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Working in construction PR, the question of what’s the best way to communicate to your average tradesman is never far from your thoughts. And it’s here where I think I might have a sneaky advantage… I used to be one.

There’s a lot of chat that goes on in UK building sites: some about the match on Saturday, some about the latest health and safety hoop to jump through, some about the cheapest nearby parking and many other topics besides. But one of the most frequent utterances one is likely to hear is this:

“Ooh, where did you get that?”

Tradesmen love new products. If it makes the job easier, looks better, feels nicer, works harder, then tradesmen want it and I would suggest that in the trade world, a large majority of purchases are only made after a positive peer endorsement. And it seems the numbers back up this assumption, with a recent marketing infographic from Captora listing customer testimonials as one of the top three types of content with the best ROI.

Recently I’ve been out and about meeting with builders, electricians, plumbers and more to review some of FEIN’s newest power tools – inviting Britain’s best to put FEIN’s gear through its paces to see if it can handle day-in day-out hard graft. The results have been fantastic. Not only have the tools excelled (which is not actually the main concern) but the response to honest ‘warts and all’ peer reviews from the trade community has been overwhelming. It’s content from the people, for the people. Here’s an example of one of the reviews I’ve been involved with.

Product leaflets and technical information are great and definitely serve a purpose, but tradesmen also crave authentic, self-generated peer content. Yes, it’s good to know that this 18V combi drill has a 4 amp-hour battery but does the balance of it in your hand mean that it positively drives woodscrews in without the need of too much pressure?

I’ve really enjoyed getting back to my roots engaging with the customers of my clients, but more importantly I’ve learnt the power of the independent endorsement. Let’s engage better with tradesmen by communicating less and facilitating more.

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