Dering Hall just announced the appointment of Alan Blaustein as CEO, following news that renowned editor Michael Boodro has joined the company as Chairman, Editorial and Strategic Initiatives. In his new role, Blaustein will oversee the company's strategy, sales and marketing, and operations. Prior to joining Dering Hall, Blaustein served as President and Group Publisher of Luxe Interiors + Design.
We checked in with Blaustein to learn about his plans for Dering Hall and his view on the impact digital has within the design community.
Dering Hall: Why does Dering Hall resonate with you?
Alan Blaustein: I fell in love with the interior design community during my time as President and Group Publisher of Luxe Interiors + Design. There’s something very special about this creative community where so many relationships can be measured in generations and inspiration is a hallmark. As I was evaluating how to best serve this community, I thought Dering Hall had the best digital platform to help the industry transition to better understanding and create exciting opportunities to leverage the digital world.
DH: What is your vision for Dering Hall?
AB: In talking to well over 1,000 members of the interior design community over the last two years, it became clear that the industry is overwhelmed by the concept of the Internet. Not that they aren’t users of the Internet in their everyday lives, but rather in how to use it to best build their businesses, engage in their community and drive business opportunities to their front doors. Dering Hall’s digital publishing and content marketing system makes it so much easier to see a real return on the industry’s marketing efforts. We can’t wait to share it with everyone.
DH: Can you share an interesting digital trend that has impacted the design business?
AB: Smoke and mirrors, wasted effort and wasted dollars. It’s a trend that occurs in every industry as they find their way across the digital divide, particularly as an industry concedes that print advertising simply can’t quantify the return on their marketing investments. I’ve seen it and managed companies through it in the media industry, the healthcare business, Hollywood and consumer products. People chase the buzz and then realize it’s hard work. At some point, people realize “likes and shares” are empty calories and a real marketing strategy is needed to be successful. Our system provides the groundwork for both the strategy and the opportunity for a truly measurable return on their marketing investments.
DH: If there was one digital tool you could create to enhance the work of a design professional, what would it be?
AB: It would be an end-to-end system that allows those in the interior design industry to self-publish beautiful images and products, allowing great editors to aggregate those images and products into world-class editorial. And it doesn't stop there. There would then be an opportunity for a partner to promote that content through highly-targeted content syndication channels, say millions of eyeballs a month, leading to the trade and consumers showing real interest in the products and work of great talent, all of which leads to a super easy set of analytics and tools so the industry can adjust the type of images and products to publish. Oh wait! Dering Hall has created that exact virtuous cycle.