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Getting ahead in the building sector means going beyond simply creating impressive structures. It’s about navigating the landscape with skill, establishing a robust brand identity and grasping the importance of public perception and reputation management. By investing in these areas, construction companies can cultivate positive client feedback, mitigate community conflicts, bolster their brand image and enhance business prospects.

Why does a strong profile matter for construction firms?

Today, building a strong public profile is important for lots of reasons. For example, with the construction industry aiming to attract new talent by a quarter of a million by 2027, according to the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), visibility and appeal are crucial – all of which is made trickier when one considers what the industry is up against.

Inflation presents a notable challenge, driving up costs for materials, consultation fees and machinery, ultimately impacting project timelines and profitability. Our client BCIS recently projected a fall in UK construction output in 2024. This affects perception of the sector as well as the ability to do the job.

In such a challenging environment, transparent and strategic communication become paramount. Construction firms need to prioritise openness and honesty to build trust, nurture positive relationships, safeguard their reputations, attract top talent and ensure successful project outcomes.

As competition intensifies in 2024, construction companies will have to fight for standout more than ever. So, what are the essential PR tools that every business should consider, and why is partnering with an agency experienced in the sector crucial for firms aiming to thrive in this dynamic industry?

The importance of a diverse toolkit in construction PR

PR encompasses myriad functions, from media relations to content creation. To execute a comprehensive PR campaign successfully, you need a team with a diverse skill set, including strategists, content writers and media relations specialists.

Partnering with an agency provides access to a dedicated team with the expertise to handle all aspects of your PR initiatives, ensuring a more robust and effective campaign.

Construction PR tactics

PR agencies like Midnight have a lot of tools to help accelerate reputations and amplify business objectives. Here are a few examples:

Thought leadership is a useful tool in establishing credibility and awareness. It’s a strong way to express a business’ unique talents, passions and experiences, and to discuss the biggest questions on the minds of its target audience. Agencies like Midnight will work with clients to arrive at those thought-provoking viewpoints that align with a business’s objectives and pique editors’ and prospects’ interests.

Newsjacking, which is all about responding to events in the media as they break, has the power to reach wide audiences and establish business credibility.

These days, it’s also essential to commit to a strong social media profile. Full disclosure: we’ve learnt that this isn’t your average construction industry person’s favourite occupation. But that’s OK, because we’ll happily take the reins!

It’s not about posting random stuff every minute of every day – we’re as strategic about this as we are about other media relations and content. We work hard as a team to make sure a client’s social media game is on point and aligns with their business strategy and brand. It’s all about getting key messages out there and maximising the coverage we’ve already won in the press.

Press releases sent out to trade, local and national media showcase how active and relevant a particular organisation is, celebrating wins, successes and completed projects, as well as capitalising on community-focused endeavours.

This is something we did to great effect for our client Boutique Modern, which recently became the UK’s first modular housing B Corp. Our outreach resulted in significant coverage and positioned Boutique Modern as a leader in affordable and sustainable housing in the region.

Lucas Shone, the Projects Director at Boutique Modern, said of our work: “We spent a long time looking for a PR company that shared our vision and values, and who we feel can really deliver the message we want to send. It has been great to be working with such a nice bunch of people who invested time getting to know Boutique Modern and listened to our ambitions for the next phase of our development.”

Partnerships: construction PR success through collaboration

All this is possible because PR agencies like ours have extensive networks and longstanding relationships with editors, writers and influencers across various media outlets. These relationships are built over time and can significantly enhance a business brand’s visibility and credibility. Agencies like ours have cultivated strong ties with top trade and consumer publications in the design and construction sector, resulting in thousands of print and online placements for clients. Leveraging these connections can amplify a brand’s presence in the media landscape, generating valuable coverage and exposure.

An example of PR success – our work with BCIS

At Midnight, we’ve been working with the Building Cost Information Service (BCIS), the sector’s leading provider of independent cost data, which deliver insights and analysis for construction and property firms, quantity surveyors and insurance.

We took the brand from minimal awareness to position it as the authority on construction trends and data with a robust communications plan.

BCIS’s huge body of data offered us a unique opportunity to develop a thought leadership campaign driven by data insights. We worked closely with BCIS spokespeople so they could lead the conversation rather than simply respond and react.

Our action plan encompassed several key tactics: issuing regular data-focused press releases to trade and national press, seizing opportunities in the national news agenda through newsjacking, placing features and articles in top-tier titles, arranging interviews with target journalists and securing speaker slots.

A good example was the recent ‘crumbling concrete’ crisis. When RAAC (reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete), the cheap lightweight alternative to traditional concrete mixes that was used in thousands of UK public buildings from the 1950s to the 1990s, started to fail, we made sure BCIS was front and centre of the news agenda and positioned as a leading expert.

As a result of our collaborative efforts, the outcomes of all our endeavours included a remarkable 147% annual recurring revenue growth, 13% year-on-year increase in new customers, 167% rise in BCIS webinar sign-ups, and an impressive 1.5 million page views on the website in 2023.

We were more than pleased when we received the following feedback from Richard MacLean, Chief Markets Officer at BCIS: “We have been working with Midnight for just over a year and they have exceeded every expectation. All our ambitions in our first-year plans were smashed, and they have not slowed down – in fact they continued to speed up. The team are fun to work with, very personable and down to earth, and I always look forward to catching up with them. Professional, approachable, passionate and driven.”

Click here to read our BCIS case study.

What’s next for your construction PR campaign?

Our seasoned professionals bring a huge amount of experience and contacts to the table, enriching campaigns with strategic guidance and innovative ideas. Whether it’s crafting compelling narratives or navigating complex media landscapes, senior PR talent can add significant value to your communications, ensuring a high return on investment.

With a finger on the pulse of industry developments, we can recommend the most relevant and effective brand awareness opportunities. Whether it’s identifying emerging trends or leveraging industry-specific events and award opportunities, PR agencies such as Midnight possess the insights and expertise to tailor your messaging for maximum impact across various platforms and publications. By partnering with an agency specialising in your industry, you gain access to a wealth of knowledge and experience that can elevate your promotional efforts to new heights.

Establishing trust, fostering positive relationships and safeguarding reputations are paramount for construction companies aiming to thrive today. As firms gear up to distinguish themselves in 2024, partnering with a PR agency is fast becoming a strategic imperative if they wish to emerge as leaders in their field.

Click here for more information about our work in property and construction.

Contact us to discuss your PR requirements, our team would be happy to talk to you!