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Welcome to the Awareness and Events page.  Bells Promotional Products, Inc. has been providing apparel, advertising specialties, gifts, and awards for more than 60 years.

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Check out all of our upcoming news and events listed below:


Awareness Events

Awareness Events

National Awareness Observances are special days, weeks, or months dedicated to raising awareness about important health and safety topics. These are just some of the Awareness months, weeks, and days. See our showrooms for gift ideas... Click the link after the Event Calender JANUARY: ~ National Blood Donor Month ~ Healthy Weight Week (17-23) FEBRUARY: ~ Heart Disease Awareness ~ National Cancer Prevention ~ Burn Awareness Week (7-13) ~ Love Your Pet Day (20) MARCH: - Doctor's Day 2015 ~ National Nutrition Month ~ American Red Cross Month ~ National Collegiate Health and ~ Welness Week (1-7) ~ World Water Day (22) APRIL: ~ Stress Awareness Month ~ National Youth Sports Safety Month ~ Sexual Assault Awareness Month ~ National Public Health Week (5-13) ~ National Alcohol Awareness Month ~ National Public Health Week (5-11) ~ National Volunteer Week (18-24) MAY: ~ Mental Health Awareness Month ~ National High Blood Pressure Education Month ~ National Bike Month ~ National Physical Fitness and Sports Month ~ Be Kind to Animals Week (2-8) ~ Hospital Week (9-15) - Nurses Week 2015 JUNE: ~ National Great Outdoors Month ~ National Safety Month ~ National Cancer Survivor Week (June 27-July 5) ~ National Hunger Awareness Day (5th) JULY: ~ UV Safety Month ~ Clean Beaches Week (1-7) AUGUST: ~ National Immunization Awareness Month ~ Medic Alert Awareness Month ~ World Breastfeeding Week (1-7) ~ National Health Center Week ~ National Night Out SEPTEMBER: ~ Childhood Cancer Awareness Month ~ National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month ~ National Yoga Awareness Month ~ Family Health and Fitness Day USA (25th) OCTOBER: ~ National Breast Cancer Awareness Month ~ Energy Awareness Month (Go Green) ~ National AIDS Awareness Month ~ Hunger Awareness Month ~ National Fire Prevention Week (3-9) NOVEMBER: ~ National Alzeimer's Awareness Month ~ American Diabetes Month ~ World Kindness Week (8-14) ~ America recycles Day (15th) DECEMBER: ~ World AIDS Day ~ Sandy Hook Remembrance Day

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What makes great advertising?

August 15, 2013 --- How can an advertiser increase its likelihood of achieving the desired results and return on investment?" questions PPB (Promotional Products Business), There are three factors that can increase an ad’s retention and memorability: Relevance: The message must relate to the lifestyle, needs, values or aspirations of the target audience. Repetition: The audience must be exposed to the message multiple times for the recipient to retain it. Reward: The message must promise to create pleasure or reduce pain, save money or increase income or in some way reward the recipient. A successful ad campaign must have consistency. The message, personality, colors, fonts and styles and language of an ad must be constant and real. Buyers are demanding authenticity and believability. Advertising is a selling medium even if it doesn’t always ask for the immediate sale, so a selling proposition should be part of the messaging. It should ask for a response even if it is just an emotional engagement with the advertiser.

A Quick Advertising Lesson

July 31, 2013 --- According to PPB (Promotional Products Business), first you need to understand advertising. Advertising is about creating awareness, it’s about building an image and creating a space in a person’s mind so he or she will think of or have a preference for a particular product, business or service when the need arises. Advertising is measured and deemed effective or ineffective based on four criteria: Frequency. How often will the target audience see, interact, hear or be affected by the message? A TV commercial during the big game or the Academy Awards may only be seen once. If it’s good, it might go viral on YouTube and be viewed multiple times. Reach. How many people will be exposed to the advertising? Using the same example of the most-viewed television events, an ad may reach billions of people. A newspaper ad in a small town may only reach a thousand readers or fewer. An ad in a regional association’s newsletter may only reach a few hundred readers. Targeted. Which medium is going to be more effective for the manufacturer of high-end cat toys? An ad in Cat Fancy magazine or a commercial on “American Idol”? How well an advertisement reaches an audience that has a need, is interested and receptive to the message will dictate just how well the campaign achieves the desired results. Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM). Most measured media is priced based on how many impressions or eyeball views the ad should get. With most print media, we know what the circulation will be, so that’s counted as impressions plus any expected pass-along readership. With outdoor advertising (billboards, transit, park benches, for example), the ad seller can tell you approximately how many cars drive by a specific location every month and, on average, how many people are in the cars. Broadcast media (radio and TV) are audited by bureaus to determine which stations we are tuned to and when we are listening or watching. The internet measures clicks. CPM is based on reach multiplied by frequency, however the cost does not factor in the ability of the media to target your client’s prospects.

