27 capital. Its a major part of our annual marcoms efforts but in the seven years since we conceived it we have developed the platform so that it extends to a longer marketing period. With newspapers losing readers how much emphasis do you put on general press coverage in the property pages At the risk of challenging the question I still strongly believe in the power of the nationals and also the quality periodicals like Country Life. For residential property much is made of research that suggests that some 80 of searches start online. Im sure thats right but the strength of advocacy garnered from print press coverage is still hugely influential. Ignore it at your peril. We dont but thats not to say its the only weapon in our PR armoury. How important for you is to get Knight Frank into the main body of a newspaper Very. Unlike all our main rivals Knight Frank is a private partnership not a PLC. Therefore we do not have quarterly results to publish and need to be more proactive in our approach to achieve high-quality national coverage. Consequently we work extremely hard on gaining coverage not just in the news sections of the national press but also in broadcast media. In the last year weve been in every major UK national paper and appeared on amongst others ITV news BBC national news BBC regional news BBC World the Jeff Randall show on Sky News Al-Jazeera France 2 CNBC NBC and Bloomberg. What is your view on social media In my opinion its the single most important development in marcoms in the last ten years. Being candid when I arrived at Knight Frank two and a half years ago we had no strategy nor programme for social media. We have made some enormous strides in that time our stats are favourable within our competitor set but perhaps more personally satisfying is the way that we have won over the hearts and minds of our colleagues in terms of what social media can deliver to the business. To expand on that Id say most people here could see fairly easily how social media would help with individual and collective reputations but what has been pleasantly surprising for my late adopter colleagues are the business wins we can prove as a direct result of our efforts in this area. As a judge of the International Property Awards I am shocked at the lack of interest and knowledge in the West in the use of social media platforms to reach potential purchasers. What is your view Id go even further those businesses that are not focussing on social media will either disappear or lose such significant market share over the next few years that their businesses will be hugely impaired. I sat on a panel for the Chartered Institute of Marketings research into social media for B2B companies. There was a person there from a leading professional service firm who said that he had persuaded his firm to not enter the social media arena in any way shape or form. When I challenged him on this he said that they could see nothing but reputational damage hence their decision. Not only is this flawed logic reputations get damaged with or without social media it also takes away the most powerful tool to repair reputational damage. Do you see property going the same way as fashion where the blogger is gaining in importance It already has but will continue to increase exponentially in the next few years as digital natives become more prevalent in the demographic of the workforce. How much time do you spend out of the country in the global market I was away for about three weeks last year but that included an Asia Pac trip. This year I would hope to get around several of our European offices so probably less time away from Baker Street but more countries visited. We are seeing UK developers tailoring their advertising to the international markets how much influence do you have ensuring the UK developers think global As a firm we are in the vanguard of advising on global markets. Almost all sizeable developments whether residential or commercial need to consider the big picture. In 2012 our UK Residential Division sold to purchasers from over 60 countries. I think that says it all. How do you analyse your web traffic for luxury property Very closely We have a brilliant in- house web team that is able to provide the business with some outstanding analytical data. It would be injudicious to say how we do it though. Without giving away any secrets which are the prominent countries at present If you mean in terms of where the moneys coming from then by the time this is published my thoughts will be out-of-date. As I said earlier the short-term market is in such a state of flux that predictions are liable to become obsolete very quickly. Nick Hughes is now Marketing and Communications Director at Segro.