2021 PR Workbook

PR for Interior Designers Workbook

​This 10-page workbook along with the presentation will help you develop a plan of action for achieving PR for your design business. 

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​If you have questions or need assistance with developing your plan of action for your business, click on the link below to schedule a time to talk with one of our experts.

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Full PR Video Transcript

Jason: Welcome to our Webinar of the Month. Today, we have one of our dear friends, Mirjam, here, back again to talk about PR. How are you today, Mirjam?

Mirjam: I’m doing really well. How about you, Jason?

Jason: Doing good. Today, this is a CEU session for the NKBA. So whether you’re watching it live or on replay, this is a CEU session for you, and I’m going to drop in the check the workbook for this session. If you’re watching it on the replay, we’ll have this link on the replay so you’ll be able to get access to the workbook. I’m going to hand it off to Mirjam.

Mirjam: Yeah. Thanks, everybody, for joining live or for the replay. Today we are talking about PR for Interior designer, and I’m a PR veteran of 20 plus years. Let’s not count because it’s been a long time, but I’m going to just go over through some of the basics that you want to consider. If you want to do PR for your business, let’s dive right in. I just have to figure out how I move the slides. That’s always helpful, right. Oh, there we go. Okay. So we are talking about PR for Interior Designer. It’s my favorite topic. What exactly are we going to cover today? So we’re going to talk about PR what it is and why it is relevant for your business. We’re going to talk about objectives is something I’m really passionate about. I think it’s crucial that you know why you’re doing it before you actually start doing it. We’re going to dive into the some of the actual opportunities that exist for interior designers, and I’ll walk you through what they are. Once we know what the opportunities are, we’re going to take a look at how step by step PR is something that you can implement in your business. And the very last bullet point is about deciding whether or not you’re going to do it yourself or whether you’re going to hire something. And I know that’s always a sticky point for a lot of designers. So we’re going to dive right in. I like the official definition of PR that comes from the Public Relations Society of America. And it says public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relation between organizations and their publics. And this may not be exactly what you expected because sorry, I’m jumping it, because what you’re probably thinking is more publicity, right?

Mirjam: You’re thinking more about media. And I’ll show you exactly how that part of it fits into the concept of public relations. But there’s also other areas that you are probably thinking about. There’s branding and marketing and advertising. And then there’s PR. So how do all these things fit together? So let’s take a look at what they actually are. And then we’ll figure out how they work together in promoting your business. So branding is an overarching concept. It’s how the public identifies your business, and it determines the public’s perception of how you look, sound and act. It’s like your business card. It’s the identity of your business. Then when you think about marketing, marketing is the execution of your brand to build engagement and drive sales. It’s how you communicate your brand, your products and your services, and how you want to drive sales and attract leads. Then a lot of people often confuse advertising and PR, but they’re very distinctly different, even though nowadays everything is a little bit crazy. But advertising, of course, is a paid activity. It is the business or act of making something known to the public, usually through some type of paid media. Whereas PR is more about influencing and engaging and building relationships with your stakeholders and the media just so happened to be one of those stakeholders. So this may help you visualize how it all fits together. So the brand is the overarching concept in the marketing is basically the execution of it. It includes brand building and all of that. And then, in our particular case, that we’re looking at PR and advertising are supporting the marketing function. So all of these things are very neatly aligned and very closely connected. So since we are talking about PR, I just wanted to give you a brief overview of what PR actually includes. And I haven’t even listed everything. But PR is a very wide area that includes things like product, PR, brand, PR, corporate communication. So for larger companies, crisis communication, employee communication, thought leadership, corporate social response ability. Media relations, obviously an important part of PR, but there’s also investor relations, community relations, influence or government. There’s a lot of relationships that PR really handles, and you don’t have to know all of this.

