Designers Share their Secrets for Getting Published


Designers Laura Martin Bovard, Kari McIntosh and Cynthia Spence sat down with California Home+Design’s Mary Jo Bowling for a panel discussion about how to get projects published. The event was part of the Northern California NKBA chapter meeting hosted at the newly remodeled Cosentino Center in Union City. Below are some of the best ideas shared at the event.

Look at your own home as an opportunity for publicity

McIntosh’s home was recently featured in Traditional Home. She says that she had publication in mind while designing it, knowing she wouldn’t need to seek approval from clients.

Consider outsourcing publicity work

All three designers say they’ve outsourced their public relations work at some point. McIntosh enlisted a public relations firm to promote her involvement in the San Francisco Decorator Showcase, Spence retains a firm to publicize her work and Bovard has hired a firm that specializes in social media marketing. “To me, it’s valuable to have an outside expert evaluate my work and share their thoughts on where and how it might be published,” Spence says.

Invest in professional photography

Each designer agreed on two points: It’s necessary and it’s expensive. “I think it’s essential to have your work professionally recorded,” says Bovard. “Not only will it show your work to the media in the best light, you can present it to clients on your website.”

Try multiple medias to deliver your message

Bovard writes a column for a local newspaper and recycles the content on her website. Spence routinely grants interviews for podcasts. Both made the point that media is more diverse than ever before, and putting your name and work out there via different platforms is beneficial.

Enter a contest

McIntosh related that contests had brought her an editorial attention, even when she didn’t win. (Don’t forget California Home+Design’s Home Awards!)

Try, try again

No one bats 1,000 and not every media pitch will hit the mark. Each designer noted that it’s important to shake off a rejection and try again. “Eventually, your work will find a home,” noted Bowling.


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