2015 AVA Digital Awards Spotlight: Black Duck Software

While the winners for the 2015 AVA Digital Awards won’t be announced for a while, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted.

AVA Digital Awards Company: Black Duck Software
Location: Burlington, Massachusetts
Title of Entry: “OSS Logistics Securing Open Source”
Category: 185. Video Production – Corporate Overview

Black Duck LogoOpen source solutions is not something 99.9% of the population would ever think about or even try to understand. But if you are in the software business, it’s important. Black Duck is one of the leaders in the industry.

Based in Burlington, Massachusetts, the company is an open source software (OSS) logistics solutions provider. Black Duck recently made its capabilities easy to understand through animation. The video has snappy graphics, good sound effects, a smart script and a sense of humor.


This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – Dec. 9, 2014

By Gregg Ellman

Reviews of Mylio digital photo management software, Ventev Chargedock 2000 and Twelve South HiRise Deluxe for iPhone and iPad desktop dock.

Mylio Photo Management Software

Mylio, a digital photo management software, got it’s name from “My Life Organized,” according to Kevin Gilbert, memory evangelist for the company.

During a phone call he also pointed out that the company recently had a study done and found that 1.3 trillion digital photos will be taken worldwide 2015.

Mylio Photo Organizing Software

With that in mind, Gilbert said the premise of gathering, saving, protecting and showing digital images helped create Mylio.

After using the software I can say first hand that Mylio does it all. Read The Rest

How Walker + Associates Delivers Award-Winning, Tangible Results

Walker + AssociatesWalker + Associates (W+A), a full service advertising, marketing, public relations + digital firm headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, has been delivering clients remarkable results for over 49 years. Founded by political virtuoso Deloss Walker in 1965,  W+A has worked with every realm of industry through the years from food retail to transportation to tourism and beyond. Their effectiveness relies upon a firm understanding of industry segments with a specific strategy employed to link the desired results of the client with targeted public inclination, a tactic derived from Walker’s years of political consulting. His legacy is carried on through the agency by his business partner + wife CEO/President Ceil Walker who continues to execute his unique strategy while generating eye-catching creative and lucrative international + national campaigns.

As W+A turns the golden age in 2015, a new transformation lies ahead. “As our tactics and technology evolve, our brand must do the same,” says Ceil Walker whose son, Deloss Walker + daughter Cecilia Walker, have joined to headline transformation efforts. “Our rebrand will take place in the early months of 2015 with a new logo, website + various public relations events giving back to the city of Memphis in a charitable way.” Though Walker will not comment on the unique unveiling of the new direction, she assures it will pay homage to the traditional structure of the company while catapulting the firm at the forefront of innovation.

For more information on Walker + Associates, please contact Cecilia Walker at ceciliaw@walker-assoc.com.

Communitas Awards Spotlight: Alliance Data

Communitas Awards Individual: Alliance Data
Title: “2014 Excellence in Community Services”
Location: Plano, Texas
Category: 1. Leadership in Community Service

Alliance Data Systems

When designing and implementing a corporate social responsibility (CSR) plan, professionals must look outward at community initiatives as well as inward if they want to create an all-inclusive strategy. Few companies have broad plans that address CSR at every level; however, Alliance Data is one of the rare ones that does and it has its strategy laid out in a well-documented plan.

To learn why the company, recently named one of the world’s most admired companies by Fortune, decided to create a formal strategy, we spoke with Danielle Ricketts, external communications specialist for Alliance Data. Ricketts was also able to give us a glimpse at its results inside and outside the Texas-based business.

Q: Alliance Data’s approach to corporate responsibility is comprehensive, covering not only community service but also other efforts that result in positive change and improved business practices. Why did leadership decide to create a formal strategy, and how has it affected Alliance Data overall? Read The Rest

This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – Nov. 11, 2014

By Gregg Ellman

Reviews of the Garmin Nuvi 2689LMT GPS, Kwikset Kevo door lock and the Maxell MB-2 portable Bluetooth 4.0 speaker.

