Tag Archives: Promotional Products Association International

A Brief Update From Your Association

Happy belated Independence Day. I hope you are doing well and were able to enjoy a long holiday weekend, taking a welcome and well-deserved break with friends and family. I know many of you are struggling with the new challenges brought on by the recent spike in COVID cases and its impact on our families and businesses. Hopefully, you were able to set all that aside for a day or two to rest, relax, reset, and refocus.

This week I only have a few items I want to cover:

  • Payroll Protection Program Extension
  • Gathering Industry Sales Data
  • PPAI’s Rapid Re-planning Efforts
As previously reported in PPB Newslink, the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate passed legislation to extend the Payroll Protection Program deadline until August 8, giving you more time to take advantage of money allocated to small businesses. President Trump signed the legislation Saturday. The PPP provides forgivable loans of up to $10 million to small business to help meet payroll and other day-to-day operation expenses. Be sure and take advantage of this opportunity. At last report, billions of dollars were still available. If you need more information, visit the U.S. Small Business Administration website.

In the next week or so, PPAI will be sending out a survey focused on benchmarking our industry sales through the first two quarters of 2020. While we’ve heard numerous reports of companies being significantly down, we’ve also heard from others who have found ways to pivot and make progress. Additionally, there are signs that ‘traditional’ (non-PPE) business has been picking up overall. Help us report reliable information on industry sales by responding. The survey will have no more than 10 questions and won’t take longer than a few minutes to complete. Whether it’s a “misery loves company” scenario or one that offers cautious optimism, this benchmarking survey will give us some clear indication of where we stand as an industry and hopefully some best practices and benchmarks for moving forward.

I also want to update you on the steps we’re taking at PPAI to ensure the well-being of your Association, as well as best position us to help you and your business over the coming months. The short-term strategic initiative we are working on, which we are referring to as the rapid re-planning process, is focused on providing you with the programs, products, and services you’ll need over the next 12 months, while also taking into consideration the fiscal well-being of PPAI. As part of this process, we are looking at each division of PPAI and examining it within three possible scenarios for what the industry and the Association will look like a year from now. We are considering what makes the most sense in a best-case, worse-case or no-change scenario. While in our normal strategic planning process, the board of directors would look out three to five years, this rapid re-planning process is short-term, focused, and meant to guide us through the next year. If you would like more information on how to implement this process in your own business, I can put you in touch with the expert facilitator guiding us through this process.

As always, you have my email and phone number. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and share your thoughts and suggestions. They are always welcome.

Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay productive.

Paul

Advocating For Our Industry In Good Times And Bad

One of the most important things an association does for its members is advocacy. This is at the core of every industry association, including yours. In both good times and bad, PPAI focuses on informing influential, targeted audiences on the power of promotional products and the businesses and stories that make up the industry.

In recent years, our efforts on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. and with the GET IN TOUCH!  advertising campaign have paid great dividends. Most federal and state legislators are well aware of the promotional products industry. There is also significant awareness of our industry’s relevance in the advertising and marketing communities. Complementing the awareness driven by the GET IN TOUCH! campaign are the multi-million-dollar marketing campaign tools members are encouraged to use in their own marketing efforts. These robust advocacy efforts continue today and are the focus of this update.

This year, as I mentioned in a previous update, we’ve had to cancel our annual Legislative Education and Action Day (L.E.A.D.) and our in-person visits to D.C. Instead, next week we will embark on a virtual L.E.A.D.—L.E.A.D. From Home—one that every member can participate in. Personally, I will miss seeing those of you who would have joined us in D.C., but the current situation leaves us with no other options.

We urge all of you to join us in thanking your members of Congress for their support of small businesses. Encourage them to continue to give you the tools and resources you need to keep your doors open and your employees paid because small businesses will be the backbone of this country’s economic recovery.

Here’s how to participate in this year’s L.E.A.D. From Home:

  • Mark your calendars for this program starting Monday, May 4.
  • Email or call your member of Congress.
  • Forward the provided emails to your team members and industry peers and encourage them to participate as well.

Our hope is that these messages will keep our industry top of mind in Congress and help to ensure a brighter future for the industry that has been so good to all of us.

