Marketing In Times of Recovery

Marketing In Times Of Crisis has changed its name to Marketing In Times of Recovery. It's still a bi-weekly interview-led podcast series featuring inspirational built environment business leaders but more with a look to the future. We’ve had to weather crisis’ before and podcast listeners hear lively conversations, jam-packed with hints, tips and takeaways that you can apply to your business now. Hosted by Ayo Abbas, Founder / Consultant, Abbas Marketing. Subscribe now, rate, review and help us to spread the word.

https://www.abbasmarketing.com/mitc-podcast

subscribe
share





episode 20: Ep 20: Communications, Reputation, and Being A Responsible Business with Rebecca Snow - Stiff + Trevillion [transcript]


Hello and welcome to the latest episode of Marketing In Times of Recovery.  I’m your host Ayo Abbas, a built environment marketing consultant and founder of Abbas Marketing. 

Today’s guest is the rather lovely Rebecca Snow who is the Communications Director at West London-based architectural firm Stiff + Trevillion.   

In our discussion we talk about:

  • their work as a practice 
  • how they’ve fared in the past year, 
  • how they tackle digital marketing and social media
  • and why being a responsible business is a key part of who they are. 

If you’re a regular listener to the show – make sure you subscribe so you never miss out on an episode and help us to spread the word. 

This episode was recorded on Thurs April 22 2021.

Rate and review us

Please don’t forget to rate and review us if you’re listening on Apple podcasts as it’s lovely to hear what you think plus it helps us to spread the word

Resources
Stiff + Trevillion website
Abbas Marketing
AHMM - White Collar Factory
Witherford Watson Mann Architects
Heart of the City
Build Up


