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On the importance of the lowly press release

It’s easy to dismiss a press release as “just” a press release – until you need one. That’s when it dawns on you that just about every piece of marketing material – ad copy, product briefs, brochures and even job stories – will repeat a great deal of your press release’s content and exact phrasings. In effect, you’re not just making a press release; you’re creating the foundation of all things to come.

The piece itself will appear in numerous publications and prominently appear in online searches each time someone looks for information on that product. Of course, we can’t control what a publication’s editor might do with the piece’s title, length or formatting, but most editors are reluctant to change the precisely worded expressions of a product press release. In our experience, most editors will print what was written in the release. That’s why it’s so important to get it right.

The impact of a single press release widens exponentially online, as excerpts from its text are copy-pasted, word-for-word, into subsequent discussions and in comparisons of your product to other market offerings.

Press releases can be much more than just announcements introducing technological innovations and newer, better capabilities. They present valuable opportunities to influence market perception, or head-off unintended misperceptions. Novice writers often either overlook this opportunity or jump on it heavy-handedly, bungling it. An experienced writer, on the other hand, considers the reader’s frame of mind and then deftly handles subtexts in the piece.

Another error is to say too much. A press release should only plant the seed, giving the reader just enough detail to back up abstract claims like, “More powerful! More fuel efficient! Increased productivity!” Is it more powerful? Give its rated torque or horsepower. Then stop. If it’s more fuel efficient, ball-park a figure you can stand by. Then stop. The release should not give a potential customer so much information they feel confident making purchase decisions based on it alone. And a publication wants to keep their product news short and sweet. They don’t want to publish a book about every new product on the market.

For potential customers who might not be in the market now, the release has their attention. They’ve noted the model and the manufacturer. That’s its job, to prompt further investigation. It also serves as another level of branding awareness and to show your client is always developing products, whether someone is in the market to buy it or not.

Informative yet tactful, nuanced and tight –never underestimate the power of a good press release, and never trust just anyone to create it for you.

Joe Bradfield is senior writer for Ellenbecker Communications

Will you be at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017?

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Matt Fueston is an Account Manager for Ellenbecker Communications, is responsible for new business development, and contributes as a staff writer. He believes in the intersection between Sales and Marketing.

 

I know that this Expo does not apply to all of you, but over half of our subscribers are in fields that relate to CONEXPO in one way or another, and I know that most of those companies will have booths at this show. After CES (the computer and electronics expo,) it’s the largest convention in Las Vegas in 2017!

We will have several members of our team at CONEXPO, some supporting specific clients and some, like me, just trying to visit with all our clients and the prospective clients we’ve been talking to. We’ll also be taking the time to keep our relationships with the trade media strong as well as supporting the first-ever Construction Media Alliance Editorial and Marketing Communications Awards.

I’d love to chat with you about what we may be able to do to help you realize your own marketing goals—send an email to matt@ellcom.us to set up a time to meet! I’ll be at the show the whole week.

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Client appreciation event at Ellcom

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Photo credit Justin Lessman/Jackson County Pilot.

Although Ellenbecker Communications enjoys its renown as an international marketing firm with a clientele that includes a number of global manufacturers, we have a special affection for our local clients. Living in the same rural community, supporting each other, improving life for our children and their futures together—that interdependence creates a bond.

That’s why I was so happy for the opportunity to celebrate that relationship during the Ellcom Client appreciation night Friday, Feb. 19. It was long overdue, an opportunity for us to show our gratitude to clients.

In this case you could say we shared more than “roots.” Part of the night included a somewhat rare event: a private tank-tasting from the Round Lake Vineyards & Winery, whose retail store and tasting room is right beneath our Ellcom offices.

My career as a marketing consultant is grounded in manufacturing—production processes, packaging, sales structures and brand. My life in advertising, my devotion to Ellcom, actually has a lot to do with the winery.

Wine making is a nice metaphor for how the Ellcom team embraces your businesses marketing needs. No matter what the project, no matter which person is in charge, it’s an entire team of enthusiastic collaborators, each passionately contributing their own talents and skills to the final quality blend. From project management to content generation and copywriting down to graphic design and publishing—you need to see this firsthand as I do. Feel free to stop in anytime to experience the energy that keeps me so proud to be associated with them as president of Ellenbecker Communications.

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Scott Ellenbecker is the president and owner of Ellenbecker Communications.

 

Ellenbecker Communications adds new account manager

 Ellenbecker Communications (Ellcom) has assigned Holly Wilson account management responsibilities for Atlas Copco CMT USA. Holly comes to Ellcom with an extensive background in marketing, including experience as the marketing manager for the world’s largest manufacturer of autogenous livestock biologicals.

Scott Ellenbecker, president of Ellenbecker Communications, cited continued growth as the reason for the change. “The natural resources exploration, mining and construction industries have offered a strong foundation for our business to grow over the years.  Holly’s years of marketing expertise brings new ideas to our already great group of professional communicators.”

Wilson also brings her skills as a writer and editor to the Ellcom writing team. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from Iowa State University, and then a Master of Science degree from ISU’s Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication. She has also worked as an editor and writer for various magazines and newspapers.

The account manager previously responsible for Atlas Copco CMT USA, Matt Fueston, will now focus his attention on business development, including the recruitment of new clients for the agency. “Matt’s deep background in business development gives us an opportunity to diversify our customer base. He understands our capabilities and skillsets which will translate well into communicating our strengths to new customers,” said Ellenbecker. “Matt will continue to manage other accounts in the U.S. and Canada.”

Liz Martin joins Ellcom as PR specialist

As many of you know, we’ve been a bit short-handed for the past month or so. We’re happy to announce that Liz Martin has joined Ellcom as our new Public Relations Specialist.

Liz comes to us with a communications degree and a specialization in public relations and advertising. She will be the primary PR department contact and will work with Matt to make sure that our clients’ need for well-written and perfectly targeted PR material is met.

Adding Liz to the team increases our capabilities and we expect her to be an important contributor to our continued growth in the months and years to come.

Welcome aboard, Liz!

Liz’s photo and a brief profile are posted on the “Who we are” page.

Announcing expanded event management capabilities!

We’ve added staff and facilities to expand our event and tradeshow management capabilities, and we’d like to tell you how these changes will enable us to do more for you.

As you know, we moved into our new offices on May 11, which gives us ample room for growth. What you may not know is that about one-third of the new building’s cubic area is dedicated to warehouse space. This gives us the ability to warehouse tradeshow booths, promotional signage and event materials for our clients. Our location on Interstate 90, right between Interstate highways 29 and 35, gives us access to the nation’s major east-west and north-south transportation arteries and simplifies shipping.

Jenny Ellenbecker, who manages our events and tradeshow activities, has recently hired a couple of outstanding professionals for her staff, and we’d like to introduce you to them.

DanielleDanielle Brower joins the team as our new events coordinator. She will be working very closely with Jenny to plan and organize tradeshows and other events, as well as actively managing these events for our clients. Most recently, Danielle was in charge of electronic data processing for a local bank. Her organizational capabilities were given plenty of scope in her work on the county board of the American Cancer Society, where she organized events, recruited speakers and helped direct one of the state’s most successful fundraising branches. She comes to us with a degree in accounting.

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Kyle Vos is our new warehouse/maintenance manager, where his duties will include freight and shipping and inventory management as well as equipment and display refurbishment for our clients. He was a carpenter for 12 years in the extremely competitive Minneapolis/St. Paul housing market, where his focus was on high-end custom home building. For the past 5 years Kyle has been a contractor in the local area. We expect Kyle’s background in the building trades to make a key contribution to the maintenance of client display materials warehoused in our new facility.

Profiles for Danielle and Kyle are posted on the “Who we are” page.

Welcome to the Ellcom Grapevine

Ellcom Building

Welcome to the inaugural post to the new Ellcom Grapevine blog! We’ve been putting the final touches on a lot of things lately—a new building, a new website, and we’re even adding new members to the Ellcom team. We hope that this blog will make it easier for our clients and other friends to keep track of what we’re up to.

“Grapevine” is more than a reference to the informal spreading of news. Most of you know that Scott and Jenny also own a vineyard, which some of us can see from our office windows. And in honor of that vineyard, and the wine we all look forward to sampling with you one day, we decided to christen this blog the Ellcom Grapevine.

Office Kitchen

Office LoungeWe’ve promised a number of you photos of our new offices because they are, to borrow a terribly overused word, awesome. (Especially if you’ve seen our previous offices!) We won’t burden you with too many photos right now, but we did want to show off our reception and lounge areas.

The first photo shows the kitchen area, which you’ll see on your left as you come in the front door. In this particular shot, you see our graphic artist, Laura, on one of her infrequent breaks. The second photo shows Danielle relaxing in the lounge area. This lounge/conversation area is to your right as you enter.

Next week, we’ll share some photos of the upstairs where we all work.