IRWIN Tools Big Ideas
IRWIN Tools, part of Newell Rubbermaid’s global portfolio of leading brands, manufactures a broad line of hand tools and power tool accessories under the IRWIN® brand including VISE-GRIP® pliers and wrenches. IRWIN Tools prides itself as a premier brand and the clear choice of professional tradesmen.
The Program
In 2011, JDPR developed the concept of National Tradesmen Day as a way for IRWIN Tools to say “thank you” to America’s electricians, plumbers, builders, carpenters and many others who build America by the sweat of their brow. IRWIN Tools has an ongoing commitment to encourage the nation to join them in celebrating the work of tradesmen on the third Friday of each September.
PR Objectives
  • To position IRWIN Tools as the tool brand that says “thank you” to America’s tradesmen for keeping America running strong.
  • To communicate the IRWIN Tools brand’s commitment to responsible corporate citizenship by raising awareness about key issues affecting the plight of the modern-day tradesman.
  • To start a national conversation about the honor of working with ones hands, and to inspire a call to action to restore honor to skilled labor.
  • To instill the IRWIN name into the minds of tradesmen as a tool brand that recognizes their skill and craftsmanship.
PR Tactics
  • Developed a multi-faceted communication strategy to spread the message of National Tradesmen Day, which included:
    • Outreach to national print, broadcast, online and vertical media outlets to educate journalists on the National Tradesmen Day movement.
    • A series of news hooks to entice media to cover National Tradesmen Day.
    • A nationwide radio media tour that placed IRWIN Tools' senior executives on two-dozen stations in a single morning to explain the significance of the National Tradesmen Day movement.
    • A nationally televised ‘In The Know’ public service announcement that showcased IRWIN’s commitment to the trades through the words of a small business owner and tradesman.
    • Website creation to tell the story of National Tradesmen Day on a digital and interactive platform.
    • Strategic communication via social media channels to raise awareness of National Tradesmen Day and the issues that affect those who work in skilled trades.
  • Created an intricate system to measure campaign efficacy and reach.
PR Results
  • 700 million total general impressions during three National Tradesmen Day campaigns since 2011.
  • Key placements across trade journals and general media.
  • During the 2013 National Tradesmen Day campaign, JDPR delivered 18 million impressions amongst tradesmen, representing 120% of goal.
  • Established IRWIN Tools as the tool brand that says ‘thanks’ to America’s tradesmen.
  • National Tradesmen Day was made an official day of recognition by lawmakers in Michigan and Ohio.