With well over 10 years experience in communications for designers (of all types) I can’t tell you how many times I’ve pitched a story to a magazine. I can however tell you what I’ve learned from my experience and what I tell people when I get asked this question: How do I get my story/products/designs in a magazine?
- Research: Know the magazine/or media outlet you are approaching. Know the regular columns. Know the editors. I am not talking about being BFF’s with all the home editors out there, but you should know their work. After all you are expecting them to get to know yours. How? Read.
- Request editorial calendars. I’ve heard this before from an editor: “I am working on a holiday issue in July, I don’t want to see the beach house photos right now. Thanks.” Editorial Calendars give you knowledge
- Prepare your pitch: Make sure you deliver a well-honed package. Send only your best images and a short summary. If the editor is intrigued, she/he will ask for more. If they ask for 500 words describing the setting don’t send 600 words. If they have a submission form, fill it out. In full. In detail. Omit the emoticons. Cross your T’s.
- Smile: You catch more flies with honey, honey. Be kind. Be real. Be you.
- Choose images carefully: In most cases, you can submit low resolution photos but know that you may need to submit high res imagery should your project be selected. Don’t use multiple photography styles. Instead imitate the style of the media outlet you are pursuing. Go with pro photography; make sure the photos are edited well. Remember to include photography credits.
- Credit all vendors correctly: You are a professional. It’s expected.
- Follow up: If your work is declined, ask why. Learn. Try again. I love the story that Kimberley told at the BOD conference about getting her Country House published in Canadian House and Home – when she asked why her pitch hadn’t been accepted, she was told the magazine editors hadn’t had a chance to review. When she followed up (repeatedly) – she got a publication date.