Author Archives: Bruce D. Turner, AIA

Sole proprietor architect working on commercial residential and municipal projects, both new construction and renovations/additions. Sustainable design; LEED ap

Hurricane Preparedness Refresher

Joaquin Path 093015


Although the exact track of Hurricane Joaquin remains uncertain, since New Jersey is within the potential track area, it is worthwhile to remind ourselves of the need for proper hurricane preparedness. Please take a few moments to review the information on the National Weather Service website, which can be found here.

A.R.E. Structural Systems Seminar

The Architects League of Northern New Jersey presents an A.R.E. Structural Review Seminar, October 2, 3 & 4.

ARE 2015 flyer

AIA South Jersey & AIA West Jersey Joint Meeting

Tuesday September 19, 2015 at 5:00 pm
Annata’s, Hammonton, NJ

Using Social Media and Houzz to Promote Your Business

AIA  Sept 29 2015 Invitation

Southern New Jersey Development Council Environmental Remediation Seminar

SNJDC Environmental Remediation Seminar
August 13th @ Atlantic Cape Community College

Click here for more information or to register.SNJDC Meeting Notice 081315

WORKING WITH THE MEDIA – Composing a Press Release

AIA-NJIn our year end review of the 2014 activities of the AIA New Jersey Public Awareness Committee, we asked you to stay tuned for tools that will help you make a splash in the press. Below is the third in a series of articles that will help you in that regard. With your help, we hope to be able to leverage our strength in numbers to help promote architects and architecture.

Our previous installments of Working with the Media discussed ways in which you, in a personal or professional context, can begin to build a bridge with the editorial staff of your local or regional publications. This included some strategies as to how to introduce yourself (and your expertise) to the outlet, along with a brief guide for writing an effective letter to the editor. These techniques are useful in positioning yourself as an architectural expert and a go-to source for future pieces related to development, construction, and design.

But, announcing news of your own requires a more deliberate structure of information. This is where a written announcement, usually referred to as a press release, comes in handy.

The logic behind a press release is that it provides detailed, accurate, and controlled dissemination of information. A well-composed press release lists each of the necessary factual elements of an announcement, leaving little room for speculation or supposition – the who, what, when, where and why. In today’s ultra-fast-paced digital news world, it’s an especially handy tool for providing a journalist with the nearly all of the information they’d need for a story – all in one neat package.

Ultimately, you’ll have to employ what you know about the interests of a particular media outlet to judge whether your announcement might be “newsworthy.” But, most press release announcements for architects fall into a few categories:

• Major contracts
• Awards
• Notable or innovative large-scale designs
• Anniversaries or other milestones
• Hiring, promotions, etc

Once you’ve decided to proceed with the press release, there are several rules of thumb that ensure that it’s well organized and digestible for a reporter:

Length: A press release is designed for efficiency; your release should rarely exceed 500 words, and a simple one-pager is usually preferable.
Messaging: The “inverted pyramid” model applies in press releases, which is to say that the most important points should appear first, while minutiae and contextual details should be included in the latter portions. For project-based announcements, latter paragraphs should reference building-specific information including size, cost, start date, finish date, function (program), owner, architect, contractor, funding source, project personnel, etc.
Structure: Each release should contain a headline, date, location, contact information, and boilerplate information about your company. Examples of suggested formats can be found here.
Voice: Press releases are written essentially as if they are news stories. Press releases should be based entirely on fact, written completely in the third person. In a previous entry in Working with the Media, we mentioned that press releases may, in some instances, be published as-is. A good litmus test is to read your press release and ask yourself if it could stand on its own as a news story.
Include a quote: Typically, press releases will include a quote from the issuer somewhere after the lead paragraph. This is your opportunity to provide more subjective insight and interpretation.

In future installments, we’ll be going more in-depth into how to finesse the language within your press releases and how to properly tailor your announcement to a variety of press outlets.

For more suggestions, refer to AIA Best Practices – Getting Good Press on the web at Please note this is a password protected, member only website. Therefore, we cannot provide a direct link to the site for you. But you can find it under Practicing Architecture; Best Practices; Part 2 – Firm Management; Chapter 6: Marketing and Business Development. You might also find a lot of other beneficial material in this area of the website.

If you would like to read the previous articles in this series, please see the following links:

Building Relationships

Writing a Letter to the Editor

Kyle Kirkpatrick
Account Supervisor
Beckerman PR Real Estate Team

Bruce D. Turner, AIA
Chair, AIA New Jersey Public Awareness Committee

USGBC NJ – South Branch


New Perspectives on the Past: 2015 New Jersey History & Historic Preservation Conference

NJHP 2015 Conference

NJIT Students Win Global Schindler Award

Students Fundraising To Support Travel Costs To Accept Award

Eleven NJIT students in the Master of Infrastructure Planning (MIP) program (a mix of undergraduates and graduate students) led by Georgeen Theodore recently were acknowledged for a Global Schindler Award, a design competition seeking an original design concept to engage the specific spatial condition in Shenzhen, China “Considering the Interface between Mobility and the City”.

The task was to create an urban design-based response to the mobility issues related to Shenzhen and its local and regional relationships in the pearl River Delta. It also required addressing social, economic and environmental challenges presented by globalization and urbanization.

This was the first time in the history of the competition that it was opened for North American universities. Out of the 250 total submissions, only 12 were chosen. Of those twelve, the group form NJIT is the only U.S. based team. They are planning to travel to Shenzhen to accept the award and see the site that was the focus of their design project.

njit_coadThe students seek to raise an additional $5000 to help offset their costs. Any monies collected will be spent on air-fare, trains, hotels and visa applications. The cost per individual student to travel to China is expected to be in excess of $2,000 each.

Their project was titled


You can read more about their project and fundraising efforts here.

AIA Small Firm Exchange at 2015 AIA National Convention

Did you know that 50% of AIA members practice in firms of of 5 or less people? Did you know that 70% of members practice in firms of 20 or less? The AIA Small Firm Roundtable (SFRT) seeks to specifically address the needs of the small firms. At the AIA National Convention there is a track of programs and events specifically tailored to the interests of small firms. That track is call the Small Firm Exchange, or SFx. This year in Atlanta the SFx track is particularly robust. Please see the flyer below for the complete schedule of events. And, while in Atlanta look for people donning a SFRT badge. They will gladly welcome you to the group!


AIA New Jersey 2015 State Convention

Practicing in the New Normal

Save the Date – October 23 & 24, 2015
Two Days of Seminars   (earn up to 13 credits)
Three Tracks of Concentration
Two Keynote Design Speakers
One Keynote Business Speaker
Friday One Day Expo
Design Competition
Student Design Competition
Friday Design Awards Dinner
Friday and Saturday Tours
Visit the AIA-NJ State Convention Website for updates at: ** Registration is not open yet **
** However check back to learn more as it becomes available **

AIANJ 2015 Convention Save the Date

Design Expo Friday
Design Award Winners announced at the Friday night Design Awards Dinner.
Vendor speaking opportunities
Panel discussion with leading
School of Architecture Deans

Mark it on your calendars to come join us in October !


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