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Interning at ASI

Filed under: Fun, General

By Corrie Purvis

Starting a new job is always difficult – new people, new goals, a completely new mindset – but it’s even more daunting to come into an entirely new industry. ASI, however, made this transition manageable, and, in fact, enjoyable. This summer I was able to learn so much about the promotional products industry, while also expanding my writing portfolio. And there was time for some fun as well.

One unique aspect of interning at ASI is the week of training prior to the start of work. Because of Tim Andrews’ connection to Dow Jones, we (Rachel Abraham and I) were able to participate in the Dow Jones News Fund Business Reporting “boot camp” in New York City. There, we met rising business journalists from across the country and learned a thing or two about the fundamentals of writing for a business audience. Our instructor, Will Sutton of Grambling State University (a fairly interesting man), toured us around the bustling Manhattan streets, meeting editors and producers of publications like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and NBC Nightly News. This week truly engraved the idea into my mind that with hard work, I could also end up here someday.

Once back in Trevose (almost as glamorous as the Big Apple!), it was time to get started on serious business. The Editorial department at ASI did a wonderful job welcoming us interns, giving us time to adjust to the new environment before giving us a ton of assignments. Over the course of the summer, we had the opportunity to write and do research for all five ASI publications, as well as speak with some of the top names in the industry – I even interviewed a man who helped create costumes for Breaking Bad! We helped put together showcases, best in show spreads, write designer profiles and glued seemingly thousands of items to a yellow Mazda (quite a resume addition).

We were also fortunate enough to assist with a fashion shoot for Stitches and Wearables magazines. As budding fashionistas ourselves, it was exciting to get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to put together the stunning images you see in these publications. It also made me realize that modeling is more than just pouting at a camera – those girls were working it!

In all seriousness, ASI is without a doubt one of the best places I have ever worked (at 21 I’ve only worked at so many locations, but regardless). The culture here is relaxed, yet still professional; I can comfortably come to the office and actually enjoy my work. I mean, how many offices host World Cup viewing parties during work hours? The Editorial department took a day to go to a Phillies game, and another day to express our artistic sides at a painting studio. I never in a million years expected to do any of these things as a summer intern, and it’s great to be at a company that genuinely values its employees.

This was definitely not an internship that involved just getting coffee for my superiors (although I did do that once … Michele drinks a lot of coffee!). The amount of experience and exposure I got with writing for this industry is exceptional, and unparalleled. As I head back to school for my final semester, I take with me capacious stacks of writing samples, as well as connections and even friends with whom I hope to stay in contact after my time at ASI comes to a close.

Corrie Purvis with Tim Andrews

ASI CEO and President Tim Andrews with Rachel Abraham (left) and Corrie Purvis.


Corrie Purvis with Tim Andrews

Working on the ASI PromoCar.


Corrie Purvis with Tim Andrews

At a fashion photo shoot.


Get to Know ASI’s Joe Haley

Filed under: Fun, General, Uncategorized

JoeHaley

From Intern to Internet Superstar, Joe Haley Celebrates 20 Years with ASI

You might know him from watching The Joe Show, listening to ASI Radio, or teaching at an ASI Show, but did you know that Joe Haley is celebrating his 20th anniversary with ASI?  Find out how he went from the world’s oldest intern to managing editor.

Q:What is your title and job description?
JH:I am the managing editor for the Editorial Department. I manage three publications; Stitches, Wearables and SGR, where I work with the editors, the designers, and the production team to make sure the magazines come out on time and with no errors.  I shoot editorial videos plus a semiweekly video program, The Joe Show, where I showcase supplier products.  I am also one of the hosts on the ASI Radio Show, among other things.

Q:What do you like about your position?
JH:I like that it is different every day. From day to day and sometimes from hour to hour, it completely changes and there is always something new and different to do.  It’s also a really fun industry and a fun company to work for. They have treated me well over the years.

Q:What was your position when you first started?
JH:I started out at ASI as the world’s oldest intern. I lost my job because of the recession; I had just bought a house and we had a baby on the way.  I kept seeing an advertisement for an Internship with ASI, but I had no idea what ASI or this industry was. I knew I should apply for the position because I was trying to get into journalism, which is what I have my degree in, and I couldn’t get a job in it because I didn’t have any work experience. ASI called me in for an interview and I ended up being late for it because I was up until 6 AM shoveling snow with my landscaping job and then I made a wrong turn getting there. I did end up getting the internship which started in mid-July and they offered me a position shortly thereafter.

Q:How have your job responsibilities change over the years?
JH:At that time we only had three magazines; Counselor, Specialty Selling Today and Imprint. I wrote for all the publications. I was interviewing people, writing articles, and doing research. Over time I worked my way up to higher positions. I always accepted addition work, any time there was an opportunity to do something I would do it. It’s like anything else, if you put in the effort and you work hard, hopefully you get recognized and you get more responsibility. I went from an intern, to assistant editor, to associate editor, to production editor to managing editor … and the rest is history.

