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Julie McLauchlan talks to Project Scotland

Julie McLauchlan talks to Project Scotland

Our MD Julie McLauchlan can usually be found in strategy meetings or delivering bespoke training to clients who want to enhance their media interview skills, but last week she stepped into the limelight and spoke to Project Scotland about the need for construction companies to ‘blow their own trumpet’ and embrace marketing as the way to raise their profile within the industry, attract new customers and recruit the right staff.

“Our experience of working with dozens of organisations in the construction sector shows that a regular stream of good news about an organisation not only raises profile among important audiences, but also attracts new customers and employees,” she said. “This drumbeat of positive news can be delivered through traditional media such as newspaper and magazine articles in business or trade press and through social media.”

Julie talks about the results which can be achieved by establishing an effective online presence and cites examples of successful blog campaigns by clients. She also offers her top tips for promoting your company effectively – a must read for any company, not just in the construction sector, who wants to raise their profile.

Click here to read the article in full.

My First Month – Anna Chambers

My First Month – Anna Chambers

I’ve just finished my first month as the newest member of the Perceptive Communicators team.  I’m very happy to be embarking on a new adventure after almost eight years in local government PR.

I am absolutely loving my new job. Having studied architecture and previously worked at the Royal Institute of Architects in Scotland (RIAS), Prospect Magazine and a large architectural practice, Perceptive’s expertise in the construction industry was what first attracted me to the position. I also liked the idea of being part of a small, experienced team and their flexible way of working is just the icing on the cake.

Before I started at Perceptive, I wondered if working at an agency dealing with private sector clients would be very different from being part of a public sector in-house communications team. While I have definitely been on a steep learning curve, it hasn’t been as huge a leap as I thought it might be. The main difference – which I love – is that I now get to spend much more time on promoting all the positive and exciting things that our clients are doing, rather than reacting to often negative media enquiries. Social media activity is also very different; at a local authority, complaints and questions must be quickly responded to, whereas at Perceptive, we use it to share good news and comment on the burning issues that are relevant to our clients’ industries.

I’ve spent most of my first few weeks at Perceptive getting to know my colleagues, meeting my new clients and finding out their background and plans for the future. So far I have met several clients and some potential new clients too. I even took part in my first ever pitch just two weeks into the job! I’m also very pleased to have achieved some national and trade media coverage  for one of our clients already. There are exciting times ahead.

Awards? Are they worth it?

Awards? Are they worth it?

Mactaggart & Mickel’s recent Outstanding Achievement Award and our nomination in two Construction Marketing Award categories for the PR Agency of the Year and Best Use of Public Relations for the City Legacy project have got me thinking about awards over the last few days.

We’ve all been there.  Those hours spent before the evening dresses and black bow ties are looked out, where we read, review, correct and re-write to make sure we are as close to the award entry criteria as possible.

But as we all know, those hours spent entering awards are more than paid off when we walk to the stage alongside our teams to claim the accolade which we have all worked so hard to attain.

It’s always tricky to toot your own horn and writing award submissions is an art in itself.  Over the years we have helped dozens of clients win awards including 22 and counting for City Legacy Homes, which includes Cruden, CCG, WH Malcolm as well as Mactaggart & Mickel.
People often ask me if the time spent entering awards is worth it.  If the awards resonate with your target right audience, I tell them it is. Not only is the ceremony itself a great opportunity to network, meet prospective clients and treat your team for all their hard work over the year, but  winning on the night can have such a positive impact on your business and morale in the team.

So plan ahead.  Don’t enter for the sake of it. Have a clear vision of how your project aligns with award criteria and make sure your answers closely match what’s required.  And if you find it tricky to toot your own horn, call in the professionals who can toot it for you, often much more easily and effectively.

Ask yourself why you are entering? Do you want to wow potential clients, gain an accolade for a successful project or simply show you’re a hard hitter among your industry peers? Whatever your stance, it’s best to take a particular focus and prioritise those that you think you can and should win, not simply those you would like to.

Enjoy it. It sounds simple, but you can’t possibly win them all so enjoy reaching the nomination stage.  That’s an achievement in itself.  And if you do win, make sure everyone knows about it using all the channels that appeal to your target audience – including LinkedIn which can be a great loudhailer for your achievements in the business world.
Fingers crossed!

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