Along with fellow consultant and friend Julie Bennett, I was recently interviewed by IFA Magazine for an article on media relations for financial planners (click here to read the article, or here to download a PDF).
It got me thinking again about the basics of what people need to do to get the best out of any public relations activity.
Having a plan that shows who you want to talk to, and what you want to say to them, is an essential first step – and this doesn’t just mean the journalists, although they have the critical role as a gatekeeper to the wider audience you hope to influence.
For financial planners who want to reach clients and prospective clients through publicity, there is little point in focusing their efforts on the financial services trade press. Clients of financial planning firms generally don’t read the trades.
Planners seeking clients should be targeting coverage in the media likely to be seen by prospects, or people who are likely to influence the choice of a financial planner. For example, if a suburban financial planner is building a client base in the local community, then the local newspaper should be prioritised.
However, if a financial planning firm is trying to expand its business through associates, strategic alliances, third party specialists, or recruitment (for example) then different media – including financial services trade press – should be on the list.
It gets back to developing a strategy, including who you want to reach and what you want to say to them, in a plan beforehand.
Working out what you wish you say to the audiences you are trying to reach, making sure it is something they can relate to, and also making sure it is of interest to the media concerned, are absolutely necessary. Publicity for the sake of it is a wasted opportunity.
More on this next time, but meanwhile some of my past blogs relate to this subject, including: