Because "home" is an emotional concept, nearly all home articles have a story to tell. There are lots of pretty rooms, but it's the ones that convey a story that get covered. I once received a telephone call from a writer who was doing a story on "green", meaning environmentally-friendly kitchens. She'd done a web search and found my website via my blog. I'd been doing blog posts on painting my kitchen cabinets green and in the weird and wacky way the search engines work, the word green was all that was needed to bring my work to her attention. While I couldn't help with her story at hand, I made a point of engaging her in conversation which resulted in her telling me to send any other project ideas her way if I had any.
Well, as a matter of fact, I did! A recently photographed project was just waiting to be covered and I had a complete story concept (mixing high and low purchases to stretch the budget dollars) at the ready. She asked me to send her some photos and after she finished her kitchen story, she'd take a look. The story was published in the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine within two months.
If you want media coverage for your work, products or expertise, you need to be prepared.
- Headshots. Have a good quality, relatively up to date, color photograph available in high and low resolution at the ready. Candid shots are usually not good enough for print purposes.
- Product photography. All products need to have professional quality photography in high and low resolutions.
- Designed spaces. Well shot scouting images or professionally shot final images should be available in high and low resolutions.
- Have your pitch ready. For each project finished, have an idea of a story pitch that might be enticing for a particular publication. This could be a color story, something about the homeowners, or any other "angle". Things might go in a completely different direction, but have some talking points ready just in case.
A final note about getting published in a glossy magazine: through the interviews I've held on my blog and on The Skirted Roundtable podcasts, every editor-in-chief we've spoken to has said that they welcome project pitches directly from designers. With limited budgets, the magazines simply can't send scouts out to every corner of the country, but it doesn't mean that they aren’t interested in great projects from all over.
So, make it easy for them to find you by submitting and seeing what happens. Of course, there are some rules. Your project should be an editorial "fit" with the publication you are pitching. Traditional Home is not as likely to focus on a post-modern dwelling, nor is Dwell likely going to feature a lot of Chippendale. But if you feel your project is the perfect fit for a specific publication, submit and see what happens. The worst thing is a no, but at least they've gotten to know you a little bit, and the next submission may just get the nod.