Meet the Craze Halfway

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter  A decade ago, you couldn’t change the channel without finding a new motorcycle build show. Five years ago, it was extreme eating challenges and local legendary greasy spoons. And today it seems like you can’t touch the remote without seeing a show about tiny houses. It seems millennials are rejecting “more is more” McMansions and opting for small, portable and innovative living spaces that reflect their personality. Believe it or not, this could be the best thing that ever happened to the Skills Gap. 13554read more >

Happy Holidays!

The Sonnhalter team will be taking some time off over the holidays. We hope that you enjoy this holiday season and time with your family and friends! We'll see you in the New Year!read more >

New Research Shows How Manufacturers are Using Content Marketing to Build Audiences

Guest post from Lisa Murton Beets, Research Director, Content Marketing Institute Are you delivering valuable, relevant, consistent content to your audience? If not, prepare to be ignored. There is just too much information available today, and only so much time in a day for your target audience to consume it. This is especially true for tradesmen, who spend most of their time in the field. That said, you should be delivering valuable content consistently (hopefully, to a subscribed audience via vehicles such as email newsletters), so when your prospect does need a product or service, your company is top of mind. The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) defines content marketing as a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. 13515read more >

LinkedIn: Not what you think it is

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter LinkedIn gets a bad rap. Some describe it as “Facebook for Job Hunters” or worse. And part of that problem is real. Since its purchase by Microsoft, the platform has struggled with its identity and purpose. Is it a Professional Social meeting place? A job-hunter's paradise? A tally of how “connected” you are? Yes, No, Maybe and... All Of The Above The simple truth is that like any other tool, it’s exactly what you use it for. And with some different thinking, it can probably be a whole lot more than you’re using it for: 13481read more >

Customer Service for Customer Retention & Value

Today we have a guest post from Russ Hill, Founder of Ultimate Lead Systems. I recently lunched with some long-time friends and sales and marketing professionals. The topic turned to the importance of Customer Service in the face of the plethora of CRM and Marketing Automation software available today. The conversation raised more questions than it answered. We agreed on the following definitions for the purpose of the discussion: Customer Service – The interaction with a customer or prospect that traditionally revolves around resolving a problem and producing a positive outcome. This could be in person or via phone or email. CRM – It’s not software but a strategic process designed to cultivate and enhance the relationship with customers. The goal is to maximize retention rates and capitalize on the life-time value of the customer. Something else we agreed upon was that companies seem to be racing to dramatically reduce their costs of engaging customers. Those costs are typically associated with people on payroll, and management too often views automated systems as a means of delivering customer engagement AND customer service at reduced cost. We also agreed that Customer Service is all about NOW and all other engagements are about future opportunities. We’ve all experienced agonizingly long waits in Customer Service phone queues that assure us our “call is important” only to get transferred to a voicemail box that is full and not taking messages. Programs like Hubspot, Marketo, Eloqua and Exact Target can help deliver content that may be of value to customers they already know. What about new customer and prospects? Websites without phone numbers that force the customer to do all of the work to find solutions to their own needs do not make it easy for customers to buy or remain customers. How many take their business elsewhere because Customer Service is self-serve or…read more >

The Crisis Isn’t Looming Anymore… It’s Here.

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter The mainstream media continues to wake up to the skills gap in the trades, as this recent report from CBS Sunday Morning proves. The report was spurred by the lack of skilled tradespeople specifically surrounding hurricane clean up, however it continued to shed light on the issue. A large part of increased recognition is the result of two people featured in the piece: Norm Abram of This Old House and Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs. Both, as individuals and as part of their shows, these two have been “fighting the good fight" on the skills gap. Fighting against media bias, educational neglect and pop culture stereotypes of the trades. Make sure to check out the last part of the video though, as the progress Lehigh Career & Technical Institute has made acts as an inspiring end to the continuing story. Want to get involved? Keep reading.read more >

Mapping Your Plan

By Rachel Kerstetter, PR Architect, Sonnhalter It's that time of year again... the 2017 calendar is looking thin and we've turned our attention to next year. If you haven't already started planning your marketing communications for 2018, now is the time. To have a successful year, it’s important to do more than just set goals. You don’t just jump in the car to go to a new location for the first time, you look at how to get there, how long the trip will take or at least put the destination into your GPS. That’s planning. Planning is crucial no matter the size of the organization or depth of the project. Whether you’re initiating a rebranding campaign or creating a 30-second video, you have to plan. To map out your journey, you need to determine: 12944read more >

Have you considered your brand experience?

By Rachel Kerstetter, PR Architect, Sonnhalter Last year, I wrote a blog about Generation Z being the true digital native generation and urged organizations to look ahead. Perhaps you heeded that urging and have been looking forward, perhaps you're still trying to figure out the whole Millennial thing. By this point in time, the oldest Millennials are approaching 40. We've been working for/with you, buying from you or avoiding you for years now. Most of the business world seems to have made the jump into adapting to Millennial behaviors... even if some were pushed. It's time to move on. There's a whole generation approaching adulthood - Generation Z. Generation Z is the next group that needs to be reached, specifically for attracting them to the trades. They will be your next audience, so it's a good idea to start considering them in your communication efforts. You might be more prepared to handle GenZ than you think you are... 12938read more >

Eighth Annual Sonnhalter Tool Drive Raises $30,000 Worth of Donations for Habitat for Humanity

CLEVELAND – September 2017 – Sonnhalter, a communications firm marketing to the professional tradesman in the construction, industrial and MRO markets, partnered with Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity for an eighth year during its annual Sonnhalter Tool Drive, which ran the entire month of August and collected $30,000 worth of tools and building materials. Since Sonnhalter began its efforts in 2010, it has collected more than $220,000 in donations.   Organizations, businesses and residents were encouraged to donate new and gently used tools, as well as building materials, furniture and appliances, to Sonnhalter to help benefit Habitat for Humanity’s cause of eliminating substandard housing and homelessness. “Cleveland Habitat for Humanity eagerly awaits Sonnhalter’s annual Tool Drive,” said John Habat, executive director of the Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity. 12929read more >

Why Marketing and Sales Need to Work Together

By John Sonnhalter, Rainmaker Journeyman, Sonnhalter For some reason there’s always been a disconnect between sales and marketing, and for the life of me I can’t understand why they can’t play nice. After all isn’t the objective of both is to increase sales? I recently read an article in Duct Tape Marketing, Counseling the Marriage Between Marketing and Sales to Generate Revenue that got me thinking of why they should work together towards the same goal. Most of the journey your contractors take is already over by the time they speak with a salesperson. That’s a tremendous opportunity for marketing to influence the sales process and dovetail together in creating a seamless experience. Here’s an interesting  statistic: 57% of the buyer’s journey is completed before the buyer talks to sales, according to Gartner. Prospects know more about you than you know about them. Mutual Expectations 12896read more >

Warehouse Your Marketing Too

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter My grandfather always said the best way to learn is to put it into terms you already know. With that being the case, think of your Digital Marketing Assets as products. Now think about how you would warehouse them: Would you just throw products on any shelf, with no system of arranging them? Would you let whoever was in charge of the warehouse set up their own system, and not tell anyone how it was organized? Would you let them also install the lock, and have the only key? Could any employee or contractor take any product they wanted? Would you keep discontinued product on the shelves? Would you let people put the products together in any way they wanted? Would you leave your products outside in the rain and snow while you figured out the right type of warehouse to build? I’m guessing the answer to every one of those questions is a giant NO. 12891read more >

5 ways to engage professional tradesmen using content marketing

By John Sonnhalter, Rainmaker Journeyman, Sonnhalter Content marketing should be a vital part of your strategy to reach and engage contractors and professional tradesmen and move them through the sales funnel. Manufacturers are always focused on leads and will use things like traditional e-books and white papers. Not all activity will result in conversions. We should consider building brand awareness. Here are five tactics to consider: Blog posts.You may already be doing a blog and if you’re not you should consider it. It helps set you up as an industry expert and helps move prospects through the know like and trust phase of the journey. Include a strong call to action that will hopefully engage the reader to go somewhere or do something.  12883read more >

Diversity Initiatives in Electrical Engineering and Contracting Sectors

Today we have a guest blog from Carl Babb of Relectric on the important topic of diversity. Electrical engineering is at the core of industrial growth and energy sustainability in the USA. With the innovative products, designs and concepts, electrical engineers and contractors must keep pace with changes in the profession. Diversity in disciplines like engineering is necessary to address the current and future needs of our nation's economy. Engaging people from all segments of our society in the electrical engineering profession is essential to this fast-paced and growing field. Access to opportunities must be enhanced to help meet industry needs and find solutions to society’s energy challenges. While there has been an increase in the involvement of women, African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans in engineering in recent decades, there is still room for improvement. There are several initiatives by engineering schools and universities, engineering groups and societies, and even many large industries, to increase the diversity in electrical engineering. Like most businesses and companies everywhere, organizations associated with electrical engineering are becoming directly involved in actions targeting bias against underrepresented groups. 12860read more >

3 Post Show Activities to Make Your Trade Show a Success

By Matt Sonnhalter, Vision Architect, Sonnhalter I don’t know about you, but it seems like every time I get back from a trade show I’m exhausted and ready for a vacation. Unfortunately there is still work to do after the trade show. In this Part 3 of our 3-part series on successful trade shows we’ll look at the 3 post- show  activities you should be doing after every trade show to make sure it is a success. 1. Leads/Inquiries “How many leads did we get?” This seems to be the number one question everyone asks after every trade show. And while this is an important question, I think the better question to ask is “What’s the plan for handling these leads?” 12847read more >

5 During-Show Activities To Make Your Trade Show A Success

By Matt Sonnhalter, Vision Architect, Sonnhalter So, you’ve planned for the show, booked the space, developed the booth graphics and made the travel arrangements. Now it’s show time…how do you ensure the actual trade show days are a success? In this Part 2 of a 3-part series on successful trade shows, we’ll look at the 5 during-show activities you should be doing to make your next trade show a success. 1. Booth personnel meeting 12844read more >

5 Pre-Show Activities To Make Your Trade Show A Success

By Matt Sonnhalter, Vision Architect, Sonnhalter For most companies trade shows are still a key component to the marketing mix. But these shows can be a significant investment, between the booth space, the booth itself, graphics, collateral, travel costs and the personnel to man the actual booth. So it’s critical to maximize the return and success of your trade show. In this Part 1 of a 3-part series on trade shows we’ll look at the 5  pre-show activities you should be doing to make your next trade show a success. 1. Remind people you are attending the trade show 12842read more >

What’s Holding US Manufacturing Back?

