Blog

April Best 5

By: Mary MacIIvain, CPSM

We've scoured the web so that you don't have to - check out the marketing articles April had to offer:

1. Melinda Gates: 3 Actionable Ways We Can Work to Close the Wage Gap

2. What Proposal Game Are You Playing?

3. Can Your PMs Answer These Questions?

4. Scaling Smart Cities Through Consistent Performance Measurement

5. The Litmus Test for Decision Making

 

Read More

Murphy's Law of Presenting With Technology

By Gilda Bonanno

Murphy’s Law states that whatever can go wrong, will.  And when you’re giving a presentation using any kind of technology, from a projector to a phone, Murphy’s Law definitely applies.  I’ve seen or experienced all of these examples, and while some can be prevented or prepared for, they are all nerve-wracking when they occur!

1.    If you are hosting a conference call on your cell phone, the call will drop at the most crucial moment of the discussion.

2.    The battery on your lavaliere microphone will die out slowly, causing your voice to break in and out - before finally quitting completely at the high point of your presentation (and just as the A/V tech has left the room).

3.    The battery on your PowerPoint remote control will suddenly go haywire, causing your presentation to jump forward and back like it’s possessed.

4.    The wireless network in your meeting room will kick you off during a live presentation, moments after you’ve been ensured that the network is stable and told your audience that there will be no problem accessing it live during your presentation.

5.    In the middle of your slide presentation, your laptop will begin downloading automatic updates and then shut down and restart slowly to fully install those updates. 

6.    The webinar software you’re using will stop working for no reason at all, but only once everyone has joined the webinar and only if your most important client or partner is participating.

7.    If you are using a wired headset to connect to a conference call, the wire will inexplicably stop working (perhaps due to yanking it one too many times, when you forgot you were tethered) and it will take you 6 minutes to realize that people can’t hear you.

8.    The mute button will malfunction on the speaker phone that you’re using for your conference call, which you’ll only realize after you’ve made a negative comment about someone on the call.

9.    The microphone will emit eardrum-piercing feedback in the first few seconds of your presentation, even after you’re done a sound check.

10.   The bulb on the slide projector will blow out during your slide presentation - and there will be no replacement bulb within a 4 mile radius.

 

© Gilda Bonanno

Gilda Bonanno helps you transform your communication, presentation and leadership skills so you can have more confidence, influence and success. She has worked with leading organizations, including GE, Travelers, Praxair, Assa Abloy, Wells Fargo and Yale University, on four continents from Chicago to Shanghai and Rio to Rome.

Since 2006, Gilda has delivered thousands of in-person programs, her YouTube channel has received over 1 million views and her digital newsletter has reached subscribers in over 45 countries since 2008.

Gilda has a proven track record of partnering for results with people in a variety of industries and at all organizational levels, from C-level executives to sales teams to frontline managers.  She collaborates with them to help them lead more effectively, communicate more clearly and create and deliver more powerful and engaging presentations so they get results.

Sign up at www.gildabonanno to receive her twice-monthly newsletter for practical tips you can use to improve your communication, networking and presentation skills  

Read More

Marketing and Human Resources: Breaking Through Traditional Roles

Allison Puzycki, Director of Marketing at CES
SMPS CT Job Bank Chair

A carefully crafted job posting that puts a company’s purpose at the forefront can have a profound effect on attracting the right candidates for your team. When we think of where job postings come from, human resources is typically the first department to come to mind. Until recently, I thought the same. SMPS issued a report highlighting The Pinnacle Experience conference and that’s when I read about Nicole La’s presentation entitled Unconventional Marketing Leadership. The report describes how Nicole moved from a marketing position at TEECOM to a hybrid marketing / human resource role, which TEECOM defines as an Experience Director. This role was created to address the company’s core business initiatives: improving the employee experience, the talent experience (recruitment) and the client experience.  As Nicole puts it, “Recruiting is marketing for people”. When these two disparate functions, Marketing and HR, join forces much more is possible. Culture serves the purpose – simple things like a job description explain why a team gets up every day to work together and it makes you want to rise with them. Nicole’s article on Maintaining Culture and Engagement in a High-Growth Company is an insightful example of effective, unconventional leadership.

So, what else is possible when we break through traditional roles? Accounting and Marketing? I’ll leave that one to someone else!

