Corporate Specialties Wins Bronze PPAI Tech Award


This is the second consecutive year the company has been honored for blog excellence at The PPAI Expo 2016 in Las Vegas.


Valerie Hayman Sklar, president of Corporate Specialties, accepts the PPAI Technology Award at the PPAI Awards Presentation & Reception on January 12 during The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas. She is joined by (left) Jim Roccia, AIA vice president of sales and marketing as well as (right) Gary Goodhart, AIA director of field support development, and David Woods, AIA CEO.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN (January 18, 2016) – Corporate Specialties has received the Bronze PPAI Technology Award, which was presented to the company at the PPAI Awards Presentation & Reception on January 12 during The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas. This is the second year the company has been recognized for excellence in blog content. Last year, Corporate Specialties received the bronze award as well.

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, 27 companies overall are being recognized in seven technology categories.

For the Blogs/Podcasts/Digital News Category in which Corporate Specialties is nominated, only four 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

“It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly three years since we debuted the Corporate Specialties Blog in the spring of 2013,” said Valerie Hayman Sklar, president of Corporate Specialties. “While we didn’t set out to build a blog to simply win awards, we were thrilled last year to receive our first PPAI Technology Award. We feel especially honored that PPAI has taken notice once again of our editorial-quality content and recognized us for a second consecutive year.”

When the Corporate Specialties Blog was launched, 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. “With more than 100 articles and counting, the library continues to grow and be a valuable resource for educating our clients and prospects. As we work with them on promotional campaigns, the articles serve as a foundation to assist them with choosing meaningful branded merchandise that is not only relevant to their target audience but also representative of their brand story,” said Hayman Sklar.

One of the new things introduced in the last year was the “Branding All Year Long” series. “When Valerie and I were planning content for 2015, we wanted to create a series of articles that would build upon each other and do a deeper dive into a subject than just a single post allows,” said Lisa Horn, CAS, editor of the Corporate Specialties Blog.

Ideally, branding is more than an annual activity, quarterly planning session or something occasionally worked on when there is spare time. “But most marketers find it challenging to incorporate the strategic side of branding into their workflow on a regular basis,” Horn said. “By creating an editorial series with topics such as creating a brand story, targeting your audience, making a great first impression and establishing a relatable identity, we have given marketers a roadmap for how to incorporate branding strategy throughout the year so the process is more manageable.”

You can read the entire series here, or view the blog in its entirety here.


About Corporate Specialties

Founded by Valerie Hayman Sklar in 1997, Corporate Specialties has been developing comprehensive marketing programs that incorporates SMART Swag—branded merchandise that is Special, Memorable, Affordable, Relevant and Targeted—that not only delights target audiences but also get results.

As a promotional marketing brain trust, Corporate Specialties has become the go-to resource for business owners, corporate marketers, meeting and event planners, and HR pros who need distinctive, memorable merchandise programs—from customer loyalty programs and tradeshow campaigns to employee incentives and business gifts.

An affiliate with AIA, the 7th largest promotional products distributorship, Corporate Specialties has received the 2013 AIA Velocity Award that recognizes fastest growing companies as well as the 2010 and 2011 AIA Advee Award – Best Self Promotion that honors creative use of promotional products. It has also won the 2016 PPAI Bronze Pyramid Award for creative excellence in Goodwill Programs as well as the 2015 and 2016 PPAI Bronze Technology Award for outstanding blog content.

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Media Contact:
Lisa Horn, CAS

Company Contact:
Valerie Hayman Sklar