Business & Marketing
It’s all about outreach
The staff at CANASA regularly talks to members of the public about their security needs.
By Rob Colman
They usually call after ﬁnding us via a web search. Most often they are looking for a reputable security company to install or service a security system. In some cases they are curious to ﬁnd out about the regulations that apply to our industry. This gives us the opportunity to promote CANASA members and to explain how important it is for security companies to be members of the association that represents them. If you are not a CANASA member listed on our website, you may have lost that sale!
I heard during the focus groups we conducted in 2010 that our members want the association to become better known to the public and to create greater value for their membership dues. They felt that, as CANASA members, they should be able to get more business and be able to differentiate themselves from the competition who choose not to be members. The feedback we gathered through the focus groups was used to validate our vision, mission and strategic objectives, and it became clear that we had to focus our attention on the general public. As a result, in April the National Board adopted a new strategic objective to disseminate information about CANASA to the public and other stakeholders.
But we did not wait to take action. We have had opportunities in the last 12 months to play an active role in four newspaper supplements that were focused on security. Three of these supplements ran in the National Post and reached tens of thousands of households across Canada. We advertised CANASA and its members with the catch phrase: “Protect what matters most. Hire a Canadian Security Association member today.” We also provided articles aimed at educating the public about maintaining their existing security systems and how to reduce false alarms. Another supplement, which ran in the Vancouver Sun, was targeted at the B.C. market. In 2012 we will continue to take advantage of opportunities as they arise to partner with media outlets to speak to the public about CANASA and its members.
We also need the active support of our chapters and members to raise public awareness about CANASA, and next year we will develop new communication tools to help them in their efforts. We know that many of our members participate in home shows and, by providing them with information and material they can distribute, we believe that our messages will reach thousands more people.
Our association continues to be very healthy, with a growing membership, many very active chapters from coast to coast and top-notch trade shows. Our ﬁnances do not allow us to mount a massive public campaign with TV ads and billboards across the country, but we have more than 1,300 member companies talking to thousands of people every day about security. The message we can all convey is simple: People who are serious about their business are members of the association that represents them.
JF Champagne is the Executive Director of CANASA. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (800) 538-9919