Public Relations is a great way to communicate news about you as a designer, your firm and your projects. PR gives you the opportunity to share and celebrate achievements and to create awareness for the audiences that matter to you, whether they are in the industry, personal connections or to potential clients.
PR Wonderland (Dubai based specialist interiors PR agency) have shared their 10 top tips on how to use PR to increase your reach, awareness and credibility, giving you the exposure you need to win more pitches and projects in this competitive market!
While there are many design firms and a plethora of projects in the market, there are very few media outlets that cover design related news. That's why you need a good PR practitioner to support your communications outreach and to develop outstanding content. PR professionals have invested time and energy on cultivated great relationships with media and that is a great value they can bring to your organization. Content received by a well-known PR practitioner is very likely to be consumed by a journalist than an unfamiliar name.
You are in the business of selling the design of beautiful spaces, so make sure to take dramatic photos to illustrate your work. Hire a professional photographer to capture distinct details that will make your designs stand out. Your PR practitioner can guide your photographer to take photos that will attract relevant media and awards organizations. Photos speak loudly and help to build a strong association with your design and space. This will lead to interest by key audiences, so make sure you invest in remarkable photography.
When developing your designs, jot down the vision, inspiration, reasons for using certain materials over others, challenges, and reasoning for how elements are placed to describe projects. This type of content is vital to develop a newsworthy story. Share as much information and detail as possible so a wonderful journey and story can be crafted through PR content. Some designers find this to be a tedious task, but as PR practitioners, we relish on this type of information and can turn every bit of detail into an unforgettable quote. So please, take the time to be as descriptive as possible and share those notes with your PR representatives.
Many people have the misconception that PR can bring in business overnight. That is not the case. It takes time for any company to build its credibility. PR activities are a catalyst and expedite this with time. It is a process whereby information should consistently be shared over a period of time to reach the desired audiences. Of course, there are rare exceptions, but the best PR has probably been running for many months until it reaches its destination. You have to be in it for the long run to really reap the rewards of the work. So, when beginning your PR activities, or hiring an agency, commit to at least six months to fully reap the results.
While it might not happen overnight, and requires consistent planning and commitment, doing the right PR activities in a timely manner and with a smart strategy will get a design firm noticed. PR will associate great projects with great designers and that will spark the interest of stakeholders and convert them into clients. Therefore, look at your PR activities as an investment, not a cost.
In fact, activating PR is in most cases far more affordable than an advertising or sponsorship campaign, and creates influence that can last a long time. If you have the opportunity, do some research and find out the cost of a print, radio or TV ad. You will find that PR services cost a fraction of those fees. That’s said, the goal here is never trying to undervalue the worth of great ad campaigns, and in some cases advise firms to invest in paid content or advertising, but it’s worth considering a focus on PR when budgets are tighter.
Many people don't realize that design firms – in addition to their outstanding projects – are more likely to win awards because their PR practitioner drafted and submitted award-winning entries that would not get lost in the hundreds of other entries. Also, many media publish content directly from press releases. Good PR practitioners know how to develop stories and award-entries that are eye-catching. PR Content is molded in a way where it can be easily adapted into any type of publication. The next time you read an interesting article in a magazine, newspaper or online, try to guess if the content is 100% original, or if it’s an adaptation from a press release. If you’re managing your PR in-house and writing is not your specialty, remember that you can hire freelance copywriters for the odd-job to execute award entries and generate articles on an ad-hoc basis. The power of great writing will transform your ability to gain exposure!
While your PR team or copy-writer specializes in writing about your projects, you are the design expert and should take an active role in providing insights, opinions and information. This will help create the desired tone for the firm. Share quotes (journalists love a quote!), anecdotes, and explanations where possible to empower the piece with your voice at the core of the content, making it truly authentic.
While hiring the most affordable agency or consultant will make sense on your bottom line, it might be a waste of your time, worth much more than the fees you paid. Work with PR professionals who have ethics, integrity and a good reputation in the market. Work with PR professionals who will be as passionate about the work you do, as you are. The PR professional might not be an expert on design, but if they are interested in your work, and have high standards of operation and performance, every dirham will be worth it.
If you’re happy with your PR practitioners work, thank them. If a journalist covers a piece you’ve sent them, thank them. Gratitude will motivate them to do so much more and better for you. PR practitioners sometimes have to bend over backward to get your story published for free in a medium which usually requires paid coverage or a journalist might be fighting against commercial pressures to focus on paid-content rather than free pieces and is trusting that your article is interesting enough to boost their page-views. So, when you are pleased with the results, make sure to let them know (personally and publicly on social media where possible), and you’ll soon find they’re more likely to go the extra mile for again next time.
There are many reasons to hire a PR consultant or agency to help you get the exposure you need. At PR Wonderland, we help interior designers and firms reach their communications goals and secure media attention through a variety of activities. These activities can be applied to highlight one main project or a series of work through ongoing engagement. We also develop striking content for international and regional media coverage, as well as awards submissions. We pride ourselves in knowing that we played an important role for every design award won by our clients.
PR Wonderland was established in 2016 as an independent and boutique public relations and marketing services consultancy. Aimed as supporting the public relations needs for a variety of industries, from blue-chip conglomerates to regionally-based start-ups, the company offers strategic planning with results-driven performance. In addition to public relations, PR Wonderland is affiliated with a variety of other marketing services providers including social media strategists, branding and marketing specialists, website and SEO developers to small and large-scale event managers offering a holistic approach to the communications spectrum. www.prwonderland.com