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Thu 11 Jan 2018 02:08 PM

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2018 Predictions: Tariq Al Sharabi, managing director, Cicero & Bernay

Media: PR will be more relevant than ever in real estate

2018 Predictions: Tariq Al Sharabi, managing director, Cicero & Bernay
Selling the dream: good PR is crucial to the success of real estate sales

Until 2002, when the Dubai property boom took off, UAE newspapers read like property brochures. Property demand back then far outstripped supply, and real estate communication was basic, focusing on above the line print and billboard advertising. Brand awareness and call to actions were sufficient to secure sales. Public relations (PR) played second fiddle to advertising, with simple, periodic releases and launches that were little more than media ‘meet and greets’.

Things are now dramatically different. Abundant property supply, and information at their fingertips, has put buyers in the driver’s seat. Increased competition among developers now sees budgets allocate a fair amount to PR despite a shrinking marketing mix.

Why? Because PR now encompasses the entire customer real estate journey. Through the multiplication of touch points and digital platforms, PR now moves people from awareness to interest, intent and action, generating returns on investment (ROI) and impacting bottom lines.

A press release simply cannot connect with 200 nationalities. In a multi-cultural city like Dubai, deep research and planning, and custom-made, targeted communication strategies that resonate, can–particularly through digital mediums.

Beyond print, digital platforms, experiential activations and even influencer engagement allow PR to craft tactics, and measure success, at each step of the consumer journey. This has made PR deliver real results for real estate.