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Does PR work in the commercial property sector?

The use of PR is core to many successful marketing strategies within the commercial property market. How can it work for your business and is it cost-effective?

Public Relations (PR) and media relations are used in the commercial property sector to promote not only the availability of properties but also to raise the profile of real estate consultants and businesses; highlighting their market knowledge, experience and the services that they provide.

While some PR activities can prove time-consuming and expensive, there are straightforward actions that can be undertaken in isolation or as part of a wider publicity strategy.

 Efficient PR activities for commercial real estate

 Public Relations has been defined as “the management of communications between an individual or organisation and everyone else” and this explains why there can be so many elements of a PR campaign or strategy, ranging from the simple and efficient to the complex and expensive.

If you have an unlimited budget, PR activities are only limited by your imagination. In the real world, however, the list might include:

  • News releases
    In addition to being sent to the real estate media and publications, the generation of news stories can also provide great online content for websites and be used as part of any social media activity. News releases are often used as a route into broadcast media
  • Sponsorship and partnerships
    The sponsoring of events can be a great way to raise your profile with a target audience, as can be building partnerships with other brands and businesses
  • Advertising
    The advertising of properties and property services is long-established, but can be cost-prohibitive in print formats. For this reason, targeted online advertising is growing in popularity
  • Advertorials
    Articles that appear in magazines, or online, that look and read, as if they have been written by the publication but are paid for advertisements
  • Newsletters and direct mail
    Newsletters that contain useful and relevant information, or ‘teaser’ emails that drive online traffic to news stories, are popular methods of managing communications with clients and potential clients
  • Brochures
    Printed brochures have their value as part of a PR campaign, particularly at conferences and exhibitions. In the main, however, they are increasingly generated digitally and made available as downloadable documents or webpages
  • Conferences, seminars, business events and speaking opportunities
    Speaking and presenting to a captive audience at live events is a valuable form of PR but large, international events, can prove cost-prohibitive
  • Internal communications and staff relation
    Internal communications, in firms of all sizes, is vital to keeping staff informed and updated. As ambassadors for the business, they need to be up-to-date with communication messages
  • Community relations and stakeholder engagement
    External PR is particularly important in the world of real estate development, where the benefits of new developments need to be communicated to stakeholders

In the digital age, it is possible that all of these activities can be undertaken simultaneously in the physical world and online.

Many larger real estate businesses and property consultancy firms have internal PR Teams or specialist external consultants, for the majority of small firms the task of undertaking PR activities, such as writing news releases, is often delegated to staff members who, due to their main tasks and responsibilities, are time-limited.