SPPA eNews
Feb. 14, 2014

PPEF celebrates 25th anniversary, 2014 scholarship period now open
Promotional Products Education Foundation is pleased to announce that the 2014 PPEF scholarship program is now taking applications for the 2014 - 2015 school year with $125,000 in scholarships to be awarded. This is an increase of $25,000 over previous years in celebration of PPEF’s 25th anniversary. Since its inception in 1989, PPEF has awarded approximately $1,142,000 in financial assistance.More

Penn State requires safety agreement with apparel makers
The Associated Press via Claims Journal
Penn State says it will require companies that make university-licensed clothing in Bangladesh to sign a contract that ensures workers’ safety. The Centre Daily Times said the policy will be effective at the end of March and is in response to safety hazards in the southeast Asian country, where a garment factory collapsed last year and killed more than 1,100 workers. If companies do not sign the legally binding contract, called an “accord on fire and building safety,” the university will end the license agreement.More

US Postal Service records loss of $354 million in first quarter
Go Print and Promo
The U.S. Postal Service ended the first quarter of its 2014 fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2013 – Dec. 31, 2013) with a net loss of $354 million. This marks the 19th of the last 21 quarters that it has sustained a loss. Though the Postal Service has been able to grow revenue by capitalizing on opportunities in Shipping and Package Services and has aggressively reduced operating costs, losses continue to mount due to the persistent decline of higher-margin First-Class Mail, stifling legal mandates, and its inflexible business and governance models.More

Social media vs. SEO — what's more important for small businesses?
Business 2 Community
The buzz around social media has been around for nearly half a decade now. In some cases, businesses that had a huge following on Facebook did in fact manage to translate that popularity in real world success. But is it as important as an effective search engine strategy (SEO or SEM)? Are one million Facebook followers more vital than a number one position on Google for your most targeted search term?More

American Apparel strikes marketing gold in Sochi
Could Sochi turn into a sea of bright red hoodies, scarves, beanies and duffel bags? If so, American Apparel may have pulled off one of the greatest ambush marketing campaigns in Olympics history. The Los Angeles-based brand, which has no official sponsorship ties to the winter events in Sochi, has launched a line of merchandise based on the Olympic charter’s Principle 6, which states that "Sport does not discriminate on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise.”More

How to use eco-friendly tactics to increase brand recognition with trade show giveaways
Trade Show News Network
The takeaways you give out at a trade show may seem like a nice gesture to your customers and a token of your appreciation, but these items can speak volumes about your company as they increase your brand awareness and recognition. When you incorporate eco-friendly elements into your promotional items for marketing at trade shows, you can create a valuable product that will have a positive impact on the planet, your brand and your target market.More

PPEF celebrates 25th anniversary, 2014 scholarship period now open
Promotional Products Education Foundation is pleased to announce that the 2014 PPEF scholarship program is now taking applications for the 2014 - 2015 school year with $125,000 in scholarships to be awarded.More

THE Show of the South is rescheduled for March
THE Show of the South, which was postponed due to last week's winter storm, has been rescheduled for March 17th and 18th in Birmingham, Ala. SPPA has re-booked the original venues for the March event. The seminars and casino party will be at the Birmingham Marriott and the show will return to the Cahaba Grand Conference Center. More

Here's the swag all fans will get at the Super Bowl
Business Insider
In anticipation of the New Jersey Super Bowl and the possibility of bad weather, everybody attending this year's big game will receive a seat cushion with an attached gift bag that includes a number of items to help the fans stay warm. Mike Francesa of WFAN in New York City got ahold of one of the Super Bowl seat cushions and revealed all of the items in the bag.More

How Nordstrom uses Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Google+
E Consultancy
Nordstrom has attracted some 2.4m "likes" to its Facebook page, which has a particularly attractive header image. It posts several updates per day with a surprisingly relentless focus on directing traffic to its ecommerce store. The standard format is to post an attractive product image with a line of text and a hyperlink to a category page on Nordstrom.com. While Nordstrom isn’t the only retailer that mainly posts details of its own ecommerce store, it is in a minority of brands that employ this tactic.More

4 steps to beat any niche website at content marketing
Search Engine Journal
Bill Belew can tell you not only how to win at search (where he learned his strategy) but also how to win in any area including content marketing, social media marketing, inbound marketing, and in any niche online. Many marketers will swear you can’t guarantee a top ranking. That’s just not true — it just requires work. More

How Amazon thinks it can get you to hit 'buy' in 2 seconds or less
Amazon's recently released mobile app came with a new feature that's meant to make you buy your entire shopping list with as few clicks as possible. In the past, Sam Hall, Amazon's vice president of Mobile, has talked about making the mobile shopping experience one where the customer goes from "wanting to buy" to buying in 30 seconds. But this latest update to the main Amazon iOS app has got him talking about a much smaller window. More