- Helene Oberman Managing Editor Interior Design Magazine
- Libby Langdon Expert Commentator on HGTV'S hit show "Small Space, Big Style"
- Carolyn Sollis Contributing Editor at The Editor at Large
The panelists were asked a series of questions that would help designers consider when opportunities arise in getting noticed by the media. The room was filled with top executives in the New York architectural and interior design industries and they came to support one another in their endeavors. Camaraderie has been the key to success amongst this group which is now outgrowing its original round table roots. It is unusual in this type of community and amongst the highly coveted set of skilled entrepreneurs offering advice within a competitive industry. Where projects are scarce and purse strings are tightened, it is an invaluable. And, the stakes are equally high amongst these talented women. Humbling the community, they are here because they want to learn from one another. After all, knowledge is power.
Topics covered in this conference related specific to free publicity as significant in all designer portfolios are the most current pieces of press. Because showing off without being gauche is part of the business.
There is PR and then there is marketing. Tonight we discuss free PR since it is vastly known that a huge contradiction exists amongst editors and content producers. But I cannot share merely my own remarks, which is to say that marketing to many media outlets will eventually get you on the pages of magazines. Therefore, editors that see thousands of requests a week will state their opinions as it stands for them, debating the topic on spreading yourself across the board in order to see what sticks and whether or not it will get the results you are looking for. Executives get payed a retainer for our services, or you can do it yourself and manage.
Lets begin, there are two types of editorials. The first is for the masses. These are typically seeking readers for pop culture. Like it or not, the pages are reserved for brands that can prove they are unique to another. The second are industry related Business to Business trade publications. So we first have to determine who you are targeting and then to your due diligence. Also, furnishing a story by writing the pitch, with a spin should typically land you higher odds for publications because they don’t have to write it themselves. You also have to provide a fact sheet and a press release for items that involve a wide audience.
Working with many designers and artists, I may only offer these few bullets for your edification the rest will be furnished as an interview conducted with a few of the members of the panel, and here is how it fared:
1. What strategy should a designer take when thinking about where to submit first- should he or she always start with print?
HEO: I believe a designer needs to consider how strong a project is in order to determine if the project should be submitted for print publication or online coverage. A designer also needs to understand the needs of the print magazine and whether their project will be suitable for publication or if its best to submit the project to an online site.
Libby Langdon said to be realistic, define goals and use events to network without stalking. Also, understand the POV of the magazines you are pitching or approaching.
2. In the new media landscape, there is a great opportunity for designers to promote and self-publish work on their blog, Facebook, Website. What has become of exclusivity, and where do you draw the line?
Carolyn Sollis agreed you can furnish specific blog and other social media specific items such as photos, which are easily re-aggregated if done properly although keep things that are truly special close to the vest and hold off on your best attempt to get circulation with one specific magazine as proprietary editorial.
Though all the panelists agreed it is vital to all designers to have a strong web presence including blog and at least one social media outlet like facebook.com.
3. What makes a good feature? Not every project is intended for editorial even though it could be perfectly beautiful in person. What is it that special something that makes a room look great on the printed page? Name a few key elements you look for when selecting project feature.
HEO: Interior Design Magazine is a trade publication, which has become a resource for the design industry. As such, we are always in search of projects that we feel will be inspirational to the design community. Given our magazine’s
aesthetic, we are always in search of clean and contemporary projects that have a distinctive quality, whether it be an interesting use of everyday objects in a low budget project or a beautiful and sophisticated elegance in a project with no budget whatsoever. Concluding the interviews, Libby Langdon said it is vital to all designers to determine their best shot is sometimes best to use your own space as it is your most likely your best and most controlled environment. She also offers to become your own writer, and do the work for the editors. Refocus your presentation depending on your audience.
4. What are typical places you source stories? Any unexpected places?
Adrian Wilson, photographer, shooting countless of architectural and interior design projects offered this: go to foreign magazines to build your portfolio while not to discount special interest magazines because they are extremely valuable to build your clientele.