The commercial real estate industry can certainly benefit from crafting a proactive media relations strategy that expands beyond the industry standard notification of transactions or simply paying for ad space on industry-focused trade outlets. Individual agents, brokerages, construction companies, and private equity real estate firms, among others, can benefit from building relationships with journalists covering the industry in developing a commercial real estate PR program.

The key to a successful commercial real estate PR strategy will be to think outside the box of traditional commercial real estate PR efforts, and use the organization’s expertise and achievements to drive coverage of dealflow, industry commentary, executive thought leadership, and more. Teams must be up-to-date on industry news and be willing to discuss where the industry is headed; the goal is to become a go-to source for reporters. Here are tactics that can be easily implemented to improve and increase brand recognition for commercial real estate companies.

Media Relations

Like any other industry, commercial real estate organizations can benefit from crafting well-thought-out media relations campaigns for outlets spanning print, digital, and broadcast. Examples can include commentary on trends such as the benefits of heat pumps in cooling/heating within the built environment or responding to industry news like New York City’s Local Law 97. Standard vehicles to garner media placements can be through the use of press releases about partnerships, transactions, and upcoming groundbreakings or project completions, but announcements are NOT always necessary to gain media coverage (more on that in the thought leadership section below!). It provides the opportunity to build and maintain relationships with journalists who cover commercial real estate who, based on the quality of the information you provide them, at a future date, may request commentary to benefit their future coverage.

Thought Leadership

A good thought leadership program involves a strategic approach where individuals or organizations position themselves as authorities in their field by sharing valuable insights, innovative ideas, and expert opinions. The goal is to reach decision-making industry peers who will be influenced by your input through careful analysis of the content and reach of the outlets publishing it. The organization can have multiple spokespersons; the ideal candidate will be one with seniority and be a subject matter expert on the topic being discussed. A good PR firm can generate opportunities for thought leadership on a monthly basis across national and trade publications. A consistent presence helps to establish a strong brand identity, generate awareness for executives and company services, and position your business in front of key industry stakeholders.

Public Speaking and Panel Discussions

Another media relations strategy to generate awareness is to secure an opportunity to be a panelist or speaker at an industry event. While some of these opportunities do come with a sponsorship price tag, the vast majority can still be secured through a speaker submission process with the event’s host organization. Being chosen among to present to your peers builds credibility and distinguishes your expertise from the rest of the industry. These opportunities can attract new connections who can become partners, sellers, or buyers in the future. They also provide multimedia opportunities which are great fodder for other external marketing initiatives like social media, email marketing, etc.

Industry Awards and Recognitions

Now that we’ve discussed how to talk the talk through media relations or by becoming a speaker or panelist at industry-related events, we will address how to walk the talk by winning awards and recognition for your team’s work. Like speaking opportunities, submitting your company’s achievements to win awards can increase visibility, enhance brand reputation, and attract new clients as well as new talent. These award categories can range from showcasing projects, company milestones, transaction volume, or they could also honor leadership or company culture. They could be free or have a fee. Besides applying for notable industry awards like GlobeSt or ConnectCRE, one should also think outside the box and consider applying for awards like your city’s Business Journal Best Places to Work or Most Admired CEOs, or business growth awards like the Inc. 500|5000 or Inc. Magazine’s Best in Business.

To be recognized as a go-to industry leader, one must be consistent with executing their media relations strategy. One must also be hyperfocused on journalists in the industry by engaging with them through various social media channels and sharing their content with your network. Procuring a great interview with a reputable journalist at a top-tier outlet can have several advantages, but you can achieve this by establishing yourself as an industry thought leader with a track record of success. Writing non-promotional articles, participating in interviews with trade outlets answering their questions, and winning awards specific to your industry can all help you achieve this. Media relations is not a guaranteed science, but with time, it can yield positive results and help you achieve business objectives.

Interested in learning more about proactive commercial real estate PR and media relations programs? Shoot us a note at [email protected]!

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