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NIFA Takes An Inside Look at Private Equity Investment During 2019 June Event

NIFA Takes An Inside Look at Private Equity Investment During 2019 June Event

The Northern Illinois Franchise Association (NIFA), co-founded by Andrew Bleiman, Jamie and Lauren Izaks, recently hosted its 2019 June Event at Hotel Zachary in the Alma Room, situated across from Wrigley Field in Chicago. With almost 90 guests in attendance, the June Event featured a spirited discussion and panel, “An Inside Look at Private Equity Investment in Franchising,” as well as a fun networking opportunity during the Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals game.

Jon Shulkin, Partner at Valor Equity Partners, headlined the event and led an initial presentation on how Valor Equity Partners expanded into franchising via its investment in Sizzling Platter. Explaining how private equity has grown and become more popular in the franchising space, Jon shared what private equity firms look for in a business, including financials and the ability to expand. More specifically, these firms are attracted to franchising due to the ability to scale quickly, strengthen existing systems and processes while taking them to new markets.

Shulkin joined a group of other distinguished panelists after his presentation to dive deeper into the topic, tackling questions such as how private equity has impacted business, how to push for operating improvements with franchisors and the qualitative attributes that set brands apart and catch an investment firm’s attention. The panel included: 

The June Event was sponsored by Shambliss Security, a provider of cybersecurity solutions, and Patriot Software, franchising’s leader in accounting and payroll software. Patriot Software provides fast, simple and affordable solutions. Paro, which provides financial expertise for every situation, company, and project, was the beverage sponsor. Paro’s highly curated network of finance professionals have years of experience and domain expertise helping businesses solve their unique problems.

In addition to the discussion, panelists and guests of the NIFA 2019 June Event enjoyed the unique opportunity to network during the exciting Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals game on the balcony and in the Alma Room. There were also plenty of hors d’oeuvres to choose from, including pasta, mini burgers and a delicious platter of cheese, bread and jellies, plus much more. We want to thank all the panelists and guests for helping us kick off the summer with an incredible event, and look forward to our next gathering!

These events allow NIFA to continue its work educating the Chicagoland community about the most pressing franchise-related topics of the day. Stay tuned for details on the upcoming 2019 August NIFA Luncheon, and visit for more information about the organization.

Trending: Keeping Your Digital Marketing Strategy Afloat in Today’s Distracted Society

Trending: Keeping Your Digital Marketing Strategy Afloat in Today’s Distracted Society

Time reported in 2015 that the average attention span of a human is eight seconds, according to a study from Microsoft Corp. This is one second less than the average attention span of a goldfish, and four seconds down from the average human attention span in 2000.

Simply put, humans are easily distracted. In fact, research shows that an office worker, on average, will check their email inboxes 30 times every hour. The average user picks up their cell phone more than 1,500 times a week. The average page visit lasts less than a minute and users often leave web pages in just 10-20 seconds.

While brands have certainly evolved to accommodate today’s digital-driven age, human interest and attention remain short. However, this isn’t all bad news for brands and marketers. Being clear in your messaging, keeping it short and sweet and appealing to consumers through stories are just a few ways to extend those short eight seconds. These facts reinforce how important it is to work smart, always have your audience in mind and keep it simple when it comes to crafting a digital marketing strategy.

One way to achieve this across your digital marketing platforms, while gaining the most mileage out of your content, is through “micro content.” Essentially, micro content is written copy, imagery and/or video that can be consumed in 10-30 seconds or less. It is small, bite-sized and easily digested, perfect for attention spans that are smaller than those of goldfish. Gary Vaynerchuk, entrepreneur, author, speaker and internet personality, recently discussed the mindset behind crafting a content strategy in 2019 and the use of micro content in a blog posted to his personal website.

Based on a “reverse pyramid” model, this strategy starts with a piece of “pillar content” – a daily vlog, keynote, Q&A show, etc. From this content, his team is able to repurpose that one piece into dozens of smaller pieces of content, keeping in mind the context of the different platforms used. With this strategy, it’s important to remember that not all platforms and their audiences are alike, thus your message must be tailored to fit the platform.

What are the results? Vaynerchuk explains that through this strategy, he is able to grow his brand by constantly creating and posting as much content as possible, taking one long-form piece and turning it into smaller bits of content (memes, images, quotes, stories, etc.) and effectively distributing them across all his platforms. In a presentation attached to the blog, Vaynerchuk shows how his team took one of his keynotes, repurposed it into 30+ pieces of content, and generated over 35,000,000 total views from distributing that content.

Bottom line, there are plenty of factors and moving parts to take into account when crafting a digital marketing strategy – keeping it simple and truly making the most of the content you have are keys to adding some serious value and ROI.

The All Points Team Fosters Creativity and Collaboration in Recent Seminar

The All Points Team Fosters Creativity and Collaboration in Recent Seminar

From public relations professionals to content marketers and creative and digital mavens, the All Points PR team incorporates a diverse set of talented individuals to achieve our integrated approach. This approach calls for constant collaboration and creativity across the team to deliver powerful results.

Content Marketing Associates Meredith Beirne and Amanda Goecke recently led the May seminar, speaking to our team’s collaborative culture while challenging the group with unconventional ways to think more creatively. The duo kicked off their presentation with creative thinking exercises to encourage out-of-the box ideas, while demonstrating how this mindset can be applied to all corners of the office to produce the most effective work for our clients.

Along with these exercises, Meredith and Amanda pulled specific examples from around the office that demonstrate this creative spirit, including eye-catching press releases, pitches, social media posts and content marketing materials. This also offered the opportunity for the two to show how the team implemented their creative efforts in recent months to revamp digital and content marketing assets.

The presentation stretched our thinking of how we can all work together and suggested new collaborative initiatives for the team to explore. The content marketing team stressed the importance of training your brain to think more creatively, and how this thinking can be multiplied through a collective team effort.

Our monthly seminars serve to promote ongoing education and refinement of skills, motivating and inspiring our employees through relevant topics and exciting information. We thank Meredith and Amanda for their creative presentation!

Be sure to check out All Points PR on Facebook and Twitter to hear about our latest seminars, and follow along on Instagram to keep up with the office.

COO’s Corner: The PRo Community Project

COO’s Corner: The PRo Community Project

At All Points, our employees are encouraged to carry themselves with compassion and philanthropy, which are a part of our core values. We are passionate about our commitment to corporate social responsibility, our focus on people and making a meaningful impact on community organizations that do good for others, as reflected by our quarterly Positive Impact program.

I’d like to take a moment to share a special, creative campaign and Positive Impact effort within All Points that is a true testament to our core values: the PRo Community Project.

Through this exciting initiative, we invite nonprofit leaders to submit an application for the chance to win free services and volunteer support from our team. We’re looking for local Chicagoland organizations to share why their organization could benefit from media exposure, graphic design, content marketing and other services to increase awareness for their mission in the community as part of a specific campaign or fundraising effort.

Our team constantly designs, plans and executes integrated strategic campaigns that provide our clients with the voice, credibility and validation needed to effectively grow their brands. We look forward to approaching this creative campaign from a philanthropic angle and supporting one of the incredible nonprofits in the Chicago area through this project – further spreading our goal to positively impact the communities in which we live and work.

To learn more about the PRo Community Project and to submit an application, please click here. Or, feel free to share this information with your network.

Lauren Izaks is the COO and executive vice president of All Points Public Relations, a franchise-focused PR agency based in the Chicagoland area,

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