Blog Archives

Are You Doing Enough To Grow Your Audience?

By Amy Graver | Elements, Principal & Creative Director | SMPS CT Member


To gain the full potential of the new media landscape, you must actively engage in all three media types: earned, rented and owned.

— Amy Graver

We are in the age of micromedia. This means it doesn’t take us more than a split second to decide to either engage or to change channels, keep scrolling, swipe left or close a tab. Having so many choices means
we expect more from those select few we seek out and choose to follow. But, it only takes one too many self-promotional posts, off-targeted tweets, or “all about me” messages to lose our attention forever.
The challenge isn’t getting our attention—it’s keeping it.

Here are the three types of media you need to be actively engaged with:

  1. Earned Media

Earned media is when you receive exposure on someone else’s platform—earning your way to be in front
of their audience. It is extremely difficult to gain earned media because you are at the mercy of the gatekeepers (the people who own the platform and decide who gets in and who doesn’t) and they are
not easy to get past.

Examples of earned media are speaking engagements, television appearances, events, press release mentions, an opinion post that is picked up by media sources, something you post goes viral, a great
review on something you did (art exhibit, book you wrote, etc.) or any other media exposure in general.

  1. Rented Media

Rented media, such as LinkedIn or Facebook, allows us to have a presence on their platform, but make
no mistake, we do not own our Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google, Pinterest or other rented media platforms; we are borrowing space on that company’s platform. At any moment, any social media
platform can change the rules or algorithm and limit your exposure or shut you down completely.

Think of rented media as a way to reach a much larger audience than we could reach on our own and a means to interact and engage with them—the goal being to keep their attention on you and to discover creative ways to lead them to your own stage. Examples of rented media are any social media channels
or advertising spaces.

  1. Owned Media

Owned media is the space you own on the internet that is completely yours and in your control, such as your website, blog or vlog, email list or podcast. Growing this audience is the key to mastering your online efforts because it is your stage to get out your messages that will benefit your audience—and you—directly.

Each type of media (earned, rented and owned) builds upon one another. To have a fully integrated, effective online strategy, it is critical for you to use all three.

All three types of media complement one another and, when used skillfully together, are greater than
the sum of their parts. Keep in mind that as a general rule, your goal is to lead people from earned and rented media to your owned media.


Building Your Audience

The strategy you should adapt is one where you are creating a compelling call-to-action (CTA) that will continuously move people from earned and rented media to your owned space—your website, blog, vlog, podcast, etc. 

These days, we are all short on time and attention spans, so you need to give something of real value to
your audience, such as sharing your expertise, insider industry knowledge, entertainment or share something helpful they could put to use.

The first step is to create a solid researched strategy and decide how your time is best spent. You should
get clear on what your goals are or you will be spending wasted time in areas that will not provide the best return on your investment. Next, answer the question of which social media channels are be the best place to reach your audience to gain and keep their attention.

Once you have your strategy, time investment and platforms nailed down, you need to work on content. Write, research, take pictures, share information and create posts that will give people a reason to engage and return again and again.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when creating compelling content to lead your audience to your owned media:

  • Does it clearly convey the value you are offering?
  • What is your prospective client gaining that is valuable? Have a clear CTA that leads them to your website to obtain a free value item. Some ideas are a video, free assessment, quiz, access to a photo gallery, a download, discount or other industry information of value to them;
  • If you are able to create emotionally engaging content, fans will share it, post about it, comment on it and thereby start engaging and paying attention to you;
  • Have an opinion;
  • Never lead with a sales pitch; creating value and generously giving away expertise will create a connection with your audience, however, selling to people over and over will drive them away, possibly for good. Focus instead on informing, entertaining, inspiring and being authentic;
  • Post consistent content;
  • Give yourself some time when you first start becoming active for people to seek you out and discover you. Monitor over time to ensure that your audience is growing. If it isn’t, it could be the platform you’re on or the content you are providing—take a hard look at each and adjust accordingly;
  • Make your headline memorable.


 Final Words of Advice

Don’t allow the fast-paced world of micromedia push you into rushing your written, spoken, visual or the design of your communications in a way that presents you as is anything less than professional, accurate and engaging. Taking a little extra time to ensure your message looks great and communicates perfectly is time well spent.

To summarize:

  1. Start with a researched strategic social media plan;
  2. Decide your time investment upfront and your dedication to each channel that you feel is best
    for reaching your audience;
  3. Put together a weekly / monthly / quarterly content schedule;
  4. Create engaging content;
  5. Monitor for responses and results over time;
  6. Engage daily and reply immediately with your audience;
  7. Adjust strategy, platforms, time commitment or content / topics as needed.

