April 1, 2010

Publish or perish

How is marketing / publishing projects advantageous to the firm? What does it take to get published? How does being published in a magazine advance the architectural industry?

Marketing; what’s all the hype about? For RBA, publishing and marketing projects are tools used for numerous advantages. A few of these advantages include: getting recognition for the work, helping to spread the RBA name, leaving our legacy (in a magazine), and finally, it brings visitors to our website.

Maybe the most important reason why publishing and marketing is a good idea, is so that we can share our knowledge on a specific project with the rest of the profession. With other firms learning from the work we do and vice versa, the bar for project expectations is raised to the next level. Not to mention the competitive level for creative projects is raised as well.

Randy explained to us that he has been traveling to New York City since 1993 to meet with publishers and show them his work for potential pages in renowned magazines. A few of these magazines include Architectural Record, Metropolis, Interior Design, and Contract Magazine. He said, “Meeting with editors in person is the only way to make sure you have a chance at being published.” Randy stated that one editor in NYC receives over 100 projects a week asking to be published and of those 100 projects, 99 of them are eliminated. Moral of the story, it’s not easy to get published. So going and meeting with the editors will only help you be the one firm out of the 100 that isn’t tossed away.

When Randy said this, I referenced this back to school and sending out my resume and portfolio. With times the way they are now, I wasn’t competing for an office position between four people; it was more like 100. If you send out your resume and portfolio blindly and don’t make any follow up plans, it isn’t likely that you will be getting a call from that firm. But, if you take initiative and call them and tell the firm you want to show them why you are the right person for the job, your chances for an interview will be much higher.

Something that I can’t compare anything to is the feeling you get when you see your work in a publication. I can say first hand, it feels pretty good to turn to the next page of a magazine only to see your work right there. For instance, the first week working for RBA, Randy had Meg and myself refining the Optic House elevations for the GA Houses publication. Last week, Randy told us the issue had been printed and the work we had done was in the magazine. After seeing all the work we put into those drawings published in the magazine, it didn’t take long to see why Randy said that getting published was also an, “ego booster.” The whole studio was in high spirits that afternoon.

Reflecting back on this conversation I completely agree that marketing and publishing projects has definite advantages. From learning more by what other architects have done to using it as a recruitment tool. Many firms don’t even take advantage of the opportunities getting published has to offer. RBA has done a lot of remarkable work and some of these jobs contributed to getting RBA out into the public through magazines.

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