The Wilbert Group Blog

Posts tagged journalists

Covering Atlanta: After The Fact


by Suong Nguyen

At our Covering Atlanta breakfast yesterday, we asked the city’s top journalists to weigh in on everything Atlanta (and even Woodstock). Big thanks to our host, the Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta, and Melissa Long from 11 Alive, The New York Times’ Richard Fausset, Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Bert Roughton, Anita Sharpe from Bloomberg, and Steve Fennessy from Atlanta Magazine for making this event a success. Check out #CoveringAtlanta on social media and our SlideShare below to see what our panelists had to say about the November elections, Atlanta’s commercial real estate scene, media’s changing landscape and more.

Five Media Relations Tips for Entrepreneurs


by Caroline Wilbert

Mark Cuban likes to tell entrepreneurs NOT to hire PR firms, that they can just do it themselves. It is one of the tips in his book, How to Win at the Sport of Business, and also something he blogs about.

Entrepreneur Mark Cuban, Getty Images

I both agree with him — and don’t. I do think entrepreneurs who have the time and instincts can generate some good press. Considering the fact that most startups are on tight budgets, it often makes sense for entrepreneurs to give it a go. Of course, good PR people have media relationships, understand what a story is, know how to write a compelling press release and will create a comprehensive communications strategy to support an organization’s goals.

Most team members at The Wilbert Group have worked as journalists, and there’s really no way to replicate the understanding and the network that comes from years spent in newsrooms.

But for those entrepreneurs who are not yet ready to hire professional PR help, here are my five media relations tips:

#1 Read carefully the media outlets you plan to pitch. Figure out what kinds of things they typically cover. If you read enough stories by a particular journalist, you can figure out what he or she considers interesting and/or newsworthy.

#2 Try to think objectively about what makes your company interesting. Maybe you just landed a $5 million customer deal and that is a game-changer for your tech startup. However, just because something is big for your company’s bottom line doesn’t mean the media will care.

#3 Ask a journalist to lunch or coffee. Build a relationship. Introduce him to others in the startup world. Be willing to give before you get.

#4 Stop speaking in jargon. Think about how you would explain your business to someone at a cocktail party, or to your mother. That’s the kind of language you should use in a press release and a media pitch. This is particularly important, and perhaps difficult, for techie startups.

#5 Use social media as a tool for traditional media relations. Twitter is a great way to build relationships with journalists. Follow them. Retweet them. Engage with them. Once you land a story, post it on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, increasing the reach and impact of the hit.

And as for Mark Cuban, while he may not be encouraging people to hire me, I am still a fan. I never miss Shark Tank!

NAREE Recap: Day One


by Stephen Ursery

The National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE) is holding its 47th Annual Spring Journalism Conference here at the Hilton Atlanta this week, and The Wilbert Group is there in force. In addition to our clients participating on numerous panels and hosting several high-profile events throughout the week, The Wilbert Group is providing pro bono communications for the conference and President Tony Wilbert is co-chair of the Host Committee.

In the spirit of the High Five blog, here are five quick blurbs about the sights and sounds of the show thus far:

#1 Taking Them Out to the Ballgame. About 30 real estate journalists and industry members took in the Atlanta Braves’ extra-inning win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night. A blazing summer sun and some good ‘ole Southern humidity made the first few innings something less than completely comfortable, but according to our sources, the group from NAREE was feeling a lot better after a frosty beverage or two and the much-anticipated sunset.

Our sources also can confirm that France Media Editor Matt Valley provided extensive analysis of the Braves’ season so far on the post-game shuttle ride back to the Hilton.

Those in attendance included Ralph Bivins of Realty News Report, Harold Bubil of the Sarasota Harold-Tribune, Michael Bull of Bull Realty, Sue Doerfler of the Arizona Republic, Liz Gillespie of North American Properties, Daniel Taub of Bloomberg, Kristi Swartz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Scott Trubey of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, to name just a few.

#2 Go West Young Man (And South. And East). In the “Top 10 Issues Facing Residential and Commercial Real Estate Over the Next Decade” session on Wednesday morning, Howard Gelbtuch, chair of the Counselors of Real Estate, pinpointed Brazil, China, India and Russia as countries poised for significant economic growth – and, thus, growing commercial real estate opportunities – in the coming years.

