Client Success Story

For more than three years, Mattson Communications has worked closely with client, Hannover Fairs USA (HFUSA), to launch and promote its DOMOTEX USA exhibition and education platform to further the economic growth of the U.S. floor covering industry. DOMOTEX USA spotlights the latest floor covering innovations and the industry’s brightest stars who keynote its business-oriented education tracks. As part of the portfolio of leading global DOMOTEX branded floor covering shows, DOMOTEX USA is enormously beneficial for the North American flooring industry.

Mattson Communications is honored to have secured industry-wide coverage of both the DOMOTEX USA launch in 2019 and the 2nd annual event in February 2020.  During this time, the media has enthusiastically covered DOMOTEX USA’s news, industry exhibitors and partners who brought broad audience segments to the event.

From top U.S.-based and international hardwood, carpet and luxury vinyl tile manufacturers to flooring installation technology providers and more, DOMOTEX USA affords key industry exhibitors the ability to reach many highly-targeted U.S. buyers. Business attendees run the gamut from flooring retailers, distributors, wholesalers, architects and design professionals. HFUSA takes great care in organizing a safe, easy-to-navigate, beautiful trade show that creates the perfect platform for networking, brand exposure and forming lasting business relationships.

On the heels of the inaugural show in 2019, HFUSA increased its partnerships with top floor covering and design industry associations such as the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). HFUSA also tripled DOMOTEX USA’s educational offerings and launched CEU-accredited sessions for interior designers and floor covering installers attending the 2020 event. Thought leaders from key industry associations, such as National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) and National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI Atlanta) provided insights into design trends and industry innovations to watch.

In keeping with the DOMOTEX USA 2020 show theme “The World at Your Feet”,  Mattson Communications developed an international floor covering innovations overview and secured broad coverage, offering the industry a first look at the influential 2020 event.  Mattson Communications also secured in-depth coverage of the 2nd annual Emily Morrow Home design panel and luncheon. An extremely popular panel discussion featuring interior design stars. This year’s panel was a hit with attendees who learned how to help clients incorporate the latest flooring looks into their homes without undergoing a major renovation.

“We value Kathy’s business-to-business communications expertise. She did an amazing job promoting the launch of DOMOTEX USA and our second iteration of the event. Every article placement, messaging document, press release and news item she developed and published was a home run for us and our exhibitors,” says Donna Busse, DOMOTEX USA show manager.

Although the event’s third installment scheduled for March 2021 has been postponed due to COVID-19, HFUSA is using this extra time to gather critical needs-based research. HFUSA is conducting detailed surveys and interviews with exhibitors and attendees to make sure it incorporates strategic, value-added changes into the next DOMOTEX USA. Mattson Communications looks forward to promoting this best-in-class flooring event and educational experience post pandemic.

Optimize Your Business-to-Business Communications During the COVID-19 Era and Beyond

Even as America continues to struggle with COVID-19 and its economic fallout, trade media and business reporters covering your industry are eager to publish your company’s news and leadership insights. Six months into the U.S. reporting of the coronavirus crisis, journalists are especially interested in publicizing stories about how your company has adjusted and what your firm’s leadership is doing to refashion the business. Trade press outlets that cover your industry want to highlight what your company expects to accomplish for the balance of this year and into 2021. It remains vital for your business-to-business communications and public relations program to showcase how your business is managing, what the company is accomplishing and what is the business outlook post pandemic.

Your business-to-business messaging and content development need to properly reflect how your company continues to serve its customers and communities. Even if your new business and sales pipeline is on hold right now or your market outreach opportunities have been canceled or postponed, your target business audiences still want to hear from you.

Our goal for any business-to-business communications project or public relations program we pursue on behalf of our clients is twofold:
1) continue to secure positive press coverage across all media targets
2) strengthen the brand and promote new business development via participation in social media outlets

I encourage you to share some good news, insights, business initiatives and industry expertise with your top media targets. Following are suggestions for how to optimize your business-to-business communications.

Communicate Your Expertise
Your competitive advantage is your business expertise. Communicating your industry expertise through the trade and business media is a great way to promote your brand while adding value to your business audiences. If your company is closely monitoring industry trends or has specific guidance you would like to share, we can help you develop and publish feature stories to inform your clients about how to best manage their assets in this environment.

During this difficult environment, Mattson Communications has developed many industry expertise articles for our clients. For instance, we drafted and published this byline article to showcase our client’s industry expertise as their commercial real estate borrowers and investors were starting to feel the effects of the coronavirus crisis on their retail properties.