The GET IN TOUCH! campaign, which was recently updated, can also be used without leaving your home. It is the perfect way to keep your brand and messaging in front of your customers. The campaign is even more important now as you work to stay in touch with your customers and prospects. Get the buyer outreach toolkit, and take advantage of the thought-provoking images, engaging videos, new research-based infographics and more. In fact, many members are currently working with our staff to customize their own branded broadcast-ready video spots that were created as part of the campaign. To get your customized video spot, reach out to Get In Touch! program manager, Kim Todora at KimT@ppai.org.

Finally, I want to update you on some of the organizational changes we’ve had to make here at PPAI. As I committed to you in March, our primary goals during this period of COVID-19 uncertainty are twofold. First, to make sure we continue to provide essential services to members and the promotional products industry and marketplace. Second, to make the necessary business decisions to ensure that there is a strong and relevant trade association in place to help you recover and rebuild when the business constraints of the pandemic are eased, if not lifted.

PPAI is a lagging indicator of our industry’s business climate, specifically as it relates to membership recruitment and retention, whereby reported sales volume determines the dues payable to the Association. Membership dues account for about 50 percent of the Association’s total revenue. The other half of our revenue—and the driver behind most of our profitability—involves trade shows, live events, conferences, advertising, sponsorships and registrations fees. So how will the pandemic impact PPAI in the short- and long-term?

We expect member companies will continue to experience an annual decline in sales which will adversely affect the dues revenue we collect. On top of that, to the extent that I can reasonably foresee the future, those other revenue sources will suffer significant declines through 2020, somewhat predictably through 2021 and quite possibly beyond that. We just do not know, but, pursuant to our strategic plan, we strive to see as far as possible into the future to best gauge the business climate for our members, the industry and the Association. In any event, for the first time since I joined PPAI over 20 years ago, normal Association operations will face significant losses.

As a result, I, like so many of you, have implemented staffing, salary and benefit reductions to help PPAI manage through this challenging economic time. As a 501(c)(6) trade association, PPAI was not eligible to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program which might have assisted us in mitigating staff cuts. These actions are never easy, nor should they be. And they were not taken without deep concern and late nights of worry for our internal colleagues who have worked diligently to help make PPAI the Mark of a Professional.

In addition to staff cuts, we’ve also made changes to the structure of the business with the consolidation of departments and management. All of this was advanced with a mandate to retain the essential products and services you are promised as part of your membership in PPAI.

My goal in all of this is to manage and restructure PPAI, your Association, to reflect current realities and likely scenarios we will all face in the near and foreseeable future.

As I communicated to the PPAI team, we have no crystal ball to tell us when the economic constraints of the pandemic will end or when our businesses will recover. But, I remain positive—the constraints will end and our businesses will recover. Even then, industry events will likely be reduced in size and profitability for the foreseeable future.

As we regroup and reposition the Association for a post-coronavirus future, you have my commitment that the leadership team—and a smaller, leaner, restructured and reimagined PPAI—will work tirelessly to make thoughtful decisions to maximize the value of your membership.

Our challenges are real and pressing, both as an association and an industry of professionals. But, our resolve is as intense as ever. And, this Association will move forward as the Mark of a Professional to serve you and the promotional products industry in this most challenging of times to ensure promotional products and our associated businesses continue to be a cost-effective and powerful marketing media.

In my next update I’ll share the latest on The PPAI Expo. So, stay tuned and stay healthy.

Paul

Business NOT As Usual

Paul Bellantone, CAE, PPAI President & CEOA Video Message from PPAI President & CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE

I hope this latest update finds you doing well. It’s week 4 for me and the PPAI staff to work remotely and learn to live with the COVID-19 new normal. While it doesn’t appear that we will be headed back to the office anytime soon, we are starting to see some good news across the country as social distancing seems to be having the desired effect. Hopefully, we are beginning to turn the corner.

In the meantime, it’s certainly not business as usual for PPAI or our industry. I’ve alluded to it multiple times in previous updates, we are all having to make some very tough decisions. What’s different about making these tough decisions, as Seth Godin pointed out in a recent blog, is for the first time, challenges and tough decisions are not individually unique as they may have been in the past. With the coronavirus pandemic, we are all experiencing difficult times as a result of the same incident. And, as a result, it’s virtually impossible to get away from it. Everyone is talking about the same challenges and grueling decisions. That is making it even tougher to remain positive.

