November, 2011
Good Buzz
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



What has Public Relations Done for you Lately?

SANDY BOURSEAU

Here's a snapshot of what ASHI has been doing lately to influence consumers and real estate professionals about the importance of home inspections and hiring an ASHI member. Results are exciting, but knowing what activities produce results allows ASHI to replicate its successes, so both are included here.

Early this year, Gibbs & Soell (G&S), ASHI's public relations agency, used Harris Interactive to conduct an ASHI Omnibus survey to gather facts and opinions that it knew would catch the eye of publishers, reporters, bloggers, everyone looking for news of interest to their readers.

It used these data to write a release to be distributed electronically for a fee to paying subscribers.

• The release "Home Inspections Help You Sell" went live May 20 and still is receiving coverage, recently appearing in:
  • St. Paul Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.
  • Hillsborough Beacon, Somerville, N.J.
  • Linn Country Leader, Brookfield, Mo.
This has proven to be an effective vehicle for reaching the markets in which ASHI members conduct their businesses.

The numbers
  • 692 Online placements;
  • 90 Print;
  • 782 Total.
The list of placements is 17 pages long. 
  • The site audience is 23,508,537;
  • Print circulation is 2,989,020;  – Total ad value $470,187.
  • Fee for distributing article: $4,770.
  • The Return On Investment (ROI): 98-1.

Recently, the focus has been on …

• maximizing ASHI's expanding social media, in part by developing content to populate all three of ASHI's current social media sites, and
• responding to some exciting media requests, such as
House and Home Magazine requested a mock inspection, which David Goldstein handled for ASHI.
MarketWatch/Wall Street Journal interviewed Kurt Salomon for an article titled "Why would you buy a new home?"

ASHI is proud that it is considered the best resource for questions about homes, real estate and home inspections. G&S is contacted almost daily with requests for information and interviews. Here's a few of the places ASHI was used as the source:

Specialty Coverages Insider;
Bloomberg Government;

CTW Features,
WGN Radio, Chicago;
Northwest Indiana Times, Home Section;
MSN Real Estate;
Chicago Tribune;
Real Estate Today;

CNN;
HGTV.com;
Dallas Morning News; and
Ladies' Home Journal.

ASHI's Social Media

Social media is where the action is and it is being used to increase recognition of ASHI and its members. You can take advantage of what has been created to kick those conversations into high gear.

Please like, follow and join ASHI on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. It's easy to find them. Use the prominently placed icons on ASHI's refreshed home page. The   numbers are increasing daily, but here's a recent count:
  • Facebook has 617 fans.
  • Twitter has 124 following, 830 followers, 31 listed and 235 Tweets and ASHI follows 124.
  • LinkedIn has 447 members.
Current discussions …
  • Scott commenting on ASHI's new home page,
  • Roxanne reminding members about the Virtual Home Inspection and information on the ASHI website of interest to consumers.
  • Radon testing devices
  • Who is using Twitter and how are they using it?
The Activities That Produced The Results

There are lots of ways to keep positive ASHI messages before the 44 public, and here's a sample of the daily activities that make that happen.

Media Relations
  •  Developed, reviewed and approved social media messages.
  • Posted approved content to LinkedIn weekly and fulfilled requests to join group.
  •  Posted approved content to Facebook and Twitter weekly and monitored engagement.
  • Developed additional Tweet about International Code Council's release about hurricane safety.
  • Developed short introductions to social media services YouTube and Flickr for consideration in future social media plans.
  • Resolved issues with HootSuite to provide more detailed graphs for monthly reports.
  • Urgent coordination of Furniture Row interview under tight deadline that was ultimately pushed back. Editor will contact us again closer to the date of publication.
  • Finalized details of House and Home Magazine visit to editor Daniel Kaye's home by ASHI inspector.
  • Reached out to client in regard to Q&A with columnist.
  • Compiled info for author of Home Selling for Dummies.
  • Edited Kurt Solomon's responses to media Q&A.
  • Arranged call with Charles Gifford and Bob Vila's editor.
  • Coordinated interview with ASHI Inspector and Bloomberg Government writer.
  • Call with national blogger to include ASHI member as source.
  • Correspondence with client and client's insurance affiliate to coordinate interview.
  • Coordinating interview for Kurt Salomonat MarketWatch.
  • Call with Burrelles in regard to media clipping services.
  • Call with Viewpoints contact at MediaTracks.

Public Relations Committee


In addition to ASHI's program with Gibbs & Soell, the Public Relations Committee plays a role in promoting ASHI. The committee has committed to providing Twitter content to maximize its influence, and is working on internal public relations and relationships.

Tweet & Retweet


Members are promoting themselves and ASHI by retweeting ASHI's Tweets. Visit ASHI Twitter by using the handy button on the ASHI home page, then join in. Let ASHI help you build your own social media presence.
  • An example of when DIY turns into "DI-why?" Photo submitted by ASHI home inspector Brian Cogley, Star Inspection Group, Oakland, Calif. http://fb.me/17ZW25kYg
  • Learn more about #home inspections and uncover some common findings with ASHI's Virtual Home Inspection Tour! http://ow.ly/6DmKb
  • President of ASHI's Georgia chapter takes @WSB_TV on a deck #inspection to stress the importance of deck #safety. http://ow.ly/6cu8U
  • @IntlCodeCouncil offers tips to prevent #hurricane damage to #homes and provides guidelines for post-storm safety. http://ow.ly/6fDLW
  • Going to #InspectionWorld? Did you know the ArizonaBiltmore has special rates for attendees? Make yourreservation now! http://ow.ly/6znHX