Putting Your Financial PR Strategy to Work: 4 Keys to Getting Your Story Heard
When you have timely, new, or exciting news to share that will affect your investors, then the financial media can be your biggest ally in getting the word out. Now more than ever, investors, regulators, and consumers alike are looking to the financial press to see how companies are navigating the fluid social and economic environment. It makes sense to take advantage of this interest and attention by leveraging the media to share your company’s news.
However, as we discussed in our piece on financial PR strategy published a few months ago, working successfully with the financial media requires some fundamental PR skills as well as a solid plan for involving your internal stakeholders. In that piece, we busted the myth that financial PR needs to be radically different from your typical investor messaging. But there are still some nuances to consider and some legwork to do to ensure your organization is ready to engage.
Once you’ve wrapped your arms around these foundational principles, the next step is to make your pitch and execute your strategy. Here’s how to do that as successfully as possible.
Work your relationships. Having a story to tell doesn’t mean financial media will automatically cover it—or even be aware of it. Journalists’ inboxes are notoriously crowded places, and it’s easy for your message to get lost in the mix if you don’t have a pre-established relationship. In fact, maintaining regular engagement with credible industry reporters is mission critical to getting the media’s attention when you need it and ensuring exposure and coverage for your company’s news. In other words, don’t wait until you have a major announcement to get to know the press—or more importantly—to get them to know you. Be proactive and reach out to targeted reporters to introduce your organization. This can be especially enticing for media members who are used to interacting with public relations staff, as they really value interaction with a company’s true leadership team. So offer up an interview or a phone call with your management team to help foster the relationship. That way, when a news story does come along, the connections will already be in place and your company will hopefully be at the forefront of reporters’ minds.
Give your story the newsworthiness test. So, you’ve got a story to pitch to your media contacts. Or do you? Before you reach out, it’s a good idea to do a mental run through of the core tenants of newsworthiness and makes sure your story checks all the boxes:
- Impact—If you want the financial media to care about your story, then you have to be sure their audience (i.e., investors) also care. Ask yourself if investors will find this newsworthy and consider how it will impact them.
- Timeliness—When it comes to the media, it’s not enough for your news to be relevant to investors; it has to be relevant right now. Ensure there is a sense of urgency behind the story you’re aiming to tell.
- Novelty—The more exiting, unique, or fresh your story is for investors, the more likely the media will want to cover it. Consider whether your organization is simply going through the same experience everyone else is, or if there is truly something unique to say.
Get the right story in the right place for the right audience. If your story is indeed newsworthy, the next consideration is where it should be shared. The right avenues for publishing your news always come down to your audience. First, think about scale. Does your story have to do with a major announcement with wide scale appeal, such as an IPO, SPAC, M&A transaction, or a management or leadership change? If so, a press release is likely in order. You may even consider an exclusive outreach, or giving a specific reporter or media outlet access to the information in advance of its release with the goal of securing a feature piece. On the other hand, if your news story is more niche, such as a new product launch, then it may make more sense to do a strategic media pitch to specific reporters, blogs, or podcasts that cover the topic. Either way, you also want to give some thought to the specific investors you want to reach. In any successful financial PR strategy, you’ll need a targeted approach for defining your audience—i.e., the investors most likely to be interested in what your company offers. Are they located in a particular region of the country or world? If so, you will want to consider local media sources. It also pays to know where your target audience turns for information. Do they use mass publications like The Wall Street Journal or more industry-specific trade publications? All these insights should factor into which media outlets you pitch. Keep in mind that while you can strategically target the right media outlets for your specific investor audience, investors are not the only people who may ultimately see your message. Craft your story in a way that speaks to these investors’ interests and needs, but make sure not to inadvertently ostracize other potential readers, such as customers or employees.
Prepare. And then prepare some more. As with everything else in business and life, preparation is key when it comes to successfully executing your financial PR strategy. With big stories in particular, the media will want to interview someone from your company. Your spokesperson and team must be ready, and usually, this should involve some form of media training. While the training can be brief, it should offer general tips and tricks for handling interviews. Some executives benefit from more in-depth one-on-one coaching that allows them to prepare and practice responses to the tough questions you anticipate reporters may ask. The prep work will not only help your spokesperson feel more confident and comfortable during the interview; it will also allow you time to tweak and fine tune your story and its delivery so your messaging comes across as accurately and effectively as possible.
Get your story the media and investor attention it deserves.
Financial PR doesn’t need to be tricky. But it does need to be well planned and executed to get the results your organization wants. Building relationships with credible and influential reporters and outlets that your investors and potential investors are already tuned in to, strategically sharing appropriate new, and providing the media access to well-prepared spokespeople can go a long way in helping ensure your messages reach and resonate with your stakeholders.
For help planning or running a successful financial PR campaign, reach out to us. We can make sure you are taking all the right steps to get the right press for your story and the investors you need to reach.Back To Blog