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Zeppos & Associates, Inc.
2009 Paragon Awards
Awarded in May 2010 by the Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America

'BEST OF SHOW'
AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
Public Affairs - Bringing MMA Safety to Wisconsin

Bringing MMA Safety to Wisconsin In 2009, Zeppos & Associates executed a yearlong government affairs campaign that resulted in Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle signing into law the first statewide safety standards for the fast-growing sport of mixed martial arts (MMA). The campaign was conducted on behalf of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the largest and most recognized MMA organization in the world. The firm met with more than 80 legislators and staff, packed public hearings and generated overwhelming support from Wisconsin's MMA community that included doctors, fighters, trainers, promoters, venue operators and others dedicated to seeing the sport thrive in Wisconsin. Success was found at each step of the legislative process and culminated in the Governor making Wisconsin the 43rd state in the country to regulate MMA.

Judge’s comment: “The extent of information is impressive! The thorough research sets the stage for the amount of work and coverage that this plan took.”

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AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
Media Relations - Cousins Subs Moo Tour & Moo-la-palooza 2009

Moo-la-palooza 2009 When Milwaukee-based sandwich chain Cousins Subs wanted to maximize publicity for its biggest annual event - Moo-la-palooza, the mooing contest at the Wisconsin State Fair - it asked Zeppos & Associates to create a media relations program that would draw local, statewide and even national attention. Building on Cousins' presence in top Wisconsin media markets, the state's beloved dairy heritage and the unmatched visuals and audio as folks of all ages belted out their best Bessie bellows, our team developed a highly successful, multifaceted campaign targeting TV, radio, print and online media. Highlights included a 10-stop statewide "Cousins Subs Moo Tour," a "Moo Master" who became the face and voice of the campaign, a media tour with radio stations broadcasting live from the Fair and a national pitch strategy that earned significant national and additional local coverage for Cousins, Moo-la-palooza and the nine-year-old "Moo" champ.

Judge’s comment: “Love the idea of the Moo Tour and use of student Moo Master...amazing results - great value for the budget.”

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AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
Media Relations - Cranberries With International Flair

Cranberries With International Flair With the goal of bringing media attention to Wisconsin cranberries and the significant role they play in the state's economy, agricultural industry and the world marketplace, Zeppos & Associates planned and implemented a successful and far-reaching media relations campaign. The effort featured strong pitching, detailed event planning, careful messaging, strategic use of budget and more to gain significant international, national and local media coverage. The campaign resulted in more than $3.86 million in publicity value, $1.29 million in advertising values and more than 21 million impressions with a $40,000 budget.

Judge’s comment: “Your research was terribly thorough and your planning was impeccable. You covered all bases and then some!”

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AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
Community Relations - Revving Up for a New Artistic Chapter for the Rep and Metro Milwaukee

Mark Clements As Milwaukee Repertory Theater prepared to name its first new artistic director in 17 years, it asked Zeppos & Associates to help introduce its choice to metro Milwaukee, particularly to audiences beyond the Rep's traditional patrons and supporters. The new artistic director had impressive credentials and a love for motorcycles, sports and pop culture that would play well in Milwaukee, along with innovative ideas to open the Rep to new collaborative partners and audiences. Working quickly, and building on the mystery and anticipation surrounding the announcement, the Rep/Zeppos team developed a highly successful, strategic community relations plan that included community leader meetings, broad media outreach, well-timed e-mail and social media announcements, video, an online chat and more. The multilayered effort went from initial concept to completion in less than three weeks, attracting significant positive media attention, building new relationships for the Rep and culminating in a party that brought together hundreds of people at Milwaukee's Harley-Davidson Museum to toast an exciting new chapter for the Rep and the community.

Judge’s comment: “Impressive program, especially keeping his announcement a secret and pulling together a comprehensive program with many 'legs' as quickly as you did.”

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AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
Corporate Social Responsibility - Expanding Miller Lite Free Rides to New Cities

Miller Lite Free Rides When MillerCoors wanted to expand its drunk driving prevention program - Miller Lite Free Rides - it turned to Zeppos & Associates to help implement the popular corporate social responsibility program in two new U.S. markets. Zeppos & Associates assisted with researching potential expansion cities; establishing dialogue and building relationships with transit companies, distributors and other community partners; and launching and leading a new program initiative with MillerCoors and a series of other agencies involved in its implementation. The program demonstrates how effective alcohol responsibility programs can be, not only in providing opportunities to feature MillerCoors' commitment to responsible use of its products, but also in forging relationships with local communities across the country.

