Why – did we need an awareness campaign?
Because that’s what our members asked for! Following the merger last year of the SCS and IAVI, we surveyed members about their needs from and expectations of their new professional organisation. The resounding answer from all professional groups and regions within the Society was the need to raise the Society’s profile to become the flag bearer for professional standards across the industry.
What – was the campaign going to be about?
Reassurance and the promotion of professional standards, and the benefits to the consumer of using a Chartered Surveyor. With multiple practice areas, the challenge was to create a cohesive, understandable and meaningful campaign, which would speak to our target audiences of our own members and their clients, business, finance, other professional organisations, potential new members, students and the wider public. The concept of the campaign was brought to the Council and the Board for discussion, and the benefits of the strategy for members, the Society and the public at large were recognised and supported by all.
Who – was involved in the campaign?
Members just like you, with a lot of help from HQ staff and a professional advertising agency. A very enthusiastic and representative subgroup, including Kevin Hollingsworth (Building Surveyors), Andrew Nugent (Quantity Surveyors), Aine Myler and Rowena Quinn (Communications Committee), and Ed Carey (Residential Agency), with Society Director General Ciara Murphy and Communications Director Conor O’Donovan from HQ, was formed. The group instigated a rigorous tender process, from which Atomic – who also work with Chartered Accountants Ireland, KMPG and Rory McIlroy, among others – emerged as the successful agency. From the outset, they displayed an innate understanding of the challenge of marketing a diverse and multisectoral professional organisation such as ours.
How – did the campaign achieve coverage?
With the use of good old-fashioned direct contact with newspapers, radio stations and online companies. Needless to say, one of the greatest tasks of the campaign was to make our budget stretch, and it is without doubt a testament to the relationships forged over the years by our members with the various media outlets, that we managed to achieve incredible coverage for a fraction of rate card price. We would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank all of our media partners for their support and good will.
The campaign ran for seven weeks from the middle of April until the beginning of June on radio and in the press – the online campaign will continue until July. You will have seen the press ads, which focused on four professional groups – Residential Agency, Commercial Agency, Quantity Surveying and Building Surveying. We decided to use real members/Chartered Surveyors in the advertisements for authenticity and as ambassadors for our Society.
Where – can I see all the material that was created for the campaign?
Just follow the link: http://www.scsi.ie/about_us/newbranding/brandpromotion and you may see some faces you know! The members included in the advertisements gave freely of their time and overcame their inhibitions to help promote the professional standards of the Society on behalf of all members. All of the advertisements and marketing materials for members to use are available to download from the website.
I saw some ads in members’ own advertisements and on MyHome and Daft. Is there anything members can use in their own practices?
Firstly, we would like to warmly thank the members’ firms who incorporated the awareness campaign statement “Check. They’re Chartered” into their own print advertisements, websites and email signatures during the campaign, all at their own expense. With the help of MyHome.ie and Daft.ie, all properties uploaded by members of the Society are ‘tagged’ with the “Check. They’re Chartered” logo – providing the consumer with the reassurance of professional standards and regulation.
We encourage all members to use all of the available material, which can be tailored for your own use by including your photograph, and by using “Check. They’re Chartered” in all your promotional brochures, emails, websites and online. If you’re not sure how best to utilise the material, contact HQ and we will be happy to advise you.
Will this campaign run again?
With members’ help, the awareness campaign can continue indefinitely by incorporating the material into your press ads, websites and emails. Like every professional organisation, the Society has to stay within its budget, which has been constrained during these challenging economic times, but the innovative and creative use of all available member channels to collectively promote the professional Chartered standard will go a long way to ensuring the visibility of the Society in the coming months.
In the meantime, the recent launch of the Society’s House Rebuilding Costs App for iPhone and Android phones, and the weekly Property Clinic in The Irish Times, provide fantastic opportunities to reinforce the professional standards of our Society and its members.