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Giftbiz Unwrapped Features Abbe Sparks This Week





Giftbiz Unwrapped features Abbe Sparks this week on its podcast episode. Giftbiz gal host Sue Monhait interviews Abbe on all things ‘Sparks’ for business owners to know in the podcast episode 090. Beginning Monday, December 26, 2016, Abbe’s interview is available on soundcloud, itunes and google play.

Abbe Sparks, founder & chief igniter, Abbe Sparks Media Group

Listen to Abbe give the 411 plus invaluable tips on public relations, social media marketing, cause marketing and more.  She talks about her career, the evolution of Abbe Sparks Media Group and her newest venture — digital news site Socially Sparked News.


About the Show ‘Gift Biz Unwrapped’

Whether you own a brick and mortar store, sell online or are just getting started, you’ll discover new insight and advice to develop and grow your business. Hosted by Sue Monhait — a/k/a the Gift Biz Gal — Sue has been working in the retail and online spaces for over 25 years. After 15 years in corporate sales/marketing to both boutique shops and larger brands, she went on to open two profitable businesses of her own. As host of the Gift Biz Unwrapped Podcast, she provides free content weekly to assist those searching for answers on how to start and grow their business.



#socialmedia #PR #socialgood #Entrepreneur dI also chat about Abbe Sparks Media Group & my newest venture

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5 Tips to Increase Your Networking ROI

5 Tips to Increase Your Networking ROI

The importance of networking for a marketing communications professional can play an even more important role in ROI, if done correctly. As marketers and promoters of all things, it’s a given that networking is an integral part of our everyday life. How to network and capitalize on those meet and greets, friendships, conferences, social functions, charity events and the like is equally and even more essential in a marketer’s business. The ultimate ROI for any marketing communications professional occurs when a networking contact and business lead converts into a long-term client.

Today, in honor of Throwback Thursday, I revisit my blog from 2014, and take a page from Abbe Sparks Media Group and my personal experience with networking. As a marcom professional whose nickname is “miss-connected,” I am delighted to share my expertise on how we have maximized our ROI. The key is to constantly communicate with individuals you already know and those you just meet from events, business functions and social gatherings; follow up on their potential leads and convert all into happy, repeat clients

Never diss anyone you work with, especially your bosses as you never know where they will end up.

1. Don’t Burn Bridges – A savvy PR woman executive gave me the best piece of advice when I first started out in the business world at Warner Communications, “never diss anyone you work with, especially your bosses as you never know where they will end up. I guarantee it will come back to hurt you.” I can’t reiterate enough the importance of this advice. Although I changed jobs a few times throughout my career, I have remained connected with her and other then young marcom professionals from 20 years ago that have and still prove to be essential to my ROI. Some of these pros are now heads of networks, agencies and top television producers.

Make new friends but keep the old

2. Get Personal – “Make new friends but keep the old.” When promoting or sharing an event, business endeavor or a client’s news or benefit, include your personal friends in your communications and social media marketing. The personal friends I include date back to grade school. Again, some of them are powerful influencers, captains of industry and all of them are consumers.

Social Media is a major help in networking but is no substitute for personal interaction.

3, Use Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and other social networks are an essential networking tool that provides a simple and time-effective way to keep in touch with old and new friends. Thanks in large part to Facebook, I have been able to reconnect with some long, lost childhood friends and even gained some amazing clients. Recently, I posted last week’s blog entry on Google+ and a college friend emailed me with a new potential client – his company.

4. LinkedIn, Meet-Ups and other Like-Minded Social Sites – Capitalize on LinkedIn’s value as a networking tool. Attend LinkedIn local networking events. Utilize other like-minded network sites wherever possible. I can’t say enough about grabbing any and every potential opportunity that arises.

Don’t be a wallflower.

5. Be Physically Visible – Getting yourself out there is as equally important as sitting behind a computer to post or message. Attend as many networking functions, conferences and events as physically possible, time allowing. There are many events that are cost-effective and free, so don’t miss out.

Net, net – As marcom pros, we need to network as it can prove to be the most powerful ROI tool for our business. Have a Terrific Thursday. As


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Booking it in the Digital Age

How Digital Publishing Can Work for You

There has never been a more exciting time to promote an author and his/her new book then now in the digital age of social media. Yet, book promotion, as in any industry, is not without its challenges. Book marketing has changed a great deal from the glory days of established large publishing houses that infused thousands of dollars towards the promotion and publicizing of a new book by unknowns.

It’s not all about the bookstore anymore

Today, authors have a myriad of choices when it comes to publishing and promoting their book — traditional publishing houses vs. self-publishing, digitally or print-on-demand – which to choose? Each has its plusses and minuses. According to several new and established authors, the general consensus is the “different strokes for different folks” theory, or in this case different authors” applies perfectly! While the powerhouse traditional publishing companies like Random House and Simon & Schuster still thrive, today they mostly put their huge marketing and promotional dollars towards their established renowned authors or celebrities. Therefore, for the common or first-time author, they would more likely than not be left to their own devices for promoting and publicizing their book.

The ‘big guys’ are hesitant to take risks on unknown authors.

Self-publishing has increasingly become a very lucrative option for writers, especially for first-time authors. Since they largely have to market their own books regardless of which publishing method they choose, this seems to be the winning choice. Most self-publishers list their books on, which helps promote and sell as well as offers authors tools to self-publicize at,. (sister site of CD Baby) is another site offering tools for self-publishers. The main reason why one would select self-publishing is due to maintaining creative control.

“I opted to self-publish to keep creative control and keep my own time”. My book is a story I needed to tell, and tell it my way” – Marc Tayer, author, Televisionaries

According to Marc Tayer, author of the newly published ‘Televisionaries’, “The mainstream publishers wanted to promote my book with the PR angle “50 Shades of Digital TV” and the university publishers wanted to print it as a textbook.” Neither of these options were ideal to me nor suited the book. I opted to self-publish to keep creative control and keep my own time”. My book is a story I needed to tell, and tell it my way.”

It’s a whole new world.

Here are a few topline Book/Author Promotion tips for marketers to help sell a client’s book when launched, whichever publishing method is chosen:

Create a strategic comprehensive traditional marketing plan and timeline for promotion of book launch.

Use Social Media Networks: Post, post and post. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn each have different audiences so make sure your posts complement each other but speak to the right groups. In the case of non-fiction, positioning your client as an expert in the field is key.

Blogging: create a blog for your client that complements the story line or facts in the book you are selling and share.

Book Signings/Events/Appearances: Create speaking events and book signings for the author; it’s an integral and necessary tactic for selling.

Create Promotions: Hold contests, incentives or discounts for purchasing a copy of the book via social media, local market radio and/or tv stations for a limited time.

Remember, whichever publishing avenue your client selects for his/her book, a blend of good old fashioned promotion and publicity stirred with social media and digital marketing is a sure winner for book ROI. Have a terrific Thursday. as


By Abbe Sparks

Abbe Silverberg Sparks is the founder of Abbe Sparks Media Group, a boutique communications firm specializing in media relations, cause and social media marketing, branding and special events planning.

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Lawyering Up in the Social Media Age

Is Social Media a White Collar Crime?

MARCH 5, 2015


This week, I write to you from New Orleans, while attending the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime Conference, with over 1,250 criminal attorneys and criminal justice members in attendance. Today, I share my observations on how the ABA markets to their membership via traditional marcom tools as well as social media.

Getting attorneys to use social media can be a daunting task.
Getting attorneys to use social media can be a daunting task.

Marketing to members of an organization – whether it’s for continuing education conferences or annual conventions or workshops – can be extremely challenging. Depending on the nature of the profession (particularly legal or medical), there are challenges navigating around confidentiality issues and getting practitioners to up their marketing/social media learning curves – definitely a source of frustration for marcom pros. To overcome these obstacles requires a solid understanding of the membership in question and a well thought-out strategic plan.

The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin sees an uptick in attorneys’ adoption of social media.

Founded in 1854, the Law Bulletin Publishing Company’s flagship publication,The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin®, is the oldest daily courts newspaper in the country. The legal daily has been at the forefront of the digital and social media age, and does a great job using social media channels to reinforce their publications and their industry’s work. The publication has around 3,200 Twitter followers.

