For most interior designers, landing their work on the cover of House Beautiful, Elle Decor, or Architectural Digest is a #goal. While the proposition may sound lofty, snagging a spot in a high profile pub isn’t as far-fetched as you might think. To break down how interior designers get projects published, starting with pitching your work to editors, we’ve tapped Los Angeles-based PR pro, Lauren Urband, founder and president of The Consultancy, to co-host our latest webinar, How to Make Your Business Newsworthy with Chairish’s Head of Media Partnerships, Mugs Buckley. In the webinar, Lauren walks you step-by-step through how to secure a PR agency and prep stories, as well as what to expect post-pitch. Get a sneak peek of what’s inside the webinar below, and listen to the full webinar HERE!
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The Power of PR
As an interior designer, you might be thinking that PR is just for celebs. Not so, says Lauren, who breaks down the benefits of interior design PR into three main categories: brand awareness, brand positioning, and credibility. The long and short of it is that a PR agency will help expose your business to the masses, while helping you cultivate an image that will speak to the consumers that you want to reach.
So what does an interior designer PR agent do, exactly? As Lauren explains it, PR agents wear many hats. They pitch clients’ work to publications, they manage clients’ events, and they work their magic to develop brand collaborations. Should you hire a PR agent, their objective will be to understand your business goals and provide guidance on the best ways to execute those goals. Want to reach stylish thirty-somethings renting in big cities? Great. A PR agent might recommend pitching your work to digital media outlets (which tend to attract younger readers than traditional print). In other word, your PR agent should be your navigational captain when it comes to navigating the press world.
Step 1: Prepping the Pitch
Whether you’re opting to hand off the baton to a PR pro like Lauren, or you’ll be rep-ing yourself, it’s important to get your ducks in a row before pitching your work to the press. Three things Lauren recommends having at the ready?
1. A Media Kit
Think of a media kit as an introductory packet that will intro you to any editor. According to Lauren, a media kit should include the following: a thorough description of your brand (i.e. what’s your approach, your aesthetic, your audience), a brief bio, a color headshot, and a few images from your portfolio of work.
2. A Complete Image Library
By assuming a “photograph as you go” mentality when it comes to your work, you’ll have a lush image library in no time. With your images in check, you’ll be able to quickly pick photos for pitches and send follow-up images, if needed. For more on the power of photography, check out our earlier webinar HERE!
3. Assets on File
Should you get published, the publication will likely ask for your list of vendors and tradesmen to credit them accordingly. To make this seamless, jot down the name of every vendor and tradesperson who lends their services or product to a project.
4. Established Parameters
As every interior designer knows, clients are an opinionated bunch, and that includes having thoughts on what publication their home is featured in. If you have an inkling that you’ll be pitching a project, be sure to get your client’s approval from the get-go. Determine if there’s any publications they’re not open to and whether or not they’re open to lending their names and professions to a story.
Step 2: Executing the Perfect Pitch
When it comes time for your PR agent (or you!) to pitch your story to media outlets, Lauren recommends sticking the following golden rules:
1. Educate Yourself on Publications
Knowing if your project is a good fit for a publication is an easy way to minimize passes. While it’s obviously important to assess if your aesthetics are a match, consider if your intended audiences (age, locale, etc.) are a match, too.
2. Know What “Exclusive” Means
If you’re going to pitch a story as an “exclusive” (an extra meaty bone to throw a publication if you’re so inclined), make sure you understand what that term means to the publication. As a rule, it’s worth keeping any exclusive projects in the hopper until the project has either been picked up and run, or passed on.
3. Keep It Short & Sweet
Editors are a busy bunch, so it’s worth refining your pitch email to just the basics. Your project photos as well as your media kit should all be attached in a PDF—no exceptions, says Lauren.
4. Organize Your Photos
While we’re on the topic of saving editors time, Lauren recommends organizing your project photos so that they mirror a virtual walk-through of the house. Lead with wide-pan room shots and follow up with detailed vignettes before moving onto the next room.
Want to know what to expect once you get published? Interested in Lauren’s list of go-to print and digital publications to consider when pitching? Listen to the FULL WEBINAR HERE for these gems, and much more!