In 2003, I started writing news releases, ads, promo copy, web content, and video scripts for the National Association of Electrical Distributors to help fund my master's tuition. Since then, I've presented at conferences and conducted training webinars. These days, I write a monthly print and bi-weekly online marketing column. Most importantly, I've built relationships that will last a lifetime.
Our relationship started in 2010 with a branding workshop I facilitated for their executive team. Since then, I've moderated their Customer Advisory Council meeting, consulted on marketing planning, and produced brochures for their project management and industrial capabilities. I've provided writing coaching for their staff and continue to consult with their director of marketing on marketing planning, promotions and specific tactics.
In a competitive market, Chicago-based Connexion needed a unique position to carve out their niche. Focusing on sustainability as one of their core values. I wrote a news release about how their partnership with Eaton further expanded their energy conservation capabilities for large industrial markets and enabled them to deliver energy savings to businesses throughout the US.
The NWFA is the trade association for the hardwood flooring industry's manufacturers, distributors, retailers, installers, importers/exporters, inspectors and consultants. I've been writing for its trade publication Hardwood Floors Magazine since 2016 when a contact (who had worked for my first national client) contacted me. It's always nice to hear from an old friend—even better when you get to work with them again!
This Chicago-based, family-owned master distributor was under attack from a competitor and needed PR advice. I helped develop a strategy and craft a response. Shortly thereafter, I was honored when the company founder and family patriarch asked me to help him write a speech for his and his elder son's joint birthday party which was attended by nearly 150 friends and family from all over the world.
How do you introduce outpatient behavioral health services provided by a residential facility for at-risk youth? First, you need to know how the public will receive them. Working with the CEO and director of advancement, I developed a research plan and coordinated a branding workshop and two focus groups of community members and behavioral health professionals.
I've been writing for tED Magazine since 2003 and judging the Best of the Best Marketing Awards competition since 2006. Currently, I author a monthly feature in the print edition called Marketing 101, and a biweekly "exclusive feature" called Marketing Momentum on tedmag.com. I love writing and sharing what I continue to learn with members of the electrical distribution industry.
When ADG needed to convert its 22 divisions and more than 150 locations to a common ERP system, they needed consistent, complete, and engaging messaging to keep employees up to date and informed. I helped develop, research, write, and edit a quarterly publication which was distributed to all employees in the organization.
When AD's VP of marketing for the electrical division called looking for an expert to kick off their marketing networking session, I started racking my brain for names. Then I realized he was asking me. The custom presentation featured 16 trends affecting the industry in 2018 and beyond. I loved spending time with these smart marketers
California-based Independent Electric Supply had been working with a web developer for months—but the process had stalled. I worked with the project manager to map out the navigation, write content, coordinate with the developer, and shepherd the project through to completion. It was a big job. But the finished product was worth all the work. To see their site: www.iesupply.com
When an electrical distributor's low-cost supplier sent "bad wire," it threatened the entire Wrigley Field renovations schedule. But they called Service Wire and had the product they needed within 24 hours of ordering—and met the original deadline. I wrote a pitch letter that garnered a feature story in a major industry trade publication. Does that make me a good pitcher?
This rural electrical cooperative was many things to many customers—providing electricity, internet services, pure drinking water and other necessary services to its rural customers. I consulted with them to develop a brand identity for the parent company, plus trade show materials and a derivative brand identity for its subsidiary software development firm.
When you're a 75-year-old, family-owned electrical distributor, sometimes you need to shake things up. I'm working with Dominion's forward-thinking CEO and insightful president to re-energize the company's VPs and other leaders, encouraging them to rethink their approach to marketing their 10 counter locations and 3 lighting showrooms. We continue to work on restructuring their marketing department, rebranding their lighting showrooms, and building their marketing technology stack.
In June 2016, Legrand invited me to conduct a workshop for their Distributor Marketing Advisory Council meeting in Mystic. CT. I shared some trends in manufacturer and distributor marketing, best practices and tips for producing effective marketing—plus several examples of great industry marketing. More recently I've worked with the marketing team on email content and one-on-one training for their writing staff.
On a snowy January day, I left Illinois for beautiful North Carolina-based NSi. EVP of Marketing Pam Erickson told me her team wanted feedback on its Best of the Best Marketing Competition entries. I created a workshop for them featuring their entries. We also discussed their current and future marketing efforts. It was great meeting such bright, creative young marketers.
Sometimes the smallest change (like wall color) can make you smile. As an experienced home builder and designer, Paula shows those building new homes, renovating existing ones, or freshening up a room how small decisions can make a big impact on comfort and functionality. Paula and I meet weekly to work on her branding, service offerings, website content and marketing plan.
This Arcola, Illinois-based company has nothing to do with electricity! Quite the opposite, it's an Amish-owned company that manufactures high-quality, light-diffusing skylights for commercial, industrial and residential applications. I consulted on marketing strategy and produced several print pieces.
Working with non-profits (often pro-bono) has always been part of my business model. I support organizations that help young people, animals or people with unique challenges. Sometimes it's simply writing a press release, as I did for the Autism Walk. Other clients have included the Girl Scouts, University of Illinois Wheelchair Basketball teams, and YMCA.
What if you have the right solution, but the people on the inside can't sell it to management? You help them! Duke Energy's senior marketing manager asked me to write a white paper for their business development team to share with plant and maintenance engineers. The purpose of this "Roadmap for a Winning Energy Project" was to help personnel in the healthcare, education, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, electrical components, food processing, and other industries get C-Suite approval for internal, energy-saving projects.
This more than 100-year-old human services organization needed a plan to take them through the next century...or at least the next year. I worked with the executive director and director of fundraising to conduct a branding workshop and develop a detailed marketing, public relations and fundraising plan for the organization and its programs.
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