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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 

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.

 

 

The living area of the new show home at So Resi Wokingham.

So Resi launches spacious four-bedroom show home in Wokingham

Growing families looking for a spacious new house in Wokingham, available to buy with shared ownership, should make a beeline for So Resi Wokingham where So Resi – Thames Valley Housing’s shared ownership brand – has recently opened a superb four-bedroom show home.

The show home highlights the impressive quality of these three and four-bedroom semi-detached houses, which offer exceptional value; prices for a four-bedroom house start from just £148,125 for a 25% per cent share (full market value £592,500).

Esaiyas Mollallegn, head of marketing at Thames Valley Housing, comments: “These homes set new standards for shared ownership housing in terms of design, superior specification and a great location. We’re proud to raise the bar while offering these high-quality homes at very accessible prices.”

So Resi Wokingham is part of the wider Matthews Green Farm development which enjoys an attractive semi-rural location on the outskirts of Wokingham. When complete, this new community will include onsite shops, a brand new primary school and plenty of landscaped open spaces.

The four-bedroom houses offer a generous 1389 sq ft of space and are arranged over three levels. Opening through full-height glass doors on to a private rear garden, the large open-plan living/dining/kitchen space artfully maximises space and light. The bedrooms are on the upper two floors and the master bedroom benefits from an en suite shower room, in addition to the main bathroom. Full-height windows create bright and airy spaces throughout the home.

With a more traditional layout, the three-bedroom homes have two storeys and feature a separate kitchen.

The excellent specification of the homes includes a stylish white Symphony kitchen fitted the latest appliances; high-quality ceramic floor tiles in the kitchen and bathrooms; fitted wardrobes in the master bedroom and carpets in the living areas – all included as standard. Every home has allocated parking with car ports and garages to selected properties.

So Resi Wokingham is ideally located for families; less than a mile away are The Emmbrook School, a well-regarded specialist maths and computer college for students aged 11 to 18, and the green expanses of Cantley Park with a wide choice of sports facilities, including tennis courts.

For commuters, the mainline station is 1.8 miles away; trains reach Reading in nine minutes, Guildford in 28 minutes and London Waterloo in 68 minutes. When the Elizabeth Line (Crossrail) opens at Reading station in 2019, passengers will be able to travel through central London without needing to change trains.

Currently available at So Resi Wokingham are three-bedroom houses priced at £200,000 for a 40% share (full market value £500,000) and four-bedroom houses costing £148,125 for a 25% share (full market value £592,500). A selection of two-bedroom apartments will shortly be launched.

To find out how So Resi makes it easy to buy your new shared ownership home, call 0208 607 0550 or visit www.soresi.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.

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!

Vista, Chelsea Bridge

Plush Party Pads, ideal for entertaining this festive season

With the festive season drawing in, a time synonymous with parties and entertaining, we’ve put together a roundup of homes which all benefit from beautifully designed open-plan living spaces and a range of unique features ideal for entertaining guests.

Host with the most….

West House, South Holmwood

On the market for £2.95m with Grantley

West House is a five bedroom, 5000 sq. ft. home in the secluded Surrey Hills location of South Holmwood, near Dorking. Featuring sublime proportions, this light and airy property was made for entertaining. The kitchen, dining room, drawing room, family room and entrance hall all have underfloor heating, floor to ceiling windows and large terraces, making this home the ideal party pad, plus the separate kitchenette can be used for catering dinner parties. The seller is also willing to pay the stamp duty, saving the buyer thousands.

Shere View House, Shere

On the market for £2.25m with Grantley

This five-bedroom, three-bathroom family home in Shere, Surrey (where classic Christmas film, The Holiday, was filmed) is set within a 0.9 acre plot with stunning views over the adjoining farmland and surrounding hills. Internally, the home comprises a vaulted entrance hall, drawing room, dining room, family room and study- so there’s plenty of room for entertaining guests. The drawing room boasts a cosy energy efficient wood burner which releases heat slowly through its cast iron shell, providing the perfect retreat at the end of the night. Externally, Shere View House benefits from a private gravelled driveway with space for eight cars, a detached ancillary accommodation with mezzanine level, kitchenette and bathroom as well as a detached heritage barn style garage, car port and garden/machinery store with a beautifully landscaped front garden.

