Financial services firms have long aspired to capture prestige-enhancing publicity through industry outlets like The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s or the Financial Times. Many put on the full-court press to secure television coverage with CNBC or Bloomberg TV. But with the ever-changing landscape of content generators and emerging outlets, a modern media relations game plan would be remiss to ignore the opportunities presented by these new arrivals.
Alghough they may not carry the decades-old reputation of a Forbes or Fortune, many newer options offer growing relevance and reach. By overlooking these mediums, or niche-specific channels, subject matter experts are missing the boat on offering their thought leadership directly to audiences that could represent a perfect demographic for their businesses.
Whether you are a veteran source frequently quoted in the press or a “newbie” looking to work with a public relations firm, understand that coverage in a variety of outlets is critical to spreading your message, and ultimately your media relations success.
Up-and-coming digital forums
Here at Gregory FCA, we’ve been homing in on upstart media outlets like Cheddar and TD Ameritrade Network (TDAN), which launched October 2017. An alternative to CNBC and Fox Business Network (FBN), TDAN streams all-day market news, led by host Oliver Renick. What makes TDAN different is its refreshing storytelling passion to avoid dramatizing headlines, and instead bring viewers straight-up market news. Most interviews are done via Skype; it’s raw, and the channel is dedicated to bringing an in-the-moment look at market movements.
We spoke with Renick, who said, “We prioritize utility over popularity, so there is absolutely no politics, no silly entertainment and no baseless predictions that go unchecked on the network. It’s amazing how much ground we cover when we exclude those topics in favor of data-driven analysis and conversations that help investors make decisions. We break down the market activity to determine if an event is having a meaningful impact, and connect the macro story with thematic, sector and stock-specific narratives.”
Not only is TDAN increasing in popularity among viewers – so far this year, the channel has captured 1.6 million views across the live and “video on demand” network – but it’s certainly a channel for financial professionals to consider if they want to cut through some of the “entertainment” that can lead other channels, and instead get to the point with market talk.
It’s important to get in on the ground floor while these kinds of outlets are starting off. This can help newer spokespeople sharpen their message (before playing ball with channels like FBN or CNBC, for example), and allows subject matter experts to continuously be called upon while the channel grows. Getting in early with these show producers can only pay dividends later on when it comes to future (frequent) appearances as the outlet ultimately gains in popularity.
Find outlets that speak to your niche
Other outlets that our team has been looking into increasingly include Girlboss, a millennial female-focused website that takes a nitty-gritty “real” look at issues like workplace and career strategies, or financial planning tactics for 20- and 30-somethings to incorporate. DailyWorth, with over 1.7 million website views per month, is another female-focused outlet dedicated to bringing news and actionable takeaways to readers. It’s important for spokespeople to see these outlets as a powerful stage to spread their message. By zeroing in on outlets that have a defined niche, spokespeople can speak directly to a demographic that they often work with in their advisory practices.
The same goes for reporters. We spoke with Nancy Mann Jackson, a freelancer who often contributes to women-focused outlets. “I enjoy writing for outlets with a clearly defined audience because it’s always easier to provide the right information when you know who your audience is,” she said. “If you know the site is geared toward women or millennials interested in building their financial knowledge, for instance, it’s much easier to ask the right questions and provide the right information to that audience, as opposed to a general audience that could include people of many different ages, genders and needs. And if you’re providing information that’s on target and relevant for the niche audience, your pieces are going to be more effective and helpful.”
It’s full circle at outlets with a defined audience – reporters and spokespeople want to get the most direct message to their specific readers, which in our PR eyes is a win-win for telling your story in the media.
New age and “out-of-the-box” outlets allow spokespeople to cut through the clutter, speak to topics they truly are passionate about, and target a defined niche that might be important to their business. At the end of the day, having a bolstered and robust media resume – one with top-tier media hits, but also chock-full of strategic coverage, like those outlets mentioned above – will boost credibility, visibility and brand awareness to the public.