The power of storytelling

Mar 28, 2021

Look beyond the project scope and consider how the client or even the community will be impacted by the improvements your team is making.

With the world in virtual mode for the foreseeable future, the quality of the content your marketing team is producing is more important than ever. As marketers, we understand the power a story can hold. In the AEC industry, every project tells a story. It can often seem daunting to our technical staff to determine the direction of a story when they’re deep in the day-to-day scope of the project. But, finding that story doesn’t need to be painful, and I’ve found that the most genuine project stories can be found by just having a general conversation about the project between the marketing and project teams.

Getting your colleagues engaged in the process can be easier than you think. When I send out a call for content, I get a variety of ideas from colleagues who may not have worked on an article with me in the past. The first step I always take is to determine what level of involvement they want to have in the process. As surprising as it may be to some, many of my technical colleagues actually enjoy writing as it differs so greatly from their day-to-day work. It also helps to remind them that they can lean on me to do the heavy lifting of formatting, editing, providing graphic assistance, and any other way to improve the quality of the article. On the other hand, there are many who would rather jump on a call and talk through the project while allowing me to draft the entire article for their review.

No matter what approach we take, the key is to think beyond the project scope at how the client or even the community will be impacted by the improvements our team is making. Determining the middle ground is often the most difficult part of the process. Our technical staff wants to include the measurement of every road or pipe included in the project, while the reader wants to know what the social impact of those technical solutions means to them and to their community.

Once we have that impact nailed down, it’s a matter of providing details to tell the full story that will appeal to a wide audience , while still incorporating the technical detail that sets us apart as experts. Often, as soon as you start including details beyond the scope of the project, the story tells itself. How would the client get buy-in from other stakeholders about this project? Those details are just as important, and especially for clients where you have strong relationships. They will make themselves available and are anxious to be a part of the storytelling.

At the end of the day, my job is to polish the story so that my colleagues have a story they’re proud of. One of the most rewarding aspects of my job as marketing manager is the excitement and sense of accomplishment my colleagues feel when their article is published, whether it’s on our blog, in our digital magazine, or in an industry publication.

Katie Crawford is marketing manager at Genesis AEC. She can be reached at

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