieces to the peaceful ambience of the treatment rooms.

The party will be from 6:30-8:30 PM and you can reserve your spot by emailing Interested in learning more about Acchaa Spa? Visit their website and Facebook page.

By Ashley Siech, MDPR Contributor

Friday, November 8, 2013

Handy Twitter Tools

Public relations is a mixture of social media, marketing, event planning and so much more.  With social media being such a huge part of day to day life, I wanted to share some helpful Twitter tips that won’t only make managing your personal account easier, but tips that will work wonders in dealing with managing your clients’ accounts, especially when staying on top of search terms and hashtags can seem like a full-time job!

Check out these sites that make tweeting, tracking and reporting as easy as a click of a button:

Click to Tweet: This twitter tool provides the press and media with content and also encourages them to tweet about your story quickly while maintaining your preferred message.  All you have to do is go to the site, compose the tweet and then embed the link in the press release or pitch.  How easy could it get!
Mobile Alerts:  One of the best features to Twitter is the mobile alert.  You are able to set up alerts that will be sent directly to your phone via text message for any brand or person you follow. 

To set up Twitter alerts, go onto the Twitter feed for the person/brand you would like alerts from, click on the little icon of the person’s head and the last option in the dropdown menu is “turn on mobile notifications.” Once you set up the first one with your phone number and the times you want to receive the texts, the rest are just a click of a button!

Twilert:  This website is super helpful because it is basically like Google Alerts for Twitter!  You can set up any search term or hashtag and you’ll get a daily email with all the tweets containing that search item.  This tool is really great if you’re keeping tabs on your clients because any news tweeted about them is sent directly to you!

Tweet Reach:  This tool is a great reporting system for tweets.  You choose any hashtag or link that you want to track and you are quickly able to pull a Tweet Reach report to measure the number of tweets, their reach and other cool stats.  It even includes pie charts and a printable PDF that you can send to your clients.

Tchat: This tool is for those who participate in Twitter chats.  If you’ve ever been a part of one, you know how confusing and annoying it is to constantly refresh the tweets with the desired hashtag.  Well Tchat is the saving grace to chats on Twitter.  The site allows you to input the conversation hashtag and then easily follow the chat by logging in; if you want to chime in, all you do is compose the tweet and the hashtag is already attached!  Brilliant.

Try out some of these Twitter tricks and I promise, tracking, researching and tweeting will become a million times easier.

Do you have any other tools that might make social media easier to manage?  Let us know by leaving a comment or by tweeting us at @MonikaDixonPR!

By Ashley Siech, MDPR Contributor 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Fall is in Full Swing

Fall is in full swing and with it comes a lot of events. From galas to festivals and everything in between, this weekend will be anything but boring! One event that piqued our interest is Dining By Design, where guests will be wined and dined in a Renaissance themed atmosphere which includes a cocktail party, dinner party, gala and multiple silent auctions. This is one themed party you don’t want to miss out on!


