Design on the Haus
This month, we’ve discussed phasing your publicity and communications outreach over the different stages of your project from ground breaking to ribbon-cutting. At last, the day you’ve been waiting for is finally here and your new project is ready to be shown to the press! A great way to do this is to organize a media event. It may sound daunting at first, but with a little planning you can host an event that will not only get you the attention you deserve, but it will be fun too!
Here’s what you need to do to plan an effective media event:
Make a guest list. Like any event, you need to decide who you want to be there. If you’ve followed our previous advice, you already have a well-defined list of media professionals – editors, freelance writers, and photographers – that you will want to invite. Choose the top 20 or so that you really want to visit your project. Remember that it’s good to have your top choices and then 2nd and 3rd choices because everyone will not be able to attend; a good rule of thumb is that you’ll get about 20% of the people you invite to actually join you for your event. Make sure all e-mail addresses and phone numbers on your list are correct and up-to-date.
Create a Save-the-Date and invitation. As soon as possible, create a save-the-date with the date of your media event and a professional photo of your project, as well as an invitation with more details of the event. Remember that first impressions mean everything, so the save-the-date and invitation should look professional. That doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot of money on a graphic artist to make these materials; you can use PowerPoint or Photoshop to create your own. E-mail the Save-the-Date at least 30 days prior to your event and the official invitation at least 3 weeks prior. Be sure to include contact information where invitees can RSVP and provide a clear “RSVP by” date.
Make a press kit. A press kit is usually a folder of hard-copy materials or a flash drive with PDFs and photos, or both. Your press materials should always include the following: A contact sheet of professional photos of your project; a project fact sheet with the details of your project such as milestone dates, design team info, design challenges, special features, materials, etc.; a firm profile; and team biographies. A map, floor plans or drawings of the project are also good to include.
Make an itinerary. An itinerary will help you schedule out the day. It may seem rigorous but you’ll thank yourself for planning out every item of the day and coordinating it to a set schedule. You don’t have to herd everyone around and be a task master, monitoring every minute, but an itinerary is invaluable in making sure the event stays on schedule.
In our next post, we’ll cover everything you need to do to host an effective media event. If you plan correctly, your big day will be a huge success!
For our featured guest post this month, we welcome Susan Murphy, Principal of Murphy Motivation & Training, which takes a rigorous approach to help clients learn proven successful ways to take their communication, relationship building, sales and presentation skills to a higher level. Susan is a woman with a mission: to teach and coach the same behavior that led her from being a timid girl to a woman whose feet hit the floor each morning in flame-throwing communication mode.
By Susan Murphy
It’s summertime and the living is easy. Sometimes too easy. That can makes things more difficult when the Fall energy hits and everyone is raring to go after Labor Day.
Here are three things you can do to use your time well and become more productive during the lighter and slower days of this glorious season:
- Respect Nature: Get up with the sun. Consider opening your office an hour earlier than usual and getting out earlier. Yes, we know many of our clients (and we) don’t rule our lives by a meager eight-hour workday, but summer could be just the time to try that. You might be surprised at how you and your people learn to prioritize work if you know that, come five o’clock, you can be by at the pool or the beach instead of on the subway.
- Re-Connect: Although business is on the uptake, things do tend to slow down in the summer months. Use that time to see clients and friends in the business for breakfast or lunch. This time of year feels more festive. It is reunion time, too. Things are looser and connections are easier to make. Business Development never felt so good. Pick up a picnic lunch and meet a client by the river or in the park. They’ll think of you first all year long.
- Re-think Space: Who says you have to meet or work inside? Just as that client picnic revs up the relationship, being outside gives you and your colleagues or partners a boost. If anyone in your office has access to a pool, meet there. Take breaks with a dive. Read and write reports sitting on your front porch. Have your conference call from the front lawn or terrace.
Sometimes becoming more productive and more organized is a function of being more relaxed. Put the time-tested tenets of summer to work for you. And, don’t forget the keystone of organization and time management: keep track of your progress so you can see what works. That dive into cool water might just be the management tool you were looking for!
You’ve taken on the challenge of planning your own event, now it’s time to look at effective ways to get the most out of the events that you attend. The weather is getting warmer, so there’s no excuse for you to be sitting at your desk all day. It’s time to be out and about! Events can be fun, and they can also help you connect with potential clients and build the visibility of your firm.
