A Podcast Network by SANDOW

From Pitch to Published

For interior designers, getting a project published in print or online promises prestige and exposure. But how to go about procuring that valuable coverage? In a lively, info-packed podcast taped in person at AjMadison’s Brooklyn showroom, experts convene to share valuable tips on how to get a residential design project the spotlight it deserves. With insights from Kate Rumson, founder of The Real Houses of Instagram, LUXE Interiors + Design executive editor Brittany Chevalier McIntyre, and public relations consultant Lindley Thornburg Richardson, this episode dives deep into how designers can grab the attention of editors — and gain exposure for their proudest residential-project moments in the industry’s top magazines and blogs.

This episode of Ask the Appliance Experts is supported by Monogram. Discover Monogram Appliances, including the award-winning Statement Series dual fuel professional range at ajmadison.com/brands/monogram-appliances

Ask the Appliance Experts is part of the SURROUND podcast network. Check out other architecture and design shows at surroundpodcasts.com.

[00:00:00] Amy Chernoff: Welcome to the Appliance Experts, a new podcast from AJ Madison Pro that tackles the ins and outs of appliances, making an often confusing and really technical topic, approachable and dare we say, even fun.

I’m Amy Chernoff, VP of Marketing here at AJ Madison.

[00:00:17] Jessica Petrino-Ball: And I’m Jessica Petrino-Ball, Editorial Director at AJ Madison. We are the brands in-house experts and we’re on tap to interview installers, builders, renovation pros, and other leaders in the field on all things appliances.

[00:00:33] Amy Chernoff: Jess, did you know if you’re a designer, builder, or architect that you could get your work featured in a prominent magazine?

[00:00:43] Jessica Petrino-Ball: I can imagine that you put in a ton of work to build these gorgeous spaces for your clients, and it would be so cool to have those projects featured.

[00:00:52] Amy Chernoff: Well, also, I think it’s a great way to grow your business and your brand by getting more visibility to the [00:01:00] projects that you’re working on. So ultimately, you wanna make sure that your client is happy. But if you’re also able to get your next job and the next job and the next job through, having one of your spaces featured on social media in an online magazine or a print publication, that seems to me to be a great way to jumpstart your business.

So we hosted a really cool night a couple of weeks ago where we had just an amazing panel led by Kate Rumson, influencer extraordinaire, legend at this point, in the way that she’s built , the real houses of Instagram, feed, and has a lot of interesting insight and tips to get your projects published

[00:01:46] Jessica Petrino-Ball: We had some really talented panelists too. We got to hear some really great points from Brittany Chevalier McIntyre and Linley Thornberg Richardson. So without further ado, let’s jump right on into the event.

[00:01:59] Amy Chernoff: [00:02:00] Welcome everybody.

[00:02:04] Lindley Richardson: Welcome!

[00:02:05] Amy Chernoff: welcome. I’m Amy Chernoff, head of marketing at AJ Madison, and Tonight our topic is going to be pitched to published. We’re so excited to share so many expert tips around how to get your gorgeous designs, published and get more visibility for your brand.

[00:02:26] Jessica Petrino-Ball: I’m Jessica Petrino-Ball, and we are also excited to gonna cover a wide range of topics and answer some really pressing questions.

[00:02:48] Amy Chernoff: So, AJ Madison Pro is our trade program for designers, architects, custom home builders, all types of trade professionals, and we’re hoping that the [00:03:00] podcast is a useful resource for this audience. One of the benefits of our program, I promise this is not an infomercial for A J Madison Pro, but one of the benefits is we incorporate your projects into our national and local advertising, whether that’s print or outdoor, or maybe the website But I think everyone here is waiting to hear all the great tips that our panel has to present. And we, we are super fortunate today to have fantastic experts. I’m gonna introduce the moderator, Kate Rumson

[00:03:35] Lindley Richardson: Hi Kate.

[00:03:40] Amy Chernoff: I um, met Kate several years ago.

I was a complete fan girl and was just fawning over her when she had maybe 400,000 followers. Kate is now 2.4 million and one of the largest media platforms influencers for home and design and luxury real [00:04:00] estate. Super impressive how she’s built her business with many, many, many extensions. She is fabulous and fantastic, and she’s got a lot to share today

[00:04:09] Jessica Petrino-Ball: And we have two fantastic panelists with us today. Uh, we have Brittany Chevalier.

She is the writer, design editor and content strategist, based in New York City. In her current position as the executive editor at Luxe Interiors and Design Magazine, she oversees the team’s communication plan. She executes brand initiatives and assists with the shaping of 15 regions feature sections.

 Woo, Yay,

[00:04:37] Jessica Petrino-Ball: Um, and we Linley Richardson. She has over 15 years of experience as a public relations consultant and has a strong history of getting clients published both locally and nationally.

[00:04:49] Lindley Richardson: Woo, Yay,

[00:04:50] Brittany Chevalier-McIntyre: woo.

[00:04:51] Amy Chernoff: Thank you. We’re gonna turn it over to the panel.

[00:04:54] Kate Rumson: All right. So I am very excited about this conversation. but before we get into the nitty [00:05:00] gritty, of how to get published or how to pitch stories, we should start out with one of the most important aspects of any company, whether that company’s in design, fashion, or beauty.

Know who you are as a brand and own it. And this means branding yourself from everything from how you dress to how you, design spaces. So Lindley, as a public relations expert, how important is it to have a digital footprint in this world of interiors?