But with trying times and difficult decisions comes the opportunity for creative solutions. For PPAI it’s finding ways to:

  • bring you the content you desire today
  • offer you social and business interaction platforms
  • generate learning opportunities
  • and facilitate business.

I hope my previous updates have shown you how we are doing just that. Because while it may not be business as usual, business still needs to get done. You still need to communicate with customers. You still need to maintain a brand presence, and you still need to focus on the future—regardless of how uncertain you may be about what the future holds.

PPAI UPDATES:

Supplier Business Updates Editing Made Easier – The most viewed page on PPAI’s Coronavirus Update webpage is the Supplier Alert page. This is where industry suppliers are updating their status as it pertains to any business disruption caused by the Coronavirus outbreak. We’ve now made it easier for suppliers to keep that information up to date. Suppliers can simply login to their PPAI My Site account and add the latest information.

Pyramid Award Submission Fees Waived – Being able to show clients your award-winning campaigns is one of the best ways to help position you as a solution provider as your clients look for ways to rebuild their businesses. I know it may not be on the top of your list right now, but as mentioned earlier, we can’t lose sight of the future. So let’s celebrate creativity, innovation and collaboration. No fees for submissions or return costs for the PPAI Pyramid Award 2021 competition. The competition will be open April 27–May 29, 2020.

Helpful Advice in PCT – Every day our team is offering up a dose of practical advice and thought-provoking ideas in Promotional Consultant Today. Recent issues tackled topics such as how to approach selling in a global crisis and shared tips for dealing with unexpected change. You can find all issues here and subscribe for free to get PCT delivered to your inbox every day.

Tech Summit Cancelled – Another tough decision has been made. We’ve decided to cancel the 2020 PPAI Tech Summit, which was scheduled for September 21-23 in Austin, Texas. However, keep your eyes open for details on a virtual Tech Summit.

Share What You Are Doing For Your Clients/Community – As mentioned last week, we are collecting positive stories to highlight how PPAI members are helping their clients and communities. I encourage you to share your stories.

ADDITIONAL HELPFUL LINKS:

Please know that I continue to hope and pray for all of you and a resolution to this crisis in the near future. I’ll end with a quote from the same Seth Godin blog. “The boat is really, really big and we’re all in it.” Seth Godin

Let’s stick together, help each other out and know that the promotional products industry is and will be around to help our neighbors, communities and nation bounce back from this. And for that, we can feel proud!

Sincerely,
Paul

With Every Challenge Comes New Opportunity

This week, I’ve chosen to take this email in a different direction and hopefully strike a decidedly different tone than what we are all hearing on the news. There’s enough bad news, blame and uncertainty out there already. I certainly don’t want to add to it here. Yes, this update does come with notifications of PPAI programs that could be helpful to you as I’ve shared in past weeks. I’ve even included our latest event cancellation announcements – something we’d prefer not to have to do. But, with every challenge comes opportunity. I want to be thankful, optimistic and focus on the future. I challenge each of you to try and do the same.

I’m thankful for my family and friends who, through these odd times of social distancing, have found creative ways to stay in close contact. I’m thankful for the PPAI board and the hundreds of amazing volunteers who continue to lead, engage and contribute even as their own businesses struggle. I am thankful for the dedicated and talented staff, who are busy reimagining and redesigning our benefits, programs and events in order to provide essential business services today and create a viable and relevant Association for the future. I’m thankful that I work in an industry that is well-positioned to help others during this crisis and will be here to help them grow their businesses when it’s over. No industry is better suited than ours to help businesses stay connected with their customers during a crisis, reemerge after a crisis and reconnect with their customers when the tough times are over. I’m proud to be a part of it.

Most of all, I am thankful for you, our members, who continue to support us in both good times and bad not unlike what I’m sure you are doing for your clients and community.

In fact, we’d like to know how you are currently staying in touch with your customers and what good things you are doing to help them and your community in these tough times. Take just a moment and tell us about it.

Below are the updates for the week. Remember, you can find the latest information and resources at www.ppai.org and stay in touch with the community of industry professionals on Promo Connect.

Town Hall Discussion with ASI President and CEO Tim Andrews and Myself – On April 1, I participated in a digital town hall-style discussion with ASI President and CEO Tim Andrews to examine the COVID-19-related issues facing the industry. We discussed the challenges both organizations are working through, the effects on our members, their businesses and their customers, and details about the CARES Act that will hopefully provide some relief.

Additionally, there were many questions that we couldn’t get to due to time constraints. Watch for responses on the coronavirus page beginning this week.

I am thankful for PPAI’s Tina Filipski and ASI’s Michele Bell’s fabulous facilitation and not letting Tim or me veer too far off track.

CARES Act: What It Means To You – Last week PPAI held a webinar on the CARES Act which modifies elements of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 to help businesses mitigate their coronavirus-related losses. It provides disaster relief for industry companies, including payments, loans with forgiveness options and direct payments to businesses and individuals.

I am thankful for the great work of PPAI’s general counsel, Cory Halliburton and our DC Lobbyist, Cliff Andrews for joining PPAI’s own Anne Stone and Maurice Norris on this important and timely webinar.

We will host another webinar on Thursday to once again review the CARES Act. If you have questions, please send them to Anne Stone in advance of the webinar and we’ll do our best to answer them.

PPB Rising Stars – Nominations are now open for PPB’s annual Rising Stars recognition program. Even in these uncertain times, up-and-coming young leaders are continuing to make their mark on their companies and communities. Help us celebrate them. Nominations are accepted through April 23.

I am thankful that there are up-and-coming young leaders who will continue to reimagine and reinvigorate this industry. Now more than ever, we must find new ways to drive value and build community and, relevance for our customers, members and industry.

Idea Source – Are you currently trying to engage with your clients? Are you working on new ideas to help them weather this current storm? If so, I would encourage you to utilize PPAI’s Idea Source. You’ll be able to search PPAI Pyramid Award-winning campaigns for creative ideas and successful campaigns. We have waived the subscription fee and Idea Source is now available free of charge to all PPAI members.

I am thankful for the great ideas and award-winning programs that demonstrate the power of promotional products and keep our industry’s success both memorable and measurable.

Expo East Cancelled – Based on the current COVID-19 situation, and the importance of your health and safety, we have made the difficult decision to cancel Expo East, effective immediately. We feel this is a sensitive and responsible action considering the shelter-in-place restrictions in many areas across the United States and the recent announcement deeming the Atlantic City Convention Center a temporary field hospital to accommodate expanded capacity. The cancellation includes all education sessions on Wednesday, June 3 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City as well as the trade show exhibits on Thursday, June 4 and Friday, June 5 at the Atlantic City Convention Center.

I am thankful for the dedicated volunteers and staff at SAAGNY who have entrusted PPAI with the management and leadership of this renowned East Coast event.

PPAI’s Women’s Leadership Conference Cancelled – We are disappointed to announce the cancellation of PPAI’s Women’s Leadership Conference. WLC is one of our most highly attended and strongly-supported programs among PPAI’s annual events. However, given the current situation and following discussions with past attendees and the WLC workgroup, we’ve decided to cancel this year’s event which was scheduled for June 22-24 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Stay tuned for other opportunities and plans.

I am thankful for the understanding and guidance of this dedicated group of women leaders and attendees who have made this annual gathering, one focused on growth, community and empowerment. And as we look to reinvent this program for the future, I know they will be around with the same enthusiasm.

Thanks again for all your support. We hope you continue to find ways to remain productive, optimistic and focused while adjusting to these unprecedented times. If you have any questions, we will do our best to answer them quickly.

Sincerely,

Paul

Navigating Uncharted Waters

Update with PPAI's Paul Bellantone

A Message from PPAI Pres. & CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE

First and foremost, I hope you, your families and your coworkers are healthy and doing as well as possible under these uncertain and trying conditions. Like all of you, the team and I at PPAI continue to monitor the situation, adjust, adapt and continue to hope and pray for improvement. Now, as always, my promise to you is that PPAI will not lose its focus – you and your business. The promotional products community has weathered many challenges in the past and we always come out stronger because we stand and work together. Our primary goals over the next days and weeks are twofold. First, to make sure we can continue, along with our service partners, to provide essential services to members and the industry. Second, to make the necessary business decisions to ensure that there is a strong and relevant trade association in place to help you recover and rebuild when this crisis ends.