According to Adam Music, Content Specialist for The Daily Law Bulletin and monthly Chicago Lawyer Magazine, the majority of attorneys (70%) are using some sort of social media network. Yet, the extent of use and how they use it is not optimized. There are a variety of reasons for this – lack of knowledge, circumspection, legalities and ethics. However, some areas of the law, such as in sports law, there is a definite presence on Twitter.

While social media marketing was not heavily used this year by the ABA’s Criminal Justice Division to promote their White Collar Crime Conference, the conference did have their own hashtags and tweets were abundant during the keynotes and conference activities. Next year will mark the 30th Annual Conference and the ABA plans to actively promote the event via social media.

As more millennials enter the legal profession, the industry will have no choice but to embrace social media.

Whatever professional organization you market for, the best advice you can offer your clients is to jump on the bandwagon and educate them on the power and advantages of social media marketing. As millennials enter the professional workforce, marketers won’t have a choice: that will be the ONLY way to reach them. Have a terrific Thursday. as

#ABACJS #WCCInstitute #social media #marketing #meetings


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Live From NY, It’s Social Media Week

FEBRUARY 25, 2015


I’m here in NY at Social Media Week (#SMWNYC) and the buzz is out of this world. #SMW15 takes place in February, June, September and November each year. In February, SMW is held simultaneously in seven cities across the globe.

Social Media Week NY is abuzz with new developments

So far, I’ve seen a slew of newer social listening and social media analytics companies showcased. Personally, I’ve been tweeting for some time how I wish there would be one universal measurement standard for social media analytics.

For me, when it comes to servicing my clients and providing results data, the most difficult and time consuming part is having to cull data and analytics from umpteen sources. In public relations, we had the Barcelona Principles. I’m still waiting for the social media equivalent.

The next generation of social media platforms comes to us from Europe. Surprisingly, the US headquarters is firmly planted in New York City not Silicon Valley as one might expect. While many social media companies have a presence in San Francisco, New York seems to have the edge on ‘generation 2,’ largely due to its proximity to Europe.

A slew of icons and no universal measurement standard....ughhhh!

Below are quick summaries on four social listening and/or social media management platforms/companies born from ‘generation 2’. Each has learned from their predecessors like HootSuite and Sprinklr, and in most cases, integrate with them. Each platform offers services for every size company/agency, but naturally, they all say they are geared for Enterprise.

engagor. Founded in 2011 in Belgium with a U.S. headquarters in NYC, this social media tool bills itself as the most comprehensive platform for real-time customer engagement. It provides brands and enterprises with a powerful tool to monitor and analyze their social channels in order to efficiently engage with customers. They claim to be more robust than Sprinklr, geared towards Enterprise. Engagor offers a free 14 day trial, so check them out.


socialbakers. Founded in 2009 in Prague with a U.S. headquarters in NYC, socialbakers’ mission is to become the industry standard for the way social marketing is measured and optimized. Members of the Facebook Marketing Partners program, they currently serve over 3,000 clients across 100 countries. They track, analyze and benchmark over 8 million social profiles across all the major social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Linkedin, Instagram, Google+ and VK.

synthesio builds your social intelligence

synthesio. Founded in 2006 in Paris, synthesio was brought over to the U.S. in 2014, with an office in NY in addition to Paris, Londonand Singapore. Named the leader in The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Listening Platforms, Q1 2014 report, this company is a global social intelligence platform that helps teams listen, analyze and engage with consumer conversation in real-time across social and mainstream media all within one platform which translates into 50 languages and is available in over 200 countries.

Brandwatch brings users a competitive advantage through social media monitoring

Brandwatch. Founded in 2005 in Brighton, England; launched in 2007 – Brandwatch’s main U.S. presence is in NY, with offices in SF, UK, Berlin and Stuttgart. A leading provider of social media monitoring and analytics solutions, this social media intelligence platform provides social data and analytics to give businesses a variety of competitive advantages: reputation management; competitor benchmarking; campaign measurement; influencer identification/outreach and market research. Currently, over 1,000 brands and agencies use their services.

