Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Calling on Congress For our Industry - They work for us, and are there to listen

 Last week, I had the opportunity to travel to Washington DC, on behalf of my Industry, to visit with our Congressional Representatives and Senators.  Along with near 80 industry practitioners, we met with US Senators, Representatives and their staffs, to talk about issues and discussions that are germane to our industry, and our livelihoods.

Representative Adam Smith (WA 8th) along with our GRAC Chair, Tom Goos and I shared some time on my Birthday in DC


This is the 4th year, I've been asked to make the trip.  Each year, it reconfirms that it's the right thing to do, for our Association, for my small business, and for the thousands of people that call our promotional marketing industry their home.

We had 5 of our NWPMA (Northwest Promotional Marketing Assn) members along to meet with Congress members from the NorthWest states, WA, OR, ID, AK, MT and HI.

Besides creating the yard signs, bumper stickers and buttons that help them get elected, the more than 20,000 companies and 500,000 people, deliver products and solutions for companies and campaigns of all kinds.

Most of our2015 L.E,A.D.ers in DC



Nearly 80 of us booked over 250 meetings to introduce and re-introduce our industry to congress.  Some of the issues that we brought forward, are the continuing need to provide Advertising as deductible expenses, the importance of the independent contractors to industries like ours, and the power of promotional products. Weather it's encouraging new mothers to lay their newborns on their backs to prevent SIDS, or providing branded, safe means to park your phone in the car, Promotional Products Work! to build safety and wellness initiatives, as well as many other support programs for business and industry.

A Great Example of how a Promotional "Onesie" was used for new moms to prevent SIDS for 25,000 new Mothers in Ohio.





This experience, helping to "Be our Voice" to members of Congress was verified even more last year, when, I was in DC, and happened to run into members of the Alzheimer's Association. This photo below, is a living example, of how our industry helps just about every other industry in their efforts and in this case, philanthropy and funding.

One of the other highlights of my meetings was to meet with Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who represents Eastern Washington. I had recently visited with an number of our Industry Members in Spokane, WA., and was able to share some of their concerns with her and her team.

An opportunity to meet with Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA 5) and talk about Eastern Washington needs.



Thursday, December 4, 2014

Marsala - Pantone Color of the Year for 2015

Each Year, Pantone selects a color of the year for the year and for 2015 "Marsala" was chosen.

https://www.facebook.com/PantoneColor?fref=photo

Besides the Fashion Runways of Milan, and Housewares Shows, they look to the fashion and accessory markets, as well as Automotive, and housewares to see what manufacturers are looking to bring out.



Look to folks like Keurig, Pottery Barn, the Gap, to have some of the above in stores soon, as well as in the sock aisles and at the Auto Shows soon.

Promotional Buyers have many options to include this color in their pallets for decorations, and Promo Suppliers will also have select products available.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Product Safety – It’s time to “Be at the Table” – Or you may be “On the Menu”




Safety Summit brings over 200 Top Industry members at 4th Annual Safety Summit

Our promotional products industry has made a commitment to have all industry participants become aware of product safety. Last week, in Boston, PPAI staff and along with members of PRAG, PPAI’s Product Safety Awareness Group, produced the 4th annual, Product Safety Summit. 

Event Co-Chairs, Rick Brenner, MAS from Prime Resources, and Gene Geiger, MAS of Distributor, Geiger, led a discussion that outlined not only our Industry’s commitment to product safety, but how we, as an industry, are taking necessary steps to ensurethe delivery of safe products for all of our customers.  Personally, I have made a commitment to attend the last two years, and this year’s event clearly outlined how industry members are gathering together, to make professionals aware and help our industry supply chain become the trusted source our buyers and users expect.

Over 200 participated in sessions, from Product Safety 101, Testing for Electronics and Lithium Batteries, Risk and Crisis Management, Product Recall examples, FDA and CPSC oversight of our Industry and next steps that are being taken to ensure the continued safe manufacturing and delivery of our products.

At a Keynote presented by Marietta Robinson, commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), our Industry’s commitment was highlighted as “Exhibit A,” regarding how we, as an industry are working pro-actively to build awareness and ensure that participants are aware of, and building best practices. 


After her keynote presentation at the Summit, CPSC Commissioner Marietta Robinson (center) met with (from left) Rick Brenner, MAS, CEO of supplier Prime Resources Corp.; PPAI Public Affairs Director Anne Lardner-Stone; Gene Geiger, MAS, president of distributer Geiger; and PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE.

With the passing of the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act of 2008, continuing Regulations for Children’s Products, California Proposition 65, and ongoing legislation and other state programs, building awareness and minimum requirements are coming regularly.  Industry Pros will need continuing education to stay aware.

