It's remodeling awards season, a time when remodeling associations and publications name the winners of a variety of industry honors for excellence in business, design, customer service, and market leadership. It's good for company morale when you win, but the most important outcome is the leverage you get from telling your pool of past and future customers about it.
The place to start is with a press release, which is no problem if you have a marketing director. But most remodelers are do-it-yourself marketers and need to learn the basics which, according to How to Write a Press Release on the Duct Tape Marketing site, includes these three must-haves:
1. A clear, concise headline. Don't try to be clever – you want the reader to know at a glance exactly what the release is about
2. A strong opening paragraph that addresses all 6 questions that Journalism 101 students are taught to ask and answer: who, what, when, where, why, and how. For example, if your company is a winner of our 40-Under-40 award, your opening sentence might say something like this:
Good Guys Remodeling (WHO) was honored with the 40 Under 40 award (WHAT) in Professional Remodeler magazine's (WHERE) July issue (WHEN). The company competed with more than 100 nationwide entries for the award (HOW), which honors business excellence among young remodeling company owners (WHY).
3. A couple of quotes. Make sure the quotes say something that hasn't already appeared in the release. Two separate quotes are better than one, but make sure you identify the person you're quoting – anonymity undermines credibility.
If that seems like too much work, you can download marketing guru John Jantsch's Instant Press Release, which also gives you a good template for standard press release formatting.
The last step is to send the press release to everyone you can think of. Publishing it in your newsletter and posting on your website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed will get the attention of past and prospective clients. But don't forget to send it to local newspapers, magazines, and community blogs – remodeling is a local, community-based industry, and the more attention you get from third-party press, the better.
Finally, once the word is out there, check to see how well it's performing. One way to check is to use HubSpot's Marketing Grader, a free (you have to enter your email address) website that analyzes your website's marketing effectiveness on a scale from 1-100. Regardless of your score, the site does a good job of explaining what it's measuring, why it's important, and what you need to do to score higher.