The Article Everyone Is Talking About

By now you may have read the article in

Architectural Digest’s

online edition with the lede “This Is How Much the Average American Spends on a Kitchen Renovation.”

Referencing a study produced by the NKBA, the article says that when it comes to doing a kitchen, “Spending ranged from $1,024 for a single replacement to upwards of $19,000 for a full remodel, with more than 48% of respondents indicating they spent over $15,000 on a complete renovation.”


I think it’s pretty safe to say that the picture of the renovated kitchen they used to tease the article…

…cost a heck of a lot more than $19K, even if it was DIY, and we all know it wasn’t.

Like a photograph or a press release or a bio, a study is a starting point; it’s a tool that can be used to form the foundation of a good story. If anyone had interviewed even a handful of interior designers—including the one not credited, who designed the kitchen in the photo above—about what it really costs to renovate a kitchen, what was written would be different and the image use would be appropriate, instead of misleading.

According to the publicist for the NKBA, the numbers quoted in the article, “represent every possible kitchen project, from DIY jobs to luxury.”

I covered KBIS for two years, have worked in the industry since 2000 and have interviewed several hundred designers and trade members as a consultant and producer and I have never seen a luxury project with a budget of $19K. A good start on luxury appliances, perhaps!

I asked for a copy of the report, to see if I could find more accurate stats and write the story in a way that would better represent the association’s membership, one that wouldn’t undermine their credibility in the way this article did. But I was told that the report was only available to members. Interesting, because I’m guessing that members aren’t the audience that needs the education, especially now that this article will show up in search results and continue to impact their membership during its life online.

There are several things that are relevant here to you <<First Name>> as you build your brand.

First of all, your story is up to interpretation. So when it comes to marketing your business and brand, make sure your message is succinct and concise. What do you want your audience to know, learn or experience? Hone it. Repeat it. Make sure those outcomes are delivered consistently across all touch points.

Next, when you’re pitching a publication, especially a top tier one, highlight facts that would be considered relevant to that publication’s audience and provide high-quality imagery that is not only suited to them but that also supports the story you want to tell. Ask that their use be guaranteed.

Finally, monitor social media. If something does go wrong, don’t ignore it. Jump in and correct the conversation online. If you’ve made a mistake, take full responsibility.

Forget about diamonds, a digital story is forever. Tell yours in the right way.

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