Rebecca Goldberg: The Future of PR & Marketing for Interior Designers

Episode 11 November 10, 2023 00:56:02
Rebecca Goldberg: The Future of PR & Marketing for Interior Designers
The Interior Collective
Rebecca Goldberg: The Future of PR & Marketing for Interior Designers

Nov 10 2023 | 00:56:02

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Show Notes

When did “enough” become no longer enough when it comes to PR and marketing as an interior designer? 10 years ago, a single press feature was a pinnacle to a designer’s career, but nowadays, growth feels reliant on the frequency and the caliber of press features. Today, we’re chatting with PR veteran and co-founder of Dada Goldberg, the top Public Relations agency in the shelter industry. Rebecca’s guiding us through the changes we’re seeing in traditional press, the next wave of good PR, and how getting great press is absolutely something you can do on your own as an interior designer.

 

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: When did enough become no longer enough when it comes to PR and marketing as an interior designer? Ten years ago, a single press feature was a pinnacle to a designer's career. But nowadays, growth feels entirely reliant on the frequency and the caliber of press features. Today we are chatting with PR veteran and cofounder of Data Goldberg, the top public relations agency in the shelter industry. Rebecca Goldberg is guiding us through the changes we're seeing in traditional press, the next wave of good PR, and how getting great press is absolutely something you can do on your own as an interior designer. Hello, Rebecca, and welcome to the show. I am so excited to bring our personal conversations we've been having over the last year to a public arena so that we can share all of your incredible insight. So, for those who do not know, Rebecca is the mastermind behind every designer and shelter and architect brand that you have known and loved for years. But I'm really excited for you to get to know her on a more intimate, personal level today as we break into her thoughts on PR and marketing in the industry. So, for those who are not already personally connected to you, Rebecca, I'd love if you could tell us about your professional career and how Data Goldberg really came to be. [00:01:17] Speaker B: Thank you so much. I'm so honored to have this conversation because it's been such a joy to work with a lot of these brands and also with the people on our team over the last few years, and I just want to give thanks to them. Defnet Identos, my business partner. We have so many wonderful people who have been really in the trenches with us. Ethan Elkins, Eleanor Amari, Ellena Heim, Lexi Iorio. There are so many, so many different names. And even going back now ten years, thinking about all of the wonderful collaborators that we've had and those who have joined us along the way, kind of really forming around, building brands around good positioning, caring about people, bringing empathy to the process, and ultimately trying to champion the creative talent that we see in this industry. [00:02:06] Speaker A: We'll get all into it. But just on a personal note, from my experience with you, you just mentioned bringing empathy to the process. I have never felt more heard and proactively listened to in a conversation than when I speak with you. And I just want you to know that if that is a pillar to how you are positioning your own company, I feel it so much. [00:02:28] Speaker B: That means a lot to me to hear. Thank you. I think one of my friends who's, he's been an editor for many years, and he really should be quite a doctor of design, because he has an excellent knowledge of design history. He said to me at one point that I myself was like a doctor in my approach, in that I just want to know, what are we actually trying to do here? And I found that to be really flattering in a lot of ways. And that is what I like to think about, and that's really what binds us and our team together, is that we think about things logically in a way where it's like, how can we make this better? How can we add to this? And ultimately, how can we tell new stories and make connections for people that are meaningful and make a big difference for their companies? [00:03:11] Speaker A: So rewind a little bit, pre data, Goldberg. And I want to hear about your founding story with your co founder. But before that, I believe you started an editorial. Can you talk to us about what that looked like and how you really moved into the PR world? [00:03:25] Speaker B: I loved magazines. I read everything I possibly could get. I was a big subscriber. I would go to the grocery store with my dad for the sole purpose of going to the magazine section. I've been a consumer of media and history and information my whole life, and so I really wanted to be able to go and create the same experience that I enjoyed. And so I've always been really drawn to both writing, I think that's where my mindset is. And also, the photo shoots in the back of Vogue were endlessly inspirational to me. They rarely went kind of off. They were just a totally different way of looking at the world. And the fact that they were so fantastical and they were not at all real life was really amazing. And I saw that as the truest modern day art form, and I just needed to be part of it. And so I decided to go into the media realm, and I didn't have any connections to do that. I didn't have necessarily a path that enabled me to get a great internship. I also was really not making even any sense in school until I started working. Everything was about me just kind of getting in there and doing things. And so I was anxious to get started. I started doing some writing while I was still in college in the blog era. And then ultimately, I got this opportunity that was a little bit, somewhat unusual because it was a small outlet. It was a small publication in the interior design space, and it allowed me the ability to have autonomy and to create a magazine where I was able to actually build that experience and went back to the roots of making magazines in my childhood bedroom and pasting things and cutting things out and I just sort of kind of went from there and then fell in love with the design world. Specifically where I started was hotels. Actually thinking about a sense of place and why someone designs it, the way they do, what you feel when you walk in the destination, how it reflects the character and the history of the building. And I just loved the art and commerce of that and the psychology of that. And then it afforded me the ability to travel because they had an international presence to some degree. And I got to go to 17 different countries, and everywhere I went, there was all this real inspiration around brands that I knew and how they translated themselves to the local market. And I just found, like, I'd finally felt my know, the idea