Garmin Nuvi 2689LMT GPS

If Garmin could, they would control the gas and brake pedals in addition to doing an amazing job of getting you where you want to go.

I tried out the company’s latest GPS unit, the Nuvi 2689LMT, and again they made me wonder how they can make a better GPS unit than the previous – but they always seem to.


Read The Rest

You’ve won a 2014 MarCom Award. Now what?

marcom awards logoThe results of the 2014 MarCom Awards have been announced. After you’re done with your celebratory dance, what’s next? Don’t just sit on this international recognition – shout your accomplishment from the rooftops so everyone from clients to peers and journalists are aware of your top-notch work.

To help you get started with your promotion, here are a few ideas that hopefully won’t end with your neighbors calling the cops about noisy office neighbors.

1. Make space on the company website & email newsletters

Carve out prominent space on your website to communicate your latest accomplishment. Even a small space on the homepage showcasing third-party recognition can give your team an instant credibility boost with potential and current clients. The same applies to email newsletters.

Design pros can take readymade graphics from our library – available in JPG, PNG, PDF and EPS formats – and create customized banners for a polished, personalized look.

If you’re not a designer, fear not. We’ve got you covered, too. All the graphics look grand out of the box.

2014 Marcom Awards Graphics

2. Send a press release

Not only can you publish a press release or blog article online, but many local trade publications and business publications have an awards or current events section that would be a perfect spot for your MarCom Awards announcement.

Use information from our press release about this year’s competition here.

3. Broadcast on social media

Leverage you audiences on whatever platforms you use – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest…the list goes on.

If some of your team members aren’t the self-congratulatory type, then a nice thank-you tweet or status update is always a nice way to show your gratitude and communicate their wonderful work.

Include us in the tweet or plus posting, and we’ll be sure to share or +1. If you’d rather use a hashtag, include #MarComAwards in your message. Soon, we’ll be highlighting creative ways companies are promoting their accomplishments.

Since we’re talking about social media, don’t forget to update any platforms that allow for longer bios like Facebook and LinkedIn. You’re an award-winning firm – make sure everyone knows it! Also, staff can add these awards to their personal profiles.

What else?

You can also get the word out with these ideas:

  • Showcase your statuette in your waiting area
  • Photograph your team with the certificate or statuette. Enhance a normal pic and turn it into an animated GIF for even more fun.
  • Revisit the award-winning work online and add a line about how it won a 2014. MarCom Award. Ex. Add the line to the description of a YouTube video.
  • Create a “Behind the Scenes” video or article that explains how your team creates award-winning work.
  • Highlight the honor internally to boost morale, whether that’s through a break room bulletin board or internal newsletter.

For winner certificates, free graphic downloads, the official press release and statuette store, visit store.marcomawards.com.

What are you doing to publicize your MarCom Awards reconigition? Make sure you let us know because soon we’ll be creating an article that highlights creative ways professionals are promoting their honors. 

Use the hashtag #MarComAwards on Twitter or Google+ or send us an email at info@marcomawards.com.


AVA Digital Awards Now Open

AVA Digital Awards is an international competition that recognizes excellence by creative professionals responsible for the planning, concept, direction, design and production of digital communication. Work ranges from digital engagement campaigns – to audio and video production – to website development – to social media interaction – to mobile marketing.

>>Enter Now!

You had me at Ello! 5 Questions with Founder Todd Berger

Ello Social Media NetworkThe following is a blog article from MarCom Awards winner John P. David.

Rarely a week goes by that I don’t encounter someone who is frustrated with social media. I have friends who have taken extended breaks from Facebook, and others who often see it as a platform for people to be nasty in a somewhat anonymous manner. Still others just find Facebook overly commercialized.

Entrepreneur Paul Budnitz and designer Todd Berger fall into this category. Budnitz, who also sells titanium “city” bikes that can retail for more than $8,000, and Berger are two of the founders of a new social network called Ello.

