- Posted by Adam Smith
- On January 31, 2019
Most financial professionals have enough on their plates juggling clients and the endless stream of new regulations without having to worry about doing their own PR.
But you probably don’t realise that you’re already doing it to an extent. Everything you say and write on a professional level is exactly that – PR.
Some advisers want to take this further by proactively producing stories about their work and company which they want to pitch for publication to raise the profile of their company.
But this is were a lot of people come unstuck. What might be interesting to you, or your spouse or best friend may not be interesting to a wider audience or worthy of their attention.
The key question you should be asking yourself if you’re thinking about writing your own press releases is “Is it newsworthy?” because if it’s not you’ll face a frustrating round of rejection from your chosen publications.
Tune Your News Sense
Knowing if something is newsworthy is known as having a good news sense in press circles and, to put it bluntly, not everyone has it. It can be taught to an extent but usually this takes quite some time and involves a lot of exposure to a wide range of good and bad stories.
Whether a story is newsworthy or not is often determined by what’s known as the angle. When discussing stories Journalists often ask, “What’s the angle?”, ie, what makes this worthy of publication.
Journalists will waste no time at all binning (or spiking as they say in the biz) fluff which is purely designed to promote a business and offers nothing of interest to their readers so it’s best to get it right in the first place to avoid disappointment.
However, once you’ve established that your story is news worthy the next obstacle you face is writing it.
You may be keen to practise your most flowery prose in a bid to wow the recipient with your written dexterity, but this is likely to push your story towards the spike again (they used to really exist but repeated injuries in newsrooms up and down the country led them to be banished by health and safety departments).
Instead, you should keep it snappy – write tight as they say – and be aware of the publication the copy is aimed at. Study the stories they run and try to emulate their style to ensure the best chance of publication.
Make It A Shoo-In
If a story arrives on a journalist’s desk that has a good angle and requires little editing it’s almost a shoo-in for publication given the cutbacks in the media which have forced an ever-increasing reliance on User Generated Content (UGC).
Bear in mind that you can add additional value to your news proposition by offering to be an expert that journalists can go to for research and/or quotes.
Even if this means you do it anonymously with no benefit to your business, it’s worth doing because it will help build healthy relationships with journalists which over time should prove fruitful for both sides.
When sending out press releases, always remember to include a photo of yourself, a biography and some background information about your company. Some or none of it may be included in the final piece, but it’s another way of selling yourself to the publication.
Just a quick word on pictures: journalists love them, especially when they’re professionally shot and come in a range of different shapes and sizes.
It also means they don’t have to arrange them themselves which could delay publication and potentially increase costs if they use freelancers.
So, don’t skimp on this area. Professional photographers don’t come cheap but they’re worth every penny when it comes to creating a solid company image.
Social Media Is Essential
In today’s world, any PR campaign that doesn’t include social media is one that is automatically at a huge disadvantage to its competitors.
While some platforms are favoured by teenagers who are unlikely to be your ideal clients, there are many which have users from a broad demographic who you can’t afford to ignore.
And the beauty of social media is that if you choose to do it yourself it can be free, apart from the time you spend on it.
The three main channels to consider initially are Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. LinkedIn is another network that’s popular with professionals, but it tends not to have the broad reach and appeal of the others.
To be successful with social media you need to engage with your followers on a regular basis, post/share/like as often as you can and ensure that you have a regular supply of original content from your own blog/website to offer your readers.
Getting it right can be time consuming, but has your engagement grows you’ll start to reap the benefits.
It goes without saying that at Adviser PR we can help with all the areas we’ve discussed above. You can call us on 07543 195476 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, if you run another type of business and would like help with your PR, please contact our parent company, Topline PR Ltd.