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.

 

 

Four things to consider before you embrace influencer marketing

By Louise Jarvis, Account Manager

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.

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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.

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!

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.

Property House Marketing - Fireworks

3 ways to create fireworks with your PR content

Forget the gunpowder this 5th November, how can you make your press releases and pitches go off with a bang? Here at Property House Marketing, we don’t think that one size fits all, but there are definitely a few tricks (and treats) that continue to boost the success of your content and cut through the myriad of information that hits a journalist’s inbox every day.

Find your hook

It doesn’t matter how beautiful your new build home is, if it doesn’t have a story attached to it, it isn’t news. Think to yourself, why would a national property supplement want to use this particular home over all others? Make it part of the wider agenda to make it relevant. This is especially important in the digital age. Twitter is good for market research – use trending hashtags to be part of the bigger picture and reach a new audience.

Keep it brief

We appreciate there is plenty to say, and it’s great to give some detail. However, think about your own inbox. What catches your attention? It isn’t paragraphs and paragraphs of writing, that’s for sure. A couple of pictures will show off your product, and a list of bullets can provide some quick info, but treat this as your elevator pitch, and keep it brief.

What have you got, what makes it different/interesting/newsworthy, and why would a journalist want to write about it?

No need to shout

Capital letters in the subject line of an email don’t make you stand out, but they can make your beautifully-crafted content look like junk mail. What’s your USP, and what will appeal to the journalist? This should be your introduction. See above.

If you’re looking for someone to prepare you the press content that creates fireworks, give us a call on 01483 561119 or email info@housegroup.co.uk.

Typing

Three ways to talk to a journalist (without using a press release)

-Lisa Flounders, Account Director at Property House Marketing

There is more than one way to skin a cat, as the saying goes. While we certainly don’t condone that in a literal sense, the meaning is one we take seriously at PHM.

Even as the world moves on, and PR becomes increasingly digital (along with most everything else) we firmly believe that the traditional press release still has its place. However, one size does not fit all, which is true of both clients and journalists – a varied approach to media relations is, and will continue to be, the most effective way to share your message. So beyond the humble news release, how can you ensure your content reaches its target?

  1. The feature pitch

The humble 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.