Real estate accounts for 7pc GCC PR income
Dubai, March 26, 2011
The property sector still constitutes more than seven per cent of the PR billings in the region, despite the fact that GCC real estate companies have reduced their PR budgets in 2010, said an expert.
“Real estate companies used to constitute over 70 per cent of the PR agency billings between 2006 and 2008. Those boom times are gone now, but real estate continues to form more than 7 percent of the total billings of PR agencies,” said Mirvat Naba, operations manager, Virtue PR & Marketing Communications, a leading PR consultancy in the Mena region.
“PR is among the least affected victims of the real estate slowdown. It is true that regional developers have reduced their PR budgets, but many have stopped other marketing activities like outdoor and TV advertising but still retained PR,” she added.
“Real estate developers fully understand the crucial importance of PR and they link it to their long-term business strategies and leverage it for boosting their marketing strategies. Stopping some types of marcom activity and sticking to PR is clear evidence of the value real estate players attach to PR,” said Naba.
“PR did not suffer as severely as advertising did. We actually saw growth on the PR expenditure in 2010, compared to 2009,” Naba added.
Naba revealed that the real estate industry slashed its advertising budgets by over 60 per cent in 2009, while the PR budget cuts did not exceed 25 per cent. This is due to the fact that advertising is cost-intensive, whereas PR is cost-effective and fee focused, she said.
“Real estate developers are more certain now that they have to address the end consumer with a confidence-boosting message. This is where PR comes in, as the most efficient tool to be exploited in facilitating this dialogue rather than a one-way communication through advertising,” emphasised Naba.
Naba added: “These companies are now adopting a completely different communication strategy.”
“Above all, the relationship between an agency and a property client is now more transparent and honest, built on solid foundation, as both sides are more focused, bypassing the clutter that used to overwhelm both parties in the past due to the presence of secondary markets at that time,” she concluded. – TradeArabia News Service