Survey Says Typical Incentive Programs Include Social Media, Gaming

November 27, 2012 Staff Industry News -- Today’s incentive programs are incorporating state-of-the-art tools and techniques such as social media, community service and gaming as a way to attract and maintain interest, according to the Incentive Research Foundation’s (IRF) 2012 Fall Pulse Survey of incentive users. The IRF Pulse Survey shows that merchandise, gift card and individual travel programs are benefiting from current economic conditions as companies plan fewer group incentive travel programs. Additionally, North American and Caribbean destinations remain the favored selections as opposed to overseas destinations, and, in terms of favored merchandise, the study found that electronics, golf items, luggage and housewares remain the most popular rewards. The average incentive program in the fall of 2012: • Is less likely to incorporate a social media and/or CSR component (compared to last fall) • Is more likely to incorporate a gaming component (up six percentage points) • Will have increased merchandise award values (36%) • Will include these types of rewards: Electronics (79%), Golf Items (68%), Luggage (66%) and Housewares (62%) • Will be a point-based program (82%)

Final Rules On Physician Payments Sunshine Act

February 5, 2013 The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have published the final rule for the reports that pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers must file with the federal government for payments and transfers of value they provide to physicians and teaching hospitals. The provision is frequently referred to as the “Physician Payments Sunshine Act.” At the outset, it is important to remember that the law does not prohibit the giving of promotional products to physicians and teaching hospitals. However, the manufacturers of drugs, devices, biological or medical supplies—CMS refers to them as the “applicable manufacturers”—must report the transfers of value. There are two exclusions from the reporting requirements of interest to the promotional products industry—an aggregate $100 of items with values under $10 each and a separate exclusion for educational materials that directly benefit patients or are intended for patient use.

The New Rules Of Marketing

September 27, 2012 by Paul Kiewiet, MAS An interesting social phenomenon exists that will challenge you. Now, for the first time ever, four separate generations in the buying chairs change how customers communicate, how they buy, why they buy and how they want you to interact with them. You may find yourself talking to Traditionalists who grew up with rotary phones and watched the social revolution. They were the “Mad Men.” They sang songs at their Rotary Club meetings. They went out for three-martini lunches. They raised their kids in the suburbs, perhaps with a stay-at-home, full-time homemaker wife. Born between 1925 and 1945, their core values are around discipline, respect and conformity. Their communication style in business is the formal memo. They give and expect respect. They fall between The Greatest Generation and the Baby Boomers. You know how to communicate with them. Write a pre-approach letter. Be respectful. Ask for an appointment. Leave a polite and detailed voice mail. Your customers may be Baby Boomers who had touch-tone phones and participated in the social revolution. With core values of optimism and involvement, they were the “call me anytime” folks who prefer in-person communication. They have a “buy now, pay later” attitude and a work-hard, workaholic ethic. They want to feel valued and needed. Born between 1946 and 1964, appeal to their ego and desire to be and feel important. Talk about the sizzle, not the steak. Your buyers may be Gen Xers who had cell phones and grew up in the fallout of the social revolution. These cynical adults have core values around informality, skepticism and fun. They were the latch-key kids who grew up with a backpack. Surprisingly conservative and cautious, their attitude is “call me only at work.” They prefer direct and immediate communication, they want balance, and like structure and direction. “Forget the rules and do it your way” are messages that resonate with them. Born between 1965 and 1981, send them an e-mail, leave them a voice mail, challenge them with innovative ideas and focus on results. Your customers may also be Gen Y’s, also called Millennials, who never answer a phone but will send a text message to the person who is sitting next to them. Digital natives, they prefer to communicate through e-mail, internet, pictures and text. They have core values around extreme fun, confidence and realism, and they are very social. Their work ethic is goal oriented. They are tolerant. Multi-tasking is a way of life, and they want immediate feedback and meaningful work. They love to work with other bright, creative people. Born between 1982 and 2001, the Gen Y/Millennial generation loves diversity and celebrates it. You may find it easy to judge them by their tattoos and piercings. Don’t! Selling to this group takes new approaches, new attitudes and an open mind. You’ll need to focus on keeping their attention (they will be multi-tasking). They grew up jumping quickly from task to task. Your traditional PowerPoint won’t cut it with them. Primitive technology will lose them. They prefer communicating via technology instead of face-to-face. So you’re frustrated that they won’t answer or return your phone calls? Get over it. Adapt. You won’t change them, so you’d better change your approach. They communicate through photos and videos. Their phone has always had a camera on it. They turned YouTube into the second largest search engine. They find that e-mail is too slow—it’s an old technology to them. Despite the high-tech communication style, relationships are highly valued. Don’t rush to judgment with customers from this generation. They love people and diversity—including the diversity around age. Don’t assign your generation’s value system to them. They will value your contributions if you bring them value. What do they want? My generation (Boomers) used to love the old saw: quality, price, service—pick two. We thought buyers could not get all three. Well, the expectations of the Millennial generation are even more demanding. They demand four things —low cost, good quality, fast service and an experience. Keep in mind what kind of experience you can create that will make your offering stand out. They value peer reviews from social media sites. Only 14 percent trust marketing messages, but 86 percent trust online peer reviews. They will favor companies with cultures around enduring values: green, social responsibility, cause marketing, humanitarian and meaning. They spend more than $20 billion online every year. Online research, online price comparisons and social media all play a role in their purchase decisions. So where do you think they go when they have a project that could use a promotional product element? How do you think they determine a fair price? Forget your traditional marketing to reach this generation. Make it easy for them to reach you and your information online. Focus your efforts and resources on social media, viral marketing and relevant information. Appeal to their ego, sense of meaning, edgy humor, trends and creativity. This isn’t something waiting to happen. Today there are more GenY workers than Boomer workers. And 96 percent of them are on social networking sites. Do you think this will change the way you go to market? It better! Keep in mind who your buyers are and how they want to communicate. The Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” doesn’t apply here. You need the Platinum Rule: “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.” Paul Kiewiet, MAS, is a popular speaker and writer within the promotional products and incentive industries, and former chair of the PPAI Board of Directors.

