Modern Day PR: Leveraging Creativity to Ignite Buzz

Mar 2 2017

by Nancy McNulty

“Hope is the belief that something good will happen. It can’t be seen or touched, but if it could, it would resemble the house being completed in the new Southern Preserve subdivision in Franklin (Tennessee),” reflects writer Bill Lewis for The Tennessean. After working PR on top home events in the Nashville area for two decades, this latest project, the House for Hope Designer Show House, opens for tour March 4-12 and leverages together all things home amazing with a big designer bow on top!

House for Hope Designer Show House, Franklin, TN
The Modern Farmhouse, built by Carbine & Associates, has 15 Southeastern design tastemakers and is open for tour March 4-12, 2017 in Franklin, TN. (Photo by Sam Carbine)

Sitting in a meeting with client Carbine & Associates determining how to best celebrate 30 years of building, president/founder James Carbine broke the news “forget the party, we’re building a House for Hope!”(I was seriously kavecked.) Under the nonprofit 501c3, House for Hope Foundation, 100% of the home sale proceeds and tour will benefit over a dozen Middle Tennessee children’s charities. Combine the goal of yielding $100,000 with the talent of 15 top Southeastern design tastemakers and this House for Hope Designer Show House is set to be the year’s premier event for design inspiration and charity. #ColorMeGrateful

Modern Day PR

Leveraging resources is at the heart of any dimensional PR campaign. Gone are the days of mailing or faxing news releases and waiting for a news reporter to follow up. In this case, incredible design and building content is merging with social media to earn local, regional and national coverage. The home is the cover of Greater Nashville House & Home magazine and we are thrilled Domino Associate Social Editor Alyssa Clough will be hosting a Facebook Live tour at 1 p.m. this Friday. Join her on Domino’s page!

Alyssa-Clough-Domino lr
Domino Associate Social Editor Alyssa Clough will be hosting a Facebook Live House for Hope home tour on their page at 1 p.m. CST March 3. Join us!

So how do you leverage creativity to ignite project buzz? Here are some of my favorites:

Create An Event Foundation

Head out the gate with a bang announcing the project details well in advance so you are on everyone’s radar and create a foundation of good information. This will also enable you to pitch the project nationally which I did garnering interest from Domino.

esign Team 2017, House for Hope
The project launch took place in a local restaurant that reflected the tone of the project, farmhouse. A Facebook Live announced the design team! (Photo by Geinger Hill, Forest Home Media)
J&K Design Studio Board, House For Hope Designer Show House
Early creative assets included designer boards helping PR pitches. (Source: J & K Design Studio)

Uncover Unique Stories

In the event media kit, I like to identify unique project stories and then follow up with various media outlets in custom pitches. Sometimes I feel like a PR detective! This year, over a dozen makers, or artisans, were highlighted giving a sense of the depth of creativity involved.

Four Oak Bed Swings, House For Hope Designer Show House
Makers were identified given depth to the project details on the House for Hope. (Photo by Peyton Hoge)

Create Early Photo Assets

It ended up being one of Nashville’s coldest days of the year but the creative minds of J & K Design Studio, Karrie Seaton and Stephanie Handley, staged the beautiful farmhouse front porch in January ultimately earning a cover photo. This preview has to be done 6 to 8 weeks prior to your event giving media/bloggers a taste as well as photos enabling early coverage. A good event rendering is also super helpful.

House For Hope, Greater Nashville House & Home Cover
On stands today, the House for Hope Designer Show graces the cover of Greater Nashville House & Home magazine.

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Ask

All good fundraisers will tell you it is not enough to identify your worthy cause, you have to do the ask! Never be afraid to request for coverage. Be respectful by knowing the media outlet or blogger’s focus. Identify what might interest them and then request their consideration for coverage.

Track Social Posts & Engage

Establish an easy event hashtag early and ask folks to tag and share. Ours is #HouseForHopeTN and has already 156 tags and counting prior to our media blogger preview set for this Friday, March 3.

And with all engagement, work toward prompt thanks via email, hand-written notes and social shout outs!

Are you a home lifestyle blogger or home lifestyle writer? We’d love to add you to our list so give me a shout today at



Nancy McNulty View More Blog Posts from this Author

Cool, new and different is the mantra driving the public relations efforts of our company, Forest Home Media. Based outside Nashville in the historic Forest Home area, as a PR rep, I love working with a variety of home lifestyle companies including the 2014 Nashville HGTV Smart Home builder and served on the PR team for Southern Living Idea House at Fontanel. A long-time Tennessee girl with a communications degree from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, my career began as a newspaper reporter and a state agency spokesman. Connect with me at

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One response on “Modern Day PR: Leveraging Creativity to Ignite Buzz

  1. Boo Beckstoffer

    Hi Y’all,
    We’d love to support a great local cause with our Hogwash Rosé! Our rosé began as a charity project and giving to great causes remains part of our social mission. Because really, who doesn’t like to sip on some wine and feel like you’re benefiting a deserving local cause?! Oh, and thanks to all the support from our friends at Blackberry Farm, JC Holdway, and the Blackberry Farm Brewery, our Hogwash is available at many retail stores and restaurants throughout the Knoxville area!
    Nancy, please reach out to me personally about our donation. Cheers to hope!

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