Check out Nicole La's full post on Maintaining Culture and Engagement at a High-Growth Company

A short blurb is included below:


 

Maintaining Culture and Engagement at a High-Growth Company

By: Nicole La, TEECOM

In October, TEECOM was named to the 2017 San Francisco Business Times’ “Fast100,” the annual list of Fastest Growing Private Companies in the Bay Area. In an environment full of high-powered Silicon Valley venture-funded startups, we took particular pride in making the list.

As those Silicon Valley startups know, however, growing fast comes with challenges. One in particular that TEECOM has focused on successfully is how to maintain culture and engagement during periods of high growth. In the process, we’ve discovered a lot of tools and techniques that may help other high-growth firms. Here are some of the things we’ve learned about how to maintain culture and engagement....read more here

About TEECOM

TEECOM offers strategic consulting, technology project management, and engineering services for building IT infrastructure, wired and wireless networks, immersive environments, acoustics, audiovisual, safety and security systems. Our services prepare clients for emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things, machine learning, and conversational interfaces. We work with public institutions, tech giants, the Fortune 500, architects, developers, and contractors. 

Read More

Best 5

By: Mary MacIIvain, CPSM

We've scoured the web so that you don't have to - check out the marketing articles March had to offer:

1. The Unlikely Story of One of General Motors's First Female Designers

2. 5 Reasons Why You Need a BD Plan -Today!

 3. Pay it forward in your community through Green Apple Day of Service

4. Want to Take Better Notes? Ditch the Laptop for a Pen and Paper, Says Science

5. The In and Outs of Managing a Multiple Office Firm

 

Read More

Event Recap: AEC Award Submissions

SMPS Connecticut presented a panel discussion on AEC Industry Award Submissions moderated by Cathy DeFrances, CPSM, Associate / Director of Business Development  |  Fuss & O'Neill EnviroScience, LLC. Speakers at the Wednesday March 14 afternoon event in Unionville included:

  • Theresa M. Casey, FSMPS, CPSM, President/CEO, On Target Marketing & Communications LLC
  • Kevin Herrick, AIA, Principal, The S/L/A/M Collaborative
  • Susan Labas, CPSM, Senior Associate and Director of Marketing, van Zelm Engineers

 

The panel discussed a number of relevant topics, sharing their insight and knowledge with attendees. There was a good turnout and the food was excellent!

First steps in submitting for an award:

  • Look at the criteria and select the project that best suits the competition.
  • Start early, up to a year in advance, and track project metrics.
  • Select awards programs and publications that will support your target markets.
  • Determine what information you need to gather from the project.
  • To identify awards programs, look at what your competitors are doing and ask your clients and consultants.

 

Getting the whole team on board:

  • Be creative! Strategize, give it a theme, and include photography.
  • Develop a story. Talk to as many people as you can who are involved with the project.
  • Step back, and tell the whole story. The judge is not going to be familiar with your project.

 

Review of winning project submissions:

  • Don’t underestimate the small projects. Those win more than their share of awards.
  • Supplemental information can make a big difference, such as letters of recommendation.
  • Tell the story with photos, layout, and supporting materials.
  • Follow the criteria and structure of the awards.

 

Additional tips:

  • Ask for a debrief when you don’t win. Lessons learned.
  • Use large, professional photos and label them.
  • The level of quality and care in submissions is rising each year.
  • Submit a blend of visuals and text and detail the images to tell the story.
  • Entries are judged on the submittal criteria over the design of the piece.
  • Follow the word and page count criteria, fitting extra information within the limits.
  • Nobody counts the photo captions. These could be used as extra words.
  • Take advantage of available award FAQs and webinars.

 

 

Read More

Dress Rehearsal for Your Presentation

By Gilda Bonanno

A few days before a play or musical opens, the entire cast and crew conduct a dress rehearsal. They do a complete run-through of the script on stage, dressed in their costumes, with the full scenery and lighting in place and the pit orchestra playing. The purpose of the dress rehearsal is to make sure everything goes smoothly on opening night.

The dress rehearsal is a great idea to borrow when you have to give a presentation. If you haven't presented in a while (or ever) or you've never presented to this particular audience (for example, the budget committee) or in that space (for example, the Boardroom), a dress rehearsal can make the difference between success and failure. Even if you don't get in costume or practice in the actual space, the point is to prepare for all aspects of the environment so nothing trips up your presentation.