share







 2021-06-18  35m
 
 
00:05  Ayo Abbas
Hello, and welcome to
00:05
the latest episode of Marketing
00:07
In Times of Recovery. The
00:07
podcast has changed its name
00:10
basically because I don't think
00:10
you can operate in a state of
00:13
crisis for every year. And
00:13
recovery really feels like where
00:16
people are at the moment. So I'm
00:16
your host Ayo Abbas a built
00:20
environment marketing consultant
00:20
and founder of Abbas Marketing.
00:24
And today, it's Thursday the
00:24
22nd of April and my guest is
00:28
the rather lovely Rebecca snow,
00:28
who is the Communications
00:31
Director at West London based
00:31
architectural firm Stiff +
00:34
Trevillion. In our discussion,
00:34
we talk about their work as a
00:37
practice and how they fared in
00:37
the past year, which is pretty
00:40
well, how they tackled digital
00:40
marketing and social media, and
00:44
why being a responsible business
00:44
is a key part of who they are as
00:47
a practice. If you're a regular
00:47
listening to the show, make sure
00:50
you subscribe, so you never ever
00:50
miss out on an episode. And
00:53
really, also, if you can help us
00:53
to spread the word, it's really,
00:56
really helpful. For now, let's
00:56
get on with listening to the
01:00
interview today with Rebecca,
01:00
enjoy.
01:08
Hi, Rebecca, thank you so much
01:08
for coming onto the show. Can
01:12
you give me a brief intro to you
01:12
and your role at Stiff +
01:16
Trevillion, please?
01:17  Rebecca Snow
Okay. Hi Ayo
01:17
thank you so much for asking me.
01:21
Well, I can see all the good
01:21
people must have gone by now,
01:24
after a year of lockdown. So
01:24
scraping the barrel with me, but
01:29
thank you!! Um, so I work for
01:29
Stiff + Trevillion Architects,
01:33
and I've been there for quite a
01:33
long time actually is the
01:35
longest job I've ever had, which
01:35
I don't know if it's a good side
01:38
or a bad sign. My background is
01:38
PR. I started off in a marketing
01:44
consultancy, and then moved more
01:44
into the PR role. I've worked in
01:48
agencies in-house and in
01:48
government communications, I was
01:52
a civil servant for about five
01:52
years running national
01:56
campaigns. At Stiff + Trevillion
01:56
I sort of stumbled into the role
02:01
really, I was sort of in had my
02:01
children and I wasn't quite sure
02:05
what I was going to do. I was
02:05
doing bits of freelance, I kind
02:09
of went to help out there just
02:09
two days a week, and got my feet
02:14
under the table and never left
02:14
really. My role has developed
02:17
and I've recently been made a
02:17
comms director, which was really
02:21
nice. And I hope that will be a
02:21
good incentive to others,
02:24
because I've always worked part
02:24
time since I've had children.
02:27
And it shows that you can do a
02:27
good job and not be in the
02:31
office every second of the day.
02:31
And I hope also this last year
02:34
would have proved that case as
02:34
well. And, you know, we look at
02:38
strategy, but I also work very
02:38
closely with my fellow
02:41
directors, looking after our
02:41
team internally as well. So I do
02:45
a lot of internal comms as well
02:45
as outward facing work.
02:48  Ayo Abbas
I do have one
02:48
question. So what's the size of
02:50
the practice? And what kind
02:50
sectors and things do you
02:53
normally work in? And how does
02:53
that work? Right?
02:56  Rebecca Snow
We are 60 people
02:56
now and the practice has
02:59
actually bizarrely grown in the
02:59
last year, we mainly do
03:04
commercial work, a lot of office
03:04
work, and we've done
03:07
refurbishments now, for quite a
03:07
few years, so, you know, that's
03:11
something we're really keen on.
03:11
You know, the best, the greenest
03:15
building is the one that already
03:15
exists. I believe this the
03:17
strapline is so we do a lot of
03:17
that sort of work. We've done
03:22
sort of resi projects. And we're
03:22
doing one at the moment, Brill
03:26
Place. We also do private
03:26
residential work, which has
03:31
always been a really strong part
03:31
of the practice. Again, so
03:35
lovely houses. For people with a
03:35
lot more money than me, it's
03:39
quite depressing looking at the
03:39
photographs, but those sort of
03:42
things. And traditionally, in
03:42
the past, we did a lot of
03:45
restaurant work, which is we
03:45
don't do quite so much of. But,
03:48
recently we did Seven Dials
03:48
Market in Covent Garden for KERB
03:53
food. So that was a really
03:53
lovely project. Not exactly a
03:56
restaurant, but a food court.
03:56
But those are the sort of main
04:00
areas, you know, with other
04:00
little bits and pieces that Mike
04:03
Stiff likes doing he's quite
04:03
interested in art and art fairs
04:06
and things like that.
04:07  Ayo Abbas
Fantastic. And so, I
04:07
mean, today, he's actually World
04:09
Earth Day. I mean, it's quite
04:09
interesting. So is that you said
04:15
that refurbishment is one of the
04:15
reasons why you've kind of is
04:18
that one of the reasons why
04:18
you've been kind of growing in
04:19
the past year because I know
04:19
this is kind of huge shift or
04:22
huge momentum to being greener,
04:22
COP 26 coming up and things like
04:26
that you finding that's kind of
04:26
influencing where you're going
04:28
as a practice,
04:29  Rebecca Snow
I think so. We
04:29
have had an in-house green team
04:33
for a couple of years, and they
04:33
have a sort of lowish profile.
04:38
Now, it's at the sort of
04:38
forefront of everything that we
04:41
do. And obviously refurbishments
04:41
are generally the greenest thing
04:45
to do. But having said that,
04:45
we've just, we've got planning
04:48
permission for a new build on
04:48
Tottenham Court Road earlier
04:52
this year. And there was a lot
04:52
of discussion and endless
04:56
discussion about whether it was
04:56
better to keep the existing
04:58
building or knock it down. build
04:58
a new one. And in that
05:02
particular case, it would have
05:02
been, it's greener, bizarrely
05:05
enough to build a new one.
05:05
Because the old building was so
05:08
poorly insulated. It was sort of
