Client: Wood Promotion Network (Toronto)
PR Team: BSMG (Chicago)
Campaign: Be Constructive
Time Frame: September 2000 - ongoing
Budget: dollars 45 million (three-year contract)
Late last year, BSMG signed on to help educate the North American public
about the wonderful world of wood.
Talk about a PR challenge. But surprisingly, the campaign was not nearly
as stiff as you would imagine.
Concerned that competing industries are fueling misconceptions about
wood, the Wood Promotion Network (WPN), which represents all facets of
the wood industry, from forestry companies to processors, suppliers,
dealers and national retailers, decided to strike back.
The strong, silent type, wood has always been its own best advocate.
When more than 90% of North American homes are framed with wood, how
much PR exposure is really needed?
'Wood's story - strength, affordability, durability, flexibility and
environmental superiority - has been told through endorsements by
professionals and consumers that use it,' explains BSMG's Jerry
'But recently, competitive industries have leveraged misperceptions to
gain share in the residential construction market,' he continues. 'WPN's
charge is to dispel the myths and trumpet wood's superiority as a
WPN and BSMG crafted an information campaign focusing on key facts: wood
is as safe, sturdy and dependable a building material as any other; it
is the best insulator against heat and cold; it is the most affordable
building material around; and North American forests are not
The campaign launched last fall with the opening of The Wood Information
Bureau, a media resource for wood facts, information and industry
Tim Carter, who writes the nationally syndicated 'Ask The Builder'
column, agreed to conduct a national satellite media tour, which
included a string of Home Depot in-store clinics, interviews with local
newspapers and appearances on local TV stations.
As the holidays approached, the agency devised a mini-campaign,
featuring toy and child development expert Marianne Symanski, to draw
attention to the benefits of wooden toys for gift-giving. WPN also
partnered with the National Christmas Tree Association in the first-ever
National Christmas Tree-Cycling Week.
Other tactics included an appearance at the International Builders' Show
and an SMT featuring author and Today show correspondent Lou Manfredini
(a.k.a. Ourhouse.com's 'Mr. Fix-it').
A 'Be Constructive'team participated in 'Homes for Hopeful Hounds,' a
project to build doghouses for an Atlanta animal shelter.
WPN has garnered significant media attention, the biggest exposure
coming from an article in the February 9 issue of The Wall Street
Stories also ran in the Canadian newspaper National Post, The Atlanta
Journal-Constitution and the Chicago Sun-Times, as well as in trade
publications such as Builder, National Home Center News and The Journal
of Light Construction.
Guerrilla efforts at the Builders' Show led to coverage on all four
Atlanta affiliates. And there were more than 56 SMT hits featuring Tim
Carter, including a live, in-studio interview and a construction
demonstration on Canada AM, the largest national morning show in
Still lumbering along in its first year, the deep-pocketed WPN plans to
'be constructive' for at least another two years - knock on wood.