CEO Comments


Catching Up with the NASBP Public Relations Campaign

Throughout this year, NASBP has been engaging in efforts and activities to increase the public’s and specific stakeholder groups’ knowledge and awareness of the merits of surety bonds. As you may be aware, the NASBP leadership, its officers and members of the board of directors, made a significant commitment, through volunteer and staff time and financial resources, to raising the visibility of surety bonding in public and private sectors, with a particular focus on project owners, lenders, and design professionals. At the upcoming regional meetings in Annapolis, Minneapolis, and Scottsdale, I look forward to providing a detailed overview of these efforts and activities. In the meantime, I will highlight some of the key actions taken so far this year.

We started the year continuing our digital campaign in the IRMI Construction Risk Manager newsletter through April, emphasizing the importance of surety bonds for effective risk management. We also secured digital advertising space on the home page of the principal website for the Building Owners and Managers Association, an international association of commercial property owners, managers, and service providers representing all commercial building types, including office, industrial, medical, corporate, and mixed-use. Other owner stakeholder constituencies were identified that are frequent users of surety bonds, such as educational institutions and medical facilities. To that end, print and digital advertisements were secured with Medical Construction and Design magazine, focused on medical facility owners and design professionals serving that market segment; American School & University magazine, focused on public and private school facilities in the K through 12 and college markets; and American School Board Journal, the magazine of the National School Boards Association, which is sent to all the schools boards and school superintendents across the United States.

The other principal target of the public relations campaign this year is the lender community. This effort is to acquaint lenders, particularly community bankers, with the virtues of mitigating commercial loan portfolio risk with surety bond protections in the form of bond requirements placed on construction borrowers as a condition of project financing. NASBP obtained a corporate membership in and an advertising package with the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), the premier association for the community banking industry. Print ads and an advertorial having been running in selected issues of Independent Banker magazine. These print advertisements were placed in advance of a special educational program to be delivered at the three NASBP regional meetings this year.

In Annapolis, Minneapolis, and Scottsdale, NASBP will offer a special half-day educational and networking event designed to acquaint community lenders with the advantages of surety bond requirements. ICBA members in the surrounding states of each regional meeting will receive complimentary invitations to attend these programs. We are fortunate to have each program be headlined by some of the top leaders in the surety industry: Tim Mikolajewski of Liberty Mutual will present in Annapolis; Larry Taylor of Merchants Bonding will present in Minneapolis; and Gary Dunbar of Great American Insurance Company will present in Scottsdale. We need all regional meeting attendees to participate in these programs and to network at the luncheon and beyond with banker attendees. Please consider inviting your local lender to these special presentations. See related article in this issue.

The NASBP regional meetings also will mark the debut of the first video in the latest series of short video testimonials on surety bonding. Last year, NASBP released videos featuring executives of construction firms in California and in Colorado speaking about the importance of the surety relationship in making their companies successful. This year, the video series will focus on the positive impact of the surety relationship on lenders and project owners. President John Bustard worked tirelessly to obtain the permission of lenders and owners in Hawaii to appear in these videos. Like last year, NASBP will release the series gradually over the remaining months of 2019, disseminating them at NASBP events and through the NASBP Be Guaranteed to Succeed campaign website, NASBP communication channels, and social media, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

There is so much more tell, so I hope to see you at one of the regional meetings. I promise you will enjoy your time and learn information and strengthen relationships that will benefit you as a consummate NASBP surety bond pro!