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FEATURE OF THE MONTH
Please click on one of the following categories to learn more about these awards: media relations, marketing consumer outreach, community relations, public relations tactic/special event and miscellaneous.

Zeppos & Associates came away from the May Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America’s Paragon Awards banquet with 10 Paragon Awards. The Zeppos & Associates team earned three Awards of Excellence and seven Awards of Merit - for media relations, marketing consumer outreach, community relations, special events and other PR projects from 2007.

Click here to view the PR Consultants Group (PRCG) newsletter that highlights the firm's accomplishment. Zeppos & Associates is a member of PRCG, a national network of public relations firms that serves a variety of national and regional clients particularly in the food, beverage and consumer goods industries.

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Media Relations - Jewish Family Services, Promoting a "Masterpiece"
Award of Excellence

When Jewish Family Services (JFS) and the Wisconsin Region Classic Car Club of America (WIRCCCA) began coordinating the 2007 Masterpiece Style & Speed Showcase, the nonprofit organizations again turned to Zeppos & Associates to help generate positive media coverage for the annual event, which offered the general public a unique opportunity to experience more than 200 rare and historic automobiles from around the country.

Working with a limited budget, our firm's media relations efforts resulted in a 100 percent increase in attendance over the 2006 event. Our tactics generated extensive media coverage seen across all mediums, including coverage on Milwaukee's No.1 morning news program, its most popular entertainment Web site, the area’s top radio station and in the state’s largest daily newspaper.

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Media Relations - Quarles & Brady Law firm, Laying Down the Law in the Media
Award of Merit

When Quarles & Brady wanted to raise the profile of its Madison office, it turned to Zeppos & Associates to develop a comprehensive media relations program for the law firm. Through educational efforts on what makes news and how to work with the media, electronic newsletters highlighting upcoming media opportunities and more, Zeppos & Associates created a program that interested and engaged the lawyers and resulted in more than 20 media placements. Involved attorneys praised Zeppos & Associates' efforts and results, and the law firm has since had Zeppos & Associates replicate the program in other offices.

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Media Relations - National Electrical Manufacturers Association, Pardon the “Interruption” - Increasing Awareness for Home Electrical Safety
Award of Merit

At the start of 2007, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) approached Zeppos & Associates to develop a multitiered public relations effort to educate home owners and the electrical and homebuilding community about an innovative home safety device that prevents electrical fires.

In the first year of the two-year educational campaign, our firm’s public and media relations efforts resulted in significant positive media coverage in several prominent and well-respected electrical and home building industry publications and their corresponding Web sites, as well a piece in The New York Times. Our 2007 efforts laid the groundwork for the second phase of the educational campaign, which our firm began in January 2008.

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Media Relations - Brooks Stevens/Ingenium, The Merging of Two Great Companies
Award of Merit

When product development companies Brooks Stevens and Ingenium Product Development decided to merge into one entity, they turned to Zeppos & Associates to generate positive media coverage of the merger and help communicate the news to their stakeholders.

Zeppos & Associates developed a strategic plan for the announcement, created materials for the media and conducted a media prep session for the executives. Resulting coverage was outstanding and included a front-page article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that was accompanied by nine, full-color photos, as well as dozens of statewide and national media hits.

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Media Relations - Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association - CNBC Story Package
Award of Merit

When a reporter from CNBC contacted the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association regarding a possible package story focused on the cranberry industry, the firm stepped in to assist the reporter and bring the story to Wisconsin.

Zeppos & Associates worked quickly to secure a marsh location for filming the segments, coordinated cranberry growers and industry representatives as spokespeople and served as the liaison during filming to ensure the reporter was accommodated.

The efforts resulted in four, four-minute segments that aired on CNBC throughout one day. The stories reached more than 1.1 million people, garnered nearly $75,000 in publicity value and helped boost the Wisconsin cranberry industry into the national spotlight.

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Marketing Consumer Outreach - Bielinski Homes, What’s New at the Châteauroux
Award of Merit

As Bielinski Homes, a Waukesha-based homebuilder, prepared to showcase its premier model home amid the 2007 homebuilding slump, it turned to Zeppos & Associates for help.

Zeppos & Associates created a strategic communications campaign to differentiate Bielinski's “Châteauroux” model home from others during the annual Milwaukee Builders Association Parade of Homes. The campaign focused on heightening awareness among key consumers of the Châteauroux's unique new design elements and trendy terminology, including a digital drop-off zone, home sanctuary and a homeowner's retreat.

The result sparked foot traffic into the home, comments from many regarding Bielinski Homes attention to detail and quality, and led to several direct sales of the $300,000 design. The Milwaukee Builders Association told Bielinski Homes' The Châteauroux effort clearly helped drive people to the Parade of Homes overall.

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Community Relations - Mayfair Mall, “Parental Guidance Required” at Mayfair
Award of Excellence

When Mayfair Mall decided to enact a teen escort policy to make the shopping center more family-friendly after a series of police incidents, negative press and complaints about intimidating crowds of youth, it turned to Zeppos & Associates to help introduce the plan to the community.

Working in an explosive and sensitive atmosphere, the Zeppos/Mayfair team developed and executed a multifaceted community relations plan that emphasized proactive communication and a tough, but fair stance, that successfully generated community confidence and support.

A year later, incidents are dramatically down, sales are up and Mayfair continues to be praised for its decisive action, community-oriented approach and proactive communications strategy in a difficult situation.

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Public Relations Tactic/Special Event - Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, Kenosha Signing Ceremony
Award of Excellence

When the developer and local "face" for the Menominee Tribe's proposed casino in Kenosha, Wis., was suddenly forced to step away from the effort, the Tribe and its development partner, the Mohegan Tribe, turned to Zeppos & Associates to communicate to Kenoshans that the project remained on track, committed to Kenosha and worthy of local support.

Zeppos & Associates planned a special, community-oriented ceremony that brought the governing bodies of two Tribes together with Kenosha leaders and residents to share traditions and a vision for the future. Today, community support for the project remains strong and local residents have attended meetings, written op-eds, contacted elected officials and even traveled to Washington, D.C., to tell the federal government they want the project in Kenosha.

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Miscellaneous - Commercial - Miller Brewing Company, Miller Free Rides® - Celebrating 20 Years of Responsibility
Award of Merit

In 2007, Miller Brewing Company celebrated the 20th anniversary of the New Year’s Eve Miller Free Rides® program in Milwaukee. In an effort to create additional buzz, Miller turned to Zeppos & Associates to draft a television public service announcement (PSA) for the successful program. As part of the special anniversary PSA, Miller secured actor Windell Middlebrooks, who plays the Miller High Life delivery man in the company’s popular High Life advertising campaign.

Zeppos & Associates’ efforts, planning and coordination created a successful 20th anniversary television PSA and was a huge success. The PSA contributed to an increase in ridership over the previous year’s program, a dramatic increase in traffic to the Miller Free Rides® Web site and initiated additional community awareness about the program.

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Miscellaneous - Media Tour - Big Ten Network, The Big Ten Network Comes to Badger Country
Award of Merit

When the fledgling Big Ten Network wanted to communicate why it should be on basic cable in Wisconsin and not on a pricey cable sports tier, it turned to Zeppos & Associates to creatively design a one-day public relations effort around a Badger State visit by the network’s key leadership.

The firm organized and implemented a whirlwind 12-hour tour that included a UW-Madison boosters rally in Milwaukee, a bipartisan legislative support event in Madison, and an appearance during UW Badger Day at the Zoo. The firm also localized the tour with key UW coaches, three successful editorial board meetings, four network TV media interviews and several radio interviews. Those leading the Big Ten Network’s national effort called the firm’s Wisconsin results amazing.

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