Top Financial Services PR Firm Offers 5 Ways to Crack the 24/7 News Cycle
So you think you have some newsworthy commentary to add to the never ending media coverage of the financial markets, but you’re not sure how to crack the 24/7 news cycle? The trick to gaining exposure, becoming an important voice, and positioning your firm or people as thought leaders with the media is understanding how news is created and embracing the process. These five tips can wedge open media opportunities:
1. Beat the news to the punch
This may sound daunting. After all, how can you predict what stories are going to make headlines? Economic calendars are a great way to take a proactive approach to gaining the media’s attention of your point of view. For instance, every six weeks, the Federal Open Market Committee updates its interest rate policy, a course of action followed closely by media that eagerly seeks comment and opinion from financial service professionals. Your firm should maintain a master calendar of economic events (from GDP releases to BLS reports), then prepare and submit comments to the media at the time they are being covered by the media.
2. Data boy!
The media loves data, insights and analysis drawn from the numbers. Consider your organization; does it have its own data that could be transformed into an economic bellwether for your firm? For instance, CBIZ, a long term client of Gregory FCA, uses aggregated payroll data drawn from nearly 4,000 small businesses to power the CBIZ Small Business Employment Index. The report, which is released monthly in advance of the BLS employment report, wins CBIZ monthly media coverage and recognition.
3. Swim with the current and use trends to your advantage
Yes, the media does run in packs and has a propensity for covering the same story ad infinitum. Last year’s trend in baby boomer retirement gives way to this year’s reporting on Millennials and how they will invest their inheritance. Stay plugged in and in tune with what’s trending today. Understand media currents and where they are flowing. Ride that tide by offering commentary and opinion that’s of interest to the media today.
4. What happens in Mosul, never stays in Mosul
Though tragic, geopolitical conflict dominates headlines. Turmoil in the Middle East. Ebola in Africa. Strife in the Ukraine. We live in a connected world where faraway events come with economic global implications. What’s your point of view? How can you enlighten others to world events and their impact on American financial markets? The media is constantly looking for insights and clarifications on how global events impact local pocketbooks. Stay abreast, formulate an opinion, and then share it freely with them.
5. Rapid Response
Nowhere is the opportunity better for winning media exposure than during breaking news, and the onslaught of coverage that it creates. Rapid response is the single most effective tool in any financial services media relations campaign. It requires you to constantly scan for breaking news and then have a strategy for quickly capitalizing on it. This requires developing a prioritized list of local, national and financial reporters and creating a channel for your firm to quickly reach out to them as news is happening. It’s a challenge but a priority tactic in an ever changing world, where most news happens unexpectedly.
Cracking the news cycle is never easy. But the pay off—in terms of exposure, credibility and awareness—is invaluable. These five tactics are key to success, and serve as an indispensable resource for any financial services professional or organization eager to become part of the Great American news flow.
Editor’s Note: This post is a collaboration between Freddy and a new member of the GregoryFCA team, Jen Diehl.