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Become the go-to building expert for local media

March 22nd, 2013 by John Kirchner

As a building professional, you have expertise in a field that affects, well, basically everyone. Construction is vital to communities big and small, which is why it earns so much media attention.

Surely, you’ve seen or read these stories in your community. The reporter will introduce a trend (“New homes are popping up left and right…”), chat with a soon-to-be homeowner (“We are so excited to move in…”), then interview a local builder (“We’ve really seen the market ripen…”). If anyone benefits from the story, it’s the builder. More than free advertising, the story allows the builder to position him/herself as a respected expert in the local market.

So, how do you become the media’s go-to expert for all things building?

daily5Remodel has some outstanding tips, but this anecdote tells you everything you need to know about the value of old-fashioned handshaking:

Remodeler Chandler Fox was at Clarendon Day, a street festival in his hometown of Arlington, Va., when between the bands and beers and schmoozing he spotted a booth for Arlington magazine, a popular glossy bimonthly launched not long before.

“He stopped by and asked me in the course of our conversation if there were any specific story angles we were chasing down,” remembers Jenny Sullivan, editor of the magazine. “It turns out he had the perfect project for a story we were doing on rec rooms, so I followed up with him afterward and we ended up covering his project.”

Not bad for friendly outreach on a nice fall day, especially considering thatArlington magazine is read by thousands of affluent consumers in Arlington, Falls Church and McLean, Va., three areas where Fox’s design/build company does much of its work.

You don’t need to go and hire a public relations or communications person. Just proactively volunteer yourself as a resource to those most interested in the building industry. It might not pan out for several months, but it takes very little time, no money at all and it just might make you the focus of a great feature story someday.



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