Throwing Good PR Punches in a Down Economy

There may not be such a thing as recession-proof PR, but there are ways to keep your design business strong and standing.

Here's my tips on toughening up those PR muscles in my latest post for the IIDA, "Throwing Good PR Punches in a Down Economy"

New Digital Lifestyle Magazine: Matchbook

There's a new girl in digi-town, and she shares her last piece of gum. That's the Matchbook Girl and persona behind the new online lifestyle magazine Matchbook which launched this month.  Tagged as the "the field guide to the charmed life," it's filled with fresh reports on home design, entertaining, travel, fashion and more. Check out the premiere issue here.

Photo: Lonny

7 Things You Should Know When Pitching Design Projects

If you're an architect or interior designer pitching your own design projects to the media, then here's a must read for you. My guest post for the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) blog, Design Matters, covers 7 things you should know

Take a look at how Michelle Wempe, IIDA, was featured in the San Francisco Chronicle for a project her firm Zumaooh completed in Sonoma’s Wine Country. 

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Media Pitch

I received feedback from a freelance architecture writer last week; the kind I never get tired of hearing. It came along with a link to the published review he wrote on my client's book in The Architectural Review. Here's what he wrote:
" went about promoting this book in exactly the right way.......I find some publishers, even established ones, often still haven't got a clue.  Approaching freelance reviewers with special interests is the right way to get a review placed, I think - otherwise copies end up in unread piles on the magazine's office floor!"
If there's one pillar rule you should follow when pitching the media, it's personalize your pitches. I spent a lot of time researching writers I thought of pitching this book to. Although I don't operate otherwise, his note is a nice reminder that the time is well spent. 

Good pitches look like you've taken the time to care about the writer's needs and interests. Bad ones make you look clueless, and ugly ones get shared on the internet. 

See how this great pitch by the new Flipboard folks to highly regarded tech writer Robert Scoble earned a well deserved review by him, while this ugly one to The Marketing Spot blog struck out with an off-topic, painful-to-read pitch. 

Will Our Shelter Mag Survivors Reach The Rebound Finish Line?

All eyes are on Elle Decor, Architectural Digest and House Beautiful as they move into the last quarter of the year with new Chiefs at their helms. It's a hopeful time for everyone who follows, reads, works in, with and loves  shelter magazines after chewing  so long on the tough threat of their demise during the "print is dead" era.

A recent article by Folio Magazine cautiously notes a rebound for the category is occurring, but  the most resilient media titles are those that take their brands beyond the printed page with live events, online communities, social media, etc. House Beautiful's Kitchen of Year Event in New York City helped the magazine bring in nearly 50% more ad pages for their annual issue over last year.

Smells like smart marketing to me.

I think Dwell's been the early adopter in this category, being one of the first to deliver their content online, while the rest of the category was slow in accepting that the world was changing.  (Architectural Digest, where have you been?) Let's hope these survivors will reach the rebound finish line better and stronger than when they started.  

Who do you think's done the best job at staying alive through the downturn?

Forward Thinking: New Tech Ideas for the Marketing Mind

The term "Tweetup" officially became a word this week when it was accepted into the Oxford Dictionary of English. It's not news. The way people are consuming their news has changed and is still evolving.  New technology tools are popping up to aggregate and deliver our content in better ways, and thought leaders are asking big questions like "How will the act of reading change as we move from print to pixels."   What will it look like, 5, 10, 20 years from now? Here's a few new tech ideas bouncing around the web for the marketing mind to think about: 

* Extra, Extra! The Twitter newspaper by is a new tool that organizes links shared on Twitter into an easy-t- read newspaper format; An interesting tool that can be used for marketing. See how @IntDesignChat made use of it this week to promote its weekly Twitter Chats. (pictured left) 

* What impact will the iPad have on your blog? Consider that, and plug into iPad peek to take a look. 

* There's an app. for that, and that, and that.... An article in Wired implies the web is dead as applications, aggregaters like Facebook and other things are taking over search-based browsers. It's gotten the techies sparring in some heated discussions. What will ultimately win in the war for our screen sucking attention? 

The Future of Kitchen Design Looks Surreally Green

The future of design looks green. That's the message being expressed in this spectacular kitchen sculpture by IKEA taking center stage at The Surreal House exhibition at the Barbican, London.  The sculpture depicts a surreal vision of the future, when environmental concerns will be at the core of kitchen design, The power of art is amazing, isn't it? 

Via DesignMilk. Thanks Jaime!