You may not be aware, but nearly every single day, in some local or metropolitan newspaper in the U.S., the American Society of Home Inspectors is mentioned. There are also mentions of ASHI on numerous blogs and in radio and television interviews that many of you give. We know this because of various “clipping” agencies we use that track these sorts of things. I cannot stress enough the importance of these mentions of ASHI. Basically, marketing is advertising you pay for. Public relations is advertising that is free (for example, press releases that become newspaper articles or interviews with your local radio station).
And studies have shown that articles that mention a company or product are more effective than ads, which readers often don’t even notice.
Case in point, I mentioned Facebook ads to one ASHI member who then told me that he had never even noticed that Facebook runs ads on the side of the page. Yet, this member does read nearly every article we repost on the ASHI Facebook page. And this is true of the general public. We passively look at ads. We actively read articles.
There is a lesson to be learned here. Yes, ASHI does employ a public relations firm that sends out press releases nationally several times a year. But many of the best articles we find come from the grassroots level: local ASHI home inspectors who have either downloaded one of the press releases from the ASHI website or from members who have contacted the local newspaper or radio station to offer their expertise when needed. Some were interviewed after having been recommended to their local media outlets by Realtors who worked with them and recognized their expert knowledge. It’s true what they say: Some of the best things in life are free.
Steve HawkinsASHI Reporter Editor