Dan Houk, president and CEO of Wilbert Precast in Spokane, Wash., did just that recently. Despite the company’s more than 100 years in the industry, Houk recognized the power of local media to further increase awareness of Wilbert Precast’s name.
On the heels of an innovative project involving the placement of giant precast concrete structures in the Puyallup River, Houk reached out to a local newspaper to spread the word. The paper took interest and featured his product on the front page of its business section.
Next, Houk contacted KXLY4 – an ABC television affiliate in Spokane. The station found the storied history of Wilbert Precast even more interesting, and decided to feature the company in its “Made in the Northwest” series. You can watch the complete feature at the end of this post.
We asked Houk for his thoughts on the importance of promoting his business and why others should consider doing the same.
Q: Why do you feel it is important that precast producers attempt to increase exposure through working with local media?
A: Working with local media is perfect because, unlike advertising, it’s free! When you are producing something that the public may be interested in, you are a likely candidate for news coverage. With regular marketing, trust has to be earned through the relationship of interacting. However, news coverage gives you instant credibility to a large audience.
Q: In what ways has the television feature benefitted Wilbert Precast?
A: Many people saw the segment and have made comments. When you market your company, you utilize items like printed materials and e-mail blasts. You also plan golf tournaments, donate time for associations and business groups, become involved in nonprofit organizations and make a commitment to how you treat your customer. The benefit of print or television news media is that it adds another look at your company from a different angle. All of these things work together to create the mental image that the community possesses regarding your company.
Q: What other steps are you taking to further promote your products and projects?
A: We have designed and printed brochures for each of our product lines. These are mailed out on a regular basis to those who could use the information. We will do lunch and learn meetings to highlight projects and show engineers and general contractors what our capabilities are. The comment we generally receive after putting on a program is “I had no idea!” That’s good to hear because it means what we are doing is working. The main thing is that you are visible and that your name is backed up by quality products delivered on time with a professional staff.
Don’t forget to also use the NPCA Marketing Toolkit, available to all members in good standing, to promote your business. Contact NPCA for more information.