Public Relations: Under the radar? Okay, but… - by Harry Zlokower

March 20, 2018 - Front Section

“I want to stay under the radar,” a comment I sometimes hear from real estate professionals when discussing marketing and media, goes counter to strategies that fuel real estate relationships, reputations and ultimately transactions, all of which require a good degree of information and communication, if not promotion, to create and sustain success. In fact many real estate professionals and companies thrive on the visibility and brand awareness that “under the radar” folks seem to go out of their way to avoid.

While keeping quiet may enable skillful brokers and investors to accomplish deals in secrecy and reduce the risk of losing key employees, many real estate players demonstrate convincingly that the advantages of being out there greatly outweigh the disadvantages when given the choice of whether to publicize or not to publicize. They cite calls and emails after having been quoted in major publications or following the write-up of a deal in the media and will proudly refer you to their website chronicling their media coverage over a sustained time period. 

So who is right? The answer favors some form of visibility and brand-building, even if your approach relies on care and discretion. If you have rarely or never been in media, there are discreet means to gain coverage such as press release on the opening of the company, new hire, or closing of a deal you brokered or were part of. Opportunities in the media that do not require risky interviews are giving advice or opinions that you can author yourself or profiles of you or your firm that are upbeat and often run as regular features. If you are a real estate player who has been “under the radar,” now may be the time to give the media a try. It will be well worth the effort. 

Harry Zlokower is president of Zlokower Co., a real estate public relations firm, and past president of the New York Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, New York, N.Y.

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