Here are our best tips for making the most out of networking:
Be prepared. Know the event and who is attending. Make a plan to connect with at least five people that you don’t already know that you’d like to potentially work with down the line.
Do your research. Given the short amount of time you have to meet with each person, it’s crucial to leave a lasting impression. If you aren’t great at thinking on your feet, write out your elevator speech that describes what you do in a way that’s informative and engaging – so it invites further conversation.
Show up early. By arriving early, you will be able to approach people and strike up conversations more easily. It’s more difficult to jump into conversations once the room has begun to get crowded and people form groups. It’s a lot easier to talk to the person standing alone next to the veggies and dip – he would probably welcome the company.
Circulate at the event. Make sure to circulate around the room, and meet and talk to as many people as you can. There is no substitute for strong professional relationships with new people that can bring lasting value. People like to talk about themselves (it’s true!) so be sure to ask a lot of questions.
Follow up. After the event, follow up the next day with a quick email to say hello and reiterate your contact info. Follow up in a reasonable timeframe of two days or less so they remember you. Always connect with them on LinkedIn and add new acquaintances to your contact list.
Don’t forget social media. Find the right moments to Tweet and Instagram during the event, or post the event to LinkedIn. This can bring you more followers and help you get the most out of your investment!
Once you start to network in a smarter, more productive way, you’ll see your firm and your professional network grow. Remember that the successful outcome of any professional event comes from learning new information and, most important, enjoying it as well!
When it comes to marketing your firm, events mean networking. To put your business in front of new potential clients, get out there and attend industry events — like those we highlighted in our first post this month.
Ready to take your networking to the next level? It’s time to host your own event. This requires a significant investment of time and effort, but if you are willing to commit, it can pay off for you in a big way. Hosting your own event, whether on behalf of your firm or a professional organization, gives you positive exposure in front of your clients and potential clients.
Here are our top five strategies for planning your event:
1. Define your objectives: The first step to hosting an event is to decide what you want to get out of it. Is your goal to fundraise for a professional organization, raise the profile of your firm in your industry, or celebrate a milestone like an anniversary? Be specific, because your goal will guide the rest of your decisions throughout the planning process, including your theme, venue, activities, and speakers.
2. Hire an event planner: An event planner will take charge of coordinating the details of the event. They’ll also be there at the event to make sure everything goes off without a hitch. Choose an event planner who comes recommended from someone you trust, and be very specific when communicating your goals for the event to them.
3. Fill the room: Your guest list should be focused on your target list of contacts, including clients and potential clients. You should send a “save the date” announcement to your guest list at least 8 weeks in advance of the event, and follow it several weeks later with an official invitation. Make sure the invitation includes a deadline for RSVPs, which will encourage those invited to respond in a timely fashion.
4. Network: At the event, focus on networking. Make sure to connect with everyone you invited, but don’t get cornered by any one person or group. Without seeming rushed, you need to get in a few words with everyone you invited! Circulate throughout the room, and introduce your clients to each other — you might help them do business together. You should also make a short speech thanking guests for attending.
5. Document the occasion: A dedicated social media point person should post photos and tweets to your social media accounts in real time at the event, and a professional photographer should document it. Afterward, share the photos on your social media and website. Send a thank you e-mail to all who attended and include a link to your album on Facebook or Pinterest.
Posted by Beth Connolly
At long last, spring has arrived, with plenty of bright sunshine and colorful flowers. Now is the time to kick your professional social life into gear. Awaken from your winter slumber and join your industry peers for networking events to build your business while having fun. It’s the season to make new relationships and rekindle old ones!
In our upcoming posts this month, we’ll give you tips for networking at events and for planning your own. But first, to get you started on the right foot, here are the top five professional events catering to the A/E/C industry in New York this spring.
1. Van Alen Institute: The Imprint of the City (May 9 at 7:30PM)
ISSUE Project Room (22 Boerum Place, Brooklyn, NY)
To launch Van Alen Institute’s Spring 2014 Events, the Institute and ISSUE Project Room present a fast-paced medley of music, poetry, personal reflections, conversations, and performances by designers, artists, musicians, writers, social scientists, and others exploring the meaning of well-being, and the effects of the city on our minds and bodies.
2. DoCoMoMo New York – TriState: A Modern Affair (May 13 at 6PM)
Alvar Aalto Rooms at the Edgar J. Kauffman Conference Center (809 United Nations Plaza)
Join DoCoMoMo New York/Tri-State for A Modern Affair in celebration of the 50-year anniversary of the Edgar J. Kauffman Conference Center, designed by renowned Finnish architect Alvar Aalto.