Mirjam: But what we’re focusing on today is really the media relations part of of PR. And people also call it publicity or getting published or getting pressed. Oftentimes in this industry. I just want you to understand that that is really just one area of PR, but that’s good news because it means even if you were to tackle it yourself, you don’t have to know everything about PR. You just have to know a little bit of it. So let’s see what those things are. Of course, before we’re diving into how you’re doing it, I wanted to also show you the benefits of getting pressed. Why would you want to do it? A lot of most interior designers, they intuitively understand that getting pressed is a good thing. But why is that? What is it that it can actually do for you? It can really help with brand exposure. Getting your name out there, actually building your brand in a positive your reputation. It can. I help attract clients? That’s a very concrete result. It can create recognition for you within the industry. It can help you create content for your website, for your social media, your newsletter, whatever marketing activities you have, it’s great for SEO. Media coverage is one of the main ways that Google tracks are relevant. You are. So having media coverage show up online really helps you show up in those search results more closer to the top. That also goes for social media verification. So if you want to have your Instagram account or Twitter account verified, media coverage is one of the things they look at. But the very most important thing about media coverage, about publicity, about press that nothing else can give you is the third party credibility. So that means you are not talking about yourself like you are in social media. But an accredited, reputable media outlet is saying something positive about you. And that’s the super power of PR. I have another I have this really neat little thing that I love, and it will help you understand what I actually mean, because if a young man tells the date how handsome, smart, and successful he is, that’s advertising. If the young man tells his date, she’s intelligent, looks lovely and is a great conversationalist, he’s saying the right things to the right person, and that’s marketing.

Mirjam: If someone else tells the young woman how handsome, smart and successful her date is, that is PR.

Jason: I like it.

Mirjam: It makes it very understandable, right? So it’s all about coming from a third party. That’s the key. I’m glad you liked it. Sorry. I’m hoping here because we like to go about our business in a strategic way. I just want to show you one more time how that all works in tangent with everything else that you’re doing. When you think about your business objectives, those are the ones that come first. And then you think about what type of marketing activities you’re going to do. That help support those business objectives. And your PR objectives should come out of those two objectives. And I have some examples that may help clarify what I mean by that. So here’s some very typical possible PR objectives that I hear from interior designers and clients of mine. They want to attract more clients in their own area. Maybe they want to attract more ideal clients. Maybe they want to elevate their personal or their business profile, their reputation. Maybe they want to expand geographically, go national or international with their business. Maybe a goal is to secure brand partnerships or licensing deals. Some are on the right of becoming an influence, or some have retail locations, and they want to drive traffic to that physically. Some designers may have product lines that they’re selling, so they are trying to sell the products. Maybe you have a book or a podcast that you’re trying to promote, or maybe you want to get your own TV show. There’s nothing that’s impossible. There’s just some things that are harder to get than others. But those are all examples of goals which are going to determine how you’re going to go about doing your PR.

Mirjam: And that might be a lot. So I have some some examples where we line up the business objectives with the PR objectives. And these are some of the most typical ones out there. So if you want to attract more local clients and that’s your business objective, I skipped over marketing. Sorry, Jason, but I went directly to PR because those two are very much aligned anyway. So your PR objective then, should be to get published in local and regional media because getting a national placement, whereas it’s always nice. But the best way to get directly to your audience would be through your local media. If you want to start charging higher fees, your pair objective would be to get press in luxury media so you can elevate your profile and start justifying some of those higher rates. If you want to become an influencer, your PR objective should be building your social media following and getting published in consumer titles, because as an influencer, you’re talking to the mass. You’re not necessarily targeting clients, but you need more following and you’re talking to the mass. So you have to line up your media targets accordingly. If you want to expand your business geographically, you expand your focus on what media you pitch accordingly. So you go after national or international outlets, which that’s a little harder to do. But it’s possible if you want to become a renowned industry expert, speaker, educator, that’s what I would call thought leadership in the industry. You really want to get expert mentions in the media and maybe profiles of yourself. You want to go on speaking engagements and show up on different kinds of podcasts so you can raise your own profile. So these are some examples, but every objective. There’s a logic behind what PR activities you do after you determine your goals. Then once you’re clear in your objectives. So let’s think about how you get ready, forgetting press. Right. And there’s a lot of myths out there in the industry that I hear, and I just want to clarify a few things. So there are things you need before you do PR, you really should have your personal brand and identity and story in place. You need a website and you need social media presence because that’s where the media is going to go.

Mirjam: Look up information from you, things you don’t need before you do PR, you don’t need to have a lot of fabulous projects, high profile ones with famous clients or lots and lots of social media followers. You don’t need that. You really don’t need that. There’s a place for PR at any point in your business, so don’t feel like you already have to have massive portfolio category in order to get started with PR. Now that we have that squared away, let’s look at opportunities that exist for interior designers in today’s media landscape. So we’re going to take a look at what the actual media landscape is. There’s different types of media out there, as you probably all are aware there’s print media outlets, and print is not dead. By the way. I think print in this industry still is the gold standard, so don’t overlook it. There’s, of course, magazines of all kinds. There’s newspapers. But I think we’re mostly looking at magazines for this particular session because every designer likes to see a little profile of themselves or a project featured in a magazine. That’s what we’re talking about there’s, of course, also broadcast. And that includes TV and radio and national TV is difficult to get into. But there are opportunities with local TV. There’s quite a few designers that have appearances on their local TV station, so something to think about there’s, of course, also digital outlets out there. And that is amazing. There’s so much opportunity out there in the digital media. And what’s nice is the websites. They don’t have limited page number that they can print on, because the magazine have shrunk a little. So it’s very competitive to get in there. But in digital media, there’s pretty much limitless opportunity to get coverage. And there’s online magazines, lifetime styles blocks all kinds of digital outlets that we can work with. And I touched on this a little bit. But there are, of course, different types of media coverage. Oftentimes people just think about projects that are being featured. That’s what I call features. But there are also magazines and websites, digital outlets that do profiles of designers. You can possibly be interviewed, or you can just get a mention in an article that’s focused on trends.
Mirjam: You can get expert quotes. That’s an excellent opportunity. We’ll talk about that a little bit more. And if you so choose, you can also write guest article and try to have those published in media outlets as well. But there’s many different ways you can get published. That really was just talking about the publicity part of it. But there are, of course, also other PR opportunities. Social media blogging. It’s like everybody tries to claim that the advertising people, the digital people. But really, it’s part of everything. And it’s also very important for PR that’s included it. Here. There are events that you can either host or you can participate in. You can participate in show homes. You can take advantage of speaking opportunities. You can engage in sponsorship, some other partner brand partnerships. You can apply and win, hopefully awards. You can show up on podcasts, or you can host your own podcast. You can write guest posts. I mentioned that, and you can also do pro Bono work in the charitable space, which always comes with a lot of great PR opportunities as well. So there’s other ways to get PR two, but we’re going to be focused on the media relations aspect of it for the rest of time together. So that all set is like, how am I gonna start doing this? So I have a little step by step tutorial on how you can get started and progress in your PR journey. The first thing I want to talk about is hold on. I have to make sure I get this right. So there’s what I call pitching. And apparently not. Everybody knows what pitching is, as I was told by a Deer interior designer friend of mine. So I’m just going to tell you guys a little bit of what it really is. When we say pitching, we really mean reaching out to the media and sharing something with them that we like them to cover. That might be the best way to put it. And there’s different ways of doing that. One of my favorite ways is through Harrow, which stands for Help a reporter out. And it’s basically opportunities that are fed to you and that you react to.

Mirjam: So they’re part of what I would call reactive media opportunities. And we’ll talk a little bit more about that before we dive into how to potentially work with regional and national magazines. Here’s what I was just talking about. That pitching is just reaching out to the media and sharing something you want them to cover. There’s no guarantee that they will, but it’s always worth a try. So the easiest way to get started is with reactive pitches, and Harrow is by far the easiest way to get started with that. Like I said, he is a service that sources requests from different journalists that are looking for sources, and it just so happens that there’s a lot of demand for content from interior designers. So how do you go about doing that? You actually just sign up on the website. There it is. It’s called Help a reporter. Com. It is free. How fabulous is that? Right? So you sign up there and you get three emails every day, and the emails include all kinds of different categories. So not all of the opportunities are for interior designers. You’re going to have to weed through it and find the ones that are relevant. But I can tell you from experience that there are 30 plus opportunities a month that are for interior designers. So there’s lots and lots of opportunity almost every day. They come from small and large outlets, really reputable ones. Like sometimes you see the walls return out, better homes and gardens, apartment therapy, my domain, you name it, they’re all in there. How beautiful. I’ve seen them. All. The trick is the deadlines are fairly short, so you have to be on it a little bit and submit as quickly as possible within the deadline. But I would say that if you tried consistently, you will be seeing your first media coverage in the first month or two. So that’s pretty fabulous. If you want to give it a try, go sign up for it now and start following it. I have a little template here that will also be in the workbook you can download. It’s just gives you an idea of how short to keep your response. So don’t write a novel, use my template and just be specific to the query and shoot it up.

