Inside the Mind of an Interior Decorating Editorial Director

  • Categories:

    Content Marketing, Public Relations

  • Date:

    January 09, 2019

Inside the Mind of an Interior Decorating Editorial Director

Content Marketing, Public Relations

It’s not every day you get the opportunity to sit down with the House Beautiful editorial director. And when Joanna Saltz visited the Wray Ward office in December, we picked her brain on all things design and what she foresees for 2019.

Joanna Saltz became editorial director of in the spring, part of Hearst’s vision for 2018. Her name may sound familiar, as she’s also the Delish editorial director and is overseeing both brands. Saltz has big ideas for House Beautiful. For starters, she’s building an entire team from scratch. She’s also making e-commerce and video a priority, along with implementing a reimagined digital presence across social media and the web. We’re seeing a growth in this trend on multiple platforms, stemming from brands’ need to reach a wide range of consumers, especially younger audiences, on digital platforms.

We’re always looking for fresh ideas from thought leaders in the design space. And within our PR department, we look to editorial directors such as Saltz who can help us help them. What trends are they seeing in their world? How are they learning about their audience? We covered it all.

Here’s what we learned:

Change is coming

One of the first items on Saltz’s agenda is her new editor’s letter concept, called Open House. She plans to host a mini roundtable discussion with designers each month, fostering dialogue that will translate to something meaningful. She revealed that her first letter, slated for the January/February 2019 issue, will focus on change and, specifically, why people fear it. House Beautiful aims to help consumers exchange ideas, feel inspired and become empowered to finally make that update at home. This dialogue will help brands in the home space make connections to what interests people most, their buying process and how to better promote direct conversions.

It’s important to make design relatable

Some consumers may see a beautiful room in a magazine and think “I can’t afford that” or “I have no clue where to find that.” Design should not only be relatable, but also attainable. Consumers can search endlessly for inspiration, but Saltz plans to push House Beautiful to be a place where the fantasizing stops and action begins. New features include shoppable graphics, unique video content and other helpful tools to help push consumers along their journey.

Education is a major key when it comes to design

Saltz counts ensuring everyone has access to good design, not just the elite, among her primary goals for 2019. A lack of educational tools factors into the current gap. Sometimes, the hardest part is knowing where to start. If consumers know where to buy stuff they want and how to make a home their own, then the goal has been met. Initiatives such as House Beautiful’s “Design 101” intend to simplify the process, starting with one room, one concept and education on the “why” behind a certain style trend. This should allow people to make more educated decisions about design.

We love talking to leaders such as Saltz about how the media landscape is shifting and the best, most strategic moves for our clients in the home category. We think it’s clear Saltz has already brought a renewed energy to House Beautiful, and we look forward to working together to achieve our shared goals as the publication continues to evolve.

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