March 4, 2021

Pitch Perfect: Elisa Smilovitz, Independent Publicist and Consultant

By Chelsi McLean.


Elisa Smilovitz, Independent Publicist and Consultant.


Brooklyn, NY.

Find me on

Instagram & Website

Clients & Collaborators

PELLE, Arthur’s, Dinner Gallery,  Alex Proba, Zachary Frankel, Loose Parts and more.

In “Pitch Perfect” we tap Hello Human’s publicity pros and the PR experts we admire to share 5 practical PR tips, useful insights and experiences they’ve learned on the job, so small businesses can start implementing them today.

One piece of advice for a small business starting out with their own PR

Try to think about what you do that is special and exciting and then share that with others. Excitement is contagious. Be passionate about what you are saying, but keep it realistic. It’s also good to have press goals. Make a dream list, but remember that you might not get those publications right away.

What’s your latest big PR win and how did you get there?

Recently, through Hello Human I worked with an emerging designer Zachary Frankel and artist Mikaela Stafford on an exhibition they were doing for Melbourne Design Week. It was a quick campaign in just under a month. At first it was slow moving, but through follow ups and great photography I was able to land features in Surface, Sight Unseen, Design Milk, Yellowtrace, The Design Files, and Business of Home. Even after our campaign ended I was hearing back from press who wanted images and landed a print feature in Interior Design magazine. It always feels great when you can put a spotlight on an emerging designer and help their career grow.

Image of Zachary Frankel’s Arc Side Table/ Stool as part of the exhibition ‘Tessellate’ with Mikaela Stafford for Melbourne Design Week 2022 as featured in a Design Milk artcile written by Kelly Beall. Photo: Charlie Hawks.

A fail that taught you how to do better?

I have two that I think about often that are somewhat related..Years ago I pitched an artist to a publication. The publication was interested and asked to do an interview. When I approached the artist about the interview he told me he hated the publication and the writer. It was extremely uncomfortable to have to go back to the publication and decline an interview I pitched. Now I always ask clients if there are publications or writers they would like me to avoid. In the other one  I pitched a home tour of a project by an architecture client. The publication said yes and wanted it for a particular section. We (myself and the client) were excited until the architect’s client (the homeowner) decided that they didn’t want to participate and killed the story. Now I make sure I know the comfort level and willingness of not only my clients but theirs.


Digital or print?

I still get a thrill of seeing something in print, but there is a better chance of getting an in depth with digital since there are less space constraints. Radio is also pretty great. There is something really special about a live interview or hearing your story being mentioned multiple times during a radio show.

Best advice for building relationships from scratch?

Just go for it. All relationships need to start somewhere. I’ve had a ton of luck pitching cold. If you have a great story people will respond.

Visual or verbal—what gets more attention and why?

Visual! People who work with art and design tend to be visual people. They want to see what it is you are talking about.