Marijane Funess February 7, 2014 | 10:08:01

Top Tips for Financial Services PR Pros

This Sunday marks the 50-year anniversary of the Beatles’ American invasion. Of the hundreds of memorable songs recorded by the group, their trilogy to the almighty dollar – Taxman, Baby You’re a Rich Man and Money Can’t Buy Me Love underscores an eternal truth. Money is and has always been a hot topic. This is why it behooves PR practitioners specializing in financial services, e-commerce, and retail PR to stay on top of their game. Here are some essential tips.

Shoehorn your client into the discussion.  As the creators of Freakonomics often point out, there is an economic angle to any story. It is your job as PR reps for any financial services client to ferret out that angle coincident with any big news story (Valentine’s Day, the Olympics?) and fit your client in.

Know your trends. Be sure you speak “financial” and know what the trends are in your client’s industry sector. For example, if you represent a bank or other financial institution, know the latest info on the retail “breaches” and what is coming to replace the magnetic strip. You can prepare your client to speak to these trends and gather intel on the ones nobody knows about yet.

Scour Profnet and HARO. Through unscientific polling, we would wager that there are more journalists seeking interviews with personal finance experts than any other category in the PR “query” world. Make a compelling case for your client’s POV and respond quickly – the early bird strategy often pays off here.

Be willing to share the stage. Often the smartest PR person in the room is the one who appreciates the value of pairing the client with another, complementary expert for a more fully realized piece. Journalists will appreciate the effort and your client can also bask in the “halo effect.”

Merchandise those results. One of the first places a prospect may visit on a client website is “press coverage.” Press results legitimize a business, separate it from the pack and tell a bit about the company’s story in an unbiased way. Make sure press coverage is uploaded quickly, share via all social media platforms and even “hand-send” to specific industry peers and others. Of course the agency needs to merchandise all that coverage as well!

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