July, 2004
Feature
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



ASHI Media Tour

LISA GUNGGOLL

ASHI Making House Calls in New York & Connecticut; PSA Soon to be Distributed

May was a busy month for ASHI President Stephen Gladstone as he made the rounds in his own back yard to spread the word about The ASHI Experience. During a recent whirlwind week, we not only completed production of ASHI’s first-ever Public Service Announce-ment (PSA), but we also met with top national editors, local (New England) media and conducted a roundtable chapter event with Connecticut-area Realtors®.

The PSA and a Video News Release (VNR) were filmed on location in Connecticut and feature Gladstone and ASHI Executive Director Rob Paterkiewicz. The spots are being produced and distributed at the national level, but will be available for chapter use. The message is one of consumer education, the importance of using an ASHI Inspector and how consumers can locate a Member by visiting ASHI.org. The VNR also discusses the Virtual Home Inspection as another way to educate consumers and to drive them to the Web site. While on location, additional footage was shot that can be used in a variety of ways – primarily by the media – in the future. 

The PSA is being distributed to major national networks and cable outlets, as well as local affiliates throughout the country, beginning the week of June 6. By tracking which stations run the spots, we’ll know the markets that did not receive it during national distribution. Chapters then will be able to send the PSA to local stations that have not yet run the piece. There is a blank space at the end of each PSA that allows a chapter to drop in its contact information. Chances of it being picked up are good because home buying and selling remains a hot topic and the message is always timely.

The VNR is simply a pre-taped news story ready to be aired by television news stations. It will be distributed nationally and then can be used by chapters at the local level as well. Finally, the extra footage—known as B-Roll—produced at the same time as the VNR and PSA, shows video footage of a (staged) home inspection at an actual property. It also shows a demonstration of the Virtual Home Inspection. This footage is owned by ASHI and it can be used by news media or on ASHI.org as streaming video. It is valuable because media are more apt to run a story if pre-packaged video is available, saving the time and expense of sending a reporter to create that footage with an actual homeowner.

The local chapter event served as a roundtable discussion between ASHI chapter members (including David Leopold, president of the Coastal Connecticut Chapter), Gladstone and members of the Connecticut Association of Realtors®, including its President, Lee Anne Spletzer. The luncheon was a great opportunity to get real estate professionals’ perspective on The ASHI Experience, specifically what it means to their clients. Those in attendance were impressed with the new ASHI.org site, especially the Virtual Home Inspection and the Find an Inspector tools. Local media unable to attend wrote follow-up stories on the event and received press kits.

Last, but not least, we spent two days in Manhattan visiting with some of the top editors and writers in the country to talk about what’s new with The ASHI Experience and to further position ASHI as being synonymous with home inspection. To help promote the 2004 ASHI National Media Tour, Kidde contributed nearly two dozen fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.

These were given to editors during our meetings to reinforce our combined message of consumer safety and education. See the Report from the President (page 56) for more about this part of the tour.

We’re excited about the way word is spreading. ASHI Inspectors, please continue to reinforce these messages by displaying the ASHI logo in your advertising, linking to ASHI.org and the Virtual Home Inspection. Candidates, this is a great time to work to become a C2 or Member to take advantage of the recognition that is building nationwide.