Interior Design Social Diary: Eddie Ross in DC

EDDIE Ross shared his expertise with designers during an informative presentation on styling interiors for photography. The lecture was held at the Washington Design Center in Washington DC during Capital Design Days.

Eddie Ross edits his vignette

Beautiful spring vignette created by Eddie Ross as part of his lecture at Capital Design Days in Washington, DC.

Eddie Ross shows how the use of color and accessories can change the look and feel of a space.

Eddie Ross creates an inviting space using earth tones and cool blues.

Jaithan Kochar and Eddie Ross with IDRA Executive V. Carr

Gloria De Lourdes Blalock, Principal Designer of Blalock Interiors with Eddie Ross

Jaithan Kochar & Eddie Ross pose for pictures with Sheryl Scruggs and Roslyn Ashford after Eddie Ross' lecture at Capital Design Days.

Gloria De Lourdes Blalock of Blalock Interiors with Designer Barry Dixon

Gloria De Lourdes Blalock of Blalock Interiors and V. Carr, Managing Director of IDRA

David Chenault and Paul Fogg at Capital Design Days

Gloria De Lourdes Blalock of Blalock Interiors with Architect and Designer Barry Goralnick

David Herchik and Ronald the Great

A special thank you to our friends at Blalock Interiors and Sukio Design Co. for your  support.

Blalock Interiors
Principal Designer: Gloria De Lourdes Blalock
1232 South Oakcrest Road
Arlington, VA 22201

Sukio Design Co.
Proprietess: Desiré Green
1712 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009

Photos Coutesy of :
Blalock Interiors
Sukio Design Co.
The Interior Design Resource Agency

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Effective Marketing Strategies: Advertising vs Public Relations (PartII)

Effective Marketing Strategy:
Public Relations

Public relations refer to any form of unpaid communication, designed to generate a positive image of a company in the market. It can also be considered as a planned effort by an organization to the establishment of favorable opinion for the organization and its products and services.

Public Relations Tools

•Special Events
•Written Material
•Audiovisual Material
•Corporate Identity Material
•Other (social cause, websites, employees)


Public Relations Graph

•Growth phase:
As in the case of advertising, public relations in the growth phase is of utmost importance for the organization and considerable time and effort is deployed for public relations.

•Established and Growing Phase:
It has been observed that most companies do not entail much importance to public relations once the product is past its growth stage. However, PR deals with the image of the organization on the whole and is not limited to a particular product. Hence, ideally, PR should have a graph that doesn't fall below a minimum predefined value. The PR strategy should be attributed a predetermined level of importance throughout the lifetime of an organization, and a spike should be observed with an increase in PR activities when any new product is launched.

Public Relations - Objectives

•Maintaining a rapport with the public
•Generating repeat buyers
•Maintaining long-term relationships with the clients

Secrets for Building Good Public Relations

Most organizations and its managers tend to neglect public relations as an effective marketing strategy. Even when employed, PR often is not a well-planned and well-managed activity. It assumes a very random form and this can hurt the prospects of an organization and its products. The most paramount suggestion when using PR as a marketing strategy is that it should be given its due importance.

•Giving enough importance to PR.
•Planning and organizing PR activities.
•Significant social work or assistance to social causes.
•Introducing every change in top-level management through news and talk-shows.

Advertising vs. Public Relations

Advertising has an extremely wide reach and thus, is one of the most effective tools of marketing. Additionally, its expressive nature enables it to strongly influence the consumer. A total control over how the advertisement will be presented to the end-user is possible. This facilitates better planning and strategizing of the advertising function in an organization. As against this, the quality of the news, the features of the product it highlights, the placement of this news piece when media relations is used for PR, are all beyond the control of an organization. Advertising also allows a control over the place, time, duration, and repetition; contrary to PR.

