10 PR Tips Interior Designers Should Live By
Being recognized in the competitive world of interior design is becoming an ever-increasing challenge. With the rise of free digital marketing channels, it’s more important now than ever to proactively work on building your brand on a daily basis. Even the most talented of interior designers need to get creative to build brand awareness for their firm. Publicity is essential for your brand’s health and requires strategy, dedication and consistency. Thank you to Ivy Designer Kristen Siefkin of Interior Design Alchemy for contributing to the following list of 10 useful tips to follow.
1. Lay your foundation
Develop your brand’s key messages and differentiators. This messaging will help you create the storyline that you can deliver across all of your communication channels including your website/blog, photos, social media, testimonials/projects, and videos of you speaking. Storytelling will strengthen your brand’s identity and credibility amongst your clients and new business prospects. Solidify your firm’s mission and uniqueness and consistently convey that message on all communication touch points.
2. Survey your media sources
Make a dream publication list and then actually read them cover-to-cover. Get to know these publications and learn their coverage content and style. Make note of journalists’ and photographers’ names and the types of projects they’ve covered. Consider hiring these locally-based photographers to photography your spaces – perhaps they’ll want to include your portfolio images in their portfolio!
3. Pull publications’ editorial calendars
Think through the readers’ lens – what do they want to know? Think through the editors’ lens – what keeps them up at night? Get to know the seasonality of publications and consider how your brand can fit into a major publication’s content calendar. What story or project of yours is worthy of sharing to a large audience?
4. Think locally first
National media will Google you before pursuing a story. If you have a presence with local and regional media, you’re more likely to be perceived as legitimate. Make a list of all of the local publications and Instagrammers in your area and make sure to follow them.
5. Flattery will get you everywhere
Everyone appreciates a shout-out. Admire a local publication’s recent Facebook post? Share it on your Facebook page. Comment on their post either personally via email, or directly on a post so others can see your commentary. #regram a local publication’s Instagram and make sure to tag them. Not only will you be sharing the love, but you will be sharing high quality content on your own channels, giving you more credibility as well.
6. Generate consistent content and build an editorial calendar to share it
Consistency is the key to the success of your digital presence. Aim to post on Instagram and Facebook once per day. It doesn’t need to be a unique piece of content like a blog post – simply post a pretty living room that inspires you, or a palette of materials/mood board for a project you’re currently working on. Piggy back on industry events, Markets, and holidays. Create a collection of hashtags you will consistently use on all of your posts so other Instagrammers can identify with you (i.e. #maketimefordesign, #lifeofaninteriordesigner, #interiordesignermoments).
7. Issue press releases for real news. Nothing gets you blacklisted faster than spamming journalists.
Are you moving to a new office space? Are you tackling a huge and exciting new project? Are you on-boarding a new talented member to your team? This is buzz-worthy and the kind of news journalists want to hear about.
8. Generate your own news
Get involved. Volunteer to re-design a non-profit space. Collaborate with other creatives and makers to work on a local project. Pursue opportunities to contribute to your community which will in turn create newsworthy personal stories you can share with your following.
9. Be strategic
Be honest with yourself. Not every project of yours is press-worthy, and that’s OK! It’s not worth it to spoil your chances with a journalist by sending over a project that isn’t perfect (i.e. poorly photographed) for publication. If you have a project that is great for Dwell, don’t pitch the project to every publication in your rolodex – start with Dwell. If Dwell declines, stack rank and reach out to #2 on your list. In your outreach, make sure to emphasize that your story/project is original and exclusive to the publication your are communicating with.
10. This Shit Takes Time (TSTT)
On average, it took Ivy Designer Kristen Siefkin 12-16 months to see momentum with a client, and this was a full-time effort. Be disciplined, consistent, and patient. Brand development takes times but the fruit of your labor will come!
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