Doing PR within the property sector comes with a host of unique challenges and the dawn of digital has certainly had an impact on the way we work. But what does this mean for successfully launching your new scheme to the market?
In this guide, we explore how a PR and social strategy is crucial to a successful lettings strategy whilst at the same time building a positive reputation for your property and your organisation.
Before we begin
Before commencing a PR and marketing campaign, we will work with you to agree a set of key messages surrounding the new scheme which will be communicated consistently across each platform.
This will be part of the strategic planning phase which will also include the following:
- Researching forthcoming features in the property, construction and architectural trade press and business press
- A workshop to identify news strands, ideas for social media content and news stories
- Agreeing key messages
- Agreeing KPIs
- Agreeing processes for communication and reporting
The media play an important role in disseminating information about your scheme, and can be instrumental in raising your profile and bolstering your reputation. But in order to do this, you need a steady stream of positive news stories.
A PR strategy will be vital in identifying potential news stories and developing these into press releases the media will want to use. We work alongside your team to identify key milestones for your scheme to allow us to develop creative story ideas.
We also use the following tactics to create media interest:
Where there is positive news to announce about your scheme, press releases will be issued to relevant target media to achieve as broad coverage as possible and generate widespread interest in your scheme.
News releases could include:
- Project milestones e.g. concrete pours, topping out etc.
- First look at designs / concepts / master plans
- Deals / lettings
- Award wins
We would put together a media list covering titles across agreed target sectors. All relevant features across these publications will be scheduled into the communications plan for the year ahead to ensure we are positioned to proactively capitalise on these opportunities.
We would also look to “piggy back” on national events and the national news agenda.
Much of the feature content produced for the media can also be re-purposed for use on your own online platforms and consequently shared on social to get more ‘eyeballs’ on your property.
In order to create a profile for your scheme and to communicate your key messages, we will introduce key spokespeople to journalists from all the regional publications and the regional correspondents of the trades. We firmly believe that it is invaluable to spend time meeting the press and providing a first person introduction to your new development.
This enables us to have a two-way dialogue with the press to establish what issues will interest them and what input they are looking for from you to help inform their readers. Ideally it would be nice to hold these meetings on site so journalists can see first-hand the new scheme.
Engagement with the business community
An essential part of our activity will be to ensure that your senior team is effectively networking and attending the right events to raise profile of your scheme and to support your lettings strategy.
Working with your team we would establish opportunities to raise the profile of key individuals and your scheme to ensure you are engaging with the right people. Similarly, we will introduce you to key office agents across the North West and can create newsletters to send to our comprehensive database of office agents on your behalf to share your latest scheme news.
Regular attendance at industry events is going to be key in maintaining a presence and to that end we would put together a calendar of networking and sponsorship opportunities relevant to your target audiences.
Content and social
Content and social media is crucial for your company or scheme to engage with potential new clients, generate new business opportunities, connect with the buyer community, help cement relationships and create sales leads.
Utilising your own platforms rather than relying purely on those owned by others, such as traditional media, means that you can start to actively engage with potential house-buyers and other influencers.
Content is critical to search engine success and has become ever-more important in recent years due to ongoing changes to the way search engines, and Google in particular, work.
In fact, content has become so prominent a factor in terms of organic search performance, that companies that fail to publish regularly are practically imposing an SEO penalty on themselves.
By crafting fulfilling content that informs, engages and addresses the needs of prospects – you can boost your performance in organic (i.e. non-paid) search and attract more relevant traffic.
It's also the perfect complement to social media – providing a genuinely compelling excuse to get prospects on-site and in turn, have them exposed to your services.
Providing the right content to website visitors can offer consistent messages and help to position your business as a thought-leader in its industry and to help motivate people to view the individuals and then make a buying decision.
Social media provides a valuable opportunity to engage with a community of prospects. It offers companies the ability to connect directly with target audiences and engage with a community, as well as promoting a positive impression of the company and helping to keep it at the forefront of prospects' mind when the decision making process is carried out.
With a user base of more than 1.4 billion people, social media has become one of the first contact points consumers have with companies, making it an ideal platform to publish content and deal with customer questions and concerns.
Example social content could include:
- Project milestones
- Relevant and popular third-party content
- Interact with prolific tweeters and local businesses (e.g. potential tenants)
- Local news and events
Additionally, creating scheme-specific social profiles such as Twitter and Instagram we will to help establish your scheme firmly on the map. Encouraging tenant engagement and promoting the scheme as a great place to be a tenant will also demonstrate to potential occupiers the added value of your property.
How we can help
Our dedicated team has decades’ of experience in dealing with commercial and residential property developers, contractors, agents, consultants, local authorities and funders. We can help you to choose and implement the right types of campaigns, communications and digital marketing strategies that will get your message across to the people that matter.