DIFFA’S Cocktails By Design 2013 (Merchandise Mart) 5:30 – 8:30 pm

Cooking up Change (Bridgeport Art Center) 6 pm

Tru Blooms 2014 Fragrance Launch Party (The Green Goddess Boutique) 6 – 8 pm

FASHION Forward 2013 (Neiman Marcus, Northbrook) 6:30 – 9 pm

Trivia Night (Rockit Burger Bar) 8 pm


Science Storms (Museum of Science and Industry) 9:30 am

DIFFA’S Public Viewing and Silent Auction (Merchandise Mart) 10 am – 2 pm

7th Annual Lift a Glass (Kendall College) 6 pm

Art and Appetite (Art Institute of Chicago) 6 – 9:30 pm

All Girl Frankenstein (Zoo Studio) 8 pm


Lori Mesa Fine Jewelry Trunk Show (The Perfect Thing – Wheaton, IL) 10 am

DIFFA’S Table Hop & Taste (Merchandise Mart) 11 am – 3 pm

Alyce Paris Spring Fashion Show (Untitled) 2 – 5 pm

The Wheel (Steppenwolf Theatre) 3 pm and 7:30 pm

Barbie in Chicago (108 N. State St.) 6 pm

Meals on Wheels Celebrity Chef Ball (Zhou Bart Center) 6:30 pm

DIFFA’s Dining By Design Gala (Merchandise Mart) 7 – 11:30 pm


Second Sunday (Hyde Park Art Center) 1 – 4pm

Chicago Humanities Festival: Rainpan 43 (Museum of Contemporary Art) 3 pm

Sleeping With Sirens Concert (House of Blues) 5:45 pm

Uptown Poetry Slam (The Green Mill) 7 pm

Umbrella Music Festival (Constellation: 3111 Western Ave) 8 pm

Do you have any extra special plans this weekend? Share them with us by leaving a comment or by tweeting us at @MonikaDixonPR!

By Ashley Siech, MDPR Contributor

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Propel Forward By Writing Effective Emails

Email has overtaken the telephone as the primary communication tool in the business world. Whether we are looking for a job, trying to keep in contact with clients or simply trying to expand our network, we typically send a quick email. The only problem with sending emails is that a lot of people don’t know how to send a good one. If your email is something someone actually wants to read, you’ll get the response you desire more quickly.

Read on to gain some insight about sending an effective email and increasing your chance of receiving a positive response:

1. Be Concise
If you have to send an email that’s paragraphs long, it might be easier to pick up the phone. Not only are long emails unenjoyable to read, but people will most likely skim them and miss some important points. Try to limit your emails to 50 words or less. If you have to type a long email, try bullet points or bolding important parts.

2. Include a Clear Action Item
If the email you are sending does not have a clear action presented, there is no way for the person on the receiving end to reciprocate! If you are emailing simply to introduce yourself, make sure you have an action, like questions, in mind. You ultimately want to give that person a reason to respond and continue the conversation.

3. Do Your Research
Almost anyone will be willing to help you out if you have done something to help yourself out first.  The most important research you can do when sending an email is finding out the name of the person who will be receiving the email.  Don’t start your email with the generic “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Hello Blogger.”  Most emails that start with a generalized greeting will be sent straight to the trash.

4. Use Flattery
When using flattery, make sure it’s real, authentic flattery— we can all determine fake from real. Don’t be afraid to mention if you’re a huge fan, think this person is interesting or if a company is your dream employer. Not only does true flattery make the other person feel good, but it also shows that you are enthusiastic and an engaged person who goes after what you want. After all, you are writing emails in order to get where and what you want, so you might as well put in these simple efforts to make sure they get noticed!

Do you have any other tips for successful emails?  Share with us by leaving a comment on this post or by tweeting us at @MonikaDixonPR!

By Ashley Siech, MDPR Contributor

Friday, November 1, 2013

Is It Monday Yet?

Mondays usually aren't our favorite day of the week, but we are actually looking forward to this Monday! 

If you haven’t visited our blog or social media pages in a while, let us fill you in. Public Hotel will be the place to be Monday night for the private viewing of the finale episode of The Real Housewives of Miami. What’s even more exciting is that the star of the show, Joanna Krupa, will be accompanying us! 

In the final episode, Joanna ties the knot with longtime fiancĂ©, Romain Zago, and in celebration of their nuptials, MDPR, Public Hotel and CS Brides want to create a special night while watching her say “I do.”

The evening will begin at 7:30 with an intimate cocktail party with champagne and hors d’oeuvres. The atmosphere will be romantic, glamorous and dream-like. The room filled with beautiful white flowers emulating Joanna’s summer wedding.

We are beyond excited for this event and with all of our great sponsors, Monday will surely be a night to remember! Don’t have your ticket yet?  No worries, head on over to All of the proceeds will benefit Joanna’s charity, Angels for Animal Rescue!

While you wait, here’s a preview of our wonderful sponsors sending their well wishes to the new Mrs!

We hope to see you Monday; it will be a spectacular event you won’t want to miss out on!
In the meantime, have a fun and fabulous weekend!

By Ashley Siech, MDPR Contributor