Thursday, June 8, 2017

Award Spotlight: “Making the Case for Weil-McLain Boilers”

What can a landmark Wisconsin church, a vintage, luxury apartment in Washington, D.C. and a leading Chicago medical facility possibly have in common?

Each uses heating systems fueled by boilers from Weil-McLain and each served as dramatic illustrations of the products’ benefits in a high-profile case study editorial media initiative that won a Trumpet award from the Publicity Club of Chicago.  

Some background: Weil-McLain, although a leading North American manufacturer of hydronic boilers, historically had minimal visibility in industry trade publications, a vital conduit to customers.

In addition to launching an ongoing editorial coverage campaign, LCWA recommended the sales force would benefit most from publication of case study articles that showcased how Weil-McLain boilers solve an array of heating challenges. 

However, case study articles are submitted to media every day with editorial space in print editions at a premium; even publications’ online versions do not use every article submitted. That’s why LCWA determined it critical to feature facilities that were decidedly distinctive to pique editor interest, such as:  
  • The Zion Episcopal Church, a Wisconsin landmark founded in 1846 by the Rt.
    Reverend Jackson Kemper, the first missionary Episcopal Bishop
  • The Mendota, Washington, D.C.’s oldest intact luxury apartment built in 1901
  • The Weyhill Guest House, a former farm house now used as an historic boutique bed and breakfast
  • A medical facility operated by a leading health care provider, Presence Health

The articles also needed to:
  • Focus on end-users’ unique challenges
  • Portray how Weil-McLain boilers responded to these challenges with high-tech, innovative features
  • Include strong customer endorsements

Another key tactic: development by LCWA of well-written, clever copy. A small sampling:
  • “Historic Church Sings Praises of New High Efficiency Condensing Boilers” (headline from Zion Church article)
  • “Pennsylvania Country Club Gets Guest House in Order with New Boilers” (headline for Weyhill Guest House article)
  • “A medical center in Chicago required a quick, efficient remedy to nurse its aging and failing boiler heating system back to good health” (lead to Presence Health article)
  • Advanced System ‘Harbors’ Efficient Heat for Chicago Condo Building” (headline for Belmont Harbor article)

Six in-depth case studies were researched, written and published in leading HVAC and engineering journals.

Prominent editorial coverage was gained in a major way. In just a 10-month period, a remarkable 56 print and online placements were attained (17 print and 39 online). That’s more than one per week! And, these were not just mere product mentions. Coverage ranged from two to four pages with large color photos.

Even more valuable, these articles vividly illustrated how Weil-McLain boilers solved major heating challenges and featured comments from customers that delivered impactful testimonials. Some examples:
  • Weil-McLain products restored this historic guest house to its former heating glory.”  
  • “These new boilers are more energy efficient, feature low-range pressure controls and have the ability to modulate.”
  • “We didn’t have a single service call through all of last year’s heating season, which says it all for the quality of the units.”
  • “It really is a phenomenal, efficient system and the energy savings have been fantastic.” 

These powerful, third-party endorsements conveyed through yet another influential third-party (the editorial media) boosted the Weil-McLain brand and provided the sales force with compelling information to present to sales prospects.

The "Making the Case for Weil-McLain Boilers" Campaign won a Silver Trumpet from the Publicity Club of Chicago in the category of Media Relations - Business to Business.

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