Going for gold: how to build a reputation as an AEC industry safety leader

December 21, 2023

The architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry is becoming more competitive than the Olympic games. There were 3,919,352 businesses in the United States in the construction field alone as of 2022. Building a reputation as a safety leader is a highly effective way to set your company apart from the competition. 

A strong safety record can determine if you win gold (are awarded a new contract) or are sent back to the training room. But if maintaining excellent safety metrics is how a contractor walks the walk, how they market those metrics is how they talk the talk. Both are vital to business development, and each requires a strategic approach. 

I’m no expert at establishing a winning construction safety program, but I can offer eight marketing and public relations tips to get you to the winner’s podium. 

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Shutting the revolving door: how AEC firms can leverage marketing for employee retention

November 28, 2023

Labor woes have the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industries in a chokehold. A decreased interest in the trades has caused the pool of skilled workers to dwindle, while the number of AEC professionals entering retirement is threatening to drain the pool altogether. 

The U.S. construction industry had 374,000 job openings in June of 2023, according to a recently released report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These dire statistics underscore the importance of retaining skilled labor and should motivate AEC firms to leverage marketing to combat the exodus. 

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How AEC firms can craft a winning DBIA awards submission

July 28, 2023

The fields of architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) are incredibly competitive. Securing a bylined article in a reputable industry publication isn’t the only way to capture the attention of your desired clients. The prestige associated with winning certain AEC awards (I know, I know. You don’t do it for the recognition) can also bolster your firm’s reputation. But not all awards are the same.

Clients won’t be won over by a participation prize, much less one you paid for! If you’re going to invest money in an annual award submission, the Design Build Institute of America’s national or regional Design-Build Project and Team Awards, similar to the organization’s leadership awards, are a great place to start, as they’re incredibly competitive and highly esteemed. They also recognize a wide scope of projects, from vertical construction to various sectors like aviation, water/wastewater and transportation.

Because the DBIA Awards are so competitive, they require a lot of diligence and documentation to verify design-build best practices were used to improve the project outcome, in a process the DBIA dubbed “Design-Build Done Right®”. Like high school algebra, it’s not enough to show the end result, you actually have to show your work. I know, I know. I’m full of good news today. 

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Tangible ways AEC companies can reach their target audience in the metaverse

January 16, 2023

Although abstract in nature, the metaverse is transforming the universal business landscape (and by extension the marketing field) in ways that have real-world implications. Despite the burgeoning trend of using augmented and virtual reality in marketing campaigns, many corporations have been slow to adopt this new technology. In doing so, they’re neglecting an enormous group of potential clients and employees (especially those younger cohorts). According to consulting company, Metaversed, earlier this year the population of the metaverse hit a major milestone, reaching 400 million unique monthly active users. 

Being a pioneer in any field can be risky, but with great risk comes great rewards. The key for architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) firms will be to find their target audience before the market becomes saturated. Think of the metaverse as California in the 1800s. Everyone is rushing there for gold. You don’t want to be knee-deep in frigid river water, bumping elbows with all the other 49ers who missed their cue.

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What AEC firms need to know about Google’s ‘helpful content’ algorithm update

November 30, 2022

Google recently launched a ‘helpful content’ update to its search algorithm to prioritize unique and thorough content for its users. Conversely, it will automatically identify content that seems to have little value, low added value or is otherwise not particularly helpful to those performing the searches. When it identifies what it considers deficient pages and websites, it automatically moves them to the bottom of the search results. Think of it as a way for the search engine to separate the wheat from the chaff in the infinite web of information (and misinformation) that is the internet. 

For those in the architecture, engineering and construction industries, particularly those that partake in B2B marketing and thought leadership, the update could mean fewer users will see your content if it’s not up to snuff. Cue the panic amongst content creators and SEO marketers.

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What to do when a thought leader leaves your AEC firm

October 28, 2022

Ascribing authorship of an industry topic to an employee at your architecture, engineering or construction (AEC) firm comes with one glaring risk. What if they leave? That happens. In fact, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, it happens often. The median tenure for architecture and engineering occupations is just 5.2 years, a little higher than the average wage and salary worker. 

While it may be tempting to publish thought leadership articles under your company’s name or a made-up moniker like “Construction Chip” to avoid the problem altogether, there is a benefit to having a visible expert. 

Clients trust original content presented by an individual more than they do information presented by a brand. In content marketing, specifically thought leadership, the idiom “put a face to the name” proves helpful, and companies benefit when their employees raise their own profile. However, if one of your company’s thought leaders decides to end that mutually beneficial relationship, don’t panic. Here’s what you should do instead:

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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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