The Stevie Awards Blog

Bringing Stories to Life is the Core Message

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Dec 12, 2018 @ 01:50 PM

Whether it’s an entrepreneur starting out in an office or garage or if it’s a Fortune 500 company, any business must be visible to potential customers before a sale can be made. In most cases, awareness of a company is created through great stories, which elicit engagement and relationships with those potential customers.

Whether dealing with website traffic, email subscriber data growth, social media accounts, or hundreds of other engagement metrics, they’re all interconnected by one thing: an attempt to create a continuous relationship between the customer and the business.

With so many companies marketing that way, though, how do you stand out in a sea of legitimately competent competitors?

PAN Communications is an integrated marketing and public relations agency based in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. They focus on B2B technology and health care industries that want a customer-first business model. They deliver this through PR and social, content, and influencer marketing. They also use data analytics and creative services.

pan communications“To bring great stories to life, that’s the core message,” says Ashley Thon, marketing coordinator at PAN Communications. “Those great stories are about the companies—their technologies and innovations—that are changing lives.”

The company’s ability to bring resonant, engaging stories to life contributed to them winning the 2018 Gold Stevie® for Public Relations Agency of the Year at The American Business Awards.

PAN Communications is one of the industry’s most trusted communications partners., It demonstrates that it takes an entire team of dedicated marketing and PR specialists to help clients exceed expectations.

Move Ideas and Build Relationships

Success in any venture doesn’t happen overnight. No matter how good you are at something or how certain you are about how to improve a problem, it takes time to develop and to hone sustainable relationships with your audience or paying customers.

The success of PAN Communications is due to the firm’s unique ability to offer the agility and personalized service of a midsized agency while also leveraging national and international relationships. This allows them to manage large-scale communications programs for brands such as SAP, AppDirect, Radial, and MediaMath. PAN Communications provides services, moves ideas, and builds relationships with customers at a level which competitors find difficult to match.

The PAN Communications business model demonstrates one thing clearly: Successful businesses must make their services and messaging available to potential customers over a variety of platforms.

Give Back and Put People First

The belief that great people can do great things is an underlying tenet of the PAN Communications mind-set. That’s why they focus on putting people and culture first.

“By fostering an environment free of office politics and rich in support and diversity, we believe we can rise above the industry noise and win the race,” says Thon. “The CEO of PAN believes his agency’s greatest assets go down the elevator every night: the people. Phil [CEO of PAN Communications] and the rest of the leadership team devote time and energy to cultivating the award-winning culture that currently exists at PAN. The agency takes a people-first approach and prioritizes a strong work-life balance for its employees.”

PAN Communications also believes in giving back to the communities that built the foundation of their agency. To that end, the firm launched a philanthropic program, PANcares, in November 2017. This allowed the agency to become involved in its local markets more consistently. As part of the program, PAN Communications partners with four nonprofit organizations dedicated to fighting against youth homelessness. Representing a cross-country collaborative, the partners are based in Boston, Massachusetts, United States; San Francisco, California, United States; New York City, New York, United States; and Orlando, Florida, United States.

As PAN Communications demonstrates, today’s PR agencies must distinguish themselves by delivering exceptional services and innovations to their clients. As a result, the industry is thriving. Brands demand more from agencies than ever before, asking these companies to prepare them for every stage of growth and to act as trusted partners along the way. PAN Communications is just one agency that shows the exceptional results that are possible when that happens.

Tags: PR awards, public relations awards, company awards

Making Sure Online Sellers Experience Benefits, Not Hassles

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Dec 05, 2018 @ 12:58 PM

Merchants offer a variety of ways to pay for their products and services these days, including everything from old favorites like credit cards and checks to newer modes, such as NFC (Near Field Communications)-ready phones and smart watches.

That affords retail customers greater convenience, of course, but it also means more chances for technical issues to arise. This can potentially cause lots of extra headaches for the seller.

However, if retailers work with U.S. payment software firms like PayJunction, they greatly minimize the chance of encountering those stumbling blocks. PayJunction is based in Santa Barbara, California, United States. Working in an industry that doesn’t always enjoy a great reputation for customer service, the company has gone all in on its efforts to satisfy users.

PayjunctionBy just about any measure, it’s succeeding in that goal. Their customer service team upped its satisfaction score to 95.3% last year, from 94.2% in 2016. It did so after handling 13,500 more support tickets and 2,475 more calls than in 2016. What’s more, the service team, which operates out of the firm’s California headquarters, was also able to maintain an average wait time of just one minute.

“We've definitely developed a culture of respect,” says Christina Lavingia of PayJunction. “We work hard to value long-term relationships over short-term profits.”

This approach has led to a number of significant achievements, such as going three consecutive years without a single complaint file submitted to the Better Business Bureau and achieving the highest rating for a payment processor on Capterra.

A customer-first approach has also proven to have a positive impact on workplace morale. In 2017, PayJunction was selected as a Best Place to Work on Glassdoor.com.

“We treat our employees and customers like family and have prioritized doing the right thing in every facet of the business,” says Lavingia.

The company’s impressive call center team is one of the reasons PayJunction had a big night at the 16th Annual American Business Awards this summer. The firm captured the Gold Stevie® for Customer Service Department of the Year among financial services firms, as well as a Bronze Stevie for New Product or Service of the Year.

The team adds these accolades to its trophy shelf, which already included a Bronze Stevie for its customer service team from the 2017 awards ceremony.

Leveraging Its Awards

Founded in 2000, PayJunction succeeds, in part, by adeptly navigating the fast-changing world of payment processing. When it started, services like Apple Pay and Google Pay weren’t even around. Now, accepting those methods is increasingly viewed as imperative.

It has also been at the leading edge of efforts to combat fraud, which has long been one of the industry’s biggest challenges. Changes in signature requirements and the introduction of chip-and-PIN cards are having a major positive impact on retailers and businesses that process those cards.

“Equipping them with the technology they need for the future is truly exciting,” says Lavingia.

Today, the company processes $4 billion in sales each year, and thousands of businesses across the United States use its payment terminals and software. To meet this demand, the organization now employs more than 60 employees.

Perhaps, though, it’s the company’s laser focus on customer service that makes it stand out the most. For Lavingia, bringing home two Stevie Awards, including one for its customer care team, is a huge notch in its belt.

She notes the company was already bringing up its prior bronze prize during sales calls and in emails in order to help woo new customers, and she’s confident earning a gold this year will give them even greater prestige.

“We're able to leverage these awards to close deals with new merchants and to accurately showcase in a meaningful way how our software and support will positively impact their businesses,” Lavingia says.

Tags: company awards, tech awards

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