Voting - The Whiteoaks Consultancy - Buildings captured in snaps

A photography competition was at the centre of a campaign that celebrated the art of a great building. By Cathy Bussey.

Voting - The Whiteoaks Consultancy - Buildings captured in snaps
Voting - The Whiteoaks Consultancy - Buildings captured in snaps

Campaign: The Art of Building
Client: The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)
PR team: The Whiteoaks Consultancy
Timescale: April-July 2010
Budget: £5,000

The CIOB is a registered charity that operates as the public face of the building industry.

It asked Whiteoaks to launch its Art of Building Digital Photography competition, which encouraged amateur and professional photographers from around the world to explore the built environment.


- To raise awareness of the competition and encourage entries

- To drive traffic to the competition site

- To raise the CIOB's profile.

Strategy and plan

The PR team put together press releases to distribute to the media at strategic intervals, each with key messages to support the CIOB's goals.

An announcement was made to a selection of media once the finalists' pictures had been chosen and the public was invited to vote for the winner.

Measurement and evaluation

A total of 48 pieces of coverage appeared. Photography titles including What Digital Camera? and Photography Monthly included details of the competition while industry coverage appeared in Building Design, Building and Building Innovations, enabling the CIOB to enhance its profile among existing and prospective members. The finalists' images appeared in Metro and on The Independent's website.


There were more than 1,000 entries, from amateur and professional photographers across the world, while 2,500 votes were cast by the public.


Jenny Tandy, Account director, The Whiteoaks Consultancy

Sometimes getting back to PR basics is the key to a successful campaign and the CIOB Art of Building project was a great example of this. As the first of what has now become a hotly anticipated annual contest, we needed to generate maximum exposure both for the CIOB and the competition.

It's not often you get to work on such an inspirational campaign for a client who is continually coming up with fantastic ideas and really cares about what they do.

Yet as we were working to a three-month deadline, the pressure was on first to drive entries, gather momentum for the public vote and, finally, to set the stall for the ongoing competition with the final results.

Luckily for us, the finalists' images were stunning and featured a real variety of content. To coin an old phrase, a picture speaks a thousand words and, in our campaign, we let them do just that.

Aside from the fantastic coverage achieved in the media, we were delighted that the campaign had launched this exciting annual competition with such a bang and generated valuable exposure in the national, industry and vertical press for the CIOB.

Everyone concerned said that it was an absolute pleasure to be involved, particularly the overall winner, who enjoyed his moment in the spotlight autographing copies of his winning photo in the Metro Scotland.

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