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Make PR work for you: Part 2 – Property Porn Sells

October 30, 2017
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Media Relations Service



Following on from our previous blog about estate agents missing valuable editorial opportunities, we wanted to also touch on market comment and property features.

Your business is property. Whether buying, selling, renting or letting…or just fantasisng, everyone LOVES to talk about, read about and look at properties.

So, you’re already advertising on your chosen property portals, perhaps also in the local rag or regional glossy magazines. That’s all well and good, but so are most other estate agent in your area. This is the extension of your shop window, it shows what you do NOT how you do it.

It’s widely publicised that PR is more effective than advertising. Why? Column inches and property features, especially if you can gain these in a national newspaper or their online equivalents, are worth more than any interest you might get from local advertising for two simple reasons. 1) The sheer volume of readers that will be seeing your agency’s name, 2) third party validation. This is what PR is all about – giving both your brand and your opinions credibility.

Property PRs will be on the distribution list of all the leading property journalists. They will know what they are writing about when, what will work and what won’t. Taking national issues relating to property and making them relevant to your potential customers is key. Not only does it demonstrate your expertise, but it also helps your customers understand how it affects them and how they can mitigate risk.

Another surprising benefit, which many agents overlook, is how impressed vendors are when their property is featured in a publication, whether that be regional or national. Their home is their most valuable asset and most people take a great deal of pride in their home. Having it featured somewhere above all other properties on the market shows them the lengths you are willing to go as an agent to make their home appear as special as they perceive it.

It doesn’t just have to be the amazing warehouse conversion, repurposed church, listed building, mega-basement or home with a breath-taking view that catches a property journalist’s eye (although these are always welcomed). Most property publications and national papers will run a different theme each week or month, it’s just about what and when they will be covering something you can help with.

And don’t forget, the growth of social media means that featuring in a publication is no longer limited to the audience that reads it. You can use it as an opportunity to plant that branded seed in the minds of your potential customers and showcase the great work you do.

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Make PR work for you: Part 1 – Estate Agents missing free editorial opportunities!

October 23, 2017
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Media Relations Service



There is a common misconception, particularly in the world of estate agency, that Public Relations is only carried out and required by the biggest names in the industry AND that it costs a fortune…wrong.

Every organisation, no matter how large or small, ultimately depends on its reputation for survival and success.

Yes, major corporations have in-house teams to manage their reputation and improve communications with their consumers – in fact, you would be hard-pressed to find a large corporate organisation that isn’t shelling out thousands (if not more) every year on PR. But there are also plenty of savvy start-ups and independents using the power of PR to successfully grow their brand presence and carve a name for themselves.

In fact, I can think of a very successful estate agent which, having only launched in 2014, has used PR to market its USP and since gone on to win multiple industry awards. They are now expanding globally!
I want to focus on those agents who don’t have an endless marketing budget but are spending thousands on advertising and yet passing up on free opportunities to be featured in the press every week.

Most local papers and magazines will have their own property section and the best ones will include property editorial as well as adverts. They will often reserve space for news, market comment or features from those who advertise with them. However, I was astonished to learn this week, during a phone call with the Editor of one of the leading London property publications, just how few agents take advantage of this opportunity.

“The magazines always quote the same agents” is a common complaint. Sometimes this might be true. But let me assure you, it is not because they have the largest advertising spend. It is because they have the most proactive PRs. The vast majority of publications I have ever worked with are extremely fair when it comes to space for editorial content.

However, when it comes to deadline day, editors and journalists simply don’t have the time to chase PR and marketing departments for their content. They are going to use whatever they have in front of them. If they have a choice, then, of course, they will select the best content, but if you aren’t in amongst it, you won’t even be considered. It’s up to you! Get proactive, get published.

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Chestertons appoints The Inhouse Way to manage its press office

October 16, 2017
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Chestertons estate agents, the London and international residential property specialist with over 30 high street branches across the City, has appointed The Inhouse Way PR consultancy to handle its media relations and press office function.

The Inhouse Way, property PR specialists based in Surrey, has been selected for an ongoing retained brief to help maintain Chestertons’ profile as one of the largest London estate agents.

Giles Milner, Marketing Director at Chestertons said “We have worked with various PR support in the past, both agency and in-house, but not found a balance that works for the group. However, we have been working with The Inhouse Way on a three-month trial and have been very impressed with the results. Their integration with the team, media handling, and coverage success so far have exceeded our expectations and we’re looking forward to an ongoing partnership with them.”

Holly Addinall, director of The Inhouse Way and daughter of Tony Addinall, the former Executive Chair of Badger Holdings, comments: “We set up The Inhouse Way 9 years ago when conditions in the property market were extremely tough. We were lucky enough to work with some fantastic clients who recognised that when market conditions are quiet, being the expert voice that gives honest advice in uncertain times can be very powerful.