Video Update

As the news about COVID-19 continues to pour in, I understand many of you are seeking some sense of normalcy in a situation that is far from normal. With all of this in mind, I want to remind you of some resources that are available to you, as well as update you on a few things:

  • Coronavirus Information Page – This page is continuously updated and includes helpful links to the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, industry news as it relates to the virus, the latest updates on PPAI events, and a recently added section for regional event updates. https://www.ppai.org/coronavirus-information/ 
  • Supplier Status Update Page – We’ve created a web page for suppliers to share status updates about their business operations. This is an informative resource to learn about new safety measures, adjusted hours, temporary closures and factory cleaning methods straight from suppliers. https://www.ppai.org/unique/coronavirus-related-supplier-updates/
  • Promo Connect – Promo Connect, PPAI’s online community, is a valuable resource to directly connect with other industry professionals. We are already seeing a spike in communication activity via this platform on a variety of topics. https://community.ppai.org/home
  • Free Online Learning – We are making all education courses (more than 300 offerings) via PPAI’s online education platform free to PPAI members. https://onlineeducation.ppai.org/
  • Working From Home – Out of an abundance of caution and under the direction of local officials, PPAI staff members are now working from home. We prepared for this likelihood in advance and as a result, you should experience no interruption in service.

Additionally, PPAI is having to make some very tough decisions regarding events:

  • Promotional Products Work Week Postponed – We will postpone this week-long event, originally scheduled for May 4-8, to coincide with Advertising Week, October 5-8, where we already invest heavily in industry advocacy activities. The industry and Association will use this as a rallying point to begin rebuilding and the early October dates can be both timely and fortuitous.
  • PPAI’s Legislative Education and Action Day (L.E.A.D.) Cancelled – Our annual visit to Washington, D.C., originally scheduled for May 6-7, in which our members represent and lobby on behalf of our great industry, has been cancelled. However, we intend to encourage all members to reach out to their members of Congress to thank them for their work on behalf of all of us and ask them to keep the needs of small businesses top-of-mind.
  • SPARK Conference Cancelled – While we recognize the importance of young professionals to the well-being and future success of our industry, we have made the difficult decision to cancel this program, originally scheduled for July 15-17. However, PPAI is considering making SPARK a one-day event in conjunction with The PPAI Expo in January 2021. We will continue to find ways to serve this vital community.
  • Other PPAI Events – Currently all other events are being evaluated. Rest assured, when the cancellation of any event is discussed, so too is the opportunity to offer programming in a virtual environment. Please know that all decisions will be made with your best interests in mind.

We have all entered uncharted waters together, and it will take cooperation, support, compassion and sound business decisions for us to get through this. Together it is possible.

As I look ahead, I want you to know we will continue to evaluate and redefine every aspect of our business, as necessary, in order to provide you with the support you need. We will work together with you to ensure that your business and your Association are around for the next 100 years.

From the entire PPAI team, we wish you the best.

Reach out if you need an ear or have an idea to share. And most importantly, keep washing those hands.

Be well,

Paul

GET Connected: PLUG-IN to the POWER of PROMO

GET Connected: PLUG-IN to the POWER of PROMO during Promotional Products Work! Week, May 13-17

Next month, Promotional Products Work! Week will take center stage. During the week of May 13-17, the industry will collectively shine the spotlight on the benefits of working with promotional professionals and the undeniable power of promotional products.

Why is Promotional Products Work! Week so important? More than 40,000 promotional products companies and a workforce of more than 500,000 professionals contribute billions of dollars to local economies and more than $23.3 billion to the U.S economy. Nearly the entire promotional products industry is composed of small businesses—96 percent—that make real and tangible differences in their communities as volunteers, business-owners, tax payers and purveyors of goods and services. In many instances, promotional products serve as the first and last impressions relied on by the more than 30 million U.S. businesses to build brand awareness and loyalty and inspire action among employees, clients and consumers.

By committing to at least one activity during the week of May 13-17, you will help promote and protect your business and our vibrant industry, while also making a powerful impact by adding your story and your voice alongside thousands of industry professionals.