Q:How has ASI changed over the years?
JH:When I first started with ASI we had the old computers where you needed a floppy disk to boot it up and to save your files on.  We didn’t even have the Internet. Later on, each department was allowed to have one computer with the Internet on it, ours was with the editor in chief, and if we wanted to do any type of research we would have to go into her office to use it. I didn’t even have a cubicle when I first started. I had a table outside of a cubicle, and the department’s printer was on the other side of me, so any time someone had to print something they would come over to where I was working.

Q:How would your colleagues describe you?
JH:Loud … no just kidding. I think they would say I have a good sense of humor, that I am dedicated to my job, I’m a team player, and I’m creative.

Q:What is something that people don’t know about you?
JH:I have been coaching soccer since 1989; it’s something that I love to do. In the year 2000, I was named the Intermural Coach of the Year for the state of Pennsylvania. Then I joined the State of the Associates coaching staff where I created a soccer program for our club that the state still uses as a model.

Q:If you could be a promotional product what would you be?
JH:I would be a light up ice cube. Those are a lot of fun.

Q:If your story here were to be made into a movie, who would you want to play you?
JH:My coworker Joan Chaykin always says I remind her of Richard Dreyfuss, so I would say him. I guess anyone who has curly hair and wears glasses.

Fore more, Click Here

– Interview by Lauren Medina


Sales Tip of the Week - Provide Statistics

Filed under: Fun, General, Sales Tip

statisticsWant to show your prospects a reason to expect success from your promotional solutions? Advantages magazine says provide research.

Show compelling case histories that relate to their industry or type of marketing issue. Provide statistics that illustrate the kind of return on investment your prospect can expect from your proposed solution.


Poll Results - Chrome is King

Filed under: Poll Results

Oh my, how far has Internet Explorer fallen?

Just five years ago, IE was by far the predominant browser I used on my desktop. And now, sadly, I hardly use it anymore, at work or at home. But my Internet behaviors aside, I wanted to know from our users which browser they preferred to use from their desktops, so I posed this question on our Facebook page:

Which Internet browser do you use most often on your desktop? Here are their answers in chart form: (Total votes: 65)

Stunning, huh? Of all the answers we received, only 4% said they used the Microsoft product, with Google’s Chrome leading the way with 53% of the votes. But since this was Facebook and your answer was directly attributed to your name, I thought that maybe some people may have been dishonest in their use of IE since, well, it’s not the most trendy thing these days. (Security flaws tend to do that.)

Anyway, I reached out to our users on ASICentral.com via an anonymous poll, and what I found out is this: Chrome is still king … but not by as big a margin. And IE’s not the peon we were led to believe on Facebook. Here are the results from our ASICentral.com poll: (Total votes: 389)

  • Internet Explorer: 78 votes (20%)
  • Chrome: 174 votes (45%)
  • Firefox: 94 votes (24%)
  • Safari: 41 votes (10%)
  • Other: 2 votes (1%)
So what do you think of these results? Post a comment now!
–Doogie Browser

Sales Tip of the Week - Follow Trends

Filed under: Sales Tip, Uncategorized

Next Big ThingYou’re hip, you’re with it, you know all the latest trends … but did you know that it could lead to more sales? Advantages magazine shares some tips on how you can not only find the latest trends, but make them work for you.

Following trends makes for better promotions. Trend alerts are everywhere. Follow blogs. Sign up for RSS feeds from resources related to areas of interest. Subscribe to magazines or newsletters that follow trends within the industries you service. Stay observant on the streets, at the mall and when travelling. Every day you’re presented with clues as to what the next big “thing” will be.


Earth Day 2014 Freebies!

Filed under: Fun, General

Free EVOS milkshake on Earth DayWho doesn’t love freebies? After all, this is the promotional products industry, where giving away free branded stuff is how our clients do business!

And since today is Earth Day, we figured we’d highlight several eco-friendly Earth Day-freebies being offered by some major brands. Here’s a list of some great promotions that include cool giveaways in honor of Mother Earth. So get your green on and enjoy!

Got any you’d like to add? Post a comment now!

Poll Results - First Quarter Sales Expectations

Filed under: Poll Results

With the industry’s first quarter wrapping up, it’s now time to present the results of our most recent poll, which asked the question “I expect my first-quarter sales to be:” with the following answer options:

  • More than last year
  • Less than last year
  • About the same

Of the 146 total votes, 98 (67%) said they expect their 2014 1st-quarter sales to be more than 2013, with 25 (17%) saying they think sales will be less. The remaining 23 votes (16%) said they expect sales to be about the same.

Here are the full results in graph form.

