No business is built perfectly, and that also goes for architectural firms. If you manage one, you will encounter several problems that will affect the growth of the firm. Legal disputes with clients and conflicts with contractors could derail your reputation in the market.
For this reason, reputation management should play a vital role in the firm’s success. Apart from helping you navigate a major crisis, reputation management could also help with attracting new clients and building networks outside the construction industry. If you are not sure how to get started with reputation management, this guide has got you covered:
1. Craft your brand
Much like any other business entity, an architectural firm must set itself apart from its closest competitors and develop a unique message to impart to its audience. To do that, start by building your brand identity. Establish a set of core values and draft a statement that emphasizes how differently your firm works. Doing this establishes a reference point that will help you determine your approach to reputation management.
2. Build a compelling presence
You can’t develop a great reputation if your audience has no clue where to find you. This is where marketing comes in. Using social media, create a professional page where you can post about your latest projects and highlight positive reviews from previous clients. You also need to design a website. Highlight your services and include your firm on the “About” page. It also helps if you can start newsletter campaigns using platforms like MailChimp and Omnisend so you can share the latest news about the firm.
3. Focus on thought leadership
Nurturing a great reputation involves positioning your firm as a significant source of information about the latest trends in the industry. Use a mix of social media, email, and your professional website as platforms for publishing think pieces about architectural innovations. You can take this further by starting a YouTube channel or podcast.
4. Build a PR team
As your firm grows in size and prestige, the challenges of reputation management become more complicated. If you are taking on large projects for government and private entities, there is a higher chance that you will run into major crises that could offset your successes. For this reason, it helps if you could create a separate department for reputation control and crisis communication. If you’re unsure how to get started, consider getting the help of a PR recruiter to scout for PR managers and specialists with a background in the construction industry.
5. Engage your clients meaningfully
You seldom work for clients who may be difficult to handle. Nonetheless, it still matters to keep them engaged across every available channel. Answer questions and never shy away from building a close relationship with them. If they make unattainable design choices, walk them through why these won’t work. Maintain high levels of professionalism throughout your relationship and you will be less likely to encounter disputes that could get worse.
Reputation management is just as crucial in the architectural industry as in any other sector. Do it right by applying these tips to a spotless and reliable firm.