Spread a little holiday cheer for your brand.

Goodwill PR Campaigns

This holiday season, if you’re looking for new ways to boost your brand exposure, drive sales, and garner media attention while also fostering a sense of goodwill, try mixing up your marketing strategy with feel good Public Relations’ initiatives.

Below are some quick tips for boosting your PR during the holidays.

Campaign for a Cause
Increasing numbers of brands are mixing social good into their marketing and PR programs. Not only is it smart; it can reap big rewards as well!

Studies show that consumers are more prone to make purchases and seek out services from businesses and brands that give back and do good for the world. As a matter of fact, in a recent survey, 87 percent of consumers said they would switch brands based on a connection with a good cause.

As with any marketing initiative, holiday PR requires a clear, compelling message. It’s also important to target the proper audience with a relatable, easy to follow offer and mission. Potential customers need to know specifically what or who their purchase will benefit. So host a toy drive or a coat drive to benefit a local charity and attach it to an offer for your business! Not only will you boost your sales, garner media attention (don’t forget to send a press release to your local media announcing your campaign and one after reporting on results) but you’ll also be perceived as a company that cares.

You can also support a charity during the holidays with a campaign that doesn’t attach a specific offer to it. One of our favorite promotions of all time is Macy’s ‘Believe” Campaign that invites kids to mail letters to santa to benefits the Make-A-Wish foundation. What makes it awesome? While there is no purchase necessary, it drives traffic to their stores and keeps them top-of-mind with their customers. They also always get a lot of press during the holidays as well, which is important for any business trying to stand out in a crowded marketplace. This year, the department store is making their campaign even more interactive, giving their customers an opportunity outside of the store to “show they believe” with the Santa Project, inviting customers to show they believe anyway they can by posting a vid, liking, sharing or re-tweeting with the hashtag #SantaProject to further promote their campaign. How cool is that! Click here to view their YouTube video.

Share Holiday Tips
Another great way to give back is by providing helpful holiday tips that help your potential customers solve problems they are facing during the holiday season. Get creative! You can write a blog post, send a tips-related press release, pitch and/or contributed article to your local media outlets, post an article on your LinkedIn page, or post on hyper local news sites. You can even host a free workshop! Not only will you establish your industry expertise, but you’ll be providing a valuable service to the community while potentially driving traffic to your business, website, or blog.

Whether you host a holiday outreach effort or craft seasonal tips to share, don’t miss out on a great opportunity to build your brand awareness while also celebrating the season of giving.

Chances are, you’ll boost your sales while also generating positivity and goodwill in the world.

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

Feel Good PR Tips for the Holiday Season

BoostPRHolidayImageThis holiday season, if you’re looking for new ways to boost your brand exposure, drive sales, and garner media attention while also fostering a sense of goodwill, try mixing up your marketing strategy with feel good PR initiatives.

Below are some quick tips for boosting your PR during the holidays.

Campaign for a Cause

Increasing numbers of brands are mixing social good into their marketing and PR programs. Not only is it smart; it can reap big rewards as well!

Studies show that consumers are more prone to make purchases and seek out services from businesses and brands that give back and do good for the world. As a matter of fact, in a recent survey, 87 percent of consumers said they would switch brands based on a connection with a good cause.

As with any marketing initiative, holiday PR requires a clear, compelling message. It’s also important to target the proper audience with a relatable, easy to follow offer and mission. Potential customers need to know specifically what or who their purchase will benefit. So host a toy drive or a coat drive to benefit a local charity and attach it to an offer for your business! Not only will you boost your sales, garner media attention (don’t forget to send a press release to your local media announcing your campaign and one after reporting on results) but you’ll also be perceived as a company that cares.

You can also support a charity during the holidays with a campaign that doesn’t attach a specific offer to it. One of our favorite promotions of all time is Macy’s ‘Believe” Campaign that invites kids to mail letters to santa to benefit the Make-A-Wish foundation. What makes it awesome? While there is no purchase necessary, it drives traffic to their stores and keeps them top-of-mind with their customers. They also always get a lot of press during the holidays as well, which is important for any business trying to stand out in a crowded marketplace. This year, the department store is making their campaign even more interactive, giving their customers an experience outside of the store with a mobile app that takes pictures of Macy’s holiday characters to further promote their campaign. How cool is that!

Share Holiday Tips

Another great way to give back is by providing helpful holiday tips that help your potential customers solve problems they are facing during the holiday season. Get creative! You can write a blog post, send a tips-related press release, pitch and/or contributed article to your local media outlets, post an article on your LinkedIn page, or post on hyper local news sites. You can even host a free workshop! Not only will you establish your industry expertise, but you’ll be providing a valuable service to the community while potentially driving traffic to your business, website, or blog.

Whether you host a holiday outreach effort or craft seasonal tips to share, don’t miss out on a great opportunity to build your brand awareness while also celebrating the season of giving.

