Become the Media


by minifig

An interesting item in last week’s Wall St. Journal about the online war of words between beer giants Miller and Anheuser-Busch.

Miller has taken the interesting tact of hiring a former Ad-Age reporter and created “Brew” Blog, a daily blog to covers the beer industry from Miller’s vantage point.

Why do this? The answer from WSJ.com.

While the site lets Miller tweak its famously tight-lipped rival, it also gives the company a platform to take a first crack at spinning industry news.

Even with its obvious bias, the blog is actually a fantastic resource for anyone interested in staying on top of the beer wars. Several years ago I worked for Molson, before it became Molson Coors, so the brewing industry is still of interest to me (both professionally and socially).

But I think there is a lesson here for the real estate industry. Often when I speak to brokers, I hear a lot of them complaining about the negative press the real estate industry gets in the mainstream media.

One thing I suggest is for them to create their own blogs to counter this noise. Not fill the space with meaningless marketing platitudes like “Now is Great Time to Buy…” but actually contribute meaningfully to the conversation and to debate the issues.

The big real estate brands would be wise to take a lesson from Miller; create a real estate blog and hire a full time blogger. It could be an agent – but they’re (hopefully) too busy selling real estate. Rather, carve out some dollars from that bloated print marketing budget and hire a social media guru or a cub reporter fresh out of journalism school, then let them off the leash a bit to create stories that are relevant to the conversation but maintain your brand integrity.

A company like Redfin understands this idea implicitly. It’s the impetus behind their Sweet Digs bloggers (see Redfin Unleashes the Listing Critics) – who, granted, can veer out of control every once in a while (see Something I’ve Been Meaning to Say for A Long Time) but still contribute greatly to the real estate conversations in their respective markets.

I’m actually surprised more of the bigger real estate brands haven’t picked up on this idea, and I’d love to see one of them try. Go ahead, your brand will thank you.