Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Corridor X: Lightening the Load

Our client, Big River Industries, specializes in manufacturing expanded clay lightweight aggregate, called Riverlite. The aggregate is used in a variety of applications, including Masonry, Concrete, Geotechnical, Asphalt, Horticulture, and Storm Water Management. The company recently teamed up with Archer-Western Contractors of Atlanta to help solve an engineering problem for its Corridor X project, a major interchange being constructed just north of Birmingham, Ala.

The problem: Portions of the new roadway will travel over an existing 2,500 foot concrete drainage system that is approximately twenty feet underground. Thus, the project’s engineers and Alabama Department of Transportation were worried too much pressure on the roadway above the pipe would cause cracks and leaks.

The Solution: Big River Industries’ Riverlite aggregate. This type of aggregate helps reduce the load on the drainage pipe culvert by more than half compared to normal weight material because of its very low density and very high angle of internal friction.

To learn more about how Big River Industries’ Riverlite aggregate provided a solution for the unique engineering challenge, watch the video below. And, for more information about Riverlite and its various applications, visit www.riverlite.com.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pantone’s 2013 Color of the Year is…

Drum roll please! Every year Pantone, a world-renowned authority on color and provider of color systems, announces its Color of the Year. In 2012, Pantone chose Tangerine Tango as the Color of Year; now on the opposite side of the color spectrum, the 2013 Color of the Year is Emerald.

This beautiful shade of green is fresh, luminous and energizing. It can me mixed and matched with neutral color schemes to create a striking focal point, or can be paired with bold color palettes for a dramatic effect. Designers, we guarantee your clients will want to include Pantone’s 2013 Color of the Year in their next interior design project!

Below our team has sourced two great examples on how to decorate with Emerald.
Use Emerald as a wall color in living, dining, bedroom and bathroom spaces. This creates a striking contrast when complemented with unique home furnishing pieces. (Photo Credit: Antweak)
Home furnishings and accessories in Emerald green are perfect for drawing eyes up and across a room. (Photo Credit: Tobi Fairley Interior Design blog)

Which use of Emerald caught your attention?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Attention Editors and Garden Writers…

We have a wonderful opportunity for you to get a first-hand look at brand new plant varieties from our client Terra Nova Nurseries, which in turn, you could perhaps share with your plant- and garden-loving readers. In addition, our team has concepted some great story ideas and topics that include possible byline articles and / or expert quotes from Dan Heims, president of Terra Nova Nurseries and a repeat guest on “The Martha Stewart Show” as one of Martha’s foremost national horticulturists.

For 2013, Terra Nova Nurseries’ will be introducing a wide selection of brand new, retail-ready varieties for home gardeners to enjoy. These new introductions are just a few of Dan’s team’s 700 new plants that have been introduced to the consumer marketplace. And, they are among the most beautiful yet. The new varieties include a wide range of genera with unique characteristics and superior breeding, from vibrant echinaceas and hardy sedums to grassy kniphofias and heucheras with ruffled foliage.

And, with our help, you can share stunning high-resolution photos of the company’s new cultivars which will give your readers inspiration for their own lawns and gardens for the next spring and summer seasons.

To learn more about Terra Nova Nurseries’ 2013 consumer ready plants and access photos for publishing, please contact our team here at ECPR by emailing Dominique de Bruin at ddebruin@eberlycollardpr.com.

Also, our team has creatively conceived some great article ideas featuring the company’s new 2013 varieties as well as available editorial resources, gardening tips and advice from Dan Heims who is Terra Nova Nurseries’ resident plant guru.

Leucanthemum 'Goldfinch'
Articles, Interviews, Content, and Editorial Resources Available: 
  • Homeowners struggle with landscapes with too much sun or shade. Many of Terra Nova Nurseries’ new plants are perfect for sun gardens, including Echinacea ‘Leilani’ and Kniphofia ‘Orange Vanilla Popsicle’. These varieties can brighten up front and backyard spaces and can stand the sun and heat. One great story idea would be to map out sun garden landscape plans utilizing a selection of Terra Nova Nurseries’ varieties. Another story idea entitled, “Let There Be Light” – with Dan’s advice on how to make an all-sun lawn or garden thrive all year. A fact-filled shade garden article is yet a third option for which Dan could be interviewed, or he could write it for you. 
  • With many regions facing all-time rain level shortages, readers need must-have insights on how to keep their yards from looking dry and useless. Terra Nova Nurseries breeds hardy plants that can survive in drought-tolerant and high-heat regions. Several of the company’s 2013 varieties including Heuchera ‘Paprika’ and Heuchera ‘Spellbound’ – combined with Dan’s engaging tips – would be a perfect fit to profile in this type of story. 
  • Miniature plants are one of the fastest-growing trends among home gardeners, and those who know little about gardening, too. The company’s Heuchera Little Cuties™ Series is making waves in the horticulture industry, and we think your readers will instantly fall for these sweet new mini-plants. The series features seven new miniature heucheras, which can be used in a grouping for small space and fairy gardens. As outdoor spaces are growing tighter, the need for small house plants and gardens are becoming more popular; Dan can be interviewed on the topic or assist with writing upon request.
Heuchera 'Spellbound'
In addition, Dan Heims is also available for writing byline articles. He is wildly popular among horticulturalists and is considered to be one of the most influential professionals in the industry. Below are some prospective article topics Dan could provide along with professional photos. 