Shine a Spotlight on Your Customers
A great way to show how your business is effectively partnering and working with its clients is to publicize customer success stories. Even if your business has had to postpone some of its activities or transactions have been put on hold, you can still showcase how your business proactively supports its clients.

Take the example of this customer success story, which we developed to shine a spotlight on our client’s industrial automation exhibitors and bring attention to their remote manufacturing solutions. When you can’t meet face-to-face with your target audiences, publicly communicating your support for them is a safe way to frame what your business contributes to your target audiences and spreads good will during this time of crisis. This contribution will not be forgotten by those customers.

Share Some Good News
During the COVID-19 era and beyond, journalists are eager to print good news that will inform and add value to their readers. Now is a good time to share some good news about innovations and product offerings that will be meaningful to your client base and your industry as a whole.

Taking that into consideration, we worked closely with a SunTrust CRE HUD loan originator to develop and publish this good news byline article. Outlined in the story are descriptions of current HUD financing programs geared towards affordable and market-rate multifamily property investors.

Offer insight on The State of Your industry
We are honored to work with clients who offer a platform for new technologies across a variety of business segments. Although we developed the following article prior to the pandemic, this state of the industry overview showcases how smart technology offerings are addressing critical issues such as maintenance and downtime in the commercial trucking marketplace.

Kathy Zoeller is founder and president of Mattson Communications, which is known for its strategic assessment of clients’ PR needs and for executing business-to-business communication programs that generate superior results. Kathy can be reached at 312-485-2422 or

50@50+ Illinois Award

Kathy Mattson Zoeller was one of the first 50@50+ Illinois Award recipients. She received the award in the business leaders, owners and entrepreneurs category for boosting Illinois’ economic growth while simultaneously giving back to the community. The 50 recipients were recognized in the November 6th issue of Crain’s Chicago Business.

Awarded 3rd Silver Trumpet For Excellence In PR

In 2016, Mattson Communications received its third Silver Trumpet Award from the Publicity Club of Chicago for distinguished individual achievement in planning, creating and executing a public relations and communications program. Mattson Communications was the only company awarded a Silver Trumpet in 2016 in the International Public Relations category.  The Publicity Club of Chicago’s annual awards program recognizes PR campaigns that raise the bar for the PR industry and that generate a substantial return on PR investments.  Winning a Silver Trumpet is considered the pinnacle of recognition in the Chicago PR community.

Mattson Communications received the Silver Trumpet Award for our transatlantic trade partnership media program for the U.S. launch of the world renowned manufacturing event, HANNOVER MESSE, and its partnership with the United States.  The overall success of our PR launch achieved more than news coverage and social media recognition. President Obama was the first sitting U.S. President to attend and to address the event with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.  Also, HANNOVER MESSE garnered the largest ever U.S. delegation in 2016. More than 300 businesses, economic development organizations and research institutes attended.


Hannover_MesseSince 2011, Mattson Communications has been working with HANNOVER MESSE, the world’s most prominent industrial technology trade show and conference. In March 2015, Mattson Communications had the pleasure of pitching the news that the United States has been named partner country for HANNOVER MESSE 2016. In the past few years, HANNOVER MESSE has focused on integrated industry, a cooperative concept that could be called the “Internet of Things” of the manufacturing world, as well as Industry 4.0, also known as “advanced manufacturing” in the U.S. These steps forward are significant to manufacturers worldwide, but they require intense integration and communication across several platforms: data security, software compatibility, energy networks, and data flow analysis. Luckily, HANNOVER MESSE provides a space for such communication to take place.

The U.S. partnership with HANNOVER MESSE is extremely beneficial to both our client and U.S. manufacturing companies, especially small and medium enterprises. HANNOVER MESSE expects that increased U.S. business involvement will help create more American publicity for the event, which Mattson Communications is excited to facilitate and oversee. It has even been rumored that Obama will be opening the show alongside Angela Merkel, so we expect significant U.S. press coverage of HANNOVER MESSE 2016.

The HANNOVER MESSE partnership with the U.S. seamlessly aligns with President Obama’s commitment to digitizing U.S. manufacturing. Obama has allocated over $70 million for solving the challenges faced by modern manufacturers. The president’s goal in doing so is that American factories will be able to remain competitive worldwide. By attending HANNOVER MESSE, U.S. manufacturers will gain insight into the latest industrial technology innovations, as well as hear from leaders in the Industry 4.0 field as to how to adapt to the digital factory landscape.

