Community Activities

Yianni Stamas reflects on 10 years of producing the Platinum PIAs, the community awards show

When looking for people who make it a part of their life “to try to make a difference,” Yianni Stamas certainly fits the bill. Although in some ways the pandemic is easing up a bit, variants have made an entrance. Therefore, we did not do the interview in person, but emailed him 3 questions.

Here are those questions with Yianni’s responses.

How did you come up with the Platinum PIAs idea?

I booked the Tribeca Screening Room far in advance, thinking I was going to be screening some film stuff I had been working on, back when I was a filmmaker of sorts. At the screening date got nearer, I panicked and realized there was no way I was going to have what I was working on ready. But rather than cancelling the booking, I thought it might be fun to do a community awards show. My wife and I had done volunteer work as performers for kids and community was important to us. With about a week or so to prepare we threw together the first annual Platinum PIAs Awards that continued annually for a decade. The premise was simple which was to recognize those in NYC communities who were making a difference. We gave PIAs to pharmacy owners, actors, dentists, heads of nonprofits, teachers, librarians and more. It was a lot of fun, and a community grew around the PIAs who would show up each year that we were live and in person.

I have heard a variety of different answers to this one, but what is “PIA” an acronym for?

I honestly do not know. I think there was a reason I used “PIA” but swiftly forgot it. Hence, it was embarrassing when talking to reports, because they would of course ask me that question. So, in every interview it would be a different three words. I think that “PIA” stands for whatever anyone wants it to be.

What was your most favorite year of staging the Platinum PIAs?

You would think I would say the year we had a Hollywood style upscale version of it, but that was not it, although it was a fun one. I would have to say any of the ceremonies my friend Rodger was in. He was an amazing person and was an author and librarian who I also did a lot of education work with at various NYPL branches. Sadly, he passed away a few years ago.

Ideas out of Adversity

Fighting the storm to achieve making a difference with marketing.

Confronting an actual storm led to exploring a metaphorical one.

A record storm happened here in New York City day before yesterday that resulted in streets flooding, 15 or more mice at one time trying to swim to safety and having to wade through sometimes chest high water levels in the subway station near us.

Facing the storm.

My wife and our daughter when returning home got caught in the thick of it. Thankfully, they made it home safely, no worse for wear. They succeeded in facing the storm, but what about the metaphorical storm that you might be facing with your business when doing marketing?

Obstacles that seem to come out from thin air.

Storms can sometimes start building against you without you even knowing about it. Challenges you face sometimes are generated by you trying to do the right thing, yet you find yourself chastised. Because regardless of how good your intentions are, others for whatever reason may view it in a negative manner.

Community Marketing Magic

USA Make a Difference & Magically Pull eCommerce Out of Your Hat

Make a Difference and Grow Your Business

Those of us from “USA Make a Difference” have magically reappeared. Much planning and more has been going on offstage. We evaluated and decided to change our workflow a bit. The reason for this is that we are currently engaged in a plan to reach more people than we currently do so that we can bring as many folks as possible into the mission to make a difference as you grow your business.

Working in Private for the Moment

Unfortunately, we are unable to disclose much at this time to give this phase of change a chance to do what it needs to do, without being seen. Like the studies of documentary filmmakers and how when filming wildlife, they essentially impact and change the behavior of the animals based on being there with their cameras. I guess we are the “wildlife” and need to graze and plan without the lens pointed to us.

The Learning Process

With careers as a magician, filmmaker, and marketer in the rearview mirror but still accessible, this is the period in which we usher in being educators. Ultimately why we are doing this is to bring education into the fold. This has been the long-term plan of course, getting a SUNY undergraduate and CUNY graduate degrees here in NYC in my ‘50’s (an age range I am still participating in) was done with the intention to have a base for being able to navigate throughout the learning process.

eCommerce as a Safety Income Stream

Some businesses, due to the pandemic, have been looking into eCommerce as a possible expansion of what they are doing, or in some cases trying to set up an additional income stream to add a layer of protection in case anything like Covid happened again. Of course, not all business models allow for being able to have an eCommerce store, but for those businesses for which eCommerce has potential, 3 blogs from the Blog Coalition have each provided their take on selling things online. And the cool thing is that they are all magicians who, like other magicians in this era of the pandemic, are considering eCommerce and other digital strategies as extra income streams. On each blog you will gain insight in the eCommerce process if that holds any interest for you.

The Latest 3 Blogs Looked at from the Blog Coalition

The most recent 3 websites are all helmed by magicians with an interest in tech as an entrepreneurial pathway. The prestidigitator blogs can be reached by clicking on the one of the websites below that is of interest to you. Enjoy the eCommerce magic shows.

Manhattan Magician
Marketer Magician
USA Magicians