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Op-ed by Thomas E. Pierce, Filmmaker, Entrepreneur, and CEO of Pierce Media & Associates

Pierce Media & Associates

While history chapters are unfolding, we are watching culture shift as we live it. We have grieved. We have feared. We have huddled in our homes. And this is just the beginning of a brighter tomorrow. As CEO of an entertainment marketing consultancy, a filmmaker, a philanthropist, and on the verge of launching something a-new, I blinked just like you and everything changed. And so, we adapt because that’s what we do. Despite our losses and frustrations what makes us trailblazers is our determination to do better, to be our best, and we were given a window to do just that. During quarantine, our habits shifted. Behaviors changed. We all look in the mirror and know we’ll never be the same people again. In fact, 76% of people picked up new habits, behaviors and routines of that 89% say they plan to keep them, according to Reach3 Insights ongoing study. As an optimist, a culture driver, and an entrepreneur, I constantly wonder how this will be played out. Who will flourish and rise up and who might fall off that thin hanging thread. A shake-up is upon us, now is the time to stay focused, be actionable, define new tactics, drive with empathy, and create initiatives, campaigns, and offerings for our clients to shape a better tomorrow. What a gift. As leaders, we listen. As entrepreneurs, we seek to understand as decisions are made. As filmmakers, we are excited to go, eager to be courageous, and responsible to get it right. In our marketing transcention, now is a time we cannot rely on assumptions. Data from six weeks ago is already out-of-date. I share trends and habits with my clients and look forward and around the corner, and I encourage lively discussions among other trend seekers and setters so we pave our way forward and help ensure brands/corporations make good decisions. Key finding #1: Influencers changed People have digital maturity. Digital word-of-mouth is the new influencer, authentic conversation is more powerful than a clicked/liked on post, discussing your products to advertise your products. Thought leadership is replaced with helpfulness. People want to be invited to contribute context to foster community. People will idolize peers shaping our future for a better tomorrow more than celebrities that don’t share their values. The micro-social audience is proving to be more powerful than a macro audience if spoken-to and shared-with correctly. Key finding #2: the now buzzword authenticity has always been our guidepost Less polished, authentic content in a video connects more deeply. Brands who care, win mind share. Asking the question of "what do you need" and "what can I do to help" are key. Flexibility to adapt. Customer service and customization is at the forefront of marketing. Quality over quantity, less is more is here to stay. Empathy wins. More than half (56%) of people say they want to hear what brands do in communities, according to the American Association of Advertising. Key finding #3: humankind unites with home-sweet-home Humankind unifies with a shared purpose. Acknowledgment of shortfalls and being raw in communications is valued. Except, don’t rush to understand diversity issues like others have tried and backfired, stay in your lane, listen, action speaks louder than words. The "Homebody Economy" sticks even as restrictions are lifted. “Safety-subconscious” will always be first in line. Key finding #4: Innovation no longer an option speaking to your consumers Innovation becomes a necessity. People expect and need a personalized experience and with all touchpoints throughout their journey, to instill brand loyalty. In two years, revival in nightlife and social indulgence makes a comeback. This means, think ahead and be courageous in your planning. Key finding #5: New Gen’s are born Gen "ZEOs" - usually future-focused - used COVID time for personal and professional development Gen C is born and is not an age group but a powerful new force and mindset in consumer culture. A term used to describe people who care deeply about creation, curation, connection, and community. Generation Alpha are those under age 10 who did homeschooling and online learning during COVID Coronial Generation are those born in 9 months from quarantine. As we enter the decade of a new counterculture shift, let us drive culture to new levels. Make 2020 the year we see better and do better. Pierce Media (PMA) is a Marketing & Public Relations Consultancy specializing in popular culture. We build brands and individuals through integrated partnerships, bespoke brand experiences, content production, and media. We pride ourselves on being an influential and innovative consultancy, helping brands create culturally-relevant, highly impactful initiatives that drive business results. Contact Details Shari Beagelman +1 917-626-7071 Company Website

July 09, 2020 09:48 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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EOS Labs Hires Trust Relations as Agency of Record to Pilot its Branding and PR Initiatives

