AEC Clients on B.D. Best Practices

SMPS Boston posted my wrap-up yesterday of the recent business development panel, “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Business Development from the Client’s Perspective.” Twitter is saying it was a useful piece. By summarizing, we solidify our knowledge, right? And by teaching, we learn.

Marketing Communications Toolkit

A friend and I are giving a talk soon on the basics of marketing communications. First, we will put the idea of marketing communications in their proper context of building business in professional services. Then, we will attempt to prioritize the list of communications in rough order of importance while giving examples of each type. The sequence is approximate, yet relevant whether working at a new firm, small firm, large firm, or established firm.

Level One: Essentials, or the Core Press Kit
1. Website, which is today’s (fixed) brochure
2. A print-on-demand (customizable) firm brochure
3. Stationery, including business cards, email signature, letterhead & notecards

Level Two: News and Press Releases
4. Project news via e-blast or newsletter
5. New hires at the senior level
6. Firm milestones
Must Have: Mailing List of Clients and Media Contacts

Level Three: Client Development 
7. Holiday cards

Level Four: A Going Concern
8. Focus brochure: market sector or methodology

Level Five: Modern Social Media
9. Blogging
10. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest
Must Have: Keyword Strategy

We will probably wrap up with a few statements about lessons learned. We may finish on a note about tying the above items into an annual marketing budget and plan.

10 Takes on Personal Presence

1. Style. See Bill Cunningham New York, the documentary about the world’s best street style photographer. It is the tale also of a decades-long unerring point of view.

2. Grooming. SMPS Boston shared “Dress for Success” tips last week on their blog. We had to clip the grooming section, which said essentially, “Get a facial a couple of times a year to avoid over-reliance on cosmetics.”

3. Persuasion. My dramatic speech teacher from high school found a lucrative encore career helping executives become more lucid and persuasive.

4. Holding a room. Sometimes this means getting to know the room ahead of time. How much will your voice have to project?

5. Posture. You cannot hold a room unless you stand up straight.

6. Preparation. Send people the agenda ahead of time when it is your meeting to lead. You will make them feel respected.

7. What Dad said. “Firm handshake and look ’em in the eye.”

8. Poise. See L’Amour Fou for a peek into the man behind 70s fashions, Yves St. Laurent and Valentino: The Last Emperor for a fashion business marriage of two men.

9. Manners. It is truly illuminating to read etiquette books from different decades. Miss Manners and Emily Post are still the reigning champions.

10. Generosity. Smile to yourself and to others and see it returned in unexpected ways.

Architects are Great Party Guests

Assembling the SMPS Boston interview of Robert Brown, managing director of Perkins+Will, was a formidable feat, due to the many topics we covered in half an hour. As I read and re-read the transcript, I was reminded how likable architects typically are, and that they are often great conversationalists.

Growing up , my parents had friends who were architects, and they have lasted as friends for decades. I have a few, now, too. They are creative of course, and often overflowing with observations on their environment and life.  They are futurists, visionaries, grand schemers, too. Sometimes so fiercely analytical as to be caustic, but usually with a sense of humor that softens the blow. A great dinner party should include a few architects, artists, musicians, writers, and journalists.

Life Sciences Explosion

“We are in a renaissance, a life science explosion. It used to be, if you could do nothing else as an architect interested in academic work, you did a lab. Now our clients who offer lab work are truly the patrons of the arts. They are fighting for extraordinary talent. Lab work can showcase truly creative interior design work while the most dynamic workspace analysis comes from the sciences.”

Words of one of Boston’s top architects. Coming soon in full interview form.

Local Luminaries Chat

Through SMPS Boston’s Outlook blog, we have started a series of interviews of people at the edges of the marketing community in the area. The first interview was with Renée Loth, editor of ArchitectureBoston. Today I interviewed the next lucky subject. This is an experiment. The interviews might actually be better as podcasts or radio shows.

Corporate Culture: Let Marketing Drive

My family and I are taking an extended Thanksgiving this year: ten days of family time with three generations. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I would like to thank SMPS Boston for the opportunity to write the Voice from the Trenches column for the second year running.

This week’s post was on corporate culture. When I started at TRO Jung|Brannen over a year ago, there was a big movement afoot to define the culture. Here is my take on how marketing can and does get involved in culture-building.

Holiday Networking Refresher

When you need to mingle with a business agenda at holiday parties. Published by SMPS Boston last week.

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