John OReilly


Trade Show Marketing: Three Surefire Ways to Reach the Media

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Considering a new-product launch? Want to give it a running start?

You may not believe it any more, but trade shows were actually invented for this sort of activity. Our recent economic woes have taken much of the shine off product shows. Indeed, it is reasonable to assume that tomorrow’s trade shows will — and must — look very different than their predecessors. But as a tool for reaching a critical mass of your core audience in a single time and place, the trade-show model still has a lot of life left in it.

Of course, not every industry player attends a given trade show in a given year. Even those who do may not find your booth. And even those who drop by may well forget most of what they saw once they return to their daily routines.

That is why a big part of your show-floor, product-launch strategy should include an aggressive outreach to all media in attendance: print, digital and – if available –broadcast. Your primary role at these events is to identify, package and convey your news to these folks, so they, in turn, are better able to deliver this news to their audiences; i.e., your customers and prospects. Except for word of mouth and referrals from friends, those audiences will likely find what the media have to say about your product the most convincing stimulus to action.

What are the most effective ways to connect with media attending a trade show? A mix of methods typically works best. Here are a few of the most important:

Hold a “presser”: If you have a major new product to unveil, a press conference early on Day 1 can be the best way to grab the media’s attention at a show. These events are often held before the show officially opens, so you have the media’s undivided attention — and they yours, because no customers are around. Having your CEO or some other senior exec lead the presentation is the best way to assure preliminary interest and a bias to attend, especially if your event is up against other press opportunities happening concurrently. Like all of us, managing our schedules, the media focus inevitably on the stature of the speaker as well as the relevance of the news.

Offer one-on-one interviews: The downside of a press conference — from the media’s point of view — is that every attending scribe is hearing exactly the same presentation. Sure, that’s great for your messaging, but remember: The media must set themselves apart from their competitors, too. So, reinforce your presser by offering top-tier media outlets one-on-one time with a senior company manager — well out of earshot from any rivals. Given an opportunity to ask his or her own questions in private, the editor can create his/her own slant on the story. The benefit for your brand and your new product may ultimately be stronger coverage in the form of a bigger story or one that more fully presents your product’s best selling points.

Always conduct booth tours: Not every editor will attend your press conference. Not everyone will make the time for a one-on-one meeting. Regardless, be sure to offer every media attendee an appointment for a personalized tour of your booth. This will allow you to present your new-product story in vivid detail, as well as to make certain the media carry away any press materials you have created for the occasion. (More on what those should look like at another time.)

Just as importantly, it will give you a prime chance to get to know each media member better, both professionally and personally: What sorts of topics and stories is the editor/blogger/producer pursuing? How might our new product fit into her plans? How might our company otherwise support that pursuit — both today and in the future?

In short: How can you help the media, not just how can the media help you?

Even if you have no new product to launch at a particular show, the booth tour is an excellent way to build and sustain relationships with the media. Forget the notion of “taking a show off” because “we have nothing new to say.” The media is always writing about something; always looking for ideas, projects and personalities; always open to substantive input when chronicling the story of the industries they cover.

In the end, building relationships with media members, one at a time, is the most effective way to make sure your company remains an integral part of that ongoing story.

Public Relations Insights | The OR-DP POV | Trade Channel Marketing


Uponor Adds Commercial Plumbing Course to Factory Training Schedule

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Uponor recently announced its factory training schedule for 2013, which includes a new course on commercial plumbing applications. The course, which is eligible for continuing education units (CEUs), focuses on codes and standards, pipe sizing, unit piping, riser piping, distribution piping, public and service piping, and design and installation practices.

“We are continuing our momentum in the commercial plumbing sector by offering several options for professionals to learn more about Uponor PEX-a piping systems,” says Wes Sisco, training manager at Uponor. “This includes webinars, field training and now factory training with our newly constructed Commercial Plumbing Applications Lab.”

The new Commercial Plumbing Applications Lab features all of Uponor’s products and systems for suspended piping, risers, in-suite and out-of-the-wall plumbing systems to showcase the benefits of the flexible, durable pipe in real-world applications.

The two-day Commercial Plumbing Applications course is available six times throughout the year beginning in March. Attendees who complete the course are eligible for CEUs to meet continuing education requirements.

The 2013 Uponor Academy factory training schedule also includes Radiant Hydronics and Design with Controls and Advanced Radiant Hydronics with Advanced Design Suite™ (ADS), which are also eligible for CEUs.

