Firstly, HELLO and welcome to my very 1st PCA blog!
‘Boy o boy’ what a 12 months it has been from a PCA marketing perspective, but what a ‘fabby’ end to 2019 and a great start for 2020. If 2018 was a bit of a ‘steady eddie’ marketing wise, 2019 saw a year of ‘change and strengthening’ leading to continued month on month growth and even some record-breaking results!
The Upward rise of our website and YOUR member search
One of the core elements that helps us promote our members and the high standards we maintain is the website. This continues to be one of the crucial pivoting points and main signpost for all marketing activities to help promote our members.
Over 2019, we have been gradually re-styling the website (hopefully some of you may have noticed) while continuing to fix backend ‘techie’ problems and barriers that were preventing the website appearing as often as we would have liked in Google/Bing search results.
I am pleased to say that the ‘fruits’ of our continuing labour are beginning to ‘pay off’! Since mid-2019, our website has seen continued growth and awareness with (on some months) record-breaking levels of traffic and a very pleasing massive growth when comparing months ‘year on year’. Following what has been a turbulent and difficult year for many of our members, I am pleased to say the PCA website has been working hard to help get the message out about you!
How has this affected the PCA member search
With this rise in website traffic, we have equally seen a large rise in the number of searches taking place on the website, and the actions taken by individuals off the back of these searches. Collectively, we have seen more phone calls, more ‘click to emails’ and more clicks to our members websites.
Following the recent changes to the ‘Search Box’ functionality to make it simpler, there yet again seems to be a notable increase in searches and what we hope is more ‘profitable’ enquiries going to our members.
It seems to be the case (‘again…pleased to say’) the more we tinker, the more our PCA members seem to get! With further plans to come…I can only see things getting better!
The Content we have been getting out about YOU!
In terms of the news and content we push out to gain more awareness, PR continues to be a strong backbone for our branding and awareness activities.
Through the continued relationship with Shepherd PR we managed to achieve just shy of 340 articles published over the last 12 months that represented all sectors of the membership, with many featuring in notable publications such as the recent one with Steve in the Housing Association Magazine discussing Retrofit Insulation problems.
As delighted as I am about our continuing PR success, the real success story for me is with the quality and volume of new content, news stories and blogs we have been pushing out and the attention and traffic we having been getting from them!
4 years compacted into 1
The last 12 months has seen your Association push out more domestic and professional based content, news or blogs than ALMOST the last 4 years! As you might expect, all this content has been rewarded with more attention and traffic to and within the PCA website. But it has also seen more noticeable benefits such as:
- Increased interest & enquiries towards our training & qualifications
- Wider organisations getting in-touch requesting documents, CPDs & presentations
- And, of course, noticeable patterns that our content also leads to member searches
With no plans to change the pace of which we continue to ‘churn out’ content, all I see here is a ‘win win’ scenario for all…more PCA badge awareness and a steady flow of additional enquiries for our members!
Who turned on the Social Media tap?!?
I am going to say it again!!! ‘Boy o boy’ …we have had a bit of an explosion here! The last 12 months has seen a ‘shake-up’ of our social media activities to make your Association look more polished and to tell the world of all the good stuff that’s happening and what is still to come!
Via these channels, we have also been working hard to open up the Association to you, whether through checking out the snippets of what goes on within the PCA office, to cheeky pics of Horace (our resident dog) or as a portal for you to engage with us!
All this activity has subsequently lead to large growths in engagement, but most notably, the volume of traffic going to the website to help serve our members influencing and leading to more presentations, more enquiries…more everything!
But we do a heck of a lot more…
To be frank, in terms of what we have been doing within marketing, I have barely scratched the surface!
At the PCA we continue to venture down new avenues such as video marketing, while maintaining and communicating to both members and non-members through our weekly communication.
We continue to look at what we have and how we can make it better, through things such as our pop-up banners communicating our values, to rebranded Guidance & Technical Documents you can be proud to use.
What’s happening in 2020
As I mentioned at the start, if 2018 was a bit of a ‘steady Eddie’, and 2019 was a year of ‘change and strengthening’; I am hoping to see 2020 go like ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ with a ‘sprinkle’ of new ways to communicate all thrown into the mix! Put simply…it looks to be an exiting year ahead marketing wise at the PCA!
Some of you will be aware of this already, but for those that don’t, we have recently launched the start of a new series of monthly webinars all geared towards professional development. If you missed the last webinar, why not check out the next webinar on the 26th March: Japanese Knotweed – Invasive plant or ‘Just a Weed’?
There will also be continuing strengthening of the PCA website with again, plenty of new content, news and blogs coming out. But we are also keen to keep our members ‘in the know’ with what is happening and we will also be looking at new activities to better our communication to you.
As towards other activities, well…you have to let me keep some things secret for now! As you might suspect however, we do have plans in the pipeline. It is very much a case of ‘watch this space’, but as always, the association will be working hard for you!
The End Bit
Lastly but not least, all of this growth and continued marketing would not be possible without the continued support and good work of our PCA members.
Equally, all of the good news, content and blogs would not have been possible if it was for the collective good work of all our members. We are able to do this marketing because YOU, our members, maintaining the high standards the PCA sets to allow us to scream about our industry and about YOU.
As always, the PCA is here to support you…our members. 2019 has been a challenging year for many of our membership. Here’s hoping 2020 will be a steadier ship and for some, a possible year of opportunities!
See you in the next blog…
Recent news and further info
- An introduction to Paula’s papers
- Defects in Cavity Walls
- Next Webinar: Japanese Knotweed – Invasive plant or ‘just a weed’?
- Japanese Knotweed management – the challenge
- Code of practice for Property Flood Resilience
- PCA Supports New Amenity Standard
- Our Joint Venture – Moisture and its effects on traditional buildings