Revamp your socials this Easter

Most of us will be spending our Easter weekend at home this year and, as well as enjoying our Sunday roast and Easter eggs, we are likely to spend a lot of that time online.

At PHM, we understand that now is not necessarily the time to pursue your usual marketing strategy. So, how can you ensure you make an impact online in the right way? Take a look at our tips for revamping your socials this Easter:

1. Be careful with your sales tactics

Finding the right message can be tricky at the moment. Remain sensitive to the changing situation and ensure your message is appropriate and relevant.

Remember, intrusive and ‘in your face’ marketing stopped being fashionable on social media some time ago. Providing valuable, meaningful content on your social media channels will build authentic connections with your audiences and will build trust, too.

2. Host a competition

Competitions and prize draws are a great way to amplify your brand on social media, drive traffic and engage your target audiences. Consider something that adds value to the communities in which you work, adding PR value to the campaign as well as rewarding potential customers.

Make sure that you host the terms and conditions on your website to ensure competitors know exactly what they are signing up for, and consider using paid-for content to advertise the competition beyond your usual following.

3. Tailor your posts for each platform

Each social media platform is used in a different way, so adjusting your message accordingly is helpful. Instagram, for instance, is all about visuals – think high-res photos and graphics, accompanied by a caption. LinkedIn, on the other hand, can be focused on corporate messages and provides a place to host any opinion content or thought leadership.

If you’d like to find out more about how PHM can help you with an egg-cellent social media strategy, get in touch with our team on 01483 561119.

Level up your marketing strategy: harness the power of awards

During this uncertain time, marketers in the housebuilding industry are probably a little unclear as to what their communications strategy will look like next week, let alone for the rest of 2020. We are all adjusting to a new, flexible schedule of launches and deadlines – and the awards organisers are no exception.

Many high-profile ceremonies have been rescheduled to take place in the autumn, which means an action-packed schedule later in the year. In the meantime, however, there are a number of award entry deadlines looming which, at the moment, are not being delayed:

New London Awards

Entry Deadline: 1st May 2020

Supported by the Mayor of London, the NLAs seek projects of the highest design quality which make a positive contribution to their surroundings and to life in the capital.

Housebuilder Awards

Entry Deadline: 1st May 2020

The Housebuilder Awards cover all aspects of the industry including design, customer satisfaction, community engagement, sustainability, marketing, regeneration and more.

Estate Gazette Awards

Entry Deadline: 8th May 2020

The Estate Gazette Awards will celebrate developers, advisers, suppliers and investors in the built environment. Criteria rewards innovation, future proofing and best practice throughout the supply chain, with a focus on how businesses are tackling climate change and making a positive impact.

British Homes Awards

Entry Deadline: 28th May 2020

The British Homes Awards honour every aspect of housebuilding from one-off houses to major developments and placemaking on a grand scale with a strong emphasis on the architecture. Categories also include interior design and landscaping.

What House? Awards 2020

Entry Deadline: 3rd July 2020

Now in their 40th year, The What House? Awards are one of the longest-standing awards in the industry and include a myriad of categories to suit a wide range of residential projects. The projects are judged and shortlisted from the written presentations, before the judges undertake site visits to determine the winners.

Now more than ever, we understand that winning an award has to be about far more than a pat on the back from your peers. A tailored, strategic approach to awards must be a valuable addition to your sales and marketing plan.

Third party endorsement

A winning award entry (and a commendation or being shortlisted), can provide some real gravitas for your customers – a recognised and respected endorsement of your product by a third party. The power of such an endorsement cannot be underestimated; it’s proof that your home or development is better than the competition.

Industry recognition and awareness

Successful marketing isn’t just about reaching the end buyer, and the same applies to an awards entry. Few of us work in isolation (well, digitally at least), especially in the property industry and winning an award, especially on a large-scale platform, shows potential future partners why you are a step above the rest. What’s more, the networking opportunity at national competitions provides the chance to meet a host of other potential new collaborators.

Brand reinforcement

Of course, the most important component of an award entry is indisputably the development, home or initiative in question. However, as with all marketing channels, consistency of message and brand reinforcement is paramount. Your award is not just an award, but another tool in your kit with which to promote and market your product in the future.

Overall motivation and satisfaction

Not only do awards recognise your outstanding projects, but also the people who helped create them. Accolades increase your team’s morale and recognise their personal contribution and achievement – all of which enhances their commitment and productivity!

For more than 20 years, we have created winning bespoke entries for our clients. We’ll help you find the right opportunities at the right time and guide you throughout the process, to make sure your entry has the best chance to succeed. If awards are something you’d like to consider as part of your marketing strategy, or you are wondering whether your developments or projects are suitable, call the PHM team on 01483 561119 to find out how we can help.

