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Experiences: AIA Social Media Connects Members

About Jacene L. England, AIA: Jacene is the president of Perspective Architecture, an architecture and interior design firm based in Knoxville. Perspective Architecture has received national recognition for restaurant design, and Jacene continues to apply her client-centric approach to other architecture and interior design projects across the country.

In 2007, Jacene was featured in Greater Knoxville Business Journal's inaugural "40 Under 40”, class on the strength of her professional and volunteering accomplishments. She served as the 2008 AIA East Tennessee chapter president, and she received presidential citations for significant contributions from six past AIA chapter presidents. Jacene has served on numerous boards and committees including AIA Tennessee, AIA East Tennessee, Knox Heritage and the Community Design Center.

Jacene, how do you think social media can play a role in architecture practice?

Social media allows architects to be more approachable to the general public. Most people do not know an architect, and may have an architecture-related issue, but they don’t know who to ask. With social media you don’t have to know who to ask—just ask your question and wait for advice.

I can educate the public as to what architects do by answering simple questions and offering bits of advice. I also use it to keep up with the trends going on in the markets in which Perspective Architecture specializes. Social media can help establish you or your company as an expert in your field across multiple industries because of the interaction and the sharing of information.

What is your favorite social media channel for your architecture practice? Does it differ from the channels you use in your life and why?

Social media has created more of a blend of personal and professional branding into one entity. This holds especially true for small firms where personal relationships are fundamental. I use several social media platforms but my favorite is Twitter. It allows me to connect to people I wouldn’t otherwise get to know, both across the globe in my industry as well as locally with people in different social circles. I have made friends, offered advice, received project leads, and have been entertained through Twitter. I use it to expand my sphere of influence.

I also use Facebook—I created a business page for Perspective Architecture. In my experience, Facebook is more of a platform to communicate with people who already know me and my company, and not as a way to reach out to new connections.

What advice do you offer to AIA members who are new to social media?

Since there are several social media outlets available with their own interaction styles, I would advise members to try out several to find one that works well with their own personal preferences. If they don’t like interacting on particular sites then they won’t participate. Members should also be aware that social media’s main purpose is not to sell an idea or company. They should be genuine in their communications.

An individual member should respond as if from the point-of-view of one person, even if that member is responding on behalf of a company. People want to connect. It is difficult to connect with a constant marketing feed and a profile picture of a logo or an abstract image.

The best advice I can give is for members to be resources on whatever platforms they choose to use. Social media is a way to build relationships and respect.

How has AIA’s social media channels increased the value of your AIA membership?

I enjoy the AIA chats on Twitter each month and I appreciate the various AIA feeds on Twitter. As a result I can be aware of particular issues affecting AIA members.

State and local AIA Chapters have become more involved in social media channels. Following a chapter through social media channels is a great way to connect to the organization and keep abreast of what issues are affecting other members. As more interaction is generated, the more the members will see value in the organization.



The AIA and Social Media

The American Institute of
Architects embraces the use
of social media to advance
conversations about the
architecture profession.
These conversations enhance
the Institute’s goals of serving
as an authoritative source and
credible voice for the
architecture profession.

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Member Spotlight

Jacene L. England, AIA
Perspective Architecture
8414 Richland Colony Road
Knoxville, TN 37923

Phone: (865) 964-8405

Follow Jacene @perspectivearch or Facebook

Perspective Architecture has
expertise in commercial and
residential construction
projects with over 15 years
experience in architecture and
interior design projects across
a wide variety of project


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