Real Estate & Development
While many cities have a “dominant” broker, South Florida is one of the most challenging real estate markets in the country, as even the top brokers own only single-digit percentages of the market. The communications challenge for Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell (EWM) is ensuring that South Florida’s international communities and numerous sub-markets are addressed from a communications standpoint in order to ensure market share for region’s most renowned residential real estate firm.
The strategic solution developed for EWM is a comprehensive hub-and-spoke platform. An overarching strategy looks to convey the strength of the company, while numerous sub-strategies address specific areas as diverse as Weston and downtown Miami, both from a public relations and marketing standpoint.
Ron Shuffield, president of EWM, has been positioned as the definitive voice of South Florida’s residential real estate market within the national media. He is consistently quoted in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and numerous other national and local outlets. This strategy has assured EWM a consistent top position in most of the area’s markets.
Kreps DeMaria, having worked with InterContinental Hotels Group Latin America (IHG) since 1992, is tasked with positioning the global hotel organization’s multiple brands, including InterContinental Hotels, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express, across Latin America and the Caribbean. While IHG is represented in more than 20 countries and territories within the region, the challenge is a lack of critical mass of any one brand.
Kreps DeMaria has focused on developing communication strategies that tout IHG’s longevity and experience (InterContinental Hotels was first launched in Brazil in 1946). The firm consistently utilizes key messages that maximize the different media relations campaigns implemented and the overall regional public relations program. One example is the relaunch of the Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express brands in which Kreps DeMaria strategically weaved the key messages of the re-launch into virtually every aspect of its communication, from development press releases to innovative new programs. The firm also communicated the Holiday Inn re-branding campaign to internal hotel management to ensure consistent messaging was in place. Additionally, Kreps DeMaria developed a video that provides a tour of all new Holiday Inn properties worldwide to be used in hotel lobbies for events and for regional sales initiatives.
The results include the successful positioning of these brands in the region, as well recognition that IHG is the leading international hotel company in Latin America. Kreps DeMaria has successfully managed the challenging task of coordinating the needs of the global hotel organization’s various brands within a broad geographic area.
Fisher Island, a 216-acre tropical paradise located at the southernmost tip of Miami Beach, is home to some of the world’s leading families, celebrities, and captains of industry. Fisher Island suffered from negative publicity stemming from numerous lawsuits that were filed against the developer by anti-development residents.
The developer hired Kreps DeMaria to mitigate negative publicity, help generate sales for the property, and market the new condominiums, while maintaining the level of prestige associated with the island. We developed a crisis communication plan and provided media training to the developers. We then scheduled one-on-one interviews for the developers to meet with members of the national media to establish relationships. Kreps DeMaria took an aggressive and proactive approach to the problem and the results paid off.
When a “60 Minutes” producer came to the island to pursue a negative story, the developers won the confidence and trust of the reporter by stating the facts accurately and transparently, and the outlet decided against running the story. We brought journalists from all over the world to experience the island, while highlighting its world-renowned spa, and built on the island’s strengths to overcome the negative publicity. Kreps DeMaria garnered worldwide media attention, including feature stories in W Magazine, The New York Times, Entertainment Tonight and the Travel Channel, among many others.
Tew Cardenas LLP
The high-profile Blue and Green Diamond condominium bankruptcy case was a harbinger for what would be the upcoming residential real estate fallout. Kreps DeMaria was tasked by the law firm of Tew Cardenas LLP, who represented the developer, to publicize the success of the bankruptcy case in which all creditors received 100 percent payment for their claims and a $3.6 million return to the developer. Prior to filing for bankruptcy, the condominium had received negative media attention surrounding the fact that brokers had not been paid, hence would not market the property, the subcontractors refused to work, and the construction lender halted funds.
Kreps DeMaria implemented a media strategy that included the development of a press release and contacting local media to announce the outcome of the case. The firm positioned the seasoned Tew Cardenas attorney as an expert in real estate bankruptcy matters, utilizing his success in the “Diamonds” case as the central focus. We further communicated to the media that the reorganized project emerged from bankruptcy as a result of the case. Once that message was achieved, coupled with clearly communicating that brokers were being paid in a timely basis, the “Diamonds” became a very appealing proposition.
Kreps DeMaria was credited with having developed and implemented a thoughtful communications plan that addressed the many issues pertaining to one of the city’s more complex bankruptcy matters, thus improving the project’s image and reputation. The media success included numerous stories in key publications, including a final story published on the front page of the Daily Business Review in which the Tew Cardenas attorney, along with a team of professionals, received wide recognition for their role in the case. Due to the positive publicity garnered, the Tew Cardenas attorney was later contacted by numerous individuals interested in utilizing his legal expertise.