The Economy and Marketing: August 12th Chat Conversation

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GENERAL DISCUSSION The Economy and Marketing: August 12th Chat Conversation

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    Ryan A. Waggoner

    To all who could or could not make it to our August 12th Chat, the conversation revolved around the economy and marketing opportunities. Many believed that becoming more diversified and taking on opportunities in the “fringe” markets are what will keep many companies afloat in the economic downturn. Networking, professionally and personally, is also a great way to build relationships into future jobs. This conversation weighs heavily on many in the profession, and I would love to hear more thoughts on the subjects…


    that was a good chat subject. Thanks. Sherman

    Brian Hochstein

    I wish that I could have been a part of the conversation but the timing doesn’t work very well with my schedule. That being said it sounds like it was a solid conversation.

    Here is my question on the topic (I would really like any principals or decision makers to answer this if they can): How do you do more than network? I am a big believer in building solid relationships. I network, meet people and have worked to create some great relationships. But I find a hesitancy amongst decision makers to try someone new or even take the time to let me pitch them. What can I say or do to get them to sit down for just 15 minutes so I can get a conversation started?

    I have tried lots of methods with mixed success. Is this just the way it is? Or is there a better way? Thanks!

    Tim Waterman

    I’m sorry I missed the conversation. This is an important topic. It might, perhaps, be more important to be vigilant about the work we already do instead of looking to ‘fringe’ markets. Building architects, many of them unemployed, are also looking to ‘diversify’ – and gosh, doesn’t the landscape look interesting. So many timely issues about climate change and sustainability . . .

    (See building architects talking about their future at

    Here in Europe we still haven’t effectively seized upon the European Landscape Convention as a treaty that we must support and defend. It is also an immensely valuable tool to promote the merits of our profession. What we need most is a concerted global effort to bring landscape architects’ voices to the forefront of discussions about sustainable futures.

    A commonly heard complaint is ‘If only a landscape architect had been employed from the beginning.’ Why not begin to push for policy and law that places landscape architects up front in planning?


    These markets need to be developed in the good times. Also, we should consider publishing our personal views/ observations in local journals as our careers advance / falter. Being generous in the good times with our time, counsel and hospitality can keep the mine shored up while we take to substitute jobs (if necessary) when it’s tough.

    Ryan A. Waggoner

    Great points Tim, and an interesting discussion there. It is interesting the terms of “place practicioners” and “the future of spatial practice” as architectural goals being brought up (never once mentioning landscape architects). But many of the points that they brought up could also directly relate to our field as well. Working more closely with local governments and communities, urban regeneration, embracing green industries, bringing new thought patterns to recent graduates, etc. are all things that our field should be looking to as well.

    I agree that policy is an important subject that we should be building on as a profession. In the U.S. the ASLA seems to be working on these issues more than ever. Working more closely with government institutions may secure the job market, and develop longer relationships and bonds in our industry.

    Ben Yahr

    I also missed the chat, but I’d like to share one of the more thought provoking opinion pieces that I’ve read about the economy in a while:…

    I’m sure there is a wide range of opinions on the points that the article (and subsequent comments) brings up, but what I took away from it is that we should consider marketing a long term effort to create business strategies that can withstand the boom and bust cycles that seem to be increasing in frequency. We all all marketing to find work right now, but perhaps we should be tailoring our businesses to survive in a business climate that will be very different from the past.

    This could include new “fringe” markets, but I agree with Tim that we should consider strengthening/defining the profession.

    On a personal level, its easy to get caught up in “consumerism”, but in the long run we would all be better served by finding jobs or facets of the profession that are rewarding and enjoyable rather than simply chasing the legal tender…

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