of kind of like working in a creative community. And my contribution to that is the ability to give voice. And then along the way, I've met other people that share, that know just sort of that same connection, and those are my people. And so working with Daphne and everybody else, we all have this real desire to take our creative backgrounds, but just lend the ability to really just draw parallels and strategize and have it from slightly different perspective, from a little bit more of an outsider perspective, using the visibility that we have from the firm. [00:06:33] Speaker A: I would love to hear a quick little roster of some of your clients. So many of them we've talked to on the show, we've had them at Design camp, but the list just goes on and on. Break us down with a little bit of list of just some names that, you know, that we've heard on the show or will be on the show in the future that you work with. [00:06:54] Speaker B: We have a tremendous spectrum, and on the show there's been light and dwell. And Bridget Remnach, who we're doing her book now, Prospect Refuge Chengo, is going to be a speaker at Design camp. We work with amazing Design brands. We also work with Athena Calderon, who is a tremendous collaborator, who we've worked with for a long time. And I can only say that all of the niceness and the originality that you see from her is very real. And Colin King, who is just so pure in his approach and the way that he also verbalizes the way that he can build a room aesthetically is so distinct. And we're really very fortunate to be able to really learn from and be inspired by and sort of evolve alongside this wonderful group of talent that we've collected. And we've also gone into different parallel industries. So design is the nexus of everything that we do, but we found that design has really changed in the world in the way that people desire it and experience it, and it is now really much more better understood. COVID was a part of that. I think also the dawn of the boutique hotel was a big part of that, and people understanding where they were traveling and wanting better experiences that are designed experiences and thinking about quality and hopefully sustainability and really what matters in the world. And from that we've been able to get more into development. We've worked on hotels themselves, we've worked on other projects, like Jenny Kane has brought us into even fashion, which we're so honored to be doing, and we've really adapted to that quite nicely. And we're so energized by the types of outlets that we're able to speak to and types of conversations that we're able to have when we could think unilaterally. And then from there we've even started to work with certain media brands where we've consulted on their presence in terms of how they're appearing in other presss or doing other events and things like that, and then even tapping into a little bit into the culinary space. This is somewhere you'll see us grow next year. That has been new for us, but I think food quality and also agriculture and the way it exists in the world and your lifestyle, very relevant. Jewelry and sort of other little parallel worlds. [00:09:07] Speaker A: Amazing. So on the show and at camp and just like in the IDCO world in general, we talk a lot about niching down and finding who your ideal client or market is. And there's so many different iterations of that, it doesn't necessarily mean a specific person. I'm curious as to how you and your co founder really niche down to the shelter industry as you were launching debt at Goldberg over ten years ago. Was there an evolution to that, or was that always the plan to start with that and now you're branching out as you really establish yourself as a heavy hitter? [00:09:39] Speaker B: It was the latter, I think. When we started, we knew we wanted to be in the design space. Deafna's father was an architect, her mother was an artist. I had this affection and affinity for design. At one point I actually went into school for Fashion and learned how to sew and draw and all that, which was different. But we loved the interiors world because of our exposure to it, and we saw the potential in what it could be. And then from that we started very small with a small group of companies that were dedicated to the trade, European high end things that are really of value, heritage pieces. And then we had one founding client, which is StonehilL Taylor, which is a design firm in hospitality space. They were kind of the firm behind the Firmdale Hotels and several others that were really radically changing New York City at a period of time and other places. And so from there, we decided we were going to do this thing. Build it right, build it slowly. And we built the business where we really did incubate it for a while. Our growth, it was slow in the beginning. There was a period of time where we were very, very deep into all of the aspects of it. And then we sort of realized how much more could be happening. And we actually sort of made the decision to open up our worlds a little bit. And we got these fantastic opportunities back before COVID Well, before COVID I would say, where we started working with someone who was an artist in the collectible design space. We started working with Athena, the Brooklyn Home Company, who also now we just got their book published, and we were doing some of their development projects, and they brought us into our first hotel. And so we took every opportunity that we could to learn and grow and be able to tackle new narratives and make new relationships. And it's exciting for us. And I really love the playing field that we're able to watch now, because for myself, I feel like I need to see the whole thing in order to give good advice. And at the end of the day, I want us to be a company that really gives good advice. I want to be known for the consulting that we're doing, and we're constantly even refining that and always watching the market and having conversations. And I see that our visibility at this point is really, truly our advantage. And also the way that we're looking at the digital space, we've really built out a kind of first in kind digital studio within our PR firm that was started with Eleanor Amari three years ago in the height of COVID when we met, of course, on Instagram, when everyone was quiet, and I saw her page come up as following ours, and I was like, wow, someone with a point of view, that's Different. I love a point of view. That's what I live for. That was what I live for in editorial. That's what I live for in this business. And it was instantly recognizable to me that she had something to say. And so I Dm'd her, and I was like, can we get on Zoom? I don't know you, but let's do this. And we did, because we have the same kind of shared brain, and it was like love. Like, we started talking and never stopped. Talking. It was the same experience. Know when you have great chemistry, the same thing with deafness, same thing with my husband. I have the same relationship with other people on our team with Ethan, where it's like you just feel like you have this kind of constant conversation about the projects. And I truly believe that that's what you need in order to innovate. You need to be analyzing and feeling your way through it and trying to come up with something new. And I think that's what we're driven by, and that's how we've been able to grow as much as we have, and that's really what we want to put out in the world, and we do really well when we're working with collaborators that have that same DNA, because we like to get in the weeds and talk to them about it and feel through it and use our intuition and all with the aim of putting out something that feels digestible and exciting, and the visuals and the words really matter. And that's where we've been able to kind of meet this moment. [00:13:53] Speaker A: So this is a perfect segue because we've talked about a lot of big picture, different departments, different goals, different strategies that you're taking. But I feel like for so many listeners, and honestly, a little bit, myself included, Rebecca, I'm kind of like, so what is PR like? What is the overarching part about it? So I'd love to know what a typical day in the life looks like as a publicist from when you founded Goldberg to also, what does it look like? Like, what are the tasks that you are handling? [00:14:28] Speaker B: I love that you asked that question, because I think there is a mystery to what we do, and also, it has changed a lot and will continue to change a lot. And I think, in essence, the deliverable of PR is to get media placements for someone. But so much that goes into that, at least for what we aim to do, is thinking about, who is this person? What are they trying to say? What do you want to really put out in the world? And how do you put that against a calendar in a way that's kind of evolving and relevant over time, where you're looking at all the different opportunities and you're looking at the way it can be presented in person, on the screen, in a store, in a book, whatever the mediums are, whatever the tools that are available and finding ways to get to the people that can make those things happen. And we've had a lot of different touch points over the years, and there's been a lot of phases in PR, especially with COVID where obviously there were no events and you had to do everything digitally. And so we've seen a lot of different things over time, but day in and day out, we're working on refining the look and feel of something, the timing, again, of when we're saying what we're saying, and then we're just ultimately looking to get the highest impact placements as we possibly can. [00:15:52] Speaker A: Amazing. So we'll talk more about the evolution and how things have just really shifted in the last ten years, really five years. But I would love to know, in your opinion, what can an interior designer expect to get out of working with a publicist like, just the foundational basics of they engage with a publicist, what will the quote unquote deliverables look like? [00:16:17] Speaker B: The process is that you do a search, you talk to people, you ask them about who it is that they work with, what you obviously see, what kind of stories they placed. So you have a pretty good sense of what you'll be getting based on past successes that that person has. And from there, I think you'll obviously want to get the stories and as many stories as you can in the highest profile places that you can. But also a lot of it is about are you able to meet people along the way? Have you gone to lunch with people? Have you been able to kind of build relationships that are meaningful and long standing? And then also, are we even looking at the way it's described? Like the website copy the boilerplate, is there an evolution of the way the photography is presented? All of these things should be considered at a bare minimum and then more if possible, depending on whatever the news is that that person has putting out in the world. [00:17:19] Speaker A: That was super helpful, Rebecca. So I think everyone can kind of wrap their head around the concept of working with a publicist to secure stories, whether that be print or online, but articles of some sort, but the additional concepts of relationship building and making introductions and getting in the right rooms, or just building friendships with people that you might have otherwise seen as not necessarily a colleague, but possibly competition or someone who is adjacent in your space. And then lastly, that overall sort of brand development and evolution of are we positioning ourselves in the best possible light? Is this representative of where we want to go and not necessarily just where we have been? And I think that those are sort of the intangibles that people don't necessarily think about as the value that a publicist and a PR team could really bring into your world. What type of return do you typically see for your clients when run in big news outlets? This is a big question that I get asked a lot that I experience personally with my own projects that we share. What are you seeing as the return on investment that people experience and how many big or small publication articles news hits are clients really getting inquiries from? I just want to help set expectations of like you engage and spend this much a month to work with a publicist. How many new clients is that potentially bringing in? [00:18:57] Speaker B: It's a wonderful question and it can be difficult to really quantify. I think that the best case scenario is that you get a significant placement and then people are sending you messages saying they saw it. That's absolute best case scenario. Does that happen every time? It doesn't. I think there's also kind of a collective consciousness effect where you're seeing this person here, there you're seeing their name a lot, and that also makes a difference. This idea of, quote, you're blowing up, that people really love the high of that. It's very motivating. It makes you feel like you find the strength to kind of keep going because we all are working ourselves to every extent that we can. And I think that it's different for everybody and it's also different for everybody in each year. But we've also found that it is really meaningful for whatever press that you get, even if it is a little mention where you're talking about a trend in Wall Street Journal, off duty or something, where you only have a sentence and it's not even a dedicated article to you. If you position it in the right way and you're putting it on your Instagram or TikTok or whatever that may be, and you're kind of putting it out there to take people through your own path of momentum and show them that you're building something that they should pay attention to. And this is just the beginning, then I think that the perception of that is really powerful, and I think it's also just getting what you can at whatever stage of the business that you're in and then making sure that people see it in a meaningful way is really just the best way to leverage. [00:20:37] Speaker A: This type of work that is so important and such an incredible viewpoint on it. You know that we work with Caroline Pinkston all the time. She's actually, who introduced us. She's an incredible publicist, and her team really specializes in helping designers get those quotes, those mentions in articles on Martha Stewart and Eldecor and all of those things. And that's one of her packages that she can offer and really help facilitate all the time. But I think it's such, I can just think of specific case studies, and I'll shout out our good friend Lauren at well by deSign, who works with Caroline and is always on top of responding to those inquiries, know, we need a quote on this. And she is diligent about it. And you are just watching Lauren blow up, like you said, because I'm like, dang, she was in decor this week, and she was in Wall Street Journal off duty, and she takes every opportunity to be in those and put thoughtful, meaningful points of view together for these editors to contribute to their articles. And she's absolutely driving this narrative of this is up and coming, like, I am the next big thing, and all of these people are really backing that statement. [00:21:53] Speaker B: Yeah, it's so important. I think it's so important to just really ride that wave and enjoy it. And I think that people are really responding to the joy that they see about you and what you're bringing to your business. Ultimately, if you feel and are projecting that you believe in yourself, it's contagious. And I think that that is really the best of what PR can do, is it can help you diligently make the connections that you won't and frankly, shouldn't make yourself, because you're trying to get the work out the door. And it allows you to see, with a good consultant, you can really see what's kind of happening and where the opportunities are, and a lot of the writers change, and maybe there's even a really great place that's an Instagram led outlet, and you should be considering that. And I think it takes all day to watch this line of work, and I'm reading 18 hours a day, one form or another. And again, that's what bonds me and my colleagues and this kind of insatiable desire to understand and observe the world. And it honestly takes that kind of mindset in order to even stay on track with it, because it's changing all the time. And I couldn't even do this work alone, to be honest. I wouldn't necessarily want to do it alone. I mean, you have to be sort of collaborating with people that are following the culture and living it. And so that's the real value that the PR profession brings. [00:23:25] Speaker A: So I want to dive into nitty gritty and super more technical things, because I know these questions are weighing in on our listeners as they've written in how much weight or priority do you put in print versus digital publishing? And where should a designer who is newer to their own business. They've been in business maybe like one to three years. Where should we really be focusing our energy between those two outlets? [00:23:55] Speaker B: I love digital, so I am not going to say that you should only focus on print. I mean, of course, I grew up with print, and print is still meaningful to me. But I think just the urgency of digital, the idea that you could get it up so soon, you don't have to wait for that time frame, and also the clickability factor of it. I think our favorite stories are when we hear that our clients are able to see the referrals going to their website, and they see that the placements are working and it's driving sales. And of course, there are some outlets that are doing that really well, and then we sort of try to prioritize those and the way that we set up the conversations. But I think that it's a balance you just want to really get, especially if you're a newer company. You want to get what you can to get going. I think don't wait for perfection, because those rules have changed. And I know you alluded to this idea of how PR has changed over the last 510 years, and I think that ten years ago, it used to be that you got the print placement and that gave you a seat at the table and you were successful. It was great. Everybody saw it. You could mail it to your parents like you existed. And that doesn't really work anymore because you cannot hold a seat at the table as long as you used to. It's very competitive. There's a lot of people in the market and a lot of people with wonderful ideas that deserve to be heard. And now I think it's really about having a broad universe and being out there in such a way where you're using all the platforms available to you and are you talking on podcasts? Are you in the digital press that is working? Are you getting print if you want to, and if you can, and if you can afford to wait, if you have enough, also bandwidth where you have enough projects, where you can afford to not pull this out as something else. And I think that I wouldn't let any rules really hold you back. But of course, if you have the luxury of getting everything you want, then you look very strategically at how do I time this so that I'm getting some kind of coverage in the top outlet that will also allow me to get the print story, the online story, and then the Instagram post. And it's a whole other game once you have that level of access. [00:26:17] Speaker A: Yeah, the interior collective is thrilled to now accept project tour submissions from our listeners. Log on to TheInterior Co. And scroll to the footer to submit your latest work for consideration. Once selected, your project will be featured on our new website, the Interior Collective. Along with extensive social media coverage, dedicated newsletter features and more, we are eager to showcase great projects from around the world and continue to build a platform that highlights and uplifts our community. I love that you started with the concept of digital, because just like you, we all grew up with print. I feel like if we're in this industry, we were reading those magazines in the grocery store just like you were with your dad. And there's definitely this kind of benchmark, this feather in your cap to have those print projects run and to be in print publications. But I will say, after working with hundreds of designers from a branding and website perspective, just as we talk about Are we holding this project off on the website? Because we're hoping it goes in print and you could have your best, latest, greatest, most amazing project, which, by the way, you probably designed two, if not three years ago by the time we're actually looking at photos, holding off another six, nine months