Mirjam: You don’t have to write this down. You’ll get this. Also in the handout, there are specific horror rules that you’ll have to take into account. The deadlines are fast and firm. It’s automated. So once the deadlines over the query is gone, you can’t respond anymore. You cannot send attachments. You have to be brief and make sure you choose your queries based on your objective. So if you’re going, let’s say if you’re going for getting more luxury clients, maybe don’t respond to queries that are from lower end outlets. So just make sure you choose wisely and don’t feel like you have to respond to all of them because there are many of them. So also, it’s fair to say that you can’t expect a placement every time that you submit a query. I’d say if you can land between one and two out of ten, that’s a good ratio. So don’t be discouraged. Just keep doing it and you will see your name show up not in print but online. So that’s the easy part. Those are the reactive pitches that’s either HARO or maybe if you’re lucky enough, a media outlet is going to reach out to you. That’s what I also would consider reactive. But sadly, that is very rare. Unless you have established relationships with them already, then that can happen more frequently, which is amazing, but until then, we’re going to have to resort to Proactive pitches. That means you are the ones one who’s taking action. You are pitching them right. You create information about whatever it may be, your project, your products a trend that you spotted, and you approach any specific kind of idea. Maybe you have a special process in your business. You approach an editor or a reporter and you pitch it to them. You shared with them and say, hey, I think this would be interesting for you. There are many different ways you can approach people these days, but the protocol for media pitches really is email. Email. People don’t call them only if you have emailed with them before and you’ve arranged for a call. Don’t pitch them on social media unless they specifically ask for it. It’s very important that you do research and who you want to approach initially, it’s not so difficult to find people’s contact information.
Mirjam: A lot of it is online these days, but make sure you know exactly who you’re pitching, who they’re writing for, that they cover the type of content that you want them to cover and email them. Always. Always email first. Okay, if you if you are working with a local media person, it is really nice to meet people in person. If that’s possible desk sites used to be a thing before the pandemic, that’s when you actually go to the office of the media person and make an appointment with them where you can chat about opportunities to work together, that’s a little bit more rare. But if you have the opportunity to meet a media person in person, that’s always best. Here’s a little bit about the strategy when you start pitching because you probably have dream outlets that you are working on, especially when we’re talking about project pitches, though typically publications, they require exclusives. So you can’t pitch the same project to five media at the same time. I mean, you can, but it’s a bad idea, because if one of them accept it, then you have to turn the other ones down and that can really ruin your relationship. So my best advice is to go one by one. Have a list of media that you want to see your content published in and then start with the with the most important one and typically the hierarchy. And that’s what I’m talking about here is you start with the national. If that’s where you want to go. If your business objective is regional, then start with the regional, but just go from nationals to regional and then to online. And if you find a taker, if you get published, then you can always see if you want to keep going or if you’re happy with the coverage that you’re getting there. So just go one by one. Don’t send out mass emails. Okay. And if you are not sure if they require exclusive, always ask. They’re just people. They will tell you exactly what they need. So when we’re talking about pitch angles is what aspect of the story that you’re pitching, do you want to emphasize? A lot of times we’re pitching projects. So there are options. You can pitch the whole house. You can pitch individual rooms to individual outlets. You can focus on the style, you can focus on the color story within the space.

