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Online Visibility Not Dot Com

tld-names

For PR pros, helping clients stand out from the crowd and increasing online visibility is an everyday objective. That can be particularly challenging on the internet, where dot.com is an all-too-common denominator. Google has created an alternative to this online anonymity: top-level domains, or TLDs, that inject digital cachet into this otherwise undifferentiated realm.

There are dozens of TLDs from which to choose, from .academy to .zone. Using a Google Domain TLD can enhance brand identity, instantly conveying the nature of a business and better communicating the value of the website. They can also be employed on a temporary basis, for specific marketing and promotional purposes. For example, a company staging a contest targeting its social media followers might create a website with .social as the TDL for the duration of the event.

Annual registration fees for the TLDs vary. Twenty bucks secures a year of .studio; for $30, choose from .builders, .construction, .contractors; .engineering costs $50. Interestingly, .design ($40/year) has a limited lifespan, with a maximum of nine years of registration.

When it comes to search rankings, TLDs with these descriptive endings are not treated any differently than the conventional .com, .org, or .net. They come up in searches just like any other domain name. And it’s possible to seamlessly redirect an old domain name to a new TLD—this ensures there won’t be any lost traffic to a site.

Customized top-level domains offer a simple, efficient way to boost the visibility of a website and reinvigorate a brand. Who wouldn’t want to be dot.cool rather than dot.com?

Food for Thought

Happy Thanksgiving! From all of us at Hausman, here’s a little levity as we prepare to pull up to the table: From the ridiculous to the slightly-less-than-sublime, enjoy this portfolio of creations that combine two of our favorite things—architecture and food.

 

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Some years back, Herzog & deMeuron’s VitraHaus was rendered in gingerbread for the furniture manufacturer’s holiday card. High quality Swiss construction is evident in the icing and cleanly cut elevations.

 

bompas-jellyCastle Drogo was built in 1930 to a design by Edwin Lutyens. Bompas & Parr, a London-based studio dedicated to flavor-based experience design, architectural installations, and contemporary food, scanned and digitized the stately building, then cast it in Jello.

 

kia-cakesDesigner Kia Utzon-Frank has created a cluster of conical cakes that could pass for stone sculptures. The treats are wrapped in fondant that’s been printed with a marble pattern.

 

solariumArtist William Lamson was commissioned by Storm King Art Center to make Solarium. Each of the 162 panels is made of melted sugar that is sealed between two panes of glass. The space functions as both an experimental greenhouse, sheltering three species of miniature citrus trees, and a meditative environment.

 

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snack5The holiday weekend is a binge-fest for football fans, with a multitude of games scheduled. The framing for these snack-stadia often incorporates cardboard magazine file boxes (for the banked grandstands) and sheet pans underpinning the field, while aluminum foil is the moisture barrier of choice. Guacamole is a near universal pick for the turf, although in a burst of verisimilitude, some ‘designers’ opt to use green salad for this element.

 

canstructionStarted by a group of New York architects and engineers in 1992, Canstruction is a nation-wide food drive with a twist. Designers are invited to create sculpture/structures made out of full cans of food; after a public exhibition, the food is donated to community organizations for distribution. On average, each work of art comprises more than 2,000 cans.

 

Should you want to tackle such curious projects yourself, we’ve unearthed a few books that might come in handy:

designers-cookbookThe Designer’s Cookbook · 12 Colors, 12 Menus

Divided into twelve color-based chapters, the recipes range from saffron lemon ravioli to melon soup to blueberry tartlets, all arranged in four-course meals of two starters, one main course, one dessert, and three drinks.

 

coolhausCoolHaus

With apologies to Rem, this manual for custom-built ice cream sandwiches—with names like Mies Vanilla Rohe, Norman Bananas Foster, and Frank Berry—is written by the team behind the successful fleet of food trucks that roam the streets of New York, LA, and Dallas.

 

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Modern Art Desserts

Bakers who are bored by bundts may welcome by the step-by-step instructions on creating desserts inspired by works by Warhol, Kahlo, Mondrian, Lichtenstein, and more.

 

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Food Designing

Marti Guixe is a food designer based in Barcelona. The author of several books, he views food as an edible designed product, an object that negates any reference to cooking, tradition and gastronomy.

Change is in the Air: PR Today and Tomorrow

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To say that this past week has been a time of change is quite the understatement. While not as roiled as the current political arena, the PR industry is evolving, too. Following up on last week’s post, here’s more insight from the latest Global Communications Report, compiled by the USC Annenberg Center for Public Relations.

