Named as one of the Top 50 Women in Egypt For 2019 by Amwal Al Ghad, City Edge Developments Public Relations and Corporate Communications Director Ghada Shaker shares her opinion on the importance of PR in the real estate industry.
“A real estate business is a competitive one. Winning customers over to your side is critical to the health of the company and PR is the main contributor in this equation,” Shaker opens up.
PR Pays OFF By Comparison To Other Marketing Methods
As important as it is, PR is often ignored in the hurry to search for business… well that’s too bad because a proper PR program can give real estate organizations much more exposure than the traditional advertising in media at a much lesser cost in the skyrocketing prices of today’s media marketplace!
In our real estate world, PR also builds credibility due to its third-party nature! After all, as is determined, an editorial piece in a newspaper is likely more believable than advertisement on billboards, social media, and television, etc.
To answer that, global surveys say the credibility of social media and advertisements is suffering and that more and more people are looking to third party sources for credible information. Public Relations can strengthen your real estate marketing and promotion program with reliability, a targeted exposure, and often for a fraction of the cost. Real estate PR takes time and effort, but it works, and the lasting results are well worth the effort.
Identifying PR in Real Estate
When you strip down the concept of public relations to its simplest form: It’s exactly what the name implies; our 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.
Public Relations is about projecting a favorable image and fostering the understanding between an organization and its public or stakeholders. PR is concerned, not only with how an organization sees itself, but how others see it in terms of its products, services, financials, employees, and its social contributions. Public Relations is no longer the “white washing activity” it was often believed to be, the misconceived basic publicity and press relations in building a favorable image of the company, nor an activity undertaken when there is a corporate crisis of any kind.
According to a survey done by the Global Institute for PR, this tool is growing at the rate of 25% – 30% in the Middle East annually. The value of PR as a strategic management tool is well understood and accepted in building image, relationships, and business across the board. By taking advantage of PR and its professional skills as public advocates, organizations can better understand how decisions affect customers and maintain beneficial relationships between the organizations and the public, on whom they depend for success and survival. This information during the decision-making process in the real estate marketing can prove most profitable.
Now How It Is Done
Its actually not as easy as most people think. As I always say, “Strategy is key… Content is formula.”
PR professionals are the masters of content and they will focus on targeted diversified content to maximize different channels and target audiences… My advice: hire a professional. It takes more than a press release, a couple blog posts, and a news article here and there to do PR. It’s essential to get a multi-pronged strategy in place, and make sure you have all your bases covered.
- Verify Your Visibility: make sure you are found. And when you’re found, make sure it’s good.
- Create Compelling Content:I cannot begin to underline how important that is. Whole papers are written on this and it is the make or break in PR. You are out there now so make sure visitors come back for more.
- Build Your Media Relations:This is usually what people think of when you say PR. Media relations is a huge component in your strategy.
- Engage with Your Community:You must use or create opportunities for relationship building with all your stakeholders to boost your PR strategy. Networking, looking for speaking opportunities and other activities are all equally important.
And remember, PR is a bit like good coffee… it matures on a slow burner. You’re building your brand, your reputation, and supporting your digital marketing foundation. This takes time and consistent work.