How PR Drives Investor Relations
Categories: PR, Thought Leadership
Learn how PR supports investor relations. Find the insights of our CEO and Creative Director in this expert panel on the subject.
Click here to read the article
Categories: PR, Thought Leadership
Learn how PR supports investor relations. Find the insights of our CEO and Creative Director in this expert panel on the subject.
Click here to read the article
Successful pitching in commercial real estate public relations is a function of two fundamental things: creating value and telling a story. We all appreciate useful information and get drawn into a compelling storyline. Journalists scan for these two components when they receive your pitch. This only takes a few seconds, and if you haven’t communicated these effectively upfront, it’s game over.
In launching or growing your business, given the substantial cost of paid media (conventional advertising), getting earned media (public relations) is crucial to your ability to scale while keeping your marketing budget manageable.
Let’s go over what’s most valuable to journalists and their audiences and how to communicate your insights and story in a way that drives results.
If you’ve communicated with a CRE journalist, you know they have clear expectations and standards regarding the types of stories they will consider. They’ll mince no words in expressing exactly how they feel about what you’re pitching — or you just won’t hear back.
So, what are journalists looking for?
Stories that create value for their audience, i.e., provide insights, inspiration, and takeaways (actionable advice).
Here are some of the high-value topics of interest in commercial real estate media:
When considering a potential story, ask: “What could a reader do with this information?”
If it can help them identify opportunities in the marketplace, avoid risk, get inspired, or anything else fruitful, you likely have something worth sharing with the media and audience. If you’re unsure if the story idea is viable but have a relationship with a journalist, you can leverage that connection to gather feedback on your idea. The journalist may even appreciate you asking for their thoughts and giving them first access to the story.
Before you send a pitch, know the journalist’s interests and what beat they cover; only pitch stories relevant to their publication and followers. With most publications’ websites, you’ll find a search bar where you can punch in a journalist’s name and browse all the articles they’ve written — Google search also works.
Once you have a viable angle in mind, you need to present it in a manner that immediately captures the attention of journalists.
Get to the heart of the matter right away by addressing the FACTS. Opinions and feelings have a place in an authentic story, but what’s most critical are the factual details — the subjective is the icing on the cake of truth and reason.
Hook the journalist with a headline and first paragraph that address the 5Ws:
Start with a blank document and set up bullets like these. Plan a discovery call with your team and any involved stakeholders and talk through these points until you feel confident you’ve gathered all the facts and context for the story. And to make it easy to prepare executive quotes to include in the release, record the meeting and pull from the conversation.
The result will be a substantive press release covering everything a journalist would want to know to make a quick decision to respond to your pitch and request an interview. This is how CREC starts the discovery process for every release — it works!
When sending out a pitch, you can either present it as a formal press release or write it up like a genuine email directly to the journalist. If your announcement is relevant nationally, you’ll want to prepare a press release and publish it to a leading newswire service (Cision). In addition to putting it on the wire, paste the copy of your press release into the footer of a friendly personal email and send it to the journalists you know who, based on your research, write about the subject.
For releases primarily of interest regionally, a personalized, informal email is ideal. Include all the facts and the story in the body of the email, preceded by a gentle, rapport-building introduction. Follow the details with a low-pressure call-to-action to request more information and schedule a conversation. It’s okay to make the tone softer and less journalistic than a traditional press release but stay objective.
Should you follow up by phone?
If you know you’re sending the pitch to a journalist that would care about the story, it’s acceptable to follow up with a phone call to check if they’ve received your email and can provide any feedback. If you already have a relationship with the journalist, you should certainly give them a ring — it helps build rapport and might save your email from the junk folder.
Whatever you pitch and however you put it out there, it needs to be framed in a narrative. While the facts are the priority, the story puts the announcement in context and helps the reader relate. The storyline allows the audience to understand how things got to where they are and how the information fits into the broader framework of industry, society, and life.
Telling a story can sound challenging; however, it’s relatively straightforward in commercial real estate PR. Using the facts and story points you pulled together in the 5Ws exercise, you can assemble a narrative that commences with all the key facts.
Then, in the body of the release, elaborate on how the announcement developed, who was involved, what role they played, what outcome occurred (or will), and why it’s relevant to internal and external stakeholders (including industry and community). Reach out to CREC for examples of what this looks like.
