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2010-03-24 17:31:28

Profit by Publicity: News Hooks that Work


We continue our look this week at the different news hooks and story angles REALTORS® have used to help generate publicity, and what you can learn from their successes. Each installment features brief excerpts from the news coverage they received, together with advice and insights about the publicity. Today we focus on raising money for good causes and setting yourself apart from the competition. To share your PR successes, please send examples to
News Hook: Raise Money for a Good Cause
Local Realtor Hosts 'Home In On a Cure' Fundraiser
Lending a hand to help to combat neuromuscular disease, ERA Mata Realty will host "Home in on a Cure" Wine and Beer Tasting fundraising event at the Erwin Meier Administration Building, 625 Court St., Woodland. "For the past 30 years, ERA Real Estate has been the sole corporate sponsor of the Muscular Dystrophy Association from the real estate industry. We're proud of the work we have done to support this great cause, including raising $30 million since 1977 to help MDA in the fight against neuromuscular diseases," said Broker David Mata.
Daily Democrat
Nov. 4, 2006
Woodland, CA
Advice and Insights: Raising money to help pay for worthwhile community projects or activities can be made that much easier by seeking public support through news stories about your efforts. And, for the real estate agents or brokers who play a role in raising those funds, news coverage about their generosity can help their own public image, positioning them as good corporate citizens who want to give something back to their neighborhood.
It’s one thing for a corporation such as ERA Real Estate to raise $10 million, but it would be quite an accomplishment for a single broker or agent to do the same. That’s why, in most cases, collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars for a local charity is usually all that is takes to merit a mention by the media. Sometimes, though, it’s not how much you raise, but how you try to raise it, that can generate publicity.
For example: 
Real Charitable: Brokers Donate 15% of Commissions to Charity
(Erica) Laughlin has pledged 15 percent of her gross commissions to charity since she started Foundation Realty last year. She has since become friends and established an informal business relationship with Lori Nitzel, who also started her firm, Full Circle Realty, last year with a pledge to donate 15 percent of his gross commissions to charity.
The Capital Times
June 29, 2006
Madison, Wisconsin
Story Angle: Set Yourself Apart from the Competition
Practitioners Try Folksy, First-Name Style
Real estate practitioners are dropping last names from their “for sale” signs to set themselves apart from a sea of competition. Ken Kuhl and Don Barrett, who have been working as a team at William Raveis since 1997, in Hartford, Conn., said marketing themselves as Ken and Don seemed natural because that's how people already know them in the community. “To a large extent we have become known by our first names. It’s almost like branding our team,” Kuhl said.
Hartford Courant
Feb. 16, 2005
Hartford, Conn.
Advice and Insights: Sometimes it’s the little things you can do that can trigger the publicity you want. Something as simple as dropping your last name from for sale signs could be enough to merit a story in your local paper. The tactic certainly worked for these agents.
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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