TZL 1353 (web)

T R E N D L I N E S J u l y 2 0 , 2 0 2 0 , I s s u e 1 3 5 3 W W W . T H E Z W E I G L E T T E R . C O M

Total HR staff

In this time of constant realignment, sustain success by appreciating your stars and making space for discussion. Seeing stars

F I R M I N D E X Environmental Design Group.................10 Participate in a survey and save 50 percent on the final or pre- publication price of any Zweig Group research publication. It’s no surprise that Zweig Group’s 2020 Policies, Procedures & Benefits Report of AEC Firms found that the likelihood of a firm having at least one full-time person devoted to HR was commensurate with firm size. Less than 20 percent of firms with fewer than 25 employees, and just over half of firms with 25 to 49, reported an HR department, which included an average of just one individual. For firms without HR departments, the vast majority (two-thirds) are relying on their president/CEO or head of finance/admin. to handle the firm’s HR functions.

B uilding a great team during an age of working from home has been on the mind of AEC firm leaders across the country. Even those teams with fantastic cohesion and alignment pre- COVID have now experienced inevitable shifts as work and home have become so intermingled. As schools across the country are making difficult decisions that will impact each and every family represented in your company, I would encourage leaders of teams and projects and people to invest time in speaking one-on-one with your colleagues to understand where they are feeling energized and drained, and how this environment has – and might continue to – require different demands than we are used to from people we may have worked well with for years. This topic has been on my mind a lot, as multiple women I know in AEC firms have confided in me that they are reckoning with the reality that they may not be able to contribute at the same level that they are used to if they will also be teaching multiple children from their homes. There are career conversations and concerns that are weighing heavily on all parents, and as a leader, it would serve you well to be part of these conversations. Just this week, one of our ElevateHer book club groups invited me to join their discussion of Kim Scott’s book Radical Candor . One of our takeaways from the book centered on the need to celebrate both rock stars and superstars, and before I go any further, I would be remiss if I failed to mention that this call included a third star: Liz Bartell, a member of our inaugural ElevateHer cohort as well as a 2020 Rising Stars winner. Scott describes super stars as hyper-ambitious contributors on a steep growth trajectory, the type of people with tremendous motivation who fuel explosive growth. In contrast to superstars, Scott presents rock stars as those who achieve exceptional results and love their work and are on more of a gradual growth trajectory; they’re doing something they are very good at and they enjoy it. You can depend on a rock star. Members of both the rock star and the superstar subset are highly competent; we are leaving low- ambition, low-performers out of this particular discussion, because the challenge for many leaders is to recognize the power of the rock stars. We need stability on our teams. We need people who sustain high business productivity at every single level, day in and day out. Unfortunately, many companies and leaders instead tend to minimize the contributions of rock stars, and see performance reviews as a one year ambition map, measuring how highly motivated someone is in terms of how they can get the next job and advance. We need the superstars to push us to stay competitive

Jamie Claire Kiser

PCS Structural Solutions.......................12

TranSystems Corp.. ................................2

Ware Malcomb..................................2, 12

MO R E A R T I C L E S xz MARK ZWEIG: Reimagine, renew, retool Page 3 xz Character: Randy Wilburn Page 6 xz TAMMI NAGUCKI: Turning overhead into revenue Page 9 xz MEGAN BERSTROM & VALERIE HENDEL: The principal-marketer partnership Page 11




ON THE MOVE CAMILO ROCHA JOINS TRANSYSTEMS AS WEST REGION SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT TranSystems Corp. , a national transportation consulting firm that provides engineering, architectural, planning and construction solutions, welcomes Camilo Rocha, P.E., as west region senior vice president. In this role, he will oversee the sales and operations of the firm’s five offices in California. He will work from the company’s Santa Ana, California, office. Rocha has more than 30 years of experience in various disciplines of civil engineering, including highways, land development, and structures. He has managed and delivered large scale multidisciplinary transportation projects in Southern California on behalf of local cities, regional transportation agencies and Caltrans. “Camilo’s personal approach combined with an in-depth knowledge of the Southern California market makes him a valuable addition to the TranSystems team,” President and Chief Operating Officer Paul Malir said. Rocha holds a MBA from Pepperdine University and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Tulane University. He is an active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Council of Engineering Companies Orange County chapter and an active mentor for Woman’s Transportation Seminar. For more than 50 years, TranSystems has provided engineering and architectural planning, design and construction solutions to enhance the movement of goods and people across today’s integrated transportation infrastructure. Its professionals in more than 30 offices throughout the U.S. perform a broad range of services to all sectors of the transportation and federal marketplaces. Services are delivered throughout the asset life cycle, from concept to construction to long-term operations, maintenance and rehabilitation. WARE MALCOMB ANNOUNCES NEW CIVIL ENGINEERING MANAGER IN SAN DIEGO Ware Malcomb , an award-winning international design firm, announced Samuel Bellomio, P.E. has joined Ware Malcomb’s civil engineering team as a project manager in the San Diego office. In this new role, Bellomio will oversee civil projects in San Diego. He will work closely

