This addition allows technical staff to focus on their core functions and allows for a marketing process that is more collaborative, streamlined, and consistent.
Blackstone Environmental was founded on the premise of providing environmental professionals an innovative and entrepreneurial space to practice their scientific and engineering crafts. To support these endeavors and enhance the company’s marketing and business development efforts, three years ago Blackstone added a professional marketing resource to its staff, a role that had not been a dedicated position before.
This addition has allowed scientific, engineering, and technical staff to focus primarily on their core functions and created a collaborative relationship that supports marketing of Blackstone’s services and talent, and development of new business.
Before a dedicated marketing professional joined Blackstone’s staff, administrative and project staff would share the work of developing creative proposals, maintaining the company’s website and social media channels, coordinating events, and cultivating business development opportunities – a method that worked but became more difficult as the company and client base grew.
The addition of a marketing specialist has created many benefits for Blackstone and its staff, including:
- The marketing specialist and project managers work closely together to support company business goals. This includes teaming up on proposals and responses for new projects, with the marketing specialist bringing creative and editorial expertise that blends with project managers’ technical writing expertise and deep knowledge.
- Client relationships are the cornerstone of Blackstone’s business development strategy, and growing these relationships is essential. Working in tandem with project managers and company leadership, the marketing specialist supports relationship development in various ways. One is creating messaging and an online presence that highlights individual project managers and their involvement in professional, community, and personal activities. Another is supporting project managers as they engage with current clients and cultivating new ones. This includes coordinating presence at trade events, organization of company events, and managing procurement of client gifts.
- Participating in awards and recognition programs is an important part of highlighting who Blackstone is as a company, but it can also be time consuming. The marketing specialist leads the coordination of these types of projects, with the support of Blackstone staff as expert content providers and reviewers.
Streamlining. An important organizational change happened when the marketing specialist position was created. Instead of various marketing and business development functions residing with various project managers and administrators, those areas where combined under the marketing umbrella. This allowed for better marketing and business development processes and a central hub for related information. The marketing specialist is a dedicated point person for:
- Finding and reviewing business development opportunities, supporting monthly business-development meetings, and responding to requests for proposals
- Organizing Blackstone’s creative assets like photo collections and content archives
- Managing the corporate website and social media channels
- Coordinating participation and record keeping of external and internal events, such as trade shows, conferences, recruitment days, and staff events
- Creating efficiencies for marketing-related operational items, such as employee apparel, vendor communication, and marketing assets
- Reviewing and analyzing annual data, specifically for our website and social media usage
- Providing internal communications for Human Resources; Health, Safety and Wellness; and other employee-specific topics
Consistency. Blackstone has had a strong brand and voice since its inception, and hiring a marketing specialist, who is a central source for branding and content, has only strengthened that. Areas of improvement include:
- Cohesive voice and tone in messaging and content
- Consistent branding elements and formats throughout printed and digital materials
- Updated brand usage guide
- Updated look and feel and improved usability of website and social media channels
- Updated digital communication and printed pieces with standard look, feel, and voice
- Updated templates for all mediums and creation of new ones
- Archival of out-of-date pieces
The Value. Creating space in our budget for a marketing and business development resource for our staff has had positive outcomes for Blackstone Environmental. The role has been filled full-time and part-time and both scenarios have worked well in improving our corporate identity and internal efficiencies, and most importantly added a collaborative role to our staff that supports the essential scientific, engineering, consulting, and business-related work of our project management team and company leadership.
Anne Melia, CHMM, is a senior project manager at Blackstone Environmental, Inc. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Nicolle Scheller is a marketing specialist at Blackstone Environmental, Inc. Contact her at email@example.com.Click here to read this week's issue of The Zweig Letter.