Lindley Richardson: Now, I will say I’m a publicist. I am not a social media expert, so not they are totally different.

But I will say that my clients are telling me that their potential clients are coming to them instead of a Pinterest board. They’re coming to them with tags on social media. Like, Hey, I’ve tagged all these different photos that I’ve seen from other interior designers or architects or builders.

This is what I wanna replicate when you do my house. So I [00:06:00] think having a social media footprint is super important and owning your brand. And that goes into photography too. So making sure that you’re working with photographers that are in the same style and vein of what you’re trying to, you know, emulate, you know what your clients are wanting.

You know, what’s your style. So if you’re more preppy and have tons of color, then I wouldn’t hire a photographer to shoot your projects. That’s very moody. So, yeah, I think that that’s important.

[00:06:30] Kate Rumson: And Brittany, from the editorial perspective, of interiors, how often do you rely on social media or websites, to understand a designer’s brand identity?

[00:06:43] Brittany Chevalier-McIntyre: So when it comes to brand identity, it’s huge. It’s, it’s super important when we are pitched projects, either if it’s from a PR person or the designer themselves and we’re, we’re not quite familiar with them, we will of course do what everybody does. You [00:07:00] Google them and you look up their website, you see what other links they have under their name.

Maybe it’s a show house, maybe they’re linked to other magazines and of course their Instagram, which is huge. So it’s really important. I actually, I did a panel once with Melissa Galt. She is, An expert when it comes to marketing to affluent clients, and many of the tips that she gives actually apply to the editorial world, and that means really living your brand.

So it means that even in the signature of your email, having something that reflects you as a designer, it means when you are going to an event, you need to dress the part. When you are handing out business cards, it’s super important to live your brand and have something that reflects you and really your clientele.

So it is huge, it’s important, and designer should really stick to that [00:08:00]

[00:08:00] Lindley Richardson: good advice.

There’s a woman I will just name say in Washington. She’s an interior designer. She has a great Dane and she brings it to every event, and she’s known as the woman with a great Dane.

So that’s her signature. That’s her signature, Yeah. There. So it could be a dog

[00:08:15] Brittany Chevalier-McIntyre: even down to the water bottles that are in your office to really brand them, because nobody wants to see a ShopRite water bottle.

[00:08:23] Lindley Richardson: No offense. No, that is, that is very true.

[00:08:27] Kate Rumson: So one of the most important factors when pitching a project is doing your homework, knowing various publications and all the differences, because every magazine, every interior’s magazine is different.

Linley, can you tell us a little bit about how designers can assess their project or product and decide where it should belong?

[00:08:49] Lindley Richardson: I think first and foremost you need to think about what rooms you’ve photographed, do you have enough for a full house feature? So that would mean that you have a kitchen, you [00:09:00] have a primary bath, primary bedroom, living room, and then some extra bonus room, whether it’s a dining room or a study or you know, a basement.

 That would be enough for a full house. If you don’t have that, if you just have say, you know, maybe you’ve just shot a kitchen, do you have befores? there’s a ton of publications that do before and afters. So research those publications that do kitchen before and afters and figure out where your project best fits.

And then also knowing the editors, but you don’t have to know the editor to be able to get your project published in that particular publication. I would say a lot of these publications are working with freelancers now who write for a variety of different outlets. So use that to your benefit.

I did that, I read a piece that was written for House Beautiful by a freelancer, someone that was not on staff with house beautiful. But I sent her Instagram [00:10:00] message and said, Hey, read your story. Would love to pitch you on a project that I have, I think it would be of your interest.

She sent me your email. I sent her the pitch. She pitched it to the New York Times and it ran earlier this spring. So I mean, you just need to do your homework and I think reaching out to these freelancers. They write for all these different publications and they, a lot of them used to be on staff with these publications, so they have better relationships sometimes with these editors.

But as an editor, they might read their pitch before they read a pitch from someone they don’t know.

Kate Rumson: And Brittany, can you tell us a little bit about Luxe and its audience?

[00:10:41] Brittany Chevalier-McIntyre: So Luxe is the largest network of regional magazines in the country with the national presence.

We have 14 regions, actually 16 if you count the Hamptons and the Naples issue. But our publication is really [00:11:00] about connecting design pros to affluent design enthusiasts. our readers They’ve made it and they are ready to hire that interior designer. They’re ready to hire that landscape architect, that architect, that builder.

They’ve arrived, They are ready to build that first, second, third, and maybe even fourth home. They are there. That is definitely our reader. So when you are an interior designer, you have to know who their readership is. And even under the SANDOW Design Group umbrella, we have a few other publications like Interior Design Magazine that is really written for the Design Pros.

It’s much more b2b. Also, Metropolis, which is the story of design and really the future of design, especially when it comes to sustainability. So it’s really important to know who you’re pitching to. So yes, you need to do your homework. You need to get a magazine, get all the magazines, flip through [00:12:00] them and really see who is the reader, does that fit into your brand and is that who you should be pitching to?

Also when it comes to, you know, making connections, I think that we’ll talk about that later. But I think it is really important to look at the masthead when you get that publication. Look at who is on it, follow them on Instagram, reach out to them, or go to an event like this one and, and meet them.

The most fruitful and wonderful relationships that I have in this industry with designers has come from showrooms, meeting people at showrooms. Also trade events. That’s huge. So I think that connecting with people is super important. I also believe connecting with freelancers is super important all around.

But you know, it’s really important to do your homework when it comes to knowing who and how to pitch.