with Luke Corsbie, Ware Malcomb director of civil engineering, who has responsibility for the overall growth and management of civil engineering services for the Southern California region. Bellomio brings 10 years of experience in the civil engineering field to Ware Malcomb. Prior to joining Ware Malcomb, Bellomio was a project engineer with a local San Diego firm, and previously worked in the Seattle market. His civil design experience spans both public and private land development projects, with a primary focus on land development and storm water analysis. “Sam brings an incredible combination of talent, experience and enthusiasm to our team,” said Tom Jansen and Chris Strawn, Ware Malcomb Principals of Civil Engineering. “He will be working with Luke Corsbie to grow our civil engineering services in San Diego, and together they are focused on making Ware Malcomb Civil the go- to team in this market.” Jansen and Strawn are responsible for the leadership and expansion of civil engineering services throughout Ware Malcomb’s offices in North America. Ware Malcomb’s civil engineering team specializes in land development projects, with a focus on efficient design practices to create successful projects for clients. The team has worked on commercial office, industrial, healthcare, public, education, retail/restaurant, mixed-use, and multi-family, residential, and subdivision projects. “We are excited to have Sam join our team to expand civil engineering services in the San Diego market,” said Tiffany English, principal of Ware Malcomb’s San Diego offices. “His unique skill set, combined with Ware Malcomb’s firm- wide resources in this area, brings another level of service to our local architecture and interior design clients.” Bellomio holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Seattle University. He is also a registered Professional Engineer in the state of California. He is an active member of the Building Industry Association Stormwater Taskforce, the California Stormwater Quality Association Best Management Practices Subcommittee, and the County of San Diego Land Development Workgroup.

Driving Financial Results Webinar


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and to grow, we need the rock stars to delve deep into a role and become true thought leaders and experts. In this environment, we are presented with a time when the brightest stars (whether rising, rock, or super) are experiencing nuanced externalities. It is a time of constant realignment for many, and the key to sustaining success is to appreciate the stars and to make space for a discussion about how to continue to apply the right degree of appreciation and pressure during this time will help you learn more about your team and, hopefully, sustain success together. JAMIE CLAIRE KISER is managing principal and director of advisory services at Zweig Group. Contact her at

© Copyright 2020. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.




Reimagine, renew, retool

W ith new cases of COVID-19 setting daily records in many parts of our country, and predictions from many experts for rough sailing ahead for at least the rest of this year, now is not the time for complacency. Instead, it is a time for self- reflection and new action. With new cases of COVID-19 on the rise, now is not the time for complacency. Instead, it is a time for self-reflection and new action.

Mark Zweig

2) Refine the stated purpose for your existence as an organization to be sure everyone on your team knows they are doing worthwhile and important work. Now more than ever is the time to build a purpose-driven organization. With so many people worrying about their health and financial futures, and so much more remote work than we had even six months ago, people are more likely to feel isolated from the business and question how they are spending their time. 3) Research and reconsider the markets you’ve always served, and determine what new markets you should be pursuing. Just because you have always served hotel developers or office

Have you considered a bold re-imagination of what you want your firm to be? How about renewing your sense of purpose? And what are you doing to retool your business to maximize your chances for success in what is likely to be the business environment of the coming months and years? These things and more should be on your list of priorities right now. Here are my thoughts: 1) Take a hard look at your strategic plan and reimagine what your firm can be and what it should be. This could be a great opportunity to get out a clean sheet of paper and dream about what kind of firm you really want to have. If there was ever a time to do a new business plan it is now. There are many potential threats as well as just as many potential opportunities. Prepare for both.

