21.1 MEDIA PRESS KIT
Question: Is there demand for the publication of newly completed building projects?
Most architectural firms and even some owners, contractors and consultants would like to see newly completed building projects published in newspapers and magazines. Newly completed projects are of interest to the general public. Who owns it? Who designed it? Who built it? What is special about the project? Why was the project built? When was it completed and how long did it take? These are just some of the questions that the public wants answered. Furthermore construction represents major capital investment of labor and materials and many of the material suppliers and contractors involved in projects are often keen to have their products showcased so that the publication of architecture can present significant commercial opportunities. Newspapers and magazines are similarly always looking for news items for publication. Despite the general demand for articles on newly completed building projects yet, in the Caribbean, we see very little published articles on completed buildings. Why is that?
Question: How is it that architects have difficulty getting their recently completed building projects published?
Most architectural firms who want their newly completed building projects published probably start by assuming what a publisher wants to see – a nice photo, some flowery text and of course credits. Yet when they send the package down to the media house the architect gets disappointed when nothing gets published. Some architects resort to the expertise of an advertising agency and often there is more success here but there is a price to pay for this service. Frequently advertisements or advertorials include ads for some of the product suppliers and contractors involved who pay for space to get published. While these approaches might meet with some success in local newspapers they are unlikely to get traction with regional or international architectural magazines.
Question: So how then should one go about getting newly completed building projects published?
The mistake that most of architects are making is thinking about what the architect wants and not what the publisher needs. This subtle shift in perspective modifies the content to be in the form of a more useful media kit that publishers need. Moreover most architects would like to see their work published internationally as this brings with it a level of prestige and respect. LUMIS has been promoting the publication of Contemporary Caribbean Architecture since its inception. Most architects have no real idea of how to go about this process effectively so the result is that few newly completed projects get published. What the media actually needs is a ‘media kit’ with the right content they will need to build an article comprising high-resolution architectural photographs, well-written text explaining the project supported by facts, special project features, products used, credits and so forth along with contact information. If the media kit is well prepared with the right content and all the material in a single package aimed at meeting the publisher’s needs then there is a far greater chance of getting published.
Question: How is LUMIS developing its role as a key facilitator in the architectural publication process?
Since the inception of LUMIS I have been researching how best to get architecture published. A couple of years ago I came across Nic Granleese, an architect and architectural photographer like myself, in Melbourne Australia. Nic is an energetic and clever architect and photographer that spent most of his recent years working on a Media-Map system for getting architecture published. Not only has he developed and simplified a Media-Kit for architecture publication, he has developed a really ambitious system for getting access to architectural publishers all over the world. Yes, I am serious. Nic has mapped all or most of the architectural publishers around the world and is in the final stages of launching his Media-Map system. In this way an architect, with the help of a checklist, can provide all the material required by publishers in a systematic media kit and it can then be circulated to publishers around the world. Wow! That will surely open up new horizons. For one, media house will suddenly have material coming to them rather than have to look for material to publish. Secondly, the competition to get published will be greater and the need for high quality architectural images an essential element in the success formula.
Question: How can LUMIS help architects get their work published?
A key strategic LUMIS objective is to promote the publication of contemporary architecture in the Caribbean. In order to achieve this objective LUMIS has determined to position itself as a fulcrum between Caribbean architects and publishers/ media houses. In this way LUMIS can assist architects in getting their work published and at the other end of the spectrum be a resource for publishers when they need material for publication. Once such case is the LUMIS publication of an article in the International Herald Tribune in March 2013. Another is the publication of the Halls of Justice. Of course an essential element in the process is the need for high quality architectural photography, without which there is little chance of getting published.