With all the other responsibilities they face, retail project designers aren’t usually making time for writing original content and finding avenues for its publication. But for Larson Design Group’s Kara Demmien, it’s not only an enthusiasm for the written word that drives her to create her own articles and seek out opportunities for publication – she knows the value of using industry-wide platforms to showcase LDG’s experience and expertise.
“It gives our clients – both current and future – the confidence that we’re subject matter experts, for retail or restaurants or whatever it is we’re writing about,” said Demmien, who works in LDG’s Williamsport office.
In 2018 alone, Demmien has been published in two prominent industry magazines: once in Quick Service Restaurant Magazine with an article about restaurant trends that companies can’t afford to ignore, and once in design:retail, with a Q&A about discount shopping chains.
The latter began as a Larson Loop blog post that Demmien took upon herself to write and, with help from the Marketing Department, pitched to carefully selected editors with the magazine; typically, the publication doesn’t accept articles from outside writers, but the concept intrigued them enough to contact Demmien for the Q&A.
“Since joining LDG, Kara has been actively researching and offering insight into retail trends, operations and consumer behavior,” said Dave Balzer, AIA, LEED AP, Director of LDG’s Retail Design Division. “Her leadership has really helped showcase LDG’s experience in the retail market.”
Demmien’s Q&A in design:retail is not just another instance of taking initiative to promote the retail design division to a wider audience; it’s a step further in the firm’s ongoing relationship with influential editors of the magazine, one that Demmien believes can be leveraged to an even greater degree.
“I’ve reached out to them to let them know we’re happy to comment on articles, come up with story ideas, even provide quotes,” she said. “It’s that idea of keeping our name out there as experts in the field.”
Writing original content and finding ways to have it published will continue to be a priority for Demmien, who noted that the retail design group has committed to emphasizing the branding and image of the division as part of its five-year vision plan.
“Seeking out opportunities for published articles started from that initiative,” she said. “It’s definitely meant to drive new content and get people to the website and to our landing page.”