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Corporate Specialties Wins 2017 PPAI Technology Award

Valerie Hayman Sklar PPAI Tech Award 2017
Valerie Hayman Sklar, president of Corporate Specialties, accepts the PPAI Technology Award at the PPAI Awards Presentation & Reception on January 9 during The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas.

When we launched the Corporate Specialties Blog in the spring of 2013, the goal was to create an educational portal that provides informative content on promotional marketing and branded merchandise as well as relevant research findings and business marketing and branding articles.

So while winning awards for our editorial-quality content wasn’t even on our minds in the early days, it has been fulfilling to receive the PPAI Technology Award for three consecutive years. In 2015 and 2016, we received the bronze award. This year, we moved up a notch to the silver award!

PPAI annually honors companies that are breaking new ground in a wide variety of technological applications from websites and mobile apps to video content, social media campaigns and blogs. This year, 50 companies overall (up from 27 in 2016) were recognized in seven tech categories.

For the Blogs/Podcasts/Digital News category in which we were nominated, only nine companies qualified for a Gold, Silver or Bronze Award based on how the blog format is used to share relevant industry information in a creative, insightful way using dated entries.

Blogs are judged on a number of criteria, including:

  • A clear business purpose for the blog
  • Author’s related experience and credentials
  • Content that is relevant to the industry
  • Regular posts on a timely and consistent basis
  • High quality topics of interest to a large audience
  • Creative and interesting writing style
  • Posts that evoke though or discovery

Read the entire news story in PPB Newslink here.

With the number of companies honored nearly doubling, competition grew significantly this year. This makes winning the silver even more special and significant after receiving two bronze awards. We are proud that PPAI continues to recognize our content and how it elevates the perception of our advertising medium while providing a valuable resource for you.

But continuing to publish beneficial content wasn’t the only thing we were up to throughout the last year. One of the biggest changes we made to the blog was a complete redesign and integration of the blog content with the product search functionality found at

When we first started the blog, it originated as its own website for technical reasons at the time. Yet we’ve always wanted to have one unified site so that it’s easy for you to be able to search for products after reading an article or, conversely, look for ideas on how to creatively use a product you found while shopping. So now that’s able to happen.

Additionally, we wanted to update the blog’s aesthetic style with a clean, modern look. We chose a bold, color-block theme that features a streamlined layout and clean fonts for easy reading. The result is a site that showcases the content without clutter or distractions. And since the site is responsive, it looks great on a traditional screen or tablet or phone so you can get the information you need to make the most of your promotional purchases—even when you’re on the go.

We’ve now published 150+ articles, and the library continues to be a place where you can learn how to best utilize your promotional products investment. If you’re a regular reader, thank you so much for your continued support. We hope you enjoy reading the articles as much as we love putting them together for you.

And if you’re new to the blog, Welcome! Whether you call it branded merchandise, advertising specialties, promotional products or swag, logoed items are one of the most influential, enduring and cost-effective ad mediums available today. We hope the content will help you make more informed decisions about your overall promotional marketing strategy.

If this is your first visit (or even if you stop by this blog often), you may want to check out some of the most popular articles from 2016:

What Millennials Want From Your Next Event

Top 10 Reasons You Need A Uniform Program

Myth Busted: Promotional Products Aren’t For Sophisticated Brands

3 Ways To Make Your Corporate Gifts More Upscale

10 Steps To Your Best Direct Mail Campaign Ever

Create An Employee Onboarding Program That New Hires Love

Reaching Out: 3 Ways To Add Swag To Outreach Marketing Programs

Celebrity Or Average Joe: Swag Is For Everyone

As we work together on your promotional campaigns in the coming year, we hope you take advantage of these and all the articles to assist you with choosing meaningful branded merchandise that is not only relevant to your target audience but also representative of your brand story. Thanks for reading!