Archinect
anchor

why don't architects know how to work the media?

101
mauOne™

sometime ago in my city i saw a poster for some courses tittled

"Marketing for Architects",

i tried to register but they were already full,
i think it is a great question and a territory that has not been covered by the archinecters.............

 
May 18, 05 5:38 pm
e

do most architects even try to market themselves?

May 18, 05 5:49 pm  · 
 · 
polipop

because we are living in a parallel world, and according to the education we have received, marketing was not considered "the most important issue".

May 18, 05 5:49 pm  · 
 · 
e

the reason i ask is that i have never worked for one that did any form of marketing outside of entering awards competitions.

May 18, 05 5:51 pm  · 
 · 
mauOne™

but we do market ourselves, i think we just dont use the media, but can anyone say they have not tried to sell their services, talent, passion ?

May 18, 05 5:53 pm  · 
 · 
polipop

e -
sure there are architects who market themselves, i know some of them. but the thing is that attitude is not "well seen". a matter of education, i guess.

May 18, 05 5:53 pm  · 
 · 
polipop

society in general is not very interested in architecture (it's starting to change a bit), and the media reflect the society.

May 18, 05 5:55 pm  · 
 · 
e

"society in general is not very interested in architecture"

polipop, that is a pretty broad statement and indicative of the problem. in general, marketing is a tarketed effort to those sects that will be interested in what you have to offer. it is not necessary to get everyone to be interested, and i think you are right about more ppl becoming interested.

can you state some ways the firms you have worked for have marketed themselves and how and why they were successful?



May 18, 05 6:02 pm  · 
 · 
whistler

Locally I can think of a number of firms who are all over the media to the point where I think I can draw one recent award winning home myself with the same pictures bombarding the local rags, newspaper and award presentations. I think with all the home design type magazines out there these days some Architects are taking advantage big time. A coule young firms are quite good at the magazines, send stuff in for articals etc and generally have staff who are dedicated to that end of the business. I happen to think its a terrific idea. I wish I had more time to do the same. we network and have a lot of repeat business so when you are busy its tough to make the extra effort. I have made a conscious effort to work to get a couple recent projects in the spotlight a bit more and will continue as I think it does get your name in different networks that may allow you to expand.

May 18, 05 6:18 pm  · 
 · 
polipop

yeah, the most important thing i've seen at the firms i've worked for is that they organized a lot of events to improve what they called "socializing".

they invited a lot of people from different fields (to do this you need to have a lot of connections, they had many contacts), and as this kind of meetings are an exchange of opinions, as a result people from other fields finished the event being more and more interested in architecture. (we also finished being more and more interested in their fields).

everytime i went to a meeting like this, i saw completely different groups of people. this was done every week or so, in the evenings. it was impressive to me to see how people were just trying to sell their story. but at the end, it works.

that's one way... other ones... now at the firm i'm working, i've seen two times the media coming to interview my bosses. i cannot talk about the way they made the media come to interview them, but i was watching the interview while recording and that's pretty much a way to market architecture ;).

May 18, 05 6:22 pm  · 
 · 
e

nice.

May 18, 05 6:26 pm  · 
 · 
sterling hall

look @ OMD_pure marketing

May 18, 05 6:28 pm  · 
 · 
polipop

but e-

most of all, you just need to be an open minded person (you are already, right?), and you'll find the way to market yourself... these are only a couple of examples i've seen.

May 18, 05 6:33 pm  · 
 · 
e

poli, yes i am open minded. i ask the question not for myself but out of curiosity. as i mentioned, i had not worked in an archi office where i had seen a marketing plan. i now work for myself in a different field and i am able to contol these things myself.

May 18, 05 6:41 pm  · 
 · 
mauOne™

ok, using the media to market localy, but this thread came from the ability that The donald shows to WORK the media.

Why isn't the public aware of who REM is for instance, does the AIA in the US or the equivalent in Europe, WORK the media ?

The media do not "showcase" the importance of architecture, the importance of design over simple construction ( the donald ), the importance of architecture for your pocket and for your culture.

Of course the war has proven to be something quite consumable, but i'd dare to speculate that architecture and culture, could even serve as a distraction from the body count and deficit, in times of political trouble, the people would get some more education at least.

