Finance PR: Why being reactive has never been so important
Luke Castle Digital PR Executive
5 min read
Thursday, 22nd September 2022
Finance is a hugely talked about subject, and every national paper has a dedicated team of journalists covering everything from crypto to saving tips. As someone who can literally talk about consumer finance all day (and trust me… I do to the detriment of my colleagues), here’s my guide to all things finance and PR!
The current situationship
Everyone and their dog are talking about the cost-of-living crisis! If you’ve navigated your way onto the finance category on your favourite newspaper’s website, you’ll see headlines like ‘Top 5 ways to save money on your phone bill’ and ‘Expert warning: Economy on brink’.
The current crisis means that publications are talking a lot more about finance, and they are listening to experts to give the best advice and comments to their readers! This gives you amazing opportunities to land on a wide range of sites, but it’s important to note that many other companies and PRs will be jumping onto trending topics, so get ready to graft!
Your client does what?
Links and coverages are lush, but don’t PR just because you can! You are 1000x more likely to see results if you stick to what you know. Your clients are experts in their fields, whether they offer crypto advice, saving accounts, or mortgage support, make use of their expertise!
Have a look at exactly what your client offers to the public, and conduct PR around that. Relevancy is hugely important and will help you achieve your goals, leading to increased coverage and also a more relevant audience.
I LOVE thought leadership! There are some key opportunities when it comes to finance PR, including the Chancellor’s Budget and the Bank of England’s interest rate announcements.
These big financial events usually see the opening of live blogs and coverages, which sounds like the ideal home for your client - permitting you can be reactive.
When these announcements are happening, if you watch a live blog you’ll see coverages of expert predictions and expert reactions. If you have an expert on hand, it’s a great opportunity to grab their thoughts - being experts in their fields, they usually have some really interesting comments.
The key tip is to keep your comments short! When speaking to journalists, it’s important to keep in mind that they do not have the time to read your essay. Keep it to around 3-5 sentences and make sure that you are adding to the conversation and not just regurgitating known information.
Being fast and being reactive
Finance as an industry moves fast, and you’ll want to keep up! To land those sick links and coverages in response to breaking news or a shock announcement, you’ll want to have a comment drafted and approved by your client in no time!
Easier said than done, that’s why it never hurts to be prepared. If you know that it can take a little while to get things signed off, particularly if your client has to get approval from legal, the best advice is to write a couple of comments in advance based on the different scenarios from the announcement!
For example, when the Bank of England is announcing a new interest rate, I can draft up a couple of comments to send to my client. One comment may be for a small increase and another for a large increase. That means, as soon as the announcement is made, I can outreach my pre-approved comment and watch those coverages roll in!
Would you want this advice?
If you’ve worked in Finance PR in the past year, there will be some weeks where you feel pressure to jump on a certain topic. For example, when we saw the energy price cap get increased it felt like everyone was issuing advice and tips on how to save on your energy bills.
It can be so easy to fill a Google document with tips that have practically fallen out of your brain, but I cannot stress asking this question to yourself…
Would you want to read this advice?
If you are reading your press release and looking at your tips you think “This is really obvious” or “These tips actually won’t really do anything”, it may be best to take a step back and come back to the piece. There is no point in outreaching a piece that you know won’t be picked up by journalists, and it will only benefit your credibility for your future pitches and also your experts.
Thank me later.
Finding the gap
When you want to know something, you’ll probably end up typing it into Google’s search bar.
We all aren’t Martin Lewis so chances are Google will be receiving a lot of financial questions… If only we could jump on that and answer the public’s questions for them. Oh yeah, we can!
If you spot yourself asking a question about something, have a Google and see if anyone is talking about it. When the council tax rebate was announced, I saw plenty of articles being published around what council tax was, when you could expect the rebate by and how you can apply for it!
For one of our clients we did a consumer finance piece on the best loyalty cards to have in your wallet/purse. In having a quick Google, we noticed that it actually wasn’t really covered, so we outreached a guide on what loyalty cards give you the best benefits, and we landed over 100 links in national and regional publications!
When a PR can be of help to a journalist, it’s a dream! It doesn’t harm to drop in with journalists who you have a good relationship with. Ask them about what they are covering, or if they are writing any pieces that they would want an expert to comment on.
I love journalist requests exactly for that reason - they are the best way to start a relationship where a journalist knows they can come to you for a comment and that you will go out of your way to deliver for them.
These relationships are so valuable! Not only do they make me remember why I love working in PR, but they also helped me land some of my financial clients in publications like Glamour and Tyla.
Have you read this far? You must be a finance super fan like me! If you want to find out more financial PR tips, tricks, and Martin Lewis wannabe advice, don’t be afraid to reach out on Twitter.