Trust Relations

Rapidly-expanding, challenger public relations agency, Trust Relations , today announced a partnership with EOS Labs to spearhead a comprehensive branding, email marketing and media relations campaign. A utility management software and services company, EOS Labs will benefit from Trust Relations’ ability to simplify complex service offerings and make them both accessible and compelling, while also honing in on the company’s brand vision. Empowering smarter and faster utility management decisions, EOS Labs’ innovative solution delivers actionable insights for building managers to help them reduce energy waste and better manage utility operations. The company’s proprietary Utility Financial Intelligence (UFIQ™) system saves building managers time by automating the analysis of metered data to show how energy waste could impact their bottom line—before it shows up on their next utility bill. EOS Labs attributes its decision to partner with Trust Relations to the agency’s nimble and scalable “dream team” approach, which allows the firm to achieve both publicity and creative branding needs with one cohesive team. With the capacity to add and subtract team members as clients’ needs change, Trust Relations can easily accommodate growth and quickly adapt to the company’s changing objectives. “We needed an agency that could do it all and do it well. We’re at an exciting moment at EOS Labs where we needed a team that could help us anchor our vision in words and communicate it to our target markets,” said Sal Alhelo, founder and CEO of EOS Labs. “Trust Relations uses a unique staffing structure that feels like a genuine extension of our own team, and the value they provide is unmatched” Trust Relations conducted a SWOT analysis for EOS Labs, developed the company’s brand messaging and website, created its marketing collateral materials and is overseeing its email marketing campaign. Next, the agency will execute a robust public relations campaign targeting key verticals including banking, education, healthcare, hospitality, retail and more. “Our team thrives on working with companies like EOS Labs who have created a great new solution that will truly improve the lives of those it serves—in this case, facility managers,” said April White, president and founder of Trust Relations. “We were excited to help EOS Labs develop its brand positioning and presence from the ground up, and now we are looking forward to launching the company to the world, in a highly strategic media relations campaign. This work has gone above and beyond the typical PR sphere and shows that our team has genuinely creative grit and depth.” About Trust Relations Trust Relations, founded in 2019, is a virtual strategic communications firm that creates nimble and proactive “dream teams” for clients through a national network of the industry’s best and brightest practitioners. "Trust Relations" is a term coined by President and Founder April White to describe a new approach to strategic communications that focuses on communicating clients' authentic actions, value and goodwill. In technology, trust relationships are an administration and communication link between two domains. In communications, they are a bond of mutual respect between a brand and the people it serves. The firm excels at identifying inspiring ways for clients to show their brand value by identifying supportive proof points and ideating creative activations that demonstrate their unique story and value proposition. For more information, visit About EOS Labs EOS Labs is an energy management platform that leverages proprietary AI and deep learning capabilities to analyze utility data, define the anomalies wasting energy, connects users with an expert who can recommend a plan to remove them, and then verify savings in real dollars. EOS Labs’ process-driven team is dedicated to helping organizations eliminate energy waste without costly building upgrades. Customers utilizing EOS Labs’ solution maximize the use of utility and metering data and benefit from actionable financial intelligence with the flexibility and agility to pivot strategies for a positive and lasting effect on a company’s bottom line. Learn more at Trust Relations, founded in 2019, is a virtual strategic communications firm that creates nimble and proactive “dream teams” for clients through a national network of the industry’s best and brightest practitioners. "Trust Relations" is a term coined by President and Founder April White to describe a new approach to strategic communications that focuses on communicating clients' authentic actions, value and goodwill. In technology, trust relationships are an administration and communication link between two domains. In communications, they are a bond of mutual respect between a brand and the people it serves. The firm excels at identifying inspiring ways for clients to show their brand value by identifying supportive proof points and ideating creative activations that demonstrate their unique story and value proposition. For more information, visit Contact Details April White +1 347-870-9402 Company Website

July 09, 2020 08:08 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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As COVID-19 Restrictions Lift Americans Return to Travel


