Maximizing visibility and impact: how to effectively promote your AEC firm’s projects

July 9, 2024

Effectively showcasing your architecture, engineering, and construction firm’s projects is essential for attracting clients, skilled project partners, and top talent. But no one likes a show pony. If you’re going to draw attention to yourself, it better be worth it, and you need to know how to capitalize on your audience’s curiosity in a way that leads to new business opportunities.

From innovative designs to sustainable solutions, each project represents your firm’s expertise and creativity. However, promoting these projects requires a strategic approach to ensure maximum visibility and impact. After all, you don’t want to spam potential clients with fluff. 

A promotion protocol

The best way to select premium content for promotion is to establish parameters for evaluating an initiative or project’s newsworthiness or publicity value. Here are a few parameters we’ve recommended to our clients: 

  • Scale and size: Not to be elitist, but smaller endeavors often lack signature projects’ pizzazz. Objectively deciding a project must be valued at X amount to merit a press release is a great way to separate the wheat from the chaff. Contracts that don’t meet that threshold can still be considered for distribution channels that require less of a time commitment, like social media. This ensures you prioritize your marketing budget and most valuable resource — time! 
  • Demonstrated expertise and complexity: Certain projects are small but mighty. They require some flexibility in your standard promotion protocol. Perhaps they don’t quite meet your monetary threshold for publicity. Still, their level of complexity is enough that your firm could benefit from strategically placing a press release or article about them in an industry publication. After all, demonstrating your team’s technical expertise before the right audience can substantially impact your business strategy. If the project showcases qualities that the firm wants to promote, then it’s worthy of promotion. Consider the following:
    • What does this project demonstrate about how the firm works? 
    • Did the project team solve a problem in a unique way? 
    • Did they use a new technology? 
    • Did they save the client money unexpectedly? 
    • Did they finish the project earlier than expected? 
  • Strategic alignment with the firm’s goals: Are you looking to develop your design-build portfolio, grow your business in a certain market, or target a specific client base? Allocate your resources toward promoting projects demonstrating your expertise in those areas. Planning a quarterly marketing meeting with your firm’s leadership can help your team identify upcoming pursuits and priorities. Here’s what you should cover:
    • In what markets do we want to grow? 
    • What capabilities do we want to showcase? 
    • What skill sets are in demand right now? 
    • Which teams have more capacity and thus need to be promoted more?
  • Timeliness and relevance: Promote projects relevant to current industry trends, market demand, or societal needs. Right now, we’re seeing a lot of articles on resilience in heavy civil construction and sustainability in building design and construction. Take inventory of your recent projects that meet that criteria and get to pitching!

Here are a few promotion pitfalls to avoid:

  • Avoid the bait and switch: Never promote a project that could lead to opportunities you aren’t currently capable of pursuing. For example, if your subject-matter expert will be tied up on a high-priority project and can’t be available for interviews, let your marketing/PR team know that. If you don’t have the bandwidth or support to execute at the highest level, why bring attention to it?
  • Controversial projects: Some high-profile projects are a lightning rod for controversy. Unless you’re prepared to handle internet trolls and naysayers — drop the notion of promoting them like a hot potato. Keep your head down, finish the project, and move on.
  • Client testimonials: While we recommend incorporating client testimonials in marketing materials whenever possible, as they add credibility, you’re not always going to get a glowing review. Some clients will fault you for things entirely out of your control. If they won’t toot your horn, don’t pass them the mic.

Obtaining approvals and clearances

Before promoting projects publicly, obtain all necessary approvals and clearances. This may include:

  • Client approval: Obtain consent from clients or project owners before sharing project details or visuals. Respect confidentiality agreements and consider any sensitivities surrounding the project. For instance, some projects require work in environmental protected zones, which can draw significant criticism. You may need to navigate that cautiously. 
  • PM review: Engage project managers to review press releases during development for accuracy, regulation compliance, and potential liability issues. They understand the overall project best and can help protect sensitive information and avoid unintentionally misrepresenting the scope or contract details.
  • OSHA compliance: Your HSE team should review any project visuals before distribution to protect your reputation as a safety leader.

Crafting compelling content

Once you determine which projects merit promotion and get the green light to develop the content, establish a distribution cadence and select your medium.

Press releases remain a cornerstone of project promotion in the AEC industry. When drafting a press release, consider the following tips:

  • Timing is key: Coordinate press release distribution with project milestones. This could include contract awards, groundbreaking ceremonies, project completions, or major design unveilings. Timeliness enhances relevance and captures media attention.
  • Content is king: Craft a captivating narrative highlighting the project’s unique features, challenges overcome, and benefits to the community or end-users. To add credibility and authenticity, incorporate quotes from key stakeholders, such as project architects, engineers, or clients.
  • Visual appeal: Supplement your press release with high-quality visuals, such as renderings, architectural drawings, photographs or timelapse videos. Visuals enhance the storytelling and capture attention in a crowded media landscape.

Distribution channels

It’s important to get the most mileage out of your content. Multi-channel distribution enables you to do just that. Here are your choices, but keep in mind that there’s rarely a limit to what you can select:

  1. Traditional media: Distribute press releases to relevant media outlets, including newspapers, magazines, trade publications, and online news platforms. Tailor pitches to each outlet’s audience and editorial focus for better chances of coverage.
  2. Digital platforms: Leverage digital platforms such as your firm’s website, blog, and social media channels to amplify your message. Share project updates, behind-the-scenes insights, and visual content to engage audiences and drive traffic.
  3. Industry events: Capitalize on industry events, conferences, and exhibitions to showcase your firm’s projects to a targeted audience of professionals, investors, and potential clients.
  4. Email campaigns: Send targeted email campaigns to your firm’s network of clients, partners, and stakeholders. Personalized messages highlighting project achievements can foster stronger relationships and generate referrals.

It’s important to know you don’t need to start from scratch when creating content for each channel. You can repurpose content from one platform to another. There are fantastic AI tools that can even do this for you, saving you time and money. For instance, GLYPH AI repurposes webinars into written content. PopAi can turn your case study into your next conference presentation, and Anyword can help streamline content marketing.

Post-promotion evaluation

After promoting your firm’s projects, it’s crucial to monitor media coverage and track metrics such as impressions, website traffic, and social media engagement to gauge your campaign’s reach and impact. If there’s any negative feedback, address those concerns promptly to maintain transparency and trust.

Strategic post-promotion analysis will help you identify areas for improvement and continuously refine your marketing strategies. If promoting your projects isn’t currently part of your marketing strategy, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to demonstrate expertise, build solid relationships with owners, subcontractors, suppliers, and even regulatory authorities, and set the stage for future growth. 

Do you have questions about preparing your content strategy? An AEC public relations agency can help you create a blueprint for success. Contact us at to learn more.


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  • About the Author
    Marja Martinez

    Marja Martinez is a creative storyteller who has spent nearly a decade developing digital content that moves people. Before making the switch to PR, Marja worked as a broadcast journalist writing hard-hitting news stories, creating compelling online content and engaging with thousands of viewers on multiple social media platforms.

    Read my full bio or connect with me on LinkedIn.

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