Dan’s Select Byline Article Topics:
  • Hot Heuchera and their Uses: This article will be an overview of how heuchera and heucherella are used around the world. These types of plants offer homeowners the ability to maintain color in the garden all year long, even during cold winters. From vibrant red and orange foliage to deep purples and black, readers will see how these multi-use plants can be used in containers and landscape settings throughout the different seasons. 
  • Container Crazy: This article will share with homeowners the key to creating beautiful container combinations for front and backyard areas as well as for small spaces. Including tips on using different plant textures such as ruffled and grassy foliage mixed with silky flowers and spiky seed heads. In this article, Dan will also provide home gardeners with ideas on how to create containers with similar and contrasting color palettes to draw attention. 
  • Garden Gems: In this article, Dan could discuss the latest and most exciting perennials, tropicals and woodies in today’s market and practical tips for home gardeners they can use to beautify their outdoor spaces with bright garden gems, showcasing colorful foliage, flowers, texture, and more. 
  • Other concepts available upon request. 
Editors and garden writers, if you are interested in pursuing any of our article ideas or byline articles from Dan Heims, please contact the ECPR team.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Now Introducing…

We would like to introduce you to one of our most recent clients, Distinctive Mantel Designs, Inc. We are excited to be working with such a wonderful team, and look forward to sharing with our friends and fans all about Distinctive Mantel Designs’ durable, heat resistant, affordable and beautiful products. Let’s get started with a quick company overview as well as details on several of the company’s popular product categories.

About Distinctive Mantel Designs: 

Distinctive Mantel Designs is one of the leaders in lightweight, cast-stone mantels. The company was founded in 1989 and is located in Denver, Colo. Products include mantels, over mantels, outdoor fireplaces, kitchen hoods, wall panels, firepits and fireboxes.

It is true for Distinctive Mantel Designs as it is for most other businesses, “you get what you pay for”. Distinctive Mantel Designs utilizes a custom cement mix design that has been perfected for over many years. It is the company’s guarantee that the cast limestone or travertine finish will be a perfect match for each individual customer, and will keep people raving over its products for years to come.

With designs that are suitable for old world, traditional, contemporary, modern and urban homes, Distinctive Mantel Designs has something to offer everyone.

The fireplace or surrounding wall can be one of the most important architectural features in a home; therefore, Distinctive Mantel Designs’ team members pride themselves on knowing the mantels they provide to clients will enrich their homes with timeless beauty for years to come.

Featured Products:
The Monroe Fireplace Mantel – This specific fireplace mantel is fashioned in the Modern style and is based on artistic works produced during the period extending from the 1860’s to the 1970’s. The Monroe is available in five colors including Smoke, Stoney Ground, Linen, Light Buff, and Sahara. If you are looking to add simple elegance and clean lines to a living space, this is the mantel you need! 
The Boulder Firepit – The Boulder by Distinctive Mantel Designs is made from the same effective material as the mantels, and is available in 5 colors including Smoke, Stoney Ground, Linen, Light Buff, and Sahara. It has a customizable burner and can be used with either natural gas or propane. Each firepit comes with a pan as well as decorative glass rocks as a full package. 

If you are interested in ordering any of the products from Distinctive Mantel Designs, please visit the "How to Order" tab on our client’s website. 

Stayed tune to our social media channels for updates about a nationally syndicated article campaign we are currently executing for Distinctive Mantel Designs!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Still Wondering if Social Media Is Worth the Effort and Cost?

Are you a business owner or marketing manager who is still dabbling with the idea of using social media to promote your brand, product or service? If you are, you might find an article our team here at Eberly & Collard Public Relations wrote is of interest in your pursuit of all things social networking.

Several of our social media gurus recently teamed up to share tips and ideas for one of our editor contacts on how Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest can be maximized for branding and relationship-building purposes. 

As some of you may remember from several weeks ago, we shared our Twitter byline article from Greenhouse Grower magazine. Now our second part in this social media series has published on Greenhouse Grower’s website, and it includes tips on ways for businesses to improve Facebook return-on-investment (ROI). 

The tips in the article apply to all businesses and trades– whether in the Horticulture, Interior Design, Architecture, Building / Construction, Furniture, or other Industries. We work in all of these fields and their sectors, and we can tell you the lessons learned in this article are relevant no matter which industry category applies to you and your work. 

And, because it is the social media question everyone asks us the most, we’d like to share upfront we believe that social media ROI is not necessarily based on direct financial gain. Yes, that’s right. Having a Facebook page won’t immediately glean sales for you. Rather, the idea is built around establishing online relationships with customers. It can take some time, but by creating meaningful interactions with fans on Facebook, the result can include customer loyalty, which in turn, can equate to increased sales. It’s surely worth the effort to have the privilege of ongoing online dialog with clients, customers and those we hope will become purchasers of our products or services. 

To read our full article about Facebook, click here. Also, stay tuned for our next installment in the social media series, which will focus on Pinterest.

Our Client, Terra Nova Nurseries’ Facebook shows
 the importance of posting content to make an impression
 on target audiences and encourage interaction.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Putting Our Clients in the Limelight and Serving as a Resource to the Media…All at the Same Time 

Our very own Don Eberly and Dominique de Bruin recently teamed up to write a byline article for our client, the International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market, which is currently featured in the October issue of Casual Living, one of our favorite trade magazines dedicated to covering the casual (outdoor) furniture and accessories industry.

The International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market is the premier destination for retailers looking to find all things related to outdoor and casual living. In September, retailers, buyers and designers spent four days at the Chicago market discovering the industries’ newest, most innovative products from leading manufacturers around the world to the latest trends in color, product design, fabric patterns, and more. Part of our ECPR team was there managing the market’s public / media relations. This year’s Casual Market was a huge success and featured approximately 250 manufactures, allowing for retailers to see how a variety of trend-based products will be marketed and sold in 2013. 