Today we have a post from Andrea Olsen. Andrea started her career in the tech start-up world, and has brought much of that innovative thinking to her work as the CEO of Prag’madik, an operational strategy consultancy, specializing in the industrial and manufacturing markets. What's Holding US Manufacturing Back? There has been an ongoing national conversation about bringing manufacturing back to the United States. The government, states, educators, and organizations have been pushing a resurgence through, addressing many of the roadblocks facing these organizations, including: lack of skilled labor, decreased sales, advancing lean manufacturing, integrating additive manufacturing, robotics, IoT and Big Data. The middle-market manufacturers - primarily in the Midwest, in the range of $50-$500m in revenues, employing 10-800 people - face a unique set of challenges. While the advancement of things like 3D printing and robotics will undoubtedly change the manufacturing landscape, these manufacturers face much more basic challenges to compete - and more accurately - survive the next 3-5 years. This isn't about the "skills gap," or "robots taking jobs," or "offshoring" or even "regulation burdens." Those challenges are further downstream for these manufacturers. Today's issues are much more fundamental. The advancements in digital technologies, communications platforms, and simply the Internet, have dramatically impacted business operations and overall competitiveness. The "blocking-and-tackling" of things like: embracing change, utilizing technology platforms, digitizing information and fostering an innovative culture, are the true essentials for US middle-manufacturing growth. Here's a short list of those essentials: 12788read more >

The Eighth Annual Sonnhalter Tool Drive Starts Now!

By Rachel Kerstetter, PR Architect, Sonnhalter Today is August 1st, at Sonnhalter it's basically a holiday because it's the start of our annual tool drive to benefit Habitat for Humanity. Habitat for Humanity does fantastic work building and rehabbing homes for those who need them in an effort to eliminate homelessness and substandard housing. I'm amazed year after year at the work this fantastic organization does and the support that we receive for this tool drive from our clients, vendors, partners, community and even strangers! Our Tool Drive was born in 2010 12830read more >

Chart Your Online Conversations

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter Brian Solis is an interesting person. Digital analyst, anthropologist, and self-described futurist. One of his key areas of focus is the effect of disruptive technology on business and society. In 2008 as a part of that research he decided to map the social media landscape in what he called the “Conversation Prism,” coming up with a few categories that neatly classified the landscape as it was when Iron Man, The Dark Night and Twilight were in theaters. Times sure have changed... 12817read more >

Incorporating Awards into Your Communications Initiatives

By Rachel Kerstetter, PR Architect, Sonnhalter It feels good to win an award. But beyond being able to bask in the glow of recognition, can awards help you reach your marketing goals? Entering for awards is one tactic we work into the public relations mix for our clients. Winning an award, or even being nominated for one, can go a long way to boosting brand recognition and can act as an endorsement for your product/service/organization. 5 Questions to Ask Before Entering 12797read more >

The Culture Threat

Today we have a post from Andrea Olsen. Andrea started her career in the tech start-up world, and brought much of that innovative thinking to her work as the CEO of Prag’madik, an operational strategy consultancy, specializing in the industrial and manufacturing markets. The Culture Threat Organizational culture is an amorphous thing. It is incredibly hard to define, and virtually impossible to measure. Leaders try to influence and shape organizational culture through a variety of tactics, from incentives and perks, to team building activities. Yet, more often than not, the "culture" seems to remain the same. The most frequently asked questions are "why" and "how do we fix it"? The traditional definition of organizational culture is "a system of shared assumptions, values, and beliefs, which governs how people behave in organizations". These assumptions, values, and beliefs don't arise simply because they are outlined in a mission statement, or reiterated ad nauseum during company meetings. Culture is shaped by behaviors - particularly of organizational leaders - which don't singularly exist within one's title. Manufacturers have voiced their concerns with organizational culture. Many we have surveyed have complained about lack of employee drive, proactive innovation, problem-solving abilities, and communication. 12785read more >

Don’t overlook internal communication

By Rachel Kerstetter, PR Architect, Sonnhalter If you can’t communicate internally to get everyone on the same page, you can't effectively communicate with anyone else. When reviewing your audience segments, do you include your employees as a segment? Your employees are arguably the most important audience, and advocates, that your company has. Think about communication from their perspectives. Would you want to hear news about your company from an outside source? Probably not. Internal communication is often overlooked because it's incredibly simple and many leaders assume that people within the organization already talk to each other. Sure, people talk to each other regularly, but not always in the way you expect. Clue your employees in and let them know what your organization is doing. 12775read more >

Sonnhalter Partners with Habitat for Humanity for the Eighth Annual Sonnhalter Tool Drive

Help eliminate substandard housing during the month of August by donating extra inventory, demo models, tools and building materials that are no longer needed. CLEVELAND – July 2017 – Sonnhalter, a communications firm marketing to the professional tradesman in the construction, industrial and MRO markets, is partnering with Habitat for Humanity again for the eighth annual Sonnhalter Tool Drive, during the entire month of August. Organizations, businesses and manufacturers are encouraged to donate new and gently used tools, as well as cabinets, sinks, building materials and appliances, to the Sonnhalter Tool Drive between Tuesday, August 1 and Thursday, August 31, to benefit Habitat for Humanity’s cause of eliminating substandard housing. Affiliates of Habitat for Humanity individually work with participants to sponsor fundraising activities such as tool drives. The Sonnhalter Tool Drive strives to engage businesses and organizations to look through warehouses for extra inventory and overstocked tools or items, as well as the community to look through their workbenches, storage lockers, basements and garages for duplicated or no-longer-needed tools and items to donate. “At last year’s Tool Drive, we were very excited by the community’s response in donating more than $20,000 worth of tools, building materials, appliances and other items, bringing the total to $196,000 donated since our efforts began in 2010,” said Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect at Sonnhalter. “This year, with the help of our generous community, we’re looking forward to increasing that total, and we encourage businesses to clean out their extra inventory, overstocked materials and demo models, and donate to this very worthy cause.” Sonnhalter partners with the Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity for its annual Tool Drive. The Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity has completed more than 200 homes since 1988 and today, engages 2,000 volunteers, who provide more than 71,000 hours of service per year…read more >

Independence Day

By Rachel Kerstetter, PR Architect Our team, like many others, is taking today off. The Fourth of July is more than fireworks, parades, cookouts and a day off. It’s a day that we celebrate our country’s independence. All of the red, white and blue that comes out for Independence Day brings U.S. manufacturing to mind. Did you know... Each dollar spent in manufacturing contributes $1.40 to the economy? The majority of manufacturing companies in the U.S. are small?  Manufacturing supports 18.4 million U.S. jobs? In 2014, the average manufacturing employee made $79,533? Taken alone, manufacturing in the U.S. would be the 9th largest world economy? These stats came from NAM (the National Association of Manufacturers). You can find these and other facts about U.S. manufacturing on their website. Have a safe and happy Independence Day!read more >

Change Your Definition, Change Your Business. Learn From Other Industries How to Manage Change

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter A recent Industry Week article by Becky Morgan showcases how a changing industry can adapt and thrive or fixate and die, and has some great advice for being on the right side of that divide. Her first point is to draw parallels between the state of manufacturing today and that of agriculture at the turn of the last century. Rocked by disruptive innovations, a changing marketplace and demographic shifts. And yet agriculture is still around. It’s fundamentally changed, but in a way that’s of benefit to consumers: more productive, larger scale, but with a core of, to use an overused term, “artisanal” craftspeople ready to cater to niche markets. She sees manufacturing developing in much the same way. 12641read more >

Understanding and Adjusting to Email Habits

By Rachel Kerstetter, PR Architect, Sonnhalter How many email accounts do you have? I have three. I’m not unlike others in my generation (the Millennial Generation) who maintain multiple email accounts. Each email address has a specific purpose and is used strategically. Work. My work email address is just that, work. It’s the @sonnhalter.com email that colleagues, clients, media and partners reach me on. I check this email religiously on my phone and have it open during the work day on my computer. I only give this email address out for professional purposes. Personal. This email address is the one I give to friends, family and anyone I do personal business with. I protect this email and am careful to whom I give the address. I check it most often on my phone and occasionally log into it from my personal laptop. Other. This “other” email address is the one that we’ll dig into today. Most millennials have one of these and many in other generations have also adopted an “Other” email policy. Sometimes we call it our “junk email” or “promotions.” I give this email address out like candy on Halloween. If you ask me for an email address, this is the one I give you. This is the inbox that I check, but don’t regularly search. I almost never send emails from this address and only check it from my phone. This is the inbox where I subscribe to e-newsletters and promotional offers. I was reading an article from Media Post titled “Millennials Love Email, But on Their Dual Inbox Terms,”  12635read more >

Using Content to Market Your Business

Today we have a guest post by Colin Cieloha of Skilled.co. Content marketing is changing the way that businesses promote their products and brands. More and more companies are choosing this option due to both its affordability and effectiveness combined. The problem that these businesses are having however, is how to choose which method of content marketing is best for them as a company. Some of the most common types are listed below: E-books 12621read more >

4 Clever Marketing Tips for Targeting Contractors Online

Today we have a post contributed by M.Pierce, Founder of MyBootprint and ShoeMatters – two websites that strive to help people choose the right footwear for their job. As with nearly any profession around the world, more building contractors are turning to the internet to do their research and interact with their distributors, purchase materials and find and contact new clients. Research found that a third of the building product distributors asked claimed that 50% of their sales were online. Another survey from 2015 found that more than half of contractors use the internet for their research for work. So with the increasing digitalization, if you want to attract contractors online, you must make sure that your brand is well established digitally and take up a more proactive approach on the various digital channels preferred by the contractors. A good balance of high-quality and efficient SEO, effective social media marketing and digital advertising should help grab the interest of potential customers for your products. With the advancement of technology and the websites, mobile apps and other hardware and software, it is no surprise that people are becoming more demanding and their expectations for the services and products provided is growing. The same goes for building contractors. There are certain tips which you can follow in order to do that more successfully. Here are the four main ones which will help you reach to and win over more building contractors: 12616read more >

Manufacturers: Is your social media participation developing new business leads?