May 18, 05 6:50 pm  · 
 · 
e

i think part of the reason is because that 99% of the world can not afford architecture. if you can't get one yourself, why pay interest to it? it just isn't relevant to their lives. now extreme home makeover shows are. ppl love to dream that they may be lucky enought to have their shack demo'ed for a brand spanking new 5000 sqft mcmansion.

May 18, 05 7:02 pm  · 
 · 
mauOne™

e >>> "....i think part of the reason is because that 99% of the world can not afford architecture..."

i dont agree, i believe that architecture is about good design, and good design is universally affordable.

Avante garde is always exclusive, but good architecture isn't always exclusive

Shouldn't we WORK the media to make people realize that architecture is not the Mc Mansion not the "getto low income projects" ?

May 18, 05 7:21 pm  · 
 · 
mauOne™

i meant NOR the getto.........

May 18, 05 7:22 pm  · 
 · 
ericharch

It seems to me that In order to get your message into the media, you need to start with 2 things:

1) get organized
2) have a message
3) create prepackaged juicy stories that relate architecture to everyday people. We are talking CROSS PROMOTION of culture and products.

Yes i know it is easier said than done, but architecture in the media presented simply as "architecture" or "building" is meaningless to most people. They can't relate to it, nor do they want to. "Architecture" has got to reach out to other elements of mainstream culture and absorb other elements of it. It is all about Cross Promotion. Take a lesson from Trump. Watch his show this week and watch how many product tie-ins there are. It is mind-boggling.

May 18, 05 7:31 pm  · 
 · 
e

mau, most can't afford to buy a house/condo/apartment no matter how it is built. if it were universally affordable, more ppl would own.

i agree that architects need to work harder at taking care of those with less means.

and yes, we should certainly teach ppl about a broader definition of architecture.

May 18, 05 7:32 pm  · 
 · 
mauOne™

but...... but.........we got the brad into it, he should make a sitcom :o)

and i've seen some reality shows now on the People & arts channel doing some kind of thing with interior design

thay should make a show with some rough-model-chip&dale-looking construction workers, re-doing a facade "while u were gone" :op

May 18, 05 7:38 pm  · 
 · 
ericharch

We need a Museum of Designed Space or the Designed Space Experience. I think if people start thinking about architecture spatially, as a space in which events and interactions occur, rather than superficiously judging the ornament, I think people would start to see the benefit of what we do.

May 18, 05 7:38 pm  · 
 · 
e

but, indeed. brad and paris together. now that's hot.

ericharch, how many average ppl go to museums?

May 18, 05 7:40 pm  · 
 · 
ericharch

I know what you are saying, But if it is fun and interactive, I think it could be sucessful. Think of it like a fun house. Schools would take their students there on class trips, like a hands on science museum.

May 18, 05 7:50 pm  · 
 · 
trace™

Ericharchf - I am with you 100%. This would also help to demystify the difference between good and bad architecture, regardless of the facade.
I hope that 3D is used more and more for this - it is, but not to the degree it could be. Personally, I am working on more and more complex animations that really do a decent job of showing off the 'experience'.

3D, and web presentations, have the potential to change perceptions. I know that on projects I am working on motion graphics together with a decent site and animation, can really do a lot to make an impact.
Unfortunately, most of the better architecture out there is only represented in an abstract/stylized way (think Hadid) and the average person can't relate (don't get me wrong, I prefer more creative renderings, but the general public doesn't).

There is hope, I think. If someone can go to a site and see why a nice, smaller, but better designed house can be 'special' and a McMansion is just boring, then perhaps people could have something else to brag about instead of 'mine is bigger than yours'.

May 18, 05 7:51 pm  · 
 · 
e

i hear ericharch. teach em young is the best hope. good idea.

May 18, 05 7:53 pm  · 
 · 
ericharch

Right on Trace. We need to lead them to that point. We need to make it easy, fun and interesting to learn about architecture as we see it. Until we do that, we will always be "eggheads".

May 18, 05 7:54 pm  · 
 · 
ericharch

The problem is that we have next to no organization, and very limited money to put these projects together. I think there is also a problem within our own architectural community where many of us professionals and students do not completely understand the value of investing in teaching society to see architecture the way we do. Once we all understand how important this is, organizing and possibly even fund raising may be much easier.