[00:12:55] Kate Rumson: Absolutely. I agree. And I also have to say that it is incredibly important to get, [00:13:00] not only to get your project seen, but get it seen by the right audience. Because just like every magazine is different, every platform is different.

And it’s interesting cuz I just recently had my own experience, I recently finished a project in my own house. It was a bedding closet. Um, some of you may have seen it, and it’s just something that I’ve been wanting to do for a very long time.

I wanted to have a bedding closet. I was very excited about it. We finished it. I filmed it, I published it on my own platform and the response has been just overwhelmingly positive. It’s, , as good as you would want your project to be received. You know, I was excited about it. I was proud about it.

My community loved it, and they got it. you know, And now everybody wants, a bedding closet and they don’t know how they lived without it, and their next house will have it. And it was just, it was just everything you want.

But then, you know, a few days later, that video was picked up by a few other large interior design accounts on Instagram with hundreds of thousands and [00:14:00] millions of followers. so they posted the same video and I was reading, you know, the comments under that same video and they were different, in some accounts it was, more focused on.

 How practical it was. Like everything is gonna be dusty and everything needs to be covered in plastic, and I need to be using, you plastic bags. on other accounts it was, more negative, like, who needs so much bedding, you know, like we only have one set of sheets, and what was so interesting about it is that, and it wasn’t like it was, the same project that was photographed by different photographers, styled by different stylists, or, you know, the copy was written by different writers.

it was the same video with a voiceover that I recorded explaining, my reasons and my inspiration for this project. And it was just received very differently. so I think that, to an untrained eye, it just could look like, you know, they’re all the same magazines and they, they print beautiful homes or the same, you know, Instagram accounts or websites or blogs.

but they’re all different. And I think that it’s important for everybody. It’s, it’s, it’s really ideal for everybody, for your [00:15:00] project to meet your ideal. Audience, it’s good for the, you know, the platform publishing it. It’s good for the end user, It’s good for you cuz you want somebody, really excited, about your project.

[00:15:12] Lindley Richardson: But I would say there’s not always just one home for a project, I think it depends on where it gets placed.

Like this New York Times piece, I didn’t pitch it anywhere else cause it ran in the Times, and that’s big coverage. But sometimes you can pitch and you have to be strategic. You’re not pitching rival publications, but you can get placements in multiple publications, you know, both locally and nationally.

And they all have different audiences. So like you were saying, how you had different comments based on the different platforms that were reposting your video. There’s different readers with all these publications. So as a publicist, my job is to get different eyes, different readers from different [00:16:00] publications that are, reading these magazines to read the same project.

and there’s also roundups, just because if you had a whole house that ran in one publication, keep in mind there’s tons of roundup opportunities.

Kitchen roundups or you know, living room roundups or whatever. Lots of listicles. Yes. Yeah. So I mean, I had a client that, had asked me to help out with some photo shoots. This was right at the beginning of Covid. And he actually just, he was an architect that redid some detached garages and turned them into home offices and this was April, 2020. And I was like, It’s detached garages, home offices, people are gonna be working from home. So I was like, Oh, anything in three is a trend. Remember that? So when you’re an editor, you want like for roundups. So I’ve put feelers out to my other clients and I had two more architects that did detach garages.

Well now I had four. And so I pitched it, as a, Hey, working from home here are four different, I had a publication, they cut and [00:17:00] pasted and ran it verbatim my pitch. it was of the moment, it was working from home, the very beginning of Covid. So just if you’re working with clients and you’re putting in, this was years ago, a lot of people were putting in little coffee stations in primary bedroom. I had an architect and we ended up pitching it to the Washington Post and it ran in the post.

[00:17:24] But now you see them everywhere. So as you’re working with clients, keep in mind, Oh, I have a lot of clients asking for X. Maybe that’s a trend story.

Kate Rumson: All right, so a crucial aspect of life in general is about who you know, making connections with publications is also very important.

Brittany, how would designers wanting to get their work scene connect with editors?

[00:17:51] Brittany Chevalier-McIntyre: So, I know I touched upon this, but looking at the mast head is the first thing I would do. flip through the magazine, see if it’s [00:18:00] for your clientele, who you’re hoping to attract. Look at the masthead and follow those people on Instagram.

 Then go to the website, Luxe’s website and sign up for events like this one so that you can be there and meet people. Now, if you’re unable to do that on Instagram, I mean, we actually, we love getting, you know, messages from designers saying, I have a great project I’d love to show you. I mean, believe me, we, we do.

We like it.

Kate Rumson: Oh, so that’s a you, you do enjoy?

Brittany Chevalier-McIntyre: We do. We like it a lot because it’s also, if it’s somebody we’ve never heard of, they might be the next big design star. We don’t know, we love, That’s part of being a journalist, a design journalist in a way is, is finding fresh new talent that’s out there.

So receiving messages and saying, I’ve got a project. I always say, “Great, here’s my email. Would love to see it. Please send it my way.” Really reaching out And. Having that personal connection really is unbeatable when it comes to having projects [00:19:00] published. And when we go into pitch meetings with our Editor in Chief, Pamela Jack, we say, you know, we, we met with this person.

They were so nice. They have beautiful work and, we’d be really interested in publishing them in the future.

[00:19:13] Kate Rumson: Okay, great. And Linley, any advice for networking?

Lindley Richardson: Something we haven’t talked about yet is when you have a project, a lot of times there’s multiple players involved, especially if it’s a big house, there’s a builder, there’s an architect, there’s an interior designer, there’s a landscape architect.

