Since the arrival of email and now social and digital marketing, much has changed in the way PRs communicate with the media.
However, there remains one important constant – the relationships that PRs have with the press.
Managing these relationships have though become increasingly testing.
Not only has the number of publications grown (including those now online), but the sheer number of journalists writing for them has ballooned and maintaining contact becomes increasingly difficult.
So how to get PR for your clients’ properties in a fiercely competitive media environment?
1. Have an angle
To get a story picked up by a journalist, a clear and interesting pitch is essential. What’s different about your story? Figure it out and personalise it.
The angle is the hook through which you “catch” the journalist and the reader’s attention and on which you “hang” the more practical info like price and location. Better to have one big article in a key publication than 10 tiny ones.
2. Be social
Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are changing how everything around us is perceived – and the property world is no exception.
Nowadays, people, especially the under 30s, don’t get much of their information from conventional news outlets. So being seen by a younger demographic requires a social media presence that is current, constant and relevant to your audience.
3. Pictures are perfect
Property is an inherently visual sector. Even the best wordsmith can’t describe every aspect of a property. Images are a quick and effective way of conveying any property’s special features.
This is particularly true for our luxury developer clients like Sons & Co. who currently have two developments which won’t be finished until the end of the year. Only images, either pictures or outstanding CGIs, can convey their charm and the developer’s ambition. Usually, no picture; no story.
4. Website magic
At its core, property PR is all about helping sell property and editorial drives enquiries better than any other marketing tool.
An ineffective website can mean that valuable enquiries which are generated through PR are wasted. Digital marketing is an increasingly important tool in boosting the profile of a property or development. This is done in two ways.
First, getting a website functional and pleasing on a mobile device is key in getting buyers interested. Virtually everyone’s phone now possesses 3 or 4G, and the majority of people now use their phone as the primary means of browsing.
However, many websites are still behind the curve and navigate poorly on Android and Apple devices (however brilliant they may look on a PC). Getting this right is imperative.
“Search engine optimisation” is also critical. It’s a clever term for using algorithms and search terms to bump your client’s website further up the Google rankings.
One of the developments we look after the PR for in South West London hadn’t sold a single property before we made its website mobile-friendly and top of the list for anyone searching online for homes in Wandsworth – now two-thirds of the scheme is sold up.
The results are tangible and the property world ignores it at its peril.
Peter Morley is the Managing Director of TwoBlue Communications, a specialist PR, strategic communications and digital marketing agency for the property sector.