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Oh, goodies! At this products convention, they're left holding the swag
Los Angeles Times
What is it about a corporate freebie that makes it irresistible? Why do we, given the chance, grab up the T-shirts and the pens and the ball caps? A big industry revolves around putting such swag in our hands. Recently, some of its representatives converged on the Long Beach Convention Center with their logoed light sabers, branded bamboo cutting boards, embossed squares of chocolate, campaign-ready seed packets and socks.
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IMPORTANT SPPA DATES


Date Event Location
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


5 ways to improve employee engagement
By Michael J. Berens
Companies worldwide are grappling with how to increase employee engagement. It is estimated that in the U.S. alone, employee disengagement costs the economy as much as $500 billion per year. Many factors contribute to employees' sense of engagement, but several recent studies demonstrate that the workplace environment can have a profound effect. Together, these studies reveal five key strategies to improve engagement through workplace design.
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6 great marketing moves you've forgotten
Asbury Park Press
According to author Rhonda Abrams: The other day I was eating a terrific sandwich in a café near my office, when I noticed staff members wearing T-shirts saying, "We do business catering." I immediately texted my office manager and told her to order from this café for our next staff luncheon. Wow. An order from a T-shirt. This small business knew something many entrepreneurs forget — traditional marketing works. In your small business, do you feel pressured to tweet on Twitter? Post on Facebook? Pin to Pinterest? Regram on Instagram? Still trying to learn how to get your website found on Google? And why, oh why, can't you get your good reviews seen on Yelp?
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3 tips to take marketing strategy to whole team
Forbes
If you're looking to increase sales and gain an advantage over your competitors then you'll need to have marketing strategy. But, how can you present your awesome idea to the entire team? After all, you could have the greatest marketing strategy in the world, but, you can't put that plan in place until you convince your team. Instead of the typical boardroom presentation, why not give one of the following three techniques a shot?
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4 effective ways to combat laissez-faire leadership
By Betty Boyd
According to Cornell University professor Samuel Bacharach, "Good leaders create an atmosphere of security, trust and expertise to facilitate the creative process and ensure it doesn't go off course." Leadership is a great responsibility, and one that should not be taken lightly. However, there are people within organizations who are leaders in title only. Here are four ways an organization can combat this type of "leadership."
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The real marketing loss is old-fashioned skills — not the digital gap
The Guardian
Digital marketing is set to represent the majority of media investment in some countries for the first time this year and where they go, others will follow. Although digital has been a part of media plans for a decade or so, it is only in the last couple of years that this exponential growth has really entered the mainstream. The digital skills gap is a clear manifestation of this, with marketers of all levels struggling to keep up with the fast-paced nature of the industry and know how best to maximize the opportunity or evaluate the campaigns they are presented with.
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6 mobile marketing strategies that need to die
VentureBeat
When it comes to technology and innovation, the bandwagon mentality rarely works. By the time everyone is doing it or using it, it's probably nearing the end of its natural lifecycle. That's why the great innovators take a look at what everyone else is doing and then invent a new way to revolutionize technology. Mobile marketing is currently experiencing a mad dash toward the familiar and predictable.
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Indiana religious freedom law: Businesses should err on side of inclusion
By Ryan Clark
Recently, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed the new Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a law that supporters attest is meant to protect the religious freedoms of entities — including individuals and businesses. Many believe the controversial law opens the door for statewide discrimination against the lesbian and gay communities on the basis of religious freedom. For businesses wishing to abide by the new legislation, the most dangerous element of the law is that it's still being fought over and is not written in stone.
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SPPA eNews
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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