An Advisor’s PR Journey in the Media Blitz
A Year In Review
For many, the end of the year is a time for reflection and review of the past 12 months. This may be a common practice for you and your business and the same goes for me as a PR professional. Securing media coverage for our clients is an exciting accomplishment I look forward to every day. When I think about a client that truly utilized his PR program to its full potential this year, there is one particular client that comes to mind. At the beginning of 2019, this client enrolled in our Media Blitz program, which works to secure national print and online media placements. Since enrolling in this program in January, this client has secured 12 media placements with outlets such as:
- The Wall Street Journal
- Investor’s Business Daily
- CBS Money Watch
- FOX Business and more.
He’s discussed topics that showcase his unique areas of expertise, including:
- Overcoming common retirement planning errors
- Social Security claiming strategies and
- Different types of investment income
Now, as he heads into a new year, he has a portfolio of media placements that help display his unique expertise and boost his credibility as a financial professional. And what’s more, they also all live online on highly-credible news sites, helping to boost his SEO and online presence.
How can you achieve similar success with public relations?
Far too often, advisors tell us they are hesitant to invest their dollars in public relations because they don’t understand how it can help build their business and brand, or they’ve been scorned by previous PR firms that failed to deliver the results they were looking for. As I think about working with this client throughout the past year, I think it’s important to note what efforts he made to make the most of us, his PR team:
1. Responsiveness – Such a simple concept, but due to the busy schedule of financial professionals, this can be more difficult than anticipated. Whether it’s via email or phone, a responsive PR client is often the most successful, landing placements with some of the most desired and respected media outlets. This is because many big-name outlets work with tight deadlines and are looking for sources to share insight on breaking news topics. Whether it’s The Wall Street Journal or USA Today, major print outlets often request day-of interviews. This particular client worked to be as responsive as possible. Were there times where his schedule didn’t always allow him to participate in every media opportunity? Of course. But, throughout the past year, he consistently responded to and took advantage of the variety of media opportunities we presented.
If your schedule is simply too crazy to manage media opportunities yourself, don’t count yourself out as a PR candidate. We have many clients who have delegated this task to either an office administrator or an in-house marketing coordinator. This is a great way to ensure timely media opportunities are responded to and coordinated promptly.
2. Be Open to Different Opportunities – Where do you get your news from? For many PR clients, their ideal media outlets for PR opportunities are the same outlets that they follow to get their news every day. While it’s certainly important to land coverage with these outlets, it can also be grave mistake thinking these are the only media outlets you should consider. Just like investing, when you’re building a portfolio of media placements, you want some diversification. This way, you not only build your credibility by creating a laundry list of media outlets that have featured your insight, but you also increase your reach. For example, if you’re only taking interviews with Kiplinger’s, you’re only reaching readers that follow that particular outlet. But, if you secure coverage with additional outlets such as U.S. News and World Report, Investor’s Business Daily and Consumer Reports, you’re reaching a significantly larger audience.
This particular client understood the value of this and, after a year of working with us, can say he’s interviewed with ten different media outlets. It’s also important to note he recognized the value of online-only media outlets, such as FOXBusiness.com, Grow.com, GoRankingRates.com and CBS Money Watch. While many find print outlets the most desirable, online outlets are where you’re going to boost your SEO and online presence.
3. Flexibility/Availability – Another great characteristic of this client was his availability and flexibility. Again, this may seem difficult when you think just how busy your schedule is as a financial advisor, but your media availability doesn’t have to be limited to business hours. Making yourself available first thing in the morning before you see your first client or taking a 15 minutes interview during your lunch break, or offering to provide a written response after hours are all great ways to make yourself more available to media opportunities. This way, even if you’re slammed with back-to-back client appointments, you can avoid passing up big-time media interviews.
4. Give Great Interviews – Even if you respond quickly, make yourself available and schedule an interview with a great media outlet, it’s all for nothing if you give a terrible interview. A little bit of prep can go a long way in ensuring you’re including in very media opportunity you interview for. This particular client provided concise, unique and easy-to-understand insight to reporters, which resulted in him being included in all the articles he participated in.
For more tips to improve your interview skills, check out my previous blog, “What not to do in your media interview.”
5. Leverage, Leverage, Leverage – One of the most common and biggest mistakes I see advisors make is failing to leverage their media placements. While it’s great to say that you’ve been quoted in major national publications, it’s critical that you show your PR success as well. This particular client leveraged all of his media placements on his website, social media platforms and at his educational workshops. He even had us design a one-pager that highlighted the various outlets that have quoted him. This is a great example of showing your client and prospects how your insight has been used by some of the most notable media outlets in the country.
As you prepare for the new year, consider amplifying your credibility, reach and exposure with public relations. With these tips in mind, you can make the most of your PR investment to get seen, get heard and get hired!
Jill Jagelski Schofield is the Director of Public Relations for AdvisorPR and a former executive producer and anchor for an NBC affiliate. Established in 2005, AdvisorPR is a branding, marketing and public relations firm dedicated to providing custom and turnkey marketing communications solutions exclusively to financial professionals and the corporate companies that serve them.