Mattson Communications is excited to continue working with HANNOVER MESSE as we approach April 2016. We will be conducting a national press tour with the director of HANNOVER MESSE, including a late-September Chicago-based press conference to outline the benefits of securing the U.S. as partner country. Because of well-nurtured, long-term relationships with energy, technology, and manufacturing industry trade and business press, we look forward to abundant media coverage surrounding the 2016 event.

Mattson PR wins 2 Silver Trumpet Awards


2010 Silver Trumpet Award for Marketing
2006 Silver Trumpet Award for Feature Stories

Case Study: Cohen Financial

Cohen-logo-300x165Since late 2006, Cohen Financial has been working with Mattson Communications to publicize the company’s mortgage banking transactions and services. In 2009, the company asked Mattson Communications to launch its new debt advisory services. We faced a fixed PR budget with no room to expand. Mattson would have to continue to promote Cohen Financial’s core transactions while launching the new services. With limited staff and funds, we could only create a few materials and conduct an extremely targeted outreach to quickly produce visible marketing metrics.

Solution Fortunately, Mattson had built and nurtured long-term relationships with key commercial real estate (CRE) focused editors and bloggers. Relationships spanned outlets across the company’s core markets – Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Newport Beach, Phoenix, Portland and San Francisco. We held conversations with key contacts at the leading CRE publications, such as, National Real Estate Investor and Mortgage Banking Magazine to determine interest in hearing from Cohen Financial’s debt advisory services experts. Many were very interested in hearing about these new services as other firm’s were not actively discussing their debt advisory efforts.

Our strategy: Position the newly appointed Managing Director of Debt Advisory Services as the most experienced and knowledgeable advisor in this new field, capitalizing on his extensive capital markets background. Our goal: Convince both CRE borrowers and lenders to engage Cohen Financial for debt restructuring and asset evaluation, driving assignments and increasing fees.

Additionally, we would utilize the PR materials we created and positive media stories we secured in Cohen Financial’s monthly e-newsletter issued to about 5500 clients and potential clients. And, we would share this information on Facebook and LinkedIn.

We established program objectives we could measure:
• Generate media coverage, featuring advisory services messages and positioning Mr. Franzetti as the expert.
• Educate all current and potential clients about the new offerings.
• Generate awareness of looming loan maturities and lower CRE property values.
• Offer strategies for loan workouts.
• Create a sense of urgency to act.
• Help secure at least 10 new debt advisory services assignments by year’s end.
• Build Cohen Financial’s sales force confidence via loan workout success stories.
• Differentiate and brand Cohen Financial debt advisory services knowledge leader.

Results We secured feature stories tied directly to our objectives and utilized these articles and blog posts in Cohen Financial’s e-newsletters, garnering significant reader clickthroughs of more than 17.6 percent on average. Mattson Communications created case studies of the new services, which Cohen Financial features on its Web site, in regional sales collateral and shared across its social media efforts. The company secured 15 completed projects with 5 ongoing in 2009 and as of Q1 2010 had 17 additional assignments.

Awards The debt advisory services PR program was awarded the 2010 Publicity Club of Chicago’s Silver Trumpet for distinguished achievement in public relations planning, creativity and execution in the marketing category.

Case Study: FP Mailing Solutions

FplogoMattson Communications worked with FP Mailing Solutions (FP), the smallest of the four U.S. postage meter manufacturers, from 2000 to 2007. Our main PR goal – position FP as a technology innovator and postage meter alternative to the market share leader that controls 80 percent of the postage meter space.


Mattson Communications cultivated ongoing relationships with all of the leading postage technology, business, advertising and marketing print and online publication editors. We also developed long-standing relationships with editors focused on the office management, small office home office, houses of worship and banking technology markets.

As they appreciated our news pitch, press release and case study writing style, many editors gave Mattson an open invitation to submit FP byline articles and news stories. We also actively promoted and secured speaking opportunities for FP’s CEO at forums, conferences and trade shows. Many shows were sponsored by the leading publications in FP’s vertical markets.

In 2004, our research indicated that office product and mail technology focused trade publications were not writing about the USPS Postage Technology Management program, a recently established joint venture with U.S. meter manufacturers. Because FP played a major role in the program, we knew we could brand FP as a digital meter product innovator. We worked closely with the manager of Postage Technology Management at the USPS to develop an in-depth byline article. The story detailed FP’s role in advancing encryption technology in the new digital meter infrastructure to improve and secure postage download capabilities.

