The power of a story can transform you. I know. In the last three years, I’ve played three different roles in the local Vacation Bible School (VBS). With the help of amazing sets, costumes, and clever scripts, I’ve become Cam Track, a railroad engineer; Mickey Wey, the astronaut; and Sydney Shores, the wannabe undersea treasure hunter.

Each year I performed with another person who led the skit as the leader. This individual shared the day’s VBS theme. My characters made mistakes but learned lessons along the way. In the process, I helped reinforce the day’s VBS message and entertained the young audience, typically including more than 100 children and adult volunteers.

Forming Human Connections

In this age of generative Artificial Intelligence (AI), stories can also help Architecture/Engineering/Construction firms connect with their stakeholders — prospects, clients, employees, and partners. Technical experience is critical in the industry, but human connections are also meaningful.

Ann Handley, author of Everybody Writes (Revised Edition), notes that “Powerful storytelling stirs emotions. It can help complex ideas or concepts become more accessible. Storytelling helps make us memorable because humans remember stories more than facts or figures.”

Humanize Your A/E/C Content

VBS is designed to share a Christian message with children. As a railroad engineer, astronaut, and aspiring undersea treasure hunter, I helped tell stories that captured my audience’s attention and brought abstract lessons to life.

Similarly, A/E/C firms can use stories to demonstrate how they successfully solved their clients’ problems, supported a diverse workforce, or contributed to client communities through volunteer efforts.

In client interviews, participants can use stories to demonstrate how their projects made a difference for clients. Those stories are probably easier for potential clients to remember than technical details. Prospects expect technical expertise, but they also want to know they’ll enjoy working with the firm they hire.

While some content may appropriately focus solely on technical information, the addition of even short stories can humanize content and help your firm stand out from competitors. Could you explain how your team overcame unusual circumstances or how your new project makes a difference for end users?

For example, add details about how you helped a client with a flooded wastewater treatment plant. Tell the story of how an employee drove through the night to deliver a needed part, and some of your professionals slept overnight on cots at the treatment plant so they could quickly develop a stopgap solution.

Ed Gandia, a business coach and strategist for writers, notes, “As more content is AI-generated, human content will stand out.”

Leverage Case Studies in Your Marketing Efforts

  • Consider developing client-focused case studies where your happy clients tell their stories of how your firm helped them. The beauty of case studies is that their components can be used in many ways. For example:
  • Use quotes as testimonials in marketing collateral
  • Link to case studies from website project summaries
  • Transform written case studies into video scripts
  • Use your happy clients’ narratives for industry award narratives

Stories Build Trust and Credibility

Through my VBS roles, I’ve seen the power of stories. The brief skits performed over five days during each of the VBS weeks emphasized the day’s theme in an entertaining way. The children looked forward to seeing Cam Track, Mickey Wey, and Sydney Shores. The young participants got to know my characters and could understand their challenges.

Stories aren’t just for kids. A/E/C firms also can form deeper bonds with their stakeholders by telling stories. They can be a few sentences long or as part of a longer client-focused case study.

Prospects and other stakeholders can relate to the concerns and challenges of an A/E/C firm’s happy client. They want to know how a firm solved their clients’ problems. As a result, potential prospects or partners may decide to engage with a firm on some level. Perhaps they’ll include a company on a Request for Proposal list or visit its website to obtain more information.

Lindsay Diven, CPSM, of Full Sail Partners, Steamboat Springs, Colorado, believes in planning for case studies and integrating their creation with other marketing projects to maximize your efforts.

Diven says, “Client success stories in the A/E/C industry can build trust and credibility and showcase the firm’s expertise.”

A firm’s stories are their own. Use them to differentiate your A/E/C company and show your commitment to improving the lives of your clients and their end users.

Need Help With Stories?

Are you looking to incorporate more storytelling into your marketing strategies? Contact me at or visit I’m also available to present on developing impactful case studies with the help of AI.

I invite you to subscribe to this newsletter to learn more about case studies and storytelling.

A/E/C Connect

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