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Please click on one of the following categories to learn more about these awards: media relations, community relations, crisis communication, special events, B-roll and other.

Crisis Communications - Falk Gear Division/Rexnord, Communicating After a Tragedy
Best of Show & Award of Excellence

On December 6, 2006, Milwaukee-based company Falk Gear Division/Rexnord experienced a major explosion at its production complex. The explosion killed three employees, injured 46 others and forced hundreds to evacuate.

Zeppos & Associates assisted Falk in its communication efforts and helped the company demonstrate its sincere sympathy to the families and workers affected by the tragedy, while maintaining its positive reputation and integrity. The crisis communications effort involved multiple components to respond to intense media attention, including providing numerous media statements, news releases and interviews and conducting news conferences, as well as employee briefings and ongoing communications regarding employees returning to work and community support.

In the wake of the terrible tragedy, and as a result of strategic crisis communications initiatives and other efforts by the company, Falk has been widely praised for its timely and effective response to the incident.

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Media Relations - Jewish Family Services, Masterpiece
An Art Show on Wheels Award of Excellence

When Jewish Family Services and the Wisconsin Region Classic Car Club of America began coordinating the second annual Masterpiece Style & Speed Showcase, the nonprofit organizations turned to Zeppos & Associates to help garner positive media coverage for the event.

To draw people to the Milwaukee Lakefront and increase attendance over the 2005 inaugural event, Zeppos & Associates developed a media relations campaign targeting print, television, radio and online media. The firm focused its efforts on specific Milwaukee-area car owners to develop personalized story ideas to pitch. This approach was successful and generated unique and interesting story angles.

The Masterpiece event had a 50 percent increase in attendance over the 2005 event, and the tactics employed garnered extensive media coverage, including a segment on Milwaukee's No. 1 television morning show, a spot on one of the city's most popular Web sites and an article in the state's largest daily newspaper.

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Media Relations Tactic, Media Pitch - Grant Thornton, Facts & Figures in the Spotlight: The 2006 Great Lakes Manufacturing Report
Award of Excellence

Zeppos & Associates helped Grant Thornton LLP develop a media strategy for the firm's 2006 Great Lakes Manufacturing Report. The firm implemented a pitch strategy to team with one of the area's most respected business organizations and develop an event that would showcase the report to media and other key audiences.

Zeppos & Associates worked with the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce to host a business event and invited a panel of CEOs and other experts to speak about Wisconsin manufacturing. The firm developed and pitched the event to Milwaukee business media and encouraged coverage of the report in other Wisconsin markets.

The efforts were a success and reporters from all three of the city's business outlets attended the briefing. Coverage appeared statewide in print and online, and the effort also received positive attention and feedback from Grant Thornton on a national level.

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Media Relations Tactic, Media Pitch - Next Door Foundation, Educare's Fatherhood Program
Award of Excellence

The Next Door Foundation, a nonprofit organization located in Milwaukee, turned to Zeppos & Associates for assistance in promoting its various activities, programs and events. In doing so, Zeppos & Associates learned about a fatherhood program for dads whose children are enrolled in Educare. Zeppos & Associates worked with the Next Door Foundation to develop a media pitch focusing on the organization's unique fatherhood program.

Zeppos & Associates developed a pitch letter focusing on the program and reached out to target reporters at the state's largest newspaper. A reporter expressed interest in talking with a local participant, and Zeppos & Associates coordinated the interview and photo shoot.

The end result was a lengthy article and color photo that ran on the front page of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Saturday, June 17 - the day before Father's day. In addition, the article appeared on the paper's Web site and included a link to a photo gallery, which contained 16 pictures of the father and son at Educare.

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Media Relations Tactic, Media Pitch - North Shore Bank, Educating Consumers about Online Banking Safety
Award of Excellence

In June 2006, Zeppos & Associates saw an opportunity for an existing client, North Shore Bank, to take a leading public role on the topic of keylogging, an emerging type of fraud where criminals steal online banking passwords, account numbers and credit card numbers. Since identity theft and Internet safety were hot topics in the news nationally, the firm developed a pitch strategy regarding those issues.

Zeppos & Associates developed a strong and concise e-mail pitch that was easily customized for each media outlet. The pitch provided information about how North Shore Bank was warning Wisconsin consumers about the dangers of keylogging, banking industry statistics and the magnitude of the problem. Zeppos & Associates offered interviews with North Shore Bank's top security officer and gave an opportunity to shoot video or photos inside a local North Shore Bank branch.