For industry professionals who were unable to attend, the aforesaid article, “Tuned To Trends,” highlights the emerging trends seen at this year’s market. From our team’s first-hand experience at the show and extensive interviews with exhibitors and showroom representatives, we were able to bring the best of this year’s Casual Market to the hands of readers throughout the industry.

Not every public relations firm can enable the high-level coverage that comes with securing byline articles in trade publications for clients. However, securing and writing full articles and feature stories about and for our clients is all in a day’s work for Eberly & Collard Public Relations (ECPR). The longstanding relationships we cultivate with editors leads to the ability to obtain media coverage and article content for clients, based upon the fact the editors and publishers come to think of us as experts within the field. As a result, editors rely on us to provide the latest insider information, trends and content in the Home, Garden, Design, Furniture, Building / Construction, and Architecture Industries, just to name a few.

In addition to our team’s knowledge, editors benefit from our firm’s capability to access these industries' thought-leaders, top designers and coveted manufactures for interviews and quotes when writing byline articles. As editors develop an appreciation and dependency on our team member’s abilities to serve as contributing writers / editors, our clients become a direct beneficiary.

Ultimately, it is the professional bond ECPR continues to build with editors, that enables us to give clients a level of coverage other firms cannot achieve. For example, when we secured a byline in Casual Living, we capitalized on the opportunity to feature more than one client. In “Tuned To Trends,” our team focused on the International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market, yet still featuring Highwood USA, OW Lee, Pride Family Brands, TUCCI, and several others.

Writing byline articles for trade publications is just one service ECPR provides to clients. We also use the power of photo spreads, placed advertisements, blog posts, and social media management to enhance client’s brands. Our team is dedicated to making clients stand out among their competitors with innovative and cutting-edge strategies.

To learn more about what ECPR can do for your business or brand, please visit our website at www.eberlycollardpr.com. And, to read the byline article in mention, click the photos in this blog post to enlarge them.





Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Preparing Gardens for Winter


Terra Nova Nurseries' Helleborus
 Winter Jewels™ 'Amethyst Gem'
As the winter season approaches those in the landscape and gardening industries know that it is important to keep plants protected from the harsh, cold weather conditions. This can include many different tasks such as pruning plants; taking stock of the garden; spot-checking individual plants; and planting varieties that grow well in the winter time. 

Gardeners and landscape designers, we have listed below several tips that we believe are important for winter gardening and that will get you in the right mindset for the upcoming season!
  • Prune Deciduous Trees and Shrubs – Winter is a great time to prune back deciduous plants because the foliage has dropped, and it is easier to see the branching structure. Several things to remember is to prune any diseased or broken limbs, remove branches that go against the plant’s natural flow and be conservative when cutting back. The natural architecture of the plant will be a guide as to what needs to be trimmed back. 
  • Spot-check Plants Individually – The extreme changes in the weather can put a real toll on plants. Evergreen trees and shrubs usually get the worst of the winter months so making sure they have a fresh layer of mulch that is 3 to 4 inches deep after the first hard freeze of the season is very important. Certain perennials might need to be taken care of this time of the year as well. Try cutting back the bulk of the foliage in mass plantings of grasses while still being cautious to not damage the crowns.
  • Take Stock of the Garden’s Design – This is a good time to take a look at the permanent elements of a garden landscape such as the lawn, paths or evergreens. If a garden seems empty after the first frost of the season it might be a good idea to add a mixed bed with plants that grow well in the winter. A border of potted plants works well too because they can be easily covered or moved inside if the weather is too harsh. 
  • Add Plants That Grow Well in Winter – Just because the temperature has fallen doesn’t mean a garden has to go into hibernation. There are many plants that grow well in the cold winter months. The following plants look beautiful throughout the whole season. 
    • Helleborus – This winter blooming perennial thrives in light shade and usually grows between 1 to 3 feet. Our client, Terra Nova Nurseries has a nice variety of helleborus that are available for purchase. 
    • Lamium Maculatum ‘White Nancy’ – Its silvery colored leaves look beautiful in the winter as a ground cover to lighten up shaded beds. It also grows well in dry weather. 
    • Nandina 'Fire Power' – The foliage on this shrub has a deep crimson hue all winter long. 
Check out these links for additional ideas and inspiration:

Let us know what you think. Do you have any specific tips that you use in your own garden during the winter time?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Designing for Small Kitchens

Photo courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens
When designing for apartments, condos, or older homes, there’s the possibility of running into smaller kitchens. Tight spaces may lead to fewer appliances, smaller furniture and simpler schemes, but they don’t have to cut back on ideas. Use these opportunities to get creative and think outside the box.

Designers, ECPR came up with some of our favorite small kitchen design tips to inspire ideas for your next small-space project.

Tips:

