This guide is designed to give local remodelers council the ability to easily promote National Home Remodeling Month in May. While we encourage you to supplement this plan with your own marketing materials, your remodelers council and HBA can create a simple and effective campaign using this guide and the tools provided in the National Home Remodeling Month Toolkit.
This guide is a simple suggestion of how to use these materials. Should you want more detailed information on marketing your remodelers council, consult the NAHB Remodelers Local Council Toolkit or the more in-depth NAHB PR Toolkit. Also, check out these Tips to Help Maximize Remodeling Month.
Now, get ready to bring some positive attention to your local remodelers council!
Depending on your resources, you may be able to use some or all of the information in this guide. As you look at all the available materials and ideas, some are simpler to implement than others, so calculate your campaign resources ahead of time. However, these individual tools work better in combination. In addition, your success in promoting your remodelers council will generate interest from news media, consumers, members and potential members. Be ready to deal with an increase in inquiries about your remodelers council and remodeling.
2. Get in the News
The best way to get (relatively) cheap awareness about your council is to place and promote news stories about remodeling. Customize the press releases, articles and op-eds that are available in the National Home Remodeling Month Toolkit to distribute to your local media.
To customize any release, simply insert your remodelers council chairman as the spokesperson and list your local HBA contact information for reporters to call with questions. If your HBA does not have a remodelers council, list your local HBA president as spokesperson. This person must be able to speak to the press confidently and act as a spokesperson if needed. In addition, the people who are quoted in the press releases should be ready to answer media questions as well. Here are tips on how to handle media inquiries.
If you have specific information about your area industry to add to any of the press releases, feel free to do so.
Next, create a targeted list of media contacts and reporters who will receive your press releases. We suggest targeting the real estate, lifestyle, or home section of your local newspaper, and the news department of your local newspapers, magazines, and TV stations. Most news outlets list emails for reporters, editors and producers online. If you already have any sort of relationship with area reporters, contact them as well.
3. Contacting the Media
If you do not have any contacts at a particular news organization, the best way to make one is by picking up the phone. Calling to offer a quick pitch about National Home Remodeling Month and any related events you have planned can help make your story idea stand out. Keep your call short and sweet (under a minute is best to give reporters a quick outline). Be ready to talk about any events or story ideas you might have and always verify their email for follow-up.
The best time to contact newspapers is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Any later and the reporter might be on deadline. When contacting TV stations, do not call during the news show or programming you would like to have cover your council. Typically, the best times are between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The same goes for radio stations.
Keep in mind the type of news outlet you are working with when pitching a story idea. TV stations need good images to broadcast. TV and radio stations want articulate spokespersons to interview.
4. Public Service Announcements
Broadcast TV and radio stations are required to air a certain amount of information that is for the public good called public service announcements or PSAs. PSAs are usually 15, 30, or 60 seconds long. By offering radio stations information about National Home Remodeling Month for consumers, the station may broadcast that information free. Send the PSAs (or create your own), along with the customizable letter requesting broadcast. When creating your own PSA, make sure that the information is not commercial and truly for the public good. Send the request letters out by the end of April.
Request that your mayor or governor make an official proclamation declaring May as your city/state Home Remodeling Month. This will help bring additional awareness to your remodelers council in the media, and help connect your council to the community and its leaders. Customize this sample proclamation for your community. A quick call to the elected official’s office as a follow-up will not hurt either.
6. Consumer Articles
Many local newspapers (especially community weeklies) often need additional content to fill their pages. Call your local editor and ask them if they would be interested in running an article from your council chair or association president. It is an excellent way to showcase your members’ expertise to consumers and provide valuable content for the editor. Sample articles are available from the National Home Remodeling Month Promotional Materials.
Consider using or adapting these ideas for your National Home Remodeling Month public relations campaign:
- Customize campaign articles and op-eds for your council and pitch them to local newspapers or other media. Sell the usefulness of the information in the articles to their readership and the public.
- Announce that May is National Home Remodeling Month in a press release to local media. Include information about the benefits of hiring a professional remodeler and a link to your member directory.
- Organize a group of members to buy ad space in local publications and adapt the consumer ads or articles with your contact information to promote the local council.
- Pitch to radio shows and work with them on providing content about remodeling during May.