May 18, 05 7:58 pm  · 
 · 
CalebRichers

architects need to be perceived as more "populist" by the avg. joe. Right now we are elitist eggheads at the beck and call of the uber rich. when joe six pack thinks of building a new home the last thing he thinks he needs is an architect, he either picks it out of a catalogue or goes to a developer. this has to change....i think our AIA can do more with our yearly funds to help change that perception by doing t.v. ads and radio spots. lets start with a re-representaion of the title "architect" as a proffesion that serves all social strata. since we are already stretched for time this needs to take place initially by our profesional org.'s

May 19, 05 8:46 am  · 
 · 
ericharch

The AIA is actually doing this already to a certain degree. I have heard radio ads on AM radio talking about how architects can work on a budget and help you get more bang for your buck. I think more needs to be done though.

May 19, 05 9:41 am  · 
 · 
Jefferson

the radio ads I've heard are really bad....they need more cowbell

May 19, 05 11:06 am  · 
 · 
e

it's a tough one. how does the average joe get convinced that he needs an architect? it's just one more layer in the process. ie. it's just more money that needs to be spent when he is already struggling to provide for his family and put his kids though school.

May 19, 05 11:11 am  · 
 · 
ericharch

How does the average joe get convinced that he has to spend 300 bucks on an IPOD, or a housewife get convinced that she needs to completely remodel her living room or kitchen every 2 years? Or that building the WTC exaactly as it was is a good idea?

It is all marketing. Its appealing to people's desires and senses such as:
coolness or nostalgia. Architecture needs to satisfy that need too. That is done through the media... not only commercials, but tie-ins on TV shows.

May 19, 05 11:24 am  · 
 · 

"My feeling has been all along, however, that architects and architecture are well capable of generating their own publicity, but professional 'decorum' has for the most part made that attitude an ethically and aesthetically wrong position for architects to take. This 'wrong-ness' is really just a fabrication, an artificial restraint, and, as always, it is precisely at these artificial points where 'institutions' are the weakest, where the decay happens, where things begin to fall apart. I wholeheartedly advocate architects to embrace publicity as a new, additional ingredient that makes good architecture, the same as firmness, commodity, and delight make good architecture. Furthermore, I hope it takes less than twenty years for architects to begin creating and directing web sites that are just the same as television channels."
--excerpt from AD[vocating] PUBLICITY


"While your question (rightly) centers on creative similarities between disparate artists/designers, a related phenomenon in our time is the effective role of the hired publicist. Recently, I mentioned that Frank Gehry's cardboard furniture was featured in a 1972 issue of Life magazine. I have my own collection of 1972 Life magazines that I received by subscription back then and which I've been taking apart over the years, but I also recently purchased a lot of them via eBay, thus my renewed knowledge of what is in these magazines. I wanted to show the Gehry feature but I didn't bookmark it. So, instead of looking through all the magazines again, I looked up the article in a Gehry bibliography, and I was surprised to find that there were over a dozen 1972 publications that featured an article on Gehry's cardboard furniture. In this case, the 100th monkey is more specifically the 100th magazine editor contacted by a publicist."
--excerpt from Re: Monkeys and designers

May 19, 05 11:38 am  · 
 · 

AIA could hire Usher, Beck, and Toby Keith to write danceable architecture songs with dirty words left in. Might work better than the polite ads on public TV.

May 19, 05 11:38 am  · 
 · 
e

i think it is more than marketing. i am a home owner. i have worked as an architect. i make a fair living now as does my wife. we are not rich, but we are not poor. i struggle just to pick up the phone to pay a contractor to do something because even my resources are limited [and i have no kids]. and this is just to do the work not design the work that needs to be done. so i end up doing the work myself.

how many architects could afford to hire an architect and a contractor to redesign their home or part of it?

May 19, 05 11:46 am  · 
 · 

How about architecture ads on ladies' intimate apparel, or even on packages of lunchmeat? ;-)

I heart QUONDAM ARCHITECTURE tee-shirts?

"Looks like your house could use some architectural viagra!" commercials?

May 19, 05 11:49 am  · 
 · 
ericharch

E, I hear what you are saying and agree. I don't know how to address that problem either. However, I still think marketing can go a long way when it comes to groups, communities and insitutions... organizations that pool their money and can afford an architect for larger projects.

