How to Get Your Apartment Community in the Media
As a seasoned multifamily professional, you know that getting your apartment community covered by the local media can be an incredible way to drum up regional business.
The hard part is pinpointing exactly why your apartment community deserves thirty seconds in the spotlight in the first place. As unintuitive as it may sound, your community doesn’t need headline-breaking news stories in order to get covered by the local press. Instead, there are tons of other ways that you can leverage seemingly everyday activities at your community and turn them into something newsworthy (and no, you don’t need a PR pro to land great coverage!).
Here’s the scoop on how to land great local media coverage at your property:
CALLING ALL CONTRIBUTING WRITERS!
Let’s face it: Landing a 1,000-word story about your business on the front page of the The New York Times – let alone your local newspaper – is pretty tough to pull off. However, it's relatively easy to get your community featured in the local media by becoming a contributing writer to local publications.
To start, research which publications cover home or apartment-related topics – you don’t need to find a publication that specifically focuses on managing apartments. From there, check out whether the publication will accept contributing writers. If they do, define what kind of topics you’re interested in writing about – and why you’re uniquely qualified to speak to them. Maybe you’ll write a piece on how to declutter your apartment or how to design your apartment on a budget.
Pro-tip: Be sure to follow contributor guidelines! If the publication sets a strict 500-word limit for all guest articles, stick to it!
YES, PODCASTS ARE STILL ALIVE
Believe it or not, but podcasts are still in, and they can be an awesome outlet to promote your brand. Why? Most podcasts take a “deep dive” into one particular topic – let’s say, “How to Manage Your Apartment Finances.”
While a feature in the local paper may give you a 300-word sound bite, podcast hosts will often feature particular individuals or businesses for a 15- to 30-minute spotlight. This will give you ample time to front-load your message and present your business.
To start, research which podcasts are most closely aligned with apartment-related topics and craft your pitch accordingly.
RESIDENTS SAY THE DARNEDEST THINGS
Secret media tip – reporters love writing about survey findings!
With your residents’ permission, conduct a resident survey, and share your results with local media outlets. The press loves working with the cold, hard data and repurposing it for all kinds of articles (after all, it’s what gives their content credibility!).
You can poll your residents on all kinds of topics related to apartment living. For example, have all your new residents who are moving in fill out the survey, and ask first impression questions about what they think about the area. The media will eat it right up!
BECAUSE FEEL-GOOD STORIES ALWAYS WIN
The media loves covering feel-good stories about how local business engage with the surrounding community.
Chances are that your property is involved with some type of community outreach or community engagement efforts, like the annual coat drive that you host every December. If your apartment community is hosting an upcoming event or charity drive, contact local media outlets, and ask them whether they’d consider mentioning your company in the local press. While your bottom line is obviously to help others, it never hurts to share how your property and your residents are engaging with the surrounding community.
So – we’ll be the first to admit that absolutely incredible press coverage isn’t going to happen overnight. However, there are a number of outside-the-box strategies that you can leverage (see above!) to get covered by the media. Use these tips as a starting point, and don’t be afraid to get creative!
I'm a previous member of the Updater marketing team. A lover of all things coffee- and gardening-related, you can find me in pursuit of the best cup of coffee, or otherwise attempting to grow tomatoes off the fire escape in my tiny Brooklyn apartment.