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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

Four things to consider before you embrace influencer marketing

Louise Jarvis, Account Manager, Property House Marketing

There’s no denying the rise and rise of influencer marketing, most social media feeds have been peppered with third-party advertisements and brand partnerships for a while now.

But are we becoming more cynical? Does an influencer’s credibility plummet once you realise that they’ve been paid to talk about the product or service they seemingly love? And if so, why bother in the first place?

Despite these concerns, if done properly, we think this is an area of digital marketing that can add a lot of value to your strategies, however there are a few things to consider if you want to add influencers to your toolkit:

 

  1. Research, research, research

If you’re serious about incorporating influencers as part of your marketing strategy, you’ll need to invest some time in researching who’s out there. Find out what they have to offer you: what is their content’s reach and what does their audience demographic look like?  Before approaching them, you’ll need to know why you want to work with them; in short, your brands need to be aligned. Does your messaging synchronise with their narrative? If the fit is wrong, it’s likely your campaign will be less effective, so take your time and make sure you’re connecting with the right people.

  1. Micro vs Macro

When people think influencers, they tend to think big – or macro. Look at Kylie Jenner for example, who has a whopping 130 million Instagram followers. But with a following so vast, how can you ensure you’re targeting the right people? Targeting influencers with a large following will also most definitely be expensive and you may not always reap the return you’re after.

Depending on what you’re marketing, it’s very much worth looking into micro influencers; these people tend to have a smaller but niche and trusting following. This makes it easier to assess whether you’re reaching the right people via their channels.

  1. A tailored approach

As with all PR, it’s important to tailor your approach. With however many hundreds of thousands of influencer profiles to choose from and a sea of content to compete with, you’ll need to think of a ‘big idea’. With the digital marketing landscape so regularly changing, you might not get the best results from merely imitating campaigns you’ve seen before. So, brainstorm and take risks. What type of content would your target audience like to see and spend their time consuming? Decide your objectives, pick your angle and run with a creative approach.

  1. Contracts

Once you’ve cemented your relationship as a brand and advertiser with your chosen influencer, it’s important to get it in writing and create some form of influencer contract. It’s key to ensure everyone involved knows what their role is within the partnership or campaign. Here’s just a few things to include:

  • The basics: names and parties involved, the date and a description of what the partnership should achieve
  • Timeframe: How long is your partnership going to last? Is it one campaign or longer term?
  • Output: What exactly do you want from them? Include details, for example, the exact number of social media posts or the length of a blog
  • Veto list: Write down anything you’d like them to refrain from saying and include brand guidelines
  • Payment terms: in what form will payment be made?

 

If you’d like to talk to PHM about a bespoke approach to your PR requirements, call us on 01483 561119 or email info@housegroup.co.uk.

Open the door to more coverage with Property House Marketing

At PHM, we work hard to ensure the majority of our time is spent doing the practical things – advising and guiding our clients, creating high-impact stories and most importantly, securing high-quality coverage in places where our target audiences will see it and act upon it.

Whether landing the sought-after front cover of The Times’ weekly property supplement (a striking image of the grand front door at The Villas by Berkeley was featured at the beginning of February) or placing a first-time buyer case study in the Metro (a full page piece regarding one of So Resi’s happy shared ownership customers), we understand where our clients need their product to be seen and spend our time making this happen in the most efficient, impactful way possible.

A varied approach to media relations is, and will continue to be, the most effective way to share your message. So beyond a press release, how can you ensure your content reaches its target? We’ve revisited some top PHM tips

  1. The feature pitch

The press release should exist to share news, not story angles, and will land in a journalist’s inbox with plenty of other press releases vying for attention. If you have a good idea for a story that provides context to your content, send a simple email instead. A couple of paragraphs and a clear, direct explanation makes for easy and quick reading for a busy journalist.

  1. Twitter

If Facebook talks to community and LinkedIn talks to business, then Twitter talks to everyone. Twitter provides an instant link between journalists and those of us looking to feed in content, against a backdrop of breaking news – ideal for finding those all-important hooks – and urgent media requests issued 20 minutes before a deadline.

