Our client RE/MAX INTEGRA, New England invited Solomon McCown to present at their RECHARGE networking and educational event, recently held in Boston. The name of our breakout session was It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It. The reality is that both are important; that is, having key messages that resonate and providing keen insight while, at the same time, presenting that content in an energetic, confident and dynamic manner.

We opened up our session by talking about how and where to communicate with one’s key audiences. For real estate agents and brokers in attendance, that includes current and prospective clients, the community at large, their fellow RE/MAX agents, and the media. To ensure they reach all of these groups, we urged them to employ the PESO media model (Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned) to build or enhance their brand and to maximize exposure.

In addition to providing some social media Do’s and Don’ts, a large part of our talk focused on Earned Media, otherwise known as Public Relations. This is, after all, the piece of the PESO formula that is believed to the most cost-effective and most easily builds credibility. That’s because you’re not paying for exposure or sharing your own content. Instead, someone else (a trusted reporter) is providing you with heightened visibility: a highly effective form of third party validation.

A quote in an industry or trend story is invaluable because it positions the individual quoted as a subject matter expert. Consider: if a story was about RE/MAX, you would expect to hear from someone in the company. But if you were to see the RE/MAX name in a story about Boston real estate writ large, you would take special notice. That’s because the reporter could, theoretically, have spoken to any residential real estate agent in the city, and yet they chose to speak to a RE/MAX agent for his or her expertise.

Positioning yourself as a subject matter expert begins with outreach to reporters, whether over social media, email or the phone. However, always be prepared. Do your homework. Has the reporter ever been critical of your profession and any of its practices? Don’t assume all questions will be softballs, and prepare some key messages ahead of time around the subject of the interview. If you know you are going to be talking about two family homes being really hot in your neighborhood, for instance, prepare by talking to other agents or researching any data that can back up your theories.

It’s no secret that newsrooms have been shrinking and that journalists are being asked to do more with less. So that means relying on subject matter experts like yourselves more often so they can get stories written quickly and accurately. So, if you can establish a mutually beneficial relationship with a reporter, you can achieve the additional exposure you’re seeking while they gain an important source to call at a moment’s notice.

Thanks to RE/MAX for an engaging conversation!