How Public Relations Benefits Your Master-Planned Community Marketing

May 26, 2022

How Public Relations Benefits Your Master-Planned Community Marketing

Every industry, especially homebuilding, is driven by buyer trust. When homebuyers trust home builders and developers, they’re more likely to engage and convert to a lead. How can home builders and developers build that trust? One of the most important ways to do so is by managing the general public’s perception of the brand and master-planned community.

Public relations plays a key role in directing a company’s reputation and connecting the brand to its intended audience. By making the company more visible, public relations inherently provides builders and developers with enhanced credibility and greater buyer trust.

Many home builders and developers misconceive public relations as only necessary for large companies or organizations facing negative attention/crises. However, the truth is that public relations is beneficial for any company despite its size or reputation. Sharing day-to-day insights, expertise and updates helps brands build goodwill, as well as a positive status.

The value of public relations is often overlooked by home builders and developers. But this practice is incredibly valuable for elevating brand awareness of their master-planned communities, managing company reputation, generating leads and so much more.

What is Public Relations (PR)?

Public relations – also referred to as media relations or earned media – is the practice of maintaining a public image for an organization or individual by sharing stories of interest with the media. The ultimate goal of public relations is to build awareness and establish a positive reputation for an entity in the eyes of the general public. Stories are distributed to media personnel through press releases, pitches, media advisories, press kits, etc.

By producing positive narratives, this strategic communications process forms mutually beneficial connections between brands and their audience. Although the end goal of this tactic focuses on buyer-directed communication, public relations also requires strong ties between companies and the media which includes journalists, reporters, magazine writers, editors, etc. As part of developing an effective PR strategy, builders and developers must network with relevant media contacts and tactically approach certain personnel to distribute content to the intended target audience.

Don’t think your company has any valuable stories to pitch to the media? We beg to differ!

“All companies, big and small, have stories to share, whether it is a new community, whole house remodel, charitable initiative, new sales agent, or a 25th anniversary,” said Denim Marketing President Carol Morgan.

Everything your company does as well as any updates that occur within your master-planned community can be turned into a story that is placed in a news outlet to reach homebuyers. It’s all about finding the angle to the article that makes it truly newsworthy.

Before you get there, it’s important to understand the significance of public relations and the impact it can achieve toward creating a strong public image for your brand and master-planned community. Take a look below to explore several ways that public relations can benefit your master-planned community marketing!

Builds Brand Awareness/Credibility

Building awareness is all about spreading brand presence to ensure your content is seen by more of your target audience. Public relations offers a fantastic way to achieve placements in media outlets that can reach the ideal buyers you want to target.

“Brand awareness is step one in a marketing plan for builders. It is the first building block of everything else the home builders marketing agency does,” said Morgan.

Which builder or developer are homebuyers more likely to trust – the one they’ve never heard about or the other that they’ve read about in the media? We think you know the answer!

If done well, public relations has the ability to turn national or local builders and developers into household names that buyers recognize and trust. While less than half of consumers trust paid ads, a Cision report reveals that 92% say they trust earned media. More subtle than advertising, public relations validates your company’s standing and expertise, effectively establishing greater trust with your audience. As your company and its master-planned community begin featuring in third-party articles, buyers will keep your name in mind and eventually view your community as a trustworthy option during their home search.

The effects of brand awareness and credibility truly go hand in hand. The stronger the brand awareness your company generates, the more credibility it will earn and the more sales you are likely to make.

Reduces Marketing Funds

When public relations is integrated with other tactics, home builders and developers can ultimately save funds from their marketing budget. Sharing company news through various paid media can be costly but earning media placements through public relations is free. Employing marketing strategies that incorporate earned media (public relations), owned media (blogging, website content) and paid media requires lower funds for a substantial return.

“By integrating PR with other tactics, home builders can take advantage of the synergies between earned, owned and paid media. By creating a marketing strategy that incorporates all of these, you can achieve greater impact at a lower cost than strategies built independently,” said Morgan.

Maintains Strong Reputation

From your target audience’s perspective, your reputation is built around everything they have seen or heard about the brand whether through the company itself, social media, articles, ads, word-of-mouth, etc. Pitching stories and earning strong media placements – whether online or in print – positions your brand positively and helps maintain your reputation.

While positive perceptions are always beneficial no matter your company’s current reputation, public relations is especially helpful if your brand faces negative attention. Consistently executing public relations efforts allows builders and developers to better protect their company’s status if negative situations were to arise.

“By establishing a positive reputation, home builders better protect their status in case negative news happens – and unfortunately it sometimes does,” said Morgan.

Strengthen Brand Presence

Executing a strategic public relations program can significantly strengthen your brand’s overall online presence. Public relations placements can play an important role in improving your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. By linking back to your website and sharing content focused on your brand, any online earned media piece tremendously impacts your master-planned community’s SEO performance.

“Having stories about the company online enhances its SEO – by the existence of the piece and through the link it creates back to the corporate website. And who doesn’t want more links,” said Morgan.

Media placements also have endless potential for use across your brand’s communication channels. Amplify the reach and impact of this third-party endorsement by sharing this content as widely as possible through your website, social media platforms, email newsletters, marketing materials and more. By distributing this news coverage, you can continuously better your audience’s perceptions of the brand and its community. Articles produced by third parties can offer your brand fantastic external credibility that increases buyer confidence in your master-planned community.

Generates Leads

As your brand practices public relations, the best approach is to focus on media that is consumed by your target audience. If your brand has a greater reach among your intended buyers, it is more likely that your leads will increase.

For buyers who already know who you are, seeing your stories in media will only further cement their trust in the brand and increase their comfort in buying with the company. For buyers shopping for new homes but haven’t considered your company, public relations stories will place your master-planned community on their radar and drive them to your website to start learning more.

Develop a Strategic Public Relations Plan for Your Master-Planned Community

Any master-planned community can deliver incredible homes and stunning amenities but creating ways for buyers to connect makes all the difference! To make those vital connections, builders and developers must share their stories to differentiate and resonate with their audience. This is where public relations comes in to provide brands with greater memorability, credibility and a stellar reputation.

Our team is comprised of incredible communicators who excel in pinpointing, crafting and delivering a good story that portrays your brand positively. We’re ready to give a voice to your brand – contact our team to get started!

 

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