Written by Smoak PR

Diamonds Direct Hosts Highly Anticipated Summer Show Featuring 20% Savings

Designer Showcase Event to Take Place July 21st – July 25th at Diamonds Direct’s Greenville Store

July 8, 2021 | Greenville, SC – Diamonds Direct, worldwide leader in diamond sourcing and consumer education, is set to host their highly anticipated summer show July 21st-25th at their newest South Carolina showroom located at 1113 Woodruff Road (across from the Target). This show will feature an expanded selection of designers and 20% off savings.

During the summer show, walk-in visits are always welcome in addition to in-store and virtual appointments. In addition, the public is invited to attend an exclusive cocktail hour from 5-7 p.m. on July 22nd  which will include a wine tasting, sweet treats and live music by Spencer Rush.

“We are so excited to host the upcoming Summer Show at our newest store and we look forward to showcasing all of the incredible designers throughout the long weekend. It will be an event that customers definitely do not want to miss,” stated Igor Zak, General Manager, Diamonds Direct.

The company offers an expansive selection of loose and mounted diamonds ranging in size from under a carat to over 10 carats. In addition, Diamonds Direct boasts a plethora of engagement ring mountings by America’s top designers, wedding bands, pendants, earrings, bracelets, pearls, colored gemstones, and fine fashion jewelry.

“Our team cannot wait to welcome the community through the doors of our beautiful showroom and share all of the exciting designers, not to mention incredible savings,” stated Lynn Tu, South Carolina Vice President at Diamonds Direct. “We are in the business of creating relationships and celebrating life’s memories – the Summer Showcase is the perfect time to stop by the store and experience that firsthand.”

Store hours throughout the Summer Show are Wednesday through Saturday 10:00am to 7:00pm and Sunday 12:00pm to 5:00pm.

ABOUT DIAMONDS DIRECT

Diamonds Direct, founded in 1995, is a direct-to-consumer destination retailer headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. Their vertically integrated concept allows the retailer to cut out the middlemen and maintain involvement in the entire diamond process. Today, Diamonds Direct is one of America’s largest and most successful jewelry companies. Diamonds Direct backs their products with industry-leading guarantees and warranties, including their signature 110 percent lifetime upgrade. Diamonds Direct is a socially-responsible company that thinks globally and acts locally. The company ensures all diamonds are ethically sourced via the Kimberley Process and is responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars raised for local philanthropies and cultural organizations that are critical to the communities Diamonds Direct calls home.

For more information visit www.DiamondsDirect.com.

Written by Smoak PR

Attorney David M. Thompson Joins Merline & Meacham, P.A.

GREENVILLE S.C. – July 5, 2021 – Merline & Meacham, P.A. is pleased to announce that attorney David M. Thompson has joined the firm.  Thompson practices in the areas of taxation, estate planning, business organizations, and probate. He earned his Master in Taxation Law Degree (LL.M) from the University of California, Irvine School of Law and his Juris Doctor Degree, cum laude, from the University of South Carolina School of Law.

“We are thrilled to welcome David to the team of talented attorneys at the Firm,” stated David Merline, Jr. “I am confident that his experience will provide great benefit to both our clients and Merline & Meacham moving forward.”

Prior to joining Merline and Meacham, he clerked for Judge J. Cordell Maddox, Jr. in South Carolina’s 10th Judicial Circuit.

Prior to attending law school, he was a baseball player on the Anderson University baseball team. David and his wife, Sadie, enjoy spending time with their friends and family and being outdoors with their dog.

About Merline and Meacham: Merline & Meacham, P.A. was founded in 1970 in Greenville, South Carolina. The firm’s practice concentrates on tax, estate planning, trusts and estates, corporate and business transactional law. For more information, please visit the Merline & Meacham website at https://www.merlineandmeacham.com

Written by Smoak PR

Spinx Named One of the Best Places to Work in S.C.