Here are some things for you to think about in the dress rehearsal for your presentation:

ROOM LAYOUT
Where will you present? The room should be arranged so you can see everyone easily and so you won't trip over any computer cables or have to cross frequently in front of the projector lamp.

ROOM ENVIRONMENT
How are the lights and heating/cooling system controlled? If you're using a projector and screen, does the lighting allow the audience to see the screen and also have enough light to stay awake? What is going on in the room next door or outside the window? If you have to compete with a jackhammer, frequent sirens or cute kids on the playground outside the window, you should be prepared for it.

COMPUTER (if applicable)
How will you advance the slides? If you will be standing to deliver your presentation, I recommend using a remote control (inexpensive and easily available at office supply or electronics stores) so you are not tied to your computer.

Do you have a long-enough power cable or enough battery power? Have you disabled your computer's automatic updates so your computer is not automatically shut down and restarted during the presentation? (This actually happened to me a few minutes before I began a training session).

WHAT TO WEAR
Wear something comfortable AND powerful. To take an extreme example, pajamas are comfortable but they are not powerful. Clothes can help you communicate the professional image that you want to convey. And your shoes must be comfortable even if you're only presenting for a few minutes. Your clothing should have nothing you have to tug at, pull at, fix, etc., that will distract you or your audience.

PERSONAL PREP
Get enough sleep the night before you have to present. Make sure you have time to eat whatever food you need to present effectively - you don't want to be overfull, but you also want to avoid a growling stomach or light-headedness.

WHAT'S IN YOUR KIT BAG?
Do you have everything you might need with you - things like cough drops, antacids, other medicines, glasses if you get something in your contacts, etc? This is the time to think like a Boy Scout and be prepared. If you're speaking in front of the entire department, including management, at an offsite retreat, wouldn't you prefer to have your glasses with you in case you lost your left contact?

If you're not in your regular office building, who is your onsite go-to person in case you need something? When I was stung by a wasp for the first time in my life shortly before I had to present a workshop, I needed my on-site contact to get me medical attention quickly to ensure I wasn't having an allergic reaction (she was great and no, I didn't have a reaction).

Yes, thinking about these environmental factors and preparing for them takes time. But like a dress rehearsal, it's time well spent. As a result, you'll be comfortable enough with your environment so you can avoid preventable glitches and deliver your presentation effectively - and handle any unexpected obstacles with ease.

© Gilda Bonanno

Gilda Bonanno helps you transform your communication, presentation and leadership skills so you can have more confidence, influence and success. She has worked with leading organizations, including GE, Travelers, Praxair, Assa Abloy, Wells Fargo and Yale University, on four continents from Chicago to Shanghai and Rio to Rome.

Since 2006, Gilda has delivered thousands of in-person programs, her YouTube channel has received over 1 million views and her digital newsletter has reached subscribers in over 45 countries since 2008.

Gilda has a proven track record of partnering for results with people in a variety of industries and at all organizational levels, from C-level executives to sales teams to frontline managers.  She collaborates with them to help them lead more effectively, communicate more clearly and create and deliver more powerful and engaging presentations so they get results.

Sign up at www.gildabonanno to receive her twice-monthly newsletter for practical tips you can use to improve your communication, networking and presentation skills  

Read More

YOUR PROJECT DESERVES AN AWARD! SMPS CT Hosts AEC Industry Awards Panel

By: Ashley Remmers and Anna Cruz

Ah spring! That time of year when “for your consideration,” extends beyond the Oscars to amazing AEC projects and communications campaigns. We may not have billions of people watching our award ceremonies, but the after-party name recognition and prestige they bring can be extremely lucrative—especially in terms of future business.

Set up your team for award season success by joining SMPS CT on Wednesday, March 14th at Scene Art Bar, 29 Mill Street, Unionville, CT. We’ll explore the ins and outs of award submissions, securing the win, and leveraging victories to boost your firm’s brand and reputation. Our guest panel will cover the basics, from identifying awards opportunities in the AEC industry, to attaining team support and gaining jury member insight, to how to capitalize on award success.

Cathy DeFrances, CPSM, Associate/Director of Business Development of Fuss & O’Neill EnviroScience, LLC will moderate.  Guest speakers include Theresa M. Casey, FSMPS, CPSM, President/CEO of On Target Marketing & Communications, LLC; Kevin Herrick, AIA, Principal of The S/L/A/M Collaborative; and Susan Labas, CPSM, Senior Associate and Director of Marketing of van Zelm Engineers.