You may have heard about Ello, as it is being described by some as the “anti-Facebook.” Ello is an invitation-only social network that drew a lot of attention following an interesting confluence of events. Facebook changed some of its rules, which essentially forced people to use their real names on their profiles — or leave the site. A bunch of folks split FB and ended up at the newer, hipper Ello.

As word spread, Ello became the “it” site for several weeks and at one point had 40,000 people per hour asking for invitations to join. According to a story in The New York Times, the site went from 90 initial users in early August to more than a million now, with a waiting list of about three million. The rapid rise drew a ton of attention and even caught the eye of Jimmy Fallon and The Tonight Show.

The organization has taken a hard line against advertising — it even has a manifesto. (By the way, can a manifesto be anything but intriguing?) And last week, it changed its corporate structure, becoming a public benefit corporation with a charter that forbids the company from using ads or selling user data to make money. There’s all kinds of interesting stuff here, so I decided to take a deeper dive. Take a look at my recent interview with one of the founders, Todd Berger.

John P. David (JPD): Ello gained a lot of media attention lately and generated a ton of buzz. I would say a mix of positive and skeptical coverage. And The Tonight Show was a major PR coup. Given all that, how’s business?

Todd Berger (TB): Business is great. We’re working hard and having fun. We’re changing the way the Internet, and everyone connected to it, thinks about social networking. 

JPD: Why do you think users are flocking to your site in large numbers? Is there a thirst for a cleaner interface, or are people fleeing ads, fleeing less privacy afforded by Facebook?

TB: We think it’s all those things. A desire for a more pure space, design, aesthetics, simplicity, privacy, a lack of advertising and data sales, trust — there’s all sorts of reasons, and they’re a little different for everyone.

JPD: Some commentators have said folks are joining your site in a response to requirements by Facebook that users are now required to create accounts under their legal names. Why is it important that people be allowed to use alternate identities if they choose?

Todd Berger

Todd Berger

TB: Lots of people enjoy having an alias or pseudonym. This is for all sorts of reasons. It’s so a person can exercise an alternative or nontraditional lifestyle and have some semblance of personal privacy, support, and safety. Let’s say you work from 9 to 5 but after that you’re an artist, or photographer, or a writer and you have a pen name, or you’re a performer and you have a stage name — or who knows what. We support people that think differently, and we want them to have a place to connect, share ideas, and carry on in the manner that’s most fitting to them.

JPD: Ello doesn’t have advertising, but it is a business — and you have stated that you will charge for some features. What’s the inspiration for the future revenue model? Is it to make it a PBS or, perhaps, HBO of social media? Or is it a brand-new model?

TB: It’s to offer a new alternative. What we’re doing is most similar to Apple’s App Store paradigm. We’re going to sell features and experiences that enable people to customize Ello to keep making Ello better and better. We have some other revenue streams planned as well.

JPD: One journalist said the following about Ello: “One of its signature features is that the ‘provenance’ of anything posted to the site can always be followed back to its source, to divide innovators from follow-ons.” What are your thoughts on this? Do you believe that we are searching for authenticity in social networks and our communications?

TB: We’re all searching for authenticity. We want to live real lives. Honest lives. That’s what feels best. We all know that. Real things are better than fake things. It’s simple. We’re all looking for genuinely meaningful experiences. Ello’s a conduit for these sorts of experiences.


New social networks seem to come and go, but something about Ello gives me a sense it might stick. If you want to learn more, I suggest you give it a shot. I’m on Ello as johnpdavid (yes, I’m one of the chosen few), and I have some invitations left. I’m curious to know what you think.

This article was originally published on DavidPRblog.com and has been republished with permission. 


John P. David of David PR GroupJohn P. David is founder and president of Miami-based media relations firm David PR Group, and represents law firms, financial institutions, insurance companies and technology start-ups. He has more than 20 years of experience in the public relations industry serving South Florida-based and national clients. David frequently blogs about public relations and marketing at www.DavidPRblog.com and his posts are regularly published by the Huffington Post. He also serves as a partner with online reputation management firm WebFactCheck.com, a website that enables businesses to effectively respond to negative Internet posts.

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