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PAGE A4 – November 2010 – The GTA Construction Report column Editor’s Mark Buckshon President, Construction News and Report Group of Companies

Journalists and reporters have a sixth sense, it seems, for the exceptional. The best stories often involve ordinary people in extraordinary circum- stances – or, simply, extraordinary happenings which change our world. I’ve always been more a journalist than businessperson at heart. This

isn’t necessarily a problem for the business: The passion and ideals of an investigative reporter certainly can be of some value to a news publishing business and my writing abilities certainly are helpful when, in sharing sto- ries of others, I can help out a little in the community. Sometimes, however, the multiplicity of responsibilities: Journalism, business ownership, consulting and writing, can put me in some really con- tradictory places. Then I must thread a careful line between journalistic in- tegrity and responsible business behaviour.

These thoughts come to mind as orders continue to arrive each week for Construction Marketing Ideas: Practical strategies and resources to at- tract and retain clients for your architectural, engineering or consulting business. The book has opened the door to speaking opportunities, most re- cently at the Ontario Painting Contractors Association annual confer- ence in Niagara-on-the-Lake and, upcoming, at Construct Canada on Dec. 2.

My book is a distillation of insights from reading, blogging, and living in this industry for two decades. The theme behind the book is that mar- keting need not be expensive nor overly sophisticated but we can do some simple things to attract new clients while encouraging repeat and referral business. The book and blog, themselves, trace their roots to my efforts to give more value to existing and current clients. So, if you are attending Construct Canada in December, I encourage you attend my presentation. Construct Canada levies a $30 fee to attend (I don’t keep the money) but if you’ve advertised with any of our publica- tions in the past two years, send me an email to and I’ll pay your admission (and provide you with a free autographed copy of the Construction Marketing Ideas book.) If you haven’t done business with us, you are free as well to attend – you can save some money on the book/seminar combination by emailing me as well, and I’ll send you a direct link to a special registration website. (The URL is simply too long to publish here in the print media.)

My story about the challenges unionized painters must handle in ob- serving environmental regulations arises from my visit to the OPCA con- ference in October. In meeting the contractors, I truly appreciated their professionalism and business sense. They have real challenges in main- taining their enterprises: Collective bargaining agreements mean they must pay their employees well and they have much competition from non-union contractors who can under-cut on labour costs and (more troubling) the ob- servance of the myriad of rules and regulations set out for the industry. Within this framework, they’ve shown resilience, skillfulness and cre- ativity to survive in good and hard times. My story on eco-fees for painters (see page) shows just one aspect of the

The GTA Construction Report is published monthly by Mekomedia Enterprises Inc., Suite 202, 1 Cleopatra Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K2G 3M9. You can subscribe to GTA Construction Report for $37.50 per year plus GST. To change your address or cancel a subscription, please email sub- or fax your request to 888-370-8745. If you would like to request a new (paid) subscription, you can e-mail or fax us, or if you prefer, phone toll free 888-432-3555. We welcome your news about upcoming projects, company anniversaries and special events. Fax your news releases to 613-224-1076. Daily update data on upcoming projects, including contact names and phone numbers, is available from F.W. Dodge. For more information, phone 613-727-4900 ext 4902 or 493.

situation. I sense that if you are thinking of hiring a painting contractor within the ICI sector, you won’t go wrong by considering an OPCA-mem- ber contractor. Sure, your up-front costs may be a little higher, but you’ll see the savings in the quality, security and reliability of the work the con- tractor performs. For more information, visit Mark Buckshon is president of the Construction News and Report Group of companies and publishes a daily blog at http://www.constructionmar- He can be reached by phone at (888) 432-3555 ext 224 or by email at

Our mistake

In the September edition of The GTA Construction Report, we published an article titled “Former COCA president David Frame to work with OGCA on safety issues”. A photo is included with the article with a caption saying the picture is of current COCA President Ian Cunningham – but it’s not. The photo is of John Gerretsen, the Minister of Consumer Services. We regret the error.

President: Mark Buckshon Publisher: Chase

•• GTA Construction Report

Interim Editor: Mark Buckshon Director of Sales and Advertising, GTA: Chase 888-432-3555 ext 211 Production/Design: Raymond Leveille Finance-Cordinator: Lorina Siverska Administration: Angela Chow, Kathy O'Neil-Lepage

To subscribe to the GTA Construction Report, or to report changes in your subscription, please call toll free 888-432-3555 or send a fax to 613-224-1076. Reader comments are invited. Call (613) 224-7926 / 888-432-3555, fax (613) 224-1076 or send e-mail to ©2010 Mekomedia Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.

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Delivering news you can use every day.

• • viewpoint Publisher’s By Chase

Only a few more weeks to go then it will be time for Construct Canada and the countdown to the end of the year. We will be exhibiting again in same spot as 2009 at booth #3027 De- cember 1st-3rd and handing out our well re- ceived “Pin up” calendar that we partnered with Construction Workplace Safety Training owner Bruce Bolduc. Construction Workplace Safety Training has been a regular contract advertiser in the GTA Construction Report for well over a year now and the opportunity to promote both of our companies took shape over several dinner meetings late last Fall. We decided to cross pro- mote and generate business for both companies with a unique item for a giveaway. It was well received by the mail patrons and even several women took them for their husbands or guys they worked with in the office. A somewhat taboo item generated great in- terest and quick conversation piece with poten- tial clients right on the spot. Last year at our booth we had two young ladies on site to hand the calendar out to people passing by with copies of our publication. This year we will co- ordinate an autograph signing session. We will also be collecting business cards for a door prize that will then help us with follow ups after the show. The autograph signing ses- sion will make for a great opportunity to also snap photos for our community news sections. As with last years show I will generate a re- port showing costs associated with attending,

report on the cost per lead and then tracking through out the year the revenue generated on average per lead generated. Approaching my fourth year in the company and industry, it is becoming harder to measure if a sale is directly linked to just the show or from a previous rela- tionship generated at other events. Regardless the results show that the cost to attend is less then 10 per cent of the revenue generated so it makes sense to be there.

Are you attending Construct Canada this year? Look for your free pass in both the printed issue as well as an electronic form you can download from our online editions at

Chase is the Director of Marketing and Client Relations for the Construction News and Report Group as well as the Associate Pub- lisher for the GTA Construction Report, On- tario Construction Report and the new publication the Canadian Design & Construc- tion Report serving all of Canada. Our publi- cations reach over 75,000 readers across Ontario and Canada. Chase also serves on the Board of Directors for the Barrie Construction Association and on several committees for the Niagara Construction Association. If you have any recommendations or suggestions on changes you would like to make for the papers please contact him at 905-228-1151 by email or visit us online at

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