05:08
it reached the end of its life.
05:12
So, but obviously, refurbishment
05:12
specialists do lots of
05:15
interesting things to buildings
05:15
without knocking them down and
05:18
creating something new. So,
05:18
yeah, it's a strong part of our
05:22
business. And it's something
05:22
we're really committed to
05:24  Ayo Abbas
Fantastic. So in
05:24
terms of as we're transitioning
05:27
out of lockdown in this staged
05:27
manner at the moment, how are
05:31
you finding it in terms of how
05:31
you're marketing your business
05:34
and what you're doing?
05:37  Rebecca Snow
really know what
05:37
I'm doing half the time, to be
05:39
honest, it's been it's really
05:39
odd time. I mean, when we went
05:44
into lockdown last year, it was
05:44
pretty clear that we had to sort
05:48
of abandon certain things and
05:48
refocus on others. So it was
05:52
sort of digital, really,
05:52
everything sort of went online.
05:57
And we sort of carried on with a
05:57
lot of things we did like our
06:00
quarterly newsletter, which goes
06:00
out, you know, an email
06:03
newsletter, we've focused
06:03
heavily on Instagram. And a lot
06:07
of those things were sort of
06:07
carrying on with and although
06:10
I'm a great believer in face to
06:10
face and and sort of personal
06:15
communications, if you can. It's
06:15
not going to be easy, because at
06:19
the moment, people are all over
06:19
the place. Some people are in
06:22
the office, some people are at
06:22
home, some people are working,
06:24
you know, out of their home,
06:24
perhaps in other places. So it's
06:28
going to be even harder to reach
06:28
people without doing it online.
06:33
So we're sort of carrying on, I
06:33
think we're going to try and
06:35
pick up things like our award
06:35
entry programme that went a bit
06:38
sort of awry, because loads of
06:38
awards have been cancelled
06:42  Ayo Abbas
or moved to the same
06:42
time, they were all in October,
06:45
for some reason, weren't a
06:45
sudden block of all of them, and
06:48
you were like what?
06:50  Rebecca Snow
on your award
06:50
entries in all the first half of
06:53
the year, and people will be
06:53
saying, you know, chasing, I
06:55
think my god, I can't remember
06:55
which project is this going in
06:58
for which which award it's for
06:58
which project is. So that's sort
07:02
of cleared out a little bit. And
07:02
actually having less, makes it
07:06
easier to focus on, on what
07:06
you're doing. But then also,
07:09
we've had projects, which you
07:09
probably should have finished,
07:12
but have dragged on a little bit
07:12
longer. So they you know, things
07:14
that I was aiming for awards
07:14
this year, probably aren't quite
07:17
ready yet, for photography, and
07:17
things like that, so. So yeah,
07:22
and I think the other thing we
07:22
really want to do is look at our
07:24
website, which we've been
07:24
planning to update, and that's
07:28
sort of went on hold as a lot of
07:28
things did, because we have no
07:31
idea how things might pan out.
07:31
Also we run a responsible
07:37
business programme in the
07:37
office, and that entirely
07:41
shifted to looking after the
07:41
staff. So we didn't do a lot of
07:45
outward facing activity or
07:45
community work, you know, all
07:48
our work experience. school kids
07:48
coming in stopped. And it was
07:53
primarily making sure that
07:53
everybody in the office was fine
07:55
and coping unable to work
07:55
wherever they were. So now it's
08:00
sort of we're kind of praising
08:00
people out and getting them
08:04
coming back into the office on a
08:04
rota or in for meetings. Because
08:09
we can't keep it, we can't fit
08:09
everyone in the studio at the
08:11
same time. And some people are
08:11
still a bit nervous. They're
08:14
worried about public transport,
08:14
things like that. So we're sort
08:16
of I feel like we're kind of
08:16
creeping out of a dark cave,
08:20
which is a very bright sunshine,
08:20
I'm not quite sure what we're
08:22
gonna see yet or where the main
08:22
focus will be. But I want to
08:26
keep doing all the things that
08:26
we usually do. And then maybe
08:30
look at doing different things
08:30
that are yet to be decided in my
08:33
brain. Yeah.
08:33  Ayo Abbas
So what kinds of
08:33
different things are you
08:35
considering? What's your kind of
08:35
when you're thinking about?
08:40  Rebecca Snow
Well, I I would
08:40
like to do, we've done
08:42
exhibitions in the past, I would
08:42
love to do something like that,
08:47
again, an exhibition about the
08:47
practice. I'm not sure how
08:50
interesting that is to anyone
08:50
else, but we love it, it's a
08:52
great way of looking back and
08:52
taking stock of what you do. The
08:56
work cycle is so intense and so
08:56
busy, that people finish
09:00
projects, and then on to the
09:00
next one and the next one, and
09:02
you rarely ever take the time to
09:02
look back and appreciate all the
09:07
amazing work that people are
09:07
doing. And I'm always saying,
09:09
this is fantastic. Look at this
09:09
beautiful project, look at the
09:12
pictures. It's sort of a way of
09:12
taking stock and remembering the
09:18
things you've done.
09:19  Ayo Abbas
What's happened,
09:19
isn't it, because you're right,
09:21
it's so easy just to move on to
09:21
the next thing and just keep
09:24
going, keep going. And it's
09:24
like, actually, you've done
09:26  Rebecca Snow
You know, just
09:26
look back and really appreciate
09:26
something brilliant.
09:31
what we've done. Also, it's
09:31
quite interesting because you
09:32
can sort of see maybe the
09:32
direction that we're going which
09:35
might be quite organic, rather
09:35
than a sort of, you know,
09:38
strategic plan. You can it will
09:38
actually we have moved into this
09:42
area and you know, maybe that
09:42
was unconscious. I don't know
09:44
how it happened, but it's great.
09:44
We want to do that. So and I I'm
09:50
you know I think people will
09:50
have a thirst for face to face
09:55
meetings or activities. You
09:55
know, I just want to do some fun
09:58
things. I want to have some
09:58
drinks parties things I want
10:01
