Lifestyle Brand PR: Elaine Griffin Case Study

Over the years, Butin has executed lifestyle brand PR with national and even global clientele. We’ve also had the pleasure of promoting organizations with roots in our own backyard.  Take Elaine Griffin, one of America’s most-respected interior designers.  She’s a Georgia native who was born and raised right in our neck of the woods in southeastern Georgia. And, these days, Elaine has become a brand unto herself.

We’ve long been familiar with Elaine’s story.

Griffin comes from a family of African American trailblazers.  After high school, Elaine went north, studying art history at Yale. She then moved on to the equally prestigious New York School of Interior Design. Stardom in her chosen profession was not far behind.  She first worked for one of America’s top architects, then opened her own firm, Elaine Griffin Interiors, 20 years ago.

Over time, Elaine became the first African-American contributing editor at Elle Décor. She’s also served as a contributing editor for Better Homes & Gardens.  Additionally, House Beautiful named Elaine one of the “top 100 American designers.” And, in 2003, she became the first room designer of color in the Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse.

When the New York School of Interior Design asked Elaine to come back as one of the two keynote speakers for its 2019 commencement ceremony, it marked the beginning of another pioneering moment.  Here, Griffin became not only the first African-American to address one of the school’s graduating classes, but also the first designer of color – and the first person from Georgia – to receive an honorary doctorate from the 103-year-old institution.

Butin seized the opportunity to ramp up Elaine’s lifestyle brand PR.

Griffin’s unique achievement led to feature coverage with media outlets back home. Almost immediately, stories featuring Elaine’s achievement were secured with both The Brunswick News and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  The nearby Florida Times-Union also recognized Elaine.  And we made sure those in the interior design industry were fully aware as well.  ElleDecor.com ran a full piece on its former contributor, in recognition of the high honor. Further, Architectural Digest carried excerpts from Elaine’s commencement address (along with excerpts from ceremony remarks by Nate Berkus, the other keynote speaker).  Even today, other mainstream media are still making plans for future coverage, including the TODAY Show.

To learn more about Butin’s lifestyle brand PR efforts, visit the Our Work section of our website.

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