Case Studies

Blade, Preston Group
Birth of a Condo

The Challenge

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.

The Solution

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!

“given the goal is to generate momentum and interest in Blade, a bit of good press never hurts”.

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