August 15, 2017
Let’s face it: the real estate business is competitive, fast-moving and ever-changing. A smartly developed and expertly executed public relations campaign can be the differentiator that a residential or commercial brokerage, developer, landlord, designer, architect, real estate investment or construction firm needs to gain — and maintain — a much-needed edge. In today’s real estate market, the same old single-minded tactics, or an underdeveloped strategy not aligned to measurable business outcomes, will not provide profitable results and return on investment, nor positively impact the bottom line.
In order to stay a step ahead, every real estate, finance, design and construction business should be familiar with the term PESO. This popular public relations acronym stands for Paid – Earned – Shared – Owned and has quickly become the gold standard in revamping the way businesses and organizations share messages, gain visibility and increase market share.
The P in PESO – PAID – is the traditional paid advertising campaign a real estate, finance or construction firm might have in place. It could encompass event sponsorships, banner ads on a newspaper website, print ads in a trade publication like this one, a catchy radio jingle (although those these are less common in the real estate realm), a wrap-around a bus, or perhaps, even a billboard in Times Square.
The E in PESO – EARNED – is the merit-based placements most professionals think of when they hire a public relations firm to help them build their brand. Commonly put, earned media refers to the publicized results you pray for rather than the ones you pay for. Think of the article you are quoted in as an expert, discussing the state of the housing market or an intriguing trend, the announced news of your firm’s office expansion or the hotel it just designed, or the guest column you contribute in a business or trade journal, all unpaid and published on merit alone.
The S in PESO – SOCIAL – should need little explaining. Today’s savvy businesses know having a social media strategy is not a nicety; it’s a must. Social platforms allow real estate businesses to share earned media results, enter into a real-time, two-way dialogue with customers or prospects, and cultivate brand ambassadors or fans. These less formal venues also enable businesses to differentiate from competitors, humanizing the brand and connecting clients and customers in a way that was previously unimaginable.
THE O in PESO – OWNED – is a media vehicle that should not be neglected by the intelligent marketer. Do you have a blog? Articles used for content marketing? Videos you’ve created? An information-packed newsletter to offer willing subscribers? You should. This owned collateral is super-valuable and can live on in your website or archives for future repurposing and sharing with key audiences.
The best part about an integrated approach, where the public relations team is talking with marketing and the advertising agency of record, as well as the C-suite decision makers at the helm, is that the strategy is coordinated. The elements intermingle and the success in one builds upon more success in the other. A public relations expert can pitch the media, let’s say, for an expert interview, thereby securing a news story – yes, an earned one – in a key industry trade magazine. The quoted business person can then, with the guidance of an experienced practitioner, amplify that placement over social media, tagging the magazine, thereby expanding the reach to the publication’s audience and followers. Or he may boost the post on his own business page – a social-meets-paid tactic – or take out ads that tie to the key messages. Then, considering the topic he truly is expert in and was just quoted in the news on, he could call upon the public relations agency to work on a blog post or thought leadership article that could live on as owned media on the firm’s own website.
Picture four concentric circles, each with one letter from P-E-S-O in them. Can you see the overlap between each and the area that they all meet in the dead center? That’s where you’ll be able to visualize the beautiful synergy between a paid, earned, social and owned media campaign. Better yet, stop simply picturing it and start doing it. Hiring an expert to analyze your brand and guide you on how to best tell your company’s story to the media and stakeholders means the tale will not only reach more people, but also that it will be more memorable. Now that’s the type of PESO all real estate, finance, design and construction firms would love to cash-in on.