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Who Got Sparked in 2014 by Abbe’s Sparks?

The Companies Sparked in the Blog


Abbe’s Sparks Blog for covers all things marketing communication and appears each Wednesday @









The Blog Abbe’s Sparks covered the communications gamut in 2014 — from social media marketing and cross-promoting to crowdfunding, marcom, networking and more – commentary and examples of the best campaigns could be found in the social media darling’s blog. Here’s a look back at the companies, nonprofits, causes and organizations in the spotlight (Sparked). Stay tuned in 2015 for what Abbe has to say in her weekly Wednesday Blog.

  1. “Powerful Messaging and Passion Are the Keys to Successful Marcom Campaigns”

Summary: Powerful messaging and passion about your business spark maximum results and ecstatic clients, which convert into repeat clients. Messaging and collaboration in the form of cross-promotion heightens awareness and reiterates the organization’s position in its field.

Sparked: Chicago Metro Association for the Education of Young Children, children’s music legend/pioneer Ella Jenkins.  Abbe Sparks Media Group and its strategic alliance partner Orman Music & Media Group. #ellajenkins #cmaeyc #earlyed #marcom #promotion #childrensmusic

  1. “Changing The World One Empowering Social Media Post at a Time”

Summary: Empowering social media marketing can greatly affect change for social good initiatives. The true essence is when we can affect positive change by creating word of mouth buzz, going viral with our empowering social media posts or causing trends.

Sparked: The 2014 Social Good Summit, Mashable, UN Foundation & Bill Gates; Singer/activist Alicia Keyes and Indie Biopic “Jens Jensen: The Living Green” #socialgood #mashable #unfoundation #sustainability #green #conservation #landscapearchitecture #indiefilms. Shout out: McDonald’s Corporation and Ray Croc

  1. Connect the Dots – Connections Mean ROI for Event Marketers

Summary: Get top ROI by igniting personal and professional connections: an invaluable media tool for event marketers. Connect the dots! Use connections to gain top ROI for event marketing/pr campaigns.

Sparked:  The Rochester Music Hall of Fame Awards, Natomy Professional Haircare Products #natomycare #beauty #haircare #music #grammy. Shout out: Grammy (NARAS)

  1. Curtain Up: Cross-Promotion for the Arts

Summary: Good creative event marketing campaigns include cross-promotion as an effective tool to generate impactful messaging and maximum ticket sales for any opening night or event day.

Sparked: Lyle Cogen’s ‘Sticks and Stones, the acclaimed musical play on bullying behavior, Songstress/educator and anti-bullying activist Lyle Cogen; Solo Theatre Festival; National Bullying Month and Giordano Dance Chicago (GDC). #lylecogen #antibullying #dance #theatre #performingarts

  1. Raising the Corporate Bar: Cause-Related Marketing

Summary: Promoting a company’s charitable giving and societal impact raises funds and heightens awareness for their cause, initiatives/activities and their brand — increasing sales. Today, charitable arms are the norm for American companies across all industries.

Sparked: Dove® Self-Esteem Project, The House of Blues (HOB) and its International House of Blues Foundation (IHOB), #HOB, #Dove #music #socialgood #beauty #causemarketing

  1. Start it Up: Social Media for New Ventures

Summary: When building a brand from infancy — a product, entertainment entity, tech company or social media app — it’s essential to create a well thought out strategic plan that includes an integrated marcom approach. Even though startup budgets are close to non-existent, it’s imperative to generate awareness, create WOM and attract and retain new users.

Sparked: Shopping for a Change (@ShopforaChange), a social good fair-trade shopping website and Compatibility, LLC (@studentconnect), a startup tech company. #socialgood #tech #startups #fairtrade #socialmedia #marcom #wom. Shout out: The Tibane Water Project

  1. Crowdfunding + Social Media for Non-Profits

Summary: Crowdfunding is now an essential tool in the fundraising arsenal to get a project or company off the concept stage and into launch mode. Crowdfunding sites have caught on to savvy funding strategists, non-profits, startups, cause/health initiatives and artistic and scientific projects, to name a few. ‘IF YOU CREATE IT, THEY REALLY WILL COME.’  

Sparked: Social Media for Non-Profits and the musical play “A Day for Grace” (ADFG), which raises suicide awareness. #crowdfunding #socialmedia #fundraising #nonprofits, #startups #causes. Shout out:, gofundme, KICKSTARTER, indiegogo, tspring and causes

  1. Networking Matters. ROI Results

Summary: The ultimate ROI for any marketing communications professional occurs when a networking contact and business lead converts into a long-term client. Five essential tips to capitalize on the power of networking.

Sparked: Abbe Sparks Media Group’s five essential tips. #networking, #socialmedia, #meetups, #marcom. Shout Out: Warner Communications, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn

  1. Have Yourself a Very Mobile Xmas

Summary: Add mobile marketing and social media to your holiday promotional mix to set your product apart from the pack and achieve sales success. #xmas #promotions #smartphones #mobilemarketing #socialmediamarketing

Sparked: -The National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Consumer Spending Survey

  1. Turn Black Friday into Giving Tuesday

Summary: The funding initiative Giving Tuesday offers a new tradition in generosity and global celebrations and presents marketers with an enormous opportunity to capitalize on their clients’ messaging throughout the year, and in some cases, an entire promotional campaign. #givingtuesday, #nonprofits #fundraising #promotions #socialgood

Sparked:, 92nd Street Y, United Nations Foundation, the ASPCA and The #MarylandGivesMore Campaign.

  1. Appy Holidays

Summary: The best example of using technology and partnering for a seasonal promotional campaign that helps others.

