In November, the Washington REALTORS® Association launched a comprehensive, multistage public relations campaign to promote REALTORS® throughout the state.
The total cost of the campaign, which includes the REALTOR® decals, a Facebook contest app, cash prizes, printing, advertising, and lunches, will be around $15,000, according to Steve Klaniecki, the association’s communications director.
Not All Real Estate Brokers are REALTORS®
To build consumer awareness about the difference between a REALTOR® and an agent who is not a REALTOR®, the association is running radio ads and placing billboards letting the public know that not all real estate brokers are REALTORS®.
“This is a very simple message, but a fundamental distinction the public does not understand yet,” says Klaniecki. Also available is a cartoon video based on the radio script for our members to distribute via social media.
Put the R on Your Car
The second arm of the campaign focuses on building REALTOR® pride among members. WRA distributed 18,000 REALTOR® “R” window decals and mailed them—via the local associations—to all members in their annual dues bill. A Facebook contest to “Put the R on your Car” encourages members to take a photo of their decal and post it on the WRA Facebook page to win $500 cash.
“A total of 657 photos were entered into the contest,” says Klaniecki. “We saw the window decals everywhere.”
Take a Broker to Lunch
The final stage of the campaign was an experiment in reaching out to nonmember brokers. Because approximately 50 percent of the licensed agents in Washington are in nonmember offices, the “take a nonmember broker to lunch” pilot program involved identifying the most likely offices that would join the association.
“We supplied support materials [see flyer above] and funding for local association leadership to take 12 nonmember brokers to lunch and discuss the return on investment of belonging to the REALTOR® organization,” says Klaniecki. “Out of the 12, one office joined the association and three others are good possibilities.”
WRA is creating a turnkey program that can be implemented by other local associations in Washington. For more information, contact Stephen Klaniecki at firstname.lastname@example.org.