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College of Fellows Communication Plan

College of Fellows Communication Plan

Over the past two years the AIA College of Fellows has partnered with IMRE to conduct research among both Fellows and non-Fellow AIA Members. The overall objective of the research has been to gain a better understanding of what the College means to both audiences, what people are looking for from the College, and what messages will resonate most with current and potential Fellows. Two quantitative online surveys were developed and fielded among samples of Fellows and non-Fellow AIA Members. A total of 317 non-Fellows, and 380 Fellows completed the surveys.

Research and surveys also pointed out that emerging professionals think and work differently than established architects, who make up the typical profile of an inductee of the College of Fellows. There is a sense among the College of Fellows Executive Committee that its message is not connecting with a new generation of architects. Further, the sentiment among leadership is that the value proposition of the College is vague and not communicated well. “It’s not what Fellowship does for you. It’s what you can do to support Fellowship. It’s a duty to stay involved, mentor others and support the profession and the College.” The Executive Committee also believes communications around the Latrobe Prize and general awareness of COF programs have not hit the mark.

To that end, the COF is developing an umbrella message around the idea of members who have “a passion for doing more.” This option is meant to bring home three elements that represent what it means to be a fellow: passion, doing, and more. “Passion” is the emotional motivator that drives change and the desire to give back.  “Doing” establishes Fellows as practitioners, contributing to their profession and their community; making them the best of the best, but still approachable and relevant. “More” is simple and open, allowing for growth and evolution through the years.

The message and the communication plan are still evolving, and will be tested with members in the coming year.