Online, on the air, in print—ASHI has been everywhere this year thanks to an aggressive public relations program and a promotion-savvy membership. Each year ASHI plans to take its PR program to the next level. This year, underwritten by the Membership’s ASHI Experience dues, it exceeded expectations. Yet there remains work to be done before ASHI is synonymous with home inspection, and a home inspection is a must for every residential home sales transaction. The ambitious public relations plan recently approved for 2005 was made possible because of ASHI Experience funding. Designed to move the Society even closer to these goals, it includes the following: Media tours
• Schedule two media tours – one to the city known for its home-related publications.
In 2005, the ASHI president will visit Des Moines, Iowa, home to the major home-related publishing companies. He’ll meet with editors and publishers to discuss topics of interest to a shared market audience. ASHI established itself as the voice of the profession with the media in New York City and Washington, D.C. during past tours; therefore, the second tour in 2005 will be to one of these two cities. Electronic press releases
• Add six press releases, all distributed electronically.
Last year, two of the dozen press releases were distributed electronically. Those two appeared within minutes of release on AOL and CBSMarketWatch. In 2005, 12 press releases will be distributed through the channels that helped give ASHI a strong presence in newspapers across the country. Six additional releases will be distributed electronically to encourage pick- ups by Internet publications. Also, press releases will be posted on www.ashi.org in the media section and will be e-mailed to chapter presidents. The membership is encouraged to add local news to the releases and distribute them to local media. Radio PSAs
• Create radio Public Service Announcements from the video PSAs.
In their initial release, the video PSAs reached more than 12 million viewers. Distributing the radio PSAs will increase the reach of this important message — at no air time cost to ASHI. To see what the excitement is about, view the PSAs on www.ashi.org.Major Web presence
• Punch up ASHI’s appearance in response to Internet searches.
ASHI will pay to ensure www.ashi.org appears at the top of major Internet search engine returns for all searches related to home inspection, and ASHI is in the process of reviewing the ASHI Web site to increase the number of tags that will be picked up by search engines. National media buzz
“Do You See What They See?” was the headline in the October Remodeling “Your Business Field Notes” section. The “They” referred to home inspectors being hired by homeowners to review the work of remodelers. Steve Gladstone, ASHI president, explained, “We’re brought in as a consultant—as an objective third party.”
Columnist Robert J. Bruss is known for advising homebuyers to include professional home inspection contingency clauses in their purchase offers, and for suggesting they consider using ASHI Members. Recently, he mentioned ASHI in an Inman News column that was picked up by Charlotte.com, the online version of The Charlotte Observer. Also, his column in the September/
October issue of Real Estate Professional included the question “I’m a Sales Agent. Do You know Why I Hate Easy Inspectors?” The sales agent asking the question went on to say, “…when asked, I give my buyers the names of three ‘tough’ ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) inspectors so the buyers can’t say they didn’t know of any home defects.”
In the November 2, 2004, online print edition of the Arizona Republic,
an article, “Inspect before you buy to expose any defects,” included the following statement:
“Pick a home inspector with the utmost care……the best inspectors have earned credentials from an established professional group, such as the American Society of Home Inspectors.”Members in the media
ASHI Member Alvin Ubell, Accurate Building Inspectors, Brooklyn, New York, appeared on CNN’s “CNNmoney Show” with Ali Velshi, October 12, 2004. He explained the different types of rain gutters in the marketplace and how they work.
ASHI Member Bill Jacques, American Inspection Services, Inc., Ravenel, S.C., was featured in the Charleston Regional Business Journal, October 18-31, 2004. His company was ranked the number one home inspection company by the Journal based on the number of home inspections from January to August, 2004. As part of the explanation for his success, Jacques said, “Being a member of American Society of Home Inspectors provided my company much broader educational opportunities. We took advantage of marketing opportunities with The ASHI Experience Program that helped open new markets by providing insight to homebuyers’ needs and expectations.”
ASHI Member Don Burr made the front page of the September 30, 2004 Kingston Times and Hudson Valley Chapter President Doug Myers was quoted in the same article. According to the article, “A history worth not repeating, Building inspectors’ tour finds lessons in Old Dutch Church,” both men were attending the Hudson Valley Chapter Historic Homes seminar in Kingston, New York. Myers told the Times, “The American Society of Home Inspectors and our local ASHI chapter strive to promote excellence and to provide home inspectors with a forum in which to enhance their professionalism through education.”
ASHI Director Rob Paterkiewicz and ASHI Member Jamie Dunsing, Dunsing Consultants/Inspectech, Libertyville, Ill., were interviewed for the July issue of Crain’s Chicago Business article “A fix for mold: Eliminate moisture.”