Create a Public Relations Strategy for your Real Estate Brand
Brand awareness. Media exposure. Storytelling. You know they’re important concepts, but they often remain only that: concepts.
Top agents and teams, however, know how to get a plan in place that turns these concepts into tangible, measurable results. They know how to create Public Relations campaigns that blend a healthy mix of media relations, marketing, advertising, event planning, and social media to position themselves as a reliable source of information and the go-to real estate team.
What Exactly is PR?
When you strip down the concept of Public Relations to its simplest form, it’s exactly what the name implies: your brand’s relationship with the greater public. When you get a strong strategy in place, you put yourself in a position to influence and control your brand’s relationship with the greater public. For example, when you build a solid relationship with a media outlet, repeatedly send them useful information and gain exposure, the public now sees your company consistently featured, and they begin to recognize your name and view you as a trusted source of information about the real estate industry.
It takes more than a press release and a couple blog posts and a news article here and there though. It’s critical to get a multi-pronged strategy in place, and make sure you have all your bases covered. Let’s take a look at what works (and what doesn’t) to generate some buzz and drive results.
Verify Your Visibility
Make sure you can be found. And when you’re found, make sure it’s good.
While there are so many things you can incorporate into your PR strategy to reach audiences and support your business goals, the foundation that everything must be built on is a branded, consistent online presence. This means your company needs a modern, responsive website that sets the tone for your brand and mission.
This is home base for your strategy! Your blog will live here (yes, this is your very own publishing platform, and a key component of your strategy), your social media posts and email campaigns will tie back to this site, your paid ads will drive traffic here, and the world will use it to instantly access information about your brand and the services you provide. So, make it good!
Create Compelling Content
You’re the newsroom now. Make sure it’s the stuff that keeps ’em coming back for more
When you’re creating fresh and relevant content, you’re fueling your digital marketing campaigns and attracting new visitors. While this veers from the idea of traditional PR methods, promoting your own content through email, your social media accounts and other channels, is the benefit of living in our digital age. You’re your own publishing house now! Here are the types of content to drive your PR strategy:
Maybe you already have drip campaigns set up for prospects, of perhaps a newsletter that you send to your database. Either way, upping your email game is a must. This is an easy way to send helpful tips on the housing market, highlight new listings, and share neighborhood facts and happenings.
Blog and Website Resource Pages
Here’s the content that lives on your site and you can easily share through social media and paid ads. Again, keep it relevant, educational, and helpful. This is a great medium for more in-depth information about neighborhoods you specialize in, market news, client testimonials, resources for buyers and sellers, and the occasional gated content like downloadable whitepapers and long-form pieces to help you capture contact information.
Social Media Posts
Share your blog posts, quick company updates, helpful articles from other publications, and tips for potential buyers and sellers. This is short form and shouldn’t be about just your listings!
Now you’ve really built up the foundation for your strategy and can promote your business through your own channels. Now, onto the other channels that can really boost your PR to the next level!
Build Your Media Relations
Coffee and a feature story?
This is usually what people think of when you say PR. The media relations aspect is a huge component of your strategy. Leveraging other people and their networks is key to positioning your company prominently in the public eye and marketing yourself as an expert. So who should you start to research and network with?
- Journalists and Reporters
- Bloggers and Magazine writers
- Newspaper and New site writers and editors
- Industry Influencers
Start building a target list for distributing your content or pitching your news. Always always keep in mind that the secret to building successful relationships with the media, just like in real estate, is demonstrating what service you can offer.
Media professionals are tasked with providing content for their listeners, viewers, and readers. They need to keep their advertisers happy by driving traffic and boosting their subscribers and followers. This means, if you have great content that their readers will like, you look appealing to them. If you have a large network on social media, you look appealing to them. If you can give them housing news, trends, or other industry-specific intel first, you look appealing to them.
Perfect Your Pitch
Cue that sales mentality. It’s all about the ask.
Once you’ve created your target list, it’s time to start some outreach and generate some coverage for your company. Well thought out press releases and pitches are paramount.
Do your homework: Organize your contacts by topic. This way you can make sure your pitch is on point to what they cover. Familiarize yourself with editorial calendars for larger publications and don’t be afraid to ask if there’s some intel or expertise that you can provide for any future pieces!
Provide all the facts: When you’re communicating with a media professional, not only should you get all the topical facts down, but make sure you have company info and personal credentials ready. Be sure to craft a succinct boilerplate to include in each press release.This is your company information that’s included in your press release and provides a high-level overview of your mission, purpose, and company description.
Personalize your message: Think about your media prospect just like a prospective client. Be friendly and helpful to keep them receptive to working with you and interested in what you can offer. Personalize subject lines and messages so you don’t come across as spammy!
Leverage PR Resources: You can post press releases onto newswire sites for small fees. This means your release is automatically syndicated on thousands of news sites and can be a great opportunity to build some solid SEO. Also, sites like Help a Reporter Out (HARO) are designed to connect writers and reporters with expert sources, so be sure and scan the relevant sections for things you can weigh in on!
Engage with Your Community
Get out and get your hands dirty!
We’ve covered all the digital aspects of your PR strategy, but since real estate is a belly-to-belly business, you’ll find it as no surprise that it’ll help you build relationships to boost your PR strategy too.
- community events like races, fundraisers, festivals
- speaking opportunities at clubs, businesses, schools
- volunteering with your team at local charities
- Creating your own event to help potential homebuyers and sellers
Need Some Newsworthy Topics?
If you’re looking to generate some news and get some ideas for future press releases and stories to pitch, here are some starting points to generate the buzz that’ll put your company in the right light.
like a talk or educational presentation you’re giving or hosting, a fundraiser you’re sponsoring, the opening of a new office, a team charity day
Guidebooks and Resources
helpful ebooks, pamphlets and shareable tips for potential buyers and sellers
Professional Insight and Commentary
Chime in on local housing trends, new restrictions, codes or regulations that could affect homeowneres or potential homeowners
Reporting and Expert Opinion on National News
Share your voice and take on national stats around the housing market, mortgage and interest rates, and industry trends
Share exciting news about a significant or interesting sale (or listing), awards and recognition, new hires, and fun team profiles
Once you’ve brainstormed ideas and mapped out an outreach plan and a rough timeline, you’ll feel much more organized and in control of your PR efforts. It’s simple once you start to think about it. You’re already in the relationship business. Continue to put yourself out in the community, and build relationships. Meet the local media and start to connect digitally with the rest, or seek them out if you’ll be at a conference together or in the same city. Remember it’s a slow burn! You’re building your brand, your reputation, and supporting your digital marketing foundation. This takes time and consistent work.