How To Win Work : The architect's guide to business development and marketing book cover
1st Edition

How To Win Work
The architect's guide to business development and marketing

ISBN 9781859469323
Published April 1, 2021 by RIBA Publishing
216 Pages

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Book Description

You are a great designer, but no-one knows. Now what?

This indispensable book, written by one of the most influential marketers in architecture, will demystify Public Relations and marketing for all architects, whether in large practices or practicing as sole practitioners.

It bridges the distance between architects and marketing by giving practical tips, best practice and anecdotes from an author with 20 years’ experience in architecture marketing. It explains all aspects of PR and Business Development for architects: for example, how to write a good press release; how to make a fee proposal; how to prepare for a pitch. It gives examples of how others do it well, and the pitfalls to avoid. In addition, it discusses more general aspects which are linked to PR and BD, such as being a good employer, ethics for architects and the challenges when working abroad.

Featuring vital insights from a wide variety of architects, from multinational practices to small offices, this book is an essential companion to any architectural office.

Table of Contents

1 How we are supposed to work for free

2 We can do better

3 To specialise or not to specialise

4 Marketing: a dirty word

5 Mission and vision

6 Branding and company culture


7 "If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on PR"

7.1 Writing a marketing strategy

8 The office is your business card

9 Your website: your online shop window

10 Your work amidst a changing media landscape

10.1 Print

10.2 Online media

10.3 Social media

10.4 TV and Youtube

10.5 Vlogs and podcasts

10.6 Crisis communication and the outreach that might prevent it

10.7 Others

11 Lectures

12 Receiving or organising awards

13 Your product in the picture

13.1 The drawing

13.2 The render

13.3 Collages and hand-drawings

13.4 Talking to clients: the project text and press release

13.5 The model

14 The built project

15 The project book

16 Exhibitions

17 Prioritising


18 Business development, the direct way to win new work

19 Client relationships

20 Who are you as a person, and how do you approach selling?

21 Just do it

22 Going abroad

23 Fairs

24 How to calculate a fee

25 Contracts: managing risks and keeping promises

26 It’s not easy being green

27 The pitch

28 Broadening your portfolio

29 Planning

30 Collaborations

31 Learning from others

32 Styles

33 Ethics for architects

34 Suing your client

35 Spam and fraud

36 Crisis


1 shedkm

2 MgMaStudio

3 Studio MUTT

4 Coffey Architects

5 David Millar Architects

6 Feilden Fowles

7 Turner Works

8 From 0 to 100 staff in 15 years

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Jan Knikker is Partner at MVRDV, leading the Contracts, Business Development and Public Relations efforts. He leads MVRDV’s branding efforts and has overseen the practice’s rapid expansion into new markets, focusing on solutions for global issues through its architecture and urbanism. Jan regularly lectures internationally, at commercial and academic venues in Germany, the UK, Israel, Colombia, Austria, Australia, Kuala Lumpur, and elsewhere. He writes for various publications and was Deputy Editor of Domus 2019.