Moving Ahead: Haskell’s entry in the Best Construction Blog competition

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Haskell BlogNominations for the 2014 Best Construction Blog competition close at 5 pm EST tomorrow (January 31, 2014). The surge in last-minute nominations (one person suggested almost a dozen qualified blogs) means that I must give priority to completing the promised individual reviews. These will continue as voting commences but should not give anyone unfair advantage as the voting process continues for two months (to March 31) so there’ll be plenty of catch-up time for blogs reviewed later than others. I’m reviewing qualified blogs in sequence from when they were nominated.

Design-builder Haskell shows how a professional design-builder can produce a truly professional blog. Perhaps the best validation of this success is the way the company brands its blog. You’ll find the blog entries under its site home page under the category “Moving Ahead/InMotion Blog”.

Here, you’ll discover entries that meet Best Construction Blog requirements, including relevant, useful information (not blatant sales pitches or recycled clichés), thoughtfully presented, with consistent graphic design and grammar. You won’t find “seat of your pants” human emotion here — but do you want that if you are looking for environmentally responsible, safe and cost-effective design and construction services?  Haskell’s current and prospective clients wouldn’t be interested in that sort of thing, I think.

Haskell integrates relevant project photos with its blog entries, adding relevance
Haskell integrates relevant project photos with its blog entries, adding relevance

As an example, consider this posting: 5 Questions with Haskell Food Safety Expert John Schook. Look at how the blog presents one of the key questions, and his answer:

John SchookWhat’s the greatest obstacle you face when you help manufacturers with their food safety facility issues? How do you resolve it?
Unfortunately, the greatest obstacle I have is proving the value of some sanitary materials enough for manufacturers to spend extra resources. There are plenty of material options offered by vendors that can be used throughout the plant, but sometimes, those that work best can be most expensive.
For example, flooring is a hot topic right now. Concrete floors can work, but over time, the wear on the floor can produce a bacteria-friendly environment and create unsanitary conditions throughout the facility. Buying a cheaper alternative, concrete, saved on upfront cost, but after recalling contaminated products due to the flooring, shutting down the facility during an investigation and spending more resources to install new flooring – your money would have been best spent purchasing the best flooring in the first place.
So did you see how I told that story? That’s exactly how I prove the value to my clients. I create examples like the concrete flooring to show my clients how focusing on savings alone can put you in a position to implement short-term solutions to manage long-term issues.
This entry shows how a larger practice/builder (Haskell has slightly less than 800 employees) can personalize the message without losing control of its corporate vision/mission. You can see Schook and learn about his specialized knowledge, as you discover some key aspects of food safety design and construction.  (I realize this knowledge will only be relevant to you if you need that expertise — but that is the point: The decision-makers planning or considering food safety issues would want relevant advice and insights specific to their challenges, not generalities.)
The Haskell blog truly lives up to the highest professional standards, and is indeed a worthy 2014 Best Construction Blog entry.
Almost there, now. One more day and we’ll turn off the “nominate” button and start the voting. Stay tuned.
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