Finally, let’s talk about what not to do in your pitch — these will save you:
Thinking like a journalist and anticipating readers’ interests will get your story out there. In commercial real estate, like most industries, what’s most interesting are stories that ‘Give.’ When you provide the audience with something that inspires, informs, or equips them to do something that leads to growth, journalists will quickly respond to your pitches and be happy to write articles that feature your company and executives.
Join Kirky, CEO and Creative Director of Creative Real Estate Copy, as he shares 7 quick tips to help you get more out of your press release writing and PR efforts.
Share your press release tips and questions in the comments.
#PublicRelations #PressRelease #PRwriting #CommercialRealEstate
[00:00:00] Let’s talk about seven quick tips to improve the response rate and the ROI of your press releases:
Here’s #7: Always include a call-to-action. It can be something simple: “for more information visit:” or “to download our white paper:” or “to request the event details:”
You can also subtly weave in your CTA throughout your press release, without being too explicit and promotional.
[00:00:18]#6. Distribute directly to journalists, targeted journalists in your industry, and also on the newswire. This is going to get you maximum exposure, it’s going to put it in front of targeted journalists, media and your audience, and it’s also going to get you the SEO benefits by putting your press release all over the internet.
It’s going to generate traffic and a track record that your audience and your prospect group will see over time.
[00:00:39]#5. Optimize your press releases and your contributor articles for SEO. What this is going to do, it’s going to help ensure that your audience actually finds your press releases and that journalists, when they’re searching for this type of news, that it’ll show up, and that for users and journalists, it’ll be easier for them to read.
SEO optimization has two benefits: it’s not only the technical, practical benefit of generating more traffic, it’s also that it makes the material easier to consume. When you follow SEO principles, it makes your message clearer, it forces you to, or it prompts you to, make sure that your headings, your titles and that your body is well laid out and that it includes those keywords that immediately grab attention and make it really clear what your topic is about and what the significance is.
[00:01:16]#4. Avoid a promotional tone: keep it journalistic. Nobody wants to hear pitches, and this is true in media as well. It has to be about creating value and telling a story that your audience and that your industry is going to be interested in, and journalists are going to recognize that.
[00:01:29] #3. Focus on economic, social, regulatory, environmental insights. You got to show the context of what you’re talking about and why your message is important. Although it may be important to you that you hired a new staff member or that you’re expanding into a new market, the public is really not going to be that interested.
Somebody may pick up on that, but if you can tie in the relevance: why it’s important, what’s the reason for the growth, what will be the impact? How does it tie into the environment? Are there benefits? Will it help people? Will it help the local economy? So, keep those things in mind and don’t put all the attention on yourself.
[00:02:00] #2. Always address the 5Ws upfront, get those out of the way. Let the audience know What it is you’re talking about, Who it’s about, Where it’s at, When, and most importantly: the Why. So, get right to the important stuff and then address the details in the body of your press release.
[00:02:13]And #1. Utilize PR and writing specialists that know your industry and that understand what journalists and the audience are looking for, what language appeals to them, and how to deliver the results you’re looking for.
What does your brand represent?
A brand embodies your values and attitudes toward your product and customers – and your prospects’ perceptions.
Your approach to marketing positions your brand as a provider of knowledge, value, and solutions – and has a direct bearing on your ability to attract and convert prospects to clients.
Let’s get into the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of improving your brand position through compelling inbound content for your marketing channels in the real estate industry.
While there are many ways to connect with your target market, inbound marketing is the most effective and does the most to support your credibility – and generate value.
If your brand were real property, inbound marketing and thought leadership would be your value-add strategies to enhance amenities, optimize expenses, and drive NOI.
Traditional outbound methods such as broadcast, print, cold email, and pay-per-click (conventional by current inbound best practices) may get your message to the public; however, they don’t provide your ideal prospects with substance. Outbound marketing provides linear (and often diminishing returns), while inbound strategies are logarithmic in generating increasing returns.
Inbound strategies bring the leads to you and uniquely position you as a credible provider. Outbound strategies convey neediness that doesn’t command the respect of prospects and doesn’t prompt them to contact you in appreciation of your insights.
