It happened again and sadly I wasn’t surprised.
It was a very well written article about the complex transformation of a historic downtown bank building to a hotel where the developer, contractor and even the Historic Society were mentioned…. but not the Architect. In addition to this inadvertent slight, the person writing the article probably missed some excellent content by failing to interview the Architect on a very interesting and complex project.
But rather than simply complain I prefer to talk about the ways we can improve our work with the press and failing that…. how to work around them.
1. Make your own Press. EV Studio blogs actively to help improve our presence on the web.
2. Talk to the writers in your community that write about developments. This is probably a very small group. Raising their awareness of Architects will benefit their stories and all Architects while giving you the opportunity to tell them about your interesting projects as well.
3. Place your logo on everything. If a client passes it on to the press your logo is there. If the press wants a clean picture, that’s fine, but that request for a clean picture gives you a chance to ask for credit somewhere else in the publication.
4. Place your copyright in the properties of images. I was actually given this advice by a reporter. This is what photographers do with their work. Look at a newspaper and you will notice that almost every photograph has the photographers name credited. This is because they copyright their images.
5. Work with your local AIA chapter to help them with their “Every building has an architect” campaign or equivalent. If you see an article with no mention of the Architect send it to them. Chances are good they have worked with the paper before and can raise their awareness more effectively than an individual firm. Our local chapter sends the journalist a friend postcard.
6. Comment on the Article when it is published online. Clients that are actively searching for your kind of work are more likely to see the article online and your comment below it will probably be one of the few comments. Fortunately or unfortunately for us articles on buildings are seldom controversial enough to warrant a long political discourse by random readers.
7. Link to that online article from your website.
8. Work with the Press/Marketing person at your Client’s office. Chances are that if they are getting published they have someone who is making it happen. Tell that person you can make their job easier by saving them an hour long conversation filling in the reporter on details that they will probably have to ask you for anyways.
9. Work with the Press/Marketing person at the Contractors’s office. They often work to get published in different places than the client. Same story, show them that you can make their job easier. Be sure to give them lots of credit in the interview.
10. Stay positive! When you are looking for recognition give the person you are talking with a reason to WANT to give you credit. Let them know you can make their job EASIER and your chances of success can only go up!