These are exciting times for our industry as we search for optimal ways to service our clients/brands. Have a wonderful Wednesday. as


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Sponsorships, Sizzle and Sales

Originally Posted February 19, 2015 in ABBE’S SPARKS FOR RFPALOOZA


Event and non-profit marketers know that their party is not complete unless they tie-in sponsors – whether for VIP gift bags, a much needed cash infusion or additional WOM and buzz.

Effective sponsorships are critical to event  success.
Effective use sponsorships are critical to event success


Sponsorship is an integral part of event marketing and can boost an event and brand. The larger the event the more the need for sponsorship. Title sponsorship is the top tier of the funding spectrum. This often involves specific benefits that will be advantageous for the sponsoring brand. Let’s face it. Nothing is free. Most event planners strive for multiple sponsors who can take advantage of a lower cost of entry in exchange for sharing the spotlight.

Scene Chicago knows how to make sponsorships happen.
Scene Chicago knows how to make sponsorships happen.


Scene-Chicago  is a perfect example of a local-level company that capitalizes on securing sponsorships for their events and non-profit benefits. Scene-Chicago was founded by D. Joshua Banks, a marketing and fund-raising  guru, with a history of successes. The programs he has developed have put Scene-Chicago on every local and national brands’ A-List for allocating sponsorship dollars.

Media sponsors are critical to the success of local events
Media sponsors are critical to the success of local events



Banks attributes Scene-Chicago’s success to their ability to attract high-profile sponsors such as 103.5 KISS FM Chicago, with morning show host, Angi Taylor, and TV’s Fox 32 Chicago, with evening news anchor, Dawn Hasbrouck.

In the afterglow of last week’s Grammy Awards and Stevie Wonder’s all-star tribute, I’d like to pay homage to one of my favorite Grammy sponsors.

Abbe Sparks and Lynn Orman Weis on the red carpet at the Grammys.
Abbe Sparks and Lynn Orman Weis on the red carpet at the Grammys.


Drum roll, please…and the award goes to – Mastercard and its ‘Priceless Surprises’ campaign. Who wouldn’t want to be the recipient of tickets to a Gwen Stefani concert or a designer handbag shot out of a cannon and dropped in front of you when you used your Mastercard and Apple Pay for a purchase? We were blown away by Mastercard’s campaign and found ourselves indirectly promoting them through our publicity and social media efforts for our client. Talk about the power of sponsorships!

Bottom line?  Event sponsorships pay off with Sparks, Sizzle and Sales for your brand.

P.S. –  MasterCard and Gwen Stefani you guys are the BEST!

Enjoy the week! –Abbe Sparks

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Hash-Tags Rule: The Glam, The Glitz, The Grammys®

Hashtag Heaven: The Glam, The Glitz, The Grammys

FEBRUARY 12, 2015


Today’s blog post comes straight from Los Angeles during Grammy® Week and the 57th Annual Grammy® Awards, where my heels have been firmly entrenched since last week.

Last week, I shared thoughts on the trend ‘old school’ is the ‘new school’ and a new buzz word for retro. The use of music by ‘old school’ artists was ever-present in Super Bowl XLIX commercials and, as evidenced by Sunday’s Awards Show, this trend is continuing full steam ahead. I share with you first-hand experiences — in event production to re-launch a music brand from the early 80s, to a marketing strategy that uses old-school themes and old-school power extending from the Grammy kick-off and after parties to the actual Prime Time Grammy Telecast.

Here, then, are my observations from Grammy week: a week-long series of cultural events culminating with Music’s Biggest Night. Re-Launching a Brand by Hashtag #

  1. Re-launching a Band from the 80s – THE DAZZ BAND featuring Jerry Bell
    Da Funk was in Da House old-school DAZZ-Style at CD-Release After Show Party to re-launch THE DAZZ BAND 2015 featuring Jerry Bell

In the early 80s, the soul, funk and R&B dancing band –THE DAZZ BAND – emerged onto the scene with the multi-platinum hitLet It Whip, on the Motown label, amongst other beloved tunes Joystick and Swoop. While it’s been over two decades since the world was first introduced to the band, the sounds of the 80s still resonate with music fans and will forever be linked to the brand “DAZZ”.






