Five Keys to a Successful PR Program for Accounting Firms
It’s Much More than Just Tax Reform
Within accounting and tax planning, the passage of the new tax bill was a Super Bowl-like event, increasing the demand for CPAs and financial planners.
But for those accounting firms that want to generate continued visibility and brand differentiation through PR, opining on the tax bill is just one tactic—and certainly not enough to distinguish one accounting firm from another.
Accounting firms with strong PR programs know these five key elements to business success:
1. Smart, strategic firms are leveraging practice groups like personal wealth/private client services, real estate, life sciences, financial services, estate planning and trusts, royalties and tax credits and even sports management.
2. While we still hear a great deal from the Big Four, partners at middle market accounting firms (i.e., top 50 national U.S. firms) are terrific sources for the media because they can and do speak to a variety of topics and the types of practice groups as noted above. The partners at these firms show a commitment to being accessible, and have the desire to differentiate themselves from their peers.
3. It’s not enough to live by tag lines and logos alone since many middle market firms are fairly similar in approach, fee structure and high-quality of professionalism. The best accounting marketing heads know that differentiation is best achieved by sharing advice, strategy and planning tips via earned media. This applies to outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, CNBC, and Fox Business, as well as key trade outlets.
4. Simplicity is best. The accounting and tax professionals that are widely quoted understand that keeping the message simple is key, and that mindset leads to a greater number of media placements and higher quality publicity. The best spokespeople avoid citing too many numbers, regulations, acronyms or code. Instead, they use plain, everyday language to describe how they help their clients.
5. Results need to be repurposed. Getting quoted in the Wall Street Journal about wealth management and federal income tax rates can be meaningful, but the impact needs to stick. The best firms regularly post their top media results to their own websites, as well as to LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media. Posting a publicly available link is appropriate, and at other times, firms will need to purchase rights to an article to reprint it