The Seventh W

The Seventh W

We’ve probably all taken some form of writing course. Early on, we’re taught to address the six Ws: who, what, when, where, why, and how. When compiling information for an article or RFQ response, those items are the basics and, too often, the things everyone focuses on. They’re quantifiable, comparative, expected … and boring.

But every project has a story, and that’s how we can make our firms stand out. As marketing professionals, we know that a compelling story will paint a picture that a stack of statistics can’t. When we look for differentiators in our service, we look to the intangibles—the things beyond mere numbers that speak to how our firms have impacted project owners, users, and communities. The story of how a project filled a need, enhanced the social fabric, or improved lives relies on a seventh W: wow. The wow shows how something, somewhere was changed for the better through our efforts on our past projects.

As SMPS Foundation trustees, we’re always thinking about the foundation’s efforts and the impact our research has on the profession. In the coming months, you’ll hear more about how our efforts are changing the ways SMPS members do their work. If you have stories about the ways you’ve applied the SMPS  Foundation’s work and how it has improved the way you do your job, please let us know. We’re working to produce projects with that “wow” to help you and your firm build business.

Our efforts are 100% funded through donations from individual members and their firms, and we thank all of our donors for your financial support. If you haven’t already or would like to donate again, please consider making a contribution* through one of these methods:

Text2Give:  To participate, text “Give 25” (to give $25, but you can enter any amount) to 703-991-6181 and follow the prompts. You do not need to include the $ character.

Check the Box: When you receive your annual SMPS membership dues renewal, simply check the box to give to the SMPS Foundation.

Donate online: Visit the SMPS Foundation webpage and support the foundation by making a donation.

Now, go look for—and be a part of—the wow!



SMPS Foundation President Brad Thurman, P.E., FSMPS, CPSM, is principal and chief marketing officer at Wallace Engineering in Tulsa, OK. He can be reached at


*All donations to the SMPS Foundation are fully deductible as charitable contributions for U.S. Federal income tax purposes.





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