What Does a PR Agency Do? Wendell Falls Busts Real Estate Myths
Newland Communities, the country’s most prominent privately held residential developer, launched its newest master-planned community – Wendell Falls – in May 2015. Newland turned to Clairemont Communications to showcase the strengths of eastern Wake County and unveil the community as the conveniently located living destination that it is.
Clairemont crafted a strategy that incorporated media relations, special events and community partnerships. Since research showed that buyers valued a sense of community, our methods highlighted the fun, relational atmosphere at Wendell Falls and provided opportunities for audiences to interact with the brand, whether through online campaigns or in-person events.
The Hoedown Showdown: Clairemont worked with Wendell Falls to plan a barn-raising themed celebration to commemorate the community’s first anniversary. Clairemont created the Wendell Falls Hoedown Showdown, a celebrity square-dancing competition hosted at the anniversary event. We invited TV, print and online personalities to do-si-do for a little dough ($1,000) to donate to a charity of his or her choice. Media received creative invitations that included a “wanted” poster and a cowboy hat, which one TV reporter even sported on her morning show! Clairemont successfully recruited nine media representatives to compete and another three influencers to judge the competition, resulting in print and television coverage as well as influencer posts to approximately 52,200 followers on Twitter alone.
Jam with Us! – Community Events: To attract prospective homebuyers, Clairemont ditched standard home tours and helped to launch a series of creative on-site events. Since the information center is called the “Farmhouse,” the team rolled out Farmhouse Jams, an outdoor summer concert series featuring local bands and Grounds Café’s “brews and brews,” the on-site café’s beer and coffee. Holiday Sip and Shops attracted home shoppers to peruse Raleigh’s finest hand-crafted gifts, and open-house weekends were transformed into themed celebrations highlighting unexpected home features.
Hand-in-Hand – Partnerships: Clairemont aligned Wendell Falls with key local organizations to increase visibility and connection with the community. For example, during the Eastern Carolina Farm Tour, Wendell Falls launched a family friendly party bus to chauffeur families to tour local farms while they enjoyed, food, beverages and activities.
And…action! – Videos: To combat the perception that Wendell Falls is remotely located, Clairemont conceptualized a “Faster Than” video challenge. Team members “raced” in their cars from a starting point in downtown Raleigh to several prominent suburbs, including Wendell Falls. The contest, captured via mounted GoPro cameras, revealed that drivers can get to Wendell Falls from downtown Raleigh faster than to other surrounding areas. Clairemont also created a video – titled “Our Coffee Cares” – to unveil the story of the Guatemalan family that selects and sources the coffee for Grounds, the on-site café at Wendell Falls.
Beyond the Books – School Campaign: Clairemont did a little homework to bust the myth that the area’s education was subpar. Based on extensive tours and interviews, we first developed a resource to “unveil your child’s future.” This brochure, webpage and blog series highlighted Wendell’s “hidden gem” – a surprising variety of academic options, programs and tracks. The campaign prompted the marketing manager to dub it “the best school tool we’ve had to date!”
Creative Media Pitches: Clairemont brainstormed creative angles beyond home construction to pique the interest of reporters. Our pitches showcased Wendell Falls’ commitment to green building along with the vibrant community lifestyle.
In direct correlation with our stated objectives above, we met every goal, exceeded expectations and produced the following results:
- Clairemont secured a total of 13 news stories and blogs.
- Special events drew an aditional 1,800 people on-site.
- Home sales increased by 250 percent in 2016.
Clairemont successfully positioned Wendell Falls as one of the top places to live in Wake County, efforts that have helped Wendell Falls meet its annual sales goal and earned the community the title as Best Master Planned Community in East Wake County by The News & Observer.
The work Clairemont Communications conducted in partnership with Wendell Falls earned a Platinum Award in Organizational Identity/Promotion from the Raleigh Public Relations Society. We are proud that this campaign represents two of the 175 awards we’ve received since starting Clairemont in 2010.
To read more about the work we do with clients, please visit the case study section of our blog.