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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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PPAMS MidSouth PromoShow: one of the best in recent history
PPAMS
The 20th anniversary of the PPAMS MidSouth PromoShow, which wrapped up yesterday, will be remembered as one of the best in recent history. Some of the highlights included:
  • 112 booths — including 16 new exhibitors
  • 339 distributors in attendance at the show — the most since 2009
  • over 100 different attendees for our seminars on Wednesday
  • a full house for our first-ever Fashion Show
  • sold-out Membership & Awards dinner
  • 26 companies joined PPAMS at the show
  • a new product area featuring almost 50 items
  • training on the show floor from SAGE and Thread F/X
  • almost 100 people took time to stop by the BIC Graphic booth to write a letter to someone serving over seas and pick up information and send them a care package
  • Mike Hopper with Mike Hopper Promotions won $800 in the Poker Run
"We appreciate everyone who supported our show this year — the exhibitors, attendees, sponsors and volunteers all had a hand in our success and we couldn’t be more grateful," said Matt Traverse, president of PPAMS. "Every change we made for this year's show was based on feedback from last year. We look forward to hearing suggestions from everyone in the coming weeks as we begin to plan how 2016 can be even better!"

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Best of PPAMS winners announced
PPAMS
The Best of PPAMS winners were announced on Wednesday night to a packed house at the Music City Center. Over 100 people gathered to celebrate with the Best of PPAMS winners and Hall of Fame inductees. The evening also included entertainment from two of Music City's top songwriters — Steve Dean and Steve Williams.

Congratulations to the people and companies who were the "Best of PPAMS" in 2014:

Supplier Rep of the Year - Chuck Holland, Prime Resources; Distributor Account Executive of the Year – company with 6 or more sales reps - Angela Morris, Geiger; Distributor Account Executive of the Year – company with 5 or fewer sales reps - JoAnna Howe, McEwen Cherry; Best Supplier Website - Hit Promotional Products; Best Distributor Website - US Imprints; Best Use of Social Media by a Supplier – Jetline; Best Use of Social Media by a Distributor - Angela Morris, Geiger; Most Innovative Product of 2014 - Customeized Kits from Gold Bond; Supplier of the Year - Hit Promotional Products; Distributor of the Year – company with 6 or more sales reps – Geiger; Distributor of the Year – company with 5 or fewer sales reps - Francis Communications; Multi-Line Rep of the Year - Caroline Naylor, Naylor Enterprises. The inaugural group of individuals was inducted into the newly-created PPAMS Hall of Fame during the dinner. This year’s inductees were the founders of PPAMS and included Greg Francis (posthumously), Jon and Peggy Hock, Natalie Pyatt Townes, Bobby Rosenblum, Dan Townes, and Eric Wittel.

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IMPORTANT PPAMS DATES
Date Event Location
May 5 Chattanooga Lunch & Learn Chattanooga, Tennessee
May 12 Jackson Lunch & Learn Jackson, Tennessee
Aug. 11 Memphis Road Show Memphis, Tennessee
Aug. 12 Nashville Road Show LP Field East Stadium Club: Nashville, Tennessee
Aug. 13 Knoxville Road Show Rothchild's: Knoxville, Tennessee
Aug. 19 Decatur Lunch & Learn Decatur, Alabama
Oct. 6 Knoxville Lunch & Learn Knoxville, Tennessee
Oct. 20 Memphis Lunch & Learn Memphis, Tennessee



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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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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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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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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