I returned to the office this week and lost the holiday feeling within the hour. I’m sure many have experienced the same sentiment.

What did it for me was a press release from a competing building material organisation claiming timber frame was losing market share to other building methods. It goes on about cost and sourcing, all trying (in vain) to discredit timber frame, which is, in fact, still growing market share.

I never understood why organisations think this is an effective way to advance their market. Liz Male of the UK Timber Frame Association rightly points out that this approach gets little press coverage, essentially because people aren’t interested in this kind of negativity. That’s why the UKTFA and indeed the TTF don’t do it. We have enough positive things to say.

But it did get me thinking again about how the timber trade promotes itself.

This is an important month; one in which I hope that question will be positively answered.

wood for good, ConFor and the TTF have invited leading industry players to the Building Centre in London on September 16 to hear how a new approach to generic wood industry campaigning could work. I hope the industry will support this move by providing constructive feedback to the ideas presented, as well as recognising that for us to give this industry the punch it deserves will take money.

Effectively spent, that money will enhance your sales in a range of ways; by generating publicity and helping timber trade bodies to improve their lobbying effectiveness and the industry to unify around common themes, extracting synergies for the work we all do.

The industry has to believe and invest in itself. And now is the time to do it. It is still tough out there, but there are positive signs the worst is over. The best time to invest in a business is at the start of its growth. Everything is right about timber, from its environmental credentials, to its aesthetics and performance. Let’s get behind a campaign that drives these messages home to customers.