August, 2009
Good Buzz
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



ASHI's Message Reaches Wide Audience

SANDY BOURSEAU

New York, Chicago, of course you expect to see results from ASHI’s pubic relations program in these major markets.

But do you expect to see articles educating consumers and promoting ASHI inspectors in Rexburg, Idaho; Point Pleasant, W.V. and more local online and print publications across the U.S.? The ASHI-placed article “Home Inspection Helps Ensure Dream Deals Don’t Turn Into Nightmares” appeared in many local markets during March, helping to generate a total audience for the month of 24,272,818.

The public relations program is designed to educate consumers on the value of a home inspection and why they should use an ASHI member, and to drive consumers to “Find an Inspector” on the ASHI Web site.

Recognizing that the quickest way to the ASHI Web site is from elsewhere on the Internet, the current public relations program is accomplishing one of its objectives – to increase ASHI’s Web presence. In every month from January through May, an equal or greater number of ASHI stories appeared on the Web as in print. Of course, the impressions (the number of potential readers) were greater for online than for print.

The ASHI-placed article, which was distributed through a service, continued to be widely published during April and May, with the press releases “Now is Time For A Deck Safety Check” and “ASHI Hails Home Inspection Counseling Provision In Predatory Lending Bill” gaining ground. Again strong in the top 10 major markets, the releases also appeared in smaller markets such as Grants Pass, Ore. and Fuquay-Varina, N.C., even claiming TV airtime in a number of markets such as Greenville, S.C.; Needham, Mass.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Albuquerque, N.M. and others.

Press releases serve a number of purposes, one of which is to alert the media that ASHI is the source for inspection information. ASHI’s public relations representatives respond to requests for fact sheets and interviews with ASHI’s president and other members several times a week.

The following excerpt from Lew Sichelman’s recent syndicated column is an example of the payoff from this type of interaction between ASHI and the media.

Buyers beware of pitfalls with vacant homes, by Lew Sichelman, United Feature Syndicate, May 15, 2009

Would-be homebuyers who come across unoccupied houses in their search for a next castle should be extra careful. Homes aren’t cared for all that well when they are lived in, according to independent home inspectors who examine houses for a living, day in and day out. When it comes to regular maintenance, owners tend to be lax about changing the filters in their furnaces and air conditioners, fixing leaky faucets and repairing balky doors and windows. “A lot of stuff we find is simply neglect,” says Bill Richardson, an Albuquerque, N.M., inspector who is president of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), which has some 6,000 members in 80 chapters nationwide.


Members carry the message; enjoy recognition

“I made The Oregonian,” ASHI Certified Inspector Susan Walker, Walker Inspection Service, Portland, Ore., wrote.

She was quoted and pictured in the Sunday, June 21 article, “Built to Last: Well-made homes endure the test of time,” by Kara Cogswell.

George Philips, AXIS Property Inspections, Denver, Colo., said it “was a gratifying moment” to be described as a “highly respected inspector in the article titled “OMG! The inspection!” says the buyer and the seller” by Steve Blank, which appeared in the Sunday Denver Post, May 31, 2009. The article also mentioned ASHI.

Paul A Rude
, Summer Street Inspections, Berkeley, Calif., reports he contributed to the book “Selling your house in a tough market: 10 strategies that work” by Ilona Bray, J.D. & Alayna Schroeder, J.D.

He was identified as an ASHI Certified Inspector and was responsible for several pages in the chapter “Get It In Shape.” He concluded by advising readers if they want a good inspector, look for an ASHI member.

PR Committee Reaches Out to Chapters

The ASHI Public Relations Committee would like to work closely with the people who are spearheading public relations efforts in their chapters. To do so, the
committee needs the name and e-mail address of one person in each chapter to communicate with monthly about these important promotional efforts.

The previous list is outdated and no longer in use. To be sure your chapter isn’t left out, please e-mail and ask to be placed on the new list.  E-mail sandyb@ashi.org.