to showcase that. I talk a lot with our clients about the importance of what is your actual goal with this project and if it is to get more projects like this project, to get more clients that are wanting to have this type of budget, this type of aesthetic, whatever that might be, holding onto that project for such a long time might not always be the best option. And I've also done a lot of case studies with our clients when we've held off on a project and we've gone ahead and shared a project on a digital landscape, which allowed us to start posting it on Instagram and on our website much more quickly and just kind of what is the return on that? And so many times there's a clout that comes with the print version, but there was an actual return of inquiries coming from digital, because as you said, it's so much easier for someone to just click to your Instagram handle and then go to your website when they're reading an article or seeing something on Instagram than putting down their magazine, taking out their phone or their laptop, looking you up and then following you. So as far as growth and actual eyeballs on things, digital has this evergreen magic to it, that print, while the clout has so much value to it, and obviously discerning readers are looking at that as well, who could be a great fit for you. But the actual numbers game I have just personally experienced that there's a lot more value to digital than I think people give credit to when they're assessing what the best placement for their project is. [00:29:10] Speaker B: I agree, and I think that the perception is changing. It's changing over time, and I think obviously we'll continue to change more. So, and I think there are certain things that are always going to be worth it. If you can get an ad cover story because you have that level, you can and should, because you probably also at that point, have seven other projects that you can divvy up as necessary. But if you're a smaller firm and you have to make tough choices, you probably do want to get things out there a little bit faster because you want to show the growth and the momentum. And we hear from clients all the time that they don't even necessarily want to see their older work that frequently. Because sometimes it's like we've heard this because we work on both sides, not with every single client, but the clients have the choice to either work with us on PR or digital, but on the digital side, they're like, well, I don't want to show my older projects because they're older. And also we have found that most people are quite literal, and you get back what you show to the world. And I think that if you're showing them a certain type of style or a certain level of elevation, then that's the type of thing that you'll attract, and that's what people ask of you. And so it is in your best interest to move it along a little bit. [00:30:29] Speaker A: So, to designers listening, what should they be considering when they are defining the goals for a particular project? When it comes to press, PR, marketing? Or maybe it's a set of projects. Maybe they have three projects that they got photographed because COVID projects are wrapping up and they now have three things to work with. How do you just start to talk with your clients about? What is the actual goal here? Are we looking to grow our influence in the design community, or are we looking to book more clients like these projects? What should someone be considering, when being super honest with themselves of putting this press out here, putting this project into the world? What do I want to get out of it? [00:31:12] Speaker B: I think you always want to get the highest reach that you can get. And I think that what you want to do when you're collaborating between a designer and a PR person is that you just want to have a broad conversation and you want to be able to see everything. And so in addition to just the couple of projects that are on the table. You want to know what's further out, because you also have to sort of have a sense of what will be possible, what you're building towards, and are you saving something where it's like, well, this is such a great story. Maybe we can try for Tea magazine, maybe we could try something else. How do you ultimately try to match the feel of the project with the feel of the outlet? How do you try to match the feel of the project with the feel of the outlet so that you're able to really make a marriage that's meaningful, have that be reflected in the writing, have the photography fit in, and have it be really illustrated to the best of its potential. And I think that the more distance and the more open you are in that relationship that you have with the PR person, you're able to get more from it. And I think that you also have to have a balance of being both aspirational, not selling yourself short, and whether that means you also put the time and the money into investing in the photography to do it right, to be able to show it correctly, but then also somewhat reasonable and sort of giving into the process where you're allowing that person to guide you and set up the meetings as they get booked and sort of walk that path, knowing that ideally, you've picked the right person and it's a good long term relationship. [00:32:52] Speaker A: We just touched on it a little bit. I mentioned we're coming out of that COVID boom in the industry, and there is an influx of beautiful, completed projects that have been photographed and are ready for publication. How does someone make a project stand out to editors and be considered for selection right now, when it is more competitive, especially in the digital space, than ever before? [00:33:17] Speaker B: It's definitely competitive. I think what you want to do is show distinction in the imagery, and ideally, that's been baked into the project from the beginning, but certainly the color palette should look ahead of where we're going to some degree. Even if you change out the artwork or something else, that's a little bit easier to, and we've also heard not all the time, but occasionally it'll come up where a designer will choose to change artwork for the photograph, and it's not even really in the client's home or something like that. And then you really want to make sure that you're picking a stylist and a photographer who will do it justice. And for, I think, a smaller firm, it can be hard to think about how much you're spending and investing in that photography to do it right, but it really is critical to the brand that will appear everywhere. And so ideally, it will get you the best story possible, make your website look better, it'll make your Instagram presence look better. It will become synonymous with who you are. If you're very fortunate, it will go into a book one day. So you really do want to think long term. And ultimately, I think the other thing is that you have to, at some point, there's a little