  1. Phone

Email is a great tool for ensuring accuracy and creating a paper trail, and evidence suggests that any communication that avoids spoken dialogue seems to be the method of choice for millennials. Breaking with this trend, we’re big fans of the humble telephone – a verbal, instantaneous conversation means that you’re not only able to convey information effectively, but have a better insight into what journalists are looking for. No square pegs/round holes.

If you’d like to talk to PHM about a bespoke approach to your PR requirements, call us on 01483 561119 or email info@housegroup.co.uk.

Property House Marketing Awards

The best year on record: 1 in 4 of PHM’s entries scoop a Gold award in 2018

PHM is delighted to congratulate its clients for an extremely successful day at the What House? Awards 2018, where the entries we prepared on their behalf scooped 12 of the 66 awards, including 7 of the 20 Golds.

The prestigious ceremony, known as the Oscars of the housebuilding industry, took place at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Friday 16th November and saw the best new homes and developments across the UK awarded in 20 categories.

Among PHM’s clients, the winners were:

Anthology: Hoxton Press

Best Exterior Design

Gold

Berkeley East Thames: Kidbrooke Village (Urban House)

Best Sustainable Development

 Silver

Berkeley East Thames: Kidbrooke Village

 Best Regeneration Scheme

 Silver

Broadway Living: Copley Hanwell W7

 Best Starter Home Scheme

 Gold

London Square: Star and Garter (East Wing)

 Best Luxury House

 Gold

London Square: Star and Garter

 Best Luxury Development

 Gold

London Square: Star and Garter (East Wing)

 Best Interior Design

 Gold

London Square: Streatham Hill

 Best Apartment Scheme

 Gold

London Square: Streatham Hill

Best Mixed Use Development

 Gold

London Square: Streatham Hill

 Best Development

 Bronze

McCarthy & Stone: Parkland Place

Best Retirement Development

 Bronze

Vanderbilt Homes

 Best Small Housebuilder

 Bronze

2018 has officially been the best year on record for PHM’s award entries, with our clients scooping top accolades in every major housebuilding competition in the industry.

72% of all PHM entries in 2018 were shortlisted. Nearly 1 in 4 (23%) of the entries we’ve prepared this year on behalf of our clients have been awarded the Gold or top prize and more than 1 in 3 (36%) have won an accolade in their category.

If you’d like to discuss how a strategic awards programme in 2019 can support your marketing objectives, get in touch with the team on info@housegroup.co.uk or 01483 561119.

 

Ready, Set, Bake!

As we head into the final week of The Great British Bake Off, where the finalists will be battling for the prestigious winner’s trophy on 30th October, we thought it’d be a nice treat to share some fabulous kitchens that definitely rise to the (baking) occasion.

Our first pick is West House in South Holmwood which provides 5,000 sq. ft. of luxury living. The kitchen is seriously impressive. Cleverly designed, it offers an uninterrupted view of the landscaped garden and features white quartz stone work surfaces and a breakfast bar as well as two double ovens, and a large fridge freezer providing an abundance of space for baking your favourites. You can even chill your wine in the dual wine coolers while you prep.

High Barn occupies an elevated position in Effingham with spectacular panoramic views of London’s skyline. The kitchen is located in the main residence, a converted oak-framed period barn, and boasts immense character with stone floors and exposed brick and flint walls. The kitchen and breakfast room spans 45 feet giving plenty of space for entertaining while baking treats.

Alfold Cross is a gorgeous Victorian family home arranged over three floors and set in 1.35 acres. The kitchen features vaulted ceilings which reinforce the enviable sense of space and flood the room with light; there is even a butler’s pantry which provides an ideal area to add the finishing touches to your baked goods before serving to your family or guests.

May the best baker win!

If you’re a property developer or an estate agent looking to maximize coverage for your homes in the press and on social media, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team to discuss how we can help, on 01483 561119 or email info@housegroup.co.uk.

 

Terrific townhouses in Zone 4 available with London Help to Buy

Combining high-quality, contemporary design with an up-and-coming London location and exceptional value for money, The Townhouse Collection at Trinity Walk by Lovell Homes provides a rare opportunity for first-time buyers to purchase a new house in London. With prices starting from just £590,000 and the three and four-bedroom houses now available with London Help to Buy, even more buyers can call this exciting development home.

Using the London Help to Buy equity loan scheme, a deposit of just five per cent (£29,500 on a £590,000 home) is required. The government will lend up to 40 per cent of the purchase price (£236,000), interest-free for the first five years, meaning a mortgage of only the remaining 55 per cent (£324,500) needs to be arranged.

In addition to the houses, only a few one-bedroom apartments remain, which are also available to purchase through London Help to Buy with prices starting from just £335,000. Special incentives are now on offer, and both the houses and apartments will be ready to move into before the end of the year, if a homebuyer reserves before the end of October.

Each townhouse has a modern, flexible layout. The three-bedroom showhome incorporates a sleek open-plan kitchen/dining room on the ground floor; the kitchen cabinetry is by Symphony kitchens and appliances, which are included as standard, comprise a steel Bosch oven, an integrated fridge/freezer, dishwasher and washer/dryer.

The living room on the first floor extends onto a private two-tiered terrace leading to a communal podium garden with mature planting. There is also a double bedroom, along with a family bathroom featuring Kohler fittings, full-height tiling and chrome mixer taps. The second floor comprises two further double bedrooms, and a ‘Jack ‘n’ Jill’ shower room.

As well as a designated parking space in the secure undercroft car park for each house, bicycle storage is also available.

The ongoing regeneration in Woolwich has already led to the delivery of new green areas and amenities. The arrival of Crossrail in 2019 will provide quicker journeys into the centre of London with 12 train services an hour; passengers from Woolwich will be able to reach Canary Wharf in eight minutes, Liverpool Street in 14 minutes and Bond Street in just 22 minutes. From Woolwich Arsenal station, London City Airport is only two stops away on the DLR; ideal for trips abroad.

For more information contact the Lovell Homes sales team on 0203 131 8511 or visit the website.

 

Exclusive four-bedroom house, The Hollyhock, launches at Wexham Green

A superb new four-bedroom detached house, The Hollyhock, has launched at Wexham Green in Berkshire. This exclusive family home is the only one of its type and buyers wanting to review its layout and spaciousness will be able to visit the view home when it opens on 20th October.

The two-storey home provides a generous 1,559 sq ft of flexible space; a large open-plan kitchen/diner flows through to a garden room, creating a wonderful space for entertaining and relaxing, while a separate living room provides a haven away from the hubbub of family life. All the living areas open on to the garden and patio to maximise enjoyment of the outdoors in warmer weather.

There are three double bedrooms and the fourth smaller bedroom could equally be used as a study, playroom or snug, depending on the family’s needs. The elegant master bedroom features an en suite shower room, large dressing area and fitted wardrobes.

In addition, there are two parking spaces on the drive and an integrated garage which has an electric car charging point, an eco-friendly feature that is rarely found in new homes.

Wexham Green is situated on the fringes of Wexham and Stoke Poges villages, adjacent to the green belt and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It’s within easy reach of the excellent amenities in Slough and is less than a mile from Slough station, which has fast connections to London in as little as 21 minutes.

The Hollyhock is priced at £700,000 and will soon be ready to move into, which means that families can settle in well before the end of the year.

For more information or to book a viewing, please call the Wexham Green marketing suite on 01753 468578.

 

 

So Resi Sutton

Homes in desirable South West London are made affordable with shared ownership

If you think that buying a high-quality new home in Sutton, South West London, is unaffordable, So Resi Sutton may change your mind. This collection of one, two and three-bedroom apartments is part of the landmark development Sutton Point, and you could buy a 25% share in a one-bedroom home for as little as £73,750 (full market value £295,000) with a ten per cent deposit of just £7,375.

Through shared ownership, homebuyers pay straightforward monthly payments, which combine the mortgage on the share they have purchased and a payment to So Resi on the rest. They also pay a service charge.

The homes at So Resi Sutton are in the West Tower of Sutton Point, an exciting £90m mixed-use development by CNM Estates. Due for completion later this year, Sutton Point will include shops, restaurants, a health and fitness centre and children’s play area.

Inside the homes, the contemporary open-plan living/dining space is light and airy with full height windows; the area opens out onto a balcony. The excellent specification includes an elegant white Symphony Manhattan kitchen fitted with the latest appliances, including ceramic floor tiles in the kitchen and bathroom, fitted wardrobes in the master bedroom as well as underfloor heating throughout.

On selected homes, allocated parking spaces are located in the underground car park and a cycle store is also provided.

