Bradford Groupie Molly expresses her love of interior design and the qualities it shares with public relations
I’ve loved interior design and home décor since I can remember. Even as a little girl I’d spend hours looking through fabric swatches and paint samples with my mom. I’d stay up late rearranging the furniture in my bedroom or reorganizing my bookshelves. My mom even let me redesign my room when I was seven years old. Now what I enjoy most is wandering through thrift stores and antique malls, thinking of all the stories each piece carries and finding the one piece I’m looking for. It kind of reminds me of the PR “hunt” – searching for and finding the right outlet and reporter to tell your client’s story.
Interior design and public relations have more in common that you might think. I realized this as I was working toward my personal goal – something each of us at the Bradford Group set and measured last quarter – of spending some quality, purposeful time studying interior design. Here are a few similarities I picked up on:
Taking risks can pay off.
Painting your den a deep navy could be a big risk. What if it’s too dark? What if it doesn’t fit in with the rest of your house? Well, then you can always paint right back over it. But what if you love it? You’ll be happy you took the risk. Taking risks may trigger a little fear and anxiety, but the end result may be exactly what you wanted – or better. The same holds true in PR. Whether it’s a pitch to the senior editor at Forbes or your first new business proposal, calculated risks can return great benefits.
There’s a solution that makes most sense for you.
There are all sorts of design styles – from bohemian to modern to farmhouse rustic. One isn’t better than another, but there is one that is best for you. It’s important to match your style to the style of your house – and figuring out the best combination of style and practicality is important. It’s similar in PR. There are plenty of approaches to get your message in front of potential customers, but the best way to do so is to develop a marketing strategy tailored to your company. That’s where experience, combined with a little bit of intuition, really pays off.
Remember, the big picture is key.
Just like you can’t decorate your entire house to perfection in a matter of days, you can’t secure national media placements in the top five business publications in the first week of your PR campaign. (And if you can, you should by all means consider applying to the Bradford Group.) Remember the big picture. If your goal is to secure five national media placements for a client, focus on one outlet or pitch at a time – and take the baby steps necessary to get there (i.e. determine the top national outlets most relevant to your client, build a relationship with the editor, draft your pitches specially for him, and so on).
You’re creating a brand.
You can tell a lot about someone when you walk into his or her home. Your style is your own personal brand – don’t you want it to be authentic? In PR, it’s our job to create contagious conversations that build brands. That means everything we do, write or say on behalf of our client should echo the message we want to resonate with their audience, reporters and employees. To quote Ed Zitron, author of This Is How You Pitch: How To Kick Ass In Your First Years of PR, “What you want to do is create a living, breathing brand with a simple story at its core and a constantly changing set of products…that are worth keeping an eye on.” Give your client a personality – one that its customers can relate to.
Interested in learning more about the combination of public relations and interior design? Jeff Bradford’s blog about the design of our East Nashville office space is worth a read.