I am chuffed to bits that Brighton-based PR agency Seen PR (formerly PR Girl) is supporting the confessions of a design geek bursary again this year, offering the winner an hour of PR mentoring that will really help them to make the most of their stand at Home London and the fact their products will be stocked at the Southbank Centre Shop. I spoke to David and Louise about why they’re keen to be involved and asked them to share a little advice for those thinking of applying…
“We were very honoured to be asked to be involved in 2013 confessions of a design geek bursary. The calibre of the other brands involved was very high, so we were in great company. All in all, it was a very rewarding project to support and be involved in.
“We spend every minute of our working day promoting others, so it is really nice to get our own company out there once in a while! Just kidding! Having seen how far the 2013 bursary winners have come in the last ten months, we’d be crazy not to want to be involved again. When we started out we were one of the few PR agencies to work with up-and-coming designers; we worked with Hidden Art for years. We’re proud of the small part we played in working with those once unknown designers – designers that are now very much respected names in the UK design industry.
“The bursary offers everything a new business needs, with priceless personal advice from those in the know. It is a truly unique prize and one that could give a young designer their big break. After the success of the 2013 confessions of a design geek bursary, there is bound to be much buzz about this year’s shortlist and the ultimate winner.”
“Katie’s asked us to share some advice, so here it is: Applicants will need to put together a professional package with a clear and concise product description, images, a biog and considered, realistic wholesale and retail price points. Also, product wise, something original is always refreshing.
“If you’re lucky enough to win, or even to get shortlisted, take onboard all the advice you are given in the run up to Home, be proud of your product and sell yourself. Strike up conversation with those who appear interested in your products – it could be what gets you that retail order. Be ready for business with press releases, product images, price lists and business cards. Finally use the in-house show PR and ask for business cards from those who visit your stand so that you can build your own all-important contact list.
“I can’t remember any advice we were given when we were starting out, but looking back there were some early breaks that really helped get us to where we are today. In the very early days we worked on an annual show with Max Fraser – our shared passion for promoting new design talent bought us together. There wasn’t so much support for new designers back then and it’s fair to say the work we did together was more for love than money. Although we didn’t realise it at the time, this work put us in the right place at the right time. Max introduced us to Jimmy & Rachel McDonald (of Tent London), who were working on an graduate show at the time. Now all these years later, we are part of the original Tent London team, handling the PR for the event every year.
“So our advice would be to network within the design industry and opportunities will surely come your way – and you never know where those opportunities might take you.
“Join the design community and get yourself and your products out there. Social media makes this so much easier these days. Get tweeting with like-minded industry folk and build up key social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn. You may stumble upon someone to share an exhibition stand with or be introduced to a key contact. Take up any opportunities that come your way – an application for the 2014 confessions of a design geek bursary wouldn’t be a bad start!”
And you have until midnight tomorrow to apply so get your skates on! Full entry details here – and make sure you spread the word via twitter using #coadgbursary.
With thanks to confessions of a design geek bursary partners: Home London, the Southbank Centre Shop, wallunica, Yeshen Venema, R&A Collaborations, Seen PR, Mini Moderns, HAM, Decorum, October Communications, The Design Trust and Jessica Hogarth.