Mirjam: Maybe the homeowners are famous. That always helps. Whatever is unique about the project, put that in your pitch. Okay. And of course, have photos, professional photos available. There’s only one opportunity. You only have one chance to make a first impression. And Photos will do that for you. A lot of Editors mostly look at the photos. They may not even read everything. You’re right. When we’re talking about trends and other ideas, Editors are always looking for trend. They love trends. They love trends and interior designers. You have your pulse on what’s happening. So if you notice something interesting, don’t be shy. You can reach out to an editor reporter and just say, I’m noticing this happening. It could be about seasonal trends, color trends, materials. Anything specific that’s happening in your business with the pandemic you saw that a lot about how people were approaching working differently remotely. You can share how tos and tips their businesses on there twice, which means it’s really important. Yes, it is. So there’s a lot of different trends and ideas you can pitch. If you have a product that’s always great to pitch you just have to make sure you find the right editor. Those are usually different people who cover that the project. The project editor is not the same editor as the one that covers products. Okay, you just have to be careful and do your due diligence. But products, especially if they’re new, they’re fairly easy to pitch, and you can oftentimes the big magazines like say Decor or Architectural Digest. They will require exclusives to just be a little bit careful there too, and have your pitching hierarchy in place. But market Editors. Those are the Editors that cover products they love to hear about new products, so be sure to share with them and include good photography as well. Pitch assets are really just what you need to include when you reach out. Right? So you want to tell them very briefly about who you are and what makes you special. Have a little short by already. You may already have one on your website, not the long one. It should just be basically what you use on a place like your Instagram and other places on social media. Also have images ready, not just of your product or project, but headshot of you as well, in case they want to feature that in whatever outlet you’re getting picked up.
Mirjam: If you have videos, that’s nice, but it’s not necessary. It’s mostly for background. It’s rare that those get picked up, but ideally have your images in high and low res, so you’re not clogging up. People’s inboxes usually don’t send attachments, just send links to them and maybe plug one in the email to get their attention. If you have facts and figures, anything tangible that’s always helpful, even though we’re in a soft field. But if you have something that you can share that is tangible, like on the business side or information about your project, the size of it, the investment depending on what you can share, that’s any information that you have have it ready for them. Don’t necessarily put it all in the email, but have it already in case they ask. I also have a little pitch template for you here. It’s super basic, but this is really all that’s needed, and the reason that I’m including this is just to show you how simple it can and needs to be. You just have to keep in mind that Editors are Super Missy, so they don’t want to read a whole novel, so just focus on the most important bullet points are great because they can just browse through it, plug in a picture, two or three in the body of the email and send it off. There’s some rules to follow when I call it pitch etiquette. It’s just basically about how you deduce and don’ts of what to do. Like I already said, email don’t call or pitch and social. Be friendly. Be yourself, be helpful. Keep it short. You don’t have to be overly formal, show that you’ve done your research Editors love that. If they know that you know what their magazine is like, the types of stories and projects they cover, they’re going to be very thankful and much more receptive to you. If they’ve reached back out to you. It’s really crucial that you’re responsive and get back to them as quickly as you possibly can and have all the resources and materials ready that they may need in case they decide to pick up on your project or story. I Often get questions about how to follow up, and I have a very simple rule of thumb. Once you’ve reached out initially, one follow up is okay. I would wait at least a week or two just knowing that some of these journalists get so many emails every day, every day so they may not get around to it, but then just forward the email that you had sent and nicely ask them to tell them you’re checking in and you’re just seeing if there’s any interest on their part on what you had sent earlier.

