Urban Land Institute – Houston

A calendar worth of compelling events generates a breakout year of media mentions

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) is a global nonprofit with a mission of providing leadership toward the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. With nearly 1,000 members, ULI Houston is ULI at the local level. For many years, Elmore PR has promoted a regular schedule of ULI Houston’s cornerstone events by securing coverage in the media – including the organization’s Leadership Luncheons, Urban/Suburban Marketplace and annual Development of Distinction Awards.

Knowing 2018-2019 would offer a similar calendar of events, but that the new year’s schedule of topics and themes would be different and require their own their specialized publicity efforts, Elmore PR approached strategic planning for the year with a solid understanding of what to anticipate, but taking care to find the fresh angle and newsworthy aspects of each event to generate consistent interest and enthusiasm among an established roster of business and real estate reporters.

For each Leadership Luncheon, Elmore PR continued to cultivate relationships with key media contacts while also researching and pitching additional reporters with beats outside the business/real estate arena who may be interested in the specific topic being covered at a given luncheon. For example, Wei-Huan Chen, Houston Chronicle’s Theater Critic/Arts & Culture Writer was invited to the June 2019 luncheon on “The Rise of Creative Communities” as a nod to a previous story he had penned on the subject.

In a similar way, we aimed to match reporters to particular speakers, sessions or panels during the Urban Marketplace event, while also working to publicize the overall success and importance of the day as a way for real estate professionals to contemplate the progress and possibilities within the industry for Houston.

Development of Distinction, as in previous years, was divided into two separate efforts, first the initial announcement of finalists and then the reveal of winners during an evening award celebration, one of ULI’s keystone event. We looked for ways to celebrate the finalists and winners both on their own merits and the positive impact they create for the city of Houston as a whole.


Generate publicity, awareness and interest in ULI Houston’s program of events and recognize and celebrate the Development of Distinction Awards through thoughtful and effective media relations.


Planning/development: ongoing

Execution/implementation: 12 months


Significantly bolstered by noteworthy placements in Forbes.com, alongside feature articles in Houston Chronicle and Houston Business Journal, among others, July 1, 2018 – June 31, 2019 brought both exceptionally high publicity and impression values. All told, earned media coverage consisted of 69 individual placements garnering 82,017,542 impressions and more than $4.8 million in media value.

Highlights of the year included Forbes.com coverage of both the 2019 Development of Distinction winners as well as 2019’s Urban Marketplace’s keynote address on the conceptual development “The Ion.” Houston Public Media produced a segment around May’s Leadership Luncheon on the topic of parking in Houston and Houston Business Journal created dual slideshows commending 2019’s Development of Distinction Awards – one featuring all the finalists, another announcing the winners a couple months later.