Judge’s comment: “Nice expansion of an existing program. This was a huge undertaking with a small budget. Well done!”

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AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
Media Relations - Dr. Yun's Crystal Ball: Predicting A Real Home Sales Recovery

WRA With a goal of gaining positive local and statewide media coverage for the visit of a national economist and senior V.P. of the National Association of REALTORS®, Zeppos & Associates took the tactic of "media tour" to a new level. The firm identified an emerging home sales rebound, skillfully leveraging it into seven media interviews and five media stops within a 10-hour period. Targeted research, pitching, planning and efficient use of budget combined for a whirlwind tour generating significant local and statewide media coverage. The client, the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association, called the effort exhausting, but amazing.

Judge’s comment: “The timeline of events for the day was very impressive, it was constructed very diligently. The amount of media coverage they gained set the bar for other organizations that cover Dr. Yun.”

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AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
PR Tactics: Media Relations - Making Wisconsin Cranberries Rachael Ray's "Snack of the Day"

Rachel Ray Zeppos & Associates has worked with the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association for nearly two decades and each year strives to look for new ways to promote Wisconsin cranberries beyond the Thanksgiving table. This past year, Zeppos sought to get in front of a national audience to communicate that cranberries are great, healthy snacks year-round, not just at Thanksgiving. After researching "The Rachael Ray Show," the firm decided the show was a perfect fit to showcase Wisconsin's state fruit. After a creative pitch and contact with one of the show's producers, a chocolate-coated cranberry snack was featured as the "snack of the day" on Rachael Ray. The mention on the national stage also garnered significant local coverage as well.

Judge’s comment: “I was very impressed with this creative idea to use a popular media source to market a product.”

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AWARD OF MERIT
Video or Audio Programs - North Shore Bank Employee Orientation Video

North Shore Bank North Shore Bank turned to Zeppos & Associates in 2009 to create a professional, top-quality video to be used as part of its employee orientation program. The goal was to educate new employees about the bank's rich history and deep-rooted values and make them proud to be part of North Shore Bank. The result of this effort was a high-quality, six-minute video that combined bank employees' personal stories with historic photos, community photos and fun music to create a motivational, educational piece for new bank recruits. The bank hosted a premiere party for all employees and staff involved in the video and is using it to train new employees.

Judge’s comment: “The 'green screen' technology was a great tool used by this team to save both money and time.”

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AWARD OF MERIT
Media Relations - Go Go Gokey: Cousins Subs Celebrates Milwaukee's Own Idol

Go Go Gokey: Cousins Subs Celebrates Milwaukee's Own Idol When Milwaukee native Danny Gokey appeared headed for American Idol's Final 3 and a high-profile visit home, Zeppos & Associates saw opportunity for its client Cousins Subs, another Milwaukee favorite, to be part of the celebration. The Zeppos/Cousins team quickly propelled research, creativity solid PR strategy - and a surprise discovery that Danny once worked as a Cousins sandwich maker - into a multifaceted media relations campaign with a seven-foot good luck card signed by Milwaukee's mayor and thousands of fans; rally signs that led to a free radio promotion and national airtime on American Idol itself; and a specially named sub honoring the hometown hero. Going from idea to implementation in just seven days, the effort garnered more than 1.5 million impressions, drove increased store traffic and reinforced to hometown fans that Cousins turns out great subs - and great talent!

Judge’s comment: “I thought this was planned and executed well.”

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AWARD OF MERIT
Newsletters, Three or More Colors - Reinforcing a Commitment to the Community

Flambeau Mining Company's As part of a long-term community relations plan, Zeppos & Associates created and distributed two educational newsletters in 2009 that reinforced the Flambeau Mining Company's commitment to the community and its ongoing communication about the thriving plant and wildlife and recreational activities for which the reclaimed copper mine site could be used. Additionally, the newsletter effort played a key role in helping the company develop new and strengthen existing relationships throughout the community, including forming partnerships with the local chamber of commerce, tourism association, arts groups, equestrian clubs, and plant and wildlife experts.

Judge’s comment: “Very nice job setting up project.”

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