Graphic by Antonia Henschel
On 10 June 2020, Susanne, our founder and managing director will be giving an insightful workshop for architects and interior designers on the importance of PR in shaping and communicating brands. Together with journalist Martina Metzner, she will be reflecting on the current media landscape, the relevance of PR especially in current times and presenting hands-on tools for effective PR.
Detailed information on the workshop including how to take part, can be found here.
Susanne and Martina share some first insights and reflections on why architects and designers need to be active especially right now and what important role PR plays for this group below.
How does the Corona crisis change media coverage on architecture?
Martina Metzner: “Currently, it is a huge challenge for the trade press: Not only that the diminishing advertising business reduces the scope of editorial, it is also about the right balance of content. A lot of titles that have predominantly focused on the coverage of buildings, are now also focusing on the zealousness of architects. In my opinion, that has positive effects on media coverage of architecture as you now look closer on the creatives and the processes. ”
Why should architects and designers use public relations, why is it especially important now?
Susanne Günther: “Nowadays, unfortunately, good projects are no longer automatically introduced to the public. It takes high visibility, considerable attention and a strong brand to be heard on the international market. In difficult times such as now, it becomes even more important to communicate your work.”
What can architects and designers do to attract attention?
Susanne Günther: “Architectural firms and designers have to strategically communicate their services and projects so that their brand values are conveyed authentically and credibly. Personality also plays a major role here – an architect or designer should not remain anonymous but should be perceived in his creative role as a public figure.”
Which are the criteria, that make publications choose to cover a certain project?
Martina Metzner: “For sure, the differentiating news factor is one of the strongest criteria: Is there a surprising hook, an unusual approach, an innovative building technique, unusual floor plans etc. In addition, the fact if the project corresponds with a current topic, that is of interest to a lot of people, in what cultural area that project is integrated and of course which office is behind the project. There is also a growing importance of story telling – the processes and the personalities behind the stories are much more in focus now.“
What role does branding play for architects and designers?
Susanne Günther: “Building owners and clients all over the world tend to commission “brands” that convey a clear message. It is therefore essential for this group to define a brand and establish it on the market so that their projects carry a recognizable signature and can be clearly assigned to them.”
What are the biggest challenges for architects and designers when it comes to PR
Susanne Günther: “Most architecture firms are often too busy working on projects, to take care of the maintenance of their websites and the direct exchange with the press and press appointments are often neglected. They are of course experts in their profession, but they are often not well-versed when it comes to communication and sales. At this point, we as a PR agency are often involved and can take this part of the work off their shoulders.”
What can architects and designers achieve with good PR?
Susanne Günther: “In the best case, a strong and continuous presence in the media and a further profiling of the brand on a national and international level is achieved, which can have a positive long-term effect on acquisition work.”
Do I need my own social media channels as an architect?
Martina Metzner: „Social Media has its advantages but also its disadvantages, which we all know. To use these channels for your own business, also depends on the size of the office, on the positioning and last but not least on the openness of the owner. In comparison to many other sectors, architects are rather conservative. I would hope for a little more experimental curiosity. For certain, journalists are using social networks a lot and are taking a lot of “insider knowledge“ from there.“