Strengthening our voice

4 September 2014

The ACA website six months on.

The ACA has always worked hard for members, but for much of the association’s life this has been behind-the-scenes work – negotiating the award on behalf of employers architects, representing architects on government panels and industry groups, providing member resources such as employment agreements, advising members both formally and informally, and, in some states, running member events.

Over the last eighteen months, the ACA has worked to develop a stronger public profile to complement this important behind-the-scenes work. It has also expanded its mandate to embrace the wider discussion of “the business of architecture”. (This is in line with the ACA Strategic Plan, which was developed through consultation with members in 2012.)

So, how are we going in terms of increased public profile and discussion? Well things have really taken off in the last six months, following the launch of the new ACA website and the associated monthly “Business of Architecture” email.

We have been delighted with the uptake and responses, and have had a great deal of positive feedback on the website:

“I think your website and enews are terrific. They are must-reads from amongst the dozens I see or check. A breath of fresh air not just for architects but others like me who are interested in both the art/design and commercial side of architecture.
— Peter Barda, Executive Director, ACIF.

New members have told us that the website was what first drew their attention and attracted them to the ACA.

The stats are looking pretty good too. In the period since the launch the ACA website has been visited almost 11,000 times by 7,792 ‘unique users’, who have looked at almost 30,000 page views. The majority of visitors have come from Australia, but we are also picking up readers from all over the world – people from 101 different countries and 679 cities have visited so far! It is a great start, and one that we plan to build on strongly.

Map Australia

We are also very pleased with the response to the new Business of Architecture newsletters – the open and click rates are well above industry standard – in fact more than ten to fifteen times the industry standard.

 “I’m VERY impressed with the ACA bulletins.  Excellent information and network for practices in order to make calculated decisions regarding business strategy.”
— Richard Choy, Chief Executive Officer, NATSPEC // Construction Information

The website and newsletters are complemented by a new social media presence, principally on twitter, and we have been garnering praise there too:

New website for @AssoConsultArch looks great. More savvy business knowledge for archi will improve its advocacy and impact.

congrats on excellent new website @AssoConsultArch ! all the #australian #architecture ppl should be a-following you

The ACA now also issues regular press releases on relevant issues. This is an important way to expand our audience and influence. The ACA is increasingly recognised as a professional organisation that is prepared to speak up about the things that matter to our members and wider industry. Press releases have generated good coverage and ACA elected representatives are increasingly contacted for comment.

What next?

The ACA will keep building a strong base of member resources and advice, and will complement this with expanding public and industry engagement. We will continue to build the evidence base through research projects that will ensure that we are well equipped to advise and strategise about the possible futures for our profession and industry. A developing events and publication program will enable ongoing discussion. We hope all members will participate in some way, large or small, as we seek to expand both the debate and the resources available to Australian architectural businesses.