Chances are, you’ll boost your sales while also generating positivity and goodwill in the world.

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

Giving Back the Greatest Gift of All; Northbrook Chiropractor Brings Hope to Kenyan Youth

884338_670185046348723_1852553076_o

With the holiday season upon us, many of us are looking for that perfect gift to give to the special children in our lives. We’ve trimmed the tree, we’ve got our houses decorated with tinsel and garland and holiday lights; we’ve hopefully dug ourselves out of the recent snow storm that left us Chicagoans with a blustery winter wonderland!; and now it’s time to fight the crowds to go shopping for those last minute gifts. Hmmmm, what to get for that special child in our life?

For one Northbrook chiropractor and humanitarian, his goal was bigger: to give a special holiday gift of sport to thousands of underprivileged kids in Kenya.

Armed with a mission to bring hope and joy of sport to thousands of impoverished children during the holidays, Dr. Warren Bruhl recently traveled to Kenya, Africa to deliver soccer and baseball gear to schools and villages in need. Bruhl serves as the Executive Director of youth charity Gear for Goals and partner program Dreamweaver International that provides sports and hope to underprivileged kids both locally and internationally.

1487792_670196356347592_1872432949_o

G4G (Gear for Goals) provided over 1000 children with instruction and resources to bring about transformation in the incredibly under resourced Kimana Rift Valley – 4 hours outside of Nairobi in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

To date, G4G has impacted over 25,000 kids in 15 countries and efforts continue. To find out how you can join the effort, visit G4GSports.org.

Purchase a sports ball, give the gift of hope.

Good news on a Chicago area youth charity bringing the gift of sports to impoverished children during the holidays: Are you looking for a cool holiday gift? Check out how you can purchase a Gear for Goals’ logo’d sports ball and help a child in need below!

photo-2

Aiming to bring sport, hope and opportunity to children living in poverty both locally and internationally during the holiday season, Northbrook-based youth charity Gear for Goals (G4G) recently launched their ‘One Gives One’ campaign.

During One Gives One, G4G will donate a new soccer ball or baseball to a child living in poverty for every soccer ball or dozen baseballs purchased at G4G’s website.

Community members can purchase a logo’d G4G sports ball and help a child in need at g4gsports.org. Multiply your gift giving during the holidays! Together, we can make a difference.

Working for the past year to develop a significant footprint of impact around the world, Gear for Goals has currently delivered sport and hope to over 25,000 children in 15 countries. The request outstrips the resource nearly 10 to 1, according to Gear for Goals’ Executive Director Dr. Warren Bruhl and more donated equipment is needed to fulfill all the requests. This is especially true for soccer equipment and soccer balls. Soccer is the international sport of the world and Gear for Goals aims to help the over one billion children around the world who have no sport to have a chance.

Soccer balls purchased through G4G’s One Gives One campaign are high quality number 5 Baden Soccer Balls and the baseballs are high quality Baden balls. Help Gear for Goals help them! Excellent gifts for the holidays, One Gives One can also be utilized as a fundraiser for sports groups or teams. For more information on how your group can get involved, contact. Dr. Warren Bruhl at 847.869.2031

Gear for Goals is a sports project of non-profit Dreamweaver International based in Northbrook, Illinois and Kenya, East Africa.
.
Gear for Goals’ relief efforts continue through the end of the year with a mission trip to Kenya, East Africa and welcomes all donations of new and used sports gear and musical instruments. To donate gear or to make a cash donation, contact Dr. Warren Bruhl at dr.bruhl@dreamweaver911.org or by phone at 847.869.2031.

G4G currently provides sport equipment to children in the Dominican Republic, Kenya, Bolivia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Russia, Philippines, Jamaica, India, and Cuba. For more information about ways you can help, visit dreamweaver911.org.

Chicago-based Non-Profit Theater seeks online crowdfunding to bring new production of Jesus’ words to life.

RLJ 01

What was it like to be a first-century follower of Jesus Christ and to hear his words first-hand? This question has been asked for centuries and Provision Theater is on a mission to bring Jesus’ words to life with its production of ‘Red Letter Jesus’ starting in September.

Provision Theater Company is looking to raise funds through a campaign with Indiegogo –which means gaining support from the public –by September 15th to bring the parables, the teachings, and the journey of Jesus Christ to the 21st century.

Provision Theater is devoted to producing works of hope, reconciliation and redemption and is preparing to open their 10thAnniversary Season with Red Letter Jesus, a deeply moving new show of Jesus’ words from the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) performed with an original multimedia presentation, including stunning videography captured throughout Israel and Jordan.

Facing rising production costs, Provision is asking the public to pitch in to help defray the costs of Red Letter Jesus with an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign seeking to raise $5000.

