When it comes to writing, whether it’s for a blog, website or brochure, there are always two sides involved — the reader and writer. As a reader, you want to be entertained or learn something new — perhaps about a new product, a new way of doing something or a different way of looking at the world.
As a writer, it’s your (more…)
CONEXPO-CON/AGG rolls around once every three years, tugging at the construction vests of all industry gurus to attend or exhibit. That’s why the prep for CONEXPO begins 12 to 18 months in advance. And naturally we were in the heart of it, helping our clients make a splash at the big event.
For me, the introduction to the magnitude of CONEXPO began last spring when I attended the AEM marketing conference. I could tell by the discussions this is not an average tradeshow. CONEXPO clearly would be no small undertaking for anyone attending or exhibiting. It was going to be huge.
When I was chosen (more…)
As I sat around a table laden with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy and finished off my Thanksgiving dinner with pie and wine, I couldn’t help but reflect on all the blessings in my life this year. To explain, I’m going back to grade school projects with something I am thankful for represented by each letter:
T– Time. Though there is never enough, and I’m always wishing for another hour or another day or a little more time to finish that project, I’m very grateful for each day I’ve been blessed with.
H– Handfuls. Yes, when I was kid I was a handful. Now I have three wonderful “handfuls” of my own. Many days, this business is a “handful,” but as my grandmother would always say, a full hand is a blessed hand. (more…)
So you need to design a logo. You want an awesome, market-stealing, show-stopping, kick-butt logo. Where do you start? How will you get from no or old logo to awesome logo? DON’T PANIC! With IRONCLAD’s foolproof process, we’ll help take your logo from zero to hero and provide brand identity that will surely steal the show.
Know the Client. A logo needs to be a true reflection of your organization’s core values, so we kick off the design with a heart-to-heart. We ask lots of questions to learn as much as we can about the company culture, core values, the way you do business, etc. We find out what you want your visual identity to convey to your target markets, then use this message to think of adjectives or phrases that describe the feelings the brand will communicate. This helps build theme and style ideas.
With every new and exciting electronic gadget that comes along, our culture seems to be shifting away from pen and paper to be in front of a screen. We use them at work, in our vehicles and for social interaction. We even bring these gadgets into our bedrooms at night to quickly glance through our emails or watch one more cute puppy video before we turn out our bedroom lamp. But even in a digital world, there is still something to be said about receiving a tangible piece of direct mail.
In the interest of full disclosure, I am a designer and with that comes my love of paper. It’s the excitement of a brand new swatch book, the feel of the grain, the smell of the ink when samples come fresh off the press. Although not everyone shares my sometimes-exaggerated appreciation of paper, I found a few people who do. I recently (more…)
I love the freedom of advertising. How many careers actually encourage their employees to catch up on their creativity, catchy puns and Facebook posting ideas? Not many. It is a bonus knowing that these activities help businesses reach out to their audiences in a meaningful way, ultimately helping them become successful, sought-after businesses.
However, my curiosity and possible career routes had both grown over the years, so I needed a final shove to become fully dedicated to this field.
I looked to my role model, my mother, to help me decide which career path to take. This woman not only brought me into the world, she is someone who has seen and supported me through it all. You see, my mother is the “how does she do it?” kind of awesome. And you’ll come to see why I have these bragging rights. (more…)
Writing is like driving.
From A to B, uneducated to informed, ambivalence to desire, immobility to action – the goal is always the same: get somewhere. Or, to be more precise, take someone else there.
Either way, writing or driving, it’s a journey. Along the way it’s important to always make sure the passenger is comfortable and enjoys the ride.
My father taught me about placing the passenger at the center of the experience when I was 14 and had my learner’s permit. He kept his patience, somehow, as I slammed us through a thousand jerky starts and chin-to-dashboard stops. “The safety and comfort of your passengers are your responsibility,” he told me. “Begin slowing for stops early so they’re never pressed into their safety belts. Don’t slam their backs into the seats with quick starts. Make easy turns instead of jags.” And then there was the statement that tied it all together: “Do all of it right, and they’ll forget they’re in a vehicle at all.”
Readers are like (more…)
Being a public relations writer means you are the voice of the client. You share their successes, innovations and ideas through a clever and delicate balance of words and phrases, creating a simple and concise message that entices readers beginning to end. It’s this exciting challenge of word play that defines my role on the IRONCLAD Marketing Team.
We are all faced with challenges daily, whether as individuals, small businesses or Fortune 500 companies. It’s not these challenges that shape who we are, but rather our reaction – how we respond to the circumstances, experiences, accomplishments and tribulations — that molds us. I write about how others have overcome, so I share with you a few of my curve balls that have impacted who I am and brought me to today.
I grew up in a small North Dakota town of about 2,500, surrounded by coal mines and power plants. My dad was a police officer, which, as you can imagine, made me very uneasy when I became a teenager. My mom (more…)
Never have there been more options for designing a website, from the $5.99/month services to open-source, blog-like platforms to fully custom-programmed behemoths. You can get great results regardless of which direction you go, so a little research is required to see what meets your immediate and future needs. You may run into developers that call WordPress and similar sites little more than glorified blogs. But while many of them began life as blog platforms, they have since grown into more complete CMS solutions.
The site you are on was built using WordPress. Having said that, don’t for get about the open-source option if you are looking to have a website built.
As for me, and for IRONCLAD, we have found open-source platforms are the way to go. We can offer a robust set of features tailored to any budget. The best part is you are not tied down to a proprietary CMS system. A custom-programmed site can have great CMS capabilities, but if you end your relationship with the company that built it, the company will export static pages and you lose ALL ability to edit – unless you go into the code. Open-source is different. You have a framework that any developer can edit so you can take the site wherever you want while maintaining all of its CMS capabilities.
Plugins are available to accomplish virtually any task from stocks and weather to making your site a secure online shopping cart. There is also an abundance of themes out there that cost from nothing on up. Need mobile capabilities? No need to build a second site (more…)