Redwood Region Logging Conference focuses on 'Real. Strong. Redwood.'

"Real. Strong. Redwood." Those three words are not only driving a successful campaign to promote and increase the use of redwood for decking, they were the presiding theme over the 76th Annual Redwood Region Logging Conference, held March 13 to March 15 in Ukiah.

Marketing campaign coordinator and Humboldt Redwood Company Vice President of Marketing Carter Welsh talked about the success of the outreach campaign which has positioned redwood as the natural choice for builders and homeowners in California. Welch was the keynote speaker at RRLC and not only outlined some of the success of the campaign so far, but also upcoming outreach efforts.

According to Welch, the use of redwood for decking grew by 10 percent last year. The campaign is focused on promoting the use of redwood as opposed to plastic and other composite materials.

"We have seen positive results ... and January numbers are up," Welch said. He said there have been "28 straight months of growth for redwood ... and we are expecting to see more growth and get back to strong levels (of sales) for redwood."

Two new ads have been produced and should start running this spring, in California and in other states as well.

"People have very strong misperceptions," Welch said. "We will continue to 'bang the drum for redwood,' trying to educate and get the word out there."

Research helped pinpoint specific message points, such as the strength and durability of redwood, and the beauty and environmentally friendly natural components.

The advertising campaign is a three year project, funded by a $750,000 grant from the Headwaters Fund, matched by $750,000 during that time period by California Redwood Company and Humboldt Redwood Company. The campaign uses 30-second television ads to spread the word, and is also seeking to connect with younger people using online message outreach.

In collaboration with the outreach campaign, the California Redwood Association website,, has been re-designed and a new CRA brochure has been developed.

Addressing the RRLC use of "Real. Strong. Redwood." as the theme for the 76th annual conference, Welch said, "We are proud and pleased that (the Logging Conference) used that theme."

Photo by Mary Bullwinkel/Beacon

Humboldt Redwood Company Vice President of Marketing Carter Welch was the keynote speaker at the 76th Annual Redwood Region Logging Conference. The conference theme was "Real. Strong. Redwood," the same key words used in a marketing campaign to increase the use of redwood as a decking material.