At the end of 2019, as TCF Architecture approached their 60th anniversary, they engaged Middle of Six to develop a messaging and communications plan commemorating the people, projects, and history of one of the Puget Sound region’s oldest architecture firms.
A new client to Middle of Six, we jumpstarted the effort by facilitating an ideation session to learn about TCF’s goals and project parameters. With five active principals, a decade of ideas, and just a month before the launch, we developed a year-long campaign, outlined the deliverables, and created an aggressive yet achievable phased schedule.
Projects included a commemorative logo (in collaboration with TCF’s graphic designer, Jinger Hendricks), email and social media communications, video production of five short films (in collaboration with Ferguson Films), and a commemorative 100-page book titled, Reflect & Aspire.
“Middle of Six was an essential resource in strategizing and implementing TCF’s 60th Anniversary celebration. They led visioning and goal-setting sessions with our leadership and worked closely with various staff to develop content, manage vendors, and facilitate behind-the-scenes steps toward launching multiple initiatives.” Holli Smith, AIA, Associate Principal
Six Decades of Stories
At the heart of the campaign was a powerful desire to capture the stories from the founding principals and piece together the firm lineage before those details were faded or forgotten. Surveying the history of TCF Architecture, six decades saw a journey of persistence, authenticity, and a pursuit of excellence. The partners who initiated the firm in its early years were ambitious—determined to “improve communities.”
Fast forward 60 years and the fruit of their vision is alive in talented and creative minds, a constant pursuit of excellence, and a driving desire to exceed the expectations of every client and the community TCF serves. Especially unique to TCF are their “22 Attributes”—carefully crafted definitions that articulate the firm’s values and how they choose to behave.
Countless hours were spent sifting through boxes of project drawings and photos, searching the Tacoma Public Library’s Northwest Room photo archives, and interviewing the founders and TCF leadership. Annie Ferguson led storytelling sessions to understand and outline interviews that would become five films surrounding the themes of firm history, firm mission, firm culture, 22 attributes, and looking forward.
With enviable richness of stories and vision, the campaign included a commemorative book, first planned as a 30-page keepsake for the TCF team and their families that evolved into a 100-page, offset printed, perfect bound book lovingly packaged for 250 clients, employees, and friends of TCF. The book, Reflect & Aspire, celebrates the partners who initiated and led the firm in its early years and the more than 200 past and current team members who have persisted through with the combined energy and resolve of people who are driven by their passion to improve communities.
“The book is amazing–it exceeds my expectations! We could not have accomplished this without your guidance and hard work. Thank you!” Randy Cook, AIA, TCF Architecture
Reaching Your Audience During a Pandemic
Like many companies, TCF entered 2020 with momentum and the excitement of a new year and new decade. However, the COVID-19 global pandemic changed everything and made celebrating their anniversary as planned not possible.
From day one, our recommendation was to create a multifaceted print and digital campaign to share TCF’s stories–opting to think beyond the typical one-time social event. Instead, we planned bi-monthly email blasts, two dozen social media posts, an ever-expanding webpage, and the book and films, to reach internal and external audiences of over 1,500 clients, project partners, current and past employees, and the three original founding principals.
But in March, just three months after launching the anniversary campaign and faced with the realities of a global pandemic, Middle of Six worked with TCF to pivot from an in-person anniversary party to a virtual event. Sensitive to heightened emotions and information overload people were experiencing, we intentionally paused the campaign for four months and re-engaged in July.
The impact of the global pandemic meant thinking creatively about celebration events. TCF concluded its 60th anniversary year with a virtual film screening and by mailing the commemorative book as a year-end client gift, both spearheaded and executed by Middle of Six. The end result was a thoughtfully executed campaign with thousands of client touchpoints across an extraordinary year.
“As 2020 was filled with twists and turns, Middle of Six advised on alternative means of adapting to the ever-changing parameters. Their involvement helped us achieve more than imagined at the beginning of our campaign. Our entire package of deliverables remained coordinated and comprehensive as it evolved throughout the year.” Holli Smith, AIA, Associate Principal