See MARK ZWEIG, page 4



MARK ZWEIG, from page 3

so they didn’t have to make cuts. But that is over now for most of our readers and many companies are left with reduced workloads and backlogs. Office rent (with so many telecommuters), labor (labor is your biggest cost – it has to match workload), and any other non-essential overhead may all need to be cut. If you are in this kind of situation, do it now before you get too far behind the eight-ball and have too big of a hole to work out of. 9) Get everyone involved in marketing activities. Besides just making calls there are so many other things your people can do. They can all be sure to like, comment, and share all of your social media postings. They can write blog posts for the company blog. They can get involved in client trade group and professional organizations. They can write for publications. All of these things and more will contribute to the firm’s marketing efforts. 10)Develop a new list of the kind of people you want to hire and start recruiting. Now is the time! If you don’t have the right people in any role, develop a role description and get the word out. I think a lot of good folks may be more willing to make a change if they don’t feel their current companies are doing what they should to deal with their costs and/or a changing market. 11) Reconsider the size, structure, and composition of your board of directors. Now – more than ever – is the time to add the right outside directors. Increasing diversity should be a consideration if you are like most firms and have a BOD made up exclusively of white guys older than 50. And while you are at it, why not look for people who have been more successful than you in the same business you are in? Or how about those who were in responsible roles in one or more of your client organizations where they could possibly help you win new work? 12) Implement new tools and systems that will better facilitate working remotely. If you haven’t done it already, I would be surprised. But what else is needed? For example, one firm we are currently working with recently found it necessary to develop a huge shared schedule of every single marketing activity they are undertaking – so they did it. What tools do your people need that they don’t now have? Ask them! 13)Work extra hard to communicate to your employees your direction, sense of purpose, and the tactics you are or will be using to remain competitive in the months ahead. This will help alleviate any fears or anxieties they have about their employer remaining viable. Think about what I said earlier. You don’t want your best people to be looking for new jobs only because you aren’t communicating with them adequately. It would be a shame to lose someone over these fears. 14)Develop personal contingency plans to help keep your family and self secure. Have you talked with your spouse about where the money is and how he or she can access it? Have you updated your wills, trusts, and estates? I’m not being morbid when I say this. But be smart. Expect the best but prepare for the worst. All of these things and many more should be on your “do” list for the near term. Better get on it now! MARK ZWEIG is Zweig Group’s chairman and founder. Contact him at

developers or retail developers or oil companies doesn’t mean that is all you can ever do. Look for allied markets that aren’t too far of a stretch and start making efforts to identify clients and projects in them. If you need to hire someone with experience in serving those new client types to lead that effort, now is the time to do it. 4) Renew old relationships with clients, employees, consultants, and regulators. I recently wrote an article in The Zweig Letter about making “50 Calls” to do just this. I think it is a worthwhile idea that could lead to many new opportunities if you and the rest of your principals or partners will just do it. 5) Develop new succession plans and make every single person identify who will take over for them if they get sick and are unable to maintain their work duties. It’s always been important but it’s even more important now with the COVID-19 infection rate predictions for the coming months. Odds are you will have people get sick and will need to figure out who will do their jobs when it happens. So wouldn’t it be better to prepare for this inevitability now BEFORE you have to? More preparation time can only be beneficial. “Have you considered a bold re-imagination of what you want your firm to be? How about renewing your sense of purpose? And what are you doing to retool your business to maximize your chances for success in what is likely to be the business environment of the coming months and years?” 6) Check in with your banker(s) and learn what they are seeing happening with their clients. Keep them informed about your situation as a company and what you are doing to adapt to the changing environment. Banks are probably going to start having a bunch of problems. Once the investment real estate starts coming back to them when tenants can’t pay their rent and then building owners default, and their small business loans to restaurants and other highly-impacted businesses get into trouble, they could get nervous about your financial condition and any lines of credit you may have with them. Put them at ease by telling them what you are doing to remain strong and show some friendship and empathy for them as businesses and individuals as well. 7) Aggressively kick up collection efforts for accounts receivable, with a particular focus on old AR. Old AR is always riskier than new AR. Those clients could get into trouble and the longer you wait to get paid the greater the odds you will never get paid. So get on it now while most businesses are still in good financial shape and can pay your bill if they want to. Any further delay could prove to be a mistake. 8) Reexamine every aspect of your cost structure and shed any unnecessary overhead. Many firms have already done this but let’s face it – the PPP money really helped many companies in this business (as it was intended to)

