OBERLIN, OH and CHESTERTOWN, NY -- MIA+BSI: the Natural Stone Institute has announced a new marketing plan to promote the uses and benefits of natural stone for homeowners, designers, architects, builders and remodelers. The plan includes a new informational natural stone website, editorial development and targeted media campaigns.

Over the years, competing material manufacturers have fueled false rumors regarding natural stone's inclusion in residential building and remodeling projects. As a means to accurately educate users and consumers about natural stone, MIA+BSI is combining its collective 151 years of industry expertise to address the issues and highlight the inherent benefits of natural stone, which includes granite, limestone, marble, sandstone, slate and onyx, among many others.

For assistance in increasing awareness of natural stone and its beneficial characteristics, MIA+BSI has teamed up with Atlanta-based home building products and public relations firm Kleber & Associates. The agency has developed the new website to serve as a comprehensive resource for sharing enlightening articles and inspirational photography about natural stone along with a database to locate stone professionals.

"The goal of MIA+BSI is to present educational, authentic and compelling assertions for the use of natural stone," said MIA+BSI CEO, Jim Hieb. "The Kleber team has more than 30 years of experience working with our target audience and the media, which made them a great fit to assist in our rebranding, content development, and media relations efforts."

Various types of natural stone can be specified by homeowners, designers, builders and other professionals. MIA+BSI has plans to accurately promote natural stone to each of these audiences in order to dispel any negative myths and advocate its plentiful benefits, including the fact that stone is low-maintenance, durable and abundantly available in a wide range of unique colors and textures.

"Building professionals, architects, landscape architects and designers want to provide a unique product to their clients that is not only attractive, but that compliments the long-term life of a building or landscape design," said Jane Bennett, MIA+BSI executive vice-president. "Similarly, homeowners want materials that are beautiful, resilient and cost-efficient. Natural stone provides the solution."