Professionally Yours

February 22, 2013 -- Regardless of the white-collar work they do, prospects in professional fields can all benefit from a promotional program that focuses on any number of features including wellness, incentives, safety, service, performance and engagement. The key, experts say, is matching the right program with the right client. Guidelines for client research are important; consider the type of work your company does (Are they a sales organization? Think sales awards.), the size of the company and whether several of the same types of companies operate in a certain geographical area. First, find out what will work best. “It sounds too simple, but sit down and decide about the company goals for their employees, and what they want to accomplish.” Key questions to ask yourself: What’s the budget? How many employees will be involved? What are the company demographics? What is the program time frame? What have they done before? What worked and what didn’t—and why? Building on the suggestion to research demographics that understanding the generations and overall diversity of a company can help determine the best type of program and how to develop it for a broad audience. “Finding choices that reach this diverse audience can be a challenge, so looking at a variety or choice among merchandise items will be important to the program’s success,” the group says. One program in particular, wellness, is where there are great promotional opportunities. It’s important to not confuse the wellness market with the healthcare industry or hospital market. “It’s a sister to healthcare, but to recognize that it is a new, emerging marketplace,” they says. The easiest way to stock items for a program is to pick from low-hanging fruit—items that have universal appeal and are instantly recognizable as inexpensive yet functional. Moving away from gift cards and instead opting for merchandise, especially brand-name merchandise, which they says has “a much greater and longer-lasting appeal.” Service awards, performance awards, safety programs and engagement programs are all well suited to including high-value items. Planning a program? Consider how high-value items will boost impact. •Service Awards – Probably the most popular area for high value, brand name merchandise •Incentive Programs – Most offer participants the ability to earn points based on a criteria set by the company. •Performance Awards – Many companies have switched to these from service awards. They want to reward their best employees for their efforts and the extra value that they bring to a company. •Safety Programs – Accidents can cost a company millions of dollars. High-value, brand name merchandise works well in achieving goals of reduced accidents. •Engagement Programs – Today’s workforce can include four generations working together, all with different expectations of what their jobs and responsibilities are. Engagement programs are designed to bring everyone together to work as a team. High value merchandise plays a big part in motivating all generations. •Wellness Programs – Even though the budgets for wellness programs are not as large as the others, using high value merchandise is still key in motivating an employee to take better care of themselves, such as joining a company fitness program and choosing healthful meals from the company cafeteria.

Bells has moved

We are now located at 4009 Marathon Blvd., Austin, TX 78756 ... as of August 31, 2011.