Monday, February 24, 2014

How to Communicate a Brand

Contractor’s Compass, the magazine of the American Subcontractors Association (ASA), published an article by PCG’s own Nathan Petrillo in its February issue devoted to marketing strategies. Nathan discusses how businesses in the building industry can evaluate, improve and communicate their brands. “One of the most challenging things for many companies is how to communicate about a brand. The first step is to think about the main things – or messages – you want people to know about your company. These messages should be concise, clear and compelling,” said Nathan. You can find a copy of the article on pp.14-15 in an e-copy of the magazine: http://www.asaonline.com/eweb/TCC/TCCFeb2014/index.html. Nathan is very familiar with marketing and communications for this sector. He is a member of the Construction Writers Association, and beginning in mid-2015, he will serve a one-year term as the organization’s president.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

PCG's milestone year of 2013

It seems that this is the time of the year for compiling Top 10 lists of the year just ended. So here’s my list of PCG’s biggest milestones of 2013. There may not be 10, but they add up to one of the most momentous years in our 33-year history.

#1: New Managing Partner. For the first time since PCG was founded in 1981, we had a change of leadership – Mimi Limbach (pictured) became Managing Partner. I had the honor of heading the company since Ellen Lepper and I formed it, in the same month that Ronald Reagan was first sworn in. Over the past few years we have been transitioning to a new team of Partners: Mimi, Leonard Greenberger, Andy Hallmark, Nora Howe (running the business side) and myself. That transition culminated in Mimi becoming Managing Partner in early 2013. No one could have a better set of experience, skills and understanding of PCG and our clients than Mimi. For over a decade she was a major client herself, in her role as communications executive at Westinghouse and then Navigant Consulting. In the 15 years that she has been with us, she has led much of our energy practice and grown our general corporate practice. We are lucky, and proud, to have her at the wheel.
#2: New Partner. In the past year we also elevated another key staffer to the level of Partner, Laura Hermann. She joined us eight years ago after crafting public service campaigns and volunteer development programs for non-profit organizations. She gained her appreciation for the intersection of the public and private sectors while handling disaster preparedness communications for the American Red Cross.  She personifies one of our most important roles, combining communications expertise with a deep interest in, and understanding of, science and technology. She has managed our communications support for many of our most complex and sensitive technical clients, including the American Geophysical Union, American Physical Society, Intellectual Ventures, National Academy of Engineering and TerraPower.
#3: A New Book. Our Partner Leonard Greenberger pulled together his insights and experience from over 20 years of communications consulting into a new book: What To Say When Things Get Tough: Business Communications Strategies for Winning People Over When They’re Angry, Worried, and Suspicious of Everything You Say (McGraw Hill, New York). It’s an invaluable primer for anyone who has to face a skeptical or even hostile audience. And it has the courage to show how PowerPoint is a risky way to communicate anything very important.

#4: Growth in the Office. We had a breakthrough year last year in terms of the diversity of our clients (including a growing number in other countries), continuation and expansion of our work for clients (a key metric, since it indicates successful performance in the eyes of the client), and our overall client billing. By the end of the year we were experiencing another breakthrough: workmen were literally breaking through our walls to expand our offices into new space, to accommodate our growth. As we speak, we are interviewing for two new staff positions.
#5: Growth at Home. It was a milestone year for the PCG family at home as well. We had two new babies to celebrate: Kelly Cousineau, a Senior Program Director, gave birth to Damien, her second child; and Jackie Priestly, Vice President, gave birth to Hampton, also her second. Then just before the holidays our newest employee, Senior Project Coordinator Frank Clement, added a bride to our extended family, when he married Nhi Khoan. Finally, writer extraordinaire Peter Bernstein celebrated his 30th year with PCG.
So, a year to remember. Congratulations all!