For lean marketers (I’m not talking about your figure) – which is everyone in the current market – inbound content marketing is far less expensive. Though a sophisticated, credible piece of content, such as a whitepaper or contributor article, may require time and expense, it provides a one-time expenditure with continuous and increasing returns (with consistent promotion to your web and social channels supported by video).
The essence of effective brand positioning is thought leadership (TL) via the inbound channels your prospects frequent.
‘Thought Leadership’ is an oft bandied about catchword; however, it’s an aptly named strategy that builds brand value and status through the most valuable asset – knowledge. TL also projects authenticity and transparency – 94% of consumers are loyal to companies with transparent practices, and 91% prefer authentic brands.
While many perceive competition as intense in the real estate and related industries, it’s relatively straightforward to differentiate yourself through TL and inbound content marketing. Surprisingly, the majority of firms are not utilizing these tools or implementing them consistently.
Your competitors may have similar products, services, and solutions that are viable substitutes for your offering; however, they don’t have your unique personal and collective knowledge. Besides, competing firms are likely not leveraging their insights as effectively as you are or will.
Knowledge, above innovative features and benefits, is your intrinsic differentiator and driver of value in a competitive marketplace. Incidentally, 75% of decision-makers attribute their final choice to sign with a company based on the substance of the vendor’s TL, while 70% determine your ability to deliver primarily based on your insights.
What are the most effective inbound content strategies for real estate executives and their enterprises?
The key to effective content that appeals to prospects and investors is offering answers and solutions to the questions and dilemmas they are facing.
For instance, if you’re offering a SaaS solution to help commercial property owners and asset managers track and interpret large volumes of contract data across a portfolio, you can provide content that answers questions such as:
Knowing that prospects are seeking answers, what are the best opportunities to connect with high-level prospects – decision-makers – in the real estate industry?
The most popular and highest-value content forms include:
These inbound content forms yield not only leads directly, but also additional media opportunities, including invites for guest/contributor spots on podcasts, blogs, and high domain authority (DA) industry publications.
What are the best channels to distribute your inbound content?
How do you leverage these channels to generate leads?
How do you get started?
These strategies can be overwhelming to consider, but taking the first step is simple:
Have more questions? Please leave a comment or contact us directly.
If we weren’t certain before about an impending recession, we’re all pretty sure that it’s here now. The COVID-19 crisis and Congress’s response with the prompt passage of the CARES Act have quasi-officially welcomed the recession.
What does the recession mean for continued growth in the real estate industry?
It’s time for a renewed commitment to our marketing.
My intention with this statement is not self-serving. As a marketing firm, we too, make sure that consistent and thoughtful marketing is even more a priority than usual.
Rather than drawing back the budget to ‘conserve,’ we need to generate consistent, quality thought leadership and public relations content to keep our message prominent in the minds of ideal prospects and our stakeholders.
Let’s talk about some of the critical considerations for growth in a down market.
We can assume that a recession will mean fewer prospects and reduced conversions, though this may not be the case for every niche.
As we proceed, we’ll find a greater share of motivated commercial and residential sellers due to falling and stagnant values, deferred rents, loss of jobs, and declining incomes.
Indeed, many parts of the industry will experience restriction as demand for commercial and retail space is held back by lockdowns and the consequent shift toward remote work and online retail.
Multi-family will continue to do well, but increasing demand will mean an expanding market that must be addressed with your message.
The Fed’s move toward zero range rates is excellent for short-term refinance and purchase volume, as well as reducing the cost of financing for development; however, construction financing is typically figured on the 10-year Treasury, which moves independently of the Fed Funds Rate and recently increased 25 basis points – the impact on commercial development may be negligible.
What’s the answer to achieve sustained growth?
Diligent and thoughtful marketing.
All other factors aside, thought leadership positions your firm for sustained long-term growth most efficiently.
The most refined and advanced processes and technology may drive your value chain and core competencies; however, they will generate little bottom-line returns unless the public is aware of your ongoing strength and presence. The need for public awareness is essential regardless of the pandemic and resultant market volatility.
When businesses and consumers receive their aid as part of the economic relief package, and the crisis passes, you need to be properly positioned as the best choice for their expenditures – those which will be made judiciously.
I’m not suggesting that you blindly throw funds into marketing during the recession. Veritably, this is the time to be most judicious – though not conservative – with your marketing budget.