Last year, Promotional Products Work! Week was celebrated in a big way in cities throughout the U.S. and abroad with factory tours and open houses, speaking engagements, volunteerism and community outreach, legislative outreach in Washington, D.C., at the state and local levels and with personalized expressions of gratitude to the industry’s customers.

The highlight of 2018 was the PPW!Week Official Kick Off produced by Regional Association Promotional Products Association of the Mid-South (PPAMS) in partnership with the Shelbyville-Bedford County Chamber.

The two-day event included a SHEPENCO ribbon-cutting ceremony and factory tours hosted by Henry Hulan III, president of Musgrave Pencil Company founded in 1914, and Dan Townes, president, and his son, Daniel Townes, chief operations officer of SHEPENCO, founded in 1933, both headquartered in Shelbyville, Tennessee, known as “The Pencil City,” with Congressman Scott DesJarlais in attendance. A proclamation for the City of Shelbyville presented by Mayor Wallace Cartright and City Council, declaring it Promotional Products Work! Week—and if that wasn’t enough, the City passed a resolution renaming itself “Promotional Products City USA” to commemorate the week.

Next was a luncheon held at the Blue Ribbon Circle and the gathering of state and local dignitaries, distributors, suppliers, buyers and PPAMS board members, where I was humbled to share the stage with Shelbyville-Bedford County Chamber of Commerce CEO Allen Pitner to share on the state of the industry.

The festivities culminated with Tennessee government officials, including City of Shelbyville Mayor Wallace Cartright, County Official Scott Johnson (presenting on behalf of County Mayor Eugene Ray) and Senator Shane Reeves, who presented proclamations from the City of Shelbyville, Bedford County and the state of Tennessee (signed by Senator Shane Reeves, Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally and State Representative Pat March).

All of this was made possible through the commitment and leadership of the PPAMS Board and Executive Director Mark Farrar and his amazing team.

GET Connected: Get the toolkit!

Promotional Products Work! Week, now in its seventh year, is an industry-wide event dedicated to demonstrating the importance of working with promotional professionals to design and implement creative and successful campaigns while creating awareness for promotional products as a powerful and effective advertising and marketing medium. The week is designed to reach key audiences and feature a variety of activities, including open houses, factory tours and hospitality events; new client prospecting and lead generation; an advocate day focusing on community, colleges and business groups; legislative action; and customer appreciation.

Celebrated annually, the week-long event is designed for the entire industry—large and small companies, regional associations, distributors and suppliers, business services providers and multi-line representatives—to get behind an industry-wide movement in support of demonstrating the power, value and effectiveness of promotional products.

Here is the link to the GET Connected: PLUG-IN to the POWER of PROMO campaign toolkit. Download the PPW!Week campaign assets, including the Organizers Guide, Publicity and Promotion Toolkits, videos, social posts and infographics and much more. GET Connected, PLUG-IN and get started today!

Please share within your companies and with your colleagues around the industry.

Spread the word!

Paul

Promotional Products Work! Week To Kick Off In The Pencil City

Promotional Products Work! Week, May 14-18, 2018

I am happy to share some exciting news about Promotional Products Work! Week. PPAI and Promotional Products Association Of The Mid-South, will kick off Promotional Products Work! Week on Friday, May 11, 2018 in Shelbyville, Tennessee, the town also known as “The Pencil City.”

Founded by PPAI, Promotional Products Work! Week will be celebrated by thousands of promotional products businesses around the country with special community programs, a national day of service, legislative outreach and customer appreciation and recognition events.

Shelbyville Tennessee City Seal

Shelbyville, Tennessee, also known as The Pencil City.

PPAI is honored to join with PPAMS to kick off the sixth annual Promotional Products Work! Week in The Pencil City. We applaud Shelbyville’s rich history and salute all the promotional products pioneers and companies in cities all over America.

This will be the official kickoff for our industry’s national awareness event, which will be held May 14-18. The kickoff event is organized by the Promotional Products Association of the Mid-South (PPAMS), Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) and the Shelbyville-Bedford County Chamber of Commerce. Local, state and national leaders will gather in Shelbyville for a factory tour, luncheon and official ribbon cutting to kick off Promotional Products Work! Week.

Musgrave pencil

For almost a century, Shelbyville was the hub of wood-cased pencil manufacturing in the United States.

