All content no substance

Sound familiar?

Well, we hope not too familiar. But this kind of negative feedback loop does happen.

‘Content’ isn’t everything

In the world of ‘snippetised’, on-line and social media content, substantive technical communication seems to be getting harder to access, and in some cases, is becoming a lost art altogether.

Social media content is an easy win: low input, cheap to produce, easy output, far-reaching, hopefully eyecatching.

Indeed, social media can be all these things, but that’s not enough. You can’t specify insulation from a tweet; or install an eaves ventilation system from an E-shot.

Sheer volume of output is no substitute for a focus on communicating detail to the specifier coherently and effectively.

‘Context’ and narrative

Specifiers need comprehensive, accurate detail. Not just interminable lists of online CAD details, either: but a narrative that fits together coherently and that contextualises the products you sell. This ‘context’ turns them into building solutions.

This means an explanation of what regulations and standards demand as regards your products, as well as prevailing recommendations and good practice to meet and exceed them. Not just your products, by the way: you need to be talking about the other building systems that may well interface with them, if you really want to create a clear and detailed picture.

After that, you need to show how your stuff complies with those regulations and recommendations in clearly explained and illustrated detail that’s easy to access, navigate and assimilate – whatever medium it sits on.

Moreover, you should be showing alternative ways of achieving the same thing, but with still better results and other performance options or characteristics.

And on top of that, you should be identifying and explaining any relevant installation detailing, maintenance advice, CDM regs etc., that relate to your product and that might influence the specifier’s thought process or decision.

And anyway, don’t think of it as a product: think of it as a solution!

Give your products the best chance of ‘being in the building’

The above information – written clearly, structured logically and designed and illustrated to maximise information transmission – is your part of a dialogue with the specifier, that helps him or her synthesise the components you make into whole systems…. called buildings.

‘How do we achieve this?’ you may ask.

Well, persuading ‘Martin’ not to retire for a few more years would be one way.

But, in the absence of the Martins of the world, a more achievable way would be to talk to us at CDP. We know what specifiers expect and need in terms of technical information and we know how to write it, illustrate it, design it and present it so that it gives your products the best chance of being in the building.

We do this on paper and online, in print, on websites, in animations, in apps, at exhibitions and on CPDs.
Not just content. Substance.
Not just products. Solutions.
Not just a design agency. CDP.

Ashley Collins

Ash Collins is a Writer and Director of Communication Design Partnership, a graphic design agency which specialises in designing and producing literature and digital publishing materials, exclusively for the construction industry.

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