Shatterproof Pittsburgh Stronger Than Addiction

Please join our friends at Shatterproof.org on Wednesday, June 25 at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh, to raise awareness and funds for research, prevention and support of those afflicted with Drug and Alcohol Addiction.

Shatterproof-Pittsburgh-PasadenaSponsor or rappel 26 stories down the side of the Westin!

Rappel times are going fast – hurry to sign up today for the Pittsburgh event here.

Here’s an interview our BrandMill Public Relations team coordinated yesterday for founder Gary Mendell on KDKA-TV’s Pittsburgh Today LIVE.

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Show Thanks Through Veteran Causes

Today we offer a warm, respectful salute of thanks to all American veterans – present and past.

Here’s a nice story about Pittsburgh’s Veterans Day Parade, but with a most disturbing statistic!

About 33% of the homeless people in Pittsburgh’s homeless are veterans and nationwide the figure is 23%! So, if you’re putting together your 2013 budget and considering a cause marketing effort, consider our veterans. Sure, you’ll see lots of brands offer a kind gesture such as offering free coffee, a meal etc., on Monday or this week, but that’s a promotion – not a meaningful cause marketing (relationship building) effort.
In Pittsburgh – as in your hometown – I’m sure there’s a wonderful asset helping our veterans such as Shepherd’s Heart Veterans Home in Pittsburgh’s Uptown neighborhood which provides transitional housing. Consider something like Shepherd’s Heart, hire a veteran and/or help your local/national VFW – http://www.vfw.org/Contribute.
Remember that all gave some, but some gave all! Please do your part and give some too!
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A Great Demo of How to Wow

In our client strategy sessions, we always discuss “How to deliver a ‘WOW'” because most brands don’t take the time to think how they can create brand buzz – or, believe they can!

Every brand has a ‘WOW” within them – cost effective ones to be nurtured with thought and care – that will effectively separate themselves from their competitors and carve out a unique branded value proposition, awareness etc.

For example, here’s a ‘WOW’ case study right in our own backyard by a small family owned window cleaning company based in Pittsburgh.

Their idea is a cool and commendable story. The idea was a simple lift of one that a firm executed  in another country.

This simple ‘WOW’ paid off big time too. The brand made a more favorable impression with clients, prospects, employees and for its potential little customers that will last a lifetime. In addition, this ‘WOW’ landed the company and its owners on the front page of Pittsburgh’s major daily papers, 6PM and 11PM TV news and more. Do you have a ‘WOW’ cooking NOW?  If not, why not? You can do it and get people buzzing about your brand!
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BrandMill Helps 86 Breast Cancer

For nearly 10 years, we’ve been a supporter of the American Cancer Society and its mission of celebrating more birthdays throughout western Pennsylvania. We’ve participated as a Board Member, Marketing Committee Chairperson and general volunteer.

However, this year is shaping up to be one of our more meaningful, gratifying and fun years as we’ve helped the Pittsburgh Region (New East Central Region) more effectively promote its Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Event.

The NFL and locally the Pittsburgh Steelers are huge ‘Strides’ supporters. And a year ago, we proposed the idea of using popular (and future NFL Hall of Famer – if we had a vote) Steelers Hines Ward as an event spokesperson asking people to help, “86 Breast Cancer!” Note: The number 86 is Hines’ number. FYI – to “86 something” means to get rid of or eliminate.

Well, this year the Steelers and Hines agreed and helped the ACS air a unique Public Service announcement with Pittsburgh’s NBC affiliate WPXI-TV and news anchor Peggy Finnegan (a breast cancer survivor) to “86 Breast Cancer” which is what number 86 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is striving to do – and encouraging Pittsburghers to do!

Note: Hines and Peggy are joined in this first picture with American Cancer Society Regional Vice President Glenn Callihan.

Over and above the ’86 Breast Cancer” idea, we’ve supported the ACS brand as its Facebook marketing coach, initiated a sponsor meeting with the local Chevrolet Dealer Marketing Group of Pittsburgh (who raised nearly 15% of the total donations to date) and set up a television interview on Pittsburgh CBS affiliate KDKA-TV s Pittsburgh Today LIVE show.

Tim Colussy, Corina Diehl, Glenn Callihan, Kristine Sorensen

We’re always excited to work alongside brands to help them maximize all of the storytelling opportunities they have available to them and show them the way so they can even do it more effectively themselves. And, they are!