3. On MAKINGOODESIGN: Good-Maker Party (May 15 at 5:30PM)
New York Design Center (200 Lexington Ave)
The first annual MAKINGOODESIGN: Good-Maker Party is co-hosted by Design With Benefits, desigNYC, AIANY ENYA, and Keilhauer at the New York Design Center. Come meet and learn about Good-Maker Thumbs-Up honorees, an innovative group of organizations using design to create change in New York City, and enjoy delicious cocktails, beer, and nibbles.
4. Designer City: How Innovative Solutions Transform Urban Life (May 16 at 7PM)
Museum of Arts and Design (2 Columbus Circle)
This panel discussion explores how the design industry has improved life for New Yorkers as well as people around the world. Moderated by The New York Times Home section Deputy Editor Julie Lasky, the panel will feature David Burney, associate professor of Architecture, Pratt Institute, and former commissioner of New York City’s Department of Design and Construction; Christine Gaspar, executive director of the Center for Urban Pedagogy; Jason Schupbach, director of design, the National Endowment for the Arts; and Wendy E. Brawer, founder and director, the Green Map System.
This panel is part of NYC x Design, New York’s official city-wide celebration of design. Take a look at their website for a complete list of events taking place from May 9 to 20, 2014.
5. Van Alen Institute Spring Party (May 21, 2014 at 8PM)
The High Line Hotel (180 Tenth Avenue)
The Van Alen Institute concludes its 2014 event season with a Spring Party in celebration of its 120-year legacy and the years to come. Enjoy festive cocktails, light food, and great music by White Prism and Maria Chavez.
Posted by Beth Connolly
As we mentioned in our first blog post this month, Writing Around the World, a global marketplace is the norm in 2014. If you are about to journey around the world to win your next project, then be certain to board your flight completely prepared. Do your homework before you leave town, and your journey will be smoother and more successful.
Familiarize yourself with your destination, and your potential client. You’ve likely researched the company, their needs, and what they’re looking for in a design firm. But you should also consider the cultural context of the firm. Learn about the iconic and recent architecture at your destination, and do your best to avoid making any culturally insensitive comments. You never know how you might unintentionally damage a business relationship with an off-handed comment.
If you’re making a presentation to stakeholders, make sure they speak and understand English. If not, arrange for a translator. Choose someone local to you, and rehearse your presentation together. That way, you’ll get your rhythm and flow down to a science before you leave home, and you’ll feel confident about your presentation.
Take into account the differences in business etiquette that you’ll encounter in another country. For example, businessmen in Japan bow in greeting, rather than shake hands, while in China, it’s considered customary to drink heavily when bargaining over a deal. If you can, speak with an expat from your destination county, and ask them for some guidance. If that’s not an option, then scour the Internet for information — you’ll find it.
Keep in mind, though, that just because you’ve done your research, it doesn’t make you an expert on your destination. Let John F. Kennedy’s famous foible “Ich bin ein Berliner,” serve as a warning to you. Unless you’re a native or fluent speaker, address your potential clients in English; most likely, they are fluent speakers.
With new technology, architects and design professionals have gained access to new, global frontiers. Implement these strategies to put your best foot forward and position your firm to win new, international clients.
Posted by Beth Connolly
The wait is over. Here are the answers to our #globalarchitecture pop quiz!
- This is the Oscar Niemayer Museum in Curitiba, Brazil. Designed by the renowned Brazilian architect in 2002, it was named in his honor — he completed the project at age 95. It is commonly known as “the Eye” and its shape is inspired by the Araucaria Tree, an indigenous species.
- The “Mushroom House,” a private residence in Perinton, New York, was designed to resemble the patterned flowers of the Queen Anne’s Lace plant. Architect Earl Young designed the 4,100-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bath home in the early 1970s.
- Titled “Building with Verandas,” this 250-unit apartment complex and children’s day care center in Vienna, Austria was designed by Rüdiger Lainer + Partner. It features private outdoor space for each apartment, a roof-top sauna, and inverted loggias.
