With an abundance of unique and compelling storylines, the challenge for Brandon Communications was to create an impactful launch strategy that delivered maximum exposure, while coordinating a strategic, long-term program that ensured extensive media coverage up to, and long after, the project’s launch.
The client’s strategy was to introduce AURA to the public three months prior to Opening, thereby building a massive pre-registration list, intense hype and fervent anticipation.
Brandon immediately identified the most compelling angles for the launch and best strategy to convey them; a Friday morning media conference was planned for the penthouse of an existing tower on site. More than 50 print and broadcast media attended the conference and the coverage was overwhelming.
While this was the first occasion media had to learn about AURA and it resulted in two weeks of intense media coverage, much of the launch strategy’s early success lies in the decision to offer the Star’s Condos section an ‘exclusive’.
Media materials were prepared weeks in advance and shared with the Star pre-emptively, in exchange for a guaranteed cover position.
By scheduling the conference for the Friday prior to its publication, the Star was the only real estate section with a feature story, while general news and business reporters were also able to file in time for the following day, creating a high level of media saturation on Saturday.
Unable to file without the early notice, the weekly real estate sections at the Globe, Post, and Sun ‘caught up’ with features in the weeks following the Star cover story.
In the first seven days, Brandon’s media strategy resulted in almost a dozen news stories and multiple broadcast items. The extensive coverage also led to widespread chatter across various influential social media sites.
Another factor contributing to the story’s early media success was a decision to defer traditional housing messages (design, amenities, pricing) for thematic issues of urban planning and design, municipal and neighbourhood relations, height and density. This approach widened the media space available to the client and allowed the message to infiltrate non-traditional forums.
As the project approached its Grand Opening date and moved beyond, the PR strategy shifted to more traditional housing stories, and helped lead to more than 700 sales in the first 60 days.
Despite this early success, as Canada’s tallest tower, AURA boasts more than 900 units, and so Canderel Stoneridge relied on Brandon to keep the project relevant and top of mind for buyers throughout the year. From stories about its unique sprinkler systems, its approach to retail, or the site’s grand history, AURA has consistently stayed in the news.
Front page news book-ended the year for AURA as Toronto Star Condos made the development its cover story on November 16, 2007 (A New Aura…A New Era), and its cover story on November 8, 2008 (The Rebirth of a Depression Era Dream).
For the client, it was great start and fantastic finish to a very exciting year!
CHALLENGE: A new condo in a hyper-competitive neighbourhood needs to stand out. How does a developer create a sense of optimism in a marketplace fraught with negativity?
SOLUTION: Brandon created a strategic plan that looked at the PR challenges presented by the developers, as PR opportunities.
CHALLENGE: In a hyper-competitive residential real estate market, projects must have a compelling and unique story to tell.
SOLUTION: Lifetime Developments and CentreCourt Developments understand this, and as a result, their launch in 2012 of INDX proved to be one of the best stories of the year.
CHALLENGE: When a relatively new development company, with limited brand awareness, launches its “first” project it can be difficult to get attention in today’s hyper-competitive media marketplace.
SOLUTION: Brandon took its inspiration from the dream team of consultants client Henry Strasser and Phantom Developments selected for Jade’s architecture, interior design, marketing and sales.
CHALLENGE: When Lifetime and CentreCourt dubbed their new project Karma, it wasn’t just another name- it was a mission statement and an indication that the developers wanted to do, and say, something different…
SOLUTION: Brandon Communications managed an aggressive PR campaign for Karma that leveraged the project’s creative positioning, to deliver impactful and sustained print and broadcast coverage.
CHALLENGE: With mortgage rule changes, irrational fears of an investor driven market and increasingly negative headlines about the housing industry, Toronto’s condo market saw a significant cooling off in the middle of last year and a corresponding erosion in consumer confidence.
SOLUTION: Brandon Communications put in place a strategy that leveraged the project’s existing high levels of brand awareness to recalibrate the significance of its anticipated opening.
The Challenge:Liberty Development turned to Brandon Communications to tell the story of the GTA’s largest single phased mixed-use development because they were looking for results that were out of this world… fitting since the developer and their marketing team branded the project World on Yonge.
The Solution: In just over a year, Brandon’s focused media relations and community relations program helped build awareness and comprehension with local ratepayers…