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I don't agree with but can understand the cautious approach or hesitancy to undertaking a social media program.  But it pains me when I hear people say they don't see the value in it. I worry about the future of a business that clings to an old-school communications model with little or no online marketing efforts. And I'm not talking about websites, banner ads and SEO/SEM. Those come standard. And Function: can help you make those better.

While I won't argue that Social Media may not be the right fit for your exact product offering, but I will assert that the facts are out there: your audience is using Social Media in some way or another and if you're not capitalizing on it - someone else is (and it could be a competitor of yours). A recent study we conducted on our own architect database revealed that the professional networking site, LinkedIn was the most popular outlet among this segment.

A better answer for a lack of involvement with Social Media I've heard is that we don't have time for it. I get that. I don't know anyone who would object to a couple extra hours in the day to finish up your work. It can be a time and labor intensive commitment to start up your social media pages, regularly engage your followers and keep them checking back regularly for updates. Especially during a down economy, it can be difficult to find the personnel to tackle social media internally.

That's where Function: comes in. Think of us as hired muscle for your Social Media and Content needs. Social Media Mercenaries, if you will. We act as an extension of our clients' marketing teams, turning their Social Media wish list into a reality, creating content that resonates with the architects and contractors who Blog and are actively using Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

There are many companies still putting their toes in the Social Media waters. Some still wading around ankle deep. I hear a lot of "Yes, we've got a Blog or a FB/Twitter page...Well, it's just a shell but we have one." Not surprisingly, this is unimpressive at best to your customers to find a placeholder with no depth of content online. For those out there still testing the Social Media waters - here's a perspective for you to consider: you can’t physically drown in social media, so why only go so deep when you can dive in? Function: will act as your life jacket, keeping you afloat.

If it is on your wish list but simply don't have the time to take the Social Media plunge, please let me know and we can build a plan structured to meet your goals and needs.

ted hettick  
business development manager  
FUNCTION: we’re into building things through marketing, design and public relations

Function: Work Recognized "Best in Class" in 2010 Excellence in Advertising Competition

Function:, an integrated marketing agency that specializes in connecting building product manufacturers (BPMs) to architects, contractors and facility managers, recently produced an advertisement for Kawneer Company, Inc.’s ongoing sustainability campaign that was recognized as “Best in Class” in this year’s Architectural Record Excellence in Advertising Award competition. The awards are given jointly by McGraw Hill Construction and Architectural Record and recognize the most effective ads in the building and design marketplace and the companies and agencies that produce them.

The winning advertisement features clean lines and a minimalist design with the image of a red apple “built” from language and information about environmentally friendly building products. The ad, developed to augment Kawneer’s “Every Day You Make a Choice. Make a Choice that Counts” message, demonstrates the company’s commitment to sustainable design and construction and to creating solutions that address the growing needs of the institutional market. Kawneer Company, Inc. is the leading manufacturer of architectural aluminum products and systems for commercial construction. 

Angela Mitchell, art director at Function: and creator of the winning ad, wanted both the concept and the copy to be a literal representation of green building. “The ad is about building a healthy environment with knowledge,” she said. “The simple treatment was an effective way to be informative about the green benefits of Kawneer without overloading the ad with text or images.” 

Promotion for the competition stressed that information overload often decreases an advertisement’s effectiveness, so the graphic simplicity and diversely applicable message portrayed in Kawneer’s winning ad were both factors in it being chosen. 

Judges commented that, “The ad was really ‘outside the box’. The red used was an appealing color and the graphical nature of the ad is very compelling to architects.” 
Added another judge, “I have it high marks for aesthetics; it stopped me in my tracks and compelled me to read more. I read every word of it, yet it never even showed you the product.” 

“This recognition really speaks to the great work of our designers at Function:,” said Michele DeHaven, Principal and Creative Director for Function:. “The ad itself is a testament to our experience with sustainable messages and our ability to merge our client’s visions with content that speaks to a wide audience.”

