Architectural communications guru Peter Murray is to speak at the Landscape Institute’s CPD seminar in London on 10 January.
Murray, who is chair of New London Architecture and the world’s first professor of architectural communications, will talk on the subject ‘communicating for success’. By the end of the session, he promises, delegates should understand ‘the significance of communications in the success of a practice, how to use this to their own advantage and ensure that it is an essential part of their business planning’.
The importance of marketing, Murray says, is that ‘it provides you with the freedom to decide the direction of your work’. If a practice decides the direction that it wants its business development to take, then it can develop a marketing strategy to take it in that direction, working to get its name known and also to meet key people in the chosen field – whether by attending networking events, or going to conferences, or speaking at conferences.
Murray is a great believer in face-to-face meetings and personal contact, but that does not mean that he underestimates the importance of digital marketing. ‘People totally underestimate the importance of their websites and the value of digital media,’ he says. ‘You have to think about how you drive people to your site, and how you get them to retrieve information.’ Too often, he believes, websites are built around the achievements of the practice, rather than around what the practice can offer to clients.
Much of Murray’s work has been with architects but, he says, ‘The relevance of what I say is even greater for landscape architects than it is for architects. Partly because landscape architects – UK ones at least – are really bad at getting their message across. This may be because they are very modest people who don’t like to blow their own trumpet, it may be that they have in the past been reliant on always getting work from other professionals and never felt the need to invest in a communications strategy.
‘This is a pity because the skills of landscape architects are in huge demand. Today placemaking is often seen as important as building design. The landscape was one of the great triumphs of the Olympics – but I’m still not quite sure who did what. At NLA we are overbooked whenever we have events that deal with landscape issues yet those responsible are slow in coming forward to claim their recognition.’
Click here to find out more about the CPD day and to book a place.