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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.

 

CGI of So Resi Twickenham. Call 0208 607 0550.

Shared ownership makes it possible to buy your new home at So Resi Twickenham

So Resi has launched a contemporary collection of one and two-bedroom, shared ownership apartments in Twickenham – with local residents and those working in the area being given the first opportunity to reserve a property. The shared ownership scheme means that homebuyers at So Resi Twickenham can buy a 25 per cent share (£101,250) of the full price of the home (£405,000), requiring just a 10 per cent deposit of £10,125 and paying a monthly So Resi payment on the share they don’t buy.

Originally built in the 1960s, So Resi has fully renovated the original building to create a collection of high-quality, modern homes.

Each home features floor-to-ceiling windows that allow an abundance of natural light to fill the main living areas, while integrated kitchen appliances and stylish fittings create a contemporary finish. Many residents on the higher floors will benefit from views towards Richmond Hill and Richmond Park as well as Twickenham Stadium, the River Thames and beyond. The development will also include a contemporary rooftop terrace, landscaped with plenty of seating for residents to relax outdoors.

The leafy town of Twickenham, the home of English rugby, has a range of shops, bars and restaurants. The high street is less than half a mile from So Resi Twickenham, while Twickenham Station is just five minutes’ walk away. From here, trains reach Richmond in five minutes, London Waterloo in 23 minutes and the City in 37 minutes.

To register your interest in So Resi Twickenham and to find out how So Resi can make it possible to buy your new home, call 0208 607 0550 or visit www.soresi.co.uk 

es1

PHM’s clients scoop 11 prizes at the Evening Standard New Homes Awards

The Evening Standard New Homes Awards is always a highly-anticipated date in the property calendar and Friday’s celebrations did not disappoint, with it being one of our most successful competitions to date.

11 of the 23 entries we prepared on behalf of our clients scooped a prize at this year’s ceremony, which took place at the Dorchester Hotel, London. A whopping seven of our clients’ developments took home the winning prize, while four were highly commended in their category.

Our clients won the following prizes at the ceremony:

Winners

Highly commended

  • Kidbrooke Village by Berkeley East Thames was highly commended in the Best Regeneration Project category
  • Victory Pier by Berkeley West London was highly commended in the Best First Time Buyer Home category
  • Streatham Hill by London Square was highly commended in the Best Large Development category
  • Star and Garter by London Square was highly commended in the Best Conversion category

Awards are a brilliant tool for marketing and promotion, offering a respected third-party endorsement as well as the prestige of industry recognition. If you’re considering entering awards for a development or project of which you’re particularly proud but not sure where to start, speak to the PHM team today on 01483 561119.

SPRING

Spring clean your social media

Warmer temperatures and longer days mean it’s time to blow away the cobwebs. Here are our tips for getting your social media channels spick and span for a summer of success.

Digital marketing plays a vital role in supporting many of our clients’ communications objectives, making social media an integrated part of PR and our everyday lives at PHM.

To truly get the best out of social media, it’s incredibly important to understand that time, commitment and consistency is key – this will build your following and increase audience engagement. However, there’s a whole range of tools which can help with the time-costly day to day tasks and keep channels alive and thriving.

Here come our four top tips on how to do just that:

  1. Scheduling platform

If like us you manage more than one social media channel, it’s probably worth investing in a scheduling platform where you can manage multiple accounts from one, secure place. These platforms can help with optimising posts for engagement, reporting and publishing, and doing so consistently and efficiently.

  1. Canva

Canva is very user-friendly – we can safely say it’s become one of our most-used tools for creating visual, interesting content for social media. The website is home to thousands of social media graphics and layouts suited to every kind of platform, which you can design and personalise to integrate into your strategy. As social media is a place where visually led-content thrives, this is a great way to mix up how you present your message.

  1. Link shorteners

We use link-shortening services, such as Bitly, in almost everything we publish online. This not only makes the most of your content on platforms like Twitter, where you’re limited to 280 characters, but creates a slick and professional aesthetic for your posts – when links stretch over two or three lines it can look untidy and dare we say, un-clickworthy.

  1. Unsplash

We cannot stress enough how important visuals are when it comes to online content. We always make the most of sites such as Unsplash, which enable you to browse and download images for free. This really helps in implementing fresh and exciting content without becoming too repetitive in your use of imagery.

If you’d like to talk to PHM about how we can freshen up you social media channels – and take on the time commitments you can’t fit into your calendar –  call us on 01483 561119 or email info@housegroup.co.uk.

 

 

So Resi Wokingham

There’s still time to buy a Crossrail home

We’ve heard and read a lot about how the arrival of Crossrail will impact the property market. With the first Crossrail line set to open next month, entering passenger service between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, Essex, it seems those who have bought along the line are finally set to reap the benefits. However, there’s still time to invest in a Crossrail home, even on a budget!

We’ve found a selection of homes available through Help to Buy and shared ownership that enjoy ideal locations nearby to upcoming Crossrail stations. Buyers will find themselves ideally positioned for fast-track travel in and around the capital, and as a homeowner be able to benefit from growth on the value of their property too.

Trinity Walk is a distinctive new neighbourhood of stylish one, two and three-bedroom apartments and three and four-bedroom townhouses, located just a mile from the new Crossrail station in Woolwich. With 12 services an hour, homebuyers from Woolwich will be able to reach Canary Wharf in eight minutes, Liverpool Street in 14 minutes and Bond Street in just 22 minutes, when The Elizabeth Line opens later this year. Each home is completed to the same high specification with a private outdoor area and to top it off, London Help to Buy is available which means buyers only need a 5% deposit.

Enjoying a more rural location, So Resi Wokingham will be just a ten-minute journey away from Reading’s Crossrail station which is opening in December 2019, ideal for commuting homebuyers. The development comprises a new collection of one and two-bedroom apartments and two to four-bedroom homes in Wokingham which are available to purchase through shared ownership with So Resi. The homes are built to a high specification, with spacious living areas and stylish fittings adding a touch of luxury.

Lent: three bad habits to give up when writing copy

Three bad habits to give up this Lent when writing copy

Today marks the beginning of Lent and rather than giving up chocolate, here at PHM we’ve decided to look at the bad habits worth banishing when writing copy, from press releases to social media posts.

Here are three ways to ensure your written content is second to none:

  1. Cut the waffle

It’s important to keep your content concise without compromising on quality. It’s tempting to provide as much information as possible, but in a time-poor day and age, journalists and followers alike are keen to get to the heart of a story quickly.

  1. Don’t be lazy

It’s easy to repeatedly churn out the same content, and although consistent messaging and brand recognition is important, it’s also vital to keep things current and fresh. Your level of engagement is more likely to increase if you tailor copy to your audience and have something new to say.

  1. An eye for errors

Checking for spelling and grammatical mistakes may seem an obvious part of writing formal copy, but this is just as important when it comes to social media which provides another opportunity to promote your brand. Colloquial language is common across platforms such as Twitter, however there is no excuse for poorly structured content; attention to detail and errorless posts make for a more credible company.

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.

Facebook will favour family and friends over business content

– Harriet Bolt, Senior Account Manager at Property House Marketing

It’s been two weeks since Facebook introduced yet another change to its algorithms, and here at PHM we’ve taken the time to understand what the changes could mean for us as marketers. Until now, content from businesses appeared roughly the same number of times as content from friends and family on  the standard Facebook news feed. However, with fake news on the rise and causing scepticism towards business-led posts. Mark Zuckerburg has decided to give the power back to the people, with content from friends and family to appear much more often.

The change is part of Mr Zuckerburg’s new ‘meaningful interaction’ campaign. In his announcement, he said: “Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect”.

In essence, if your company posts aren’t engaging, they are not going to appear as often as posts from friends and family which always attract a lot of interaction in the form of likes and comments.

If you think this is a bombshell of an update, fear not. This change is only in relation to organic content (posts which have no advertising spend behind them). It will not affect the algorithms associated with ‘boosted’ content (posts with advertising spend that enable you to target content to a specific audience).

Therefore, we believe the update gives us, and our clients using Facebook for business, three opportunities:

  • Get inspired by the new change, prioritising boosted content but with an emphasis on quality not quantity. If you can really drill down to who your target audience is, you shouldn’t need to spend money boosting your campaign to a wide audience, or setting up multiple campaigns with the same message for the sake of it, which can be costly. Organise one, or a few, well thought-out posts a month which reach your desired audience effectively and prevent you falling into a trap of posting repetitive and expensive content.
  • Limit the number of organic posts you post from a Facebook business page – but don’t stop it completely. Facebook’s changes are a chance to get inspired, and create truly engaging content. Rather than ‘sell sell sell’, why not start a Q&A every week, or post a competition asking for comments as entries?
  • Be more creative in the way you distribute content. If Facebook is prioritising human interaction between users, why not consider new ways to reach a target audience through Facebook and other social media channels, without posting directly through your company page? This is where influencers (individuals that have influence over potential buyers, often with a large fan base/following) come in, who regularly post truly engaging content, mainly in the form of images and videos, reviewing products or showcasing their interaction with a business.

At PHM, we believe using social media as part of a wider PR strategy can only be effective if we’re keeping up to date with the latest changes to utilise its tools effectively, adjusting how content is delivered in order to get the best results.

If you’d like find out more or to know how to get the most of your social media strategy, call us on 01483 561119.

External CGI of Trinity Walk, Woolwich by Lovell Homes

Across town with the costs down!

News hit last week that millions of rail users in the UK will see the price of regulated rail fares rise by up to 3.6% this month. With commuters said to be the worst-hit by the increase, which is the highest since January 2013, we’ve taken a look at homes ideally located near alternative modes of transport which provide more beneficial routes in to work both financially and in terms of health.

Trinity Walk by Lovell Homes is situated in Woolwich, South East London meaning you can fly to work via the Emirates Air Line, which provides a cable car link across the River Thames between the Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Victoria Docks. This quirky mode of transport is operated by Transport for London and the duration of a single crossing is reduced to just five minutes in rush hour. Prices start at £3.50 per ticket each way, which equates to just £161 per calendar month if there is the maximum of 23 working days in the month. If you’re afraid of heights, why not take the River Bus Express, which operates from 20 piers between Putney and Woolwich. Your journey is made even easier now you can use contactless or Oyster cards to pay.

The homes at Chiswick Gate, which are available through shared ownership with Thames Valley Housing, are conveniently located to give residents access to a wide number of cycle paths in and around Chiswick. These paths provide residents with an alternative and active route in to work, and is also both economical and environmentally friendly, plus you can ride by Chiswick House and Gardens for a more scenic route.

At PHM we like to keep up with the latest goings-on, so make sure you check out our other blogs to see what we’ve been up to and for some of our top PR tips and opinions!

PHM looks back on 2017

2017: The beginning of the end?

By Lisa Flounders, Account Director, Property House Marketing

2017 could well be the year that the property market started to go into reverse – after years of rising house prices, the lack of affordable housing isn’t just affecting those who are struggling to get onto the property ladder, but also those trying to sell their homes in London and the South East as the pool of possible buyers shrinks.

But what of PR? The past 12 months have seen a real shift in the way businesses communicate. Political leaders have been taking social media matters into their own hands, taking responsibility for their own digital marketing as opposed to hiding behind a slick team of experts. Sometimes it works, as the UK election campaign is anything to go by, and sometimes (no need to mention names), the results are highly controversial. The ethics of communications have also been pushed into the spotlight this year as one of the largest and most well-know PR firms in the world found itself in the center of a scandal, perhaps casting doubt on the reputation of an industry that often exists to protect reputations.

However, the need for consistent, strong and transparent communications remains vital. Efficient and effective PR management and guidance plays a dual role – simultaneously sharing the story and considering the risks. Great PR will see your message distributed to your target audiences cautiously but confidently, ensuring that the perception of your product in the minds of your stakeholders is unshakeably positive.

Times may well be a changin’, but PR remains central to a successful communications strategy and will continue to be so, especially if the waters get choppy.

Its been a busy year, for us and for the property industry; we very much look forward to seeing what 2018 will bring but until then, Merry Christmas!

social media

PHM’s 3 golden tips for managing social media this Christmas

-By Harriet Bolt, Account Manager

The upcoming holidays is a time of relaxation for many, however an extended period of time out of the workplace can cause a sense of unease for those managing their own or their clients’ social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc). However, this needn’t be the case as we at PHM believe it’s a great opportunity to schedule brand awareness campaigns, double check your customer care protocol and trust the technology available to you to manage social media on the go.

After all, ’tis the season to be jolly, said a famous Christmas carol, and so can be social media over the festive period if you follow these three golden rules for a well-planned digital strategy over the coming weeks.

1.Make a plan

It sounds simple, but without a well-organised content plan, your carefully created messaging will not know when or how it will be delivered to your audience. Help it along by creating a timetable of activity and remember to schedule the posts in using a social media scheduling tool such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social.

2. Be prepared

We promise we haven’t lifted this from a survival guide, but be aware that the holidays provides customers with more access to their social media accounts and potentially the chance to express any negative feedback. Ensure you have a communications protocol in place which can ensure messages are responded to quickly, and escalated to a customer care department swiftly if necessary. Nevertheless, it is also a chance to positively engage with your customers and potentially create an audience of which to target future content to on your return. Embrace the opportunity by introducing some easy but relevant competitions to encourage more interaction and brand loyalty.

3. Embrace change

If you always manage your social media channels using a desktop computer, then using the free tools available to you on the App Store of your smartphone for the first time might seem a little complicated. However, they are a valuable tool and there to help you quickly amend or edit your clients’ advert campaigns or engage/comment directly with customers over various channels. Get these set up before the Christmas break, and should you need to check any live campaigns or channels, you’ll be able to far more easily than opening up a laptop and signing in remotely to any emails or social media management accounts.

If you’d like a hand ensuring your social media strategies run smoothly over Christmas and indeed anytime of the year (the above rules apply to evenings and weekends too) then speak to a member of PHM on 01483 561119.