To help out, visit Red Letter Jesus’ Indiegogo. Donations are being accepted through September 15.

Red Letter Jesus stars Atlanta-based actor Brad Sherrill who devotes eight months of the year to the ongoing U.S. tour of his faith-based theater work. Red Letter Jesus, which includes an original visual presentation from Israel and Jordan created by his collaborator and multimedia designer Mark Hickman, is Sherrill’s third live theatrical offering based on biblical texts. Sherrill has performed The Gospel of John over 600 times, including a run off-Broadway. He also recently premiered his original adaptation of Prophets, based on the texts of Isaiah and Jeremiah, at Georgia Shakespeare (Atlanta, 2010).

“Our fundraising goal is only a fraction of the production costs for Red Letter Jesus,’ says Provision’s Artistic Director, Timothy Gregory. “Donations will help support multiple aspects of the show, including creating the set, facilitating the multimedia presentation of videography captured throughout Israel and Jordan and compensation for all of those involved in the production from the talent to the stage crew and box office staff.”

Campaign perks include mentions on Provision’s Facebook page, Red Letter Jesus cause bands/bracelets, Red Letter Jesus bookmarks, as well as tickets to Red Letter Jesus and a signed poster from critically acclaimed actor Brad Sherrill for larger donations.

“This is something we need to do to continue producing works of hope,” says Gregory. “With the publics’ support, Provision can continue to produce works that positively impact the community.”

The production will run September 6 through October 13 with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. at Provision Theater, 1001 W. Roosevelt Rd., Chicago, IL, 60608. For tickets, call the box office at 312-455-0066 or visit provisiontheater.org.

Check out a video trailer from Red Letter Jesus below.


About Provision Theater Company

Provision Theater Company is a 501c3 non-profit devoted to producing works of hope, reconciliation and redemption; works that challenge us to explore a life of meaning and purpose. Provision Theater Company has celebrated numerous Joseph Jefferson Award nominations for their critically-acclaimed productions of SHADOWLANDS, THE HIDING PLACE, COTTON PATCH GOSPEL, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, C.S. LEWIS ON STAGE, THE FOREIGNER, A CHRISTMAS MEMORY & THE THANKSGIVING VISITOR, THE SPITFIRE GRILL and BEAST ON THE MOON. Other highly praised productions include: SHAW VS CHESTERTON: THE DEBATE, FISH EYES, SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY, THE CHRISTMAS MIRACLE OF JONATHAN TOOMEY, BONHOEFFER’S COST, THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE, SANDERS FAMILY CHRISTMAS, GODSPELL, SMOKE ON THE MOUNTAIN, THE BOYS NEXT DOOR, and THE GOSPEL OF JOHN.

 

Charity fundraiser brings sports and hope to kids in need

GEAR FOR GOALS-4480
Gear for Goals collects sports equipment for kids in need during mega sports gear donation drive at the Schaumburg Boomers.

On Friday, June 21st, 2013, Gear for Goals (G4G) partnered with the Schaumburg Boomers Baseball Team to present a large scale sports and musical instrument donation drive. On this day, G4G asked fans to bring along new and used sports equipment and musical instruments to donate to children in need.

Fans came out in full force to support the effort and over 2,500 pieces of equipment were donated during the event. The Schaumburg Boomers Baseball League also made a donation to the cause.

Founding director, Dr. Warren Bruhl says, “So many children around the world have virtually nothing. They have no soccer balls, no baseball mitts, absolutely no equipment to play with and have little hope for a brighter tomorrow. However, our abundance in the United States and our gently used sports gear and even musical instruments can be a Godsend to a child. Everyone has something in the garage or closet going unused and they just want to know someone will put it to good use. That’s where we come in and provide the resource to connect the need with the generous giving.”

DanBorrisandCubanChildren
G4G Compassion Associate and World Renowned Photographer Dan Borris joins the effort to bring joy of sports to children of Cuba during recent trip.

Since Gear for Goals’ launch the summer of 2012, over 7,500 pieces of sports equipment and uniforms have been provided to underprivileged children around the world.

“Our heartfelt thanks go out to the Boomer’s fans and to the Schaumburg Boomers as well for making this event such a success,” stated Bruhl. “Equipment donated will make a difference in a child’s life and will help bring them joy of sport and hope.”

Gear for Goals’ Mega Sports Gear and Musical Instrument Drive sought to fill a semi truck with donated gear to benefit children in need. In total, G4G aims to provide equipment to over 10,000 children globally this year through their 10,000/$10,000 campaign.

Supporting the effort was G4G’s newly appointed Youth Ambassador, Jared Kuper who threw the opening pitch of the game. Jared is on a mission to raise awareness for childhood diabetes and with his new appointment with G4G, to impact the lives of children around the world.