bit of self reflection where it's like, what kind of business are we building? Because do you want to build a fast track? We're going for 8100 and this is who we are. And we're going after celebrity clients. We're going after the highest caliber of design credibility, or do we just want to run a good business? And there is nothing wrong with that. That's a totally fine option as well. And you can just also kind of treat the process of getting yourself published respectfully so that you're making it possible, but where you're also sort of comfortable with getting what's available to you at that time and just taking a slower pace. And there's no right or wrong answer. I think it has to do with what your levels of either resources or ambition or anything else might be. [00:35:18] Speaker A: So you were just talking about the importance of photography and establishing acceptance of like, we need to dedicate proper budget to get the stylist and photographer that will do this project not just justice, but showcase it in the best possible way. I mean, so many of the people that you work with and the amazing photographers and stylists that you bring on for your clients, alongside your clients, I'm sure they would say the same, that the photos are even better than what you experience in real life. The way that they are able to be captured and styled is even better than when you're physically in the space. How do you coach your clients to be able to build that into the budget? What is your advice to someone who's like, how much of a project should I be dedicating to these marketing expenses for it, versus how am I building this into what I build a client back for? How do I get our margins to a place where I can put $20,000 towards this? And some advice on how someone can really start to build that into their next project that they know that they want to have showcased in the best light. [00:36:21] Speaker B: I think it can also be a game of prioritization and so you can look at each project differently and maybe you have one or two stars that you put more money behind, and you try to go after that a little bit harder. And then the other ones, you could work with someone who you really enjoy, like meaning a photographer you really enjoy, but maybe they're not as expensive. And I also think that photography is very much a collaborative process, where if you as a designer, are on set with that person, and again, you go in with an open mind and a positive attitude, and you've picked someone you have chemistry with, you can try to really get a lot out of it. I think I've seen variance there where it has to do with your frame of mind that you bring to the process. I think in terms of just preparing yourself for it, there's no easy way to do it. But you could also try to wait and bank up a few projects if you want, and save the money. So for PR relationships, I think what you could do is wait to engage the PR person until you have a critical mass of projects to pick and pitch. And ultimately, you can photograph them along the way, particularly if you're worried about either getting back into the house or that the house in some way will be changed or diminished. So you may want to go ahead and gather those, but then you could wait a few months, potentially a year. I'm not quite sure what's right for every scenario. And then try to work with a PR person when you have enough. That's also easier for them to work with. I myself find it easier when you have more to work with than less. And I think that allows you that ability to pivot and say, this is a fit for this. And ultimately, it's less stressful on both sides, I would say, because there's not so much writing on the relationship that can be a little bit hard. And the other thing is that, especially for a smaller firm, there's no reason why you couldn't attempt to humanly connect to the editors that you aim to work with one day. And you can really do a lot with a little if you make yourself accessible. And again, you're memorably kind. And I think that identify who it is that you want to impress. Go to their talks, make an effort to support them, follow them on Instagram, and tell them that you liked their article. There's no harm in doing that. You can do that as a small business, and it will be remembered forever. And then as you build yourself up and as you grow and as you get to the point where you have more resources and you can make more choices, ultimately you'll have more partners in that process that will allow you to keep even a steadier hand on it. But I think that foundationally, you can get started right away. [00:39:22] Speaker A: Real quick, a very specific question you mentioned having. It's easier to work with more if someone was potentially banking some projects to go to a publicist. Does more projects mean like three, or does more projects mean like five? What is kind of that threshold? If you're like, if I have five projects to work with, we can start getting some placements, we can really find the right outlets. Or is three enough? [00:39:48] Speaker B: When you're looking to work with a firm and you have that number of projects in mind, I think you really want to go in and just meet as many people as you can and start having conversations. And through the balance of those conversations, you'll find the truth. And that might come out. The types of questions that might come up would be around, say you have three projects, and they're stellar projects, and you might go really far with them just because they're standout. And you may have another firm that has seven or ten projects, but they look too similar, perhaps, to other things that have been published before. There is no sort of one size fits all approach in this case, and so it can be hard to predict. I think for us at this point, we would like to see seven to ten projects, but we would also like to see them have their own soul and character, and maybe they're in different cities and maybe they're different housing types. One is a country house, one is a city house. You should be able to flexibly go back and forth in the storytelling so that not everything looks or sounds the same when we're presenting it. It can be really hard to sort of just make a guess there. But what also I found is that there are PR firms that are smaller, and they may also be more willing and more interested to work with people that have a smaller number of projects. And I think that we just want to be able to have more because we know we can guarantee success. [00:41:19] Speaker A: I think that that is really helpful to know. [00:41:23] Speaker B: Okay. [00:41:23] Speaker A: When we're looking at the Athenas, the light and dwells, the calling kings, that they are potentially coming to you, when they do have seven to ten projects, I think that is really helpful to set expectations, to understand that when you can really see someone that you admire that is being positioned