For the best results and efficiency in utilizing your budget, focus on marketing strategies and channels that yield escalating rates of results and returns as you consistently apply them. Some methods don’t behave in this fashion. Examples of predominantly linear result generating strategies include pay-per-click, direct mail, and paid social media.
Stated in other words: once you stop paying, the results subside; you only get out what you put in. Conventionally, that may make sense; however, digital thought leadership marketing, in particular, creates results that compound over time with consistency.
Consistent marketing via thought leadership to your website, social channels, and the media, effectively position your brand and build trust – vital during times of volatility when B2B and B2C consumers raise the question of solvency and longevity concerning the firms they patronize loyally.
The message of this article is straightforward: flourish in a down market by placing emphasis on building marketing systems and messages that deliver increasing returns at lower cumulative expense than traditional methods.
While quality content is expensive, it’s worth it compared to the hundreds of thousands that can be easily spent away on messages that don’t stick or provide real value to your market.
You can attribute it to many things: tightening environmental regulations, social change, and consumer tastes, but one thing is certain – business and consumer prospects want to see environmentally and socially-conscious messages.
But it goes beyond environmental concerns. Sustainability is about human health, social progress, and the physical and financial prosperity of all stakeholders to the industry and community.
How can we succinctly describe ‘Sustainability?’ Is it about being ‘green?’
Yes. However, it’s a complex topic that merits a lifetime of devotion and study.
The heart of sustainability is the 3Ps or ‘triple bottom line:’
People, Planet, and Prosperity.
Human progress and innovation in these three respects improve our odds of maintaining a green planet and eliminating conflict due to economic and social strife.
Wasteful and negligent business, investment, and construction practices pollute the environment, contribute to disease, repress social progress, and restrict communities economically.
To illustrate further, let’s look at an example of considerations in sustainability specific to commercial real estate, asset management, property management, and workplace development:
Aspect of Sustainability
These are all interrelated, and synergies exist in benefits across the components of the 3Ps.
Incidentally, these are pertinent topics and elements to incorporate in your thought leadership messaging strategy. This table is a significantly abridged list – you’ll never run short of content ideas when weaving your sustainable brand position.
Got it. So, how do content marketing and thought leadership mesh with these high-level objectives?
Our primary goal in thought leadership is to advance our brands and build trust. The most practical and effective way to accomplish this is through written content.
Every bit of content you distribute – email to editorial – is an opportunity to show that you know your industry, your prospects’ problems, and how to solve them.
Coincidentally, many of your prospects’ and users’ problems are centered around issues of sustainability, regardless of whether identified as such.
Cash flow issues? Tenant Satisfaction?
Both have causes and remedies involving efficiency, comfort, and long-term functional utility.
Incorporating these topics in your press releases and ghostwritten contributor articles shows that your commitment to values and principles is more profound than to economic profit and social status.
As opposed to formal mission and ethics statements that attempt to convey sustainability consciousness, editorial and informative content provide concrete evidence to the audience of your knowledge and dedication to doing the right thing for people, planet, and prosperity.
Furthermore, talking about sustainability in your thought leadership campaigns positions you and your firm as a conscientious innovator in your field.
For pragmatists, this is really about brand positioning. Considering that young and older generations alike are becoming more sustainability-conscious, we need to make it a priority for inclusion in our marketing.
Millennials – now the largest segment of our population – gravitate to sustainable brands and are willing to pay a premium for associated products and services.
But it’s not limited to millennials; 57% of Baby Boomers self-report that they’re more concerned about protecting the environment now than when they were in their 20s, while 68% indicate they’ve changed their practices concerning environmental preservation.
Community support and social goodwill for your venture are paramount. Whether it’s financing, permitting, or leasing, you’ll need the community on your side:
42% of US and UK consumers consider sustainable materials to be the deciding factor in their purchasing decisions, and a third hold brands responsible for environmental health and change. Additionally, two-thirds put more trust in brands that make a public pledge to sustainability.
Commit to pursuing sustainable practices in your commercial real estate projects – and talk about it publicly on a broad spectrum of media.
If you’re not sure exactly where sustainability fits into your business and how to leverage sustainable strategies to grow your practice through efficiency and goodwill, consult with design and content specialists that have an intimate understanding of the topic and how to relate it effectively to your audience in ways they find accessible and appealing.
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