How To Get Added Onto Press Lists As An Interior Stylist Or Writer

Introduction to Press Lists for Interior Stylists and Writers

Learn the insider tips for interior stylists to get noticed and invited to press events through targeted email lists.

Last week I received an email from an Interior Stylist assistant member of Inside Stylists asking about how press launches work. She wanted to make sure she was kept up to date with any new products she could include in shoots and features she was researching for. She also wanted to be invited to the press launches that she’s seen interior stylists and writers attending. This is what I told her…

Get on the mailing lists.

How to get on PR Email lists

It all starts with the contacts. PRs, Agencies and marketing departments. It can all be a bit overwhelming. Follow these steps to make it a whole lot easier to be kept in the loop.

Step one: Find the PR contact

The first thing you need to do is find the correct person for a brand’s PR. Here’s how I find PR contacts when I’ve fallen off a list or want to connect with someone new.

1. Check out the website

If you want to stay ahead in this interiors industry you need to know what’s available for shoots and features and that predominantly happens with the PRs and their press releases and emails. So how do you find out who the PR is for a brand?

I start with the brand’s website. At the bottom of their website’s home page – where the ‘Contact” button is, there’s usually a ‘Press’ or ‘Marketing’ department. You may even find the ‘Social Media/Influencer’ department who can help. There’ll always be an email but if there’s a phone number give them a call. No-one really calls anymore and it’ll make you more memorable. It’s also nice to share your passion for your work and interiors in general. That comes across so much better in a phone call.

2. There’s no contact on the website. What’s next. 

Have you tried Googling them? I know, I know, that’s pretty obvious but literally putting in “Who does the PR for John Lewis” in a search bar may yield a result. I mean on one search I’ve got the press office, the Instagram account for the press office AND the LinkedIn connection of a press officer.

1. Building Relationships with Press Email Lists: A Guide for Interior Stylists

3. Next try LinkedIn

My next point of reference is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a totally different beast to most social media platforms. In fact, it’s not really social media at all – but it has become a bit like that. It’s more of a social media CV. If a PR wants you to know how experienced they are they’ll have a profile on there. All you need to do is put the brand name and “PR” in the search and see what pops up. You may find the current contact (as with John Lewis above)  or someone who has worked with the brand in the past. If there are no obvious links to the team right now drop a line to a previous pr for that company. I’m sure they won’t mind letting you know who to contact.

3. Social Media Contacts

I’ve had a lot of success directly messaging a brand on Instagram and asking who does their pr. This is probably the slowest way of getting a response, especially if it’s a big brand that get a ton of messages each day. The plus side is that you know you’ll be given the direct contact detail.

Some brands will have a separate socail media PR account to the shop so look for those for a quicker response.

Don’t forget to make sure you’re following the brand when you reach out to them. Show keen and all that.

4. Don’t forget about Press Loft

Press Loft – for all you newbies, is an online PR image library where once you have signed up for a free account you can download high res PR images for features. Through the platform, you can contact the pr for loads of interior brands.

Nikki Snell, Founder of Press Loft has been a guest on the podcast which you can hear here. She’s also run workshops for the members of Inside Stylists – but you need to be a member to see that one. 😉

Step Two: Make contact 

Okay, so you’ve found the right person. What do you need to say to them so that they take you seriously?

In a nutshell, they will take you seriously. I’m often approached by people just starting out in interiors and they feel not quite ready to approach brands and PRs as they don’t think they’re experienced/professional enough or not well known yet. To that, I say “Pah!

Brands and PRs do want to hear from you. They don’t know where you’ll be going with your interior styling or writing business. You may be the next newspaper homes editor, reach a bajillion people on your interior blog, or chat about them on your successful podcast. They want to build a relationship with you NOW – while you’re learning – when you’re on the way up!

