The ability to listen, and listen carefully, is a skill that seems to be scarce these days. Conversational “blah blah blah” is so common, there’s a day to commemorate it! April 17th is Blah Blah Blah Day. Defeat the disregard of dialogue with these three tips to improve your listening skills.

Jade Donaghy's goal as a graphic designer? To create something visually appealing that still communicates an idea, a service, or a product, while focusing on brand recognition. “It’s art, but with a commercial purpose.”

This month's horoscope and famous AEC Aries. Who shares your birthday?

It seems intangible among the 47 unread emails and strewn papers on your desk, but it’s a lot of the reason your business exists and keeps going: Networking. Referrals can make up to 80%-90% of new business revenues – so, it’s all about relationships. Just being great at your job isn’t enough. Developing a strong and powerful network is key to maintaining and cultivating new business and clients.

Effective marketing materials aren't just about how they look. Getting to that final, streamlined product includes many crucial steps. These are our top five.

You already have an online presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. So why create (and use!) a LinkedIn account? If you are a business professional, being on LinkedIn is a must.

Do you have rainmaking skills? How about real relationships? Create a downpour of work by building on relationships and expanding your network.

What is public relations in our industry? PR is often seen as an advertising mechanism, intended for general publicity. While that may be true in other industries, in the AEC industry we view PR as a support tactic to win work and enhance your firm’s image. Ideally, it is an activity that supports and influences your client base to develop a long-term relationship that results in winning work.

Are you afraid to emerge from your winter hibernation unable to contact new prospects? Don’t be afraid. Get ready to feel confident when preparing to contact new prospects!

Calling all proposal teams! The SMPS Utah Proposal Bootcamp will give you the tools you need to understand and build your firm’s message for proposal pursuits. Three sessions and a client panel will focus on crafting a compelling message and ensuring that the message is integrated into your proposals and interviews. Sessions will also cover effective writing, managing content, and coaching teams for pursuits. Presenter Keri Hammond, FSMPS, CPSM will work directly with the attendees to develop qualifications for outreach/business development, marketing material organization, and proposals. Please bring project examples, real life questions, and enthusiasm!

A little secret about Special Event Planner Kareen Abarca: She was the winner of her fourth-grade spelling bee. Her word? Accommodating. Go figure she would be in the event planning scene, helping all involved to feel welcome.

“If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie

Principal Keri Hammond, FSMPS, CPSM, applies this quote to the fear professionals have about the most crucial industry task, market research.

It’s almost the new year. Many new resolutions will be made. Many firms will be renewing or starting strategic planning for the upcoming year. Did you know that many firms miss the mark on their targets because they continue with their current target markets and clients, simply because it’s what they have done it in the past? Don’t be that firm. Take the time to conduct market research and get headed in the right direction. Before you start down the wrong path, conduct market research that can help you determine whether your target markets will provide an equitable return.

While “business development” is a common term in our industry, some may view it as jargon taken from an executive MBA program; it may seem overwhelming and incomprehensible to folks who don’t do it every day. But business development specialist Alicia Zimmerman doesn’t see it that way. Her take on business development? It’s a method of forging sincere, long-term relationships, with business success as the positive outcome.

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