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PPEF 2015 scholarship period now open
PPEF
Promotional Products Education Foundation is pleased to announce that the 2015 PPEF scholarship program is now taking applications for the 2015-2016 school year with $150,000 in scholarships available, the most ever awarded in a single year. Since its inception in 1989, PPEF has awarded approximately $1,267,000 in financial assistance. Funded by Promotional Products Association International and donations from the promotional products industry, the scholarship program enables youth and professionals to continue their education on a collegiate level.
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IMPORTANT SPPA DATES


Date Event Location
March 18 Jackson Promo Lunch Jackson, Mississippi
April 22 New Orleans Promo Lunch New Orleans
May 20 Mobile Promo Lunch Mobile, Alabama
June 17 Shreveport Promo Lunch Shreveport, Louisiana
July 15 Lafayette Promo Lunch Lafayette, Louisiana
Aug. 19 Decatur Promo Lunch Decatur, Alabama
Sept. 9 Louisiana Fall Showcase Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Sept. 10 Mississippi Fall Showcase Jackson, Mississippi
Sept. 11 Alabama Fall Showcase Birmingham, Alabama
Oct. 21 Holiday Showcase Pensacola Beach, Florida


For more information on these SPPA events, go to www.sunbeltppa.org.


INDUSTRY NEWS


How to build custom Facebook audiences for marketing, advertising
Search Engine Journal
Over the last few years, Facebook has been home to the world's largest Internet audience, and 2015 is shaping up to be another major year. When it comes to online marketing and advertising, Facebook has been a very valuable tool for businesses of all sizes and categories. From small companies that manage their own pages to large corporations that employ entire social media departments, Facebook has become the platform of choice in terms of establishing a solid online presence.
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Managing cybercrime risk in your business
By Dr. David Hillson
Cybercrime is a rapidly growing threat to the global economy. However, it is not well-defined, and it is often confused with cyberwarfare or cyberterrorism. Risk professionals need to understand cybercrime and its links to risk management, as we can provide valuable assistance in countering this significant threat to business and society. Unfortunately, many businesses don't know what cybercrime looks like, how likely they are to be affected, what the extent of the impact might be, or how best to manage it.
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Twitter acquires niche, a talent agency for social-media stars
WIRED
Twitter has agreed to acquire Niche, a startup that facilitates advertising deals for social media stars. The social networking company announced the news recently, with a blog post, but did not disclose terms. Launched in 2013, Niche bills itself as a social media talent agency. It scours services like YouTube and Vine — another Twitter property — for breakout stars and signs them to mainstream media deals.
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How marketing teams can capitalize on demographic shifts
CIO
Many modern businesses live and die by the stories they tell — and the stories that are told about them. It's crucial to strike the appropriate tone in today's always-connected forum of oversaturated media and crowded mobile and social distribution channels, but it's no longer about one narrative from a single voice. The canvas for corporate storytelling is not flat or linear, and businesses can spread their stories by empowering employees, customers and influencers to become a part of the narratives as they unfold.
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For small businesses, funds are now a click away
Huffington Post
It hasn't always been easy for small businesses to get bank money. The problem? Their inability to satisfy traditional bank underwriting guidelines. In "The Credit Cleanup Book" I outlined this lengthy criteria, which typically includes: three years of tax returns, financial statements, Articles of Incorporation and tax IDs, a clear ChexSystems record, personal credit reports, and general proof of liquidity ... did I mention liquidity? Businesses live and die by it.
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Marketing: What's technology got to do with it?
Forbes
According to author Daniel Newman: As modern marketers, we have entered a world where the number of choices we have in terms of how we do our job is almost endless. The days of the simple media buy are gone, and now we have to deal with digital marketing, SEO, SEM, paid, owned, earned, social media and so much more. Social and PR are integrated, and so are search and content–we can't and shouldn't think of one without the other.
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Old-school sales techniques matter more than ever
Digiday
Despite the advances in programmatic buying and cries of the post-salesperson age, old school sales is still driving the energy and soul of the of media industry. It's true programmatic buying can provide ease, efficiency and measured, marginal results. However, all truly great digital marketing requires an element of risk: big, outlandish custom executions that capture users' attention and drive meaningful change. We see this in the success of brands like Vice, as they produce elaborate experiences in the digital realm that stretch far beyond the capabilities of a programmatic buy.
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4 tips to making a positive first impression
By Anne Rose
Much has been written about executing amazing customer service, but let's focus today on one aspect that's immediately implementable: first impressions. You've heard the axiom, "First impressions count." They do! So why do so many people pay so little attention to how they first greet or interact with a potential client? It takes a few seconds to properly impress a new client, and it takes days or weeks (or never) to undo a negative first impression.
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