Greenville, S.C. – June 21, 2021 – The Spinx Company, the Greenville S.C.-based fuel and convenience retail company with more than 80 locations, 45 car washes and 1,500 associates statewide was recently named as one of the Best Places to Work in South Carolina. The ranked companies will be recognized at a reception, presented by Colonial Life on August 5, 2021, at the Columbia Convention Center and the rankings will be published in the August 2021 issue of SCBIZ magazine.

The S.C. Chamber, the publishers of SCBIZ, and the Best Companies Group join each year to produce the Best Places to Work in South Carolina program. This initiative is dedicated to identifying and recognizing South Carolina’s most innovative and top-notch employers. Those companies selected as “Best Places to Work” are recognized and honored during a reception and dinner held annually in August. The award is open to all South Carolina for-profit and not-for-profit organizations with at least 15 employees working in South Carolina.

“We are honored and delighted to be recognized again by our State’s Chamber as one of the Best Places to Work in South Carolina,” said Stan Storti, Spinx President. “We’re a 48-year-old company that is committed to continuous improvement and since becoming president six years ago, we’ve been hyper focused on improving our culture.  We’re also incredibly fortunate that our ownership, the Spinks family, has always put people first. Both within and outside of the business. Organizationally, we just didn’t have the tools to harness our owner’s intent into a system to find value and purpose aligned people, but we have that now!  Six years ago, we put a plan in place to discover the essence of who we are and what our unique purpose is as a company. Since then, we’ve been building practices and rewards around our core values and core purpose to find, keep, develop and promote people who share our values and purpose.  It’s a simple concept, but one of the hardest things in business to achieve! We’ve embraced the idea that in order to make the leap from good to great, there are certain things we MUST never stop doing and the most important thing among them is to always improve the way we lead and treat our teammates. As leaders, making our teammates lives better is truly the only way we can make our guests’ lives easier and after all, at Spinx, that’s why we exist.”

For more information on the Best Places to Work in South Carolina program, visit www.BestPlacesToWorkSC.com.

ABOUT SPINX – Founded in 1972 in Greenville, S.C., The Spinx Company operates 82 convenience retail stores throughout South Carolina, and with approximately 1,500 employees, it is the largest privately-held retailer headquartered in the state. Spinx is committed to making life easier by fulfilling people’s everyday needs with fresh, on-the-go food, beverages and other convenience products delivered in a safe, clean and friendly environment. Through the Spinx Xtras Loyalty program and the Spinx mobile app, the company offers its loyal customers savings on fuel and special promotions.

For more information about Spinx or the Spinx Xtras program, visit the company’s website at www.spinx.com.

Written by Smoak PR

Meet Our Summer Interns

Julia Wrenn: 

My name is Julia Wrenn. I am a junior at the University of South Carolina, majoring in Public Relations, with a minor in Retail. Meeting and interacting with individuals is my favorite aspect of PR. During my internship with Smoak PR this summer, I look forward to meeting with clients while assisting with their PR needs. I have decided to pursue Public Relations because I value out of office experiences, such as meeting with clients, gathering content, and achieving clients’ goals. I am sure this internship will help me develop more knowledge about PR and further my career in the field.

Rachel Page:

 

My name is Rachel Page. I am a senior Communications Studies major at Furman University. I am incredibly excited to have this opportunity with Smoak PR this summer. I decided to declare a Communications Studies major because I believe that I will have a valuable skill set that can be applied to a variety of fields. With that in mind, I hope to gain more experience in the Public Relations field this summer to see if it is a career field that I would be interested in pursuing after graduation. I hope that my time at Smoak will give me a ‘hands-on’ approach to interacting with clients, meeting deadlines, and a better sense of the professional atmosphere that I will be working in after college. 

Julia Monninger:

My name is Julia Monninger. I am a rising senior at Clemson University studying Communication with a minor in Business Administration. Throughout my summer internship at Smoak PR, I am looking forward to learning about the fast-paced nature of the public relations industry, knowing how to maintain the reputation of a brand, and connecting/networking with clients and everyone in the office. Another side of public relations that I hope to learn more about is event planning and social media management. I would love to learn how to plan events for clients and run them successfully, as well as choose the best images and captions that resonate with people in the community. I am so excited to begin my internship at Smoak PR and develop skills that I can use during a future career!

