There seems to be dearth of positive news among the the leading UK-based construction collaboration vendors. A glance at their website news sections would have you wondering if they are still active, still winning work or still developing new applications. Excepting Aconex‘s international news and one or two client stories from 4Projects, there is a distinct lack of recent company developments and project wins:
- Cadweb’s March 2011 news release looks at an update to an academic paper reporting research undertaken in 2002
- BIW’s last news release was in February
- Asite’s latest news release was last December
- Sarcophagus issued its most recent news release in October 2010, the same month that Sword-CTSpace last issued a UK story
- excluding parent group news, Unit4 Collaboration last issued a news release in September 2010 – the same month that Aconex last put out a release about a UK project and (excepting its other products) Woobius talked about its new project dashboard.
And the most recent “news” isn’t really news either. 4Projects‘ latest offering, 4Projects well placed to help deliver Government Construction Strategy Objectives, seeks to capitalise upon last week’s Cabinet Office publication and tries to make marketing capital out of it. Frankly, the points could be echoed by any of its rivals, and would be more appropriate for a blog post (but 4Projects’ blog disappeared after it downsized its UK marketing team – post; by the way, I’m pleased to report former VP Marketing Clare Watson is now at RIBA Enterprises).
As a PR and marketing professional who spent a decade issuing dozens of news releases for BIW (and a few for the UK vendors’ trade body, NCCTP), it is a bit dispiriting. It may indicate that the recession-hit UK is still a tough market for vendors, but I wonder if it also demonstrates the void created when businesses trim their marcomms budgets and end up with little or no access to professional marketing and PR support.