In today’s crowded condo market, getting high profile, strategic exposure with key media is the foundation of any successful public relations program. In 2009, developments boasting star architects, celebrity designers and prime locations across downtown Toronto competed with each other for the media’s eye.
With a multitude of projects launching and struggling for occasional media “mentions”, a single condo tower (Blade), from a builder launching its first high rise (Preston Group), in a suburban market on the fringes of the GTA (Brampton) needed to catch major media attention to stand out in a crowded market.
It was the vision and creativity of its PR firm (Brandon Communications) that got this project hundreds of thousands of dollars in PR value for a unique pitch.
The pitch: an exclusive series in the Star’s Homes section called Birth of a Condo that resulted in a series of five front page stories over six months that tracked Blade, from concept to launch.
With stories that focused on the condo’s approval and application process; its architecture and design; the marketing and PR programs; sales strategy; and launch, each article was prominently placed on the front page and timed to correspond with milestones in the launch program- creating unsurpassed awareness for the project.
These articles reinforced the strategic messaging Brandon created, that were based on the razor sharp sales insights and understanding of buyer-behaviour provided by In2ition Realty, as well as the evocative, creative and multilayered marketing campaign directed by the team at G Ryan Design.
With a dense catalogue of messages which included Blade’s prime location in the heart of downtown Brampton; its proximity to public transit; and, its unique heritage story as the site of the former Dominion Skate factory, Brandon weaved these story lines with product specific messages about design, affordability and livability, making Blade one of 2009’s most compelling- and sustained- real estate media stories.
Although Birth of a Condo offered unmatched exposure and understanding of the product, Blade’s communications team wasn’t satisfied.
Operating concurrently with the Toronto Star series, Brandon created a robust media relations program that secured additional exposure in the other major Toronto-based dailies; delivered ample editorial coverage in targeted consumer trade publications; achieved strategic exposure with local media; and created a communications program that targeted select ethnic communities using radio and print campaigns.
But a strategic PR program today is more that mere media relations, and the Blade program was supported by a variety of grassroots PR initiatives at the project’s Presentation Centre.
There, in a dynamic space created by G Ryan, Brandon produced a series of PR events- including high end broker-targeted cocktail parties, VIP celebrations and purchaser ‘grand openings- served to reinforce the project’s carefully constructed messaging and helped tell Blade’s story.
In a recent installment of its series, the Star wrote (with some understatement) that “given the goal is to generate momentum and interest in Blade, a bit of good press never hurts”. In fact, once could argue that given the amount of high profile media attention Blade has received, its “good press” has been its biggest help!
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…