ProWriters Offers Instant, Online Quoting and Binding for Small Business Insurance

Agents and brokers can quote and bind coverage quickly online and over mobile devices

West Chester, Pa.October 28, 2013 — ProWriters (www.prowritersins.com) is now providing agents and brokers access to instant, online quoting and binding for small business professional liability insurance with general liability and/or a Business Owners Policy (BOP).

Quotes for small business risks can be accessed from an online portal on computer, tablet or phone, and agents and brokers can bind small business in minutes wherever they are, backed by full call center support. ProWriters’ professional liability, general liability and business owners insurance is targeted to small businesses in marketing, IT, architecture, engineering, interior design, beauty and health, real estate and other select industries.

“We believe in simple solutions and are excited to give our agents access to fast and easy options for their small business customers,” said Brian Thornton, president of ProWriters. “Our agents now have quick access to tailored coverage at competitive rates from an “A” rated carrier that is known for paying covered claims and paying them promptly.”

The online portal features:
•Policy documents within minutes of binding.
•Most policies are automatically renewed.
•Servicing and policy support provided by licensed advisors.
•Policy premium rates start as low as $22.50 per month with a 14-day money back guarantee and a no-fee payment plan.
•Credit card payment is accepted online or over the phone.
•Coverage available for some classes with revenues up to $3 million; limits up to $2 million.
•If a client grows out of the program, the account is referred back to the agent or broker.

Coverage for this program is underwritten by Hiscox Insurance Company Inc., rated “A” by A.M. Best Company.

About ProWriters
ProWriters (www.prowritersins.com) is a Managing General Underwriter specializing in Professional and Management Liability Insurance. The company offers simple solutions to agents and brokers for D&O, E&O, EPLI, Crime, and Cyber & Privacy Liability products, as well as tailored risk management services.

Innovative Office Products Offers POS Monitor Mount Solutions

EASTON, Pa. – Oct. 22, 2013 – Innovative Office Products, Inc. (www.LCDarms.com) is serving the retail and other Point-of-Service (POS) markets with a new monitor and tablet stand as well as a monitor mount solution, both being ideal for a host of retail environments.

“Retailers, and really any customer-service-styled environment, are always looking to improve their POS engagements,” said Joe Tosolt, president of Innovative Office Products. “Our products provide both heavy and light duty solutions for mounting monitors or tablets, providing flexibility and ease of use for consumers at the point of service.”

Innovative’s monitor stand, Model 9231, offers an ideal, durable solution for POS, digital signage, kiosk and retail environments. Standing 42-inches in height with a 12-inch base, Model 9231 supports monitors, iPads or tablets weighing up to 10 lbs.

Model 9232 provides a light duty solution for all of the aforementioned environments, as well as office spaces. Providing an integrated mount handle for easy set-up, the desk or table-top mounted Model 9232 also supports monitors or tablets weighing 10 lbs. or less.

Both products offer up to 100 degrees of monitor tilt for adjustable visibility as well as integrated cable management to keep sales floors safe and desktops clutter-free

The monitor stand and table-top mount are both available to order through Innovative Office Products website, or by calling (800) 524-2744.

About Innovative Office Products, Inc.
Innovative Office Products, Inc. (www.LCDarms.com) blends function and style that improve ergonomics, save space and increase the flexibility of the modern office. Based in Easton, Pa., Innovative office mounting solutions that range from flexible radial arms to space-saving mounts for desk and wall.

Health Care Council of Lehigh Valley Chooses Kimball Communications

Collective of five hospital systems hires PR agency for strategic communications project

EASTON, Pa. — The Health Care Council of Lehigh Valley (HCC), consisting of Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital, KidsPeace Mental Health Network, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Sacred Heart HealthCare System, St. Luke’s University Health Network,
and the Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust, has hired Kimball Communications to develop a strategic communications plan related to the group’s recently completed Joint Community Health Needs Assessment. The assessment was required as a provision of the U.S. Affordable Care Act.

The 18-year-old Lehigh Valley agency will work with HCC to create a communications framework to best serve the goals of the assessment. Those goals include coordinating the resources of the five health systems around pressing community health needs and identifying the most effective means of informing and educating those communities.

“Communicating the findings of the Health Needs Assessment is of critical importance to our region,” explained Ron Dendas, a spokesperson for the Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust, which is funding the communications project. “Bringing an agency like Kimball Communications in to identify resources, streamline communication among our partners and ensure our communities are reached is vital to the success of this joint effort. This will allow HCC to focus on better health, while Kimball Communications focuses on the most effective means to reach our communities.”

“For nearly two decades our agency has worked in health care communications, and our team is honored HCC selected us as their partner,” said Gary Kimball, president of Kimball Communications. “HCC’s work will play a key role in promoting a stronger, healthier Lehigh Valley, and Kimball Communications is eager to help in that effort.”

About Kimball Communications
Kimball Communications (www.kimballpr.com) is a results-driven, public relations agency dedicated to serving the individual public relations needs of every client. Founded in 1995, the agency provides innovative public relations and social media solutions to a national client base. Visit us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/kimballpr) or on Twitter (@kimballpr).

Managing Your Small Business’ Online Reputation

Congratulations! You've taken your business online. So how do you leverage this into new customers or clients while also protecting your reputation?

Congratulations! You’ve taken your business online. So how do you leverage this into new customers or clients while also protecting your reputation?

Congratulations intrepid entrepreneur! If you’ve taken the plunge and launched your small business into the social media space, you’ve taken a bold step that offers many risks and rewards.

More than 72 percent of U.S. adults who go online use social networking sites, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. By choosing to put your brand out there, a bevy of potential rewards (i.e., Likes, followers, sharing blog posts, positive reviews and online recommendations) await your brand. With a little effort applied to communication your messages, attention to superior online customer service that reflects your brand and by trying to genuinely connect with your customers, you can turn your social media presence into a noteworthy repository of goodwill for your business that reward you handsomely over time.

The effort is also not without risk.

In the days before social media, one bad customer experience typically translated to the customer telling 10 friends of their displeasure. With the advent of social media, however, your brand runs the risk of being shamed before 100 or 1,000 social media followers. For some power networkers, those numbers are substantially higher.

It’s imperative small businesses understand, on average, about 46 percent of web users turn to social media before making a purchase to decide if the business or product is “trustworthy” or reputable. This means, to paraphrase a legendary phrase from actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, you are what the online community says you are.

On Oct. 18 at Parx Casino in Bensalem, Pa., small business owners that include restaurants, outdoor and adventure destinations, bed & breakfasts and others will gather for Visit Bucks County’s Annual Membership Meeting. Attendees will have an opportunity to attend a morning seminar on establishing and maintaining online presences to help their businesses grow.

As one of the featured speakers, I’ll be sharing insights and tips on how these businesses can protect and defend their online reputations. I’ll offer examples of good, and not so good, online customer service. In addition I’ll provide insider tips for managing these online presences under a variety of circumstances.

Check back on this blog next week for some top line thoughts on the subject as well as insights and anecdotes offered by some of the small businesses I meet with at the VBC Annual Meeting.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/infusionsoft/4820986909/”>Infusionsoft</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Refreshing Your Content This Fall

Autumn is the perfect time to evaluate your company’s social media performance. You can consider what has and hasn’t worked, and adjust accordingly to make the most of the holiday season. It’s also the ideal time to map out your content strategy for the following year based on this year’s analytics.

Below are five tips to help you refresh your content this fall.

Nature Pictures by ForestWander / Foter / CC BY-SA

5 tips to refresh your content this autumn 

  • Are you attending conferences and events this fall? Make the most of them by doing your research early. Ensure you have your booth numbers and appropriate hashtags.
  • Peruse each platform and see how you can make your content more visually appealing.
  • Check out the competition and see what  they’re posting. Are they sharing seasonal articles and specials?
  • Sift through your current content. See how you can make it more exciting and shareable.
  • Relate some of your content to the season. If you own a salon, consider creating fall specials, sharing the latest trendy fall looks, etc. Overall, be aware of fall holidays, awareness months and seasonal weather.

Do you have any tips to add? Do you review your content each season?

Photo credit: Nature Pictures by ForestWander / Foter / CC BY-SA

Venture Insurance Programs Wins NAPSLO Marketing Award

Suitelife “Rest Insured” Campaign Takes First Place at NAPSLO Annual Meeting

West Chester, PA. — Oct. 2, 2013 — Venture Insurance Programs (www.ventureprograms.com) today received first place in the NAPSLO Marketing Campaign Awards. This is the second award the program administrator received for their “Rest Insured” marketing and advertising campaign, which promotes their Suitelife program to hotels and resorts.

The “Rest Insured” campaign reflected the upscale branding of the properties served by Suitelife, while offering peace of mind through a specialized insurance program. The campaign included an email blast, advertising and direct mail featuring a Godiva gift box as a “taste of the Suitelife.”

The campaign was created by Vertibrands (www.vertibrands.com), a full-service marketing agency specializing in program administrators and the insurance sector. NAPSLO Marketing Campaign awards are judged by the Insurance Marketing and Communications Association (IMCA) Showcase Awards creative judging team.

The award was presented to Michael Rogers, Executive Vice President Venture’s property unit, at the NAPSLO Annual Convention in San Diego. NAPSLO, the National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices, Inc. (http://www.napslo.org), is a national trade association representing the surplus lines industry and the wholesale insurance distribution system.

About Venture Insurance Programs
Venture Insurance Programs (www.ventureprograms.com) is a leading program administrator that designs, underwrites and distributes industry-specific insurance packages. Based in West Chester, Pa., Venture has underwriting alliances with the world’s leading carrier groups, including Chubb, Allied World, QBE, RSUI, USLI, Zurich North America and Lloyd’s of London. Founded in 1993, Venture provides specialty insurance packages for select vertical industries—including golf and country clubs, golf destination resorts, hotels, resorts, hunting and fishing lodges and city and social clubs.

J.Morgan Salon Joins Lafayette College to Fight Breast Cancer

Luxury salon raises awareness & funds with pink hair extensions

EASTON, Pa., Oct. 2, 2013 — Today, J.Morgan Salon and Home Store begins a month-long fundraiser to support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The salon is donating the proceeds from the sales of pink hair extensions to a fundraiser organized by Lafayette College group Students Against Cancer.

All proceeds provided to Lafayette’s Students Against Cancer group to be donated to various breast cancer charities. Last year J.Morgan raised more than $1,000 for the local college charity organization.

“This is a great, fun way to give back to the students and staff at Lafayette, as well as bringing attention and support to an important cause,” says Jayson Morgan, co-owner and lead stylist of J.Morgan Salon and Home. “J.Morgan also serves as a wig bank for the American Cancer Society in Easton, providing no-cost wigs and fittings throughout the year.”

The salon is donating the proceeds from all pink hair extensions sold through Oct. 31, 2013. Appointments are preferred for hair extension applications; those interested can make an appointment by calling (610) 258-3480.

About J.Morgan Salon and Home
J.Morgan Salon (www.jmorgansalon.com) is an artistic hair salon in Lehigh Valley, Pa., dedicated to providing clients with an inviting, one-on-one experience with high-quality hair cut, color and styling services. Led by Jayson Morgan, a Redken International Artist, Certified Colorist Certified Designer, J.Morgan exceeds expectations. For more information, please call (610) 258-3480 or visit J.Morgan Salon at jmorgansalon.com or at www.facebook.com/jmorgansaloneastonpa.

9 Tips To Make Social Media Work For You At Conventions

There is nothing wrong with an awkward selfie when used to promote a brand or to let the world know you just discovered amazing pepper jelly.

There is nothing wrong with an awkward selfie when used to promote a brand or to let the world know you just discovered amazing pepper jelly.

Last week (Sept. 25-28) more than 1,200 vendors attended Natural Products Expo East to attract the attention of retailers and bloggers while also winning some valued name recognition for their brands.

Surprisingly, only a handful of vendors used social media to truly maximize their advantage.

I’ve attended many conferences and conventions and I follow some simple social media steps for events.  I urge many of the brands I met with at Expo East to review the following tips and plan to incorporate them next September in Baltimore or in March 2014 in Anaheim for Expo West. Because of its profound reach, extensive use in business and dexterity of messaging, these tips focus on using Twitter, but could be adapted for Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest and others.

Twitter Screen Shot

1. Tell the World Where You’ll Be

About 45 days before the show, tweet from your company Twitter handle that you will be in attendance. Use the show’s hashtag (usually #ExpoEast or #ExpoWest; other shows will include this info. in registration materials), your booth number and invite people to visit your booth at the show. For example: We’re thrilled to be attending #ExpoWest in Anaheim in March. You can find us at Booth #3100.

2. Make a Social Media Plan for the Show

Conference attendees cling to their smartphones. Task someone to monitor, post and respond to social media during the show in real-time. Either on the floor or back at the home office, participating on social media will help garner attention for you long after the tradeshow floor closes.

3. Give Followers a Behind the Scenes Look

Tweet behind-the-scenes pictures and video of your team preparing for the show, traveling to the show and setting up your booth. People like to get to know the brands they love, and feel included. Be sure to include show hashtags and your booth number.

4. Give Attendees a Reason To Seek You Out

Entice attendees to visit you by offering samples, raffles or exclusive news on upcoming brand news. Make it worth attendees’ time to find your booth in the crowd. And, of course, use the show hashtag and your booth number. For example: If you’re attending #ExpoWest, stop by Booth #3100 for free samples of our new mango and coffee-flavored smoothies.

5. Recruit Attendees to Be Your Ambassadors

People share content in which they are featured. Invite interested attendees to take a photo with you and your booth. Then you can tweet the picture, with the attendee’s Twitter handle and the show’s hashtag with a “Thanks for stopping by” or other conversation-relevant comment. Retailers might not partake, but bloggers and brand enthusiasts will – and they share!

6. Comment on Show Happenings

You’re at the convention. Make sure you are aware of educational and training sessions taking place, who the guest speakers are, and what events attendees are talking about most. Tweet content related to each – with images where possible. For example: Willy Wonka’s talk on the health benefits of sugar at #ExpoWest has fired attendees up. What’s the most interesting seminar you’ve attended today?

7. Respond To Those Who Tweet About/To You

It’s just like a conversation. You wouldn’t ignore someone who said hello to your or complimented you, so don’t do it on social media. If someone tweets at or about you, tweet them back with a tailored thank you (i.e., don’t just say ‘Thanks’).

8. Spelling Counts

Proper spelling is key, especially for people’s names and Twitter handles. It demonstrates professionalism as well as being able to react correctly to real-time events with aplomb.

9. If It Goes Badly, Get It Offline

If someone tweets a complaint or comments negatively about your product, let them know you are sorry they are unhappy, and that you would like to speak with them (by email, cell phone or in person) right away to try to help. Do not engage in a back-and-forth dialogue via social media. Get the conversation off of social media as quickly as possible. For example: We’re sorry you had a bad experience. Email willy@willywonka.com and let us help or stop by booth #3100 & give us a chance to make it right.

There is a lot of good that can come from live social media posts at a conference or convention. Retailers search the related hashtags to see what brands are trending, and what attendees liked and didn’t like. And whether you use social media or not, if you are a vendor at a show like Natural Products Expo, you are being talked about on social media. So make sure you are taking an active role to help shape that conversation.

If you have questions or would like to create a social media plan for Anaheim or Baltimore in 2014, email me at rhughes@kimballpr.com to learn how the team at Kimball Communications can help. Or tweet us at @KimballPR.