Most of the PR executives surveyed for the report anticipate change in the structure of their agencies and departments to better address changes in the communications landscape over the next five years, primarily driven by the adoption of new technologies and increased demand for content delivery across more channels. There is universal agreement that over the next five years, executives will be expected to deliver more strategy, more creativity and more measurement.

Relationships also are shifting. Corporate communications clients acknowledge that they value agencies more for their strategy and creative prowess than for their “arms and legs.” Meanwhile, agencies disclose that about 30% of the time they report into marketing or brand management, versus 34% into corporate communications.

By 2020, agency leaders expect to see their revenue streams shift away from earned media, but it will still be the dominant revenue driver at 36%. Meanwhile, all of the other media categories will grow—owned to 24.6%, shared to 24.2% and paid to 12.9%. In total, PR executives predict 63% of all media outlets will offer paid placement opportunities in five years. Ironically, only 8% rank media-buying skills as an important staff skill for the future.

“The pace of change in public relations has never been faster than it is today, but at the same time, it will likely never be this slow again,” added Paul Holmes, editor of The Holmes Report, which partnered on the research. “Both agencies and their clients recognize that change is occurring, but it is not clear that they appreciate the extent, when it comes to finding non-traditional talent or developing non-traditional services, particularly outside of earned media channels.”

Looking to the future, it is clear that PR as a profession is changing. All survey respondents agree that in five years their jobs will become more complex, challenging, and strategic. Only 27% of agency leaders believe by the year 2020 the term “public relations” will clearly and adequately describe the work they do.

PR: An Industry Snapshot

 

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To best serve our clients in the architecture and engineering fields, we keep on top of the evolving state of the PR industry. The 2016 Global Communications Report, a comprehensive survey of senior public relations executives by the USC Annenberg Center for Public Relations, predicts the worldwide PR agency business will grow from its current estimated size of $14 billion to $19.3 billion over the next five years. To accommodate this growth, agency leaders anticipate their headcount will increase over the same period by about 26%.

Industry leaders, both in agencies and in-house, believe future growth will be driven by content creation and social media, as well as more traditional activities such as brand reputation, followed by measurement and evaluation. Earned media still ranks relatively high for both corporate and agency leaders. Paid media ranked last of 18 possible growth drivers.

“Overall, we are sensing a continued optimism about the direction the industry is headed, which is good news for people entering the field,” said Fred Cook, Director of the USC Center for Public Relations. “But questions remain about the industry’s ability to attract the right talent, adapt to new technologies, and increase the level of investment required to capitalize on these opportunities.”

Both agency and corporate executives strongly agree that the ability to attract and retain the right talent is their greatest challenge, and the majority of both groups believe the PR industry is not good at sourcing talent from outside its ranks, citing salary levels as the major obstacle.

Traditional expertise still tops the list of skills communications departments and PR firms view as key to success over the next five years. Written communications is the skill ranked most important by client and agency respondents. When asked what personal traits they felt were critical for the future, industry leaders ranked traditional values of teamwork and hard work near the top—but they also believe their teams are already strong in these areas. They say more horsepower is needed in curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking.

When asked about diversity, only 45% of agency heads and 44% of corporate executives believe their ranks are as diverse as their clients’ customers or stakeholders. Both groups cite lack of access to diverse talent at senior and entry levels as the primary challenge.

“It’s clear that finding the right talent is by far the most critical factor in the PR industry’s future growth,” said Cook. “The more complicated question is what skills should this talent possess. Industry leaders still value traditional communications skills but are searching for more strategy, creativity and diversity.”

In a follow-up post, we’ll take a more detailed look at what’s in store for public relations pros.

We're Thankful...

magazines

…for the opportunity to work with amazing clients. And to review this list of selected editorial coverage during the month of October, it seems that many members of the media share our enthusiasm!

Architectural Products takes a look at Arup‘s work at the Samsung Device Solutions Americas Headquarters [pages 86-90]

A residence by Dillon Kyle Architects, featured on the recent Houston AIA Home Tour, is featured on Culture Map Houston

The Chicago Sun-Times talks with Deryl McKissack of McKissack & McKissack about the NMAAHC

Architectural Record examines the unique acoustics engineered by Arup at San Francisco LightHouse

AGORA, a new cancer research facility by Behnisch Architekten, is documented by Contract magazine

Francis Cauffman‘s New York Hotel Trades Council building was featured in this year’s Open House New York. CurbedNY has the scoop

The Real Estate Deal Sheet cites Rider Levett Bucknall‘s “US Q3 Quarterly Construction Cost Report”

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