people to know I want to have a
10:01
few drinks and just sort of
10:05
relax a bit. I think it's been
10:05
very pressured and intensive. So
10:08
I want to do things that are
10:08
less. You know, I don't at all
10:12
be about, you know, new
10:12
business, I want it to be about
10:14
having a nice time as well,
10:14
really. So, I'm really
10:19
interested as well in doing more
10:19
film and video. It's great for
10:23
the website. It's great for
10:23
social media. And I think it's a
10:26
much better way of capturing the
10:26
feeling of a project, we we work
10:30
with fantastic photographers who
10:30
do brilliant pictures and make
10:34
our projects often look lovely,
10:36
and sometimes nicer that they
10:36
are in real life! But I think
10:40
film is really important. I
10:40
think that that is, that's
10:49
really important. And we've got
10:49
a couple of lovely, private
10:55
residential projects that have
10:55
completed in the last year. And
10:59
I love getting those in the sort
10:59
of glossy Elle decorations and
11:02
magazines like that that's
11:02
really satisfying for me. I love
11:07
seeing that. And it's fun to do
11:07
as well, those sorts of things.
11:09
So the kind of Yeah, yeah, the
11:09
key areas.
11:15  Ayo Abbas
So do you think
11:15
you're going to kind of adopt
11:17
any new channels? Or has
11:17
anything changed for you
11:20
marketing wise in the past year?
11:20
Do you think actually, we're
11:23
gonna move away from this and
11:23
move forward to that? Or is it
11:26
more kind of getting back to
11:26
where you were?
11:28  Rebecca Snow
I think, I think
11:28
we want to get back to where we
11:30
were, because so many things
11:30
sort of, well, things stopped.
11:36
But not completely, you know, we
11:36
were very active on Instagram,
11:39
our Instagram following has
11:39
grown. But I'm always thinking
11:45
who's who's looking at it is it
11:45
the sort of people who are going
11:47
to purchase from the business or
11:47
are most of our followers, you
11:51
know, interested architects or
11:51
architectural students. One of
11:55
the things is going to be making
11:55
sure that we're in lots of
11:58
different places. I think one of
11:58
the other things that's happened
12:02
this year is that, as I
12:02
mentioned before, reaching
12:05
people is a little bit more
12:05
difficult. There's so many
12:08
options to get to people that
12:08
you have to sort of cherry pick,
12:13
which are the best places to go
12:13
to, I mean, we have a Facebook
12:16
page, but we sort of kind of
12:16
didn't really use that very much
12:20
anymore. Because it mainly
12:20
seemed to be my friends and
12:22
family liking everything we're
12:22
putting on there. Yeah, focus
12:25
more on LinkedIn, Twitter, and
12:25
Instagram, on our social
12:30
channels. And then obviously, as
12:30
I've mentioned before, I want to
12:34
update the website. So it's a
12:34
bit more dynamic, it's quite
12:38
static at the moment, to make
12:38
that more of a sort of, you
12:41
know, that's our shop window.
12:41
But also reflects, it reflects a
12:45
little bit of all the there's so
12:45
much activity going on. I want
12:49
to make sure that people can see
12:49
that we're energetic, and
12:51
there's lots going on in
12:53  Ayo Abbas
I think practice
12:53
websites now. It's like, how do
12:55
you keep it fresh and live? I
12:55
always talk about because, yeah,
12:59
that's what you really want is
12:59
that, you know, when you talk
13:01
to, you know, one of your
13:01
partners, for example, about a
13:04
project and you see their eyes
13:04
light up, you kind of want to
13:06
capture that on your website,
13:06
you know, and I think it's all
13:09
too easy for, you suddenly start
13:09
talking to people when you're
13:12
like, on your website looks
13:12
really dull in comparison to
13:16
actually know what you mean.
13:16
Exactly. Yeah. I mean, capturing
13:20
the essence of that practice,
13:20
and I think yeah, I mean, to do,
13:24
but when you get it right, you
13:24
can, you can definitely see and
13:27
you want that passion to come
13:27
across on your site, isn't it
13:29
that enthusiasm?
13:30  Rebecca Snow
You really do?
13:30
Yeah. And I think it's been
13:33
quite easy to sort of park a lot
13:33
of these things. Because the
13:36
focus has been on let's hold the
13:36
business together, let's keep
13:39
that going. You know, you know,
13:39
service, the clients, get them
13:42
what they want get to, you know,
13:42
deadlines met and things like
13:45
that. So it's been hard to think
13:45
outside of those, I'm hoping
13:48
they'll be a little bit more
13:48
space in everybody's lives in
13:51
the office to think about, you
13:51
know, how we communicate
13:54
ourselves, and what we what we
13:54
are and what we mean, and what
13:56
our brand is, and what makes us
13:56
different from you know, the
13:59
other very good architectural
13:59
practices that are based in
14:03
London and the UK, generally. So
14:03
that's the thing, I think, you
14:07
know, often when we pitch for
14:07
work, is it Well, there's not a
14:09
lot in it. It's really just
14:09
about what we're like and what
14:13
the client might be like, and
14:13
how we get on and whether our,
14:16
you know, our chemistry aligns
14:16
together and things like that.
14:20
So
14:21  Ayo Abbas
fees wise, it's
14:21
generally as long as you're in
14:23
the right ballpark, isn't it?
14:23
Quite often, it's going to be
14:28
that way. Right? Personality
14:28
driven and exact relationship as
14:31
well Yeah.
14:31  Rebecca Snow
Exactly. Oh, and
14:31
provided we have made a spelling
14:33
mistake in our presentation.
14:37  Ayo Abbas
Some people are quite
14:37
picky on that. In terms of, I
14:43
guess, when you're tackling
14:43
things like social media, what
14:45
makes a story to you what what
14:45
things kind of do you like to
14:48
share?
14:50  Rebecca Snow
Well, this week
14:50
we're doing a focus on our model
14:54
shop. So we've been looking at
14:54
models of current work, future
15:00
projects. And also looking back,
15:00
our model makers created some
15:04
lovely models of actually, of
15:04
