This month (January 2014) my blog at Just Practising turns five years old! To celebrate we’ve rebuilt the website so I hope you’ll have a look around.
Last September was also the second birthday of Just Practising the consultancy, and over the last two years what I have been doing has changed quite a bit – the new website structure reflects that.
The New Website
I began primarily by offering public training workshops like the series we’re about to begin at the Building Centre. Over 100 people have attended my public workshops in the last two years, and I’ve also trained and mentored dozens of staff in house, both as teams and individuals, in person and online. Today training and mentoring are but a small part of my work.
Most of my time is spent as a consultant, helping construction companies understand, develop and integrate a social media strategy that works with their business and that is based upon how they work now. In construction that means using the teams we have, enabling them to do the work, rather than outsourcing it to an agency which has a limited (if sometimes useful) role. Those of you who have been reading my blog for some time or who have heard me speak will know that for me, social media is about the relationships between individuals. This means that it has to be undertaken by the people you want to have the relationships. More about that here.
I’ve deliberately focused the website content on educating, and this is because it isn’t really enough to know that I teach construction companies how to use social media, I need to show you why I’m doing it, and introduce some of the tools that are commonly used. I hope this will help those of you who are enthusiasts to explain what social media can do and why it is important to your colleagues and fellow professionals. If you have any questions, feel free to ask away. Each article has comments turned on for this very reason. You can find them all in the ‘Learn About…’ menu above.
Of course you’ll no doubt be aware that I’ve done a lot of speaking gigs in the last few years, and quite a bit of live blogging and tweeting too. But I hope the new website gives a rounder picture of what Just Practising is about. I’d like to thank Barbara Saul for helping me put it together over the last couple of weeks.
As I haven’t been blogging for a while, there’s quite a bit of a backlog of things I want to say, and things that have happened. Here’s a bit of client news to start us off.
SIG Design and Technology
I’ve been working with SIG Design and Technology for 18 months in various ways. The company provides a full service for waterproofing, green roofs, zinc and copper, from helping you choose the right products through PI insured design and specification, accredited subcontractors, logistics, inspections and guarantees. They are well known amongst contractors who rely on their expertise, but architects have been more likely to go to product manufacturers for their advice. As a supplier, SIG D&T can be product neutral.
The roofing blog we set up is now nearly a year old, and the analytical data is giving us many insights into the way in which people are interacting with their website, together with generating plenty of outcomes, such as orders for their Green Roof Kits (which you can still get if you’re an architects practice wanting to show a green roof to your clients).
Our most popular blog posts have been about Zinc roofing and cladding (no surprise there) but they’ve developed a series of posts about waterproofing which are also worth a look.
The company (part of the FTSE250 SIG Plc) has had an exceptionally good year, and social media is now an integral part of their activities.
British Land plc
The first award application we produced with British Land resulted in a Green Business Built Environment Award at the beginning of 2012. We currently have two other awards applications shortlisted, fingers crossed. Its not that difficult producing awards applications in sustainability for a company that is so far ahead in their attitude to sustainability; as well as being the first REIT in Europe to introduce dynamic energy monitoring, they are even beginning to look at reducing the carbon expended by people as they travel to the shopping centres they have developed. You can find out more about this in their CSR full data report here (pdf).
In December the foundry was named by the London Stock Exchange as one of the ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’, recognition of its achievements in building a diverse manufacturing business out of a centuries-old material, cast iron.
The company has started to blog in a small but useful way sharing its expertise on cast iron and helping specifiers learn how they worked with David Chipperfield Architects on the recent GridIron building at Kings Cross. If you’re in the area, go and have a look at the columns. I dare you not to fondle them!
Find out More
So Happy Birthday Just Practising blog! I wonder where we’ll be five years from now?