And as a result, I’m happy to report that the American Cancer Society’s 2nd annual Pittsburgh Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K Walk held on October 29, 2011 on Pittsburgh’s North Shore (just outside of Heinz Field) involved more than 3,000 walkers and helped raise nearly $300,000 – nearly twice the amount raised in 2010.

Participants included teams from Western Pennsylvania corporations, businesses and organizations that formed Making Strides teams, as well as participation from individuals, including breast cancer survivors, family members and friends.

Of course, the fight is not over yet! Donations will continue to be accepted in order to help the American Cancer Society reach their fundraising goal. Donations can still be made online at cancer.org/stridesonline or by calling 1.888.227.5445.

Proceeds from Making Strides Against Breast Cancer support the American Cancer Society’s life-saving breast cancer research, education, advocacy, patient services, and community partnership grants for women in Pittsburgh.

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Join BrandMill’s Bosom Buddies

Join our BrandMill Bosom Buddies Team and help us Make Strides Against Breast Cancer!

And, when you donate $50 or more to our BBB team, you can get a FREE limited edition T-Shirt with our team logo!

Click here to donate now!

Or help us save lives from breast cancer by joining the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K walk in Pittsburgh.

Here are the details:

Saturday, October, 29th at the North Shore Riverfront Park Great Lawn on the North Side.

Registration is at 8AM and the Walk starts at 9AM.

Hope to see you there!

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Pittsburgh Gives Today

Here’s a great opportunity for Pittsburgh brands and every day people to do well by doing good!

Today, Tuesday, October 4, is the Pittsburgh Foundation’s “Day of Giving” when online donations ($25 minimum) via the PittsburghGives website can help your favorite charity in western Pennsylvania receive a pro-rated match.

This is a great opportunity to leverage a tax-exempt contribution and increase the level of your support one of your favorite causes. Follow the PittsburghGives simple four-step process.

Donations must be made online TODAY  by 11:59 PM to be eligible. The match pool for 2011 is $725,000 for Pittsburgh Gives and the match pool is $100,000 for Westmoreland Gives.

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A Memorial Day to Remember

As a marketer, I’m all for promotions and sales, but over the past few years, I have become increasingly sickened and saddened by the commercialization of Memorial Day.

Throughout this past week, my mailbox was overflowing with Memorial Day/Weekend sales messages and offers, my TV has been pounding me with offers and yesterday I awoke to find a free American flag in my front yard with a real estate agent’s business card attached to it.

So, when I discovered Steve McCallion’s series in Fast Company magazine about how to make Memorial Day for meaningful, it struck a chord with me.

I’ve always considered myself a patriotic guy, but confess I’ve strayed away from participating in the true message and meaning of Memorial Day. That’s why today and for future Memorial Days, I will pause to reflect and remember my family members who have served in America’s wars.

More importantly, I will pay homage and tribute to – and pray for – those who paid the ultimate sacrifice by laying down their lives in battle such as the following men who attended my alma mater Bishop Canevin High School in Pittsburgh, PA – Joel D. Coleman, ’63, James K. McAleer, ’64, Robert F. Bahl, Jr., ’65, James F. Engelmeier, ’66, Norman F. Benedik, ’66 and Ryan J. Kovacicek, ’01.

It is my hope that today and for years to come we Marketers and Americans will follow a new tradition of putting ‘Memorial’ back into Memorial Day.

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Honor Flight Pittsburgh

Remember this weekend (especially Monday) and EVERY day that, “All gave some and some gave all!”

We’re building a team looking to establish an Honor Flight hub in western Pennsylvania – there’s no hub in our state.

Ours is a simple mission – to raise funds to fly/escort World War II vets to visit their Washington DC Memorial (and other Memorials) to thank them for their selfless service for freedoms we enjoy and so often take for granted.

If interested in hearing more (or know someone who might be interested), please email us.

“We can’t all be heroes because somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.” – Will Rogers

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Authentic Marketing Helps Light Lives

These days you hear a ton about Cause Branding and Marketing and about authenticity and transparency in brand messaging.

Well, to see it first hand, check out this interview we set up for our friends at Light of Life Rescue Mission and good friend, former Pittsburgh Steeler and broadcaster Tunch Ilkin.

It’s easy to see how Tunch and Beth’s passion for the Mission enables it to attract volunteers and donors who help its staff make miracles happen every day by getting homeless men and women back on to bright path of recovery.

Net – it’s easy to ‘sell’ when you believe in your product and what you’re doing!

If you’d like to participate in Tunch & Wolf’s 9th Annual Walk for the Homeless on Saturday, May 9th, click here for more information.

Remember,when you light a lamp for someone else, you brighten your path too!

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