Property PR

How to choose your PR partner?

Choosing the right PR is paramount to ensure your messages and narrative are communicated in the right way.

But with a wealth of choices out there, how do you know who’s the right fit for you? And how do you go about finding, and hiring, them?

In this blog post, we will explore the process of choosing the right PR and communications services for your organisation. Look at the stages involved in the journey and answer why you even need PR in the first place.

Why do you need a PR partner? 

PR is crucial for property companies to ensure their business stands out as a key player in the industry. With the right agency, you can foster relationships with media contacts, gain exposure with new target audiences, and promote any projects your company is running or your latest property development. 

PR firms come in many shapes, sizes and specialisms. So you need to ensure you have the right people for the right job. You wouldn’t bring in a plumber to re-wire your house.

So the first thing you need to do is identify what it is you want to achieve

Stage one: identifying your needs 

Before beginning your search for a PR partner, it’s important to make sure that you know what you are looking for. Specifying your organisation’s goals will help you narrow the field. Consider the following:

Who is your target audience?

Who are you trying to reach? Is it directly within the property sector, local authorities, estate agents or potential buyers? What is their demographic? Do you have a primary/secondary/tertiary audience? Be specific in identifying your audience. 

What are your PR goals?

What do you want to achieve through PR? Is it purely brand awareness, or are you trying to drive messaging to a greater goal?

What does success look like to you?

How would you measure the achievements of your PR goals? Often this takes the form of key performance indicators (KPIs). Do you want media coverage, social media followers, website visitors or perhaps something else. 

What are your business plans and how does PR support this?

How do you plan on growing your business in the future? What PR and marketing services do you need to support this growth?  The better understanding you have of what your company needs, the more the PR company can help you achieve this. 

Stage 2: looking for your agency partner

Now that you understand what you need from PR, you are ready to look for agencies that can cater to those needs.

Choose a PR agency that has a similar culture and deep understanding of your industry as your business. It will make working together seamless. Choose an agency that understands your goals and fits your brand and services.

Ideally, the agency will be an extension of your organisation. So look out for the following factors: 

Experience in the property sector

PR is a big investment for any organisation. So, you want to guarantee that the PR agency you trust with your message has the right experience and knowledge.  A good agency will be able to show a thorough understanding of the sector and even provide evidence of their work to back this up. 

An understanding of the channels used in your industry

This understanding will translate into wider awarenss of the sectors key channels.

A good agency is one that understands this and can demonstrate awareness. They’ll show that they have their finger on the pulse. For an example of this, see how we supported real estate company CBRE’s brand profile across the South West using a deep understanding of social channels such as LinkedIn. 

Good connections in the industry

The responsibilities of a good PR agency don’t end with a strategy – they need to be able to get your voice heard among key figures in your industry.  

They should also be able to connect you to a wider range of resources you can use to further your brand message, such as your sustainability goals. This means they need to have good connections within your industry for media relations. 

Stage 3: where to look

Here are a few ways to find you can find potential agencies: 

  • Online: websites like PR Council offer databases for businesses looking for PR firms and provide contact information if you are looking to get in touch. Or, you can find out more about an agency’s experience, services, and work with other companies on their website. 
  • Social media: a good PR agency has a strong social media presence, which will be reflected in their platforms. 
  • Recommendations: it can also be helpful to look at PR agencies that have been effective for your peers in the industry. 

Stage 4: writing a brief for the agency 

The next step of your journey is to convey the PR needs you’ve identified in the form of a PR brief.

This should provide a snapshot of who you are as an organisation, your goals and desired outcomes, As well as the points you identified in the first stage, your brief should include: 

  • Brand positioning, including your company vision and brand guidelines 
  • Important market information, including any shifts in the market you want to use in your PR strategy
  • Key competitors 
  • Time frame and budget information regarding your project 
  • Other important company information, for example, industry focus, annual turnover, current work in progress

Stage 5: putting your brief out to tender 

After writing your brief, it is time to put your brief out to tender.

Following this, the PR agencies you brief will respond with proposals outlining their strategies and responses. Through writing the brief, you will develop a better understanding of the criteria that are important to your business, so it may help to list these criteria prior to receiving the proposals.

You can then use these to select an agency based on which can best cater to your PR needs. 

Try not to limit your choice by sending your brief to one or two agencies. A wider net may help you find a truer match. If necessary, repeat the briefing process until you find the right PR firm to support you in achieving your PR goals. 

Your next steps 

The process of selecting a public relations partner may be difficult, but it is worth investing time in.

The right PR agency will elevate your brand presence, improve your reputation, and increase sales and traffic to your platforms. Although it may be tempting to make your choice based on convenience, remember that you are trusting your company identity with the agency you choose. 

 If you are looking for an agency partner to expand your brand, get in touch. Alternatively, look through some case studies of companies we’ve worked with in the past.