August 5, 2020

Whether you’ve just closed a high-profile listing or are announcing an upcoming event—you might be wondering if it’s the right time to do a press release.

Before you move forward with a press release, you need to have a clear goal.

Understanding what you want to achieve with your press release can help you decide where to focus your outreach efforts, the best place to host your release, and even affect the way you write your release copy.

Why should I do a press release?

Press releases are a marketing tool and should always have a marketing lens applied.

Who is your ideal audience member for the press release? What do you want them to do?

If part of your current marketing objectives includes ramping up your brokerage credibility, you might consider consistently putting out press releases around closed listings. Maybe you’ve won exclusive representation for an exciting developer—a press release with good traffic could help you entice a new market of larger clients.

“It's where our audience is most effectively reached with the exception of sending it via email blast.” — 2020 DNA of #CRE Marketer Survey respondent

When your news is big enough, you want to aim for mass exposure. Newswires can act almost like a syndication channel for news sites. Push to wires with the best relevancy for your press release to get picked up by journalists.

A note on SEO

Don’t let your press release only live on the newswires. There’s a huge advantage to hosting your press release directly on your brokerage website.

References to your local market on your website can provide a boost to your page’s relevancy in the eyes of search engine indexing.

When potential clients add terms like “near me” or your city name to their searches, you’ll be recognized as rooted in the community they’re looking for and have a better chance of appearing higher up the page in their search results.

Another SEO advantage of press releases is the expansion of your digital footprint.

When you include a backlink to your website on press releases you send to newswires, you boost your credibility with search engines. Every link on someone else’s website pointing back to your site reads as a vote of confidence from their organization.

An example from Buildout

We recently sent out a press release about a new investment in Buildout. This is a big announcement that we’re excited about—but we also thought through multiple goals for what we want out of our press release.

  • Brand building: Draw in potential prospects with positive news about the performance of our company
  • Customer engagement: Reach our existing customers to showcase our continued commitment to the growth of services they know and love
  • Recruitment: Inspire promising talent to look at Buildout as the next step in their career

These goals not only shaped the language we used in the release itself but where it was promoted.

Because our prospect and customer audience exists on a national scale, we sent our press release and media outreach to national outlets and those focused on commercial real estate.

To focus our recruiting efforts, we looked to Chicago-based tech wires and publications where we thought our ideal hires will be searching for jobs.

What does media outlet and newswire outreach look like?

You will often want the largest amount of exposure possible for your press release. It’s important to be aware of timelines and potential costs around your efforts.

Target industry newswires in advance

An advantage of targeting newswires is that you’re closer to a guaranteed platform for your press release than media outlets—but they come with their own set of hurdles.

In order to achieve your desired launch date for your press release across newswires, make sure you’re familiar with their requirements for publishing and pricing on each press release. You’ll need time to set up your account on their platform and get billing in place.

Here are some potential newswire costs to be aware of in advance

  • Membership fees
  • Word count
  • Number of images
  • Inclusion of logos
  • Distribution across geographic and/or demographic markets

Once you’re all settled up, set your press release’s go-live date, and move on to media outreach.

Reaching out to media outlets

A week before your go-live date, start emailing and calling journalists who you think might be interested in picking up your release as an exclusive story.

“Local media is always a good idea, as it bolsters your brand within the community and shows how active you are as a brokerage.” — 2020 DNA of #CRE Marketer Survey respondent

If a journalist agrees to pick up your story, be ready to set a new launch date around their publication requirements. Then, you can reschedule with the newswires you are using around your new date.

4 media outreach tips from a PR specialist

PR specialists bring a helpful understanding of the media landscape and key relationships with the publications you need coverage in.

Director of Strategy at Prosper Strategies, Katie Nuckolls, shares four things you need to do to be successful in your media outreach:

  1. Have a story, and a timely one. In the current news cycle, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. Anytime you can tie to current events or new data, you’re more likely to catch a publication's interest.
  2. Personalize your pitches. Reporters receive hundreds of pitches every day, and you need to stand out. Demonstrate that you know they are a fit for your story by showing you did your homework. You can share a story they recently did that correlates with why you are sharing your release with them. 
  3. Pitch early. Reporters are more likely to pick up a story if you share it with them early in the day. Towards the end of the day they are normally on deadline and will not be available to take on a new article. 
  4. Never attach documents. It’s best to copy and paste your press release below your pitch, not attach it as a document. This way reporters don’t need to download anything you share, and can digest right in the email.

Consider enlisting a PR firm for help in shaping your company’s media narrative over time and developing strategies for timely news opportunities and more.

Round two of media outreach

Whether or not you earned exclusive coverage on the launch of your press release, after it’s out on the newswires, you have a new opportunity to try and gain additional exposure.

Reach back out to the media outlets you think would be a good fit and think of an angle that would best benefit your shared audiences. Sweeten the deal with an exclusive interview with key stakeholders on your side of the deal to help them shape a unique story.

The nitty-gritty of writing your press release

There are structural and stylistic elements that should always be included in a press release

  • Start with the city and date of the announcement’s origin
  • Write in the third person, as if you’re a news outlet reporting favorably on yourself
  • Use language attractive to your audience—make your news engaging
  • Include descriptions of all parties involved in your announcement
  • Feature quotes from key stakeholders from all sides of your announcement
  • Finish your release with “about company” sections for all parties involved and include backlinks to your websites

Make sure key parties involved in all sides of your deal are happy with your press release copy before you submit to newswires, media outlets, and push live on your own website!