Property is integral to the UK economy. It’s a sector that people feel strongly about, which is not surprising given the role property plays all our lives. But it’s more than just house prices. The reality is that the sector comprises a range of sub-sectors, from architecture and sustainability through to property management and regulation, with an awful lot in between. Property can encompass many different things to different people, from residential to commercial to retail property, not to mention logistics and investment.
Sapience is a leading property PR agency with several longstanding clients in the sector. We offer a range of services that help clients showcase their services and expertise, getting them quality exposure with their core audiences. It means understanding the complexities of their business, articulating their value proposition in a very cluttered and competitive market, and then developing the appropriate property PR strategy to meet their objectives.
More broadly, we seek to work with businesses, which like ourselves share a strong sense of purpose and look beyond purely commercial returns to the positive impact they can have on society and the environment.
“Sapience Communications has supported our business sectors with thoughtful, powerful and timely communications. It is a smart business made up of smart people.”
Kirk Taylor, Head of Business Development, Kajima
We are property PR specialists offering a full range services, in particular content development and thought leadership. We convert research into insightful readable content that will interest media and connect with audiences. We also understand the importance of keeping our clients’ spokespeople on the media radar in case expert comment is needed on an issue.
We put emphasis on the need to be nimble, responsive and completely focused on delivering the right outcomes for our clients. Our achievements and long-standing relationships with companies in the property sector positions Sapience as one of the UK’s leading property public relations firms. Our strong tech sector experience also means that we are a leading London PR agency for proptech.
We have carefully selected a team whose skills and insight reflect the challenges our clients face. Our directors include senior business figures with a wealth of experience from across listed companies, financial institutions and entrepreneurial tech firms.
The Sapience property sector PR team brings deep experience of strategic planning, event management, crisis & issues management, messaging, advocacy, media counsel and the full suite of content creation from tweets, blogs, speeches and video to by-lines, press releases and white papers. We deliver this content to targeted audiences through paid, earned, shared and owned media channels.
As a leading property sector PR agency, we work with clients on both short-term projects lasting a few months and long-term retainer work. Either way, our approach is always to start with the overarching strategy. We frame the work within that strategy to ensure consistency of message and focus, and to achieve the desired strategic objectives.
Much of the work we do for property sector clients centres on thought leadership, content development and media relations. We also deliver bespoke work on messaging, advocacy and media training, along with news hijacking and seeding stories with relevant media. An important part of the work we do is ongoing media liaison through which we can position our clients as the go-to sources for journalists, and in turn enhance their media profile. We know from experience that new design and technology will often trigger media interest – but the trick is to tell these stories in clear, concise, compelling and culturally relevant ways.
Building good relations between property clients and the media is therefore a very important part of our role. Property is a sector where unexpected issues can arise very quickly. We believe that having good existing media relationships is an important part of mitigating risk. Alongside that, however, we make it our job to stay on top of the industry trends, regulation and other issues, and keep our clients informed.
The profile of clients obviously varies so their needs vary, but broadly speaking, the Sapience approach is to build awareness among target audiences to create familiarity that leads to acceptance, then adoption.
The Property Sector Landscape
The UK property sector is hotbed of new technology, innovative architecture and creative planning for urban development. Use of renewable energy, housing with zero-carbon emissions, community-friendly design and sophisticated new proptech have all come to the fore in recent years. All have helped to improve the quality of living- and work-spaces in environmentally sustainable ways.
Proptech is increasingly visible in property management, design, space efficiency, buying and selling, finance and many other areas of the sector. There are numerous start-ups and more established proptech companies, many focusing on very niche areas. It is a highly competitive and world-class area of entrepreneurial tech – lot’s going on and lot’s to talk about.
The property sector in the UK is also evolving as the market and regulators adapt to new consumer expectations. Lifestyles are changing as more flexible working arrangements are put in place by employers. ESG commitments and sustainability goals have become important factors in the sector for investors, designers, developers and homeowners alike. The sector might be one of the oldest in many ways, but it is very much at the forefront of today’s economy.
Sapience has extensive experience public relations for the property sector, across all parts of the industry from bricks and mortar to proptech to alternative investments. The longevity of our client relationships says a lot about our ability to deliver high quality work on a consistent basis.
We sit down with our clients to understand their exact needs and price transparently, based on the amount of time and the number of Sapience team members required to get the job done.
Property PR tends to achieve better results when focused on thought leadership, advisory and content generation work. The best thought leadership is often based on proprietary research or surveys on specific areas making it particularly valuable and newsworthy. In our experience, there is real appetite for insightful property news and information.
Strategic planning generally starts with messaging – what does the company stand for or represent, what is its offering, what is distinctive about it and what sort of proof points does it have to support its message? Into the planning would be built target markets and audiences, along with a clear sense of what are the objectives of the client. It’s wise to do a perception audit to get a clear of idea where the company stands in the market, as this will be a useful measure of performance. Important for the PR agency would be clearly defined deliverables, another measure of performance. There would also be a need to meet with the spokespeople and determine what training, if any, is needed. There may be a need to review existing branding also.
It’s important to agree ways to measure performance at the outset. Generally, they would include metrics such as the volume of coverage, with a breakdown by relevance, tone and share of voice versus competitors, but also the quality of where coverage appears and who it is seen by.
A shorter project would typically be about three months. But a campaign can easily be multi-year. A retainer programme will typically yield the best results. It comes down to scope, vision, territories covered, budget etc.
Absolutely. Press releases remain a very effective way to reach large audiences and get to the top of search engines. Media appetite for press releases varies in different geographies, but they are useful statements for the record, can be a source of blogs, tweets, WeChat posts, and they can also be readily translated.
While online channels are clearly very important, a good PR campaign would take a more holistic approach to include speaking events, media briefings, thought leadership programmes, exhibitions, face-to-face interviews, television etc. Depending on the nature of the campaign, there may be a need for advertising or sponsorship, a media tour or a press conference, or some other activity.
An ongoing programme will likely prove both cost effective and more effective in getting results. The need for know-how and continuity with a client’s communications are important to stay on top of the company’s news, thought leadership, personnel changes and other developments. But PR activities typically also extend to media monitoring about the company and about the industry which is important for flagging potential problems that need to be addressed or managed. Awareness of the latest regulation is also very important in the property sector. This is another reason a property firm would ideally have a long-term retainer agreement with its PR agency.
To ensure the client’s message is delivered accurately and in a compelling way to its key audiences. The role is also to protect and enhance the reputation of the client.
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