Ads deliver a message, but news items carry more weight with readers. For many years, ASHI has opted to reach the public though the services of a public relations firm. Public relations consultants specialize in getting messages printed as news by knowing what interests editors and broadcasters. ASHI employs a public relations firm to develop and distribute press releases, work with media contacts and build relationships beneficial to the Society. Here are highlights from the consultants’ March activity report:
• A press release for each 2004 ASHI officer was distributed to his local market, and an announcement of all the new officers and directors was distributed to national outlets.
• Underwriter’s Laboratories “Spring into Safety” campaign. Steve Gladstone, ASHI president, provided information for the press release announcing the campaign.
• Kathleen Corte at Where to Retire Magazine. The ASHI Web site will be featured as a resource in her article about selling a home without a broker.
• Rachel Peasant at The Ledger in Lakeland, Florida. She received information about home inspector regulation and the rigorous membership requirements for ASHI membership.
• ABC-7 News Orlando. The station asked for and received information about ASHI.
• Linda Bien at the Syracuse Post-Standard. She mentioned ASHI and quoted ASHI Member Tom Sherman of Absolute Home Inspections in her article about wet basements, published March 5.
• Media Tour. The consultants planned this year’s ASHI leaders media tour, identifying media targets and determining strategy.
• The Builders Association of Northern New Jersey. The association asked for and received contact information for local chapter presidents and ASHI leadership to contact about finding speakers who can discuss the home inspection industry at its monthly meetings.
• Home Depot and Lowe’s. The consultants are working on developing partnerships for ASHI with these companies.
• The industry. They continued to research and analyze data from the real estate industry that will be used to develop targeted programs for the upcoming year.
• Provided media lists for requesting chapters.
• Worked to ensure chapter PR representatives are receiving ASHI press releases. Press releases also are posted in the media section of ashi.org and can be picked up from there by the membership.
The public relations techniques that are so successful on a national level work equally well on a local level. These techniques are being shared in The Publicity Handbook, which is included in The ASHI Experience Chapter CD distributed earlier this month. The ASHI message is being delivered nationally and locally through the hard work of public relations professionals and committed chapter volunteers.