PUBLIC RELATIONS V. ADVERTISING
Public relations is a business tool that often gets confused with marketing and advertising. Barbara Corcoran the founder of The Corcoran Group used public relations to turn a small start-up real estate firm into the largest brokerage in NYC.
She started the Corcoran Report with data on 10 apartments. The press loved the first Manhattan Market Report. It established Corcoran as the Manhattan Neighborhood real estate experts. A star was born and the rest is history.
In 2011 The Corcoran group did $13 billion in sales. Today the company has a PR team that not only pitches stories ideas to the media they coach agents how to do an interview with the press.
There are several characteristics that distinguish public relations from advertising, however – the main being that an advertisement is paid for, while publicity happens for free when the media finds your knowledge or your property newsworthy and provides it to the public themselves by reporting on it.
It’s important to recognize, though, that good PR does not come easily. It takes a good story and, oftentimes, a good relationship with the press. Blogging is part PR and part marketing. When I started blogging it was strictly as a marketing tool to generate leads, it is still a marketing tool but also a great public relations tool.
Avoid speculating about projects and markets that you aren’t directly involved in, and refrain from making negative comments about the competition.
Keep the discussion in the present. Avoid making any predictions about where the market will be in the future. Keep the discussion about your current listings and recent sales. You can always respond to a question about what’s in the cards for the market by describing positive indicators you’re experiencing NOW and saying that’s a good sign for the future.
Keep Fair Housing in mind. If you’re asked what types of people are looking at your properties or live in your neighborhood, you cannot legally respond by giving demographics. Instead, tell the reporter that the people who are drawn to the area/your listings are people who are looking for “x, y and z,” and list the features that your properties/ neighborhood offer.
Anything you say to a reporter is ON THE RECORD. So take your time and think before you respond, keep it professional, and, if you’re asked anything that makes you uncomfortable or that you don’t know the answer to, just respond by saying “I’m not really sure about that,” or “Let me think about it and get back to you.”
Barbara Corcoran PR Trick:
Create a report. come up with some stats (no matter how small), release regularly. it will pay dividends.
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