Congratulations, you’ve done it! Your company is now certified to ISO 9001, AS 4801, ISO 14001, ISO 50001. Maybe of one of them, or maybe all of them. You’ve put a lot of time and effort into this so celebrate it and market it. You’ve got your certificate and you can snap into full-on bragging mode and you should. Not only have you earned it, but being vocal about one’s ISO certification can make the company money. But like every other way to make money, there’s a right way and a wrong way to publicize your certification.
My top tips for marketing certification are:
1. Use the Certificate
I don’t just mean place it on the wall in reception. Post it on your website, hang it on trade show booths, include it in company publications, proposals, estimates and responses to tender requests, have your sales staff carry it around in their portfolio.
2. Use the Logo
Place the logo on your website’s home page, every page, on a digital banner and on all downloadable materials. Place it on your printed materials such as your company letterhead, business cards, brochures, proposals, and so on.
Just one word of caution however. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has rules on how the logo can be used as will your certification body. Using it incorrectly can get you into a lot of hot water and you’ll waste a lot of money trying to fix the problem. Your certification body will be able to provide you with information on how their ISO logo can be used. For example you cannot imply that your products are certified (although there are standards that many products can be certified to). It is your management system that has been certified. You cannot display ISO 9001, AS 4801, or ISO 14001 certification marks of conformity on products, product labels, or product packaging, or in any way that may be interpreted as denoting product conformity. Here is information on this from ISO themselves.
3. Make a Statement
State the fact that you are certified and the standard/s you are certified to in the documents you use to sell your products and services such as quotes, proposals and tender documents. Include the benefits of this for your customers. Make sure you are using the correct terms though or you’ll look silly. Your company is certified, not accredited (that is something else) and you are certified to ISO 9001:2008 not ISO 9000, and ISO 14001:2004 not ISO 14000 (formerly, when there were three certification standards in the ISO 9000 family, the phrase ISO 9000 certification was often used as a convenient way of referring to one of them).
4. Update your Email Signatures
It’s really easy to update email signatures for everyone in your company so that every time they send an email it publicises the fact that you are certified.
5. Do a Press Release
Write a press release. Use a service like Get The Word Out to distribute your news straight into the email boxes of journalists and newsrooms around Australia. Want someone to do it for you? Contact me at email@example.com
6. Trade Magazines
Trade magazines for your specific industry will generally treat submission of such an announcement as a press release, and run it for free in their “Latest Industry News” section. If you consider the cost of running an ad in such a magazine, getting free coverage in their news section is a pretty good deal. Just be sure to write your announcement in press release fashion, and not like blatant ad copy.
7. Publish It
If you publish a newsletter or blog, then celebrate your certification with your readers and make it front page news. Take the opportunity to explain what certification means, how it has benefited your business and, most importantly, how it will benefit all your customers. Show them the certification logo that you use and they’ll start to recognise it. Explain what the logo means to you and they’ll start to value it.
8. Use Social Media
The facts are:
- LinkedIn – over 4 million users in Australia. 9th most visited website. Users are predominantly managers and decision makers so great for business to business.
- Facebook – 11,489,600 million users in Australia (March 2013 figures). 3rd most visited website. Perfect when you sell to the public.
- Twitter – 2,167,849 million users in Australia (March 2013 figures). 14th most visited website.
The figures speak for themselves. Share your news with millions of others by posting it on social media.
If you are interested in doing any of the above but don’t know where to start just contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can write your press release and post it on the highest traffic press release websites, write your blog post, write your social media posts and more.
All the best – Liz