DazzBand2Now, flash-forward 30 years — The DAZZ BAND 2015 is re-emerging with a new CD, a new group of stellar musicians along with a few original members. The strategy to re-launch THE DAZZ BAND brand name by reminding baby boomers of the funky soul music they danced to in their young adult years while also introducing an entire new fan base – Millennials and gen Zers – to the band and its ‘new skool’ music a la remixes.





Lead Vocalist, Jerry Bell, of THE DAZZ BAND 2015

THE EVENT: A Red Carpet After Show Party celebrating the CD release and a special concert billed as a Grammy Kick-Off Party in the famed Conga Room were planned during #Grammyweek. Social media played a huge role in the promotion of this event and in brand awareness, complete with #LetItWhip, #oldschool #DazzBand. The hash-tagging caught on and the event was a success on many communication fronts: garnering national media, industry and fan attention.



The Dazz Band perorms at the Grammy Kick-Off Party


  • THE 57TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS PRIME TIME TELECAST continued the ‘old school’ trend starting out the show with an 80s rock band “AC DC,” and the pairing of old & new school artists to perform together (a tactic the organization started a few years ago) – Ed Sheeran with Jeff Lynne’s ELO for “Mr. Blue Sky,” Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga; Hozier and Annie Lennox — proving the staying power of ‘old school’ rock ‘n rollers and their music of the 60s, 70s and 80s — and subtly sending a message to artists and music lovers of today that these groups have it all: the creativity, lyrics, sound, magic and showmanship; taking full command of the Grammy audience and viewers. #grammys2015.
Annie Lennox and Hozier show how it’s done at the Grammys.


THE OFFICIAL GRAMMY AWARDS AFTER-PARTY featured another favorite ‘old school’ headliner, disco queen Gloria Gaynor, who energized the exhausted attendees with hits including the iconic disco/pop hit “I Will Survive,” celebrating its 30th anniversary.

    • SteveWonderTributeStevie Wonder’s ‘Songs in the Key of Life: a Salute to the Grammy’s Finally, the day after music’s biggest night, another page from the ‘old school’ was turned with the taping of music legend Stevie Wonder’s ‘Songs in the Key of Life: a Salute to the Grammy’s” at The Nokia Theatre, to be televised on CBS next Monday, February 16. A tribute to Stevie Wonder and his music, the show featured performances by a slew of old school artists that were off the chart: Tony Bennett and Annie Lennox plus newer legends as Beyonce, Ed Sheerhan and John Legend hammering out Stevie’s tunes of the past four decades.
    Beyonce and Ed Sheeran rule the roost at the Stevie Wonder Salute airing Monday 2/15.



So, to rephrase my advice from that last blog entry, “When planning your advertising and marketing strategy for your brands or clients in 2015, think ‘new skool.’ It is a proven winner. Have a terrific Throwback Thursday. – AS

PLEASE SHARE on your favorite social media channels.

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Go Retro – Write Content – Be Viral

JANUARY 15, 2015


Retro + Content is the New Feature Story. In honor of throwback Thursday, I remind you of a time when tools such as feature stories and advertorials were commonly used. Well, it’s 2015 now, so we must add the newest buzzwords to the marcom mix of tools– Content and Retro.

“Content is the new feature story: If you write it, they will re-tweet,” – Abbe Sparks.

Yes, these are my sentiments. Veteran advertisers, marketers and public relations practitioners can also attest to this fact, and I’m confident will agree.

 Retro Wrangler Jeans uses country Country Rocker Jason Aldean to spread its messages in this upcoming retro spot
Retro Wrangler Jeans uses country Country Rocker Jason Aldean to spread its messages in this upcoming retro spot

Content marketing is a hot re-vamped term, formerly known as feature story writing, advertorials and most recently blogging. Retro marketing is once again the “it” angle for brands in 2015 as evidenced by recent advertising commercials and in upcoming Superbowl 2015 spots – on—air, online and in print. So what’s the main difference?