 

 

Going digital: Where does PR fit?

By Lisa Flounders, Director, Property House Marketing

 

PR is often considered to be the traditional, print-based cousin of shiny, techy online marketing. While we as an industry continue to respect and believe in the power of the printed page, it is more crucial than ever that this perception is corrected. The communications industry is exploring how it can reach its socially-distant customers in new ways, for the immediate future at least, and PR can play a vital role in strengthening your digital marketing mix.

 

Most communications professionals believe that now is not necessarily the right time for a hard sales message and are taking care to remain sensitive, quite rightly, to the bigger picture and the uncertainty we’re all facing. PR is integral to the ‘softly softly’ approach, and that includes online.

 

So, are you engaging your audiences digitally? You might not want to advertise, but what are you doing to involve your brand in what matters to people now? How can you be of help to your communities during a challenging time?

 

This isn’t necessarily something you can measure in conversion rates, but your investment will pay off later. If you’d like to discuss how PR can play a part in your digital strategy, get in touch on 01483 561119.

That’s a wrap.. PHM’s 2019 year in review

2019 has been a year of rolling with the punches; Brexit stops, starts and delays have dominated social gatherings, the political landscape and not least, the property market.

However, even against this backdrop, we’ve worked on some fantastic campaigns this year and welcomed a number of new clients into the fold. Whatever the background noise, we believe in the power of PR and in great story-telling.

Festive connections

This time of year conjures up images of carol singers, Christingle services and nativity plays so it’s seasonally apt that we’re currently working with Guildford Cathedral and its delivery partner VIVID to encourage the community to get involved in shaping designs for potential new homes near the Cathedral ahead of the submission of a planning application in Spring 2020.

If you live locally but have still never visited this iconic landmark, do pop in; its fabulous white marble interior is an amazing contrast to its red brick architecture. Christmas Fact: Consecrated by The Queen on 17th May 1961, did you know it’s the newest cathedral in the country that’s been built on a new site; Liverpool’s and Coventry’s Cathedrals are built on the sites of existing churches.

 New Year, New Clients

We’re also very excited to be working with a number of new clients as we move into a new year. As well as our work with Berkeley in West London and for St Edward in Hampshire, we’re now providing PR support on three new sites with Berkeley’s North East London division: 250 City Road is a luxury collection of apartments close to Silicon Roundabout, Woodberry Down is an exciting, regenerated urban oasis in north London and Trent Park in Enfield provides an exciting range of new and converted homes set amongst 416 acres of parkland.

Moving into 2020, we’re really looking forward to providing a fresh PR perspective for Abbey Homes; from community events to sales support, we’ll be bringing some new, creative ideas to their marketing plans. We’ll also be welcoming another new client, Fusion, a boutique house designer who is creating fabulous new homes around London.

One sector of our portfolio where we’re seeing much growth is our work with a number of local authorities. A number of London borough councils are getting creative in their generation of income; self-delivering homes for sale to fund new affordable and social housing in their areas. Our first client in this area was Broadway Living, Ealing Council’s development arm. This year, we’ve also started working with councils in Westminster and Bexley to guide their communications programmes and execute PR strategies.

And the award goes to…

Congratulations to all of our award-winning clients this year. Industry awards continue to be a significant part of our yearly calendar; we prepared a whopping 79 entries in 2019 and 1 in 3 of them have won a coveted prize in their respective competitions. We look forward to working on even more award-winning schemes and corporate initiatives across the property sector in 2020.

It’s time for 2020 vision

We’re looking to next year with 2020 vision. We build expert-led comms strategies and specialise in traditional and social media, community engagement, reputation management, events, award entries (including design) and all forms of copywriting. Our work and the advice we provide is underpinned by years of experience, but we don’t believe in always doing what has always been done; we think and work creatively – looking above and beyond the obvious to catch the attention of your audience.

 

If you think you can benefit from a fresh look and a keen, clear eye on your communications, get in touch on 01483 561119.

 

We’re heading into the New Year with 2020 vision

It’s no secret that the PR landscape is ever-changing; in a digital, time-poor age, people are always looking for a faster and more engaging way of communicating with each other and experiencing content. And while no one knows for sure what the New Year has in store, we’ll be starting a fresh decade with 2020 vision.

Here at PHM, we’re very good at rolling with the punches. However, we’ll always have a crystal-clear outlook of what we want to achieve.

Here’s just three of our ‘PResolutions’ for 2020:

 

  1. Be brave(r)

Risk mitigation is part and parcel of our approach to PR, but that’s not to say it doesn’t pay off to do something left-field every now and then. It’s a saturated world out there – journalists’ inboxes are overflowing and online feeds are never-ending – so it’s never been more important to cut through the noise with original, brave ideas.

 

  1. Collaborate

A good PR machine is a well-oiled one; communicate often and communicate well. Brilliant ideas are like gold dust and they so often happen when you are engaging with and bouncing ideas off other people, whether it’s your colleagues or your clients. Collaboration is key to reaching maximum potential – from campaigns to stunts – and carving out time to enable this is essential; getting your head down and things done quickly is sometimes necessary, but investing some time will usually pay off.

 

  1. Aim high

Overall, it’s been a great year for PHM; alongside a range of stand-out digital campaigns, a plethora of media coverage and some brilliantly executed events, we’ve also submitted 76 awards on behalf of clients and one in three went on to win one of the coveted prizes. In addition, we welcomed four new PR clients on board in the last six months. But we won’t stop there; setting clear goals within a time frame and measuring success holds you accountable and drives success.

 

If you’d like a fresh take on your PR strategy in 2020, speak to a member of the PHM team on 01483 561119.

fireworks-night

Set your PR campaigns alight with Property House Marketing this Bonfire Night

By Katherine Gallacher, Senior Account Executive

On Bonfire Night last year, you may have read our tips for creating fireworks with your email pitches. This time, we’re setting your PR campaigns alight by sharing some tried and tested methods for adding value to your content and making it work extra hard. Take a look to find out how PHM can ensure you get the biggest bang for your buck.

 

  1. Marry up your PR and marketing

We believe the two go hand in hand. Not only should your PR content mirror your marketing and advertising campaigns, but you should be recycling both. Tell PHM about your latest sales incentive and share your brochure with us…we can come up a good story angle to pitch it into target media and widen your reach. Do you have a press release you’re really pleased with? Don’t waste good content – turn it into a website story!

Across our clients, we work alongside some of the best marketing and ad agencies in the business to deliver a cohesive campaign across the board.

  1. Look at the bigger picture

Think about your story as part of the wider news agenda. Not only will this help you time your announcements and your storytelling (don’t try to compete for front-page space the day after a big housing announcement from the government), it will encourage you to be a part of the bigger picture. Are you launching a new development in an up and coming area? How can that tie into the latest stats on commuting from one of the big banks? Are you prioritising biodiversity? Does it tie in nicely with the government’s new policy on environmental concerns?

PHM will bridge the gap for you, creating stories which will put you at the front of popular discussions.

  1. Collaborate

Consider some joint PR. Working alongside brands that complement your product can put you in front of a whole new customer base, one which already buys into your values. PHM has worked on a number of campaigns and events that offer benefits on both sides – blog swaps are a low-cost way to associate yourself with some good causes, while a package with a social media influencer means guaranteed digital prominence and measurable results.

 

If you’d like to add value to your PR campaigns then speak to a member of the PHM team on 01483 561119.

Dust off the cobwebs: Keep your social media in shape this summer

Here at PHM, we like our content to shine bright on the never-ending feeds of social media and with the summer months finally here, what better time to help you dust off the cobwebs and bring you three essential top tips to keep your social in ship shape:

  1.   Cut waffle in long posts: your audience don’t have all day!

Many people using social media are simply scrolling; recent stats are claiming that the average person scrolls through 300 feet (90m) of social media content daily! With so much to consume, your audience doesn’t want to be reading long paragraphs with no substance. One way to keep people engaged in your posts is to stick to the point and cut the waffle. It’s important to keep content concise without compromising on quality.

  1. Know your audience and stay up to date with them

We know the majority of a beauty blogger’s audience will have no interest in bird watching, so why should your audience maintain engagement with seemingly random and unrelated content? Tailor your posts to trending topics to keep your following engaged and up-to-date without jeopardising your message. Does it suit their interests? Are they the right demographic? Is it the type of content the target audience would choose to spend their time consuming?

  1. Add pictures and graphics

Pictures are processed 60,000 times faster by the human brain than words, so it’s important to keep your feed filled with photos. However, it’s often difficult to keep creating new visual content from scratch. Here at PHM we use sites such as Unsplash and Canva. Unsplash allows you to browse and download high quality images for free, avoiding unwanted repetition. Canva is a site used to create visually interesting content for social media. The website offers templates and graphics which you can utilise to personalise and refashion your posts in order to keep things fresh.

If you’d like to find out more about how PHM can help with your social media strategy, contact the team on 01483 561119.

