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 >

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 >

Brand – maybe even more important than you think

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter I’m addicted to TEDTalks. If you don’t know what they are, here’s a primer from their website. “TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.” Part of this initiative is a weekly radio program that takes a look at a theme through insights from several TEDTalks, called the TED Radio Hour. They recently had an episode dedicated to Value, Brand and how our brains process the “worth” of something. Turns out, it’s all way more subjective that you may think. Every day you assign value to a thousand things without ever thinking about it. How? What biases come into play, and what can nudge those biases so much that you notice that you’re being manipulated? And can you even use that realization to your benefit? And that’s the line great content marketing should straddle. Yes, at the end of the day you are trying to push the customer towards your product, and a consumer should realize that as well. But if the content itself still provides useful information, or is packaged in a way that acknowledges that transaction, it can still be beneficial. 10315read more >

Business Cards Still Matter in a Digital World

Today we have a post from PR Engineer Rachel Kerstetter sharing some thoughts on business cards. When I first started at Sonnhalter, the day that I was issued my own business cards was a good day. It was exciting to have new cards with my shiny new title, but a comment made by a fellow PR professional lead me to wonder if business cards still matter. Last fall, I was volunteering at an event for students and was placed at a table with another PR professional. At the end of the lunch, I gave the students my card and encouraged them to connect with me on LinkedIn. The other professional said, “I never bring cards anywhere with me since anyone can just find me on LinkedIn anyway.” Her comments got me thinking about my business cards and wondering if they were still valuable. My observations and experiences over the past year have brought me to the conclusion that business cards are still relevant. Business cards: Enforce your branding, with your logo, corporate colors, tagline and job title. Make you easy to find by spelling out your contact information, and in my case, my long last name. Stick around. Often your card will find its way into someone’s pocket, and at the end of the day your card will end up being added to their existing business card collection. Get shared. How many times have you been asked for another card because someone gave away the only one you had given them? How many times has a friend or colleague handed you someone’s card and recommended you check them out? One small piece of cardstock can go pretty far in beginning professional relationships.read more >

Branding: When’s the Last Time You Looked at Yours?

Branding is about your whole organization, from the way you answer the phones, to the attitudes of your CSRs. It's about a culture, things that are out of the control of the marketing department. Yes, marketing can control the look and feel of promotional materials, but once we've hooked a prospect, what happens when they contact the company and actually talk to a human being?read more >

Six Industrial Blogging Tips to Reach Professional Tradesmen

The purpose of a blog is to have an ongoing conversation with your customer or potential customer. In the case of professional tradesman, whether they be electrician, plumbers or iron workers, they only have so much time and when they're looking for info it has to be relevant to them. By focusing in on a niche you set yourself up as an expert. Here are six quick tips on how you can make a niche blog work in your favor.read more >