Mirjam: Keep it very, very short. There’s a little blurb that you can use. I would not follow up more than one time, because chances are, if they haven’t gotten back to you, they are not interested. So if you go back to them, use a different project or a different idea, then it’s okay again. Right. In reality, it is all about building rapport, especially once you’ve identified the Editors that are important for you. If you do get covered, be sure to thank them, share it on your social media, help them publicize their work. They will love you for it in general. If you following, engage with them on their social media. You may be able to get their attention that way, but don’t use it for pitching, okay, if you don’t hear back from somebody, don’t take it personally. You know, it’s just not the right time for the particular thing that you were pitching, but it happens quite a lot, and it can be unnerving, but it’s not about you. It’s just not the right time. And as soon as they get back to you that you pretty much have them on the hook. It’s rare that they would get back to you and not cover anything about you because they’re busy and they will only interact with you if they can actually use it for their work. And you can always go back with more new ideas. So I think one of the crucial elements of this is that’s all good and dandy. But how do you actually do this? And a decision that a lot of interior designers at some point make if they decide to do PR is do they do it themselves or do they delegate? I will say just for the sake of background, that PR will not just happen. It’s very, very rare that you are discovered on Instagram and that the media will start reaching out to you, asking for your input. It does happen. It’s very, very rare. So you really have to be intentional and build PR into your marketing plan. It really is built on cultivating relationships. That means it’s a long term activity. So you can’t just come in and do it for a month and then stop and expect results to keep showing up. You really have to be consistent. It doesn’t take a lot of effort, but it takes consistent effort, and you can absolutely do it yourself if you choose to, because in all honesty, you don’t need any special skills, the skills you need, you can easily learn. And the media love talking to interior designers directly. So you have that going for you. But like I said, you do actually have to be intentional. Take action and be consistent. So how would you decide whether or not this is something you actually can and want to do or whether you want to outsource or delegated?

Mirjam: Definitely the fact to take into consideration is like, do you have a team? You know, is there potentially somebody on your team who could do that? What type of marketing budget do you have? That’s usually where PR fee is paid from. So if you have large marketing budget, it might be a good idea for you to hire a publicist. Absolutely. There are a lot of capable people around. And then, of course, it depends on your priorities. Right. So if you look at your resources, that means your human resources, your team size, your financial resources, your budget. It’s like, how important is it and how much of those resources can you make available for PR? So I made a little decision tree to help you. So the first question you ask yourself is, Do I want press? And if you say no right now is not the time. Okay, then you move on and focus on other things. But if you say yes, then the decision for you is can I or someone on my team spend the amount of time it takes to do it ourselves? Or am I willing and able to spend money to hire a PR expert? If the answer to both of those questions is no, then it really means you do not want PR, because realistically, you can’t get it without one of these two options. Right. But if one of these scenarios seems doable for you, then I encourage you really to take action. So if you want to go the DIY route, I’d say first thing, sign up for or get some of those media opportunities under your belt, create a plan and find some level of accountability. Maybe it’s with peers, or maybe you hire a coach or you sign up for a program. There’s a lot of different options out there in the marketing place, but it really does help to have some accountability to make sure you stay a consistent with your PR activity. If you choose to delegate and you have the budget for it, then definitely do your research. There’s a lot of companies that specialize agencies publicists that specialize in the interior design space, and that would be happy to help you determine how much budget you have and then go interview some of the publicists and agencies out there and see who might be a good fit and get them hired so you can start getting the press that you deserve. I think both of these ways are good options. It just is a matter of what is the best fit for your business. Right. So that’s really my basic rundown on how you can get PR for interior design business and how you decide to go about it.

Jason: Awesome. Awesome. If we have any questions at all, you can at right now and we’ll have Mirjam answer them. Let me see here.

Mirjam: I’d be happy to yes.

Jason: There’s one that just came in. What if you’re a new designer and we get this question a lot from new designers that they really don’t have any work on their own or they don’t have anything to show? Would you look at PR, or would you wait until you have something to show?
Mirjam: Actually, when you start a business is a good time to do PR because anything that’s new and exciting the media care about. So just the fact that you’re starting your business gives you an opportunity to go out there and share that with the media. There’s also other just getting quoted on an expert piece. You can do that because you’re already an expert. You don’t have to have a huge portfolio of projects to qualify as an interior design expert. So I would say, for instance, the HARO queries are absolutely great for somebody who’s just starting out because it’s all about providing information about trends and ideas that are out there. So it may be a little while before you can obviously get a project published because you don’t have many of those. But that doesn’t mean that you you can start building some of those relationships with the media. Actually, it’d be perfect because by the time your project start coming in, you may have already some of those relationships lined up that will help you to get those published.

