January, 2003

Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors


Educating the Public, Million by Million

SANDY BOURSEAU

Over a six-week period, 51 publications with a combined circulation of close to 3 million picked up ASHI’s press release, “The importance of hiring a home inspector.” Combined with the publication of other press releases during this time period, 23 million readers had an opportunity to learn about ASHI.

Each month ASHI’s public relations firm develops and delivers a press release to news outlets across the county. Designed to catch the attention of real estate-oriented editors and to appeal to the homebuying public, information in the releases keeps popping up for months, each time providing the opportunity for the public to learn a little more about home inspections.

But not all mention of ASHI is due to a press release. The campaign to establish the Society as the source for home inspection information has paid off. Editors, writers and broadcasters know who to call for answers to questions about home inspections. A sampling of recent inquiries includes the following: the Salt Lake News; NBC-TV affiliate in Charlotte, N.C.; the Wall Street Journal; Chicago Magazine; Homeowners Clinic; ABC-TV affiliate in Washington DC; Banker & Tradesman Magazine;  HGTV’s Home Detective; The Mann Report;  “Legal Line with Bob Pittman,” and EscapeHomes.com.

New England Chapter scores with 32 community newspapers

As ASHI establishes itself as the source for information with national media, chapters can do the same locally. The New England Chapter was able to place two articles, “How to choose a home inspector” and “What home inspectors should inspect” in 32 community papers. Overall ASHI New England was mentioned at least 58 times in the last year in local papers. The chapter’s communication committee has developed a distribution list of 125 editors of local community newspapers. In addition to distributing articles, the Chapter arranges for its members to be interviewed by newspapers and radio and television stations.

Media list available

Now any chapter can purchase the local media lists necessary for a successful public relations program from HQ for only $50. National press releases are available on the Web site (ashi.org) under Media/Publicity, and chapters are encouraged to use them in their local public relations efforts. It’s easy to get a chapter public relations program started by sending out the press releases from the Web site with a cover letter identifying the chapter as a resource for local home inspection information. Distribute the letter and release to the contacts identified on the purchased media list, and the Chapter is on its way to matching New England’s success.