#3 Not Getting out of the House. Gelbtuch also noted that the trend of working from home will have a growing impact on the office sector. “This year, 30 percent of U.S. professionals chose to work from home, and this number is expected to skyrocket over the next several years,” he said.

So if you’re reading this from the den while on the company dime, you’re not alone.

#4 Urban is In. In the “The Workplace Debate: Downtown vs. Suburbs” session on Wednesday afternoon, the panelists made it clear that tenants now want to be in walkable urban environments to attract workers.

According to David Kitchens of Cooper Carry, 85 percent of the projects that the firm’s Washington D.C. office is working on are around a transit station or a planned transit station.

#5 Small is In, Too. Both the “Workplace” and the “Top 10” sessions touched on the shrinking size of much of commercial space. According to David Demarest of Jones Lang LaSalle, Gen Y workers simply don’t need a lot of square footage to put stuff. “Everything they need is in this (holding up iPad) or an iPhone” he said.

Likewise, many apartments that are less than 320 square feet are being sold in New York City, Gelbtuch noted.

Five Ways To Get Involved With NAREE If You’re Not Attending


by Jamie Lewis

Next week kicks of the 47th Annual Real Estate Journalism Conference, hosted
by the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE). NAREE’s conference, titled “Designs on the New Urban Grid,” will bring some of the top journalists from around the country to Atlanta June 5 -8 to focus on housing, commercial real estate, and urban planning. If you’re unable to attend this year’s conference, have no fear! We’re taking to social media to document this year’s conference and make sure everyone can follow along with the panel discussions and Q&A sessions. Here are five ways you can get involved even if you’re not attending — or make sure you don’t miss a single thing even if you are there.

#1 Follow the official NAREE Twitter account: naree10. This is where we’ll be tweeting out information from the panels, answering questions, and sparking conversation about new and emerging trends in the real estate journalism industry. Keep an eye out on Twitter for instagram and vine videos too!

#2 Check the hashtag #NAREE13. We’re encouraging everyone who attends this year’s NAREE conference to tweet about panels and Q&A sessions and engage with other conference attendees by using the official hashtag, #NAREE13. Tracking and using the hashtag is a great way to follow along and engage with conference attendees and speakers.

#3 “Like” The Wilbert Group’s facebook page! Throughout the week, we’ll be sharing recap blogs and vlogs (video blogs) from NAREE.

#4 Get visual! Maybe Twitter isn’t your thing and you prefer a visual format. The Wilbert Group will be snapping lots of pictures — a great way to see your friends and colleagues in action — during the conference and posting them over on our Instagram account. The username is TheWilbertGroup. You can also track the #NAREE13 hashtag on Instagram, too!

#5 Don’t forget the videos. We’ll be recapping the conference in video format over on Youtube. Keep your eyes peeled for daily and weekly recap videos, and Vine videos. You never know what the camera will capture!

We’re looking forward to this year’s NAREE conference and hearing all about trends in real estate. We hope you’ll be tweeting and following along with us!

Five Tips for Social Media Effectiveness


by M.C. Rhodes

The Wilbert team learns about social media.

Yesterday at The Wilbert Group office, we all convened for a discussion, led by our resident social media guru Elizabeth, on the best social media practices for public relations.

Here are five interesting things I learned during Elizabeth’s presentation that will be effective in our social media campaigns:


#1 Google+ is growing in popularity. Last year, Google integrated its social media platform more heavily into its searches, skewing results toward Google+ content. For this reason, it’s important for brands to have a presence on Google+ for greater searchability. Update your brand’s Google+ page regularly with unique and interesting content for best results.

#2 Use SEO keywords. SEO is becoming increasingly important in getting your news seen online. Use keywords that your audience is likely to search. The New York Times learned this last year when it reported on the U.S. Airways flight that crashed into the Hudson River. The New York Times story on the crash featured a unique and clever headline, while the Los Angeles Times’ headline gained more hits by using highly searched keywords.

#3 Tag reporters on Twitter. The best way to increase engagement with reporters on Twitter is to tag them in tweets. If you’re tweeting a link to a great article, mention the reporter; it increases the chance the reporter will retweet you or respond, increasing your reach on Twitter.