Sparked: Uber HEALTH, Vaccine Finder

  1. Keep Your New Friends Close and Your Old Ones Even Closer

Summary: Successful membership campaigns should focus simultaneously on attracting new members while rewarding the current member base. “Make new friends, but mind your members.” #membership #organizations #clubs #marketing #friends #PR

Sparked: PRSA (Public Relations Society of America), EQUINOX

  1. Create Community Buzz in 10 Easy Steps

Summary: Community outreach is a highly effective marketing tool for a client’s business – especially when they’re first opening doors in a new locale. 10 easy steps for community buzz. #cross-promotion #community #emailmarketing #wom #advtg #PR #benefits #charity

Sparked: San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, HSV

  1. One Voice, Many Singers: A Chorus of Goodwill

Summary: The hottest trend in cause marketing for 2014 continues to be promotions utilizing multiple corporate partners. This year, several national nonprofits have demonstrated the power of collaboration for worthy causes such as hunger, domestic violence, anti-bullying, cancer and more.

Sparked: No Kid Hungry, No More, Viacom, Joyful Heart Foundation. Shout out: The Food Network, Le Creuset

Latest News Socially Sparked!

Socially Sparked

Socially Sparked

A Blog About Our Society and the People, Places and Things that Spark Our Lives


Welcome to the inaugural of Socially Sparked, a monthly blog about our society and the people, places and things that Spark our lives by making a huge impact for the good of others.  My focus today is on the 113th United States Congress’ passing of the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.  I’ve got to hand it to democrats and republicans alike for while, not truly a bi-partisan work – I’ll take it — as it’s the closest our government has come during President Obama’s presidency to working together for the greater good.  As you probably know, it’s not an easy feat ever, but the track record of late proves what an accomplishment the passing of this reauthorization of the Act truly is.  Which, isn’t saying much.

To be clear, protecting our nation’s women against violence is not something you should need to discuss or argue over.  It should be an immediate ‘automatic’.  Furthermore, domestic, verbal, physical and sexual violence unfortunately knows no boundaries.  It crosses all lines of race, color, breed, religion and sex. There should be no need to discuss or argue who or which of the aforementioned categories this Act should protect, nor to what extent these certain categories should be protected.  Again, it’s an automatic!

Hopefully, the victims of this violence will gain courage to actually seek assistance knowing that their government united together in support of assisting them through their horrific ordeals.

Bravo to the House for passing reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.  In my viewpoint, their act is Socially Sparked.  Next time, don’t waste time or lives — it should be automatic!



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Gifts That Impact Change & Give Back Are 1 Click Away

Holiday Gifts That Give Back

Supporting important causes can be easy to forget amid the hustle and bustle of shopping during the holiday season. Luckily, there’s an easy way to give back to those in need while you find the gifts you need — various companies and websites do the legwork for you.

Companies like TOMS and Warby Parker have become known for one-for-one deals — donating a pair of shoes or eyeglasses for every pair sold — but they’re not the only ones with gifts that give back. There are several places around the web that benefit others in many ways, whether it’s by supporting impoverished artisans, providing clothes to babies who need them or curating the many products that make a difference.

We’ve compiled a list of 12 websites that can help you make socially conscious purchases without subtracting the joy of shopping. Where do you go to buy gifts for social good? Let us know in the comments. Read more that Impact Change and Give Backket-America



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Dan Rather says public relations should be for public interest

…Public Relations Should Be For Public Interest

Dan Rather urged PR professionals to recommit to working on behalf of the public’s best interest.

When public relations operates at its best, it is helping more than a client or corporation — it is helping the general public, said Rather, the keynote speaker during the PRSA New York Chapter’s 25th annual Big Apple Awards last night.

Some PR practitioners and journalists persist in believing that there is a natural and everlasting adversarial relationship between their two professions, said Rather, former anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News from 1981-2005, and current host of HDNet’s “Dan Rather Reports.”

“Not true,” said Rather, author of his new memoir, “Rather Outspoken.”

While journalists and PR practitioners may have different employers, both professions — at their best — serve the public, he said.

“This country needs you and your work right now, your best work,” Rather said. “It is through communication and clear understanding that we can, we will, restore a sense of responsibility and public trust.” — Daniel Benson

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Big Picture Soiree Benefiting Chicago Lost & Found for Education in the Community Through the Visual Arts

Big Picture Soiree Benefiting Chicago Lost & Found

Mitchell Pennell and the Board of Chicago Lost and Found invite you to join them May 24, 2012 at 5:30 p.m.  at The Victor, (311 N. Sangamon) for the Big Picture, raising needed support for education in the community through the visual arts.

Featuring spectacular entertainment from cabaret duo Amy Armstrong & Freddy Allenand Chicago’s Cyon Flare!

Buy Your Tickets online for just $40 or at the door.

Enjoy cocktails and tasty treats provided by celebrity Chef Dale LevitskiExecutive Chef of Sprout and the newly opened Frog N Snail.

Thanks to our sponsors!

Pure Kitchen Catering | | The Victor |  Debi Lilly |Andersonville Galleria | Frog N Snail | | |Patrón |

Chicago Lost and Found is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to creative transformation. We are committed to rescuing the discarded and unwanted. Through re-purposing, we create value, which in turn provides creative opportunities to build and support the community.

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Gala 2012: A Mod Musical Evening Benefits The Music Theatre Company

Last Chance to have fun for a great cause– the performing arts!!!!  Gala 2012: A Mod Musical Evening Benefits The Music Theatre Company  Call for more information or come to the door tonight.