1. Mirrored Illusions
  • Glossy appliances – Considering glossy appliances are a hot trend, clients probably won’t mind installing them. The added bonus is they’ll reflect lots of light and make the space feel bigger. 
  • Mirrored backsplash – When picking out a backsplash it may be useful to consider choosing one that doubles as a mirror so there is the ability to open the space up even more. 
2. Embrace the Light
  • Windows Are A Plus – By adding windows to the kitchen, natural light can flood the room and makes it feel airy and brighter, ultimately making it feel larger. 
  • Light Color Schemes- Sticking to crèmes and whites can always makes a room feel larger, which is the way to go in a small space. However don’t be afraid of adding a touch of color. Smaller kitchens still need some personality, so try adding a colorful backsplash or colored appliance. 
3. Go Vertical
  • Floor To Ceiling Cabinets - Utilize the space that’s there and provide additional storage space with floor to ceiling cabinets. 
  • Taller, narrower cabinetry makes rooms feel more spacious and less clunky. 
4. Islands That Serve A Purpose
  • Multi-utility Islands - Even if the kitchen calls for a smaller island, it doesn't have to lack importance and purpose. Pick an island with plenty of storage options or a breakfast bar attached to the side. Another idea is to install the microwave below the island, allowing the extra wall space for cabinetry. 
  • Islands on Wheels - If the kitchen is really cramped opt for a smaller island on wheels. This allows for it to be there while clients are cooking, but can be rolled to another room while they’re entertaining. 
5. Storage Solutions
  • Shelves - Just because its storage doesn't mean it has to be stored away from plain view. Adding shelves are great alternatives to cabinets and allow the space to feel more open. 
  • Pull Out Pantries - The last thing a small kitchen needs is clutter, our team suggests adding a pull out pantry, or two, to alleviate spare food items or kitchen products that tend to just hang out on top of the counter. 
Check out these sites for inspiring designs: 

Better Homes and Gardens Small Space Kitchen Island Ideas: http://ow.ly/eLjvK

HGTV 10 Small Kitchens: http://ow.ly/eK8qP

39 Small Kitchen Design Ideas: http://ow.ly/eK8lf

House Beautiful Small Kitchen Designs - Ideas for a Small Kitchen: http://ow.ly/eLjV1

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Modern Meets Traditional

The High Point Market is now in full swing and there are many exciting new trends, products and accessories for designers and buyers to see. One of the multiple new collections being showcased this week comes from recognized design personality / HGTV star Candice Olson. The well known designer has partnered with Highland House, a company known for its stylish, easy-to-live with, designer-quality furniture. The new collection features more than 80 pieces of upholstery and case goods. Olson describes the collection as “modern meets traditional.” With Highland House’s traditional approach and Olson’s modern chic design ideas, we believe the two are a great team! 

Our friends at Furniture Today have been at High Point Market all week gathering interesting coverage to share with fellow industry professionals. Below is a video hosted by Ray Allegrezza, editor-in-chief at Furniture Today, as he interviews Olson on how the new collection was designed, as well as gives a few “sneak peek” shots of the furniture pieces. 


What do you think of Highland House’s new “modern meets traditional” collection?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

ECPR Shares Expert Advice About Twitter

Our team recently penned a byline article for Greenhouse Grower magazine, one of the top horticulture publications in the nation. From the benefits of using Twitter to an introductory lesson on how to write a results-oriented Tweet, our article provides helpful tips and insights on the inner-workings of this worldwide phenomenon. To read our full article about Twitter, click here.

If you are interested in developing a Twitter channel for your own brand and are unsure of the necessary steps and actions to take, our team can help. At ECPR, we specialize in PR 2.0, as we define it, the combination of traditional public relations and today’s social media networks. This leads to building online communities – of existing customers, potential customers, supporters, media members, and others within your constituency groups. To learn more about our social media and traditional public relations services, visit our website at www.eberlycollardpr.com.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Southern Vernacular Architecture and Southern Interior Design Panel at ADAC


We are excited to announce an upcoming panel discussion and book signing event our team conceptualized and is managing for a client, Historical Concepts. Our very own Don Eberly and Jeff Collard will be on location to moderate the panel.

Jim StricklandHistorical Concepts
Photo Credit: Emily Jenkins Followill
Jim Strickland, Founder and Senior Partner at Historical Concepts and co-author of Coming Home: The Southern Vernacular House, will headline the group of well-known designers, authors and media pros for the informative panel that will explore all things related to Southern Vernacular Architecture and Southern Interior Design. The panel will be held at 1:30 p.m., Oct. 18, 2012, in the seminar room at ADAC, the preeminent design center of the Southeast for residential and contract furnishings. Following the panel at 2:30 p.m., the Holland & Company showroom at ADAC (Suite 238) will host a group book signing and “meet and greet” reception with the panelists / authors. 

The renowned panelist members will also include Phoebe Howard, co-owner of retail stores Mrs. Howard and Max & Company, and author of The Joy of Decorating: Southern Style with Mrs. Howard; Kimberly Grigg, founder of Knotting Hill Interiors, guest-host “Stylebroker” on ABC affiliate WPDE TV 15, and author of the upcoming book, Livable Luxury; Carolyn Hultman, founder of Carolyn Hultman Interior Design and featured in books such as Paula Deen’s Savannah Style and Historical Concepts’ Coming Home: The Southern Vernacular House; and very special guest panelist Lindsay Bierman, editor-in-chief at Southern Living magazine. 

Coming Home: The Southern Vernacular House, by Strickland and his firm’s partners, showcases Historical Concepts’ expertise in reinterpreting the roots of southern vernacular design. Beautifully photographed, the book offers readers a range of southern inspiration through a number of homes, buildings and communities the architecture firm has designed.

Paula Deen’s book, Savannah Style, offers tips on how to bring southern charm into all aspects of the home. Hultman collaborated with Deen to design and furnish two guest cottages on Deen’s riverside estate, which are prominently featured in the book. In The Joy of Decorating: Southern Style with Mrs. Howard, the grace and elegance of Southern interior design in many stylish spaces are featured and organized by theme. Copies of the three books will be available for purchase and can be signed or personalized by the authors at the event.

As part of Bierman’s panel participation, he will offer insight from his experience driving the editorial vision, content and direction for Southern Living, the country’s seventh-largest monthly paid magazine as well as his vast knowledge of architecture and design.

We are looking forward to this event and hope to see many of our fans and followers at ADAC, Oct. 18.

