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May 6, 2008 10:03 AM CDT

Membership Dollars at Work

Report of the MCAA Marketing Committee


I realize many organizations spend money in places that may be questionable to their members, but this is certainly not the case with the MCAA's marketing dollars. As chairman of the Marketing Committee, I'd like to inform all MCAA members that the current board, executive director and staff are assuring your dues are spent to your benefit.

Recommendations for Earmarked Funds Granted

The MCAA has been working to realign its mission with the issues facing today's mason contractor. Talk of a shrinking market share for masonry construction work and increasingly competitive forces require our association to adapt quickly to both preserve and educate the masonry industry. One such adaptation over the last few years has been the implementation of the Marketing Committee as part of the MCAA. This resulted in the earmarking of a 20 percent assessment of membership dues to be used toward initiatives that the Marketing Committee would deem beneficial to improving the masonry industry as a whole. As a result, an anticipated $175,000 to $200,000 annually can be used for marketing initiatives.

The projects supported for 2007 and 2008 are:

  • The establishment and support of

  • The sponsorship of Masonry Design magazine, published by Lionheart Publishing

  • Contribution to the University Professors Workshops
While other proposals were submitted, these were viewed as having the most direct and beneficial potential effect on the industry and contractors' business needs.

The Marketing Committee pledged $125,000 toward the campaign. This site is being established as a gateway to the masonry industry to educate designers and construction users on the benefits of using masonry. The site is scheduled to launch in June 2008. The goal of this site is to be a one-stop resource center for designers and contractors building any masonry project. A tour through the site shows various options for the design professional, including how to use the cost guide, how to create a masonry wall systems profile, available products, examples of completed masonry projects in a photo gallery, and an area dedicated to providing answers from masonry professionals to questions posted on the site. The site has been in the building process and under construction for about three years. looks to be on track to reach the goal of being a one-stop shop for answers to all things masonry.

Masonry Design Magazine

The first issue of Masonry Design magazine was published in January 2008, with an initial circulation of 15,000 design professionals and an expected growth rate of 10 percent to 20 percent, annually. Circulation was primarily built from bulk subscriptions from local and national association/suppliers/contractors who wished to send the magazine to their customers. Masonry Design magazine delivers the message of the masonry industry through unique features of original content, with an emphasis on masonry systems/total masonry construction. Features may vary from more technical in nature, appealing to an engineer audience, to more inspiring features that appeal to architects. The Marketing Committee pledged $75,000 over a two-year period to support the launch of this magazine to reach the design professionals who determine the building materials used in today's construction market.

University Professors Workshop

According to The Masonry Society (TMS), "This workshop is aimed at "training the trainers." As a masonry industry, we invite professors from across the United States and Canada to come to a yearly Professors Workshop to learn more about masonry design and construction, so they can, in turn, train our future architects, engineers and construction managers. The program has been extremely successful in the past, and we want to continue building on that success for the future.

TMS manages the program with financial and technical support from BIA, IMI, MCAA, NCMA and PCA. This year, the workshop was held in March at Drexel University in Philadelphia. The Marketing Committee recognizes the need to properly educate those associated in the industry and feels this is one avenue to do so. The Marketing Committee has agreed to support this effort in 2008.

As you can see, the MCAA has been proactive in creating innovative ways to affect the masonry market. As Marketing Committee chairperson, I realize, as anyone associated with the MCAA does, that the future of our industry lies largely in the hands of the design professional who creates building plans. We need to focus on educating these associates to understand the true benefits, integrity and lifelong cost savings that come in designing a project with masonry. Explore these new undertakings for yourself, and let us how we could improve them even more in the future.

About the Author

Damian Lang is a mason contractor in southeast Ohio and inventor of many labor saving masonry systems and products. Lang has served as the Marketing Committee Chairman for the Mason Contractors Association of America. He is also author of the book Rewarding and Challenging Employees for Profits in Masonry. To network with Damian on contractor tips or tips you have and would like published, contact him at or 740-749-3512.


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