#4 Don’t be too self promotional. Use your social media presence to create a voice for your brand and interact with other businesses (B-2-B) or your customers (B-2-C). Use blogs to establish your brand as an expert in its industry. Dell does this well with its Facebook page, dedicating its social media team to respond to concerns and questions from customers. It also uses the page to share tech news and tips.

#5 Post on Facebook at the top of the hour. Research shows Facebook users are most active at certain hours of the day. These are 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. Schedule Facebook posts for these times to get the most views of your news. But remember, you can always unschedule a Facebook post if breaking news occurs. You wouldn’t want to make a gaffe like when the American Rifleman accidently posted an insensitive tweet after the Colorado theater shooting.

Five Things I Learned while Traveling with a Veteran Travel Writer


by Hadley Creekmuir

Travel writer Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon on Grand Cayman.

Recently I had the pleasure of sharing a luxurious condo in Grand Cayman with Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon, a veteran travel writer and award-winning Caribbean travel expert.

While enjoying an early evening sunset from our balcony overlooking the beautiful Seven Mile Beach, I asked her to share some hard-earned travel wisdom from years on the road.  And of course my curiosity got the best of me and I just had to pick her brain about her favorite undiscovered, pristine Caribbean islands. Note: If you want to swim with pigs, go to the Exuma Cays, a 365-island chain within the Bahamas. But I digress…

In addition to the secret travel spots she shared, here are five things I learned while rooming with Sarah:

#1 Don’t put too much on the itinerary.  PR pros – that one’s for you. If you’re hosting a travel writer, as I was doing, do not fill the itinerary with too many activities. Journalists need that down time to experience the destination as a traveler would.

#2 Journalists = Photographers. In the digital era, journalists are as savvy with the camera as they are with the written word.

#3 Pack plenty of snacks.  You never know about local cuisine. And for PR pros, bringing along a few munchies for the reporters is always a good thing – hungry travelers are cranky travelers.

#4 Tip for journalists: Become an expert on one particular travel niche. Everyone with a camera and iPhone thinks they can be a travel writer.  So having a deep knowledge in one particular area will help differentiate you in the overly crowded travel industry. You could be the adventure travel guru or the Caribbean expert.

#5 Wi-Fi is as essential as air. If you have it and you charge for it, comp the journalist.

Five Favorite Articles in the new Mansions Section of the Wall Street Journal


By Hadley Creekmuir

As PR professionals, it’s our job to know the media landscape inside and out. So in September, when a reporter friend told me about a new real estate section in the Wall Street Journal, I was eager to learn more. And of course I was eager to get my hands on the first edition, especially since said friend is a writer for the Journal’s new special section.

Dubbed “MANSION,” the WSJ’s new weekly special section showcases global luxury real estate. The section contains the following features: The Market; House Call; Private Properties; Balance Sheet; Who Lives Here; Inside Story; Portfolio; Jumbo Jungle; The Trade; and Foreign Correspondent.

‪If you aspire to read about the glitz and glamour of the international real estate market, MANSION is like a dream. Topics range from house hoarders like Larry Ellison – did you know he owns 27 homes in Malibu? — to high-end equestrian properties, to the “antimountain” architects designing the ski home of the future. ‬

Thus far, here are my top five favorite stories, though I’m confident there will be many more.

I’m a pet lover, so I found the first two articles particularly fascinating. Who knew that built-in dining areas just for pets is the next hot design trend for our four-legged friends? Enjoy!

#1 Reigning Cats & Dogs
These days, design is not just for the two-legged residents. A new breed of pet furniture offers streamlined style, built-in features and bespoke finishes. For truly hard-core pet lovers: the en suite litter box, the dedicated dog bath and the $140,000 pet-friendly kitchen renovation.

#2 Pleasing the Neigh-Sayers
As the market for equestrian estates bounces back, brokers juggle the needs of two- and four-legged clients 

#3 The New Anti-Ski House
In ski-resort areas around the world, growing numbers of homeowners are shunning traditional chalet designs and erecting more modern, high-tech alternatives; banning logs and the antler chandelier 

#4 A Land Rush in Puerto Rico
Buyers of new homes on the island this year will pay no property taxes for five years. The result: a luxury building boom. Can Puerto Rico recapture its onetime glamour? 

#5 ‘Real Housewives’ Cast Member’s Home Sells for Almost $20 Million