By John Sonnhalter, Rainmaker Journeyman, Sonnhalter If not, it’s important to know WHY. Most manufacturers finally got on board with social media back in 2010. They created their company blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram accounts and jumped in. 70% of marketers reported that social media marketing delivers poor or average return on investment. Many manufacturers thought that by merely having a social media presence, it would give them social media credibility. But they’re learning it takes more than a social media presence to produce new business opportunities. I recently saw a post from my mentor on the social media scene, Michael Gass. Here are some things you need to review and possibly revisit your social media strategy and implementation: Here are 11 reasons why social media doesn't lead to new business: 12614read more >

Apple Throws a Rock in the Pond … Be a Ripple

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, gets it. None of the gadgets his company is built on (and none of the other multi-billion dollar companies that seem built on ideas more than products) can survive without one key element in the economy: Advanced Manufacturing And to show it, he announced the creation of a 1 billion-dollar fund to create or bring back those jobs to the U.S. 12607read more >

Sonnhalter and Mortar Net Solutions Honored with Silver Davey Award for Integrated Campaign

Marketing communications firm wins award for integrated campaign highlighting unique moisture management solution in masonry walls. CLEVELAND – May 2017 – Sonnhalter, the leading B2T (business-to-tradesmen) marketing communications firm, received a Silver Davey Award in the 12th Annual International Davey Awards competition. Sonnhalter accepted the award in the integrated campaign category for the “H2Oh!” print ad, landing page and e-blast it developed with Mortar Net Solutions. The Davey Awards honor the finest creative work from small firms, agencies and companies worldwide. The Davey Awards are named after King David who defeated the giant Goliath with a big idea and a little rock. The story resembles what small firms do each year by deriving strength from big ideas instead of big budgets. For more than two decades, Mortar Net Solutions has provided a full line of trusted moisture management solutions that are field proven and help deliver structural integrity for years to come. The H2Oh! campaign was developed to convey the message that Mortar Net Solutions’ moisture management solutions stop moisture damage before it starts, so customers avoid the unpleasant discovery of finding cracks, corrosion and mold from water damage in their walls. “We’re excited to receive this award for a campaign that brought attention to Mortar Net Solutions’ dedication and leadership in preventing masonry wall moisture damage,” said Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect at Sonnhalter. “We really wanted to emphasize how no other company is this focused on correct moisture management for masonry and provides a solution that brings customers peace of mind in ways unique to any of its competitors.” 12602read more >

The Skills Gap and the Future of Manufacturing

Join Matt Sonnhalter for a Marketing Minute and learn about how the current skills gap affects the future of manufacturing and how Sonnhalter and other organizations are getting involved to help. To view other videos from Sonnhalter, visit our YouTube channel here and let us know if there's a B2T marketing topic you'd like us to cover.read more >

7 Things You Should Know When you Start Email Marketing

Today we have a guest post from Vincent Hill on email marketing. Marketing is business activities that are highly associated with the buying and selling of a product or service. This includes activities that help acquire customers and maintain a good relationship with them. To achieve the goal, use several marketing tools. The marketing tools should be effective  to easily communicate with potential customers and existing supporters. With the fast pacing technological innovations, digital marketing was introduced to further enhance the advertising, selling and delivering the products and services to people. One of the best and easiest approaches to digital marketing is the use of emails. Email marketing greatly helps in expanding and building the network. This approach allows one to share stories and start blogging to be able to enhance promotions and increase product awareness. Using this kind of approach may be challenging at first. But with proper guidance and correct knowledge on the things involve in email marketing, this marketing tool is a whole lot easier and exciting. 1. Choose type of campaigns you want to send 12535read more >

Case Studies Should Be Part of Your Content Mix

By Rachel Kerstetter, PR Architect, Sonnhalter The terms "case study" and "testimonial" are sometimes used interchangeably, however case studies are not exactly testimonials. Although one piece of content can pull double duty, a simple testimonial can't provide the value for your organization that a case study can. In marketing, a testimonial is essentially a statement by a customer providing an endorsement of a product or service. A case study is a more in-depth, valuable piece of content. Spinach content if you will. Case studies explore a user's journey, not just with your organization, but through their entire problem and solution. Ideally, 12528read more >

How to Score Big This Manufacturing Day

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter It may seem like Manufacturing Day (first Friday of October) is still far off on the horizon, but the time to plan is now. With schools getting ready to take their summer breaks, you should contact them now in order to make sure your company is ready to highlight the great careers available in modern manufacturing and the trades. And while the official Manufacturing Day site has great tools to help you plan and promote your event, a panicked phone call I got on Friday gave me another idea to share. Fortunately the panicked call wasn’t from a client, and wasn’t an actual “emergency.” Nope, it was my introduction to the latest craze sweeping schools across the country: Fidget Spinners 12519read more >

Are you a storyteller?

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter Brand/Content Marketing and all the other buzzwords are irrelevant. I just finished reading a great article from the Virgin website. But first an apology on behalf of the entire marketing industry... We’re sorry for all the buzzwords. Really. For years you’ve heard “content marketing” and “be your brand” and many other latest fads bandied about in meetings. In fact, at one previous employer, we had bingo sheets we’d take into the conference room to see how quickly we could achieve “product/end user integration,” “ROI” or anything else “at the end of the day.” But really, all those words boil down to what the article highlights: Be a Storyteller 12459read more >

Branding or Branded?

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter Pepsi recently had a severe digital flogging for a tone-deaf ad featuring Kendall Jenner and the evidently crisis-averting powers of their soda. From late night hosts and live shows in New York to TV pundits and seemingly everyone with a social media account, the multi-national corporation has been the punchline of many a joke. Obviously there are a lot of lessons to be learned and cautionary tales aplenty. But for me, the main lesson in all of this comes down to: Don’t try to be your brand. Have your brand be who you are. What’s that mean? 12441read more >

Reaching Contractors with Social Media

By Rachel Kerstetter, PR Architect, Sonnhalter You probably set up a Facebook page and a Twitter account a few years ago when social media was the new shiny object for marketers. But now, your social media is anything but new and exciting … and it doesn't help you reach contractors. You might be wondering if you're wasting your time on these channels or if you're better served by switching to the newest social trend. As a longtime leader in Business-to-Tradesman marketing, we’ve developed 12 helpful tips that will help you use social media to effectively reach contractors. In “12 Tips for Reaching Contractors with Social Media,” you’ll learn how to evaluate the social media you’re already using and pick the right avenues for connecting with contractors. The tip sheet shares best practices for social media in this niche space using content and integrating it into your overall marketing programs. Download 12 Tips for Reaching Contractors with Social Media by signing up here.read more >

Have You Hugged a Plumber Today?

By Rachel Kerstetter, PR Architect, Sonnhalter Did you know that today is Hug a Plumber Day? (Sometimes called Plumber's Day.) Often plumbers don’t receive the credit and fame that they deserve, unless they’re Mario and Luigi and trying to save a princess. The Super Mario Brothers are the most famous plumbers, and they live in a Nintendo game. The reality is that without plumbers, our world would be far from sanitary or pleasant. As part of our team's commitment to getting our hands dirty in our clients' work, we've had the opportunity to see plumbers at work, we’ve used their tools and we’ve heard their stories; we know that they deserve to be honored, not just hugged, today. Plumbers do so much more than unclog drains and fix leaky faucets. It’s plumbers who install the miles of piping that make hot, cold and process water and gas utilities possible. Did you know... 12240read more >

Mind the Gap: Making kids aware of manufacturing jobs

  By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter One of the things that always struck me about manufacturers is they generally don’t realize how cool their jobs really are. And I get why. You’ve been doing this your whole life, it pays the bills and it has its disappointments, headaches and setbacks. But manufacturing made the modern world we live in possible. And the stuff you see as routine, through anyone else’s eyes is really, really cool. Don’t believe me? Ask a bunch of middle school kids in Pennsylvania. 12223read more >

Sonnhalter Named a Chief Marketer 2017 B2B Top Shop

Sonnhalter joins the ranks as one of the country’s top business-to-business marketing agencies. CLEVELAND – April 2017 – Sonnhalter, the leading B2T (business-to-tradesmen) marketing communications firm, was selected as one of Chief Marketer’s 2017 B2B Top Shops, a listing of the top B2B marketing agencies in the United States. The agencies in B2B Top Shops are chosen by the editors of Chief Marketer, a leading publication focused on measurable marketing tactics published by Access Intelligence. In choosing agencies for inclusion, editors consider each shop’s depth of client work, creative acumen, analytical expertise and numerous other factors. “It is an honor for Sonnhalter to be recognized by Chief Marketer for our work in leveraging some of the top brands within our business-to-trade niche,” said Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect at Sonnhalter. ”As an agency, we strive to remain steadfast in our efforts serving companies that target the professional tradesmen while incorporating new and creative tactics to be on the industry’s cutting edge.” B2B Top Shops is an online searchable directory highlighting each agency’s core services and contact information, offering users a behind-the-scenes look at each shop’s culture and client work. B2B brands, vendors and marketers viewed this easy-to-use resource on ChiefMarketer.com almost 73,000 times in 2016. About Chief Marketer Chief Marketer, published by Access Intelligence, charts the customer journey from acquisition and engagement through conversion and retention. Via ChiefMarketer.com, print products, live events, awards programs and more, Chief Marketer offers data-driven intelligence, actionable insights, inspiring case studies and the latest technology trends to help marketers improve their campaigns and increase return on investment. About Sonnhalter Established in 1976, Sonnhalter is the leading B2T marketing communications firm to companies that target professional tradesmen in construction, industrial and MRO markets. Sonnhalter is located in the historic Brownell Building in the heart of downtown Cleveland.…read more >

Why aren’t sales leads followed up?