We scheduled a phone conversation with Dan O’Rourke, Mailing System Technology’s editor, to discuss the publication’s 2005 editorial calendar and to present our idea for a securitization trend article bylined by FP. We knew MST reached the largest audience of mail center managers and was known for its technology focused features, a perfect fit for the byline’s objectives. We also inserted a meter migration table into the story to alert mail center managers that the USPS was retiring older meters.

Our goal was twofold:

  1. prompt managers to upgrade to the latest digital meters
  2. driving them to FP’s digital meter products.


Dan O’Rourke, the senior editor of Mailing Systems Technology, published the story in the March 2005 print issue. According to Dan, his readers liked both the concise presentation of the story (managers have limited time for educational research) and the message (security is paramount in today’s business world). Mattson also placed a revised version of the article in another one of FP’s top-tier publications, Office Solutions, in the September 2005 issue. We bylined this version under the new CEO’s name to generate press for him and to introduce the topic into a different vertical market. We also utilized information gleaned from researching the article and select content for other FP marcom platforms. For example, we pitched this topic in speaker abstracts to secure speaking engagements for the new CEO.


Security & Your Meter byline awarded 2006 Publicity Club of Chicago’s Silver Trumpet for distinguished achievement in public relations planning, creativity and execution.

Communicating With The Press During The Rough Times and Through A Recovery

Kathy_Zoellerby Kathy Mattson Zoeller, published in Bacon’s

Many senior executives dread seeing their name in print and being misquoted especially if the business is going through or coming out of a difficult time. It’s going to happen every now and then but shouldn’t deter you from staying in front of the press – especially during the current economy when many factors hampering business growth are completely out of your control.

When speaking with the broadcast, print, business, financial or trade media, you’ll obviously have a number of things to remember and consider, including what you are going to say about the current state of your business and the industry, how you will explain the impact of geopolitical risks and uncertainty among customers and what you will divulge about your growth strategy, cash flow and profitability. You have already worked very hard to develop and hone clear messages that address these concerns. Now is as good a time as any to start talking. Here are a number of items you’ll need to consider when creating your media outreach plan.

Stick To The Point

Every executive spokesperson must be extremely clear about how he or she is going to describe the company and its near term outlook to the press. The key messages you’ve worked so hard to create must therefore be well rehearsed before you ever pick up the phone or meet face-to-face with a reporter to conduct an interview.

Each message should be communicated in one or two sentences. Make sure that you stick to the point and don’t ramble or leave yourself open for a reporter to ask you a question that throws you off balance and leaves you sounding defensive.

Train The Spokesperson

Tap two or three other senior executives to speak with the press so that in the event you are not available someone else will always be trained and ready to talk to a reporter. Make sure that the executives you select exhibit confidence and a genuine interest in helping the media write interesting, positive stories about your business. All spokespersons must be able to clearly articulate the facts about the business and economic risks you face today, the actions you are taking to address these risks and what impact those actions will have on the future success of your business. Know these messages backwards and forwards!

Work with your PR counsel to develop a Q&A document that answers every possible question you believe a customer, employee, partner, shareholder, reporter or industry analyst might ask. Make sure that for each and every answer you include some reference to your key messages. Then practice, practice, practice and practice some more.

Don’t Get Stuck on Difficult Questions

Handle the tough questions quickly. If you feel it’s necessary to expand on a difficult question, add an example or reference and then move on to a new topic.

If you can’t answer the difficult questions in one or two sentences, you may run the risk of looking like you’re trying to hide something or that you don’t know the answer and are bluffing your way through. It’s okay to tell the reporter that you think the question is a good one and then pause to collect your thoughts before answering.

Don’t let a reporter bully you. If you feel that the reporter is trying to steer you in a direction that’s clearly off topic, it’s okay to disagree and bring up a subject you feel is more relevant to the business at hand.

Make Public Relations A Priority

You need public relations counsel during this difficult period as well as during a recovery. Your audiences are still here and they want to hear from you. Wise public relations counsel can help train you to deal with the media during this time. In the event you experience a crisis, a trusted PR advisor who is intimately familiar with your business can offer valuable input and support. Once you have navigated through the rough times and are in a better position, your public relations counsel can help you develop new messages and publicize good news when the economy strengthens.

A 16-year veteran of financial services, healthcare and high-tech corporate communications, Kathy Mattson Zoeller is President of Mattson Communications, Inc., ( a business-to-business corporate communications and financial PR firm. Mattson Communications is known for its strategic assessment of a client’s PR needs and for executing communication programs that generate superior results. She can be reached at 312-988-9352 or

Public Relations Is A Powerful Tool For Establishing And Maintaining Credibility

Kathy_Zoellerby Kathy Mattson Zoeller, published in Bacon’s

Your business success and credibility rely on the support of many different communities. Yet simultaneously communicating with multiple audiences can be a complex challenge, given their distinct – even competing – timelines, preferences and information needs.

Effective public relations can help drive your business goals and can establish and maintain your credibility. Without an integrated public relations plan, your company risks any number of negative consequences ranging from anonymity to unfavorable impressions among your most influential targets.

Accurately Capture Your Company’s Essence

The most important task your corporate communications director or public relations counsel can do for your company involves strategic positioning—a process that creatively distills the essence of your business into key statements. These statements then become the guideposts you and your communications director or counsel use to help establish and maintain credibility across all of your audiences, including customers, employees, shareholders and the business, trade and online media. If you position your company and its products clearly and consistently to all of your audiences, you will begin to build credibility with them. You will also gain their trust and attention when you interact with them again and again.

Harness The Media To Establish and Build Credibility

Most of us are enormously influenced by the media and what it has to report on any given subject. There is no greater benefit to your company than a positive mention in a printed article, a newscast or online publication. Relentless media coverage of your company and its products, especially if the coverage is predominantly favorable, maintains credibility.

Following are some ways in which you can grab and keep the media’s attention, earn third-party endorsements and start to build credibility.

  1. Take the time to build awareness – give key media targets enough information to build interest of new products and services. Think ahead and start to build attention prior to product launches. Build some mystery around what you are about to unveil. Create excitement for your product, especially if it offers advantages and benefits over the current field of offerings. Taking the time to build awareness will spark interest about you and your marketplace from key media targets.
  2. Focus on what differentiates you – prepare corporate messages that refer to exactly what your company is and how its products stand apart from others in the field. If you prepare accurate and clear communications materials such as corporate fact sheets and summaries, conference presentations, FAQs, press releases and Webcast/conference call outlines that exhibit appealing news angles and offer facts and figures as to how your products are different than the competition, you will be more likely to secure coverage from target publications.
  3. Anticipate the media’s needs – accurate, quality information provided in a timely fashion is fundamental to maintaining credibility. By anticipating the needs of a busy editor or reporter, you become a valued resource and help ensure consistent press from your target publications. If the media is currently focused on a new product in your industry that may spark competition, stay on top of the latest trends and address how your company’s products and services will better meet the needs of the marketplace.

Secure Endorsements From Authoritative Sources

Quotes from authoritative sources, such as customers, strategic partners and industry analysts carry weight with all of your audiences. Offer these sources to the media for input into their news coverage and build these quotes in case studies and byline articles that you produce for marketing purposes. Making customers or strategic partners available for media interviews on your behalf builds greater credibility and enhances positive word of mouth about your company and products.

Build Rapport with Industry Analysts and The Financial Community

Industry and capital market analysts— increasingly important third-party influencers —can help you fuel momentum for your public relations outreach program. Once you have established yourself as a credible source of information about the issues facing your marketplace, analysts will want to hear from you. Take the time to schedule company briefings either by phone or in person at least twice a year— more often in a fast-changing market space. Additionally, financial community presentations and speeches that portray your firm’s vision, financial and operational capabilities will also build credibility and may help you secure strategic partner introductions.

Seek Exceptional Advice

Just as only a highly trained electrical engineer can design the intricate circuitry for tomorrow’s technology, only a communications expert can effectively navigate this delicate process to craft messages, develop a strategy and help you establish credibility with sensitivity and dexterity. Make sure that you have a strong, media-savvy player on your marketing team who can demonstrate thorough understanding of each of your target audiences and what it will take to build credibility with your publics.

Working effectively with the media takes tremendous energy and persistence. So consider hiring or contracting with a corporate communications specialist with deep experience in corporate communications and business and financial public relations. Look for a solid, straight-shooter who has proven expertise in pitching stories to high-profile reporters at national business and financial publications, select broadcast mediums, as well as vertical trade publications.

Start now to properly position your company and build your credibility for the future.

A 16-year veteran of financial services, healthcare and high-tech corporate communications, Kathy Mattson Zoeller is President of Mattson Communications, Inc., ( a business-to-business corporate communications and financial PR firm. Mattson Communications is known for its strategic assessment of a client’s PR needs and for executing communication programs that generate superior results. She can be reached at 312-988-9352 or