In January of this year, PPAI outlined a new commitment to have all participating companies participate in minimum professional development.  Each member company, will need to have one staff member, complete a minimum, 4 hours of Product Safety Awareness CEU’s, in order to continue to participate in the PPAI Marketplace, in the coming months.

PPAI Staff Presenting Product Safety to Regionals in the Coming Months

 
Tim Brown, MAS PPAI's Product Responsibility Manager



Supporting of Association members, PPAI has a team of staff bringing Safety Awareness to our Regionals. Anne Lardner-Stone, PPAI’s Director of Public Affairs, and Tim Brown, MAS Product Responsibility Manager, have planned sessions across the country to present basic compliance training designed to help our members both become aware of the importance of product safety in our industry, and obtain the minimum requirements that will be needed for all members to participate in PPAI events and marketing channels in the future.

You can see a list of upcoming sessions here:


For more information on our Industry’s Product Safety Initiatives, please visit the PPAI Website:


Mark Shinn, MAS, Incentives West
Mark is a Multiline Supplier Representative on the West Coast, based in Seattle, and was 2008 President of RAC, the Regional Association Council. He can be reached at 866.601.8958 or email to mshinn@incentiveswest.com

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Earthday 2013 is April 22nd - No Better time to talk about Eco Apparel and the bluesign® standard

Monday April 22nd, is Earth Day.

The Annual Date is set aside for people all over the Planet to pause and take note of how our individual activities affect our Planet. Here is some background.

http://www.earthday.org/about-earth-day-network.

14 Years ago, I was charged with building a program for promos to help the Earth Day Network, to help build awareness as a part of their first company store.  At the time, there were very limited options besides some bamboo clothing, and hemp bags.

Today there are hundreds of products that have unique components that are eco friendly.

Boardroom Eco Apparel Boardroom has developed safe, environmentally friendly and socially compliant Supply Chain to deliver a standard in Eco Apparel for Promotional Markets beyond compare.

The bluesign® standard guarantees that along the entire production chain products only contain components and pass through processes that are harmless to people and the environment. At the same time, the principle of maximum resource efficiency leads to a reduced environmental footprint. Investing in the most environmentally sustainable products available will in the future represent an increasingly important investment in long-term consumer confidence. Ecological safety is becoming an ever more critical quality factor worldwide, and is a decisive factor for a company’s or a brand’s image and hence its success.

http://www.boardroomecoapparel.com/2013-Collection.html



Companies large and small, from McDonalds, Coca Cola to Hi Tech startups are relying on Boardroom Eco Apparel, to help pronounce their company message, that they want to be quality stewards of our planet through their apparel programs.

For More information, visit.  http://www.boardroomecoapparel.com/bluesign_.html

Now make plans to help out in your community for Earth Day 2013.  There are thousands of projects around the world and over 1 Billion people will be participating this year.

One way you can be a part of this is to go out and share the Eco Boardroom Story with you Clients.  When they choose the Eco Friendly Products they will be playing their part along the way too, all year long.


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sometimes You Need an Earthquake to Shake your Business Up





They say that sometimes, you need to "Shake Things Up."

On this day, February 28th, 2001, the Greater Puget Sound suffered one of the strongest Earthquakes in recent decades.  A 6.8 in Global Standards is not big, but this one sure shook up many businesses and homes that day.

I myself was starting out on one of my first business Road Trips to our PMANC Regional Showcase in Monterey, CA.  Our Airplane at SeaTac, had just closed the front door, and we thought we were "pushing back."  When we looked out the window, and noticed baggage handlers stumbling and dropping luggage, we then knew we were experiencing "Ground Turbulence."   We were out, luckily, the next day and still had a great event.

Today, is the 4th day of our Industry's weeklong initiative to "Shake things up" and reach out to our Members of Congress and local representatives to inform them on the influence and Power of Promotional Products.  Promotional Products Work Week.



Employing well over 500,000 individuals, in nearly 10,000 companies and contributing nearly $20 Billion to the National Economy through mostly small businesses.  

Washington State alone has over 650 Companies, employing over 6500 people and amounting to over $1.1 Billion to the local economy.  And beyond that, most all of this, is used to promote 10's of thousands of small businesses, and Fortune 500 companies, such as Boeing, Starbucks, Microsoft, Nintendo, Amazon and many more.

Whether people notice closely or not, Promotional Products include the Fan Wear you follow your local Pro, College and High-School Teams with.  The tools you many times use at Team Meetings and Conferences, The Safety Awareness items that keep manufacturing teams safe at work, the Toys your kids love to enjoy with their Happy Meal, and the License Frame on your car that support your Honor Student or University.

Now, What your doing to promote your Company,  Brands and Innitiatives?

Promotional Products Work!