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2010-04-14 18:22:39

Profit by Publicity: Successful News Hooks

We continue our review of the wide range of news hooks and story angles REALTORS® have used to help generate publicity, and what you can learn from their experience. Each week we feature examples of the news coverage they received, together with advice and insights about the publicity. Today we look at REALTORS® who conducted a survey or helped build homes for others in their community. To share your PR successes, please send examples to
Conduct a Study or Survey
Joining forces with Mom and Dad
The Washington Post
By Lynn Adler
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Many real estate agents are sensing an emerging trend of multiple generations living under the same roof, according to a national survey by Coldwell Banker.
Thirty-seven percent of the company's real estate agents polled in January said that in the past year, buyers were increasingly shopping for homes that fit more than one generation. Almost 70 percent of the agents said they expect that economic conditions will drive still greater demand for this type of housing over the next year.
"More buyers are pooling investments, considering bringing Mom and Dad into it," said Diann Patton, a Coldwell Banker agent in Grass Valley, Calif.
Advice and Insights: Every year newspapers, magazines, newsletters, and TV and radio stations report the results of the newest study or research project that has just been released by a company or organization on variety of topics.
 Reporters and columnists will often include in their stories the comments and observations of the organization’s officials about the significance, impact, or meaning of the report’s findings, conclusions, recommendations, or call for action.
The results of a newsworthy poll can provide a quick, easy, and legitimate news hook for reporters and columnists who usually will give proper credit to a REALTOR®, a real estate broker, or real estate company who commissioned the study in the first place. Often, the journalists will call the broker or company official to interview them about the results and include their comments in the story.
In addition to helping generate news coverage about your company, an opinion poll can be an excellent way to gather information you need to support or substantiate your credibility on an issue and gain valuable insights into what the public thinks on a given topic.
Before you commission a poll, however, make sure that:
·        The results are likely to be newsworthy.
·        The topic is relevant to your own areas of expertise.
There are several professional polling organizations—including online survey services—that can prepare and conduct an opinion poll for you or your real estate company.
Build Homes for the Needy 
Realtors Build House for Katrina Victims
Other days they sell homes, but on Oct. 24 Realtors from the Pocono Mountains Association of Realtors joined forces to build a House in a Box with Habitat for Humanity. The nails connected more than walls. They linked Realtors from northeastern Pennsylvania with a family in Louisiana whose home was destroyed by flooding after Hurricane Katrina.
"The most memorable part of the day was seeing Realtors autographing the two-by-fours," said Broker Thomas R. Wilkins, president of Wilkins & Associates Real Estate, the largest real estate company in northeastern Pennsylvania, which sent 15 volunteers to the build.
Pocono Record
Nov. 4, 2006
Stroudsburg, Pa.
Advice and Insights: Although many news organizations are often criticized for reporting negative news, these same news outlets also do stories about groups, organizations, and companies that are working to help improve their communities.
Ironically, real estate agents and brokers across the country frequently donate their time, money, or efforts on behalf of a variety of important community projects, but fail to let the media know about these efforts.
Telling the media about what you are doing to help others in the community can be an effective way to generate publicity about yourself or your real estate company.    
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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