The Australian Institute of Architects Awards program offers an opportunity for public and peer recognition of the innovative work of architects. It also provides the Institute with a valuable mechanism to promote architects and architecture within the state, across the country, and internationally. Communications Collective is proud to count the Australian Institute of Architects as a long-held partner.
After multiple successful campaigns in prior years, CC was again engaged in 2020 by both the Victorian and NSW chapters to deliver two campaigns to promote their respective awards programs.
This involved the development of a media relations program highlighting the awards as the most prestigious in the sector, while offering real value to the Institute’s members. 2020 posed additional challenges due to COVID-19 – a changing media landscape, no public gatherings and the inability to visit and interact with new buildings.
Key trends and projects were identified through in-depth analysis of the shortlists, as well as briefings and interviews with Institute representatives, architects and clients. Planning was conducted around announcements in order to maximise cut-through with media given the news cycle. Particular care was taken to collaborate with all stakeholders. To adapt to the lockdown situation, CC devised a digital awards year, with the awards ceremonies to be conducted online via a livestream to ensure maximum reach and to allow non-members to participate. Additionally, as the public’s ability to directly engage with new buildings was limited, in accordance with restrictions on movement, a People’s Choice section was introduced into the NSW awards to encourage a wider audience to think about architecture.
With a focus on collaborations in architecture, we devised a number of sectorial and thematic narratives across residential, sustainability, heritage and community to target different audiences and show the true contribution that architecture makes in society. Tapping into our long-held media relationships, we created unique pitches for different stories, projects and trends, conducting interviews and establishing campaign messaging relevant to the circumstances and expectations of audiences in 2020. We have utilised the voices of the Institute in the form of chapter presidents and jury chairs to explain to audiences the exemplar projects featured in the awards program.
Blanket niche and general media coverage was achieved, with 100+ features across top tier publications such as The Australian Financial Review, The Age, Herald Sun, Sydney Morning Herald and Daily Telegraph lifestyle publications Broadsheet and Domain, design media including The Design Files, ArchitectureAU and Vogue Living in addition to property and local media. Editorial embraced many forms, including project profiles, shortlist and winners’ announcements, public voting pushes, event listings and trend stories. The outcome was a greatly heightened awareness of the awards, with a cumulative reach of 100 million across all media platforms.
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Pictured is Phoenix Central Park by Durbach Block Jaggers and John Wardle Architects, photographed by Martin Mischkulnig.