We were thrilled to be recommended to Chestertons and subsequently be given the opportunity to work with a company that leads the way in the practice of estate agency.”

The Inhouse Way also handles all PR for The Property Ombudsman (TPO), the largest of the three government approved redress schemes. TPO has more than 11,500 companies (estate and letting agents) registered for membership and is pushing to raise standards within the industry.

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Inhouse PR, External Agency… or a combination of the two?

October 9, 2017
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Whether to hire an in-house public relations/marketing officer or to use an external consultancy is a question a lot of organisations face, particularly small and medium-sized businesses, not-for-profit and other organisations that have restrictive operating budgets.

Some companies employ in-house PR teams, others hire external PR agencies or, in the case of some of the larger organisations we work with, use a combination of the two. Naturally, there are pros and cons to each, and much of it depends on the size of the organisation, the type of business it is, available resources and the environments surrounding it.

The overarching goal of public relations within any organisation is to provide strategic support for a company and its products and ensure the highest quality of communications to foster a positive public perception of the company.

Having worked as part of an internal PR team, as well as running an agency, we can honestly say, there is no right or wrong answer. It is what works for your business and what will ultimately help you achieve your goals most successfully.

Here are a few factors to consider which might help you make that all-important decision:


Internal & External

Knowledge

An in-house PR manager will know your business inside and out and the depth of their understanding may be hard to match, whereas a PR company will have to spend time researching and working with you to understand your business. Since the in-house PR department only works for a specific organization or one client, they are able to give their full, undivided attention to PR matters. However, it can also be argued that this can spur less creativity as they are the only company focused.

Contacts

If you appoint a PR consultancy, you are not just paying for their time and expertise, you are paying for their contacts and ongoing established relationships with journalists. A successful PR agency has the power to contact many influential members of the media, which can only be beneficial for organisations seeking to improve relations with the public.

Costs

The level of support will ultimately come down to budget. The cost of employing a PR consultancy can vary by thousands but don’t be put off by the common misconception that only large organisations can afford PR. The same could be said for hiring in-house because the experience of the person hired is limited by the budget you have to pay their wages.

In many cases, external support can be more cost-efficient than hiring an internal person because it is not just wages you have to consider. There are many extra resources you will need to support a PR person in their role, and the costs of supplying these for one organisation can be much greater than they would be through a PR consultancy where they can share these same costs across their portfolio of clients. This includes media monitoring, media contact platforms, necessary licenses to receive coverage, on-going training etc.


Combining internal resources with external support

Even if you have an in-house comms team, there may come a time when extra help is needed and the benefits of combining the two can deliver exceptional results.

Flexibility

An external PR team can deliver as much as you want for as long as you want, scaling up and back in time with the ebb and flow of your need for support. Sometimes internal resources may be stretched and PR can be one of the first things to fall by the wayside. But success in the media is delivered by consistency, so having someone constantly managing this for you on the side can be helpful.

Objectivity

An external PR team will not be emotionally connected to your company, therefore able to deliver a neutral perspective and give an objective analysis. Sometimes companies that handle PR in-house run the risk of being too biased towards their brand and editorial content can creep into more of a marketing pitch than a news piece, which will ultimately be rejected by journalists. A fresh pair of eyes may highlight opportunities that would otherwise be missed.

Maximise Opportunities

Your inhouse PR team may have a list of established contacts which they regularly contact but are they looking outside your own industry for further opportunities? For example, let’s say we are working with a company that wants to target landlords. The easy thing to do is focus on landlord specific websites or publications. But a landlord could be anyone, so you need to have contacts in a wide range of media from property and investment publications to money magazines and consumer lifestyle publications. An external PR team can bring fresh ideas and energy to a campaign, generating more opportunities and positive results than would otherwise be possible.



NOTE: One of the areas of confusion, when a company has both internal and external PR support, revolves around the roles and responsibilities of the teams. In order to strategically leverage public relations and foster a positive relationship between the two teams, the roles and responsibilities should be clearly outlined. It is also ideal if the external team and internal PR specialists and managers have shared expectations about processes and procedures.

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Extend your team

November 23, 2016
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Media Relations Service

Established in 2009, we are a niche property PR consultancy. We combine all the benefits of appointing a specialist PR agency with those of having an in-house team

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Long-standing relationships

November 22, 2016
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Media Relations Service

The Inhouse Way works with a range of clients from independent estate agencies and property services to international corporate brands and government-approved associations

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Comprehensive PR services to the property industry

November 22, 2016
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Media Relations Service

The Inhouse Way offers a tailored service to suit every need, encompassing all aspects of the PR spectrum

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