Don't Be Shy

media public relations Jun 15, 2020

My job as a PR pro fundamentally consists of connecting my clients and/or their stories with the media and other audiences. Lately, I’ve been feeling a bit like a relationship counselor as I am realizing that there are some fundamental misunderstandings from both sides, but especially from the designer’s point of view.

When I talk with journalists in the design space and how they work with interior designers, they usually tell me a lot of the same things:

  • They are always, always looking for content (good content).
  • They like to connect with designers they don’t know (yet).
  • They like to get pitched with new projects and stories (that are a good fit for their publication.)

All great news, isn’t it?!

When I talk with interior designers who are interested in getting PR, I also hear a lot of the same things:

  • The media always feature the same people.
  • And what publication do I choose? 
  • How do I know who to reach out to?
  • And...
  • And...

And then the biggie:

  • What if they don’t like what I send them? What if it’s not good enough?

I picture this mental dialogue somewhat like this.

“I am sure they are not interested in my stuff because they already know who they want to feature. So, why would I even try? And if I did, what if I pitch the wrong publication? And I really don’t think I have good enough photos. I must have professional photos, otherwise, no one will care. I can’t make a fool of myself by sharing less-than-perfect photos! What kind of impression would that make?! And what if my writing is bad and they can’t use it? It’s just too much pressure for now. I’ll do PR sometime when I’m more ready. Really, I will…”

Granted it IS hard to put yourself out there because bad things can happen. I mean, rejection is real. I’ve been told no many more times than I have been told yes when I’ve pitched, well, just about anything. I think I’m pretty decent at it, but it happened anyway! 

The thing is, I’ve learned to realize it’s not about me. And if you pitch and it’s not the right story or project at the right time, it’s not about you either. It’s just not a great fit right now. But maybe the next story idea or project will be perfect for what they are looking for!

Here  is what Brene Brown says, and in my opinion, she’s usually right: “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” She’s obviously talking about much more than a media pitch, but it applies nevertheless. 

If fear of rejection has been holding you back from putting yourself in front of the media, try to reframe your thinking:

  • The media want to hear from me.
  • My pitch doesn’t have to be perfect (just tailored to the outlet and journalist).
  • If they say no, or nothing, it’s not because my pitch isn’t good enough, it’s because it’s not a fit right now.
  • I’ll keep trying and will have success!

Don’t be shy. Put yourself into the arena. The media need your content.

P.S. If you want some more tips, and a basic pitch template, download this free PDF.


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