To learn more about Uponor Academy factory training courses and to register, visit


Building Industry News | Education | O'Reilly-DePalma Client News


Carolina Installer Wins Grand Prize in Noritz 10th Anniversary Promotion

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Brothers Air, Heat & Plumbing, a plumbing, heating and air-conditioning contractor based in Rock Hill, S.C., recently received a new Yamaha Rhino 700cc, side-by-side utility vehicle, the grand prize in the Noritz 2012 PROCard Promotion. Launched in March 2012 to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Noritz’s entry into the U.S. tankless water heating market, the 10-month contractor appreciation promotion was designed to recognize and reward members of the company’s ongoing PROCard Program, as well as to attract additional professional installers to the group.

To join PROCard, interested contractors should visit or call (866) 766-7489.

Photo caption: Standing with the grand prize of the 2012 Noritz PROCard Promotion, a Yamaha Rhino 4×4 utility vehicle, are (from left) Donald Costner, vice president and co-owner of Brothers Air, Heat & Plumbing in Rock Hill, S.C.; Matthew McAteer of Noritz distributor Hughes Supply Co.; and Noritz sales rep Craig Birchfield, vp-commercial sales at Quality Marketing in Charlotte, N.C.

Building Industry News


Jeffrey Earnhardt Continues Uponor Partnership with IBS Appearance

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NASCAR® Nationwide Series driver Jeffrey Earnhardt renews his sponsorship with Uponor in 2013 by making an appearance with his race car at the Uponor booth (C5907) at the International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Las Vegas on Jan. 22 and 23 from 2 to 4 p.m. “Last year, we met some Uponor contractors at the races and had a good time,” Earnhardt says. “I look forward to seeing everyone at the Vegas show and sincerely appreciate the support.”

Earnhardt partnered with Uponor in 2012 with several races in the NASCAR Nationwide Series along with appearances at some local industry trade shows. This year, Earnhardt will continue his sponsorship with Uponor for at least six more races, while also going for the Rookie of the Year title. Earnhardt will drive the #79 Go Green Racing Ford Mustang for the Drive4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway, which kicks off the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series season Feb. 23 on ESPN.

“I’m really excited to start the season with Uponor in Daytona,” says Earnhardt. “2013 is going to be the biggest year of my career, and Uponor and its customers are going to enjoy a great ride.”

Ingrid Mattsson, director, Brand Management at Uponor, says the company is thrilled to continue its partnership with Jeffrey Earnhardt in 2013. “Jeffrey’s team of hardworking professionals directly aligns with our mission to partner with professionals in the radiant heating and cooling, plumbing and fire sprinkler industries,” she says.

Earnhardt can also be heard every Wednesday at 9 p.m. on SiriusXM NASCAR radio with Claire B. Lang. For more information about Uponor, visit

Building Industry News | O'Reilly-DePalma Client News


O’Reilly-DePalma Joins New KBIS Agency Collaborative

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KBIS, North America’s premier showcase of what’s new and noteworthy in the Kitchen and Bath industry, has announced that O’Reilly-DePalma will join its new PR and marketing affiliation for KBIS 2013. For the first time in KBIS history, a hybridized agency collaborative will lead all marketing and communications efforts. The players include Flying Camel in Brantford, Ontario, White Good in Lancaster, PA, and Modenus in Orlando and London. O’Reilly-DePalma will contribute to strategy, add voice to social discussions, and provide measurement analysis for the effort.

Thanks to the reach and resources of this unique collaboration, the show is also setting itself up to be the year-round event it has always needed and wanted to be. Look to the KBIS brand for a variety of regional, micro-events throughout the year, as well as being a resource for the latest trends and industry news.

“Drawing upon the respective strengths of four different agencies and entities that specialize in the building and design industry is key to transforming this year’s show in New Orleans from a trade show to an annual industry event,” says Jim Scott, Managing Director, Kitchen and Bath Show Nielsen Expositions. “In this new social era of connecting and collaborating, we’re confident this team will help to bring new insights into KBIS making it an inspiring, interactive showcase of everything new, where the brightest and best assemble to spot trends, experience product introductions and find the practical solutions and valuable connections that will take them into the future.”

“The open innovation among our agencies is the new model for revenue growth in the social economy,” noted Nora DePalma, principal of O’Reilly-DePalma. “It is analogous to the spirit of KBIS, where all of the industry’s audiences come together to get business done.”

View the complete press release about the new agency collaborative by following the link.

KBIS 2013 will take place from April 19 - 21 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA. For more information, contact Nora DePalma at 770.772.4726 or by email, or visit, where you can also register for the show.

Flying Camel | O'Reilly DePalma in the News


Aris Integration Announces Headquarters Location in Tucson

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In a press conference in Tucson on November 14, Aris Integration, LLC, announced that it is establishing its corporate headquarters and a manufacturing center in the Tucson region. The pioneering building systems company plans to bring nearly 600 jobs to support its innovative, sustainable building technologies used in residential and commercial construction.