According to Social Media Week, the "Connected Class" will have 6 billion people by 2022
According to Social Media Week, the “Connected Class” will have 6 billion people by 2022



Today the promotional field has vastly grown to include the internet and social media – stretching our messaging further — in real-time and at a rapid rate. According to Social Media Week, “The Connected Class” will increase from three billion people today, to six billion by 2022, representing over 75% of the global population. This affords marketers an enormous opportunity to expand a client’s brand and messaging.



This tweet is currently being retweeted, favorited, and may be on its way to going viral.
This tweet is currently being retweeted, favorited, and may be on its way to going viral.


A few tips to consider when creating content for a client’s brand, especially before putting it out there in the cyberspace stratosphere:

  • Socially Engage – re-Tweet, Favorite, Like, ThumbsUp – continue the momentum and awareness by engaging in the social media posts and keeping the story new. The end game is to make the quality content story viral.
  • Strategize – strategic planning is of the utmost importance. Have a method to your content writing and posting madness. Remember, what you post stays there forever.
  • Craft Key Messaging– incorporating well thought out key messages, as in feature writing, will be extremely beSocially Engage -- re-Tweet, Favorite, Like ThumbsUp - to continue the momentum and awareness. The end game is to make the content go viral.neficial, especially when you re-purpose your content on social media networks
  • Focus on Quality vs. Quantity – Tell the story in detail and length. Different than a blog post — which tends to be a maximum of 500 words and comes out frequently – a content piece allows marketers to feature a client’s messages in long-form affording ample opportunity to support the messaging.
  • Share – share your story on social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr and StumbleUpon. Utilize some of the new crop of social sharing sites available now like medium.

So, when hopping on the retro trendy bandwagon of content marketing, remember that it’s not just what you write, it’s how you post it. – evergreen can be king. Have a fabulous Thursday. See you next Wednesday.


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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

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Have Yourself a Merry Mobile Xmas

Be Socially Mobile this Holiday Season When Promoting Gift Shopping

Originally posted in ABBE’S SPARKS @

Have Yourself a Merry Mobile Xmas

NOVEMBER 12, 2014


Inboxes across all devices are surely looking a lot like Christmas by now. Yes, Holiday marketing campaigns are upon us and in this ever increasingly crowded field, what’s a marketer to do? How do you get your client’s brand to stand out from the pack? Now is the perfect time to add mobile marketing and social media to your holiday promotional mix to achieve sales success.

Experts predict that almost 20% of smartphone owners will purchase gifts via mobile.

Here are some fast facts, tips and examples that can help.

-The holiday shopping season accounts for one-fifth of the retail industry’s $3.2 trillion in annual sales.


The National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Consumer Spending Survey finds that a record-high 56 percent plan to shop online, up from 51.5 percent last year — the most in the survey’s 13-year history. And, as mobile grows in use and scope, consumers this holiday season will turn to their on-the-go devices for many reasons.

The NFR survey found that of the majority of smartphone owners (55.7%), 35.8 percent will research products/prices, nearly one-quarter (23.9%) will redeem coupons and 19.1 percent will actually purchase items – another survey high.  One-quarter of shoppers say easy-to-use mobile websites is an important factor in their decision to shop with a specific retailer.

Macy's Black Friday Specials, optimized for Mobile.

Using timely promotions and holiday messaging, your client’s business can achieve success with mobile marketing and social Media tie-ins

Tips & Examples for Holiday Sales Success:

  • Make sure the brand’s website is mobile-optimized.
  •  Build excitement for the brand’s holiday deals and products with countdowns, previews, and exclusive content.
  • Create interactive marketing experiences for consumers: touch-activated ads with icons to further explore the brand on social media — a perfect way to get consumers to truly remember a bran
  •  Highlight online store details that will compel consumers to add the brand to their online shopper’s list: “Enjoy 40% off all winter inventory online until Black Friday– Treat yourself and beat the rush!”
  • Personalize the user experience and give consumers something shareable to take away after interacting. It will help drive customers back to the site.
  • Develop a variety of social media integrations. turning a promotion into a revenue generator for the brand.


Looking for more ideas? Refer to a marketer’s bag of strategic tools like couponing, video interactive vignettes and contests to name a few. The list is endless.

So, be sure to use mobile and social media to add to the multi-channel user experience during this extremely important shopping holiday. Achieve success. Have a wonderful Wednesday.