Jason: Okay. Next question, if you miss one of the deadlines, should you delete that completely or should you hold on to it because they may have something like that in the future.
Mirjam: Typically, once the deadline is over, it’s over. Like for Harrow specifically, it’s gone. Then there’s no way to follow up and actually do not try to find the journalist who posted the query and then send them information that does not go through those channels. They really don’t like that. And has it happened before I’ve had journalist friends tell me this. There’s a reason why they channel it through there, so it’s easier for them to manage and there’s going to be more opportunities. Don’t be desperate if you miss the deadline.

Mirjam: There’s going to be other opportunities coming along. That might be even better. So yeah, let it go.

Jason: Okay. One of the publications they sent in the wrong information, and she wanted to try to retrace that, and she felt a little embarrassed as you can imagine. So how would you handle that situation if you send in the wrong information? Is it just as easy as just, oh, it’s a mistake, or is there like, a protocol that you should follow to get that information back?
Mirjam: It’s a little bit unfortunate, but we’re all human and mistakes happen. And journalists are people, too, you know, so they will understand it. And I was just as soon as you realize that that happened, just reach back out and apologize and say, please ignore here’s the actual information that I wanted to share with you. So sorry. I hope this is helpful. If you have any other questions, let me know. Okay. That’s what I would do.

Jason: If you know, our podcast. We address some of that in how to handle negative reviews to some of that that was in there as well.

Mirjam: And I didn’t speak to this. But honestly, it’s very important to consider that Editors and journalists, there are people like you and I, they don’t expect us to be perfect, and they don’t expect what you deliver to be perfect. So just share what you have in the form that you have it because it’s not your job to write the article. They’re going to do that. So your job is to provide the expertise and the ideas you use to create your design and ideally to share the photography with them. And then they will take it and create the content that works for the outlet that be it online or in the magazine. So don’t feel like don’t overthink it. It’s much more important that you get the information to them in a timely manner, as opposed to trying to make it perfect. Because they may change it. They will probably change it up anyway. Don’t waste your time. Yeah.
Jason: Okay. Another question. What if you have a project that is already in a magazine, but some other outlet reaches out to you about that project. How do you handle that situation? Since you said you don’t want to have multiple projects and multiple applications?

Mirjam: Yup, it depends a little bit. The most important rule here is to always be honest. So if somebody comes to you and is interested in featuring a project and you have already had it published, you need to tell them you need to tell them this has already been covered. And so and so magazine or website. Is that okay for you? They will most likely ask. That happens a lot. But if then they’re still interested. And even if you gave an exclusive. But the exclusive is already a little bit in the past, and the media outlets are not strictly competitive, then it’s definitely possible. So let’s say your project initially was published in a national magazine, one of the National Design Shelter magazines. Then they are probably not going to mind if it gets picked up by a regional magazine to so none of the other nationals are going to pick it up because they’re very competitive anyway. But if a regional magazine wants to cover it by all means, you know, and then after that, you find a digital outlet that also wants to cover it. Yes, by all means, because none of those titles compete with each other. So that’s all. Okay. I just highly recommend that you’re always very transparent about previous publicity that you’ve already received for a project, because that can really be upsetting if you don’t tell somebody and they find out after the fact that that’s not going to end well for you because they will probably never work with you again.

Jason: All right. Then this is an interesting question here. So what if they pitched the project to an outlet months ahead and they didn’t hear anything? Now they’re hearing something. But one of the designers they had in the office left. And so how do you handle that? The designer that actually worked on the project, and it was really their project, not in the office.
Mirjam: So depending on how you’re set up in your business, I would try to just attribute it to the business itself, not to the actual designers. That happens a lot anyway. So if it is your design studio that you can just accredit it to, that typically in the coverage that you will see. I think often times unless it’s the principle of the firm, it is oftentimes not necessarily mentioned who on the staff worked on it. However, if that person had a really, really it was all of their work, I think it would be up to your judgment and probably the note on which that person left the business.