older projects. So we've
15:07
decided, yeah, we've been
15:07
sharing those. And through
15:11
exploring how important this
15:11
model making is in the kind of
15:15
creative journey that you take
15:15
your clients and your team on. I
15:19
love models. I love them cos
15:19
they're like little dolls,
15:22
houses, they're like little
15:22
worlds. And you can sort of
15:24
imagine, when you see that I
15:24
don't have a mind like an
15:27
architect. I don't visualise
15:27
things in the same way as they
15:30
do. When I see a model, and, you
15:30
know, little tiny door, and I
15:34
think lh my goodness, I can
15:34
imagine living in there and
15:36
going in there how your life
15:36
would be. So I think there's
15:39
such magical creations. So
15:39
that's what we've been looking
15:43
at on there. We've also, it's
15:43
hard on social media, because
15:47
some days I think, well, what
15:47
are we going to do today? We
15:49
haven't done anything for a
15:49
while. What's our plan? Where
15:52
are we going? And other weeks,
15:52
there's so much stuff coming in?
15:55
I need to make sense of this.
15:55
Hang on, where are we going?
15:59
What are we doing? During the
15:59
first lockdown, we decided very
16:04
quickly that we were going to
16:04
trawl back through the archives.
16:07
And it was a lovely thing to do.
16:07
We posted projects back from
16:11
sort of, you know, the end of
16:11
the 1990s that had been done.
16:14
But most people in our practice
16:14
hadn't even been born, let alone
16:18
started work. It was such a
16:18
lovely, lovely way of looking
16:22
back at all work you've done,
16:22
because you forget what you've
16:24
done, you know, 30 years ago.
16:24
And that was great. So we had a
16:28
really clear strategy to follow
16:28
at a time when things were very
16:32
fluid and not clear. Now it's a
16:32
mix, mainly between what we're
16:37
on site doing what we finished,
16:37
interesting things that are
16:41
happening in the practice. It's
16:41
quite, probably chaotic. It
16:46
might be described us, but maybe
16:46
it's a reflection of my mind.
16:49
But yeah, so we do occasionally
16:49
as well as focus on past
16:54
projects where we can look back
16:54
at them. Yeah, creative thinking
16:57
how we led to a decision why the
16:57
building looks like it does now
17:01
this is how we started. That
17:01
always works quite well, too. So
17:05
yeah, that's kind of some of the
17:05
ideas that we've explored on
17:08
Instagram.
17:09  Ayo Abbas
I love the idea of
17:09
the creative decision and how
17:11
you got there. Because I think
17:11
that's so easily lost. We know
17:15
when you move on to different
17:15
kind of milestones in a project,
17:17
it's so easy to forget why you
17:17
made a certain particular
17:20
decision. And I think that's,
17:20
that's actually that journey.
17:22
And the reasons why is actually
17:22
fascinating. That's one of the
17:25
kind of key things
17:27  Rebecca Snow
you do. People are
17:27
making creative decisions every
17:30
day, the you know, the design
17:30
team. And they don't even
17:34
realise what they're doing is
17:34
interesting. And we want to
17:38
shout about it as well, that's,
17:38
you know, that's
17:40
lovely.
17:40
I've never seen that before. Why
17:40
do we share that. So when you're
17:44
doing something all the time,
17:44
it's hard to miss the
17:47
milestones. So it's, I feel like
17:47
it's my job to pluck those out
17:51
and make sure that I'm over what
17:51
people are doing. But, you know,
17:54
we've probably got about 40 jobs
17:54
in the practice all at different
17:57
stages.
17:57  Ayo Abbas
So how do you find
17:57
that information and especially
18:01
in a lockdown, because that's
18:01
really hard,
18:04  Rebecca Snow
That actually, is
18:04
the hardest thing is, people
18:08
have been getting better at
18:08
sending things through and
18:11
reminding me and and sending
18:11
images. And you know, when
18:14
people go to site I say that if
18:14
you see anything interesting,
18:16
take pictures, send them back to
18:16
me, let's see what's going on.
18:19
But that really is the hardest
18:19
thing. And often it's you here
18:23
sort of several weeks later,
18:23
something's happened. And you
18:25
think, Oh, if only we'd caught
18:25
that if only we remembered it.
18:28
But it's been a sort of
18:28
collective change of thinking
18:31
we've all we all have to think
18:31
in the same sort of way. And one
18:34
of the best ways of doing that
18:34
is when you work closely with
18:37
people to do an award entry. And
18:37
they have to, you know, there's
18:41
certain information that you
18:41
have to provide, and they have
18:45
to help you find it. And
18:45
actually, that makes a huge
18:47
difference because they realise
18:47
if only we'd caught pictures at
18:50
this stage, it would have
18:50
illustrated the project so well.
18:53
Well, let's remember that for
18:53
next time. And hopefully that's
18:58
that's one way of doing it. I
18:58
think the other way is just
19:00
going around and sort of nagging
19:00
people on a regular basis to
19:05
remind them I want to see no
19:05
updated pictures for the website
19:08
what we put on social media. Is
19:08
there any you know any can we
19:12
send out any kind of, you know,
19:12
stuff to the press stuff like
19:16
that? So you know, I have to
19:16
remember as much as they do,
19:20
which is hard.
19:22  Ayo Abbas
I was gonna say I
19:22
hadn't to nag people. I just
19:25
remember once that I remember
19:25
walking down the corridor once
19:27
and somebody literally hid
19:27
behind a copier to hide from me.
19:39
Hey, go I've got power at last.
19:39
So I guess in the more kind of
19:46
digital world what tips would
19:46
you give to someone who is say
19:49
starting out on social media and
19:49
looking to get their practice
19:53
known? Are there certain things
19:53
you can make sure you do this?
19:56  Rebecca Snow
Well, it's
19:56
interesting because I wouldn't
19:59
you know, many months ago, years
19:59
ago, in fact, I went to a
20:04
seminar thing on in a practice
20:04
evolution. And it looked at sort
20:07
of tiny startups to large
