Choosing the right PR services agency for your company is paramount to ensure your messages and narrative are communicated in the right way.
This blog post will explore the process of choosing the right PR and communications services for your organisation. There are five stages to choosing the right PR agency for you:
- pinpointing the PR and marketing communications services your organisation needs
- identifying what to look for in a PR agency
- where to look for a PR agency
- writing a brief for the agency
- sending out your brief
Why do you need property PR?
Start your marketing communications journey by understanding what you need to achieve and how PR can help with this. A property PR agency builds, maintains, or expands its clients’ brand, depending on what is required from the business. This will be through a variety of different PR services. Expect them to pitch to you reputation management and press releases to social media management and content creation.
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.
Stage one: identifying your needs
Before beginning the search for a property PR firm, it’s important to make sure that you know what you are looking for. Specifying your organisation’s goals will help you understand what property PR services you need.
Consider the following questions:
Who is your target audience?
Who do you need PR to help you reach? Is it 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? This could range from brand awareness to stakeholder engagement to event management to ESG commitments.
How can a PR agency help you achieve those goals?
What services can a PR agency provide to help you achieve your PR goals? Examples include message development, social media auditing, media training, content marketing and reputation management through traditional media, digital communications and more.
The right agency will know what is needed in the property sector, and what the industry trends are that you should engage with. They should have extensive experience in the property industry.
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) and uses metrics to analyse the success of your PR strategy. Analytics can be used to measure the success of a social media campaign.
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 a property PR agency
Now that you understand what you need from PR, you are ready to look for agencies that can cater to those needs. Ideally, the agency will be an extension of your organisation. 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. Look out for the following factors:
Experience working with companies in the property PR 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 property PR agency will be able to show a thorough understanding of the sector and even provide evidence of their work with other companies in your industry in the form of case studies.
An understanding of the channels used in your industry
The main channels used in property PR are networks, podcasts, and online forums/groups.
A good property PR agency is one that understands this and can demonstrate awareness of the popular channels that will work for your business. Their media relations knowledge is incredibly important for the success of a campaign.
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 for property PR services
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 reflect in their platforms. PR agencies tailor their content to existing and potential clients, so these platforms are great for getting a feel for what an agency is all about.
- Recommendations: it can also be helpful to look at PR agencies that have been effective for your peers in the industry. This is especially useful for finding PR agencies that have a lot of experience in your sector.
Stage 4: writing a brief for the agency
The next step of your journey is to convey the PR needs you identified in the form of a PR brief. This should provide a snapshot of who you are as an organisation, your PR goals, and the services you need from an agency to achieve those goals.
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 the potential strategies to achieve your PR objectives.
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 scope means you will be more likely to find a true match in a potential agency. 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 choosing a property PR agency 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.