in so many different places, that they probably have collected a larger breadth of work that is in the same style of photography, that is interesting and unique and different, and that is contributing greatly to the success of their PR work with you so I know that we are tight on time, so I want to pivot a little bit and talk about social media and where social media fits into this equation, as in not only what does data Goldberg offer from a social media standpoint for their clients, but also where is social media fitting into the PR conversation? And how much value, or potentially less value are we experiencing in social media today versus five years ago? [00:42:29] Speaker B: Social has changed everything for this community because it gives you a platform to be able to broadcast yourself and your ideas every single day. And I think that this is also a relationships business where people are hiring someone based on their taste and their trust that they have in that person. And so it really is very meaningful for you as a designer to be able to carry that across in such a way where your presence is not one dimensional. And I think your taste is really looked at in many different ways. It has to do with, of course, what you put into a room, the way you photograph it, but then also the way that you're just coming across in your messaging. Are you showing the soul of the way the process is being done? Are you showing the materials that you're looking at? Or maybe you're walking through a site or other things where there's a little bit of behind the scenes. And I think those that have the appetite for it have a tremendous advantage, and they've really been able to grow based in following accordingly. And what we hear is that those that have a larger following do end up inevitably as a law of returns, have more options in terms of who's available to them as a client. And I think it's something that you can't ignore. And you really also have to be thinking about the way that the medium changes every year. And what we try to bring to the process when we work with a brand digitally, or when we're just even consulting with them or broadly on PR, is we really try to encourage them to be posting about their presence in real life. There's ways to meet them. They're out there, they're active. How does it also get shown so that every press placement, every panel you're on, whatever it is, has maybe a slight graphic treatment that goes with it, that everything is packaged in such a way where it's reflective of the overall brand that you're building. And I think that these little nuances and the consistency of that really do make a difference for communicating professional success. And so it's something that I think every business needs to really consider and take quite seriously where you can't just sort of rely on the press alone, and you can't rely on just even your own client base to be word of mouth anymore. You really do want to have the flexibility of capturing the world's attention and getting clients nationally and opening up your. [00:45:02] Speaker A: Doors a little bit in all of the things that you do for clients and all of these different connections you've made and relationships you've built to have product launches and book publishings and TV deals and all of these different outlets of media. You have mentioned to me that it's important to understand the difference between your publicist and potentially a business manager's services. Can you talk us through kind of what those differentiators are and why someone would need to consider engaging with one or the other or both, and what that trajectory looks like? [00:45:39] Speaker B: Yeah, this is something that a lot of people are not really conscious of, which is that the people that are performing at the highest levels do have PR and business managers in the room. And that was maybe five years ago, exclusively happening in the entertainment fields or other areas. And now, because everybody that has an audience and a following has the ability to sort of monetize themselves and get different types of deals, not necessarily influencer deals, but partnerships, like maybe it's a Creighton barrel launch or a book deal or something else, there are multiple people that weigh in on that. And I think that ultimately the difference between PR is that we do everything earned and then a manager does everything paid. The lines blur, and when you have a great relationship, everybody's at the table and everybody's talking, and we've seen all sides of that process. But I think that if you're someone who is really ambitious and you're looking to not only run a great design business, but you think that you want to be doing real personality work where you're putting yourself out there in your point of view and you're evolving design and you have something to say, and you want to show that in a product, and you want to show that maybe on some kind of broadcast opportunity or again through a publication like a book, then you do want to consider building yourself up on social so that you could be taken seriously by a manager, because it is sort of a natural tie in there where they want to make sure that you're marketable for them because they work on commission largely. And so it has to be sort of a safe bet. And they also have to really feel it and believe it and know that the work ethic is there that you could pull off whatever that they bring to you, because increasingly the best opportunities are off menu these days. There is no really clear precedent for what has been done. And everybody's career is evolving a little bit differently, which is the beauty of these times, is that there's just so much that has yet to be written. You just want to make sure that you're able to get everything you can. And I think it's fascinating too, because I recently did this class for Risdy where I was teaching these furniture students about communication. And the most vocal ones were know, I don't just see myself as a furniture designer. I see myself also as someone who's interested in music. And maybe we'll go into other forms of entertainment. And I really believe that this is the way the industry is going, is that we've always grown up in this industry. We love it. We've felt very protective of it. There's a purism that comes with really understanding even the trade side, but it's not our industry. So much design is for the world, and design can and should be experienced by everybody. And lots of different people and a lot of other people from outside places are coming in and saying, I belong here. I get it. I see it, I read it, I buy it, I want to design it. Why not? And I think that that's a beautiful thing. And I'm really excited about the way that the world has so much more potential to be just inclusive of many different voices. And we'll see over the next few years that I think that this will start to change and infiltrate our