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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.

 

How to keep your PR campaign entertained during the summer holidays

– By Harriet Bolt, senior account manager

Much like children, your PR campaign needs constant attention. Although it won’t be asking you to play outside or demanding a lolly every time it hears the chime of the ice cream van, a PR campaign still requires nurturing and special attention during the summer holidays.

The six weeks from when children break-up from school and before they start the new academic year can traditionally be a tricky period of time for PR campaigns – especially for the property industry. Like the rest of the working world, many journalists will also be taking time off having filed their stories in advance, making the chances of securing new editorial coverage that bit slimmer. Your target audience may also be enjoying some R&R, meaning the opportunity to encourage them to sell/buy a new home becomes harder.

So what can you do to ensure your PR campaign is kept happy and busy? Consider these three steps and we promise it won’t be repetitively saying ‘I’m bored!’ in your ear…

  1. Choose a different game (alter your objective)

It’s unlikely that your campaign will be able to assist in drawing large numbers of leads as it can in peak home buying season (before the summer break), but it can still play a crucial role. Brand awareness is key – focus on reaching those who may not be sat in the office receiving emails, but perhaps poolside with a cocktail in one hand and a smartphone in the other.

For example, consider increasing your advertising spend on any social media posts, and optimise them for brand awareness or mobile devices to reach a wider audience than before. If you’re relying on organic (unpaid) content, make it engaging and interesting with less emphasis on the hard sell. A competition can get everyone’s attention.

2. Take it to a summer event (consider sponsorship opportunities)

If you feel like it might be difficult encouraging potential homebuyers away from their holidays to your house/development – find them at a local event instead, such as a summer fair. Opting for sponsorship opportunities can be a great way of increasing brand awareness, and provides the chance to meet the community in a relaxed environment.

The chances of a direct sale might be lower than if you had a visitor to the marketing suite, but any friendly conversations had at the event help to sow the seed for a potential sale. Especially if anyone you meet then decides that they actually do want to put their house on the market come September.

3. Take it shopping for new stationery (get it ready for a new term)

Use the quiet time wisely. Reconsider the objectives of the PR campaign for the next term – who are you trying to target, how, why, when etc. Making full use of the time to put together reports of the success to date or strategies for the approach going forward, having learnt from what has or has not been working for the past few months, can be incredibly useful.

A fresh perspective will leave you better prepared for the new term in September, one of the busiest months in the property calendar.

Still struggling with how to keep your PR campaign happy this summer or don’t have the time? Let PHM help – call us 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 

GDPR presents a real opportunity to harness the power of PR, and here’s why…

– By Nikki Ackerley, managing director of Property House Marketing

 

Are you a marketer? If so, you might have found yourself sifting through dozens of GDPR-related, panic-inducing emails from legal advisers and – as you attempt to understand exactly what is required of you – wondering what impact this new regulation will have on your marketing strategy come 25th May.

The rules

You’ll know by now that GDPR will bring in tighter rules for how businesses handle and store personal data – and how this processing is communicated – and you’ll definitely know that the financial penalties for non-compliance are severe. Key changes include the way that we market directly to consumers (generally, they will need to give us their permission before we contact them for marketing purposes – opting in, not out) and it needs to be really easy for people to request that their information is deleted.

However, while working out what is required might seem a little bit like wading through treacle, we don’t think you need to tear up your marketing plans and go back to the drawing board necessarily. We think that the regulations can present a real opportunity to harness the consumer data-free power of public relations.

Where does PR fit?

The clue is even in the name of the regulation – PR. The rules for contacting consumers will change the way you talk directly to your customers, but what if you were to contact them via a third party? Say, a journalist?

Business-to-business data regulation differs slightly. While processes must still be made clear and communicated simply, and the option to be forgotten made very easy, a ‘legitimate interest’ means that we can connect with our business contacts if what we’re sharing is reasonably believed to be something they want to see. This means we can continue to provide journalists with your content, resulting in media coverage read by your customers, without the need for consumer data.

Using social media achieves a similar outcome. As the broadcaster, you don’t need access to personal data to target your demographic and reach your audiences (although if personal information is exchanged, consent must be granted for marketing purposes). The rules around paid-for content are still undergoing some fine-tuning, but in the meantime, sharing content on a public platform is a great way to connect on a wide scale.

So, while GDPR will affect your marketing plans, we think it provides a great opportunity to think a little differently. PHM delivers PR and social media services to companies of all shapes and sizes; get in touch if you’d like to find out more. In the spirit of data regulation, you can also let us know if you’d like to be kept updated with all of PHM’s news by opting in to our mailing list.

This blog does not intend to provide, nor should it be taken as, legal advice.

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.

 

 

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.

Interior of The Elm showhome at Wexham Green. Call 01753 46878

The best of town and country living as new homes go on sale at Wexham Green

Following the release of the first phase of homes, a new collection of two, three and four-bedroom houses is being released for sale at Wexham Green, a new housing development in an attractive semi-rural location close to Stoke Poges in Berkshire. Thirteen homes are now finished and the first residents have moved in, marking an exciting milestone for this flourishing neighbourhood.

A three-bedroom showhome and four-bedroom showhome are open for viewing and showcase the high quality of the homes, which start from just £385,000 for a two-bedroom house. Help to Buy makes these homes even more accessible to homebuyers who pay a five per cent deposit (£19,250) and benefit from a 20 per cent government loan, which is interest free for five years. For buyers with an existing property to sell, an Assisted Move scheme where liaison with estate agents and solicitors is handled on the homebuyers’ behalf is available and can be combined with the Help to Buy scheme.

Julie Crawford, field sales manager, comments: “Wexham Green is sited in a peaceful area with a village atmosphere, surrounded by beautiful countryside, but close to excellent amenities in nearby towns and with great transport links. All this, and the potential of this increasingly popular area, makes the homes a very attractive proposition for young professionals and families.”

The homes at Wexham Green are beautifully presented and blend traditional exterior features with comfortable high-quality interiors.

Inside, these high-specification homes are designed for comfortable, modern lifestyles with something for everyone including fully-fitted Symphony kitchens with smart integrated appliances that are practical and stylish. Each home has a rear garden and patio, and some have their own garage; typical of the attention to detail is the electric car charging point in each garage, an eco-friendly addition that is rarely found in new homes.

Day-to-day living at Wexham Green is very convenient. The homes are close to a wide choice of shops, restaurants and entertainment in Windsor, Gerrards Cross and Reading, and there are also very good facilities on the doorstep in nearby Slough centre, just a mile and a half away. For leisurely days out, there is plenty to do in the area. The historic Grade II-listed parkland of the Langley Park Estate is only 2.6 miles from Wexham Green and The Chilterns, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is just 20 miles away.

Families will appreciate the wide choice of excellent nursery, primary and secondary schools. Nearby schools rated Outstanding by Ofsted include Khalsa Primary School and Baylis Court School, for girls aged 11-18 years. St Bernard’s Catholic Grammar School also achieves excellent results. Wexham School, a designated Sports College, continues to receive a Good rating and is part of Slough Borough Council’s ambitious school places programme – a multi-million pound investment in primary and secondary school buildings.

Getting around from Wexham Green is very easy. It is close to the M4 corridor, which leads directly to Reading, Heathrow and the wider motorway network. From Slough mainline station it is just 16 minutes to Paddington and in 2019, the arrival of Crossrail 2 – the new high-frequency, high-capacity railway for London and the South East – will provide more direct routes into the capital and cut travel times. Enhanced transport links and the wider ongoing investment in the area mean that Wexham is Green is an exciting potential investment for new homebuyers.

Wexham Green, a collection of 104 two, three and four-bedroom homes, is being delivered by Slough Urban Renewal (SUR), a joint venture between Slough Borough Council and Morgan Sindall Investments. The partnership is investing in Slough to create, in addition to new housing developments, new schools, restaurants, hotels and leisure facilities.

For more information about Wexham Green, please call the marketing suite on 01753 468578.

Isabelle Gray

PHM welcomes a new press assistant to the team

We’re delighted to introduce our new press assistant, Isabelle Gray, who joined the Property House Marketing (PHM) team this month.

Izzy arrives at PHM following three years in the hospitality industry working for a boutique hotel in Cornwall, experience which has taught her how to manage high-pressure environments and a busy schedule. After time spent travelling in Australia and South East Asia, Izzy is looking forward to embracing all things Property and PR.

Her dream house would be a modern Scandinavian style house in the woods with large windows to allow plenty of natural light in to highlight the rich wooden interiors. A log burner is essential to give a real sense of ‘hygge’!

While you’re here, why not meet the rest of the PHM team.

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!