- The distinctive traditional homes of Puglia, Italy, or trulli, are dry stone dwellings with conical limestone-tiled roofs, which flourished in the 19th century. The trulli of Alberobello, Puglia have been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- The 28-bedroom Palais Bulles (or “bubble house”) was designed by architect architect Antti Lovag. It’s located ten kilometers outside of Cannes, France, and is owned by designed Pierre Cardin, who frequently hosts large events.
How did you do?
This month, we’re taking our readers on a trip around the world with our focus on #globalarchitecture. Last week, we introduced you to some of the best international design publications.
In this post, brush up on your international architecture trivia. Can you guess where these buildings are located? Answers will be posted later this week.
Leave your guesses in the comments below, or tweet them to us @HausmanLLC.
In 2014, the world is expanding and shrinking at the same time. With new technologies, doing business with someone on a different continent is not so different from doing business with your next-door neighbor. As the market for your work grows larger, our instantaneous ability to connect with others around the globe brings home the old song “It’s a small world, after all.”
More now than ever before, a global marketplace for architecture has become the norm. When you’re communicating about your work in 2014, don’t think national — think international!
That’s why this month, we’re using the hashtag #globalarchitecture to share some of our favorite international projects, trends, and publications on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Here on Design on the Haus, we’ll be surveying our top picks for international publications, helping you brush up on your international architecture trivia, and offering strategies for communicating across cultures.
Here’s a short list of the best international design publications:
Based in the UK, E-Architect includes recent news and a directory of prominent buildings, architect profiles, and products.
Recent article we loved: House of Music Opening Aalborg (Denmark)
ArchDaily bills itself as “the world’s most visited architecture website.” The site has English, Spanish, and Portuguese channels, featuring over 60 new projects from five continents published each day.
Recent article we loved: Where Do You Work? The Offices of ArchDaily Readers
This online architecture magazine features news and projects from around the world. Its news editors curate articles from international sources, helping its visitors discover far-reaching global trends.
Recent article we loved: Chinese Villages Given Urban Look Through Design
Published in the UK, Monocle is at the forefront of design and international affairs, covering everything from architecture to urban planning to travel to fashion to interiors. Its tastemaking editorial perspective highlights the issues high-level designers care about.
Recent article we loved: Towering Above It — Bogota
Created and published by Kristen Richards, the Editor-in-Chief of Oculus, AIA New York’s quarterly journal, this website and e-newsletter includes both original content and the top architecture and design news from around the world. It also features Nuts + Bolts, a series that offers practical solutions for A/E/C businesses.
Recent article we loved: Drawing an Elegant Conclusion: Menil Drawing Institute by Johnston Marklee
Posted by Beth Connolly
As Women’s History Month draws to a close, we’re wrapping up our March feature series, highlighting female professionals in the communications field. For our final installment of “Inspiring Women in Communications,” we’re pleased to feature Kristen Richards.
Kristen is co-founder and editor-in-chief of the international webzine and daily newsletter, ArchNewsNow.com. She is also editor-in-chief of the AIA New York Chapter’s quarterly publication, Oculus. Kristen has been involved in the A/E/C industry for many years as a journalist and photographer, including a 10-year tenure as news editor/feature writer for Interiors magazine.
What drew you to the field of communications?
As a field, it was more like I was thrown into rather than drawn to communications. I was a founding member of an Off-Off Broadway theater (Impossible Ragtime Theatre) back in the mid-70s, and somebody had to take on promoting it to audiences and critics (and sponsors and donors). Tag — I was it. Turned out I was pretty good at it — or so I’ve been told.
What did you think you would be when you “grew up” — and are you doing that now?
I wanted to grow up to be a director, an actor, and a writer. I’ve been/done all three. (I gave up wanting to be a baseball player early on.) Now, being at the helm of two publications is a bit like getting to be all three at once!
What’s your favorite part of your job?
Having the opportunity to meet — and work with — some of the brightest and most creative and inspiring minds in the galaxy.
As a communications professional, what do you feel is your most important responsibility?
To be open to everyone and everything. One never knows when, where, or how a gem of a person, project, or idea might show up.
How have you seen women evolve in your profession since you started?
That’s difficult to answer. Women were prominent in the design press and communications when I started at Interiors magazine many, many years ago. I think they still are. If there’s been an evolution, I’d say it’s the growing number of — and respect for — female critical voices, especially in architecture and urban design.
Was there a woman who mentored you or inspired you with her success?
My mother most of all. And so many others too numerous to name…I’ve been so very lucky in that regard.
What career advice would you give to other women working in communications?