The North Shore Bank keylogging pitch was well-received by television, print and online coverage which communicated the bank's key messages. Overall, the pitch served to help strengthen the bank's media relationships and reinforce its regional and customer reputation as an industry leader.

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Special Events - Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association, Media Day on the Marsh
Award of Excellence

For more than a decade, Zeppos & Associates has teamed with the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association (WSCGA) to promote Wisconsin as the leader in the cranberry industry. This year, Zeppos & Associates coordinated a Media Day on the Marsh event and invited targeted media to visit a central Wisconsin cranberry marsh for a behind-the-scenes look at the nation's largest cranberry harvest.

Media from across the state attended the event to document the annual cranberry harvest. Zeppos & Associates reserved a helicopter to give the videographers and photographers an aerial view of the Bassuener Cranberry Marsh and provided tours of the Wisconsin Rapids area for reporters to see other local marshes' harvests. Industry experts, cranberry growers and a dietitian from the American Heart Association conducted media interviews about the industry and the health benefits of cranberries.

The event garnered coverage throughout Wisconsin and beyond. Placements included stories on dozens of television stations in the state and across the nation and widespread print coverage throughout the region.

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B-roll Package - Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association, Heart-Healthy in the Heartland
Award of Excellence

In its 13th consecutive year working with the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association (WSCGA), Zeppos & Associates decided to extend its promotional efforts beyond the Midwest. Zeppos & Associates developed a plan to offer media a timely and visually interesting b-roll package via a satellite link to generate positive coverage of Wisconsin's cranberry harvest across the country.

In October, Zeppos & Associates worked with WSCGA to coordinate the filming and distribution of the b-roll. The firm rented a helicopter for a day and hired a videographer to take aerial footage at a central Wisconsin cranberry marsh during harvest. In addition, the videographer filmed interviews with cranberry growers, an American Heart Association dietitian and an international cranberry marketing expert regarding the industry and the heart-healthy benefits of cranberries. After editing the footage, Zeppos & Associates offered the b-roll to targeted media across the country via a satellite link.

The efforts were a success and the b-roll footage aired on stations around the country, helping meet WSCGA's goal of generating positive, national coverage of Wisconsin's cranberry harvest. Overall, the b-roll package aired on more than 125 different stations in 36 states.

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Raising an Individual's Public Profile - Building a Milwaukee Mover and Shaker
Award of Excellence

When lawyer, developer and sports marketer Craig Stoehr returned to his metro Milwaukee roots as managing partner of a real estate investment and development company, he turned to Zeppos & Associates to help raise his local profile and build new business relationships in his hometown. The firm worked with Stoehr to develop a PR and media relations plan.

Zeppos & Associates utilized different tactics to help boost Stoehr's profile in the Milwaukee community. The firm leveraged his involvement in local business ventures to generate media coverage. In addition, Zeppos & Associates secured several personality profiles in local publications, utilized online media to publish live chats and helped Stoehr become involved with several community events and boards.

The efforts were well-received and surpassed the project's goal by reaching more than 1 million impressions. Additionally, Stoehr was named one of Milwaukee's "Forty Under 40" in 2006 by The Business Journal.

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Media Relations - Plum Creek, Conserving a Part of Wisconsin's Natural Heritage
Award of Merit

In September 2006, Zeppos & Associates assisted Plum Creek in communicating a major conservation easement between the company and the State of Wisconsin. Plum Creek turned to Zeppos & Associates to ensure that its efforts to conserve a part of Wisconsin's natural heritage were shared with key audiences, including residents, officials and others throughout Wisconsin.

Zeppos & Associates planned a news conference in northern Wisconsin and invited targeted media. The firm secured key participants at the news conference, such as a DNR representative involved in the conservation effort and a representative from a highly regarded state trail, to speak about the benefits the State of Wisconsin would reap from conserving the 18,500-acre parcel. The news conference successfully attracted local and regional media, including three local television stations and a reporter from the major local daily newspaper.

The efforts surrounding the conservation easement garnered positive media coverage, totaling more than 22 print and online stories, and more than nine reports on the local television stations. The news conference was successful in announcing the conservation easement and communicating the information to key stakeholders.

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Community Relations - Kennecott Minerals Company, Promises Made, Promises Kept - Telling the Story
Award of Excellence

When Kennecott Minerals, an international mining company, was preparing to initiate a community relations program it turned to Zeppos & Associates to assist.

The long-term community relations effort focused on communicating about the company's reclaimed mine site to elected officials, community leaders and community members through a 2007 calendar with facts about the site, periodic newsletter, on-site information stations, on-site community events, statewide tourism efforts and more.

As a result, the efforts communicated that the site had become an asset to the area.

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