Be Award Winning

June 20, 2018

There are many awards programs for the architecture, engineering, and construction industry. It seems like every time you turn around, there’s another chance to showcase your firm or a project you’ve designed or built. If your firm receives an award, take advantage of this opportunity to market to your clients, prospects, and community, as well as current and future employees. Be Award Winning!

Receiving an award builds your brand and reputation; promote such wins through public relations avenues, website, and social media platforms. This is a great opportunity for you to be in front of your target audience and share your firm’s accomplishment.

When you win a project award, you can also showcase your client, therefore building a stronger relationship with them. From an employee’s view, winning awards builds morale. It makes them feel proud to work for a firm that continues to “win” and be recognized for their efforts.

There are a variety of workplace-related awards presented by Chambers of Commerce, business journals, local business newspapers, and industry associations (AIA, IIDA, ACEC, NSPE, AGC, DBIA, SMPS, ASHRAE, etc.). Some of the typical awards to submit for include:

  • Best In Business
  • Small Business Award
  • Best Places to Work
  • Healthiest Employer or Wellness
  • Top 300 Architecture Firms
  • Top 500 Design Firms
  • Top 500 Contracting Firms

Do your research to find out which ones make sense for your company. The list above isn’t all-inclusive, but it gives you an idea of where to start and look for these awards.

There are many different types of project-specific awards, too. These can be affiliated with an industry association (as listed above) or a market segment (historical, retail, education, etc.), so make sure to engage your project owner in the process. Many times, they are aware of awards within their industry, so you can collaborate on the submission. This also gives you the opportunity to strengthen that relationship with an owner. When you win the award, you can attend the awards banquet together and help them promote their project/business.

Preparing for award submissions does take planning and coordination. You’ll need high-quality photography of your firm, office, construction jobsites, employees, and completed projects (both exterior and interior). Make sure you take photographs throughout the entire project, because many project awards want before, during, and after construction. Coordinate with other industry partners to split the cost of professional photography. Those deeply involved in the project will be a great resource for information, along with the client. Receiving client feedback helps you understand from the client’s point of view. You can also ask for a testimonial that can be included in the award’s submission.

Not only is there time involved in submitting for awards, but many times there is a fee to submit your project. Look at the cost associated with the submission along with the other expenses. Photography expenses should always be part of your marketing expense anyway, so those shouldn’t be coded toward your award expenses. The submission fee, printing costs, and labor time should be the only expense associated with the awards submission.

The investment of resources is a small fee for the marketing opportunities that will follow from winning the award. Showcasing projects and employees is important from a marketing, client development, and employee recruitment perspective. Make the investment and go for the win. It will be well worth it.

Nu marketing helps architecture, engineering, and construction firms with their business strategy, marketing and business development plan, and employee recruitment and retention plans. Lindsay Young, Chief Difference Maker, also provides training and coaching to those involved with marketing and business development initiatives. Contact us today at 316-680-3097 or