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? (more…)

Important Steps in the Sales Cycle

By John Sonnhalter, Rainmaker Journeyman, Sonnhalter

Sales are always trying to short circuit the system and take the low hanging fruit. Trouble is, there’s only so much low hanging fruit. This graphic from Anna Vital should be a constant reminder to all of us that sales are a long term commitment.

Interesting infographic compliments of Brendan P. Farell, Executive VP of FIS .

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 (more…)

What Affect Will Donald Trump Have on You and Your Business in 2017?

By John Sonnhalter, Rainmaker Journeyman, Sonnhalter

Now that the election is over and Donald Trump will become our new leader, I’m curious to see if you’re as optimistic as I am on where the country is headed, or could be headed, if the world crosses don’t get in the way.

Trump’s business-friendly attitude and the mantra of “there will be no business as usual” is somewhat refreshing. The rollback of regulations alone should be a game changer for manufacturing. The cutting of corporate taxes wouldn’t hurt either.

(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: (more…)

Tradesmen Insights 2016 Top Posts

By Rachel Kerstetter, PR Architect, Sonnhalter

2016 was again a big year in the B2T space. The comments and shares on what we publish here, gives us a good indication of what’s on your mind.

Here are the top posts on our Tradesmen Insights blog from 2016: (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 business

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.

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. The chapter includes professionals from the Greater Cleveland area and is an active organization in helping members address local issues and trends with local and national resources.

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.

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. (more…)

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