Kit Miller:

My name is Kit Miller. I am a rising senior at the University of South Carolina majoring in Mass Communications and minoring in Fashion Merchandising. I chose to study communications because of the critical role it plays in business, regardless of the field. During my time at Smoak PR this summer, I hope to learn more about the communications field, make connections with clients and others in the field, as well as  understanding the ins and outs of the industry. Something I am most excited for is the out-of-office element as well as being able to aid clients in giving them the best public relations experience possible. I am so looking forward to my time at Smoak PR this summer and beginning my career in PR!

We are all very excited to be starting this summer in the office, at least most days out of the week. This experience holds a lot of new challenges and tasks, but we are eager to start tackling those goals together. Though we are from different schools, and slightly different academic paths, our different experiences should help us share different perspectives on the same challenges. We cannot wait to get this summer started!

Written by Smoak PR

Spinx Leads Convenience Store Industry in Self-checkout Trend in Upstate

Greenville, S.C. – June 15, 2021 – Greenville-based fuel and convenience retail company The Spinx Company is thrilled to announce they have begun piloting a convenient self-checkout program to maximize the roles of team members and to provide increased service to all customers.  Spinx is leading the industry in the Upstate with this new offering and has a goal to rollout self-checkout to all Spinx stores in Q2-Q3 of 2022.

“At Spinx, we exist to make people’s lives easier. By providing the self-checkout option to our customers, they will be able to stop at our store, shop for what they need and quickly and easily get back on their way”, stated Spinx President, Stan Storti.  “We’ve heard from some peers in the industry that customers can get upset and interpret the implementation of this technology as reducing jobs, but in our case, nothing could be further from the truth. We’re moving our teammates’ efforts from checking out customers to keeping our stores, “Spinx Clean.”  Spinx Clean is a program we initiated late last year, and it’s designed to keep our stores not just looking clean but being sterilized.  Together with our outside partner, Stericlean, Spinx is committed to maintaining the cleanest and safest, convenience stores in the markets we operate within.  Spinx Clean actually increased our need for teammates, so we’re hiring!”

Founder and Chair of the Board, Stewart Spinks adds, “Self-checkout is not a new concept; however, within our industry it is considered very cutting edge and we are thrilled to be leading the charge here at the local level.”

Spinx is currently piloting the program at store #112 on Pendleton St. in Greenville. Four additional stores are planning to offer this service as part of the pilot program by end of Fall 2021.

ABOUT SPINX – Founded in 1972 in Greenville, S.C., The Spinx Company operates 82 convenience retail stores throughout South Carolina, and with approximately 1,400 employees, it is the largest privately-held retailer headquartered in the state. Spinx is committed to making life easier by fulfilling people’s everyday needs with fresh, on-the-go food, beverages and other convenience products delivered in a safe, clean and friendly environment. Through the Spinx Xtras Loyalty program and the Spinx mobile app, the company offers its loyal customers savings on fuel and special promotions.

For more information about Spinx or the Spinx Xtras program, visit the company’s website at www.spinx.com.

Written by Smoak PR

Caldwell Constructors Announces Promotions and Welcomes New Team Member

GREENVILLE, S.C. – June 3, 2021 – Caldwell Constructors is proud to announce the promotions of two employees, Evan Jones and Ryan Cardell. In addition, they welcome Dave Carley as Project Manager to their team.

Jones has excelled since joining Caldwell over two years ago. As a natural leader, he has successfully managed a variety of challenging projects and will now serve as Senior Project Manager. After only 9 months, Cardell has proven to be a critical member of the Caldwell Constructors team and will lead exciting new projects for the company moving forward as Project Manager. Both individuals continue to exemplify Caldwell’s core values daily.

