Getting your communications shovel-ready
In a bid to get the economy moving again state governments are smashing through approvals for shovel-ready projects across the nation – from schools and roads to solar farms.
Some say that governments are hoping to push through seven years worth of projects in just 12 months, while others are saying it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ‘build the nation’.
For those firms vying for these projects it is important to demonstrate a number of critical factors including a ready-to-go workforce, proven track record of delivery, best-in-class capabilities, a low-risk, value for money approach and a strong focus on corporate responsibility.
Undoubtedly competition will be strong as many strive to secure contracts, so it’s important to get your communications shovel-ready to ensure you stand out and have a clearly articulated position to government and stakeholders that demonstrates why you are a safe set of hands and how you will outperform your competition.
Build a clear corporate narrative
Your corporate narrative is basically your company story – what do you do, why do you do it and what makes you better than anyone else. Importantly it is distinct, memorable and reflects your company values. It’s important this narrative is understood and adopted at all levels of your organisation, so that it can be communicated consistently – and with authenticity – both internally and externally.
When building a corporate narrative you need to consider your overarching proposition and the pillars and proof points that underpin it. This will allow you to develop a narrative that stands the test of time and can be flexed to apply to a range of situations. Think of it as the backbone or foundation of your communications – it’s hard to build a strong building (or story) when you start on sand.
Optimise your presence
Your external communication touchpoints are the first place people go when considering working with you or working for you.
Your website should be fully optimised and bring to life your corporate narrative. You should also consider having a news or blog section on there to showcase company innovation, success and results. When regularly updated with timely, compelling content, this archive will help your SEO ensuring you stand out in Google searches.
Similarly, your socials should clearly communicate and reflect your company position and values. Each channel must have a purpose and be updated regularly, rather than be used as a place to dump pics when someone in the team remembers. LinkedIn, for example, is the place to share thought leadership content that positions you as an exemplar in your field. Social media is also a great place to bring to life the talent in your business and can really help with recruitment.
Demonstrate expertise and experience
Being able to tell someone why your company is better than a competitor is important, but what is essential in that story is the proof to back up what you’re saying. This is where creating a trove of great case studies is key – these might live on your website, be formatted for easy insertion into tender documents and even showcased on your socials.
Importantly, this track record is critical to promote along with your corporate story at a time like this. Companies vying for government tenders need to be positioning themselves as trusted future partners, great corporate citizens and true innovators. It is where focused and smart media relations campaigns can help to attach credibility to your story and build awareness, while social media can back this up and increase your reach (coupled with smart targeting this could help your key stakeholders see your message more). So, as you get your company shovel-ready, remember to follow these key steps to ensure your communications are primed for the green light too.
Four Lessons in a Flat Property Market
Written by Roxanne Millar, General Manager
Five years ago, we were up to our eyeballs in off-the-plan apartments here at Bastion Effect – it seemed every time we turned around a developer was inviting us to work on the latest ‘tallest’ building, from Golden Age to World Class Global.
It was a heady time that reminded me of my days working in London prior to the GFC, when every day as a property journalist I’d be writing about another UK star-architect project or wild Middle East scheme.
Then that iconic photo went around; you know the one – all those stockbroker types backed against a window in Canary Wharf, arms folded, being told they were being laid off en masse.
The property magazine I worked for promptly folded and I landed a job working in Vancouver – the only place in GFC times that was booming thanks to the then-upcoming Winter Olympics.
Today, things have slowed again, but it’s certainly no GFC. The myriad of ambitious apartment projects have gone, but hope hasn’t. Where headlines are talking of projects dumped, prices falling and a credit crunch, we’re seeing a resurgence in the greenfield development space.
The number of new entrants here is reminiscent of the apartment market five years ago – new brands, with new outlooks, some that will still be here in 10 years, others that we’ll never hear from again.
