While the sluggish economy took a toll on the home inspection and real estate industries in 2009, ASHI’s overall public relations program continued to gain momentum and raise visibility among consumers, its members and industry influencers. The program is managed by Gibbs & Soell Public Relations, Hoffman Estates, Ill.
By promoting ASHI’s highest industry standards, cutting-edge expertise and most stringent certification, the public relations program positioned the society and its members as the premier resource for quality home inspection services. An aggressive media relations campaign provided value through consumer communication, drove traffic to the ASHI.org Web site and helped reach consumer audiences in new ways. Moreover, by having members take advantage of local media opportunities as they arise, the program helped elevate your own business profile.
Since January of 2009, more than 40 interviews were secured, 11 press releases issued and coverage received in over 700 media outlets. Through radio, TV, print and online coverage, ASHI clearly raised the bar as the “voice” for the home inspection industry.
Following are highlights of the leading media outlets we worked with over the past year:
• G&S secured an interview for Bill Richardson with This Old House. The story, “9 Tips for Buying a Foreclosure,” ran on their Web site and CNN.com.
• Bruce Barker, president of Dream Home Consultants in Phoenix, spoke to the Denver Post about approaching “green renovations wisely.”
• Fox News TV in Phoenix featured Paul Staron in a segment about the hefty cost of buying a foreclosure that wasn’t properly inspected.
• Bill Richardson provided insight into the pitfalls buyers face when purchasing a vacant home. This syndicated column appeared all over the country, including top-tier daily newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune.
• Pat Mertz Esswein, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, interviewed Bill Richardson for two stories including seasonal maintenance issues and “Buyer Beware and Red Flags.”
• During a Boston Globe interview, Bill Richardson recommended that even sellers should get a home inspection because “even though you live in your house, there are a lot of things you don’t see.”
• In a special to the Chicago Tribune, ASHI provided a guide to inspect (your) home inspector. “The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) says most of their members will provide sample reports. The group suggests checking the attention to detail, and even writing style to see how defects are described.”
• In a recent cover story for the Washington Times, JD Grewell made some recommendations for homebuyers looking for a bargain. He “advises buyers to start their search at the Web site (www.ashi.org) of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) because not all inspectors are qualified for the job, nor do they all meet the minimum standards.”
• Bill Richardson spoke to WebMD, one of the top news information sources online for health-related issues, to educate the public about the need for an ASHI home inspection to protect their biggest investment and their family.
• Realtor® Magazine provided the basic elements of “What a Home Inspection Should Cover”— sourcing the American Society of Home Inspectors, as well as directing readers to the Web site for more information and a virtual tour.
As 2010 gets under way and with a full year under our belt, Gibbs & Soell would like to especially thank Bill Richardson, 2009 ASHI president, and all the ASHI members for your continued support.
Members making news
Gary Smith, SafeHome Inspections, Ridgeland, Miss., was tapped by the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition program to serve as the green building verifier for the makeover in Hattiesburg, Miss. He also worked with the judges for the Growing a Greener Mississippi building contest in Jackson, Miss.
Governor Bobby Jindal announced the appointment of Michael Burroughs to the Louisiana State Board of Home Inspectors. Burroughs, owner of QED Service, Monroe, La., will serve as a member from the 5th Congressional District nominated by the Louisiana Chapter of the American Society of Home Inspectors, as required by statute.
Bill Loden, owner of Insight Home Inspection, LLC, was selected as one of three finalists for the 2009 North Alabama BBB Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics in the small business category. The Better Business Bureau of North
Alabama, Inc. hosted the 12th Annual Torch Awards Celebration at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville and announced the finalists. Loden is a past ASHI director
and Ethics Committee chair.