Whether you’re a seasoned media veteran or just starting to engage reporters, you’ve probably realized that even in a 24/7 news cycle, patterns can start to emerge. Stories tapping into seasonal events, holidays or financial milestones that resonate with readers’ interests appear each year in your favorite newspaper or online pub. These topics not only move the needle for newsrooms, but can help prime the pump for your own blog as well.
By challenging yourself to think outside the box or take an alternative perspective on a story, these perennial topics can have an even larger impact. Below, we’ve highlighted a few you can focus your media and blogging efforts on each year and suggestions on how to create a distinctive voice season-to-season.
1) Spring Clean Your Finances.
When spring rolls around, you’ll find countless articles on how to “spring clean” your life in one way or another. While reporters will cover the basics by drawing fun analogies on how to tidy-up your financial life, we’ve probably heard all these tips before. Instead, go to the media with a unique take on the topic. For instance, take a third-party study and create an infographic like this one from client Fort Pitt Capital Group. The content can live on your website, be a resource for clients and has the potential to be picked up by publications as this one was by Benzinga.
2) Tax Season.
Ben Franklin said, “Nothing is said to be certain, except death and taxes,” which still holds true today. Everyone must deal with taxes, and they are one of the more intricate and confusing parts of personal financial management. In advance of tax season, be prepared for reporters to cover everything and anything tax-related. This rings especially true in today’s environment, and in an attempt to not repeat last year’s news, be prepared to share how things have changed year-to-year and the impact it stands to make on individuals’ finances.
3) Sell in May and Go Away.
It’s historically understood that the market outperforms during certain times of the year, with summer months tending to be less volatile. At the beginning of the season, the media will always ask: Should investors sell in May and go away? No matter if you agree or disagree, come at the question with hard data, facts and statistics about the losses that can come with trading or the potential downside of missing gains during the summer, utilizing sources like those mentioned in this U.S. News & World Report piece.
4) Financial Independence.
The Fourth of July leads the media to report on how individuals can declare their financial independence, free themselves of debt and the worries of living paycheck to paycheck. Holidays can be a tricky time for reporters, as sources are on vacation but still have deadlines to meet. Taking a few minutes out of your day to be that resource and talk to the reporter can go a long way. Similar to statistics, reporters often appreciate a concrete number of tips to highlight, so come prepared with three to five specific steps one can take to reach their financial independence.
5) Finance/Investing 101.
The back-to-school season allows for a great opportunity to give a primer on personal finance or investing. Drill down on one of these topics from the most basic level to something high-school level. For a unique twist, you could create a “lesson plan” to help guide the reporter through the main points.
6) Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs).
Even though RMD rules may seem commonplace, many people who’ve reached retirement age don’t understand the implications or know these rules apply to them. Before year-end planning comes around, be prepared to speak to the media about the penalties of not taking distributions and how they can plan for next year’s RMDs so they don’t fall into this trap in the future. Covering the topic when it’s trending could also lead to bigger opportunities later in the year, such as this placement in The New York Times, which quotes client Univest.
7) Year-End Planning.
Just as your clients want to talk plans for the new year, the media does too! Readers will have the same issues and concerns as your clients, so if there’s something that stands out as a trend, question or strategy in your conversations, know that the media will be interested, too. Firsthand examples (that don’t sacrifice the confidentiality of your clients) can be particularly valuable.
8) Financial New Year’s Resolutions.
As the year winds down and another starts, most people are ready for a change. Instead of recommending the usuals — cut back spending, pay off debt and stick to a budget — offer actionable advice reporters can take to their readers. You may even be able to secure a spot on your local TV station just by offering tips for managing these resolutions in the new year.
If you’re looking to dive into the media world, or just want a consistent flow of traction and coverage throughout the year, consider these topics and mark your calendar in advance of each one. If you understand the timely topics the media is drawn to, think about how you work with clients on these issues and inject some personal flavor to differentiate yourself, you’re on your way to becoming a go-to media expert.