Congratulations are due to SMPS!

The December 2010 issue of Marketer – the one with Joan’s article on Corporate Social Responsibility on the cover and for many pages inside – won an American Graphic Design Award from a competition sponsored by Graphic Design USA magazine. Joan collaborated on the selection of images with Marketer‘s long-standing publisher Lisa Bowman, but all the credit for the excellent design goes to SMPS and its graphics people.

Corporate Social Responsibility as the New Business Model

Joan Profiles Cathleen McGuigan, the New Editor-in-Chief of Architectural Record

When Robert Ivy left the helm of Architectural Record, where he was the chief for 14 years, to become EVP/CEO of the American Institute of Architects, for months design professionals were a-buzz about who would replace him. Excellent and long-lasting Record editors were plentiful, but would McGraw-Hill go that route? As it turns out, their choice was outsider Cathleen McGuigan – Behind the Lines Marketer December 2011 – and that has turned out to be an inspired selection.

Lots of Talk about Sustainable Design – But Who’s Talking Compellingly?

In this third and final article in the series Joan started a year before in SMPS’ Marketer Compelling Communications – Best of Green Communicators, she identifies three outstanding green writers and speakers, and one design firm that’s pitch-perfect as well. Green design can be fascinating or boring as all get-out. What makes these folks skillful communicators and, inevitable, successful role models?

Thank you, Weld Coxe

Joan shares her recollections of Weld Coxe, an astonishing influence on design-firm marketing and management and gifted consultant. This appeared in a tribute polished by SMPS Marketer in August 2011 honoring one of the society’s founders. Weld was a great booster of the firm and an equally fine friend. Weld died this past March. It is worth Googling his name and then reading the various obituaries to see the far-reaching effect of a life well-lived.

How to Become a Leader in the Green Movement

In this article in the April 2011 SMPS Marketer Joan again voices her concern that – marketed the way it is now – sustainable design and construction are becoming both commoditized and boring. Clients and users alike need to remember what’s at stake and whose claims and repuation to trust. “Green Marketing 2.0” encourages thoughtful research and careful decisions, and provides lessons to be learned from people who communicate and lead effectively.

Is Corporate Social Responsibility the New Business Model?

Corporate Social Responsibility – the newest buzzword in the design and construction industry to filter down from mainstream business – is the topic of Joan’s cover story in the December Marketer, the award-winning bimonthly publication of the Society for Marketing Professional Services. 

This white paper-turned-cover story what ARUP defines as an organization’s “active engagement with humanitarian and charitable causes.”  Joan says that CSR can stretch your company – but also stress it, if your approach isn’t thought through and consistent.

Joan and Capelin staffer Beth McBride spent much of a year pulling together this article, interviewing many firms and non-profit organizations about what they’ve done and why. 

The article also considers how sustainability – and the Triple Bottom Line values that underpin it – have, for better or worse, become part of corporate America’s social responsibility profile.  Greenwashing?  You decide. 

The article has created quite a stir.  Let us hear your reaction – easily done by following the “Ask Joan” instructions to the left, next to Joan’s picture.

Capelin Wins 1st in Social Media from SMPS for the Popular “Sound Advice” Podcasts

Boston, July 2010 – The Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) honored Capelin Communications with a First Place Marketing Communications Award for social media for the popular “Sound Advice with Joan Capelin” podcast series. This was the first time the category was recognized, signaling that use of all the new tools that use the internet for business marketing can be useful to professional service firms.

The SMPS National Marketing Awards program is the longest-standing awards competition to recognize excellence in marketing communications by professional services firms in the design and building industry. 

“Sound Advice with Joan Capelin” focuses on the specific question of what to do in a recession.  Interviews feature a cross-section of well-known design and construction professionals and consultants.  “Their advice is priceless, not to mention very useful,” Joan noted.  “Best as we can tell, between listeners on the website and iTunes, discussion via various social media, and coverage by print media, the 20 ‘Sound Advice’ podcasts have reached a quarter-million people.”

Delighted to be recognized for this new public relations specialty, Joan stated that “We didn’t create the podcast series to market Capelin Communications, but rather to use our experience and authority to help our injured industry and reach as many people afflicted by the recession as possible with excellent information.”

Founder and president of a public relations firm that concentrates on the design, building, and real estate industries, Joan previously was the recipient of the Marketing Achievement Award, the highest award SMPS gives to an individual.  One of the organization’s founding generation, she is also an SMPS Fellow.

To listen to any “Sound Advice” with Joan Capelin podcasts, and to see the names and bios of the guests interviewed, please visit  To receive the full-page description about the award submission, please contact 

Joan Capelin holds an inscribed crystal shaft that denotes First Place for Social Media after the awards gala at the Build Business national conference of the Society for Marketing Professional Services. Celebrating with her is Ronald Worth, SMPS’ chief executive officer. Photograph taken by Frank Monkiewicz

Hear Joan Speak at SMPS’ Annual Build Business Conference on Friday, July 16, 2010

Once again, Joan will address the SMPS annual Build Business Conference on Friday July 16, 2010 at 1:30pm.  Joan’s presentation, “Almost Everything You Need to Know to Make Yourself Distinctive in the Green Building Marketplace,” will address the dangers and opportunities facing the design and construction industries as firms market their green expertise.  “People don’t seem to know how to differentiate themselves, so I am going to provide some energizing case studies,” Joan notes.  “I am very concerned that our industry’s green services are becoming commoditized.”