A suburban remodeling contractor believed she was too often missing opportunities to bid on jobs well suited to her company. She asked her financial advisor how she might raise her public profile without wasting precious time and dollars on fruitless marketing efforts. They came up with an affordable, effective way to get her noticed.
Meeting the media
Local newspapers, radio and television stations are always on the lookout for stories that will appeal to their audiences. This may even include stories that are of interest to homeowners and businesses in need of remodeling or other construction work. “When you’re involved in an interesting project,” he said, “it’s worth bringing to the attention of editors or reporters who cover real estate, construction, or home and garden subjects.”
The advisor recommended that the contractor or a staff member monitor local media sources — including social media — for opportunities. He or she should check applicable websites for contact info and submission guidelines, and follow the instructions and deadlines given.
To keep costs in line, he recommended logging the time spent on these publicity efforts to ensure other critical work didn’t get neglected. The contractor likely wouldn’t need to spend money on anything other than a decent-quality camera (that is, not a cell phone camera) if she didn’t already have one.
Following best practices
Based on his experience in helping construction clients with media relations, the financial advisor offered a couple of best practices:
Be concise and descriptive. The contractor should document her company’s work with some high-resolution (300+ dots per inch) photographs suitable for both print and websites. In addition, she (or a qualified staff member) would need to write a brief description of the project, highlighting its most interesting aspects. Keep it short, the advisor urged — no more than two or three paragraphs.
Be flexible and available. The advisor also encouraged her to send the description and photographs via email, along with her company’s contact information. He said it’s acceptable to follow up by phone after a week or so, but she probably shouldn’t go beyond that. He advised her to let the reporter know that, if the story isn’t immediately feasible, she’d be happy to serve as a source for future articles on related subjects.
Maximizing the benefits
The advisor’s suggestions paid off for the contractor. Shortly after one of her projects was featured in the local paper, she received several calls asking her to bid on similar jobs. And she was able to extend the publicity by getting permission to link to the article from her website, and by ordering reprints she could hand out to prospective clients.
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