Understanding the 4 “L’s” of Strategic PR

by Kevin Hawkins on August 16, 2016

Chess PiecesWe’re often asked at the WAV Group, “What makes your PR services different?” It’s a great question, as frankly most public relations firms don’t specialize solely in real estate and real estate technology PR. Moreover, many PR firms today provide an unbalanced focus on social media and largely ignore regularly engaging, directly, with traditional media.

At WAV Group Communications, we think the better approach is Strategic PR, and it’s our great differentiator. To understand what makes Strategic PR plans and execution different, let’s take a look at the 4 “L’s” that explain the differences between what we do and what a plain vanilla or socially obsessed PR firm does.

Strategic PR is layered

The best PR programs have always been fully integrated into a firm’s marketing and sales efforts. PR should never be a standalone program. It needs to be layered into all the communications opportunities a firm does both internally and externally. It should help solve business pain points and drive both awareness and engagements, but it must do so with many audiences. That means not just keeping on message in everything a firm does, but also making sure that messaging is honed to the right audience

Audience identification is often taken for granted in PR programs. Technology today allows us to bifurcate audiences into many layers, based on a number of factors, from demographics, to shared behaviors and interests. A Strategic PR plan understands how messaging, audience identification and media channels need to be layered into a PR program that increases its effectiveness and can accelerate results.

Strategic PR uses leverage

It’s amazing to discover when working with a new client that they have no internal distribution system to share the success of their PR efforts with employees. Strategic PR planning makes this an imperative. Team members typically are a firm’s biggest fans and most powerful external advocates. There is nothing more they want to see than a feature story highlighting their company’s success. They will share, post, like and promote the heck out of it throughout their sphere and social channels. All you have to do is share the information and ask them to help. They will.

Externally, leverage is perhaps more vital. When an article appears in a major publication, how you respond will determine both the breadth and length of its impact. Strategic PR puts in place the systems that leverage all channels, from social media, to sharing the story with clients and potential customers through sales channels. It should be on your Website’s newsroom or media center, it should be secured as a reprint, it should be worked into presentations that help you tell your story, it should be shared with other reporters who are watching what you are doing. The key is to leverage PR whenever and wherever the opportunity arises and can extend the life of the PR success and deepen its reach.

It makes no sense not to leverage PR success internally and externally.

Strategic PR is localized

We all have been told that the three most important things about a real estate property is location, location, location. For Strategic PR, we often forget that most powerful PR successes come from localization. Every agent has the opportunity to be his or her hometown’s “digital Mayor,” as online media guru Gary Vaynerchuk said during his Inman Connect talk recently in San Francisco. They also have the opportunity to be their local voice or real estate for the new media and social media.

Strategic PR embraces the importance of localized media, because that’s where firms can make their customers the star. An example: One company I worked with years ago used to interview real estate broker-owners across the U.S. face-to-face on their opinions about local housing trends and their local economy, as well as the national economy. This survey was promoted in a national news release each quarter and generated a ton of coverage, from the Wall Street Journal to Barron’s

However, the real magic of this Strategic PR program was creating a system to provide local reporters in each of the broker’s markets a localized news release and the contact information of the survey participant. More local news stories were created from this program and the company was able to put the spotlight on its customers – the real estate broker owners they wanted to engage.

Strategic PR uses Like

In the world of Strategic PR, social media plays a crucial role, but for many real estate companies, it is not the end all. What social media often provides to many firms are powerful channels to connect and engage with key audiences.

But social media is like any other PR channel – it has to be used the right way, to reach the right audience, with the right messages and at the right time. Just making sure a firm is providing fresh content to a Facebook page, as well as other social outlets is not strategic. Using these channels to engage, cause action or leverage successes, is.

Understanding the audiences that use and consume the different social channels is the key, and knowing how to marry the right message with the right tactics is what Strategic PR does with purpose and thought. It’s about testing and tracking and measuring all components, but it also requires deeply understanding the real estate industry. And that is what the WAV Group is best at. We know this category.

If you are a PR consultant and interested in working with WAV Group Communications or if you are a firm looking for Strategic PR services, reach out to me at kevin@wavgroup.com.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: