The rebirth of life insurance: Overcoming stigma to amplify one company’s storytelling


Life insurance is a morbid topic. It forces consumers to think about their own mortality, and is a convoluted subject wrought with underwriting complexities, regulation changes, and industry stigma that it is an expense reserved for the affluent. 

Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, a Fortune 1000 company with over $150 billion of life insurance in force, turned to Gregory FCA to facilitate the storytelling around the “living benefits of life insurance” and to raise brand awareness across two strategic audiences: the consumer and advisor. 

Here + Now video with Penn Mutual Chairman and CEO, Eileen C. McDonnell.


Gregory FCA partnered with Penn Mutual in 2014 and systematically went to work learning the Penn Mutual story, its subject matter experts, and its culture-based philosophy: that whole life insurance is the foundational cornerstone of any sound financial plan. 

We sought to overcome the negative stigma surrounding life insurance. Gregory FCA took a multi-pronged approach via robust thought leadership-based media relations, blogging, and social media efforts to reach the consumer and advisor audiences.

We leveraged a variety of “positive” storytelling—everything from C-suite executives discussing innovation and technology in the industry to advisors at the company discussing how the cash value of life insurance can be used during one’s lifetime. By intentionally steering clear of the “death benefits” of life insurance, we propelled Penn Mutual’s messaging to amplify life insurance in a completely different light. 

We also assisted in the launch of its blog, Perspectives on Life, which allowed Penn Mutual executives to truly own, harness, and spread important messages around life insurance that otherwise were overlooked by consumers.


Measure of

Throughout the course of our six-year partnership, we have bolstered brand awareness and empowered Penn Mutual’s storytelling capabilities, focusing on the living benefits of life insurance and how a policy plays a central role in anyone’s long-term financial plan. Through strategic messaging and a constant news flow, Penn Mutual has heightened its visibility and credibility among its consumer and advisor audience.   

Over the course of the campaign, Penn Mutual has jumped 257 spots on the Fortune 1000 list (as of 2019, it was ranked 723), and its life insurance in force has increased from $100B to $150B.