Today we have a guest post from Russ Hill, Founder of Ultimate Lead Systems. How often have you heard sales people say leads generated by marketing are just “literature collectors, college professors, students, lookers or tire kickers?” Or, “I don’t have time for sales lead follow-up.” Or the sales manager who says, “I know my sales people are following up. They just don’t have time to provide feedback.” I’ve worked with many companies over the years that made lead follow-up an imperative with their sales forces. In every case where it was required it yielded significant and profitable results reporting hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars in sales. There is much discussion in internet groups about “aligning marketing and sales” and lead follow-up is a critical part of this discussion. 12136read more >

The Needle Begins to Move on the Skilled Trades Gap

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter Wait, Did You Feel That? The needle began to move on the skilled trades gap. Don’t look now, but the problem you’ve known about for a generation, the lack of people coming into the skilled trades, is finally going mainstream. It’s subtle, but change is beginning to show. First there are the local advocates, who have been talking about the problem for years. You know them, they’re in your local Union Hall, Welding School, or in the rapidly dwindling number of High School Vo-Tech programs. Or they’re part of the increasingly aging workforce itself, all too aware that there are more of them retiring than entering the workforce, and hanging around looking for someone to step up. And there are now countless local efforts. Here in Northeast Ohio, the Cuyahoga Community College launched a mobile workforce training center. Tri-C customizes it with virtual welders, CNC machines or other demos as the employer or school needs. Also in the Cleveland area, Lincoln Electric, whose Carl Peters is an advocate for training program development, recently capped off the framing of their new, $30 million welding technology center project. Nationally the news is just as encouraging. Mike Rowe, who has capitalized on his TV fame to promote the trades through his foundation, is getting ready to take applications for 2017 scholarships. He’s also a great social media follow, and recently testified before congress. Even more promising, This Old House, the venerable PBS show, launched Generation Next a partnership with MikeRoweWORKS designed to highlight the jobs available in the skilled trades and destigmatize these jobs for today’s youth. NPR’s excellent Marketplace program recently had several in-depth features on training skilled workers, produced by senior education correspondent Amy Scott. Plus, there are the national groups dedicated to the trades,…read more >

The Working Man’s Holiday

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter As any salesman, engineer or manufacturer will tell you: marketing has it rough. Done laughing? Well, here at Sonnhalter, we added a new twist to our vacation plan. Our team members now get one extra day of vacation, no matter their time with the company. The catch? You have to take it on a B2T (Business-to-Trade) holiday. What’s that? As you’ve probably noticed from your social media feed, almost every day has some “official” holiday designation. National Left-Hander’s Day (August 13), National Look Up at the Sky Day (April 14), Cookie Cutter Week (December 1-7). But what you might not know is there are an abundance of days dedicated to the skilled trades, like: 11981read more >

Proper care and feeding of your mobile jobber

As part of my (Rachel) own training, I spent the day riding along with a MAC jobber. It was an interesting and eye-opening experience, and I learned more about sales in that one day than ever before. Mobile jobbers are a unique distribution channel that marketers in the B2T space need to better understand. Today we have a guest post from Alan Sipe that provides insight into the world of Mobile Jobbers. Alan is President of Toolbox Sales and Consulting and has more than 40 years of experience including Sr. VP of Sales and Marketing for Klein Tools and President of KNIPEX Tools. His insights in selling through various distribution channels and professional contractors are invaluable.  Every Tuesday at about 10 a.m. or Wednesday at 3 p.m. here comes the Cornwell, MAC, Matco, Snap-on or independent mobile jobber representative into your shop. If they are good at their job, with each visit he or she will be demonstrating the latest and greatest tools for you to purchase. They will also be taking care of your broken tools and delivering your previous orders. But, how much do you really know about this visitor? What’s their business story? It sure looks easy, walking around showing a bunch of tool nuts (mechanics) cool tools, doesn’t it? Well, good mobile jobbers make it look easy. But, not surprisingly, there’s more to it than meets the eye. DAILY ROUTINE So, what’s a typical mobile jobber's day like? 12127read more >

LinkedIn Groups: Your Blog Away From Blog

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter According to a recent survey from The Content Marketing Institute 89% of B2B Marketers use LinkedIn as a way to distribute content. But if a potential customer isn’t already following you, all you’re doing by posting it to your company page is having a closed conversation with friends. While that’s good for strengthening relationships, it’s not an effective strategy for growing business, brand or thought leadership in your industry. So, short of requiring all employees to share everything you post, what’s a marketer to do? Join Groups. If you’re not familiar with them, LinkedIn Groups are smaller "communities within the larger LinkedIn community where people and companies can connect by shared interest rather than work or personal connections." The advantage here is that instead of waiting for people to find you or your company, you can use your industry, process or other qualities to go out and find them. How do you find the right group, and what do you do once you’ve found them? A lot of things you’re already doing. 12124read more >

Sonnhalter Adds Airmaster as New Client

Cleveland – March 2017 – Sonnhalter, a communications firm marketing to the professional tradesman in the construction, industrial and MRO markets, announces Airmaster as one of its newest clients. Located in Clarklake, Mich., Airmaster is a leading manufacturer of air circulation, ventilation and heating solutions since 1886. Airmaster exports throughout the world and offers the largest line of air moving equipment in North America. Airmaster services the end user markets in the industrial, electrical and HVAC segments. Previously referred to as Airmaster Fan, the company has a full fabrication and tool and die facility, which offers a complete engineering and technical staff. “Airmaster began its relationship with Sonnhalter during a crucial time in which the company was in the midst of creating a new brand structure, as well as relocating to a new headquarters,” said Benjamin Braitsch, president and CEO of Airmaster. “Sonnhalter helped us develop a new brand that was fresh, streamlined and communicated that we are more than just fans.” In 2016, with the help of Sonnhalter, Airmaster unveiled a new brand identity with the introduction of a new logo. Sonnhalter provides a full range of marketing communications services for Airmaster that will span across multiple departments which will guide Airmaster creative messaging on both print and electronic platforms, as well as managing its public relations and media relations. “Sonnhalter is excited to have the opportunity to be a part of rebranding this new era in Airmaster’s long history,” said Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect at Sonnhalter. “As Airmaster continues to improve and streamline their processes for delivering air circulation and ventilation solutions, we look forward to building a brand that reflects their commitment to being on the industry’s cutting edge.” About Airmaster: Airmaster, based in Clarklake, Mich., manufactures heaters, air circulation and ventilation fan solutions for industrial and…read more >

Why Have Marketing in Manufacturing?

Today we have a guest post from Andrea Olson. Industrial organizations rely heavily on a direct, distribution or dealer sales force for growth. Many of these companies have built themselves from the ground-up through street smarts, sweat, and hustle. With many sales build upon long-term relationships, why does a manufacturer need marketing? Aside from creating the brochures, maintaining the website and coordinating trade shows, how can marketing help grow the business? It's a frequent misconception that many manufacturing leaders have a hard time getting their minds around. The function of marketing has degraded in recent years, with the advent of "do-it-yourself" tools, allowing the tactical nuts-and-bolts of marketing implementation to be done by more junior staff. In addition, many mid-market manufacturers really never had the need to utilize marketing 50, 60 or 70 years ago - having built the business on a unique invention (at the time), penetrating an under-served market, or establishing a contract with a few large OEMs. The problem today is that things have changed. Most notably: 12088read more >

Sonnhalter Supports Cuyahoga Community College With Annual Scholarship For School’s Construction Program

Agency’s third annual scholarship donation toward construction program adds to its longstanding relationship with trade professionals. CLEVELAND –March 2017 – Sonnhalter, a marketing communications firm to the professional tradesman in the construction, industrial and MRO markets, continued its support of Cuyahoga Community College’s (Tri-C) “Construction Program Scholarship” with a $2,500 donation. This is the third year in a row Sonnhalter donated to the program. With more than 5,000 students enrolled, the construction apprenticeship program at Tri-C is one of the largest of its kind and helps students learn a valuable trade within the construction industry through quality assurance, drawings, project management, scheduling, problem solving and communication. “On behalf of Cuyahoga Community College, we are very grateful for Sonnhalter’s generous support,” said Megan O’Bryan, vice president, development and Tri-C Foundation. “This gift helps students realize a dream that otherwise may not have been possible by providing scholarships which are an essential tool in ensuring access to the education and training our students will need to work in the construction industry. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of Tri-C students.” Students receive up to 250 hours of classroom instruction, as well as up to 8,000 hours of on-the-job training. During their apprenticeship, students have the opportunity to earn wages and learn from experienced union workers and vocational instructors. Students who complete certification in the program will have the skills to take on careers that include cost/quantity estimating, project scheduling and CAD technician work. “Each year, Sonnhalter is pleased to further extend our support for this program and all the work it does to shape the minds of future hardworking professionals in the construction industry,” said Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect at Sonnhalter. ”It is also a unique and exciting opportunity to support a program that educates individuals in our own…read more >

Thousands of vocational programs, many ways to connect

By Rachel Kerstetter, PR Architect, Sonnhalter More than a year ago, we released an extensive database of thousands of vocational education programs across the country. We recently updated that list, adding about 1,000 new programs, separating them out by state tabs and standardizing the descriptions to make it even easier to search, sort and use. Why would a marketing communications firm make such a resource? We hope the tool will bridge the gap between manufacturers and educational programs. The database serves as a helpful tool for companies looking to implement more grassroots campaigns to recruit the next generation of professional tradesmen. There are a myriad of ways to take advantage of a tool like our database. I'd love to name a thousand ways to use it (given enough time and coffee I probably could too!) but I'll leave you with a few suggestions of how to make our work, work for you. Fill the Talent Pipeline 12075read more >

They Really Are Worth a Thousand Words

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter Use images on your website to de-clutter, increase SEO and tell a better story. One of the biggest pitfalls in manufacturers' websites (and trade shows, and product literature and more) is the overriding desire to SAY TOO MUCH. And it’s easy to see why. Most manufacturing companies are led by Engineering or Sales. Both of these disciplines are highly verbal. You want to talk about how great a new process or product is in order to show the leap you’ve made in innovation. You want to make sure the customer has all the information in order to close the deal. The problem becomes that marketing, and effective electronic communications, are becoming increasingly visual. Part of it is screen size. More than half of all internet use is by devices other than computers, the vast majority of which have screens smaller than a laptop. And some of it is just the pace and speed at which web browsers now expect information to be presented to them in the instant search era we live in. So, it’s imperative to get your value proposition across in less time than it will take someone to hit the back button and open the next search result. 12049read more >

Feeding the Content Beast: Types of Blog Content

By Rachel Kerstetter, Public Relations Architect, Sonnhalter If your content marketing program includes a blog, you've felt the pressure to produce a lot of content. Blogs are hungry little monsters that need a steady stream of new information to be effective. But never fear! It is possible to feed the content beast and not lose a finger in the process. 12051read more >

Distributors Gain from Streamlining

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter For their January/February issue, Industrial Supply Magazine asked Spencer Maheu, Director at Osborn Industries what advice he had for industrial distributors in the New Year. His answer? Streamline your product selection to reward end users, your organization and your bottom line. Here’s the article: Streamlining is the Word of 2017 12012read more >

Hands-on Marketing or Boring Booth. You Decide.