We look forward reading, watching, learning and being inspired by your content!

— Amy Graver | Elements, Principal & Creative Director

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November Best 5

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

1. The Problem of Visibility for Women in Engineering, and How They Manage

2. How to Organize an Effective Project Team in Two Steps

3. October Construction Starts Soar 21 Percent

4. East Hartford's Towering 111 Founders Plaza Gets a Refresh

5. 6 Ways to Write Buzz-Worthy Blog Posts that Stand Out Against Your Competitors


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Event Recap: Confessions of a Content Whisperer and Google Analytics Guru

Getting content from your technical staff isn't easy. Whether it's proposals, social media, or presentations, having the right strategy and game plan can make all the difference. At our October program, Danielle Gray, Owner of DG Marketing Company, equipped our attendees with tools to get content from their technical team, measure online presence utilizing Google Analytics, and apply your findings to your overall strategy.  The program started with a discussion of identifying the correct content. To ensure that you are getting meaningful content, it is important that it address these questions: What? So What? Now What? As important is identifying the various technical and work personas and developing a communication strategy for each of them. Having the appropriate approach for each of these personas can make all the difference in the quality of your content. 

Utilizing Google Analytics can help you determine if the content you created is having an impact with your desired audiences. Data pulled from Google Analytics can be analyzed to show where your strengths and weaknesses are, what's working and what's not, give you insight into your core audience, and inform your overall strategy. It is important to report the data back to your company and it "digestible" so that it is easily understood and communicates key points. 


The key takeaways from the program include:

  • Focus on the goal
  • Everything starts with content generation
  • Remember your technical personas
  • All content should be customer-focused
  • Measure everything
  • Use data to communicate points
  • Present 2 + 2, not 4


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October Best 5

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

1. #MeToo in Construction: 66% Report Sexual Harassment in ENR Survey

2. Mid-year Forecast: No End in Sight for Growth Cycle

3. 20 Tips to Help You Use Time Effectively

4. Designing for All Ages

5. Keep your Employees Happy and Healthy with a Well-designed Workspace


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Event Recap: Reading the Room - The Dynamics of Emotional Intelligence in Action

We kicked off our 2018/2019 program year with an interactive, experiential learning workshop, Reading the Room: The Dynamics of Emotional Intelligence in Action, led by the Bolder Company.

Keynote Speaker

The program opened with a keynote speaker:  Liz Dederer, Selling with Service. Liz spoke about sales conversations and decoding your client's sales language. The #1 mistake everyone makes in sales conversations is presenting financial decisions to another party in our own financial language -  we need to take the time to listen for what drives someone's decisions. 

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. It is generally said to include three skills: emotional awareness; the ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem solving; and the ability to manage emotions, which includes regulating your own emotions and cheering up or calming down other people. Attendees of our September program were led by Bolder Company's Founding Partners Ellen Feldman Ornato and Jenny Drescher through a series of exercises that built their self-awareness and self-regulation including Rule Breaking and Catastrophizing. Concepts such as cognitive distortions, which are biased perspectives, and practicing minful responses, which allows us to take a take a step back and assess a situation before reacting, were explored during the program.

Overall, everyone came away with a set of skills to help them tune into facets of emotional intelligence that will help them better navigate challenging business and personal situations. Take aways included:

  • Get out of your own head.
  • Open up the communication and have a conversation.
  • Be prepared for different outcomes.
  • Be BOLDER.
  • Take a longer pause if needed. Deep breaths.
  • Don’t be reactionary.


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New Member Spotlight - September 2018

Meet SMPS Connecticut's newest members!


Marie Protomastro Patel
Marketing Manager, Redniss & Mead

Marie Protomastro Patel is an AEC Marketing Specialist who helps the principals of Redniss & Mead grow and promote their business.  Her method includes developing strategic marketing plans, content creation, SEO, email marketing, graphic design and company meetings and culture development.  Though beginning her marketing career in the computer industry for IBM, when an opportunity to join the AEC industry presented itself, she jumped in. Seven year later, she has rebranded Redniss & Mead and their website, developed and executed strategic marketing initiatives and communication plans, developed the firm's project profile database, the RFP/Q proposal presentation materials, professional resumes, and LinkedIn profiles and planned and ran client events and the annual team meetings.  Her next quest is using all that experience to study for and pass the CPSM exam.