Dave Carley previously worked for Evans General Contractors, and most recently, Constructive Ingenuity in Alabama. Carley’s eight years of industrial and manufacturing experience will complement the industrial construction capabilities of Caldwell Constructors.

“We are thrilled to congratulate Ryan and Evan on their accomplishments to date, as well as welcome Dave to the Caldwell Constructors family,” says President of Caldwell Constructors, Gary Caldwell. “We couldn’t be more excited to see what the future holds for our team!”

About Caldwell Constructors

Caldwell Constructors is a full-service construction company that focuses on building relationships and providing exceptional service to clients across the Upstate of South Carolina. Caldwell Constructors has extensive experience in commercial, industrial, institutional, and medical market segments. Their approach to delivering projects with unwavering integrity, creative problem solving, and tireless work ethic has earned Caldwell Constructors an excellent reputation in the Upstate. For more information, please visit the Caldwell Constructors website at www.caldwellconstructors.com/.

Written by Smoak PR

Emojis in Marketing

Remember emoticons? Those little faces that you could type with just two or three keyboard characters? Since the early 2000s the way we communicate has changed from calls to text to live chats and FaceTime. Before the widely popular use of emojis, emoticons were infamous for communicating emotion via text.

Today, emojis are a large part of virtual communication. Through the reduced number of keyboard clicks, you can simply tap a variety of icons within your keyboard to convey a message and emotion. The emoji originated in Japan for use on Japanese cellphones. In 2008, they were discovered by Apple and became an official keyboard option within its software. Since that day, emojis have popularized into pop culture and online marketing efforts. In this blog, we will break down the advantages and challenges of emoji marketing:  

Advantages: 

  • Enhance depth: Emojis have a way of adding depth and realism into the message that a brand wants to convey. The incorporation of imagery into text communicates tone on a deeper level. This enables content creators the ability to tap into a deeper realm of communication to touch human emotion and feeling.
  • Increase success in content shares: According to a study by WordStream, the use of emojis in marketing can increase twitter engagement by 25%, Facebook shares by 33%, and interactions on your post by 57%. These statistics back the fact that an emoji icon crafts a message to be more relatable and specific.
  • Humanize your brand: With emojis, creation of a more personal relationship with your audience is achievable. This is because the brand would essentially be speaking the every-day language of those reading this online engagement. They probably send that exact message to their friends over text or on social media, so why couldn’t your brand do it too?

Challenges: 

  • Know your target audience: When using emojis in social media or email marketing efforts, there are a few aspects regarding message tone that by nature are less professional. To use emojis in marketing, it is critical to not only know, but understand who your target audience is. If the goal of your efforts is to engage with and reach a younger demographic or to be more personable and relatable, emojis are for you! If you desire to give industry insight, professional advice or remain formal, then emojis would not communicate the tone of your message effectively. 
  • Avoid overuse of emojis: The use of emojis is strong and increases engagement when used efficiently and effectively. The excessive use of emojis in marketing material distracts from the very message your brand is trying to communicate. For your message to not appear as spam or overwhelming to your target audience and viewers, carefully consider how the incorporation of emojis enhances your message. 
  • Select your message carefully: While the use of emojis to simplify and enhance a message may seem efficient, using less words in marketing efforts can also be harmful. A photograph or emoji can be interpreted in many ways, whereas a detailed message with text is specific and precise. The key to balancing this is by detailing your goals and objectives while also understanding the perceived effect of your marketing efforts. Tone and message quality is enhanced when text and emojis work together.

In conclusion, emojis have the potential to be incredibly helpful and effective in building your brand and creating a relationship with your target online audience, but it must be done in a precise and efficient manner. Make sure in doing so that you are mindful of the tone and possible interpretations of your message. While this trend is growing in popularity worldwide, it is important to make sure you are remaining intentional with how your brand communicates online!

