When you see other advisors being quoted by a local (or national) news source, do you sometimes wonder how they got there?  Do you think to yourself, I am just as good as that person, why not me? Think about the readers/listeners/watchers – the instant credibility that a quote or mention creates. Want some too?

In today’s post, our head of marketing, Jerry Lezynski, gives us some great ideas to add PR to your marketing plan. Jerry shares 5 tips and some additional advice from an experienced advisor (as well as a nationally known celebrity). Take a look at Jerry’s post and ask yourself if there is a way to let more people know what you do and who you serve. Please enjoy Jerry’s post.  -  JDA

John Krasinski’s feel-good web series, “Some Good News,” was a unique experience featuring inspiring videos, photos, snippets of life and “stories that made you feel good and the things that just made you smile, ” according to Krasinski. It was a huge success, attracting over 70 million views, and was a welcome distraction from all concerns surrounding COVID-19 and the nonstop negativity in the mainstream press and in the world. It created goodwill, positivity and was a huge PR win for Krasinski, generating buzz on social media and hundreds of articles in publications like NPR, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal and Marketwatch. 

Whether in a pandemic or not, more and more financial advisors are expanding on their current marketing efforts and using PR to develop impactful messages to target the right people in order to build stronger recognition and awareness. I have talked with a number of financial advisors about the value of public relations and found that those who are doing it right recognize that it complements existing marketing strategies. Andrew Rosen, partner at Diversified LLC and a regular contributor to Kiplinger Magazine, first considered PR when it made sense to round out his marketing plan and take it to a new level. “It’s a small piece of the marketing puzzle but for me it’s been a huge credibility booster when individuals mention they saw the article I was quoted on in the New York Times or CNBC,” according to Rosen.

Rosen further noted, “Don’t start with PR until you have all of the necessary components of your marketing and identity already established including your value proposition, website, blog, etc.” Another common theme for Rosen and other advisors having success with PR is that they are working with an outside agency — experienced professionals who help with the heavy lifting, messaging and proper media pitching. 

If you are considering public relations as a component to your overall marketing plan, whether during the pandemic or after, here are five “best practices” tips:

  1. Start out small, but think big. Starting PR efforts in your local community is a natural for many financial advisors since you will be out in front of the people you are likely targeting and helping from a financial planning perspective. Whether it is at the local media level — TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, etc., or if you have your eye on national exposure, immerse yourself in the media you want to appear in or be a contributor. Make it a regular daily practice to watch, listen, read and learn everything about those preferred media outlets — regular feature stories, different segments or programming, editorial focus. It’s important to get to know the writers. 
  2. Don’t just add to the noise – add value. Especially during moments of crisis, journalists are under extremely tight deadlines. Before reaching out to a reporter, take the time to cultivate a unique point of view and think about what angle is not being covered in the news that would add value and a fresh perspective to the conversation. In addition to investments and the state of financial markets, consider topics that put you in a more holistic financial wellness discussion, as well, such as:
    • Tips to help families stay safe and have fun during the summer of the pandemic
    • Ideas to help combat stress during these anxious times.
    • How your office is now designed to keep employees safe while accommodating client meetings and onboarding post Covid-19
    • Virtual educational events on health and wellness topics
    • In addition, many financial advisors have repurposed unique perspectives from their blogs and other social content when pitching to reporters. Many publications in the wealth space will also accept guest columnists and opinion pieces from outside experts. Consider pursuing opportunities to contribute a written article to your target publications, as well. 
  3. Be passionate and believable – preparation is key. John Krasinski was the perfect host for “Some Good News.” He is genuine, believable and is charming in his delivery. While you might not be launching a YouTube series, you can take a page out of Krasinski’s book on leading an engaging conversation. Set aside time to prepare and develop the three core messages you’d like to communicate to the reporter. Consider whether there are client stories or statistics that could strengthen your argument. During the interview, use your notes as a guidepost, not a script. Be conversational and relaxed. Using anecdotes and metaphors to describe complex topics make it more likely for reporters to quote and interview you. 
  4. Be compassionate and a trusted resource. Journalists were hard hit by furloughs and layoffs during the COVID-19 shutdown. Media relations is about relationship building. Treating reporters with respect, acknowledging the difficult situation they are going through are all essential to building meaningful relationships. Reporters are usually on a tight deadline, so rapid response to media requests not only shows your interest and expertise but also increases the likelihood you will be a trusted resource to them in the future.
  5. Rely on the expertise of experienced professionals. Impactful PR takes time, resources and professional expertise to maximize your efforts and to do it right. Engaging with an experienced PR partner allows firms like Diversified LLC and others to help craft effective and relevant messages and secure the right media opportunities. Plus, it saves you time allowing you to focus on current clients and prospecting. PR firms also have the connections with the media outlets you likely want to target. According to Rosen, “They do all of the legwork and have the established connections with the reporters at the media outlets I want to be in.” These connections have led Rosen to be a regular contributor to CNBC, The New York Times, Kiplinger and other media outlets. 

newspaperImagine your name on the front page of The Wall Street Journal, in black and white on coffee tables across America. Now imagine your voice ringing confidently through homes tuned to CNBC. A landmark PR win is a powerful brand amplification tool and is a powerful asset to promote on social and your website. It won’t happen overnight and your progress won’t be a straight line or always as flashy as you imagine it will be, but the payoff will be worth it. Sometimes the most meaningful wins will be hyper-targeted local magazines that reach people in your neighborhood. If you’ve been waiting to implement a PR strategy, stop waiting. Now is the time to start. Next time you read the news, ask yourself: What could I add to this story? And then, jump in. The water’s fine. 

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