As we turn the corner on a new decade, here’s a quick summary of what we’ve been doing in 2019. The consultancy is now eight years old!
New Websites: This year we launched two new construction product websites for clients, both of which we worked on in a strategic briefing, user interface and content planning capacity with a distributed team of web designers, developers and analytics specialists. One of the advantages of Just Practising Ltd being an independent consultant rather than an agency is that we can help the client choose the perfect mix of expertise to suit their budget. Both websites have broken their outcome targets.
Selling to a New Audience: Earlier on in the digital strategy process, we have been working with start-up that makes water monitoring equipment, looking at how to introduce their product into the specification market via building services engineers. This involved interviews and persona profiling to help the client understand the priorities of the new audience, how they work and what pressures and influences including BIM and Data Management might impact on the best way to market to them.
Preparing for Rebranding: Another strategic appointment is with a big-name brand who are restructuring their entire business, having been carved out of a takeover into a completely new business with several new products. As social strategist JPL has been looking at the ownership and transfer of their online presences, in particular their presence on social media. The objective has been retaining the audience, setting up and growing new accounts and platforms and preparing for their rebranding process, which should happen over the next three years.
Listing your Products on the NBS: One of our long-term clients were interested to look at how their investment in third party platforms was working. We’ve therefore being reviewing how they use the NBS data and media platform to present their products, including the National BIM Library, CPD platform and NBS Plus. This type of expenditure is often seen as marketing, but it also encompasses the digital transformation of your own business and your target audience. It is therefore vital to ensure any investment keeps pace with but doesn’t outstrip the requirements of specifiers.
Training, Live Blogging and Speaking
In house training this year was mostly for trade associations. We ran some in-house Social Media Workshops covering both the requirements of one association’s marketing team but also their client-facing specialists. This was accompanied by several 1-2-1 and small group LinkedIn masterclasses for another trade association, to help their technical specialists make more of their online presence. Digitally savvy staff bring better value to the employer and also help professionals further their own career objectives.
There was plenty of Live blogging of seminars and conferences in 2019 including two Workplace Trends conferences, the SPRA conference, the two day COMIT conference, COMIT2drones events and several events sponsored by product companies and organised by the UK architectural media.
We also managed to fit in a number of speaking engagements including a talk to the legal profession giving advice on the latest developments in LinkedIn and a talk about collaborative working at an open day for an IT support company.
Technical Writing for Construction
Writing has, as always, been the core of our work. This year we have been writing for a number of technical blogs and knowledge base platforms on a variety of construction product topics. Some of the blog posts published this year have become ‘evergreen’ quite quickly and are generating increasing amounts of traffic, months after publication. We’ve also written the entire content for one of the new websites this year. You can find out more about our technical writing service here.
Construction: Our charitable work this year has included supporting #iBuiltThis2019 – a competition which encourages people of all ages to share photographs of things they have made and encourage interest in the construction industry. We were able to attend the prize giving at UK Construction Week which was a lot of fun. Looking forward to #iBuiltThis2020 already!
Fantastic to have been able to attend #UKConstructionWeek this year and tweet #iBuiltThis2019 awards. Great to see so many young people celebrating their creations. Even got to chat to George! #UKCW2019 Congrats to @fisorg & @yasminfisorg for running this brilliant competition pic.twitter.com/0qPXhWFw02
— Su Butcher 💚 (@SuButcher) October 9, 2019
Mental Health: This year we’ve also been supporting Ian Dryden of SIG Design and Technology who is summitting Mt Kilimanjaro on 1st January after spending a year raising awareness of mental health in construction. You can read all about it and support Ian here. Also check out #IanClimbsKMJ for the latest news.
The day is finally here! I will do my best to give updates, but both mobile and internet signals aren’t going to be great, see you all when i get back from my mountain! #ianclimbsKMJ #mindovermuscle #itisokaynottobeok @samaritans @SIGDesignTech @SIGRoofing https://t.co/VVHqQxEoEh
— Ian Dryden (@IanDrydenClimbs) December 26, 2019
Poverty: Finally, the business also made two substantial donations to the Clacton Food Bank which is one of the Trussell Trust’s local food banks to where we live. The co-ordinators who run the food bank with the Salvation Army told us that whilst use of the food bank had slightly reduced this year, they can report that 50% of the people they are feeding are children:
— Su Butcher 💚 (@SuButcher) December 24, 2019
What’s new for 2020?
In 2019 I took a rest from working with the UK BIM Alliance to recharge my batteries and allow the work we did in 2018 to be absorbed. It has been very encouraging to receive so much positive feedback from readers of our report on Production Data, “A Fresh Way Forward for Product Data: State of the Nation”. The week before Christmas I was in a conversation with a very senior technical specialist client who mentioned how useful the report had been for shaping his organisations pragmatic approach to information. It is worth remembering that you never know the true value of the things you do, and when a patch of it comes to light, it’s worth celebrating.
This year I’m looking forward to working with the BIM4 Housing Associations project helping them work towards publishing a suite of documents for housing associations to use to get a practical handle on digital assets. So there’ll be a bit more BIM stuff, but mostly I’ll be working with long standing existing clients on their digital strategy, helping them evolve in a year which will no doubt be as uncertain as the last.
We hope you had a good 2019 and look forward to working with you in 2020.