According to the U.S. Travel Association, more than two-thirds of consumers miss traveling and can’t wait to get out again, and one in four are already planning a future vacation. A video accompanying this announcement is available at: Travelers will drive, rather than fly, and hence take shorter trips closer to home. Choice Hotels’ has nearly 6,000 franchised hotels across America conveniently located near drive-to destinations and therefore well-positioned to support the resurgence of the American road trip this summer. Americans will have different comfort levels when they first venture out in this new travel environment and will be looking for indications from restaurants, hotels and attractions that they are committed to prioritizing travelers’ health and safety. Choice’s Commitment to Clean initiative is designed to help give guests added peace of mind when booking a stay. Commitment to Clean is the company’s holistic approach to supplying hotel owners and their employees with the tools they need to help Choice-branded hotels worldwide achieve superior levels of cleanliness. As part of the initiative, every Choice-branded hotel is designating a “Commitment to Clean Captain,” each of whom is responsible for completing applicable best-in-class cleanliness training and communicating new protocols and best practices to the rest of each hotel’s staff. Travelers will be looking to make the most of their travel budgets. Choice Privileges, the company’s award-winning loyalty program, is currently offering a Stay Twice, Earn a Free Night promotion, designed to help guests maximize their travel budgets as they return to the open road. Choice Privileges also recently announced a series of enhancements that help provide members with the flexibility to use their benefits as soon as they are ready to travel. Updates include reducing the number of nights required to earn elite status; pausing the expiration of loyalty points until Dec. 31; and initiating upgrades, extensions and bonuses for current elite members. For more information on what Choice Hotels is doing to help travelers this summer, visit About Choice Hotels: Choice Hotels International, Inc. is one of the largest lodging franchisors in the world. With more than 7,100 hotels, representing over 590,000 rooms, in over 40 countries and territories as of March 31, 2020, the Choice® family of hotel brands provide business and leisure travelers with a range of high-quality lodging options from limited service to full-service hotels in the upscale, midscale, extended stay and economy segments. The award-winning Choice Privileges® loyalty program offers members benefits ranging from everyday rewards to exceptional experiences. For more information, visit . About YourUpdateTV: YourUpdateTV is a social media video portal for organizations to share their content. It includes separate channels for Health and Wellness, Lifestyle, Media and Entertainment, Money and Finance, Social Responsibility, Sports and Technology. Contact Details YourUpdateTV +1 212-736-2727

July 08, 2020 11:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Minuteman Press Franchise Presents Free COVID-19 Resource Bounce Back USA - Free Marketing to Support Local Business

Minuteman Press International

Contact Details Chris Biscuiti +1 631-249-1370 Company Website

July 08, 2020 10:10 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Survey Reveals Growing Acceptance Around COVID-19 Contact Tracing and Exposure Notification Apps

Metova Inc.

Contact Details Anders Steele +1 323-909-2341 Company Website

July 08, 2020 07:47 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Law Firm Major, Lindsey & Africa Shares Diversity & Inclusion Insights on LEVICK Podcast "In House Warrior"


In LEVICK's new podcast for general counsels, In House Warrior , Major Lindsey & Africa Transform Advisory Services, one of the world’s leading consultants to law firms and legal departments, provides insights into diversity, inclusion and leadership during a period of civil unrest, greater awareness and a thirst by hundreds of law firms and legal departments to provide leadership. Listen here About In House Warrior In partnership with the Corporate Counsel Business Journal , LEVICK distributes its daily five-minute podcast In House Warrior to CCBJ’s readership of 40,000 in-house legal professionals. On each episode, host Richard Levick, Chairman & CEO of the global crisis and litigation communications firm LEVICK, explores some of the challenges facing professionals in the office of General Counsel. House Warrior is carried on all major podcast channels, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Stitcher. In addition to daily distribution via the Corporate Counsel Business Journal, In House Warrior is hosted on , and is distributed via Today , LEVICK’s weekly e-newsletter with a circulation of over 30,000 corporate, legal and insurance executives. Subscribe here Contact Details Maria Stagliano +1 404-245-0899 Company Website

July 07, 2020 02:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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National Family Support Finds Help with BlueIron

Family Support of South Carolina, Inc

National Family Support, Inc announced today that it has filed its first patent, filed through BlueIron . National Family Support is rolling out a suite of services for managing child support payments. National Family Support's program separates a non-custodial parent's responsibility of child support payments with the custodial parent's need for reliability and consistency. A parent who is required to pay child support can apply for a loan for delinquent payments, which is immediately paid to the custodial parent. Going forward, the custodial parent's payments are guaranteed. "With billions of dollars of delinquent child support payments nationally, we will arrange loans to parents who are behind and will guarantee all future payments. This means money goes right to the children it needs to help," says Dee Benedict, President of Family Support of South Carolina, Inc., that is implementing the first in the nation program in South Carolina. "Our IP portfolio lets us grow nationwide to address the child support crisis," says Frank Kristan, President of National Family Support, Inc., "It is all about the children - and BlueIron makes this possible." "Financial technology or 'fintech' is a difficult field to get valuable patents," says Russ Krajec, CEO of BlueIron. "Our investment came after a lot of due diligence and study of the marketplace and existing IP. National Family Support's innovation solves a huge problem in a very creative and protectable way." About Family Support: Family Support of South Carolina, Inc., is a private service company organized to assist in the financing of child support payments. National Family Support, Inc. is its parent company. Information is at and e-mail: About BlueIron: BlueIron provides patent-related financing for companies ranging from startups to publicly traded companies. BlueIron finances the cost to create IP portfolios, insures those portfolios for enforcement and defense, and can provide $2-5M loans using IP as collateral. Information is at and email: FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS: This press release may contain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements other than statements of historical facts included in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements and are not guarantees of future performance or results and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Contact Details Frank Kristan +1 843-801-6384 Company Website