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter We’re in the thick of trade show season, and that brings up the age-old argument: Are they worth going to? The ROI of a trade show can be the trickiest equation to manage. Very few feature direct sales, and how do you prove that a sale 6 months from now had anything to do with a 10 by 20 booth? The short answer? You can’t. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go, just that you should make the most of your customer’s experience. I just finished reading a great article from Greg Zehe, from GES. It’s his review of a couple of standout booths at this year's CES and how they succeeded through “hands-on marketing." And it reminded me of some of the other key strategies to ensure your booth is a stand-out: 11983read more >

Sonnhalter Updates Comprehensive List of Nation’s Vocational Education Programs

Agency adds nearly 1,000 programs and other new features to list of more than 20,000 technical programs across the country. CLEVELAND – February 2017 – Sonnhalter, a marketing communications firm to the professional tradesman in the construction, industrial and MRO markets, updated its extensive database of vocational education and technical programs in the United States with new features, including the addition of nearly 1,000 programs. The database, which includes more than 20,000 programs, contains useful and easy-to-read information about each program, including addresses, phone numbers, websites and more. In addition to its new programs, each state in the database is now listed separately, and there is also an updated page for national programs and resources. Other features include more concise and easier to sort course titles. The database serves as a tool for companies looking to implement more grassroots campaigns to recruit the next generation of professional tradesmen. The convenient and easy-to-use database is available for download and is designed to be sortable and searchable for a variety of fields, including program type, location, degree type and other important information. “When Sonnhalter launched the database of vocational and technical programs, we wanted to provide a simple resource that would make it easy for companies to reach out to students interested in becoming professional tradesmen,” said Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect at Sonnhalter. “As we grow and improve our database, we continue to do our part in narrowing the gap between manufacturers and educational programs.” To download Sonnhalter’s updated, comprehensive list of vocational programs in the U.S., visit sonnhalter.com/vocational.read more >

Spread the Buzz, Spoil the Game

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter Another Super Bowl, er, I mean Big Game is in the books, and like last year, we want to take a look at the ads through the lens of B2T. Are there any lessons? Probably, let’s go to the tape! You Can Protect Your Brand Too Much The NFL is notorious for protecting the brand name “Super Bowl.” In fact, I should probably trademark that last sentence, add a disclaimer about how it’s the property of the NFL and let you know that any rebroadcast without the express written consent of the NFL will have lawyers flying at you like DB’s at the QB. 11997read more >

Not Real, But Reality

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter By now, if you have a presence on social media, and are involved in sales or marketing, you’ve seen this: Well, bad news. "Fourth" isn’t spelled that way The National Sales Executive Association doesn’t exist There’s no study to be found that supports any of these statistics There’s a great blog here that goes in to more detail. But I’d rather focus on something else: Why do we want this to be real? 11937read more >

AHR Expo Heats up Vegas (and probably cools it down)

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter The AHR Expo, the preeminent trade show for the HVAC industry is right around the corner. The show runs from January 30th to February 1st at the Las Vegas Convention Center. AHR just released an optimistic 2017 forecast, based on interviews with more than 1,400 HVACR manufacturers. Because of that, this year’s show promises to be an exciting and educational affair. Here's what you can expect: Over 2,000 exhibitors in 764 product categories More than 60,000 people expected to attend 200+ education seminars and product demonstrations ASHRAE Learning Institute Courses and Certification exams An innovative mobile app complete with agenda maker, interactive floor plan and more features Of course Las Vegas has no end of off-the-show-floor options. If you need help finding best in dining, nightlife and sightseeing, check out the recently updated Sonnhalter Insider’s Guide to Las Vegas.read more >

Should you jump on the bandwagon?

By Rachel Kerstetter, PR Architect, Sonnhalter “It seems like a lot of companies are doing _________. Should we be doing it too?” Fill in the blank with any new digital tool: Virtual Reality, Facebook Live, Snapchat, Augmented Reality, etc. Marketers are asked to consult on new communication mediums and trends on a daily basis. When they aren’t asked to consult, they’re being directed to jump in. Once upon a time marketers were asked about email, then social media and apps. We’ve come a long way in technology trends. But the basic question is: Should we jump on the bandwagon? 11944read more >

Making a Thought Leader

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter “Free advertising,” who doesn’t want that? One of the best side effects of the boom in content marketing is the growth of brand-neutral trade magazine articles. Pay-for-play has been relegated to the back burner as more and more publications see the benefit of offering knowledge-based problem solving articles. That’s also an offshoot of the lack of skilled workers, as more and more knowledge retires, there’s an increased need to transfer that knowledge. With less opportunity for direct, apprentice-based, transfer, white papers, problem solving articles and general knowledge pieces gain added importance. So, how can your company benefit? Create thought leaders. A bragging title most people would reject, it can still help you promote your business and create a knowledge warehouse. How to Create Thought Leaders 11927read more >

Design and Construction Week is On in Orlando

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter After four year in Vegas, the NAHB International Builder’s Show and the HKBA’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show move to central Florida for Design & Construction Week . A must-attend event for the industry, these co-located shows continue to be at the forefront of innovation, with more than 2,000 exhibitors and hundreds of education sessions. Here are a few highlights: 11865read more >

Podcast: Issues affecting contractors

By John Sonnhalter, Rainmaker Journeyman, Sonnhalter Listen to insights from John Mesenbrink from Mechanical-Hub.com as we discuss industry issues that include: Updates to their website and what contractors are looking for What’s new on integrating the latest technology and products in actual installations The skilled labor shortage How the election might affect businessread more >

Outside-the-Box Solutions for Workforce Development

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter “Train your people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so that they don’t want to.” -Richard Branson A column I just read brought that quote to mind. Jack Schron, the President of Jergens recently wrote “Grey Matters Matter” for Production Machining magazine. It’s a great piece, and I highly recommend reading the full text. Mr. Schron focuses on the fact that without a skilled workforce, all the advanced machining, Internet of Things (iOT) and new advances in precision machining are worthless. And the best way to achieve that skilled workforce is through good old experiential rather than textbook learning. And with the advances and costs, that type of training can’t be achieved by just manufacturers, or just trade schools, or any one affected segment. It requires all of them, working together to create state of the art Technical Centers. And that additionally, it required companies, vendors and partners willing to think outside the box and re-examine processes. Find out one way Jergens has accomplished this by checking out their Fastforward™ Machining Center.read more >

Sonnhalter’s Rachel Kerstetter Awarded “Rising Star Award” by Greater Cleveland Public Relations Society of America Chapter

CLEVELAND – December 2016 – Rachel Kerstetter, public relations architect at Sonnhalter, was honored with the inaugural “Rising Star Award” at this year’s annual Cleveland Rocks Awards, presented by the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Greater Cleveland Chapter. This year marked the 14th year in which the PRSA Greater Cleveland Chapter honored the area’s best in marketing and communications with more than 50 awards across more than 30 categories. The first recipient of the Rising Star Award, Kerstetter was recognized as an outstanding public relations professional with seven or fewer years of experience. At the ceremony, Kerstetter was honored for her high level of professionalism, proven abilities in aligning PR strategy and execution with client goals. “In a short amount of time, Rachel has become an invaluable asset to not only the PR objectives of our clients, but also to the many inner workings necessary to make our agency thrive in our respective niche,” said Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect at Sonnhalter. “Sonnhalter is proud to see a well-deserving candidate such as Rachel be the first to receive this award. With a long career ahead of her, we look forward to watching her grow as an accomplished young professional and seeing how it will move our public relations efforts forward.” Kerstetter joined Sonnhalter in 2011 and served as public relations engineer prior to her promotion to public relations architect in 2015. Kerstetter is an active member of the PRSA, serving on the board of directors, and is vice president of membership of the Greater Cleveland chapter. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Mount Union, located in Alliance, Ohio. About the PRSA Greater Cleveland Chapter The PRSA Greater Cleveland Chapter is the professional organization that brings together public relations, communications and marketing practitioners throughout Northeast Ohio.…read more >

Take the Interview

By Rachel Kerstetter, PR Architect, Sonnhalter It’s time when we start thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. Which means we’re making plans to improve ourselves over the coming year, as well as improve our marketing efforts. Here’s a PR resolution for your organization this year: Take Every Interview. Every time you have an interview request from your local media or trade outlets, take it. One of the biggest frustrations for a public relations practitioner is turning down editorial opportunities. An editor of a trade publication that we work with regularly at Sonnhalter told me this week that one of his biggest struggles is getting companies to take advantage of editorial opportunities with the magazine. 11729read more >

Avoiding Scams in Distribution

With 28 years of distribution industry experience, Frank Hurttle has seen more than a few fads and trends come and go. As a consultant with River Heights Consulting, he works with various distributor channels with a lot of different needs and challenges. But he’s seen one new threat that’s effecting all types of distributors: online scams. Read the blog he wrote about identifying and avoiding these here. Scammers in DistributorLand Internet scamming has become an industry in itself, with some estimates putting the cost at $12.7 billion in 2014. I have received some pretty bizarre scam messages. Most are pretty easy to spot. 11709read more >

Ohio State center will help regional manufacturing companies grow

At The Ohio State University, a coalition of Federal, State, local and private interests are investing in the future of manufacturing. The new Center for Design and Manufacturing will bring together educators, innovators and manufacturers to identify and execute growth strategies. Find out more about this program in this excellent article from Nate Ames, the Engineering Manager for The Ohio State University. Ohio State center will help regional manufacturing companies grow The Ohio State University’s Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence (CDME) will receive up to $8.6 million in federal, state and industry funding over the next five years to lead a program facilitating growth of small- and mid-sized manufacturing companies in the 15 county central Ohio region. The program is funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technologies, with matching funds provided by the Ohio Development Services Agency, which administers operations through seven regional affiliates. 11203read more >

Thankful for You

As the Thanksgiving weekend approaches, we’d like to say thanks to you. We have had the good fortune over the years to work with so many great friends and clients. You enrich our lives and make our work enjoyable. We’re running in several different directions all the time, and this time of year we need to slow down a bit to appreciate the things around us. So this weekend, don’t take your briefcase home, and your emails will still be there Monday morning when you get back in the office. Recharge your batteries this weekend. Play with your kids or grandkids, visit an old friend or watch some football and of course enjoy a great meal. We take a lot of things for granted sometimes – our Families and Friends. Enjoy the weekend. We can get back to the grind next week.read more >

