Challenges vs opportunities for construction industry copywriting

by Anna Fozzard

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It’s not all doom and gloom – construction industry copywriting may be the shining beacon for firms hard-hit by negative perceptions.

Recent headlines and language in the media have knocked the construction industry back a step or two. Phrases like ‘mired in downturn’, ‘grim run’ and ‘braced for a protracted slump’ all featured in a single FT article. The Independent opted for ‘bleak’ to describe the outlook and explained that ‘new orders fell sharply’. It is little wonder that confidence among firms ‘plummeted’ last year.
These words don’t paint a pretty picture – or even a positive one. 

News on the ground

There’s no doubt the construction industry is going through a turbulent time, whether that’s because of uncertainty around Brexit or delays to infrastructure projects. Indeed, the likes of HS2 and Crossrail delays, the collapse of Carillion and question marks over building quality may leave many feeling uncertain about the prospects for the industry. But the general shadow cast over the industry appears to be obscuring some of the positives. Last year’s Mintel report confirmed that decisions are being delayed but it also suggested that these lags hadn’t hampered new construction activity, which had seen an 8% increase in 2018. New housing also appears to be an area of growth, led by the private sector. Insolvencies during 2019 are also reported as stable. On the other hand, output levels are said to be ‘substantially’ low.

Mixed reviews

With such a muddled outlook, there are likely to be discrepancies between different construction firms’ experiences. Many firms are enjoying success. These ones simply don’t make the headlines – perhaps because ‘construction firm completes work on time and on budget’ doesn’t quite have the same draw as ‘firm fails all safety tests’, for example. The negative gloom could have long-term impacts on the industry, such as damaging investor confidence and discouraging talent from joining the sector. Now is the time for profitable and growing construction firms to retell their side of the story and rebuild stakeholder confidence.

A truthful picture

Amid negativity, there’s an opportunity for firms to bring a more balanced view through construction industry copywriting. They can share their own experiences through self-published whitepapers, annual reports and case studies. By showing the realities behind the headlines with intelligent content supported by balanced facts, they can respond to the media with their own credible narrative. Firms that are open with sharing both good and bad news will be the most effective at building trust. It’s essential for the industry that firms are viewed as a reliable source of insight, which is why honesty is imperative in all construction communications.
Choosing the right words is an important aspect of forming an encouraging narrative without deterring from important facts.
Copywriting for construction companies needs to hit the sweet spot – where the writing is engaging and factually accurate. That’s where a specialist writer proves valuable. They know the background and can quickly get to grips with the facts to find the core message in your story. With a number of construction specialists in our team, we’re trusted by a lot of firms in the sector to write everything from web copy to annual reports and whitepapers. Get in touch to find out more about how we help position businesses as thought leaders.

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