Growth of earned
Over the last several years, the mall industry has been heavily scrutinized, with news headlines claiming a “retail apocalypse” and the “death of the mall.” But PREIT—a retail real estate investment trust—was undergoing a significant transformation to strengthen its portfolio. They wanted to change the media conversation and demonstrate that shopping malls and the retail industry were still thriving.
PREIT set forth an ambitious plan to reshape its portfolio and redefine the concept of a mall. The company engaged Brownstein for a public relations program to help communicate the results of its ambitious strategy and manage its reputation in a media environment rife with a negative attitude toward the mall industry.
To help shift the media rhetoric around malls, Brownstein led a strong media relations program for PREIT designed to elevate its national media presence with business and retail press. Over four years, Brownstein fostered relationships with key reporters at The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Bloomberg, and several other top-tier outlets and trade publications such as National Real Estate Investor, GlobeSt.com, and Real Estate Forum. Through a consistent and proactive communications strategy, Brownstein helped not only promote PREIT’s milestones but underscore the retail industry’s continued evolution.
With a fast-moving industry like retail, media relations may require a real-time strategy and response. And Brownstein has been equipped to turn hot topics into positive stories through rapid outreach. When producers from The TODAY Show and NBC Nightly News reached out for a human-interest holiday shopping story, Brownstein swiftly responded and arranged a series of segments that shone a positive light on PREIT right before the busiest retail season of the year.
Other timely national media opportunities included a segment on the rise of fitness in malls, airing at the start of the new year; stories on the return of the teenager shopper at malls, following a national CBRE report; and a feature on malls making a comeback, highlighting PREIT’s newest property—Fashion District Philadelphia.
Over four years, Brownstein has secured more than 860 national, regional, and trade media placements. After the first year of collaboration, we grew earned media impressions by 50% due to cultivating relationships and securing national stories on CNBC.com, Closing Bell, Bloomberg.com, and The Wall Street Journal.
But it’s not just the quantity of media stories that made an impact. 73% of coverage included PREIT in the headline or first three paragraphs, while 61% had a quote from a company spokesperson.
While supporting the opening of PREIT’s Fashion District Philadelphia, Brownstein secured 378 placements and 35 million impressions in a year and a half. In the 10 days around opening alone, PR efforts resulted in 132 media placements, helping drive 150,000 visitors to The District over the four-day opening weekend and three million visitors to date.