Kimberly Grigg,
Knotting Hill Interiors
Phoebe Howard,
Mrs. Howard and Max & Company
Lindsay Bierman,
Southern Living
Carolyn Hultman,
Carolyn Hultman Interior Design

Thursday, September 27, 2012

O.W. Lee Receives Prestigious ICFA Award

A big congrats to our client, O.W. Lee, manufacturer of high-end outdoor furniture, fire pits, and accessories, for being awarded the International Casual Furnishings Association’s (ICFA) Manufacturer of the Year Award at the ICFA Awards Reception on Sept. 21, 2012. The event took place concurrently with the International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market, Sept. 20-23.

O.W. Lee was selected as the Manufacturer of the Year as a result of its high point standings in a variety of categories, including quality of products, design, merchandising, customer service, ethics / trade relations, and communication. In addition, the company received a Manufacturer Leadership Award in the Wrought Iron / Aluminum category, as well as recognition for Dean Smith’s, of Dean H. Smith Associates Inc., Sales Representative of Year Award. 

To learn more about the ICFA Awards, visit www.icfanet.org. To learn more about O.W. Lee, visit: www.owlee.com.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

2013 Spring Color Report

It is hard to believe that it is already time to start thinking about colors and trends for spring 2013. Earlier this month, the color experts at Pantone released their 2013 Spring Color Report. Based on the report the hot colors are a reflection of consumers’ desire for self-expression, balance and the need to re-energize. Green will serve as a backdrop for other hues. The three shades of green that are predicted to be the most popular include Tender Shoots, Grayed Jade and Emerald. Other colors that will be big in 2013 are Exotic African Violet, Poppy Red, Nectarine, Lemon Zest, Dusk Blue, Linen and Monaco Blue. 

Designers, keep these colors in mind when designing indoor and outdoor space this spring. With the color-blocking trend still prominent, all of these colors can be mixed and matched together to create a room that is bright and cheerful. 

Tender Shoots: It is a vibrant, invigorating and cheery yellow-green that will bring the look of spring into any room. When paired with a neutral, Tender Shoots will stand out even more, giving personality to a space. 

Grayed Jade: This is a subtle, hushed green with gray undertones. The use of jade has always been popular, but with the hint of gray it has more of a sophisticated touch that people can relate to. 

Emerald: The lively, radiant shade of green gives off a feel of elegance. It is a rich color that works well in other seasons such as winter. 
Photo Credit: House to Home
Let us know what colors you like for the spring!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Terra Nova Nurseries featured in Better Homes and Gardens

Better Homes and Gardens 
September 2012 Issue
We are excited to share a recent project we helped plan with the editors of Better Homes and Gardens magazine and one of our clients, Terra Nova Nurseries, Our team here at Eberly & Collard Public Relations worked hand-in-hand with the magazine’s Garden and Field editors as well as their Field Photographers to facilitate this beautiful spread for the magazine which is all about heuchera varieties. We set up site visits for the editors and photographers, coordinated the story’s main interview for the editors with Dan Heims, the president of Terra Nova Nurseries, as well as ensured the article met the needs of our client, too. 

The gardens at Terra Nova Nurseries were photographed to display one of the breeder’s most popular plants. As you read through the pages of the article, you will get a real sense of the great beauty and countless benefits of heucheras. Each page displays different kinds of heuchera individually or in containers. We hope you enjoy the article as much as we did helping the magazine and our client to plan it. Oh, and don’t forget to pick up a print copy of the September issue. 

Our thanks and appreciation to the great editors and photographers at Better Homes & Gardens and the team at Terra Nova Nurseries!

Click on each photo below to enlarge and read the article: 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It’s Time to Humanize

As many of you know, we have recently created a new Pinterest account, featuring boards in a variety of different categories in the home, garden and design industries. These include: agribusiness; architects & builders; art & antiques; books & authors; building & construction; casual furniture & accessories; decking & flooring; home & garden radio / T.V. personalities; homewares & hardware; horticultural products; interior designers; interior furniture products; kitchen products / cabinetry & design; landscape architects & designers; lawn & garden products; lighting; outdoor living; plants, seeds, blubs, & edible veggies; and windows & doors.

In addition to our industry-related categories, the ECPR team has now formed a new board entitled “Things We Enjoy Outside the Office.” This board features a selection of our interests, ranging from books and television shows to favorite foods and places we enjoy visiting.

Some of you may be wondering why we created such a board. The answer is simple. Many marketers believe that humanizing your company and brand, gives you an edge over your competitors. Why? Because whether it’s a consumer or potential client researching your company, most are likely to be attracted to the driving force behind companies. We don’t necessarily mean professional goals and mission statements, while those are important too. We are referring to getting an inside look at a team, which includes our interests and hobbies.

By sharing this information, we have the ability to relate to prospective clients on a deeper and more personal level. Thus, we are not only establishing credibility, but also client loyalty. In addition, our “Things We Enjoy Outside the Office” Pinterest board helps us encourage more interaction among our friends and fans, which in turn allows us to create a dialogue that can lead into discussions about our company and services. And, as a result, by humanizing our company, we are increasing the ability to generate relationships essential to our work, campaigns, clients, and business.

No matter if you are B2B or B2C, we encourage you to invest in this type of marketing, because it can not only help promote brand awareness, but can also establish a positive reputation. Need we say more? Start your own “Things We Enjoy Outside the Office” Pinterest board today, or contact us for a quote to manage your business’ public / media relations and social media.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

National Hardware Show: Best of Show

The National Hardware Show in May 2012 left a trail of excitement and positive feedback that we are still hearing about from those who attended and exhibited. This year’s highly successful show featured exhibitors from all over the world. Ranging from lawn and garden products, hardware and tools, and outdoor living products to paint, outdoor accessories, plumbing, and electrical, the National Hardware Show had it all.

