Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Redefining Public Relations

For those of you who don’t already know, The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) has set to out to redefine the term “public relations.” The term, last updated in 1982, is significantly out-of-date. With new methods of communication and technology, public relations has evolved into more than just one-way communication. For starters, social media has become one of the most prominent tools in public relations and marketing. With channels such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs and Flickr, companies have a way to interact and engage with consumers on a more “human” level. Thus, increasing brand personification, recognition and loyalty.

On November 21, 2011, PRSA began accepting definition suggestions from industry professionals, academics and students to help redefine public relations. For submission information, click here. Once the deadline closes (December 3, 2011), the top definitions will be chosen on December 5, and voting will begin.

In light of this opportunity to redefine the art of our profession, the ECPR team came up with our own definition as industry experts.

“Public relations is a series of strategic approaches, tactical campaigns, and disseminated messages purposed to build two-way communication that advances brand or corporate perception by key constituency groups.”

Friends and fans, tell us what public relations means to you. Do you agree with our definition? Please feel free to post your comments, ideas or questions below. We look forward to receiving constructive feedback. Also, stay tuned to our social media channels as we follow along on PRSA’s journey to redefine public relations.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Southern Living's 2012 Idea House Returns to Senoia, Georgia

Returning to Senoia, Georgia, for the second time, the 2012 Southern Living Idea House will be unlike any other. Why? Because instead of the house being built from the group up, the project is set to be a renovation of a historical farmhouse.

As some of you may already know, Senoia is home to classic movies and TV shows such as Driving Miss Daisy, Fried Green Tomatoes and, most recently, AMC’s hit series, The Walking Dead. But, more importantly, Senoia is gaining momentum by striving to be an eco-friendly community. With the town’s typical southern charm in combination with sustainability efforts, Senoia is proving to be a cozy place to settle down.
The 2012 Southern Living Idea House will be a revival of an early 19th century cottage-style farmhouse. Its makeover has been masterfully designed by the noted team of architects and place makers at Historical Concepts from the neighboring town of Peachtree City. Completing the team is John Bynum Custom Homes, Inc., one of the Atlanta area’s premier custom home builders, Senoia’s Historic Development Ventures, LLC, and nationally-recognized interior design firm, Tracery Interiors.

This farmhouse revival project is expected to draw as many as 40,000 visitors from across the country, and Southern Living is scheduled to feature it the August 2012 issue. The home will be open for tours from June to December 2012, Wednesday – Saturday, 11 AM – 5 PM and Sunday 1 – 5 PM. The Idea House will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Stay tuned as we uncover more details about the 2012 Southern Living Idea House via our social media channels.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Top Interior Design Blogs

No matter your level of expertise in interior design, industry professionals always need to be informed of the latest trends as well as research new and innovative ways to help clients reach interior design goals. Thus, the importance of interior design blogs has become increasingly more valuable to those in the industry. While there are many interior design blogs on the internet, the ECPR team has put together a list of five we believe you might find of interest. Each blog was selected because of its unique range of decorating tips, ideas, products, and more.

Launched in 2004 by Grace Bonney, Design*Sponge attracts a diverse demographic of readers. Currently, over 75,000 people read the blog on a daily basis; this number excludes RSS readers, Twitter and Facebook followers. As a freelance writer for top publications such as Better Homes & Gardens, InStyle and Everyday with Rachael Ray as well as having been a contributing editor for several home magazines, Grace’s experience in the industry makes Design*Sponge a credible interior design blog. In addition to sharing “Before and After” design makeovers, DIY projects and home furnishing products, Design*Sponge’s unique “Sneak Peek” series steals the show. The series of blogs are dedicated to sharing interior design styles from all over the world. No matter your client’s design preferences, design professionals can read up on regional and international trends for tips and ideas.

Freshome is an online blog dedicated to sharing and uncovering the latest products and trends in architecture and design. With a primary focus on design inspiration, Freshome aims to give ideas on how to create beautiful, organized and healthy living spaces. Launched in 2007, Freshome has since been the “go-to” place for architects and interior designers. Blog topics range from furniture products, kitchen spaces and bathroom décor to blog posts about bedrooms, living rooms and even apartment layout ideas. Freshome is easy to navigate and provides informative information for those who want to keep up with the ever-changing world of creative design.
Apartment Therapy

Apartment Therapy is another great interior design blog. With emphasis on providing readers with the necessary tools on how to create comfortable, calm living spaces, Apartment Therapy shares basic design tips for readers. In addition to a “homepage,” Apartment Therapy also caters to regional areas across the country, such as Boston, New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Each individual location provides decorating insights home tours, store sales and events, as well as a daily “scavenger hunt.” Essentially, the “scavenger hunt” is a way for homeowners and design professionals to learn where the best places to shop for specific home furnishings and accessories in their area. Apartment Therapy’s blog approach to interior design is certainly unique and exciting.

