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2010-01-05 18:22:52

Profit by Publicity: Why You Need Visuals


In an earlier to column, I discussed why REALTORS® must be good story tellers if they want to generate publicity about their services, activities, accomplishments, or expertise.
Good storytellers know not only how to tell their story, but also how to show it.
And the fact of the matter is that unless you can show your story, you will only communicate half your story to the media and your target audience. Why?
·       Since YouTube and television are obviously visual mediums, your ability to find pictures to help tell your story will make your YouTube posting more interesting and easier for TV assignment editors to decide to do stories about you.
·       The same holds true for newspapers, magazines and some Web sites, where pictures that show some aspect of your story will make any story they do about you that much longer and eye-catching.  
·       And since radio reporters are in the business of painting word pictures for their listeners, your ability to provide a visual image that illustrates your story will make the reporter’s job easier as well. 
In addition to helping attract the attention of the media to your story, sending an appropriate photo and descriptive caption (also known as a cut line) can also result in a larger story to accommodate the picture and encourage more people to read the story in the first place. Why?
Because people are attracted by pictures and graphics.
Before going to the expense of taking and sending a photo or preparing a chart, graph, or other appropriate visual, it’s wise to check with the news outlet to ensure they want it and confirm when and how they want to receive it.
Take this Exercise
List all of the possible visuals you can think of that will help show your story to the world.  Then prioritize the ones that will be most important or effective in helping to publicize yourself, your real estate-related services, accomplishments, activities, expertise or company. The visuals you come up with must match the story you want to tell.
For example:
Hiring a new agent 
Head and shoulder photo
Fundraising project for local charity              
Presentation of oversized check to officials
Agents donate time to help build Habitat      
Agents working on home for Humanity home
Advice on staging a home                    
Before/after photos
Broker sponsors
Toys for Tots campaign Agents collecting toys
Record quarterly sales                         
Chart shows increased sales
Company donates
Back-packs to school Agents preparing back packs
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 now CEO of the Marin County Association of REALTORS® in San Rafael, Calif. Visit his Web site at

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