Century West News

Spotlight on Marketing Manager Kelsey Parpart, CPSM

How did you discover Century West?

I was working at a company that did a lot of private work. Up until then, I had spent my career in the AEC industry primarily as a proposal writer working with technical staff to win public works projects. When I found the job posting for Century West’s Marketing Manager position, it was like it was written for me. Their greatest need—someone to help them refine their proposal process—aligned with my strengths, and the position also would allow me to expand my skillset into more traditional marketing like helping them launch their new website, improve their social media presence, and attend conferences. I interviewed with Matt MacRostie and Matt Rogers, and we just clicked. I actually had an interview immediately afterward with another company. They offered me the job before I even made it to my car, but I immediately called Matt MacRostie and told him I wanted to work here. More than five years later, I’m glad I trusted my gut!

What does the marketing department do at an engineering company?

Marketing for professional services is quite a bit different than marketing a product. We are selling the time and expertise of our engineers and planners. That means a lot of our work involves learning about projects, helping our staff build relationships with clients, and responding to Requests for Proposals (RFPs). We also do all the marketing work typical of any business—maintaining a website, social media, attending conferences, planning events, and more. It’s a dynamic job!

What is your favorite part of your job?

I am a writer by education and passion, and I love working with staff to craft the story of why a client should choose us to help them improve their public infrastructure. I’m competitive and celebrate every time we get a win letter. But I also really enjoy the impact that a good marketing team can have on a company. Our current team has such a diverse set of skills, and they contribute to so many different aspects of our business doing graphics, editing and formatting reports, preparing presentations and boards for community council meetings, and much more.

In late 2022, Century West started an internal initiative to focus our recruiting and retention efforts. I’ve had the opportunity to lead several new initiatives, such as our Century West Cares program, which allows staff to request company-paid donations to non-profits and community organizations, and our Milestone Anniversary program that thanks our staff for their loyalty to the company. I was also very involved in our internship program last year, working with about twenty of our technical staff to develop a series of presentations about core aspects of our business. We wound up presenting these to all our staff over the summer. We’ve hired 30+ new staff over the last two years, so it was a great opportunity to introduce folks to areas of the company they may not have learned about before.

What’s coming up for the marketing team in 2024?

We launched our current website in 2018, and it’s time for an update. We’re working on simplifying our pages so that it’s easier for folks visiting the website to find the information they want. Senior management has also been working on solidifying our mission and values statements, and we will be updating all our marketing materials—including the website—to reflect our unique value proposition as an employer and consultant. A couple of our marketers are also wrapping up their drone pilot certifications, and we are hoping to offer more video content this year that showcases the great work we do for our clients.

What are your interests outside of work?

I dabble in fiction writing and am building out my hobby farm. My husband and I spent this summer building the Fort Knox of chicken coops. In addition to the chickens, we have four rescue cats, the world’s sweetest dog, and two hives full of honeybees. My trivia team also puts in a decent showing every week at our local brewery.

What advice would you have for someone interested in working in marketing for an engineering company?

Diversify your skill set! AEC marketing is half creativity and half organization. You bring a unique perspective to everything you work on with engineers. Writing, graphic design, and the ability to herd cats are essential to being a successful AEC marketer.

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