PadStyle is a décor inspiration blog for homeowners and interior designers. On average, this site reaches between 40,000 – 50,000 readers a month and appeals to a wide range of age demographics. PadStyle shares information about how to decorate indoor and outdoor spaces. We included this in our top interior design blogs for its attention to detail and informative, easy-to-understand tips and ideas. Catering towards modern and traditional design styles, PadStyle offers readers design tips for living room, dining room, bedroom, patio spaces, kitchens, and more. Additionally, PadStyle features a “shop online” store that is broken down by living space. The online store enables homeowners and interior designers to shop hassle-free with secure online ordering.


decor8 was founded and launched in 2006 by Holly Becker, an American novelist, freelance journalist and interior design consultant, who currently resides in Germany. Her passion for interior design, coupled with her love of writing, enabled her to create a reliable blog about interior decorating. decor8 is updated daily throughout the week and features inside information from professional designers, home furnishing and accessory product reviews, store and home tours, and much more. In her blog posts, Holly covers an eclectic range of topics, including decorating ideas, tips for small business owners, travel, blogging and independent design. One notable feature of decor8, is that Holly and her team offer educational courses on how to create a successful, meaningful blog site, no matter your topic.

Friends and fans, we hope you found this post about top-level interior design blogs both helpful and educational. Not only are blogs useful tools to market products and / or services, but they also allow for a more personal approach to sharing information with your audience. At ECPR, we offer services to help companies in the home, garden and design industries to create meaningful, informative blogs. Thus, allowing for our client’s current and potential customers to learn about industry-related tips, trends, news, and more. For more information about our social media services, visit our website

Thursday, November 10, 2011

One Way to Engage Customers via Facebook

In recent years, Facebook has become a revolutionary marketing tool. Companies are interacting more with customers, clients and industry professionals as a means to increase sales and brand awareness. But, some companies and organizations are missing the mark by simply creating Facebook pages because their competitors do. In many of these cases, marketing managers leave their newly developed Facebook pages unattended – i.e., an attempted online conversation with no dialog. We advocate and assist clients in creating valuable content as opposed to just being on Facebook because everyone else is. By offering content with valuation, fans will come to think of a Facebook page as a go-to source of helpful insights. The likelihood of consumers or clients “liking” company pages is dependent on whether the posts featured on Facebook are relevant and interesting enough to follow and engage in.
ECPR manages several Facebook accounts, including Ligne Roset Miami, a high-end, contemporary furniture company. Our team researches and writes Facebook posts directed toward the company’s desired demographics, with an ongoing goal of interfacing with the an ever-evolving fan base. Recently, we posted a photo album called “All-White Décor,” in which we featured a selection of modern home furnishings and accessories from Ligne Roset to appeal to the company’s clientele in Miami. More importantly, the photo album is not promotional, but rather is informative and educational. The narrative and captions accompanying the album provide a look at how to create a beautiful, clean interior that focuses on a streamlined white decor. This was one in a series of how-to, captivating posts implemented consistently over time. Essentially, our post strategy helps Ligne Roset Miami create new relationships with customers and appeal to potential clients through high-quality, engaging content on Facebook. After all, no Facebook fan is interested in one-way promotional messaging alone.

Our team of social media experts are constantly researching new and interesting ways to effectively communicate though social media channels. Thus, allowing us tailor posts to our clients’ needs. For more information about our social media services for companies in the home, garden and design industries, please visit our website at

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Ultimate Casement Window

Marvin Windows and Doors, a family owned and operated business, is a premier manufacturer of made-to-order wood and clad wood windows and doors. With the success of the company’s brands and products, Marvin Windows and Doors has launched a new product, the Ultimate Casement window, as part of the Ultimate collection.

The new addition to the Ultimate collection is proving to be one of the most innovative window designs on the market for builders, remodelers, architects, and homeowners. Most uniquely, the Ultimate Casement window features a revolutionary wash mode which allows the window to be cleaned on both sides, while standing indoors. In just three simple steps, homeowners can rotate the exterior glass, saving time, money and effort. In addition to the wash mode, the Ultimate Casement window offers commercial-grade hardware, to ensure the window operates smoothly and opens easily for high-quality performance. This new casement window is available in a variety of designs and sizes. The largest size is 40” wide and 92” tall or 36” wide and 96” tall, allowing for unobstructed views and maximum fresh air.

Continuing to add to the Ultimate line, Marvin Windows and Doors has also recently introduced a retractable screen option. This creative, concealable screen glides side-to-side on a smooth track and can be stored in the window jamb when not in use. The retractable screen comes in a variety of wood species to match the interior of the window. Moreover, the screen is exclusively available in Marvin Windows and Doors’ Hi Transparency mesh. The screen’s fine mesh is made from a durable fiberglass material that is tear- and dent-resistant. 

Marvin Windows and Doors’ Ultimate Casement window and retractable screen option adds a premium component to new homes and buildings on the market. Builders, architects and remodelers designing with and using these innovative products can enhance construction projects to appeal to owners. For more information on Marvin Windows and Doors and the Ultimate Casement window, visit