As we discussed in a previous blog post, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses of all types and sizes to rethink their marketing. In the financial services industry, one strong example of this rethink is Capital One, which expressed concern for customer safety in one ad and launched a series of short digital transaction how-to videos, such as this one on transferring funds. Another is JP Morgan Chase, which showcased how its wealth management advisors are working from home in this recent spot.
But just as the pandemic provides banks and wealth managers with the opportunity to showcase their easily-accessible services through paid marketing, it also affords them a tremendous opportunity to leverage their thought leadership and expertise through proactive public relations efforts.
Indeed, when you consider how many financial topics are in the headlines each day and how media consumption has increased over the last month, you may never have a better chance to reach readers and viewers with your insights.
Here are just a few examples of how to do so:
Subscribe To & Utilize Journalist Sourcing Services
Go to services such as Help A Reporter Out (HARO) and qwoted, sourcing services where journalists (usually on tight deadlines) post “queries” seeking expert commentary for articles, are critical during these times. Financial organizations may want to pay closer attention to them during a time when high-visibility outlets such as Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and Fox Business are consistently seeking insights related to everything from stock market volatility to unemployment. Given the ongoing nature of both the pandemic and queries related to its financial impacts, it may even be worth investing some time in composing some pre-approved commentary on the topics within your area(s) of expertise so that you can respond as quickly as possible (and thereby increase your odds of inclusion). This investment proved lucrative for one of our wealth management clients, the Government Employees’ Benefit Association (GEBA), providing them with a steady stream of high-visibility hits.
Proactively Pitch Broadcast Media
Just like journalists, broadcast networks are seeking sources who can speak to the general public about a host of everyday financial issues they’re facing (albeit via Skype or Zoom). Because these topics are likely less nuanced than those covered by print media, it may therefore make sense to develop a pitch or two with talking points that offer practical, actionable advice for viewers. For example, a wealth manager might offer his or her top tips on the best and worst things to do with your stimulus check or tax refund, while a tax accountant might explain why it makes sense to file your taxes now despite the extension offered by the IRS (you can get any refund ASAP while scheduling any payment for July). We found the first pursuit particularly successful for GEBA, whose director of wealth management enjoyed participating in Skype interviews with broadcast networks in multiple cities.
Pursue an Editorial Opportunity
Lastly, given that regional print publications are just as COVID-19 focused as broadcast media, it might be a great time for financial organizations to offer their insights and advice through an editorial submission. For while a “yes please” from the editor would indeed require far more work than an interview (aka someone turning a pitch on how the pandemic has highlighted the need for life insurance or an emergency fund into 500-1000 well-written words), it would also provide you with the opportunity to say exactly what you want, exactly how you want to say it – plus give you a great clip for your newsroom and social sharing after publication!
By putting timely tactics such as these to work, financial organizations can not only generate high-value coverage that positions them as a thought leader among consumers, but also help journalists and media outlets see them as a trusted source when the next period of financial uncertainty comes around.
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