Written by Smoak PR

Diamonds Direct Officially Opens April 17

America’s Fastest-Growing Jeweler and Diamond Importer to Open Just Minutes from Downtown Greenville

April 15, 2021 | Greenville, SC – Diamonds Direct, worldwide leader in diamond sourcing and consumer education, is opening their second South Carolina location at 1113 Woodruff Road on Saturday, April 17. The company offers an expansive selection of loose and mounted diamonds ranging in size from under a carat to over 10 carats. In addition, Diamonds Direct boasts a plethora of engagement ring mountings by America’s top designers, wedding bands, pendants, earrings, bracelets, pearls, colored gemstones, and fine fashion jewelry.

After an extensive market analysis, Diamonds Direct knew that Greenville would be an optimal fit with its ideal positioning between the flagship store in Charlotte, North Carolina and the original South Carolina store in Charleston. With Charlotte not being far from Greenville, the Diamonds Direct team had seen substantial following and brand loyalty from this market over the years and it only seemed fitting to expand the Diamonds Direct footprint into the Upstate. Diamonds Direct will offer Greenville customers a unique and educational approach, from skilled experts, who assist in choosing the right diamond for their budget and special occasion, to a personalized, one-of-a-kind in store experience.

“We believe this expansion into Greenville is a great opportunity and we are eager to begin serving new clientele that will hopefully turn into long-term, loyal customers,” said Igor Zak, General Manager, Diamonds Direct. “During this past year, we have faced many challenges, but more importantly, we have discovered that there is always a reason to celebrate and cherish the ones you love. Our goal at Diamonds Direct is to always be of service and help our customers celebrate both the little and big moments of life.”

Diamonds Direct, founded in 1995, is part of a generations-old tradition of eliminating the middlemen and sourcing direct from the world’s best mines and most reputable diamond cutters. By maintaining involvement in the entire lifecycle of a diamond, Diamonds Direct ensures quality diamonds are handpicked for their retail locations across the United States at the very best prices. Diamonds Direct’s signature approach is designed to provide tremendous value for the consumer.

“With the ongoing positive growth that Greenville has experienced over the past few years, Diamonds Direct knew that this would be the optimal place for our second location in South Carolina,” said Greenville Vice President Lynn Tu. “We look forward to serving this market and providing quality, one-of-a-kind products and services to all we encounter through this new venture.”

Compared to other market competitors, Diamonds Direct provides industry-leading guarantees and warranties. In addition, Diamonds Direct delivers the highest level of customer service, even after the sale and has unrivaled and complimentary after the sale services, including jewelry maintenance, cleaning, sizing and complimentary lifetime upgrade on engagement rings. Lastly, Diamonds Direct’s lifetime upgrade allows customers to trade their diamond for a different size, quality, or shape – and receive 110% of the original purchase price towards a new purchase.

ABOUT DIAMONDS DIRECT

Diamonds Direct, founded in 1995, is a direct-to-consumer destination retailer headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. Their vertically integrated concept allows the retailer to cut out the middlemen and maintain involvement in the entire diamond process. Today, Diamonds Direct is one of America’s largest and most successful jewelry companies. Diamonds Direct backs their products with industry-leading guarantees and warranties, including their signature 110 percent lifetime upgrade. Diamonds Direct is a socially-responsible company that thinks globally and acts locally. The company ensures all diamonds are ethically sourced via the Kimberley Process and is responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars raised for local philanthropies and cultural organizations that are critical to the communities Diamonds Direct calls home.

For more information visit www.DiamondsDirect.com.

Written by Smoak PR

Spinx Launches Highly Anticipated New Spinx Mobile App

GREENVILLE, SC – April 12, 2021 – Greenville-based fuel and convenience retail company The Spinx Company is thrilled to announce the launch of its brand new Spinx mobile app. The new Spinx app is available for download via the Apple App Store and Google Play. Previously downloaded versions of the app should update automatically.

By downloading the app and creating an account, all customers will receive a one-time offer of 25¢ off per gallon on their next Spinx fill up at the pump.

