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Zeppos & Associates, Inc.
2011 Paragon Awards
Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America

The 2011 PRSA Paragon Awards were announced at a ceremony on May 15 at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee. The Zeppos & Associates team earned nine Paragons in several categories, including media relations, special events, marketing consumer products and online tactics.

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
Media Relations - Moo-la-palooza 2011

Cousins-Moola-palooza Image When Wisconsin-based Cousins Subs wanted to maximize buzz for its biggest annual event - Moo-la-palooza 2011, the mooing contest at the Wisconsin State Fair - it asked Zeppos & Associates to help for the third year in a row. Building on the unmatched visual and audio of folks belting out their best Bessie bellows, the Zeppos team developed a multifaceted media relations program targeting TV, radio, print and social media. The strategy corralled results worth mooing about, including 150 TV stories airing in markets in Wisconsin and across the country, a Travel Channel special and more than 7.5 million impressions.

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AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
Marketing Consumer Products - CranOnAStick Becomes Must-Have Fair Fare

Chocolate-Covered-Cranberries Image The Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association has been active at the Wisconsin State Fair for decades, selling a variety of cranberry products at its booth. But in 2011, it wanted a bigger marketing splash for Wisconsin’s No. 1 fruit crop and teamed with Zeppos & Associates to develop, launch and promote a Fair-exclusive food-on-a-stick to grab interest - Chocolate Covered Cranberries on a Stick. The results from the comprehensive media, social media and marketing campaign far exceeded expectations and increased the client’s State Fair sales by more than 127% putting Wisconsin cranberries at the forefront of fairgoers’ minds.

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AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
Media Relations - Bury The Lines News Conference

Bury-the-Lines-News-Conference Image Fighting American Transmission Company to keep dangerous high-voltage power lines from being built over their neighborhood, Milwaukee Montessori School learned of ATC’s plans to hold a large community meeting to generate media coverage. The school turned to Zeppos & Associates to ensure "neighbor’s" concerns would not be silenced. The team designed a news conference to trump ATC’s event.

A study conducted revealed a new option to "bury the lines" near Highway 45. A neighborhood shovel brigade, 200 pounds of dirt and the symbolic burial of the transmission lines - brightly colored, foam swimming pool noodles - provided the visual. The press and photographers loved it! The neighbor’s news conference dominated news stories that night. Shortly after, the Milwaukee Common Council unanimously approved a resolution telling ATC to "bury the lines."

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AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
Special Events - Breaking Through to Milwaukee’s Future - Downtown Marriott Wall-Smashing

Marriott-Wall-Smashing Image The last thing most people would do after a challenging, often-contentious government process is hand those involved a sledgehammer. But that’s exactly what Zeppos & Associates did after a Milwaukee developer asked the firm to help calm the waters after a high-profile, emotional and ultimately successful quest to gain city approval for a new Marriott hotel on the site of five crumbling buildings in a Downtown historic district. Combining those sledgehammers with research, careful planning, strategic outreach to a variety of important audiences and - above all - a creative visual, the Zeppos team held an innovative construction kickoff event that generated significant positive media coverage, drew accolades from participants and guests and fostered a sense of optimism and excitement about Downtown Milwaukee’s bright future.

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AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
Online Tactics - A New Marketplace to Sell and Promote Cranberries

Cranberry-Discovery-Center Image Cranberries are Wisconsin’s largest fruit crop and the state produces about 60 percent of the nation’s cranberries each year. This project aimed to increase the competitiveness of cranberries in the current marketplace by making consumers nationally more aware of cranberry products available, their unique flavor, their versatility in recipes and the many health benefits associated with the consumption of cranberries and cranberry products. In order to reach those objectives, the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center looked to Zeppos & Associates to help revamp its current website and expand its e-commerce efforts.

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AWARD OF MERIT
Media Relations - Bring Your Gun to Work Day

Bring-Your-Gun-to-Work-Day Image As Wisconsin became the 49th state to enact a concealed carry law, Zeppos & Associates worked to position Quarles & Brady’s employment law team as the go-to experts to help guide businesses on what the law meant for them and their workplace.

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AWARD OF MERIT
Media Relations - Vaccinations Top Wisconsin Back-to-School Lists

Back-to-School-Vaccinations Image When Pfizer wanted to raise awareness about the importance of childhood vaccinations in Wisconsin, it turned to Zeppos & Associates to help identify an advocate and create media coverage. Partnering with the Wisconsin Association of School Nurses, the Zeppos team created a simple one page news release packed with helpful vaccination tips for parents including online links. The August release’s clever headline suggested parents "put vaccinations on their back-to-school lists." 115 stories appeared in every major media market in the state, extending to rural weeklies and several out-of-state stories. WASN’s president told the client the release "generated more positive press on this subject than I have seen in a decade!"

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AWARD OF MERIT
Media Relations - Troubleshooting Electrical Safety

Troubleshooting-Electrical-Safety As part of a multi-tiered public relations and community outreach electrical fire safety campaign, Zeppos & Associates developed and executed a targeted industry media pitch for the National Electrical Manufacturers Association that resulted in significant positive exposure in one of the electrical industry’s leading publications. The feature story that highlighted an innovative fire protection device and offered professional advice for safe electrical installation reached the publication’s more than 140,000 readers and the website’s more than 13,500 unique daily visitors.

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AWARD OF MERIT
Media Relations - The Business of the Bog

Cranberries-Fox-Business-News Zeppos & Associates worked with the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association to bring national media attention to Wisconsin cranberries, which are often overshadowed by New England cranberries. To combat the common perception that New England is the nation’s main supplier of cranberries and raise awareness of the Wisconsin cranberry industry and its growth potential, the firm sent out several targeted pitches to national media inviting them to come to Wisconsin. The efforts resulted in a major cable news network, Fox Business News, traveling to Wisconsin and airing a series of live reports from a marsh for an entire day during the peak of harvest. The segments were fun, yet business-focused and highlighted Wisconsin as the “cranberry capitalâ€� of the world.

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