For almost a century, Shelbyville was the hub of wood-cased pencil manufacturing in the United States. In 1991, the World’s Longest Pencil was produced in Shelbyville. Although only one pencil manufacturer remains, the city of 21,000 people is still home to familiar names in writing instruments: Goldstar, Musgrave, Sanford and Shelbyville Pencil.

Promotional products are proven to be one of the most effective media available to advertisers. Because promotional products are tangible, useful and highly targeted to the audience they reach, 79 percent of consumers retain them for one to more than four years, and 87 percent recall the advertiser/message, proving that they deliver the highest rate of reach, recall and return on investment in the advertising industry.

The $23.3 billion promotional products industry, with its more than 40,500 businesses—96 percent of which are small businesses—and more than 500,000 professionals, will work to create awareness for the value promotional products deliver to advertisers and marketers, as well as the positive impact promotional products businesses have on the U.S. economy, job creation and community enrichment.

Many of you already have the whole week planned out, but if you haven’t yet started, it’s not too late!

Celebrate The Power Of Promo

Download the PPW! Week with a POP! guides and toolkits today.

Action Alert: PPAI Joins Coalition In Opposing Potential Tariffs

Earlier this week, we announced that PPAI joined 44 other associations and trade groups in a letter to President Trump to strongly oppose proposed tariffs of up to $60 billion. Please add your voice to ours and ask your members of Congress to oppose these proposed tariffs that would be very harmful to our industry.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Resist The Latest Round Of Tariffs

Within the business community, there are legitimate concerns about significant intellectual property and forced technology transfer issues in China. However, placing tariffs on products that are legitimately produced and traded is not the remedy. Last week it was reported in a variety of news outlets that tariffs of up to $60 billion could be proposed. Such tariff treatment would be harmful to the promotional products industry.

The specific list of tariffs has not been released, but it appears that the technology and telecommunications sectors will be targeted, and other affected products could include a variety of items including toys, apparel, footwear and consumer technology.

The level of tariffs has also not been specified. Although there could be up to 100 products vulnerable to the tariffs, the White House has not announced whether there will be one global tariff on products from China, or if there will be varying tariff levels depending on the product.

Imposing tariffs on electronics, apparel and other products would raise prices for American consumers and companies, and would not do much to address the problems that stem from unfair trade practices in China. Effectively, the increased costs would impose a tax on consumers and businesses.

Please contact your members of Congress and urge them to oppose this harmful tariff announcement.

Take Action Today

Oklahoma Governor’s Promotional Products Spending Directive

Recently, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin issued an over-reaching directive that singles out and severely limits state spending on promotional products advertising for an indefinite period of time. While several media outlets, also funded by advertising revenue, reported on the ban, none considered or reported on the effectiveness of promotional products advertising or the wide-ranging ramifications it will have on all Oklahomans.

As the number one most effective advertising medium when it comes to driving consumers to take action, building loyalty and generating interest, promotional products must not be unfairly singled out and indiscriminately limited in scope and reach. In response, below is PPAI’s statement released to the media.


STATEMENT

IRVING, TX – December 11, 2017 – Promotional Products Association International today issued the following statement from PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, in response to Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin’s Executive Order 2017-37, which limits spending on promotional products advertising.

“Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) supports balanced budgets and the responsible use of taxpayer dollars; however, the promotional items deemed “nonessential,” according to the Executive Order 2017-37, are anything but. In fact, points raised in the order are exactly why promotional products are one of the most effective, cost-efficient and longest-lasting media used by advertisers, marketers and the State of Oklahoma.

The spending limits set forth by Executive Order 2017-37 unfairly target the promotional products industry and will diminish the ability of the state and its agencies to effectively and efficiently communicate and deliver essential programs and services like education, employment, health care, disaster relief, social services, fire and police protection to the citizens of Oklahoma by eliminating the most useful and tangible form of communication—promotional products.

Senator Kay Floyd of Oklahoma City, said it best:

‘The stress balls save veterans lives. And that stress ball is something that they can carry around with them, but it also has a hotline number or additional information that that veteran needs in order to get benefits or resources from the Department of Veterans Affairs.’