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Work From Home & Online Learning Opportunities



ELEVATING DOER-SELLERS: BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT FOR AEC PROFESSIONALS - VIRTUAL SEMINAR PRICE: $799 OVERVIEW: Elevating Doer-Sellers: Business Development for AEC Professionals is specifically developed to help design and technical professionals in architecture, en- gineering, planning, and environmental firms become more comfortable managing clients and promoting the firm and its services. Led by two retired and current CEOs with extensive experience from the design desk to the board room, this one-of-a-kind seminar presents business development techniques proven to drive real growth and value in your AEC firm. THIS VIRTUAL SEMINAR WILL BEGIN ON AUGUST 5, 2020 LEARN MORE WEBINAR SERIES LEADERSHIP IS EVERYTHING – HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY LEAD YOUR FIRM THROUGH CRISIS AND CHANGE – LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM PRICE: $499 OVERVIEW: This is a four-part Leadership Development “Webinar and Discussion Series.” There are four key elements needed for success today: Projects, Profits, Peo- ple, and Purpose. This program is designed to focus on a number of the most import- ant “People” aspects that are increasingly critical to our success both individually and organizationally. Goal: Especially during this time of significant crisis and great change, provide essential tools and insights to current and aspiring leaders and managers to improve our individual and collective success, growth, and resiliency. THIS WEBINAR SERIES WILL BEGIN ON AUGUST 11, 2020 LEARN MORE


The Zweig Letter Podcast is back! With new episodes weekly, stay up to date with AEC trends in the TZL podcast hosted by Zweig Group’s Randy Wilburn.


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Character: Randy Wilburn As an accomplished speaker, consultant, trainer, and business coach, Wilburn helps professionals become better leaders, better communicators, and better people.

By SARA PARKMAN Senior Editor

W ilburn first worked for ZweigWhite in the firm’s executive search team in the 1990s/2000s. He left the firm when it was sold in 2004 to join a private equity group. When Zweig Group returned to the hands of the original founding partner Mark Zweig, Wilburn rejoined the firm to help rebuild a key part of the business. Today, Wilburn hosts The Zweig Letter podcast and is a training services consultant with Zweig Group. Wilburn is also founder and chief encourager at Encourage Build Grow, and host of the Encourage Build Grow podcast and I Am Northwest Arkansas podcast. “Everyone is a leader whether they realize it or not,” Wilburn says. “Some will be leaders of one or two while others may lead hundreds or even thousands. Having strong self- awareness, empathy, and the ability to communicate and connect with others beyond a superficial level are all traits of a great leader. These are all things that everyone can work on and improve through education, observation, training, and sheer determination.”

A CONVERSATION WITH RANDY WILBURN. The Zweig Letter: You host two other podcasts in addition to The Zweig Letter podcast. What’s your favorite thing about podcasting? Randy Wilburn: I like the long form ability to share content in an unfiltered way. Obviously you can edit to your heart’s content but there is nothing like the spoken word – and if you can add a little storytelling and audio engineering to the mix that makes it even better. I also personally like interviewing people. It helps my curiosity and desire to ABL (Always Be Learning). TZL: What advice do you have for anyone, particularly AEC firms, thinking of starting a podcast? RW: Voice is the next big thing in technology. By 2025 most search will be done by voice. Right now you can ask Alexa to play most of my podcasts and many others that exist out there today. I also think it is important to use podcasting to extend your brand in the marketplace and tell your story.



