One of our biggest challenges as a 501(c)(3) is creating awareness and promoting what it is we do here at EWI. Our vision is to “advance our customers’ manufacturing competitiveness through innovation in joining and allied technologies.” How we accomplish this is by sharing our technical skills and know-how to deliver innovative technical solutions for our members.
But how do people know about EWI and what we can do… Now there in lies the awareness problem.
First there is the awareness challenge actually inside of EWI… We have experts in many different welding, adhesion, manufacturing, design, modeling and inspection disciplines. Do all our Associates truly understand everything we can deliver to our customers or do they just know what they know? To help alleviate this potential gap, we’ve done internal “lunch and learns” to educate our already highly educated Associates on our capabilities outside their own areas of expertise. One of the great benefits of working with EWI is our technical and industry depth and breadth… But all of us need to understand that breadth in order to share that value with our members.
Second, there is the challenge of promoting our world leading expertise to our members. We’ve found that our members know us for what we’ve done for them already, not what we have the capability to do for them. To help resolve this, we’ve introduced new member orientation and have expanded that to include “old” members as well. This has proven to be a great method of starting the personal partnership with our members and driving value to the individuals who understand all that EWI membership offers.
Finally, and most challenging, is creating awareness of EWI outside our group of passionate members. We currently have over 240 member companies in a wide variety of industries. Almost without exception, as new members come on board, they state something to the effect of “I wish I had known about you guys sooner” or “I could have really used your help before ‘this’ became a problem”. And if I had a nickel for the amount of times I’ve heard the expression that EWI is the “best kept secret”, I’d be driving something other than a scooter.
Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber have tremendous awareness, and I would humbly argue they have less ability to help US manufacturing than our Associates, yet somehow they combine for over 53,000,000 followers on The Twitter (I know it’s not THE Twitter… I just say that to bug my kids) and 98,000,000 “likes” on Facebook (we have 49 followers and 50 likes, respectively… no… I didn’t forget to add the zeros). So with US manufacturing poised to make a resurgence, EWI is being outliked and followed by LG and JB by more than the insignificant amount of 1,525,253%. We should all be a little embarrassed.
As we don’t have a big (er… any) awareness campaign budget, I would ask you to PLEASE SHARE THIS BLOG ABOUT EWI. Email it, Facebook it, LinkedIn, or use The Twitter. A perfectly suitable comment attached with the link to the blog might be “EWI is helping drive the resurgence of US manufacturing” or “See how EWI is helping manufacturers innovate” or “Lady Gaga Loves US Manufacturing”. Exactly what we do (at least a nice summary of it) to support US manufacturing can be found here using the technologies found here.
What’s in it for me you ask… So if this blog becomes the EWI blog with the most unique views in the next 3 weeks (trust me it won’t be a stretch) or we are able to crack the century mark in likes and followers, then I will randomly select a person who adds a comment below stating why you feel creating a US manufacturing resurgence is critical to the US economy. The winner will receive either a $50 gift card or $50 donated in her/his name to their favorite charity (your choice). If things go really well, I’ll personally throw in another $50 for a second winner. Contest ends Friday, August 17th. EWI employees or family are not eligible (sorry Jenny) .
Thanks for your help in getting the EWI word out. I (Jim Tighe) can be reached at email@example.com, follow me on The Twitter @EWI_innovations, Like us on Facebook “EWIinnovation” or you can even call me on a rotary phone at 614.688.5064.