We asked Cassie Hansen, Editor of Artichoke, one of Australia’s leading interior architecture and design magazines, to share her tips for getting published in the design media.

In your view, what makes a successful project/story pitch?

In terms of what makes a project suitable for publication in Artichoke, I look for a number of things, but primarily a point of difference. The project should either be new and innovative in the Australian interior architecture and design context; it may have solved an unusual brief in an interesting way; it may have had an interesting client or backstory; or it might do something that a project has never done before in its particular sector. Put simply, I’m looking for quality, innovation and creativity packaged within a beautiful and resolved project.

What are the biggest mistakes architects/designers make when it comes to pitching their work to magazines?

There are a few.

A lot of architects and designers don’t do their homework before pitching to Artichoke. We get a lot of projects that are just not right for the magazine — international projects with no Australian connection; residential projects (Artichoke’s sister magazine Houses is where you pitch for that); projects that have too much interior styling and not enough interior architecture; or projects that may have been considered new and innovative ten years ago. Artichoke is at the forefront of Australian interiors and design and so we aim to only publish projects that reflect this.

After you’ve done your research and found a project right for Artichoke, get in touch with me, whether that’s by phone or email. Feel free to call and introduce yourself and tell me about the project, or email me. If you are emailing, it’s best not to bombard me with eighty-four high-resolution images! Send through a curated set of low-res professional photography, a brief blurb about the project, and some floor plans or sections. That will do the job initially and I’ll ask for more info if needed.

Another mistake architects and designers make when pitching has to do with the photography — either the photographs are too empty (for example a retail fitout with no product in place yet. We need to see how the space serves its function – not the empty shell); the photography doesn’t capture the architecture in the best way or has not been taken by a professional; or there are only two photographs available. If it’s your first time pitching a story, it might be worth holding off booking the photographer until you’ve spoken with the editor. Firstly, you could send happy snaps to us so we get an idea of the space, and if it is suited to the magazine, we can refer you to a list of photographers that we’ve worked with and know what we’re after. All it takes is a good project with poor photography for it not to be published.

Finally, the other huge mistake architects make is not having a social media presence. It is 2014! If you don’t have an active social media account right now, fix it today! A good social media account can do the pitching for you. I spend a lot of time on Instagram and on many an occasion I have snapped up a project after seeing the near-completion shots on the architect’s Instagram account.

How can media exposure help an architecture/design firm?

Media exposure can help in many ways. It can help to gain clients and jobs. I know of architects who have generated work from having had their project published in Artichoke or Houses — a reader might love what they see and commission you for their next project.

Getting published can also help to establish the brand and identity of your architecture practice, and it also garners you respect and recognition among the architecture and design profession.

You have a new section in Artichoke that profiles emerging practices. What advice would you give to firms that wish to be profiled but don’t have a large body of work? 

Yes, from Artichoke’s September issue onwards, there will be a new section profiling emerging practices.

It’s normal for an emerging practice to not have a lot of work to show for themselves at the start. To them I say, don’t be shy in showing me what you have done – even if it’s only a few projects, if each of those projects is strong, you may be just what we’re looking for.

What are the highs and lows of your job?

I feel incredibly blessed to have the job that I do, especially given the diminishing number of jobs in the print publishing and journalism industries. Since I can remember, I’ve wanted to work in magazines so I really am grateful to have this job.

I love that my job allows me to travel around and meet talented, creative people and see their projects — seeing great architecture and interiors, often before anyone else, is an amazing privilege.

I also get to work every day with the best editorial team in Australia – each person in our team is brilliant at what they do (and really good-looking) and we have a lot of fun together. This job wouldn’t be the same if they weren’t all so great to work with (if they are reading this, I like peonies and Ferrero Rochers).

I guess the big one is the sense of accomplishment and pride you feel when you get the issue back from the printers. There are thousands of little tasks and decisions that go into each issue so seeing the finished product is very rewarding.

There are few lows — crazy deadlines, Xcel spreadsheets, Blend 43 coffee — but what job doesn’t have those?

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