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September 16, 2004 8:21 AM CDT

Masonry Industry Executive Directors Council Update

By

Wow! How do you follow up the presentation made at the Mason Contractors Association of America's 2004 Annual Convention in Las Vegas? During the general meeting, the Masonry Industry Executive Directors Council rolled out its plans for a national masonry advertising campaign and web site, known as www.masonrysystems.org. Our intent was simple ? to develop a promotional campaign that would illustrate masonry as it really is: a system. The response we received following the presentation was not only positive, but could be described as exciting! So how do you follow that up? Well, you can only answer that one way: You get to work and get ready for the actual media rollout set for this fall.

The Masonry Industry Executive Directors Council met in Chicago July 14-15th to finalize the web site and print ad campaign, as well as revisit insights of regional masonry groups and concerns. The meeting began with a working lunch where we reviewed all of the work that has been done thus far, discussed broad ideas, and gauged individual state group feedback. From this feedback, we established the best protocol to follow in soliciting current and future financial contributions from around the country, and discussed the best way to communicate ongoing efforts and successes.

Later that afternoon, the council agreed to break itself into two primary groups: 1) the web site group and 2) print ad campaign group. This decision was made in order to allow fewer individuals to "fine tune" each component of the national promotional effort and allow council members to use their expertise and experience to the best advantage. Ann Sullivan, the council's Secretary, headed the web site group, and Kyle Montgomery, council Chairman, headed the print ad campaign group.

The web site was initially developed to further simplify our "message." Members of the web site group agreed that the current design takes simplicity and focus into account, but the group took that idea further. Their recommendations included fewer "departments" on the web site and a specific focus on the masonry system, details and advantages. While the other elements are still present, these recommendations ensure that the overall message is being maximized, while still providing the depth of detail required by certain visitors. The group also agreed that web traffic must be tracked so that future design changes could be recommended based on actual visitor data.

The print ad campaign group focused on priorities and timelines. The group recommended that the magazines chosen to publish the council's print advertisements be prioritized. The purpose behind this recommendation was to establish top priority publications based on the largest reach and actual money that has been collected or pledged. Second- and third-priority publications will be rolled out if certain financial targets and benchmarks are met.

Based on actual funds currently available, the group recommended that the first round of advertising be placed in Construction Specifier, Architecture, School Planning and Management, and Planning magazines. Initially, the group has chosen to run six times in Construction Specifier and Architecture magazines, three times in School Planning and Management magazine and three times in Planning magazine. This initial rollout will allow the ad campaign to reach 434,000 individual customers for the four magazines and a total of 2,352,000 impressions over this group's campaign. Priority 2 and 3 campaigns include City and County, School Business, ENR, Architect Record and School Construction News, having a total of 1,216,000 impressions over the entire campaign.

At the conclusion of the second day, the council decided the full ad campaign will launch in October 2004, with the web site to go "live" on October 1st.

This has been an exciting and productive team to work with, and they are truly committed to representing the masonry industry as a whole. While it is difficult to get 20 different organizations and state executives to agree, this group of individuals has truly put individual goals aside to work as an industry. Doing so has allowed this group to develop a campaign that has eluded the masonry industry for decades and will serve as a foundation for the industry to expand its message and reach.

To make a donation to further this national campaign, please contact the council's Treasurer, Lynn Nash, at (828) 324-1564 or e-mail LNash@ncmca.com.


About the Author

Kyle Montgomery is the owner of Rector-Duncan & Associates.

 

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