Vista, Chelsea Bridge 

Prices for a one-bedroom apartment start from £895,000 and two-bedroom apartments from £1,220,000, developed by Berkeley Homes

Stylish and modern, Vista combines remarkable architecture, cosmopolitan homes and an irresistible London location – close to both the river and the greenery of Battersea Park. All of the apartments deliver private outside space in the form of a glass-fronted balcony, wraparound terrace or winter garden; with many offering beautiful views across Battersea Park or the iconic power station, a perfect backdrop to an evening of entertaining. Residents can burn off those extra calories after a night or two of indulgence in the luxury leisure suite which features a vitality pool, state-of-the-art gym and sauna.

 

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.

 

WhatHouse? Awards

PHM’s clients scoop 12 wins at the WhatHouse? Awards 2017

The WhatHouse? Awards is always a highlight in the property calendar, and for us it was a particularly brilliant way to round off the year, as 12 of the 21 entries we prepared on behalf of our clients scooped a prize at this year’s ceremony. A whopping six of those entries won gold, and Berkeley Group went on to take home Housebuilder of the Year 2017 – the overall prize of the night, picked from that year’s submitted entries.

Our clients won the following prizes at the ceremony:

Gold

Silver

Bronze

  • Clissold Quarter by Higgins Homes for Best Starter Homes Scheme
  • Vista by Berkeley Central London for Best Apartment Scheme

As always, it’s been a busy year for PHM writing and designing the WhatHouse? Award entries, and we were absolutely thrilled to celebrate our clients’ success at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Friday 17 November.

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 next year 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.

Awards

PR reporting

PR reporting: back to basics?

-By Lisa Flounders, Account Director 

PR reporting is an interesting topic, one which often divides PR professionals and wider communications teams. At PHM, we don’t think that any one way is the best way, but believe that our clients have different needs, different objectives, and therefore require different measurables.

Marketers, quite rightly, want to see quantifiable results for the work they do. They are able to measure content with numbers, very neatly, both digitally and on paper. This is a lot harder to achieve with PR, when the real value is often found in a quick phone conversation to find out what’s appearing in the property supplement at a national paper that weekend, or in knowing where a journalist likes to have coffee.

The industry has used many methods to measure its output and evaluate its results over the years. More traditional methods include AVE, which measures the size and prominence of a piece of coverage in a particular publication or online channel, and seeks to show the value of editorial versus paid-for content. To many, a positive piece of coverage in a weekend broadsheet, accompanied by a high-quality picture, is proof enough. To other clients, a more tailored approach is required, and we’ve been known to build our own evaluative models, based on point systems and key criteria, allowing us to work out where any gaps might be over time.

However we do it, we know that we need to do it in a way that fits the wider marketing objectives of our clients, and allows for a full, comprehensive picture of communications activity across the board. That’s why, as with all of our work, we take a bespoke approach; for PR reporting, one size certainly doesn’t fit all.

If you want to discuss real results, contact the team on info@housegroup.co.uk or 01483 561119.

Berkeley win Building Awards

Berkeley Group wins Housebuilder of the Year at the Building Awards 2017

It was a successful evening at the Building Awards on Thursday 7 November, as it saw our client Berkeley Group win the prestigious Housebuilder of the Year award, which we prepared earlier this year.

A highly anticipated date in the property calendar, The Building Awards are the industry’s longest running recognition of excellence, and allow companies across all aspects of building to have their achievements held up as an example to the sector. As always, it was a great night hosted by Building magazine.

We’re also looking forward to attending the WhatHouse? Awards later this month, where we’ll be excitedly awaiting the results for the 21 entries we prepared on behalf of our clients this year.

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 unsure about the effectiveness of a tailor-made award entry, take a look at our blog, ‘Three reasons why awards are a valuable addition to your marketing strategy’, to see just how valuable they can be for your business’ marketing strategy.

If you’ve worked on a project or development of which you are particularly proud, and would like to find out more about our awards writing and design service, call the PHM team now on 01483 561119.

Award

Award