Takeaways from 2014 PRSA International Conference

Earlier this month I had the privilege of attending the 2014 PRSA International Conference in Washington D.C. For three days I was exposed to an incredible amount of expertise, knowledge and thought-provoking ideas, that left me motivated and energized when I returned to my office.read more >

5th Annual Sonnhalter Tool Drive to Benefit Habitat for Humanity

- Rosemarie Ascherl, PR Foreman Habitat for Humanity does great work in local communities to help improve both individual’s lives as well as the community in general. This is our 5th year of the tool drive to help out this worthy cause. Last year we raised more than $31,000 worth of tools and building materials and have collected more than $106,000 in donations since our tool drive efforts began in 2010.   Since Sonnhalter’s major focus is on manufacturers who make things for contractors, 5 years ago we decided to help support our local chapter of Habitat for Humanity and hosted a tool drive in the month of August to try to raise money, and more importantly, to gather tools (both new and used) to help in their building efforts, as well as to support them through their ReStore. This August... tomorrow, we're kicking off our Fifth Annual Sonnhalter Tool Drive! If you’d like to join us in our efforts, visit sonnhalter.com/tooldrive to find out more. You can also contact me at rascherl@sonnhalter.com (x126) or Rachel Kerstetter – rkerstetter@sonnhalter.com (x130) at 440.234.1812. Or, if you’re interested in finding a local chapter so you too can help out in your area, click here. Thanks in advance for your support!read more >

Trade Shows: Are You Taking Advantage of the Media Opportunities?

By Rosemarie Ascherl, PR Foreman, Sonnhalter Industry trade shows are much more than just a chance to get out of the office and mingle with prospective customers, answering questions about the newest product launches, with aching feet and dry mouths. Industry trade shows are terrific opportunities for connecting with industry trade editors who are attending the trade shows to report on the latest and greatest happenings in their markets. Here are a few ideas to take advantage of the editors' presence: 1. Schedule editor meetings at your booth. Contact the trade show management a couple of months ahead of time to obtain its list of registered media. Review the list and identify editors who are key to your industry or who are unfamiliar with your products and services, but should be familiar. Contact the editors to determine if they are interested in meeting with a company representative. Chances are they will be. Editors want to make the best use of their time at trade shows to gather information that they can share with the readers of their publications, e-newsletters and on their websites, to showcase the latest industry trends. Make sure you are prepared to walk the editor through a short presentation and demonstration of your company’s products or services at the booth and then leave them with a thumb drive or a link to follow-up press materials. 2. Press events. Have a worthy product introduction or key company news? Depending on its newsworthiness [see below], a press event, in the form of a media breakfast, media luncheon or media cocktail hour, is an extremely effective method for conveying important company information and building favorable media relationships. Depending on the trade show’s rules and regulations, the event can be held at your company’s booth before or after show hours, or…read more >

8 Tips for Media Interviews

Do you ever pick up an industry trade journal and wonder why your company’s perspective hasn’t been included? Editors often rely on “round-up” articles, which entail interviewing several manufacturers’ spokespeople to develop an industry trend story.read more >

Perspectives from 2013 International PRSA Conference

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to attend a motivational week of education and networking at the 2013 PRSA International Conference. The entire three days of the conference I was bombarded with incredible amounts of expertise and thought-provoking ideas, but several of the impressions stood out.read more >

The Scary Side of Public Relations

Today Rosemarie and Rachel from our PR department are sharing some of the aspects of public relations that can be the scariest to clients. We find the realm of public relations to be fun, exciting and consistently fresh, but some areas of our field can be scary to our clients. Here are the top five fears people have about public relations, and why you shouldn’t be spooked by them. 1. You can’t control what the media does with a story once you’ve given it to them. “Earned media” is highly credible because readers know that you didn’t purchase the space to promote your company. Public relations and media relations professionals cultivate positive relationships with media, we work with these folks on behalf of multiple clients most of the time so we’ve built the foundation for positive coverage before they even get your story. In B2T public relations, we’re working with trade publications primarily and their goal is to be a source of helpful information for their readers. It can be scary not to see the actual article before it’s published, but with long lead times of trade media, it can be a sweet surprise to see your words in print. 2. Negative comments on blogs and social media. Your responses to negative comments offer an excellent opportunity to show off your wonderful customer service. Negative comments happen, and if they happen on your social media, you can control the outcome with your response and the community response from your other fans. It’s actually scarier to hide your head in the sand or cover your ears when it comes to social media. 3. Giving interviews is intimidating. When we set up interviews with trade publications, they often send some sample questions ahead of time to help you prepare. Knowing how you…read more >

The Scary Side of Public Relations

Today Rosemarie and Rachel from our PR department are sharing some of the aspects of public relations that can be the scariest to clients. We find the realm of public relations to be fun, exciting and consistently fresh, but some areas of our field can be scary to our clients. Here are the top five fears people have about public relations, and why you shouldn’t be spooked by them. 1. You can’t control what the media does with a story once you’ve given it to them. “Earned media” is highly credible because readers know that you didn’t purchase the space to promote your company. Public relations and media relations professionals cultivate positive relationships with media, we work with these folks on behalf of multiple clients most of the time so we’ve built the foundation for positive coverage before they even get your story. In B2T public relations, we’re working with trade publications primarily and their goal is to be a source of helpful information for their readers. It can be scary not to see the actual article before it’s published, but with long lead times of trade media, it can be a sweet surprise to see your words in print. 2. Negative comments on blogs and social media. Your responses to negative comments offer an excellent opportunity to show off your wonderful customer service. Negative comments happen, and if they happen on your social media, you can control the outcome with your response and the community response from your other fans. It’s actually scarier to hide your head in the sand or cover your ears when it comes to social media. 3. Giving interviews is intimidating. When we set up interviews with trade publications, they often send some sample questions ahead of time to help you prepare. Knowing how you…read more >

Content Marketing: Have a Strategy and Be Relevant

Today we have a guest blog post from Rosemarie Ascherl, PR Foreman at Sonnhalter, discussing content marketing. Content marketing should be part of all B2B [and B2T] business’s overall marketing strategy. Earlier this month I had the opportunity to attend a fabulous week of learning and motivation when I attended the 2013 Content Marketing World Summit at the Cleveland Convention Center.read more >