In this month’s AGC Business Development Forum’s Best Practices article, Ann M. Leiner of Stacey & Associates provides tips and suggestions on how to make your proposals stand out and more effectively communicate your company’s ideas. She even cites GBCA member O’Donnell & Naccarato in an example of effective use of visuals in proposals!


As a society, the way we consume information has changed. We have become accustomed to small bites of information (think Twitter) and highly graphical content (think Instagram and infographics) that can be skimmed and quickly grasped. Blogs, social media posts, and other digital marketing best practices emphasize brief word counts and graphics as most effective for communicating messages.

If brevity is our new normal, why do many firm owners still ask for, and A/E/C professionals respond with, the same stale proposal formats we’ve used for decades? Owners recycle RFQ or RFP response requirements, specifying page counts and font size, with seemingly minor adjustments for the opportunity at hand. Proposals with 20 pages, 50 pages, or more are not fun to write or read. Just ask an owner faced with a stack of proposals, many of which look and read the same.

Thankfully, this stale approach is experiencing some disruption. We’re seeing new approaches led by both A/E/C professionals and owners that employ techniques to create more effective communication between the two groups