Full page or larger ads published in Architectural Record in the first four months of 2010 were considered for the awards. Judged for their content and graphic presentation, winners were selected by a jury of eight architects and designers. Architectural Record recognized this year’s winners at the Excellence in Advertising Awards breakfast and panel discussion held Friday, June 11. Winners were selected from a nomination pool of over 150 advertisements and chosen based on content and graphic presentation as well insight into the architecture community.

Connecting at AIA 2010

This year’s AIA convention took place June 10-12 in Miami, Florida. Several of us from Function: attended the convention this year…supporting our clients, meeting with architects, talking to building product manufacturers (BPMs) that were exhibiting at the show, discussing industry trends…it was a busy time. And a very good time. We really do have fun at these things!

And I have to say, I believe it’s at these industry shows that Function: thrives. You see, we aren’t just any average marketing agency. We specialize in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry. While other marketing agencies spread themselves across all types of industries, this is ours and we know it well. These are our clients, our co-workers and friends. This is our audience.

My favorite thing about AIA is the opportunity to meet people across the industry face-to-face. As a PR professional, I send a lot of emails and make a lot of phone calls. But there’s nothing like putting a face with a name. Today when I spoke with members of the media across the country that I met with at AIA, it was personal. I was emailing people who had made the same business trip as me just a week before. I was talking to people who had experienced the same Miami humidity. I’ve shared some laughs with them. I know about their families and I know about their job history. So to me, this is the best part of AIA- connecting with people. At Function: we promise our clients that we are connected to the audience that they need to reach. And AIA is one of the places we connect…

ReVision Your Products

ReVision, a word with origins in the mid16th century, has been co-opted and rebranded. To ReVision is not simply to revise something, it is to see the object/concept/idea new again. It is with a fresh look at the ordinary that architects and inventors alike are able to create the extraordinary.

Asphalt roofing shingles are a great example of an object that has recently been ReVisioned. Companies like CertainTeed and Dow Building Solutions have ReVisioned the asphalt shingle by marrying it to solar panels to create the photovoltaic shingle. Gone are the days of unseemly photovoltaic panels that resemble a 1960’s drawing of the future. No longer does solar energy belong to either the wealthy elite or the Sci-Fi film. Solar shingles are simply the result of traditional products being revolutionized, making solar energy more accessible to the average homeowner by creating solar collectors that integrate seamlessly with the typical asphalt shingle.

President Jimmy Carter's Solar Panels, featured here, represent the past of solar energy. Perhaps President Reagan wouldn't have objected to a few solar shingles. (Photo Courtesy of

ReVisioning is simply a kind of product development, where BPMs are applying new technology to existing products to create not only a new product, but a new product category as well. Photovoltaic shingles are an example of how ReVisioning can allow you to tap into new market opportunities. Plus, with pressure on all of us to live in a more sustainable way, ReVisioning gives us a chance to rethink the way our products functioned before, and discover how eco-friendliness can apply to products never before possible through new technology.

FUNCTION:we’re into building things through marketing, design and public relations

Sustainability Beyond Buildings

The word “sustainable”, as defined by Merriam-Webster’s (online) Dictionary, means: 1: capable of being sustained
2 a: of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged b: of or relating to a lifestyle involving the use of sustainable methods

Working in the building and construction industry, you use/hear the word sustainable a lot. Sustainable product development and building is the way of life. But a client’s recent project got me thinking about other forms of sustainability – beyond the products that are used to create buildings, but into the communities those buildings serve.

Building a better community doesn’t necessarily mean Eco-friendly office spaces and energy efficient hospitals. Don’t get me wrong; those are key components of sustaining an overall community. But, building a better community can also mean helping feed those who are hungry (see “The Holidays are About Giving”), helping to build homes for those who need them, volunteering in your local fire department or helping at the neighborhood school. Or, take a look at the larger global community. How can you help there?

Our communities are our resources and we do not want them to be damaged or depleted. Here are a few national/international organizations to consider:

Habitat for Humanity:

Architecture for Humanity:

Feeding America: