Sunday, February 10, 2013

What is the value of certification?

Having spent much of of my professional life in education, life long learning it a "core value".Beyond my own interest in promoting life long learning, think about the benefits among your co workers and employees. Anyone that is willing to take their own time to learn more, to better their understanding and approach to their industry is motivated. When you are building a team one looks at what someone will bring to the organization not just immediately, but the long term value that an individual will provide- to strengthen the organization or business. Committing to professional development and taking advantage of internal programs denotes an employee that is open to new ideas and modifying behaviors or systems for better overall performance. Individuals that seek out professional development on their own time such as certifications within their industry are conveying through their actions that they expect more from themselves, always seeking ways to better their performance.

PPAI, the Promotional Products Association International has a CAS and MAS program designed to provide individuals in this industry access to training across broad subjects that will directly benefit their ability to guide their clients to better choices for building their brand with ad specialty products. The CAS or Certified Advertising Specialties requires a minimum of 3 years of industry experience and 75 hours of rigorous course work on topics such as: 


1.      business ethics

2.      safety

3.      supplier distribution chain

4.      imprint and product options

5.      markets and programs

6.      sales and marketing processes

7.      small business issues

8.      legal issues


Only 5% of over 30,000 promotional consultants in PPAI are CAS certified. In the Apex area, I'm currently the only CAS certified consultant.
                                                                         Olivia Scott, CAS






Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Association History

Association History

Why Community Engagment?

For me building a business has as much to do with what values and benefits you offer your clients when developing relationships as the benefit you offer your community as a result of your presence in the business community. There is a lot of buzz in the media to include community engagment as part of ones marketing campaign. The idea is to show how the company is a stakeholder in global or local community efforts that reflect their “social consensus” or define their brand.  

Growing up a home where my mom volunteered it was not unlikely that as a business owner I'd want to be involved in community projects. In fact, I've been involved in so many groups over the years that my husband jokes my volunteerism is like having an additional member of the family at any given time. Business owners are approached consistently for donations and unfortunately can not afford to fund all requests for sponsorships, donations and in kind services because, they have to stay in business. Aligning charity and non profit work with programs and organizations that have a similar underlying cause make it easier for a small business to define how and when they can give.  

For Promotional Partners, Inc. our donations of time, money and resources are related directly to our local community or in some form for kids/education. As a business owner if you are looking for a way to get involved in one particular type of need in the community local civic groups, churches and public schools are a great place to start. Many of these groups can provide you a place to start volunteering your time with an organization that has a structure in place to make it easy to participate and defined goals for maximum impact of your resources whether those be time or money.  

Time has become the currency of many small business owners as they approach how to invest thier resources into the community. At a recent rotary meeting, I commented the daily chaos and rapid pace of my industry require a different pace to provide balance. One on one interaction with individuals in programs where I volunteers help keep me grounded to what is really important in life.
Olivia Scott, owner Promotional Partners