If there’s one thing EAST VILLAGE. loves, it’s an independent business that has the determination and dedication to challenge the big players – after all, we like to think that we are one of them ourselves! It’s these values that make our property PR partnership with Centrick such a fruitful one.
EAST VILLAGE. was initially instructed to lead and deliver Centrick’s property PR; to get its work, team, and expertise more widely recognised across the region and property trade media. Less than 12 months after starting together, Centrick then tasked EAST VILLAGE. with replicating the same success on its social media channels; creating a joined-up communications strategy across the Group.
Family-run and values-focused, Centrick’s approach to leading the way in residential – and more recently, commercial – property is one that sets it apart. It has seen the team represent some of the Midlands’ most iconic buildings – from Sheldon Court in the south of the city, through to Concord House right in Birmingham city centre – and work alongside the nation’s key developers, including Seven Capital and 10M Property. However, when EAST VILLAGE. was first on-boarded in September 2019 to deliver property PR, the challenge was that too few people knew just how good Centrick was.
The ask was to create a property PR strategy that meant Centrick was consistently hitting the headlines for all the right reasons. The role of EV. was – and still is – to act both as an extension of the internal marketing team, while also remaining as an external counsel; able to advise on and inform wider strategy.
In the initial stages, we worked with Centrick’s in-house team to draw up a property PR plan that plotted key milestones and business projections to build stories around. Having been underwhelmed by PR agencies who had over-promised and under-delivered in the past, this approach ensured Centrick was informed with plans and expectations, and it also created a working document that both the Ops Board and comms team can feed into.
The reactive nature of Centrick’s work – which sees new contracts signed, sealed, and delivered overnight – we are also on-hand to create breaking stories to issue, sometimes on the same day they are briefed.
The focus remains to keep the Centrick team focused on quality over quantity when it comes to property PR. With ‘wins’ achieved by Centrick every day, EAST VILLAGE.’s role is to advise on what is newsworthy in its own right, and what’s less compelling for regional business and national trade media. We’ve been on hand to help share the news of appointments to Centrick’s operations board, its key instructions, and its acquisition of Andrew Grant’s commercial arm to create Centrick Commercial, to name a few.
In addition to property PR, TeamEV also offers additional expertise to Centrick, including our award-winning event management. In early 2020, we helped launch £3.5m Hedge House – part of the Centrick’s luxury home arm, Signature Collection. One of the most talked-about homes on the market, our role was to deliver a show-stopping open-house launch event to help the Signature Collection team seek potential buyers. We curated a guest-list of 100 prospective buyers, as well as organising and managing the event, and liaising with and arranging suppliers to bring the event to life – including around £1m worth of art from Maddox Gallery, brand new Porsche cars at the event, food and drink by regional independents Loki Wine andThe Butchers Social, and live entertainment in the form of a grand piano with a West End star from Elegant Entertainment.
One of the most valuable assets EAST VILLAGE. has managed to offer Centrick, however, has been during the most unprecedented of times… the moments that their property PR plan couldn’t predict. We’ve supported the team with crisis comms in both national and trade media; managing enquiries, issuing immediate statements and briefing key media spokespeople. As well as advising on and communicating Centrick’s rapid pivot responses to the Coronavirus pandemic, which saw huge regional and trade recognition.
EAST VILLAGE.’s work with Centrick has seen the property experts enjoy wide-reaching coverage – from all the regional’s key business titles includingBirmingham Post, Business Desk and Midlands Business Insider, to national property press Property Week, Housebuilder, and Estate Agent Today, to name a few.
Further to this, EV.’s reactive approach to the developing stories in the sector has also seen Centrick secure national primetime slots with ITV News, grace the air-waves with BBC WM, and feature in the pages of Metro and Grand Designs Magazine.
In the first 15 months of working together, EAST VILLAGE. has overseen more than 100 pieces of coverage for Centrick, in over 56 publications, to a tune of a reach of over 11million.
Following a successful first 10 months of property PR, Centrick made the jump to use EAST VILLAGE. as its social media managers too. This sees EAST VILLAGE. manage both Centrick’s central pages on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as its individual regional pages too. To do this, we not only focus on content and copy creation, but community engagement, growth strategy, and consultancy for ads too.
In the first month alone, Centrick’s organic Instagram engagement grew by 653%, with total impressions exceeding 282,000 and profile visits increasing by 92%.