Over the last years, I’ve had many conversations with interior designers. I love to learn about everyone’s business, find out what makes them unique and what the challenges are. One of the things that naturally comes up is PR. A question a lot of interior designers seem to have is what PR really is and when it is time to start doing it. Lucky me, this is one of my favorite topics!
If you ask me, I can honestly tell you that any stage of an interior design business offers plenty of opportunity for PR. I’ll go into more detail on this topic next week.
What I want to tell you today is that, in reality, you are always doing PR whether you know it or not. PR stands for Public Relations, which literally means it encompasses all the communications you have with your audiences - your clients, your vendors, your partners, your staff, your neighbors, your community, your peers, and so on..
Public Relations consists of many specialty areas including:
Are you feeling overwhelmed? And adding PR to your to-do list seems impossible for many reasons - but maybe it makes it even more overwhelming because you simply don’t know where to start?
I thrive under pressure. It’s ideal for me to have too much to do in order to function at my best. My guess is some of you are in the same boat. However, there is a fine line between healthy, positive stress, and negative overload. So, how do we create or preserve that healthy balance?
As business owners, we are juggling a lot of things, often wearing all the hats. In my experience, if I’m feeling overwhelmed it’s usually because I’m not organized enough and I don’t have my priorities straight. Meaning, I’ve let my inbox fill to overflowing and my task lists (yes, plural) are spread out in a crazy combination of sticky notes and Google tasks. At that point, it seems impossible to add one more thing. And maybe you are there with me, even if your list...
It’s interesting how things come full circle. I have been doing PR for more than twenty years. Time really does fly, whether you’re having fun - or not. Kidding aside and being the optimist I am, most of my career in PR I would definitely list in the positive column when I look back. I’ve certainly learned a lot, traveled a lot, been to many tradeshows and events, written a lot, talked a lot, attended a LOT of meetings, build great friendships, and landed some very cool media placements along the way.
But you know what? There are still moments when I feel like a novice. There are so many things to know, and part of the wisdom that comes with experience is knowing what you don’t know. Do I know all the editors at all the design magazines? No, definitely not. (They keep moving around too!) Do I know how to write a pitch that 100% will turn into a placement? No, definitely not. (But no one does!) Do I meet all the pitch deadlines and is my...
When I ask interior designers what they struggle with the most when it comes to doing their own PR, the common thread in a lot of the answers is along the lines of: Everything, I don’t even know where to start.
So, I thought I’d give you some pointers. Here are five basic steps you can take to get you started:
This is what we call a pitch, in a nutshell. Pretty straight forward, right?
You're ready? Go for it! If you are not ready to give it a try, tell me what is holding you back....
As entrepreneurs and business owners, we wear many hats. It’s a lot to take on and handle on a daily basis - your actual business, interior design, or PR in my case, finance, operations, HR, tech, all the admin stuff, it never ends.
I am three years into being self-employed after many years of enjoying corporate perks like an IT help desk (I miss that!) or a corporate travel department (really missed that when I was stuck in Las Vegas for three days last year!).
What I realized after a while of trying to do it all by myself is that it’s okay, no, it’s absolutely essential to ask for help.
I love learning new things, but there are just areas I will never be really good at, like graphic design, tech or, yikes, accounting. And even when I thought I couldn’t afford it, I brought in just a little bit of help for some of those areas, and it’s been worth every penny. I also believe in coaching and have been in different kinds of coaching and...
Like every serious professional, I have a plan for my business. As a matter of fact, I am a huge fan of planning, it’s one of my favorite things to do. I am of course talking about the part where you brainstorm, think big, dream, come up with new crazy ideas, the fun stuff, not so much the part where you put it all in a spreadsheet and track the details. If you know me, you know it’s true...
But seriously. I usually send out my note to you on Tuesday and I write it somewhere between Friday and Tuesday morning, depending on how much life is happening when. Between school starting for my kids, soccer games, onboarding a couple of new clients, and creating and hosting my Master DIY PR digital course, there just haven’t been enough hours in the days lately. (I really should get a cleaning lady, too.)
So, last Monday, which was Labor Day, I felt super stressed because I had so much work on my to-do list, writing this email being just one of them. No thought of...
How do you feel about marketing? Is it something you love or just a necessary evil?
Either way, it is a must. I was reminded of that in a recent chat I had with Jason Lockhart, the CEO of Kitchen & Bath Marketing Solutions, for my Design PR Insider membership. He said: “If you want to grow your business, you have to do marketing.”
The two crucial things every interior designer needs to do to grow her or his business, according to Jason, are:
I am sure neither one of them come as a surprise to you, and hopefully you are doing both of them!
Jason said something else in the interview about PR that I had never thought of in that particular way. A media placement gives you a USP, a unique selling proposition, which is just jargon for something that differentiates you from all the other interior designers. And that’s what you want!
It’s the job of marketing to leverage your uniqueness, and PR placements...
I’ve noticed that a lot of designers think that the media are saturated with content and pitches, that they have their go-to list of people and are not receptive to new ones. Or that their requirements are so unachievable that it’s not even worth trying.
Let me tell you, that is WRONG! Very, very wrong! I have never spoken to an editor who said, “Please don’t ever pitch me. I am not interested in great new content.” Quite to the contrary, the media are hungry for content - especially now with project pipelines running dry because of the pandemic and restricted travel.
But you don’t have to take my word for it. Here is what some of the editors of top design publications said in the interviews I did for their media profiles in the Design PR Insider Membership when I asked them about their work with interior designers.
“Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. If an editor rejects your project, it’s most likely because it...
Today I want to have an earnest chat about doing your own PR and getting your own ink. From my many conversations with designers I know that PR is important to them and that everyone understands the benefits of being featured in the press. But there are a lot of open questions - and preconceived notions - that prevent people from actually doing their own PR.
A week ago I asked for the top questions on this topic and I am so grateful for all the responses. I noticed a lot of the same themes: how to approach PR overall, what goals to set, where to start, how to do it without spending a lot of time, and of course the ins and outs of pitching and getting placements.
The questions have definitely helped me finetune the topics I am covering in my upcoming course, but at the same time I was excited to see that most of them focused exactly on what I will be teaching: Laying the foundation to do your own PR, and doing so in a way so you don’t have to spend a lot of time or money....
Fear of rejection is a big reason why a lot of people shy away from doing PR. We all have the need to feel loved and accepted. And this is true whether it’s on a basic human or on a professional level. When you pitch something to an editor - especially your own story or work -, you put yourself in a very vulnerable place.
Our hustling self wants our work to be recognized, our talent and effort to be acknowledged. But the fear of rejection feeds on our deep-seated insecurity of not being good enough, even if in everyday life we are self-confident, accomplished professionals with heaps of accolades and success stories of satisfied clients.
PR, especially pitching, is very emotional. The high when your story gets picked up is sky-high, the low when your pitch gets flat-out rejected is like a punch in the gut. And there is no way to take that volatility away.
The harsh reality is that most PR pitches get rejected. I know, it stinks. Some of them are simply bad, but there are...
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