[00:19:29] So when you go to pitch the project, you wanna show a united front, right? The editors don’t want to get pitches, you know, from the interior designer with the same project that an architect’s sending, Right. Needs to be coming from one from,

Kate Rumson: From one place.

Lindley Richardson: Yes. From one place. And sometimes maybe an architect might have a better relationship with an editor.

Mm-hmm. than a landscape architect or the builder. So work together, ask, Hey, where do we wanna pitch [00:20:00] this project? Find out who your top choices are, and then say, Hey, who has the relationship? Maybe none of you do, but it’s worth asking the question and then, that person who does have the relationship can send the pitch from their firm with all the players’ informations of who was involved in the project.

But that’s something that I always suggest.

Brittany Chevalier-McIntyre: But then there’s the conundrum of the photo. Let’s say the photographer pitches you. Well, that story

[00:20:26] Lindley Richardson: That, and that’s something we haven’t talked about either. Yeah. so photographers will have the relationships with the magazines, right?

So sometimes a photo editor with a magazine will reach out to a photographer and say, “Hey, I’m in need of, do you have anything?” And so then they’ll send projects that they have. that happens to me all the time. knowing that these photographers have these relationships, In your best interest to hire photographers that do have relationships with these national magazines. Cuz [00:21:00] it just makes it easier.

[00:21:01] Brittany Chevalier-McIntyre: We actually don’t have a photo editor at Luxe, which is, which is huge. I mean, and that speaks to the relationships that we have with the photographers that actually a lot of photographers reach out to us with great projects, which is great. I think that we’ll get into photography very soon. Yeah. Yeah. Um, but it’s super important to have great photography.

[00:21:22] Kate Rumson: Absolutely. When pitching to publications, in addition to your work standing out, you must set yourself apart from others.

Lindley as a public relations consultant. What are your tips for those trying to craft a compelling pitch?

[00:21:39] Lindley Richardson: So my pitches are pretty detailed. but I always, you include the who, what, when, where, why you wanna have a really strong, opening paragraph because these editors are getting a ton of pitches.

They’re not gonna scroll down and read your long, thorough pitch. I’m pitching one right now. but the house used to be a brothel. Oh. So I actually [00:22:00] say that in my subject line. So who’s not gonna wanna open an email that has brothel in the subject line? No.

So you wanna have the information, right? You wanna know, where’s the house located? Who are the homeowners, if the homeowners are willing to be part of this story, because that dictates where you can pitch the project, right? Cause there’s certain publications that have to have a homeowner element, New York Times, Wall Street Journal.

Certain publications don’t. So you gotta know that in advance. Don’t pitch a publication that has to have a homeowner element when the homeowners wanna be anonymous. If the homeowners are willing to play ball, then I say who they are, what they do for a living, how many kids they have, what their ages are, a project synopsis, , square footage of the home before and after.

If it was a redesign, I have a link to Dropbox, with before and after images. and about a paragraph that has details on the design. So you just wanna make it as seamless as possible because these editors are getting tons of pitches. Limit the back and forth, [00:23:00] limit the number of questions they have to ask you.

So if you just have it all in one email, it makes it easier for them to say yes or no. And then when you get a yes or no, then you can move on to the next, ? Because you don’t wanna pitch 20 publications at once , be strategic pitch one at a time.

[00:23:18] Kate Rumson: And Brittany, being on the other side of the process, on the other end of the process, what intrigues you most about pitches?

[00:23:25] Brittany Chevalier-McIntyre: we were talking about photography and a lot of what Lindley just said. but having a great photographer in your project, capturing the space is of the utmost importance.

When you are going into photographing a space, you have to know that this is going to be pitched everywhere. Also, you have to know that these photographers have great connections as well. But when you’re pitching, having great photos, that A, it’s industry standard now for really every [00:24:00] interior designer to photograph their own spaces that it’s beneficial.

One for the editor because they find it, it makes their job a lot easier. And two, then the interior designer, they don’t have to go to the photographer to license the images. It is by far the most important thing when pitching. The number two most important thing is having a succinct and clear story when it comes to a pitch.

 Saying why it’s a good fit for the magazine, why it’s a good fit for Luxe, who the design pros are really listing them off saying, This is the interior designer, this is the architect, or this is an interior only story. who is the landscape architect? Who is the builder? Luxe is all about staying local, so we really like to capture the local design pros.

So knowing that everyone is local to the region is huge for us. Knowing why and Lindley actually listed everything that we like to know in one email so that we don’t have to [00:25:00] do a huge back and forth saying, But wait, you, you know, what about this? So it is super important that you at first come out and say all of the details of a project, it really cuts back and it’s less work for everyone involved.

[00:25:15] Lindley Richardson: Just keep in mind these editors they get tons of pitches. So like the Washingtonian example that I gave, she took my signature off and ran it verbatim.

Cuz I had everything that she needed so she didn’t have to do any, they have to run how many columns, a month. So just do the work for them. Try to make it as easy, as easy as possible. But also something about photography that I just wanna mention. When you’re hiring these photographers, it’s important, and I’m telling all my clients this, A lot of times magazines will pay a photographer for the image rights to then run an image in a publication. A lot of these publications, even on the national level, are no longer doing that. So some photographers are putting in a [00:26:00] little editorial fee on top of the fee that you already paid this photographer to shoot a project.

