Not all deals may be big enough to warrant a new story, but in the course of your career you’ll probably have at least a few that you’ll want to shout from the rooftops. It’s free advertising, of course, and the best kind of advertising because it’s centered around the work you’ve already done. It’s essentially a high-profile case study.
So whether or not you have a newsworthy deal at the moment, make sure you know the best way to contact and work with the media should the opportunity arise.
Connect with journalists via a press release
Many journalists are focusing on feature stories, scanning market reports, and following the latest economic news and development trends. They probably aren’t scanning local public records to uncover each CRE deal, but that doesn’t mean they don’t care. They do still have to produce a steady stream of content that often includes news about the latest commercial real estate sales, leases, developments and loans.
Do yourself and a local reporter a favor by putting the news out there yourself. A press release is the easiest way to do this, and you don’t have to be a media pro to write one. These short documents can simply summarize the deal—just remember to include these elements.
- Who: Buyer/seller and broker representation
- What: Name, product type and square footage of the property involved
- Where: Address and primary intersection
- When: Date the transaction closed, length of escrow period if notable
- Why: List any compelling reasons for the transaction, and tell the story about why deal matters in the larger context of a neighborhood or city
Press release examples can also be seen online by visiting PRNewsWire and typing “commercial real estate” into the search box, or by scrolling through the news, press releases or media sections on the website of any major firm.
Focus on three kinds of journalists
These deal snapshots should be sent to three types of journalists: those who cover commercial real estate within your area, those who cover regional news within your area and those who cover specific business news related to the type of product or company involved in your deal. For the latter, this may mean sending press releases on LEED-Platinum certified multifamily properties to publications that focus on sustainability or green trends. It could also mean sending news about a tech startup leasing space in Seattle to a tech-centric blog that may want to know this company is in expansion mode.
The email addresses of these journalists can generally be found on the news outlets’ websites (if not, try LinkedIn or connecting on Twitter). Hopefully you visit some of these sites on a regular basis anyway (GlobeSt, Bisnow), but a simple Google News search should yield some results.
Hire help or DIY
Of course, brokers at larger firms or those who have room in their budget can consider hiring a part-time or full-time employee to handle PR, along with media and marketing. Some also choose to hire third-party agencies, though you should try looking for a company that serves similar clients.
While the decision to hire additional help is based on your needs, budget and expectations, any broker can get a foot in the media’s door with a little legwork—and use the resulting coverage to build their brand and credibility in a market.