Financial advisors should take advantage of down time this summer and do financial media relations to market their firms to investors.
New York, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/17/2014 -- New York -- 7/18/2014 -- Summer offers a great opportunity for investment advisers and money managers to get some financial media exposure in addition to sun exposure says Bill Bongiorno, President of Blue Chip Public Relations, in his latest missive to the financial industry.
Investment professionals are away from the office enjoying themselves, which means there are fewer financial sources for financial writers and editors to interview according to Mr. Bongiorno. The chances have improved greatly for breaking into some financial print stories and getting a foot in the door to being on local or national financial television for those financial advisers working. Now is how to get on CNBC. There are some great proactive steps financial professionals can take to make the most of the dog days of summer and get their name out there through media exposure to gain name recognition, visibility, credibility and expert status to attract new business.
- Break into Print
Have you been reading about the new financial regulations and shaking your head? Be proactive and voice your opinion by writing a letter to the editor in publications read by your clients. What is good and bad about the financial legislation? What don’t you agree with? Include suggestions on how it can be improved. This positions you as a thought leader and expert, building credibility with target audiences. Or perhaps cover some feel good personal finance story. For example, a Tennessee client wrote a letter to the editor of her local community newspapers about her mother for Mother’s Day, describing how she taught her the value of money and financial planning.
Or send an email to the editor proposing a guest column. These typically don’t run more than 800 words. The email should give credentials and brief bullet points of what topics the article will cover. When sending the article, be sure to include a high resolution photo of yourself. Be sure to spell-check and proofread the article, and send it prior to the deadline given by the editor.
A trick of the PR trade is to refer to editorial calendars of financial magazines. Most financial magazines post their editorial calendars on their websites, often under the advertising section as part of their media kit. This gives a leg up to know what stories they are covering in which issues far in advance. Most magazines post their 12-month calendar of stories at the beginning of each year. If there is a topic you feel strongly about or are an expert in, why not contact the editor and offer to be a source or write a column on the topic? Be sure to reach out to the editor well in advance, say four to five months ahead of time. Often their lead time is this far in advance for a monthly publication.
Another way to gain media exposure is to offer to be a source for a blog. Many newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal have various bloggers who contribute to the paper’s website. They need content for several blog entries a day, and are hungry for content and new sources. Of course with everything online, there are many opportunities to contribute articles.
Don’t have the time or inclination to write a letter or column, but feel strongly about an issue in the news, another way to get exposure in the media is to offer to a reporter for a one-on-one interview. Give background, website and bio to the reporter, and send along some bullet points outlining positions on a given news item. This can be much easier than trying to come up with a news hook.
- Your Television Debut
Financial television usually follows financial print in covering news stories. If there’s a big story in the Wall Street Journal, you can be sure that television will cover it as well, and often will reach out to sources in the original story. There's a better shot at getting on financial television stations such as CNBC in the summer when fewer sources are available as guests.
Once that elusive interview on CNBC is landed or another financial network, don’t keep it a secret—let clients know well in advance with an email announcing the details of time, day and channel of appearance. This is a great way to show knowledge to clients, as well as demonstrating that a third party—the financial media—respects and values opinions on financial topics and considers you an expert worthy of air time. Ask clients to forward the announcement to friends and family. Be sure to send the video link of that CNBC interview as a follow-up as well for those that missed it and post to social media as well.
Another great way to leverage a financial television appearance is to write a news release announcing upcoming appearances with details and some topics to be discussed. Email it, along with a high resolution photo, to local newspapers and community weeklies. It becomes easier to approach local television stations once you’ve appeared on a national program, though getting some local TV experience first to get comfortable before jumping into the national scene is a good idea.
Been quoted or have written a letter or column for a publication read by your target audience and wondering what to do with the articles now, merchandise them as much as possible. Get reprints to post to websites and send to your prospect list or to existing clients as referral tools that they can give to their friends, family or business associates. It’s a great way to be in touch without directly asking for anything. Additionally, it becomes an educational tool that can be used and a reason to follow up with a prospect list.
Another great use for articles is to get a foot in the door with financial television guest bookers and producers. Provide some press articles to demonstrate expert status and show that you understand what the media wants.
- Tips for working with the financial media
The first rule is to read the publications interested in being covered by. It’s important to know what stories they have covered and are not likely to revisit for a while. Also, getting to know a writer’s likes and dislikes will gives a leg up. Typically, writers have a “beat” that they cover, which is a certain segment of the industry. You can often find the beats for writers on publication websites under the contact link, which may also have a “beat sheet.” It’s important to contact the right reporters when pitching a story as a financial source. If you are looking to talk about an investing story, you want to contact the reporter who covers investing, not someone who covers the industry at large, for example. Usually, the managing editor is responsible for choosing articles that they accept from expert writers.
Learn the deadlines for publication dates of financial magazines and newspapers. For example, most monthly financial magazines are trying to “close” the issue in the last two weeks of a month, so it’s better to contact the editors in the first two weeks of the month. Keep in mind that they will be closing on an issue that is a couple of months out.
While others in the financial industry are off on vacation, sunning themselves on the beach, take advantage of more media opportunities available to find the financial publications and television shows that reach your target clients. Use these public relations ideas to garner some media exposure for you and your business in order to attract assets to your firm.
About Bill Bongiorno
Bill Bongiorno is President of Blue Chip Public Relations, which has been specializing in working with financial companies since 2004. Complete information can be found at http://bluechippr.com