Articles

Drum roll please...the results are in!

In the SMPS National Publication the Marketer (link access for members only), the article “Silent Presses” discussed how online publications and blogging is resulting in a decline of the newspaper/magazine industry. Although other industries are twittering and involved in the blogosphere, where does the A/E/C industry stand regarding online technology? The National Conference, buildbusiness.org, had a session dedicated to social media. The case study during this session involved HOK who is way ahead of the curve compared to any other organization in the A/E/C industry. HOK has employees in all of their global offices posting to the their blog, www.hoklife.com. Are A/E/C marketing professionals leery of accepting new forms of technology and do we lag behind other industries?

SMPS Atlanta has embraced this new way to communicate by being the first chapter to maintain a blog, but where do our members stand regarding the utilization of technology? How do our members feel about moving to an online newsletter only? In an industry that is pushing for sustainable design, are we also embracing the other areas that can make us “green”?

To gain some insight we conducted a survey to find out what our members and prospective members thought about our communication efforts to determine what type of communication is preferred and how they utilize technology. The survey revealed that even in our industry you can begin to see the paradigm shift, as more and more A/E/C professionals begin to want information at their finger tips. We surveyed over 1,000 industry professionals and received 168 responses, as of this blog entry. 60% stated they preferred to receive the newsletter online vs a hard copy. 22% stated they prefer to receive a hard copy and 18% stated they preferred both.

So, why does technology take longer for the A/E/C industry to accept? Is it because the X & Y generation are slowly creeping into our industry? Is it because marketers and principals aren’t sure how new technology pertains to them? Maybe a little of both. When asked if you knew SMPS Atlanta had a blog, 33% said Yes and 67% said No. Of that 33% that said Yes, only 14% actually read the blog. However, 51% said they felt the blog was of value to them or their firm. Additionally, as a comparison 56% of those that responded said they don’t even read other blogs. So for that 44% that do read blogs, we are working on new content based on your feedback. Additionally, we will be putting out topic ideas with deadlines to get our members involved in the newsletter and blog.

Over the next year we will continue to publish the newsletter, however, in the future we may move to be online only as the results revealed that we are still split on this issue. You will also begin to receive a special edition of the infoblast with one to two articles every other month. SMPS Atlanta will continue to send the regular infoblast out each week on Wednesday mornings. Also, 70% stated they were interested in podcasts, so we are looking into this technology.

Please comment on the blog, call, or email me or any board member with any feedback. As we are here to advocate, educate, and connect leaders in the building industry.

Sarah C. Mackley
Innovative Solutions Group, Ltd. (ISG)
SMPS Atlanta, Director of Communications