Maximize Your Media Success in 2019
Creating a Public Relations Plan for Your Financial Firm
A new year, a new beginning. As you create your business plan for 2019, now is also a great time to proactively plan your public relations strategy. For many financial professionals, this can often go overlooked, leaving them scrambling later in the year as they realize they failed to prepare a media strategy. We have often had financial professionals come to us too late to amplify their media potential, such as a week before their company anniversary, or the day after their successful charitable event, or right in the heart of the tax season, looking for help with media outreach.
A PR strategy for the year can not only help you stay organized, but it can also ensure that you maximize any media opportunity throughout the year.
Use these tips to get started creating your 2019 financial PR plan:
- Identify calendar-based events –Calendar-based events are some of the easiest media opportunities to plan ahead. A great way to keep yourself organized is by creating a month-by-month pitching calendar that lists all of the various topics you want to pursue each month. Whether it’s tax season, the anniversary of Social Security or end-of-year financial tips, look ahead and take note of all the calendar-based events you could participate in. Taking time to do this in January allows you plenty of time to prepare your media outreach materials and also check the best time to pitch various outlets. Some print outlets, such as magazines, have longer lead times, requiring you send out your end-of-year pitch in September. Some local morning TV shows book their guests a month advance, which means you should distribute that tax season pitch in February. Creating a game plan for your various calendar-based pitches will help increase your odds of landing a placement.
- Recognize company events and milestones –Company events and milestones are other opportunities that are fairly easy to anticipate and plan in advance. Is your company celebrating its 20th anniversary this year? Are you hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new office location? Is that you book you’ve been writing going to be published this year? Hosting any charitable events? All of these create great opportunities for some PR and constitute a media outreach strategy. The earlier you start planning, the better. Your book may not be published until August, but in the months leading up to that you can alert the media, schedule a book signing event and draft a press release that’s ready to go the day your book is available for purchase. (For more tips on leveraging your new book, check out our past blog, “From Advisor to Author.”) Taking a proactive look at these events can also help ensure your timing works well for media outreach.
- Plan for predictable breaking news –Predicting the news may seem impossible, but in the financial world, there are some breaking news events that you almost always rely on. At some point in 2019, we will likely see the market drop or witness some sort of volatility. The Fed has also promised more interest rate hikes. When news breaks on topics such as these, it’s smart to have a plan already in place. Draft a pitch in advance that offers you as a resource, and identify the key contacts you’d want to contact. This may include beat reporters that cover financial topics, consumer interest reporters or even general breaking news reporters and assignment desks.
- Prepare to Maximize Your Media Exposure –Do a review to ensure that your leveraging platforms are all up-to-date and ready to go once you secure a media opportunity. This may include:
- Your website has an “In the News” tab where you highlight your media successes.
- Your social media platforms are set up and you have a standard process for posting your placements once they are published.
- You consider adding a media highlights section to your company newsletter to display your articles and interviews for your clients and prospects.
This can be a great step-by-step guide as you prepare your 2019 PR strategy. As you can see, there are many moving parts to consider, so if you’d like to delegate this important to-do to the experts, contact us at AdvisorPR!
Jill 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.