Pictured (left to right): Joe Snell, President & CEO, Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities Board; Sandra Watson, President & CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority; Duane Armijo, CEO and founder of Aris Integration, LLC; Sharon Bronson, Vice Chair, and Ramon Valadez, Chairman, Pima County (Ariz.) Board of Supervisors.

Aris will manufacture a cost-effective, panelized-wall system that integrates light-gauge-steel structural framing, ultra-lightweight foam insulation and vapor-barrier products and processes with other sustainable materials and energy-efficient design.

Aris’s new production process will yield fully customizable commercial and residential structural insulated panels up to 32-feet long, 10-feet tall and up to 12-inches thick, which will be lighter and faster to install. Changes to panel dimensions, insulation value, interior/exterior coatings, stud spacing, as well as the addition of unique architectural features, such as arches and window/door designs, can be easily modified during the manufacturing process, reducing jobsite construction time and cost. The same highly engineered technology will be used in non-thermal wall panels, roof trusses and floor systems, to ensure high performance throughout the entire building.

The company is in the final stages of the decision-making process on a physical location of its new facility in Tucson, where the company plans to begin manufacturing operations during the fall of 2013. Aris anticipates hiring nearly 600 skilled workers over the next five years, with 250 over the near term. Experienced construction industry personnel will be needed. In addition, Aris is committed to hiring as many military veterans, reservists and National Guard members as possible. The hiring process will be announced

Aris chose southern Arizona for its experienced pool of construction tradesmen as well as coordinated public/private support. The Tucson area facility will be the company’s second of six planned regional manufacturing locations across the U.S. by 2017.

“We’re pleased to locate our second manufacturing operation and Aris headquarters here in Arizona, where many on our team call home,” said Duane Armijo, CEO and founder of Aris Integration, LLC. “As a Southwest native, I truly believe the fuel for our nation’s housing recovery will stem from the type of next-generation jobs and innovative technologies that we are bringing to our Tucson facility.”

For more information on Aris, call (800) 587-6180 or visit For more information on this announcement, visit

Building Industry News | Green Building | O'Reilly-DePalma Client News


Earnhardt to Partner with Uponor for Nov. 17 Race

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Jeffrey Earnhardt will again be teaming up with Uponor for his sixth Nationwide Series race of the season. This time, he will be driving the #08 Uponor Ford Mustang for Go Green Racing in the Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday, Nov. 17.

Jeffrey Earnhardt

“It’s great to have Uponor onboard for the final Nationwide Series race of the year,” said Earnhardt. “At the Charlotte race, I met a lot of customers that use Uponor’s products. It’s always cool to learn more about your sponsors, and getting the chance to spend time with the contractors is right in my wheelhouse. I like the hardworking crowd and look forward to giving them someone to cheer for in NASCAR.”

This will be Earnhardt’s fourth partnership race with Uponor, a leading manufacturer of crosslinked polyethylene (PEX-a) tubing and provider of plumbing, fire sprinkler and radiant heating and cooling systems for commercial and residential structures worldwide.

Earnhardt will also be making an appearance with the Uponor Ford Mustang at the South Florida Plumbing and Mechanical Tradeshow & Expo at the Miami Airport Convention Center on Thursday, Nov. 15, from 3 to 8 p.m. (admission is free).

“At Uponor, we believe in partnerships — with our contractors, our reps, our customers and all the other professionals in the building industry,” says Ingrid Mattsson, director, Brand Management at Uponor. “This sponsorship with Jeffrey Earnhardt’s racing team is a wonderful extension of our mission to partner with professionals to create better human environments — from inside a building to outside on the racetrack.”

The race will be televised Nov. 17, 2012, at 4 p.m. EDT on ESPN2. Jeffrey can be heard every Wednesday at 9 p.m. on SiriusXM NASCAR radio with Claire B. Lang. For more information on Jeffrey Earnhardt, contact Nikko Lavey at [email protected]

Building Industry News | O'Reilly-DePalma Client News


Uponor Files Patent Infringement Suit Against Sioux Chief

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Uponor, Inc., a leading supplier of plumbing, fire sprinkler and radiant heating and cooling systems for residential and commercial spaces worldwide, has filed suit against Missouri-based Sioux Chief Mfg. Co., in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois for infringement of U.S. Patent No. 8,146,225. The patent generally relates to Uponor’s pioneering invention of the ProPEX® Rings with a leading-edge chamfer and integral stop edge. According to the suit, Sioux Chief violated Uponor’s patent when it introduced new clamping rings with its PowerPEX™ F1960 Ring with Stop.

