Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mixing a hobby with work

The best thing about my non work related interests is they are starting to connect with what I do on a daily basis with my job. This cause and effect is making my job feel more like another hobby then something I need to do.

In 2009 my two sons started up a program called with a two of their friends with the goal to collect new and used hockey equipment for kids in Bosnia. From there the program has grown to support several local programs in the Niagara Region and have started to expand to northern Ontario.

Since I work for a group of newspapers targeted to the construction industry, using this as a vehicle to get more attention to the program did not really fit. Back in December 2010 I thought of a way to start the connection by hosting a “Construction Night in Niagara” event with the Niagara Ice Dogs. Tickets would be sold and members of the local construction association would participate in between period shoot out and get to celebrate the fact they are truly building our homes and places to work. The event went well for the first year and raised over $150 for and better yet I was able to promote the event in the paper for several months and include an article in our April issue, I made the connection.

Last week Aecom in Guelph had found a posting online about an equipment drive did last December for Ogoki Post in Northern Ontario and saw an opportunity to help. Aecom supports hockey programs for Northern Ontario and thought they could tie in a fundraiser with a hockey challenge event they were holding and were able to raise $1300. The money raised is being donated on to Minor Hockey Foundation – Ontario for their Let’s Learn Hockey Program which provides 35 plus kids each year with brand new equipment and pays for their enrollment into hockey programs.

Aecom is in the construction field, I work in the construction publishing business and my work with program allowed me to connect with a client I can develop a relationship with for new business. When a hobby generates results for your job, it truly does not feel like you are working!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A perfect storm of opportunity with Social Media

A perfect storm of social marketing happened the first few days of April as I attended the Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA) Symposium in Blue Mountain which seems to resulting into some clear measureable business results!

The first piece of social marketing came from a posting of Mark Buckshon’s Construction Marketing Ideas Blog with a reference to his trip to Blue Mountain, from his post came a message from rep at a construction management company to check out a project of theirs in the Town of Blue Mountain since we would be in the area. A 10 minute detour resulted with me meeting the site super and tweeting a picture of the project. A quick email follow up to the rep from the construction management rep has resulted in a feature profile for our June issue

As the OGCA Symposium started I was tweeting references to events that were going on, our sponsorship and posting tweets from some of the surroundings. In doing so a quick search resulted with me connecting two separate construction companies one from Niagara and the other from London. Early conversations with both who I was able to meet up with face to face has also lead to some future projects to profile in the upcoming months.

My twitter account is linked to my facebook account so the references to the Town of Blue Mountain project was viewed by one of the sub trades who is working on the project and even bragged about the great work he is doing. Another contact in the safety training field was inquiring if there were any safety trainers as sponsors, in fact there wasn’t so a marketing opportunity is in the works for him for the next OGCA Symposium in 2013.

In all my time of using social networking I have not seen so many messages in result of my postings. The event, the timing and projects all connected with several contacts all at once creating that perfect storm. The unique aspect was the ability for me to make face to face connections with most of those who did reply within hours of the messages. The others I will be meeting with in the next few weeks, social marketing has not replaced the face to face meetings I always have, and in these cases social marketing started the conversations.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Barrie Construction Association Publication

I am proud to be producing the 2011 Barrie Construction Association Publication and look forward to a new and improved version from previous years!

For 2011 we have increased the circualtion form 1,000 copies to over 4,000. We will be running the BCA Publication in the August issue of the GTA Construction Report as a special section to showcase the association, the members and the Simcoe County construction industry.

the marketing has just been launched and you can participate in this special publication by calling me 905=228-1151 or sending me an email