Corporate Specialties Wins Silver PPAI Tech Award


This is the third consecutive year the company has been honored for blog excellence at The PPAI Expo 2017 in Las Vegas.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN (January 17, 2017) – Corporate Specialties has received the Silver PPAI Technology Award, which was presented to the company at the PPAI Awards Presentation & Reception on January 9 during The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas. This is the third year the company has been recognized for excellence in blog content. In 2015 and 2016, Corporate Specialties received the bronze 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.

“Corporate Specialties separates itself from its competition by investing in new technology and utilizing digital content to meet the needs of its customers,” said Paul Bellantone, CAE, president and CEO at PPAI.

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) are being recognized in seven technology categories.

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

“Competition in the PPAI Technology Awards grew significantly this year, as the number of companies honored nearly doubled,” said Valerie Hayman Sklar, president of Corporate Specialties. “This makes winning the silver even more special and significant after receiving bronze in 2015 and 2016. We are proud that PPAI continues to recognize our editorial-quality content and how it elevates the perception of our advertising medium while providing a valuable resource for our customers.”

When the Corporate Specialties Blog was launched 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. “We have now published 150 articles, and the library continues to be a place where clients and prospects can learn how to best utilize their promotional products investment. While working 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 biggest changes with the blog this year was a complete redesign and integration of the blog content with the product search functionality found at “The blog 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 customers and prospects to be able to search for products after reading an article or, conversely, look for ideas on how to creatively use a product they found while shopping,” explained Lisa Horn, CAS, editor of the Corporate Specialties Blog.

“Additionally, we wanted to update the blog’s aesthetic style with a clean, modern look,” she continued. “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 customers and prospects can get the information they need to make the most of their promotional purchases—even if they’re on the go.”

View the blog in its entirety at


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 PPAI Technology Award for outstanding blog content three times—Silver in 2017 and Bronze in 2015 and 2016—as well as the 2016 PPAI Bronze Pyramid Award for creative excellence in Goodwill Programs.

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For more information, visit and read the blog at



Media Contact:
Lisa Horn, CAS

Company Contact:
Valerie Hayman Sklar