In an era of heavily marketed brands, relentless advertising and all pervasive social media, just how far should architects market themselves to stand out from the crowd? Laura Iloniemi, expert in architecture media, explores the tricky issue of how practices can use marketing without losing integrity. Marketing companies and publicists working for architects have certainly adapted to increasingly hard-nosed commercial trends. They have embraced, for example, the latest trade shows, no matter how brash, along with high-profile international property conferences and moneymaking awards events (with apparent relish), hoping to place their clients in front of new, and ever more commercial, audiences. But marketing folk sell only what they know from their own experience - experience that may or may not be relevant to architectural practice. If they do not have an intuitive or trained eye for architecture itself, or a feel for its rightful place in our culture, they can never produce a worthwhile strategy for ensuring its true relevance in society.
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