The event also featured a performance by pop/singing songwriting duo, Acoustic Truth, composed of Ryan Knott and Sarah Lendy, who performed “Save the Children” during the pre-game festivities.

In addition to G4G’s team of volunteers including world renowned photographer Dan Borris who was on hand capturing the event, Josh Kerman who led a live DJ performance, and dance instructor Jennifer Eirinberg who choreographed G4G’s flash mob dance, other participants included individuals from Volunteer Match who came out to support the cause .

G4G currently ships to the Dominican Republic, Kenya, Bolivia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Russia, Philippines, Jamaica, India, and Cuba. For more information on ways you can support the effort, visit dreamweaver911.org. 

Gear for Goals is a project of Dreamweaver International, a 501c(3) organization located in the United States that provides education, healthcare, and humanitarian aid to the people of the Rift Valley of Kenya. Gear for Goals’ Vision is to see every child in the world have the opportunity to play, compete, and enjoy sport through equal access to necessary equipment and instruction. Gear for Goals’ Mission is to provide every child enjoyment, passion, and love of sport. Follow Gear for Goals at Facebook.com/GearforGoals.

April Neill Public Relations is passionate about helping small businesses position themselves as experts in their industry. We offer a complimentary 30-minute in-person or phone consultation. Email AprilNeill@gmail.com to make your appointment today or call (312) 772-3832 for more information. Visit us online at AprilNeillPR.com. Follow ANPR on Facebook at Facebook.com/AprilNeillPR.

Find Your Purpose, Follow Your Bliss

By April Neill, CEO/Founder April Neill Public Relations

“Every man has a purpose, something special that he can do better than anyone else. Your work is to discover this, then give yourself to it. The extent to which you use your skills to add to the world determines your happiness.”—Deepak Chopra

BlissPic

I had a conversation the other day with my son, Steven, who is contemplating whether to pursue his Master’s Degree (he currently holds a BS in Psychology from Loyola University – so proud of him!) or to venture off as an entrepreneur starting a design business with his best friend. Or maybe a janitorial business? So many choices! He currently has a great job at a hospital, although not in his chosen field, and it got me to thinking about how important it is to find your passion when you are considering your career path. My advice to my son? Do what you love to do!

According to a recent survey conducted by Yahoo! Finance/PARADE almost 60 percent of Americans polled would choose a different career. That means for most of us, if you work in a profession that you’re not charged up about, you could end up feeling uninspired and unfulfilled for a huge chunk of your life. That’s a lot of time and years to waste!

I personally didn’t start out as a publicist. I studied Criminal Justice and dreamed of a career as a profiler. That dream changed after I got married and had four beautiful children (my greatest love and passion, for sure!) and it wasn’t until I was in my early 30s that I started on a path to my chosen profession. With no formal education or experience in marketing or publishing, I launched a career as an entrepreneur and started my own Christian publishing company. I discovered a passion and a great love for marketing and publicity and embarked on an exciting and fulfilling journey which led me from running my own business for 15 years to leading the PR efforts of a large chiropractic group for 5 years and then back to my entrepreneurial roots with my own PR firm. Why did I end up working in publicity? Because I LOVE it! It’s my passion; it’s what gets me up in the morning and what I think about day-in and day-out. Simply put, I can’t imagine doing anything else. And being able to help other businesses and non-profits expand their reach and grow their market share? Giving back in this way brings me great joy. The inner profiler in me still loves watching Criminal Minds, however, I discovered that publicity was my true calling.

There are many reasons people get up to go to work every day and more often than not, it’s not just about getting paid. Some people find fulfillment by working for a company that shares their vision for helping people. Some people love their company culture – I hear Zappos employees are having tons of fun in their highly creative and zany workplace—and some are just nuts about crunching numbers all day. The key to happiness at work is to figure out what you are passionate about and what truly inspires you. Here’s the advice I gave to my son. Ask yourself what you would do with your life if you had everything? What would you do if you didn’t need the money?

If you’re contemplating changing careers, ask yourself the following: Is your current work meaningful and do you feel challenged? Do you enjoy it? Also, are you proud of the work you do and the company you work for? Do you feel like you’re part of the larger picture? An important question that I had to ask myself was whether I felt appreciated at work. That was a big one for me…and one that ultimately led me on a different path.

If you can’t answer yes to most of these simple questions about your job, it may be time to find inspiration in a new career. And if you’re just now pondering what it is that you want to do with your life career-wise, consider this: Life is short. Do more of what makes you happy, more of what brings value to others, and follow your bliss!

April Neill Public Relations is passionate about helping small businesses position themselves as experts in their industry. We offer a complimentary 30-minute in-person or phone consultation. Email AprilNeill@gmail.com to make your appointment today or call (312) 772-3832 for more information. Visit us online at AprilNeillPR.com. Follow ANPR on Facebook at Facebook.com/AprilNeillPR.