Compared to other media, promotional products advertising is preferred by consumers while other forms of media are often avoided or blocked. Promotional products are one of the fastest-growing and most cost effective advertising media, ranking seventh among traditional and digital media in annual expenditures at $22 billion. On an annual basis, promotional products contribute millions to the Oklahoma economy, with 416 companies providing more than 2700 jobs.

Promotional products are proven to be one of the most effective media available to advertisers. Because promotional products are tangible, useful and highly targeted to the audience they reach, 79 percent of consumers retain them for one to more than five years, and 88 percent recall the advertiser/message, delivering the highest rate of reach, recall and return on investment in the advertising industry.

Promotional products educate, recruit, highlight safety awareness, urge organ donations and encourage healthy living and lifestyle choices. Promotional products recognize and reward employee achievements and inspire action. Promotional products are used to celebrate milestones, sign legislation and reinforce life-saving messages. Promotional products are the most cost-effective method to communicate important messages to Oklahomans.

PPAI and the Oklahoma promotional products industry look forward to working with Oklahoma administration officials to better inform the state’s procurement processes and use of promotional products.”


CALL TO ACTION

The success of our industry depends on us making a strong, collective stand for promotional products as the best marketing tool and advertising medium for communicators. It is our shared responsibility to stand up for the industry because it’s good for consumers, advertisers and marketers and yes, governments. The promotional products industry facilitates communication, prosperity and relationships by helping connect organizations and businesses with their audiences in a tangible and meaningful way.

I ask you to take action to protect the interests of the promotional products industry. Included below are steps you can take now and in the future when these types of reports occur:

  1. Write the Governor and State Representatives today.
  2. Immediately share the news with PPAI by emailing stories/reports to PR@ppai.org
  3. Keep an eye out for rumors and threats to the industry’s credibility–if you hear of something, let us know.
  4. Advocate! Stand up for the industry that has been so good to you and to all of us—defend its good name.
  5. And finally, know the facts. They are strongly in our favor.

“The PPAI Expo—the glue that holds the industry together.”

Special message from Paul Bellantone, CAE, PPAI President and CEO and Mary Jo Tomasini, MAS, PPAI Chair of the Board

‘The PPAI Expo—the glue that holds the industry together.’ That description, given by a PPAI member in 2016, was remembered after the tragic event in Las Vegas on October 1. The message we share now is the result of our reflection on The PPAI Expo and PPAI’s long-standing commitment to safety.

In response to the recent events in Las Vegas, we are speaking out today because we think it is important for you to know that Promotional Products Association International takes your safety seriously.

Since 1903, PPAI has focused on creating and maintaining a safe and secure meetings and events environment for our attendees, staff and exhibitors. At The PPAI Expo, and all of PPAI’s meetings and events, the safety of attendees and guests is and always will be of utmost importance. Our staff is thoroughly trained and prepared for each event. Strategic planning with each venue begins far in advance to develop and maintain safety protocols that allow high-quality and confident business opportunities in a safe and inviting environment.

All of this begins with a proactive and forward-thinking PPAI team.

In May, the PPAI Board of Directors, steered by industry leaders, resolved to reaffirm PPAI’s long-standing commitment to safety at live events. This resolution directs PPAI to continue to institute and execute policies and procedures designed to mitigate known or reasonably foreseeable risks to the health and safety of those who participate in PPAI live events, including through the continued employment and assignment of competent PPAI staff, the hiring of appropriate security personnel, and the execution of reasonable registration and admission processes.

As a member of the Exhibition and Meetings Safety and Security Initiative’s (EMSSI) Industry Security Council, we frequently collaborate with a large group of stakeholders who represent all aspects of the exhibition and convention center industry. Through this involvement, our team provides and receives important developments and ideas for an array of best practice safety guidelines and opportunities.

Our commitment to safety remains a priority. No individual, corporation, organization or government can anticipate or prevent every situation or scenario. However, PPAI remains committed to prepare and implement safety protocols designed to protect those who attend, exhibit, work, visit or participate in any PPAI live event.

PPAI has a strategic goal of transforming The PPAI Expo from great to extraordinary, and our commitment to safety is but one ever-present foundation that will advance that objective. We know how much you value this industry and The PPAI Expo, and we thank you in advance for your investment in both.

We value the trust you place in us when you attend our events. We look forward to seeing you in January at The PPAI Expo.