It’s easy to forget about that side of things when you’re new and suffering from imposter syndrome (Go listen to this podcast if you’re feeling the Imposter Syndrome bite) What I like to share with people is that the

“Assistants of today are the stars of tomorrow”

The people assisting me when I first went freelance are now running Sunday magazine supplements in the biggest newspapers around, heading up Interior magazines, and are in a very influential publishing house magazine hubs. So in a nutshell – they want to get to know you so get in touch!

What to say. 

Don’t stress about this too much. Remember that us Interiors people – wherever we work – styling, pr, marketing, photography, are all lovely. Interiors people just are lovely. Not scary.

Drop them a line stating that you’re an Assistant stylist/writer and you would like to be kept up to date with all their newness so please could they add you to their press mailing list. Let them know what you are working on at the moment and send them a link to your profile/ Portfolio website or Social Media. That way they can see what you are all about and where their clients or brand might fit in with you. You never know when a shoot/feature/collab will pop up.

Step Three: Stay in touch

Why Building Relationships with Press Contacts is so important

Once you’ve made a connection stay in touch. Networking has never been so easy. When you have a contact name find their personal Instagram or TicTok/ LinkedIn. ‘Like’ their posts and the brand’s posts. Leave comments. Message them directly  “Oh I love that new yellow colour on your sofa. Hope I get to shoot that soon” type of comment is only a good thing.

Yes, this is like another full time job… until it isn’t. I’ve made some really good PR friends through social media. People want to work with people they like so this is a good way for them to meet you and get to know you and chat with you on a friend to friend basis.

Why do we fall off press lists

It’s an age-old problem. I hear it all the time – and from very experienced stylists and writers too!

“Help, I’ve fallen off the press list for my favorite brand AND I featured them in a magazine last month!!!”

It’s okay. They still love you. You’ve not been left off on purpose. It’s just how the system works. Let me explain.

Why you’re no longer getting invited to press launches. 

It took me a long time to realise this… and after a lot of research back when I was starting Inside Stylists and it goes like this.

  1. A High Street shop has an agency looking after their pr.
  2. That agency has a long contact list of editors, writers, freelancers, interior stylists, and assistants. Whenever they have an event or press release to send out they contact all those people on the list. Everyone is happy.
  3. The High Street shop decides that they can save a few pennies by taking their PR and marketing in-house. The PR agency is given notice.
  4. The High Street shop has a new team of in house PRs. Sometimes they have already been doing events and press releases. Sometimes they are from the marketing team. They’re all now in-house staff.
  5. The In-House team also has a contact list of Editors, writers, freelancers, interior stylists, and assistants. That list may not have been updated regularly.
  6. The original PR agency doesn’t share their list with the new In-House team because that list is their lifeline. It’s their business. ITS EVERYTHING.
  7. If you aren’t on the In-House list – and why would you be? You don’t know this team because you were on the agency’s list, you may not get future press releases and press launch invites.
  8. This sucks!

So, you can see that it’s nothing personal. It’s just a case of ‘you’re not on the new list’. What’s more you may not even realise that you have “fallen off” the press list until you hear about a new product/event from another interior stylist or writer. So keep your eyes peeled for your fave brands and make sure to contact the new team when you can.

And of course the PRs keep moving too!

Staying on email lists is almost a job in itself. Why? Because as well as the brands taking pr in house, your pr contact friend will move agencies, change brands or set up on their own. Hopefully, they’ll take their list with them but that may not always be possible. This is why staying on press lists is pretty simple but not easy.

So now you know how to contact a PR and get on email lists.

All this is to say that staying connected with PRs as an interior stylist or writer, whether that’s through press releases, email, social media or phone calls, is crucial for success in the competitive world of Interior styling and writing. By building relationships with PRs, marketing teams, and brands, you’ll gain valuable opportunities for future work and collaborations. Remember to be proactive in reaching out, keeping up the communication, and nurturing these relationships to build a strong network that will support your career moving forwards. Your next big job could be just a conversation away!

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