Like I have a photographer in Washington that does a lot of my client’s work, and she’s added an additional $750 fee. It’s a one time usage fee, so client has to pay it one time and then they can pitch it. A million times and have it run in a million different publications and you own the editorial rights.

So the photographer doesn’t have to sign a waiver or anything for a magazine to run it. So have those conversations with photographers early. So you know what you’re getting yourself.

[00:26:39] Kate Rumson: So we covered photography. Now, how about styling? How important is it to hire a stylist?

[00:26:44] Brittany Chevalier-McIntyre: It is very clear when you receive a project, whether it’s been styled or not, it’s a profession. If they’re professionals, they know how to style a coffee table, a bookcase, florals, they, they know what’s too much, what’s too little.

They’re pros. [00:27:00] So it is actually a huge advantage to hire a stylist when it comes to your photo shoot, cuz it’s very clear what is styled and what is not.

Lindley Richardson: I think it just depends on the client.

[00:27:11] There’s some publications that obviously are over styled and then some publications, and I have one client that’s more clean, minimal on the styling. But his projects recently have just been too sparse, so I’m like, You need to amp up your styling a little bit more. And he just did a photo shoot and it looks fantastic.

But I mean, it’s hard when you’re a clean, kind of more minimal

[00:27:35] Brittany Chevalier-McIntyre: architect. Oh, absolutely. It, it all comes down to aesthetic. Yeah. If, if you are going for the modern sleek, you’d really, but you wanna do it, well, you have a juice part. It’s hard. It’s, it’s a happy medium, but that’s why you bring in a stylist to, people will say, Oh, we’re gonna do this, we’re gonna do that.

You know, we won’t do that. So that’s where even bringing someone in further eye to say, What could I add here? I just feel like I need something. So there is value [00:28:00] in it. Absolutely. 

[00:28:02] Kate Rumson: All right, so now let’s talk about editorial calendars. because every publication has one. How important is it for a designer to pull it up on the magazine’s website and follow it?

[00:28:13] Brittany Chevalier-McIntyre: Very important. . the editorial calendar, every, every publication has a roadmap for w where they are going in the year. Now, luxe is luxury all day, every day. However, that’s a broad topic, so let’s make it a little more narrow. What are we gonna focus on?

For example, our March/April issue is our indoor/outdoor issue. So we tend to veer a little bit more in that direction. For front, a book for indoor outdoor. Our, you know, September issue is really the ultimate luxury issue. January/February are the people in design issues. we theme issues so that we have a direction to go in and that it’s very clear when it comes to [00:29:00] what people want to pitch.

So when you’re looking at an editorial calendar, I’m actually very impressed when people email me and they say, I looked at this and wow, it’s the Made in America issue for May/June. I have this great product, or I have this great story about this outdoor garden that was by the first woman landscape architect, and this would be awesome for that issue.

I’m very impressed when people really go that extra mile and they go to our website. Every magazine has their editorial calendar on their website. They go to our website and they take the time to actually look at what we have for the upcoming year. So it’s huge. I think that every interior designer should be pulling up every magazine that they hope to be published.

In the editorial content calendar and also, it helps them with planning out their year with, with when they should be pitching certain projects.

[00:29:58] Lindley Richardson: Yeah. I always lead with, [00:30:00] Hey, I think this is a great fit for, if you lead with that in your first sentence, then the editor knows, Oh yes, this would be a good fit for that particular column, and they appreciate the fact that you’ve done your homework.

and just, you know, don’t be silly with like sending an editor. We were talking about this, my husband’s a landscape architect and he just finished a ton of projects and had them photographed in, you know, September. And he’s like anxious for me to be pitching them. And I’m like, it’s the end of the season.

I’m not pitching a pool. You know, now. so obviously Luxe is working on indoor/outdoor. Yeah, we’re working on indoor/outdoors is so, but you know, I normally wouldn’t start pitching it for certain publications until after the holidays, beginning of January when people start thinking about summer.

Cuz just knowing lead times. Right. So locally magazines work about two months out, um, three [00:31:00] months out sometimes, and then nationally it’s six months to a year out. So just keep that in mind

[00:31:06] Brittany Chevalier-McIntyre: For sure. I used to work a lot on the front of book and I always needed Made in America stories or international influence.

And when people said I’ve got. Story or a great product or a great project that would really fit for this. My ears would always perk up, I would say, Wow, okay. I, I need something. I’m looking for this, You know, I’m, I’m pitching my editor in chief in two weeks and this could perhaps be, a hit for me.

[00:31:32] Kate Rumson: in addition to planning and looking far ahead with editorial calendars, designers need to understand lead times when it comes to publications. Linley from a broader magazine perspective, can you talk about how designers should think when it comes to pitching for future stories?

[00:31:51] Lindley Richardson: Just knowing, knowing the seasons, knowing just when to pitch.

I might just keep thinking of my [00:32:00] husband in the pools. Just, you know, cuz think about it, if it’s a, the end of the year, it’s holiday. They’re not posting a picture of a outdoor pool.

[00:32:10] Brittany Chevalier-McIntyre: Well, my suggestion would be to reach out to the editors and say, When can I start pitching this? Yes. I have a folder in my email that’s specifically marked down by issue so that I can go back to that and say, Oh yes, that person pitched that to me back then.

So, I’m just saying that I think every publication is different. We currently at Luxe are closing out our January/February issue and working on, on March/April. So that is our indoor/outdoor issue. We are looking for pools and and, and great landscapes.