Rachel Santacroce
Marketing Coordinator, Kaestle 

Rachel Santacroce is a dynamic communications professional with a diverse background in public relations and marketing. She currently serves as the Marketing Coordinator at Kaestle Boos Associates, Inc. Kaestle Boos is an architectural design firm that has been headquartered in New Britain for more than 60 years, with additional offices in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. As the Marketing Coordinator for Kaestle Boos Associates, Inc., Rachel assists in the development of proposals while also increasing the company’s social media presence and using her strong background in public relations to elevate Kaestle Boos’ already strong public reputation through continued earned media exposure. Previously to joining Kaestle Boos, Rachel honed her communications skills through positions at public relations firms and non-profit organizations.

Rachel enjoys remaining an active member of her community through multiple activities. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Boys & Girls Club of New Britain and has been an active member of HYPE for over 4 years, during which time she served as the Social Events Committee Chairman. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from Eastern Connecticut State University and is currently earning a Master of Science in Communications from Central Connecticut State University. She grew up in Manchester and currently lives in Wethersfield with her fiancée Kevin. You can connect with Rachel on LinkedIn here!


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Thank Goodness It's Summer - TGIS Membership Drive

In celebration of the warm weather, SMPS CT is offering a Thank Goodness It's Summer (TGIS) Membership Drive with discounts for new and returning members. Take advantage of all the benefits TGIS has to offer before August 31st!

Discounts include:

  • $100 discount available to any enrolling New Member (total fees of $340 versus standard $440)
  • $100 discount available to any re-enrolling Encore Member whose membership expired prior to December 2015 (total fees of $340 versus standard $440)
  • 3 webinar programs scheduled for July and August, at no charge to enrolling New Members or re-enrolling Encore Members
  • 3-month membership extension award available to any Current Member recommending a New Member who joins before August 31, 2018


For more information contact Ruth Millward, Cathy DeFrances, or Ron Paolillo.


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Lending Library Summertime Reading List

By: Jessica Osborne, CPSM - Marketing Manager, BL Companies

Summertime to me means longer days, sunny skies, and (hopefully!) time spent traveling or relaxing – which allows for some extra time to catch up on some reading, personal or professional. Whether you’re listening to an audiobook while on a road trip, or getting lost in a book while lounging on a beach, books are a great way to pass the time! No matter how you like to get your reading in, I’d love to suggest some materials from the SMPS CT Lending Library. Below are a few of my recommendations:

  • Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (Susan Cain)
  • TED Talks Storytelling – 23 Storytelling Techniques from the Best TED Talks (Akash Karia)
  • Tips, Tricks, & Tidbits – for marketing executives forced, against their will, to be graphic designers (Clockwork Design Group)
  • Knowing Your Value – Women, Money and Getting What You’re Worth (Mika Brzezinski)


Do you have any you’d like to add to this list? Better yet, feel free to contribute some of your favorites to the Lending Library and give our members the opportunity to get lost in a great book (to me, there really isn’t a better feeling!).

For more information on check out procedures and donations, visit our lending library page.


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Event Recap: SMPS CT Strategic Planning


As part of this year's strategic planning retreat, SMPS CT was joined by Inspire Corps. Acting as facilitators, they led SMPS CT members on a journey through time to discover the past and future of the chapter. From humble beginnings as a satellite office to the Boston chapter to various accolades and recent growth spurts, SMPS CT has a rich history that has that helped form the chapter as it is today. Our members came away with an understanding of how SMPS CT started and the various factors at play during it's growth stages.  

Inspire Corps illustrating the history of SMPS CT from our beginnings in the early 1980's to present day. 

With a clear view of the past, we were able to start planning for the future. As part of the discussion we took time to relflect on the SMPS Mission & Vision and benchmark our goals against both:

The SMPS Mission: To advocate for, educate, and connect leaders in the building industry. 
The SMPS Vision: Business transformed through marketing leadership. 

Attendees were able to use their creative thinking skills as we discussed critical path items and set goals to make our 2018-2019 program year the best it can be.

SMPS CT members discussing the vision and mission of SMPS.



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June Best 5

By: Mary McIlvain

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

1. After the Storm: Economic Recovery after Katrina and Sandy

2. 5 Ways of Newsjacking To Promote Your Firm

3. Designing for Human Health is the Next Frontier in Sustainable Building

4. 4 Ways IoT Impacts Design and Construction

5. 17 Beautifully Designed Tea Shops from Around the World


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