Although I don’t like to make broad predictions about life, if I had to, I’d probably tell you that I’ll spend the rest of my working days in agency PR. What makes me so sure? No matter your industry, very few jobs offer the opportunity of a front-row seat to a company’s highest highs and lowest lows. As a PR professional, I’m privy to a bird’s eye view of industry trends that are driving success for a variety of companies, from startups to powerhouses. Between work hours and down time, I’m constantly scrolling through and watching media related to the financial services industry.
Because of this consistent exposure, I’ve seen one trend over and over again — well-executed corporate communications helping companies of any size advance their marketing by leaps and bounds beyond competitors. Conversely, companies that aren’t aligned in their communications strategy often run out of gas before they reach the race track.
The financial services industry needs to dip into the playbook of consumer brands and speak to its unique target audience. In today’s media climate, this isn’t done with multimillion-dollar Super Bowl ads, but with long-term, consistent messaging across multiple channels.
What role does a PR agency like Gregory FCA play?
I’m so glad you asked! There was once a time when a CMO managed a company’s paid advertising campaigns and little else. Now, expectations and opportunities have broadened significantly. Agile marketing teams that want to exceed industry standards need to be inclusive of social, content, influencer and experiential marketing, paid advertising, earned media and more.
When these elements are combined effectively, companies can establish brand awareness, and hit sales and business development goals. Having a well-rounded plan puts your company in front of the audiences and stakeholders that will help you meet the KPIs that matter.
New world and new media
Over the last several years, audience-tailored newsletters like theSkimm and Morning Brew have garnered millions of loyal readers. This trend shows no signs of slowing down — advantageous news for companies of any size seeking targeted media exposure. In addition, online publications like Axios and streaming news services like Yahoo News and Cheddar continue to grow as print and cable fail to appeal to some viewers.
LinkedIn has recognized the newsletter trend and now offers functionality from the site’s Creator Mode, allowing users to share updates with followers in a whole new way. Apps like TikTok have changed the way audiences engage with content, ultimately influencing how media organizations distribute and report stories. While these shiny new methods of reaching audiences bring new influence, traditional print, online and broadcast media are also still powerful ways to generate buzz for your company.
Showing your street cred
Once you have secured a media opportunity, it’s time to talk about it. Anyone can say they are an expert, but if reputable news outlets like Bloomberg and CNBC look to you as an information source, your credibility instantly increases. A thoughtful and well-executed media relations campaign needs to be coupled with a communications strategy that extends the lifespan of a broadcast segment or printed quote in an article.
The recent SEC marketing rule change offers increased flexibility regarding where and how financial service providers can share information. This means social media, content and digital strategies can all benefit from earned media. The most effective ways to leverage earned media for additional credibility include:
- A well-indexed newsroom on your company website.
- Social media posts prior to any broadcast appearances to promote viewership of the segment.
- Additional social posts with resulting interview coverage that highlight insights from the article or segment.
- A highlights reel, snapshot or summary in the company’s monthly newsletter.
Where does that leave us?
Earned media through any publication or broadcast outlet lets others know that you are a reliable source and have important information to share. Successful media relations campaigns are built around your company’s goals and the audience you want to reach. These goals could range from being a go-to expert on a certain topic to connecting more deeply with a well-defined target group.
In the financial services industry, audiences might include prospective clients, financial advisors or potential investors in your product or service. A strong presence in the media can position your organization front and center for those stakeholders, significantly increasing both your visibility and credibility.
Understanding the reputational value of media relations is one of two key steps toward success. The second is working with an expert partner that sees the big picture and has the capabilities to appropriately execute. At Gregory FCA, your campaign is managed by a team that knows your business and what it takes to amplify your message to the world. Please contact us to talk about your goals and how we can help you achieve them.