1st Quarter 2014 Sales Predictions


ASI at SXSW

Filed under: Fun, General, Profile

Jake KrolickSouth by Southwest (SXSW) is a set of film, interactive, music festivals and conferences that happens once a year. This year, ASI is sending Jake Krolick, ASI’s creative director of marketing, to attend the festival to see promotional products in full effect. Find out why events like SXSW are so important to this industry and what you can expect to see from Jake’s journey.

Q: Why did you decide to attend SXSW?
JK: SXSW is the largest event of its kind. It’s all about discovery and what’s new, and a great way for me to showcase the promotional product industry in a real-world situation. I’m really excited about bringing back good content and showing it to this industry.

Q: How are promotional products used at SXSW?
JK: Promotional products are everywhere. We will see them from different bands, at merchandise tables and at parties. A lot of companies sponsor day parties and have items that are branded with their logo. For example, Jack White is having The Third Man Record party where they have items they will be giving out, and for purchase, that you can only get at SXSW. The party also has a gift bag with T-shirts, coffee mugs, stickers - all items to promote themselves. Rachael Ray also has a day party where she has food and music and she hands it all out in Rachel Ray-branded cups.

Q: Why are events like SXSW so important to this industry?
JK: It’s important for the industry to be aware of events like SXSW. This specific venue launches products, ideas and music all in one, but it shows us what will trend for the next year. It’s not just SXSW, it’s other major event like the X Games, New York Fashion Week, the Olympics. It’s important for the industry to see what comes out of these events.

Q: What is one of the top promotional products at SXSW?
JK:  The hottest item right now is a wristband. The reason the wristband is so hot is because there are non-stop parties and only a limited number of people can attend. The people who are lucky enough to attend get a wristband to get into one of these sold-out shows. So these people are getting the hottest item without really knowing they are getting a promotional product.

Q: What are you most excited for outside of promotional products?
JK: Besides for all the content I will bring back, I am excited about the music. Besides working at ASI, I have been working in the music industry for 20 years. I am a huge music snob, so I am excited to see a few bands that I have never seen live before, such as Together Pangea, Gardens & Villa, and Plastic Visions. I do have a Spotify profile, so if anyone is interested they can follow me.

Q: What content will you bring back from SXSW?
JK: Be on the lookout for photos of different promotional products from different bands, merchandise tables, and parties. I will also produce eight videos. For example, I will interview three bands about how they promote themselves, and two publicists on how they find new products to promote the bands and why they pick the things they do.

Make sure to check out our Facebook page to see photos and videos from SXSW.


Distributor Profile - Danette Gossett, Gossett Marketing

Filed under: General, Profile

Dannette GossettGet to know some of your peers! In this month’s Advantages magazine Profile feature, Danette Gossett — President/CEO of Gossett Marketing (asi/212200) — dishes on everything from best advice to childhood ambitions. Enjoy!

  • I went to college at Old Dominion University and got a degree in marketing management with a concentration in market research.
  • My childhood ambition was to be a marine biologist.
  • I got into the promo products industry because I had been in corporate America and was making millions for others and decided I could do that for myself. Then I saw a niche with promotional marketing where I could use my marketing expertise, be creative and make money.
  • You might be surprised to know that I worked in Finland for a multinational corporation developing their brochures for English-speaking countries.
  • The best advice anyone has given me is always be prepared – do your research and anticipate the questions you might be asked.
  • We love doing custom-designed products. Our top supplier partners support us when we’ve got another unique idea. Most recently we designed a very differently shaped USB and beach bag for the introduction of a new cruise ship.
  • My proudest recent achievement is qualifying for the “sales” trip to Napa Valley from the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.
  • On my days off, you will find me playing golf, doing yoga, going fishing, walking on the beach or just working around the house.
  • My theme song is “Not gonna Change” by Swing out Sister.
  • If I could trade places with someone for a day, it would be Sandra Bullock.
  • My favorite websites are Amazon.com (for the shopping), YouTube.com, upsidethinking.com, sethgodin.typepad.com, bates-communications.com

Random Things
I’m really bad at: crossword puzzles
Favorite color: red
Favorite food: my mom’s lasagna
Astrological sign: Scorpio
Most recent movie I saw: The Blind Side on DVD.

Five Things I’m Loving Now
1 - Weekends away
2 - Reading
3 - Time with my friends/family
4 - Writing
5 - Golf


Sales Tip of the Week - Good, Better, Best

Filed under: Sales Tip

Good, better, best

In a weekly blog post, we’ll be featuring some valuable tips from Advantages magazine on how to improve your selling. This week’s tip: The “Good, Better, Best” approach:

Use the “Good, Better, Best” approach when presenting promotional product solutions. For example, if you’re presenting shirts you might choose a basic version (lighter fabric weight, few style details but very cost conscious); a moderate option (mid-weight with quality perks such as double-needle stitching) and a high-end choice (luxury fabric such as microfiber or heavier cotton, plus fashion details such as trim or special buttons/closures).


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