“We are always looking for ways to improve the customer experience,” says Stewart Spinks, Founder and Chairman of The Spinx Company. “This app launch will ensure that every stop at Spinx is more convenient, enjoyable, and rewarding than the last, so that we can continue Making Life Easier for our loyal customers across the state.”

The following features will now be available through the app:

  • Pay in store or at the pump with Xtras Pay or Mobile Wallet (Google Pay, Apple Pay).
  • Earn and redeem fuel rewards through Spinx Xtras.
  • Exclusive deals and offers just for app customers.
  • Interactive store locator.
  • Help Center (FAQ, contact customer service).

In addition to the one-time 25¢ off per gallon discount, the new app provides opportunities for exclusive offers and club memberships including: the Cluk Club, where customers can buy 6 chicken items and get the 7th free, as well as the new Drinx Club, where customers can buy 6 beverages (hot or iced) and get the 7th free.

After downloading the app, customers will be prompted to create a Spinx Xtras account, and will gain full access to the app’s exciting features upon successful login. Physical Xtras cardholders can also access these offers by creating an account at www.spinxxtras.com.

ABOUT SPINX – Founded in 1972 in Greenville, S.C., The Spinx Company operates 84 convenience retail stores throughout South Carolina, and with approximately 1,400 employees, it is the largest privately-held retailer headquartered in the state. Spinx is committed to making life easier by fulfilling people’s everyday needs with fresh, on-the-go food, beverages and other convenience products delivered in a safe, clean and friendly environment. Through the Spinx Xtras Loyalty program and the Spinx mobile app, the company offers its loyal customers savings on fuel and special promotions.

For more information about Spinx or the Spinx Xtras program, visit the company’s website at www.spinx.com.

Written by Smoak PR

Book Launch & Signing Will Take Place to Celebrate John Sterling’s New Book, Sales for Noobs

Special Event to be Hosted on April 15th Celebrating the Release of Upstate Business Leader’s Book

April 8, 2021 | Greenville, SC – Upstate native and sales expert, John Sterling, is excited to officially announce the release of his book, Sales for Noobs: Everything Sales Rookies Need to Know to Crush Quota, Get Promoted, and Kick A$$A book launch and signing will be held at The Lazy Goat on Thursday, April 15th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. This event is open to the public and books will be available for purchase and author signing onsite.

As a sales trainer, manager, and serial entrepreneur, John is known for mentoring sales reps with zero business experience, so they become high-six- and seven-figure salespeople. John helped build software startup DataStream into a publicly traded company that sold to Infor for over $200 million. As Vice President of Sales, John and his team managed acquisitions in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Argentina, Singapore, and Australia, becoming the biggest technology company in South Carolina. During that time, John hired and trained over 150 sales reps, sixty of whom are now business owners, CEOs, or Sales VPs. Currently, John is owner of and investor in technology companies in the Southern United States and consults with business owners and their sales teams to crush quota.

“Throughout my career, I have always enjoyed being a mentor to help new salespeople take the time to pick the best sales job for them and get started in the right way,” said, John Sterling, Author of Sales for Noobs. “This book was written specifically to give essential advice to everyone considering a sales career so they can get started like a rocket ship versus “limping in” to the sales arena.”

In Sales for Noobs: Everything Sale Rookies Need to Know to Crush Quota, Get Promoted, and Kick A$$, John shares the essential advice every sales “noob” or newbie needs to know to make sales a rewarding profession. Whether someone is going into sales right out of school, pivoting from another industry, or getting back into the workforce, Sales for Noobs teaches readers a proven process to build a profitable career they can enjoy.

Sales for Noobs: Everything Sale Rookies Need to Know to Crush Quota, Get Promoted, and Kick A$$, is available for online purchase directly through Amazon.

ABOUT SALES FOR NOOBS | John Sterling is the world’s foremost expert in transforming sales noobs into seasoned pros. As a sales trainer, manager, and serial entrepreneur, John is known for mentoring sales reps with zero business experience, so they become high six and seven figure salespeople. Take your sales team from noobs to pros at www.SalesTrainingforNoobs.com.

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