“Uponor has built its reputation for high-quality, reliable, easy-to-install plumbing systems in part based on its investments in innovation and technology,” said Bill Gray, President of Uponor North America. “We don’t often take this kind of action, but we owe it to customers and investors to defend against companies that we believe infringe on intellectual property that is the foundation of our industry differentiation.”

Uponor is seeking damages and an injunction to prevent Sioux Chief from selling the PowerPEX™ F1960 Ring with Stop, which it believes violates Uponor’s patent.

For more information about Uponor, visit the Uponor media room at or

Building Industry News | O'Reilly-DePalma Client News


Uponor Launches New PEX-a Commercial Plumbing Products

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Uponor PEX-a Pipe Support

To continue its momentum in the commercial plumbing and heating markets, Uponor is introducing the PEX-a Pipe Support and two additional Engineered Polymer (EP) Multi-port Tees to its offering.

PEX-a Pipe Support is a steel channel that provides continuous support of crosslinked polyethylene (PEX-a) tubing in suspended piping applications, including both commercial plumbing and hydronic heating distribution systems.  Enabling hanger spacing equal to that of copper, the support is available in 9-foot lengths for 1″, 1¼”, 1½” and 2″ PEX-a pipe sizes.

Commercial EP Multi-port Tee

— The new EP Multi-port Tees are ideal for parallel piping in multi-family and hospitality applications, allowing header termination and water distribution to lavatories with one fitting. Both feature a 1″ ProPEX® inlet with ½” ProPEX branch outlets in 7- or 8-outlet configurations. Compared to individual tees, the multi-ports offer up to 60% fewer connections and 78% less combined length.

“We are continuing to see growth in the commercial marketplace and are answering the need for products that make it faster, easier and more efficient to install PEX-a piping systems,” says Jayson Drake, director, Plumbing and Fire Safety, at Uponor.

For more information, see

New Building Products | O'Reilly-DePalma Client News


What Makes a Good Case Study?

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Everyone appreciates a good case study…

…especially manufacturers, looking for a credible way to depict the value propositions of their products in real-world settings through third-party testimonials;

…especially specifiers, builders and installers, looking to showcase their most attention-worthy projects and the professional skills that brought them to a successful conclusion;

…especially the media, always in need of compelling, newsworthy editorial that they may not have the time, the resources or the good fortune to uncover themselves;

…especially the readers of these case studies, trade and consumer, seeking innovative ideas to make their own lives easier, more productive and more fulfilling.

In many instances, these case studies — “project profiles” might be a more accurate term — are rendered briefly, sometimes with simple bullet points: a quick overview of the most salient details. It is enough to celebrate a high-profile project, allow for a quick bow by the key participants, while underlining critical role the highlighted product played in it.

But our changing media landscape now offers more opportunities for another type of case study, one that permits deeper storytelling and a genuine narrative arc. The editors who solicit — or are at least receptive — to this longer-form case study will likely insist that branding on behalf of a manufacturer or product be removed. But if one of their readers tells your product story through his on-the-job experiences, that is a more believable approach that is readily embraced by many editors.

So what are the core elements of a successful, B-to-B case study these days?

Compelling story line: If the project is large or prestigious, perhaps headed to LEED Platinum status or a high-profile design award, etc., that certainly helps. But a high profile is not essential to success. The best story lines involve problem-solving: What kinds of challenges did the individual at the center of the “action” encounter? How did the chosen product (yours) help him meet these challenges? Finally, what were the payoffs — preferably in tangible, measureable benefits — for all involved?

Credible players telling the story: Readers — and the editors who serve them — tend to place greater value on the words and experiences of other readers: people who do exactly what they do for a living. That’s why testimonial advertising is such a staple of business-to-business advertising. A professional reliving his successful saga for the edification of his like-minded brethren is compelling stuff, because it’s so easy readers to imagine themselves grappling with similar circumstances. “If that product/system/method helped that guy succeed, hey, maybe I should give it a shot, too.”

Captivating pictures enhancing the story: If you’re tempted to skimp in this area, don’t. Chances are, the editors already have had to themselves, which is why they need your help. Whether working in print or online, editors love good images because they bring readers closer to the action, while making stories more real and — best-case scenario — more comprehensible. Last, but far from least, excellent photography adds luster to any story, as well as to the media hosting or publishing it.

In short, excellent photography or illustration is the capstone of a well-conceived and well-written case study. It is an essential ingredient the media’s cultivation of loyal, enthusiastic audiences who believe and value what they are reading.

For more on the art of the case study, check out our three part series on a builders materials case study completed by O’Reilly-DePalma that garnered over 40 million impressions.

Content Marketing Insights | Public Relations Insights | The OR-DP POV | Trade Channel Marketing

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