space a little bit. [00:49:03] Speaker A: So before I let you go, there's one more topic that is just kind of looming at every dinner conversation I have right now amongst friends and colleagues. What is going on in the book world? How are there suddenly so many books? What are you experiencing as the shift to why sort of this physical, tangible object is kind of having this revival? It feels because there are so many books launching. I know from an industry standpoint, books come out this time of year because they're getting ready for holiday. That makes sense as to why it gets published in the fall, but it just seems like there are so many right now. So from a PR standpoint, what is your take on that? And also, what are the steps for someone who wants to explore that opportunity? [00:49:53] Speaker B: This could be its own hour, honestly, because I think it's so fascinating. But my experience with books was definitely, and I going back almost ten years ago, we worked with Point at Leaf Press, which was a small publisher, and it was founded by Susie Slesson, who is a dynamic character in New York design. She was the home section editor for the New York Times for 17 years, and she was an incredible person to learn from because she was so open. And I worked with Sheila Bridges on her book back in the day, and there were some other really amazing authors that we collaborated with. And she taught us the process where you have someone, where you have this following. Again, they have this kind of unique set of images and narrative that deserves to get out there. But then also, how do you translate that? Through press, through events, and through book signings and appearances and other things. And we sort of learned that through that process. We saw then what it could do at the final moment of someone's career. At that point, I think books in the past were always about legacy, and they were the monograph, and that meant not necessarily that you were done, but you had made it. And now we're seeing that books are another stepping stone, almost as a compilation of what's happening on Instagram, where it's like there's so much content that's out there, and this is a way for you to package it as a milestone. But there's no assumption that it'll be anyone's ever last book. You could have multiple books, and that certainly as you continue to evolve, you'll have even more things to say. And I think that it is one of the few milestones of success that someone is able to show that they've produced a body of work that is worth looking at, again, that you can hold in your hands. It's worth printing, and it's very desirable for people to be able to sort of use that as a benchmark and a milestone in a world where otherwise, everything's very fleeting. And so I think that we'll see a lot more of it. I watch all the time who are the most successful books, and what does that list look like on Amazon? We were fortunate that live beautiful was at the top of the list for years, still at the top of the list. And we've learned a lot from that project. And it's now really flattering to see that so many of our other books are on that list because of the way that we've kind of understood just the ability to get the most out of them as well. So it's not just about having the book, but again, it's about, like I was saying about the press, it's about bringing people into it, creating a world around it, creating just a deeper sense of understanding of who this person is and what the point of view is. And learning from them and then making sure that you're having ideally a lifelong learning session for them. I think that anytime that you have the opportunity to allow someone to fall in love with the designer or the visionary, the creative talent in a longer form process that's more meaningful, that is where you want to put your time, energy and attention. And we've really enjoyed that process. And we've subsequently, we have since over the last few years, actually had several books published that we've brought to press. And we enjoy that process because it has sort of reframed the way that we're working where we're able to be even longer term and we're thinking about the brands and the people that we work with in terms of how they can make really meaningful connections with their audience through these platforms and how we're able to position it in such a way where we're setting it up, where again, we're getting the deal done, we're thinking about who's doing the forward, we're talking to them about who's writing or who's doing the photography, and then that positioning is so meaningful. And I think that comes back to our love of the process is we're in it for the positioning. We're in it for whatever that looks like, whether it's a book deal, whether it's a single story, whether it's an Instagram page, whether you're having dinner with that person. And I think that there's only so many milestones in life for us to celebrate that are legacy level. That is one say that amazing product collaboration. Typically these days it's a Creighton barrel collaboration. Maybe you launch your own website and you're doing your own products, whatever it is. 8100 There are certain things that people feel like they want to achieve in their lifetime. To be able to look back and know that they pushed themselves to the limit. And the book is such a celebration of that. [00:54:39] Speaker A: Well, we continue this conversation extensively and get into even more intimate details at design camp. I can't wait to chat with you. By the time this airs, we'll have already been at design camp together. Thank you so much for joining us today, for always being so open and honest and gracious with the information you shared with me. I have so thoroughly enjoyed, cherished and valued the time that I get to spend with you. So thank you so much for joining us on the show today. [00:55:08] Speaker B: Thank you for having me. [00:55:09] Speaker A: This interview was such an inspiring reminder to love what you do and remain an active, eager learner in your craft. Thank you so much to Rebecca and her team at Data Goldberg for giving us a peek behind the curtain of NeW York's Illustrious PR world. You can follow along with Data Goldberg on Instagram at DataGoldberg for the perfect opportunity to keep up with the movers and Shakers in our industry as we inch closer to the finale of season three of the Interior collective podcast. Please, please remember to leave a review for this entirely free resource on Apple Podcasts and rate us on Spotify so we can plan a fourth season. Your feedback and support make this passion project Sleepless nights so worth it. I'm Anastasia Casey, the founder of Brands built to support you in your career as an interior designer, Idika Studio, Quinn Design Camp, and of course, the Interior Collective, a podcast for the business of beautiful living.

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