BLT Architects

Overview

As one of Philadelphia’s most prominent architecture firms, BLT Architects (BLTa) was looking to continue their growth designing projects in the hospitality, higher education, and mixed-use/multifamily industries. In addition to reaching new clients in these industries, the firm would also need to attract new recruits to help make their projects a reality.

In designing a communications strategy that supported these goals, Slice identified three opportunities:
• Being new to social media, BLTa did not yet have a strategy in place
• Media coverage of BLTa’s projects did not consistently attribute designs to the firm
• To attract cutting-edge talent, BLTa would need to showcase its own forward-thinking culture.

Implementing a Social Media Strategy

To engage an audience of potential clients and recruits, Slice tapped into BLTa’s wealth of assets surrounding their current and upcoming projects. We activated their LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram channels by producing a content strategy that showcased both BLTa’s work and their team’s thought leadership. The profiles drove a 150% increase in website traffic from 2013 to 2018.

Media Attribution

BLTa has designed prominent projects across the Northeast, and while their designs were well received by the media, they were not consistently credited for their work. To fill this gap, Slice saw an opportunity to establish more reciprocal relationships with local reporters.

To start, rather than simply pitching new projects to familiar faces, we organized events such as first look hard tours. By offering time and personal attention from BLTa’s principals’, reporters understood that they were valued partners and not a “means to an end.”

Second, we sought editorial briefings to connect with and educate new media partners at outlets like Curbed Philadelphia and Bisnow. However, attention was not just paid to championing BLTa’s work. Rather than hogging the spotlight, we seized the opportunity to ask questions and better understand how to provide value when working with their team.

Similarly, we have invited reporters to visit the firm as guest experts for “Lunch-and-Learns.” In addition to welcoming them as subject matter experts, reporters were offered the opportunity to educate firm communicators and spokespeople on everything from pitching preferences to interview etiquette.

Working more closely with local reporters, today we strive for attribution and representation in at least 75% of stories that showcase BLTa’s work.

Filling the Talent Pipeline

Hiring top talent is competitive in every industry, but especially so for architects. To keep BLTa top of mind with tomorrow’s visionaries, Slice dreamt up an annual Student Design Charrette which would award winners with a coveted summer internship at the firm.

Over the course of 8 years, the Charrette has continuously evolved. One iteration of the competition judged students on a napkin sketch – a truer test of creativity and thoughtfulness than you’d think. In 2018, the Charrette was hosted in-person for the first time, drawing 32 students from nine universities across the Northeast. Since its inception, the initiative has earned BLTa new team members, including one who still works for the firm to this day.