May, 2003
Good Buzz
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



Press Release Success

SANDY BOURSEAU

When a reporter, editor or writer wants to know about home inspection, he or she should think, “ASHI – that’s who will have the information I need.” When an editor needs filler, he or she should have something about ASHI close at hand to pick up and use. Publicis Dialogue, ASHI’s public relations consulting firm, makes this happen. Each month, the PR firm reports its activities on ASHI’s behalf, listing the clips collected, describing distributed press releases, and highlighting inquires handled from the media and consumers. Here’s an example.

Press Releases distributed in March…
  • “New ASHI President Urges Homebuyers to ‘Pre-qualify’ Home Inspectors,” to national home and real estate media.
  • “Richard Matzen Elected 21st President of ASHI; Will Emphasize ASHI’s Importance in Growing Home Inspection Profession,” to local Seattle, Wash. area media and national home and real estate media.
  • Individual officer announcements to local area media.
  • “American Society of Home Inspectors Announces New Officers and Directors,” press release to local and national media.
Background or contact information provided during March….

  • about ASHI National Officers to freelance writer Clarice McGarvey, for a story on how the home inspection process can help identify problems with roofs.
  • about Rob Paterkiewicz to Susan Kuchinskas of CBSMarketwatch.com.
  • She is planning a story on the home inspection industry and job opportunities in the trades.
  • about ASHI contacts in Florida to freelance writer Ryan Conley. He is working on a story on home inspections and licensing in Florida.
  • to Linda Moore of Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.). She is working on an article on the home inspection industry.
  • about ASHI contacts in Florida to Jo-Ann Johnston of The Tampa Tribune. She is preparing a story on sinkholes and would like to interview local ASHI members.  
Activities during March included…
  • processing “The Home Inspection & You” brochure fulfillment as a result of the ASHI placement in Popular Mechanics.
  • providing media lists for requesting chapters.
  • researching information related to ASHI branding topic.
  • contacting editors in key states where home inspector regulation is an issue.
  • working with ASHI Chapters to ensure the local PR Representatives are receiving ASHI press releases.
  • researching and analyzing data from the real estate industry to be used to develop targeted programs for the upcoming year.
Members in the media

Matzen, Casey and Gladstone featured in Readers Digest…

ASHI’s President, Past president and President elect were all quoted in the April issue of Readers Digest, a magazine that sells 23 million copies reaching some 93 million readers every month. Stephen Gladstone described termite tubes in the “Home wreckers” article, and was identified as “president-elect of the American Society of Home Inspectors.”

Rich Matzen and Mike Casey also contributed to the article on “how to find and fix the five most commonly overlooked structural threats to your home.” Their expertise on the topic was credited to their profession as home inspectors, suggesting to readers a use for home inspection services beyond home buying.     

Kraeutler named among America’s “100 most important talk show hosts”…

ASHI member Tom Kraeutler and his on-air radio partner Mary Barretta of The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show have been named among “The 100 Most Important Talk Radio Hosts in America,” by Talkers Magazine, the talk radio industry’s leading trade publication. Talkers’ editorial board selects the group it dubs the “Heavy Hundred” each year from over 4000 talk show hosts across the USA. Criteria include ratings, uniqueness, industry recognition, recognition by other media, effort and talent.

Tom credits an early role on ASHI’s public relations committee for giving him his start in media. Several years ago he chaired ASHI’s PR Committee under the guidance of Vera Hollander, ASHI’s then PR Consultant. “When my role was up as Chairman, Vera encouraged me to use what I learned to gain local exposure. I started writing columns and releases and eventually found myself as a regular guest on several programs,” he said.

Interestingly, Tom and Mary are the nation’s only male/female home improvement radio team.

Passaro credited with offering  “peace of mind for homeowners” on newstimes.com…

An article in the March 3, 2003 online edition of the New York Times opened with, “Thirty years ago, consumers got more protection when buying a toaster than buying a house, according to Ronald J. Passaro. He is one of a group of visionary home inspectors who changed that in 1976. The 63-year-old Passaro is owner of a 28-year-old home inspection business, Res-I-Tec Inc. He is also the founder of the American Society of Home Inspectors.”

The article with photos covers Passaro’s career from his search for other home inspectors in the early 1970s through his recent work on home inspector licensing legislation in Connecticut, where Gov. John G. Rowland appointed him as chairman of the Home Inspector License Board for the state.

Bentley appears in Tennessee newspaper…

Donnie Bentley, Bentleys Home Inspection Company, Lenoir City, Tenn., reports he was featured on the REAL ESTATE cover section of the Knoxville News Sentinel, circulation approximately 130,000. A reporter and photographer accompanied the ASHI Member on an inspection. The ASHI Web site address and information-on-demand phone number were included in the article.

McCalla gets calls in Memphis...

ASHI Member Larry McCalla, Larry’s Home Inspection Service, reported receiving many telephone calls after being featured in the Sunday real estate section of the Memphis Tenn. newspaper. He said he’s doing his part to publicize ASHI in his hometown.

Loesch recognized by PE Society…

Gerald W Loesch, P.E., received the 2002 Outstanding Engineer in Construction Award from the St. Louis Chapter of Missouri Society of Professional Engineers last February.

Loesch is Vice President and General Manager of ABA Inspection and Consulting Services. A Member and Past President of ASHI, he just completed his term as President of the Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors (EBPHI). During his 32-year professional career in construction management, home inspections and structural evaluations, he has performed over 13,000 inspections and consultations of single family, multifamily and commercial buildings.
Founded in 1937, the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers is the only organization in the state of Missouri representing all disciplines of engineering professionals.