On the transition from old to new, our colleagues reflected for a moment on 2021 and what this year will bring in terms of communication. Here are some valuable some golden tips to start the New Year.

Mediarelations

In 2020, the media were dominated – and rightly so – by reports on COVID-19 and the enormous human and economic consequences of this pandemic. This will also continue to be the case for a long time to come in 2021. Nevertheless, as a project developer or broker, it is very important to invest in media relations. Journalists will always be interested in a good story. Do you want to communicate about a real estate project? Then focus on the social relevance. Communicate with passion and pride which impact your real estate project will have. Because people don’t just want to invest in a roof over their heads, they are mainly looking for a ‘great place to live.” –Lieven Van den Bogaerd

Reputation management

“Whether you are aware of it or not, every entrepreneur has a reputation. This sets you apart in a world where companies are looking more and more alike and where success is determined by an authentic story. Especially during a prolonged period of crisis, in which your reputation can come under pressure at any time, it is important to build on your brand awareness, expertise and trust. You do this by showing leadership in a crisis and by telling accurate, truthful stories. But even more so than before the crisis, you work on your reputation by connecting with your clients and stakeholders.”Marthe Saelens

Neighbourhood communication

The COVID-19 crisis has also caused a digital shift in neighbourhood communication since developers and brokers were no longer able to organise major launches or events. Nevertheless, transparent, honest and timely communication to local residents remains an important part of the communication strategy. In 2021, the classic “PowerPoint presentation in the local parish hall” will almost certainly be replaced by alternatives. Think of putting an informative flyer in the mail or large billboards with relevant information on the site. But also online neighbourhood info moments, digital neighbourhood newspapers and news videos are on the rise.”Koen Cypers

Storytelling

“People tell stories, not so their products or services. In times when we crave real human contact, that is even more important. Anyone who wants to make a difference in 2021 must dare to come out of their ‘hole’. Be the true face of your company, and dare to express your opinion from time to time. But always do so with a lot of expertise and make your point as much as possible with the help of great recognition. Show your audience that you know what’s going on and pull them into your story. Therefore, use as many striking examples and solid facts as possible. Offer not only knowledge, but above all knowledge that is needed in essential times. This way you will also make yourself and your company relevant in the longer run.” Joost Freys

Digital communication

“The COVID-19 pandemic – and the lockdowns that came with it – has speeded up the digitalisation of both our society and our way of working. Just think of the countless virtual meetings, the use of social media as the communication channel, animation videos and virtual debates. In short: 2020 has proven that social distancing cannot stop us from telling a good story in the right way. This will be no different in 2021. So don’t let physical distance deter you and bring your story through the right digital channel.”Joachim Deman

Media and Coaching

“Put someone in front of the camera, and he or she often starts to hesitate right away. It is a natural fact that we all possess, but we can work on it. By taking the right things into account, you come across as being quite self-confident and you speak straight via the media. Always take care to use clear language and preferably speak in quotes of no more than 20 seconds. But just as important are your body language and your outfit. Did you know, for example, that the camera does not at all like a checked pattern?”Hannelore Schmid

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