Commuting could not be easier from Sutton Station, which is just a couple of minutes’ walk away. Trains to London Victoria take as little as 25 minutes and direct trains reach Gatwick in around 45 minutes.

The High Street, full of restaurants and shops, is just a few minutes’ walk from So Resi Sutton. Also nearby is a number of green open spaces and outstanding schools, including grammars, which rank among the highest performing schools in the UK.

For more information call 0208 607 0550 or visit www.soresi.co.uk.

Starting a career in PR

Starting out in PR? Top tips to get you started…

Senior Account Executive Louise Jarvis remembers when she joined PHM after university and shares her advice on starting out in PR.

For many, this time of year signals new beginnings; students are set to start a new academic year, while those saying goodbye to education (whether it be college, sixth form or university), are looking to step into the world of work.

For those wanting to kick start their PR career, here are some essential top tips which will help you on your way, because it’s a jungle out there…

  1. Ready…set…adapt

You may have mastered the art of essay-writing at school, but be prepared for your work to receive a lot of amends. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer, it’s because every brand has a style to which you’ll have to adapt. Similarly, every strategy and campaign will require a different style of approach and execution depending on your objectives – be ready to switch it up, there’s no room for one-trick ponies in PR.

  1. Keep your eyes and ears peeled

Stay on top of the news. A great way to do this is to set up Google news alerts for your company and/or clients. Not only will this keep you sharp on what’s current, it will allow you to be quick off the mark when it comes to distributing a responsive comment or positioning your company and clients as part of the relevant and topical conversations being had in the media.

  1. Put your creative hat on

It may sound cliché, but think outside the box. It’s really easy to get into the same routine and way of thinking. In an age where journalists and consumers are time-poor, it’s never been more important to embrace creativity and think of ways to make your company and clients stand out in the everyday sea of content.

  1. It’s ALL in the details

Human error is inevitable, but there really isn’t room for sloppy mistakes in PR. Your role is to maintain and promote your company’s and clients’ brand or products, and nothing can sabotage credibility quite like an easily avoidable grammar or spelling mistake. Proof and proof again. Take five minutes out and come back to it. Ask a colleague to review with a fresh pair of eyes.

  1. Embrace the list

Working a PR job, especially in an agency, is a juggling act – there are always multiple things going on at once; events to organise, strategies to write and releases to distribute. One simple way to keep on top of your workload is by writing everything down, this will help you prioritise your tasks, because there are only so many hours in a day.

Need a fresh and creative take on your PR strategy? Give us a call on 01483 561119 or email info@housegroup.co.uk.

 

The swimming pool at Alfold Cross

Make a splash this summer: Fabulous swimming pools

It’s certainly been a scorching summer so far thanks to a series of heatwaves around the UK, what better way is there to cool down than in your own private pool? Whether you’re planning to have a gentle swim, tan at the waterside or throw a pool party, these homes will fit the bill:

Barnfield is one of Surrey’s most attractive small estates. To one side of the house lies a croquet lawn with a summer house and an apple orchard and on the other, approached by Yorkstone pathways, is a large terrace and the beautiful swimming pool area and changing room. There is also an all-weather tennis court, vegetable garden and a modern ten-stable barn.

Alfold Cross is a beautiful, six-bedroom Victorian house arranged over three floors. Not only is there a swimming pool and sun terrace, but a set of stables have been converted into an office, games room and log store. This home is perfect for family living and set within 1.35 acres of landscaped grounds.    

Willowhayne is a five-bedroom house situated in the highly sought-after village of Wonersh. The property has stunning landscaped gardens expertly created by an R.H.S award-winning garden designer. A heated pool (a handy feature for the chillier months), hot tub and sauna are also set within the picturesque grounds.

High Barn is a striking property, offering 8,000 sq. ft. of living space including 10 bedrooms and eight bathrooms. A leisure complex sits adjacent to the main house and is set around a sheltered south-facing terrace, swimming pool and Jacuzzi. It includes an apartment with two bedroom suites, a gymnasium and even a suite of offices with a boardroom. High Barn boasts wonderful gardens, paddocks and woodland.

If you’re a property developer or an estate agent looking to maximize coverage for your homes in the press and on social media, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team to discuss how we can help, on 01483 561119 or email info@housegroup.co.uk.