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Clueing In
Learn how to get your projects published.
By Jo Kellum, ASLA

Landscape architects are clueless. That's the unfortunate conclusion many a magazine editor, writer, and photographer has come to after attempting to work with members of our profession. Architects get it. Interior designers do, too. Many related design professionals have raised working with magazines to an art form. Yet landscape architects in general are notoriously ignorant of the publishing process, focusing instead on deadline after deadline with little investment made in capitalizing on previous successes.

Publication of your work is a powerful marketing tool. It instantly establishes credentials with potential clients, raises the confidence of existing clients, and reminds past clients of just how good your firm really is. A magazine running quality photographs of a project you've designed may prove more valuable than the snazziest marketing brochure. Top off classy images with good copy and some solid facts about your firm, and a single magazine article can generate leads, establish your presence in a new market, and get your name and area of expertise in the forefront of many people's minds. When you're in print, you're the expert.

Why, then, do so few landscape architects follow up on such a valuable marketing angle? Lack of knowledge is the main reason. An unwillingness to commit time, energy, and funds to something vague is another. There's no guarantee your project will be picked for publication by any given magazine. And the hours you spend pursuing publication certainly aren't billable. It's a little like spending money to increase efficiency; because one can rarely point to a direct profit increase, managers are reluctant to include publishing efforts in their budgets. But the opportunity cost of what your firm is missing out on by failing to pursue publication is too great to ignore.

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