Kelly Kreth, PR Detective (Appeared in Mann Report, October 2009)
Kelly Kreth, founder of New York City real estate public relations firm Kreth Communications,
which celebrates its fourth anniversary this September, is a bit of a Nancy Drew. The media-
savvy sleuth combines years of industry experience with an insatiable quest for knowledge – of
the industry, the city, and the world around her.
While Kreth maintains relationships with numerous media professionals in real estate, she also
lives a human version of market research. In addition to following traditional real estate
publications, Kreth taps into the blogosphere for up-to-the-minute developments in the real estate
industry and the city itself. In her spare time, she’s a thinker who takes advantage of the city’s
myriad cultural events, reads voraciously, travels the globe, and writes creatively.
“My job doesn’t just pertain to real estate in New York City,” Kreth says. “It’s about living in
the City and knowing about trends, events, and lifestyles.” By investigating what seem to be
divergent sources of intelligence, the publicist is able to draw conclusions and brainstorm new
ways to market clients.
Consider the Man Map generated by real estate data provider PropertyShark.com when Kreth
Communications was first founded. Hot on the heels of Sex and the City, Kreth jokingly
suggested the company create a demographic map of rich, single men in Manhattan. News of the
Man Map generated buzz for the company, as well as Kreth. GMTV, the UK’s biggest morning
news show, covered PropertyShark.com and asked Kreth to fill an interim reporting position
during the 2006 holiday season.
“The experience made me realize how much video could publicize my clients,” she recalls. “If I
couldn’t get them on television, I’d bring television to them. With YouTube and Vimeo,
someone can get just as – or more – famous for a user-generated video that goes viral as from
being on traditional television.”
Shortly after, Kreth worked to produce video tours of properties and developments with clients.
The short videos, posted on client and video sites, which were then a new phenomenon, captured
the look and feel of the properties, as well as the personality of her clients. The first property
filmed sold within a day.
But harnessing modern technology and media isn’t everything. “It all comes back to the human
connection, which you don’t get online,” explains Kreth. “I can leverage social media, but I
don’t depend on it. More than ever, people are looking to work with someone they know and
trust. I approach public relations with traditional methods that concentrate more on human stories
than technological fanfare. A handshake is more important than your latest Tweet.”
The idea isn’t just the latest wave in public relations, but the theory Kreth Communications was
founded on. Kreth makes herself available to clients on nights and weekends while constantly
performing her own research. Unlike larger real estate public relations firm, she personally
answers every phone call or email. Adina Azarian, founder and president of real estate brokerage
Adina Equities, calls working with Kreth, “The smartest business decision I’ve ever made.”
Kreth enjoys solving a mystery, especially with innovative clients launching new companies and
developments. One such client is Bidonthecity.com, the first online real estate trading platform
for residential and commercial properties. “I love working with clients who create ideas that can
help them adapt to new market conditions,” she explains. “It requires that they look at public
relations realistically. I’m only as good as the facts and new things clients bring to the market.
PR isn’t magic. It’s hard collaborative work that’s factual and journalistic.”
Kreth’s approach is innovative without reinventing the wheel. At the end of the day, she
promises new ideas in addition to the old-fashioned human touch.
“I’m there with my clients whenever they need me,” Kreth says. “If they reach a roadblock, I’ll
get a shovel and we’ll dig a tunnel.”
Nancy Drew, indeed.