Though you might not expect to find a remodeling company on Apple iTunes, if you type “Harrell Remodeling” into the search engine, the company’s podcast pops up. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, the California design/build company would be remiss if it didn’t tap into this broad-reaching technology, says general manager Ciro Giammona.
The podcasts lead potential clients to Harrell Remodeling’s Web site, where the podcasts are also available for free download. “It’s a multipronged approach to letting people know about us,” Giammona says.
Hoping to reach new and existing clients, Harrell Remodeling introduced the podcast series over a year ago. To date, the company’s employees have recorded 20 programs. Harrell recently purchased $600 in recording equipment so that recordings can be done internally, then outsourced for editing and posting.
The podcasts have a running time of about 20 minutes each and cover topics including remodeling basics, cabinet and countertop trends, and choosing a green contractor.
Pitching the company or its products is not an option, Giammona says. “We try to make it as much of a soft sell as possible. We’re trying not to say, ‘You should come to us because we know the right way to do it.’ We know that not everybody is our client. We just want to find the people who are.”
Giammona acts as the emcee, and three other staff members (from designers to site managers to production team members) participate in a forum. Although a few questions are agreed upon in advance of the recording, there is no script. “It’s very conversational,” Giammona says. “They bounce off each other, too. One comment often leads to a counterpoint or another comment.”
Recording times vary, but typically last less than an hour. The podcasts are archived on the company’s Web site, then the copyrighted material is placed on a CD-ROM for past and future clients. This, Giammona says, enables the company to reach the “non-techie types.”
Giammona admits that podcasting is an experimental marketing tool, but the remodeling company is hopeful that the effort will pay off. “It’s a way to augment other successful programs,” he says, “and a way to tie them in or even draw people to those successful programs.”
Amy Campbell is a freelance writer in Phoenix.