Communication efforts in 2023 and 2024 help share CHBA’s message

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By Natasha Rombough, Director of Marketing and Communications, CHBA

Information comes fast at all of us, from multiple sources, and is often just as quickly forgotten. We’ve never had more outlets for reaching people, but cutting through the noise is increasingly a challenge – one that you no doubt also face in your business. How do you get through to people? How do you separate yourself from the masses? How do you make your company name not only recognizable, but one that people turn to when they need the services you deliver?

One of the benefits of being a CHBA member is that your association – at your local, provincial and national levels – is working to give your company added legitimacy by building the association brand. How? By establishing the association as Canada’s voice of the residential construction industry, and by positioning the companies that belong to it as leaders in the industry.

We do this through a variety of communications activities throughout the year that put your business, priorities and the association in the spotlight. From actions that position us as a serious and trusted voice in the media, to providing the public with valuable information about homebuying and renovations, including where to find members like you in their area.

News and website

Since the national level of CHBA is focused on federal government advocacy and representing the association from coast to coast, the content we put out is national in scope. In 2023, CHBA fielded media requests from Canadian reporters working with national outlets or producing nationally-syndicated content – the result was nearly 1,200 quotes in the national media, equating to an astounding 1.2 billion views. CHBA’s quarterly Housing Market Index (HMI), the association’s win in advocating for the removal of GST on purpose-built rental and CHBA’s National Awards for Housing Excellence were some of the biggest media hitters last year.

CHBA’s website is another driver of traffic to our members and the association. Behind the scenes, in 2023 we worked on a website overhaul, which launched in late February 2024 – the first redesign in about eight years. The chba.ca website is a mammoth repository of resources for members, HBAs and the public, and a home for our advocacy work, so a redesign is no small undertaking. But it adds credibility to the association, and receives nearly a million visitors each year.

 

Social media

CHBA is very active on a suite of social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, X and LinkedIn. At the national level, we manage the @CHBANational accounts, as well as those for @RenoMark and @CHBANetZero. Last year on the @CHBANational social media channels we averaged four posts per day. The @CHBANetZero and @RenoMark accounts, which are separate, also both averaged multiple posts per day.

 

Sector Transition Strategy release

Quick on the heels of Day on the Hill, CHBA released its Sector Transition Strategy on Feb. 8 with a press conference. The release was well-timed, on a hot topic and with concrete recommendations on how to increase sorely-needed housing supply within Canada. It resulted in great media take-up, which helps reinforce CHBA’s recommendations to government (CHBA had already taken many meetings with government officials on the Sector Transition Strategy), keeps the association top-of-mind for housing issues and builds the CHBA brand. Within the first 24 hours of the release, CHBA’s Sector Transition Strategy asks were mentioned in the media more than 200 times, getting more than 210 million views. This earned media is very valuable: To purchase ads to get in front of the same number of people in those news outlets would have cost $8 million. That is incredible value in earned media, and it all supports the brand of the association, CHBA’s recommendations to government and bolsters the reputation of CHBA members from coast to coast.

 

CHBA’s Day on the Hill 2024

CHBA’s launched a digital advocacy campaign a week before the Day on the Hill to bolster getting our recommendations in front of those who frequent the parliamentary precinct. We used social media ads, digital ads in The Hill Times, iPolitics and National Newswatch (the three most popular online news), sources for federal political news, and an op-ed in The Hill Times about what’s preventing more supply from being built, authored by CHBA CEO Kevin Lee. New this year, CHBA also got airtime on the Herle Burly podcast, which is popular among policymakers, to punctuate the importance of government policy revision needed to increase housing supply. All of those advertising efforts were further amplified by CHBA members and staff who posted to social media tagging MPs and thanking them for productive meetings, using #CHBAontheHill.