Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Value of PR

Coldwell Banker Canada's comprehensive Public Relations plan builds brand awareness as it showcases the quality of our national network. As Coldwell Banker sales professionals, you enjoy the credibility and high profile that only PR can deliver. How does this benefit you? Simple! Nothing wins consumer approval – and future customers -- like the power of an unbiased endorsement in major news media.
Our national PR program has been a major success in building the Coldwell Banker brand across Canada , and growing our reputation as a leading authority in the real estate industry. We've raised our profile with coverage in such prestigious vehicles as all the national Television networks, prominent news websites, Maclean's Magazine and most recently, Canadian Business Magazine.
That's further evidence of Coldwell Banker Canada's credibility as a media source and as a real estate industry authority. More than ever before, the Coldwell Banker name is becoming top of mind when Canadian homebuyers and sellers think real estate. We've mounted initiatives that delivered a total audience well into the millions with over 20 million total audience impressions .
The “book” value of the TV, radio, magazine and newspaper coverage we've received far outweighs the relatively small cost of PR. Over the course of past years, the value of Coldwell Banker Canada's national PR is well above the half- million dollar mark. And that total of several hundred thousands of dollars worth of exposure was achieved for a cost that represents less than a tenth of that amount. Think about that – ten dollars in exposure for less than one dollar invested. Where else can you achieve value even approaching that figure? That's tremendous value for your investment, once again proving that – dollar for dollar – good PR is the most cost-efficient Marketing tactic available to you.
More importantly, the credibility delivered by exposure in national and local news media is something that paid advertising simply cannot equal. We can tell the consumer countless times that we're a reliable, trustworthy company to deal with, but as the old saying goes, “I read it in the newspaper, so it must be true.” No commercial advertising can match the power of seeing your company name featured on your nightly newscast or appearing in a respected national news magazine. That's the kind of credibility that money simply can't buy.
With over 20 million messages delivered to Canadians viewers, readers and listeners through PR initiatives, we've made great strides in building top of mind awareness for you and our Coldwell Banker brand.

The inside and out of chimney care

One of the more attractive features of any home is its fireplace. Warm and inviting, fireplaces can add ambience, light, as well as heat. But what keeps your fireplace blazing away smoothly is one aspect of home care that often gets neglected – the cleaning and maintenance of the chimney.
Simply put, a chimney is a structure which surrounds and supports an internal flue. Its purpose is to vent all the smoke, ash, and harmful gases away from your home that are produced when a fire is burning in your wood stove or fireplace. A chimney and the flue within it is a structure built to protect you. The products of combustion contain hazardous gases, including carbon monoxide – a colourless, odorless, tasteless gas that can cause serious illness or death if present in sufficient amounts. It's responsible for hundreds of deaths and countless illnesses every year in homes across North America . Due to this fact, it is important to ensure that your home's chimney is working properly. A quick and simple starting point would be to install a carbon monoxide detector, so you have an early warning to monitor your chimney's functioning if something goes wrong.
The main source of chimney problems in homes today is inadequate venting. What causes venting problems? Usually, it's a blockage of the flue. This may be caused by a buildup of ash (creosote), or from debris falling into the chimney due to deterioration of the masonry on top (mortar crown). Blockages are also often caused by animals such as squirrels or raccoons, or by birds building a nest. Always open the flue and look up your chimney before lighting a fire. It's a good idea to keep a flashlight handy in your wood box to assist you in this purpose.
The telltale sign that a stone or brick chimney is venting inadequately are indications of efflorescence on the exterior. Efflorescence occurs when hot water vapour (believe it or not - a byproduct of combustion) from your furnace, hot water heater, and fireplace that should vent out your chimney gets trapped inside by a blockage. The vapour then begins to vent out through the flue liner into the bricks and mortar of the chimney's exterior. Efflorescence will deposit a whitish residue infused in your chimney's brickwork, obvious to anyone who may be viewing the home that repairs are immediately necessary. If you're a prospective homebuyer, it's an easy thing to watch out for. If you're a seller, or just a homeowner, it's something you should fix immediately for safety reasons.
Avoiding blockages is simple. Creosote will build up with use, so have your chimney professionally cleaned regularly. The frequency will depend on how much you use it. Also, when any work is being done on your home's roof, have the mortar crown on the top of your chimney, as well as the chimney's liner, inspected for leaks, and ensure that the chimney cap is firmly in place.For more ideas on home care or showing off your home to its best advantage, contact your local Coldwell Banker real estate professional.