20:07
established practices. And it's
20:11
so interesting, because when
20:11
you're small, and starting out,
20:14
you have tremendous agility, and
20:14
flexibility. And there's usually
20:18
only a few of you, you're very
20:18
close knit together, you can
20:20
make decisions really quickly.
20:20
And you can be, I think, a lot
20:23
more daring in some ways in what
20:23
you do. Even though you might
20:28
not have many completed projects
20:28
to show, there's a lot more
20:32
scope for showing your ideas
20:32
and, you know, research that you
20:36
might be doing things that you
20:36
find interesting and
20:38
stimulating. If there's an
20:38
opportunity there to start out
20:43
on social media, when you begin
20:43
your company, so you grow
20:47
together. In some ways, when
20:47
you're well established
20:52
practice, it takes much longer
20:52
hauling around a tanker. And
20:59
that's understandable, because
20:59
you got to drag a whole load of
21:01
people with you. Yeah, change is
21:01
difficult. And
21:07  Ayo Abbas
as well, isn't it?
21:07
Why are you suggesting?
21:12  Rebecca Snow
That's a
21:12
ridiculous idea what you know,
21:14
we'll never do that. Or that
21:14
will the worst thing is usually
21:17
is when you say, why did we do
21:17
this? And then sort of silence
21:20
and then a few weeks later, why
21:20
don't we do this, Rebecca. And
21:23
that's what I said three weeks
21:23
ago. Just sort of percolate in
21:30
you know, when you're making,
21:30
you know, daily directors who
21:33
lead the company making so many
21:33
decisions, you know, they can't
21:36
remember everything that they've
21:36
agreed to, or everything you've
21:39
asked, so you just sort of have
21:39
to think that let it sink in.
21:42
And then maybe it'll emerge
21:42
later. But yeah, when you're
21:45
young and agile, and you can be
21:45
creative, you can be daring, you
21:49
can take some risks, you don't
21:49
have the sort of reputational
21:53
baggage that you have to always
21:53
be careful of. So I'm always I
21:57
mean, I think of anything. My
21:57
problem is I'm so risk averse.
22:01
Now, I've thought because I'm
22:01
old and boring. But also, I
22:04
think, you know what a wrong
22:04
step can sort of set you back.
22:10
Or as you know, you have to be
22:10
so careful your judgement has to
22:13
be really spot on all the time
22:13
in everything that you do. And
22:18
you don't want to lose that
22:18
reputation by by not thinking
22:22
carefully enough about what
22:22
you're doing. And sometimes,
22:25
perhaps, you know, I think too
22:25
carefully, and I should just get
22:27
out there and do it and take my
22:27
own advice.
22:31  Ayo Abbas
But I think those are
22:31
great tips. Oh, really? Yeah,
22:34
really, really smart. But I
22:34
think you're right, the whole
22:37
reputation thing and having to
22:37
kind of, I guess it's
22:39
experience, isn't it as well, I
22:39
always think, you know, once
22:41
you've been burned on certain
22:41
things, and you? Well, you are
22:44
you end up just being a bit
22:44
more, I guess a bit more
22:47
thorough before you do things.
22:47
And it's because you've seen
22:50
what, because you've seen what
22:50
could happen. And I think as
22:53
well, if you if you know, if
22:53
you've had any comms teams, and
22:55
you've had to deal with crisis
22:55
management, then you're the one
22:59
who's had to, you know, sweep
22:59
up, helps sweep up that mess.
23:01
So, yeah, so I think there is
23:01
that kind of cautiousness, when,
23:05
as you as you grow, I guess, but
23:05
yeah, when you're small, you get
23:09
it is you are a lot freer, which
23:09
is, which is an amazing thing to
23:12
kind of do, and you can really
23:12
try stuff out.
23:15  Rebecca Snow
I think, and also
23:15
if you you know, the
23:18
relationship with your clients
23:18
is key and all of this, because
23:20
they, if they're happy to sort
23:20
of go on this journey with you
23:23
and share things, you know, as
23:23
you go along, and are a little
23:27
bit daring about, you know,
23:27
sharing ideas as they're
23:29
developing. That's, that's
23:29
brilliant. Because often when
23:33
you get, you know, for some of
23:33
the projects that we've got,
23:37
clients that are really cagey
23:37
about putting stuff out, they
23:42
don't want to share a lot of
23:42
stuff till they're, they're
23:44
ready to do it. And they feel
23:44
they've got their comms in
23:46
place. So I think that's one
23:46
thing that I would always
23:50
suggest to younger practices,
23:50
when they're starting out is,
23:52
you know, speak to your clients
23:52
about, about PR and marketing
23:56
and about how you'd like them to
23:56
be part of the story. It's very
24:00
hard if you're doing beautiful
24:00
work, and you can't share it for
24:04
you know, any number of reasons.
24:04
Or you're the worst thing is I
24:08
think, which happened to Stiff
24:08
and Trevillion in their, in
24:10
their younger days, is doing
24:10
work, and then nobody realising
24:14
it's yours. And even somebody
24:14
else really lets you know that,
24:20
you know, that left a big
24:20
legacies in how you take
24:25
ownership for things that you
24:25
do. And, you know, often they
24:28
can be a little tension between
24:28
you and the client, because it's
24:30
their projects. They're paying
24:30
for it, but you've sort of
24:33
created this idea. It's really
24:33
important that you've got that
24:37
aligned that you know, who's
24:37
doing what and how you're
24:39
working together. And, you know,
24:39
you don't want to suddenly open
24:42
a magazine or see something
24:42
online about your projects
24:45
that's got no mention of you in
24:45
it.
24:49  Ayo Abbas
So the impact of that
24:49
meant that you they were more
24:54
kind of open with what they
24:54
wanted to achieve in terms of
24:56
marketing communications.
24:57  Rebecca Snow
I think so I think
24:57
and do I have a huge amount of
25:01
freedom to to make decisions and
25:01
how I write about the company
25:06
and what I do. I work very
25:06
closely with Mike Stiff, one of
25:10
the founders, because he's very
25:10
