January 6, 2016

Generating Increased Personal Finance Publicity Even as Newsrooms Shrink Staff

Financial PR practitioners are seeing a troubling trend: consolidation in the media outlets and reporters that cover personal finance. And there’s no sign of that trend reversing.

Citing a media environment that’s changing at a “dizzying pace,” Wall Street Journal editor Gerard Baker announced in June that the paper would significantly scale back its personal finance editorial team, as well as its small business group and NY-based economics team. Other top outlets, including Bloomberg, Reuters and the New York Times, have also downsized their editorial teams.

How can a PR executive navigate this environment successfully? Can it even be leveraged to a client’s advantage?

Answer: If publications are scaling back their original reporting on personal finance, then financial advisors—who provide financial advice every day—can help fill the gap by creating their own news, analysis and content and using a variety of mediums. Although financial firms are often conservative in marketing themselves, PR practitioners should encourage their clients to proactively create and deliver content.

Financial advisors and wealth managers tend to be interested in reaching large audiences that typically range from the mass-affluent to high-net-worth. By creating original content and promoting it, mutual funds, ETFs, and institutional managers can communicate directly to their target audiences and differentiate themselves from competitors.

A variety of our financial service and asset management clients are beginning to write regular blogs, and are already seeing increased traffic to their websites. Other clients are writing op-eds for top financial news organizations, such as Forbes and U.S. News & World Report—which directly reach large, affluent and educated audiences. These outlets value contributed content, and often promote these pieces heavily through their social media platforms and email newsletters.

This year, DLPR launched blogs for two of our wealth management clients. These firms use their blogs to examine the news of the day and discuss its implications for investing and financial planning. Often they are able to provide advice that’s timely and highly valued. In return, their readers have been highly engaged, posting thoughtful comments and sharing favorite posts on social media. We advise our clients to share their blog posts with existing and prospective clients in order to keep those audiences engaged and enhance their credibility.

Our core offering still places a premium on cultivating media relationships and seeking positive publicity concerning trends and events that impact investor sentiment. That said, a well-rounded financial PR and marketing campaign, also will integrate content creation, social media and SEO strategies to ensure that key audiences and influencers are being reached no matter the medium.

By: Nicole Hakimi