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.
Top performing agents and teams, however know how to create Public Relations campaigns that blend just the right mix of marketing, event planning, networking, and social media to put themselves in the right position: the go-to real estate team.
This takes more than a press release and some news coverage, however. You need some key ingredients in your strategy. So let’s dive into what you really need (and what you don’t) to generate some buzz and drive results.
A Stellar Online Presence
First and foremost you need to make sure anyone can find you, and when they do, you give the right impression
This is home base. Your blog will live here (yes, 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 sure you have a branded, consistent online presence. This means your company needs a modern, responsive website that sets the tone for your brand and mission and social media accounts that reflect your mission and value too.
Educational and Shareable Content
While this might seem to stray from the idea of traditional “PR, “ the benefit to living in our digital age is that you can be your own publishing house and news outlet. If you can create fresh and helpful content, it’ll drive your digital marketing campaigns and send new visitors to your site and ultimately to your services. Here are the types of content to drive your PR strategy:
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 COMMUNITY GUIDES
Blogging and creating relevant local information pages provides a great medium for more in-depth content about hyper-local features like the neighborhoods you service, market updates and news, community events, client testimonials, and resources for first-time homebuyers and sellers. You can also use this as a platform for the occasional piece of gated content, like downloadable checklists to help you capture contact information from prospects.
SOCIAL MEDIA OUTREACH
Take to the social channels like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and even Snapchat. You’ll probably want to tailor your approach to each platform and tweak to see what works, but overall you’ll be able to 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. Onward!
Networking and Media Relations
Now we’re onto the more traditional aspect of Public Relations, the media relation portion, and it’s a huge component to a successful PR 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?
Newspaper and News site writers and editors
Journalists and Reporters
Bloggers and Magazine writers
Build a target list for distributing your content or pitching your news and keep it updated! 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.
PITCHING YOUR NEWS
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.
Organize your contacts by topic and make sure your pitch is on point to what they cover. Familiarize yourself with editorial calendars for larger publications and always 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 accreditations 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. Personalized 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!
WHAT TO PITCH?
If you’re looking to generate some news and get some ideas for future press releases and stories to pitch, here are some proven topics that’ll put your company in the right light.
Events 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 for potential buyers and sellers
Professional insight and commentary on local housing trends, codes or regulations that could affect homeowners or potential homeowners
Reporting and expert opinions on national housing stats, mortgage and interest rates, and industry trends
Company announcements about a significant or interesting sale (or listing), awards and recognition, new hires, and team profiles.
Build some relationships face-to-face, and gain visibility for your brand offline. Look to things that will complement your mission, provide exposure to people who might benefit from your services, allow you a chance to share some knowledge, and perhaps events that’ll help your team bond too! Here are some great ideas and opportunities:
- 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
Once you get into the swing of creating great content, building relationships with the media, and gaining exposure through community events, you’ll be off to a running start with some strong brand positioning. It tends to have a snowball effect too. As soon as one news story comes, more will follow. Offering your real estate knowledge and expertise to local news services and getting your housing research syndicated on business blogs in your market are tremendous methods for plugging your business and getting more clicks to (and leads from) your website.Some people may know you from the local newspaper where you were quoted regarding home buying trends, a community charity event you sponsored, or perhaps a similar promotional endeavor you undertook in previous months. That’s the power of public relations: It helps you publicize yourself and your brand in ways that support your digital marketing foundation and lead more people to check out your online presence who haven’t done so before.
Can you hear the buzz?