So, you want to be on the Oprah Show?

media public relations Jun 09, 2020

So often people have their mind set on being featured in a certain media outlet. Amongst my PR team the running joke for many years was "Why don't we get it on the Oprah Show?" I have to admit, it was sort of a relief when the show ended because our clients stopped asking to be on it! 

In my defense, I did get one product on the show. It was a segment with Nate Berkus and he was showing off our highly sophisticated electronic Kohler DTV shower system at the Harpo Studios in Chicago. The only problem was that the display we brought along was not designed to be briskly moved around since it had an open tank of water. So when the stagehands moved it, or rather yanked it, from backstage onto the studio floor, the engineer I had brought along and I were sweating bullets and praying that the whole thing wasn't going to short-circuit because the water spilled over. It didn't, all went well, but I don't recall many times in my life when I was more nervous. Phew...

Nowadays, the dream outlet could be the TODAY Show, House Beautiful, Architectural Digest, the NYT, Elle Decor, Interior Design - you name yours.  While I think it is fabulous and necessary to have goals and ambitions, these large national outlets are extremely difficult to get into, and I am always very honest about this, even when people don't want to hear it. Generally, you will need a pedigree of numerous other media mentions to even be considered.

Why don't we look at some that are more achievable? There are a number of great, high-quality trade outlets that are always looking for content and much easier to work with than some of these high-profile national and consumer media. 

For example Custom Builder and PRODUCTS. Nigel Maynard, the editor in chief and a huge design aficionado, recently joined me for an interview in my Design PR Insider Membership to share all the different ways he works with interior designers. I think you'd be surprised to learn how much opportunity there is for anyone who is putting in the small effort to create a custom pitch.

This is true for other trade publications as well of course. They usually operate with an extremely lean staff and are very grateful if you can provide them with quality content that works for their audiences.

In a nutshell, keep that vision board intact, but be open-minded and start building relationships and collecting press coverage in trade media. It just may help pave the way to your dream placement. And if not, they are great testimonials by themselves!


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