Make Sure Your B2B Communication is Still Human

By Rachel Kerstetter, PR Architect, Sonnhalter When it comes to B2B communication, sometimes we get a little too caught up in the 2 Bs (business and business) that we forget about the Hs, Humans. Your organization is made up of human beings and the businesses that make up your target audience are also made up of human beings. When you recognize that your audience is made up of humans, you're already one step toward more effective communications. Communicating with humans means you need to take into account emotions as well as logic and make an effort to connect on a personal level. Be Human Mike McDougall gave a presentation at the PRSA International Conference on using the HUMAN method to connect with B2B audiences. Here's the model: 11132read more >

Sonnhalter Announces Marketing Minute Video Series

Video series offers quick, easy-to-understand marketing advice on a variety of industry topics. CLEVELAND – November 2016 – Sonnhalter, a marketing communications firm to the professional tradesman in the construction, industrial and MRO markets, announced the release of its “Marketing Minute” video series. Hosted by Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect at Sonnhalter, the Marketing Minute video series offers short and concise pieces of marketing and business tips for organizations trying to reach professional tradesmen. Some of the topics covered in the video series include: “What is a USP?” “What is a Creative Brief?” “What is a QR Code?” “Is Print Dead?” “The Modern Press Release” “For many of us, the daily workload doesn’t leave much time in our busy schedules to learn about new trends happening within our industry,” said Matt Sonnhalter. “With the Marketing Minute series, our goal is to educate professionals on some of the latest industry happenings in a way that is fun, informative and concise.” To watch the Marketing Minute video series on YouTube, please visit this link. About Sonnhalter Established in 1976, Sonnhalter is the leading B2T marketing communications firm to companies that target professional tradesmen in construction, industrial and MRO markets. Sonnhalter is located in the historic Brownell Building in the heart of downtown Cleveland. Sonnhalter’s brand identity highlights its expertise in marketing to the professional tradesmen. Its tagline, “Not Afraid To Get Our Hands Dirty,” promotes the employees’ willingness to roll up their sleeves and dig deep into clients’ businesses, also, it refers to the market it targets: the tradesmen who work with – and dirty – their hands every day. Sonnhalter developed the acronym “B2T,” which stands for “business-to-tradesmen” to capture the essence of its specialty. #    #    #read more >

Social Media: More than an Excuse to Employ a Millennial

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter How to Keep and Generate Business with Social Media So, you’ve got a social media presence. Congrats, but if you’re just looking for likes, and pushing out press releases, all you’re doing is pushing out. How do you also use Social Media to pull in potential customers? Utilize a two prong strategy. Part One – Tell us How We Messed Up 10713read more >

Run Social Media The Way Your Grandfather Ran His Business

By Rachel Kerstetter, PR Architect How should you run your social media?  To answer that question, perhaps you should ask instead, "How would my grandfather have run his business?" Or at least that's the question Mark Schaefer asked. Mark is a globally-recognized speaker, educator, business consultant, and author, he blogs at one of the top marketing blogs of the world. One of his recent videos, "Social media marketing lessons from my grandfather, the plumber," dug into the attributes that made his grandfather successful in the plumbing business and how they can be applied to social media. For those of us marketing to the trades, his example is even more important. How did Mark's grandfather, a plumber from Pittsburgh, grow a successful business? 10439read more >

Sonnhalter Continues Support With Scholarship For Cuyahoga Community College Construction Program

Agency’s donation adds to longstanding relationship with trade professionals CLEVELAND – June 2016 – Sonnhalter, a marketing communications firm to the professional tradesman in the construction, industrial and MRO markets, continued its support of Cuyahoga Community College’s (Tri-C) “Construction Program Scholarship” with a $2,500 donation. With more than 3,500 students enrolled, the construction apprenticeship program at Tri-C is one of the largest of its kind and helps students learn a valuable trade within the construction industry through quality assurance, drawings, project management, scheduling, problem solving and communication. “Sonnhalter’s support for scholarships provides students with pathways to education and training required to thrive in today’s construction industry,” said Megan O’Bryan, vice president, development and Tri-C Foundation. “Their gift opens the doors of opportunity for students to complete college degrees and credentials. We are grateful for their continued partnership.” Students receive up to 250 hours of classroom instruction, as well as up to 8,000 hours of on-the-job training. During their apprenticeship, students have the opportunity to earn wages and learn from experienced union workers and vocational instructors. Students who complete certification in the program will have the skills to take on careers that include cost/quantity estimating, project scheduling and CAD technician work. “Sonnhalter is excited to further extend our support for this growing program as it shapes a new generation of hardworking professionals in the construction industry,” said Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect at Sonnhalter. ”It’s a unique opportunity to provide a scholarship for a program that educates a population with which we’ve worked closely for four decades and is located right in our backyard.” About Sonnhalter Established in 1976, Sonnhalter is the leading B2T marketing communications firm to companies that target professional tradesmen in construction, industrial and MRO markets. Sonnhalter is located in the historic Brownell Building in the heart of downtown…read more >

Sonnhalter Adds Mortar Net Solutions as New Client

Cleveland – March 2016 – Sonnhalter, a communications firm marketing to the professional tradesman in the construction, industrial and MRO markets, announces Mortar Net Solutions as one of its newest clients. Located in Burns Harbor, Ind., Mortar Net Solutions is a leader in the development, distribution and support of innovative moisture management solutions for masonry construction. The company developed and brought to market a series of innovative solutions, including MortarNet®, BlockFlash®, LathNet™ and TotalFlash® that continue to aid masons and architects in their commitment to the creation of beautiful and durable structures. “After an exhaustive search, we’re happy to be working with Sonnhalter as we continue to increase our footprint in the marketplace,” said Art Fox, marketing manager at Mortar Net Solutions. “Mortar Net Solutions was impressed by Sonnhalter’s ability to market to the contractor and distributor levels, and we look forward to applying their expertise to our line of industry-leading solutions.” Sonnhalter provides a full range of marketing communications services for Mortar Net Solutions that will span across multiple departments which will guide Mortar Net Solutions’ creative messaging on both print and electronic platforms, as well as managing its public relations and media relations. “Sonnhalter is happy to expand its reach in marketing to the professional tradesmen through Mortar Net Solutions’ customer base in the masonry construction industry,” said Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect at Sonnhalter. “Mortar Net Solutions delivers solutions that are one-of-a-kind to the market, so we are excited to drive the message of these unique products.” About Mortar Net Solutions Mortar Net Solutions develops, distributes and supports innovative moisture management solutions for masonry construction. Mortar Net Solutions was founded in 1992 with the invention of its flagship product, MortarNet®, a mortar collection solution developed to prevent water damage to masonry cavity walls. Mortar Net Solutions also developed…read more >

Sonnhalter and Viega Honored with Silver Davey Award

CLEVELAND – February 2016 – Sonnhalter, a marketing communications firm to the professional tradesman in the construction, industrial and MRO markets, received a Silver Davey Award in the 11th Annual International Davey Awards competition. Sonnhalter accepted the award in the Print-Collateral Brochure category for a brochure on Water Quality created for Viega LLC. The Davey Awards honor the finest creative work from small firms, agencies and companies worldwide. The Davey Awards are named after King David who defeated the giant Goliath with a big idea and a little rock. The story resembles what small firms do each year by deriving strength from big ideas instead of big budgets. Viega LLC launched its Water Quality Initiative to educate the engineering community and prepare them for the new ASHRAE 188P standards to combat Legionella and other waterborne pathogens. Sonnhalter worked with Viega to create the water quality campaign and the 8-page brochure to educate the industry and position Viega as the leader and subject matter expert. “We’re excited to receive this award for a campaign that supported and educated such an important issue,” said Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect at Sonnhalter. “As an agency that works closely with professionals in the plumbing industry, it was a great experience to help Viega combat a problem that affects millions.” About Viega Founded in 1899, the Viega Group is the global leader in press technology systems for industrial, commercial and residential industries. Viega LLC, headquartered in Wichita, KS, offers more than 3,000 products, including Viega ProPress® for copper and stainless, Viega MegaPress® for black iron pipe in hydronic systems, Viega MegaPressG for gas and Viega PEX Press systems in Zero Lead™ bronze and high-performance polymer. For more information, visit www.viega.us. About The Davey Awards The Davey Awards honors the “Davids” of creativity, the smaller agencies, companies, or organizations with…read more >

Sonnhalter Releases Vocational Database

Sonnhalter Releases Comprehensive List of Nation’s Vocational Education Programs Agency’s list provides useful information from thousands of technical programs across the country. CLEVELAND – November 2015 – Sonnhalter, a marketing communications firm to the professional tradesman in the construction, industrial and MRO markets, released an extensive database of vocational education and technical programs in the United States. The database, which includes more than 20,000 programs, contains useful and easy-to-read information about each program, including addresses, phone numbers, websites and more. The database serves as a tool for companies looking to implement more grassroots campaigns to recruit the next generation of professional tradesmen. The convenient and easy-to-use database is available for download and is designed to be sortable and searchable for a variety of fields, including program type, location, degree type and other important information. “As an agency that markets to so many professional tradesmen, we understand the importance of reaching out to the young people interested in learning a trade,” said Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect at Sonnhalter. “We created a master list that will act as a resource that will hopefully bridge the gap between local manufacturers and local vocational programs.” About Sonnhalter Established in 1976, Sonnhalter is the leading B2T marketing communications firm to companies that target professional tradesmen in construction, industrial and MRO markets. Recently, Sonnhalter moved from its original office in Berea to a new space in the historic Brownell Building, located in the heart of downtown Cleveland. Sonnhalter’s brand identity highlights its expertise in marketing to the professional tradesmen. Its tagline, “Not Afraid To Get Our Hands Dirty,” promotes the employees’ willingness to roll up their sleeves and dig deep into clients’ businesses, also, it refers to the market it targets: the tradesmen who work with – and dirty – their hands every day. Sonnhalter developed…read more >

Sonnhalter Adds Nook Industries as New Client

Cleveland – October 2015 – Sonnhalter, a communications firm marketing to the professional tradesman in the construction, industrial and MRO markets, announces Nook Industries as one of its newest clients. Located in Cleveland, Nook Industries is a leading innovator of linear motion components and systems, and its products serve a multitude of industries, including aerospace, chemical, food and beverage, transportation and many more. Nook offers engineering, design, analysis and manufacturing in one facility, and it has the in-house ability to heat treat solid and hollow ball screws and linear shafting. It is also the only company in the industry to offer onsite die design, manufacturing and control. Sonnhalter will provide a number of agency services for Nook that will span across multiple departments. The firm will assist in developing and implementing an integrated marketing plan for both the OEM and MRO markets. Other services include branding, nurturing campaigns to vertical markets, newsletters, public relations services and social media. “We are excited to be working with a client that not only raises the bar for the linear motion industry, but also has roots down in the Cleveland area,” said Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect at Sonnhalter. “Sonnhalter hopes to work closely with Nook and utilize our B2T expertise to help them grow in the market.” About Nook Industries Headquartered in Cleveland, Nook Industries is an ISO9001:2008- and AS9100C-registered company that provides controlled motion solutions in a wide range of industries including transportation, medical/diagnostics, paper, chemical, food/beverage, solar/aerospace, entertainment and communications markets. For more than 45 years, Nook has provided comprehensive engineering, design and analysis in providing the highest quality linear motion manufacturing solutions on the market today. For more information, visit nookindustries.com or call 800-321-7800. About Sonnhalter Established in 1976, Sonnhalter is the leading B2T marketing communications firm to companies that target…read more >

Time for a Checkup?

