While it’s rarely mentioned as often as things like equity growth and earnings per share, PR is vital in the financial markets.
Broadly speaking, there are two reasons for this:
- Building strong relationships is key to success in the finance space, and brand perception often forms and underpins these relationships.
- The combination of market volatility, constant regulatory changes, and people’s investments hanging in the balance can lead to apprehension. Clients, partners, and stakeholders need assurance on such things when they happen.
Financial PR is all about controlling the narrative that surrounds your business—ensuring not only that people hear your name, but also that they hear it in a favourable context.
And if there’s one thing that is integral to helping you do that, it is building and nurturing financial media relations.
How financial media relations drive PR strategy
For financial markets businesses, PR strategy involves using communications tools and tactics to elevate your achievements.
Financial media relations are the vehicle for any financial communications activity. You can have the best PR strategy in the world, but if you don’t put the energy into building strong media relationships to drive it, then it’s nothing more than a nice-looking document.
For the uninitiated, financial media relations refers to interactions with people of influence in the financial markets.
Specifically: editors, reporters, journalists, podcasters, and prominent voices on LinkedIn.
These people can be the custodians of your business reputation.
They can secure coverage for your brand in key digital and physical media outlets, giving you access to a much larger potential audience, and boosting your credibility in the process.
And, if you ever find yourself in hot water, they can be instrumental in getting you out of it, leveraging crisis communication to keep your reputation intact.
Build healthy relationships with them, and they can help you shape how your organization— and its activities and accomplishments—are perceived.
Identifying your target media
Before you start developing these relationships, you need to identify your target media.
And by that we mean the outlets that are going to be the most interested in you, your products and services, and what you have to say.
There are databases out there that can help with this, but unsurprisingly, they aren’t cheap.
Here’s how you do this organically: think of what industry-related media your customers are consuming—the publications they read, the podcasts they listen to, and the opinions they respect on LinkedIn.
Do some wider research too. Search across Google and social media for key terms related to your service offering and see who is consistently covering content that is in your wheelhouse.
Once you know that, then you know which outlets are most likely to be interested in you—and that are most likely to be seen by your target audience.
Start checking out these sources regularly and get a really good feel for who they are and what they are about.
The last thing you want to do when looking to engage media contacts is give the impression that you haven’t done your homework.
Building press relationships
Once you’ve identified your target media outlets, the real work begins.
And we don’t just mean blindly flinging press releases out to these new contacts. Without a relationship in place, that’s a road to nowhere.
Financial media relationships are like any other relationship; they’re built on good communication, genuine connection, mutual support and trust.
So, get interacting with these people of influence, and be genuine about it.
A good way to start is on social media. Find some stories of theirs that really resonate with you and leave a comment sharing your own reflections and insights.
Over time, these little introductory actions can get you on their radar.
Keep nurturing your relationships through this activity, and then when the time comes to reach out to them, you won’t be pitching to a cold contact.
By doing the above, you’ll also keep a finger on the pulse of your sector. And if you have a sense of when the iron’s hot, you can strike at the right time, every time—with communications that are strategically crafted and relevant.
If you don’t hear back, don’t be afraid to make a follow up call. This can give you the invaluable insight you need to improve your communications and the way you pitch them.
Taking it to the next level
If they start sharing your stories and interacting with you, congratulations!
Now, it’s time to ask yourself what you can do for them.
Perhaps you can share some data from a survey you conducted in house, or pictures from a popular industry event you attended.
If they’re really big fans of yours, why not give them exclusivity on your next announcement?
Continually offering media contacts value like this is how you go from having a good relationship with them, to becoming a trusted source of information within your space.
This is how you become the go-to brand in your market. The one that publications approach for comment when something significant happens.
So, work on your relationships with your target media contacts. Aspire to build them up to this level, and you’ll reap the benefits of more credibility, influence, and a bulletproof brand reputation.
Building Financial Media Relations: Key Takeaways
- Strong financial media relations are key to building your brand reputation and keeping it intact.
- Start by identifying target media in your space; interact with them and find genuine common ground, then look to pitch them your story when it’s time for a big announcement.
- Take these relationships to the next level by offering your key press contacts mutual support where you can; this can help you become a trusted source of information, and eventually, an influential presence in your market.
If you want to control the narrative around your business and secure an advantageous position in your market, contact us for PR advice and support.