RE EXEC Tl | Stacey Cohen

In this episode of RE EXEC TL, we’ll chat with Stacey Cohen. She’s the CEO and Founder of CoCommunications, a New York-based PR firm.

In our conversation, we’ll uncover why PR is the most powerful branding tool for CRE firms, how strategic partnerships between competitors — or ‘Co-opetition’ — create value for everyone, and why personal branding and digital citizenship are crucial for young adults as they enter the professional environment.

We’ll also get into why we can’t let Google shape our brands, the value of an integrative approach, the benefits of newswire distribution, and how to create compelling pitches that get the attention of journalists.

Let’s get started!

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Kirky on Speaking of Wealth, Real estate copywriter interview

Kirky Galt, Founder, CEO, and Creative Director of Creative Real Estate Copy, and Host of Real Estate Thought Leadership Podcast, joins Jason Hartman, discussing marketing tactics in real estate. As well, how will developers reshape commercial real estate for the ever-growing need for real estate? Kirky iterates time and again to generate value in your content.

Key Takeaways:

[2:00] There have been many concerns about commercial space, but many are looking into converting it to residential.

[3:00] More than likely, we will see more infill developments rather than new construction.

[5:40] What kind of alternate uses can we expect to see with shopping malls?

[8:45] Companies should take this downtime in business to focus on marketing techniques such as podcasting.

[10:00] Content length has gotten shorter, but valuable content still has strengths, specifically white-paper.

[12:20] How has the PR world change, and what’s working nowadays?

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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.

Getting to the Heart of Sustainability in Commercial Real Estate

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
Human Health
  • Quality healthcare
  • Excellent education
  • Indoor air quality (IAQ)
  • Water quality
  • Indoor environmental quality (IEQ)
  • Thermal comfort
  • Natural views
  • Ergonomics
  • Functionality (productivity)
  • Daylighting
  • Walkability
  • Transportation
  • Open space
Environmental Health
  • Reduced material consumption (3Rs)
  • Regionally-sourced materials (limits transportation waste and pollution)
  • Efficient water use
  • Reducing the carbon footprint
  • Native and adaptive vegetation
  • Protection of waterways, lakes, oceans, and aquifers
  • Stormwater runoff mitigation
  • Leveraging emerging green technologies
  • Reducing solar heat gain and island effect
  • Brown and greyfield remediation
Economic Health
  • Durable construction materials and methods
  • Use of local labor
  • Energy efficiency and reduced operating expenses
  • Minimized liability for sick building syndrome (SBS)
  • Quality education for a skilled and adaptable workforce
  • Efficient and ergonomic design for productivity
  • Quality public transportation and infrastructure
  • Designs and operations that appeal to incoming industry and capital – regional growth and prosperity


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?

Demonstrating Expertise and Commitment to Innovation

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.

Carving Out Your Brand Position and Building Social Goodwill

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.

Become a Sustainable Brand

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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How to Write a Compelling Press Release for the Real Estate Industry

The press release remains a relevant and useful tool in public relations campaigns for real estate industry firms. A well-written press release that appeals to journalists tells your company’s story and establishes credibility.

In this quick article, we’ll share our most salient tips to prepare or proof a top-notch press release for your real estate industry business.

Crafting a Compelling Angle

The core of your release is a captivating story that quickly informs the reader and sets the stage for your announcement.

You likely already have a topic or announcement in mind, so let’s consider how to evaluate and approach the subject for the most interest to editors, journalists, and readers.

Aspects/angles centered on your subject:

  • Social relevance-Impact on community
  • Environmental relevance
  • Economic impact
  • Inspirational startup story or case study
  • Innovation in process, operations, technology, design, recruiting, etc.

If you already have a topic in mind, consider what your announcement will mean for the community or industry and gear your subject matter to their interests.

Formatting Best Practices

Following best formatting practices helps your release get read and considered. For the real estate industry, in particular, it’s essential to customize any content we distribute to the tastes and preferences of our market and associated media outlets – it’s a sophisticated crowd.

Depending on how and whom you submit the release to, there may be specific formatting guidelines and specifications:

  • Cover all material angles, benefits, 5Ws, etc.
  • Single space between sentences and justify body text.
  • Times New Roman in 11 or 12-point font.
  • Use Oxford (serial) comma.
  • Journalistic and objective tone.
  • Avoid self-serving biases.
  • Limit promotional language.
  • Utilize third-person voice (no personal pronouns, e.g., ‘I’ or ‘you.’)
  • Small and concise paragraphs logically arranged.
  • Avoid clichés, slang, and colloquialisms.
  • Only include ‘about’ at end if details are not included in body of the press release.
  • Hire a professional public relations writer for efficient and reliable results.

Please click here for the CREC real estate press release template.

Writing an Attention-Grabbing Title and Subtitle

The press release title is an opportunity to capture attention and inform the potential reader of the purpose and relevance of your release. Your title also provides the basis for a click-worthy email pitch subject line.

Title/headline and subheading example:

San Diego-Based VC Firm Negotiates $175M Acquisition of Vacant Downtown Retail Development

Renovation Project to Promote Local Small Business Revenue and Employment Growth

If we break down our example here based on the 5Ws, we’ll see why it’s a compelling title and subheading combination:

  • Who: San Diego-based VC Firm
  • What: Negotiates High-Value Acquisition, Retail Development
  • When: Recency implied. Include month when material.
  • Where: San Diego Downtown
  • Why: Renovation to promote small business and job growth.

The title immediately conveys the contents and angle of the story and allows the reader to decide if it’s worth clicking on and reading. If you’re stumped on what to do for a title, create bullets as we did above for each of the 5Ws and use them as building blocks for your heading.

Capture Attention and Address the 5Ws Upfront

Once your prospect opens your email, takes in your title, and starts reading, they’ll want to get to the point right away.

Unlike a traditional article or essay, your introduction must provide the basic facts and why the matter is relevant for stakeholders. Don’t start with quotes or witty story-based introductions; these will annoy journalists focused on fact.

To draw in the reader most effectively, respect their intelligence and write for a professional and educated audience (this includes residential prospects). As you proof your press release, diligently eliminate all content that is not relevant to your topic.

Use a critical eye and analyze every statement to ensure that it is extremely concise, pertinent, and the meaning is clear. Keep your content bounce rate low by avoiding using culturally-specific language – sports references for instance – that will confuse and derail diverse readers.

Effectively Incorporate Quotes

Quotes are essential elements of demonstrating the personal nature of the release and telling the story through the eyes of stakeholders.

To craft insightful and relevant quotes for your release, take in all the content gathered from the teams involved, and look for statements that express the character of the firm’s or project’s leadership. Quotes are the only appropriate place in the press release to allow slang or vernacular language, though it should be edited to reflect best on your sources.

You have some leeway to copyedit quotes – provided the intent and substance remains the same – to make them more specific, purposeful, and connected to the narrative of your piece.

If you don’t have direct quotes, look for opportunities to rewrite or create new quotes that express the sentiments behind the project and support the premise in a novel and memorable way.

Alternatively, you can request quotes directly from the parties involved, including corporate staff, investors, public officials, consumers, and relevant industry experts that will lend substantial depth to the thread.

If needed, seek assistance with preparing an accompanying pitch for your press release that will impress journalists and acquire media opportunities.

Get it Out There

For the best results, work with professional writers and publicists that know your industry media and consumers.

Expert PR writing and distribution teams ensure the quality and efficacy of your public relations campaigns. Leverage the advice here to proof your press release, whether you write it in-house, or partner with marketing professionals.

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