Work experience at PHM

By Hermione Hampton

After finishing my GCSEs, I was lucky enough to do a week of work experience at PHM to get an insight into working life and have the opportunity to dip my toe into the world of PR. I decided to do work experience in PR as I knew it would be useful ahead of starting to study English A-Level and I have since found out it has been incredibly advantageous for an interest in a writing career. Overall, I have come to know the importance of PR.

What I’ve been doing:

During my time at the office, I was tasked with several jobs which included reading and cross-referencing press coverage to familiarise myself with the property industry. I was also given the responsibility of planning social media coverage for PHM, which allowed me to see the level of work that goes into PR and how the business generally operates. Amongst my other tasks, I also got to research local areas for new and upcoming developments across a range of clients, as well write a press release.

What I’ve enjoyed:

I found that researching was my most interesting job, as I got to learn many fascinating facts about places which I was not familiar with as well get to know the factors that come into play when developing a property. I also enjoyed reading press coverage, as I could see the variety of properties and developments with which PHM is involved. I also really liked the few writing jobs I got to do, especially writing a press release, as I found them engaging and good practice for the future, especially as I am looking to enter a career in writing.

What I’ve learnt:

My week at PHM has been greatly beneficial in many ways. Not only have I now got a better understanding of the property and PR world but my research tasks have helped me develop vital research skills, which will prove themselves useful for further education. The few writing tasks have also been good experience to help prepare me for studying A-Level English in September. In addition, my experience has given me a sense of what working life will be like after leaving school.

Life at PHM as a Senior Account Executive…

By Katherine Gallacher, Senior Account Executive

Moving into my fourth month at PHM I now feel I can begin to reflect on life so far as a senior account executive (SAE).

As an SAE working in property PR, you get pulled in lots of different directions – no day is the same and it’s what I love about my job. One day I can be writing press releases and case studies; the next I might be conducting phone interviews or visiting new developments with existing or potential clients.

Three words to describe your time so far: Fun, fast-paced, fabulous!

Most interesting part of your job: Aside from writing press releases and pitching stories to national publications, it’s exciting to meet and often collaborate with the wider advertising, creative and media teams I work alongside.

Most enjoyable aspect of your job: I have to say site visits and seeing the variety of show homes our clients deliver. Whether a one-bedroom apartment in a city centre or a five-bedroom family house in the home counties, the different styles, designs and specifications I come across make me very excited to buy my own home.

What gives you the most satisfaction? Securing coverage for our clients in top-tier titles… Seeing that all those hours spent researching publications, getting to know journalists and preparing press releases have paid off – it’s an amazing feeling!

Reflecting on my thoughts that I had prior to starting, I can happily say that my position here at PHM goes above and beyond what I had hoped for to kick-start my agency career.

In the next few months, I look forward to developing my skills not only in traditional PR but bringing creative ideas to our growing digital media services and facing new challenges and experiences every day.

How has PR evolved over the last five decades?

By Katherine Gallacher, Senior Account Executive

2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA), so we’ve taken a look at how PR – our favourite topic, matched only by property – has evolved over the last five decades.

In its earliest form, PR was all about the press release. But, with today’s digital transformation, agencies must find new ways to establish communication with organic and direct reach. Gone are the days where newspaper boys yell, “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!” – Now, PR practitioners focus a large majority of their time on content creation.

Having said that, the key components of information, persuasion, and trust-building remain intact, and we believe they will continue to do so.

So, what has had the biggest impact on PR since the launch of PRCA in 1969?

  1. Going Digital: The rise of social media

Sharing news and fostering engagement has never been easier. The rise of digital platforms has shortened the life span of news stories, pushing journalists to turn around stories more quickly and in turn forcing us PRs to keep up.

  1. PR measurement tools

Getting mentioned in the national media a decade ago was great (and being honest it’s still pretty fabulous), but there’s not really a way to track what impact it has on consumers. Fast forward 50 years and coverage on online platforms have made tracking engagement a lot more accessible.

Traditional “ad value equivalency” measurements are being replaced by outcome measurements such as website traffic, leads, reputation, search rankings and social engagement. And while measuring traditional press coverage remains an art rather than a science, these digital platforms enable us to see who has been exposed to your content, how they have engaged with that content and the actions taken as a result.

  1. Complex and changing roles of PR professionals

PR has changed dramatically through the ages and will continue to do so. As the industry continues to evolve, the role of PR professionals will change with it. Those working in PR need to specialise and show expertise in areas that may have previously fallen outside of the traditional remit of PR.

This means that PR is no longer just about working around journalist’s deadlines, but takes into account blogs and influencers’ content that have a huge social reach across various network platforms.

If you’re thinking of revamping your current PR strategy, get in touch with the PHM team on 01483 561119 or email katherine@housegroup.co.uk