Before the show began, the ECPR team had the privilege of creating a “Sneak Peek” Facebook photo album for the show. Exhibitors were able to submit product information and photos to be featured on our Facebook Timeline and be seen by top trade and consumer publication editors. After compiling feedback from our select editor / media contacts as well as assessing all of the submissions, we have chosen our “Best of Show” picks. Each product featured in this blog post has unique and innovative characteristics, earning them honorable mentions.

Twistfree

The first company to which we awarded “Best of Show” is Twistfree, a company that manufactures extension cord and hose organizers. At this year’s show, Twistfree debuted a new line of products designed to make handling cords and hoses easy and efficient, whether for home or industrial use. The company’s collection of products includes the Roadee Cord Organizer; which is available in three different sizes; the Roadee Hose Organizer, available in two sizes; and Gripz for extension cords. Twistfree’s cord organizers ensure extension cords, cables and hoses are twist and knot free, making them easy to use and store. To learn more, visit www.twistfree.com.

Viatek

Viatek Consumer Products’ newest product, the Handheld Bladeless Fan, made its way into our National Hardware Show “Best of Show.” This ultra-portable and lightweight fan is ideal for sporting events, the beach, parks, and even to the office. Its sleek and stylish features makes this product the latest in bladeless fan technology, delivering a cool, smooth stream of air without the unpleasant buffeting sound associated with fan blades. Completely cordless, it runs on just three AA batteries and uses only half the energy of a conventional fan. For more information about the Handheld Bladeless Fan, visit Viatek’s website at www.viatekproducts.com.

Sycamore Group
Big mess, no problem! Sycamore Group’s Big Wipes Industrial are pre-impregnated industrial-strength cleaning wipes designed for use by anyone who needs a quick and effective cleaning product. They are perfect for those who work in construction, engineering, painting, and more. The Big Wipes have the ability to clean a wide range of substances from hands, tools and surfaces, including: grime, grease, oil- & water-based paints & coatings, adhesives, silicone & acrylic sealants, poly foam, epoxy, oil, tar, etc. This product was chosen to be part of our “Best of Show” because of its durability, effectiveness and versatility. For more information on Big Wipes Industrial, visit www.bigwipesusa.com.

Liquid Fence 
Liquid Fence’s Yard Net Granular Lawn and Yard Insect Repellent was one of the standouts at this year’s NHS, making the product a shoe-in for our “Best of Show.” This industry‐first, time‐release formula encapsulates and preserves the effectiveness of the natural essential oil ingredients. As the granules biodegrade, they slowly release the oils, creating long‐lasting, eco‐safe repellency for up to a full week. Yard Net Granular significantly controls biting insects such as mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, black flies and gnats. And, it contains no pyrethrins, no pyrethroids and no d‐limonene, so it’s safe to use around kids and pets, and won’t harm vegetation. To learn more, visit www.liquidfence.com.

PIC Corporation

To wrap up our NHS “Best of Show,” we have selected PIC Corporation’s Twist-It. This product is a new, flexible device that repels mosquitoes and wraps around umbrellas, beach chairs, bike handles, strollers and other outdoor objects. Twist-It eliminates the need to spray bug repellents directly on the skin, which can have unpleasant scents. Instead, the Twist-It can be wrapped around a variety of outdoor items to create a long-lasting ten-foot radius of protection from insect-borne diseases and irritating bites, providing pest-free summer barbeques, camping trips or time to lounge by the pool. For more information about PIC Corporation’s Twist-It, visit the company’s website at www.pic-corp.com.

To vote for your favorite "Best of Show" product, add your "Comments" below. Be sure to indicate the name of the product in your comment. The product with the most comments will be awarded the top "Best of Show" status. Voting will end in mid-September.

*To enlarge the photos, simply select each individual image.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Going for Gold!

Photo Credit: Mashable
According to a recent article published on the Washington Post’s website, NBC proclaims the 2012 London Olympic Games was the most-watched television event in history. This means added marketing exposure for sponsors and donors, including companies in the home furniture and accessory industry as well as outdoor product manufacturers.

Contemporary and transitional upholstery specialist, Lazar, recently provided its Lodi chair to Bob Costas’ NBC Olympic coverage set. The chair is manufactured from kiln-dried hardwoods with hardwood plywood, and the fabric is designed from 100% recycled materials such as linen, cotton, hemp, and bamboo. This is the second time one of Lazar’s products has been used on set during the Olympics, the first being the winter games in Vancouver. To learn more about Lazar’s participation in the Olympic Games, click here to read the article on Furniture Today’s website.

Another company that was featured at the Olympic Games was Telescope Casual, a leading manufacturer of outdoor and wood furniture. The company’s director chairs were used on the set of the Today Show, providing comfortable seating for host Savannah Guthrie and Olympic athletes. Telescope Casual uses local supplies and grows / maintains its own 8,000-acre forest in New York, allowing it to control the quality of its handmade products. For information about Telescope International’s contribution to the Olympic Games, click here to read the article on Casual Living’s website.

Competitor Swim Products, a division of Richey Industries, Inc.’s Competitor Racing Lanes, were used during the London games. The company, a manufacturer of outdoor furniture as well as racing lanes for competitive swimming, has been supplying the lane lines for the last nine Olympics. Learn more about Richey Industries, Inc.’s involvement in the Olympic Games by clicking here.