[00:32:42] Lindley Richardson: So would you say how many months?

[00:32:43] Brittany Chevalier-McIntyre: It’s an average of about five months out.

Okay. But be safe, pitch it six months in advance. That way we really have it in our backlog. We can, start to focus in on what we need for that issue. So while [00:33:00] a year or nine months, maybe a little far out, I would say the sweet spot is around, six/seven months.

[00:33:07] Lindley Richardson: Sometimes a project, maybe the exterior’s done first. The interior. I had a client who was outta town. They didn’t want the inside of their house to be shot. So we had the photographer already booked, we had her shoot the exterior. I pitched it, I had a publication, say and had a gorgeous shot of the National Cathedral, like in the background.

It was a killer shot and she’s like, I want this when you have interiors. And I said, and I told her in my email, I’m not gonna have interiors until August. And I pitched this in March. And, and she’s like, Okay, I want this. I’m holding this until you have interiors. And we will wait and she’s waiting for it.

So

[00:33:46] Brittany Chevalier-McIntyre: yeah, if we really want something, we will wait. So yeah, I mean, if anybody follows editors on Instagram, you’ll see that we always have Christmas in July. That’s what happens. We’re covering Christmas stories or you’re going to previews for Christmas. [00:34:00] So that, that will give a little bit of insight into how far we are working ahead.

[00:34:06] Kate Rumson: And now we live in the world of, digital, Facebook, Instagram, you name it. So designers should really understand that every brand has multiple channels. so Brittany, if you can tell us a little bit about different Luxe channels when it comes to where the content is show is shown.

[00:34:25] Brittany Chevalier-McIntyre: Absolutely. So aside from our print publication, we of course have digital, which is our website. and aside from that, of course, social, we have Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, everything under the sun when it comes to digital, we also have, Design TV we have our own channel where we interview designers and product manufacturers, and we really get the inside scoop.

[00:34:50] Lindley Richardson: Where can we watch Design tv?

[00:34:52] Brittany Chevalier-McIntyre: DesignTVbysandow.com is where you can watch all of our Design TVs it’s everywhere we’re streaming is available [00:35:00] and we also have podcasts. Another platform that we have at Luxe are our awards like the Red Awards, which is the Residential Excellence in Design Awards. And right now submissions are open until December 2nd.

And we really honor, the best, regional projects around the country. And we have 10 categories when it comes to projects, 12 categories when it comes to products. And one of our categories for projects has to do with the best of the rest. So this is a channel where you may be living in Washington, DC or you might be living in Ohio or somewhere outside of our region, but you would apply to win a Red award in best of the rest.

So while it might not be a fit for our regional publication, it’s a fit for our Red award. So there are multiple channels, and while one channel might not be ideal, there’s always another way to get, in front of the brand and to really [00:36:00] have your projects seen. So it’s very exciting that we have all these different platforms.

[00:36:05] Kate Rumson: All right. now let’s say a designer has done everything right, but they still didn’t get published.

Brittany, do you have any words of advice should these designers skip pitching? Or what insight do you have to give from your perspective?

[00:36:24] Brittany Chevalier-McIntyre: Yes, by all means, keep pitching, keep pitching, pitching, pitching, pitching. It really, it gets the projects in front of the editors. We get to know them, we get to really see the way people’s work progresses.

And also you have more of a chance of being published if you keep pitching. I would say When it comes to pitching to avoid generic pitches, like, dear editor, or, I’ve gotten the best one as Dear Susie, and I’m like, My name is not Susie, but thank you. And believe me, I am, I am all a fan of the copy and paste, but [00:37:00] please take the time to reread what you’re about to send and even to add something personal.

You know, if, if I don’t know you or if you follow me on Instagram and you saw that it was my daughter’s birthday, it goes a long way to say, Hey, I saw that you just had this. And I say, Oh, wow, thanks , but I, I would say that really the, the generic pitches take your time when, when sending them.

And also please be transparent if part of a project is being featured elsewhere, let us know that from the get go. For example, we are, we are publishing something in California and they upfront told us, Okay, the laundry room is, is going in a roundup online.

And we said thank you. That that was very helpful to know instead of us finding out down the road and having to pull the project. So always be transparent if there’s a product, you know, if you are a designer who has a product line, let us know what can be shot and what cannot be shot, what’s available, where it’s located being fully transparent, [00:38:00] it goes a long way.

[00:38:01] Lindley Richardson: Also timing When you send a pitch, don’t send it on a Monday or a Friday because especially Friday in the summer when editors are going outta town, Right? sometimes it’s just luck. Yeah,

[00:38:14] Brittany Chevalier-McIntyre: absolutely. Also giving us time, giving us don’t respond.

[00:38:18] Lindley Richardson: Like don’t follow up two days later. Yeah. Like wait a few weeks and then follow up.

[00:38:22] Brittany Chevalier-McIntyre: I would say that at least at Luxe, we, we meet with our editor in chief every two weeks, but she is very busy. She might be traveling now that we’re back into traveling. She might be away for a month. So if we tell you, you know what, Hey, we still need to meet with the team.

Yes, please. Please wait a little while. We will get back to you. We promise that we actually, that is something that we hold very dear at Luxe, is that we follow up with every single person who pitches us. We will never leave anyone hanging.

[00:38:54] Lindley Richardson: Like last week was market. Don’t send an email like last week when all the editors [00:39:00] are at

[00:39:00] Brittany Chevalier-McIntyre: High Point.

