Over the last several years, the mall industry has been heavily scrutinized, with news headlines claiming a “retail apocalypse” and the “death of the mall.” But PREIT—a retail real estate investment trust—was undergoing a significant transformation to strengthen its portfolio. They wanted to change the media conversation and demonstrate that shopping malls and the retail industry were still thriving.
PREIT set forth an ambitious plan to reshape its portfolio and redefine the concept of a mall. The company engaged Red Thread PR to help communicate the results of its ambitious strategy and manage its reputation in a media environment rife with a negative attitude toward the mall industry.
To promote PREIT’s strategy and shift the media rhetoric around malls, Red Thread PR led a strong B2B media relations program for PREIT designed to elevate its national media presence with business and retail press. Over five years, we fostered relationships with key reporters at The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Bloomberg, and several other top-tier outlets and trade publications, communicating the nuances of PREIT’s business and debunking myths around the state of retail. Through a consistent and proactive communications strategy, Red Thread PR helped not only promote PREIT’s milestones but underscore the retail industry’s continued evolution.
Engaging directly with local shopper communities was vital to the success of PREIT’s portfolio. Through outreach to regional business and consumer press, we positioned PREIT’s CEO as the face of the local mall story—sharing details on property news with the shopper in mind. This included a large-scale media relations campaign centered around the opening of PREIT’s marquee project in downtown Philadelphia, Fashion District Philadelphia.
Red Thread PR led the program, securing 132 media placements totaling 14.2 million impressions in the 10 days surrounding the grand opening.
Over five years, Red Thread PR secured more than 1,700 national, regional, and trade media placements for PREIT, totally more than 223 million impressions. After the first year of collaboration alone, we grew earned media impressions by 50% due to cultivating relationships and securing national stories on CNBC.com, Closing Bell, Bloomberg.com, and The Wall Street Journal.
But it’s not just the quantity of media stories that made an impact. 73% of coverage included PREIT in the headline or first three paragraphs, while 54% had a quote from a company spokesperson.
The combined volume and quality of executive thought leadership coverage aided PREIT in its ability to make impactful business deals, such as replacing 19 anchor stores with over three dozen new tenants over five years, and drive shoppers to its properties, including more than a million visitors in the first month after Fashion District Philadelphia’s opening.