Mirjam: I mean, you could be gracious and still include them and give them credit for the work that they did, ideally because it is their work. But if maybe it ended on a sour note, which sometimes happens, then I would just try to attribute the project to the business itself instead of the actual designer.

Jason: Okay. Another question time vise in terms of how much time should you allow a week?

Mirjam: So I would say that you should wait at least a week or two before you follow up. Right. And then if you don’t hear back after that, usually what I do is I send one more email, which is not really a follow up, but it’s to get closure and give me permission to move on to my next target. I say I’m just letting you know that I assume you are not interested, and I I will reach out to somebody else about this project and oftentimes actually, that’s when you hear back, sometimes that’s how you get their attention. But I don’t consider it strictly follow up. It’s just a courtesy. So they know they can’t come back to me. Then you can prevent something like we just talked about, too. You can say I’m taking this elsewhere. I’m assuming you are not interested. That frees you up and gives you closure to say, okay, moving on to the next one.

Jason: Okay. For the designer, how much time should they allow to spend on developing of each each week?

Mirjam: Oh, you don’t do this on a weekly basis with project pitches. It can take, like regional magazines. They work maybe four months out, which that’s fast. Okay. National magazines. They easily work six to seven months out. Right. So this is very much a long term endeavor. And I would say if you have enough good projects and you can do four concerted pitches a year, that’s really good. Pick your top projects. Don’t try to pitch every project, either. Really be discerning and pick the ones that reflect on your brand and your business the way you want to be perceived out in the world.

Mirjam: If you have 52 projects to pitch, I’m like, wow, that’s impressive. But when you put together your pitch, I’d say definitely take some time. You know, maybe free up. If you’re doing it for the first time, free up and afternoon and just sit down and collect all the information, all the imagery, all the information about the actual project, about the homeowner, about the products that are in the project. Just bundle it all together and you’re not going to use it all for the pitch. But it’s going to be important that you have it ready in case you get you get buy in from one of the magazines, and oftentimes they will just tell you that they’re interested, and then you don’t hear anything for another month or maybe later, even longer. And then all of a sudden they’ll come back and they’ll have all these questions for you. So that’s when you’re going to want to have everything ready, you don’t want to have to scramble and find the information. That because Editors are a little bit last minute, you know, so they might be procrastinating a little. And by the time they actually ask you the questions they need. It like this because the deadline is coming up. So make sure you have all of that ready. And then to write the actual pitch, it’s like the template I showed. It’s going to be super short and sweet. So everything else is just resources that you have in the background ready in case you need them. So I would say, I mean, obviously it’s up to you, and it depends on your business. If you have more than four spectacular projects a year, then by all means, go ahead. Honestly, you can do as many pitches as you want per year because you can target different media outlets. Right. So that’s the beauty of PR is very scalable. You can scale it up or down, depending on the content that you have, and depending on the goals that you have, let me add one more thing to the question before about how much time. Because like, typically what I would say if you choose want to ballpark figure, like, if you want to do PR for your business, I’d say you need one to 2 hours every week, right? And you can punch those however you want and it doesn’t have to be the principal. It can’t be anybody. But I’d say that that’s a reasonable amount of time to dedicate to PR. If that is something that’s important to you.

Jason: I think that is all of the questions, Mirjam, excellent job for anyone that wants to get in contact with you. How do they do that?

Mirjam: You can find me pretty much everywhere. So my company is called Get Ink DIY. The website is getinkDIY.com. You can reach out to me on Instagram. You can reach out to me on Facebook. You can reach out to me on LinkedIn under Miriam Lippuner. All of those options are available.

Jason: Awesome. Back by popular Demand Mirjam was actually on one of our webinars last year and did an excellent job. She shared a lot of great information, and I heard from a lot of our audience that they loved it. So she’s back by popular demand. And like I said, this time, this is a CEU so you can actually get NKBA credits again. Mirjam, we enjoyed having you here, and we hope to see you all here next month. Have a great rest of you. Okay?

Mirjam: Yeah. Thanks so much for having me. It’s been a pleasure. I hope everybody learned something.
Jason: Okay. Bye, everyone. Bye.

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