the skills they need to succeed. What traits do you think are most important in a leader? RW: That’s easy. A good leader has to be humble, with an ego to match, and be aware of their shortcomings so they can surround themselves with people who can help them do their job at the highest level possible. I also think another important trait of a good leader is to be able to communicate in good and bad times. Active listening is a part of that as well and helps to build trust. Finally, I think the ability to develop and build relationships is crucial. We cannot do it alone. That goes for everyone in a growing organization from the C-suite on down. TZL: Why are those traits the most important? RW: Everyone is a leader whether they realize it or not. Some will be leaders of one or two while others may lead hundreds or even thousands. Having strong self-awareness, empathy, and the ability to communicate and connect with others beyond a superficial level are all traits of a great leader. These are all things that everyone can work on and improve through education, observation, training, and sheer determination. We are all WIPS (works in progress), so we might as well keep learning. TZL: Trust is essential. How do you earn the trust of your clients? RW: I think you earn trust with a client by understanding their “why,” by taking the time to talk with them and finding out what makes them tick on a personal and professional level. I’m always amazed when I hear from firms that lost a good client and when I dig deeper I learn that they never really knew their client. Couldn’t relate to them on a social level, didn’t know about their family or anything. Every new client is a chance to develop a new relationship that can eventually stand the test of time. As I always tell people I train, friends don’t fire friends! TZL: What role does your family play in your career? RW: My family is my “why.” They are the reason I do what I do. I’ve been able to marry that with the “why” behind my actual work which is to educate and encourage others to be the best version of themselves. I think if you love what you do you can find a way to incorporate that into your family life. You obviously have to be able to make time for yourself and family outside of work but if you really enjoy what you do you shouldn’t be afraid to share that with the people you love. On top of that if you have children this is a great way to help them understand and develop healthy work habits. They should see you working hard and playing hard. The idea that you work hard now so that you can play hard later is a myth and delayed gratification doesn’t always work out the way we see it in our minds. Tomorrow is not promised to us. All we have is today. “I think you earn trust with a client by understanding their ‘why,’ by taking the time to talk with them and finding out what makes them tick on a personal and professional level.”

Nobody can tell your story better than you can. I also like podcasting in terms of how it impacts the internal aspects of a company. A CEO of a growing design firm can use podcasting to tell his or her story to the team, what the vision looks like, how we should serve the client, and if you mix in some professional development lessons, you make your message portable and consumable for everyone on the team to hear whenever they want. “A good leader has to be humble, with an ego to match, and be aware of their shortcomings so they can surround themselves with people who can help them do their job at the highest level possible.” TZL: You earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Howard University, one of the country’s most prestigious historically black universities. What drew you to Howard? RW: I came to Howard because of its reputation. I also got a swimming scholarship to Howard. They had one of the few swim teams at an HBCU. I also had a great uncle who started the first black pharmacy in Western Pennsylvania. He was a graduate there so it was kind of in the blood. TZL: What’s the most valuable lesson you learned at Howard? RW: I learned how to critically think for myself. I learned that being black in America was a blessing and not a curse. I learned that there were a ton of young, smart, and gifted people who looked like me and who wanted to conquer the world and make it a better place. I also got to sit under some amazing professors who were experts in their respective fields and always pushing me to work harder and to never take “no” for an answer. TZL: In recent years, recruiting and retaining key talent has been one of the top issues firms in our industry face. Through your experience at Zweig Group, you became an expert on the subject as an advisor and trainer. What did you see firms doing wrong when it comes to recruiting, and how can they make it right? RW: I think firms struggle with identifying exactly what they want in a potential candidate. Even now in the midst of a pandemic a lot of firms are looking for the perfect candidate. The idea of an individual who is perfect for every role is crazy talk. I’ve always told firms and hiring managers who will listen that you hire for character and train for skill. I learned that from Mark Zweig more than two decades ago while recruiting for a firm called Carter & Burgess, now Jacobs. If your initial reaction to a candidate is good and maybe they check off most but not all of the boxes, you should consider them. The idea that the perfect candidate is going to come around isn’t worth losing time over when you could be training someone who fits most of what you need. As a hiring manager and leader you can help bring that person across the finish line of being complete and perfect for whatever need you have. TZL: As an accomplished speaker, trainer, and business coach you’ve educated many of our industry’s leaders on

© Copyright 2020. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.

LY 20, 2020, ISSUE 1353


New From Zweig Group




OVERVIEW: Zweig Group’s 2020 Policies, Procedures & Benefits Survey Report will help you benchmark an AEC firm in all areas related to human resources, benefits, and work policies. The 2020 edition includes updated data on the industry’s response to COVID-19 including project, projection, budget, and policy changes.


OVERVIEW: Zweig Group’s 2020 Financial Performance Survey Report includes comprehensive data on the financial performance, financial departments, challenges, methodology, and financial practices of AEC industry firms. The 2020 edition has been updated with an additional chapter on COVID-19 outlook and budget/revenue projections.


OVERVIEW: Zweig Group’s 2020 Principals, Partners & Owners Survey Report of AEC Firms is a comprehensive study of owners and top managers of U.S. AEC firms. This eye-opening report covers ownership, stock appreciation, buy/sell agreements, non-compete agreements, voting rights, roles, responsibilities, perks, compensation, and more.









© Copyright 2020. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.




Turning overhead into revenue

I f your firm is like most, you have someone dedicated to cranking out proposals – unfortunately, for too many firms in our industry, this is the extent of their “marketing.” Fortunately, there is a solid recent trend changing that focus. More firms are increasing their investment in marketing teams, resulting in real revenue growth. Marketing has a role in building brands, developing strategies, winning work, and more – and the firms that invest heavily in marketing reap the rewards.

and Starbucks, just to name a few. What are your favorite brands? Why? Successful consumer marketing has laid the groundwork since the inception of their brands, and their methods are tried and true. For whatever reason, the AEC industry and other professional service industries have been slow to capitalize on branding and marketing has laid the groundwork since the inception of their brands, and their methods are tried and true.” “What are your favorite brands? Why? Successful consumer

Tammi Nagucki

Zweig Group does a fantastic job of capturing this data as proof that marketing drives success. Check out the Awards page on their website for evidence of success. The “Hot Firms” and “Rising Stars” are made up almost exclusively by firms that invested heavily in marketing. Marketing has a role in building a brand, developing strategies, winning work, displaying company culture, recruiting, and client experience (for internal as well as external clients). WHERE TO START. If you want to be successful, look at what the successful brands do. Don’t be afraid to explore ideas in the B2C world. The consumer product marketing environment has excellent examples of companies tying success to their brand – Google, Amazon, Coca-Cola, Southwest Airlines, Marriott, Netflix, Chic-fil-A,

See TAMMI NAGUCKI, page 10



TAMMI NAGUCKI, from page 9

This is where your marketing team comes in and shines. Ideally, you support a staff of marketing professionals (graphic designer, digital media coordinator, proposal coordinator, etc.) with the skills to manage communication plans for internal and external clients. We’ve seen increasing requests to include these roles in design and engineering projects. Clients recognize that for their projects to be successful, they need to communicate with their constituents effectively throughout the project. Communicating effectively is more than just putting information on a webpage; it’s more than putting a note in their mailbox, and it’s more than a couple of social media posts to keep everyone informed. A great project communication plan needs to go through several steps to be unique and effective to a particular project: ❚ ❚ Discovery. Focus on understanding the project, identifying stakeholders, defining audiences, and learning what is important on both intellectual and emotional levels. The goal is to empathize with the people impacted by this project. ❚ ❚ Planning. Meet with clients to understand the scope of work allowed in the budget and determine the strategic communication tools that are most effective with the greatest return on investment. ❚ ❚ Design. Create a communication plan – an all-inclusive matrix itemizing every piece of the communication puzzle. This includes the messaging (both micro-targeted and general), the creation of graphics or branding for the project (including renderings, photography, and videography), identified communication channels (website, social media, print media, community engagement events, email messaging, signage, etc.) and opportunities for feedback. The communication matrix should also include the timing and cadence of all forms of communication, providing a roadmap and set expectations for accountability and timely execution. The communication plan design should allow for analytical data tracking. Make sure you gather enough data on your plan to determine its real value. ❚ ❚ Execution. Follow the communication design and prepare for changes in direction based on data you receive around ROI. If something isn’t working as planned, be prepared to change paths. Execution is a dynamic process. ❚ ❚ Analyze. Review the data collected to ensure your plan aligns with the strategy. Assure that every goal you set is reached or adjusted to accommodate a new, more successful direction. WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD? With so many unknowns on the horizon, your firm needs to provide differentiated value to your clients. The uncertainty of today’s world means trusting relationships are crucial to success. Make sure your clients know who you are and what you stand for. Tell your stories and help them tell theirs. Take the time to map out strategic business and marketing plans that provide industry-leading experiences for your clients – both internal (related to culture) and external. In the future, we will communicate with more intention delivering helpful information and tell our stories in ways that help our clients know and trust us as partners in their journey. TAMMI NAGUCKI, CPSM, is director of marketing at Environmental Design Group. Contact her at

strong marketing campaigns as compared to consumer marketing brands. This can be a positive. It means we have an entire world of marketing ideas and trends we can tap for our industry. TELL YOUR STORIES. Marketing departments have more tools and channels at their disposal than ever before – it’s time to capitalize on these digital platforms! Often, our technical teams have difficulty sharing content – I’ve found they don’t always think what they’re doing is that interesting. It’s time to help our engineers, planners and designers find and appreciate the stories in their work. How did the project provide value, how did we thrill the client because we thought of something that solved a problem for them, is there a story in the project that taps into human emotion? Every project has a story, some more simple than others, but it’s there, and it doesn’t have to “sell” anything. The best stories show our human side and provide an opportunity to share our ability to connect or have an impact. Once you have the story, it’s time to share it. Determine the audience and choose the appropriate channels. There are so many to choose from, but make sure you have a team that knows the changing algorithms to get the best ROI. You’ll find that occasionally sharing a story, while better than nothing, doesn’t give your audience a good picture of who you are as a firm. Take a close look at your firm’s values and discover ways to teach your audience what those mean to you. Don’t be afraid to share your company’s personality, and don’t wait for the “perfect” opportunity. Quality and quantity matter. “With so many unknowns on the horizon, your firm needs to provide differentiated value to your clients. The uncertainty of today’s world means trusting relationships are crucial to success. Make sure your clients know who you are and what you stand for.” OH, THE PLACES YOU COULD GO! As your team grows and you start to see success, don’t stop – ask what’s next and determine a strategy to take you from being a great company to an industry-leading company. You’ve heard the phrase “client experience” tossed around, but what does that mean? Can your marketing team drive the value of client experience as a differentiator for your firm? Your marketing team can be at the front line of this effort. They can drive program development and help clients understand how communications and feedback loops can be incorporated in every project for ultimate success. It’s no longer acceptable for our industry to simply check boxes. Our clients, and importantly, their clients deserve a quality communication plan with real-time feedback loops that bring clarity and transparency to every project, especially during times of disruption.

© Copyright 2020. Zweig Group. All rights reserved.




To get the most return on your marketing investment dollars, leaders need to help build dynamic, collaborative relationships between principals and marketing teams. The principal-marketer partnership

I s your leadership using their marketing teams to the highest degree of effectiveness? Your firm’s leadership has the power to supercharge the principal-marketing relationship to help keep your firm on the winning edge. Many principals once wore the marketing hat in their firms, managing proposals, advertising, and building business development. To get the most return on your marketing investment dollars, leaders need to help build dynamic, collaborative relationships with their marketing teams. When closely aligned with your firm’s goals and strategies and empowered to bring their expertise to the table, your marketing team will free up valuable principal time, maximize your firm’s marketing efforts, and elevate your organization.

Megan Bergstrom

Here are a few ways to empower and optimize your marketing team’s work and align efforts toward your common goals. ❚ ❚ Build a go/no-go process. Bottom line, a go/ no-go process to determine which project or PR opportunities to pursue is a smart move for calculating your ROI/ROMI and will drive better performance for your marketing team. Opt for quality over quantity. A go/no-go takes a thoughtful account of company skills and resources, where a scatter-shot approach to RFPs or ad and branding opportunities eats away at your marketing budget, creates a frenzied environment, and compromises end-product quality. Worst of all, it’s a morale

killer if your marketing team feels their efforts aren’t purposeful and successful. The go/no-go ensures that the opportunity is a good fit for the organization. If there is not enough time to commit to the process, then passing on the opportunity is probably the best choice, but make that call before your team dives in to a project. Everyone wants to win, and marketers can really bite into the fact that they have a better-than-fair shot at success. ❚ ❚ Establish a vision. Setting a clear vision of why you are pursuing a project, ad, or article, for example, is foundational to creating a relevant, quality product. When your team understands your purpose, they

Valerie Hendel




ON THE MOVE WARE MALCOMB ANNOUNCES JASON DOOLEY PROMOTED TO PRINCIPAL IN ATLANTA OFFICE Ware Malcomb , an international design firm, announced Jason Dooley was promoted to principal in the firm’s Atlanta office. In this role, Dooley is responsible for leading the overall growth and management of the firm’s offices in Atlanta and Miami, with other responsibilities encompassing the Southeast region. Dooley brings nearly 22 years of design and construction experience to the Ware Malcomb team. He joined Ware Malcomb in early 2016 as regional manager to open and grow the firm’s new Atlanta office, and was promoted to regional director in 2018. Since his hire, Dooley has successfully connected with Ware Malcomb’s national clients in the Atlanta market, as well as made new connections throughout the region, with projects spanning beyond Georgia to include North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana and

Virginia. His architecture and interior design expertise includes build-to-suit, building expansion, building renovation, complex tenant improvements, industrial, healthcare, office, science and technology, multi-family and higher education projects. “Ware Malcomb’s Atlanta office has experienced tremendous growth under Jason’s leadership, prompting the firm’s recent expansion into a new, larger office space in the Buckhead business district,” said Kenneth Wink, CEO of Ware Malcomb. “With this promotion to principal, Jason is now taking on responsibility for overseeing the growth of the firm’s Miami office as well. We look forward to Jason’s continued success in growing Ware Malcomb’s presence in the Southeast region.” A registered architect, Dooley holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. He is an active member of industry organizations including the National Association of Industrial.

Dooley was one of three people recently elevated to the position of principal within Ware Malcomb’s offices across North America. Ware Malcomb also announced the promotion of Mary Cheval to principal, interior architecture and design in the firm’s Irvine, California, office and Edward Mayer to principal, architecture in the Newark, New Jersey office. Established in 1972, Ware Malcomb is an international design firm providing planning, architecture, interior design, branding, civil engineeringandbuildingmeasurement services to commercial real estate and corporate clients. With office locations throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico, the firm specializes in the design of commercial office, corporate, industrial, science and technology, healthcare, retail, auto, public/educational facilities and renovation projects. Ware Malcomb is recognized as a Hot Firm and Best Firm to Work For by Zweig Group.


the only one talking, step back and invite others’ input and give their ideas equal weight. If your team has differing ideas about how to approach a project, go back to the vision and goals to evaluate which ideas will best achieve those goals. ❚ ❚ Give your time. Marketing is a time-driven profession, and your team needs to meet their goals and deadlines. They know best how much time they need to build in for research, writing, and editing to produce quality work. Make their deadlines your deadlines, since they will build in time for final editing, timely turnaround, and all the things that make our clients happy. Principals are a vital resource for marketing content and need to be available to answer questions, provide information, and respond in a timely manner. One strategy to get information to your team quickly and efficiently is have them interview the project manager, or subject matter expert directly. Concepts are clarified on the spot allowing your team to generate highly effective content. Finally, a good editing protocol should never be sacrificed because of a failure to get materials to marketing on time. A low-quality proposal or project is less persuasive to your audience and can even cast your firm’s credibility into doubt. When principals commit to a pursuit, they are investing time to work with the marketing team. Timely responses allow the marketing team to budget the appropriate time and resources to meet the deadline and produce a solid product, one that reflects well on your firm’s capabilities. Supercharging your relationship with your marketing team will unleash marketing potential. It will help drive your team’s success in connecting your firm’s service, culture, and leadership to your clients and prospective employees. When principals use an effective go/no-go process and partner with their marketers, they set up their marketing teams for maximum efficiency and productivity that returns more of the wins your entire team can celebrate. MEGAN BERGSTROM, marketing manager, and VALERIE HENDEL, marketing coordinator, lead marketing efforts for PCS Structural Solutions, which provides structural engineering services to clients across a diverse array of markets. Megan and Valerie can be reached at and

can set meaningful goals and develop an on-target strategy to meet your goals. Equally important is establishing who you are trying to reach. The why and who will orient your marketing team closer to the target. They will inform many of the core decisions your marketing team will use to put together a successful project such as type of collateral, content, voice, and where to publish, for example. Whether you draw a schematic for your team, create an outline or brainstorm together, give time upfront to get on the same page with your marketing team. “Supercharging your relationship with your marketing team will unleash marketing potential. It will help drive your team’s success in connecting your firm’s service, culture, and leadership to your clients and prospective employees.” ❚ ❚ Leverage team strengths to get the best ideas. Collaboration yields a higher-quality, better informed product. If you want the best from your team, you need your marketing team participating as full and equal partners to your company’s success. It’s the nature of team dynamics that your staff defer to leadership. For that reason, it’s up to leadership to intentionally build a collaborative culture. A dynamic team asks questions that will help them articulate your vision, generate viable ideas, and produce relevant suggestions and recommendations. When you actively promote shared ownership of a pursuit, you will get the best out of your team. Work in your strength and allow your team members to work in theirs. Lean on your team’s knowledge about industry best practices and let them be experts in their field. Your team can establish editing protocol and liaise with the publication, platform, and client to ensure for deadlines, style guides, word limits, and publication goals. Invite push back from your team. If you’re

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