Personal Networking in the Digital Age

Personal Network

Building a strong and viable network is something every business person understands is critical to long term success. The advent of social media platforms and other technologies provides the ability to reach out to virtually anyone to grow that network. While that access has made it easy to rapidly build a network, it has eroded authenticity and has made it difficult to grow one that is truly personal or meaningful.

In the digital age, it is more important than ever to leverage humanity to truly stand out and add value to a network. Here are three steps to ensure that the network you develop is not only powerful, but personal:

1. Pay It Forward– Are you offering people in your network information or ideas that would help them achieve their goals? No one likes an “all-take, no-give” personal relationship and your professional relationships are no different. When you share information that benefits someone in your network it goes a long way to building both authenticity and trust – two necessary ingredients to a strong network.

2. Be Genuine – When you have sought someone out in your network for assistance, be candid and up front about it. Beating around the bush can feel like a waste of time at best and disingenuous at worst. Ask for what you need politely, but directly. Then listen closely and take in all the information they are willing to give. Being bashful will only limit the growth and viability of your network.

3. Be Consistent– Touch base with those in your network on a regular basis. If you only make contact when it is for your benefit, all trust will be destroyed and people will view you as merely an opportunist. Congratulate people on a new job, comment on a blog post they’ve written, or engage them on an article they shared. Your consistent engagement will be viewed as professional, not opportunistic.

The goal of any network is to develop – and maintain – strong relationships that push each other to achievement. The ease of available information online has made it easier than ever to build a network. However, a network that is built without putting the needs of other first, without consistency, and without candor is nothing more than a house of cards that will collapse at the exact moment the network is needed.

Bill Petrie


About brandivate
Bill has over 15 years working in executive leadership position at leading promotional products distributorships. In addition, he launched brandivate – the first executive team outsourcing company solely focus on helping small promotional products companies responsibly grow their business. In March of 2015, Bill began a partnership with Proforma to assist their Owners growing their individual distributorships.
A former speaker at the PPAI Winter Expo and current member of the board of directors for the Promotional Products Association of the Mid-South (PPAMS), Bill has extensive real-world practice coaching sales teams, creating successful marketing campaigns, developing operational policies and procedures, creating and delivering RFP responses, and successfully presenting promotional solutions to Fortune 500 clients.

Polyconcept North America Announces New Website Enhancements

PCNA Search and Blank Ordering Create New Opportunities for Distributors 

PITTSBURGH — September 28, 2015 — Polyconcept North America (PCNA), a leading promotional products supplier, announced today the launch of new time-saving features at, including PCNA sitewide search and online blank ordering, representing the latest round of enhancements in PCNA’s move to provide an improved online experience to distributors.

“Our goal is to continually improve the experience on,” said Leanne Finney, PCNA Vice President of Marketing. “Being able to find what you need quickly and easily from our website gives distributors an edge in the fast-paced promotional products industry.”

With PCNA sitewide search, a keyword search from the homepage will return results from Leed’s, Bullet and Trimark, making it easy for a distributor to find items across multiple product lines. Product results can be filtered by product details such as product line or price range to narrow the available options.

The new blank ordering feature makes it easier than ever for distributors to price and order blank product with ease. Logged-in users can take advantage of this feature simply by adding the selected product to their shopping cart. Blank ordering is available for Leed’s and Trimark product only.


#    #    #

About Polyconcept North America

Polyconcept North America (PCNA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Polyconcept, the world’s leading promotional products supplier. With headquarters in New Kensington, Pennsylvania, PCNA operates Leed’s, Bullet, Trimark and JournalBooks. As the corporate home for this diverse group of suppliers, PCNA serves as a single source for the widest selection of hard goods, apparel, cutting-edge decoration and reliable service. For more information, go to

DC ARTStudio Testimonial

“Our team loves working with the New DC ARTStudio.  It allows us to have a full service graphics department on our team.  We are a new company and do not have the resources to create artwork for our clients. So we tried using the new Art Studio and love it; which in-turn allows us to continue selling to increase our bottom-line.”

“Promo Place 365 recently used the ARTStudio service to create vector artwork for Morrison Construction Services.  I sent in a hand-drawn design and they sent back exactly what the customer asked for.  It only took one day to get the artwork back! We plan on using this service every week and love that we can have a full-time graphics team on-hand.”

-Elizabeth Morrison, Promo Place 365

To go to ART Studio portal visit:



Innovation Line Remains Open after Fire

Innovation Line was the apparent victim of arson on Saturday morning.  Fortunately, the company operates in four buildings and only one was partially damaged by fire.   Our Customer Service Team will be contacting affected distributors shortly.

As our phone system is operating on a limited basis, please contact us via email as follows:

For in house orders:

Quotes, pricing or Production:


All other information or inquiries:

Please be sure to check our website at for inventory availability prior to placing a new order.

We are very happy to advise there we no causalities and with the help of our loyal customers and dedicated staff we are confident operations will swiftly return to normal.

We appreciate our customer’s understanding during this difficult time as we rebuild our production Operations.

Eddie Blau

Adva-Lite announces exclusive distribution agreement with Dorcy International for the Promotional Products Market

Largo, FL (September 17, 2015) – Aprinta Group, LLC is pleased to announce it has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Dorcy International, Inc. to market its complete range of portable lighting products in the Promotional Products Industry. The Dorcy product line will be marketed and sold through Aprinta Promo’s Adva-Lite brand.

Billy Dolan, President/CEO of the Aprinta Group stated, “In many respects this exciting announcement brings Adva-Lite full circle in the Promotional Products Industry. The Adva-Lite/Dorcy relationship goes back 30 years when, together, they started a run that took Adva-Lite to Top 40 status and culminated in a spot as the 4th largest supplier company in the industry as part of the Corvest Promotional Products Group.”

Keith Olivit, Executive Vice President of the Aprinta Group added, “I was fortunate to be at the helm of Adva-Lite and Corvest during those years and we will be combining two of the key elements of our success with this new arrangement; the high volume US manufacturing operation of the core Adva-Lite products and the design and development leadership of Dorcy International in portable LED lighting products.” He went on to say, “Dorcy has been the industry leader in LED technology and development for years, designing high performance lighting products for all the largest retailers in the world. This renewed partnership will make Adva-Lite and Aprinta Promo the dominant lighting products supplier in the Promotional Products Industry once again.”

Aprinta Promo began processing Dorcy SMD purchase orders beginning September 14, 2015. New purchase orders should be submitted to Adva-Lite via email ( or fax (855-831-7518). Questions or inquiries should be directed to All Dorcy product information can be found at

ADVA-LITE (ASI: 32145 UPIC: ADVALITE SAGE: 56070) is a brand of the Aprinta Group, LLC. The Aprinta Group is a new transformational company that is the driving force behind the growth and expansion of award-winning industry brands Adva-Lite, Avaline, Dart Business Accessories, Drinx, Falcon Promotional Products, It’s All Greek to Me, StyleWrite, and Toppers.


SEPTEMBER 18, 2015 – The Pro Towels family of companies, including Pro Towels, Kanata Blanket Company and Superior Decorating, is pleased to announce new additions to its sales team. Mark and Nick Chipchase of Mac Marketing will represent Pro Towels brands in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. Frank Deaner of Deaner Marketing will cover North and South Carolina, and Jim Miller will serve distributors in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi. Each of these companies and Sales Representatives will represent products from the Pro Towels, Kanata and Superior Decorating brands.

In addition, JSA Marketing, the Pro Towels Northeast/Mid-Atlantic sales team, has added Kanata Blanket Company to its broad assortment of outstanding products. JSA Sales Representatives include Jules Scheck, Jason Bickoff, Nancy Bercovitz, and Mark Colfer.

Brian Porter, Pro Towels Vice President of Sales, commented, “As the Pro Towels family of companies continues to grow and remain the industry leader in our categories, we couldn’t be more excited to add these great rep groups to our already award-winning team. With smaller territories, that will result in more coverage for our clients, and allow us to be the best partner we can be!”

Pro Towels ( is the largest towel supplier to the promotional product industry with locations on both the east and west coast. The company offers in-house screen printing and embroidery services to support a broad product line of beach, golf, and sport towels. Additionally, Pro Towels carries bathrobes and other beach accessories to complement its towel line. The Pro Towels family of companies also includes Kanata Blanket Company, a leader in premium blankets, décor and lifestyle products, and Superior Decorating, a leader in contract decorating for the promotional products industry for over 30 years.


Range of Athletic Eye Black, Face Paint and More, to Feature SpongeBob SquarePants, Blaze and the Monster Machines, Bella and the Bulldogs and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

July 21, 2015 - New York, NY – Nickelodeon and EyeBlack ( today announced an all-new partnership to bring beloved Nickelodeon characters to self-adhesive EyeBlack products. These new active, fun and dynamic products will include EyeBlack (under eye face decals), BattlePaint (face paint tubes), die cut stickers, and other decals that will allow the consumer to “sport” popular Nickelodeon characters including SpongeBob SquarePants, Blaze and the Monster Machines, Bella and the Bulldogs and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. All EyeBlack products are made in the USA.

EyeBlack’s products are typically worn by professional and collegiate athletes to reduce the glare of the sun on the field. By partnering with Nickelodeon, fans of SpongeBob, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and more, will be able to sport their favorite characters on the field using EyeBlack’s high-end athletic products. These traditional athletic products are designed to be worn on the face to encourage more active play either outdoors or indoors.

“Kids being active and social is incredibly important. These products will encourage them not only look like the pros on the field playing sports but also in active play. Being able to wear their favorite Nickelodeon characters right on their face will encourage and improve them being active and interacting with other children.” said Peter Beveridge President of EyeBlack, “We are thrilled to capture the exciting world of these Nickelodeon characters on our EyeBlack and give parents and children of all ages a product that they can use that is first and foremost  FUN, but also athletic.”

“Nickelodeon is always looking for ways to bring our beloved characters into kids’ lives in fun ways,” said Manuel Torres, Senior Vice President, Global Toys and Publishing, Nickelodeon Consumer Products. “Now, through this partnership with EyeBlack, we’re able to be on the field with our fans as they sharpen their athletic skills.”

This new range of EyeBlack product is available today at and will soon be available at retail stores.

About EyeBlack

EyeBlack, now in it’s 9th year, produces innovative products that are used worldwide by both athletes and supporters.  Our goal is to provide world class products to enhance a game day or event experience, whether it’s an athletes’ performance or a fans’ support.  The company is united in our passion to produce fun products that allow the individual to demonstrate their passion by wearing it on their face. The product is made from latex free medical grade tape that is safe, tested and can breathe on the skin. The company is based in Rockville, Maryland.

About Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon, now in its 36th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in almost 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 20 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB).

DistributorCentral Announces 400 Percent Increase in Product Traffic

DistributorCentral (PPAI: 220404 | UPIC: DC) announced today that overall product views have increased over 400 percent in less than two years. So far in 2015, products in the DC database have seen by distributors and their customers an average of 3.6 million a month. Compared to 2013, when DC averaged less than one million product searches per month, this represents a tremendous increase in potential sales generated from DistributorCentral data.

DistributorCentral attributes this growth to not only an increase in the Supplier and Distributor members but to the strategic partnerships they have formed.  DistributorCentral is proud to list over forty different integrations and partnerships for its customers, including providing product data for commonsku, Essent, eBlox, PromoCorner, and Artwork Services USA members.

DistributorCentral is also a part of a group of professionals committed to improving the IT efficiency in the promotional products industry through collaboration. The goal of this project, along with 20 of the largest suppliers, is to implement new and better ways to do business based on a set of standards that are compatible for the greater good of the industry.

“Participation in these efforts not only contributes to increased exposure, but also improves the overall user experience; which we constantly strive to do,” says Jason Nokes, President of DistributorCentral.

“To support the increase in traffic, in 2015 we moved to the best in class cloud-based hosting that provides a faster, more secure environment for all of our users,” says Nokes.

A 400% increase in product views over two years is good news for Supplier members that list their products in the Pro version of DistributorCentral.  As DC’s product feed populates over 8,500 distributor websites via DC’s website system, integrations and software partners, supplier’s overall statistics have grown exponentially.

Nokes foresees the rapid growth to accelerate in 2016 as more supplier, distributor, and partner members come on board.

For more information about DistributorCentral visit and on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.




DistributorCentral Launches DC ARTStudio

DistributorCentral (PPAI: 220404 | UPIC: DC) announced their new value added service called DC ARTStudio.  Members can now order production ready artwork services directly from their accounts.  Services will be provided by software partner Artwork Services USA.  Distributor services include vector art, digitizing, virtual samples, flyers, brochures, image retouching, and product templates.

DistributorCentral members can take advantage of a special introductory offer of a 50% off flat discount for one month with offer code 1M50DIS.  “In addition to the initial 50% off, DC members receive better rates than the general industry. We’ve made it very easy to order artwork and it’s completely integrated with their account.” said Jason Nokes, President of DistributorCentral.

“We are truly excited by our partnership with DistributorCentral to provide a critical service to its members; one that can be such a stumbling block for executing the order accurately and on time. We hope the members can take advantage of our special rates and speed of execution.” said Varshal Thakor, President of Artwork Services USA.

For more information visit:

Jetline Appoints Beth Kovanis as Strategic Account Manager

We’re excited to announce the appointment of Beth Kovanis to the position of Strategic Account Manager. Kovanis, an industry veteran, will support the company’s key account effort under Stephanie Bookbinder, Vice President of Strategic Accounts. “I have known Beth for over 15 years. Her professionalism and creativity will be a valuable asset to our customers and will enable us to deliver service excellence to an expanding strategic customer base,” says Eric Levin, Jetline CEO.


Jetline Introduces Apparel and Headwear!!!

Take a look…