July 07, 2020 11:55 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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MOBITV, Vast Broadband, and Vexus Partner to Bring Technologically-Advanced Streaming Video Services to Subscribers Across South Dakota, Minnesota, Texas and Louisiana


MOBITV , a global leader in app-based TV video delivery solutions, today announces that Vast Broadband and Vexus have selected the MOBITV Connect managed service for delivery of streaming video content. Vast Broadband is a leading provider of high-speed broadband, video, and voice services to residential and business customers in South Dakota and Minnesota. Vexus is a leading provider of fiber-based communications solutions for both residential and business customers across Texas and Louisiana. Together, Vast Broadband and Vexus currently serve over 75,000 customers. With MOBITV Connect, the operators can offer subscribers an optimal IP-based video streaming service without significant investments or upgrades to its existing headend, for the first time. The service was beta-tested in June 2020 with a full rollout happening in July. “Vast Broadband and Vexus have been increasing their geography, fiber penetration and service offerings to include residential services in underserved areas,” said Charlie Nooney, CEO of MOBITV. “They turned to MOBITV as a trusted provider with a full end-to-end platform that would enable them to continue to serve their traditional markets and, at the same time, offer enhanced IP-based services.” “As a competitive provider, we need to offer our subscribers innovative services in double- or triple-play bundles that will meet their viewing, broadband and telephony needs,” said Larry Eby, COO of Vast Broadband and Vexus. “MOBITV has a proven product that we could launch speedily as we build out our residential fiber-to-the-home platform in newly acquired and existing markets. MOBITV Connect will enable us to differentiate our service offerings in a competitive market.” The MOBITV app-based streaming TV service platform contains a user-friendly interface that can be customized according to the service provider’s content and design preferences. The Connect Platform includes on-demand, live TV, catch-up TV, unlimited network DVR, and recommendations. The SaaS-based platform allows for real-time enablement of new technologies such as 4K/HEVC, Cloud DVR, replay TV, and robust voice control – without the high cost of frequently replacing legacy set-top boxes in the home. Customers will simply download the app and can view television on any of their connected devices. About Vast Broadband and Vexus Vast Broadband, headquartered in Sikeston, Missouri is a leading broadband/cable company providing high-speed Internet, television and digital telephone services for residential and business customers in South Dakota and southwestern Minnesota. For more information, please visit . Vexus is a leading provider of fiber-based communications solutions for both residential and business customers across Texas and Louisiana. A technology leader in the industry offering an extensive range of internet connectivity over a true fiber to the premise network. For more information, please visit . About MOBITV MOBITV is the leading white-label Pay TV streaming service in the market, which enables Pay TV operators to rapidly launch a branded, thoroughly compliant, fully-featured app-based Pay TV service. With the explosion of smart TVs and connected devices like Apple TV, Roku and Fire TV, MOBITV has been able to extend its platform to provide a true multi-screen experience, replacing outdated set-top box solutions. Operators now have a way to offer a full cable line-up with an on-demand catalog, live TV, catch-up TV, network DVR and recommendations available on nearly every device . MOBITV powers a fully IP-based approach and, in combination with the almost two decades of MOBITV’s expertise in IP video delivery, operators can finally make the switch to a truly future-proof TV solution. For more information please visit . Vast Broadband Press Contact Kyle Alcorn 573-481-2732 Contact Details NRPR Group, Nicole Rodrigues +1 650-815-5069 Company Website

July 07, 2020 06:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time

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Cyber Dive Launches Free Platform for Parents to Connect with Their Children’s Digital Reality and Heightened Social Media Activity