May 19, 05 11:56 am  · 
 · 
e

you might be onto something rita.

i remember seeing this book back in college. it was on subversive advertising. the ad was for men's cologne, but it was placed in a woman's mag because women bought most of the stuff for men [at that time]. i belive this ad was from the 70s.

the black and white image was of a man's hand holding the bottle of cologne in the foreground with waves crashing over rocks in the background. the hand was most obscured by the bottle only reveling the man's thumb. upon closer inspection, you realized that no thumb could bend that way. it was actually a penis.

May 19, 05 12:01 pm  · 
 · 
e

ericharch, i totally agree that marketing is necessary for architects to speak to those who can afford it [groups, communities and insitutions]. marketing is just that >> speaking to your target audience. i'm just having a tough time with the average joe part.

May 19, 05 12:03 pm  · 
 · 

A commercial with pixelwhore pimping HOT RODDING architectural services would be awesome, no?

May 19, 05 12:08 pm  · 
 · 
CalebRichers

when the avg. joe gets the loan to buy a house, architects have to show that they can deliver a better product then the avg. homebuilder.
architects seem to obviosly cater to the rich, and then on special projects for the homeless and downtrodden but the entire middle class/consumer has been overlooked.

there is record home ownership, and 99% has bi passed architects

right now we can deliver on inteligent uses of space: built in storage
enviromental considerations: which would/should lower utility bills, simple things like orientation, prevailing wind,

we need more brainstorming

May 19, 05 12:14 pm  · 
 · 

actually i think e has introduced a separate topic. we're not necessarily talking right now about trying to sell our services to those who can't afford it. (i'm that guy who does his own work, too.)

the discussion is about how we are presented by the media, how we might use the media, and what media does to affect the public perception/opinion of architects. that's why i'm for usher recording 'yeah, zaha' and beck doing 'que onda rem?'.

May 19, 05 12:16 pm  · 
 · 

Rem and Zaha already have their brand.

Why don't more architects have their own brand?

That's what I see as the real issue of this thread.

May 19, 05 12:24 pm  · 
 · 

True, RN, possibly more architects need their own brand. But the demographic to which the brand is directed is also impt.

The director of our local museum, the local patrons of the arts, a few design-conscious artists, subscribers to Wired, and the architecture community all might know who these branded architects are. And for a brief moment a much larger population knew of Libeskind, but now the 'egghead' moniker will stick in their heads. It's breaking into the consciousness of that larger population that would be truly a powerful boon for architects and a general consciousness of architecture among the general public. Disney Concert Hall in Pontiac ads, that sort of thing.

And then branding also gets dangerous. Rem is pretty clever at fostering a branding of his process and his attitude rather than any specific forms. Zaha and Gehry have become recognized for a particular aesthetic and will find it hard to continue to grow. (Not impossible. I know that they're smart people...)

May 19, 05 12:37 pm  · 
 · 
mauOne™

AIA go TV+cable = have you hugged your architect today ?

May 19, 05 12:38 pm  · 
 · 
e

i'll brand someone.

May 19, 05 12:40 pm  · 
 · 

There's marketing/advertising architecture, and there's marketing/advertising one's services as an architect. I think too many architects feel they have to market/advertise architecture in general before they can advertise their architectural services.

If I were marketing/advertising my architectural services, it would be Quondam this and Quondam that, as opposed to Architecture this and architecture that.

What do you think I'd be doing if I was marketing a book of fiction?

May 19, 05 1:01 pm  · 
 · 
ericharch

"There's marketing/advertising architecture, and there's marketing/advertising one's services as an architect. I think too many architects feel they have to market/advertise architecture in general before they can advertise their architectural services."

RIGHT ON, RITA! We need to market the value and principles of "architecture" to society. We need to create demand before we can offer a service.

May 19, 05 1:11 pm  · 
 · 

if the parallel with architecture were applicable, you'd be teaching the general public to read.

the difference being that the general u.s. public is more text literate than built-environment literate. e.g., people will pick up 'people' and read it on a whim in the doctor's office, because they have nothing better to do, but they won't pay attention to their surroundings unless something catches their attention. and they prefer things not to catch their attention.

May 19, 05 1:13 pm  · 
 · 

e, your last comment may be more to the point then it first appears. Is it possible for architects to market themselves as a service that will essentially brand the client?

[Interior decorators maybe kinda sorta do this if they make their clients feel like the product is really a reflection of them, the clients, as opposed to a reflection of the designer.]

May 19, 05 1:16 pm  · 
 · 

Block this user


Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: