Over time, the finance industry has enthusiastically embraced the power of public relations. This sector has consistently witnessed the value that well-planned PR strategies bring to the table. PR acts as a showcase for positive news, a shield against negative news, a source of new talent and innovation, and a signature that represents a brand. The benefits of financial PR are diverse and intricate, prompting us to delve deeper into this topic in this article. 

We aim to provide comprehensive answers to common questions surrounding financial services communications. We will explore the precise definition of financial services PR, its significance, the best practices for its execution, and notable examples of both successful and unsuccessful financial PR campaigns. Whether you’re a marketer handling a new FinTech venture, an established asset management firm with extensive experience, or somewhere in between, this article is tailored to meet your needs.

What is Financial PR?

Financial PR involves the skill of taking raw information related to your financial services company and presenting it in a manner that generates a positive response from shareholders, investors, or customers. While finance may appear straightforward in theory, with money as the output and input, the practicality of it encompasses countless ways to communicate a company’s earnings or potential gains, various approaches to disclose losses, numerous methods to attract potential investors or customers, a multitude of financial instruments, and countless opportunities for a company to position itself within the realm of money exchange and growth. Within this complexity, financial matters transcend pure mathematics and encompass human emotions. This is where a well-crafted communications strategy comes into play.

The Significance of Financial PR

Financial PR plays a multifaceted role in the success of your business. Similar to other industries, shareholders of banks, wealth management companies, and insurance companies, among others, respond positively to educational content, engagement requests, and signals of authority, competence, and mutual understanding. Moreover, with a plethora of financial services options available to consumers and decision-makers in the business-to-business sphere, PR becomes crucial for companies aiming to differentiate themselves from competitors. Financial PR can encompass campaigns focused on these objectives.

Without a solid grasp of PR tactics, a finance company leaves its fate to chance. Important milestones may get lost in a crowded news cycle, consistent silence could be misinterpreted as arrogance or lack of credibility, and unexplained market disruptions could unsettle investors, resulting in a plummeting stock price. The significance of PR lies in its ability to steer narratives that might otherwise stagnate or rapidly veer in directions contrary to the company’s interests.

Speaking of narratives taking unexpected turns, let’s recall the situation that unfolded with the stock-trading app Robinhood just before its IPO. Initially, the company was celebrated as a champion of the 99%, seen as a force driving democratization in the stock market. However, when a group of Robinhood users, angered by what they perceived as unethical trading by large hedge funds, began collectively purchasing specific stocks to inflict losses on these funds, a problem arose. Due to its operating structure, Robinhood needed sufficient funds to back these trades before they were completed, but their cash reserves couldn’t match the unnatural demand for these particular stocks. In response, Robinhood hastily imposed trading restrictions on these companies, leading to user outrage.

Unfortunately, Robinhood lacked a crisis communication plan ready for deployment. Public opinion unfolded without their voice being heard, at least until they could issue press releases addressing the controversy. Consequently, the company’s reputation suffered greatly, with speculation arising that Robinhood halted trades not due to SEC requirements but at the behest of the very hedge funds it claimed to help everyday people compete against in the stock market.

This serves as a compelling example of the importance of having a crisis communication plan as part of financial services PR. When developing your financial PR strategy, it is crucial to include a crisis communication component. Experienced financial communications agencies can attest to how quickly a bad situation can worsen without a failsafe in place to manage public perception.

Exploring Financial PR Strategies in Action

Now that we have a general understanding of why financial PR holds significance, let’s delve into specific directions you can take with your PR campaign to breathe new life into your business. Here are three notable objectives for your company’s PR:

Carving a Distinctive Path

Amidst fierce competition where companies in your industry essentially offer the same services, it can be challenging to distinguish your enterprise. However, financial PR plans can assist in overcoming this hurdle. Even among seemingly similar companies, there are always variations, and a financial communications agency can help identify a distinctive feature your company can claim to provide an advantage to customers. They can then help emphasize this difference in a targeted manner, potentially making it a defining aspect of your brand and a hallmark of your services.

Infusing Brands with Character

Engaging and entertaining individuals, showcasing understanding and empathy, and revealing the human side behind transactions can be potent PR strategies in the financial communications toolbox. The finance industry’s reputation for being solely profit-driven may have perpetuated an unfair and inaccurate perception. In the public eye, you may be seen as a faceless, gray-suited automaton immersed in endless spreadsheets. Counteract this by giving people a glimpse of your authentic personality!

For instance, take a look at the blog run by FirstBank, a community bank based in Colorado. The tone is lighthearted, the advice is relevant to their target audience, and overall, their posts exude warmth, ease, and a genuine connection with the reader. Embracing such openness can foster trust between you and your stakeholders, serving as a vital component of your financial PR efforts.

Improving Media Relations

We have previously discussed the public’s preference for earned media over purchased media. Therefore, it is crucial to allocate time within your financial PR campaign to cultivate relationships with journalists, social media influencers, podcast hosts, and other third-party communicators who can be beneficial to your company. Obtaining the endorsement of a few micro-influencers with followers who trust their judgment can yield more favorable results for your business in 2021, in terms of cost-effectiveness, than what can be achieved through ad purchases.

Bottomline

Trust and credibility are essential for success in the financial services industry, and PR strategies play a significant role in cultivating them. By establishing a strong brand reputation, building thought leadership, implementing effective media relations strategies, and leveraging digital PR, finance firms can enhance their credibility, gain the trust of clients and investors, and differentiate themselves in a competitive landscape.

At S99 Agency, we specialize in driving trust and credibility through strategic financial services PR. Our experienced team of PR professionals understands the unique challenges and opportunities within the finance industry. With our comprehensive approach to PR, we can help finance firms build strong reputations, establish thought leadership, and drive business growth. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your financial services PR needs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *