Marathons Made Easy

Inline Skating Marathons Take the U.S. by Storm

Training and competing for a marathon just became easier and much more fun. In response to the growing popularity of inline skate marathons, Rollerblade is proud to unveil the 2007 Marathon Carbon Series. The line features three new skate models with a redesigned cuff, carbon fiber shell and precise, performance-orientated fit, allowing novice skaters, “weekend warriors” and marathoners to cross the finish line in comfort:

• Marathon Carbon TF – This black, unisex skate is designed with a new cuff, 100 mm wheels and a minimalistic carbon fiber shell; street price: $399

• Marathon Carbon (M) – Thinner and lighter than its predecessors, this fire-red men’s skate is also equipped with a carbon shell and 100 mm wheels to smoothly skate over bumps and cracks; street price: $299

• Marathon Carbon (W) – Designed to fit the contours of a woman’s foot, the white and gold skate has a precision fit liner with a striking white and gold carbon fiber shell;
street price: $299

Each year, thousands of inline skaters participate in skate marathons in New York, California, Washington, Florida and Minnesota. “Whether you eventually plan to run the New York Marathon or just get in shape at your own pace, inline skating is a great cardio activity,” says Nick Skally, marketing director for Rollerblade. “The sport is faster and easier on the body, and training for a skate marathon takes about half the time as training for marathons on foot.”

The Marathon Carbon TF model features the Top Fuel™ frame for enhanced power transmission, 100 mm wheels for top end speed and two ratcheting buckles for a custom fit. The Marathon Carbon models feature the lightweight FLY™ frame, 90 mm wheels and a 45° power strap for enhanced support.

Based in Hamilton, New Jersey, Rollerblade is a stand-alone subsidiary of the Tecnica Group. The worldwide headquarters of Rollerblade is in Trevignano (TV), Italy. Rollerblade is the founder and leader of the in-line skate industry, with over 250-patented innovations. Serving as the premier manufacturer of inline skates, related accessories and protective gear, Rollerblade has received several awards for its innovative technologies, including the first women’s specific design, an extendible skate for children, and the proprietary ABT® braking technology for controlled, effortless stopping. For more information visit www.rollerbladeusa.com or call (800)232-ROLL.

Bid “Adieu” to Post-Holiday Blues

“Go Green” This Christmas

Lugging the lifeless family Christmas tree to the end of the driveway each year is not only difficult and messy, but can also be depressing. Yule Tree Farms in Oregon, creators of the “World’s First Designer Christmas Tree,” introduces the remedy to post-Christmas blues. Oregon’s Noble Vintage® Live is a container Christmas tree that can be planted permanently once the holiday season ends. “No one enjoys throwing out their Christmas tree,” explains Yule Tree Farms President, Joe Sharp, “and so few consumers are aware of organizations like Earth 911 that arrange for your tree to be picked up and recycled. Oregon’s Noble Vintage Live offers people the opportunity to keep their Christmas memories alive forever and benefit the environment in the process.”

A tight, self-contained root system and a unique “recipe” of pumice, compost, fine and coarse bark make Oregon’s Noble Vintage Live 30% lighter than other similarly-sized trees. “Normally live trees are associated with a heavy, unmanageable ball of roots and dirt,” says Sharp. “Our trees are easy to transport and settle in the earth immediately after being planted. We’re making it easy for consumers to have a ‘green Christmas’ this year!”

Oregon’s Noble Vintage Live trees are available in a variety of species, each with a different fragrance, shape and color:
Serbian Spruce
Norway Spruce
Colorado Spruce
Nordmann Fir
Canaan Fir
Balsam Fir

Distinguishable by a specially designed hangtag as its stamp of authenticity and planted in a silver pot, Oregon’s Noble Vintage Live is grown under strict supervision, to the exacting standards of expert growers. Prices start at $79.95 (lights not included). For more information on tree recycling programs like Earth 911, visit www.earth911.com.

Good Things Come in Small Packages

J.R. Watkins Apothecary Natural Body Care Kit for Gift or Travel

Great as a gift or for those on the go, J.R. Watkins Apothecary introduces the Natural Body Care Kit containing eight sample sizes of their most popular pampering products. Just like their standard size counterparts, each item is carefully formulated, has the highest quality natural ingredients, captivating aroma, and smooth texture that soothes the senses.

The reusable travel bag contains:

• All-Natural Lavender Hand & Cuticle Salve (0.25 oz.): Perfect for active lifestyles, this unique blend of 100% natural lavender and chamomile oils is carefully formulated to protect and heal hands.
• All-Natural Lemon Body Oil (1 fl. oz.): A 100% all-natural blend of grapeseed, macadamia nut, avocado and apricot kernel oils known for their anti-aging and nourishing qualities. Use as an all-over body oil after the shower or shaving, or as a delightful massage oil.
• All-Natural Lemon Hand & Cuticle Salve (0.25 oz.): Rejuvenate hard-working hands and distressed cuticles with 100% natural purifying lemon and wild chamomile oils blended with vitamin E in a base of canola and sweet almond oils and premium beeswax.
• Aloe & Green Tea Hand & Body Lotion (1 fl. oz.): Created to leave skin silky-smooth, this light, non-greasy formula is enhanced with the skin-conditioning properties of aloe and green tea and J.R. Watkins Apothecary’s exclusive six botanical blend.
• Lemon Cream Shea Butter (0.7 oz.): Watkins most popular apothecary product, this smooth, spreadable blend of age-defying shea and cocoa butters captures the aroma of lemon in a jar.
• Mango Shea Butter (0.7 oz.): Images of a tropical get-away radiate from this velvety, delectable indulgence that is infused with macadamia nut oil, cocoa butter and avocado oil.
• Peppermint Rejuvenating Foot Cream (1 fl. oz.): A tingling burst of stimulating, aromatic peppermint oil cools and revives tired, aching feet.
• Vanilla Hand & Body Lotion (1 fl. oz.): Watkins has always been known for their outstanding vanilla products, including this ultra-rich, nourishing lotion that contains soothing aloe vera gel, panthenol (vitamin B5) and vitamin E, and moisturizing botanicals.

The J.R. Watkins Apothecary Natural Body Care Kit is available in Target stores nationwide for a suggested retail price of $14.99.

Watkins is America’s original pioneer in natural body care and a trusted name for using only the finest ingredients and natural botanicals. The J.R. Watkins Apothecary collection of products provides everything needed to protect and nurture skin during the hot and humid summer months. Their unique proprietary blend of six all natural, age-defying botanicals designed to nourish all skin types was developed with natural ingredients, time-tested formulas, premium packaging, and aromatic scents that lift the mind and body. For more information, visit www.JRWatkins.com.

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New Smoking Bans Require More Creativity in Promotions

10 Tips to Boost Your Business

Restaurants and bars are currently facing numerous challenges including a sluggish economy, heightened anxiety among consumers, and newly enacted smoking bans. As a result, restaurateurs worry that their already diminished profit margins may decline further. To help food and beverage establishments stay on top, Chris Rosica, CEO of Rosica Strategic Public Relations, offers easily-executable tips to help promote your restaurant or bar — bringing in new customers and garnering some media exposure while you’re at it!
Rosica’s top 10 simple ways to drive business in your food and beverage establishment:

1. Bring in new customers by hosting networking events (local business networks, Young Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Women in Business, etc.) or showcase local artists through fashion and art shows. Allow the artists or organization to use your space and enlist them to promote the event.

2. Donate space for charity fundraisers or for regular non-profit meetings (during your off-peak hours) and align yourself with a cause in your community. Use the charity’s mailing list to drive traffic while boosting customer loyalty. People are loyal to those who give to the community.

3. Align your establishment with local dating services to host get-togethers, or speed dating lunches/happy hours.

4. Offer cooking classes or demonstrations on slower nights. Make it a monthly event, serve wine and create a festive atmosphere to develop faithful participants.

5. Join forces with local businesses to offer specials to their employees and/or patrons by hosting happy hours for employees, special late night promotions for movie or theatergoers, etc. And, sample local corporations with food for which you are known or treat area office managers to a free lunch.

6. Organize leagues for dart or pool players. If your establishment is not equipped for this, sponsor local adult sports teams and offer food and beverage specials post practices and after games.

7. Host wine tasting events. Offer a different flair — such as featuring a different wine region or country every month. Serve foods from that region and invite your wine distributor to send in their experts to speak about the wines. Offer a travel agency partner the opportunity to speak about the region as a vacation destination. As your partner they can do giveaways and sponsor food and beverage for your events. Since the travel industry is down, travel agencies may wish to become an integral part of the seminars to promote their businesses.

8. Offer late night specials and drink cards to employees of other food and beverage establishments that close earlier than yours (i.e. a contest where the restaurant that has the most employees in your bar on a particular Sunday night gets special discounts, drink cards or even a free $50.00 bar tab for their staff to split the following Sunday night).

9. Utilize the media to spread the word about your business and keep your name in front of your customers. Send media advisories before special events, get listed in your local newspaper and entertainment guide’s calendar of events. Distribute photographs from events to local newspapers to garner post-event coverage.

10. ALWAYS enlist the help of your food and beverage purveyors to donate or cut prices on products and/or donate giveaways. Remember, their marketing budget exists to promote their products in YOUR establishment!

A graduate of Johnson & Wales and Florida International Universities, earning Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management degrees respectively, a former chef and food safety expert, Chris Rosica is CEO of Rosica Strategic Public Relations, a national PR agency based in Paramus, NJ. Rosica’s agency is credited with making Wally Amos and his cookie company “Famous,” without the benefit of advertising.

Bergen County Public Relations Firm Celebrates Silver Anniversary

Rosica Strategic Public Relations opened its doors in 1980 in a 200-year-old coach house in Ridgewood, New Jersey. The company’s first client was a unique gourmet food company – Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Cookies. The fledgling company dubbed the cookies “gourmet” to whom the highly regarded and now deceased James Beard was heard to say, “There’s no such thing as a gourmet cookie.” That may have been true in a pure culinary sense, but nevertheless national media and cookie eaters nationwide accepted the term.

Over the years, the Rosica agency made its mark by helping companies across the United States to grow and prosper. They developed a specialty that helped improve the human condition through their special brand of Cause-Related Marketing – partnering its client companies with organizations that focused on solving social ills.

When they discovered that two out of five adults were functionally illiterate, they paired Wally Amos with Literacy Volunteers of America as their national spokesperson. What most people know today about the problem can be directly related to Wally Amos and Rosica Strategic Public Relations’ media outreach.

In addition to adult illiteracy, the firm has brought assistance and attention to various causes, such as the high infant mortality rate among African-Americans, thereby helping to save many babies’ lives; were early in bringing awareness to Juvenile Diabetes; and helped disseminate the real hospice story.

Rosica Strategic Public Relations recently celebrated its 25th anniversary with friends and clients at a restaurant in Ridgewood and presented Project Literacy U.S. with a check for $2,500 in memoriam for Mary Mulhern, wife of one of the agency’s original founders.

Cause Marketing

Cause marketing or cause-related marketing is a public relations strategy that forges a strategic alliance between a for-profit company and a non-profit organization (or “cause”). A cause partnership is symbiotic: The non-profit organization benefits from heightened awareness, increased donations, and improved recognition and volunteerism, while the corporate partner improves customer loyalty, employee morale and retention and increases sales without sending too transparent a commercial message. A cause marketing program can also preempt or quell a crisis. With this strategy, a company incorporates a philanthropic agenda as part of its marketing strategy, garnering media attention and visibility through cause-related events, internal communications, merchandising, advertising, package design, online marketing, etc. While many U.S. citizens view cause marketing as a corporate responsibility, consumers reward brands and companies that embrace “giving back.”

Cause Marketing’s History and Examples:
“In today’s corporate culture, companies are not just encouraged but also expected to give back, to embrace a philosophy of corporate social responsibility,” cited cause marketing pioneer John Rosica. In 2000, the management of Parade Magazine, and several national charities that Rosica’s cause-marketing firm has aided through the years (including Literacy Volunteers of America, Habitat for Humanity, Boys & Girls Clubs, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and Birthing Project U.S.A.) recognized Rosica for his work in this field and proclaimed him to be the “father of cause marketing.” While Rosica has furthered awareness of the practice of cause-related marketing, corporate America has a long way to go as their donations, according to a July 10, 2006 Newsweek article, still only represent about five percent of all charitable giving. Seventy-seven percent of giving comes from individuals’ donations. The study was conducted by The Boston Foundation and Boston College’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy.

In its cause marketing practice, Rosica has partnered countless corporations with non-profit entities. Some of these successful campaigns include Famous Amos Cookies with Literacy Volunteers of America, Mark Smith with the Seeing Eye Foundation, Revlon with Birthing Project U.S.A., Independent Jewelers with Cure Autism Now, as Rollerblade with a childhood obesity effort.

Odwyer’s Report – Rosica

For nearly 25 years, Rosica Strategic PR has developed PR programs and award-winning PSAs designed to garner media coverage for healthcare and medical clients, ranging from Physicians for a National Health Program and The National Association for Home Care & Hospice, to the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services and Moore Medical Corporation.

In 2004, New Jersey Poison Information and Education Services called upon Rosica to help spread the word about potential household hazards and direct the general public to their toll-free help line.

Rosica developed a program including media events that generated coverage in print and broadcast media, and a PSA that Rosica placed on television and radio outlets in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, reaching upwards of 85 million area residents in less than 60 days.

For Moore Medical Corporation, Rosica developed and executed a media and community relations plan to reach the markets of physicians and emergency medical technicians through consumer and trade media as well as through events and cause-related marketing programs.

Rosica Made Amos “Famous.” – A Client For 24 Years

Rosica Made Amous “Famous”… A Client For 24 Years
Excerpted From PR Week

Rosica made Amos “Famous”. John Rosica was the national promotion director for RCA Records when he met Wally Amos, a former agent with William Morris, known for his homemade cookies. Rosica started working for Amos’ company (now owned by Keebler), and then launched his own agency. Cause-related marketing in conjunction with Literacy Volunteers of America helped make Amos an icon, recently featured on A&E’s Biography. But it’s the personal relationship with John Rosica and his son Chris (the firm’s president) that is paramount. “It’s a total trust thing,” Amos maintains. “If they left, I would not be here.”

A Personal Touch
Having a personal connection with the client can help ensure loyalty. Wally “Famous” Amos has known Chris Rosica, president of his PR firm Rosica Strategic Public Relations, since he was a baby. “I’ve kind of landed this role because Wally likes having me there,” Rosica says. “He’s my champion and he trusts us implicitly.” Amos says that the rapport he enjoys with John and Chris is pivotal. He trusts them to set up events without too much consultation from him. John Rosica was also responsible for bringing Amos and Literacy Volunteers of America together, a relationship that has proved hugely successful both to the cause of literacy, and to boosting Amos’ profile. John recalls their first meeting with LVA. “We were so different from anything they had seen before,” he says. “Wally came in with his hat and his cookie shirt on and I was wearing my corduroy jacket and pressed jeans. It was frightening for them.”

More terrifying for LVA than the hip clothing was the prospect that PR would damage the integrity of their product. Rosica had to work to reassure the organization that their intention was to reinforce the integrity of the organization. Literacy events related to Famous Amos have taken place in libraries across the country ever since.

Marketing Matters

Marketing Matters
By Christopher Rosica

Hispanic Beauty
Reaching the U.S. Hispanic market is easier than ever before…and could be a crucial step in your brand’s growth.

There are more than 400 million Spanish-speaking consumers in 23 countries around the world, and Spanish is the third most spoken language across the globe. With census figures showing that more than 22 percent of the 34 million Hispanics in the U.S. are between the ages of 12 and 24, it is also a young population of existing and future consumers to indoctrinate to your brand. Hispanics are America’s largest minority group, and by one estimate, had more than half a trillion dollars to spend in 2002. So, while Hispanics are assimilating at an increasing rate, in order to be successful and broaden the appeal of your brand, take advantage of the many opportunities that exist to reach the diverse Hispanic market and let these groups know you are aware of their culture-specific needs.

Companies that will be successful in getting the attention of Hispanics are those that take the time to understand the various cultures within the culture. In the U.S., for example, the Hispanic population comes from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Central and South America. What this means for beauty companies is potentially addressing a variety of hair types, from curly, relaxer-reliant tresses to wavy manes to pin-straight, Asian-like hair. It also means a myriad of skin tones, from nearly Caucasian to light brown to black. All these should be addressed, as should the packaging for these products, with models representative of the audience for which they are designed.

This may mean that a hair-care product created and marketed in Brazil, with Portuguese-language packaging and white-skinned, Brazilian models with straight hair, may not translate well to the Hispanic-American market. Conversely, U.S. products designed to appeal to dark-skinned Mexicans may not go over well in Spain, where lighter skin tones are predominant. What’s more, Hispanic areas in the U.S. are dominated by a variety of cultures; New York carries a significant Puerto Rican population, while Texas contains a large Mexican contingency, and Cubans are numerous in Florida.

What all of this adds up to is that issuing press releases, disseminating direct mail pieces, placing advertisements and posting Web sites in Spanish and English are effective ways to work with the Hispanic media and entice their audience. There are many services available to companies that cost-effectively translate copy; however, people that speak your target audience’s language should avoid using software programs that often do not take into account the nuances of ideas and intended meanings of words.

Never have there been more opportunities to utilize the media to reach Hispanics, from the hot trend-setting publications such as Latina and Spanish-language versions of the leading women’s lifestyle magazines, including Cosmo en Español, Shape en Español and People en Español, to television outlets like Telemundo and Univision. Daily Spanish-language newspapers in the U.S. grew from 14 in 1990 to 34 in 2000, while Spanish-language weeklies grew from 152 to 265, and Spanish-language magazines grew from 177 to 352 during the same period. In addition, English-language mainstream publications are embracing and showcasing Hispanic models in an awakening to the numbers they comprise in the population.

One-third of Hispanics read in English and Spanish, another third read only English and another third read only Spanish. Seven out of ten Hispanics read daily or weekly newspapers, while 75 percent watch television in both English and Spanish, and 50 percent listen to the radio in both languages. In addition, the Internet is a highly utilized medium for Hispanics, with 48 percent of U.S. Hispanics going online from home in the past two years, compared to 21 percent of all U.S. consumers. The Hispanic audience also spends more time online at home (9.5 hours per week) and at work (13.8 hours per week), compared to all U.S. consumers. However, currently only three percent of online content is available in Spanish, according to some estimates.

Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15-October 15, is a national celebration of Hispanic pride and culture in the U.S. Aligning your organization with activities that embrace and support Hispanic Heritage Month can create goodwill among this audience toward your brand. In conjunction with Hispanic Heritage Month, and throughout the year as tie-ins to other high-profile Hispanic holidays, such as Cinco de Mayo, are community festivals that bring together those elements important to the Hispanic culture: family, food, music and dance. Beauty companies can sponsor these festivals and introduce their products at booths with sampling and makeovers, elevating their brand and reaching this audience at the vital grassroots level.

Another way to reach the Hispanic audience is to support causes important to them. With Hispanics suffering a greater incidence of some life-threatening diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, diabetes and breast and cervical cancers, donating a portion of the proceeds to fight these afflictions, and flagging your packaging, advertising and Web sites as such, is worthwhile. It is also just good…to do good.

With a large and growing influence in the marketplace across the globe, Hispanics are not a group to ignore in your brand’s strategic development. The growth potential is there and the opportunity is yours.

Cause-related Marketing Benefits All

Cause-related Marketing Benefits All
Op-Ed by Chris Rosica featured in New Jersey Business

Cause-related marketing is the best type of public relations. It is where companies enhance their brands through their altruistic support of a non-profit organization that is addressing a problem, whether it’s in the local community or elsewhere in the world. In New Jersey, perhaps no other public relations firm does this better for its clients than Rosica Strategic Public Relations, Paramus. The 24-year-old agency is responsible for aligning cookie king Wally “Famous” Amos with Literacy Volunteers of America, more than 20 years ago. The combination has resulted in more people knowing about the problem of adult illiteracy in the country and Wally Amos’ own public television program where he teaches children how to read. In turn, Famous Amos has become a name without a single advertising dollar spent.

Nine in 10 Rosica clients are affiliated with a cause, according to Chris Rosica, president of the agency. The reason is the credibility and brand awareness that it generates. A recent Cone Group Survey reveals, for instance, that 70 percent of the population would rather do business with a company that is supporting a cause, with 60 percent saying they would pay more for the company’s product or service. “It also takes the commercial ‘sting’ out of the corporate message, unlike an advertisement,” says Rosica.

Rosica keeps tabs on a variety of non-profit causes and organizations though research. One bit of advice he offers small and mid-sized companies is “don’t get involved in a cause that is so big and well-known that your company gets lost in the message.” For even greater success, the client has to be passionate about the cause they are supporting. “That makes a big difference,” explains the president.

The client company becomes the mouthpiece for the cause, generating awareness. For the non-profit organization, the affiliation is free of charge. The media impressions usually generated by these endeavors is typically 10 times the impressions for the dollar when compared with advertising, “and this is all editorial space,” comments Rosica. “These are feature articles read by people who are caring and believing.”

Other cause-related partnerships Rosica Strategic Public Relations has brought together include: Weight Watchers of New Jersey with the Food Bank; African Pride Products with Birthing Project USA; and The Center for Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery with The Image Reborn support group for women who have undergone mastectomies.

Expert Crisis Communications Council

Rosica specializes in health-related strategic internal and external corporate communications and media relations. We are helping corporations, public and private schools, universities, and nonprofits with COVID-19 communications preparedness and management.