It’s all marketing. Well, it isn’t, exactly. But the reason we hear that cliché so frequently is that it carries with it a ring of truth that resonates within all of us.
The Carpenter Contractor Trust (www.CCTNetwork.org), or simply “The CCT,” is a labor management trust formed in 2001. Its inception was the result of collective, creative minds who recognized a simple fact of the construction business: Cooperation between union carpenters and contractors would produce stronger, more predictable and ultimately successful results than an antagonistic approach to industry issues. Cooperation, both in spirit and actual practice, would offer both parties more opportunities to influence decision makers who control construction projects that serve to increase job possibilities for carpenters. It would also smooth out any possible rough edges between union carpenters and contractors.
Harkening back to the cliché about marketing, the CCT’s job was to create, explain and promote the message of exactly what union carpenters and contractors do and why hiring them makes good business sense. As one recent study noted, “The Carpenter Contractor Trust works to continue the rebranding effort aimed at dispelling preconceived notions of unions and union labor.”
It delivers this message through a plethora of vehicles: a CCT app for carpenters and contractors, videos, press releases, email blasts, outreach programs, marketing and collateral material, media placements, advertising campaigns and public relations efforts.
This translates into exposure, whether you find us on a YouTube channel, watch a Vimeo video, read about us in a magazine article or watch us in a television interview. We have girded these efforts with a robust, user-friendly, content-rich website (www.CCTNetwork.org). Our staff consists of a vice president of operations, a marketing manager and a marketing assistant, a social media specialist and an executive assistant. We also have immediate access to several experts in videography, graphic design and public relations.
Regardless of the marketing product or its delivery mechanism, the message has always been the same. It is to create positive awareness of union carpenters and contractors to the business and public and to challenge any negative images or misconceptions.
The need for a serious marketing effort became necessary for several reasons. The CCT, by its very nature — the inclusion of contractor members — demonstrated a real-world attempt to grasp some of the most basic issues in the construction business including skill levels, cost and safety issues. That foresight was significant because the founders realized that hardened attitudes or fixed ideas about unions could change, but that it would probably occur slowly, over time. It also needed contractors to complete the circle. With a history of hard bargaining and an admirable dose of zealousness at the negotiating table, it wasn’t easy to set aside a sense of anticipated conflict and explore other approaches. But carpenters and contractors made it work.
A public relations expert once said to me that changing an attitude encrusted with solid, unflinching opinion and feeling is far more difficult than introducing a new idea to someone who has no opinion. He was right. A key to changing an opinion or at least nudging it in a more favorable direction has been precisely the focus of the CCT.
The CCT is aware of the ever-increasing changes in the construction industry and the economy at large. It is our mission to play a pivotal role in explaining to businesses and the public that union carpenters and contractors have a huge influence, not only on the economic impact at the macro level in New York (and our other regions), but also in the trickle-down effect of the communities where they live.
The success of our efforts, especially those vis-à-vis contractors, rests heavily on your interest and willingness to share and inform us about your company’s activities. When we understand what you do, the nature of your projects and the people involved, we are here ready to assist with our experienced and enthusiastic team. There is no fee for our services because it is one of the benefits of your membership. Our only requirement is that you enlighten us regarding projects, promotions and new developments with your company and leave it to us to promote activities across many of our platforms. Consider that you not only have marketing experts available with a simple phone call or email, but you also have specialists who understand the construction industry.
As we face new times and new challenges, I’m optimistic because I would also like to believe that we have new opportunities. We have poised the CCT to meet whatever challenges arise as we continue to serve as the message bearer for union carpenters and contractors in New York.
We can help you with your marketing efforts. All you have to do is ask. If you wish to learn more about how the CCT’s team can help your marketing efforts, please reach out and contact:
Melissa Clark on 732-215-5341 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin P. McCabe is the President of the Carpenter Contractor Trust.