Learn what it takes for your team’s hard work to be recognized by registering here. Registration is open until Friday, March 9th.

About SMPS CT

Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) was created in 1973 by a small group of professional services firm leaders who recognized the need to sharpen skills, pool resources, and work together to create business opportunities. Today, SMPS, nationally, represents a dynamic network of 7,000+ marketing and business development professionals from architectural, engineering, planning, interior design, construction, and specialty consulting firms located throughout the United States and Canada. The Society and its 60 chapters benefit from the support of 3,250 design and building firms, encompassing 80% of the Engineering News-Record Top 500 Design Firms and Top 400 Contractors.

 

Read More

Best 5

Best 5 logo

We've scoured the web so that you don't have to - check out the marketing articles February had to offer:

1. 5 Podcasts That Marketers Should Pay Attention To

2. February Class of 2017: LEED-certified schools make an impact

3. Cooper Hewitt Symposium Covers the Why and How of Designing More Accessible Spaces

4. New CLF Report Addresses Climate Liability Risks

5. The Dos and Don’ts of LinkedIn Etiquette

 

Read More

New Member Spotlight - February 2018

Meet some of SMPS Connecticut's newest members!

 

Hilary Adorno
Project Manager, Golden Egg Concepts

After 22 years of wearing many hats in the Commercial Real Estate industry, Hilary Adorno was provided the unique opportunity to transition into the world graphic design and marketing, as Golden Egg's Project Manager. Capitalizing on her innate talent, Hilary’s responsibilities include RFP/Q construction, content creation, website updates, assisting with strategic marketing initiatives, and account support for Golden Egg’s clients. Her experience in real estate development and customer care dovetails perfectly with her new role. In her spare time, she is a freelance journalist and photographer.

John H. Olson
Owner, Olson Photographic, LLC

John H. Olson, founder of Olson Photographic, LLC, is a professional photographer who specializes exclusively in interior and architectural photography - and has been doing so since 1999. While based in Connecticut, equidistant to New York and Boston, he is consistently trusted to capture award winning images of fantastic projects nationwide – from Maine to New Mexico, to Florida. In addition to the portfolios of top design and building professionals, his images are used in nationwide marketing campaigns, as well as being recognized in professional competitions for the industries that he serves. With contributions to well over two hundred books and magazines to date, his images regularly grace shelter magazines and design book titles.  He is also a co-author of several books on design and travel subjects.?

Abigail Tirone
Assistant Marketing Coordinator, Burns & McDonnell

Abigail Tirone recently joined Burns & McDonnell as an Assistant Marketing Coordinator. She graduated this past December from Eastern Connecticut State University where she was studying Communications and Business Administration with a triple concentration in Public Relations, Advertising, and Marketing. With a focused interest in event planning and stakeholder management, Abigail enjoys opportunities to further develop her skills, make connections, and tries to attend at least one networking event a month if possible. Some of her hobbies include reading, drawing, and working with horses. A fun fact about her is that she trained four wild mustangs by herself from late middle school to early high school. She also is a presenter for a makeup company called Younique which provides a haven retreat as well as resources for women who have been sexually abused as children.

Kelsey Morander
Marketing & Public Relations Specialist, CME Associates, Inc. 

Kelsey Morander is a highly creative marketing and public relations specialist with experience in public outreach, graphic and web design. Kelsey began her career as a graphic and web designer. Over the past 3+ years at CME, she’s been involved with public outreach for both state and municipal projects and has grown a passion for this work. By leveraging technology and adapting to evolving needs, she hopes to positively impact the relationship between the public and the client. She also assists in strategic marketing initiatives and business development within the company. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and interior decorating. She is also pursuing a Master's Degree in Strategic Communication from Central Connecticut State University (CCSU).

.

Read More

Best Five

We've scoured the web so that you don't have to - check out the marketing articles January had to offer:

1. 10 Good Business Practices in Any Market

2. 14 Marketing Resolutions A/E/C Firms Should Make in 2018

3. Green Building for Everyone on Education

4. How Drones Can Be Used in Architecture

5. How IKEA Continues to Push the Boundaries of Design

 

Read More