If we look back at the past five years to consider what we’ve learned and how clients can stand out, we’d say:
- Build your brand: Know who you are, why you do what you do and what you have to offer a customer that is better than your competitor. Mirvac, Neometro and Piccolo have done this so well, with strong brands, clearly defined positioning and a well-articulated customer value proposition
- Be available: Even if you’re international, having a local face is important when establishing a track record and local trust. Before we launched his brand to market, Golden Age’s Jeff Xu was known only as a “Shanghai young gun” – regular sit downs with the Australian Financial Review helped deepen the understanding of Jeff and his vision for Golden Age, launching the company strongly in market
- Be smart: Capital Alliance’s Mohan Du is outspoken, but not for the sake of headlines. He knows what he stands for and gets vocal on the things he’s passionate about – media appreciate a clear point of view and will seek-out talent they know can speak with conviction
- Provide added value: The race is on in the greenfield space and value is no longer just measured with a dollar sign.The stand-out developers are building and delivering a sense of community, not just selling lots
How to Stand Out in Property Development as a Newcomer
Written by Roxanne Millar, General Manager, Bastion Effect
Within the property market there is an inherent level of cynicism and skepticism. Developers say a lot, but how many of their promises do they deliver on, and how well?
It’s an important question that more and more developers are being asked as market forces start to tip more in favour of owner occupiers and local purchasers.
In the large downsizer demographic, it is one of the most important questions a buyer will ask. These purchasers are buying a home to live out their golden years in. They don’t want to have to move again, so getting what has been promised is essential.
This is where trust becomes the currency of the day.
While established property brands can leverage testimonials from past purchasers that build trust and show proof of delivery, what is a new developer to do to show they can be trusted?
1. Build your brand
A clear identity and purpose in market is essential to ensure you stand out. Purchasers have so much choice – they want to know what makes you different from the guy down the road. Don’t underestimate the value of working with a professional to create a clear visual style and brand that differentiates you from competitors and drives awareness in market.
2. Know your story
Once you have your clear brand identity it’s time to get your story straight. Buyers want to know how you came to be, how you’re different and why they should consider you. Building a corporate narrative that you, your sales agents, and everyone on your team can rattle off in under 60 seconds is essential.
3. Be real
Don’t hide behind those charismatic sales agents in their lovely blue suits, you need to have a face. We don’t need to see it all the time, but we do need to see it. In The New Global Marketing by Brookes & Palmer, the authors talk about ‘the moment of truth’ in a service encounter and demonstrate it is “people, not faceless companies” who make the difference in any transaction.
4. Be discoverable
Google is a verb these days, not just a search engine. That means you need a digital footprint and you need to be able to be found online. Invest in SEO & SEM – as much as you can tell yourself being on the second page of results is fine, it isn’t when someone is laying down $1 million. Audiences find their trust in different places – downsizers are influenced by the Australian Financial Review, while first home buyers are more social media and lifestyle focused. A good strategy for a new developer should ensure the company has a media profile so that any Google search pulls up a story by the Fin Review on the company.
5. Share your story
Keep your customers and prospects informed and engaged throughout the different stages of the development. Develop a content strategy that keeps news and milestones top of mind and ensures they are shared in the right tone of voice with your key audiences across both traditional media channels and social platforms.
For developers onto their second project, testimonials and media coverage that demonstrate proof of delivery go a long way. Invest in beautiful styling and photography to show off all that hard work.
There is a reason Cbus Property, Piccolo and Neometro are talked about in terms of delivery – not only do they deliver amazing projects, they also invest in solid PR once they’re done so everyone knows about it.
It’s like that old saying, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, does it make a sound? Be heard.
WE ARE PART OF BASTION
Bastion is a truly integrated, full-service marketing and communications agency founded in 2009. We are Australia’s largest independent agency, with an ambition to achieve the same feat in the USA.
We offer a wide breadth of specialist capabilities across the communications spectrum including market research, brand and creative, advertising, corporate and change communications, PR and social media, digital and customer experience (CX), sponsorship and experiential, film and content production, merchandise, Asia marketing and communications, data analytics and panel management.