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2010-05-12 15:07:55

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 agents or brokers who promoted their sales figures, made predictions about the housing market, or publicized their relationships with others. To share your PR successes, please send examples to
News Hook: Promote Performance and Sales Figures
Park Ave. Realtors Prospered In 2005
Park Avenue Realtors of Stroudsburg is celebrating its most successful year to date. “In 2005 our office exceeded $23 million in sales and individual realtors accomplished personal bests. This being my first year as broker, I couldn't be more pleased,” said Broker/Owner Jean M. Lynch.
Pocono Record
March 30, 2006
Stroudsburg, Pa.
Advice and Insights: Most daily newspapers have business sections that cover the financial activities, successes, and failures of companies and organizations. These sections can provide your real estate company with the perfect forum to generate publicity about the success of your own business as measured in sales, and the number of listings, clients, or agents. Such stories can send important signals to consumers—and your competition— on how well you are doing in the marketplace.
While it is perfectly acceptable to release your own sales or other statistics to the local newspaper, you may get more media attention if that information comes from an industry-related group, organization, or publication, such as Real Trends. For example:
 REMAX Ocean Realty Ranks In Top 500
Real Trends, Inc., a national publishing and communications company that provides news, research and information-based services to the real estate industry, listed RE/MAX Ocean Realty as a Top 500 broker in the U.S. for 2005 based on sales volume. This is the third consecutive year RE/MAX has received this distinction, and is the only Outer Banks real estate firm included in the Top 500.
Outer Banks Sentinel
Aug. 19, 2006
Nags Heads, NC
News Hook: Ride Another’s Coattails
Fame and Fries
Diane Carpenter isn’t so hot on McDonald’s. But the Santa Rosa real estate agent adores the TV commercial wherein a handsome young [McDonald’s] customer tosses so much change into a can on a bookshelf that the shelf collapses. The fellow is Diane’s son….”
Press Democrat
July 9, 2006
Santa Rosa, Calif.
Advice and Insights: Most of the examples in this series of columns are about the publicity real estate professionals have received about their activities, accomplishments, or expertise.
Occasionally, however, there may be opportunities for the media to do stories about you simply because of your relationship to someone else. Sometime, the news angle or story angle may be about a part of your life that has nothing to do with real estate.
Since these “coattail” stories will usually have limited interest to local news organizations, it is not always necessary to prepare or distribute a full-blown news releases about your role or relationship to something or someone else.
Instead, all you may need to do is simply contact the news editor, tell him or her about the story angle, and ask which reporter or columnist might be interested in doing a story about it. If interested, the journalist will likely want to do a phone interview with you to get the information they need for the story.
News Hook: Make Predictions or Forecasts
Columbia Housing Market Overbuilt
Columbia has too many new homes on the market, which some builders and Realtors say might force anxious builders to cut prices.…Realtor Carl Freiling, who mainly works in Ashland and southern Boone County, said the problem there only began around late May.…He predicts that, like Columbia, the number of new home permits will decline and buyers will return. “At a certain point, folks get over their jitters,” Freiling said. “It will take a matter of months, not years.”
Columbia Missourian
Aug. 7, 2006
Columbia, Mo.
Advice and Insights: Although reporters will not make their own predictions about real estate trends or developments in the stories they write, they will often include forecasts that are made by real estate professionals. If you are sure that your crystal ball is in working order, then sharing your predictions with the local real estate reporter can be an effective way to generate the publicity you want.
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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