Cyber Dive

Today Cyber Dive , an online platform that connects parents to their children’s digital reality, announced the launch of a free service that enables parents to easily view their children’s social accounts, understand their online activity and achieve peace of mind—an increasingly relevant service at a time when children are home from school for the foreseeable future. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Education Week estimates at least 118,000 U.S. public and private schools have closed their doors . As Americans' social distancing escalates in an effort to help contain the spread of COVID-19, school closings leave 52.6 million children to their own devices—both figuratively and literally. Without a clear understanding or timeline of when everyday activities, such as working out of public offices or sending children to school and activities will resume, parents are navigating how to monitor their children’s online activity. For many, this is uncharted territory, as children have increased access to and time available for social media. With Cyber Dive, parents can easily monitor their child’s social media activity across popular social media sites including Instagram, Snapchat, VSCO and, by summer 2020, TikTok, Discord, Google, and YouTube. Key features to keep kids safe online include: Word Cloud: Provides a look into the frequency of words used on social media. Vibes Meter: Gives an overview of the emotions surrounding a child’s activity. Friends: Showcases the people a child interacts with on social media. Alerts: Displays activity that might require extra attention. Posts: Lists the posts a child makes or is tagged in on social media. Search History (summer 2020): Recent search history across all monitored platforms. “COVID-19 directly impacts us in many ways, including hunkering down at home with our kiddos for the time being. Although being able to spend more time with them is a positive, we also acknowledge the nuanced challenges we must traverse as parents of digitally connected kids,” said Cyber Dive Co-Founder and CEO Jeff Gottfurcht. “As parents of 8- to 15-year-olds, we often wonder, ‘What is my kid doing on the internet right now? Who are they interacting with? What videos are they watching? How is what they are seeing impacting how they feel?’ If you’ve ever thought about how you can mitigate the risks your children face on social media, we’ve taken those ideas and created a free, comprehensive, and easy-to-use tool. It helps keep them safe—and keeps you in the know about what your child is being exposed to and exploring.” Cyber Dive provides information on whom children interact with, how they feel about what they see, what they are searching, and alerts you to anything needing extra attention. It empowers parents to partner with trained analysts to conduct thorough social media audits (coming summer 2020), which dive deep into a child’s social media life to uncover things that might be hidden under the surface. These audits search: Dating Sites Like Bumble or Tinder: Find out whether or not your child is connecting with 18+ men/women on dating websites. Ghost Accounts (If They Exist): Some children create both “public” and “private” accounts. Children often allow their parents to only view the “public” profile because of its appropriate content. Cached & Deleted Data Search: Your child may try to delete searches. Cyber Dive may be able to recover some of that deleted information. Verify Friend Identities: Find out if your child is connected to any fake accounts, which are often created by stalkers or pedophiles to follow and learn about their targets. Reverse Image Search: Find out if your child’s images are being used by someone else on the internet. Dark Web Search: Rest assured that nothing associated with your child exists where nefarious people lurk. According to the McAfee's consumer research department , 87% of young people have seen cyberbullying online but most do nothing about it. Ditch the Label published in their bullying survey that 47% of cyberbullying victims will develop social anxiety, 37% will develop depression, and 26% will have suicidal thoughts. “We’ve seen that nearly 9 out of 10 kids avoid telling their parents about the negative things they see happening online. This leaves parents struggling to keep up, and oblivious to what’s happening beneath the surface,” said Cyber Dive Co-Founder and CTO Derek Jackson. “As an intelligence officer, my team’s job was to dig through extensive social media data and provide only the most time-sensitive information to the commander to make life-altering decisions. We took that mindset and made you, parents, the commander. We show you what’s most important, so you can initiate necessary conversations and directly impact how your child navigates social media.” Parents can sign up for Cyber Dive , free of charge, from any device. Offering a simple, intuitive sign-up process, Cyber Dive makes it easy for any parent or guardian to access the innovative technology. Cyber Dive was created by Co-Founder and CEO Jeff Gottfurcht and Co-Founder and CTO Derek Jackson , who set out to get a better grasp on social media for families everywhere—including their own. Jackson is the father of one and Gottfurcht is the father of three. Gottfurcht, the first person in the world to summit Mt. Everest with Rheumatoid Arthritis, previously worked in Silicon Valley for 14 years as a Vice President at UBS Financial, a global Swiss investment banking firm that provides services in more than 50 countries. Additionally, he was selected as Man of the Year by the United Nations and their International School for the philanthropic work he does speaking around the country, inspiring kids and adults to push through obstacles and achieve success. For more information, visit . About Cyber Dive Cyber Dive is a free online platform that allows parents to monitor their children’s social media accounts. It connects parents to an overview of their child’s social profiles across platforms like Instagram, VSCO, Snapchat and, by summer 2020, TikTok, Discord, Google, and YouTube. With the ability to see the extent of their child’s social media usage, parents can begin to understand their child’s online habits, stop and/or prevent inappropriate activity and achieve peace of mind. For more information, please visit . Contact Details April White +1 323-216-8589 Company Website

July 07, 2020 08:08 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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