MAY 12, 2018
Every year, we take on the exciting task of creating and executing PR plans for our clients attending ICSC RECon. As the world’s largest global gathering of retail real estate professionals, RECon provides a tremendous opportunity to tell our clients’ stories in front of key audiences.
Consider this, almost every major real estate trade publication covers the event, including National Real Estate Investor, Bisnow, Shopping Center Business, Shopping Centers Today, The Real Deal Magazine, RE Business Online, Chain Store Age and CoStar. Dozens of journalists attend the event looking for new stories, including those from national outlets like The Wall Street Journal. Additionally, the social media reach is huge. ICSC has 45,400+ followers on Twitter alone and its RECon handle has 18,900+ followers. ICSC often retweets company news released around the conference.
With these opportunities in mind, we generate results for our clients by implementing RECon-focused PR plans that are strategic and multifaceted. This includes securing pre-event coverage that gets people talking about our clients before they land in Vegas, placing coverage in trade publications being distributed on the convention floor, scheduling interviews with journalists at the show and making preparations to release news during the event. It also includes executing a smart social strategy that amplifies all of this coverage, drives traffic to our clients’ booths and engages with the online ICSC community.
Here’s an example of how we are ensuring one of our clients, Columbia Development, is generating maximum excitement at RECon around Fenton, a 92-acre mixed-use project in Cary, North Carolina.
ICSC Case Study: Columbia Development and Fenton
To generate pre-convention buzz, we secured coverage of Fenton in the March edition of Southeast Real Estate Business. We placed a bylined article by Columbia Development’s Raleigh-based partner Abbitt Goodwin, titled “3 Reasons Why Mixed-Use is the New Office,” in Commercial Property Executive in early April. We also made sure Fenton was featured in Shopping Center Business’s April 26 e-newsletter as one of the new developments its editorial team is looking forward to discovering at RECon.
Next, we secured a story in the May issue of Shopping Center Business about Fenton and the changes it will bring to the Triangle region. This RECon-focused issue is the most read issue of the year and is distributed on the floor at the convention.
Columbia Development partnered with Imbibe, a brand design firm, to create a revolutionary augmented reality (AR) booth experience that will be unveiled at the conference. As a first-time exhibitor, the team is thrilled to present an immersive 800-square-foot AR exhibit that allows visitors to experience Fenton before any dirt has been turned on the property. Coverage of this technology and its potential impact on the CRE industry is included in the May edition of Shopping Centers Today, also to be distributed at the conference.
With pre-event coverage checked off the list, our focus turned to arranging media meet-and-greets on the conference floor. We reviewed the list of attending media and arranged for Ron Pfohl, partner and director of leasing for Columbia Development, to meet with the commercial real estate editor of Chain Store Age. Looking forward to that interview!
Our team also worked with Dotan Zuckerman, partner and VP of leasing for Columbia Development, to share his thoughts on the future of retail with a national reporter for Globe St. This expert commentary will be used as part of Globe St.’s coverage of the convention. Finally, we arranged for a reporter from Shopping Centers Today to tour Columbia Development’s AR booth at RECon. Coverage of the booth experience will be included in Shopping Centers Today’s RECon newsletter, which is delivered to nearly 80,000 subscribers.
Our social and digital strategy rounds out our RECon PR plan. We designed custom graphics promoting our client’s booth number at the conference, shared photos teasing the launch of Columbia Development’s AR technology and began engaging with ICSC’s online community through hashtags, tagging and retweeting. We also launched an e-newsletter promoting Columbia Development’s presence at the event and inviting individuals on the email list to stop by the company’s booth. At the conference, we will share live tweets and continue to amplify news coverage of Fenton across social platforms.
Vegas, here we come.
After five months of planning and pitching, we are proud of the results generated for Columbia Development and all of our clients attending this year’s conference. We will have a dozen clients at RECon, each with its own PR program. Three Wilbert team members (president Caroline Wilbert, VP Liana Moran and VP Sarah Weston) will attend, facilitating media interviews and providing additional PR support. They’d love to say hello if you are out there.
The Wilbert Group
1718 Peachtree Street, Suite 1048
Atlanta, GA 30309
404 748 1250