passionate about this sort of
25:13
thing. He's always been really
25:13
keen on, recording the work
25:17
that they do they he's produced
25:17
practice books over the years,
25:20
which have developed from sort
25:20
of, you know, small pamphlety
25:24
type things. Do we still call
25:24
pamphlets? Or is that still a
25:26
big anymore? Yeah,
25:29
What do we call them?
25:37
I don'tthink anyone talks about
25:37
pamphlets anywhere, except
25:44
perhaps vicars anyway. Yes, sort
25:44
of small brochures to producing
25:51
an actual hardback book about
25:51
the practice each year. Also,
25:55
each decade Mike was keen to
25:55
encapsulate, what could work,
25:58
what work had been done in that
25:58
previous 10 years and how it
26:02
looked. And so we've done that
26:02
on a fairly regular basis. In
26:05
fact, we're probably due for
26:05
another one fairly soon. So you,
26:10
it's really important to have
26:10
somebody on the leadership team,
26:13
who's really committed to this
26:13
sort of stuff whonis engaged
26:16
with marketing and can really
26:16
see the benefit of it. Because
26:20
they'll be your champions. And
26:20
they'll it's nice to work with
26:23
somebody as well. Because if
26:23
you're in-house, you know,
26:26
there's any, perhaps one or two
26:26
of you and it's only me, at
26:28
Stiff + Trevillion. You need to
26:28
have somebody to talk to and
26:32
test ideas. And just, sometimes
26:32
it's even does that copy Make
26:36
sense? Is that does that make up
26:36
the essence of the project?
26:38
Right? You know, it's
26:38
collaborative, it's nice to work
26:42
with somebody who's who's
26:42
interested, and as excited as
26:44
you are, where you get the, you
26:44
know, a nice bit of coverage or,
26:47
you know, a bit of business
26:47
because of something that you've
26:49
done. So that's Yeah,
26:52  Ayo Abbas
I agree with you
26:52
completely. I mean, I think
26:53
that's one of the reasons that I
26:53
kind have been on the committee
26:55
for Build Up for example, which
26:55
is about, you know, networking
26:59
for, you know, architecture,
26:59
marketing, marketing, marketing
27:01
people, because, like you say,
27:01
you're often the only person in
27:04
the practice, it's like, who do
27:04
I talk to, you know, oh, what do
27:08
you think of this? Or even just
27:08
to have those marketing
27:12
conversations? Sometimes it's
27:12
just, it's really nice to do.
27:15
And I yeah. And that's kind of
27:15
one of the reasons I do this
27:18
podcast as well, because I think
27:18
it's the it's the proper
27:21
marketing conversations that we
27:21
should be having and businesses
27:23
should be having. So
27:25  Rebecca Snow
in fact, and also,
27:25
like, any sort of, I forget what
27:28
marketing is, that sounds
27:28
ridiculous. But you know, you're
27:31
sort of doing things on a daily
27:31
basis. And I sort of have to
27:35
take stock of that, what do I
27:35
do? I don't have no idea, do I
27:39
do anything? So and then you
27:39
sort of look back into that,
27:43
yes, I am doing all these
27:43
things. And they're all really
27:46
important for the business and
27:46
the future of the business. So
27:51
that's the thing you have to
27:51
sort of keep remembering. And
27:54
especially again, in the time
27:54
we've been in this crisis time,
27:57
that's really an important time
27:57
to start making sure we've got
28:00
everything ready. You're keeping
28:00
going with stuff, if you've got
28:03
the sort of energy and capacity
28:03
to do that no, not not to sort
28:07
of put a lot of stuff on hold.
28:07
It's very tempting to do that. I
28:11
think when you're just trying to
28:11
keep, you know, survive, I
28:14
suppose for a lot of businesses,
28:14
that's been a very real issue.
28:18  Ayo Abbas
But there is that
28:18
whole thing is no of continue to
28:20
your marketing, even during
28:20
downtimes. Because that will
28:22
keep you going and you're more
28:22
likely to come out stronger than
28:25
everyone else. But it is a tough
28:25
thing, though, when you're
28:28
trying to balance the books, as
28:28
well as keep keep keeping
28:30
everything else ticking over.
28:30
But fingers crossed for
28:33
everyone, really. So, on to my
28:33
final two questions. Are there
28:41
any kind of particular companies
28:41
that you admire in the way that
28:43
they tackle their marketing? And
28:43
why did you have? Yes, I
28:47  Rebecca Snow
do I really admire
28:47
AHMM, they do. I don't, I was
28:53
looking at their website just
28:53
before our conversation today.
28:56
And it's great, it feels really
28:56
vibrant and lively. And you can
29:00
feel there's so much going on
29:00
there. And the work that they
29:05
did with Derwent for the White
29:05
Collar Factory, for me was like
29:09
a sort of well, that that's like
29:09
marketing that you used to do in
29:12
consumer products, you know.
29:12
They really did a fantastic job
29:16
on marketing that building. And
29:16
it just shows you what you can
29:20
do. If you and your client are
29:20
working together with a common
29:24
aim, and they want to do the
29:24
same thing. And they want to
29:26
celebrate the design that you've
29:26
done and use that as a positive
29:29
in your marketing. It's a
29:29
really, really strong way of
29:33
positioning your projects. So I
29:33
admire them. And then there's
29:39
sort of smaller practices who
29:39
have been able to do interesting
29:44
things with film. Now. I might
29:44
have to clap my hands in a
29:48
minute. I think the company's
29:48
Witherford Watson Man, is that
29:52  Ayo Abbas
of them?
29:52
does that sound the right
29:53  Rebecca Snow
No, no, I might
29:53
have got that wrong. Perhaps. I
29:57
need to check that
29:58  Ayo Abbas
okay. You take that
29:58
and then what We can do is we
30:00
can kind of I'll put a link into
30:00
it afterwards.
30:02  Rebecca Snow
Yeah, but wasn't?
30:02
Well, they, we always look at
30:07
the Archiboo web awards. And
30:07
they were they won a category A
30:15
couple of years ago for the film
30:15
that they did on it was a
30:19
project about social housing.
30:19
And they did this beautiful,
30:23
really sort of quite moving film
