Contrary to popular belief, public relations (PR) means more than just press coverage and media interviews. There are several aspects of PR, from press releases, to internal communications, to reputation management, and many things in between. PR builds your brand’s visibility and fosters a positive perception. In the multifamily industry, there are a variety of reasons why PR is relevant to you. Here are a few instances where PR is valuable:
Market Launch. If you are in the process of building a new apartment community, having a focus on PR is extremely valuable for the development of your brand. You’ll need to put a launch strategy in place that includes communication efforts internally as well as externally. Pitch information about your new community to local newspapers and lifestyle magazines, and consider participating in events within your neighborhood to spread the word about your new apartment community. It’s always best to begin planning a PR strategy as soon as possible, in order to build anticipation and interest before you actually begin the lease-up.
Brand Awareness. Whether your community is newly constructed or well established, you want people to know about it! It’s critical to stay at the top of people’s minds in order to build your community’s visibility in your local area. From participating in local events, to branded materials, to media coverage – it all plays a role in reinforcing the power of your presence. Scope out events or media opportunities where you’ll be able to showcase your community and draw the attention of potential renters. Occasionally, you may find that your community has important or exciting news that is worthy of writing and sending a press release to the media. MultifamilyBiz and PitchEngine both offer free press release distribution services.
Reputation Management. Managing your reputation is arguably the most important aspect of PR – regardless of whether the buzz about your community is positive or negative! You should have a social listening platform in place in order to accurately track what renters and prospects are saying about your community. If you’re receiving positive feedback, that’s great. But don’t stop there – let the positive reviewers know that you appreciate them sharing kind words about your community. A simple ‘thank you’ goes a long way! If you have any negative feedback, be sure to address the concerns of the reviewers and do what you can to correct the situation. You would be surprised at how easily you can turn a negative into a positive by showing that you truly care about the situation and are willing to work hard to fix it! Take a look at this Reputation Management eBook for more tips on how to build and maintain a positive brand reputation.
Utilize PR as a vehicle for growing your company. Every press release you send, every consumer interaction you are a part of, and every event you participate in contributes to the establishment of your brand. Always seek ways to put your community’s name out there – often, you can find PR opportunities that are no cost or very inexpensive. Try your hand at blogging, create social media pages for your community and engage with fans and followers, or cross-promote with other brands to expand awareness for your community – all are great, inexpensive forms of PR for your community!
|Brittany Worrell Boyce | Company Website | LinkedIn | Brittany is the Marketing & Communications Coordinator at For Rent Media Solutions. She specializes in creating internal and external communications for the brand, including press releases, industry articles, sales collateral, and email marketing. Brittany holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Virginia Tech.|