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February 13, 2019

Profit by Publicity: How to Get the Media’s Attention

Attracting the attention of editors or reporters is like trying to catch fish. There are any number of different hooks, lures and bait you can use to get the job done.

Getting it Done

One of the best ways to convince journalists to do stories about you is to use a story angle or news hook or launch an activity or project that reflects your expertise, activities, or accomplishments.

I’ve reviewed thousands of stories that have been done over the last few years about real estate companies, agents and brokers. I found that the news hooks, story angles, activities, and projects that resulted in news coverage about them fall into one of the following major categories:

1.      Share your real estate expertise.
2.      Discuss trends and developments.
3.      Start a new service.
4.      Announce the hiring of new agents.
5.      Advocate affordable housing.
6.      Promote your professional designations.
7.      Start a new real estate company.
8.      Open a new office.
9.      Celebrate an anniversary or another milestone.
10.   Sponsor events, projects and activities.
11.   Make a speech.
12.   Write a book.
13.   Conduct a study or survey.
14.   Build homes for the needy.
15.   Raise money for a good cause.
16.   Market yourself or your listings in unique ways or unusual places. 
17.   Use technology to market yourself or your listings.
18.   Showcase unusual properties.
19.   Provide insights and perspectives on housing-related topics.
20.   Promote performance and sales figures.
21.    Make predictions or forecasts.
22.   Issue a call to action.
23.   Conduct seminars and workshops.
24.   Move your office.
25.   Merge with other companies.
26.   Form joint ventures and alliances.
27.   Have interesting hobbies and sidelines.
28.   Sponsor essay contests.
29.   Help clean up the neighborhood.
30.   Comment on recent real estate transactions.
Examples of these categories, including the headlines and brief excerpts from newspaper stories that have been published about real estate agents and brokers, are easy to find on the Internet. For example, here’s a story about a REALTOR® who sought to raise money for a good cause:
Real Estate Agents to Put On Benefit for Hospice
More than 150 Marin real estate professionals are volunteering for a three-day benefit this weekend expected to raise more than $100,000 for Hospice of Marin in Larkspur. The "Open Hearts, Open Homes" fundraiser features Eichler home tours Saturday in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the distinctive homes built by Joseph Eichler.
"The public has always had an interest in Eichlers because of their unusual architecture and because people who live in them do really interesting things with their Eichler homes," said Catherine Munson, honorary chairwoman of the event and owner of Lucas Valley Properties.
"A group of people in the real estate industry came up with the idea to honor Eichler homes on their 50th birthday and to have an event with broad appeal so we could make the money we were trying to make for the Hospice of Marin."
The Marin Independent Journal
Sept. 14, 2006
San Rafael, Calif.
Review as many stories as you can online or in your local paper for important insights into the types of stories news organizations have done about other agents, brokers, and REALTOR® associations in different parts of the country.
As you Read Through the Examples:

See which ones may be a good fit for you or your real estate company.
  • Start thinking about how you can adapt and customize them for your real estate business to help generate publicity about your expertise, services, opinion, activities, or accomplishments.
  • If you are already implementing the projects or activities that are the basis for the news hooks, then take steps to get the word out to the media about what you are doing.
  • If you find out that a reporter is working on a topic-related story, ask to be interviewed for the story and craft your remarks as necessary.
  • If you want to emulate the activities other real estate professionals have used to capture the attention of news organizations, take steps to organize or implement similar projects.
  • Identify or create visuals that help you to show your story.
  • Then use the advice offered in this series of columns to help tell your story in an effective and attention-getting way. 
Edward Segal, RCE, is the author of the Profit by Publicity series of live and online classes, audiobook and how-to-reference guide for real estate agents and brokers.  Segal was the marketing strategies columnist for The Wall Street Journal’s, a PR consultant to more than 500 clients and press secretary to members of Congress. He is a former CEO of the Marin County Association of REALTORS® in San Rafael, Calif.  

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