Do you ever get jealous about other estate agents or property developers getting more publicity than you? Well, you can have as much as they get, and you don’t have to marry Rupert Murdoch. But you do need to jump in bed with the press.
It’s pretty easy really. The press has space to fill and it needs copy, so it’s kinda waiting for you to send something in. There’s nothing newspapers hate more than empty space (apart from having to pay journalists to fill it) so, really, when someone drops them a ready-made Press Release, they’re delighted.
BUT! (Isn’t annoying that there’s always a but?) The Press Release you supply needs to be pretty much ready to print, so none of your estate agency jargon or sales particulars thank you very much. You need to write objective text that is full of facts and free of superlatives. Now, that’s hardly in an estate agent’s or property developer’s nature, so it’s probably easier to hire a property copywriter (like me!) to do the job for you. Or, if you’d like to add a new string to your bow, you could learn how to do it, although you might find your hours better spent getting some more property on, or selling it.
Regardless of what you do, here are 6 tips:
1) Find an angle. “Here is a nice semi-detached house with 3 bedrooms and a garage” is not an angle. What is it about this particular property that is worthy of being featured in a local or national publication? Your Press Release needs so have a unique selling point; a unique history; a story of any sort. This is absolutely vital if you want to be in with the best chance of getting published.
For regular properties, you could do a blanket send out. But for something special, it’s best to offer an exclusive. If it gets picked up, you could well end up with a double page in the Sunday Times, or similar. So approach one publication, see if they like it, and if not, move onto the next. Don’t try to get clever by suggesting to 5 papers you’re giving them an exclusive. It won’t take long for them to find you out, and that’ll be the last you’ll hear from them for a while.
2) Have great quality, 300dpi hi-resolution images available and mention that you have them in your press release. Include a few low res versions with the release in the email to show the press what they’re getting.
3) Get a list together of contacts in all publications with a property section. Maintain that list! Stay in contact! Ask what features they have coming up that they need content for. (Yes this does take time. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)
4) Make sure your copy is print-ready. What you’re aiming for is a series of paragraphs that can be cut and paste into the publication. They might not print all of your release, they may only take a few lines, but the easier you make it for them, the better your chances.
5) Include your contact details! Company name, address, website, phone and relevant person for further information. If your release doesn’t have these, it’s unlikely the newspaper or magazine will go trawling for them. Don’t lose out for a tiny error.
6) Stay on it! Getting regular press coverage isn’t an overnight thing; it takes time, effort and stamina. However, once you’re in, you’re in. So keep plugging away, keep providing great content and great photos, and someone will pick it up.