Let’s check your marketing vitals. We’re offering a thorough B2T Marketing Checkup allowing for an independent examination that helps you take your marketing program’s temperature and choose the right prescription for a healthy marketing communication program that reaches the professional tradesmen in the construction, industrial and MRO markets. We all see a doctor for checkups if we want to stay healthy, and we take our cars to the mechanic to keep them running smoothly. It’s about prevention. Bring your marketing program to Sonnhalter to get independent, third-party advice, recommendations and guidance on your current marketing plan. A win win if there ever was one. To get started on your company’s B2T Marketing Checkup, contact Matt Sonnhalter at 216.242.0420 x 132 or msonnhalter@sonnhalter.com.  read more >

Pick Our Brains

Ideas To Help Spark Your Marketing! Sonnhalter is offering a Half-Day Brainstorming Session to give you a new perspective and some fresh ideas. We’ll bring our idea people and meet with your team. Then, we’ll give you our recommendations in the form of new ideas that you can implement. The Steps: Pre-meeting questionnaire (20-minute phone interview). The interview will help determine your marketing priorities. Some possible questions: What keeps you up at night? What are your top 3 marketing priorities for next year? What new product launches are planned? Initial meeting. A half-day (morning or afternoon) meeting with our core team. We will come to the table with ideas on each of the key initiatives. On the day of the meeting, we will address your 3 top issues. Ideas from meeting and follow-up communication. Based on our meeting, we will provide our recommendations. These will include at least 3 ideas for each of the 3 key initiatives. If you implement one of these ideas with us, we will waive the $1,995 fee. Follow-up call. We will call you to discuss and evaluate our recommendations. Half a day will change the way you think about your marketing. Contact Matt Sonnhalter at 216.242.0420 x132 or msonnhalter@sonnhalter.com.read more >

San Diego

San Diego Insider's Guide Welcome to San Diego— also known as America’s Finest City! Here you’ll find the finest weather...the finest beaches...and the finest whatever else you’re looking for. We asked some of our San Diego friends for their recommendations on where to sample some of the local cuisine—and not just the Mexican dishes you’d expect in a border town. Here, there’s everything from steakhouses to seafood places to the best Asian food this side of the Pacific.   We put together a list of those secret locales that only the locals know about. After all, at Sonnhalter, we not only like to get our hands dirty...we like to get them sticky and salty too! When you’re not convening at the Convention Center, make sure you get out and about to see the city’s many sights—from the old mission to the historic Gaslamp Quarter. See why they call San Diego America’s Finest City!  read more >

San Antonio

San Antonio Insiders Guide The city of San Antoni—Remember the Alamo! But don’t forget about everything else there is to see and do in San Antonio. The old mission/fortress in the center of town is the most visited site in Texas, but it’s not the only destination here. From the towering Tower of the Americas to the city’s famed River Walk, you’ll find plenty of entertainment options in tony San Antone.   For the upcoming trade show, we’ve put together the Sonnhalter Insider’s Guide to San Antonio. It’s our way of helping you cut through the clutter to find the city’s best restaurants, shows and sights. We asked some of our friends in the Lone Star state for their recommendations on the best places to sample some of the city’s cuisine—and not just its delicioso Tex-Mex. We wanted those secret locales that only the locals know about. Because at Sonnhalter, we not only like to get our hands dirty...we also like to get them greasy. So, when you’re not convening at the convention center during the show, make sure you get out and get a real taste of San Antonio.  read more >

Phoenix

Phoenix Insider's Guide The city of Phoenix—cultural center of the Valley of the Sun and well known for its “dry” heat. Incorporated as a city in 1881 when a few chuck wagons could still be found, today, food has taken a more permanent role. Phoenix has plenty to offer in terms of great restaurants—none of which are on wheels anymore. So, where does one begin? That’s where the Sonnhalter Insider’s Guide to Phoenix comes in. It’s our way of helping you find the city’s best restaurants, nightlife, the sights and of course, places to cool off.   We asked some of our Phoenix friends for their recommendations on the best places to sample some of the local cuisine—and not just the rattlesnake steak. We wanted those secret locales that only the locals know about. Because at Sonnhalter, we not only like to get our hands dirty...we like to get them greasy! When you’re not convening at the convention center, make sure you have a little fun in the Valley of the Sun.  read more >

New York City

New York City Insider's Guide Welcome to New York, New York (the city so nice they named it twice). Here in the Big Apple, you’ll find the biggest and best of everything. The catch is, there’s so much of everything, where do you start? Well, your friends at Sonnhalter are here to help. We’ve put together this Insider’s Guide to New York. We’ve cut through the clutter to let you know about where to go for a night on the town in the city that never sleeps.   We asked some of our Gotham friends for their recommendations on places native New Yorkers prefer. Those secret locales where the locals like to hang. Here, you’ll find everything from fine dining to fine deli. You see, at Sonnhalter, we not only like to get our hands dirty...we like to get them good and greasy too! You’ve made it here. So make sure you get out and enjoy the sights and sounds of Uptown, Downtown, all around the town. See why more than 50 million people visit New York, New York every year!  read more >

San Francisco

San Francisco Insider's Guide Welcome to San Francisco—the City by the Bay! S.F.O., cable cars, hilly streets and beautiful vistas—a great place to live— an even greater place to live it up. To help you find some of the city’s finest in dining and entertainment, we’ve put this guide together and cut through the clutter to let you know about the best places to eat, drink and then eat some more.   We asked our Bay Area friends for their recommendations on where to sample the local cuisine. The result is a list of those secret locales only the locals know about. After all, at Sonnhalter, we not only like to get our hands dirty...we like to get them gooey too! When you’re not busy with business, be sure to head up—or down—the street to sample some of the many hangouts and hideaways. And make it a point to check out the famous landmarks, but most of all, enjoy...there’s no place like San Francisco!  read more >

Andrew Poulsen Joins Sonnhalter as Public Relations Technician

CLEVELAND – July 2015 – Sonnhalter, a marketing communications firm to the professional tradesman in the construction, industrial and MRO markets, announced the recent appointment of Andrew Poulsen to public relations technician. In this role, Poulsen develops content and implements public relations programs for Sonnhalter and its clients. Prior to joining Sonnhalter, Poulsen worked as a writer for various print publications. He was previously an intern for Billboard, and his work has appeared on Billboard.com and in Ohio Magazine, Cleveland Magazine, Fresh Water Cleveland and many other publications. Poulsen is currently a member of the Greater Cleveland chapter of PRSA. “We are always excited when we get a chance to add new talent to our team,” said Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect at Sonnhalter. “Andrew is a talented young writer, and we look forward to having him continue to develop his skills here at Sonnhalter while working with our B2T clients.” Poulsen earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ohio University, located in Athens, Ohio. About Sonnhalter Established in 1976, Sonnhalter is the leading B2T marketing communications firm to companies that target professional tradesmen in construction, industrial and MRO markets. Recently, Sonnhalter moved from its original office in Berea to a new space in the historic Brownell Building, located in the heart of downtown Cleveland. Sonnhalter’s brand identity highlights its expertise in marketing to the professional tradesmen. Its tagline, “Not Afraid To Get Our Hands Dirty,” promotes the employees’ willingness to roll up their sleeves and dig deep into clients’ businesses, also, it refers to the market it targets: the tradesmen who work with – and dirty – their hands every day. Sonnhalter developed the acronym “B2T,” which stands for “business-to-tradesmen” to capture the essence of its specialty. For more information, visit the company website at Sonnhalter.com or visit the company…read more >

Sonnhalter Supports Scholarship for Cuyahoga Community College Construction Program

Agency’s donation adds to longstanding relationship with trade professionals CLEVELAND – June 2015 – Sonnhalter, a marketing communications firm to the professional tradesman in the construction, industrial and MRO markets, donated $2,000 toward Cuyahoga Community College’s (Tri-C) “Construction Program Scholarship.” With more than 3,500 students enrolled, the construction apprenticeship program at Tri-C is one of the largest of its kind and helps students learn a valuable trade within the construction industry through quality assurance, drawings, project management, scheduling, problem solving and communication. “We are happy to have the engagement of Sonnhalter and their support of scholarships for students enrolled in Tri-C’s construction programs,” said Gloria Moosmann, vice president, development and Tri-C Foundation. “Through their gift, we are able to assist students with tuition as they continue their educational journey. Support for our students is critical in growing the region and providing a stronger economy for our community.” Students receive up to 250 hours of classroom instruction, as well as up to 8,000 hours of on-the-job training. During their apprenticeship, students have the opportunity to earn wages and learn from experienced union workers and vocational instructors. Students who complete certification in the program will have the skills to take on careers that include cost/quantity estimating, project scheduling and CAD technician work. “As an agency that works closely with professional tradesmen, supporting this program is a perfect fit,” said Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect at Sonnhalter. ”We’re proud to provide a scholarship for a college located in our own backyard that teaches a skill so essential to our target audience and also gets more young people involved in this lucrative market.” About Sonnhalter Established in 1976, Sonnhalter is the leading B2T marketing communications firm to companies that target professional tradesmen in construction, industrial and MRO markets. Recently, Sonnhalter moved from its original office…read more >

Sonnhalter Promotes Rachel Kerstetter to Public Relations Architect

CLEVELAND – May 2015 – Sonnhalter, a marketing communications firm to the professional tradesman in the construction, industrial and MRO markets, announced the recent promotion of Rachel Kerstetter to public relations architect. In this role, Kerstetter manages public relations programs for Sonnhalter and its clients. She joined Sonnhalter in 2011 and served as public relations engineer prior to her promotion. Kerstetter is an active member of the Public Relations Society of America, serving on the board of directors, and is chairperson of the young professionals committee of the Greater Cleveland chapter of PRSA. “It was obvious early in her career at Sonnhalter that Rachel would be a great asset for the company,” “It was obvious early in her career at Sonnhalter that Rachel would be a great asset for the company,” said Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect at Sonnhalter. “We’re very excited for this next stage in her professional career and her continued growth here at Sonnhalter.” Kerstetter earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Mount Union, located in Alliance, Ohio.   About Sonnhalter Established in 1976, Sonnhalter is the leading B2T marketing communications firm to companies that target professional tradesmen in construction, industrial and MRO markets. Sonnhalter’s brand identity highlights its expertise in marketing to the professional tradesmen. Its tagline, “Not Afraid To Get Our Hands Dirty,” promotes the employees’ willingness to roll up their sleeves and dig deep into clients’ businesses, also, it refers to the market it targets: the tradesmen who work with – and dirty – their hands every day. Sonnhalter developed the acronym “B2T,” which stands for “business-to-tradesmen” to capture the essence of its specialty. For more information, visit the company website at Sonnhalter.com or visit the company blog at TradesmenInsights.com. #    #    # Connect with Sonnhalter: Facebook  ▪ Twitter  ▪  LinkedIn  ▪…read more >

Sonnhalter Completes Transition of Ownership

Matt Sonnhalter becomes sole owner of B2T marketing communications agency. CLEVELAND – April 2015 – Sonnhalter, a marketing communications firm to the professional tradesman in the construction, industrial and MRO markets, became wholly owned by Matt Sonnhalter effective January 2. Matt Sonnhalter has been a partner in the firm since 2004 and became president of Sonnhalter in 2008. Founded in 1976 by his father, John Sonnhalter, the agency serves a niche market and continues to maintain that focus. Sonnhalter developed the acronym “B2T,” which stands for “business-to-tradesmen,” to capture the essence of its specialty, which is serving companies that target professional tradesmen in the construction, industrial and MRO markets. “This change in ownership has always been part of the Sonnhalter succession plan,” said Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect at Sonnhalter. “When I became president of Sonnhalter in 2008, I was excited to continue the company’s success and that excitement remains as we continue to grow.” “Over the past 38 years, Sonnhalter has grown into a leading agency specializing in B2T. It has continued to grow under Matt’s leadership and I know it will continue under his ownership,” said John Sonnhalter, rainmaker journeyman and founder of Sonnhalter. “I’m also excited to keep consulting for the agency during this transition.” Sonnhalter recently moved from Berea, Ohio, to the historic Brownell School building on Sumner Ave. in downtown Cleveland. About Sonnhalter Established in 1976, Sonnhalter is the leading B2T marketing communications firm to companies that target professional tradesmen in construction, industrial and MRO markets. Sonnhalter’s brand identity highlights its expertise in marketing to the professional tradesmen. Its tagline, “Not Afraid To Get Our Hands Dirty,” promotes the employees’ willingness to roll up their sleeves and dig deep into clients’ businesses, also, it refers to the market it targets: the tradesmen who work with –…read more >

Chris Ilcin Joins Sonnhalter as Account Superintendent

CLEVELAND – March 2015 – Sonnhalter, a marketing communications firm to the professional tradesman in the construction, industrial and MRO markets, announced the recent appointment of Chris Ilcin to account superintendent. In this role, Ilcin manages client relationships and B2T marketing plans. Prior to joining Sonnhalter, Ilcin served in a variety of sales and marketing roles, including marketing associate and trade show coordinator for Bosch Automotive Service Solutions and marketing specialist at Lincoln Electric. Ilcin and his wife also founded TC’s Promise Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps children coming out of the foster care system reach their own potentials with scholarships to trade, technical or professional schools. “We are excited to have Chris join our team. His experience and passion for industrial marketing communications will be an asset to our clients,” said Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect at Sonnhalter. “I am extremely excited to join a team that not only serves an industry segment I’m passionate about, but does so in a way similar to many industrial manufacturers: a strong organization, with core family values,” said Ilcin. Ilcin received his bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University. About Sonnhalter Established in 1976, Sonnhalter is the leading B2T marketing communications firm to companies that target professional tradesmen in construction, industrial and MRO markets. Sonnhalter’s brand identity highlights its expertise in marketing to the professional tradesmen. Its tagline, “Not Afraid To Get Our Hands Dirty,” promotes the employees’ willingness to roll up their sleeves and dig deep into clients’ businesses, also, it refers to the market it targets: the tradesmen who work with – and dirty – their hands every day. Sonnhalter developed the acronym “B2T,” which stands for “business-to-tradesmen” to capture the essence of its specialty. For more information, visit the company website at Sonnhalter.com or visit the company blog at TradesmenInsights.com.read more >

Sonnhalter Moves Offices to Historic Brownell Building in Downtown Cleveland

Business-to-Tradesman marketing communications firm moves from suburbs to 1320 Sumner Avenue in Cleveland. CLEVELAND – February 16, 2015 – Sonnhalter, a marketing communications firm to the professional tradesman in the construction, industrial and MRO markets, moved its headquarters to 1320 Sumner Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio. The move occurred on February 13, 2015. The leading B2T (business-to-tradesmen) firm moved from its location from Cleveland suburb, Berea, where it has been located since it was founded in 1976, to an approximately 5,000-square-foot downtown location. The unique new location is the Brownell building, a historic building located in Cleveland’s Gateway District. Brownell was originally built in 1883 as a schoolhouse. It is currently on the national historic registry list, awaiting certification. The agency, which is known for its business-to-tradesman niche and annual tool drive benefiting the Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity, formally began operating out of the newly renovated, second-floor suite on Monday, February 16. “We are thrilled to be in our new location, with a highly visible presence in a thriving area. The new, larger space will accommodate future growth, will be inspirational to the Sonnhalter team, and is more accessible to our client base,” said Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect at Sonnhalter. “Downtown Cleveland is a hub of activity that recently made the New York Times ‘Top places to visit in 2015,’ list, and we are proud to be part of Cleveland’s revitalization.” The firm’s new address is 1320 Sumner Avenue, Suite 200, Cleveland, Ohio 44115-2851. Visit here for more information and to view a photo gallery. About Sonnhalter Established in 1976, Sonnhalter is the leading B2T marketing communications firm to companies that target professional tradesmen in construction, industrial and MRO markets. Sonnhalter’s brand identity highlights its expertise in marketing to the professional tradesmen. Its tagline, “Not Afraid To Get Our Hands Dirty,” promotes…read more >

Dallas

Dallas Insider's Guide Welcome to Big D — Dallas, Texas! They say everything is bigger in Texas. And that includes the fun. To help you with that, we’ve put together the Sonnhalter Insider’s Guide to Dallas. It’s our way of cutting through the clutter to let you know about the city’s biggest, bestest restaurants, shows and sights. We asked some of our Dallas pals for their recommendations on where to sample some of the local cuisine — and not just barbecue and Tex-Mex either. (’Cause “Big D” can also stand for “Delicious.”) We wanted those secret locales that only the locals know about. After all, at Sonnhalter, we not only like to get our hands dirty...we like to get them nice ‘n’ greasy too! When you’re not convening at the Convention Center, make sure you get to see the sights in Dallas. And remember, some of the area’s attractions are in nearby Arlington and Fort Worth (which are closer than the length of some Texas ranches). Enjoy your stay in the Lone Star state!  read more >

Chicago

Chicago Insider's Guide It’s called the Windy City...and the Second City. But the nickname we like best for Chi-town is the City of Big Shoulders. This is a city that works...and works hard. It’s also a place that plays hard, which is why there are so many fun things to see and do here. We’ve put together the Sonnhalter Insider’s Guide to Chicago. It’s our way of helping you cut through the clutter to find the city’s best restaurants, shows and sights. We asked some of our Chicagoland friends for their recommendations on the best places to sample some of the city’s cuisine – and not just Chicago-style pizza and hot dogs. We wanted those secret locales that only the locals know about. Because at Sonnhalter, we not only like to get our hands dirty...we also like to get them greasy! So, when you’re not convening at the convention center, make sure you get out and get a real taste of Chicago.read more >

Boston

Boston Insider's Guide The city of Boston (pronounced “Baahhs-ton” by Bostonians) has plenty to offer in terms of food and fun. But where do you begin? That’s where the Sonnhalter Insider’s Guide to Boston comes in. It’s our way of helping you cut through the clutter to find the city’s best restaurants, nightlife and sights. We asked some of our Boston friends for their recommendations on the best places to chow down on chowder without spending a lot of clams. (You know, those secret locales that only the locals know about.)   Because at Sonnhalter, we not only like to get our hands dirty...we also like to get our lobster bibs messy. So, when you’re not convening at the convention center during the NECA Show, take some time to enjoy a real taste of Beantown.  read more >

Cleveland

Cleveland Insider's Guide Home of beer, brats, baseball, rock ‘n’ roll and a whole lot more! C-town just happens to be our hometown, so we know a lot about where to go and what to do here—all those nooks and crannies! We’ve put together this Insider’s Guide to Cleveland to fill you in on where to fill yourself up. You’ll learn all you need to know about where to go for a night on the town after a hard day on the job. C-town has it all: everything from comfort food to fine dining, at cozy pubs and supper clubs. (You see, at Sonnhalter, we not only like to get our hands dirty...we like to get them gooey and greasy too!)   So while you’re enjoying a taste of the town, make sure you check out our city’s many sights. You’ll find out just how much Cleveland rocks...and why we’re so proud to call it home.  read more >

Las Vegas

Las Vegas Insider's Guide   “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” is how the saying goes. But we can’t keep quiet about all of the fun things there are to see and do in the City-That-Never-Sleeps. That’s why we’ve put together the Sonnhalter Insider’s Guide to Las Vegas. It’s our way of helping you cut through the clutter to find the city’s best restaurants, shows and sights. We asked some of our Vegas-area friends for their recommendations on the best places to sample some of the local cuisine – not just those all-you-can-eat casino buffets. We wanted those secret locales that only the locals know about. Because at Sonnhalter, we not only like to get our hands dirty...we also like to get them greasy!   When you’re not convening at the convention center, make sure you get a taste of the real Las Vegas.  read more >