The PPAI Pyramid Awards program has been a celebration of the industry’s professionals and companies for over 60 years. First introduced in 1958, the awards recognize promotional product companies and campaigns and give a platform for commending the collaborative business model unique to the industry.

Key to the Pyramid Award’s relevance has been evolving and adapting to an industry that is always looking for opportunities for innovation rather than remaining static. With that in mind, the 2023 Pyramid Competition will feature its first new category in two years: Content Marketing Programs.

Content marketing can take many forms, and PPAI expects the potential winners to reflect that diversity of form, but broadly speaking, a submission in the Content Marketing Programs category should feature creative development and delivery of valuable, relevant, and consistent content through an established platform (video, blog or podcast) to attract a clearly defined audience that drives meaningful and measurable interactions.*

*Entry is for one (1) single episode or segment or blog post that has been published within the competition’s date requirements.

The category’s implementation came after an episode of The Promo UPFront Podcast, hosted by Bill Petrie of Brandivate and Kirby Hasseman of Hasseman Marketing & Communications, in which the two industry veterans discussed the fact that there was no category that properly rewarded the type of organic marketing that has proven to be very successful.

“Content marketing is unique because it allows the creator to showcase expertise in a manner that’s much more easily consumed than a more traditional approach,” Petrie says. “Rather than simply telling someone you’re an expert, you show them through blogs, or podcasts or vlogs.”

The Awards & Recognition Committee took heed of the podcast episode and did their own research to support the idea. Eventually, they came to the same conclusion as Petrie and Hasseman, and decided to broaden the scope of the categories.

“I think it’s high time that the content creators in the promotional products industry finally have a category to call their own instead of being wedged into others as an afterthought,” Petrie says. “Content marketing allows companies to stand out in ways traditional marketing simply doesn’t–mainly because it’s a long-form style of marketing that allows the creator to paint with more specific strokes and paint a more full picture.”

PPAI’s annual Pyramid Awards honor creative excellence in the promotional products industry and recognize dependable suppliers, outstanding promotions, creative campaigns and exceptional craftsmanship by Association members. To learn more about the awards including how to nominate in any category, visit

Jonnny Auping is a news editor at PPAI.