A big thanks to all those who participated in the 2012 Olympic Games. We look forward to seeing what Rio 2016 has in store for us, and the furniture industry!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Southern-Style Ideas for Southern Living

The 2012 Southern Living Idea House is a place where visitors can be inspired by eye-catching style, design and décor. Simply put, ideas for the home abound in every corner. One look at the house from afar is a quick tell-tale that many experts had a hand in renovating the former farmhouse to what is now a breath-taking home that exudes a true sense of southern living.

From its very framework and well-designed architecture to the lush landscape and grounds to an elegant yet comfortable interior, the Idea House seems to have been a labor of love. A talented design team, generous sponsors, Southern Living and Time, Inc. staff members, and many others have created an absolute must-see experience not to be missed.

Through the end of the year when the house closes its doors to visitors, our team at ECPR will be featuring many of the participating companies in a blog article series that will be linked to various home, garden, design, and mainstream media outlets. It is our hope that our readers, followers, and the media members for whom we write, will come to know the house and appreciate the many obvious contributions as much as we do.

We begin our Southern Living Idea House blog series with Robert Martin, Vice President and Head Residential Designer, at Get More Curb Appeal, LLC. He was kind enough to spend some time telling us about his company and what this year’s Idea House involvement has meant to him and his colleagues.

Photo Credit: Laurey W. Glenn
Robert’s company created the breath-taking beds, borders and other planted areas surrounding this year’s house. Their design and installation allows regional and native plants to greet visitors to the house with a welcoming combination of green foliage and blooming flowers. Read on, and see what Robert has to say…

ECPR: What is your role at Get More Curb Appeal?

Robert Martin: I design the exterior renovation portion of our services, per our client's responses to our questionnaire (their likes, dislikes, and desired results of their home makeover). I also make product and paint color recommendations based upon what's appropriate to the style of each client's home.

ECPR: What is your company's specialization?

Robert Martin: Get More Curb Appeal is the only online design service that offers both exterior home makeovers and landscape plans. For a fraction of the cost, we can create customized plans for our clients that any builder, remodeler, or landscape installer can follow.

ECPR: Why and how did your company become involved with the Southern Living Idea House 2012?

Robert Martin: Another unique distinction about Get More Curb Appeal is that my three partners and I collectively share 41 years of experience by previously working at Southern Living magazine. I served as Architecture Editor at Southern Living from 2000 to 2010. My partners, all Southern Living alumni and former colleagues at the magazine, are: Jason Somerville, a horticulturalist from Clemson University; builder / New Homes Specialist Ada Love, also a graduate from Auburn; and expert gardener Julie Thaxton.

ECPR: What design and / or products did you provide to the Idea House this year?

Robert Martin: Our Jason Somerville designed the landscape plan for this year's Idea House.

ECPR: What was the inspiration behind your design work or the installation you provided for the Idea House?

Robert Martin: Because the house at Senoia is a remodeled / renovated farmhouse, we were instructed to keep the landscape design and selection of plants as indigenous and “informal” as possible. Thus, Jason designed a plan that both complimented the house and contained a variety of regional, hardy plant material - with an emphasis on low maintenance.

ECPR: Is there a home, garden or design trend specific to your area of specialization you have noticed this year?

Robert Martin: One trend we've noticed - which is basically why we started Get More Curb Appeal in the first place - is that despite the lagging economy, people still want their homes to look their best, within a set budget, of course. So, when shown a creative and doable way to achieve this, homeowners are willing to allocate a little more time and money to improve their home's and yard's appearances.

Learn more about Get More Curb Appeal online here.

Get inspired by visiting the Southern Living Idea House’s website and plan your trip to see it in person.

Stay tuned to our blog and other social media channels from now through December to learn more about the designers and others who have contributed their expertise to the Idea House.

~ The ECPR Team

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Panel of Experts

A new addition to this year’s International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market is a Consumer Media Panel Session. Editors from top national, consumer publications will participate in a panel discussion to share their professional expertise on a variety of topics. As our company is the official public relations firm for the show, our very own Don Eberly and Jeff Collard conceptualized and planned the event and will moderate the panel to include outdoor room design, outdoor furniture and accessory trends, and relatable insights from the panelists’ editorial research and writing.

In addition, the panelists will also provide a brief overview of themes they tend to cover in their magazines, what they look for when sourcing content, and pertinent editorial topics they may be planning in the coming year.

The panel consists of five major consumer magazine editors, including Kit Selzer, senior home editor at Better Homes & Gardens; Jodi Bech, publisher at Garden Design; Amy Elbert, senior architecture editor at Traditional Home; Amy Mitchell, managing editor at Coastal Living; and Eugenia Santiesteban Soto, style director at Veranda. The session, “Inspired Exteriors: Consumer Media Panel,” will take place on Friday, Sept. 21 at 10 a.m. in room 8A, 8th floor of the Chicago Merchandise Mart. We look forward to seeing our industry peers there!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fall Pantone Colors for Designers

Designers, are you considering fall color palettes? Pantone has released the top fall colors for 2012. French Roast, Olympian Blue, Honey Gold, Tangerine Tango, Ultramarine Green, Titanium, and Bright Chartreuse will be in stores come September. And, the combination of these colors will transform any room in the house into a trendy, stylish living area.

