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Reputation Management

Investing in professional development and continuing education is critical for professionals who want to enhance their skills. It’s also a necessity for better client service. This belief reminds me of a favorite and well-known quotation from poet William Butler Yeats: “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” To me, this quotation captures that education isn’t static. It’s not something that stops when school ends. Education is a life-long effort and one that requires ongoing work. As professionals, we have a variety of professional development and educational opportunities available to us, especially in the form of professional certifications. Whether working at an agency and serving clients externally or in-house and collaborating with internal stakeholders, professional certifications showcase your commitment to your profession and demonstrate that you continue to hone and refine your craft, which in turn benefits internal and external clients.

It’s only February and 2017 has already been a wild year for marketing professionals! From fake news to ongoing disruptions in how people consume information, the communications landscape remains challenging. Despite the many hurdles, opportunities abound and there are exciting new ways to reach your target audience in an engaging manner. But, what really works and how do you manage it?

newsWhen the term crisis is used, one thinks almost immediately of a negative situation or scenario. An oil spill, fraud, and internal scandals are all good examples of crises. As many PR and communications professionals understand, a crisis calls for a specific and unique plan. Whether in the pre-crisis, crisis, or post-crisis phase, there are targeted strategies that organizations rely on. The Institute for Public Relations has one of the best primers on crisis management and communications available.  The strategies and tactics outlined are based on best practices and thorough research. However, I don’t believe they’re limited to traditional crisis situations. In fact, any time your organization has a highly public project, especially if it involves local officials, you should leverage lessons from crisis communications. This is especially true in terms of real estate PR.

Welcome back to the final post in our three-part series on thought leadership PR! With this final installment, we’ll explore how to leverage your PR results as much as possible and repurpose them for other thought leadership and business development opportunities. For a recap on what we’ve covered already, take a look at our first installment on finding thought leadership opportunities and our second installment on conducting thought leadership PR outreach.

Welcome back to our three-part series on thought leadership PR! In this post, we’ll take a look at what happens after you’ve identified your area of expertise. The key question at this stage is how to promote your thought leadership and secure PR opportunities. For a recap on what we’ve covered already, take a look at our previous blog post on finding thought leadership opportunities.

The fact is that property owners and developers rarely like engaging the public for their input during a project. The rationale is that the community at large does not understand the nuances that go into financing deals. This is very true. However, there is something to be said for engagement with the public on projects where rezoning is needed, parking or ingress/egress is impacted, or a variety of other factors are at play. This engagement does not start at the Planning Commission phase, true engagement means being more proactive.

Are you prepared for a crisis to hit your organization? This is question is less about if a crisis will hit and more about when a crisis will emerge. Whether the result of a natural disaster (i.e., hurricane), human error (Comcast’s now infamous “customer service” call), or something more nefarious (i.e., data security breach), every organization and company will face crises. You may have the necessary insurance and some operational contingencies, but too often the communications side of a crisis is ignored. The organizations that don’t address crisis communications do so at their own peril. As countless examples demonstrate, how a company responds to a crisis could have a more significant impact on its bottom line than the crisis itself.

For years, when working on a real estate or transportation project, the developer or public entity leading the project was often seen front-and-center. This is still the case in many developments, but increasingly the architect, engineering firm, or construction company is finding itself in the public spotlight. Those types of firms have not traditionally invested in community relations programs. As players behind the scenes, they weren’t called on for significant interaction with the public and key other constituencies. All of that has changed in the wake of the Great Recession and the return of large-scale public projects, especially in the transportation sector. As A/C/E firms become more central players — and often pointed at as the scapegoat when a projects takes a bad turn — community relations and external communications should take greater priority.

As anyone who is involved in the real estate or A/C/E industries know, a project – no matter what the size – involves a variety of moving pieces. It takes skill and a great deal of planning to effectively execute and construct a public or private building, transportation project, etc. One thing that has added to that complexity is public involvement. Since the start of the Great Recession, hundreds of projects across the Commonwealth have been stymied due to an influx of interest in real estate projects. From apartment buildings to major mixed-use communities, everything that seems to come to the table nowadays is subject to scrutiny.