By Evelyn Weiss Francisco, vice president, Caryl Communications
A reporter from a top real estate publication is writing a piece on your recent transaction or a service your firm is about to launch.
Opportunity is knocking — and so (maybe) are your knees. No need to worry! Here are some proven tips for success every time you interact with the media.
When you have advance notice of an interview, practice the Boy Scout motto and prepare.
For example, if the reporter is interested in a commercial real estate transaction, the first step is to get approval from the client and key decision makers at your firm that you are at liberty to discuss the deal.
Once that is confirmed, gather all of the key figures on the transaction, including purchase price and square footage of the property.
Advance notice also enables you to work on conveying a clear message on why this transaction should garner press. To do that, ask yourself some of the following questions:
• What makes this transaction significant and/or unique?
• What are the trends in this specific sector of the market and/or region?
• Does your firm expect to complete additional deals within this sector or region in the short-term that you can discuss? (Again, confirm that you are at liberty to talk about other transactions.)
• Are photos of the property or renderings available to send the reporter?
Golden Rules for Media Success
All of your advance preparation is sure to serve you well. Here are some final “do’s and don’ts” to remember each time you interact with members of the media:
• Be courteous and diplomatic
• Stick to facts
• Help the reporter — suggest sources if you do not have all of the information
• Compromise the confidentiality of a client
• Say “no comment”
If your company has a marketing department or works with a PR firm, be sure to let them know that a member of the media has reached out to you.
They will assist you in preparing for an interview and also will directly work with the media on your behalf, helping to ensure that the process runs smoothly and, most importantly, that you and your firm are positioned properly.