April, 2012
Good Buzz
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



Jacques Shares Tips on Getting Media Mentions

EDITED BY ASHI STAFF

If you're a follower on ASHI Twitter, you already know about the most recent media coverage President-elect Bill Jacques received in print and online in the Post and Courier (www.postandcourier.com).

Under the headline "Group's pres-elect from Charleston gives home inspection tips," the article opened with the following:
"With wet weather looming, the opportune period for a home look-see is about three weeks or so from now.

"That's according to the American Society of Home Inspectors. April is National Home Inspection Month, and homeowners are encouraged to identify potential troubles now before they become major repairs.

"April is the perfect time for a spring-maintenance inspection," says Bill Jacques, president–elect of the American Society of Home Inspectors and president of Charleston-based American Inspection Service, Inc."

Does this sound familiar? It might if you've used ASHI's press releases. Jacques explains where he found the content that caught the eye of the paper's real estate editor.

"This is one of our ASHI press releases," he said. "I actually sent it last year at this time and the Post and Courier was nice enough to print it so I just updated the info and sent it again. I also have sent them a note about Deck Safety Month. I hope they will print that for next month. Our press releases are something our members can use to get some interest in their local newspapers."

All ASHI press releases are posted on the ASHI website.

Thank you, Bill, for sharing this tip on how to get the attention of the media and for providing ASHI with an interesting Tweet and Facebook message. It worked for him. Can you make it work for you?

More leaders in the news

ASHI President Marvin Goldstein also has gained the attention of the media. He has been interviewed and quoted by The Portland Press Herald, The Union Leader and The Las Vegas Review-Journal.

What's more, Bob Walstead, Speaker, Council of Representatives, was featured in Colorado Springs' The Gazette, discussing his nearly 30 years inspecting homes. Links to all of the articles were tweeted. Twitter is an easy way to stay tuned in to your organization. http://twitter.com/ashi_inspection


Get in Touch Through LinkedIn

The ASHI LinkedIn Group (Official) is the perfect place to discuss everything of interest to home inspectors. Here's a sample of what some of the 700+ members were talking about last month.

Trucks (One of 26 comments)
Okay ... so I had (still have) a 2002 Tacoma and I was spending a fortune on gas, so about a month ago I went out and got a 2012 Chevy Volt. It's roomy, electric, American and has gas backup so I can't get stranded. I haven't been to the gas station yet and I'm guessing I won't for a long time! I'm leasing it and using it as a work-only vehicle (full write-off). I did the math and it was a no-brainer. I've used 1 gallon of gas so far (9 gal. tank), and spent about $60 added to my electric bill for the month. Oh, yeah, I can plug it in on job sites. We're installing PV this spring so I won't even be paying for the electric soon. I have a 17' telescoping ladder that fits in the back seat for the roofs, a full office including printer, binders, etc. I'm wrapping the vehicle for marketing (full write-off) and my clients and Realtors love it. Just in case and for weekend dump runs, I still have the truck. I love it!
– Bryan Naff, Architect Home Inspection, Kailua, Hawaii


Vinyl siding
Please provide your opinion regarding the pros and cons of vinyl siding in a hot, humid, wet environment (tropical).

Mark Cramer • Pros: Works fine. It's cheap.Cons: Looks like vinyl siding.

JD Grewell • Agree with Mark. Cons: Easily heat warps when grills placed too close. Peels like a banana once wind gets behind it. Transfers noise pops from expansion and contraction to the interior, as well as the sound of rain.

Larry Stamp • Mark pretty well nailed it. We are seeing issues with warping due to reflected heat from the windows of adjacent buildings.

Chuck Miller • It can get brittle in winter. But in hot weather, lawn mowers can throw stones that break through. Or, one summer we had a hail storm come through that peppered a new development with hail and the south side of about 12 homes looked like someone drove by with a machine gun. Other than that, Mark covered it well.

Inspection agreements – 27 comments

A discussion about inspection agreements continued through 27 comments, and the post that asked "Is it all about price" continued for 55 comments.

If you are not already approved for the Member-Only Group, go to ASHI.org and click on the icon and ask to join. Once approved, you can start a discussion or join in on one started by any of the other 700+ participants.


Twitter Tips for You

ASHI staff received the following "Writing for Twitter" tips from Gibbs & Soell, ASHI's Public Relations consultants. Members who are building a Twitter presence may find them as helpful as staff did. Look forward to more social media tips in future issues.http://twitter.com/ashi_inspection

Tips for Twitter
• It is unlikely you will be able to entirely recreate a headline with just 140 characters, so summarize. Tease the content of the article with just a few words.

• Link to other Twitter handles when possible as it increases the chances that organization/person will retweet and share the message with their followers as well.

• Utilize hashtags (a link added to a tweet to connect it to similar tweets using the same link) whenever appropriate. Hashtags do not need to be created or registered, but if enough people being using it, it will gain in popularity and become a commonly used link. Refrain from using too many, though, as it can be confusing for readers.

• Grammatically, writing for Twitter is similar to writing for a publication. Typos and errors can hinder credibility and might not be taken seriously. Though shortcuts are appealing when only having 140 characters to work with, the audience might find it unprofessional.

• When including links, use HootSuite's link-shortening application to reduce the number of characters used and to enable click-through tracking.

Facebook

www.facebook.com/ASHIinspection

• 840 is our fan count (number of people who "like" our page).

• Easily access the page by going to ASHI.org and clicking on the icon.

•Share ASHI posts on your business' Facebook page.