Advertising, in itself implies paid ways of generating positivity in the market about a product. As against this, PR deals with building long-term relationships and promoting a positive image of the company. PR relates to the unpaid ways of 'being in news'. Thus, the cost incurred for the process of advertising is much higher as compared to that required for building strong public relations. An activity that is a result of public relations like news, gives the product review from the perspective of a third person and also gives a detached comment on the product. Thus, a PR activity is perceived to be more legitimate and believable by the customer.

Both advertising and public relations can be used as tools for branding. It is important to remember that advertising or public relations alone will never comprise of the marketing strategy of an organization for its product. A combination of both is mandatory for effective business marketing and in order to ensure the success of a product.

See Part I of Ketaki's artticle where advertising strategies are discussed.

By Ketaki Borkar
Image by StockSource

IDRA Featured Artist: Brian T. O'Rourke

The Artistry

Radiant Trees by Brian T. O'Rourke
How did you enter the field?

I started drawing and painting at a very young age and I eventually entered college to study architecture. But soon after entering the architecture program, I realized that the engineering aspects of architecture were far more oriented toward left-brained individuals and I became frustrated with the mathematics. I eventually switched my major to marketing so that I could still pursue a creative career that would pay the bills. I decided to keep my passion for art as a hobby. Upon graduating from college, I began creating paintings for my first apartment. I really disliked the mass-produced prints and images that were found in most home stores and I was on a limited budget, so I created my own artwork. Friends and family saw my pieces and almost instantly they began offering to pay me to create art for their homes. Because I originally made my own artwork to blend with my interior design, that soon became my niche – creating custom artwork that blends with people’s interiors. Now I work for both private collectors and interior designers.

Photography by Brian T. O'Rourke
How would you describe your artistic aesthetic?

The overall aesthetic for my paintings is abstract and I tend to incorporate very complex, layered backgrounds with highly fluid, contrasting foregrounds. In my early years, I focused heavily on Earth tones and tended to create more subdued compositions. That was comfortable for me and it also tended to have the broadest consumer appeal for home interiors. But as I have begun to work with more interior designers, I have been asked to create more vibrant contrasting works that become statement pieces for high-end interiors, rather than blend in.

My photography tends to be very diverse, as I photograph everything from landscape and still life to individual and group portraits. I enjoy portraiture for the human expression and emotion that it captures, but I enjoy landscape and still life photography for the endless composition options. I also tend to enjoy the creative license that you can take with landscape and still life photography when editing.

Pyramid Paradise by Brian T. O'Rourke
When did you discover you had a natural talent for art & photography?

I have always had a passion for art and all things that are aesthetically pleasing. My maternal grandfather was a very creative, right-brained individual and my mother is the same way. I am truly blessed to have their genes. I started out drawing when I was young, painting when I got into high school, and I didn’t dabble in photography until I purchased my first digital camera after college. I was instantly seduced by the immediate gratification that photography offered. Almost immediately people began to comment on my composition and said I had an eye for photography. So I guess that was a hidden talent.

From the California Fall Collection by Brian T. O'Rourke

Where do you find inspiration?

I am a voracious consumer of home design and photography magazines. I love seeing what other artists and designers are doing. That always inspires me. With photography, I really just force myself to get out and explore new places. I try to take new angles of traditional scenes until I find something that looks good in the frame. With my paintings, I usually start with a pre-defined color palette and just work the paint until something inside me tells me that it’s done.

Crackle by Brian T. O'Rourke

What do you enjoy most about being an artist?
I enjoy the creation of something new that did not exist before the most. I love creating a beautiful photograph or a painting that has striking colors and composition. I also love the relaxation that creating art brings to me. Business can be stressful, so the creation process is my right-brained release.

Industrial by Brian T. O'Rourke

Accolades, Awards & Accomplishments:

I was very excited when Macy’s picked up my artwork and began selling it in their Look Galleries a few years ago. I have also had the honor of working with some very prestigious private clients and interior designers. My photography has been featured in national photography magazines and my paintings have been featured in interior design publications. Any time that someone appreciates my work enough to buy it, I am honored.
The Artistry of Brian T. O'Rourke

Contact Info:
Brian T. O'Rourke