30:23
of the people who were living,
30:27
who are going to be living in
30:27
the social housing. And it was
30:29
it was really affecting because
30:29
it's very easy. I think
30:33
architects, when we were like,
30:33
when we do photography, we do
30:35
pictures of these sort of
30:35
beautiful empty buildings
30:38
but actually, Reb
30:39
it's about people
30:43
use and live in, you know,
30:43
sometimes even people sitting in
30:47
there Rebecca, I know isn't it
30:47
lovely.
30:48  Ayo Abbas
I can't stand empty
30:48
built shots of buildings, I
30:51
might just put people in them,
30:51
you can't get any sense of
30:54
scale. It's just like, yeah,
30:58  Rebecca Snow
you know, I can't
30:58
see all those little details
31:00
that you're talking about, what
31:00
I'm looking at is a lovely
31:02
living space that someone's
31:02
going to use and how they're
31:05
interacting with it, and the
31:05
benefit, and then how it's going
31:08
to change their lives. So I
31:08
think that that sort of thing
31:11
is, was quite, it seemed quite
31:11
unusual at the time, but I think
31:14
there's sort of post occupancy
31:14
monitoring, which is a rather
31:18
dry way of describing it, that
31:18
sort of, you know, looking at
31:20
performance, and you know, how
31:20
well, the systems are managing
31:25
is put in place, but also how
31:25
people are living in the
31:29
building or using it and what
31:29
you can learn about that to
31:32
inform future projects is
31:32
important. Go completely off
31:37
track.
31:39  Ayo Abbas
Yeah, actually put
31:39
your finger right, I think post
31:42
occupancy performance probably
31:42
needs a rebrand. But yes, we are
31:45
saying it's the most, it's the
31:45
most important part because it's
31:49
actually being used, which
31:49
people should be more interested
31:53
in, but they're not necessarily
31:53
the next new shiny thing. It's
31:58
one of those things where you're
31:58
like, yeah, we should be looking
32:00
at that. And, and actually
32:00
showing how buildings use is a
32:02
lot more interesting. If you say
32:02
to a client, look, this is how
32:04
they're actually using it.
32:06  Rebecca Snow
Yeah, yeah, this
32:06
is why we made this decision
32:08
because people are doing this in
32:08
it. So it's a great way of
32:12
informing future work. And just
32:12
the way you talk about your
32:16
projects as well, you know, in
32:16
in English, I always think it's
32:20
a good idea that people can
32:20
understand. That's quite brave
32:28
to just talk about things, you
32:28
know, that sound ordinary and
32:32
ordinary language, but you don't
32:32
have to use, you know, flowery
32:37
architectural speak. It can be
32:37
quite alienating, I find
32:40
sometimes so. But it's, you
32:40
know, it takes a bit of bravery
32:45
to step away from that. Yeah.
32:47  Ayo Abbas
Yeah, it's tough to
32:47
do. Okay, so on to my final
32:50
question. So what one tip would
32:50
you give to a practice leader
32:54
looking to make their mark in
32:54
marketing, or marketing
32:57
practice?
32:58  Rebecca Snow
Well, I think one
32:58
of the things that we've done
33:00
that I've really enjoyed, and I
33:00
think has actually ended up
33:03
being a real bonus is
33:03
implementing implementing our
33:08
Responsible Business plan, which
33:08
sounds again, really boring. But
33:12
we,
33:13
we've worked with Heart of the
33:13
City, who are fantastic, they're
33:16
a charity and they are immensely
33:16
supportive to small and large
33:20
businesses. And working with
33:20
someone to give a framework
33:25
helped me so we look at our
33:25
staff, we look at the local
33:29
environment, and we look at our
33:29
impact on the larger environment
33:34
in the world, I guess. Now,
33:34
sustainability. And having those
33:38
three clear areas has really
33:38
helped me work on that side of
33:42
our business. And it's become
33:42
increasingly important, when
33:45
you're winning new business and
33:45
you're doing, you know, trying
33:50
to get on frameworks or or
33:50
filling in pq q documents, that
33:54
you are demonstrating that you
33:54
are actually doing things to
33:57
make you a business that not
33:57
just good at the work they do.
34:00
But actually add a little bit of
34:00
benefit to the people who work
34:03
for you where you where your
34:03
business is situated, and that
34:06
you're not going to leave a
34:06
great big dirty mess in the
34:08
planet, when you've done your
34:08
work. So if you can try and
34:12
implement that, or try and get a
34:12
little bit of that going. It's
34:15
enormously valuable. And it's
34:15
amazing how motivating it is for
34:19
your team, to know that you care
34:19
about them. And you want to do
34:24
things to make their working
34:24
life as good as possible. You
34:27
know, obviously, because
34:27
architects work ridiculous
34:29
hours, you want to try and make
34:29
sure they don't do that and be
34:33
if they're going to do it,
34:33
you're going to make it as easy
34:35
as possible for them to get home
34:35
from work or buy them know, look
34:40
after people it's really, really
34:40
important to look after your
34:42
team. So I mean, that's been
34:42
even more so in the last year.
34:47
Because, you know, for some
34:47
people, it's been fine,
34:49
something that's been really
34:49
difficult. Everyone's
34:50
experiences have been very, very
34:50
different. So nurturing your
34:54
staff is really important, as
34:54
well.
34:57  Ayo Abbas
Brilliant. Thanks so
34:57
much for your time, Rebecca. And
35:00
that's the end of the show.
35:00
Thank you. Thank you.
35:09
Thanks for listening to the
35:09
latest episode of Marketing In
35:11
Times of Crisis. If you liked
35:11
what you heard, please do leave
35:14
us a review, as it helps us to
35:14
spread the word and for more
35:17
people to get to hear about us.
35:17
If you want to know more about
35:20
things mentioned in the episode,
35:20
do look at the show notes which
35:23
will give you more information
35:23
about where to find us and also
35:26
about our show website. In the
35:26
meantime, I hope you enjoyed it
35:30
and have a great day. Bye