Eyes on the Prize

Dear Doctor,

Our architecture firm is close to completing a signature project, and we really want to publicize it to the biggest possible audience. To do that, we plan on submitting a project description and photos to all the major design magazines in hopes of seeing it published everywhere! We will feature it prominently on our website and will enter it into several design competitions. Are we missing anything? We’re counting on this effort as a way to attract bigger and better clients, so we want to make sure we get this right.


Eyes on the Prize


Dear Eyes on the Prize,

I’m very excited for you! Finishing a great project is a great feeling. And I totally applaud your team for doing a terrific job. Of course, you want to get credit for your project. You deserve it. We all know that each of us is entitled to his or her 15 minutes of fame. Andy Warhol, who said that, was a fellow Pittsburgher, so it must be true (yes, truth be told, the Doctor is a global citizen, but she had to be born somewhere. Did you think I was hatched? OK, don’t answer that). But back to you, Eyes on the Prize: I’d like to share with you a little secret, and I need to talk in a very low voice here, because I want to talk to you confidentially. So, look, I’m trying to figure out the best way to explain this. If you’re not an only child, then you know that you had to fight with your siblings to be the favorite. In any case, it’s clear that no one wants to be the last cookie on the plate (it’s such a cold and lonely place to be…no one likes crumbs). I’m saying this, Eyes on the Prize, because I want you to understand how important your project is to you, and how important it can be to editors. Just as you know that your project is special, you have to make sure that you treat your editors as special. Look, you can’t invite three dates to the prom at the same time (OK, you could take that approach, but the doctor highly recommends against it, for obvious reasons). Instead, if you want to get into one of the big design publications, then treat the editor at that publication like they are the Only One. Start by figuring out which publication you want to target and offer your project as an exclusive to that publication. You can always send out your project to anyone you want, after that publication has covered it. I’m talking here about big targets, like The New York Times or Architectural Record. If you don’t know what publication is best for you, the Doctor advises that you do your research to make sure that your project is a good fit for that newspaper/magazine/online publication you are dreaming about. You also want to look at editorial calendars and see what topics each of those publications is covering from month to month. For example, if you just did a great university project, then find out when the major design publications (Architect, Architectural Record, Contract, Interior Design, Metropolis) are covering education. Pick one that you think is the best fit and go for it! And, if you have any questions, the Doctor is here for you, always. Wishing you joy and success and big prizes in 2018!