Creativity is the Key

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter It took creativity to start your business, and it takes creativity to keep it running every day. So why not apply that same creativity to the greatest challenge facing the manufacturing industry: the lack of skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen? The time to act is now. Waiting for someone else to plug the hole simply won’t work. Schools’ budgets are squeezed too tight. Government agencies are interested in quick fixes, not long-term solutions. You need to find the next generation of workers. You have two huge advantages: as a manufacturer you’re used to seeing a problem from all angles and creating a solution. And your jobs are actually cool. They allow people looking for a challenge to use their minds and hands together to build something. So how do you reach future workers? Show off what you do! Take this example from Birmingham Georgia. A normal company would just see this as another contract. Another job. But BL Harbert saw an opportunity. The Barber Vintage Motorsport Museum is one of the most innovative museums in the world. Why not use it as a draw to show how their skills and abilities help make it that way? Partnering with Go Build Alabama, they arranged for 120 students to get an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of its museum expansion. Now, we can’t all be working on projects at cool museums, but believe me, much of what you do looks really cool to an outsider, especially when placed into the larger context of what it’s helping to create. I wish I could have seen a CNC machine in action when I was 16 or even a welder or PEX pipe. When you see what a little creativity can do to make the world a better place, or just to improve on…read more >

Sonnhalter Releases Tradesmen Podcasts

Business-to-Tradesmen marketing communications firm creates podcasts sharing contractor perspectives on the contractor-manufacturer relationship. BEREA, Ohio – June 2014 – Sonnhalter, a communications firm marketing to the professional tradesman in the construction, industrial and MRO markets, releases two new podcasts interviewing professional tradesmen on their interaction with manufacturers. The first podcast, released May 7, features a conversation with Glen Ailport, owner of BSB Plumbing. Ailport has more than 30 years of plumbing experience and shared his thoughts on what would make relationships between contractors and manufacturers better, touching on the topics of supporting contractors, product training and how to connect with plumbing contractors. The second podcast, released June 3, features a conversation with Angelo Ferrante Jr., owner of A&F Home Improvements. Ferrante has nearly 40 years of home improvement experience and shared his opinions on improving manufacturer’s relationships with contractors, including the field support he’d like to see, application training and how manufacturers can better connect with home improvement contractors. “One of the best ways to know what your audience wants is to actually talk with them,” said Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect at Sonnhalter. “The point of these two new podcasts is to hear from contractors about their own interactions with manufacturers.”The podcasts are available at: http://sonnhalter.com/tradesman-insights/podcasts/ 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…read more >

Happy Plumber’s Day

By Rachel Kerstetter, PR Engineer, Sonnhalter April 25th is set aside each year to honor plumbers. At Sonnhalter, we have a great appreciation for plumbers and the work that they do. We salute the ones who keep everything flowing, and not overflowing. We’re thankful for the dedicated plumbers who answer the call and don’t recount the tales of what they’ve pulled out of pipes. In honor of National Plumber's Day tomorrow, we thought you'd enjoy checking out some plumbing history, compiled by Roto-Rooter.read more >

Flush With Gratitude!

The can, John, latrine, porcelain throne, commode, potty… No matter what you call it, the toilet is an important part of daily life. Today is World Toilet Day. World Toilet Day was started to bring awareness to the global sanitation challenge. Here are just a few facts about the global sanitation challenge: 2.5 billion people do not have a clean toilet Sanitation is a human right Safe toilet facilities keep girls in school Sanitation is a good economic investment You can read more information about World Toilet Day and the facts above here. We have the pleasure of working with companies serving the tradesmen that keep our toilets in excellent flushing order and help maintain the sanitation systems that we rely on. Their jobs are not considered glamorous, but they are so important. Today, and every day, we are flush with gratitude toward them for everything they do!read more >

Flush With Gratitude!

The can, John, latrine, porcelain throne, commode, potty… No matter what you call it, the toilet is an important part of daily life. Today is World Toilet Day. World Toilet Day was started to bring awareness to the global sanitation challenge. Here are just a few facts about the global sanitation challenge: 2.5 billion people do not have a clean toilet Sanitation is a human right Safe toilet facilities keep girls in school Sanitation is a good economic investment You can read more information about World Toilet Day and the facts above here. We have the pleasure of working with companies serving the tradesmen that keep our toilets in excellent flushing order and help maintain the sanitation systems that we rely on. Their jobs are not considered glamorous, but they are so important. Today, and every day, we are flush with gratitude toward them for everything they do!read more >

Happy Plumber’s Day

April 25th is set aside each year to honor plumbers. At Sonnhalter, we have a great appreciation for plumbers and the work that they do. Today, Sonnhalter's PR Engineer Rachel Kerstetter will be sharing with you about plumbing. 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 today. Plumbers do 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. Using a little research combined with our knowledge of the profession, we've put together a list of things you may not know about plumbing: The word "plumber" goes back to the Roman Empire and the Latin word "plumbum" for lead. It's because of a plumber that the Chicago River is dyed green every St. Patrick's Day. The river was first turned green in 1962 using plumbing dye for detecting leaks. (more of that story here) The ancient Egyptians had plumbing systems. Archeologists have found lavatories inside tombs as well. (more on that here) Since 1963, more than 28 billion feet, or about 5.3 million miles, of copper tubing has been installed in U.S. buildings. In 2004, there were more than 91,000 miles of water distribution piping in the U.S. 78% of that pipe is made of…read more >

How Do You Approach Tradesmen in the Early Stages of the Buying Process?

When we get a lead in we all assume that they're ready to buy and in most cases that's not true especially when it's an expensive or major initiative. If a contractor is contemplating a major new piece of equipment for his crews or a new piece of software to help him run the company it's going to take some time and investigating first. read more >

Use Twitter to Talk Up Your Brand to Tradesmen

If you don't talk up your brand on Twitter and other social sites you're missing the boat. This according to a recent post on eMarketer.com from ROI Research.A study in April of 2010 found that at least once a week 33% of active Twitter users shared opinions about companies or products ,while 32% make recommendations and 30% ask for them.read more >

10 Ways to Engage Tradesmen

When we communicate with our target audiences, whether it's through traditional methods or the use of social media, we want to inform and hopefully engage them. It's through the engagement process that we start a dialog with them which hopefully will turn into something more (hopefullya sale). I've enclosed some tips on how we successfully engage tradesmen:read more >