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How Megan Auman’s Latest Line Went From Trade Show Floor to the Pages of Elle Decor

Imagine, for a moment, that you’ve just stepped outside to pick up your mail. Resting underneath the normal assortment of bills and catalogs is something unexpected — a package with a New York return address.

You barely wait to get back inside before you rip it open.

Inside is a copy of the next issue of Elle Decor — with a post-it marking a page.

You flip it open and see a product you designed and created laid out in a gorgeous spread.

The post-it holds a brief note from the editor you met at a trade show a few months back.

You knew this was coming, because the editor sent you a photo release form, but now it’s here.

Your work is in your favorite magazine.

Enable images to see the Elle Decor feature.This happened for Megan Auman — and it can happen for you, too!

When Megan was preparing for NY Now last year, she contacted us for help in attracting media to her booth. Now that the issue with her work has come out, Megan’s agreed to share what she learned from the experience with you.

Brigitte: First, I want to say congratulations, because I know Elle Decor was at the top of your wishlist! How does it feel to have your work featured in the magazine

Megan: It feels amazing!  When the issue arrived in the mail, I was practically shaking.  It’s also given me a huge feeling of validation.  I’m trained as a metalsmith, and even though I’ve always loved textiles and painting, there is something really nerve racking about branching out into this new design area.  To have my first textile collection featured in a major magazine is a huge confidence booster!

Brigitte: What has the response been from your community?

Megan: The response has been really supportive.  I’ve gotten lots of congratulations from friends and peers.  Now that the issue is out everywhere, I’ll be doing even more promotion to my audience, to hopefully generate more sales.

Brigitte: One thing we often warn clients about is that they might not see a big rush of web traffic from a print placement. Was that the case for you? Would you say you still got benefit out of the feature?

Megan: I wouldn’t say I got a huge rush of traffic from this particular feature.  In my experiences in the past, there’s a lot more that impacts getting traffic to your site than just being featured.  The location in the magazine, size of image, what else surrounds it – these all play a huge role in whether someone will make it to your site.

But I would still say I’ve gotten benefits from being included.  Just being able to put on my website “As seen in Elle Decor” is a huge piece of social proof that will no doubt influence people.

Brigitte: We helped coach you through the placement, but you ultimately connected with the editor yourself. Can you share a little bit about how that went and what you learned?

Megan: I was able to connect with the editor at the past NY Now trade show, which took place in February.  Before the show, I was able to email a number of key media contacts thanks to the list you helped put together.  I didn’t get a response from this editor or magazine beforehand, but that doesn’t mean the email wasn’t received.

At the show, I’m always careful to keep my eye out for press.  Fortunately, their badges are a different color from buyers.  When this buyer walked in, I was immediately able to engage her and answer questions about my products.

I also put together a special sticker that I could put on my show postcards just for members of the press.  This had my contact information and links to my media kit and images.  Every member of the press that I gave this to was pleasantly surprised by how together I was, and I’d highly recommend this strategy for anyone.  (Plus, it saves people from having to carry around a giant, bulky press kit.)

On the last day of the show, as I was packing up, I received an email from this editor with a request for images.

Since I know (because you taught me, Brigitte) that prompt responses play a huge role in whether or not you’ll end up in a magazine, I dropped everything and immediately emailed her high-res images, which I had at the ready in a Dropbox folder.

From there, I just made sure that I was constantly in communication in case the editor needed anything else.  And, after the feature was published, I sent the editor a thank you note!

Brigitte: Now that you’ve been featured in Elle Decor, what’s next on your radar? 

Megan: I know that when it comes to press, like anything else in your business, consistency is key.

So I’ll keep looking for new press opportunities, and I’ll repeat this entire process again at the August NY Now show.  (Where I’ll be able to showcase my Elle Decor feature to hopefully attract new buyers!)

Brigitte: We can’t wait to see where you land next!

Trade Show Publicity SecretsWant to know how you can connect with editors and bloggers at your next wholesale trade show?

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