Media Checklist for Architects

Create your first project media, pitch it to a range of journalists and create a repeatable process for future project launches.

Decisions required.

  • Which recent project has the most publishing potential?

Check out this unique-sexy matrix from Bowerbird. What will a journalist find interesting about your project? What makes it unique? How will it appeal to people?

  • Can we identify and describe the project’s standout, one-of-a-kind feature?
  • What will we name the project?

Projects named after the street, neighbourhood or client are a bit bland, and hard to remember or find on Google. Think about a name that refers to the one-of-a-kind feature (such as Hello house by OOF! Architecture, Roof House by Tezuka Architects or even a broader cultural trend such as ‘brexit bunker’ by RISE Design Studio.

  • Is there a specific niche or audience this project would appeal to?
  • Which publications should we reach out to first, and how should we leave until last?

Bowerbird recommend the ‘Fast then slow’ strategy’: Start with fast publications (Instagram feeds, Blogs) that get your project out there in small digital bites, and move on to slower media (Magazines, Books, TV) as time goes on; where more in-depth stories will be told.”

  • What was The Brief, Challenges of the Brief and Your Solution with this project?

By focusing on these three storytelling devices, you’ll be able to show a journalist what makes the project worth writing about.

  • What additional information will a journalist require for this project?

You’ll want to document all relevant information about the project such as the products used, the consultants involved, the budget, the location of the project and so on. This will help journalists to write their story.

Action items.

  • Write your three-part project description and package it with your project information.
  • Upload your project photos to a cloud storage platform (Dropbox, Google Drive) or a page on your website (hide the page if you aren’t ready to share the project widely).
  • Write a 2-3 sentence outreach message focusing on the unique feature.

Here is an example outreach email:

  • Use Linkedin, AnyMailFinder and Google to find relevant editor contact information at each publication you’ve selected.
  • Build an email outreach list.

Most of the time a publication will provide an email address or form to submit a project for their consideration. Other times, you may need to reach out directly. That means finding the right email addresses. I use a tool called Anymail Finder to help locate the email addresses of relevant journalists or editors. Over time you’ll usually build a media database for your firm that makes the task quicker with each new project. Here is an example below.

  • Copy your outreach message and personalise to each journalist before sending.

Helpful articles, books, podcasts and precedents.