The Power of Pop in the 24/7 news cycle: Leveraging Pop Culture to Tell Your Story

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The media landscape is constantly evolving and over-crowding makes it difficult to stand out among competitors. While the latest market fluctuations aren’t always front page news, celebrities and pop culture often are, and those news stories are catching—and holding—the attention of your clients and prospects.

Pop culture headlines, such as the recent celebrity photo leaks or Brad and Angelina’s secret wedding, may not be at the top of your RSS feed,  but they present the opportunity to leverage your professional skills in the 24/7 news cycle.

Here are three examples of recent pop-culture events that have overlooked financial connections:

Estate Planning Gone Wrong

Five months after Philip Seymour Hoffman’s passing, his estate plan is still being critiqued. While there is a debate regarding whether or not he intended to pay millions in unnecessary taxes and purposely neglected to set money aside for his three children, the case points to a number of costly mistakes your clients can easily avoid—and which you could comment on in the media. Hoffman’s case highlights a number of financial snafus including special estate-tax laws because he didn’t legally wed his longtime partner, will and trust issues since he neglected to update documents after his children were born, and keeping the will in probate as opposed to a revocable trust—all putting millions of avoidable dollars in IRS hands.

Baby on the Way

People love babies, but they really love celebrity babies. Next time the latest celebrity couple announces they’re expecting, use it as an opportunity to discuss the importance of financially planning for children. For example, Prince William and wife Kate just announced they are expecting their second child. While the royal family may not have trouble affording the newest addition to their family, financially preparing for a second child is a big undertaking for many. Leverage your expertise by offering tips to plan for a second child as a follow-up to the couple’s exciting news. Discussion could include college savings and retirement planning at an early age, and how to prepare for additional child care expenses.

Celebrities Involved in “Taxing” Situations

Every year it seems a new celebrity is getting into trouble for tax evasion or fraud. Their unfortunate situation can be the average American’s educational opportunity. Take Nicolas Cage, for example. Cage has starred in many blockbuster films throughout his career, but in 2010, Cage found himself in-the-hole to the tune of $14 million in back taxes owed on his 2007 earnings. There are lessons to be learned from Cage’s mistakes that the media will likely seek professional sources to discuss. First, the situation highlights the importance of advisor-client relationship building and what investors should look for in an advisor. This is in everyone’s best interest, as it protects the client from being taken advantage of, and the advisor from blame of financial misfortune. Cage’s situation also teaches consumers not to spend beyond their means. No matter how much money is in their account, it is crucial to budget and spend accordingly to avoid these costly predicaments.

As our recent blog post, “Top RIA Firm’s Chief Marketing Officer’s Thoughts on Today’s Marketing Challenges,” pointed out, separating yourself in a sea of sameness can be a challenge. Leveraging pop culture news is a great way to help your firm stand out from the pack, appeal to a new audience, and most importantly, build your brand. Remember, in a sector without a lot of brand equity, a little creativity can go a long way!

Editor’s Note: This post is a collaboration between Jessica and another member of the Gregory FCA team, Lauren Hunt.