At a Leadership Learning in Action session recently I was asked which I was most passionate about – PR or construction? I started to really think about it and realised that, although I love my work in PR, the thing I get really excited about is the built environment and the opportunities it presents to affect our lives, for better or for worse.
When I first joined Smith Goodfellow PR (a long time ago!) I used to bemoan the fact that we did not work within a ‘glamorous’ sector. I had little understanding of the construction industry and the impact it has on society. Today I know better, and have a keen appreciation of the fact that we can in some small way help to make our working and living environments better places to be, thanks to the work we do with our clients.
The buildings and environments we create are with us for many decades. They should not only shelter us, they should also uplift, nurture and inspire us. They can save energy, adapt to changing lifestyles, be functional and beautiful. They are one of the biggest investments we make, so it is important that we get them right, because when we get it wrong the legacy is deep and long lasting.
The part that PR plays in helping the process along lies in educating, informing and communicating with the many different parties involved in the life cycle of a building, from inception to demolition. The complexities of legislation, the impact of different methods or materials and the influences of schools of thought are all areas that we can help to make clear. With constant changes to regulatory requirements, and the recent shift in power when it comes to planning, good communication is essential.
We are fortunate at SGPR; we have clients who are genuinely engaged with the ideals of sustainability, who are ahead of the legislative imperatives, who have excellent products and most of all, who are as passionate about serving the industry they work in as we are. But more about that later…