Yes, I was at market and I don’t, don’t do it, just know,

[00:39:03] Lindley Richardson: like, know what’s going on around in the design world. Like I didn’t send any pitches last week. None It just wasn’t worth my time.

[00:39:11] Brittany Chevalier-McIntyre: I’m going to get a few more tips if that’s okay.

Oh God, be fabulous. That was now while I, I just. We really appreciate PDFs of projects. We do, however, best practice is to send, wetransfer or dropboxes because then we have singular images if we really love it, we can drop it into layout and see if it works. So that, that’s a big tip. Also, the numbers game.

When you do look at the masthead, please either reach out to one editor and ask who a project should go to or include everyone, everyone that you are intending to email on one email. Because if you send out multiple emails, it becomes just a waste of time for everyone, including the person pitching the story.

So [00:40:00] it’s really important to either email one person or everyone on the same email so that somebody knows to get back to them.

[00:40:07] Lindley Richardson: I’m just gonna add one more thing. So, back to photography. this came up yesterday with a client and I was just like, Ugh. So I had a project that ran in the Wall Street Journal and she mentioned yesterday.

She’s like, Well, I really wasn’t happy that they included this one image. Like, well, we submitted them the images, so if you weren’t happy with that image, we shouldn’t have sent it to them. So curate, look through the images that your photographer shot. If you weren’t happy with one, don’t send it to the publication

[00:40:40] Kate Rumson: So I think that this was very insightful and I feel like now we know what to do, what not to do. This has been very, very helpful and I’d love to know if anybody has any questions for our panelists?

[00:40:51] Amy Chernoff: who has questions?

I mean, it does sound like research, which is also known as stalking, is super important in this world [00:41:00] project. Absolutely. Does anybody have any questions for our esteemed panel?

[00:41:05] Audience Member: Yes, So I thought it was so interesting that you’re often advising your clients to, either acquire their own images and that certain publications don’t wanna run images because they are at a cost. Right? so what are you actually telling them to do?

Is it to kind of buy the rights to those images? Or like, do you have a gold standard.

Lindley Richardson: So it, this is becoming really common. I’m talking to multiple photographers who are now, this is their new practice because they’re just not getting paid by the outlets anymore and I get it. They wanna be compensated where they once were.

My husband was at house beautiful, interested in something and I was like, You’re buying it. You’re spend $750 and you’re gonna pay it and then I’ll get you multiple placements. So if it’s a project that I know that I can get multiple placements for, then yes, then I think that that additional fee is worth it.

A lot of times I’ll also tell clients to have that conversation with [00:42:00] their photographer themselves and not have me do it. Absolutely. Because if I do it, the client’s gonna have to pay the fee. But I’ve had a lot of clients who have had that conversation with the photographer and they don’t have to pay the fee.

Interesting. Okay.

[00:42:14] Amy Chernoff: Any other questions?

[00:42:16] Audience Member: Is there a shelf life to projects?

[00:42:19] Brittany Chevalier-McIntyre: Yes, we have not talked about that.

So at Luxe it has to be within the last two years.

[00:42:25] Lindley Richardson: That’s pretty common. Two years is like the norm. Some publications will go as far back as five, as long as it looks current, but I would say most is two.

[00:42:34] Brittany Chevalier-McIntyre: Yeah. And also when it comes to looking at when we’re going to use a project, I can speak specifically to Luxe, which is that we have to have a great mix of aesthetics in our future.

Well, so it’s not just, Okay, we’re having sleek, modern home, sleek, modern homes, sleep. It has to be a great mix. We have a traditional house with a timeless, aesthetic and, another modern home, and then a more [00:43:00] transitional contemporary home. So , it’s more of looking at we might get a project and we might say, Well, we already have that fit for the next issue or two, but we’re gonna hold onto it for coming up for the next available issue.

So it’s really about the mix. So I can speak to Luxe saying that we don’t only feature modern homes or, you know, timeless classic homes. We’re all about the mix.

[00:43:24] Kate Rumson: Any other questions?

[00:43:27] Audience Member: Good evening. So I think I’ve got like a two part question, so for us as designers, when do you suggest to start the pitch process? Is it after the project? It’s like when a hundred percent complete, everything is styled.

Lindley Richardson: I’m the finish line. So once the project is complete, once you have great photography, you’ve already shot it, and then you hand that to me. So as a publicist, I will look at the photos and then oftentimes I’ll [00:44:00] have calls with clients and I’ll just kind of just type. I’m like, Tell me about the project.

So they’ll say when it started, when it completed square footage, homeowners, all the stuff. sometimes they’ll send me an Excel file that has what their sources different brands that they used. Then I can kind of weave that into the pitch. But I’m the finish line.

I’m the last piece.

Audience Member: Do you have clients that like will drop the nugget that like, Hey, I think that this is gonna be worth pitching before it’s even completed. Like they just know, like I know I’ve worked on a few projects where I’m just like, this kitchen is gonna be worthy Yeah. Of like publication. But I know we’re probably six to nine months out.

Lindley Richardson: Yeah. It’s always good for me to know what’s down the pipeline for sure. Sure. But yeah, it’s, it’s not worth sending it to a magazine until you have great supporting photography.

[00:44:50] Brittany Chevalier-McIntyre: I mean, people tell us that they have projects. Yeah. They’re like, I have this great project in northern Jersey. It’s not quite there yet, but, so they will [00:45:00] drop hints to us and be like, Does that.

Audience Member: What does that do for you though?

