growth of earned media impressions
Over the last several years, the mall industry has been under scrutiny – with headlines claiming the “retail apocalypse” and “death of the mall.” But PREIT – a retail real estate investment trust – was undergoing a major transformation to strengthen its portfolio, and in doing so, aimed to change the conversation and demonstrate that its malls, and the industry at large, are still thriving.
As PREIT set forth an ambitious plan to reshape its portfolio and redefine the concept of a mall, the company engaged Brownstein Group (BG) in a public relations program to help communicate the results of its ambitious strategy and manage its reputation in a media environment ripe with a negative attitude toward the mall industry.
To help shift the media rhetoric around malls, BG led robust media relations and a content development program. The goal was to not only tout the company’s achievements and commitment to elevating the shopper experience, but leverage them to shift retail industry perception closer to reality. BG fostered relationships with key reporters, securing coverage in The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, and Bloomberg – as well as trade coverage in National Real Estate Investor, GlobeSt., and Real Estate Forum. Through a consistent and proactive communications strategy, BG helped to not only promote PREIT’s milestones, but underscore the retail industry’s continued evolution.
With a fast-moving industry like retail, media relations often require a real-time strategy and response, and BG was equipped to turn hot topics into positive stories through rapid outreach. When producers from The TODAY Show and NBC Nightly News reached out to BG for a human-interest holiday shopping story, BG swiftly responded – arranging all needs in less than two days. Three segments ran before and on Thanksgiving, shining a positive light on PREIT right before the busiest retail season of the year. Even greater, they helped raise PREIT’s position at the national level, elevating the company’s strategy and reputation in the retail marketplace to new heights.
Over two and a half years, BG has secured more than 400 national, regional, and trade media placements – garnering nearly 63 million impressions. But it’s not just the quantity of media stories that made an impact – 64% of all coverage included more than two key messages for the brand, while 68% included a quote from a PREIT spokesperson. Further highlighting the strong quality of media results, 60% of coverage included a mention of PREIT in the headline or first three paragraphs.
After the first year of collaboration, BG grew earned media impressed by 50% as a result of cultivating relationships and securing national stories on CNBC.com, Closing Bell, Bloomberg.com, and in The Wall Street Journal. Additionally, the overall industry conversation has shifted to skew more neutral – demonstrating that the media narrative is indeed changing, just like the retail industry.