French Roast: Robust and rich, French Roast is a perfect base color for heavy indoor furniture such as sofas and side chairs, decorative rugs or art frames to give boundaries on light-painted walls.
Photo Credit: Bella Patina
Olympian BlueThis color has a cool, calming effect. Designers, consider choosing Olympian Blue for bedroom textiles such as throw pillows and bedding.
Photo Credit: The Suite Life Designs
Honey GoldBright and sunny, Honey Gold has an inviting effect, making it ideal for living room, bedroom and dining room walls or draperies.
Photo Credit: Serenity in Design
Tangerine Tango: Pantone’s Color of the Year, Tangerine Tango definitely has a fall season feel. This retro shade of orange is great for throw pillows and blankets on a couch or chair.
Photo Credit: Romanoff Elements
Ultramarine GreenThis intense misty-green color is perfect for transitioning from summer to fall to winter, giving it an all-season appeal. Ultramarine Green can be used as an accent color for windowsills, door frames and crown-molding.
Photo Credit: The Suite Life Designs
TitaniumThe quintessential neutral color, Titanium works well in contemporary settings. This color is great for designing kitchen spaces or painted accents in select areas of the home.
Photo Credit: Dec0r.com
Bright ChartreuseMimicking spring foliage, Bright Chartreuse brings in a touch of vibrancy to this year’s fall colors. Decorative floral arrangements and other accessories in Bright Chartreuse complement darker furniture pieces.
Photo Credit: The Style Handler

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Plein Air Event and Book Signing

Photo Credit: Richard Leo Johnson

Nationally acclaimed painters from across the United States began gathering in the village of Cashiers, NC on Sunday, July 15, and will be there until Saturday, July 21. With the opportunity to set up easels on top of Whiteside Mountain, each painter will set out to capture the landscape and lifestyle of the quaint, rustic town. The Plein Air committee has planned a number of exciting events throughout the week to attract visitors from across the states including, Artist in Action, Wet Room Exhibit Sales, Art Flag Silent Auction, a lecture by Julyan Davis, luncheon with Susan Sully, The Patron Party, and a book signing by our client Jim Strickland and Terry Pylant of Historical Concepts, a firm that specializes in traditional architecture, planning and place-making services for homeowners, developers and civic clients.

Historical Concepts will be participating in two events during the Plein Air Festival.

The first event will take place Friday, July 20, from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Village Green Conservancy Committee’s Plein Air Patrons Party.

The Village Green Conservancy Committee will be hosting its Patron Party to display top art pieces from the Plein Air Art Festival. Tickets for this event are $85 per person. Attendees will be able to mingle with the artists and purchase various works of art from the Plein Air Festival. Historical Concepts’ Jim Strickland and Terry Pylant will be introduced by leading conservancy committee member and well-known landscape architect, Mary Palmer Dargan, as special guests during the event in regard to the firm’s new book, Coming Home: The Southern Vernacular House. Jim and Terry will be signing purchased books throughout the Patron Party. 
Photo Credit: Emily Jenkins Followill.


The second event will take place Saturday, July 21, from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the Village Green Conservancy Committee’s Plein Air Pavilion Art Festival.

A family-oriented free festival will be hosted by the Village Green Conservancy Committee, featuring 24 artists as well as games and food / refreshments. The artists will paint a collective “masterpiece” between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Throughout the duration of the festival, Historical Concepts’ Jim Strickland and Terry Pylant will be signing purchased copies of Coming Home: The Southern Vernacular House at a special book signing table under the pavilion. Those in attendance will have the chance to meet Jim and Terry, and learn about their passion for designing southern vernacular homes with historic precedent in the Cashiers / Highlands region, and beyond.

If you are in the Cashiers or Highlands area this weekend, and are a fan of Historical Concepts we encourage you to stop by Plein Air. It will be an event you will not want to miss out on! To learn more visit its website at: www.pleinairnc.com

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Let the Countdown Begin

Our team at Eberly & Collard Public Relations is counting down the days until this year’s OFA Short Course. The show will be taking place Saturday, July 14 through Tuesday, July, 17, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, OH. Two of our team members, Don and Jeff, will be attending this year’s OFA along with our client Terra Nova Nurseries.

Each year, exhibitors from around the world showcase the latest and most innovative products that will soon be available to consumers through garden and home store retailers from coast to coast. In addition, show goers will have the opportunity to connect with fellow industry peers, establish business relationships as well as attend inspiring educational seminars and talks. This year there will be nearly 500 companies represented at the show, 120 speakers from across the world, and 140 sessions for all segments of the industry.

In the New Varieties displays, show-goers will get a first-hand look at the new introductions from the exhibitors at OFA. These new plants will have the latest genetic characteristics for improved crop performance including growth under low temperatures, light conditions, and insect and disease resistance. Be sure to stop by Terra Nova Nurseries New Varieties displays (NV 92 and NV 93) to see several of the company’s new plants as well as their booth (#2013).

Don and Jeff will be available at Terra Nova Nurseries’ booth for media visits and they look forward to seeing everyone at the show. If you plan on attending OFA, feel free to leave comments before or during the show.

To learn more about OFA follow the link below:
http://bit.ly/Oq7800

Friday, July 6, 2012

Big River Industries Featured in Storm Water Solutions

We recently wrote an article featuring our client, Big River Industries, that was featured in Storm Water Solutions’ May / June issue. Our team worked with the magazine editors to secure and write the article for our client.

The article is about how Big River Industries’ expanded clay lightweight aggregate (LWA) was used to solve a roadway-widening dilemma in a Minneapolis suburb. The city faced a problem with a 3-mile stretch of swampy land with unstable soils that ran along side the road. City officials and the department of transportation were looking for a cost-effective solution to widen the road that was sustainable, environmentally responsible and safe. Then, they were introduced to Big River Industries and found just the solution they needed.

Below is the actual article from the magazine and a link to the online article. Find out more about this fascinating story.

http://www.estormwater.com/filling-gaps

Visit Big River Industries website to learn more about the company: http://bigriverindustries.com/