Brittany Chevalier-McIntyre: Well, it gives us insight and then we know to reach out to them, we’ll say, Okay, you when, when will it be complete? And they’ll say, you know, we’re, we’re finalizing the drapery and really, I just hope they go for the drapery I’ve picked out and the cost of it. So I would give it about six months and we make notes to ourselves and we say, Okay, well I’m gonna reach out to that person in six months.

And we do, we follow up.

[00:45:23] Lindley Richardson: And sometimes this kind of weaves into that. So back to my husband being the landscape architect, his biggest complaint is the fact that a lot of times a project is photographed, you know, usually when it’s landscape it takes about two years. It takes a long time for, you know, the landscape to mature and like fill in and really look great.

you know, just because the house is done, doesn’t mean you have to immediately shoot it, and then you tell the editor, Oh well this was just photographed in July, 2022, but it was actually finished in January, 2022.

So it kind of gives you a little buffer.

Audience Member: Cool. And I think like the second part’s, my budget question. Any [00:46:00] advice to us in baking? In the photography, the styling? I mean like as, as you’re talking, I’m just adding up numbers.

Lindley Richardson: Well, so you want to go in on a project with all the players.

So if there was an interior designer, an architect, a builder, a landscape architect, go have these go thirds go force, on the photography, on the styling. It helps keep the cost down. Yeah. And at the end of the day, everyone’s gonna want those images. I’m

[00:46:28] Amy Chernoff: I’m just gonna mention also that the appliance partner will likely shoot it for you if that partner is AJ Madison.

Laughter

Ah, . So, I mean, think about the food chain here, right? You have the designer, the architect, the biller, and you have costs associated with photographing it. I’m always looking for unusual or unique applications of appliances. We have several editorial topics, so while you’re looking at the magazine editorial calendars and you’re working with your, you know, pro [00:47:00] account manager, we’re looking for unique laundry rooms and outdoor kitchens and appliances in primary suites and comfort stations.

You know, spread out throughout the house in just gorgeous kitchen design. We will send the photographer and shoot it.

[00:47:16] Kate Rumson: I wonder has, has Amy seen my mirrored range road?

[00:47:20] Amy Chernoff: Absolutely not, but I’m dying to. But that’s after throwing it out there, I tour before it’s finished, the linen bedding closet, because I told Kate I was just like dead after I saw that.

[00:47:34] Kate Rumson: I’m like, I need that because Amy’s the ideal audience. Like she understood that. She knew exactly where I was coming from. Building the closet.

[00:47:41] Amy Chernoff: Yeah. No, I loved it, loved it, loved it so much. But the appliances are one piece of it, right? You have countertops, like everyone’s gonna wanna get involved and they’re all looking to get a tag on the project.

So I think if you think about this from a entrepreneurial [00:48:00] perspective, no one’s gonna put you with the bill for the photography. If you’ve done an amazing design, we’re all gonna wanna get featured, right? Because I can’t really submit your project to Luxe. Lindley would say, No way, just don’t do it.

We need, we need everybody to you. Partner on this so that we’re featuring the right thing. Cause the appliances are just one piece of whatever you’re doing. So I think it’s important to kind of think about this holistically, and this is just from my perspective, I think we got so many great tips tonight it does require research, Like it does require some thought and thinking about the projects that you’re doing and saying, Okay, this is a good one. It’s worth the extra effort. I’m gonna try and connect the dots here and get this photographed and submit it. I might wanna put a PR person on retainer, like you might think through that piece of your business.

[00:48:52] Amy Chernoff: We’ve been able to promote a lot of projects through our national platform, and that’s separate from whatever editorial coverage you might get.[00:49:00] And the brands are interested in featuring the projects on social media as well. And some brands have a lot of following others, not so much. Right. So I think there’s a, there’s a variety of ways that you can get exposure for your own brand.

and start to build, a, following. But I think there were so many great takeaways from this panel. I just really think research is key, and thinking about, what’s unique about the project, what’s unique about your brand, and then putting that front and center, but many, many, many opportunities to get your projects published.

I would like to really thank our expert panel. I learned a lot tonight as well. Thank you so much for all your contributions.

[00:49:37] Jessica Petrino-Ball: So thank you for tuning into today’s episode. To Close Out. Here are some key takeaways for getting your projects published.

 One, assess your project and figure out where it belongs. National or regional study full length [00:50:00] features and the smaller departments too. Get to know the publication you are pitching and study.

Its editorial calendar. Those are available online. The more you do your homework, the better chances of success. TwoQ Most magazines commit to content four to six months prior to publication. Digital lead time is faster than print. Think about the goals for your project placement and time submissions accordingly. Three! Invest in good photos professionally. Shot photos are a huge plus. If there’s been a dramatic transformation, consider including a few before shots too. A little bit of stylization also goes a long way. Four! Own your brand. you know your contact personally or not always include your branding in your.

Having a complete digital footprint is extremely important. your website and social media [00:51:00] current as this goes a long way to give a positive first impression. And lastly, number five! One of the benefits of being an AJ Madison Pro member is we’re looking to get as much visibility for our partners as.

Media comes in many formats, and as the number one online retailer in the US we have really broad reach and distribution across web, social media, and print. Here at AJ Madison, we wanna give our partners as much exposure as possible.

[00:51:34] Jessica Petrino-Ball: Make sure you follow the show so you never miss an episode. AJ Madison is part of the SURROUND podcast network. Check out our show notes and discover other architecture and design [email protected]

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